The first Sobor of our Church in the United States took place in 1924, following the arrival of Metropolitan John. The Sobor has taken many twists and turns to where we are today. Presently the Sobor takes place every three years. At the Sobor, Hierarchs, clergy and laity (that is you and me), gather together to discuss the state of the church. Just as the President gives a state of the union address, our church gathers its people from across the country to discover the “state of the union”. They also discuss the needs of our parishes currently and in the future. Each parish has a limited number of delegates and alternates that they may send to the Sobor. The national church organizations are also granted representation.
The Sobor is not only for business but is also for the spiritual enrichment and renewal of those participating, so that they can return to their parishes ready to work in our Lord’s vineyard. Divine Liturgy is served every morning. There are evening services, memorial services, and evening meditations at the end of the day. Workshops are provided on a variety of topics concerning our faith and our parish life.
There is also time allotted for fellowship. These occasions are a wonderful opportunity for the clergy and laity of the church to interact with one another, discuss the similarities and differences in their parishes, help one another with suggestions, and just plain get to know each other.
Sobors can take place at times other than the designated every three years. A Special Sobor may be called in the case of an emergency in the church.
The Sobor holds a special place in the workings of our Church because it provides the people the opportunity to voice their concerns, opinions, and ideas.
In 2004, at the 17th Regular Sobor, the first Youth Sobor was instituted. This special program was developed to help the youth of the church gain a better understanding of how the church works and to lend their voice to the decision making for the present and the future.