JULY–AUGUST 2009 • Vol. 74 • No. 1250
www.observer.goarch.org • e-mail: email@example.com
Ecumenical Patriarch Welcomes Patriarch of Moscow
ISTANBUL – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew welcomed Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the Phanar on July 4–6 for the first official visit of Patriarch Kirill to the Mother Church of Constantinople as Patriarch. Shortly after his election as Primate of the Russian Church, he had announced his intention to follow the traditional ecclesiastical protocol for heads of Churches, that is, to make a visit to the other heads (Greek, Prokathemenoi) in the proper order, beginning with the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome. After being received at the airport by the delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including Metropolitan John of Pergamon, Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, and V. Rev. Archimandrite Elpidoforos, Patriarch Kirill attended a Doxology at the Patriarchal Church of St. George, presided over by Metropolitan Evangelos of Perge, chairman of the Synodal Committee for Inter-Orthodox Affairs at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. That afternoon, the two Patriarchs also jointly chaired a special session of the same Synodal Committee. During a formal reception in the Hall of the Throne, His All Holiness referred to the long acquaintance, friendship, and cooperation with Patriarch Kirill over many years and on many levels, congratulating the Russian prelate on his deserved election and assuring him of the support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate: “Your Beatitude! You were born into a priestly family, you were nurtured by the piety of your priestly father, so that the Pauline words also hold true for you: “You have known the sacred letters from
Patriarch Kirill and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew exchange greetings.
childhood, and these are able to enlighten you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.’ (2 Tim. 3.15) When you were born, there was still ‘deep night’; and while you were a child, you experienced the horrible persecution that broke out exactly fifty years ago against the Church. You matured in difficult days, being molded as iron in the fire. All this was divine dispensation in order that you may be well prepared and qualified in ecclesiastical matters, gaining training and invaluable
experience for the struggle that you have assumed upon your shoulders with the great burden of Patriarchal responsibility for the difficult and critical times that lie ahead. Your qualifications, together with your broad education, your spiritual cultivation, the open horizons of your thought, your manifold virtue, your numerous acquaintances throughout the world, as well as the confidence and love of your
Archbishop Presents Donation to American Bible Society NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios on July 22 presented a $30,000 donation on behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod to American Bible Society President Dr. R. Lamar Vest at Archdiocese headquarters in gratitude for the ABS’ recent publication of the Orthodox Military Bible and other Orthodox-related projects. His Eminence made the presentation at a luncheon he hosted for Dr. Vest and key ABS staff involved in the publication of this first–ever military edition New Testament and Psalms for Orthodox Christians. The American Bible Society has underwritten all costs associated with the production and printing of the Orthodox
Dr. Lamar Vest of the American Bible Society accepts the donation from Archbishop Demetrios.
Military Bible. During their meeting, the Archbishop extended his sincere appreciation to Dr. Vest for the many successful projects that
have come to fruition as a result of the strong cooperation between the American
Ecumenical Patriarch to Visit U.S. in October NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios has announced that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will travel to the United States in October for a three–part visit that will include an Environmental Symposium on the Mississippi River and venues in New York, Atlanta and Washington. The Ecumenical Patriarch plans to arrive in Memphis in mid–October, and will lead the 8th Environmental Symposium titled, “The Great Mississippi River: Restoring Balance.” His All Holiness is the patron of this series of environmental symposia on various water bodies around the world and he is internationally known for his many efforts for environmental awareness and the well-deserved title “Green Patriarch.” “This trip of His All Holiness to America will be a unique opportunity for all the American people to hear the Ecumenical Patriarch’s message of reconciliation among all religions and people of the world, a message of respect for human rights and religious freedom for all, and a message of respect and reverence for God’s creation, our natural environment. Finally, for the Orthodox Christians in America this trip will truly be a blessing,” said Archbishop Demetrios about the Patriarchal visit. The Environmental Symposia are organized by “Religion, Science and the Environment,” a movement originally conceived in 1988 on the Aegean Isle of Patmos, at a meeting of environmental and religious leaders, out of concern for the water environment of the planet. RSE has convened seven symposia to study the fate of the world’s main bodies of water, which cover seven-tenths of the earth’s surface. These were held in the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, the Danube River, the Adriatic Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Amazon River and the Arctic Ocean. On the second leg of his trip, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is scheduled to come to New York on Oct. 25. His All Holiness’ program will include two Patriarchal Divine Liturgies, meetings with the clergy, ecumenical leaders, members of the Archdiocesan Council and the Archons and the acceptance of an honorary doctorate degree from Fordham University. The Ecumenical Patriarch will make a short visit to Atlanta on Oct. 29 and will return to New York on Oct. 30. Finally, the following week, Nov. 2–5, the Ecumenical Patriarch will visit Washington. Details of the schedule of His All Holiness’ visit will be forthcoming as they become available. His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch is the 270th successor to the Apostle Andrew and spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
JULY – AUGUST 2009
St. Photios Celebrates Landing Day ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine hosted its 23rd annual Greek Landing Day Celebration June 25–27 which this year honored architect Steven Papadatos who celebrates his 40th year in the profession. An opening reception took place for the introduction of a temporary exhibit of Mr. Papadatos’ works, including architectural drawings and photographs of some of his major buildings. The program included the invocation by Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos and Shrine Chaplain Fr. Nikitas Theodosion, welcoming remarks by Shrine Director Polly Hillier, and St. Photios Foundation greetings by Shrine architect Ted Pappas of Jacksonville, Fla. Mr. Papadatos gave the address and Archon Harry Thomas Cavalaris offered closing remarks. On the 26th, St. Augustine Mayor Joseph Bolles presented a proclamation for the Landing Day event. An essay reading by Victoria Pitenis followed. The Foundation’s executive board held its meeting at Holy Trinity Church. A glendi in the courtyard of the Shrine took place on the 27th, along with several children’s activities. Organizations and individuals that supported the event included the National Philoptochos, the Tourist Development Council of St. Johns County. Bishop Dimitrios, Fr. Joseph Samaan and family, Dr. and Mrs. George Croffead, (“godparents of the Shrine”), Eula Carlos and family, Harry, Jim and Joanne Cavalaris and family, Michael and Vannette Carousis, Dr. and Mrs. Stella Cakmis, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Furris, Allan and Polly Hillier, Mark and Effie Lasoff, Thomas and Rose McGrath, Dr. and Mrs. Steve Poulos, Pat Sarria, Dean and Joanne Stavrakas and the Philoptochos and parishes of Holy Trinity-Holy Cross, Birmingham, Ala.; Holy Trinity, Bridgeport, Conn.; Holy Trinity, Charlotte, N.C.; Holy Trinity, St. Augustine, St. Catherine, West Palm Beach; St. John, Jacksonville and St. Demetrios, Daytona Beach, Fla.
