DECEMBER 2013 • Vol. 78 • No. 1291
in this issue A Fordham First
Fordham University Professor Aristotle Papanikolaou named the first holder of the Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture. • P.2
Christ Is Born!
Set on an elevated site, the new St. Nicholas will elevate the human spirit. • P. 5
Istanbul Greek Architects
An exhibit of Greek Architects of Istanbul is held in Chicago. • P. 10
Preparing for Anniversary
At their recent board meeting, Leadership 100 trustees discussed plans for the organization’s upcoming anniversary. • P. 11
Tuscon Church Event Christmas at Sea
A noted priest from the Church in America’s early years gives comfort to passengers on a tempestuous voyage across the Atlantic . • P.21
A Pittsburgh First
The Metropolis of Pittsburgh recently held its first Greek language competition. • P.23
A ‘Damascus’ Moment
Times when individuals come faceto-face with realizing the strength of their faith. • P. 29
How the Metropolis of San Francisco uses Strategic Planning. • P.32
Dimitrios Panagos photo
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew welcomes two little visitors. • St. Andrew Celebrations P.15
Archbishop Speaks on Halki Efforts at U.S. Congress by Stavros H. Papagermanos
The Emerging Shrine Church
St. Demetrios Church recently achieved a significant milestone. • P.12
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The Nativity of Christ Moscow Patriarchate photo
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…. (Isaiah 9:6)
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In the culmination of this blessed season with the glorious celebration of the Nativity of Christ, we give thanksgiving and praise to God for His abundant grace and for His superb gift of becoming one of us through His Incarnation. This is a feast of joy and light. It is a jubilation on a day and a moment when God because of His great love for us took our humanity upon Himself. Through our Lord’s conception and birth, He entered our human condition. He assumed the flesh and blood that He created. He became man so that He might offer to us power over sin and death and the gift of total liberation from evil. On this day we celebrate God’s gift to us and to all of humanity and creation. This gift was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a child is given” (Isaiah 9:6). Through His gift, He offers us hope. In the darkness, the brilliant light of promise illumines a path to God through Christ. In our struggle
against sin and the many challenges of life, He reveals to us how we can restore our communion with Him, and assures us that we will have the strength to complete our journey of faith. Through the Incarnation of Christ, we are shown the way to true and eternal life, and we become witnesses of the power of God to redeem what He created and loves. We celebrate this Feast and this wondrous gift at a time when many throughout our world are in need of compassion and hope. We have seen massive destruction and loss due to recent natural disasters. We have witnessed the tragedy of violence within our communities and in nations around the world. We are acutely aware of the struggles of our brothers and sisters in Greece and Cyprus and in other places where economic challenges have burdened many. We are conscious of the ordeals of our Ecumenical Patriarchate due to severe restrictions on true religious freedom. We see around us the consequences when human dignity is devalued and life is exploited. It is into the midst of the plight of humanity and these challenges that we carry the message of this Feast: For unto us a Child is born and unto us a Son is given! We share a Gospel of hope and promise. Christ has become man, and this unique gift to us has become the spiritual foundation for our offering to others in need. In gratitude to Him, in our compassion for our fellow human beings, and as a witness of the greatest gift of all, we offer to those who have lost everything, who carry the burden of despair, who suffer under con-
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NEW YORK – Upon the initiative of U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), a congressional briefing on the suffering religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the continued 42–year closure of the Halki Seminary was held Nov. 20 at Capitol Hill. Archbishop Demetrios of America was one of the three presenters. “We raised and discussed the issue of Halki and the issue of religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It was an interesting meeting with prominent members of Congress. Many of them spoke very eloquently and passionately about the need to resolve this and have Halki re–open as soon as possible, and also create the possibility for the Ecumenical Patriarchate to function in freedom and continue its work for reconciliation and peace among people,” said His Eminence, in a short statement following the briefing. Congressman Bilirakis is reintroducing a resolution to the House of Representatives for the immediate re-opening of Halki without any delay or conditions. In a short statement to the press after the briefing he said: “It was very important to organize this briefing. This is of vital importance for the Patriarchate and we have to make sure we open Halki Seminary as soon as possible. We can go back for fifty years and we have been promised many times. We
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Archons Hold 2nd Religious Freedom Conference BERLIN – The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in cooperation with the Patriarchal Liaison Office to the European Union and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Germany hosted its Second Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom Dec. 4–5. The theme was, “Tearing Down Walls: Achieving Religious Equality in Turkey.” The conference focused on religious freedom issues affecting minorities in Turkey stressing the concepts of equality, state neutrality and pluralism as they relate to religious freedom and the status of religious freedom under Turkey’s current and proposed new constitutions. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
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A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
To contact National Ministries Archives 212.570.3517 firstname.lastname@example.org Communications 212.774.0244 email@example.com Greek Education 212.774.0233 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dimitrios Panagos photo
Professor Papanikolaou is installed by Fordham President Joseph M. McShane S.J. at ceremonies Nov. 18
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Deadline for submitting information, articles and photos for consideration in the January 2014 issue: Thursday, Jan. 9. Photos should be sent as a large format .jpg attachment (300 dpi min.). E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org Regular mail: Editor, Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79th St., New York, NY 10075.
Papanikolaou Installed as 1st Holder of Archbishop Chair at Fordham U. BRONX, N.Y. – Professor Aristotle Papanikolaou, Ph.D., was installed Nov. 18, as the inaugural holder of the Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture at Fordham University. The University organized a public ceremony at its Rose Hill Campus to mark the event which was followed by the inaugural lecture by Dr. Papanikolaou on the subject “Violence and Virtue.” The Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture was established at Fordham in 2009 with a generous gift of $2 million from Mary and Michael Jaharis through the Jaharis Family Foundation Inc., in honor of Archbishop Demetrios. It is only the latest development in a long progression for Orthodox Christian studies in Fordham. When Fordham initiated the annual Orthodoxy in America Lecture Series in 2004, it was Archbishop Demetrios who presented the inaugural lecture. In June 2007 Fordham bestowed an honorary doctorate of humane letters upon the Archbishop. The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University is the only one of its kind, not only in the United States but probably worldwide. It was co-founded by Professors George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou, both graduates of Holy
How to Contact Archdiocesan Institutions, Metropolises and Related Agencies and Organizations Direct Archdiocesan District 212.570.3500; www.goarch.org Metropolis of Chicago 312.337.4130; www.chicago.goarch.org Metropolis of Boston 617.277.4742; www.boston.goarch.org Metropolis of Denver 303.333.7794; www.denver.goarch.org Metropolis of Atlanta 404.634.9345; www.atlmetropolis.org Metropolis of Detroit 248.823.2400; www.detroit.goarch.org Metropolis of Pittsburgh 412.621.5529; www.pitssburgh.goarch.org Metropolis of San Francisco 415.753.3075; www.sanfran.goarch.org Metropolis of New Jersey 908.301.0500; www.nj.goarch.org Archdiocesan Institutions Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Tel. 212.288.3215; www.thecathedralnyc.org
EDITOR IN CHIEF Jim Golding (Chryssoulis) GREEK SECTION EDITOR Eleftherios Pissalidis
In 2013, published monthly except February–March and July–August by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Editorial and Business Ofﬁce: 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075 TEL.: (212) 570–3555 FAX (212) 774–0239
Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. University President Fr. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., expressed his deep appreciation to Michael and Mary Jaharis for their generous gift, spoke highly of Archbishop Demetrios and praised Dr. Papanikolaou’s qualities and qualifications. The formal installation ceremony followed and Fr. McShane asked His Eminence together with the Provost Dr. Freedman to bestow upon Dr. Papanikolaou the University’s special medal in recognition of his groundbreaking scholarship. Dr. Papanikolaou began his inaugural lecture with a personal tone expressing gratitude to members of his family and especially his immigrant grandmother who instilled in him her faith and wisdom. He also acknowledged the influence and support of many mentors and colleagues along the way. In his lecture he discussed how the Eastern Christian thinking on virtue offers resources for illuminating and transfiguring the human experience of violence. Archbishop Demetrios, who concluded the evening with a prayer, expressed his sincere gratitude to Mary and Michael Jaharis, praised the vision and stewardship of Fr. McShane and the scholarship of his old student Aristotle Papanikolaou.
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2014 Program NEW YORK – The Office of Ionian Village announces the dates for its 2014 Summer Programs. Ionian Village is the camping ministry of the Archdiocese with campgrounds located in the Peloponnese, Greece. After 43 years, Ionian Village continues to offer the Orthodox Christian youth of America an unparalleled spiritual and cultural camping experience. Summer Camping Programs The picturesque Ionian Village campgrounds sit along the shores of the pristine Ionian Sea and are equipped with a private beach, a renovated Olympic-sized pool, airconditioned cabins, and various athletic courts and fields. Campers actively explore their Orthodox faith and heritage, both through the daily camp program and through excursions to culturally and religiously significant sites throughout Greece. Excursions vary slightly between the two sessions and will include Ancient Olympia, Patra, Zakynthos, Kefallonia, Kerkyra, Aegina, and Athens. Each 20-day session is open to young people who have completed grades 8 through 12. Session One: June 23-July 12 Session Two: July 20-Aug. 8 Spiritual Odyssey Pilgrimage The Spiritual Odyssey program offers young adults the opportunity to intimately encounter Greek Orthodox culture and faith through focused pilgrimages. Spiritual Odyssey is open to young adults between the ages of 19–28. Spiritual Odyssey Cyprus: June 1-11 While in Cyprus, participants will experience the faith and culture firsthand, visiting sites where the Apostles once preached, also learning about the Cypriot struggle and ongoing division of the island. They will explore the beautiful beaches, food, and culture of the island of Cyprus and then travel to Athens for the final two days to visit classic sites including the Parthenon, have shopping time in Monastiraki, and view the Changing of the Guards ceremony. For more information regarding any of the 2014 summer programs, to apply to be a staff, medical, or clergy member, or to register for the Alumni Project, visit www.ionianvillage.org.
Change of Address To submit a change of address: Contact Soula Podaras at 212.774.0235 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org fax: 212.774.0239. Or regular mail to: Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79th St., New York, NY 10075-0192 Be sure to include old address, new address and name of parish.
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
Scholarship Committee Awards The Archdiocese Scholarship Committee has awarded a record number of scholarships the current academic year (2013–14) from three programs.
The George and Naouma Gioles Scholarship Fund was established in 1997 with a generous gift from Marian Gioles in memory of her beloved parents, to honor their commitment to their Orthodox faith, their love of their Hellenic heritage, and their desire to help youth who are orphaned or in need. Scholarships are awarded annually to Greek Orthodox students committed to serious study in degree–earning, undergraduate programs at accredited colleges or universities in the United States. Each year, one scholarship is reserved for a student pursuing studies in journalism. This year that award went to Victoria Karatza from Grand Blanc, Mich. Gioles Scholarships were also awarded to the following students: John Anagnos (Lake Forest, Ill.), Timothy Cremeens (Dudley, Mass.), Dennis Grapsas (Flushing, N.Y.), Jonathan Heyward (Boston), Matthew Jouthas (Hayward, Calif.), Samantha Kapsas-Murarik (Garrison, N.Y.), Melissa Likiardopoulos (Wichita, Kansas), Maria Michalarias (Oak Lawn, Ill.), and Mina Zissopoulos (Astoria, N.Y.).
The Katina John Malta Scholarship Fund was established in 2002 through a generous gift from the estate of Katina John Malta, in recognition of the love she had for the Church and to honor her desire to help others, especially children and youth of the Orthodox Christian Faith. As a reflection of the pan-Orthodox nature of this scholarship program, these awards are open to students from all jurisdictions of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. This year, scholarships were granted to three students from outside the Archdiocese: Kaleb Adney from Culver City, Calif. (Antiochian), Christina Ioukliaevskikh from New York (Carpatho-Russian), and Victoria Trenham from Riverside, Calif. (Antiochian). From the Archdiocese, the following students received scholarships:
John Anagnos (Lake Forest, Ill.), William Anagnos (Lake Forest, Ill.), Katherine Arabatzis (Saco, Maine), Irene Christoforou (East Setauket, N.Y.), Cassidy Clark (San Diego, Calif.), Timothy Creemens (Dudley, Mass.), Paula Crisp (Cary, N.C.), Alexandra Glenges (Stamford, Conn.), Rosamond Goodson (Statesboro, Ga.), Katherine Jouthas (Hayward, Calif.), Matthew Jouthas (Hayward, Calif.), Christos Kaparos (Tenafly, N.J.), Samantha KapsasMurarik (Garrison, N.Y.), Konstantina Kostara (Tenafly, N.J.), Antonia Kubisek (Stamford, Conn.), Melissa Likiardopoulos (Wichita, Kansas), Maria Michalarias (Oak Lawn, Ill.), Lucas Papageorgiou (Miami), Timos Pietris (Shrub Oak, N.Y.), Eugenia Skapetsos (Marlton, N.J.), and Tatiana Zecher (Houston).
Paleologos Graduate Scholarship
Finally, awards were granted from the Paleologos Graduate Scholarship Fund, established in 2007. This fund assists students enrolled in graduate studies leading to advanced degrees in academic fields other than theology. This award is open to students from all jurisdictions affiliated with the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. Scholarships were granted to four students from outside the Archdiocese: Oksana Klimparskaya (New York) from the Russian Orthodox Church, Stephan Millik (Youngstown, Ohio) from the Carpatho-Russians, Rachel Pribish (Elizabeth, N.J.) also from the Carpatho-Russians, and Hannah Sabbagh (Oakland, N.J.) from the Antiochians. The remaining recipients were from the Archdiocese: Gabriel Courey (Los Angeles), Irene Dallaris (Hicksville, N.Y.), Marcus Geromes (Nashville), Nicole Hillas (Astoria, N.Y.), Michelle Ioannou (Bayside, N.Y.), Karolina Makrioniti (Brookline, Mass.), Presbytera Marilisse Mars (Tucker, Ga.), Jennifer Oehlman (Long Beach, Calif.), Aris Rogers II (Valrico, Fla.), Nicole Sambol (Edmund, Okla.), Stacey Soulimiotis (Tucker, Ga.), and Kyra Tabak (Middletown, Ohio). It is expected that all three of these scholarships will once again be available for the 2014-15 academic year. Applications and guidelines will be available by the end of January on the Archdiocese website (www.goarch.org) or by contacting the Archdiocese in 2014.
St. Photios Shrine Hosts Music Institute ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.– St Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine hosted a parish liturgical music ministry retreat Nov. 1-3 that featured a presentation on a software program that stores, organizes and delivers liturgical texts and music for the training of choir members. The event drew participants from
several Florida and Georgia parishes. Fr. Seraphim Dedes, creator of “ematins” and executive director of AGES Initiatives Inc., was the presenter, assisted by Dr. Michael Colburn, a software designer who serves as a volunteer with
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CLERGY UPDATE Ordinations to the Diaconate
politan Iakovos of Chicago, St. Andrew Church, Chicago 09/15/13
Ordinations to the Priesthood
Deacon Peter Kostakis – Holy Trinity Church, Dallas 11/01/13 Fr. Michael Gavrilos – St. Paul Church, North Royalton, Ohio 11/17/13 Fr. Chrysostomos Gilbert – Annunciation Church, New York 12/01/13
Gavrilos, Michael – Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, Dormition of the Theotokos Church, Oakmont, Pa. 11/16/13
Deacon Timothy Curren – Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, St. Vasilios Church, Peabody, Mass.11/03/13 Deacon Michael State – Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, St. Nicholas, Northridge, Calif. 11/10/13 Deacon Chrysostomos Gilbert – Archbishop Demetrios, Annunciation Church, New York, NY 11/24/13 Deacon Stamatios Sfikas – Metro-
Rev. Economos Joel McEachen – Office of Protopresbyter, bestowed by Archbishop Demetrios 11/17/13 Confessor Christos Mars – Office of Sakellarios, bestowed by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta 11/10/13
Dimitrios Panagos photo
(L to R) Congressmen Brad Schneider, John Sarbanes, Eliot Engel, Ed Royce, Archbishop Demetrios, and Congress members Gus Bilirakis Carolyn Maloney and Chris Smith.
Archbishop Speaks on Halki Efforts u u from page 1 want action now, not words. I thought it was very important to sponsor this resolution to open up the theological school of Halki without any conditions. We will not rest until we open our Schole again. It is important to Orthodox Christians in the U.S. and around the world. This is a bipartisan bill and we are not going to rest until is done.” In addition to the Archbishop, presenters were Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, an expert in the field of Religious Freedom and Southeastern Europe, and Archons National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis. Dr. Prodromou gave an overview on the Halki Seminary since its closure by the Turkish state in 1971. She explained all the efforts and arguments for re-opening Halki and the negative policy of Turkey, despite the clear and many calls by U.S. presidents from President Carter to President Obama for Halki’s re-opening. Professor Prodromou, who served as vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, 2004–12 and is presently a member of the secretary of state’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group, said the almost 43-year closure of Halki knowingly violates the human rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and is depriving the center of Orthodox Christianity of training priest and hierarchs and thus preventing unfettered succession and governance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Dr. Limberakis gave a visual and spirited presentation and explained the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s role in Orthodox Christianity and the Archons’ efforts for
Halki and religious freedom. He noted the Archon conference for Religious Freedom in Berlin in early December. He also discussed recent efforts by Turkey to islamicize Orthodox churches in Turkey, which previously served as museums and lately have been converted into mosques. Archbishop Demetrios spoke on a more personal level, apprising the congressmen of the many attempts made to open Halki, the commitment of Orthodox faithful in the United States to this cause and of all the promises, hopes and disappointments that transpired in the last 15 years. All the congressmen who spoke expressed their absolute solidarity on the Halki issue, which, as they said, does not only curtail human rights and religious freedom but also closes the doors for future generations. In attendance were 10 Members of Congress involved in foreign policy, many staffers and other Washington policy makers. In addition to Bilirakis, who is the Hellenic-Israeli Alliance Caucus founder and Hellenic Caucus co-chair, others were House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Eliot Engel (D-NY), House Foreign Affairs Committee Human Rights Subcommittee Chairman and Helsinki Commission Co-Chair Chris Smith (R-NJ), Hellenic Caucus Co-Chair Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.), House Foreign Affairs Europe subcommittee members Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and John Sarbanes (D-Md.). Also present was retired U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes.
Encyclical The Nativity of Christ u u from page 1 ditions they cannot control or change, who have been victims of the abuse of others. They need to hear and see that God has given Himself to them, that His grace is revealed through Christ so that they might have hope and true life. On this holy and blessed Feast of the Nativity of Christ, may our hearts be filled with joy as we receive and celebrate the gift of God and the gift of hope and life. May we also renew our commitment to share this gift with everyone.
Let us give from our abundance so that others receive care and healing. Let us respond to the needs of those around us and throughout the world, so that the witness of God’s grace may shine in every place. And may our good and gracious God bless you and your families as you share in fellowship and prayer on this beautiful and sacred day. With paternal love in Christ,
† DEMETRIOS, Archbishop of America
St. Nicholas - Ground Zero The City Set on a Hill Cannot Be Hidden In a recent New York Times article (November 20, 2013), David Dunlap wrote about the elevated park above Liberty Street in the rebuilt World Trade Center site, “that will command a panoramic view of the National September 11 Memorial.” This “Liberty Park” will create “…a landscaped forecourt for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church; to provide a gathering space for as many as 750 people at a time; to allow visitors to contemplate the whole memorial in a single sweeping glance from treetop level….” It should not be difficult for anyone to see that Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero, a National Shrine of the Archdiocese, will truly be, as the Lord preached in the Sermon on the Mount, “the city set on a hill that cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). The “city set on a hill” or the “high city” is in fact an “acropolis,” a word that speaks volumes not only to Greek Orthodox Christians everywhere, but to most people in the Western World. But the Greek word, “Akros” ‘actually means “highest,” “topmost,” “utmost,” and even “consummate.” So an “acropolis” is always the citadel set on the highest point of any city, and throughout the ancient world, numerous examples can be found, even if only in ruins. Now the resurrected Saint Nicholas is not located on the earthly highest point of New York City. However, it is certainly set on the sublime spiritual summit that witnessed the horror and the heroism of that pivotal day we know as 9/11. The elevated physical position of the church structure has tremendous implications for the mission and relevancy of the Shrine to New York City and to the world. Literally millions of visitors to the Memorial and Museum will pass by Saint Nicholas Shrine year after year. The opportunities for witness to the transcendent human values of the Orthodox Christian Faith are as many as those millions of pilgrims who will come to Ground Zero to remember and to pray. The new Saint Nicholas, like the Parthenon that graces the Acropolis, has the potential to inspire these millions. Many will enter the Shrine and light a candle. Some will kneel to pray and venerate the icons. Some will make it a point to make it their house of worship. Others will sit quietly and meditate.
