Sh. Ina O’Dell, President
Ina O’Dell was appointed to the presidency of the Holy Cross chapter of the Antiochian Women by Fr. Gregory soon after the O’Dells arrival in Maryland in 1996.
She also serves as the head of the floral team and is current President of the regional Antiochian Women for the Diocese of NY and the Diocese of Oakland and the East.
Holy Cross Chapter of Antiochian Women:
Sisterhood of St. Nina
The ladies of Holy Cross became active within the Eastern Region of Antiochian Women soon after our official founding in 1996. At our second trip to the regional meeting of Antiochian Women, at the annual Eastern Region Parish Life Conference in 1997, we took on the role of creating a new newsletter for the Eastern Region. Our local chapter president served as editor of the Eastern Region newsletter, called Eeman el Niswan: Faith of Women till 2001 when she was elected to be the Vice President of the Eastern Region of Antiochian Women. Antiochian Women of North America: Parent Organization
In 1973 Metropolitan PHILIP founded the organization, then known as the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America. Excerpts from his founding speech best tell his purposes. Women have a definite ministry in the life of the church. Both the Old and New Testament testify beyond doubt to the important role which women played in the history of salvation. It is very disappointing that in some parishes women are not allowed to vote or to be elected to Church Councils. We must definitely do away with this Medieval and archaic outlook concerning women. Our church does not teach that women are inferior to men. Despite their different functions, men and women are equal in the eyes of God because both were redeemed by His Precious Blood. St. Paul said,
There is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28). I propose, therefore, that a National Sisterhood of Charity be organized in the Archdiocese. In the late 1990s the name of the organization was shortened to Antiochian Women.
- To develop among women throughout the Antiochian Archdiocese a spirit of Christian leadership, awareness and commitment as taught in the Holy Orthodox Church.
- To foster among women of the archdiocese a genuine expression of love and service through works of charity.
- To instill among women in the archdiocese and the larger community a sense of fellowship and a deeper understanding of the heritage and traditions of the Orthodox church.
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All women in the Antiochian Archdiocese are considered to be Antiochian Women. However some local parish chapters assess membership dues to those who actively meet and serve in their parish in order to pay the annual Eastern Region dues of $150. The local chapters organize according to local custom, but send delegates to meetings and retreats at the regional level. At the regional meetings women elect regional officers to two year terms, get new ideas, report on action within standing committees, and develop relationships with other Antiochian Women in their geographic region. These regional meetings begin to fulfill the Metropolitans desire to help women in the US and Canada to become knit together as an active Orthodox presence beyond our own parishes. The activities of the national organization that oversee all the regions are coordinated by members of the North American Board (NAB) who are elected by delegates at the biennial convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese.
The standing committees of Antiochian Women at National and Regional Levels:
Promoting spiritual activities including retreats, educational programs, and special programs observing the feasts and fasts of the liturgical calendar.
Promotes and exchanges ideas for humanitarian and charitable activities for parishes at the grassroots level.
Coordinating an annual fund raising targeted at a specific annual project chosen at the national level. Local chapters choose their own method of raising funds for this project, which have been as varied as: repairs and construction at the Antiochian Village Camp, gifts to Antiochian Seminarians, an endowment for Orthodox Orphanages in Mexico, Guatemala, Lebanon, etc.
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