National Forum Convenes DETROIT – On July 8–12, the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians, the official Archdiocesan ministry for church music, held its annual meeting on July 8-12. Each of the Metropolis Church Music Federations sent representatives. In addition, church musicians and clergy who are stewards of the National Forum also participated. The National Forum members were hosted by the Assumption Church in St. Clair Shores. National Forum members were welcomed by Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit and engaged in a dialogue with him around a variety of church music topics.
Participants in the St. Basil Commencement Ceremony hear an inspiring speech by Joseph Al-Shanniek.
St. Basil Academy Holds 62nd Commencement Exercises GARRISON, N.Y. – St. Basil Academy marked its 65th year of operation and 62nd commencement on June 20. Several hundred people attended. The program included a musical presentation by the children of St. Basil’s and addresses from graduates Joseph Coutlis Al-Shanniek and Spyridon Mitches. National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas, St. Basil trustees president Evellyn Tsiadis, Consul General of Greece Agli Balta, and Consul General of Cyprus Andreas Panayiotou offered greetings and well-wishes to the graduates. Academy Director Fr. Constantine Sitaras offered his reflections on the succeful conclusion of another year in the life of St. Basil’s. A representative of the American Bible Society presented the graduates with pocket Bibles. Archbishop Demetrios, in his remarks, commented that the ceremony was “very dignified.” He also praised the presentation of Joseph Al-Shanniek, which was a very moving tribute to the Academy and its profound impact on his life.
An Invitation to Share the Theme As part of the Church’s effort to promote the theme of the 2008 Clergy-Laity Congress in Washington, “Gather My People to My Home,” the Orthodox Observer invites parishes, church organizations and individuals to submit articles for publication on the initiatives and efforts they have taken, or programs and projects they have launched to fulfill the goals of this theme. This will provide the opportunity to share with parishes throughout the Archdiocese the various experiences and approaches used by individual communities in implementing the “Gather-
EDITOR IN CHIEF Jim Golding (Chryssoulis) GREEK SECTION EDITOR Eleftherios Pissalidis
In 2009, published bi–monthly except for March and April by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Editorial and Business Ofﬁce: 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075 TEL.: (212) 570–3555 FAX (212) 774–0239
Joseph completed his bachelor of arts degree at Boston College. The other graduates are Spyridon Mitches, who completed his associate of arts degree at Dutchess Community College; 8th grader Zisis Koumboulis, and Samuel Pappas, who is moving up from kindergarten. Group and individual presentations of gifts included the following: National Philoptochos Society – National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas, Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos, Alumnae of the Class of 1950 Grammar School, American Bible Society, Athenian Society, Atlantic Bank, Nicholas Bouras, Cosmos Scholarship Fund, Daughters of Penelope, Demetra Chapter No. 33 Brooklyn, N.Y.; Louis Lorentzatos, Anastasios Manessis, Marathon Bank, Pan Gregorian of Metro New York and Long Island, Pan Gregorian Fund, John Psaras, Dino Rallis, Jerry Stephanitsis, The Benevolent Society Ladies of Kastoria, Evellyn and Steve Tsiadis, Annunciation Philoptochos Brockton, Mass; Ascension Philoptochos, Fairview, N.J; Church of Our Saviour Philoptochos, Rye,
PRODUCTION & ADVERTISING Eleftherios Pissalidis GRAPHIC ARTIST Abel Montoya ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Soula Podaras BUSINESS MANAGER Marissa P. Costidis
CONTRIBUTING CORRESPONDENT & PHOTOGRAPHER: Nicholas Manginas
ing People to My Home” theme. Articles should be 1,000 words or less. Additionally, each Metropolis will select a “model community” that has best applied the theme to its outreach ministry for presentation before the Archdiocesan Council and Clergy-Laity Congress next year. The Observer tentatively will begin running the articles submitted by parishes on an ongoing basis beginning later this year. Deadline is Aug. 24. E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Periodicals’ postage paid at New York, NY 10001 and at additional mailing offices. The Orthodox Observer is produced entirely in–house. Past issues can be found on the Internet, at: www.observer.goarch.org • E–mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Articles and advertising do not necessarily reﬂect the views and opinions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America which are expressed in ofﬁcial statements so labeled.
Subscription rates are $12 per year. Canada $25.00. Overseas Air Mail, $55.00 per year. $1.50 per copy. Subscriptions for the membership of the Greek Orthodox Church in America are paid through their contribution to the Archdiocese. Of this contribution, $5.00 is forwarded to the Orthodox Observer. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: ORTHODOX OBSERVER, 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075
N.Y; Holy Trinity, Staten Island, N.Y.; Holy Trinity Philoptochos, Hicksville, N.Y; Holy Trinity Philoptochos, Bridgeport, Conn; Holy Trinity, Westfield N.J; Kimissis Tis Theotokou Philoptochos, Brooklyn, N.Y; St. Demetrios Philoptochos, Jamaica, N.Y; St. George, Manhattan; St. George Philoptochos, Asbury Park, N.J; St. Spyridon Church, Manhattan; and Three Hierarchs Philoptochos, Brooklyn.
