APRIL 2008 • Vol. 73 • No. 1238
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Holy Pascha: The Feast of Feasts For since death came through a human being, The resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; For as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. (I Corinthians 15:21-22) 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, Χριστός Ἀνέστη!, Christ is Risen! It is with love, joy, and gratitude to God that we greet one another in these days. With the triumphant hymn, “Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life” (Troparion of the Feast of Pascha), we declare the definitive victory over sin and death. As Orthodox Christians, we celebrate the Feast of Pascha each year with the belief and the knowledge that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ remains the most important event that has ever taken place in human history. Appropriately, our Orthodox Church refers to this event as the “Feast of Feasts.” The Resurrection of Jesus Christ presents us with an awesome and wondrous demonstration of the great power and eternal love of God for humankind. It is simultaneously an historic event that unfolded once in a specific time and location, yet its ramifications exceed the boundaries of time and continue to hold far-reaching, indeed cosmic levels of significance. By His death on the Cross for our salvation, His descent into Hades, and His resurrection, Jesus Christ has freed all of humanity from the bonds of sin and death, providing us all with a foretaste of eternal life in Him. In his First Epistle to the Corinthians,
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
White House Ceremony
D. PANAGOS photos
President Bush joins the Metropolitan Youth Choir of the Direct Archdiocesan District, under the direction of Maria Kolevas, and Archbishop Demetrios for a photo following their performance at the Greek Independence Day celebration in the East Room of the White House on March 25 (related story page 3). The President also shook hands with each member of the choir. (below) Greek Americans from around the country and several government officials attend the celebration of the 187th anniversary of Greek Independence and of Greek and American Democracy.
A PROCLAMATION: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy by the President of the United States of America
On Greek Independence Day, we recognize the important contributions Greek
Americans have made to our national character, celebrate the deep friendship between our two countries, and honor
the anniversary of the Greek call for independence. The United States and Greece share a close relationship based on our
common belief in the power of freedom. The ancient Athenians gave birth to the principles of democracy, and America's Founding Fathers were inspired by Greek ideals that honored and respected human dignity and rights. When the people of Greece claimed their independence in 1821, they had the strong support of the United States. Greek patriots risked their lives because they knew freedom and democracy were both their proud legacy and their ultimate destiny. Today, our nations remain allies in the cause of freedom and are working to lay the foundations of peace and spread the blessings of liberty around the world. In celebrating Greek Independence Day, we commemorate the heritage of freedom our countries hold dear, and we remember the Greek Americans whose strong spirit, resolve, and courage helped shape America. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH,
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President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 25, 2008, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second. GEORGE W. BUSH
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
President Bush Welcomes Archbishop for March 25th Event WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush welcomed Archbishop Demetrios and members of the Greek American community to the White House on March 25 for the celebration of the 187th Anniversary of Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy. Government officials and Greek Americans from throughout the United States attended the ceremony in the East Room of the White House. In his opening remarks, Archbishop Demetrios, noting that this was the eighth consecutive year President Bush has invited him to the White House for the celebration, said: “Please accept, Mr. President, our deep appreciation and thankfulness for personally handing over to us, the Greek American community, your noble declaration honoring the Great Hellenic Revolution of March 25, 1821…The heroes of 1821, of the war for the independence of Greece, were absolutely convinced that with the help of God they could determine the course of their own history and achieve what otherwise seemed impossible. “Their unshakable faith in God and their unwavering determination against a deplorable attitude of passive submission to any blind fate or inescapable chance were their most formidable weapons in a fight that, by normal human standards, seemed doomed to fail. “…Today, however, this very Greek Nation, in a number of sensitive issues, receives by some nations, treatment which is unjust by any standards. The issues of the reunification of Cyprus and of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are two characteristic examples of this. Therefore, speaking rather boldly on this solemn day, we express our firm conviction that you will certainly exercise your unique authority and leadership in order to facilitate a course of action that will treat sensitive issues related to Greece in a fair and dignified way. Greece is not seeking special favors or unreasonable deference.”
President Bush thanked Archbishop Demetrios for his suggestions, welcoming him again to the White House. The President also recognized the presence of the Greek Development Minister Christos Folias, the Ambassador of Greece to the United States Alexandros P. Mallias, the Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States Andreas Kakouris and former US Sen. Paul Sarbanes. The President further stated: “All free people stand on the shoulders of Greece. In the ancient world where political power usually came from the sword, the people of Athens came together around a radical and untried idea that men were fit to govern themselves. It was this freedom that allowed them to create one of the most vibrant societies in history. And that society deeply influenced America’s founding fathers when they sought to establish a free state centuries later. Throughout their history,” he continued, “the people of Greece have been committed to liberty. They’ve also been committed to the important principle that liberty only survives when brave men and women are ready to come to its defense. In the years leading up to Greece’s war for independence, one of the rallying cries of the Greek people was that it was better to be free for an hour than to be a slave for 40 years. Those are the kind of folks who had their priorities straight.”
Archbishop Demetrios was interviewed on March 26 by David Ushery, anchor/reporter for the local NBC affiliate in New York, WNBC, for a news program that aired before the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States in mid-April. His Eminence has been invited to a Mass at RFKStadium in Washington on April 17 and to a meeting of ecumenical leaders with the Pope in New York on April 18. Pope Benedict will celebrate a Mass at Yankee Stadium on April 20.
Andrew Manatos Named Clergy-Laity Congress Chairman Archbishop Demetrios has named Andrew Manatos of Bethesda, Md., as chairman of the 39th Biennial Clergy Laity Congress slated for July 13-18 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington. The Clergy Laity Congress is the highest legislative body of the Archdiocese and convenes biennially with close to 2,000 delegates representing Greek Orthodox parishes across the United States. President of Manatos & Manatos Inc., a public policy company in Washington, Mr. Manatos serves on the Archdiocesan Council and has been an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for more than 20 years, serving currently as regional commander. A former assistant secretary of commerce in the Carter Administration, he
serves on the board of several Hellenic organizations, including the Hellenic-America Heritage Council and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes. “Mr. Manatos and the Manatos family represent a significant presence in our nation’s capital and have been very helpful to Orthodoxy and Hellenism worldwide,” said Archbishop Demetrios. “I am thankful that he has accepted the task of becoming the chairman of our 39th Biennial Clergy Laity Congress this summer in Washington, D.C.” Information regarding details of the Clergy-Laity Congress is now available at www.clergylaity.org in the coming weeks.
Archbishop Designates May 18 AHEPA Sunday 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, It is in the joy of the Risen Lord and the light of His glorious Resurrection that I greet you for our annual observance of AHEPA Sunday and the recognition of the good work and efforts of the members of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. This prominent organization has promoted education, civic responsibility and philanthropy since its founding in 1922, and it is fitting that we show our honor and support for the AHEPA Following the remarks by President Bush and Archbishop Demetrios the Metropolitan Youth Choir of the Direct Archdiocesan District, under the direction of Maria Kolevas, performed two songs for the President, the Archbishop and the invited guests, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and a popular Greek song. All the guests were moved as the President personally thanked each child. Earlier in the morning, Archbishop Demetrios celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation and Doxology for Greek Independence Day at St. Sophia Cathedral in Washington.
on this day in our liturgical calendar, the Sunday of the Paralytic. In the reading of the Holy Gospel of this Sunday, we hear the story of a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When our Lord saw him, He had compassion upon him and immediately responded to his infirmity, offering him healing and salvation. It is in this spirit of compassion for the needs of others and of respect for life and well-being that AHEPA continues its work in so many critical areas. From scholarships and awards for excellence, to the promotion of Hellenic ideals in modern society, to raising funds and implementing programs for disaster relief, preservation projects, and medical needs, the members and organizations of the AHEPA Family are committed to the example of Christ and His divine mandate to “love your neighbor” and apply it in practical ways. Therefore, in recognition of the work of the AHEPA, I am pleased to designate Sunday, May 18, 2008, as this year’s AHEPA Sunday. I kindly ask that you offer your prayers and your support for the local chapters of the AHEPA in your communities, and for the national organization. Together may we emulate our Risen Lord and His ministry to those in need, and may our love for God and for one another bring salvation and life to all. With paternal love in Christ,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress Theme NEW YORK - Clergy/Laity Congress preparations are well underway and the biennial event will focus on and develop the theme “Gather My People to My Home.” The theme is based on a number of biblical references, primary among which is the verse from the book of Deuteronomy 4:10 Gather the people to me, and let them hear my words, (15:18), on the parable of the Great Banquet (Lk. 14:23), on the parable of the Lost Sheep (Mt. 18:12), as well as on the parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk. 15:18) The 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress and National Philoptochos Convention will be held July 13-18 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The National Young Adult League Conference will be held in conjunction with the Congress from July 11-13. Also meeting during the Congress will be the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council, National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, Retired Greek Orthodox Clergy of America, the National Forum of Church Musicians, Leadership 100 and the Order of St. Andrew. In reflecting on the theme of the Congress, Archbishop Demetrios, said: “This Congress comes at a very critical time. People, families and communities throughout this country and the world are facing serious challenges and struggles and are in need of love and ministry. We will gather in Washington to renew our commitment as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as Orthodox Christians, and as parishes to go out to all of those in need and lead them home” “First, by using the words ‘My People,’” he continued, “the theme of the Congress recognizes the value of each and every person, created in the image and likeness of God for eternal life and communion with Him. Second, it acknowledges that many people are struggling and are seeking a spiritual home where they can find true peace and hope, and where they can experience an illuminating and transforming faith that offers them the absolute truth and the loving presence of God. Third, this theme is an affirmation of our calling to find the lost sheep, to bring home the unchurched, to help others renew the bonds of faith, to strengthen the unity of the family, to proclaim the necessity of the Gospel to new generations, and to guide all into the spiritual haven of the Church, into the blessings of worship and faith that offer to each and every person a foretaste of our eternal home with God.” The Clergy-Laity Congress is convened biennially and is concerned with all matters, other than doctrinal or canonical, affecting the life, growth and unity of the Church, her institutions, her finances, her administration, educational and philanthropic concerns and her growing role in the religious life of the nation. Congress details are available at www.clergylaity.org in the coming weeks.
OCF Students Renovate Historic Church on First Pilgrimage by Chip Southworth
OCF Real Break participants with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and local faithful.
REFLECTIONS on ‘Real Break’ by Justin Du Bruille
This spring break changed my life. I went on a Real Break trip to Constantinople, one of several destinations selected for mission work by Orthodox Christian Fellowship. When I told my college friends about my plans they were baffled. The entire idea of a mission trip was beyond them. A large group of my friends went to Acapulco, where they spent their time lying by the pool and drinking. When my friends came back, they were different— their skin was tan, and their hair had highlights from the sun. But when I came back I was changed too. My transformation was more than skin deep and will last much longer than a sun tan. My life goals have changed. My perspective on Orthodoxy is renewed. Each year, the Turkish government seeks to condemn and/or confiscate Orthodox properties in Constantinople. One particular church was in such danger. Our mission was to renovate and refurbish that church, claiming it for the glory of God. When we arrived the building was in a horrible state of disrepair. But our group worked tirelessly. Despite the 10-hour time difference, our trip leaders had to drag us away from our work at the site. It was clear that we all felt the significance of our mission. But the impact of our trip was never more apparent than when Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew paid us an impromptu visit. He stopped by our work site to encourage our group and to show his appreciation.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits with the students at the site of their renovation project in the courtyard of Our Lady of the Heavens Church.
Painting the cross – Kat Addy of Louisville, Ky., applies gold paint to the cross of the lectern in the church.
ISTANBUL, Turkey – A team of Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) students led by Bishop Savas of Troas traveled to the Ecumenical Patriarchate during their spring break to renovate a historic church and to learn first-hand of the existing struggle for religious freedom of Orthodox Christians there. The trip was planned in cooperation with The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who funded the equipment and supplies used in the renovation. A historic trip in every respect, OCF students gave up their spring break vacations to answer a higher calling of service, sacrifice, and compassion. OCF Board Chairman Fr. Mark Leondis said of the experience, “I’m grateful to be associated with such an energetic and selfless group of students. The fruit of their work was immediately evident and are indicative of the great things we can expect from their generation.” This team included 14 students (from various colleges and Orthodox Churches in the United States), Fr. Leondis, and OCF Executive Director Fr. Kevin Scherer. The group spent the week renovating the Church of The Dormition of the Theotokos, “I Kyria ton Ouranon” (“Our Lady of the Heavens”) in the Salmatombruk district of the city. This church was built in 1757 and was once the center of a prosperous community of Greek Constantinopolitans. Bishop Savas said it was “the first and, hopefully, not the last restoration of a house of worship” by the OCF. In recent decades, the parish has fallen into disuse, with only occasional visitors, and guarded by a single custodian, Mr. Vasilios, the former parish president, who lives in a very humble dwelling just inside the church gates. The church itself, a tall, yet simple, post-Byzantine style structure, was in a state of significant disrepair with evident signs of vandalism. The exterior was unkempt, over-grown with thorns and thicket making navigation from the gates difficult. The interior was covered with decades of dust, soiled carpets, peeling paint, and dry weathered wood. Nearly everything inside was crafted of wood and in evident need of restoration. Everything that had been gilded with gold was tarnished and filthy. Many of the icons had been defaced, the eyes and hands being gouged or burnt; most showed years of soot and decay. OCF’s renovation took place the first week of Great Lent, in anticipation of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, when the Church celebrates the restoration of the Holy Icons. The students’ first full day in Constantinople was Clean Monday, and there was an abundance of services. Throughout the day, busloads of pilgrims from
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Patriarchal PROCLAMATION On THE HOLY Pascha í Bartholomew
By the MERCY of God, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch To the PLENTITUDE of the Church Grace, Peace, and Mercy From CLORIOUSLY RIseN SAVIOR CHRIST Getting there – the interior of the church shows marked improvement thanks to the efforts of the OCF team.
OCF Students Renovate Historic Church on First Pilgrimage page 4 Greece poured in and out of the Patriarchal Church of St. George. The students, who were housed a few hundred yards from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, changed from work clothes to church clothes several times a day to attend as many services as possible. Under the direction of Bishop Dionysius of Synadon, in whose diocese the church lies, and Meltem Sophia Gikas (a professional restorer), the students cleared the grounds of clutter and debris, pruned bushes and trees, stained and varnished woodwork, re-gilded the Royal Doors and hundreds of pieces of ornate woodwork, painted the apse of the Holy Altar, and cleaned and polished the silverclad icons throughout the church. By the close of the first day, the transformation was already evident. Bishop Dionysios and Fr. Stylianos Zografides, one of two priests serving 12 diocesan parishes in rotation, came to the parish early on Tuesday and were visibly moved by the progress. The remaining restoration work took place Tuesday and Wednesday and included repairs to the iconostasis, replacing light fixtures and vigil lamps, patching and repairing holes and cracks in the walls and floor, and scrubbing the marble floors. Wednesday morning brought a surprise. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew made an unannouced visit to the church to see the students at work. His All Holiness also brought the students light snacks for the day and some traditional Turkish confections, stating: “they have eaten little but worked hard.” Wednesday evening Bishop Savas led a powerful discussion on religious freedom, and the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Thursday, His All Holiness received the students at the Patriarchate. To the surprise and joy of all, the Patriarch announced to the group that he would be visiting the newly renovated parish on the second Sunday of Lent and that it would be returned to active liturgical use. The students presented His All Holiness with the newly published Orthodox Study Bible, and a “green gift” for the “Green Patriarch” – an OCF Real Break shirt made of fair trade, unbleached organic cotton printed with soy and water based inks. His All Holiness closed by blessing each of the students, presenting them with small gold crosses. Following the audience with the Patriarch, he invited the students to the historic Greek High School of the Phanar, The Great School of the Nations, where all were treated to a luncheon with the student body; all of which was made possible by Archon Michael Jaharis. The school has been in continuous operation since the 1400s and is the oldest school in the city. Its current enrollment is 54 students, down from 500 in 1970. At the lunch, His All Holiness addressed the student body and guests, and held up OCF as a shining example, explaining: “They could have vacationed in Florida or California, but came here to give themselves to a suffering community. They come from all over America, Antiochian, Greek, Russian, and converts, but that doesn’t matter, because there is only ONE Orthodoxy… These students have come as one; we are all part of the One.” After lunch the OCF students challenged the high school students in a game of volleyball and lost miserably. Despite the language barrier, there was a very evident spirit of respect and camaraderie.
