History of EOC

The General assembly of EAOC of june 21, 1999

The canonical status of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox church (EAOC) is defined by theTomos by the Oecumenical Patriarchate (OP) from 1923 witch was reactivated in 1996. According to the Tomos the EAOK is an autonomous Church.

From February 1996 up to March 1999 the locum tenens of the EAOC was archbishop John (Rinne) of Karelia and all Finland. This was a temporary solution because for a normal functionning a church needs a prelate residing on the place.

On March the 9th 1999 the priests and the representatives of the parishes gathered to present a candidate for the Post of the Metropolitan. With 38 votes out of 4O the candidate presented by some priests and parishes, bishop Stephanos (Charalambides) of Nazianzus was supported.

After that, the Holy Synod of the OP elected bishop Stephanos as the Metropolitan of Tallinn and all Estonia. On the ceremony of his inthronization March the 2 lst there was present an overwhelming majority of the priests of EAOC. Also were present the representative of the OP Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia, the representative or the Moscow Patriarchate, hegumen Elisaeus, the Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia Jaan Kiivit and the representative of the Catholic Church nuntius Erwin Ender.

Under the leadership of Metropolitan Stephanos the authorized representatives of the parishes of the EAOC were gathered on a General Assembly on June the 21st 1999. This was the first General assembly in 60 years. The quorum was there (53 out of 58 parishes were represented with 61 persons with the right to vote). On the Assembly the administrative organs were elected.
On the divine Liturgy preceding the Assembly there was present the chairman of the Department of Religious Affairs of the Internal Ministry of Estonia, who read the greeting of the Ministry.

The General Assembly was honored by the presence of the representatives of the OP, Metropolitan John of Pergamus and Meliton of Philadelphia. Metropolitan John read the greeting of the Oecumenical Patriarch. The greeting of the President of the Republic of Estonia was read by its advisor Mr. Jaan Tepp who was present on the Assembly as a honourary guest. The greeting of Archbishop John of Finland was read by Metropolitan Ambrose. Mr David Papp, representative of the exile Synod of the EAOC addressed the Assembly in the name of the Estonian Orthodox in exile.

On the General Assembly the Synod (Church Administration) and the Auditing Committee were elected. The members of these are the following :

The Synod :
Priest Ardalion Kesküla - Chairman
Priest Andreas Põld
Priest Aleksander Sarapik
Priest Mattias Palli
Mr. Andrei Sytchov - Vice-Chairman
Ms. Eha Tammo - Secretary
Mr. Peet Maruste
The Auditing Committee :
Mr. David Papp
Mrs. Juta Ots
Mr. Enn Rand

The Metropolitan also announced the names of the episcopal vicars. He appointed priest Meletius Ulm and Mattias Palli as his secretaries, priest Aleksander Sarapik as the manager of public relations ; priest Jüri Ives as the person responsible for youth work and Mrs. Edith-Elen Ulm as the person responsible for Church publications.

The Prime Minister of the Republic, Mr. Mart Laar honoured the Metropolitan and his guests with his presence on a festive dinner at the hotel «Palace».

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