Going ‘Green’: A Reminder As noted in the May–June issue, like many publications that have already done so, the Orthodox Observer will offer an online version to readers who request it, in lieu of a hard copy beginning with the September issue. This is part of an overall effort by the Archdiocese to be environmentally aware. There is no cost to subscribe. Just e-mail your name, address, and customer number that appears on the mailing label to: email@example.com Participation is voluntary. Readers will continue to receive the printed version if they do not request the e-mail version. If you wish to receive the online version, when we receive your information, the print version will no longer be mailed to your home. In addition to a reduction in the amount of newsprint used, readers will receive the publication sooner than by regular mail.
For the record • The correct name of the dance group from the Pittsburgh Metropolis that marched in the New York parade is the “Olympic Dancers.” The group has been marching in the parade for 15 years. • In the article on the Mission Center opening, only Helen Nicozisis served as president of the Mission Center board, not her husband, Louis.
Next issue deadline The deadline for articles and photos for consideration in the September issue of the Orthodox Observer is Monday, Aug 24. Photos should be sent as large format (300 dpi or greater) jpg attachments. E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or regular mail to: Editor, Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79th St., New York, NY 10075.
JULY – AUGUST 2009
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
Beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year Day for the Protection of our Natural Environment
Ordinations to the Priesthood Deacon Thomas Guerry – St. Paul Church, Savannah, Ga. 04/26/09 Deacon. Jason Roll – Chapel at Holy Cross School of Theology, Brookline, Mass. 05/16/09 Assignments Deacopn Louis Nicholas – St. Paraskevi Church, Greenlawn, NY 06/01/09 Fr .Thomas Guerry – Annunciation Church, Winston-Salem, N.C. 06/01/09 Dn. Louis Nicholas – St. Paraskevi Church, Greenlawn, N.Y. 06/01/09 Fr. Robert Stephen Lawrence –Transfiguration of Our Savior Church, Lowell, Mass.06/07/09 Fr. Harry Pappas – Church of the Archangels, Stamford, Conn. 06/28/09 Fr. Vassilios Bebis – St. Nectarios Church, Roslindale, Mass. 07/01/09 Fr. Demetrios Kounavis – Sts. Constantine & Helen Church, Rockford, Ill. 07/01/09 Fr. Mark A. Muñoz – Holy Anargyroi-Sts. Kosmas & Damianos Church, Rochester, Minn. 07/01/09 Fr. Constantine Makrinos – Transfiguration of Christ Church, Mattituck, N.Y. 07/16/09 Fr. Thomas Newlin – Dormition of the Theotokos Church, Greensboro, N.C. 07/16/09 Fr. Alexander Papagikos – Sts. Constantine & Helen Church, Fayetteville, N.C. 07/16/09 Fr. Bogue Elias Stevens – Annunciation Church, Mobile, Ala. 08/01/09 Appointments Fr. Teodor Petrutiu – Sts Constantine & Helen Church, Westland, Mich. 04/01/09 Offikia Fr. Douglas Papulis – Office of Protopresbyter, bestowed by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago 12/05/04 Fr. John Ketchum – Office of Confessor, bestowed by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago 04/01/07 Fr. Peter Spiro – Office of Economos, bestowed by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago 01/18/09 Fr. George P. Pappas – Office of Confessor, bestowed by Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos 04/11/09 Fr. Davis Bissias – Office of Economos, bestowed by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago 05/17/09 Releases Fr. Benjamin Henderson / May 6, 2009 (to the Orthodox Church in America) Retired Priests Fr. George Poulos 06/21/09 Suspensions Rev. Dn. Panagiotis Hanley 05/19/09 New Communities METROPOLIS OF NEW JERSEY Sts. Mary Magdalene and Markella Church, Darlington, Md. METROPOLIS OF DETROIT Holy Apostles Church, Indianapolis, Ind.
Archbishop Demetrios praises Fr. Poulos for his long service at Archangels Church.
Fr. George Poulos Retires after 53 Years at Stamford Church STAMFORD, Conn. – Fr. George Poulos, the last active priest of the “Pomfret Brotherhood,” the association of clergy who attended Holy Cross Seminary when it was located in Pomfret, Conn., has retired after 61 years in the priesthood, 53 of them as pastor of Archangels Church. He officially retired June 21 and Archbishop Demetrios honored him at the church’s Divine Liturgy on July 5. Technically, he graduated from the school when it was making its transition to the Brookline, Mass., campus. Fr. Poulos, 87, explained that, because of a fire at the Pomfret campus, the new site was purchased and one class at a time completed their studies in Brookline for about three years, from 1947-50, when the move to the present campus was complete. During that period, Holy Cross functioned at both locations. He is one of about 40 living Pomfret graduates. After graduating in 1948, Fr. Poulos was assigned to Holy Trinity Church in Norwalk, Conn., where he served for seven years before assuming his duties in Stamford on July 1, 1956. Since that time, his accomplishments have been many. He led the parish in building a new church in 1958, one built in 11th century Byzantine style. He was a founder and executive director of Ionian Village Summer Camp Program; and has
also served on the boards of Holy Cross School of Theology, St. Basil Academy, and the Archdiocesan Council; as executive director of the Byzantine Fellowship of America for 30 years, as vicar general of the Greek Orthodox churches in Connecticut; as chaplain of the Stamford Fire Department, as vice president of the local Council of Churches and Synagogues, and as a major in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol for 30 years. In addition, he is the author of more than 10 books, including the Lives of the Saints series, Breath of God, a biography of Archbishop Iakovos; a history of the seminary Pomfret: The Golden Decade; and Major Feast Days in the Orthodox Church. He is also president of the Federation of Greek Orthodox Churches in the State of Connecticut. Fr. Poulos was also honored recently by U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who commended the priest in a tribute published in the June 25 Congressional Record. In his 53 years at Archangels Church, Fr. Poulos performed about 2,000 baptisms, 1,000 weddings and 800 funerals. Perhaps his retirement may be just a formality, though. He told the Observer that he still plans to remain active in the church and has an office in the athletic center on the church grounds. His successor as pastor is Fr. Harry Pappas.
