The following is a message from Fr. Alexander Cadman on behalf of the Madera Church Council:

Dear Brethren:

Blessings on the Feast!

The Madera Church Council has successfully crafted a final draft of new bylaws for Nativity of the Theotokos (St. Mary’s) Church, replacing the ones declared lost last year. Bylaws are the foundational framework that guides the purpose, structure, decision-making process, and various activities within a church community. They play a crucial role in connecting the local Body of Christ with her diocese, the broader Orthodox Church, as well as state and federal authorities. Essentially, bylaws serve as an essential building block of parish life.

In addition, as our “parish” of multiple churches, cemeteries, and faithful continues to make significant steps toward administratively and spiritually witnessing as one entity, the bylaws being presented here have been written with a forward-looking perspective toward that goal. Council members at both churches envision their enactment not only in Madera but also at St. Michael’s in Irvona in due time, thus serving as a vital tool toward eventual unification. Therefore, your input on the new bylaws, attached below, is highly valued. Moreover, because the Irvona Council has expressed interest in eventually adopting the same bylaws as Madera’s, the feedback of St. Michael’s members is strongly encouraged as well. 
Here is an outline of the procedure we will follow with a general timeline:

  • Today, February 2: Bylaws emailed electronically.
  • Saturday-Sunday, February 3-4: Printed copies will be available in the Madera Narthex. If you are registered as a member of St. Mary’s and have received a copy (printed or electronic), please cross off your family’s name.
  • Week of February 5: Bylaws will be mailed by post to Madera members who did not indicate they received a copy.
  • Tuesday, February 27, 7:00 p.m.: The Madera Council will host a special session to review the feedback of all interested parties and answer questions of anyone who wishes to attend. The Council will carefully review the feedback received and consider all necessary revisions. 
  • Sunday, March 3: The final version of the bylaws will be shared along with a summary of the feedback received and any changes made. The date, time, and location of the Special Meeting to adopt the new bylaws will be announced at this time, with at least three Sundays of notice given.
  • Late March/April: A Special Meeting of the entire membership of Nativity of the Theotokos Church will take place with the adoption of the proposed bylaws being the only item on the agenda.  

At the Special Meeting, the procedure outlined in Articles IV and VIII of the proposed bylaws will be followed requiring a quorum of 51% and a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the voting members of St. Mary’s. (Voting members are those registered with the Archdiocese on the 2024 Census, which was taken September 1, 2023, and reflect those parishioners who identify with the Madera church, are 18 years of age or older, and who fulfilled their annual obligation of Communion and Confession this past Lent.). Resolutions to be presented at the Special Meeting shall be submitted in writing to the Madera Church Council a week in advance to ensure the resolution is in order.

Should the new bylaws pass at the Special Meeting, they will not take effect until approved by His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek. In that case, they will revoke, supplant and replace any and all Madera bylaws, whether corporate or not, previously in use.

On behalf of the Madera Council, I value your perspective and encourage you to share your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns. Your feedback may be sent by email to, or submitted in writing to Greg Sidorick, President of the Madera Council. In addition, your prayers for all involved in this process are sincerely appreciated.
Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to the well-being of Ss. Mary and Michael Parish. May God bless our efforts, continue to add daily to our community those who are being saved, and help us grow together in faith and unity.
Yours in His Service,Fr. Alexander

V. Rev. Archpriest Alexander Cadman Rector
Ss. Mary and Michael Orthodox Parish
Clearfield County, Pennsylvania •