Fiscal Responsibility at the Metropolis
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is committed to administering its operations and finances in an accountable, transparent, and professional manner. A number of policies and programs have been implemented to better realize those goals, including:
- Engagement of an independent public accounting firm and disclosure of a certified financial audit of Metropolis assets including the St. Iakovos Retreat Center. Going forward, the Metropolis will publish its financial statements and its budget annually and will have them reviewed or audited by an independent auditing firm.
- An enhanced Delegation of Legal and Financial Authority policy, which imposes new internal controls over long-term contracts, expenditures, management of funds, compliance, and budget approval, among other areas.
- An open, participatory dialogue to solicit opinion, receive feedback, and educate the laity concerning the proposed sale of the Burton Place property.
The ultimate goal of the Metropolis is to serve and support parishes, ministries, and their communities so that they may grow, thrive, and remain vital in the lives of the faithful. The ability of the Metropolis, and – by extension – the parishes, to operate in a fiscally responsible manner is indispensable toward that end.
Governance, From Patriarchate to Parish
The foundation of governance in the Greek Orthodox Church is that of conciliarity in Christ. As the Church is a life of communion, or common existence, governance is shared and focused in the ideal of the “one and the many.” The one—the head—does not act without the “many,” and the “many” do not act without the one. The Metropolis of Chicago is, itself, a “local Church” headed by a bishop—the Metropolitan—together with the clergy, including presbyters or “elders,” commonly called “priests”; deacons or “ministers”; and the laity. In cooperation with the clergy and laity, the Metropolitan exercises the governance of the Metropolis. However, the Metropolis does not operate in a vacuum. The life of the Metropolis is in communion with Christ as manifest in other local churches. Therefore, governance not only concerns itself with affairs that are internal to the Metropolis of Chicago, but also with those that are shared with other local churches (i.e., other Orthodox jurisdictions, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and, by extension, the Ecumenical Patriarchate). There are several “structures” and bodies concerned with these relationships as well.
Local parishes are governed by the Metropolitan through the parish priest along with the Parish Council and Parish General Assembly. The governing structures of a parish are established by the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Archdiocese. Duly elected members of the Parish Council meet at least on a monthly basis, overseeing the daily administration of the parish and making decisions in accordance with the parish by-laws and decisions of the Parish General Assembly. The Parish General Assembly meets at least twice each year and as needed, being chaired by a lay parishioner elected for that purpose at each meeting. Additionally, the Parish Council elects members of a board of auditors to oversee the financial reports from the Parish Council, as well as a board of electors to oversee the elections of the Parish Council. The Parish Council may propose changes to the Archdiocesan Regulations, submitting these to the Metropolis Council. Finally, it elects two lay delegates to the Metropolis Clergy-Laity Assembly.