Donation to American Bible Society page 1 Bible Society and the Archdiocese. Moreover, the Archbishop expressed his strong desire that this cooperation continues to strengthen and bear even more fruit. Dr. Vest also presented the Archbishop with a copy of the recently published Children’s Bible Reader in Serbian. The Serbian edition was based on the highly acclaimed Greek, English, and Spanish versions, which were collaborative efforts of the Greek Bible Society, the American Bible Society, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Dr. Vest was received along with Robert Briggs, executive vice president of Global Scripture Ministries; Chris Thyberg, managing director of Emerging Programs and Global Scripture Ministries; Nick
Garbidakis, chief information officer and chief technology officer; Tom Durakis, director of Licensing and Product Services; and Lea Velis-Drivas, director of Legal and Risk Services. Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit and Archdiocese Executive Director of Administration Jerry Dimitriou, who serve on the American Bible Society Board of Trustees, also attended, along with Theo Nicolakis, the director of Internet Ministries who serves as the Archdiocese’s representative to the ABS. Archbishop Demetrios made his first official visit to the ABS offices on March 6, 2008. He met with the president, viewed the Society’s rare Bible collection (the largest collection of print Bibles in America), and toured the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA).
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, We give thanks to God for the beginning of this Ecclesiastical New Year and for His abundant blessings, which fill our hearts with gratitude, deepen our faith, and strengthen our souls. The date of September 1 on our calendars marks the beginning of many things in our lives. For some, it presents the beginning of another academic year filled with worthy goals and challenges. For others, it is the return from summer vacation with refreshed bodies and minds, and renewed commitment to vocation and responsibilities. For those who work in agriculture, this date marks the beginning of the agrarian year and the tasks of planting, nurturing, and harvesting. For Orthodox Christians, September 1 begins a new liturgical year in which we participate in the life of the Holy Church through Her divine services. September 1 is also the date that has been designated by our venerable Ecumenical Patriarchate as the Day for the Protection of our Natural Environment. For more than one reason, the joining of our observance of this Day with the beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year, is significant, as it guides us in understanding the important relationship between our divinely created world and our Orthodox Christian faith. First, as human beings, it is within our world that we experience communion with God through our worship in the divine services of the Church. Our natural environment calls us to be in communion with God and with others. God brought the natural order into existence out of chaos, and He then created humankind within the natural environment for divine fellowship. While this communion was interrupted through the sin and disobedience of man, our God, out of His great love for us, entered into His creation as flesh and blood in order to redeem us and all that is under the bondage of sin and death, restoring the divine fellowship.
JULY – AUGUST 2009
Ecumenical Patriarch Welcomes Patriarch of Moscow Front page hierarchy, clergy and laity, bode brightly for a fruitful patriarchal tenure. We assure you that we are beside you. We extend to you a hand of sincere love and unfeigned cooperation. We are ready to work with you, in the context of canonical order and the ages-old and sacred ecclesiastical traditions, in directness of heart before God, for the benefit not only of our two Churches, but of the entire Orthodox and Christian world.” The spiritual leaders of the Churches of Constantinople and Moscow concelebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George, manifesting the unity of the Church in the Mystery of the Divine Liturgy. The Ecumenical Patriarch stressed the historic role of coordinating between the various Orthodox branches, as well as the respectful relationship of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Ecumenical Patriarchate through the centuries – from the Christianization of the Slavs in the tenth century to the transmission of Orthodox monasticism and spirituality in the lives of the saints. Addressing Patriarch Kirill, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke of times of certain difficulties in the past, “From time to time clouds have temporarily overshadowed ties between the sister churches. These ... must immediately be sent to their places in the pages of history.” Patriarch Kirill, underscoring the significance of his visit to Constantinople as “the glorious land of Orthodoxy ... where the most formative events of Orthodoxy – and indeed of the world – took place,” added that “we recall the events that led to the Baptism of Russia.” As a way forward, the Ecumenical Patriarch proposed that all Orthodox Churches should look to Pan-Orthodox unity and cooperation, which will be manifested in the preparations for and process toward the Great Council. Moreover, the Ecumenical Patriarch underlined the successful deliberations and exemplary collaboration at the recent Pre-Conciliar meeting in Geneva: “Still fresh in our memory as an example of this strong will among our Churches, for the sake of securing at any cost the unity of our holy Orthodox Church, is the wonderful unanimity realized during the recent fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, which took place at our Patriarchal Center in Chambesy-Geneva, where important decisions were taken to resolve the question of the Orthodox Diaspora, thereby removing one of the more serious hurdles in the journey of our Orthodox Church for the realization of the Holy and Great Council, which was decided with PanOrthodox consent.” In response, Patriarch Kirill emphasized the pioneering role and contribution of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: “Yesterday, we had the opportunity to discuss the importance of Pan-Orthodox unity. I would like to emphasize your personal role in coordinating this dialogue at a very difficult time. ... It is very clear that our two Churches have the potential to permit us to preserve our inter-Orthodox relations for the benefit of all Orthodoxy. ... Such relations are not a modern issue for the ecclesiastical hierarchy; they arise out of the very nature our hierarchy, of the church and of the Episcopal ministry.” In addition, His All Holiness observed that the plight of our planet and the suffering of humanity should constitute the center of attention and common pastoral concern: “A spiritual crisis, a moral crisis, a financial crisis and indeed a crisis with many names characterizes our world from
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch Kirill concelebrate at the Patriarchal Service.