Still others will go to the bereavement space on the second floor to find solace in their own tradition. This sacred Shrine will truly be a house of prayer for all people. And this will be the result of the mere physical presence of Saint Nicholas at Ground Zero. But there is also the question of its wider mission, its “diakonia” and its “apostoli.”The message of God’s forgiving, mercy–filled love for every human person can be enshrined in this Shrine, through its programs, outreach, and everyday witness. And every member of the Archdiocese can partake in this mission. There is the solidarity of prayer. There is the participation in the special events that will define its goals. There is the shared responsibility of regular support. All of these and more will be available to every member of the Church and beyond. Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero is truly our “city that is set on a hill,” our American Parthenon. We cannot hide it. We will not hide it. We will let it shine. About the Architect The architect selected for the new St. Nicholas-Ground Zero, Santiago Calatrava Valls is an international awardwinning Spanish architect, sculptor and structural engineer who has completed dozens of major projects throughout the world over the past 30 years. Among these include the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece for the 2004 Summer Olympics. Along with the St. Nicholas Church project, Calatrava is the architect for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, adjacent to the church site, which will be used daily by hundreds of thousands of commuters to lower Manhattan. His design is based on Byzantine churches that include Hagia Sophia and the church in Chora.
Architect’s renderings of the proposed St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero. (below left) St. Nicholas, patron saint of the church.
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
Saint nichola icholaS S c athedral tarpon Spring pringS S , Fl Fl
Chicago Metropolis photo
Metropolitan Iakovos addresses the many faithful celebrants at the St. Iakovos Feast Day event.
Celebration for Metropolitan Iakovos Benefits Retreat Center CHICAGO – The St. Iakovos Retreat Center was the focus of the celebration of the St. Iakovos Feast Day and name day of Metropolitan Iakovos, which began with a beautiful Divine Liturgy at Annunciation Cathedral, on Oct. 23, and also included other events. Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago served the Divine Liturgy at the cathedral assisted by area clergy. The Chicago League of Chanters beautifully offered hymns to God that morning. The service was attended by many priests and faithful of the metropolis. The next evening the Chicago Clergy Syndesmos hosted a dinner in Kildeer, Ill. More than 500 faithful from six states and many church communities honored Metropolitan Iakovos on his Feast Day. The evening’s program focused on his vision for the St. Iakovos Retreat Center. Board members spoke about the breathtaking 137 acres in Kenosha County, Wis., where a beautiful 25-room full service lodge and two independent cabins are being built. Away from worldly cares, this natural setting has 35 acres of original growth woods and hills, a sparkling eight acre
lake, streams, tree lined paths and a bountiful apple orchard. They discussed “The Righteous Path” on the grounds. These are two separate paths, covered with wood chips leading to 15 proskynetaria (covered icon stands). One path is about a half mile long, the other a mile and a half. One can either walk the paths or take a golf cart. What awaits visitors are 15 saints and feast days in the life of the Church where they will find a place to venerate, to think, to pray about one’s life away from the concrete jungle. No cell phones, no TV, no internet, but a place full of the peace that comes from God. Metropolitan Iakovos concluded the evening by challenging the faithful with the words of St. Iakovos found in the Holy Scriptures: “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”(James 2:17) He concluded with asking us to work, support and build St. Iakovos Retreat Center to serve the Orthodox faith and families for many generations to come. The dinner’s proceeds benefited the retreat center and the Chicago Clergy Syndesmos ministries.
Photo courtesy of George Tsougarakis
Chapel consecrated Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey consecrated the chapel at the Cathedral of St. John the Theologian in Tenafly, N.J. on Oct. 27. Several dignitaries were in attendance. The event follows a two-year fundraising drive that collected more than $500,000 to beautify and renovate the wing where the chapel is located.
President’s Christmas Message
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE NATIONAL PHILOPTOCHOS An Immediate Response to Philippines Disaster
Beloved National Board, Chapter Presidents and Stewards of the Greek Orthodox Philoptochos Societies, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 In a cave amidst gentle creatures more than two thousand years ago, the holy birth of the Baby Jesus saved humanity and enabled everyone from time immemorial to receive the blessing, the ultimate gift of redemption and everlasting life. The blessed Theotokos, the Holy Mother of God, was spiritually pure and completely willing to receive God’s grace on behalf of humankind. For this reason we honor Mary and we pray to her to intercede to our Lord on our behalf. The Virgin Mary is our ultimate role model who gives us strength even on the most difficult and despairing day. We live in a war-torn world where hatred and violence annihilate peace and life. The ravages of natural disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan last month in the Philippines left a path of destruction where thousands lost their lives and many others their possessions. The Lord chose to enter the world the way He did, born humbly in dampness and darkness; yet He provided hope to all who suffer and face adversity. He became the light of the world illuminating all who wish to see. The glory of the birth of Christ does not come from the gold, frankincense and myrrh, but rather from coming to be one of us so that He can lift us up in Heaven. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:25) Pop icons engaged in corporate mega deals dictate to the public through mass and social media the ‘color of the month’ gorging of fast food and fashion. Reckless consumption and celebrity endorsements demonstrate ruthless behavior and disregard the timeless values of family and moral ethics. We live in a consumer driven culture where a ‘big coat’ is valued more than human life. As Philoptochos stewards we address these serious societal and economic issues with love and faith in Jesus Christ. We respond in times of despair with hope, in times of hunger with a warm meal, in times of sickness with a comforting word and in times of hatred with peace and love. This is what Christ brings us, asking us to share His mission with one another. My beloved Sisters in Christ, thank you for your selfless service and compassion. We are blessed to be Stewards of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society and thankful to our Lord for the grace that He pours forth upon us and the world through His Nativity. As we celebrate Christmas with our loved ones, I ask that you evoke the manifold gifts and blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us and use them in offering love and comfort to those in need. I am thankful to the Lord for each and every one of you and your service to our Holy Church. May your hearts be filled with His Grace and may you experience the wonder and beauty of Christmas throughout the New Year. With love in the Newborn King, Aphrodite Skeadas
Orthodox Observer photo
Christmas greetings from National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas (left), staff and volunteers, including Paulettte Geanacopoulos, Christine Karavites, Vivian Siempos, Helen Lavorata and Kay Brakatselos, decorating their tree at the Center of Philanthropy.
During this Holy Season, the Stewards and Staff of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society extend their warmest and most blessed Christmas greetings to you and your loved ones. 2013 has been a milestone year for Philoptochos as we continue to follow the tenets of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Throughout the year our faithful and dedicated Philoptochos Sisters in America work tirelessly with agape to identify and assist people in need, both in their parishes and in society. This year our Sisterhood fulfilled a long held vision - the establishment of the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. The doors are now open at 126 East 37th Street in New York City.
We thank the Lord for guiding our beloved Stewards and friends in support of this effort that enables our Philoptochos Sisters to continue to serve with Christian love the disadvantaged, offering hope and comfort to those in need. Come and join this most dynamic organization of Christian women and impact your community this holiday season and in the New Year. Become a Philoptochos Steward. Christmas is a time of joy to reflect, give thanks and become involved by making a difference in people’s lives. May our Lord continue to bless you and your families in the New Year and always. The National Board, Stewards and Staff Ladies Philoptochos Society
Philoptochos Receives Cyprus Children’s Fund Award The Cyprus Children’s Fund honored the National Philoptochos Society with its Humanitarian and Philanthropic Award at the Annual Testimonial Dinner held at the Terrace on the Park in Flushing, N.Y. on Dec. 7. National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas accepted the award on behalf of each and every one of the Philoptochos members who offer their time and talents for their chapters philanthropic endeavors. President Skeadas stated that “the combined efforts of the Philoptochos chapters allows the National Philoptochos Society to create such an impact in the world in which we live.”
In October 2013 the National Philoptochos donated $20,000 to assist the children of Cyprus The Cyprus Children’s Fund was established in the aftermath of the brutal Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 as a one-on-one sponsorship program to provide relief and aid to the thousands of refugee children and their families. The Cyprus Children’s Fund stands out amongst many that deal with humanitarian concerns and helps restore dignity and hope for needy families and children in Cyprus. Over the years the program has evolved into one that seeks to assist refugee and non–refugee children alike.
National and San Francisco Metropolis Philoptochos Raise Awareness National Philoptochos continues its partnership with Loukoumi and during this holiday season we are reminded that holding a fundraiser raises literacy awareness, but additionally, $2 from each book sold is donated to National Philoptochos, $2 is donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and for each book sold, one is donated to a child at a charity selected by the Philoptochos chapter. The Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos partnered with Nick Katsoris and the Loukoumi books to host Nia Vardalos, best–selling author of Instant Mom, as author Nick Katsoris launched his latest book, Loukoumi and the Schoolyard Bully at three California parishes including St. Paul’s Church, Irvine, St. Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles and Sts. Constantine and Helen in Cardiff by the Sea. Proceeds benefitted
Philoptochos, Adoption Charities and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The latest book in Nick Katsoris’ Loukoumi series, Loukoumi and the Schoolyard Bully, is narrated by actress and author Nia Vardalos and features Morgan Freeman and Olympia Dukakis. The book was officially released in November and addresses an important social issue facing families nationwide. Many chapters are holding forums to raise awareness about bullying.
National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas issued a statement to the chapters and members to announce the National Philoptochos’ immediate response to the recent typhoon devastation in the Philippines. “The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, amidst the season of Thanksgiving, offers service in the name of the Lord mindful of His many blessings. We are equally mindful of the supreme tragedies and hardships faced by our fellow brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. They may be far away but they are our sisters and brothers and we are all God’s children. Typhoon Haiyan has ravaged vast swaths in the major city of Tacloban leaving people displaced, homeless, without food and clean water, struggling to survive. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering and are in need of immediate assistance.” National Philoptochos immediately provided an urgent first response with aid in the amount of $20,000 from the emergency fund. This is made possible because of the generous chapter donations. The Metropolis of Hong Kong will receive the funds and oversee the distribution to the needy in the Philippines. President Skeadas appeals to the benevolent Sisterhood to open our hearts and contribute in this voluntary effort to help the people of this natural disaster who are experiencing loss and devastation beyond comprehension. Please offer your prayers for God’s people in the Philippines. With the blessings of the parish priest, chapters may involve the entire parish in a fundraiser or chapters may donate from their treasury. Offerings should be made to the National Philoptochos Society, Welfare for the Philippine People and sent to the new address at 126 East 37th St., New York, NY10016.
National Convention 2014 Planning Begins President Aphrodite Skeadas announced that Anne Michals, Martha Stefanidakis and Evellyn Tsiadis will serve as the 2014 Biennial Convention Chairmen. The Convention will be held July 6-9 in Philadelphia, with a program that promises to be an inspirational, interactive, educational learning experience. The Convention format will actively engage the members throughout the sessions, will build on the success of previous forums and will incorporate innovative ideas to address current needs and suggestions offered by the delegates. Mark your calendars now and look for upcoming notices of good things to come.
Contact Information for Center of Philanthropy The Philoptochos Society has successfully relocated to its new home, the Center of Philanthropy, at 126 East 37th St., New York, NY 10019. Philoptochos extends sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and support that made the dream of a permanent home for Philoptochos a reality. Contact the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy at 212.977.7770 or www.philoptochos.org
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‘Tearing Down Walls’ Theme of Berlin Conference u u from page 1 Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama addressed the participants by video. His All Holiness stated in his message to the conference:” Ultimately, our struggle for religious freedom and our respect for the conscience of every human being are proof of the triumph of love over hatred, of unity over division, and of compassion over the numbing sensation of indifference that is rooted in contemporary materialism. True freedom of conscience is based on the conviction that our relationship with “the other” is not separate from but integrally related to our relationship with ourselves. After all, again in the words of St. Paul, ‘We are all members of one body.’” (Romans 12.5) For countries and cultures where there are dominant viewpoints, faith traditions, as well as political and economic instruments, the rights of the majority can only be truly and justly secured by guaranteeing the full human and religious rights of all minorities. This is why our Ecumenical Patriarchate tirelessly seeks to promote the rights of all peoples and faiths, both in Turkey and throughout the world. For the measure with which we treat and honor others is the measure with which we can also expect them to recognize and respect us. This Second International Conference of the Order of St. Andrew continues the crucial work inaugurated two years ago in Brussels. At that time, you carefully and critically examined the diverse opportunities for Turkey to build bridges through its engagement with the European Union. This year, you must further consider the various complexities of our compartmentalized societies, pursuing positive ways of deconstructing barriers to full participation of all people. There are certain walls that secure human dignity, and there are other
Dimitrios Panagos photo
Dr. Limberakis addresses the conference.
walls that destroy that same human dignity. Some walls aim to protect, while other walls cast shadows of hostility, prejudice and isolation. Perceptive prudence and rational realism are required in order to know which walls to erect, and which to erase. Your conference undoubtedly plays a vital role in this process of discernment that seeks out the walls of negativity, hostility and suspicion, bringing them crashing down by building up mutual trust, respectful tolerance and, ultimately, love. Mrs. Clinton stated: “Religious freedom is a fundamental human right. It is also bound up with other important human rights: the right of people to think what they want, say what they think, associate with others, assemble peacefully without the state looking over their shoulders, or prohibiting them from doing so. … In particular, I want to salute Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Through my years
of friendship with His All Holiness, I have admired his commitment to build bridges across religious and cultural divides in Turkey and around the world. We’ve worked together to encourage positive steps, like continuing to push for the re-opening of the Halki Seminary and to encourage constructive dialogue.” In addition, the conference featured more than 35 world-renowned speakers and panelists from the interfaith, diplomatic, journalistic, legal, and academic communities. From the civil sphere, there were politicians, diplomats, human rights lawyers and activists, scholars, journalists, and political commentators. From the religious sphere, there were members of religious minorities, including Alevi Muslims, Armenians, Catholics, Jews, Orthodox Christians, Protestants and Syriacs. All these diverse participants came together to discuss freedom of faith issues in Turkey and to discuss the day-to-day challenges religious minorities encounter in order to survive and how to overcome those challenges. In his opening remarks, Archbishop Demetrios noted: “What is true in the realm of politics and economics holds with even more validity in matters of religion, in matters of conscience and heart. Man is not made for oppression; man is not made to exist without the freedom of his own religious conscience; that truth is perhaps even better proved by the oppressor than by the oppressed. “When, in any given nation, a majority limits or oppresses the free exercise of religion by a minority–whether in the name of religion or in the name of secularism, whether by pogroms or by parliamentary procedure–that majority ultimately hurts itself; that majority oppresses the soul and conscience of its own people. “In matters of the spirit, in matters of religion, there is no other victor but free-
9 dom as a substantive existential condition for everyone. In the Christian tradition, the great Apostle Paul offers a terrific witness to this truth. As a former persecutor of Christians, he knew personally the terrible effects of oppressive action on the persecutor’s own soul; he knew the spiritual blindness that his oppressive action against the Christians brought on him (cf. 2 Cor. 4:4). “For St. Paul, therefore, freedom is fundamental to spiritual health for every human being and to true progress for every society and every nation on Earth.” Dr. Anthony Limberakis offered the following in his opening remarks: “In our own generation and in this place, we witnessed the demolition of the Wall that separated a city and a people. On televisions across the globe, we saw it crumble before the steadfast humanity and faith of the German People. …This is precisely why this Conference is taking place here in Berlin, where hope triumphed over hatred and where peace overwhelmed enmity. “We have come to Berlin to manifest our determination to bring down every wall of religious intolerance and obstruction. We have come to Berlin to advocate for the full liberty of conscience that every human being deserves. And in particular, we are bearing witness to and addressing the issues that are facing Turkey, as it seeks a wider role in the region and inclusion, not only in the European Union, but also in the wider family of leading Nations of the world.” One of the most critical discussions at the conference was the forcible closure of the Halki Theological Seminary. The shuttered seminary has become a Berlin Wall of religious freedom, exemplifying the repression of religious minorities. This repression received world attention after the CBS News program, 60 Minutes, in December 2009, in which Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew boldly stated that he felt “crucified” in his own country.
Metropolitan Isaiah, the Clergy, the Monastics, and the Laity of the Metropolis of Denver extend to all the members of our holy Archdiocese, and to all people everywhere, our best wishes for a blessed Christmas and the New Year filled with the peace, which comes from our Lord Jesus Christ.
From the Office of the Archons
METROPOLIS NEWS Greek Architects of Istanbul Exhibit Held in Chicago by Hellena Chrones
Photo Courtesy of MVP Studio Photography
(L to R) Kula Vranas, donors Katena and Archon Frank Lagouros, Bishop Demetrios, Pandelis Vingas and benefactors George and Patricia Loukas.
CHICAGO – The “Greek Architects of Istanbul in the Era of Westernization” exhibit opened to a tremendous reception on Oct. 27 at the Damen Student Center at the Loyola University Chicago Lakeshore Campus. The exhibit traces the great contribution of Greek architects living in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) during the modernization process of the city. The history of Istanbul and the contributions of the Greeks there unfolds through 54 pictorial panels depicting building facades, designs, and plans. More than 250 guests were ushered by Loyola’s own students from the Orthodox Christian Fellowship to the exhibit and greeted with champagne, punch and hors d’oeuvres. At the request of the exhibition organizing committee from Istanbul, the Metropolis of Chicago was invited to be the premiere host for the exhibit in the United States. In particular, Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos was selected to chair the premiere of the exhibit because
of his significant inter-cultural, interreligious, and inter-faith work with the Greek and Turkish populations as well as the Christian and Islamic faith traditions in the United States. The exhibit was accompanied by a delegation from Istanbul including Professor Nikolaos Ouzounoglou, chairman of the Ecumenical Federation of Constantinopolitans, Pandeli Vingas, president of the exhibition organizing committee and advisor to the Patriarchate, Dr. Savvas Tsilenis, Greek curator of the exhibit and Marina Drymalitou, project coordinator. The opening reception began with a welcome from Bishop Demetrios followed by the reading of the patriarchal letter from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and a video presentation paying tribute to him. Greetings from Ioanna Efthymiadou, consul general of Greece in Chicago and Elif Okutucu, vice consul general of Turkey in Chicago followed stating the importance of spreading the contributions of these Greeks
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Metropolis of Chicago Expands Byzantine Music School DES PLAINES, Ill. - In an effort to address the needs of parishes and students of Byzantine music who have no access to qualified instructors of chant and those whose schedules make it difficult to attend classes in person, Metropolis of Chicago Chancellor Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos spearheaded this first ever expansion into online chant instruction, which has been called “an overwhelming success.” With little fanfare, a quiet registration period began in early October for a 12-session introductory and advanced class. The introductory class sold out within days, with student applicants from throughout the United States and Canada. Broadcasting from St. John the Baptist Church, Fr. Sotirios Malamis, a certified instructor of Byzantine music, conducted
the first sessions on Oct. 28. Students take the online classes using their personal computer, laptop or mobile tablet device. They are able to see the instructor and the musical text, ask questions and participate via audio and video at the instructor’s discretion. Each session is live recorded, including all video and text discussions, and is stored for later recall. Students are able to access previously recorded sessions via their learning portal for additional study and practice. Metropolis officials hope this initial online learning effort will lead to other opportunities. Anyone interested in participating in future classes, visit the Metropolis of Chicago website for additional information, or sign up to be notified at: http://goo.gl/ U37O9O.