Dearly beloved Brethren and Children in the Lord, “Behold, the winter has passed!” 1 “Arisen is the spring” of salvation; “flowers appear across the land, the sound of the turtle-dove is heard, … the vines are in bloom and give forth their fragrance”. 2 A sacred Pascha – great and holy – has arisen; and it warms, lights and makes radiant the world. “Now all things are filled with light, both heaven and earth and the nethermost regions of the earth.” 3 CHRIST IS RISEN! Our God, Who is beyond all suffering and is Immortal, Who is the comely Bridegroom of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our Firstborn Brother and Dearest Friend – “He is risen from the dead, having trampled down death by death” – three days after He cried out from the crest of the Cross: “It is consummated!” 4 “Hades was embittered when it encountered” 5 Him, because Christ destroyed his lordship. As God, He rightly emptied out his chambers of darkness, freely bestowing life on those He found in the tombs. But not only this; to all those who believe in Him from then until the consummation of the age – indeed to all those who live in Him and hold fast their faith and confession in Him until the end, the Lord grants everlasting life and a sure resurrection. Christ, “Who has girded His loins with righteousness and clothed his sides with truth,” 6 is Risen from the Tomb. “As the One Who loves mankind, He has raised up Adam, the father of us all.” 7 Behold then, dearly beloved brethren and children, the crown of our Great Feast and the atmosphere of springtime; in the midst of its first bloom the Church announces the Good News to the Universe. The heavy winter of death has passed away! The icy tyranny of the devil and his domination have been overcome. The frightful reign of darkness and perdition has been undone. “The Lord is King, He has girded Himself with majesty!” 8 We behold Jesus Who, of His own free will, out of his unconditional love, suffered on the Cross, died and was buried for our sake and for our salvation. We have just now worshipped Him Risen from the dead, and together with the Apostles and the Myrrh-Bearers we have heard from his holy mouth the words: “Peace be unto you!” 9 and “Rejoice!” 10 – and our hearts are filled with joy. Indeed, “no one will take our joy from us,” 11 because more than even our own, the personal death of every single human being has been mightily abolished. This is why we, who have crucified the carnal mindset of the old person “together with the passions and lusts,” 12 and “who have died with Christ: this is the reason we believe that we [shall] live with Him.” 13 For as “we have been buried” with Christ “through Baptism,” 14 we have become “planted with Him,” that is, we have become partakers of His Resurrection. 15 St. Gregory the Theologian trumpets this truth with the highest rhetorical skill when he says: “Yesterday I was crucified with You, O Christ; today I abound with glory. Yesterday I died with You; today I am filled with life. Yesterday I was buried with You; today I arise with You.” 16 That which has plagued us from ages past has once and for all been resolved by the Risen Lord. Our agony is over. “Christ is Risen, and life can truly be lived!” 17 From now on, Life and our Resurrection are not things to be sought for – not dreams, neither a utopia. From here on, Life is, and the Resurrection is: concrete, tangible reality. A reality that has a specific face and name: “a name above every name” – Jesus Christ – before Whom “every knee shall bow – whether in Heaven or on earth or under the earth,” 18 and every tongue shall confess that He alone is LifeGiver and Lord. He is the One Who lives and reigns forever. He is the One Who by His ever-favorable will distributes His Kingdom, His glory and His inheritance from His Father, to all who share in His Cross, His death and His Resurrection, as “He is the Firstborn to many brethren.” 19 Him do we beseech, from our Martyric Patriarchal and Ecumenical See, that He grace the world with peace; that He illumine the souls of men with truth and righteousness; that He bestow patience and encouragement on those who face adversity; and that He grant the taste of salvation and life eternal to all believers. Unto Him, Who is the Conqueror of Death and the Prince of Life, be the glory, dominion, honor and worship, together with Father and the Holy Spirit, unto the ages. Amen.
Holy Pascha, A.D. 2008
Your fervent intercessor before the Risen Christ
í Bartholomew of Constantinople
Patriarch Bartholomew discusses the progress on the church with Fr. Mark Leondis, OCF board chairman. Also present are Bishop Savas and other OCF officials and team members.
 Song of Songs 2:11  Song of Songs 2:12-13  Canon of Pascha  St. John 19:30  Isaiah 14:9  Isaiah 11:5  Service of the Resurrection  Psalm 92:1  St. John 20:20  St. Matthew 28:9
 Cf. St. John16:22  Galatians 5:24  Romans 6:8  Romans 6:4  Romans 6:5  Homily on Holy Pascha  Catechetical Homily of St. John Chrysostom  Philippians 2:9  Romans 8:29
Sunday of Orthodoxy
IN DALLAS Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver joined Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas, and Bishop Basil of Wichita, Kans., representing, respectively, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Orthodox Church in America, and the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The three hierarchs concelebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great for the Sunday of Orthodoxy at the OCA St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas, Texas. Bishop Basil delivered the homily during the Liturgy, at the invitation of Archbishop Dmitri.
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AT MOORESVILLE/CHARLOTTE, N.C. Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta celebrated a morning Divine Liturgy at St. Luke Church in Mooresville, N.C on March 16, the Sunday of Orthodoxy. He is shown with Fr. Gregory Waynick and children of the parish carrying their icons. That evening, Holy Trinity Cathedral in Charlotte served as the location where Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta celebrated his first Pan Orthodox Sunday of Orthodoxy service at the parish. He encouraged the Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood to annually sponsor the Sunday of Orthodoxy and commended the initiative while he expressed his gratitude to the faithful for participating. He emphasized the need to communicate and support one another as the Orthodox family in Charlotte.
LOS ANGELES Four Orthodox hierarchs (from left) Bishop Maxim (Serbian), Bishop Joseph (Antiochian), Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), and Bishop Benjamin (OCA), with Archons of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle after the Procession of Icons on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles.
The Voice of
Philoptochos Partners with IOCC Outreaches President’s Letter PASCHA 2008 to Ethiopia and Zimbabwe IOCC became part of the National Philoptochos Commitments program in 2001 and is now supported by the 475 Philoptochos Chapters in the month of April. The International Orthodox Christian Charities is the Orthodox humanitarian organization under the mantel of SCOBA that works in cooperation with the local Orthodox Church in each country to bring emergency and development aid. National Philoptochos President Georgia Skeadas informed the chapters of a video produced by IOCC that highlights the joint endeavors in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. She states, “The film depicts the progress made in providing a health clinic that will give critical access to healthcare for 37,000 people in Woliso, Ethiopia in partnership with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The video shows the delivery of wheelchairs and mobility devices to disabled children and adults in Zimbabwe, which has the lowest life-expectancy in the world and the highest rate of inflation. The images of smiling people giving thanks and singing despite their disabilities and poverty, is a moving testament to the impact of our partnership with IOCC.” “The Philoptochos is especially proud of its support of IOCC’s fight against poverty, disease, hunger, and natural disasters, as well as the most recent vital assistance to fire-ravaged Greece. In the last seven years, we have supported many of its targeted programs worldwide, totaling over $392,000 in donations,” Mrs. Skeadas said. The following are the programs and projects in which Philoptochos has partnered with IOCC: 2002 $30,000 General Donation 2003 $25,000 for Russian Orthodox Orphanages in Moscow $10,000 for the philanthropic and humanitarian needs of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of South America 2004 $20,000 for IOCC’s programs in the West Bank of Jerusalem, which serve women, girls and other vulnerable people suffering from unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, lack of opportunity and restriction of movement. $20,000 for IOCC programs in the Republic of Georgia, which assisted farmers and other entrepreneurs to develop and expand their business and to continue its school nutrition, education and repair program. 2005 $61,438 in funding to provide immediate assistance for the victims of the Asian earthquake and Tsunami catastrophes. $50,000 to help provide emergency relief for Hurricane Katrina survivors in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas $35,000 for construction of a children’s medical clinic in Woliso, Ethiopia, where responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis is of the highest priority $22,400 for our joint endeavor with the Wheelchair Foundation, which provided 280 wheelchairs and a vocational training program for disabled children in the Republic of Georgia
Dear Chapter Presidents and Members,
2006 $45,000 General Donation $11,251 additional donation for the Woliso Children’s medical clinic $751 additional donation for the Wheelchair project $200 additional donation for the Asian disaster relief 2007 $15,000 General Donation $16,000 for the transportation from the USA to Zimbabwe of pediatric wheelchairs, mobility devices and other durable medical equipment for over 200 children $30,000 to IOCC for its work with the Parktown Medical Clinic in the Archdiocese
of Zimbabwe to serve children. President Skeadas concluded, “The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society is extremely proud of the accomplishments of the numerous philanthropic programs of IOCC and its steadfast commitment to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Through the great generosity of the Philoptochos chapters, the Philoptochos Society is honored and privileged to be able to support many of these timely programs, and we look forward to working together in future endeavors with IOCC, to further our shared vision of philanthropy through the Church, to enhance our philanthropic mission.”
National Membership Committee Develops “Top Ten Ways to Improve Membership” The National Philoptochos Membership Committee, under the chairmanship of Marie Tzagournis, has designed a very useful pamphlet for chapter presidents and chapter membership committees to assist as chapters examine new and innovative strategies to increase membership and engage more women in the philanthropic work of the Ladies Philoptochos Society. This most informative pamphlet, “Top 10 Ways to Improve Membership” is just the beginning of what Chapters can do to create a more fruitful, Christian spirit within the membership audience. The Ten Tips include: 1) Create good will through public relations 2) Encourage new members to join by showing them what they have to gain by becoming a member 3) Sponsor mother-daughter or Daughter-in-Law events 4) Organize exciting excursions for members such as theatre trips, sightsee-
ing tours or concerts 5) Make the first general meeting of the year a unique experience 6) Promote the importance of how the existing membership can use their experience to mentor someone new who will be working on one of your programs for the first time 7) Explore the possibility of working together with other groups within your community on a cooperative project, such as creating gift baskets for women’s shelters, quilts for cancer patients, or gathering recipes for a cookbook 8) Vary the times and places for your Board and General meetings to bring new life to something that has become predictable 9) Offer a free membership to a computer-savvy parishioner who can create more powerful flyers for your events 10) Report the successful outcome of your efforts to your community. These and many other ideas will be discussed at the National Philoptochos Convention July 13–17, in Washington.
The period of Lent is called the “spiritual spring which blossoms with the fruits of the Spirit… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” This Lenten season offers us the opportunity for renewal, reflection, introspection, special prayer and philanthropic actions. It is a journey whose actions result in a thoughtful evaluation of ourselves, and it becomes a time to renew our Christian identity as people of compassion. It is a time that we need to intensify our dedication to the mission of Philoptochos and our commitment to philanthropy. It is through our acts of charity, our dedication to philanthropy and an intensified commitment in this regard that we begin to approach the objective of loving God and one another. The act of appreciating more fully God’s love also enables us to respond accordingly with acts of love and philanthropia towards all people. We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. I feel that we are privileged to be the vehicles that express this special love for all humanity. God has made us with unique combinations of personality traits, abilities and talents, and He has blessed us with a glorious abundance of spiritual gifts. Manage these beautiful spiritual gifts and talents well, so that God’s generosity can flow through you, as we use them to effectively serve Philoptochos and our mission, for the benefit all humanity. Our goal, as Philoptochos members, is to make a positive difference in the world, to touch people’s hearts, to create joy and to inspire those around us. Within each of us is the capacity to express love, to show compassion, to share a special moment and to make a difference. When you open your heart, you add light to the world. I encourage each of you to take the time and to make the effort to examine your inner self and to explore the virtues and the benefits of joy, hope, compassion, generosity, patience and love, which tend to be much stronger and much more in the forefront of our thoughts at this most special time of the year, this very holy and sacred journey of Great Lent, into Pascha, the true Festival of Festivals, the Feast of complete joy, hope, reawakening and eternal life. May the divine light of our resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ always fill your hearts with His peace, grace and joy. Kali Anastasi! With love in Christ, Georgia Skeadas National Philoptochos President
May the Love, Peace and Joy of the Resurrection live in our hearts now and forever more.
Christos Anesti! Stephen G. Yeonas, Chairman Constantine G. Caras, Vice Chairman, Mark D. Stavropoulos, Secertary George E. SaďŹ ol, Treasurer Paulette Poulos, Executive Director (Interim) Serving Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America
Three-Year Memorial Encyclical Upon the Falling Asleep in the Lord
of Archbishop Iakovos Former Archbishop of North and South America 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, On behalf of our Holy Eparchial Synod, I write to you on the third year anniversary of the passing away of our deeply beloved and respected Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America. Our memory of Archbishop Iakovos remains alive after three years since his falling asleep in the Lord. We remember him for his tireless efforts and intense passion for promoting the truth of the Gospel. He had been a visionary who championed civil liberties and the growth of Christian
Thoughts of Easter Editor Easter is one of my favorite religious holidays. Easter is the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord, and our God. Together as one, we all pray to God, have special prayers and services. We are reminded of the teachings that Jesus gave us. To love one another, to forgive, ask to be forgiven, to help one another, etc. (read all the words that Jesus said as stated within our Bible). Bottom line: believe in God, repent, and be a good person by following the teachings of Jesus as much as we can. Finally, we cannot also forget, sharing with our family and our friends, the lamb and trimmings on the day of Easter after agape services. From Christ’s resurrection, the Christian church grew. Unfortunately, for various religious and political reasons, the Christian church split again and again. There were numerous wars between Christian as well as with non-Christian religions. All fought each other, killed countless people just because they prayed differently, were born in the “wrong place,” or were just different. Both sides said that God was on their side and that they shall win the war. Finally today, we see that most Christian groups are trying to be friends with each other, just like Jesus wanted us to be 2,008 years ago. Some things take time. Maybe we can now say that “God is with us and we shall be friends with each other.” Remember that we can all be friends and still retain our Orthodox religion; we do not have to change in order to be friends with other people or religions. All we have to do is following the teachings of Jesus. Another wonderful thing on Easter is
unity, and a great ecclesiastical leader of our Church and Omogenia for decades. In honor of his life and in honor of his leadership to our Church and our Nation, all parishes of our Holy Archdiocese are hereby directed to conduct a memorial service at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, April 6, 2008. As we pray for the repose of the soul of our deeply beloved and respected Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory, let us keep him in our minds and hearts as a source of strength, particularly during this season of Holy Lent, and let us strive toward that standard of virtue that he set as a stalwart servant of Christ and His Holy Church. May his memory be eternal. With paternal love in Christ,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
that all the Orthodox Christians shall celebrate Easter together as one. Prior to the early 1920’s, all the Orthodox Christians celebrated on the same calendar together as one: Americans, Australians, English, Greeks, Romanians, Russians, Serbians, Ukrainians, and numerous other Orthodox Christians throughout the world. The sad thing today is that we Orthodox are also divided between the traditional old calendar church and the new calendar church. Why? Hopefully, our religious leaders on both sides will officially act whereas the Orthodox “lay people” can pray together all year long and do not have to face this sad division from each other throughout the remainder of the year. Happy Easter, Christos Anesti! God be with us all. Spyros Sipsas Moorpark, Calif.