Patriarch Kirill visits Hagia Sophia and beholds the site that the first Russian delegation witnessed in the 10th century.
share the same faith, articulated and proclaimed by the Holy Synods. We have the same worship, as this was formulated in this city and then transplanted to the other Orthodox Churches. We have the same canonical order, unalterably defined by the order and regulations of the holy Ecumenical Councils. Our unity is based on these foundations. The structure of our Church into Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches in no way implies that we constitute Churches and not a Church. Of course, the Orthodox Church does not have at its disposal a primacy of authority; however, it also does not lack a coordinating body, which does not impose but rather expresses the unanimity of our local Churches. This ministry is realized humbly – out of a long and sacred tradition – by this martyric Throne in absolute faithfulness to the prescriptions of Orthodox ecclesiology.” Together with the Ecumenical Patriarch, Patriarch Kirill consecrated the church of the Russian Consulate General in Istanbul. Patriarch Kirill also met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, as well as with Ali Bardakoglu, head of the Religious Affairs Department in Turkey. In his meeting with Bardakoglu, Patriarch Kirill made reference to the reopening of the Theological School of Halki, stating – according to the Turkish Daily News – that plans for its reopening are a positive step and an important contribution to inter-religious dialogue and the promotion of religious freedom, especially since there are some 20 million Moslems in Russia. Patriarch Kirill stated: “The unity of the Ecumenical Church is revealed in the communion of the local Churches. All of them are linked in the bond of love. Yet, at the same time, we must not ignore the fact that the Church of Russia is especially connected with the First – in the canonical order of the sacred Diptychs – Patriarchal Throne of Constantinople. It is from here that we received the illumination of the light of faith and the principles of theological wisdom, architecture and iconography, as well as liturgy and all the diversity of the church’s structure.”
Ukrainian President Visits Phanar
one end to another. It is true that militant atheism has retreated almost everywhere; yet the practical atheism of self-sufficiency, insensitivity and material pleasure are alive and strong. Supposedly, in the name of God, the sounds of war are still heard, the blood of people is still shed, and numerous populations are uprooted and rendered refugees. Religious and nationalistic fanaticism is increasing, human beings are humiliated by evil “trafficking,” women and children are abused, drugs are pushed. At the same time, Christians – instead of remaining unified and working together in one spirit and one heart so that the hope that is within us may prove a convincing word – are troubled by divisions, disagreements and trivialities both on a pan-Christian level as well as (which is worse) on the inter-Orthodox level. Yet, this renders us greatly responsible before the ArchShepherd Christ, who demands us to have
love, peace and unity among us in order that our light may shine before the world and that all people may be directed to the Father of Lights by means of our good deeds and example.” Later, His All Holiness also remarked to reporters, “There has been progress within a good framework. We discussed all the issues openly and very sincerely. Our intention is to debate and resolve the remaining problems in the future with good will and with sincerity.” During his homily at the patriarchal concelebration of the Divine Liturgy, His All Holiness stated, “Your Beatitude and Holy Brother, everyone has their eyes focused upon us, expecting us to lead them by word, but especially by our example, in the way of reconciliation and love that is so imperative today. This is why it is crucial that we demonstrate an unswerving readiness above all to promote in every way our Pan-Orthodox unity. We already
ISTANBUL – President Victor Yuschenko of Ukraine met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the patriarchal residence in Tarabya, as part of the President’s working visit to Turkey. A cordial and whole-hearted discussion on issues of common concern took place on Wednesday, May 20. Discussions were held on a representative office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate opening in Ukraine in the format of a churchyard or a cultural and informational center. The two leaders also addressed ways to step up contacts between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. President Yuschenko said he wants this dialogue to be intensified at all levels and confirmed his country’s interest in establishing a local Orthodox Church in Ukraine. His Excellency also said he is convinced that “the Ecumenical Church and the personal wisdom and efforts of the Ecumenical Patriarch himself play the most important role in all unification processes.” The press service said that His All Holiness and President Yuschenko discussed preparations for the All Orthodox Council while meetings between representatives of local Orthodox Churches will take place ahead of the event.
JULY – AUGUST 2009
SCOBA Hierarchs Convene for Semi-Annual Meeting NEW YORK — The spring session of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) met on June 25, hosted by the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA at the St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral. This was the first time that SCOBA had convened at this historic Cathedral. It was also the first time that the Moscow Patriarchate participated since re–joining SCOBA after a nearly 40–year hiatus. This session was attended by the following SCOBA members: Archbishop Demetrios, chairman (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Philip, vicechairman (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Christopher, secretary (Serbian Orthodox Church), Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America – who was attending for the first time as Primate of the OCA), Archbishop Antony (proxy, Ukrainian Orthodox Church) and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA – who was the host and also attending for the first time). Also present were the General Secretary and members of the SCOBA Study and Planning Commission representing the SCOBA member Churches. Archbishop Demetrios opened the meeting at 10:30 a.m. with prayer and welcomed the newest members of SCOBA: Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA and Archpriest Alexander Abramov of the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA. He continued with an informational presentation on the following significant events that occurred since the last meeting of SCOBA and general conditions that the Church faces in the world: “The Synaxis of the Prokathemenoi of the Autocephalous Churches in Phanar in October 2008, including the Text of the Synaxis.” (Oct. 2008) The accompanying Symposium on St. Paul sponsored and hosted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (Oct. 2008) The death of Patriarch Alexy (Dec. 5, 2008) and the election of Patriarch Kirill (Jan. 27, 2009) The departure of Bishop Mercurius of Zaraisk from America (May 2009) The inauguration of the new Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) in St. Augustine, Fla. (May 2009) The New Testament Military Edition, which will be distributed to all Orthodox Christians serving in the Armed Forces of the USA, and published jointly by the American Bible Society and SCOBA. (April 2009) He then invited Metropolitan Jonah and Fr. Abramov, as first time participants, for any initial response. They both offered their thanks and joy for their participation in such a meeting. There were presentations on the SCOBA Website (www.scoba.us) and on a new and independent not-for-profit organization called FOCUS North America, which proposes to engage in Pan-Orthodox
(Above) SCOBA Hierarchs at St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York. (Below) Hierarchs discuss some imortant issues during their meeting.
philanthropic ministries and is seeking to become a chartered Agency of SCOBA. It was decided unanimously by the SCOBA members that an authorization to FOCUS for the status of a chartered agency should follow a process in close collaboration with the Study and Planning Commission. Nevertheless, FOCUS received a warm endorsement from the SCOBA Hierarchs for this welcomed initiative. Following this, there was an approval of a Statement prepared by the Social and Moral Issues Commission of SCOBA (SMIC), under the title: “DISABILITY AND COMMUNION, Embracing People with Disabilities within the Church,” and which will be issued in the next few weeks. There also was a discussion of the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference that met at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland from June 6 to 13 and the accompanying communique.