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Preparing for 30th Anniversary by George Schira
NEW YORK – The Leadership 100 Board of Trustees met Nov. 8 to receive reports on the current status of the organization as it prepares to mark its 30th anniversary at its 23rd annual conference, Feb. 13–16, in Naples, Fla.. Charles Cotros, chairman, reported that grants now exceed $35.6 million and that new grant proposals totaling $1.3 million for 2014 were being studied by the Grant Committee; that membership has reached 927; and that Leadership 100’s portfolio now stands at $81 million, with total assets of $91 million. “We will remain committed to support scholarship aid for qualified seminarians studying for the priesthood at Hellenic College/Holy Cross and to primary support of the National Ministries and Institutions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,” Cotros said. He pointed out that the annual Hellenic College/Holy Cross Scholarship of $1 million and other multi-year grants will increase the total to more than $38 million, “which is a good indication of our strength as a membership charitable organization.” To date, we have given more than $15.4 million for such scholarships. Educating and training our clergy builds our parishes and families and is the key to our mission,” he said. Support for the National Ministries has included for the third summer $270,000 for the support of our Church summer camps in the Direct Archdiocesan
District and in every Metropolis. Other noteworthy grants have supported the Center for Family Care-Renewal in the areas of Family Ministry, Men’s Ministry and Seminarian and Clergy Care at $163,500, the production of 26 original programs to GOTelecom at $270,000, expansion of Emergency Response Network (ERN) in the U.S.A. by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) at $178,941, the Intermarriage Challenge of the Department of Marriage and Family at $54,400, and training and outreach of Orthodox priests visiting the U.S. prison system by the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry at $20,372. Cotros also reported that plans for the annual conference are well underway and that Leadership 100 would give special recognition to the leadership of Archbishop for the 15th anniversary of his enthronement, representing half the life of the organization. He said plans also include presentations of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, to be accepted by Vasili Tsamis, chief operating officer, and to the Seleni Institute, to be accepted by Nitzia Logothetis, founder and executive chairman. The conference would also receive a report on the impact of Leadership 100 grants with a presentation by Nicholas J. Furris, senior producer/director of GOTelecom, on the grant for the 26–part series, “Discovering Orthodox Christianity.”
L–100 Supports Church Camps Leadership 100 awarded the Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries Camping Ministry program $270,000, for the third successive year, distributed at $30,000 for the Direct Archdiocesan District and each Metropolis. The primary purpose of the grant is to enable Greek Orthodox youth who do not have the financial means to participate in a summer camp program, in addition to programming, supplies, transportation, and youth protection training and background checks for staff members. The program was in full swing around the nation in the summer making it possible for numerous young people to attend camp programs. Fr. Jason Roll, national director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and Camping Ministries, thanked Leadership 100 and submitted the responses of the Youth and Young Adult Ministries directors of the Direct Archdiocesan District and Metropolis camps on the use of funds and compli-
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L-100 Chairman Charles Cotros with Archbishop Demetrios.
ance with Leadership 100 requirements. Among the reports, the Direct Archdiocesan District, which operates Camp St. Paul, had its most successful year to date with 600 campers, many receiving financial assistance, and produced a short video with the camp participants lined up in a “L-100” formation saying, “Thanks Leadership 100” posted on Facebook and Instagram. The Metropolis of Chicago stated that the significance of the Leadership 100 financial assistance at its Camp Fanari had tremendous value to those who would not have been able to attend camp. In addition, the support helped develop a love for camp and the relationships made there, leading many directly to Ionian Village and other Metropolis camps, as well as to parish youth activities. Metropolis of Boston Camp re-
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Ways of the Lord
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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
War m e st Re g ard s to A l l Peter J. & Cathy
Kristen Bruskas photo
Youth from St. Demetrios in Tucson, join with Metropolitan Gerasimos following an open-forum discussion.
Tucson Church Celebrates 65th Year and Feast Day by Kristen Bruskas
TUCSON, Ariz. – “Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Present, Building Our Future” was the theme for the 65th anniversary of St. Demetrios Church, held in conjunction with the parish feast day. It brought together this dedicated community which has shown tremendous resilience since a fire severely damaged their church property on May 29. The weekend began with Great Vespers on Friday, Oct. 25 in the refurbished parish hall which has been converted into a temporary church. The faithful gathered in prayer, led by Metropolitan Gerasimos, followed by the tonsuring of several acolytes and readers. A reception followed where the Metropolitan held an open forum discussion with the parish youth regarding their faith, challenges they face trying to lead a life in Christ, and their hopes for the community. The St. Demetrios feast day took place at the parish’s new River Road property purchased in 2008. This 8.2–acre site will provide for new and expanded parish facilities currently being planned. Metropolitan Gerasimos celebrated the hierarchical Divine Liturgy, assisted by parish priest Fr. Demetrios–Earl Cantos, and Fr. Philip Nixon of Holy Resurrection Antiochian Orthodox Church. Holy Resurrection parish opened its doors and hearts to St. Demetrios parish following the fire. They have been worshipping together
until the parish facilities were made suitable for use. After the Liturgy, Metropolitan Gerasimos presented the Medal of St. Paul to Dr. Angela Zerdavis, a dedicated and deserving steward and parish leader. St. Paul medals were also presented in absentia to Nora and James Retsinas, who were unable to attend. A banquet held later that evening celebrated the community’s 65 years.. The evening’s theme was “Building Our Future” with the parish committed to a new beginning. Though the fire devastated the parish, it also mobilized the community to develop the River Road property. “Too often we measure parish success in bricks and stone or dollars and cents. These of course are important because we need good facilities for our ministries and we need generous stewards to support our ministries. But the real measures of a parish are the dedication of the faithful to the life of the parish,” stated Metropolitan Gerasimos in his keynote address. “You have painfully learned that the building is not the Church; you the faithful of St. Demetrios, you are the Church for you are the people of God here in Tucson. Building the community of faith is the most important task as you move forward and plan for the future.” The Metropolitan also presented a check for nearly $9,000 in contributions from across the Archdiocese to assist in the church’s rebuilding. Celebration chairman was Matthew Moutafis, assisted by the parish council, Philoptochos and many volunteers.
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Susan Driggers from ‘Magic Moments’ is all smiles along with the child benefited by the Birmingham parish that donated part of its festival proceeds to the charitable organization.
Alabama Festival Surprises Sick Child with Playhouse BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Five-year-old Ceanna Ware got her wish to have her very own playhouse on Nov. 5 in her backyard. This was a true magic moment for this little girl from Ensley, Ala., who is battling sickle-cell disease. Ceanna started her Christmas wish list in September and the top was a playhouse. Magic Moments partnered with The Birmingham Greek Festival to make her wish come true. At the opening night of the 41st annual Greek Food Festival (www.bhamgreekfestival.com) in September. Ceanna was surprised with the news that her magic moment is coming true. Ceanna, who is hospitalized for treatment every few months, asked for a playhouse of her own where she can escape from the fear of IV needles and hospital beds. Ceanna learned that her dream had come true that evening when she was presented with a picture of a custom playhouse designed and built especially for her by Amish Backyard Structures of Lancaster, Pa. Family members say it has been a nice distraction from the bad days in the
hospital. “I think it will mean a lot to her because, like I said, she’s five so when she’s having a good day she’ll be able to go in. Have a good time and you know when she’s having bad days and want to go in her playhouse...it will mean a whole lot to her,” Natalie Jones, Ceanna’s aunt, said. Elaine Lyda, public relations director for the Greek Festival says “the festival is happy to give back to Magic Moments and other local charities. This is what the festival is all about; giving back and helping the community. Fr. Paul Costopoulos of the Holy Trinity Holy Cross Cathedral attended the presentation and led a special prayer for Ceanna and blessed the playhouse after the ribbon cutting.” Magic Moments (www.magicmoments.org) is a Birmingham-based 501(c) (3) organization providing non-medical wishes to children in Alabama ages 4-18, struggling with chronic life threatening illnesses. Since their founding in 1984, Magic Moments has fulfilled the dreams of over 4,200 children in all 67 counties of the state. Magic Moments is the only wish-granting organization dedicated exclusively to children in Alabama.
LA Gala Supports Orthodox Institute LOS ANGELES - The Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (PAOI) held a fundraising dinner Nov. 9 at the Millennium Biltmore hotel reminiscent of a 1940’s–themed Hollywood event. Founded in 1981, the PAOI, is an inter-Orthodox endeavor that represents the diversity of Orthodoxy in America. It is an integral part of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), based at the University of California-Berkeley, and has a unique relationship with the university. The fund-raiser, “A Night Among the Stars,” featured big band tunes from Dave Damiani and the No Vacancy Orchestra and entertainment by Greek comedian and actor Angelo Tsarouchas. Lyric soprano Michele Patzakis Prappas sang an opening personalized to the honorees, Sophia and Dr. James Angelos; Christine and Alek Haidos; and Vergie and William Papalexis. Karin Mushegain, mezzo soprano, performed a solo with the No Vacancy Orchestra. Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco welcomed the attendees and encouraged continued support and expansion of the Institute. He called the PAOI the “public presence of Orthodoxy” in an academic insti-
tute. Metropolitan Nikitas, the PAOI director, noted its accomplishments that include supporting a library, master’s program, Orthodox Christian fellowship, scholarly lectures and programs. New board Chairman George Bezzerides also attended. The three couples have supported PAOI since its inception more than 20 years ago and their respective churches and Hellenic organizations for decades. Sophia and Dr. Jim Angelos are members of St. Anthony Church in Pasadena. Christine and Alek Haidos are members of St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles and St. Katherine Church in Redondo Beach. Bill and Vergie Papalexis are also members of St. Sophia Cathedral. Sophia, Christine and Vergie have all served on the PAOI board as president or other positions. Organized by the PAOI Women’s Board Southern California, the event committee, was headed by Chairman Stephanie Duncan. Committee members included Melanie O’Regan, the co-president of the PAOI Women’s Board Southern California, Katrina Beers, Georgia Defterios, Rosalind Halikis, Kynthia Furgis and Bess Pappas.
“For there is born to you this day in the city of David
From the hand of Fr. Luke Dingman
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”
A Blessed Christmas A Happy and Healthy New Year Charles H. Cotros, Chairman George S. Tsandikos, Vice Chairman Argyris Vassiliou, Treasurer Kassandra L. Romas, Secretary Paulette Poulos, Executive Director
Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund, Incorporated AdvAncing OrthOdOxy And hellenism in AmericA
ΕΤΟΣ 78 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1291
Ε Γ Κ Υ Κ Λ ΙΟΣ
Χριστούγεννα 2013 Ὅτι παιδίον ἐγεννήθη ἡμῖν, υἱός καί ἐδόθη ἡμῖν ... (Ἠσαΐας 9:6) Πρός τούς Σεβασμιωτάτους καί Θεοφιλεστάτους Ἀρχιερεῖς, τούς Εὐλαβεστάτους Ἱερεῖς καί Διακόνους, τούς Μοναχούς καί Μοναχές, τούς Προέδρους καί Μέλη τῶν Κοινοτικῶν Συμβουλίων, τά Ἡμερήσια καί Ἀπογευματινά Σχολεῖα, τίς Φιλοπτώχους Ἀδελφότητες, τήν Νεολαία, τίς Ἑλληνορθόδοξες Ὀργανώσεις καί ὁλόκληρο τό Χριστεπώνυμον πλήρωμα τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς. Προσφιλεῖς Ἀδελφοί καί Ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Στήν κορύφωση τῆς εὐλογημένης αὐτῆς περιόδου μέ τόν λαμπρό ἑορτασμό τῆς Γεννήσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ, εὐχαριστοῦμε καί δοξάζουμε τόν Θεό γιά τήν ἀπέραντη χάρη Του καί τό ἐξαίσιο δῶρο Του, τό δῶρο τῆς Σαρκώσεώς Του. Εἶναι ἑορτή χαρᾶς καί φωτός. Εἶναι πανηγυρισμός γιά τήν ἡμέρα καί τήν στιγμή κατά τήν ὁποία ὁ Θεός ἔλαβε ἀνθρώπινη ὑπόσταση λόγῳ τῆς μεγάλης ἀγάπης Του γιά μᾶς. Διά τῆς ὑπό τῆς Παρθένου Μαρίας συλλήψεως καί γεννήσεώς Του ὁ Κύριός μας εἰσῆλθε στήν ἀνθρώπινη κατάσταση. Ἔλαβε τό σῶμα καί τό αἷμα τό ὁποῖο δημιούργησε. Ἔγινε ἄνθρωπος γιά νά μᾶς χαρίσῃ τήν δύναμη ἐπί τοῦ κακοῦ καί ἐπί τοῦ θανάτου καί τό δῶρο τῆς ἀπόλυτης ἐλευθερίας ἀπό τήν ἁμαρτία. Τήν ἡμέρα αὐτή ἑορτάζουμε τό δῶρο τοῦ Θεοῦ σέ μᾶς καί σέ ὁλόκληρη τήν ἀνθρωπότητα καί τό σύμπαν. Αὐτό τό δῶρο τό εἶχε προφητεύσει ὁ Προφήτης Ἠσαΐας ὅταν εἶπε: Ὅτι παιδίον ἐγεννήθη ἡμῖν, υἱός καί ἐδόθη ἡμῖν ...(Ἠσαΐας 9:6). Διά τοῦ δώρου Του, μᾶς χαρίζει ἐλπίδα. Στό σκοτάδι, τό λαμπερό φῶς τῆς ὑποσχέσεώς Του φωτίζει τήν ὁδό πρός τόν Θεό μέσῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Στόν ἀγώνα μας ἐναντίον τῆς ἁμαρτίας καί τῶν πολλῶν προκλήσεων τῆς ζωῆς, μᾶς φανερώνει πῶς μποροῦμε νά ἀποκαταστήσουμε τήν κοινωνία μαζί Του καί μᾶς διαβεβαιώνει ὅτι θά ἔχουμε τήν δύναμη νά ὁλοκληρώσουμε τήν πορεία τῆς πίστεώς μας. Στό γεγονός τῆς Σαρκώσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀποκαλύπτεται ἡ ὀδός πρός τήν ἀληθινή καί αἰώνια ζωή καί γινόμεθα μάρτυρες τῆς δυνάμεως τοῦ Θεοῦ νά λυτρώνῃ αὐτό πού Ἐκεῖνος δημιούργησε καί ἀγαπᾶ. Ἑορτάζουμε αὐτή τήν Ἑορτή καί τό θαυμάσιο αὐτό δῶρο σέ μιά ἐποχή ὅπου πολλοί ἄνθρωποι ἀνά τόν κόσμο χρειάζονται συμπόνοια καί ἐλπίδα. Ἔχουμε παρατηρήσει μαζικές καταστροφές καί ἀπώλειες λόγῳ προσφάτων φυσικῶν φαινομένων. Γίναμε μάρτυρες τῆς τραγωδίας τῆς βίας τόσο ἐντός τῶν κοινοτήτων μας ὅσο καί σέ ὅλο τόν κόσμο. Συνειδητοποιοῦμε τούς ἀγῶνες τῶν ἀδελφῶν μας στήν Ἑλλάδα καί στήν Κύπρο καί σέ ἄλλες χῶρες ὅπου οἱ οἰκονομικές προκλήσεις ἔχουν δυσχεράνει τήν ζωή πολλῶν. Συνειδητοποιοῦμε τίς δοκιμασίες τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριαρχείου μας ἐξ αἰτίας σοβαρῶν περιορισμῶν στήν ἄσκηση τῆς ἀληθινῆς θρησκευτικῆς
Θρονική Εορτή του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου ôïõ ΝΙΚΟΥ ΜΑΓΓΙΝΑ
Τό ἀπόγευμα τῆς Πέμπτης, 28ης Νοεμβρίου, ἀφίχθη ἐκ Ρώμης, ἡ ἐπίσημος Ἀντιπροσωπεία τῆς Α. Ἁγιότητος, τοῦ Πάπα Φραγκίσκου καί τῆς κατ᾿ Αὐτόν Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ρώμης, ἀποτελουμένη ἐκ τῶν Σεβ. Καρδιναλίου κ. Kurt Koch, Προέδρου τοῦ Ποντιφηκοῦ Συμβουλίου διά τήν προώθησιν τῆς ἑνότητος τῶν Χριστιανῶν, Θεοφιλ. Ἐπισκόπου κ. Brian Farrell, Γραμματέως τοῦ ὡς ἄνω Συμβουλίου, καί Ὁσιολ. κ. Andrea Palmieri, Στελέχους αὐτοῦ, ἵνα παραστῇ, κατά τό ἐπικρατῆσαν ἔθος, κατά τήν Θρονικήν Ἑορτήν τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ Μ. Ἐκκλησίας. Εἰς τήν Ἀντιπροσωπείαν προσετέθη καί ὁ ἐν Ἀγκύρᾳ Νούντσιος Σεβ. Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος κ. Antonio Lucibello. Τήν Ἀντιπροσωπείαν ὑπεδέχθησαν ἐκ μέρους τῆς Α. Θ. Παναγιότητος, τοῦ Πατριάρχου, ἐν τῇ αἰθούσῃ τῶν ἐπισήμων τοῦ Ἀεροδρομίου οἱ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Σασίμων κ. Γεννάδιος καί Πανοσιολ. M. Ἀρχιδιάκονος κ. Μάξιμος. Ἐκεῖθεν ἡ Ἀντιπροσωπεία ὡδηγήθη εἰς τό Ξενοδοχεῖον Intercontinental, ἔνθα καί κατέλυσεν, τήν δέ πρωΐαν τῆς ἑπομένης, 29ης ἰδίου, προσῆλθεν εἰς τά Πατριαρχεῖα, ὅπου ἐγένετο ἐπισήμως δεκτή ὑπό τῆς Α. Θ. Παναγιότητος, τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριάρχου κ. κ. Βαρθολομαίου, ᾯτινι καί ἐπέδωκε προσωπικόν δῶρον τῆς Α. Ἁγιότητος, τοῦ Πάπα. Ἐν συνεχείᾳ, διεξήχθησαν αἱ συνομιλίαι μεταξύ τῆς ἐκ Ρώμης Ἀντιπροσωπείας καί τῆς ὑπό τήν προεδρίαν τοῦ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτου Περγάμου κ. Ἰωάννου Συνοδικῆς Ἐπιτροπῆς Διαλόγου μετά τῆς ΡΚαθολικῆς Ἐκκλησίας, εἶτα δέ ἡ Ἀντιπροσωπεία ἐπεσκέφθη τήν Ἱ. Μονήν Ἁγίας Τριάδος Χάλκης. Ἡ Α. Θ. Παναγιότης, ὁ Πατριάρχης, τό ἑσπέρας τῆς ἰδίας ἐτίμησε διά τῆς ὑψηλῆς Αὐτοῦ παρουσίας τό ἐν τῷ Ξενοδοχείῳ Χίλτον παρατεθέν ὑπό τοῦ Σεβ. Ἀρχιεπισκόπου κ. Antonio Lucibello δεῖπνον πρός τιμήν Αὐτοῦ, καθ’ὅ ὡμίλησε καταλλήλως. Ἡ ἐκ Ρώμης Ἀντιπροσωπεία ἀνεχώρησε τήν πρωΐαν τῆς Κυριακῆς, 1ης Δεκεμβρίου, προπεμφθεῖσα ὑπό τῶν Σεβ. Μητροπολίτου Προύσης κ. Ἐλπιδοφόρου καί Πανοσιολ. Διακόνου κ. Ἰωακείμ, Ὑπογραμματέως τῆς Ἁγίας καί Ἱερᾶς Συνόδου. Η ΘΡΟΝΙΚΗ ΕΟΡΤΗ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ ΜΕΓΑΛΗΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ Ἡ Ἁγία τοῦ Χριστοῦ Μ. Ἐκκλησία μετά
Καλά Χριστούγεννα πολλῆς λαμπρότητος καί ἱεροπρεπείας ἐτίμησε τήν ἱεράν μνήμην τοῦ ἱδρυτοῦ καί προστάτου αὐτῆς Ἁγίου ἐνδόξου Ἀποστόλου Ἀνδρέου τοῦ Πρωτοκλήτου, ἑορτάσασα τήν Θρονικήν αὐτῆς ἑορτήν. Ἡ Α. Θ. Παναγιότης, ὁ Πατριάρχης, ἐχοροστάτησεν ἐν τῷ Π. Πατριαρχικῷ Ναῷ, κατά τόν Ἑσπερινόν τῆς Ἑορτῆς, τήν Παρασκευήν, 29ην Νοεμβρίου, καθ’ ὅν παρίσταντο συμπροσευχόμενοι Ἀρχιερεῖς ἐντεῦθεν καί ἐκ
τοῦ ἐξωτερικοῦ, ὡς καί ὅμιλοι προσκυνητῶν ἐκ διαφόρων περιοχῶν τῆς Ἐλλάδος καί ἐξ Η.Π.Α., πρός οὕς ὁ Πατριάρχης ὡμίλησε καταλλήλως. Μετά τήν ἀπόλυσιν, ὁ Παναγιώτατος ἐχειροθέτησε τόν μέχρι τοῦδε Πανοσιολ. Μ. Ἱεροκήρυκα κ. Βησσαρίωνα εἰς τό ὀφφίκιον τοῦ Μ. Ἀρχιμανδρίτου τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ Μ. Ἐκκλησίας.