Praises for architect Editor, I was delighted to read that one of the most celebrated architects of Byzantine Orthodox churches, Steven Papadatos, AIA, was given an award for Design Excellence for a chapel that will be part of a proposed 20-acre master plan for St, John the Divine Church of Jacksonville, Fla. His work reminds me of the great cathedral church Mr. Papadatos has designed for Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Albania. I am fascinated with this architect’s ability to present a modern-structured church, whether in Florida or Albania, which still keeps the traditional forms of Byzantine architecture so that the construction of these churches would be faithful to the Orthodox tradition reflecting the
Archpastoral Reflections Constant Renewal in Everyday Life As we continue our series of reflections on the topic of renewal, we encounter a specific area that is in certain need of constant renewal. This is the area of our everyday life, of the manner by which we lead our lives. Practically, this is the issue of what is called “lifestyle.” In this case a pertinent, two-fold question arises, “What is our lifestyle, and how can it be renewed?” Today, we are presented with many choices that we can make in terms of how we may lead our lives and
by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America define our lifestyle. In many respects, we are engulfed by social influences and socially constructed value systems that pressure us. For example, there are lifestyles centered around and determined by the desire to acquire, by all means, as much money and property as is possible, or even impossible. Here, greed is the dominant motivation behind this lifestyle. There are lifestyles characterized by the pursuit of personal power. Here, we concern ourselves with anything in terms of social position, physical condition, the usage of force and even violence, or any other element that contributes to the increase of power and dominion over others. These are the basic characteristics of lifestyles focused on acquiring control by force and power. There are also lifestyles oriented towards pleasure as the basic principle and supreme value for human beings. This lifestyle frequently involves acts of corruption, immorality, and, ultimately, a slavery to one’s senses and to their immediate and absolute satisfaction. In view of the above mentioned lifestyles, where do we stand? Is our lifestyle a mixture, to a certain degree, of lifestyles based on greed, power, and pleasure; with the addition of some Christian elements that, when all is considered, cannot constitute determining values that guide our lives? This is a question worth serious consideration. In addressing this and other related questions pertaining to lifestyle, it is essential to stress that the model lifestyle for us to emulate as Orthodox Christians is offered by Jesus Christ, the Apostles, the Saints, and the Martyrs. Upon closer examination, the Christian lifestyle is characterized by three central characteristics. The first of these characteristics is a deep and genuine love for God. This is manifested by freely submitting to following the will of God. It is also exhibited through the genuine worship of God. The second of these characteristics is a profound love for our fellow human beings. This is demonstrated by the rendering of assistance to those who are in need and by recognizing the importance of promoting peaceful relationships among others. A third characteristic of the Christian lifestyle is the projection of the Truth of God. This is done through a genuine witness to the Holy Gospel through the vocal proclamation of God’s Word, and through the inclusion of the message of the Gospel in everyday conversations with others. The adoption of the Christian lifestyle is by no means an easy task, due to the various societal influences and pressures previously mentioned. As difficult as it may be to live an authentic Christian lifestyle, however, we may take great comfort in knowing that we are always assisted by the grace of God, by the sacraments of the Church, and by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit as we strive to be more and more like Christ, His Apostles, the Saints, and the Martyrs. Finally, the development of a truly Orthodox Christian lifestyle is never a task that is complete; rather, it is an ongoing metamorphosis of mind that requires our state of being in constant renewal. Here, the words of St. Paul to the Romans continue to speak with striking relevance to the realities of our contemporary society, and they artfully serve as a fitting conclusion to the core intent of this brief reflection: Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). This is a beautiful, precise, and eloquent call describing the challenges and responsibilities of living the Christian lifestyle. We can, and we should, embrace these words as we work toward the ongoing renewal of our own lifestyles.
historical grandeur of Byzantium. Having served the late Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory for over 15 years at the Archdiocese, I know that he, too, was very much aware of the numerous churches in this country that Mr. Papadatos was responsible for. We owe a debt of gratitude to him and his staff for his contribution in keeping Orthodox tradition alive in his work. I also noticed that Mr. Papadatos
wrote the first of a two-part essay, “How to Develop a Church Building Program.” It is outstanding. It is the first time I have seen attention given to the subject of Byzantine architecture in the local church, and how even the children can be taught to appreciate this complicated science of planning, designing and building a church. I hope this essay might motivate the
Archdiocese to promote this important aspect of Church tradition, and might encourage more young people to follow in the footsteps of Steven Papadatos, a committed Christian. Kudos to the Orthodox Observer for helping us focus on this important aspect of our Church. Rev Dr Miltiades B Efthimiou Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Garden City, N.Y. Editor, With great pride and joy did I truly realize the greatness of the two-part article “How to Develop a Church Building Program” authored by Mr. Stephen Papadatos, Archon. My parish of the Annunciation in Milwaukee is the owner of a $5.5 million cultural center designed by Mr. Papadatos. His architectural planning and stateof-the-art building concepts and structure has enriched the life of our Church community. He truly offers his heart, soul and Greek Orthodoxy faith building structures dedicated to God and uplifting the life of the parish. Indeed, Stephen Papadatos is a master architect deserving our support and recognition. Fr. James Dokos Annunciation Church Milwaukee
Youth response Editor Re: Facing Up to the Reality of Youth Leaving the Church: A Pastoral Response As a current at student Boston University, I would like to commend Fr. Scherer’s article on the relationship between college students and the Orthodox Church. Fr. Scherer hits the nail on the head with every point he makes. I had previously thought the Orthodox community was not sensitive to problems that face college students. I was glad to read that Fr. Scherer is indeed receptive to these issues. I would also like to echo Fr. Scherer’s call for action from our community to “invest the necessary time, energy and money to recapture the hearts and minds of our Church’s future.” It will be well worth it. Eleni Papademetriou Belisonzi Boston
Shooting tragedy Editor In regard to the article, “OCF Reacts to Shooting Tragedy at Northern Illinois University,” I would like to comment on the mental effects of such a tragedy. Support for victims is not merely necessary; rather, it is imperative as the trauma of such an event affects individuals in different ways. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD) is a troubling phenomenon that sometimes will not be apparent immediately after a tragedy. Victims may be triggered in the most mundane situations well after the event and therapeutic attention is essential. Likewise, I am pleased to see that the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is vocal on university campuses to ensure that students have access to spiritual services during the duration of their college years as well as when crisis situations come to the forefront. Jeannine Callea Stamatakis Piedmont, Calif.
Helping others Editor As Orthodox Christians, who claim to be His Followers, I think we need to stress more on giving and doing for others, especially today when the need is so obvious. I am so proud of the outreach programs we have in our church here in Clearwater, Fla, under the guidance of Fr. James Rousakis of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. We have a visitation outreach for the local shut-ins, headed by our own Presbytera Rousakis and our church nurse Niki. We collect food for the local food bank and we also collect clothing for the needy. Also, as part of our outreach program, several of our members cook and the rest serve at a local soup kitchen, under the guidance of Liz. We have different fund raisers, where the proceeds go to a local hospital. We collect toys for the needy at Christmas. We have volunteers who make bears, lap robes and even baby blankets for those who need them. Just this past year, with the approval of Fr. James, we started collecting needed items for the troops. We do not agree with the war, but we feel as Christians, we need to show support for our troops who are fighting for America and our freedom. In the last six months, we have managed to send at least 75 care packages to our troops. As true Christians, we need to do for others as Christ gave us the example, so long ago. We are so blessed and yet, so many times we say, “ask others, as we have done more than my share.” We should never give up helping others, if God blesses us and gives us another day to serve Him. We should always agree to help others, as long as He gives us life. Our work is never done until He calls us home. I’d like to see every member of every Greek Orthodox church do what we do here at Holy Trinity and be a living example for the whole world to see. We are supposed to be the True Church, so let’s teach others how to be true followers of His Holy Word. Fran Glaros-Sharp Clearwater, Fla.
Deadlines for news, advertising Deadline for submitting items for consideration for the May issue is Wednesday, April 30. Send ads to (e-mail) epissalidis@ goarch.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com To submit
news items, photos, feature items or l et t ers to th e e ditor b y e-m ail (preferred) send to: firstname.lastname@example.org , or b y reg u l ar m ail , to: E ditor, Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79th St., New York, NY 10075.
In the March issue headline on page 1, the word “jurisdiction” was used incorrectly. Theologically it applies only to the entire Church.
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A Word from the Cross: “It Is Finished!” by Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished!” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 The most significant scriptural phrase of Christ’s Passion is the cry: “It is finished!” Although this vital declaration is translated by only one Greek word (tetelestai), it reflects the content of the entire “Good News” of the New Testament Gospel. Here is the greatest single Greek word ever spoken. According to Evangelist John’s account of the crucifixion, it is the last thing Jesus said before he “gave up His spirit.” Luke contains one final word, usually considered the seventh word from the cross, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” But only the Evangelist John reports this particular word. At first glance, the statement may not appear that incredible. But this is more than the final statement of a tired, wornout, and beaten man. This is not a cry of surrender, but rather a cry of triumph. It is not the despairing cry of a helpless martyr, but the declaration of victory on the part of our divine Redeemer. It is the announcement that the great purpose of God in the history of man was now successfully accomplished. Unfortunately, many interpret this word in terms of physical failure. Jesus hangs on a cross. His enemy has apparently defeated Him. His accusers stand before Him, mocking Him and challenging Him to come down. “I’m finished. I’m done. I’m ended. My life is gone. I’ve tried and wasn’t able to do it. Now I’m going to go the way of all flesh.” However, this is not what Jesus means. With a shout of victorious confidence, the Jesus is proclaiming to humanity and to God that the “work” that His Father gave Him to do, the mission that He was sent to accomplish, is finished. It is completed!” As such, it is a shout of victory. It is a cry of God-centered obedience that should be appropriated by the faithful throughout the age. The question is: what is finished? Is Jesus testifying that He has ended all His work – that all His work as the Incarnate Son of God has now been accomplished?” Is it true, as some conclude, that all is finished, and now Jesus leaves the rest of salvation up to our works and our abilities? “I’ve done My part. Now you do your part, I’m finished”? Is that what Jesus means? The phrase does not mean that Jesus’ ministry is absolutely finished. A quick review of the concluding portion of the Gospels reveal that Jesus still had much to accomplish after this statement. He still had to commend and commit His spirit to the Father in heaven by His own work. He then went to the grave and broke its power for our sakes. He had to Rise from the dead on the third day. Forty days later, He ascended into heaven. He is going to reach unto the ends of the earth and gather His people, the Church, by the power of His Word. According to the Creed He is going to come again and to judge the world in righteousness and His people with His truth. He is going to cast the unbelievers to everlasting damnation and take up to glory all of His saints. With so many things yet to be accomplished, what exactly does Jesus mean with His cry: “It is finished!”? Jesus does not focus attention upon Himself. By employing the passive voice of the Greek verb Jesus’ cry pertains to something other than Himself. The word teleo in the Greek and finish in the English both carry two meanings. The first definition of finish is “to come to an end.” And, if this is what Jesus intends
with the cry of tetelestai, then it is a cry of defeat, the last gasp of a defeated and dying man. However, if that is all that Jesus intended he would hardly have wasted his breath at this critical moment to voice those unnecessary words. Saint John, who was always looking for the meaning behind the message would hardly have felt the sentiment worthy of recording and remembering. But there is another meaning to the word finish in both the English and the Greek. In this second and more intriguing interpretation, the word concerns not time but task, not duration but purpose, and therefore suggests not a life coming to an end, but a work coming to its completion. Thus, when we read and hear this sixth word in this light, it becomes not a cry of defeat, but a shout of victory. Jesus has completed his task, accomplished his mission, fulfilled God’s purpose for him, and finished the work that God had sent him to do. When, therefore, Jesus cried out “It is finished,” He was not referring to the completion of His life, but rather that his life’s mission was accomplished, his purpose fulfilled. He completed all that was necessary and desirable for the redemption of humankind. He bore the penalty for our sin. He retired the debt owed because of our rebellion against God. He lived the life that God intended for his children to live, and, as the Pascal Lamb, he had become the perfect sacrifice. God would do one more thing come Easter morning, but Jesus’ work was now finished, complete and perfect. Understood in this light, tetelestai is clearly not a cry of defeat or resignation but a song of triumph and a shout of victory! But what exactly was completed at the moment Jesus breathed his last at Calvary? “IT is finished!” Yes! But what is the “IT?” What is now entire, complete, finished? Five things are finished at the moment of Jesus’ death. Two relate to Jesus and the other three relate to us. PROPHECY FULFILLED It is certain that one of the things that Jesus meant when He cried out “it is finished” was that in his life and death He had now fulfilled all the prophecies written about Him. The messianic prophecies of the Old Testament had all come true in Jesus – from the manner and place of His birth, to His character, ministry, death and burial. When Jesus died at Calvary and cried out “It is finished,” He was saying that He had fulfilled all that had been predicted in Scripture concerning Israel’s Messiah and the world’s Savior!! PERFECT OBEDIENCE The second thing Jesus was declaring by His use of the phrase was His perfect obedience to His Father. Proverbs 20:9 asks a question: “Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? When Jesus said “it is finished” He was saying “I have . . .” In the world’s history only one person has ever lived an entirely faultless life, perfect in every aspect. When Jesus said “It is finished!” He meant that He had held true to God’s purposes – He had carried out everything that the Father had given Him to do. In His death, Jesus Christ accomplished His greatest work! SIN’S PENALTY PAID The third thing that Jesus meant when He cried out “it is finished” is that sin’s penalty had been completely paid. The manifest disobedience to God’s will that would otherwise condemn us was absolved. The punishment for sin was borne by Him and our pardon granted. Saint Paul
PEOPLE Community is ‘Keene’ on the Faith in NH
The Alpha Omega Council of Boston will honor Vice Chairman Emeritus of America OnLine Ted Leonsis on May 31 with its annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Leonsis currently is an owner of the Washington Capitals National Hockey League franchise. Event chairman is Drake Behrakis. The Council is a philanthropic and cultural organization comprised of Americans of Hellenic ancestry in business, education, academia, medicine, law, politics and other fields.
Community honor The Natick, Mass., Recreation and Parks Department recently honored its coordinator of programs for special needs, Drew Bililies on his retirement after more than 20 years of helping children and adults with special needs. A former special education teacher in Brockton, Mass., schools, Mr. Bililies created many programs for special needs people, including a Friday Night Live event, special trips to various locations such as Disney World, annual Halloween parties, St. Patrick’s Day dances, Special Olympics with softball, basketball and track, summer special event trips and many other activities.
Couple honored The Children’s Guild, founded in 1953 to provide special education and treatment services to children with special needs, honored Nick and Jeanne Tsakalos of Baltimore for their international philanthropic efforts at a black-tie event, Cabaret for Kids. Cabaret for Kids honors individuals who embody The Children’s Guild’s spirit and vision of transforming lives and by making the impossible possible. Nick and Jeanne are devoted to bettering communities both locally and internationally. They are active members of Annunciation Cathedral, and also have received numerous accolades for their longtime commitment to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America. Jeanne also has co-chaired the American Cancer Society’s gala in 1998 to raise money and awareness for the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Breast Cancer Research Program; and they were both recognized for being top fundraisers for ACS. Jeanne and Nick have also continued to substantially support the Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Foundation. Nick is on the advisory committee of the Dyslexia Tutoring Program and is a longtime supporter of the organization. Internationally through their mission work, both are committed to transforming the lives of Guatemala orphans and are supporters of a medical fund for orphans with surgical needs. They are further promoting missionary work worldwide.
