One of the greatest honors bestowed on a layman of the Great Church of Christ, and one of the most sobering responsibilities which an Orthodox communicant can assume, is to be named an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Each year, the Archon Offikion is conferred upon a select group of churchmen by the Ecumenical Patriarch, as represented by his Exarch, the Archbishop of America. The Bylaws of the Order limit the number of new Archons to no more than 20 annually.
Candidates who are passionate in their desire to serve the needs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and fight for its religious freedom, may do so by the Candidate Credentials Form. A candidate's form must be endorsed by their Hierarch, Priest, a Nominating Archon and an Endorsing Archon.
Article IX, Section 3 of the Bylaws of the Order of St. Andrew specifies that a candidate must possess the following qualifications:
- He is a citizen and permanent resident of the United States.
- He is a practicing and devout Orthodox Christian and a member in good standing of his local Church.
- He has demonstrated love, devotion and support to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its institutions.
- By his deeds and record, he has demonstrated support, devotion and sustained service to his local parish.
- He has never been convicted of any crime and enjoys the unqualified respect and high regard of his fellow parishioners.
- He has demonstrated leadership qualities and achieved success in his chosen field of endeavor.
- At all times he has comported himself with a high degree of dignity and in a manner consistent with the mission of the Order and the purposes and objectives contained in these Bylaws.
- Following his investiture, he shall become a vibrant and enthusiastic member of the Order, who will respond in a positive way to the appeals of his Regional Commander and of the National Council.
- Generally, his investiture will be a credit to the Order and a positive influence in the accomplishment of the Order’s purposes and objectives.
If a Member of the Order wishes to nominate a candidate, he should first judge the candidate by the above criteria. In addition, the nominating Archon should assess the Archon candidate in the context of the following concerns:
- Does the candidate have a record of service to his local parish, metropolis, and the national church?
- Is the candidate willing and able to give of his Time, Talent, and Treasure, to the best of his ability, in advocating the cause of religious liberty for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and serve the needs of the Holy Mother Church?
- Is he willing and able to speak to local, state, and/or federal officials in support of religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate?
- Is the candidate willing and able to visit or participate in pilgrimages to the Ecumenical Patriarchate?
- How can the candidate advance the cause of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?
After all completed nominations are received, the National Council will review the nominations and submit worthy candidates to Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who will then submit the final list to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for approval.
If there are any questions, please contact the National Archon Office.