Βερολίνο: 2ο Συνέδριο Αρχόντων για Θρησκευτικές Ελευθερίες Φωτογραφία: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΗΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
ΒΕΡΟΛΙΝΟ – Με τις ευλογίες του Σεβασμιώτατου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής κ. Δημητρίου, το Τάγμα των Αρχόντων “Άγιος Ανδρέας” (Η.Π.Α.) του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, σε συνεργασία με το Πατριαρχικό Γραφείο της Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας παρά τη Ευρωπαϊκή Ενώσει, διοργάνωσαν το δεύτερο διεθνές συνέδριο για τις Θρησκευτικές Ελευθερίες με τίτλο: «Γκρεμίζοντας Τείχη: Η Επίτευξη Θρησκευτικής Ισότητας στην Τουρκία», το οποίο πραγματοποιήθηκε στο Hotel Adlon
Kempinski στο Βερολίνο, στις 4 και 5 Δεκεμβρίου. Το Συνέδριο απετέλεσε ξεχωριστή ιστορική καμπή, όπως το πρώτο συνέδριο των Αρχόντων για τις Θρησκευτικές Ελευθερίες, που πραγματοποιήθηκε το Νοέμβριο του 2010, στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο στις Βρυξέλλες. Πολιτικοί, διπλωμάτες, δικηγόροι υπέρμαχοι των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, πανεπιστημιακοί, θρησκευτικοί ηγέτες, δημοσιογράφοι και μέλη μειονοτικών κοινοτήτων, εξέτασαν από κοινού πώς θα μπορούσαν
να γκρεμιστούν τα τείχη της μισαλλοδοξίας και της έλλειψης κατανόησης του διαφορετικού. Έμφαση δίδεται στις έννοιες της ισότητας, κρατικής ουδετερότητας και πλουραλισμού όπως αυτές συνδέονται με τις θρησκευτικές ελευθερίες και του «status» αυτών υπό το τρέχον και προτεινόμενο Σύνταγμα της Τουρκίας. «Εκφράζουμε την ικανοποίησή μας ότι τόσοι παγκόσμιοι διανοητές
Θρονική Εορτή του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου Σελίδα 15 Τήν ἐπαύριον, Σάββατον, 30ήν ἰδίου, ὁ Πατριάρχης προέστη τῆς Πατριαρχικῆς καί Συνοδικῆς Θείας Λειτουργίας, καθ’ ἥν ἐτέλεσε τήν εἰς Ἐπίσκοπον χειροτονίαν τοῦ Θεοφιλ. Ἐψηφισμένου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Τελμησσοῦ κ. Ἰώβ, συλλειτουργούντων Αὐτῷ τῶν Σεβ. καί Πανιερ. Ἱεραρχῶν Ἀμερικῆς κ. Δημητρίου, Κωνσταντίας-Ἀμμοχώστου κ. Βασιλείου, Γαλλίας κ. Ἐμμανουήλ, Σασίμων κ. Γενναδίου, Νέας Ἰερσέης κ. Εὐαγγέλου, Βελγίου κ. Ἀθηναγόρου, Ρόδου κ. Κυρίλλου, Ρεθύμνης καί Αὐλοποτάμου κ. Εὐγενίου, Κώου καί Νισύρου κ. Ναθαναήλ καί Χοτίν κ. Μελετίου. Ἐκκλησιάσθησαν οἱ Σεβ. Μητροπολῖται Γέρων Νικαίας κ. Κωνσταντῖνος, Γέρων Χαλκηδόνος κ. Ἀθανάσιος, Γέρων Δέρκων κ. Ἀπόστολος, Πέργης κ. Εὐάγγελος, Ἑλβετίας κ. Ἱερεμίας, Θεοδωρουπόλεως κ. Γερμανός, Γερμανίας κ. Αὐγουστῖνος, Τρανουπόλεως κ. Γερμανός, Δωδώνης κ. Χρυσόστομος, Ἴμβρου καί Τενέδου κ. Κύριλλος, Περγάμου κ. Ἰωάννης, Ἱεραπύτνης καί Σητείας κ. Εὐγένιος, Μαραθῶνος κ. Μελίτων, Μύρων κ. Χρυσόστομος, Ἰκονίου κ. Θεόληπτος, Ἀλεξανδρουπόλεως κ. Ἄνθιμος, Νεαπόλεως καί Σταυρουπόλεως κ. Βαρνάβας, Κυδωνίας καί Ἀποκορώνου κ. Δαμασκηνός, Καλλιουπόλεως καί Μαδύτου κ. Στέφανος, Προύσης κ. Ἐλπιδοφόρος, Αὐστρίας κ. Ἀρσένιος καί Κυδωνιῶν κ. Ἀθηναγόρας, ὁ Πανιερ. Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀνθηδῶνος κ. Νεκτάριος, Ἐπίτροπος τοῦ Παναγίου Τάφου ἐνταῦθα, οἱ Θεοφιλ. Ἐπίσκοποι Λαμψάκου κ. Μακάριος, Συνάδων κ. Διονύσιος καί Ἀβύδου κ. Κύριλλος, ὁ ἐν Καναδᾷ Θεοφιλ. Ἐπίσκοπος τῆς OCA κ. Εἰρηναῖος, ὅμιλος Κληρικῶν καί λαϊκῶν ἐκ τῆς ἐν Παρισίοις Πατριαρχικῆς Ἐξαρχίας τῶν
Φωτογραφία: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΗΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
Ὀρθοδόξων Παροικιῶν ρωσσικῆς παραδόσεως, ὁ Ἐντιμολ. κ. Ὀδυσσεύς Σασαγιάννης, Ἄρχων Πρωτέκδικος τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ Μ. Ἐκκλησίας-Πρόεδρος τῆς ἐν Ἀθήναις Ἀδελφότητος Ὀφφικιάλων «Παναγία ἡ Παμμακάριστος», οἱ Ἐξοχ. κ. κ. Κυριακός Λουκάκης, Πρέσβυς τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἐν Ἀγκύρᾳ, Πρέσβυς Νικόλαος Ματθιουδάκης, Γενικός Πρόξενος τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἐνταῦθα, μετά τῆς συζύγου αὐτοῦ Εὐγεν. κ. Αἰκατερίνης Βαρβαρήγου, Προξένου τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἐν Ἀδριανουπόλει, καί Ἀπόστολος Τζιτζικώστας, Περιφερειάρχης Κεντρικῆς Μακεδονίας, ἐπί κεφαλῆς ὁμίλου Δημάρχων τοῦ Νομοῦ Θεσσαλονίκης, ὁ Ἐλλογιμ. κ. Ἰω-
άννης Παναγιωτόπουλος, Γενικός Γραμματεύς Μέσων Ἐνημερώσεως τῆς Ἑλλάδος, οἱ Ἐντιμ. κ.κ. Θεόδωρος Τσακίρης, Γενικός Πρόξενος αὐτῆς ἐν Σμύρνῃ, μετά τῆς συζύγου αὐτοῦ Εὐγεν. κ. Φοίβης, καί Ἀθανάσιος Ἀστρακᾶς, Πρόξενος ἐν τῇ Πόλει, ἄλλοι ἐπίσημοι, μαθηταί ἐκ τῆς Πατριαρχικῆς Μεγάλης τοῦ Γένους Σχολῆς, τοῦ Ζωγραφείου Λυκείου καί τοῦ Ζαππείου Λυκείου, μετά Καθηγητῶν αὐτῶν, συγγενεῖς καί οἰκεῖοι τοῦ νεοχειροτονηθέντος καί πλῆθος πιστῶν ἐντεῦθεν καί ἐκ τοῦ ἐξωτερικοῦ. Ἐπίσης παρέστησαν ὁ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης τῶν ἐνταῦθα Συροϊακωβιτῶν κ. Yusuf Çetin, ὁ
Χριστουγεννιάτικα έθιμα από την Ελλάδα από την ιστοσελίδα: http://www.ipiros.gr
Μελωδίες γιορτινές, παιδικές μυθοπλασίες, αρώματα από κουζίνες νοικοκυριών, φωτιές, κουδούνες, τυχερά παιχνίδια, αγιοβασιλιάτικα καραβάκια και χριστουγεννιάτικα δέντρα, δίνουν αυτές τις ημέρες το δικό τους ξεχωριστό χρώμα σε όλες τις περιοχές της ελληνικής επικράτειας. Όλοι προετοιμάζονται για τη γέννηση του Χριστού, ενώ
οι οικογένειες και οι παρέες μεγαλώνουν και οι δρόμοι και οι πλατείες φωτίζονται. Κάθε περιοχή έχει αυτές τις ημέρες τα δικά της ξεχωριστά έθιμα. Ας δούμε μερικά από αυτά στην Ηπειρο και στη Μακεδονία: Tο αναμμένο πουρνάρι Όταν γεννήθηκε ο Χριστός και πήγαν, οι βοσκοί να προσκυνήσουν, ήταν νύχτα σκοτεινή.
Ε Γ Κ Υ Κ Λ ΙΟΣ Σελίδα 15 ἐλευθερίας. Συνειδητοποιοῦμε γύρω μας τίς συνέπειες τῆς ἀπαξιώσεως τῆς ἀνθρώπινης ἀξιοπρεπείας καί τῆς ἐκμεταλλεύσεως τῆς ζωῆς τῶν ἀνθρώπων. Μέσα σ’ αὐτές ἀκριβῶς τίς κακουχίες τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος καί τῶν παραπάνω προκλήσεων μεταφέρουμε τό μήνυμα τῶν Χριστουγέννων: Ὅτι παιδίον ἐγεννήθη ἡμῖν, υἱός καί ἐδόθη ἡμῖν! Μοιραζόμεθα ἕνα Εὐαγγέλιο ἐλπίδος καί ἐπαγγελιῶν. Ὁ Χριστός ἔγινε ἄνθρωπος καί αὐτό τό μοναδικό δῶρο πρός ἐμᾶς ἔχει καταστεῖ ἡ πνευματική βάση τῆς προσφορᾶς μας σέ ἀναξιοπαθούντες συνανθρώπους μας. Ὡς μάρτυρες τοῦ μεγίστου τῶν δώρων, μέ αἰσθήματα εὐγνωμοσύνης πρός Ἐκεῖνον ἀλλά καί μέ εὐσπλαγχνία γιά τούς ἀδελφούς μας, κάνουμε τήν προσφορά μας σ’ἐκείνους πού ἔχασαν τά πάντα, πού εἶναι ἀπελπισμένοι, πού ὑποφέρουν κάτω ἀπό ἀνεξέλεγκτες ἤ ἀνεπίδεκτες ἀλλαγῆς συνθῆκες καί πού ἔχουν πέσει θύματα κα-
κοποιήσεως. Αὐτοί ἔχουν ἀνάγκη νά συνειδητοποιήσουν ὅτι ὁ Θεός τούς ἐχάρισε τόν Ἑαυτόν Του, ὅτι ἡ χάρη Του ἀποκαλύπτεται διά τοῦ γεννηθέντος Χριστοῦ ὥστε νά μποροῦν νά ἔχουν ἐλπίδα καί ἀληθινή ζωή. Στήν ἁγία καί εὐλογημένη Ἑορτή τῆς Γεννήσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ, εἴθε ἡ καρδιά μας νά εἶναι γεμάτη μέ χαρά καθώς λαμβάνουμε καί χαιρόμαστε τό δῶρο τοῦ Θεοῦ καί τό δῶρο τῆς ἐλπίδος καί τῆς ζωῆς. Εἴθε, ἐπίσης, νά ἀνανεώσουμε τήν δέσμευσή μας νά μοιραζόμεθα αὐτό τό δῶρο μέ ὅλους. Ἄς δώσουμε ἀπό τό περίσσευμά μας ἔτσι ὥστε συνάνθρωποί μας νά βροῦν φροντίδα καί θεραπεία. Ἄς ἀνταποκριθοῦμε στίς ἀνάγκες τῶν ἀνθρώπων γύρω μας καί σ’ ὅλο τόν κόσμο, ἔτσι ὥστε ἡ μαρτυρία τῆς χάριτος τοῦ Θεοῦ νά φωτίζῃ παντοῦ. Εὔχομαι ὁ καλός καί ἐλεήμων Θεός μας νά εὐλογῇ ἐσᾶς καί τίς οἰκογένειές σας καθώς συγκεντρώνεσθε μέ ἀδελφοσύνη καί προσευχή αὐτή τήν ὡραία καί ἁγία ἡμέρα. Καλά καί εὐλογημένα Χριστούγεννα.
Μετά πατρικής ἐν Χριστῷ ἀγάπης,
† ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος
Βρήκαν κάπου ένα ξερό πουρνάρι κι έκοψαν τα κλαδιά του. Πήρε ο καθένας από ένα κλαδί στο χέρι, του έβαλε φωτιά και γέμισε το σκοτεινό βουνό χαρούμενες φωτιές και τριξίματα και κρότους. Από τότε, λοιπόν, στα χωριά της Άρτας, όποιος πάει στο σπίτι του γείτονα, για να πει τα χρόνια πολλά, καθώς και όλα τα παιδιά τα παντρεμένα, που θα πάνε στο πατρικό τους, για να φιλήσουν το χέρι του πατέρα και της μάνας τους, να κρατούν ένα κλαρί πουρνάρι, ή ό,τι άλλο δεντρικό που καίει τρίζοντας. Στο δρόμο το ανάβουν και το πηγαίνουν έτσι αναμμένο στο πατρικό τους σπίτι και γεμίζουν χαρούμενες φωτιές και κρότους τα σκοτεινά δρομάκια του χωριού. Ακόμη και στα Γιάννενα το ίδιο κάνουν. Μόνο που εκεί δεν κρατούν ολόκληρο το κλαρί το πουρνάρι αναμμένο στο χέρι τους – είναι μεγάλη πολιτεία τα Γιάννενα – αλλά κρατούν στη χούφτα τους μια χεριά δαφνόφυλλα και πουρναρόφυλλα, που τα πετούν στο τζάκι, μόλις μπούνε και καλημερίζουν. Κι όταν τα φύλλα τα ξερά πιάσουν φωτιά κι αρχίσουν να τρίζουν και να πετάνε σπίθες, εύχονται: «Αρνιά, κατσίκια, νύφες και γαμπρούς!» Αυτή είναι η καλύτερη ευχή για κάθε νοικοκύρη. Να προκόβουν τα κοπάδια του, να πληθαίνει η φαμελιά του, να μεγαλώνουν τα κορίτσια και τα παλικάρια του, να του φέρνουν στο σπίτι νύφες και γαμπρούς, να του δώσουν εγγόνια που δε θ’ αφήσουν τ’ όνομα το πατρικό να σβήσει. Το Χριστόξυλο Στα χωριά της βόρειας Ελλάδας, από τις παραμονές των εορτών ο νοικοκύρης ψάχνει στα χωράφια και διαλέγει το πιο όμορφο, το πιο γερό, το πιο χοντρό ξύλο από πεύκο ή ελιά και το πάει σπίτι του. Αυτό ονομάζεται Χριστόξυλο και είναι το ξύλο που θα καίει για όλο το δωδεκαήμερο των εορτών, από τα Χριστούγεννα μέχρι και τα Φώτα, στο τζάκι του σπιτιού. Η στάχτη των ξύλων αυτών προφύλασσε το σπίτι και τα χωράφια από κάθε κακό. Πριν ο νοικοκύρης φέρει το Χριστόξυλο, κάθε νοικοκυρά φροντίζει να έχει καθαρίσει το σπίτι και με ιδιαίτερη προσοχή το τζάκι , ώστε να μη μείνει ούτε ίχνος από την παλιά στάχτη. Καθαρίζουν ακόμη και την καπνοδόχο, για να μή βρίσκουν πατήματα να κατέβουν οι καλικάντζαροι, τα κακά δαιμόνια, όπως λένε στα παραδοσιακά χριστουγεν-
Θεοφιλ. Ἐπίσκοπος τῶν ἐνταῦθα ΡΚαθολικῶν κ. Louis Pelâtre καί ὁ Θεοφιλ. ΡΚαθολικός Ἐπίσκοπος Pinerolo κ. Piergiorgio Debernardi, ἐξ Ἰταλίας. Ὁ νεοχειροτονηθείς Πανιερ. Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Τελμησσοῦ κ. Ἰώβ, ἀνελθών εἰς τόν Θρόνον, ἐτέλεσε τήν ἀπόλυσιν, εὐλογήσας τούς πιστούς. Μετά τήν ἀπόλυσιν, ὁ Πατριάρχης προσεφώνησε τήν ἐκ τοῦ Βατικανοῦ Ἀντιπροσωπείαν καί ἀπήντησεν ὁ Σεβ. Καρδινάλιος κ. Kurt Koch, ὅστις ἀνέγνωσε καί ἐνεχείρισε τῇ Α.Θ.Παναγιότητι ἑόρτιον συγχαρητήριον Μήνυμα τῆς Α. Ἁγιότητος, τοῦ Πάπα. Ἡ πανηγυρική λειτουργική σύναξις ἔληξε διά τοῦ Πολυχρονισμοῦ τοῦ Πατριάρχου. Ἐν συνεχείᾳ, ὁ νεοχειροτονηθείς Πανιερ. Ἱεράρχης διένειμε τό ἀντίδωρον καί ἐδέξατο τάς συγχαρητηρίους εὐχάς τοῦ πολυπληθοῦς ἐκκλησιάσματος. Κατά τήν ἐπακολουθήσασαν δεξίωσιν ἐν τῇ Αἰθούσῃ τοῦ Θρόνου, ὡμίλησαν ὁ νεοχειροτονηθείς Ἱεράρχης, ἐκφράσας τήν εὐγνωμοσύνην καί τάς υἱϊκάς αὐτοῦ εὐχαριστίας πρός τε τόν Πατριάρχην καί πρός τήν περί Αὐτόν Ἁγίαν καί Ἱεράν Σύνοδον διά τήν προσγενομένην αὐτῷ τιμήν καί τήν ἀνατεθεῖσαν ἱεράν εὐθύνην, καί ὁ Πατριάρχης, συγχαρείς τῷ νεοχειροτονηθέντι καί εὐχηθείς αὐτῷ τήν ἀπό Θεοῦ ἐνίσχυσιν. Τήν μεσημβρίαν παρετέθη ὑπό τοῦ Πανιερ. Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Τελμησσοῦ κ. Ἰώβ ἐπίσημον γεῦμα ἐν τῷ ἐν Πικριδίῳ ἑστιατορίῳ «Halat», τό ὁποῖον ηὐλόγησεν ὁ Πατριάρχης. Τό ἑσπέρας τῆς ἰδίας, ὁ Πατριάρχης ἐτίμησε διά τῆς ὑψηλῆς Αὐτοῦ συμμετοχῆς τήν ἐν Ἁγίᾳ Εἰρήνῃ δοθεῖσαν συναυλίαν ἐκκλησιαστικῆς μουσικῆς τῆς χορῳδίας τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς, (σελ 18) ὁμιλήσας καταλλήλως, μεθ’ἥν ηὐλόγησε τό ὑπό τῆς Κοινότητος Μ. Ρεύματος παρατεθέν δεῖπνον ἐν τῇ Κοινοτικῇ Αἰθούσῃ αὐτῆς, εἰς ὅ παρεκάθησεν ἡ ἐκ Βατικανοῦ Ἀντιπροσωπεία καί τά μέλη τῆς ἐξ Ἀμερικῆς χορῳδίας. νιάτικα παραμύθια. Το βράδυ της παραμονής των Χριστουγέννων , όταν όλη η οικογένεια θα είναι μαζεμένη γύρω από το τζάκι , ο νοικοκύρης του σπιτιού ανάβει την καινούρια φωτιά και μπαίνει στην εστία το Χριστόξυλο. Σύμφωνα με τις παραδόσεις του λαού, καθώς καίγεται το Χριστόξυλο, ζεσταίνεται ο Χριστός στη φάτνη Του. Σε κάθε σπιτικό, οι νοικοκυραίοι προσπαθούν το Χριστόξυλο να καίει μέχρι τα Φώτα. Οι Μωμόγεροι Στα χωριά Πλατανιά και Σιταγροί του Νομού Δράμας συναντάμε το έθιμο των Μωμόγερων, το οποίο προέρχεται από του Πόντιους πρόσφυγες. Η ονομασία του εθίμου προέρχεται από τις λέξεις μίμος ή μώμος και γέρος και συνδέεται με τις μιμητικές κινήσεις των πρωταγωνιστών. Αυτοί, φορώντας τομάρια ζώων – λύκων, τράγων ή άλλων - ή ντυμένοι με στολές ανθρώπων οπλισμένων με σπαθιά, έχουν τη μορφή γεροντικών προσώπων. Oι Μωμόγεροι, εμφανίζονται καθ’ όλη τη διάρκεια του δωδεκαημέρου των εορτών, και προσδοκώντας τύχη για τη νέα χρονιά, γυρίζουν σε παρέες στους δρόμους των χωριών και τραγουδούν τα κάλαντα ή άλλους ευχετικούς στίχους. Όταν δύο παρέες συναντηθούν, κάνουν ψευτοπόλεμο μεταξύ τους, ώσπου η μία ομάδα να νικήσει και η άλλη να δηλώσει υποταγή. Παραλλαγές του ίδιου εθίμου, συναντώνται σε χωριά της Κοζάνης και της Καστοριάς, με την ονομασία Ραγκουτσάρια. Το έθιμο της καμήλας Κάθε χρόνο, την παραμονή της Πρωτοχρονιάς τα μέλη του πολιτιστικού συλλόγου ‘Καβακλή’ των Κουφαλίων Θεσσαλονίκης ξεχύνονται στους δρόμους της πόλης. Δεν λένε όμως τα κάλαντα, αλλά μεταμφιέζονται σε καμήλες και φωνάζουν δυνατά διάφορα συνθήματα. Σκοπός τους είναι να παραπλανήσουν τους στρατιώτες του Ηρώδη που ψάχνουν να βρουν το νεογέννητο Ιησού, ώστε να μην μπορέσουν να τον σκοτώσουν. Κόλιντα Μπάμπο Στην Πέλλα αναβιώνει το έθιμο της «Κόλιντα Μπάμπο» που έχει σχέση με τη σφαγή του Ηρώδη. Οι κάτοικοι της περιοχής ανάβουν το βράδυ φωτιές φωνάζοντας «κόλιντα μπάμπο» δηλαδή «σφάζουν γιαγιά». Σύμφωνα με το έθιμο οι φωτιές ανάβουν για να μάθουν οι άνθρωποι για τη σφαγή και να προφυλαχτούν.
ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
Συνοδική Λειτουργία στα Χανιά για τα 100 Χρόνια της Ενωσης XANIA.– Συνοδική Θεία Λειτουργία πραγματοποιήθηκε το πρωί της Κυριακής 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2013, με κάθε λαμπρότητα και μεγαλοπρέπεια στον Ιερό Καθεδρικό Ναό των Εισοδίων της Θεοτόκου Χανίων, για τα 100 χρόνια της Ένωσης της Κρήτης με την Ελλάδα, προεξάρχοντος του Σεβασμιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Κρήτης κ. Ειρηναίου και συλλειτουργούντων των Σεβασμιωτάτων Μητροπολιτών: Λάμπης Συβρίτου και Σφακίων κ. Ειρηναίου, Πέτρας και Χερρονήσου κ. Νεκταρίου, Αρκαλοχωρίου Καστελλίου και Βιάννου κ. Ανδρέου, Κισάμου και Σελίνου κ. Αμφιλοχίου και Κυδωνίας και Αποκορώνου κ. Δαμασκηνού. Κλήρος και λαός γέμισαν ασφυκτικά τον Ιερό Ναό ανάμεσα τους εκπρόσωποι της Κυβέρνησης, των ενόπλων δυνάμεων, των σωμάτων ασφαλείας, της Περιφέρειας και του Δήμου. Την Κυβέρνηση εκπροσώπησε ο Υπουργός Διοικητικής Μεταρρύθμισης και Ηλεκτρονικής Διακυβέρνησης κ. Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης ενώ παρέστησαν: ο Επίτιμος Πρόεδρος της Νέας Δημοκρατίας και πρώην Πρωθυπουργός κ. Κων/νος Μητσοτάκης, ο Αντιπρόεδρος της Βουλής κ. Χρήστος Μαρκογιαννάκης, η Βουλευτής κ. Ντόρα Μπακογιάννη, ο Βουλευτής κ. Μανούσος Βολουδάκης, ο Περιφερειαρχης κ. Σταύρος Αρναουτάκης, ο Αντιπεριφερειάρχης κ. Απόστολος Βουλγαράκης, Δήμαρχοι και Αντιδήμαρχοι, ο Αρχηγός του Ναυτικού και του Λιμενικού και επρόσωποι όλων των Μητροπόλεων. Μετά το πέρας της Θείας Λειτουργίας ακολούθησε επίσημος Δοξολογία, ενώ τον Πανηγυρικό της ημέρας εκφώνησε ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Αρκαλοχωρίου Καστελλίου και Βιάννου κ. Ανδρέας ως ακολούθως: «Πολλά μπορούν να λεχθούν για τη σημερινή ιστορική επέτειο της εκατονταετίας από την Ένωση της Κρήτης με την Ελλάδα. Θα μου επιτρέψετε όμως να περιοριστώ στην
επισήμανση των παρακάτω επτά σημείων: 1) Οι ιδεολογικές προϋποθέσεις που οδήγησαν πριν 100 χρόνια, το 1913, στην ένωση της Κρήτης με την Ελλάδα, διαμορφώνονται στο τέλος του 18ου αιώνα, με το κίνημα του νεοελληνικού διαφωτισμού, συνέχεια και συνέπεια της γαλλικής επανάστασης του 1789 και της αρχής των εθνοτήτων, η οποία τελικά κέρδισε τη μάχη, με αποτέλεσμα την ισχυροποίηση και οριστική διαμόρφωση των εθνικών κρατών, με πρώτο το Ελληνικό κράτος στο χώρο της Βαλκανικής στις αρχές του 19ου αιώνα. 2) Το μεγαλείο των ελληνοφώνων ορθοδόξων χριστιανών της Κρήτης έγκειται και εδράζεται στο γεγονός ότι, καθ’ όλη τη διάρκεια του 19ου αιώνα, η παραδοσιακή χριστιανική ελληνόφωνη κρητική κοινωνία, αταλάντευτα, με δυσεύρετη συνέπεια και σταθερότητα, διεκδικεί, διαμορφώνει προϋποθέσεις και προχωράει σε επαναστάσεις, συστοιχιζόμενη, παρόλη την αυστηρά παραδοσιακή της δομή, με τα προωθημένα ευρωπαϊκά κινήματα, που στοχεύουν στο τέλος των αυτοκρατοριών και
συνακόλουθα στη διάλυση και της Οθωμανικής αυτοκρατορίας. 3) Οι συνεχείς επαναστάσεις των χριστιανών της Κρήτης του 19ου αιώνα, με τη σαφέστατα μεγάλη πληθυσμιακή υπεροχή έναντι των μουσουλμάνων, συγκροτούν ένα φαινόμενο δυσεύρετο στα Βαλκάνια και άγνωστο στο μικρασιατικό χώρο. Οι καθ’ ολοκληρία ελληνόφωνοι χριστιανοί της Κρήτης, στοχεύουν με τις επαναστάσεις, έως και περί το 1850 στη διεύρυνση των προνομίων τους. Συνεπώς, στη βελτίωση των συνθηκών της διαβίωσης τους, ερχόμενοι εκ των πραγμάτων σε αντιπαλότητα και ρήξη με το μουσουλμανικό πληθυσμό της Κρήτης, οι οποίοι, αν και ελληνόφωνοι εξισλαμισθέντες στην πλειοψηφία τους, με τα δικαιώματα που η σαρία δια της Πύλης τους διασφαλίζει, αυθαιρετούν και καταπιέζουν τη χριστιανική πλειονότητα της Κρήτης. 4) Η διεύρυνση της ελληνικής επικράτειας, με την ενσωμάτωση των Επτανήσων το 1864 και της Θεσσαλίας το 1881, η συνακόλουθη ισχυροποίηση του Ελληνικού κράτους και η εξακτίνωση του εθνικού μας κέντρου της Αθήνας και στην Κρήτη, με τη δημιουργία προξενείων και συλλόγων, την έκδοση εφημερίδων, την εγκατάσταση δασκάλων, καθηγητών, δικηγόρων, γιατρών, που έχουν αποφοιτήσει από το Εθνικό Πανεπιστήμιο, συγκεκριμενοποιούν τον στόχο της συνεχούς επαναστατικής διάθεσης των Κρητών. H χριστιανική Κρήτη διασκελίζει το γενικό αίτημα της ελευθερίας και της διεύρυνσης των προνομίων. Θεωρητικά αποσαφηνισμένη συστοιχίζεται με την εθνική ιδέα και διεκδικεί δυναμικά την ένωσή της
με την Ελλάδα. Η περίοδος της αυτόνομης Κρητικής Πολιτείας θα παρέλθει και η ένωση θα γίνει πραγματικότητα. 5) Η χαρισματική προσωπικότητα του Ελευθερίου Βενιζέλου καθόρισε τις εξελίξεις στην πορεία προς την ένωση. Παράλληλα, η Κρήτη, μετά το 1903, ακολουθεί, στην πορεία για την ένωση, τη δυναμική επιλογή του Βενιζέλου, γνωρίζει πρώτη ανά το πανελλήνιο τον εθνικό διχασμό και μερίζεται σε βενιζελικούς και αντιβενιζελικούς. Ο Βενιζέλος με το κίνημα στο Θέρισο το 1905 κέρδισε τη μάχη. Κυριαρχεί στην Κρητική Πολιτεία. Αποδυναμώνονται πλέον οι εσωτερικές διενέξεις του παρελθόντος, όπως αυτές των καραβανάδων και των ξυπόλυτων, αλλά και άλλες ποικίλες αντιθέσεις και αντιπαλότητες. Και όταν η διεθνής συγκυρία το επέτρεψε, με τις συνθήκες Λονδίνου και Βουκουρεστίου, το 1913 ο Βενιζέλος πραγματοποίησε την ένωση της Κρήτης με την Ελλάδα. 6) Η Εκκλησία της Κρήτης, καθ’ όλη τη διάρκεια των επαναστατικών διεργασιών του 19ου και του 20ου αιώνα, βρίσκεται στην πρώτη γραμμή. Διαδραματίζει μείζονα και πρωτοποριακό ρόλο στις πάμπολλες διεργασίες και πρωτοβουλίες που τελεσιουργούνται στην Κρήτη. Παρεμβαίνει καθοριστικά στα δρώμενα και στις αποφάσεις. Με τους Σφακιανούς επίσκοπο Γρηγόριο Παπαδοπετράκη και εψηφισμένο επίσκοπο Παρθένιο Κελαϊδή, τον αρχιμανδρίτη Παρθένιο Περίδη, τους επισκόπους Διονύσιο Καστρινογιαννάκη, Δωρόθεο Κλωνάρη, Χρύσανθο Τσεπετάκη, Τίτο Ζωγραφίδη, τον ηγούμενο Γαβριήλ του Αρκαδίου, τους επώνυμους και ανώνυμους κληρικούς εδώ στην Κρήτη, με πρωτοπόρα την Εκκλησία, προχωρήσαμε από την εθναρχική στην εθνική συνείδηση. 7) Η πολιτιστική και πνευματική ταυτό-
Απόηχοι Δόξας του Βυζαντίου στην Αγία Ειρήνη
Φωτογραφίες: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΗΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
του Νεκτάριου Αντωνίου
ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΗ – Ανήμερα της εορτής του Αγίου Ανδρέα του Πρωτόκλητου, Σάββατο 30 Νοεμβρίου 2013, και μέσα στο γενικότερο εορταστικό κλίμα της Θρονικής Εορτής του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, πραγματοποιήθηκε με ιδιαίτερη λαμπρότητα, μια ιστορικής σημασίας συναυλία της Βυζαντινής Χορωδίας της Ελληνικής Ορθοδόξου Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής στον κατάμεστο από κόσμο, πρωτοχριστιανικό ναό της του Θεού Ειρήνης. Η συναυλία διοργανώθηκε υπό την αιγίδα και τις πατρικές ευλογίες του Σεβασμιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής κ. Δημητρίου και προς τιμήν του Παναγιωτάτου Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου κ. Βαρθολομαίου. Στην έναρξη της βραδιάς ο διευθύνων και καλλιτεχνικός σύμβουλος της χορωδίας, ιερολογιώτατος αρχιδιάκονος Παντελεήμων Παπαδόπουλος εξέφρασε εκ μέρους των ψαλτών-μελών της Χορωδίας την βαθύτατη ευγνωμοσύνη των για την μεγάλη ευλογία της μουσικής βραδιάς προς τιμήν του Παναγιωτάτου Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου. Υπογράμμισε δε πως η συναυλία αυτή στον μεγαλοπρεπή ναό της Αγίας Ειρήνης, «αναμφισβήτητα αποτελεί την κορυφαία στιγμή στην ιστορία του χορού ψαλτών» της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής και ευχαρίστησε τον Παναγιώτατο για την «εγκάρδια φιλοξενία και την αδιάπτωτη αγάπη του προς την εκκλησιαστική μουσική μας κληρονομιά». Προσκάλεσε έπειτα στο βήμα τον νεαρό Εμμανουήλ Λαμπράκη, τον μικρότερο μαθητή και μέλος του φυτωρίου της Αρχιεπισκοπικής Σχολής Βυζαντινής Μουσικής στην Νέα Υόρκη, για να απευθύνει τον επίσημο χαιρετισμό, ο οποίος σε άπται-
στα ελληνικά και αγγλικά προσφώνησε τον Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο και το πολυπληθές ακροατήριο προκαλώντας τις καλύτερες των εντυπώσεων. Ο δεκάχρονος μαθητής επεσήμανε το γεγονός πως «μπορούμε πλέον να αναφωνήσουμε ότι ο καλός σπόρος της ευλογημένης Ψαλτικής Τέχνης έχει αρχίσει να ριζώνει και να καρποφορεί και στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες» και πως προκαλεί μεγάλη χαρά και συγκίνηση η συμμετοχή της χορωδίας στις εορταστικές εκδηλώσεις προς τιμήν του Παναγιωτάτου και πως αυτή η πρώτη επίσκεψη της Βυζαντινής Χορωδίας της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής στο Φανάρι έρχεται να σημειώσει και να μαρτυρήσει το ότι η ρίζα είναι πολίτικη και πως «πολίτικος παραμένει και ο καρπός». «Εμείς οι εξ Αμερικής, δεν κάνουμε τίποτα άλλο από το να αντιπροσφέρουμε», συνέχισε, «την αγάπη, τη χαρά και την πνευματική ωφέλεια που πλουσιοπάροχα λάβαμε, (τα σα εκ των σων) και πρόσθεσε ότι το ταξίδι αυτό αποτελεί για τα μέλη της Χορωδίας μια επάνοδο στα πάτρια εφόσον «επιστρέφουμε στη μητέρα μας και της μιλάμε με αγάπη και πόθο στη δική της, αγιασμένη γλώσσα». Τους ύμνους που ακολούθησαν προλόγισε με εύστοχα εισαγωγικά σχόλια ο Δρ. Γραμμένος Καράνος, επίκουρος καθηγητής Βυζαντινής Μουσικής της Θεολογικής Σχολής του Τιμίου Σταυρού Βοστώνης. Τη Χορωδία διηύθυνε ο πρωτοψάλτης και μουσικολόγος Δρ. Δημήτριος Κεχαγιάς σ’ ένα πρόγραμμα εορταστικής μουσικής και πνευματικής πανδαισίας, το οποίο περιελάμβανε ένα απάνθισμα βυζαντινών τροπαρίων και ψαλμών και πολύ εύστοχα αναδείκνυε τον πλούτο της εκκλησιαστικής μουσικής
μας παράδοσης. Αποτελούνταν από εκλογές ύμνων και στους οκτώ ήχους και μάλιστα από όλα τα είδη μελοποιΐας. Η συναυλία άνοιξε με τον ύμνο «Τη Υπερμαχώ Στρατηγώ», τον ύμνο της Κυρίας Θεοτόκου, τον ύμνο στην Προστάτιδα της Πόλεως, την Υπέρμαχο Στρατηγό, την Υπεραγία Θεοτόκο που πρωτοψάλθηκε στην Βασιλεύουσα και είναι άμεσα συνδεδεμένος με την ιστορία της και την δόξα του Βυζαντίου. Τα μέλη της Χορωδίας τον απέδωσαν με λαμπρό τρόπο, προκαλώντας συνάμα κατάνυξη και δέος στο ευσεβές ακροατήριο. Οι μουσικές επιλογές υπογράμμισαν την πλούσια παρακαταθήκη και την ανυπέρβλητη συνδρομή της Πατριαρχικής Σχολής στο μουσικό γίγνεσθαι της Εκκλησιαστικής μας ψαλτικής παράδοσης, με επιλογές συνθέσεων από τους διαπρεπέστερους μελωδούς που αναδείχθηκαν στο Φανάρι στο πέρασμα των αιώνων, όπως τους Πέτρο Πελοποννήσιο, λαμπαδάριο της Μεγάλης του Χριστού Εκκλησίας, και τους σύγχρονους αείμνηστους άρχοντες πρωτοψάλτες της Μεγάλης του Χριστού Εκκλησίας Θρασύβουλο Στανίτσα, και Κωνσταντίνο Πρίγγο. Η συναυλία ολοκληρώθηκε με την απόδοση ενός αποσπάσματος από τον λόγο του Αγίου Γρηγορίου, Αρχιεπισκόπου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, σε πρώτη παγκόσμια εκτέλεση, τονισθέν εις μέλος και εν είδει αργού οκτάηχου δοξαστικού με ομόηχα μικρά κρατήματα, εξαίρετη σύνθεση του καθηγητού Βυζαντινής Μουσικής Γραμμένου Καράνου. Το επιτυχημένο εγχείρημα έγινε μετά από πρόσκληση και προτροπή του αρχιδιακόνου π. Παντελεήμονα προς τιμήν του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου. Στα πρόσωπα όλων των παραβρισκόμενων ήταν έκδηλη η συγκίνηση και ο ενθουσιασμός στο ηδύφωνο άκουσμα των αρχαίων εκκλησιαστικών ύμνων που έψαλλε η χορωδία και αντήχησαν από το σολέα του ναού και υπό την σκέπη του λαμπρού χρυσού μωσαϊκού Σταυρού που δεσπόζει στην αψίδα του Ιερού. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος συνεχάρη την χορωδία για την άριστη απόδοση των ύμνων, για την καθόλα επιμελημένη εμφάνιση και ψαλμώδηση
και εν κατακλείδι κάλεσε τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο ν’ απευθύνει χαιρετισμό και να αποδώσει τις Πατρικές του ευλογίες. Την συναυλία παρακολούθησαν επίσης οι Μητροπολίτες μέλη της Αγίας και Ιεράς Συνόδου του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, η επίσημη αντιπροσωπία του Βατικανού, υπό τον Καρδινάλιο Kurt Koch, η οποία ως είθισται κάθε χρόνο εκπροσωπεί την Ρωμαιοκαθολική Εκκλησία στην θρονική εορτή του Πατριαρχείου, εκπρόσωποι άλλων δογμάτων και θρησκειών, πολλοί επίσημοι προσκεκλημένοι και αξιωματούχοι από τον επιχειρηματικό, διπλωματικό και πολιτικό κόσμο της Πόλης, πολλοί ομογενείς και επισκέπτες. Ο αρχαίος ναός της Αγίας Ειρήνης Ο αρχαίος ναός της Αγίας Ειρήνης, όπου πραγματοποιήθηκε η συναυλία, χτίστηκε από τον Μέγα Κωνσταντίνο και το 381 μ.Χ. Εκεί έλαβε χώρα η Β Οικουμενική Σύνοδος η οποία εκεί συνέταξε το Σύμβολο της Πίστεως, αποτέλεσε δε τον πρώτο Πατριαρχικό ναό της Ρωμαϊκής Αυτοκρατορίας. Μετά την Στάση του Νίκα (532 μ.Χ.), ο ναός ξαναχτίστηκε και αποπερατώθηκε από τον Ιουστινιανό και στέκεται έως σήμερα δίπλα στην «Μεγάλη Εκκλησία», την Αγιά Σοφιά. Είναι ο μόνος ιστορικός ναός που μετά την άλωση της Κωνσταντινούπολης δεν μετετράπη ποτέ σε τζαμί, αλλά χρησιμοποιήθηκε σαν αποθήκη λαφύρων και αργότερα όπλων και πυρομαχικών. Σήμερα λειτουργεί ως μουσείο και συχνά χρησιμοποιείται σαν χώρος συναυλιών γιατί σύμφωνα με τους ειδικούς διαθέτει εξαιρετική ακουστική. Τα μέλη της Αρχιεπισκοπικής Βυζαντινής Χορωδίας, που ταξίδεψαν στην Κωνσταντινούπολη και συμμετείχαν στη συναυλία είναι τα έξης: Δημήτριος Κεχαγιάς (διευθυντής-χοράρχης), π. Αριστείδης Γαρίνης, π. Δημήτριος Καζάκης, δ. Παντελεήμων Παπαδόπουλος, Δρ. Γραμμένος Καράνος και κατ’ αλφαβητική σειρά: Γεώργιος Αντωνίου, Νεκτάριος Αντωνίου, Χρήστος Βιτέλας, Γεώργιος Γιαβρής, Νικόλαος Γρηγοριάδης, Ευάγγελος Ζαχαράτος, Χαράλαμπος Ζαχάρης, Αντώνιος Κεχαγιάς, Αθανάσιος Κουκούλης, Γιάννης Μαυρογιάννης, Αθανάσιος Μινέτος, Αναστάσιος Μυρίσης, Δημοσθένης Παπαϊωάννου, Παναγιώτης Παπαζαφειρόπουλος, Φώτης Παπίρης, Νικόλαος Πάρος, Γεώργιος Πετρίδης, Νικόλαος Ράλλης, Νεόφυτος Σαρηγιαννίδης, Χρήστος Σταυρόπουλος, Τζέϊμς Τσιμής, Ανδρέας Τσούνης, Νικόλαος Τζέτζης, Ανδρέας Χούπος, Γεώργιος Ψευδός, Γεώργιος Αrgarun, John Boyer, Gabriel Cremeens, Rassem El Massih, Michael Mercado, Peter Romanovsky, John Szymkiewicz.