Benefit tournament The first “Celebration of the Family” golf tournament was held on Jan. 25, 2008 at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, Calif., which was chaired by Tony Dalkas, whose daughter Nicole Dalkas Castrale is on the LPGA tour. Dalkas’ son, Peter, is the director of Operations at Arroyo Trabuco and coordinated the logistics of the tournament. Nicole is an active member of the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Palm Desert, Calif.. While on tour, Nicole attends church as often as possible, and participates in regular Bible studies with other members of the tour. Proceeds from this event benefited the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of S.F. Family Wellness Center. This new and innovative ministry is seeking to provide for the emotional, spiritual and psychological wholeness of all our clergy and faithful.
KEENE, N.H. – St. George Church is now a “Sunday church” with a part-time priest, but it wasn’t always so. The late 19th century and first two decades of the 20th witnessed tens of thousands of Greek immigrants who came to work in the textile mills, shoe factories, tanneries and other factories in northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. By the late 1920s nearly 200 Greeks had settled in the area of Keene and Chesire County in the southwest corner of New Hampshire, about 50 miles west of Manchester and 15 miles north of
P A R I S H
In July 1941 the present property was purchased and the interior was transformed into a proper Orthodox church, including the addition of an iconostasis. The first pews were theater seats donated by one of the member families. The interior of the Church was completely renovated to its present form in the early 1960’s. Throughout its early history the parish functioned as an extended family centered on the worship of God in the liturgy and sacraments, Greek school, and social activities, the parish history notes. The community thrived as a self-sustaining parish with full-time pastors through the late 1970’s.
Archdiocese.” The constitution also stipulates that “the last Sunday of July is reserved for the community picnic and that no one could engage the priest on that day for any other duties excepting for an emergency.”
Today, the parish consists of third and fourth generation Greek Americans and some converts through inter-church marriages. By the late 1970s, because of financial reasons and a shortage of priests,
p ro f i l e
Name: St. George Greek Orthodox Church Location: Keene, N.H. Metropolis: Boston Size: about 115-120 stewards; families – 75 Founded: 1931 Clergy: Rev. Dr. Theodore G. Stylianopoulos (Holy Cross B.Div ‘62; St.M. Boston University School of Theology; Harvard Divinity School, Th.D.) Web: www.stgeorgekeenenh. goarch.org Noteworthy: a Sunday parish with 75 regular worshippers; Massachusetts and east of Vermont. At one time or another Keene, settled about the year 1735, manufactured automobiles, chairs, hats, shoes, woolen blankets and other products. The old manufacturing jobs disappeared by the late 1970s and lost population. Now this city of about 23,000 has an economy based on a variety of high tech and medical technology manufacturers. It also is home to Keene State College and Antioch University New England. By 1928-29, the Greeks who settled here and opened businesses began efforts to organize as a community to preserve their Greek culture and religion. There are no records as to where most of these first settlers originated. In an extensive history drafted by Fr. Stylianopoulos in 2006, on Sept. 30, 1928, 32 Keene families and the Greek Orthodox church in Fitchburg reached an agreement for that community’s priest, Fr. John Michaelides, to conduct services in Keene once a month. Liturgy was celebrated for many years in rented halls and in an Episcopal church before the community purchased its current permanent home, a mansion on West Street built in 1860 near the heart of downtown. According to Fr. Stylianopoulos’ history, the first services took place on the fourth floor of a building on Main Street owned by John A. Booras and George Meleones, two of the community’s founders. Other community gatherings, including AHEPA meetings, were held in rooms rented at other nearby buildings. There is no official explanation as to why the church was named for St. George but, according to one tradition, it was because there were so many members named George.
ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
More than 15 priests have served the community over the years. The exact number is not recorded, as there is no official listing of pastors prior to 1952. Even before the church’s official founding in 1931, women of the community founded an Elpis Society group, a forerunner of the Philoptochos. With so few members now, the parish has no Philoptochos chapter and the Elpis Society is defunct.
The community adopted a constitution in 1930 that reflects attitudes of the times. It includes articles that today one might consider controversial, quaint and even humorous. Article 5 defines membership as “regular and honorary,” with regular members considered to be “all Greek Orthodox of the area who ‘pay their dues.’” Honorary members were “all persons, irrespective of ethnicity and religion, who in any way contributed morally and materially to the fulfillment of the purpose of the community.” Monthly dues were $3 for members with children in Greek school, or $1 for those with no children. Members were considered to be male heads of families. Another article states that “The President represents the Community everywhere and in all cases” (Article 19) and that “board members of the church…assist the priest in the religious and philanthropic ministry of the Church, with whom they regulate the worship services” (Article 31). Articles governing the priest note that he “must be educated and with attested virtue and competence.” But “mixing in the affairs of the Community under any circumstances is explicitly forbidden, his primary care being the conduct of his religious duties alone.” A priest could be replaced “by a three-quarters assembly vote and with the subsequent approval of the
the community could not support a full-time priest. Fr. Stylianopoulos began serving the parish on a part-time basis in 1978-79. Following a two-year stint by Fr. Peter Kostakos, Fr. Theodore resumed his pastoral duties along with his Sunday commute from Boston in 1981. He has served continuously since, celebrating Divine Liturgy on Sundays and other special services such as weddings, hospital visits and funerals on weekends. In addition to serving as a part-time pastor, Fr. Theodore’s main job for four decades has been as a professor at Holy Cross School of Theology, where he has taught the New Testament to nearly every seminarian who has gone on to the priesthood since 1967. The Stewardship program has replaced membership dues and is the main revenue source. As a result, annual giving has increased substantially, the priest said. There is no Greek festival, but St. George community participates in a bazaar sponsored by the city that involves several churches hosting exhibits and activities. St. George offers a lunch to the bazaar patrons. Keene also has a spring celebration the parish takes part in as a community outreach effort. Though the membership is small, Fr. Theodore notes that the parish’s “core vitality has remained strong and has been enhanced by converts and new families to the community.” There is no Greek school due to lack of a qualified Greek teacher, but the Sunday school has about 35 children. Fr. Theodore noted that, at a typical
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ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΙΚΗ ΕΓΚΥΚΛΙΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΙΚΗ ΑΠΟ∆ΕΙΞΙΣ ΕΠΙ ΤΩ ΑΓΙΩ ΠΑΣΧΑ Ἅγιον Πάσχα: Ἡ Ἑορτή τῶν Ἑορτῶν Καί δι’ ἀνθρώπου ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν, Ὥσπερ γάρ ἐν τῷ Ἀδάµ πάντες ἀποθνήσκουσιν, οὕτως καί ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ πάντες ζωοποιηθήσονται. (Α’ Κορ. 15 : 21-22) Πρός τούς Σεβασµιωτάτους καί Θεοφιλεστάτους Ἀρχιερεῖς, τούς Εὐλαβεστάτους Ἱερεῖς καί ∆ιακόνους, 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. Ἀδελφοί καί ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Χριστός Ἀνέστη! Μέ ἀγάπη, χαρά καί εὐγνωµοσύνη στόν Θεό χαιρετοῦµε ὁ ἕνας τόν ἄλλο αὐτή τήν περίοδο. Μέ τόν θριαµβικό ὕµνο, Χριστός ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας καί τοῖς ἐν τοῖς µνήµασιν ζωήν χαρισάµενος (Τροπάριον Ἑορτῆς Πάσχα), διακηρύσσουµε τήν τελική νίκηἐπί τῆς ἁµαρτίας καί τοῦ θανάτου. Ὡς Ὀρθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί, ἑορτάζουµε τήν Ἑορτή τοῦ Πάσχα κάθε χρόνο µέ τήν πεποίθηση καί τή γνώση ὅτι ἡ Ἀνάσταση τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ παραµένει τό πλέον σηµαντικό γεγονός τό ὁποῖο ἔχει συµβεῖ στήν ἀνθρώπινη ἱστορία. ∆ικαιολογηµένα, λοιπόν, ἡ Ὀρθόδοξος Ἐκκλησία ἀναφέρεται στό γε γονό ς αὐ τό ὡ ς τήν «Ἑ ορ τή τῶ ν Ἑορτῶν». Ἡ Ἀνάσταση τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀποδεικνύει περίτρανα καί θαυµαστά τήν µεγάλη δύναµη καί αἰώνια ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ γιά τήν ἀνθρωπότητα. Ἀποτελεῖ, ταυτόχρονα, ἱστορικό γεγονός τό ὁποῖο συνέβη σέ συγκεκριµένο χρόνο καί τόπο, ὅµως τά ἀποτελέσµατά του ὑπερβαίνουν τά ὅρια τοῦ χρόνου καί ἐξακολουθοῦν νά διατηροῦν σπουδαιότητα παγκοσµίου ἐπιπέδου. Μέ τόν θάνατό Του ἐπί τοῦ Σταυροῦ γιά τή σωτηρία µας, τήν κάθοδό Του στόν Ἅδη καί τήν Ἀνάστασή Του ὁ Ἰησοῦς Χριστός ἀπελευθέρωσε τήν ἀνθρωπότητα ἀπό τά δεσµά τῆς ἁµαρτίας καί τοῦ θανάτου, προσφέροντας σέ ὅλους µας πρόγευση τῆς αἰωνίας ζωῆς µαζί Του. Στήν Πρώτη πρός Κορινθίους Ἐπιστολή Του, ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος γράφοντας στούς Κορινθίους, καθότι εἶχε παρατηρήσει ὅτι ἀνάµεσά των ἐπικρατοῦσαν λανθασµένες ἰδέες σχετικά µέ τήν Ἀνάσταση, ὑπογράµµισε τόν κεντρικό ρόλο τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ γιά τήν Ὀρθόδοξο πίστη. Ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος διαπίστωσε ὅτι µερικοί ἄνθρωποι τῆς Κορινθιακῆς κοινότητος οἱ ὁποῖοι θεωροῦσαν ἑαυτούς Χριστιανούς δέν πίστευαν στήν ἀνάσταση τῶν νεκρῶν. Χρησιµοποιῶντας ἰσχυρή γλῶσσα τούς εἶπε ὅτι ἐάν δέν ἀνίστανται οἱ νεκροί, τότε οὔτε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀναστήθηκε ἐκ νεκρῶν. Τούς ὑπενθύµισε ὅτι εἰ δέ Χριστός οὐκ ἐγήγερται κενόν ἄρα τό κήρυγµα ἡµῶν, καινή καί ἡ πίστις ἡµῶν ... Εἰ δέ Χριστός οὐκ ἐγήγερται, µαταία ἡ πίστις ὑµῶν, ἔτι ἐστέ ἐν ταῖς ἁµαρτίαις ὑµῶν ...(Α’ Κορ. 15: 14-17). Ἡ σύγχρονη κοινωνία µας παρουσιάζει πολλές ὁµοιότητες µέ αὐτήν τῆς Κορίνθου τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου. Ἐµφανίζει µία εὑρεία σειρά θρησκευτικῶν διδασκαλιῶν, θεωριῶν καί ποικίλων ἐξηγήσεων στό θέµα τῆς µετά θάνατο ζωῆς. Ἐφ’ ὅσον ὁ Θεός χάρισε στούς ἀνθρώπους ἐλευθερία συνειδήσεως, δέν προβαίνουµε ἐδῶ σέ κρίση ἐπί τῶν διδαγµάτων τῶν ἄλλων θρησκειῶν οὔτε ἐπί τῶν ὀπαδῶν τους. Ἐπιµένουµε, ὅµως, ὅτι αὐτή τήν ἡµέρα τοῦ Ἁγίου Πάσχα καλούµεθα νά κατανοήσουµε καλύτερα τήν κεντρικότητα τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ γιά τήν Ὀρθόδοξο πίστη καί τήν θεµελιώδη σηµασία της γιά τίς ζωές µας ὡς Ὀρθοδόξων Χριστιανῶν. óåë. 18
ÿ ÂÁÑÈÏËÏÌÁÉÏÓ ÅËÅ~Ù ÈÅÏÕ ÁÑ×ÉÅÐÉÓÊÏÐÏÓ ÊÙÍÓÔÁÍÔÉÍÏÕÐÏËÅÙÓ, ÍÅÁÓ ÑÙÌÇÓ ÊÁÉ ÏÉÊÏÕÌÅÍÉÊÏÓ ÐÁÔÑÉÁÑ×ÇÓ ÐÁÍÔÉ Ô~Ù ÐËÇÑÙÌÁÔÉ ÔÇÓ ÅÊÊËÇÓÉÁÓ ×ÁÑÉÍ, ÅÉÑÇÍÇÍ ÊÁÉ ÅËÅÏÓ ÐÁÑÁ ÔÏÕ ÅÍÄÏÎÙÓ ÁÍÁÓÔÁÍÔÏÓ ÓÙÔÇÑÏÓ ×ÑÉÓÔÏÕ «Ἰδού, ὁ χειµὼν παρῆλθεν»!, 1 «ἀνέτειλε τὸ ἔαρ» τῆς σωτηρίας, «τὰ ἄνθη ὤφθη ἐν τῇ γῇ, φωνὴ τῆς τρυγόνος ἠκούσθη, ... αἱ ἄµπελοι κυπρίζουσιν, ἔδωκαν ὀσµήν». 2 Πάσχα ἱερόν, ἅγιον, µέγα ἀνέτειλε καὶ θάλπει, φωτίζει καὶ λαµπρύνει τὸν κόσµον. «Νῦν πάντα πεπλήρωται φωτός, οὐρανός τε καὶ γῆ καὶ τὰ καταχθόνια»: 3
ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ !
Ὁ Θεός, ὁ Ἀπαθής, ὁ Ἀθάνατος, ὁ ὡραῖος Νυµφίος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, ὁ Κύριος ἡµῶν καὶ Πρωτότοκος Ἀδελφὸς καὶ Φίλος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, «ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας», τὴν τρίτην ἡµέραν ἀφ’ οὗ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕψους τοῦ Σταυροῦ ἐξεφώνησε τὸ «Τετέλεσται!».4 Ὁ «ᾅδης κάτωθεν ἐπικράνθη συναντήσας»5 Αὐτόν, διότι ὄχι µόνον κατήργησε τὸ κράτος του καὶ ἐκένωσε θεοπρεπῶς τὰ σκοτεινὰ ταµεῖα του, χαρίζων ζωὴν εἰς τοὺς τότε εὑρισκοµένους εἰς τὰ µνήµατα, ἀλλὰ καὶ διότι χαρίζει ζωὴν ἀτέρµονα καὶ βεβαίαν ἀνάστασιν εἰς ὅλους ὅσοι µετὰ ταῦτα, µέχρι καὶ τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος, θὰ πιστεύσουν εἰς Αὐτόν, θὰ ζήσουν ἐν Αὐτῷ καὶ θὰ κρατήσουν µέχρι τέλους τὴν εἰς Αὐτὸν ὁµολογίαν καὶ πίστιν. Ὁ Χριστός, «δικαιοσύνῃ ἐζωσµένος τὴν ὀσφὺν Αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ εἰληµένος τὰς πλευράς», 6 ἠγέρθη ἐκ τοῦ Τάφου, «παγγενῆ τὸν Ἀδὰµ ἀναστήσας ὡς φιλάνθρωπος».7 Ἰδού, λοιπόν, ἀδελφοὶ ἀγαπητοὶ καὶ τέκνα περιπόθητα, τὸ κεφάλαιον τῆς µεγάλης ἑορτῆς ἡµῶν καὶ τὸ κλῖµα τῆς ἀνοίξεως, τὴν ὁποίαν ἐν ἔαρι καιροῦ εὐαγγελίζεται ἡ Ἐκκλησία εἰς τὴν Οἰκουµένην. Ὁ βαρὺς χειµὼν τοῦ θανάτου ἀποτελεῖ παρελθόν! Ἡ παγερὰ τυραννία τοῦ διαβόλου ἐνικήθη κατὰ κράτος. Τὸ φοβερὸν βασίλειον τοῦ σκότους καὶ τῆς ἀπωλείας διελύθη. «Ὁ Κύριος ἐβασίλευσεν, εὐπρέπειαν ἐνεδύσατο»!8 Εἴδοµεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐθελουσίως, ἐξ ἄκρας ἀγάπης, πάσχοντα ἐπὶ Σταυροῦ καὶ θνήσκοντα καὶ θαπτόµενον δι᾿ ἡµᾶς καὶ διὰ τὴν σωτηρίαν ἡµῶν. Τὸν προσεκυνήσαµεν ἤδη Ἀναστάντα ἐκ νεκρῶν καί, µαζὶ µὲ τοὺς Ἀποστόλους καὶ τὰς Μυροφόρας, ἠκούσαµεν ἀπὸ τὸ ἅγιον στόµα Του τὸ «Εἰρήνη ὑµῖν!»9 καὶ τὸ «Χαίρετε!»,10 καὶ ἐχάρη ἡ καρδία µας. Καὶ «τὴν χαρὰν ἡµῶν οὐδεὶς αἴρει ἀφ᾿ ἡµῶν»,11 διότι πλέον καὶ ὁ ἰδικός µας, ὁ προσωπικὸς ἑνὸς ἑκάστου, θάνατος, δυνάµει ἔχει καταργηθῆ. Ἀφ’ οὗ καὶ ἐφ᾿ ὅσον καὶ ἡµεῖς ἐσταυρώσαµεν τὸ ἐν ἡµῖν σαρκικὸν φρόνηµα τοῦ παλαιοῦ ἀνθρώπου «σὺν τοῖς παθήµασι καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυµίαις»,12 καὶ «ἀπεθάνοµεν σὺν Χριστῷ, πιστεύοµεν ὅτι καὶ [θὰ] συζήσωµεν»13 µαζί Του. Ἀφ᾿ οὗ «συνετάφηµεν» µετὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ «διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσµατος»,14 θὰ γίνωµεν «σύµφυτοι», δηλ. µέτοχοι, καὶ τῆς Ἀναστάσεώς Του.15 Τὴν ἀλήθειαν αὐτὴν διασαλπίζει ρητορικώτατα ὁ Θεολόγος Γρηγόριος, λέγων: «Χθὲς συνεσταυρούµην Χριστῷ, σήµερον συνδοξάζοµαι. Χθὲς συνενεκρούµην, συζωοποιοῦµαι σήµερον. Χθὲς συνεθαπτόµην, σήµερον συνεγείροµαι».16 Τὸ αἰώνιον πρόβληµά µας, κατὰ ταῦτα, τὸ ἔλυσεν ἅπαξ διὰ παντὸς ὁ Ἀναστὰς Κύριος. Ἡ ἀγωνία µας ἔλαβε τέλος. «Ἀνέστη Χριστός, καὶ ζωὴ πολιτεύεται»!17 Εἰς τὸ ἑξῆς, ἡ Ζωὴ καὶ ἡ Ἀνάστασις ἡµῶν δὲν εἶναι ζητούµενον, δὲν εἶναι ὄνειρον, δὲν εἶναι οὐτοπία, ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἁπτὴ καὶ ψηλαφητὴ πραγµατικότης. Πραγµατικότης, ἡ ὁποία ἔχει συγκεκριµένον πρόσωπον καὶ ὄνοµα: «τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνοµα» Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, ἐνώπιον τοῦ Ὁποίου «πᾶν γόνυ κάµψει ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων»18 καὶ κάθε γλῶσσα θὰ ὁµολογήσῃ ὅτι Αὐτὸς εἶναι ὁ µόνος Ζωοδότης καὶ Κύριος, ὅστις ζῇ καὶ βασιλεύει εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, µοιραζόµενος ἐθελαγάθως τὴν Βασιλείαν Του, τὴν δόξαν Του καὶ τὴν
ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΙΚΗ ΑΠΟ∆ΕΙΞΙΣ ΕΠΙ ΤΩ ΑΓΙΩ ΠΑΣΧΑ óåë. 15 κληρονοµίαν τοῦ Πατρός Του, µὲ ὅλους τοὺς κοινωνοὺς τοῦ Σταυροῦ, τοῦ θανάτου καὶ τῆς Ἀναστάσεώς Του, ὡς «πρωτότοκος ἐν πολλοῖς ἀδελφοῖς».19 Αὐτοῦ δεόµεθα ἐκτενῶς, ἀπὸ τῆς µαρτυρικῆς ἡµῶν Πατριαρχικῆς καὶ Οἰκουµενικῆς καθέδρας, ὅπως χαρίζῃ εἰρήνην εἰς τὸν κόσµον, φωτισµὸν ἀληθείας καὶ δικαιοσύνης εἰς τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ὑποµονὴν καὶ στηριγµὸν εἰς κάθε δοκιµαζόµενον, γεῦσιν σωτηρίας καὶ ζωῆς αἰωνίου εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστούς. Αὐτῷ, τῷ Νικητῇ τοῦ θανάτου καὶ ἀρχηγῷ τῆς ζωῆς, ἡ δόξα, τὸ κράτος, ἡ τιµὴ καὶ ἡ προσκύνησις, σὺν τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ τῷ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύµατι, εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Ἀµήν. 1.- Ἆσµ. Ἀσµ. 2, 11. 2.- Ἆσ. Ἀσµ. 2, 12-13. 3.- Κανὼν τοῦ Πάσχα. 4.- Ἰω. 19,30. 5.- Ἠσ. 14, 9. 6.- Ἠσ. 11, 5. 7.- Ἀκολ. Ἀναστάσεως. 8.- Ψαλµ. 92, 1. 9.- Ἰω. 20, 20. 10.- Ματθ. 28, 9. 11.- Πρβλ. Ἰω. 16, 22.
12.- Γαλ. 5, 24. 13.- Ρωµ. 6, 8. 14.- Ρωµ. 6, 4. 15.- Ρωµ. 6, 5. 16.- Λόγ. Εἰς τὸ ἅγ. Πάσχα καὶ εἰς τὴν βραδυτῆτα. ΕΠΕ 1, 66. 17.- Κατηχ. Λόγος Ἰω. Χρυσοστόµου. 18.- Φιλ. 2, 9. 19.- Ρωµ. 8, 29. Ἅγιον Πάσχα 2008 διάπυρος πρός Χριστόν Ἀναστάντα εὐχέτης πάντων ὑµῶν
Ἀναγνωσθήτω ἐπ’ἐκκλησίας κατά τήν Θείαν Λειτουργίαν τῆς ἑορτῆς τοῦ Ἁγίου Πάσχα, µετά τό Ἱερόν Εὐαγγέλιον
Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος ξαποστάζοντας για λίγο στο ερειπωμένο εξωκκλήσι της Αγίας Αναστασίας, στα Κόκκινα της Ιμβρου. Και διηγώντας τα… μην κλαις…
Ελπίδες Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου για το μέλλον της Ίμβρου Τις ελπίδες του, την αισιοδοξία του για το πονεμένο και αδικημένο νησί της Ίμβρου εξέφρασε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαιος κατά την διήμερο παραμονή του στην γενέτειρά του την Ίμβρο. Μιλώντας κατά την διάρκεια συνεστιάσεως προς τους κληρικούς, Κοινοτικούς παράγοντες και κατοίκους του νησιού, παρουσία του Μητροπολίτη Ίμβρου και Τενέδου και του Γενικού Προξένου της Ελλάδας στην Πόλη, ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος τόνισε, μεταξύ άλ λων, τα εξής: «Και αυτή τη φορά που βρίσκομαι στην Ίμβρο, όπως σε κάθε επίσκεψή μου, σε κάθε επιστροφή μου εις το πάτριον έδαφος, αισθάνομαι ότι ανανεώνομαι, ότι παίρνω δυνάμεις για να συνεχίσω τά δύσκολα καθήκοντά μου. Και αυτήν την φορά που έχω την ευτυχία να απολαμβάνω την άνοιξη της Ίμβρου με την ομορφιά της, τα αγριολούλουδα, με αυτές τις
βιόλες και τα άλλα λουλούδια που μου προσέφεραν οι συμπατριώτες μου από την πρώτη στιγμή που πάτησα το έδαφος του νησιού μας, με όλα αυτά αναγεννιέμαι κι εγώ, όπως αναγεννιέται η φύσις τώρα την άνοιξη∙ και συγκινούμαι, θυμούμαι τα παλιά, ενισχύομαι και θα επιστρέψω πιο δυνατός στο Φανάρι. Κάθε φορά που έρχομαι και φέρνω και άλλους φίλους μαζί μου τους ξεναγώ με υπερηφάνεια και τους δείχνω τις ομορφιές του νησιού μας. Για μένα είναι ξεχωριστή τιμή να δείχνω στους φίλους και συνεργάτες μου το όμορφο νησί μας. Είμαι ευγνώμων στον Θεό διότι με έκανε να είμαι Ιμβριος, να γεννηθώ εδώ από καλούς γονείς και ανάμεσα σε συγχωριανούς και συμπατριώτες, οι οποίοι είναι πιστοί στις παραδόσεις του τόπου μας και του Γένους μας. Με αυτά τα πνευματικά νάματα γαλουχηθήκαμε όλοι εμείς οι Ίμβριοι. Χαίρω, διότι οι
Την ευγνωμοσύνη του, την αγάπη, τον σεβασμό, καθώς και την αναγνώριση του ρόλου και της σημασίας του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου εξέφρασε ο Πατριάρχης Ιεροσολύμων Θεόφιλος προς τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο. Ο Πατριάρχης Ιεροσολύμων Θεόφιλος που αναχώρησε στις 2 Απριλίου, το απόγευμα, για τα Ιεροσόλυμα, κατά την συνάντησή του με τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο συζήτησαν θέματα που αφορούν τις δύο Εκκλησίες, καθώς και θέματα της πανορθόδοξης ενότητος. Ο Πατριάρχης Ιεροσολύμων απευθυνόμενος στον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη τόνισε: «Εκφράζουμε την ευγνωμοσύνη μας, την αγάπη μας και τον σεβασμό μας για το αμέριστο ενδιαφέρον σας και κατά τη σημερινή επίσκεψή μας εδώ, αλλά και καθ’όλες τις προηγούμενες επισκέψεις μας. Είναι επισκέψεις, δια των οποίων εκφράζεται η ενότης που μας συνδέει και οι οποίες μας δίνουν την ευκαιρία να αναγνωρίσουμε τον ρόλο και την σημασία του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και την βοήθειά του προς την Εκκλησία Ιεροσολύμων, τόσον εις το απώτερον, όσον και εις το πρόσφατον παρελθόν». «Ό,τι κάνουμε ως Οικουμενικό Πατρι-
αρχείο το θεωρούμε αυτονόητο για τον Πανάγιο Τάφο, για το Πατριαρχείο Ιεροσολύμων και προσωπικώς για την προσφιλή Μακαριότητά σας. Όλοι οι Ορθόδοξοι ανά τον κόσμον οφείλουμε πάρα πολλά στην Αγιοταφιτική Αδελφότητα, η οποία εν μέσω και προβλημάτων, και ορέξεων, και διεκδικήσεων δια μέσου των αιώνων, συνεχώς αγωνίσθηκε και εκράτησε υπέρ του Γένους μας τα Πανάγια Προσκυνήματα. Ό,τι και αν κάνουμε εμείς, ως Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο και ως οικογένεια των Πανορθοδόξων, το χρέος μας προς εσάς θα είναι ανεξόφλητον. Προκειμένου περί των σημερινών σχέσεων των δύο Εκκλησιών μας, εξ όλης ψυχής και καρδίας είμεθα εις το πλευρόν της Μακαριότητός σας, με την οποίαν μας συνδέουν παλαιόθεν δεσμοί φιλίας και αγάπης». Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος προσεκάλεσε τον Πατριάρχη Ιεροσολύμων Θεόφιλο στην Καππαδοκία, όπου θα τελέσουν μαζί την Θεία Λειτουργία στις 8 Ιουνίου. Τον Πατριάρχη Θεόφιλο συνόδευαν ο Μητροπολίτης Καισαρείας Βασίλειος και οι Αρχιμανδρίτες Δημήτριος και Ιερώνυμος.
Ένα κερί στην μνήμη του μάρτυρα Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Γρηγορίου Ε’ άναψε σήμερα το πρωΐ, όπως κάθε χρόνο τέτοια ημέρα, μπροστά από την κλειστή κεντρική Πύλη τ ο υ Π α τ ρ ι α ρχ ε ί ο υ , ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος. Ήταν 10 Απριλίου 1821, Κυριακή του Πάσχα, όταν ο Γρηγόριος Ε’ απαγχονίσθηκε από τους Οθωμανούς. «Και από την αγχόνη μετεπήδησε στην αθανασία, και ζει εις τους αιώνας. Και επισπάται την αΐδιον ευγνωμοσύνην μας γι’ αυτό που προσέφερε: την ζωή του. Προσέφερε την ζωή του για την πίστη μας και για το Γένος μας», είχε επισημάνει σε παλαιότερη ομιλία του ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος, προσθέτοντας: «Το Οικουμενικόν Πατριαρχείον από αυτήν την πόλιν, από αυτήν την γωνίαν της Πόλεως, από τον Κεράτιον Κόλπον, δίπλα εις την κλειστή Πύλη του απαγχονισμού του Πατριάρχου μας, θα κηρύττει την Ανάστασιν, και το μεγαλείον της Ορθοδοξίας μας». Ως ευλαβικός προσκυνητής, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης, άφησε και λίγα λουλούδια στον τόπο του μαρτυρίου του προκατόχου του εκ μέρους όλων των Ορθοδόξων και του Γένους μας.
νέοι αγαπούν το νησί μας και έρχονται κάθε καλοκαίρι και το απολαμβάνουν. Επισκευάζουν τα σπίτια τους και δένονται όλο και περισσότερο με τον τοπο τους. Και από αυτής της άποψης το μέλλον της Ίμβρου δεν το βλέπω τόσο απαισιόδοξα, Έχω ελπίδες και όλοι μαζί θα προσπαθήσουμε να αναγγενη-
θεί ο τόπος μας, να υπάρξουν προοπτικές και δυνατότητες επιστροφής, παλιννοστήσεως, επανεγκαταστάσεως και δυνατότητες να δημιουργηθούν νέες επαγγελματικές προοπτικές, οι οποίες και θα αποτελέσουν το υπόβαθρο της επιστροφής και της ανασυγκροτήσεως της τοπικής κοινωνίας μας».
ΟΡΘΟ∆ΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
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ΣΤΟ ΛΕΥΚΟ ΟΙΚΟ
Ο Σεβασµιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αµερικής κ. Δηµήτριος παρέστη στις 25 Μαρτίου 2008, στην ειδική επίσηµη τελετή του Λευκού Οίκου προς τιµήν της 187ης επετείου της ηµέρας της Ελληνικής Ανεξαρτησίας, προσκεκληµένος του Προέδρου George W. Bush. Στην τελετή η οποία έλαβε χώρα στο East Room του Λευκού Οίκου παρευρέθησαν αξιωµατούχοι της Ελληνικής και Αµερικανικής κυ-
βερνήσεως, καθώς και πολλοί Ελληνοαµερικανοί από ολόκληρη τη χώρα.
Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης για Αμερικής Ιάκωβο Στον μακαριστό Aρχιεπίσκοπο βορείου και νοτίου Αμερικής Ιάκωβο αναφέρθηκε, μεταξύ άλλων, στην ομιλία του στον Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Φανάρι, μετά την κυριακάτικη Θεία Λειτουργία, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος. Απευθυνόμενος σε πλήθος προσκυνητών από την Ελλάδα αλλά και άλλες χώρες ο Πατριάρχης επισήμανε τα εξής: «Σήμερα εις την Αμερική και εις την Ιμβρον τελείται το τριετές μνημόσυνο ενός επιφανούς Ιεράρχη του Οικουμενικού μας Πατριαρχείου, του Αρχιεπισκόπου βορείου και νοτίου Αμερικής Ιακώβου. Τρία χρόνια πέρασαν από τον θάνατό του. Είπα, εις στην Αμερική, διότι εκεί διηκονησε επί μακράν σειράν ετών, νωρίτερα ως αρχιμανδρίτης εις την Βοστώνην και αργότερα επί σχεδόν 40 χρόνια ως Αρχιεπίσκοπος, και σε αυτά τα χρόνια έγραψε σελίδες δόξης εις το βιβλίο της Ιστορίας της Εκκλησίας μας και της Ομογενείας της Αμερικής. Και έβαλε ανεξίτηλον την σφραγίδα εις την ζωήν της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής , της Μεγάλης αυτής επαρχίας του Οικουμενικού Θρόνου, και της Ομογενείας της Αμερικής, η οποία τιμά το Οικουμενικό μας Πατριαρχείο και το Γένος μας. Επίσης, είπα ότι τελείται σήμερα μνημόσυνο του Αμερικής Ιακώβου και εις την Ίμβρον, η οποία ήταν η γενέτειρά του». Στο σημείο αυτό ο Πατριάρχης υπενθύμισε ότι η Ίμβρος είναι και η δική του γενέτειρά την οποία, μάλιστα, επισκέφθηκε τις προηγούμενες ημέρες. «Είχα την ευκαιρία να χαρώ την Άνοιξη, η οποία παρά τα χαλάσματα και τις άλλες συνέπειες απαραδέκτων αποφάσεων εις βάρος του χριστιανικού πληθυσμού της Ίμβρου και της Τενέδου, η Άνοιξη – λέγω - επιμένει να επανέρχεται κάθε χρόνο και να φέρνει τα λουλούδια , την ελπίδα και την αισιοδοξία», τόνισε με νόημα ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος.
Προσφιλεῖς µου πιστοί, Ἡ ἐκ νεκρῶν Ἀνάσταση τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀποτελεῖ θαυµαστό γεγονός τοῦ θριάµβου τῆς ἀγάπης καί κατέχει κεντρική θέση στήν πίστη µας. Ἀποτελεῖ ταυτόχρονα µοναδικό γεγονός καί συνεχῆ πραγµατικότητα ἡ ὁποία µᾶς διαβεβαιώνει γιά τόν θρίαµβο τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐπί τοῦ θανάτου καί τήν ζωή µαζί µ’ Ἐκεῖνον στήν Αἰώνια Βασιλεία Του. Χριστός Ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη! Προσεύχοµαι θερµῶς ἡ χαρά καί αἰώνια εἰρήνη τοῦ Ἀναστάντος Χριστοῦ νά εἶναι στίς καρδιές καί τά σπίτια σας καθ’ ὅλη τήν διάρκεια τῆς Πασχαλινῆς περιόδου, καί ὁ χαρµόσυνος ἑορτασµός τῆς Ἀναστάσεώς Του να ἐνισχύῃ πάντοτε ἐντός µας τή βεβαιότητα ὅτι θά εἴµεθα ζωντανοί ἐν Αὐτῷ πάντοτε.
Μέ τίς θερµότατες Πασχάλιες εὐχές µου καί τήν ἐν Ἀναστάντι Χριστῷ ἀγάπη,
ÿ ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀµερικῆς ∆ηµήτριος
Κυριακή της Σταυροπροσκυνήσεως Αιώνες πολλούς στη σταυρωμένη Εκκλησία της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως εορτάζεται η Κυριακή της Σταυροπροσκυνήσεως, όπως φέτος στο Φανάρι (30 Μαρτίου) στον Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου προεξάρχοντος του Οκουμενικού Πατριάρχου κ. Βαρθολομαίου.
ΟΡΘΟ∆ΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
Στον Παναγιώτατο Οικουμενικό μας Πατριάρχη κ. Βαρθολομαίο Στον Σεβασμιώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. ∆ημήτριο Στους Ιεράρχες της Ιεράς Επαρχιακής Συνόδου Στον Ιερό Κλήρο Στο Τάγμα των Αρχόντων του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου Στην Ηγεσία των 100 Στους εκπαιδευτικούς και τη μαθητιώσα νεολαία Σε όλη την Ομογένεια της Αμερικής και στον απανταχού Ελληνισμό
ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ Είθε το Ανέσπερο Φως της Αναστάσεως να φωτίζει τις καρδιές μας και να χαρίζει Ειρήνη σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο
Our Warmest Pascha Greetings to All Greek Orthodox
Holy Pascha: The Feast of Feasts page 1 Saint Paul, having detected some wrong ideas about the resurrection among the Corinthians, wrote specifically to underscore the centrality of the resurrection of Christ to the Christian faith. Saint Paul observed that some in the community of Corinth who were calling themselves Christians did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. He told them that if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ too did not rise from the dead. Then, he reminded them in a strong use of language that if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins (I Corinthians 15:14-17). In many ways, our contemporary society resembles the society in which the Corinthians lived. It offers a wide array of religious teachings, theories, and alternative understandings to the question of life after death. Because God has given to the people the freedom of conscience, we do not cast judgment on the teachings of other religions nor upon those people who hold them. We do insist, however, that on this day of Holy Pascha we are invited to come to a closer understanding of the centrality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the Christian faith and its fundamental meaning for our lives as Orthodox Christians. My beloved faithful, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is a miraculous event of the triumph of love, and it stands at the very center of our faith. It is at once an unrepeatable event and a constant reality that assures us of the victory of Jesus Christ over death, and of life with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom. Χριστός Ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη! Christ is Risen! Truly the Lord is Risen! It is my fervent prayer that throughout this Paschal period the joy and eternal peace of the Risen Christ may abide with all of you in your hearts and homes, and that our joyous celebration of His resurrection may always reinforce within us the assurance that we will be made alive in Him forever. With my warmest Paschal wishes and love in the Risen Christ,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
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Annual Orientation Held for Seminarians at Archdiocese
Twenty Holy Cross seminarians attended the annual Archdiocesan seminar and orientation visit at the Archdiocese to learn first hand of the workings of the Church and the various ministries. The March 31-April 4 trip included an initial stop at St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y. At Archdiocese headquarters, the group received briefings from the chancellor, Bishop Savas of Troas and assistant chancellor, Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis, Archons, Internet Ministry, communications, SCOBA and ecumenical relations, administration/finance, Stewardship, Greek education, youth and young adult ministries, Ionian Village and the camping ministries, outreach and evangelism, the archives, the Holy Eparchial Synod, National Philoptochos and Leadership 100. The group also visited St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria, Holy Trinity Cathedral in Manhattan and St. Paul Cathedral in Hempstead, Long Island, St. Michael’s Home in Yonkers and St. Basil Academy. At St. Basil’s they received an orientation to interfaith marriage, youth and young adult ministries, Ionian Village and the camping ministries and outreach and evangelism. The group included six who already have been ordained as deacons and one as a priest. The 20 seminarians and their respective home parishes and communities are: Nikolaos Bekris, Assumption/St. Demetrios Church, Seattle; Deacon Matthew Carter, Annunciation Church, Pensacola, Fla; John Daly, St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Grand Rapids, Mich. Tyrone Stavros Emery, Sts. Constantine and Helen, Honolulu; Deacon David Eynon, Three Hierarchs, Champaign, Ill; Gaby Gadah, St. Barbara, Sarasota, Fla. Deacon Panagiotis Hanley, St. George,
Seminarians with Archbishop Demetrios and Bishops Savas of Troas and Andonios of Phasiane at Archdiocese headquarters.
Albuquerque, N.M; Fr. Athanasios Haros, Assumption Cathedral, Denver. Dan Hoarste, Sts. Peter and Paul Romanian Orthodox Church, Dearborn Heights, Mich; Deacon Jason Krokos, Holy Anargyroi, Rochester, Minn; Paul Lundberg, Dormition of the Theotokos, Greensboro, N.C; Nicholas Marcus, Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Plymouth, Mich. Nicholas March, Three Hierarchs Church, Champaign, Ill; Deacon Thomas Newlin, St. John the Theologian, Webster,
Texas; Louis Nicholas, St. John the Baptist, Blue Point, N.Y. Dino Pappas, St. Nicholas, Portsmouth, N.H; Theodore Roupas, St. Barbara, Durham, N.C; Matthew Smith, St. George Cathedral, Hartford, Conn; Deacon Elias Stevens, Holy Trinity/Holy Cross, Birmingham, Ala; and George Tomczewski. St. Demetrios, Baltimore. “This has been an exciting visit,” Deacon Thomas Newlin said of the experience. “The overview of the different
ministries has been extremely informative and the hospitality has been excellent.” Deacon Panagiotis Hanley commented, “I’ve been very impressed. I think it is wonderful that the Archdiocese goes to the lengths it does to inspire students to go out into the working world. Everybody has been wonderful to us,” he said. “It’s been nice to familiarize myself with people who keep the Archdiocese running on a daily basis,” said Fr. Athanasios Haros.
Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries Director Fr. Mark Leondis was one of several speakers who explained the role of their ministry.
Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in Manhattan was one of three New York area cathedrals the seminarians visited. They are shown here with Fr. Frank Marangos, dean.
Archdiocesan Chancellor Bishop Savas of Troas gives opening remarks to Seminarians.
Seniors receive Archbishop Demetrios’ blessing and a parting gift after their luncheon.
Thousands March in NYC Parade
Metropolis of Pittsburgh’s Olympic Dancers march up Fifth Avenue in the April 6 Greek Independence Day Parade in New York. They were one of 97 units who marched in the nearly four-hour long parade. More parade pictures on page 31.
Chicago Museum Opens Sacred Art Exhibit CHICAGO -- The Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center (801 W. Adams St.) opened its newest exhibition; “Sacred Art” on March 20. Sacred Art is a collection of icons, manuscripts, liturgical vestments and sacred objects of the Greek Orthodox tradition. The artistic and aesthetic qualities of the selected ecclesiastical items demonstrate Greek history through the symbolism, styles and approaches that developed in specific periods and locations. Richly embroidered vestments, beautifully rendered icons and manuscripts, and ornate ritual objects reveal the inspiration of the artisans that created them and reflect their extraordinary interpretations of traditional techniques. In addition to the exhibition, the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center has organized lectures and public programming. Through this exhibition and these programs, the Museum aims to provide an understanding of the artistic and stylistic quality of these items, as well as historical information regarding the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek American community. The museum will offer a lecture for the exhibition on June 1 on “The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” For more information regarding Sacred Art or its programs and lectures, contact Peter Georgalan, communications manager, at 312-655-1234 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Louis Community To Build New Center ST. LOUIS -- Ten acres along Interstate 64 will soon be transformed into “A Light in the city and a Beacon on the Hill.” This term has been coined by the St. Nicholas parishioners who have come forward to take on leadership roles in developing a state-of-the-art Family Life Center which will accommodate the expanding church ministries. “Upon approval of the General Assembly, an agreement has been signed to retain the architectural services of architect Steven Papadatos and his New York firm to design the one of a kind Family Life Center,” said Nicky Antoniou, Parish Council president. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with “the renown architect, Mr. Steven Papadatos who has created phenomenal design achievements for other communities, particularly at the James Pihos Cultural Center at the An-
nunciation in Milwaukee, and St. Iakovos in Valparaiso, Indiana,” commented Tom Whaley, design chairman of St. Nicholas Family Life Center. Mr. Whaley is certain about the project’s success especially since the architect’s designs are all different and unique, reflecting the personality of the parish. According to Fr. Doug Papulis, St. Nicholas parish priest, “The St. Nicholas Family Life Center represents the next chapter in the community’s life. I see the facility as a real opportunity to expand the ministries of the church. Although our historic vote to approve the development was the culmination of a great deal of planning and hard work, we know there is much more to be done before construction can begin. Later this month, a group of parishioners and I will meet with Mr. Papadatos to begin the process of finalizing the design.”
Champs again! The girls volleyball team of Archangels Church in Stamford, Conn., recently won their third consecutive Eastern Orthodox Volleyball League Championship. (kneeling, from left) Virginia Gasparakis, Nicole Yoranidis and Rachel Mihaleas (standing) Chrissie Poulos, assistant coach; Stephanie Adams, Hailey Holbrook, Mary Poulos, Katrina Wells, Amy Sierpina, Megan Demitros, Olivia Demetros and Nicole Sierpina, coach.
Everything from the Mayor of New York, to ladies in urns to bikers sporting Greek flags punctuated the nearly four-hour long Greek Independence Day Parade on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue April 6. Thousands of marchers representing nearly 100 different groups turned out for probably the longest such parade held. The parade included the usual dignitaries and Greek political leaders, including 10 members of the Greek Parliament and the ambassador to the U.N., as well as Cyprus’ ambassador to the U.S., a unit of NYPD’s Greek American officers, an electricians union, college Greek clubs, and even some non-Greek marchers. Groups from as far as Pittsburgh marched up the nearly one-mile length of the avenue. Also represented were parishes from three states, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. There were several bands, including the Mother Cabrini High School Drum Corps from Washington Heights in upper Manhattan, who make an annual appearance. Though the threat of rain was present with continuous overcast gray skies, marchers and parade-goers got no precipitation during the chilly afternoon. See page 31 for additional coverage.
Religious Questions Explored at Retreat by Catherine Tsounis
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – “Why do you not want to be where I (God) wanted you to be?” is the question raised by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, main speaker at the 30th annual Zoullas Lenten Retreat at Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church. Fr. Mark Arey, director of the Archdiocese Ecumenical Office, presided over the GOYA afternoon religious retreat organized by Rev. Constantine and Presbytera Anastasia Lazerakis. “Sin unites us”, said Fr. Chryssavgis. “Death, cancer unites us. We are together in this. Before I was ordained a priest, I knew how to save the world. Now I am ordained and do not know how to save the world. The most important moment is right now. Many of us might say, ‘if only I was in a different place or could do things differently!’ Where you are placed is where you must make it work.” Fr. Chryssavgis, a professor of theology, is former dean at Holy Cross School of Theology, and the author of several books and numerous articles on Orthodox spirituality. This lecture series was created by Nick Zoullas in memory of his parents, Socrates and Louisa. The Zoullases, who were philanthropists in Athens during WWII, opened soup kitchens to save their starving compatriots. They worked behind the scenes in their Southampton community, helping the hospital and Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church.
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Metropolitan Methodios Begins Great Lent with Philoxenia House Residents
Metropolitan Methodios with Aris and Andreas at Philoxenia House.