EOCS Scouts Hold Camporee at St. Tikhon’s Seminary SOUTH CANAAN, Pa. – The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting (EOCS) a SCOBA agency, organized a historical hike, the Lackawanna Valley Heritage Trail Hike, at its annual camporee in lieu of the traditional Scout patrol competition. This was the third time in 12 years that the EOCS Northeast region held this camporee. The units arrived on Friday evening and, despite the rain, set up camp in the field at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Monastery & Seminary, their hosts. There were 128 Scouts participating from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. After breakfast in the seminary gym, the Scouts created a caravan of cars for the trip to Scranton for the opening ceremony at the Steamtown
National Historic Site. The Scouts were each presented a booklet and required to answer questions along the trail about each historic site in order to earn the Trail Medal and Badge. The trail consisted of numerous historical sites and churches in the area including the Steamtown National Museum, Anthracite Museum, Scranton Iron Furnaces, Trolley Museum and the most popular, a one-hour tour of a coal mine 400 feet under ground. EOCS board member Larry Sherman and Ron Allegruuci, creators of the historical trail hike for the Boy Scouts, served as chairmen. After the hike, Scouts returned to St. Tikhon’s where they visited the famous Icon Museum and the Seminary’s Historical Museum and bookstore. After a free period, the Scouts
participated in the traditional Scout Campfire that included songs and skits. Sunday morning, the group reassembled and attended religious services. Many Scouts received communion. At the end of services, the Very Rev. Stephen Kopestonsky treated everyone with a surprise by presenting two members with the prestigious adult Orthodox Scout Award, the Prophet Elias Award to Peter Hilaris of Troop 25 in Tenafly, N.J. and John Cristakos of Troop 23 in Astoria, N.Y. The next EOCS event is the 49th annual EOCS Retreat, Oct. 10-11 at St. Basil Academy, Garrison, N.Y. For information on the EOCS contact www.eocs.org or George N. Boulukos, 862 Guy Lombardo Ave., Freeport, NY 11520 516868 4050
JULY – AUGUST 2009
New Book Published on N.E. Ohio Greek Community CANTON, Ohio – Greeks of Stark County, a new book on the large Greek community in northeastern Ohio, published in June, focuses on the early history of three Greek Orthodox parishes and their organizations in the cities of Canton and Massillon. It is part of the “Images of America” series of Arcadia Publishing of Charleston, S.C., which has previously issued books on Greek communities in New York (Staten Island), Chicago, St. Louis, and Phoenix. Greeks of Stark County centers on the community’s Greek Orthodox parishes during the first half of the 20th century. The story is told through 227 vintage black-and-white photographs gathered from across the country and selected from thousands of submissions. Stark County is the focus of the book, but there is much of relevance to other communities throughout the Archdiocese. Photographs from the Archdiocese Archives, obtained with the help of Fr. Alex Karloutsos, assistant to the Archbishop for Public Affairs, are featured in the book. The majority of the photographs, however, are of families. The book portrays the tragedies and triumphs of over 150 families of the immigrant generation. These stories of sacrifice and faith will resonate in Greek communities across the country. The Stark County Greek community developed in the early 20th century in the bustling steel mill cities. Around 1920, there were so many Greeks living in the county that Canton was considered as the site for a Greek consulate.
Twin Cities Host National Oratorical Festival MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The two churches of St. Mary’s in Minneapolis and St. George in St Paul hosted the Archdiocese Oratorical Festival on June 12–14 weekend. Receiving first place honors in the Junior Division (grades 7–9) and a $2,000 college scholarship was Arianna Aram from Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Cardiff by–the Sea, Calif., of the San Francisco Metropolis; Second place and a $1,500 college scholarship went to Athanasia Kourtis from St. Demetrios Church in Weston, Mass. of the Boston Metropolis, and third place and a $1,000 college scholarship was awarded to Anastasia Zavitsanos from the Annunciation Cathedral in Houston of the Denver Metropolis. Those receiving honorable mention recognition and a $500 U.S. Savings Bond were: Direct Archdiocesan District–Demetra Skenderis,
(left to right); Fr. Nicholas C. Triantafilou, Fr. Michael J. Lambakis, parish council President Andrew Savas and Mary Poulos, event coordinator.
Houston’s HC/HC Benefit Exceeds Goal HOUSTON – Responding to an appeal from Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology President Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, and the Board of Trustees, the Greek Orthodox community raised $100,000 before the end of May to help meet projected shortfalls for the academic year. A group of Annunciation Cathedral parishioners, under the direction of Fr. Michael Lambakis and coordinated by Mary Poulos, organized the fund-raising effort.