ΚΑΛΑ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥΓΕΝΝΑ ΚΙ ΕΥΤΥΧΙΣΜΕΝΟΣ Ο ΚΑΙΝΟΥΡΓΙΟΣ ΧΡΟΝΟΣ Ο Ι ΚΟ Γ Ε Ν Ε ΙΑ ΚΟ Υ Τ Σ Ο Μ Η Τ Η
Εορτασμοί 100 Χρόνων Ενωσης Κρήτης με Ελλάδα uΣελίδα 17
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ουσίαν συνέχεια και συνέπεια της εκστρατείας στην Κρήτη του Νικηφόρου Φωκά, το 961. Ο Νικηφόρος Φωκάς επανασύνδεσε την Κρήτη πολιτικά, πολιτιστικά και κοινωνικά με την αυτοκρατορία της Κωνσταντινούπολης και με το πνευματικό κέντρο του Ορθόδοξου κόσμου, το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο. Στα δίσεκτα χρόνια της Οθωμανικής κυριαρχίας το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο διαφύλαξε στην Κρήτη, αλλά και σ’ ολόκληρη τη Βαλκανική και τη Μικρά Ασία, την ορθόδοξη χριστιανική παρακαταθήκη, η οποία μέσα από την ιδεολογική πορεία της αρχής των εθνοτήτων, οδήγησε την Κρήτη στην ένωση με την Ελλάδα, με τους ομόγλωσσους και ομόθρησκους Έλληνες. Ο μετέπειτα Ρεθύμνης Χρύσανθος το 1897 στο στρατόπεδο του Ακρωτηρίου θα εκφωνήσει στο λόγο του: «Τέκνα φυσικά της Ελλάδος, αυτήν και μόνον αναγνωρίζομεν Μητέρα μας, αυτήν και Έθνος μας, υπέρ αυτής αγωνιζόμεθα τον άνισον τούτον αγώνα, μετ’ αυτής και θα αποθάνομεν. Δεν γνωρίζομεν άλλον λαόν, εκτός του Ελληνικού, με τον οποίον να μας συνδέουν το ίδιο αίμα, η ίδια γλώσσα και η ίδια ιστορία … σε παρακαλούμεν θερμώς με δάκρυα εις τους οφθαλμούς, Πάτερ ημών ο εν τοις ουρανοίς, όπως είμεθα ενωμένοι με την Ελλάδα κατά το φρόνημα και το αίσθημα να μας ενώσης και πολιτικώς». Στη συνέχεια σχηματίστηκε πομπή, παιανίζοντας οι μπάντες των Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων, για την μεταφορά της υφαντής σε κρητικό
Να επαναλειτουργήσει η Σχολή της Χάλκης Η υποεπιτροπή Εξωτερικών για ευρωπαϊκές υποθέσεις της αμερικανικής Βουλής κάλεσε την Τετάρτη 20 Νοεμβρίου την τουρκική κυβέρνηση «να διευκολύνει την επαναλειτουργία της Σχολής της Χάλκης άνευ όρων ή νέων καθυστερήσεων» και προτρέπει την κυβέρνηση Ερντογάν «να απασχοληθεί και με αλλά θέματα του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου τα οποία καθυστερούν». Με απόφαση η οποία ελήφθη ομόφωνα η υποεπιτροπή «υπενθυμίζε» στην τουρκική κυβέρνηση ότι «το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο αποτελεί ιστορικό θεσμό 17 αιώνων, υπηρετώντας ως κέντρο της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας για όλο τον κόσμο» και ότι «ο Οικουμενικός
Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος είναι ο πνευματικός ηγέτης περίπου 300 εκατομμυρίων ορθόδοξων χριστιανών, μεταξύ των οποίων εκατομμύρια ζουν στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείε». Η υποεπιτροπή τονίζει ότι η συνεχιζόμενη διακοπή λειτουργίας της Σχολής «αποτελεί την ολοένα και αυξανόμενη ανησυχία των Αμερικανών και του αμερικανικού Κογκρέσου». Σημειώνει επίσης ότι το ζήτημα της Σχολής της Χάλκης έχει τεθεί επανειλημμένα από μέλη του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου Ασφαλείας και Συνεργασίας, καθώς από την αντιπροσωπεία των ΗΠΑ στην ετήσια διάσκεψη της επιτροπής ανθρώπινων δικαιωμάτων. www.romfaia.gr
Στη Ντόρα Μπακογιάννη η έκθεση για τη βία Η έκθεση, για την βία σε βάρος των χριστιανικών μειονοτήτων στον μουσουλμανικό κόσμο και τις συνέπειές της, ανατέθηκε σε συνεδρίαση του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης, ομόφωνα στη βουλευτή της ΝΔ Ντόρα Μπακογιάννη στις 10 Δεκεμβρίου. Μετά από πρωτοβουλία της επικεφαλής της ελληνικής αντιπροσωπείας στο ΣτΕ, για τις διώξεις που υφίστανται οι χριστιανοί σε διάφορες περιοχές και γενικότερα τις ταραχές σε ολόκληρο τον αραβικό κόσμο που απειλούν με
αφανισμό το Χριστιανισμό, κατατέθηκε τον Ιούνιο ψήφισμα για την προστασία των χριστιανικών κοινοτήτων στη Μ. Ανατολή. Το ψήφισμα συνυπέγραψαν όλοι οι πρόεδροι των Κοινοβουλευτικών Ομάδων, 20 αρχηγοί εθνικών αντιπροσωπειών και πάνω από 150 βουλευτές του ΣτΕ, συμπεριλαμβανομένων και των Μουσουλμάνων βουλευτών και στη συνέχεια αποφασίστηκε να συνταχθεί έκθεση για την βία σε βάρος των χριστιανικών μειονοτήτων. www.romfaia.gr
2ο Συνέδριο Αρχόντων για Θρησκευτικές Ελευθερίες uΣελίδα 15
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αργαλειό Ελληνικής Σημαίας, στο φρούριο του Φιρκά, κρατώντας την και πάλι με υπερηφάνεια και λεβεντιά εκατό χρόνια μετά από την 1η Δεκεμβρίου του 2013, άντρες με παραδοσιακές φορεσιές, αναμοχλεύοντας μνήμες του ιστορικού παρελθόντος. Οι λαμπρές πανηγυρικές εκδηλώσεις στο φρούριο του Φιρκά, ολοκληρώθηκαν με την ομιλία του Δημάρχου Χανίων κ. Εμμανουήλ Σκουλάκη στο φρούριο του Φιρκά, την έπαρση της Ελληνικής Σημαίας, τους 21 χαιρετιστήριους κανονιοβολισμούς από την φρεγάτα του πολεμικού ναυτικού Αδρίας και την θεαματική επίδειξη από την ομάδα Ζευς της πολεμικής αεροπορίας με το πολεμικό αεροσκάφος F-16. Κατόπιν ακολούθησε επίσκεψη στο Ναυτικό Μουσείο Κρήτης (παρουσίαση αναμνηστικής σειράς γραμματοσήμων), στο Δημαρχείο Χανίων για τα εγκαίνια της βιβλιοθήκης του Ελευθερίου Βενιζέλου, στον Φιλολογικό Σύλλογο “Χρυσόστομος” (φωτογραφική έκθεση Περικλή Διαμαντόπουλου) και στη Δημοτική Πινακοθήκη Χανίων (έκθεση “Κρήτη 1913-2013”).
στον τομέα των θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών και των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων συμμετέχουν σ’ αυτό το σημαντικό συνέδριο το οποίο καταδεικνύει τη σοβαρή φύση των προσπαθειών μας και το βάθος του διαλόγου μας», δήλωσε ο πρόεδρος της αδελφότητας των αρχόντων του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου στις ΗΠΑ Δρ. Αντώνιος Λυμπεράκης. Στην έναρξη του Συνεδρίου προβλήθηκε βιντεοσκοπημένο μήνυμα του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου, με το οποίο χαιρέτησε τις εργασίες του Συνεδρίου. Το Συνέδριο χαιρέτισαν επίσης ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος και ο Μητροπολίτης Γερμανίας Αυγουστίνος. Ανάμεσα στους βασικούς ομιλητές ήταν ο Μητροπολίτης Προύσης Ελπιδοφόρος, η πρώην Υπουργός
Εξωτερικών των ΗΠΑ, Χίλαρι Κλίντον (μέσω μαγνητοσκοπημένου μηνύματος), οι καθηγητές, Ιλμπέρ Ορταϊλι και Φάτμα Μπεντλί. Παρόντες στις εργασίες ήταν οι Μητροπολίτες Γαλλίας Εμμανουήλ, Ατλάντας Αλέξιος και άλλοι κληρικοί του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου. Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι αποτελεί αναγνώριση των πολυετών και μεθοδικών προσπαθειών του Συλλόγου Ιμβρίων και της Συντονιστικής Επιτροπής των Ιμβριακών και Τενεδιακών σωματείων για την κατοχύρωση των δικαιωμάτων των Ιμβρίων και Τενεδίων, το γεγονός ότι μεταξύ των ομιλητών του Συνεδρίου επιλέχθηκε, ως εκπρόσωπος της Ελληνορθόδοξης Κοινότητας, ο κ. Πάρις Ασανάκης, δικηγόρος εξειδικευμένος στο Ευρωπαϊκό και Διεθνές Δίκαιο, Πρόεδρος του Συλλόγου Ιμβρίων και ιδρυτικό μέλος της Σ.Ε.Ι.
Church History Fr. Kallistratos Glavas: A Christmas at Sea by William H. Samonides, Ph.D.
In 1915, Fr. Kallistratos Glavas (1873-1948) shared a remarkable Christmas with the passengers and crew of the SS Thessaloniki. While most early priests in America were appointed by the Holy Synod of Greece or the Ecumenical Patriarchate, or were invited by a parish, he had come to join his brother, George, who lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At the time, there was no Greek Orthodox parish in the state, and Fr. Glavas had been kept busy ministering to the spiritual needs of the many Greeks living in the area. He would serve the Church in America until his death in 1948. With the exception of a short stay in Little Rock, Ark., a spot popular with older priests because of the nearby therapeutic hot springs, Fr. Glavas would serve in the Midwest, at parishes in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. A native of the island of Zante, Fr. Glavas first arrived in America in April 1914. After spending a year in Iowa, Fr. Glavas had returned to Greece to put his affairs in order and to bring icons, vestments, and essential sacramental and liturgical objects back to America. On Nov. 16, 1915, Fr. Glavas boarded the SS Thessaloniki in Piraeus for his return to America. The Thessaloniki was an older ship purchased in 1913 by the National Greek Line and refitted to carry immigrants. Among the oldest, smallest, and slowest
ships of the Greek fleet, the Thessaloniki was certified seaworthy and had made seven transatlantic crossings without incident, but winter crossings were hazardous. Although there were accommodations for 2,000, there were only 177 passengers, along with 39 officers and crew. The ship also carried 1,200 tons of cargo, mainly cheese, olive oil, currants, and figs. The voyage was uneventful through the Mediterranean Sea. When the ship passed Gibraltar on Dec. 1, it was on schedule to arrive in New York on Dec. 11. Once it reached the North Atlantic, however, everything changed. There was a succession of storms that battered the ship and slowed progress. Then, on Dec. 21, the Thessaloniki encountered a hurricane. The seas broke a porthole, flooding the engine room and extinguishing the boilers. It was impossible to pump out the water. Lost at sea and listing dangerously, the crippled Thessaloniki was without power and at the mercy of wind and wave. Again and again it would descend into a deep trough between giant waves, only to be tossed onto a wave crest with the propellers spinning out of the water “like a pinwheel.” To make matters worse, the storm washed away some of the lifeboats. Fr. Glavas was credited with keeping the passengers from panicking. He is said to have “almost continuously… worked with his people, as a shepherd
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works his flock, quieting them, praying with them and comforting them.” He led them in “singing hymns while they knelt on the floor.” He even “persuaded some of the passengers to man the pumps and help the crew repair the leaks.” He buoyed their spirits and provided spiritual comfort, especially to the 45 women and 20 children on board. “Prayers were said daily and candles were burned continually upon the little shrine which was erected upon the stern under the deckhouse.” On Christmas Day, as if in answer to their prayers, the sea calmed, the wind subsided, and the sun burst through the storm clouds. After nearly 50 days at sea, the ship was running dangerously low of food and water. For three days, water was rationed, with each person receiving one-half cup of kerosene-tainted water per day. The plight of those on board was discussed daily in newspapers across the country, riveting public attention. Radio operators on shore and at sea tried frantically to reestablish contact. Adding further drama was the fact that this voyage was the captain’s first command. Finally, on the morning of Jan. 1, a rescue ship arrived. One passenger reported: “We all regarded this as an answer to our prayers and the prayers of Fr. Glavas. For all of us had attended services before the altar on deck, and many had not ceased praying day and night almost from the time the ship
began to be in distress.” Fr. Glavas was one of the last passengers to board a lifeboat. The captain ordered that all baggage be abandoned. The immigrants’ lives were saved, but they lost the items they had brought with them to start a new life in the United States. Fr. Glavas had to leave behind sacred and liturgical objects valued at more than $1,000. He would return to America with only one gold cross. Once the passengers were rescued, there were three unsuccessful attempts to tow the Thessaloniki to port. Twice the tow lines snapped, and once a stanchion was ripped from its mounting. A few days later, the crew was taken off, and the Thessaloniki was abandoned at sea. The engineers opened the sea cocks, and a red lantern was placed on the bridge as a warning to passing vessels. The ship was a complete loss except for 29 sacks of water-soaked mail and the two lifeboats that took the crew to safety. The passengers arrived in South Brooklyn on Jan. 7 after 52 harrowing days at sea. Remarkably there had been no casualties. Newspapers raised many questions about the captain’s judgment and the conduct of the crew, but there was no question that Fr. Glavas was a hero. His photograph appeared in papers nationwide as the priest who gave comfort and strength to his fellow passengers during the drawn-out ordeal and the memorable Christmas at sea.
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Greek Architects of Istanbul u u from page 10 to the populations around the world. The presentations ended with remarks from the delegation from Istanbul and a short video presentation summarizing the exhibit. At the conclusion of the presentations, Bishop Demetrios and Mr. Vingas offered gifts representing Istanbul to thank Rev. Michael Garanzini, SJ, President of Loyola University Chicago and Dr. Elaine Athas, regent of Loyola University Chicago for welcoming the Metropolis of Chicago and the exhibit to Loyola University. Archon Harold V. Anagnos, was also thanked and presented with a gift for being the grand benefactor of the exhibit as were George and Patricia Loukas, for being benefactors, and Archon Frank and Katena Lagouros, Mantea K. Schmid and Archon Harold A. Peponis for being donors to the exhibit. Hellena Chrones was also presented with a gift and a bouquet of flowers for chairing the Chicago organizing committee which included Roula Alakiotou, John Balourdos, Evangel Kokkino, Elizabeth Melas, James Metropulos, Laki Nikokavouras, Jeanne Novas, Cynthia Vranas Olsen, Gregory C. Pappas, and George Prosiliakos. The Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Hellenic Society of Constantinople were proud co–sponsors of the exhibit. Jane Analitis, president of the Hellenic Society of Constantinople was also thanked and presented with a gift. Following the
MVP Studio Photography
(L to R) Pandelis Vingas, Bishop Demetrios, and Archon Harold V. Anagnos, grand benefactor of the exhibit.
program, guests attending were invited to view the exhibit and engage with the delegation. The aim for the exhibition organizing committee is to have the exhibit travel the country to expose as many individuals as possible to this otherwise unknown imprint of the Greek Orthodox community on the cultural life of modern Istanbul, Turkey. The exhibit has been seen in Istanbul, Thessaloniki, Athens, Mytilene, Chios, Xanthi and Chicago by more than 12, 000 persons. The positive comments on the Chicago debut have echoed throughout the Greek and Turkish communities here, and the Metropolis has been approached by organizations in Peoria, Ill.; Dubuque, Iowa; Champaign, Ill.; and Lake County, Ind.; as well as the Turkish Cultural Center in Mount Prospect, Ill., to host the exhibit following its Nov. 10 exit.
St. Photios Shrine Hosts Music Institute u u from page 3 the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) as a mission specialist in linguistics and translation and trains new OCMC missionaries in language learning. The retreat challenged participants to imagine a parish without service books yet where every participant singing in church would have not only music available but a teacher to prepare with. With AGES VCI, one selects a notation (Byzantine or Western), then selects a service and choir members can scroll to the hymn they want to practice. Click/tap on the SCORE link, and see the score in the right frame. Click/tap on the AGES Initiatives envisions all Orthodox Churches having the texts, music, and trained singers needed to maintain the fullest possible liturgical life. To that end, it is developing a multilingual database, rubrics engine, and applications
for church, home, and classroom, as well as translation tools for use in the mission field. Registrants included Fr. George Ioannou, Nick Lekas, Mike Bouranis, Karla Ayers and Evgenia Mercado of Holy Trinity, St Augustine who joined chanters and choir members of St John the Divine, Jacksonville, Fla.; Deacon Athanasios Kartsonis, Nick Papadis, Charlie Varelas and Linda Henley; St Paul, Savannah, Ga; Presbytera Danielle Mihai, and Jimmy Stevens; St Elizabeth, Gainesville, Fla; James Thieke; St Stefanos; Stavrula Crafa; Annunciation, Mobile, Ala.; Robert Vrocher; St Katherine, Melbourne, Fla.; James Manus, Thomas, Koman and Costa Triantafyllidis; and Ss. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene, Cummings, Ga. – Richard Bethune. Also attending were Shrine Director Polly Hillier and Margo Kelley of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center.