BOSTON – Metropolitan Methodios spend a good part of Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday) at the Philoxenia House, speaking with the residents who are so far away from home. Very pleased with his presence among them, they welcomed him with gratitude and enjoyed a traditional Lenten meal of grilled calamari, octopus, shrimp, beans, chick peas, vegetables, halva, bread and fruits. Every guest took part
in the preparation of the meal. Those who felt blessed with the Metropolitan’s presence among them included: eight-year-old Andreas, with mom and dad from Cyprus; six-month old Aris, with mom and aunt from Athens; 20-year-old Panagioti and mom from Thessaloniki; Thanasi from Athens, accompanied by his daughter; Despina from Athens, accompanied by her husband.
Mobile Parish Holds Fund-Raiser for Fire Victims in Greece MOBILE, Ala. – Members of Annunciation Church recently held a fund-raiser to aid the victims of the August fires in Greece, raising more than $13,000 for the International Orthodox Christian Charities. The parish invited Marilyn Rouvelas, author of “A Guide to Greek Customs and Traditions in America, and Nick Chakos,
development officer for the IOCC to be guest speakers. “We along the Gulf coast know what it is to lose everything, said parishioner Katherine Spyridon, a member of the Fire Relief Committee and former resident of Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Pascagoula, Miss. “We had to do something.”
Chicago Bishop Elected New President of Interfaith Group The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC) has unanimously elected Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos of the Metropolis of Chicago as its new president for 2008-09. He is the first Orthodox Christian to occupy this position. CRLMC was established in 1984 and absorbed the 1964 National Conference on Religion and Race. It is composed of chief leaders of the Greater Chicago area’s Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish and Islamic communions and institutions. The churches, synagogues and mosques represented around the Council’s table embrace nearly 4 million men, women and children. Its seminaries prepare clergy and leaders for service in the Greater Chicago area and throughout the world. The Council embraces a broad diversity of theological, ideological and political orientations. It is a microcosm of American religion as it exists in a great city and urban area in the American heartland. Bishop Demetrios, a native Chicagoan born to first-generation Greek Americans, named as ‘one of the 12 people to watch’ by The Chicago Sun-Times (Jan. 5, 2003), grew up as an active participant in the life of the city’s historic Assumption community at 601 S. Central Avenue. He obtained his graduate divinity degree ‘with high distinction’ in 1987 from Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Mass. Following graduation he pursued post-graduate work in the doctor-
al philosophy program of Chicago’s Loyola University, concentrating in the area of metaphysics. Having received monastic tonsure, Bishop Demetrios was ordained to the Diaconate in October 1989. In 1992, he was ordained to the priesthood and, in 1995, elevated to the rank of Archimandrite, all through the hands of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. Since then, he has served as assistant and deacon to the bishop, as associate pastor of Annunciation Cathedral of Chicago, and presently as chancellor of the Metropolis of Chicago. He was consecrated a bishop on Dec. 9, 2006. Bishop Demetrios has worked extensively to build bridges of understanding and improve relationships between: Chicago’s Greek Orthodox Community and other Orthodox groups; as well as, other Christian and non-Christian groups. His ecumenical and interfaith commitments are numerous, coalescing around areas of social justice and advocacy. In 1992, Bishop Demetrios established the Bishop’s Task Force on AIDS, the first formal Orthodox Christian response to this pandemic in the Western Hemisphere. Also, with an unyielding commitment to the sanctity of life, Bishop Demetrios works for justice and humanity in the prison system as an advisory board member, and past President (2003-2005) of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. He is the 2007 recipient of “The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s” annual Cunningham-Carey Award.
It is the day of Resurrection! Let us be glorious in the splendor of the feast! On the miraculous day of the Radiant and Life-giving Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey Joyously unites his voice with all Orthodox Christians who today exclaim with unsurpassing exultation
CHRIST IS RISEN And conveys his Paschal greetings and best wishes on this most blessed day to the Reverend Clergy, the pious Orthodox Faithful of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey and to all Orthodox Christians, wishing from the depths of his heart that our Risen Lord, who trampled death by death, grants to all of us His divine protection and infinite compassion as we proclaim and embrace His glorious Resurrection to the ends of the Earth.
Taste of the Shore chairmen with Fr. Andrew and Presbytera Angela Eugenis.
NJ Church Sponsors ‘Taste of Shore’ Event by Marissa Costidis
EATONTOWN, N.J. – More than 300 guests enjoyed a delicious sampling of food and drinks at the «Taste of the Shore,» a Culinary extravaganza, held at the Sheraton in Eatontown, on Feb. 11. The event, chaired by Dr. and Mrs. Steve and Zoe Paragioudakis of Ocean, N.J., raised funds for St. George Church in Asbury Park for its new church and community center scheduled to be built within the next few years in Ocean Township. Generous restaurant and cocktail establishments who participated include: David Burke’s Fromagerie, Manhattan Steakhouse, Piccola Italia, Ashes, Elements Steakhouse and Lounge, The Bistro at Red Bank, Branches, Cask 591, Brandl, SAWA, Catering by Freddy, Cheese on Main, Doris and Ed’s, Cypress Café, Mattison Park Martini Bar, It’s Greek to Me, Tuzzio’s, Scarborough Fair, Sheraton, Synaxis at the
Shore, PFG by AFI Foodservice, gourmet chocolates by Invitations by Sylvia, and more. Also participating were Court Liquors, Crown Beer, Wonderful Ethnics, Tommy Bahama Rum and Pepsi. Members of the committee have been working for the past year gathering vendors and gifts for a Silent Auction. In addition to the Chairs Dr. and Mrs. Paragioudakis committee members include: Ad Journal/Silent Auction Chair Evelyn Nitis Papageorge, Decorations Diedre and Nick Kosmas, Raffle Chair Sophie Anest, Rev. Andrew Eugenis, Helen Capone, Marianne Chagares, Anastasia Constantinou, George Costidis, Anthony and Frannie Damiano, Penelope Gabriel, Odysseas Kolasis, Dr. Kosta Linardakis, Dr. Manolis Manolakakis, Marika Manolakakis, Anne Michals, Anne Papageorge, Aris Papageorge, John and Colleen Pardenek, Savas and Maria Tsivicos, and Barbara Vanwagner.
A Word from the Cross: “It Is Finished!” page 12 declares that it was for this very purpose that Jesus came: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were sinners, Christ died for us... in Him we have redemption through his blood, and the forgiveness of our sins in accordance with the riches of his grace . . .” (Romans 5, Ephesians 1) SATAN’S DOMINION OVERCOME The fourth thing that Christ meant by the phrase “It is finished!” is that Satan’s dominion had been overcome. God’s goal in sending Jesus Christ into the world was for the purpose of becoming its Savior. The conflict, therefore, which reaches its climax at Calvary, is not between religions, ideologies or human parties, but between the powers of light and darkness, the principalities and powers, between Good and evil, between the serpent and the Second Adam. When Christ announced “It is finished” He declared the contest over. The rest of history is but the playing out of a match in which the final result is no longer in doubt! It must always be in this spirit that the Orthodox Christian confronts suffering and evil – however bad it may seem and however strong it may appear – satan’s fate is sealed and his domnion’s ultimate defeat certain! THE CURTAIN TORN The fifth and final thing that Christ is trying to convey to us by the phrase “It is finished!” is that the gate of heaven is open. Through faith, a way back to God is available to those who will come. It is reported by Matthew (27:53) that at that moment that Jesus breathed His last ‘the veil (curtain) of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” What may here seem
Warmest Regards to All
Peter J. & Catherine Pappas
meaningless is rich with significance. The veil refers to the elaborately embroidered curtain that, in the Temple of Jerusalem, separated the congregation from the Holy of Holies – the presence of God. When Jesus died on the Cross He was cutting open this boundary. He was breaking down the closed door and opening up the way for humanity to come to approach their Creator. When He triumphantly declared “It is finished” He was announcing - not only to God but to us all - that it was done. In His death He had demolished the wall, broken down the door, opened up the way for the sinful to receive forgiveness – to approach and to know God. In the end, it should be understood that though IT was finished, HE was not. Jesus did not say: “I am finished.” Rather, the mission upon which God had sent Him into the world was now accomplished. The plan of God had been fully carried out. The Son of Man came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Christ Jesus came into the world “to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). God sent forth his Son, born of a woman “to redeem them that were under the law” (Galatians 4:4). He was manifested “to take away our sins” (1 John 3:5). On the cross this was perfectly done . . . once for all. Sin’s penalty has been completely paid, Satan’s dominion has been overcome, and heaven’s door has been opened to all who accept and follow Him. Fr. Marangos is dean of the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at St. John’s University.
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Forgiveness Versus ‘Forgetness’
by John Smyrni
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you. (Matthew 6:12, 14–15) A friend of mine once asked me, “Yianni, do you know why the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?” Struggling at one of the emotional intersections of my life where humanity, humility, and I were fighting for the right-of-way, I quickly snapped, “No!” She calmly responded, “Because they take care of their yard.” I stopped struggling as the magnitude of her simple lesson started to sink in. I looked at my yard full of resentment, anger, and fear and realized I needed to clean it. The only way I could root up those hostile weeds, and plant instead the flowers of acceptance, love, and faith, was through the power of forgiveness, but I was trapped in a “you first” battle with my fellow man and consequently with myself. I had misread the passage in Matthew to say “…and ‘forget’ our debts, hoping our debtors will ‘forget’ us.” God’s formula stared me square in the face–I heard it every time I said the Lord’s Prayer–“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” When we say this prayer, we set the bar on our request for forgiveness that it only be granted in accordance to the forgiveness we have toward others. But what is forgiveness, who do we forgive, and how do we do this? How do we tell the difference between forgiveness and ‘forgetness’? Fr. Meletios Webber writes in his book The Steps of Transformation (Conciliar Press, Ben Lomond, Calif.), “God’s forgiveness needs to be accepted before it is of any value to us.”
Forgiveness, a declaration
It is useful to consider that forgiveness is a fact, a declaration, a piece of information, not a feeling. If we wait to feel that we have been forgiven, it often means that we have lost the sense that what we did actually needed to be forgiven in the first place. When we forgive each other, as we are asked to do frequently in our church life, it is important to remember that forgiveness is not a feeling, but a decision. Our feelings may or may not match our decision to forgive. In fact, forgiveness is likely to be more significant when it runs counter to our feelings. If we say, “I forgive you” and feel nothing, it likely means that what we are actually saying is that we
have forgotten some particular wrong, not that we are forgiving it. When our feelings are outraged our decision to forgive is usually much more significant. Our feelings may (or may not) catch up with our decision but they do not affect the forgiveness, or cause it in any way. Through the active process of forgiveness, we are able to develop full and meaningful relationships with humanity and most importantly with God. As Orthodox Christians, we find nothing passive in our relationship with God. We do not lie around waiting to become Noah, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, or any other sentinel of the faith who appears to have a DSL or Broadband (high-speed) connection to heaven. Fr. Meletios affirms that “God meets us in the ordinary events of life, and we learn to respond with humility and gratitude, under all circumstances.” It is in this landscape of the ordinary events of life that the need to forgive and the need to be forgiven is found.
To the person who is actively seeking a more profound relationship with God, self-centeredness gives way to self-evaluation and spiritual inventory (which ultimately points to the sacrament of confession) and, if practiced on a regular, if not daily, basis is a method of spiritual gardening that keeps our side of the fence clean. By forgiving regardless of being forgiven, we are suiting up and showing up for the Christian life and doing our part regardless of how it makes us feel. Sometimes it can be difficult when we ask someone for forgiveness and they are not ready to forgive, but it’s important to remember that we are not all ready on the same day. When we ask for forgiveness with a sincere and repentant heart we have done our part to address our role, remembering we can only care for our side of the fence. To be repentant is about me changing my mind, not me
changing your mind. In a talk given to a group of parents whose children had attended the Crossroads Program at Hellenic College in Boston, Fr. Thomas Hopko explained how to develop a practical approach to this active process of forgiveness. Parents could best teach and exemplify the concept of forgiveness to their children by asking their children for forgiveness. This is an active teaching method–not a passive one–and in this way we as parents are teaching by doing, while in the process transmitting the hands-on concept of humility as well as the practical how to of forgiveness. Subsequently, forgiveness does not become a theoretical or solely theological construct, but becomes an actual spiritual reality that we at first experience within the core framework of Orthodox family life. From there, it expands into the outer dimensions of friends, associates, career, and society. Ultimately it becomes part of our vocation–no longer foreign, but familiar and easily put into practice. In family life where parents are always struggling with the rightness of their actions and always seeking to do the best for the entire family, this becomes an extremely powerful learning experience for the children. To see the persons whom they honor and respect teach in such a humble fashion can have an incredibly far-reaching and positive impact that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. The lives of the saints display this pattern or rhythm as they walked and lived, always teaching forgiveness, by always giving forgiveness, not just to those who were close and familiar but, more importantly, to those who were adversaries and persecutors. As we are approaching the Resurrection, we reflect on our Lenten journey that began with a call to forgiveness at the beautiful Vespers held the evening before Clean Monday. The Holy Orthodox Church, in her wisdom, brings us back to this call right as we proclaim the Resurrection. At the Paschal Liturgy, we chant, “It is the day of Resurrection! Let us shine forth in splendor for the festival, and embrace one another. Let us say ‘Oh brethren,’ even to those who do not love us; let us forgive all things in the resurrection, and thus let us exclaim: ‘Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and bestowing life to those in the tombs.” (Doxastikon) John Smyrni is a Religious Studies major at Hellenic College. He is from the San Francisco Metropolis where he is actively involved in his home parish, St. Anna’s Greek Orthodox Church in Roseville, Calif.
The articles on this page are provided by the Center for Family Care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For further information, visit www.familyaschurch.org or call (845) 424-8175
A Story of Extraordinary Forgiveness
There once lived a holy archbishop who was sought out by pilgrims because of his great spiritual insight. As his popularity and the demands on his time grew, he wished to retreat into a life of noetic prayer–ceaseless prayer of the mind and the heart. He was granted permission to move back to his native island where he lived more fully a monastic life. One day, a man desperately knocked at the monastery door; he had committed a murder and was trying to flee from the villagers seeking revenge. The man confessed his sins to the holy archbishop, now the abbot of the monastery. As he listened, the abbot realized that the person who the man had murdered was the abbot’s own brother. God helped the abbot see into the heart of this man and see how sorry he was. He forgave the man who murdered his brother and read the confessional prayer of absolution. The abbot then helped the man to escape so that he could live the rest of his life in prayer and repentance at a monastery. This holy abbot is St. Dionysios of Zakynthos–he exemplifies true forgiveness.
FAMILY ACTIVITY CORNER
Forgive Me Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. –Matthew 5:24–25 A good habit to develop is asking forgiveness from family members on mornings when you are attending Divine Liturgy. Teach your children to respond to someone that asks for forgiveness by saying “May God forgive us both” as you exchange the kiss of peace. You can build on this practice by extending out from your family. A few days before the Liturgy ask your children if there is anyone who they need to forgive or seek forgiveness from. In doing this on a regular basis, you are teaching your children how to reconcile their differences before they embed themselves in their hearts.
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES Family Resources for Forgiveness The Handmaiden (Vol. 9 No. 3), Summer 2005–This wonderful magazine for Orthodox women devotes this issue to forgiveness and reconciliation. Articles include: Reconciliation and Forgiveness, Reconciling Our Most Intimate Relationships, Exterminating the Roots of Bitterness, and others. Forgiveness and Reconciliation by Hieromonk Jonah–What does it mean to truly forgive? Why is it so hard to forgive those closest to you? How do you forgive other people when they've hurt you, and how do you seek forgiveness and reconciliation when you have sinned against someone? Confession: Doorway to Forgiveness by Jim Forest–Without an acknowledgement of sin and the longing for forgiveness and reconciliation, the Gospel makes little sense.
