One of the greatest honors bestowed on a layman of the Great Church, 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 by the Ecumenical Patriarch, as represented by his Exarch, the Archbishop of America. The By Laws of the Order generally limit the number of new Archons to approximately 22 annually.
Members of the Order of St. Andrew may participate in the process by nominating worthy candidates to become new Archons and new members of the Order. Those wishing to do so in 2010 should contact the National Office for a Credentials Form. In order to be considered for the next investiture ceremony, scheduled for late October, nominations must have been received at the National Council Office by May 31. As shown on the form, nominations must be submitted by a member of the Order and endorsed by the local hierarch, priest, and a regional commander or his designee.
Article IX, Section 3 of the By Laws 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 By-Laws.
- 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, he should ask the following questions. (a) Does the candidate have a record of service to his local parish, metropolis, and the national church? (b) 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? (c) Is he willing and able to speak to local, state, and/or federal officials in support of religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate? (d) Is the candidate willing and able to visit or participate in pilgrimages to the Ecumenical Patriarchate? (e) How can the candidate advance the cause of the Ecumenical Patriarchate? All these questions must be viewed in their totality. Offering money to the church is not in itself a criterion.
After all nominations are received on a timely basis, the National Council selects the candidates (generally 22) who are deemed most qualified for consideration by the Exarch and the Ecumenical Patriarch. In order to be as objective as possible, the National Council can only consider the biographical information contained in the Credentials Form. The National Council endeavors independently to authenticate all biographical data. Misrepresentation of a candidate’s service to the church or his community may negatively affect his selection. Candidates evidencing the above qualifications, who are not selected, are automatically deferred for consideration in succeeding years. Candidates selected are requested to affirm their support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate in writing, as a condition to receiving their Offikia. It is strongly recommended that candidates not be advised they have been nominated until after the process has been completed.
If there are any questions, please call the National Council office.