New York Parish Sends Aid to Greece CORONA, NY – The Transfiguration of Christ Community sent humanitarian aid in the form of 2,500 pairs of shoes to victims of the severe economic crisis in Greece. This dispatch was sent to the Holy Archdiocese of Athens and the Holy Metropolis of Kos and Nisyros, to be distributed to the needy living in those areas. The shipment was directed to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece and Metropolitan Nathanael of Kos and Nisyros, who met separately with the presiding priest of the Transfiguration parish, Fr. George Anastasiou, and a delegation of parish council members who traveled to Greece to deliver the shipment, which arrived in early November. Archbishop Ieronymos thanked Fr. George and parish representatives during their meeting at the Archdiocese of Athens, during which he made reference
to the various social and welfare programs offered by the Church of Greece, like the philanthropic aid program “Apostoli’ and the coupons that the Church offers low income families and the jobless to purchase discount food items from participating supermarkets. Through this latest show of philanthropy, the Corona parish extends its benevolent work abroad in response to the crisis in Greece. With this aid, the ministry of Transfiguration Church includes the provision of free Greek education to all interested students from the New York area, cooperation with government agencies and local civic leaders to help house programs and services offering food stamps and free tax preparation, the awarding of scholarships and other forms of financial aid to needy families.
Metropolis News Metropolis of Pittsburgh Holds First Greek Language Competition by Maria Stamoolis
PITTSBURGH – The first annual Metropolis of Pittsburgh Greek Language Competition took place recently at St. Nicholas Cathedral. Students from parish Greek schools tested their knowledge of and skill in the Greek language and celebrated their accomplishments in learning Greek. The competition included a vocabulary competition, poetry and short story competition, and an art exhibition. A children’s festival and celebration also took place.The vocabulary competition tested students on three types of words- regular Greek words, Greek liturgical words and phrases, and English words from Greek roots. Students had to spell the words correctly and to write the translation of the regular words. Word lists were provided to schools a few months before the competition. In addition to the vocabulary competition, poetry and original short stories in Greek were submitted prior to the event and judged. Talented students also submitted artwork for an art exhibit, shown at the June 8 event. About 100 students competed in the vocabulary bee, a dozen students submitted original stories and poetry, and more than 50 pieces of artwork were displayed. An additional 150 students with their parents and families participated in the Children’s Festival and Celebration. The day started with a service cel-
ebrated by Metropolitan Savas and Fr. Christopher Bender, dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral. Archbishop Theofanis, who was visiting from Jerusalem, spoke to the children and blessed everyone by handing out wooden crosses from Jerusalem. The event ended with an awards ceremony. Metropolitan Savas acknowledged each winner, who received a trophy and a certificate. The Metropolis Greek Education Department sent them $100. Sudents who successfully passed the Ellinomatheas Tests and the Comprehensive Exams for Modern Greek in 2012 received the Medal of St. Photios. The following were Greek Language competition winners: Vocabulary Beginners – Christos Colonias (Kimisis tis Theotokou, Aliquippa), Alexandra Koffler (St. Nicholas Cathedral), Theodora Tsardoulias (Annunciation, Cleveland) Vocabulary Intermediates – Kelly Finitsas (Annunciation, Cleveland) Vocabulary Advanced – Constatina Koukounas (Annunciation, York), Angeliki Miranda-Ganas (Sts. Constantine and Helen, Reading, Pa.) Poetry – Christina Panopoulos (Annunciation, York) Story writing Beginners – Katerina Tsarouhas (Annunciation, Akron) Story writing Intermediates – Haralampos Flaskos (Kimisis tis Theotokou, Aliquippa) Christos Mavrogeorgis (St. Nicholas Cathedral, Pittsburgh.), Panagiotis Tsarou-
Pittsburgh Metropolis photo
A group of Greek language competition winners with Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh.
has, (Annunciation, Akron) Story writing Advanced – Michael Wells (Annunciation, Akron) The following students (all of St. Nicholas Cathedral) who passed the Comprehensive Exam for Modern Greek in 2012: Antonia Christou, Peter Copetas, Evelpia Geroulakos, Victoria Mavrogeorgis and Christina Vlachos. The Greek Language Competition
and Celebration promotes Greek language study and helps students strive to increase their knowledge of Modern Greek, Liturgical Greek, and Greek roots. The second annual Metropolis Greek Language Competition will be held on Saturday, June 7, at St. Nicholas Cathedral. Maria Stamoolis is director of Greek education for the Metropolis of Pittsburgh.
Koraes Students Learn About School Bus Safety PALOS HILLS, Ill – Koraes Elementary School was excited to have Toby Tire of the Illinois Secretary of State’s office teach the students about school bus safety. Kindergarten through third grade students took to the East Room and watched an eye-opening and interesting presentation that taught them many bits of information about proper behavior with school buses.
The children were invigorated and so very excited by watching Toby Tire wheel back and forth, turn to face them head-on and teach them with a voice and movements very lifelike. It was a different and thoroughly entertaining presentation that Toby Tire gave our younger Koraes Elementary students. They learned a great deal about school bus safety, as a result.
From The National Philoptochos Society
uring this Holy Season, the Stewards and Staff of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society extend their warmest and most blessed Christmas greetings to you and your loved ones. 2013 has been a milestone year for Philoptochos as we continue to follow the tenets of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Throughout the year our faithful and dedicated Philoptochos Sisters in America work tirelessly with agape to identify and assist people in need, both in their Parishes and in society. This year our Sisterhood fulfilled a long held vision: the establishment of the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. The doors are now open at 126 East 37th Street in New York City. We thank the Lord for guiding our beloved Stewards and friends in support of this effort that enables our Philoptochos Sisters to continue to serve with Christian love the disadvantaged, offering hope and comfort to those in need. Come and join this most dynamic organization of Christian women and impact your community this holiday season and in the New Year. Become a Philoptochos Steward. Christmas is a time of joy to reflect, give thanks and become involved by making a difference in people’s lives. May our Lord continue to bless you and your families in the New Year and always.
The National Board, Stewards & Staff Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society
L–100 Supports Church Camps u u from page 11 ported its scholarship program benefits 200 campers a year with 100 percent of all the monies granted to the camp through the Camping Ministries support of Leadership 100 going for this sole purpose, while the Metropolis of Denver utilized Leadership 100 funding for both financial assistance, helping to keep registration fees lower, as well as for travel assistance given the large geographic size of the Metropolis. The Metropolis of Atlanta experienced changes in staffing at St. Stephen Summer Camp, while the Metropolis of Detroit, which operates Metropolis of Detroit Summer Camp, St. Timothy’s Summer Camp and St. Nicholas Camp, serving more than 500 young people, stated that the Leadership 100 grant provides a unique experience for campers, as well as the staff, and “is an investment in the present and future of our Orthodox churches.” The Metropolis of Pittsburgh said the cost of sending a child to camp has risen to a level that has made it difficult for many families to send a child or several children to summer camp. They rent the camp that they use, Camp Nazareth, requiring that they pay for each and every camper and staff member. In 2013, funds went only towards financial need–based scholarships as they had so many requests. The Metropolis of San Francisco, which was the first Metropolis in the Archdiocese to purchase its own retreat center, St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center in 1979, reorganized operations through its Metropolis Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. A new board
of directors was created, along with the appointment of a new program director and management team. More than 50 counselors were recruited. The changes met with a positive response from campers and their parents. Leadership 100 grant funds were used almost exclusively for scholarships, serving a portion of some 303 campers. Finally, the Metropolis of New Jersey reported that its Camp Good Shepherd saw increased need for financial assistance from a number of children whose families were still suffering the effects from Hurricane Sandy. Leadership 100 grant monies allowed children to attend who may not otherwise have been able to, allowing them to have an adequate number of staff on site and enabling them to offer a registration price that was affordable to all families. A total of 280 campers took part.
Illinois Church Honors Vets PALOS HILLS, Ill. - Sts. Constantine and Helen Church recently celebrated its third annual Veterans Day observance with a special service. Fr Nicholas Jonas, pastor, together with a committee chaired by Angie Kladis, honored members of the parish community who served in all branches of service for our beloved United States of America. About 50 veterans attending were honored by the senior choir and parishioners who sang patriotic songs. The parish council has set aside part of the community center for the veterans’ names to be permanently listed.
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Direct Archdiocesan District Church Musicians Hold 29th Annual Conference PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – The Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians of the Direct Archdiocesan District held its 29th annual Conference Oct. 12-13 at Archangel Michael Church. In addition to those from Archangel Michael, musicians from the following Direct Archdiocesan District churches attended the conference, whose theme was “Singing to the Lord with One Voice:” Assumption Church, Danbury, Conn; Holy Trinity Bridgeport, Conn;, and the New York parishes of Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral; Assumption, Port Jefferson; Sts. Constantine & Helen Cathedral, Brooklyn; St. Paul Cathedral, Hempstead; Holy Resurrection, Brookville; Holy Trinity; Hicksville; Holy Trinity, New Rochelle; Sts. Catherine & George, Astoria; St. Nicholas, Flushing; St. Paraskevi, Greenlawn; Transfiguration of Christ, Mattituck; and Zoodohos Peghe, Bronx. Fr. Dennis Strouzas of Archangel Michael and Federation President Anna Dounelis, who presided at the council meeting, opened the conference. Attendees participated in a rehearsal for the Sunday Liturgy, followed by a
Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians photo
“Vocal Techniques” workshop presented by Marina Alexander, adjunct assistant professor at the College of Staten IslandCUNY, where she has taught conducting and musical history for 15 years. Ms. Alexander also is director of the Richmond Chorale and Metropolitan Chorale in New York, and the Arcadian Chorale in New Jersey. Fr. Nikolas Karloutsos, Archangel Michael assistant priest, offered welcoming remarks and a prayer and Deacon (now Father) Chrysostomos Gilbert of the Archdiocese Office of the Chancellor and a graduate of Hellenic College Holy Cross, delivered the keynote address. Activities also included an art workshop conducted by Eleni Pitzel, an artist who has shown her work at various galleries including the Monroe Gallery in New Jersey and the Asian Fusion Gallery in New York.
Mrs. Pitzel is a member of the St. Paul Cathedral choir and offers free art classes to St. Paul’s parishioners and at the Golden Age Organization in Mineola, NY. The next workshop was “The Sunday Liturgy, From a Performer’s Perspective” presented by Eleni Traganas, acclaimed concert pianist, author, artist, composer, and choir director/organist at Zoodohos Peghe Church in Bronx. Ms. Traganas holds bachelors and masters degrees from The Julliard School. She has given recitals and lectures at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and in London, Berlin, Athens and other major European capitals. A ‘Byzantine Chant’ workshop followed, presented by Eleftherios Eleftheriades, protopsaltis at St. Nicholas Church in Flushing, and Byzantine chant instructor at the William Spyropoulos School. The last workshop, “Congregational Singing–The Missing Piece,” was pre-
sented by Phoebe Kamelakis Leask, senior choir director and organist at Holy Trinity Church in Bridgeport. She is a 20-year member of the Fairfield County Chorale and currently serves on the board of directors of Rotary Zone Singers (Rotary International). She is a past president of the Music & Arts Center for the Handicapped. Sunday, 89 senior and youth choir members lifted their voices in praise to the Lord under the direction of Georgia Kaufman, Byzantine youth choir director at Archangel Michael and the Federation’s Youth music liaison. Eleni Rodopoulos Kaufman, who holds a master’s degrees in education and music from Columbia University, is Archangel Michael’s Byzantine Youth Choir co-director and organist. Efrosini Katehis of St. Paul’s Cathe-
u u to page 27
“Around the Archdiocese” is a subcategory of Metropolis News that presents brief items from a broad representation of communities. Parishes are selected at random, but information may be submitted to the Observer (60 to 100 word limit) and will be considered on a space–available basis (type Around the Archdiocese in subject space). No pictures. No Greek festivals. News of greater significance, and pictures, will continue to appear in Metropolis News. Each issue will feature different communities. International gateway 1. BELLINGHAM – Tucked away in the far northwest corner of the U.S. and the state of Washington, St. Sophia parish is making long-term plans for its 50th anniversary in 2015. Fr. Michael Tervo notes that a unique feature of his church is the large mix of Greek and Lebanese Orthodox Christians among the 70 families in the community. Greek and Arabic are used in the services. Located only 12 miles from Canada, the church also draws parishioners from across the border, including one of the chanters. Fr. Tervo’s parish is also the northernmost among the 48 contiguous states (at 48 degrees, 45 minutes north latitude). Duluth is next followed by Bangor, Maine). Veterans honored 2. SAN ANTONIO – Fr. George Gartelos reports that St. Sophia Church recently honored veterans in the community with a luncheon and program. San Antonio is known as “Military City USA because of the presence of several installations, including four U.S. Air Force bases and Fort Sam Houston. Ahepans prepared the lunch and the program was organized by the YAL and
Around the Archdiocese
Building progress 6. LEXINGTON – Panagia Pantovasilissa parish in eastern Kentucky is in the midst of a building project that will result in a new church, social hall and classrooms. Fr. George Wilson noted that “progress is a little slow,” but the social hall should by finished by May. The parish sold its church building, but it is currently renting it until the new church is completed. Dance preparation 7. COLUMBIA – Holy TrinityChurch’s “Nea Zoe” dance troupe is busy preparing for the upcoming Atlanta Metropolis Hellenic Dance Festival to be held in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 18–19. Fr. Michael Platanis noted that the dancers plan a fund-raising dinner for Dec. 15 to support their trip. The community in South Carolina’s capital will participate in two events in February, a marriage retreat sponsored by the Metropolis Family Life Ministry, and a parish retreat at the Diakonia Center.
GOYA and included a slide show game of “Guess that Veteran,” showing pictures of many of the parish’s veterans during their days of service. Newly renovated 3. TULSA – Holy Trinity Church has just completed a major renovation project that includes a new iconostasion, made of carved walnut by Constantinos Papadakis of Minneapolis, Fr. William Christ reports. Iconographer Janet Jaime of Oklahoma City is producing the icons. The parish also installed new tile floors.
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Bratwurst festival 4. MILWAUKEE – Annunciation Church recently formed a Metro Milwaukee IOCC Committee and is planning a bratwurst festival on Jan. 25 as an IOCC fund-raiser, Fr. Angelo Artemas reports. The theme is “tailgate,” as there are no football games that weekend and it fills the void a week before the Super Bowl. Bratwurst is a sausage dish usually composed of veal, pork or beef. Its roots are in Germany, as are those of many Milwaukeeans. Music not food 5. JOLIET – All Saints Church in this Chicago suburb did away with its fall food festival and, instead, had an evening of music and fellowship with DUELING PIANOS. Fr. Steven Bithos said it was a fun-filled, casual, high-energy, request driven, sing-along, clapalong, dance-along show. It featured Tony DeBlois, and Tony Kidonakis. DeBlois is a 37-year-old pianist from Randolph, Mass., who is blind, autistic and has Savant Syndrome. He has been playing the piano since age two and was the subject of the 1997 CBS made for TV movie “Journey of the Heart” which was inspired by actual events in Tony’s life. The event at the church took place to a packed house on Nov. 9. To the amazement of the audience the grace and love of our Lord shined through the presence of Tony DeBlois as he expressed his love and devotion verbally and through his gift of music.
On the back page the November issue of the Orthodox Observer, the Metropolis of Chicago ofﬁce coordinator’s name was erroneously listed as part of the Metropolis of Denver feature.
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Holiday festivities 8. ROANOKE – Holy Trinity Church in Virginia’s Blue Ridge region has two festive celebrations during the holidays. The Philoptochos chapter held a holiday luncheon before Thanksgiving that was well attended, Fr. Peter Day said, and the parish will hold its second annual family celebration on the fourth night after Christmas. Parishioners will gather to read psalms, recite poems and enjoy a pot luck supper. “Each person brings a song, story or poem to share with everyone else,” he said. Striving for Stewardship 9. STROUDSBURG – Holy Cross Church in this small eastern Pennsylvania town along the Delaware River places great emphasis on stewardship. Fr. Theodore Petrides said the various programs and projects of the parish were organized into 10 categories that are considered stewardship ministries. Parishioners were asked to register on a sign-up sheet to serve in one of the categories of stewardship. “We are encouraging parishioners to do more; the more we’re receiving from Christ, the more we’re committed to the goal of building the Body of Christ,” he said. “Care–ing” for collegians 10. NEW LONDON – With the new academic year in full swing, St. Sophia parish has been sending care packages to college students from this southeastern Connecticut community. Fr. Dean Panagos said the 36 care packages sent recently contained gift cards to various restaurants, brownies, popcorn for popping, other food products, pens and a card from the Philoptochos chapter. The packages are sent over Thanksgiving, Christmas and in the spring, when religious materials for Lent are included.
Photos courtesy of Fr. Nicholas Soteropoulos
(Top) Retired priests with Archbishop Demetrios at the end of the hierarchal Divine liturgy. (Above) The Archbishop, Joel McEachen and Fr. Nicholas C. Soteropoulos award Fr. Constantine Raptis the RCA’s 50-plus Year Certificate and Pin.
Retired Clergy Hold 25th Anniversary Reunion FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Archdiocese Retired Clergy Association (RCA) celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding with a weekend of activities centered at St. Demetrios Church, Nov. 16–17. More than 40 priests attended, along with other retirees and presbyteres who live in South Florida. Archbishop Demetrios, presided at a great vespers service and at the hierarchical Divine Liturgy with RCA board members participating. His Eminence spoke about dedication and service to the Church of our retired clergy and elevated Fr. Joel McEachen, president of the RCA, to the rank of Protopresbyter. At a luncheon, Leadership 100 Executive Director Paulette Poulos spoke about the organization’s support of the RCA. Other speakers included Evangeline Scurtis of the National Philoptochos; Dr. Cary
Limberakis, representing the Archons; and Fr. Nicholas Anctil, Archdiocese Presbyters’ Council president. The RCA was founded in South Florida by such active priests as Frs. John C. Zanetos, Demosthenes Mekras, Emmanual Bouyoucas, Dean Timothy Andrews and George Papadeas who in 1988 felt that retired clergy should have an organization to keep in touch and communicate with each other, and to encourage and enable retired priests to continue to serve their church. Fr. Nicholas Vieron soon accepted the position of editor of the EPISTLE newsletter which he held for 17 years. The EPISTLE continues monthly publication to this day and is sent to retired priests, widowed presbyteres, and supporters of the RCA with news, photos, and helpful advice for retirees, especially Medicare and health news.
Direct Archdiocesan District Church Musicians Hold 29th Annual Conference u u from page 25 dral, Eleftheria Brewster and Sophia Niarchos of Holy Resurrection chanted at the Orthros with Archangel Michael’s Protopsaltis Andreas Modinos and Dr. Efstratios Demertzis, former protopsaltis at St. Paul’s. He was the first-elected president of the Federation. Following the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Strouzas, Fr. Nikolas and Mrs. Dounelis presented awards and certificates to the following: ‘Choir Member 60 Years of Service’ to Joanna Rigas of Assumption, Port Jefferson, 60 Years’ Service Award; to Helga Gajdjis of Sts Catherine & George, Astoria; ‘Choir Member of the Year 20122013’ ‘Choir Director 25 Years of Service’ to Georgia Kaufman of Archangel Michael, Port Washington, ‘Federation Scholarship for 2013’ to Maria Zoulis of Holy Trinity, New Rochelle, NY; ‘Patriarch Athenagoras I Medallion’ for Distinguished Metropolis Service to Nicholas Pappas of Archangel Michael, Port Washington, and ‘The Archbishop Iakovos Distinguished Service
Award’ to Constantine Gajdjis, in recognition of his 50+ years as choir director/ organist at Sts. Catherine & George, Astoria, N.Y.. A group photo taken with Fr. Dennis, Fr. Nikolas, Federation Officers: President Anna Dounelis, Vice President Vasso Patrikis, Treasurer Irini Kapareliotis, Recording Secretary Fay Pavlidis, Corresponding Secretary Peggy Stilianos, Youth Music Liaison Georgia Kaufman, and the Conference choir was followed by a delightful reception provided by the Philoptochos. Each annual conference offers church musicians from across our metropolis opportunities for fellowship, fun and learning where they renew old friendships and make new friends. Everyone returns to his or her parish with a renewed commitment and enthusiasm to serve the Lord. Days after the conference, one choir member’s comment spoke volumes, ...”I am still basking in the glow of this year’s annual conference and looking forward to next year.”