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Bible InsightS Behold Thy King Cometh Unto Thee
by Fr. William Gaines
Down the slopes of Olivet the Christ of long centuries rode upon the day we celebrate and call “Palm Sunday.” He moved in a royal way, as prophecy has said, to the City of David. After Him and around Him thronged the multitudes from the hillsides. And from Bethany, and from the villages and from the old city came other multitudes to meet the concourse whose shouting floated across the valley. They broke branches from the palm trees. They strewed them in the way, before, behind, singing, shouting “Hosanna to the son of David!” It was the day of the triumph of the lowly Nazarene. Palms in the roadway, palms in their hands, palms waving, exultant and voices shouting “Rejoice! O daughter of Zion, thy King cometh unto thee.” A week is only a little time. Its days pass by more quickly than the emotions of human hearts. Between the hours of that procession of mighty exultation and the morning of the seventh day to come was to be exacted the most fearsome tragedy of the whole world. Against the man for whom they cried on the one day, “Hosanna,” they were to cry, “Away with Him, crucify Him!” Before the seventh day had passed, between the morning of the palms and that of the resurrection were Calvary and the open tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. It did not take seven days to make exultant voices sounding the praises of the king change to the awful note, “Crucify Him.” It did not take seven days to see Him buried in a rock-cut sepulcher. It needed only the breaking of the seventh day to see the victim raised to life and power once again. How like the ups and downs of life were the incidents of that one week in the
life of Jesus. Men go from ecstatic piety to depths of depression in their religious life. Revivals sweep communities and then fearful reactions come. What we want in our Christianity is not so much a keeping of days as a keeping of truth with Christ. We need no leaping, running, branch-breaking. We need men and women who day by day will follow calmly, steadily the life that Christ lived. Because of the distance of time and the difference in customs, it is not easy for us to grasp how perfectly Jesus made plain His claims to be the appointed messiah and king of the Jews. This thing was not done in a dark corner; it was perfectly plain to every intelligent Jew, and so plain to the new positions of authority that they were compelled to do something about it. He claimed to be nothing less that almighty God’s chosen person to affect the salvation of the individual soul and the salvation of the Hebrews, and the transformation and salvation of human society. There can be no mistake about it; it is folly to argue that Jesus is something less than the Messiah. We cannot do that and avoid showing that He was either self-deceived or else an open hypocrite. Jesus Christ claims to be the only savior of us all and that triumphal entry is absolutely typical of the response that each of us must make to His claim. Today, we join with the innumerable company to acclaim a king riding into His capital city. As He rode down Olivet, He challenged the world order with the proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the banners of the future floated unseen above Him. That kingdom is still a promise unfulfilled, but the King was - and is - the rightful master of our loyalties and the kingdom, dream though it is, will not let us rest till we have established its boundaries in the souls of men and set its banner above all our standards.
The Ever-Living Christ
“Then came Jesus …and stood in the midst…” (John 20:26) Easter is the story of a Presence. Those who looked for Jesus in the grave are rebuked by the angel’s words “Why seek ye the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5). They are on the right quest, but they are looking in the wrong place. The ministry of Jesus continues as he walks the road again with his disciples. This speaks to us of the immense vitality in goodness, a vitality that cannot be halted by death, nor crushed by evil, nor overwhelmed by circumstance. This power of going on belongs to goodness and to God. The things that contradict goodness and God possess in themselves the secret of decay. The Victor, with the power of God in His spirit, faced the world’s worst and overcame it, and in doing he transformed everything. Easter is the story of a person. The records of the appearances following the resurrection of Jesus tell of a person meeting with friends, recognition and restored friendships and continuing deeds of thoughtfulness. Jesus is a person, living on, ministering to His friends, even beyond the time when His early life came to an end. What Christ was, He is, and we can still know Him as a person.
Multitudes of Christians can give testimony that the living Christ stands by us at our best and to make us ashamed when we live at something less that our best. The power of his resurrection can lift life to new levels. Easter is the story, not only of a person, but also of an eternal person. In His life, death and resurrection is revealed the mighty power of God. God is the hero of the Easter story. With one great deed, he struck off the shackles of death and gave His Son the glory of life and freedom forever. The wonderful thing about the risen Christ is that he can be everybody’s contemporary. He is the living Lord for every age and every people. No longer limited or circumscribed by geography or time, now He walks every road with every man who will turn to Him in faith. Easter is the story of the Savior of the world. It is the world’s Savior who makes the road to Emmaus the road to Eternity. He gives to very man’s life its true meaning. The great prayer of Paul: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.” (Phil 3:10), is a prayer that
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Challenge What’s Up Recognition? YOUTH MINISTRY
the tomb empty. They even invited him to stay the night. They saw Him, but did not see Him. In Luke 24:30-31 we read, “Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.” This Pascha, when you pass the Light of the Risen Christ, try to recognize Him in each stranger. Strive to treat all people with the same compassion, love, and kindness as Julio did to the young man who tried to mug him. Challenge yourself to see past your first impressions. Open the book. You may recognize someone you know. (The story of Julio Diaz has been adapted from the original aired on NPR.)
by Vasie-Leigh Andriotis
We have all heard the phrase, “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” But, is it true? Take a moment to think about all of your friends. Remember the first time you met them or saw them at school? Did you recognize them instantly as your new “B.F.F?” Let’s be honest, we all have friends that we didn’t exactly connect with at first. But a soccer team, a class, or carpool group allowed us to get to know them and recognize them for who they really are. We have also heard our parents say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” How many times have you read the book when you didn’t like the cover? Can you recognize what is inside? On March 28, National Public Radio’s (NPR) Morning Edition program aired a story from the “Story Corps Project.” Ordinary Americans enter a sound booth at New York’s Grand Central Station, or other mobile booths around the country, and tell stories from their lives. That morning, 30 year old Julio Diaz told the story of a night in February when he was robbed on the New York subway on his way home from work. Every night he stops at his favorite diner on the way home. A teenager with a knife approached him and asked Julio for his wallet. Julio gave him the wallet without a struggle. But as the young man walked away, Julio called out to him. He said, “Hey, wait a minute, you forgot something. If you are going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.” With a look of surprise the robber asked Julio why he would do such a thing. He replied to the robber, “If you are willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me… hey you are more than welcome.” The two went into the diner and sat down together. The waiters, dishwashers, and even the manager came by the table to greet Julio Diaz. The young man was amazed, and asked Julio if he owned the place, since he knew so many people. Julio Diaz explained that he was a regular. The teen was amazed that Julio was even nice to the dishwasher. He had been taught that you should be nice to everybody, but didn’t believe that people actually did that. Julio told the teen that he would pay for lunch if he returned the wallet…and he did. Out of the wallet, Julio pulled a $20
Challenge is the Youth & Young Adult Ministries supplement to the Orthodox Observer. Articles reﬂect the opinion of the writers. Write to: Youth & Young Adult Ministries, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 83 St. Basil Rd., Garrison, New York 10524 or email: youthofﬁce@goarch.org
Vasie-Leigh Andriotis, M.Div (HC/ HC Class of 1997), is the former youth director of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh. She and her husband, Eugene, live in Pittsburgh,. Vasie-Leigh still continues to serve the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, writing and contributing to the youth ministry programs.
bill and offered it to his dinner companion. He told him that he would give it to him in exchange for his knife. The young man handed his knife to Julio. Julio Diaz ended is story by saying, “I figure, you know, if you treat people right you can only hope that they treat you right…” Julio Diaz recognized that the young mugger was more that he appeared. He didn’t see him as a criminal or a bad seed, but as a young man who was in need of money, clothing, food and kindness…a child of God. As Orthodox Christians we are called to do as Julio did; to recognize Christ in all of our brother and sisters (Matthew
25:35-40). During the Last Supper, which we commemorate on Holy Thursday morning, Christ recognizes that even His disciples are not as they appear. Judas had betrayed Him and Peter had denied Him. Yet Christ, at His final meal, still breaks bread and drinks wine at the table with them. He saw their weaknesses, but showed His divine love to them anyhow. (Luke 22:21-34) After Christ’s Resurrection, the disciples did not recognize Him on the road to Emmaus. They thought He was a stranger and recounted the story of His crucifixion to Him. They told Him how the women found
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Bullying Has Gone ‘Cyber’ Long gone are the days when the “bully” at school would knock the books out of your hands or push you into your locker. Throughout the U.S., youth of all ages are still utilizing popularity, physical stature, and threats of violence to bully their weaker peers. It is a frightening reality, sometimes resulting in violent tragedies such as the Columbine High School shootings and the shootings at Virginia Tech. Unfortunately, bullying is no longer restricted to the halls of our schools. Bullying has now moved to a larger platform: the World Wide Web. Cyber-bullying can be defined as harassment, intimidation, teasing, and threats that are communicated through a form of technology. This might be carried out via instant messages, text messaging, chat rooms, or on social networking websites. According to research adapted by www.cuberbullying.us approximately 33 percent of youth surveyed had been the victim of cyber bullying. On this website, one can read many personal statements from teens about the effects of cyber-bullying. This growing epidemic affects their self-esteem, friendships, and reputations among their peers. In many cases, youth do not want to go to school or attend social
events. But the effects of cyber-bullying can be much more severe. Cyber-bullying was brought to the spotlight when, in October 2006, 13-year-old Megan Meier committed suicide allegedly due to the cruel messages she received from her new online friend. So how do we, as Orthodox Christians, begin to address this issue? Don’t Be a Cyber-Bully We see in Genesis 1:26, from the very beginning, that “God created man in His own image.” Our actions and words should reflect our recognition and appreciation for this gift. Throughout the New Testament, we are taught to love God AND to love our neighbor. In fact, in Matthew 25:32-46, Jesus emphasizes that the things we do or don’t do for each other reflects how we
G in Culture
would treat our own Lord and Savior. Don’t Be a Cyber-Bully Victim Jesus Christ, Himself, experienced bullying. People mocked Him, spoke falsehoods about Him, even denied and betrayed Him. Satan, the ultimate “bully,” even tried to tempt Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus never allowed these “bullies” to diminish the awesome power of God and the blessed Resurrection. Resources and Solutions Communication is the key to battling cyber-bullying. Adults should keep an open communication with their children about the internet, chatting, and cyber-bullies. Plus parents must take a more-active role in teaching their youth about internet safety. Young people should let their parents know if they, or someone they know, are being victimized by a cyber-bully. Unfortunately, most cases of cyber-bullying are discovered too late and have already become very dangerous. There are many websites and articles on the internet that address this topic. Visit some of the following websites for more information about cyber-bullying: www.cyberbullying.us, www.netsmartz.org, www.cyberbullyhelp. com, www.wiredsafety.org
Archbishop Demetrios celebrates a Doxology at Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral on April 6th prior to the start of the Greek Independence Day Parade on 5th Avenue, which included many dignitaries and government officials from Greece.
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service, the entire congregation sings the hymns as there is no chanter. Readers are selected for the Bible passages. The parish “also has a very successful GOYA program at the high school level;” Fr. Stylianopoulos stated. The group is involved in various social, philanthropic and educational activities through the year. They raise funds to donate to local philanthropic agencies. Goyans also participate in winter sports activities. The priest has seven acolytes to assist in the service. They, along with several high school-age girls, each year attend a program for acolytes at the seminary, though the girls do not serve in the altar. As part of its outreach program, St. George Church co-sponsors the annual Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Pines in nearby Rindge, N.H. on the second Sunday in July. Pan-Orthodox faithful from throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire attend. The outdoor facility is characterized by its idyllic setting overlooking a local lake. Its seating consists of weatherized flat wooden boards on stumps underneath a forest of pine trees, the sky as the dome and a carpet of pine needles. One of the parish’s accomplishments in recent years has been the construction of
a new hall, built at a cost of about $600,000. No debt was incurred as the funds for the hall’s construction were raised over a period of years. Fr. Stylianopoulos says of the hall in his parish history, “It has stood proudly as a symbol of the presence and witness of St. George Church to the civic, cultural, and religious life of the wider Keene community.” The Hellenic Hall was dedicated by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston on Nov. 19, 2000. In describing his parish and his ministry at St. George, Fr. Theodore commented, “We are small but a small parish which seeks to preach the gospel, to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and contribute to philanthropic projects in order to fulfill our mission as an Orthodox Christian community.” He says that the most challenging part of his ministry is “how to draw young people to church after their high school years and to continue in the worship life of the church, and how to draw the participation in the worship of the church in view of the powerful social and economic forces that make our society to drift away from traditional Christianity and to keep our people connected to the church with so much going on.” —Compiled by Jim Golding
page 5 On Friday the group toured the many ancient holy sites of Constantinople, including Hagia Sophia, Christ the Savior Church at Chora, Barukli Monastery and the Theodosian Walls. Friday evening, local businessman, and patron of the Patriarchate, Laki Vingas, hosted a dinner for the students at a beautiful restaurant located on the famous Bosporus – an elegant and relaxing end to a week of hard work and prayer. At the end of the trip, Fr. Kevin Scherer noted, “Now that His All Holiness has given us the blessing to come back, Constantinople will be an annual Real Break site, and very likely the most popular! There are hundreds of students who would gladly give up their spring break to have the once-in-a-lifetime blessing and experience we had this week.”
I believe we all felt a sense of closure knowing that the Patriarch celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the church we restored the Sunday after we left. Another surprise visit provided additional affirmation that our group had accomplished something significant. On the last day, a lady from the community stopped by the church. We found out later that her son died in that church many years ago. As she entered the sanctuary, she made her way around to venerate every single icon. Then her eyes filled with tears as she looked up at the ceiling and exclaimed in Greek, “My God, it’s beautiful.” Our hotel was right across the street from the Patriarchal Church of St. George. Desiring to make the most of every opportunity, I woke up early each morning to attend matins. Even though the words were in Greek, which I do not understand, the rhythm of the prayers was familiar. My heart understood.
Chip Southworth is OCF director of communications.
Justin Du Bruille is an OCF member at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash.
The Ever-Living Christ page 27 life may take on its proper meaning and dimension. If Easter power can come into our life to lift us above discouragement, depression and disenchantment and give to us vigor of enterprise and the nerve to accomplish finer deeds, then it will be ac-
complishing that which God intends. The living Christ will give to us His grace according to our needs, bringing light to our minds and encouragement to our hearts and strength to our spirits, if we will give Him a chance. Easter has transforming power for all who walk and talk “in the way” with the ever-living Christ.
NYC Parade Features 52 Floats, 97 Marching Groups
New York’s finest – Members of St. Paul’s Society includes many Greek Americans.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and young marchers. Archbishop Demetrios leads dignitaries and guests up Fifth Avenue on April 6 to makr the start of the annual Greek Independence Day Parade in New York. Thousands of marchers from at least four states participated in the nearly four-hour event. Parade Chairman John Catsimatidis (left) waves to the crowd.
Goyans from Brooklyn’s Greek Orthodox churches join forces.
Parade goers display their colors.
The Greek Warriors of Greater New York
Cretan societies formed one of the largest contingents.
Macedonians turn out in large numbers, preceded by this ﬂoat.
Greek American college students from various institutions in New York.
St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria is well represented. Holy Trinity-Hicksville honors Archbishop Iakovos of Blessed Memory.
New Jersey Cathedral’s ‘Ode to a Grecian Urn’.
Fr. Recachinas leads his Bridgeport, Conn. Holy Cross parishioners.
Norwalk, Conn., teens ROCK!
NY Greek Motorcycle Club concludes the event.
Evzones make their turn on to East 79th Street towards Archdiocese headquarters.
…Only a couple more blocks to go.