Mr. Della Monica at the 5th Annual Chancellors & Treasurers Conference.
It was a great joy to participate in and present to the 5th Annual Chancellor & Treasurers Conference, held at the OCA Chancery, Syosset, New York.
Lead by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and supported by Father John Jillions, Chancellor of the OCA, and Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer, the gathering began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
A great breakfast buffet presented us the first opportunity to meet the other participants. It was enlightening to be in the position to dialog with the varying diocesan administrators throughout the Orthodox Church in America. The focus of the conference was learning how the recently adopted percentage giving and how the various diocese were doing in the transition from the old system.
Observing the greater Church work together on common administrative issues and new operational goals was exciting. When my place on the agenda appeared, I gave a brief overview of OCCIF. Beginning with the fundamental need for the program and how we have prepared it to serve our Church now and into its future.
Having this particular group of administrative leadership learn firsthand about OCCIF was outstanding in its importance and timing. Bringing OCCIF to the forefront of our national Church’s thinking and each jurisdiction of the Orthodox faith is our principal goal. This event was a true blessing helping propel OCCIF in the exact right direction.
Mr. Della Monica reviews OCCIF’s program with Metropolitan Tikhon.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon met with John Della Monica, President of the Orthodox Church Capital Improvement Fund [OCCIF] at the Chancery here on Friday, December 4, 2015.
OCCIF is dedicated to providing low interest loans to assist Orthodox Christian parishes, missions, monastic communities and institutions acquire, build, remodel and refinance properties in order to further the mission of the Church. The organization accomplishes its mission through donations, and especially through parishes pooling their resources and lending capital, for which they receive interest.
The work of OCCIF, which was initiated as a project in collaboration with the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the West, was showcased at the 18th All-American Council in July 2015.
In an endorsement letter, His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West said, “By loaning capital to OCCIF, parishes make it possible for the organization to lend capital to fund construction projects.”
Mr. Della Monica reported to Metropolitan Tikhon that OCCIF is now expanding to meet needs across the US while working closely with the Church is an independently registered federal 501(c)(3) charity.
Left to Right: Fr. Marty Watt, CFO;
John Della Monica, President; Fr. David Lowell; Linda Koshell,
Secretary; Scott Adams
As introductory events go, The Orthodox Church Capital Improvement Fund’s (OCCIF) introduction to the National Church was quiet and professional, but so much more than we could have hoped for!
After more than seven years of planning, organizing, and refining our new program, having the opportunity to speak about OCCIF with the attendees at the 18th All-American Council in Atlanta in July was a great joy! Five of our Board Members were able to attend and assisted in sharing OCCIF’s vision.
I personally had the opportunity to meet with several Hierarchs, a multitude of parish and mission priests, monastics, lay delegates, and observers, as well as representatives of other church-affiliated organizations, over the five-day event.
The OCCIF booth – set in the royal blue and gold colors of our logo – contained information attendants could read and carry back to their parishes and missions, while others viewed our newly released website on computers. Two six-foot-tall banners flanked the booth boundaries, displaying projects completed with OCCIF’s assistance, as well as others getting underway.
We met with many enthusiastic participants who asked for additional information, showed interest in committing to loan programs underway, or discussed planned giving to the Fund. This gave us all much to follow up on after returning home!
It was a true blessing to attend the AAC and we look forward to the next Council in three years. Look for us to participate in several Diocesan Assemblies in the coming year as we continue to spread the word that OCCIF IS HERE!
Your Servant in Christ,
John Della Monica