Renewing The ACRY In Christ
A Reflection By Amy Coffman
On the afternoon of Sunday, September 2, 2012, I was elected as the next National Senior ACRY President. I would not realize the full gravity of what had just transpired until much later. When the nominations committee chairperson, John Bilanin of Phoenixville, announced, “The chair casts one unanimous vote for Amy Coffman for the office of President,” I sat in my chair and heard his words, but I had a difficult time fathoming what he was really saying. During the Grand Banquet later that evening, in the presence of the entire ACRY, the spiritual advisors, and God Himself, I took an oath to uphold the by-laws and constitution of the ACRY and to lead the organization honorably into the future. Even during the swearing in, I was not realizing the magnitude of what was occurring. It was not until later in the evening when the host chapter Johnstown presented a video montage created by Pani Connie Miloro, that the full weight of what had happened earlier became clear to me.
The video compilation was titled “Remembering the Past- Embracing the Future.” It displayed photos from the first National ACRY Convention in 1939 and ended with images from the most recent National events. When the photo of all of the attendees was emblazoned upon the video screen, I finally realized what had happened earlier. I was elected by my fellow ACRY members to lead an organization that had been in existence for 74 years. Not only was I entrusted to lead this beloved organization, I was elected to do so in the very location that the first National Convention had taken place.
Under the direction of Very Reverend Protopresbyter Peter Paproski, the theme of the weekend was from Revelations 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new.” This verse was especially important to me this weekend because the ACRY had just selected a new president in me, in the very location that a new organization began its journey 74 years earlier. This organization, the ACRY, has survived for over 7 decades and not even World War 2 was able to impede the progress of the fledgling group. The photos from the first conventions showed just how many people had attended the annual event. The numbers appeared staggering. It has unfortunately been no surprise that lately, the number of members in the ACRY has been slowly shrinking. It will become my administration’s mission to rebuild the ACRY to the enormous organization it initially was. This may sound like a daunting task due to many factors that are in play, but as scripture says, “Through God, all things are possible.” Fr. Peter clarified that God did not make all new things; He made all things new. The ACRY is not a new organization, but to continue to grow and prosper, it must be made new in Christ. With His help, I believe that we will be able to increase our membership to the levels they once were when the ACRY was founded and the verse from Revelations 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new,” will hold a special place in all members hearts.
National Senior ACRY President,
Amy L. Coffman