On December 8-9, 2015, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia met at the residence of the First Hierarch in New York City. His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York opened the session by greeting the Archpastors, wishing them Divine aid in their labors, and paid special attention to His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, congratulating him on the 35th anniversary of his episcopal consecration and selfless service to the Holy Church of Christ. In response, Vladyka Mark thanked the First Hierarch and beseeched the holy prayers of the member bishops of the Synod.

He then proceeded to report on the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem and on the work of the Pan-Orthodox Assembly preparing for the Pan-Orthodox Council scheduled for 2016. He also presented to Synod the Draft Statutes of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR) to be recieved by the Diocesan Assembly in April before the Great Unction Service at the Cathedral.

After Divine Liturgy on Thursday, December 10, Archbishop Mark was awarded the Medal of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign,” First Degree.

The next session of the Synod of Bishops will be held in Moscow, Russia, in February, 2016, when the member bishops will attend the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, to coincide with the anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness.

The Diocesan conference this year will be held at Munich in Germany as usual December 24-26 2015.

This year, the annual Orthodox Seminar will be held at the Cathedral of the German Diocese in Munich, Germany, from December 24-26, 2015, and will focus on the men’s Monastery of St Job of Pochaev, which will mark its seventieth anniversary this year. It was at this monastery that the tradition of annual seminars originated. His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany will speak on the male monastic tradition, and other invited guests will speak on contemporary monasticism.