Richard McGee was fund-raising chairman. On May 30, the Annunciation Cathedral community held a dinner celebrating the school’s 72nd anniversary and the successful campaign.After a reception in the courtyard of the cathedral, everyone gathered in the Martel Hall of the Cathedral complex for dinner and a musical program. A video presentation produced
Holy Trinity Church, Bridgeport, Conn. Atlanta Metropolis–Elias Selimos, St. Demetrios Church, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Chicago Metropolis–Jannika Papas Heide, Assumption Church, Madison, Wis. Detroit Metropolis–Despina Wilson, Panagia Pantovasilissa, Lexington, Ky. New Jersey Metropolis–Stephanie Orfanakos, St. Nicholas, Sts.. Constantine and Helen Church, Orange, N.J. Pittsburgh Metropolis–Spyros Staikos, Annunciation Church, Lancaster, Pa. Receiving first place honors in the Senior Division (grades 10–12) and a $2,000 college scholarship was Niko Moustakis from St. George Church, Clifton, N.J., New Jersey Metropolis Second place and a $1,500 college scholarship was awarded to Megan Dolan from St. Sophia Church in San Antonio, Denver Metropolis; Third place and a $1,000 college scholarship went to Jennifer Cokotis, St. Luke Church, East Longmeadow, Mass., Boston Metropolis. Honorable mention and a $500 U.S. Savings Bond was awarded to:from the: Direct Archdiocesan District–Katerina Johnson, St. Nicholas Shrine Church, Flushing, N.Y.; Atlanta Metropolis–James Carras, St. Demetrios Church, Ft. Lauderdale; Chicago Metropolis–Maria Tsikalas, St. Nicholas Church, St. Louis; Detroit Metropolis–Thomas Bajis, Assumption Church, St. Clair Shores, Mich. Pittsburgh Metropolis–Emmanuel Maginas, Dormition of the Theotokos, Aliquippa, Pa.; San Francisco Metropolis–George Eliades, Nativity of Christ Church, Novato, Calif.; Presenting at the Awards Luncheon were Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago and Dr. Anton Vrame, director of the Department of Religious Education. When the finalists received their awards, Archbishop Demetrios spoke about the exceptional quality of all the speeches and how much he enjoyed listening to them. His Eminence told the speakers that, “You are not the future. You are the present.” His Eminence then announced that each participant would receive a cash award from FAITH: An Endowment For Orthodoxy and Hellenism. The Oratorical Festival has grown in its enthusiasm; this is the first time that so many relatives and friends accompanied the 18 finalists for the weekend. The local
host committee, co-chaired by Frs. Paul Paris and Richard Demetrius Andrews, worked to assure that the weekend would be perfect. After the finalists and their families arrived at their hotel in Minneapolis, a Paraklesis Service was held at St. Mary’s Church. A get–acquainted dinner and social immediately followed. On early Saturday morning two buses brought everyone to the St. George Church in nearby St. George Church in St. Paul. Following a breakfast and the orientation sessions for the speakers and judges, everyone assembled in the church, filling it to capacity. After the opening prayer by Archbishop Demetrios and a welcome by Fr. Andrews the metropolis finalists were introduced by number and their topic and approached the microphone to deliver their thought–provoking and inspiring speeches. The two panels of judges were faced with the challenging task of selecting the top three speakers in each division. Following the awards luncheon, the participants and their families and friends toured Minneapolis, then boarded a paddlewheel boat for a cruise along the Mississippi. Underwritten by a donation from The Spell Family Foundation, the boat stopped under the reconstructed Interstate 35-W Bridge, where one Greek Orthodox Church member was killed when it collapsed last year. His Eminence offered memorial prayers for the victims of that tragedy. Sunday morning, His Eminence celebrated Divine Liturgy at St. Mary’s Church. Archbishop then invited the top two speakers, Arianna Aram and Niko Moutakis to deliver their speeches to the entire congregation. The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, a program of the Archdiocese Department of Religious Education encourages and motivates teenagers to speak about their faith and, at the same time, develop their communication skills. Fr. John and Presbytera Margaret Orfanakos serve as Archdiocese co-chairmen, and there are many others whose efforts each year enable the Oratorical Festival to flourish. In addition to the speeches of all metropolis finalists being posted on the Webpage of the Department of Religious Education, a link directing you to YouTube offers the opportunity to see and hear their excellent speeches personally.
JULY – AUGUST 2009
The Voice of Philoptochos
Denver Metropolis Philoptochos Holds Biennial Conference
President Skeadas Announces National Office Relocation
by Billie Zumo
Dear National Board Members, Chapter Presidents and Members of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying the beautiful summer season which presents us with our Lord’s glory in such abundance. I am excited to share with you excellent news! As of July 8, the National Philoptochos Society has relocated to a beautiful new home for two years. The new address is 7 West 55th St., New York, NY 10019. The new telephone number is (212) 977.7770 and the fax number is (212) 977.7784. Our National Office is situated on the seventh floor of a building adjacent to and part of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (FAPC). National Philoptochos is pleased to house its National Office within a church environment and the FAPC is similarly enthusiastic that they are providing space to the duly accredited women’s philanthropic society of the Greek Orthodox Church of America. You may visit their web site www.fapc. org for information, photographs and their community involvement. This has been an emotional and arduous process for all involved. However, two individual Philoptochos volunteers must be recognized for their significant contributions. I sincerely thank Kassandra Romas, our National Philoptochos Office Relocation chairperson who, with her committee, worked diligently and tirelessly to locate the best possible and cost–efficient space for our organization. Kassandra and the Committee have succeeded most beautifully. I warmly thank Anita Kartalopoulos, our National Philoptochos Board legal advisor. Anita proudly and professionally represented National Philoptochos in the entire legal process including the detailed lease execution. Anita confidently and competently completed the process that will permit the seamless continuation of our philanthropic operations. As we leave our present location, we thank Fr. Frank Marangos and the entire Holy Trinity Cathedral community for housing the National Philoptochos office for so many years. We also thank the anonymous donor who has underwritten almost the entire first year’s rent for the new office and has pledged an equal amount for the second year of the two–year office rental. Securing a new office location is a milestone in Philoptochos’ history. It marks the commencement of the longterm goal established at the National Board Meeting in May, at Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology where the National Board unanimously passed a resolution to purchase a permanent National Philoptochos home for future generations. Congratulations to all Philoptochos. Every member is invited and welcomed to visit our secure and comfortable National Office. Yours in Christ, Aphrodite Skeadas President
New surroundings - National Philoptochos Office staff members (above) are in transition as they settle in at their new offices at 7 W. 55th St. in Manhattan, dividing their time between helping callers who need assistance and unpacking scores of boxes. (Below) The offices are housed on the top ﬂoor at the rear of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church complex.
