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Orthodox Christian Laity to Focus on Orthodox Unity in America at 25th Annual Meeting in DC

Contact: Peter Marudas, 410-435-4188; George Matsoukas, 877-585-0245; both with Orthodox Christian Laity

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Orthodox Christian Laity will hold its 25th Anniversary in Washington, D.C., October 25-27 with a focus on the Orthodox Christian experience in America and the pressing need for Orthodox unity among its various jurisdictions.

"We have assembled a wide arrange of Orthodox hierarchy, clergy and laity who will examine the Orthodox Christian experience in America and suggest various visions for the future. OCL strongly believes and has advocated during its 25 year history that an essential part of any future vision must include unification of the Orthodox faithful in our country," William Souvall, President of OCL explained.

Mr. Souvall praised the formation three years ago of an Assembly of Orthodox Canonical Bishops as an important first step toward unity but stressed that while the deliberations of the group's three meetings thus far have been important, there has been little or no evidence that unity is being promoted at regional and local levels.

"The Assembly's organizational activities are necessary, but it is imperative that the Bishops communicate to their respective clergy and communities that there is a process for unity and that everyone in the church should be a participant and a contributor to this historic mission," Souvall added.

He pointed out that a major OCL goal has been to ensure inclusiveness within Orthodoxy by insisting that the laity maintain its historical role in the Church. "Orthodox unity will not come about unless the entire Church is fully involved and committed," Souvall asserted.

The meeting's keynote address will be delivered Friday evening, October 26 at a 7 P.M. dinner at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Washington by His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Orthodox Church's Western Diocese. On Saturday, Oct 27 beginning at 9 am and continuing into the afternoon, three panels will discuss the following themes: "Our Orthodox Past, Our Orthodox Present and Our Orthodox Future." This session will be held at West Hall B at the Mount Vernon Campus of George Washington University, 2100 Foxhall Road NW, Washington, DC.