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Challenge What Will Be Your ‘Damascus’ Moment?
by Eva Kokinos-Konstantakos
Who are you? If someone were to pose that question to you right now, what would you say? Your description might sound like something you would put on your Facebook profile. “I’m fun, smart, hardworking, I’m athletic.” We might identify ourselves by our appearance, our occupation, even by the music we listen to or the sports team we align with. However, these things simply scratch the surface. For most of us, it takes a defining moment to really bring out the true nature of who we are… to truly show “what we are made of.” Some families show great faith and strength of character when they struggle with the loss of a loved one. Others stand strong for each other when a family member loses their job. And individuals become true examples of hope, grace, and strength as we watch them battle a life-threatening disease. In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear about the genealogy of Christ. It offers us a glimpse into who Jesus Christ is. He comes from generations upon generations of descendants. Of course, we know that our Lord and Savior is of the Father, conceived in the blessed Theotokos of the Holy Spirit. As we look at the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we see the defining moments that revealed His true nature… being both God and man. Through the Scriptures, we know that Christ performed many miracles, we know ‘Shine within my heart, loving Master, the pure light of Your divine knowledge, and open the eyes of my mind that I may understand Your teachings. Instill in me also reverence for Your blessed commandments, so that having conquered sinful desires I may pursue a spiritual way of life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You. For You, Christ my God, are my light, and to You I give glory, together with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen’ (Prayer for Enlightenment) On November 27, 2013, we were able to witness a part of Christian history as two
Did You Know? The Y2AM Department’s successful new YouTube series, “Be the Bee” is now a joint production of Ancient Faith Radio and the GOARCH Department of Youth and Young Adult ministries. So, you can now check it out in two places. 1) The Y2AM YouTube Channel (Search: Y2AM) 2) Ancient Faith Radio : www.ancientfaith.com/video/bethebee
that Christ was transfigured on the mount. Ultimately, we know that Jesus is Christ the Savior because He, the little babe that was born in a manger to Joseph and the blessed Virgin Mary, conquered death by death through His glorious Resurrection. We have other incredible examples of individuals in our Orthodox Christian tradition had defining moments to reveal who they were. The Panagia was a very young woman who was called to make a major decision at a tender age… the age of some GOYA members! When the Archangel Gabriel proclaimed that she had been chosen to be the bearer of God, the Virgin Mary could have said ‘No.’ But in that defining moment, she
recognized who she was and what she was meant to do. In the Gospel of Luke, she responds to the Archangel Gabriel saying, “Behold, I am the handmaiden of God… let it be to me according to your word.” The Apostle Paul had one of the most memorable defining moments. Paul, before his conversion, was a persecutor of Christians. In the Book of Acts, we read that Paul heard a voice call to him on his journey to Damascus. On the road to Damascus, he heard the voice say “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” In that defining moment, Paul had to think about who he was and who he was meant to be. St. Paul changed from persecuting Christians to calling all people to Christ. So, brothers and sisters in Christ, we stand here less than week away from the glorious Nativity of our Lord. As we look up at the star, leading us to the manger where Jesus laid, we must consider who we are and what will be our defining moment. What will be the moment when we make it abundantly clear that we are, first and foremost, children of God and believers in Christ? Like St. Paul, we must have our Damascus moment. In fact, we must have this moment every single day! How do we have this Damascus moment each day? We must not wait for a voice to call out from the sky or for a challenge in life. Instead, we must wake up knowing that the day itself will provide us with many challenges and defining moments.
A New Year to #LiveOrthodoxy new saints were canonized (or recognized) in the Orthodox Church by the Sacred and Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate: St. Porphyrios of Kafsokalyvitis and St. Meletios of Rhodes. Most people think that sainthood is a thing of the past. But this blessed event in our Church’s history reminds us that holiness and sainthood is still attainable and still happening in the new millennium. We are quickly approaching the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. The approach of a New Year always causes us to reflect on our lives and what we can do to improve who we are. To draw inspiration from these two newlycanonized saints, let us reflect on ways we can #LiveOrthodoxy in 2014. We can all strive to grow closer to Christ. Here are a few ways to do this in the new year: • Live Orthodoxy through the Divine Liturgy: The Divine Liturgy is one of the best ways for us to truly experience God. It is in the Divine Liturgy that we receive the Holy Eucharist. Take the time to participate in the worship services surrounded by all of the Saints of the Church. “Participate” means more than just showing up. Participating in the Divine Liturgy means reading the prayers, responding to the petitions, singing along to the hymns, etc. • Live Orthodoxy through Prayer: One of the ways that Saints are role models for our spiritual lives is their commitment to prayer. It is through prayer that the Saints strengthened their communication with God, battled temptation, calmed their fears and worries, and helped them focus when the world tried to distract them. Prayer can do the same for us. It is essential to our spiritual lives, and is improved through practice!
• Live Orthodoxy through Each Other: The Saints were not fictitious characters. They were real people who lived among us. They had fathers, mothers, siblings, and friends. We can grow closer to God by showing love to Him through our interactions with our neighbor. Jesus Christ reminds us that “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)
We can use every day as an opportunity to live Orthodoxy and live up to our Christian title. We can be converted daily, meaning we must wake up and recalibrate our minds to constantly choose Christ. Your Damascus moment might mean that you choose to give to those who are less fortunate or give to the ministries of our churches. Remember that we are not to load ourselves with treasures on earth, but with the treasures in heaven. Your Damascus moment might mean you get to know someone instead of judging them or gossiping about them. Remember that God called us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Your Damascus moment might be really experiencing the Divine Liturgy, hearing the prayers, truly listening to the Epistle and the Gospel, and receiving the most precious Body and Blood of Christ. Remember that where two or three are gathered in His name, He is in the midst of them. So the challenge before us is to discover our daily Damascus moment. May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ open our hearts and minds as he converted Paul on his road to Damascus. May He help us to see who we are and give us the courage to act on our true calling… to be ambassadors of Christ so that the world might know Him! Eva Kokinos–Konstantakos serves as the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Metropolis of Detroit. She is a 2003 graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology. Let us commit to treating each other as if we are in the presence of a saint. Why is this # sign used before a word? Editor’s Note– On Twitter, the pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows someone to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. So it is a social media way to track/tie together discussion topics. #LiveOrthodoxy is Y2AM’s new way to tag things that exemplify topics, pictures, or discussion that inspires us to live Orthodoxy.
Orthodox Youth Worker & Camp Registration Now Open The 12th annual Orthodox Christian Camp and Youth Worker Conference provides an arena for Orthodox youth workers from different jurisdictions to share and provide resources. The conference will include keynote and guest speakers, educational presentations, breakout sessions and fellowship. All Orthodox parish and diocese youth workers, camp directors and staff, and OCF chaplains are invited to attend. Location: Antiochian Village – Bolivar, Pa., Conference Dates: Jan. 23-25, 2014, Conference Theme: “Writing Icons of the Kingdom”, Keynote Speaker: Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus – St. Vladimir’s Seminary. This year’s conference is being hosted by the Youth and Camping Ministry Departments of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. and the Ukranian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit the Orthodox Christian Camp Association website: http://orthodoxcamps.org/conference/ Early Bird Registration ends Jan.1.
FOR YOUTH WORKERS AND PARENTS
• Launched in November 2013, Discovering Orthodox Christianity is a series of talks, shows, and presentations designed to introduce and explain the basic teaching of Orthodox Christianity. Sponsored by the Leadership 100 Endowment Fund the series covers a wide range of topics, including Orthodoxy and Our Youth featuring Fr. Jason Roll (Archdiocese director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries! Check out this video and others by visiting http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/discovering • Show us how you #LiveOrthodoxy! Order one of our #LiveOrthodoxy t-shirts and take pictures at your youth/young adult events, retreats, outings, or simply your everyday activities. Snap with us on Instagram at @GOA_Youth and @GOA_YoungAdults. • Don’t forget to sign up for the YOUTH WORKER PULSE! This is the weekly listserv of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Subscribers will receive valuable tips, tools, and resources for creating a successful and transformative youth ministry experience. Sign up today at www.youth.goarch.org. CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
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A gift for all seasons
“A story that touches deeply.” * Nicholas Gage, Eleni, Dean of Greek American Literature Out of Arcadia: The American Odyssey of Angelo Vlahos, the sequel to award-winning Arcadia, My Arcadia (coveted Honorary Prize, Academy of Athens), is a heart-warming, stirring story that is at once a testament of faith and hope, the author’s personal hymn to our traditional values, and a message of inspiration for young and old no matter where they live. (Though each book can be read separately, the story is more fully appreciated if read as a set.)
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Each book is $25 plus $5 s/h (both as set only $40), payable to Nicholas D. Kokonis, P.O. Box 1155, Deerfield, IL 60015. A Greek edition of the first book (also $25) is available. (Fulfilling the author’s pledge, it can be sent to students graduating with honors from Modern Greek Study programs for only $5.) For more information, visit www.MyArcadiaBook.com
Prosphora: Teaching Transformation by Elissa Bjeletich
God became man so that man might become God. - St. Athanasius One of the most concrete and wonderful ways children can participate in the life of the Church is to bake the communion bread. Bread-making takes a little while, and it calls for patience, but while our hands are busy, we can teach our children about offering (“prosphora”) and transformation, and the ways in which God will change this bread, and will change us, for the better. Experienced prosphora bakers will tell you that the baker is transformed by the prosphora, that the effort opens us to God and invites Him to transform us. Indeed, the whole idea of transformation is quite central to bread baking. Prosphora always begins with just four ingredients: wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. Nothing else. Just looking at those ingredients, you know that a transformation must be coming, because this doesn’t look anything like bread. These four simple ingredients all come to us already dripping with meaning from the Scriptures. First, the wheat -- Christ has taught us to recognize that when wheat dies and is buried, it bursts forth from the ground with new life. Wheat is a symbol of resurrection and life. To that we add water, remembering how Christ sanctified the water when He was baptized in the Jordan, and how He explained to the Samaritan woman that the water He offers becomes a fountain of living water inside of us, springing up with everlasting life. Then we add salt, knowing that He called us “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13) because we are the preservers of His covenant and because as Christians we flavor the world—the entire world is made better—flavored by our presence in it. The fourth ingredient is yeast, which is often discussed in the Scriptures, as “leaven”. You may recall that Christ warned His disciples to “beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 6:16). He was talking about their doctrine, not their bread, saying that their bad teachings could spread, and like a tiny amount of yeast mixed into a bushel of flour, transform the whole thing. Having gathered our ingredients, we might remind the kids that during the Great Entrance, when the prosphora is offered, the priest calls out: “Thine
Orthodox Observer photos
own of Thine own we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all!” Let’s think about that. “Thine own of Thine own…” Where did we get this flour? God created wheat; He created all the plants. We take the seeds and we plant wheat in our fields, and we care for it. God gives us seeds and fertile soil, and He rains water and shines warm sunlight, and it grows. As farmers, we cooperate with God to create these beautiful crops, which feed and nourish us. We then offer a small amount back to Him“…we offer unto Thee, on behalf of all and for all.” We take this flour, this bounty of His harvest, and mix it with yeast and salt and water. The yeast is interesting. If you put flour and salt and water together, you’ll get a really tough dough, something you might use as clay to make Christmas ornaments or something, but you won’t get a nice soft bread. For that you’ll need live yeast. Unlike flour and water and salt, yeast is alive, and if you kill it, it won’t work. It begins cold and dormant, until you mix it into warm water to wake it up–but if the water’s too hot, you’ll kill it. Yeast is alive, like the breath of life that God blew into us to create us: with a breath, He transformed us from clay to living souls, and now the yeast will start blowing into our dough! It creates bubbles, transforming it from a mere ball of clay into a beautiful, fluffy loaf of bread. Now let’s talk about wine. How is wine made? Well, it’s not unlike bread. We farm these grapes, these gifts from God, and then we smash them up to make grape juice. Now what shall we add to make juice into wine? Once again, we add yeast, which triggers bubbly fermentation, blowing air and chemically transforming grape juice into wine. We take God’s simple gifts of wheat and grapes, and we inject our own creative energy, our yeast and our effort, and we transform them into bread and wine, and we take them into the Church. They’re not holy yet. They’re just the products of our kitchens, of our hands, but they are offered up in love. Now what will God do with them? Like we did, He receives our gifts and He adds His creative energy, and He
blesses them in His amazing way. With His mysterious energy, He transforms them into the very body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Finally, we receive the transformed Gifts, the Holy Mysteries, and what happens? They transform us! Through this beautiful Mystery, God changes us, sanctifying and improving us. Let’s show our kids this beautiful cycle of offering and transformation that ultimately transforms us. This is how we should live our lives. God gives us life and blesses us with communities and talents. When we take those gifts and invest our creative energy and offer them back to the Lord, He will transform them into something even greater, and offer them back to us. Our entire lives can be invested in this process of gratefully receiving and offering back to God, and we will be totally transformed. The real offering isn’t just the bread we bake; it is our own hearts and lives. In that same Divine Liturgy, we will pray, “Let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole lives unto Christ our God.” How do I offer everything to God? I can offer bread and wine, but how can I offer EVERYTHING? How do I offer myself? How do I find a way to leave nothing behind, to offer everything that I am, so that He can transform me? We have to look at ourselves and ask which parts of us do not love God. Sure, we’ll offer up our hearts to God, but also the part of us that prefers video games to prayers, we’ll offer that part up to God too, and the part that wants to make snide remarks about rude people, we’ll offer that up too. Let’s find every part of ourselves that shrinks into the shadows and hides from God, and let’s bring it out into the light and offer it up to Him, and present ourselves for transformation. Let’s find out what kind of transformation will happen for us when our prosphora, our offering, is our entire life. “Let us commend ourselves and one another…” We can offer more than ourselves: we can offer one another. What does that mean? We can offer the whole world up to God. Whenever we offer up intercessory prayers, asking that God take care of our
friends and family, we are offering up those people to God. When we read about a disaster or a war somewhere across the globe, and we prayerfully ask God to watch over and protect the people caught up in it, we are offering those people up to God. When we offer up our world to Him, we invite Him to transform it. As the dough rises and the yeast does its transformative work, ask the kids to write their lists of names for the priest. Who will we lift up, who will we offer to God’s care and keeping at this Divine Liturgy? May God bless us all as we enter into this beautiful process of offering and transformation, teaching our children to understand the profound beauty of the Orthodox life and the prosphora they offer. Elissa Bjeletich’s new book, In God’s Hands: A Mother’s Journey through Her Infant’s Critical Illness, is now available at store.ancientfaith. com. Elissa is the mother of five, and the Sunday School Director at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Austin, Texas. This article is adapted from her podcast “Raising Saints” on Ancient Faith Radio; the full episode is available online at ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ raisingsaints.
2 teaspoons dry yeast ½ cup warm water (warm to touch but not too hot to hold your finger in it) Mix yeast and sugar in warm water until completely dissolved. Let it sit and almost double in size (45–60 minutes). 1 ½ cups warm water 1 teaspoon salt 6 cups wheat flour Stir in remaining water, salt, and half of flour. Add remaining flour by hand until dough is firm. Knead until it is smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 2 balls and flatten in floured pans (no grease). Dip religious seal in flour, shake off excess flour, and press seal firmly in center of dough. Gently lift off seal, and let dough rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour. Prick the corners of the cross with a toothpick, so that the seal stays flat when it’s baked. (Otherwise, the bread may raise more and the seal won’t be clear.) Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until slightly golden. Wrap in clean cloth while cooling, so crust will soften. Prayer after the Prosphora is baked Dear Lord, this bread that I have baked represents each one in my family and in my parish. I am offering myself to You, my very life, in humble obedience and total commitment to You. I place myself on Your holy altar through this bread to be used by You in any way that You feel will help enlarge Your kingdom. Accept my gift and make me worthy to receive the greater gift that You will give me when You consecrate this bread and give it back to me as Your Precious Body. Amen – From Making God Real in the Orthodox Christian Home by Fr. Anthony Coniaris
The Metropolis of San Francisco Revisited by Kristen Bruskas
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco welcomes all people with joy, peace and love on their journey to theosis and salvation through churches that save, heal, preach the Gospel and guide the faithful. Every successful group, including churches, periodically assesses where it is, where it wants to be and how it will get there. With faith and love in Jesus Christ, the Metropolis of San Francisco accepted this challenge and embarked on the process of formulating a Strategic Plan during the summer of 2012. A committee of 50 clergy and lay leaders from throughout the diverse geography of the Metropolis participated in two in-depth planning retreats during which the core of the Strategic Plan was developed. The outcome has provided a cohesive and visionary road map to ensure that the Metropolis is proceeding methodically with its work, and that it is being proactive in developing meaningful programs and ministries for the spiritual, educational, and social edification of its faithful. Through a disciplined process, a detailed analysis was conducted of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of the Metropolis and reaffirmed the Mission of the Archdiocese and Metropolis which is to: • Proclaim the Gospel of Christ; • Teach and spread the Orthodox Christian Faith; and • Energize, cultivate, and guide the life of the Church in the United States of America according to the Orthodox Christian Faith and Tradition. The identification and articulation of the Core Values of the Metropolis were also integral to this process, as these guide the overall work of the Metropolis to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Core Values 1. Christ–centered 2. Active participation in sacramental life 3. Education 4. Integrity, transparency and accountability 5. Stewardship 6. Outreach and evangelism 7. Inclusiveness and engagement 8. Courage 9. Communications using all media 10. Minister to all generations and strengthen our families and relationships 11. Financial responsibility These Core Values then led to the development of a Vision Statement for the Metropolis, and after thorough and extensive analysis, prayerful reflection and consensus-driven discussions, the Strategic Planning Committee unanimously embraced the following “SWEEPing” Vision: Metropolis of San Francisco Vision We will grow the Greek
METROPOLIS STAFF Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco; Archimandrite Apostolos Koufallakis – Chancellor; Paul Gikas, director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries; Foula Vasilogiorgis, administrative assistant; Presbytera Aliki Kyriacou, assistant to the Metropolitan; Kristen Bruskas, director of Development and Administration.
It will also be the focus of the Metropolis Clergy-Laity Assemblies which will facilitate gatherings of the teams working on each Strategic Goal, and then sharing their reports with the delegates regarding their progress, successes and challenges. The Strategic Plan will be made available both in hard copy, as well as published on the Metropolis website so that it is a working resource for all our faithful to engage them in this process and encourage their active support and participation of this plan. Now the real work begins as the Metropolis prioritizes its efforts and works diligently to achieve the blueprint created by the Strategic Plan that provides an exciting road map to achieve its sacred destiny. There is no end to what we can achieve if we work together for God’s Glory and as faithful stewards of His Holy Orthodox Church.
Metropolis of S.F. Metropolitan Gerasimos
Orthodox Christian Church in the Western United States through Christcentered: Stewardship Worship Education Evangelism Philanthropic Outreach
Using the Core Values as a guide along with the detailed results of the SWOT analysis, the following 11 Task Forces were formed. Over the past year, they have developed detailed Strategic Objectives and Action Plans for the implementation of their respective areas: 1. Education 2. Liturgical Life 3. Missions and Evangelism 4. Philanthropic Outreach 5. Stewardship 6. Youth 7. Specialized Ministries – Wellness 8. Communications 9. Finances 10. Metropolis Organization and Development 11. Parish Organization and Development The Strategic Plan will become the basis for the work of the Metropolis Council and its committee infrastructure.
To access the map key for the communities in the graphic visit the Archdiocese website www.goarch.org. Then go to News, click on Observer and go to the September 2012 archived edition, page 36
of San Francisco Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco 245 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94103 415–753–3075 www.sanfran.goarch.org
METROPOLIS STAFF Chancellor: Archimandrite Apostolos Koufallakis Director of Development and Administration: Kristen Bruskas Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries: Paul Gikas Assistant to the Metropolitan and Bookkeeper: Presbytera Aliki Kyriacou Administrative Assistant: Foula Vasilogiorgis METROPOLIS VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP Metropolis Council Vice President: Theofanis Economidis Metropolis Philoptochos President: Jeannie Ranglas Christian Formation and Religious Education: Parakseve Tibbs, Ph.D. Church Music Federation: Elizabeth Levy Clergy Syndesmos: Rev. Constantine Pappademos Commission for Orthodox Missions and Evangelism: Fr. Theodore Dorrance Family Wellness Ministry: George Papageorge Folk Dance and Choral Festival: Fr. Gary Kyriacou Greek Education and Culture: Theodora Kounalakis Order of St. Andrew the Apostle: Theofanis Economidis, Archon Ekdikos Presvyteres Sisterhood: Presbytera Stacey Dorrance St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center: Michael A. Pappas Spiritual Renewal Ministries: Fr. Luke Palumbis