First Annual HIV Aids Walkathon a Success National Philoptochos reports that support has been excellent from its chapters around the country that participated in the first annual HIV/AIDS Walkathon in May In keeping with the philanthropic ministry of the Ladies Philoptochos Society, which states that we bring healing to the sick, embrace those with any kind of affliction, necessity or distress and assist in the care of orphans, National Philoptochos sponsored the HIV/AIDS Walkathon to support HIV/AIDS in the United States and in Ethiopia. Funds will be used to assist with the care of 1.8 million AIDS orphans in Ethiopia through the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and to assist the National AIDS Fund through its 400 service organizations in the United States to provide services to those most in need This first in a series of articles about the Walkathon features the Metropolis of Chicago. METROPOLIS OF CHICAGO PHILOPTOCHOS The Metropolis of Chicago Philop-
tochos met the National Philoptochos HIV/AIDS Walkathon Challenge to raise $10,000 to benefit the AIDS Orphans in Ethiopia, in partnership with IOCC, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the 400 National AIDS Service Organizations in the United States by gathering a group of 121 women, men, children and babies in strollers to Hit the Streets on May 9. The team gathered at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church where they enjoyed a healthy breakfast. Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos offered a prayer and started the group along the 5K walk. The weather was threatening rain but spirits remained high and the rain held off until the completion of the walk. The Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos has announced that it will exceed the $10,000 challenge. Congratulations to the Chairmen Irene Arsoniadis, Chrisy Banakis and Kathy Siavalis and a special thank-you to St. Andrew Church and Philoptochos Society for all their work to help the Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos meet this goal.
DALLAS – The Metropolis of Denver Philoptochos held its 2009 Biennial Conference in conjunction with the Metropolis Clergy-Laity Conference on May 14-17 in Dallas. Key conference features included meetings and informational exchange, keynote speakers, the luncheon and election of the Metropolis Philoptochos Board. The conference opened with a meeting for chapter presidents where ideas and best practice tips were exchanged. Denver Metropolis National Philoptochos Board members Elaine Cladis, Barbara Latsonas and Martha Stefanidakis also offered an informative question-and-answer session for all attendees. Metropolis Philoptochos President Barbara Latsonas congratulated the chapters for their coordinated efforts on two Metropolis-level outreach projects: “Bags for the Homeless” and “The Prevention of Child Abuse.” Conference attendees heard three of the Clergy-Laity speakers including Rev. Mark Arey, director of the Archdiocese Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations who spoke on “InterOrthodox Cooperation,” Rev. Kevin Sherer, executive director of Orthodox Christian Fellowship, who addressed “Keeping Our Youth in the Church,” and Dr. Anton Vrame, director of the Archdiocese Department of Religious Education, whose topic was “Will Our Children Have Faith?” Featured speaker Maria Tsacrios Molett, a clinical and community psychologist who is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed professional counselor and licensed sex offender treatment provider spoke to the Philoptochos on “Seven Steps to Prevention, Recognition and Reacting to Child Sexual Abuse.” The steps are: Support national or local organizations that fight child sexual abuse • Support training for the parish council, teachers, parents and youth • Insist that your Church has a child protective policy • Insist that your Church screen and train volunteers • Educate through articles and seminars • Be creative in increasing awareness of this problem. The luncheon raised $4,350 for the Philoptochos’ Bishop Anthimos Scholarship Fund. The conference concluded with the election of the 2009-11 Metropolis Board that includes Barbara Latsonas, president; Georgia Carson, 1st vice president; Marian Catechis, 2nd vice president; Helen Carnegis, secretary; Elaine Cladis, treasurer; and Klea Kappos, assistant treasurer. Board members are: Martha Stefanidakis, Kim Pappas, Kathy Roussalis, Valerie Ronohosseini, Barbara Vittas, Mary Winger, Kathy Preonas, Mitzi Theo, Margo Sotiriou, Fay Zaharas, Billie Zumo, and Nikki Phillips. SAVE THE DATE! Twelfth National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon “Let Us Rejoice & Embrace the Children” Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009, Boca Raton Resort and Club, 501 East Camino Real, Boca Raton, Fla. Hosted by the Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos - Make your reservations early. Room rates are $179 - $259 - Available November 11 – 17, 2009- Phone: 888.543.1277 or 561.447.3000- Code: Philoptochos - Cut-off for reservations is Nov. 1, 2009 - Airports are: Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach/Miami International
JULY – AUGUST 2009
Commentaries and Opinions ARCHIEPISCOPAL ENCYCLICAL Archpastoral Reflections
Beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year Day for the Protection of our Natural Environment page 3 Second, it is through the liturgical life of the Church that we receive spiritual sustenance for our journey of life. Through worship and teaching, we are nurtured in the faith, instructed in the means and manner of life in Christ, and sanctified through the Holy Sacraments. While our natural environment provides us with physical sustenance and the means to nurture our bodies, it is also through the products of the natural environment that we liturgically affirm the grace and real presence of God in our use of bread and wine, in the Divine Mystery of the Holy Eucharist. Here, the spiritual and physical relationship is significant. We are both physical and spiritual beings, created for life, and blessed with the ability, unique only to human beings, to worship our Creator within a natural environment that not only provides for our basic physical needs, but also enables us to experience perfect communion with God. Finally, our liturgical life and our life in the world cannot be considered as separate spheres of existence, but as one realm of living and relationship. In the services of the Church, we are called to liturgy, to a collective work as a people that will be our vocation for eternity. Within the Church, we strive for deeper
communion with God, and we nurture our relationships of faith and love with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our natural environment is also dependent upon our faith inspired work as a people, specifically as stewards of what God has created. We have been called to oversee and protect the natural environment. This requires cooperation with others in a spirit of love and fellowship. It also requires that we appreciate the impact of our actions and inactions, and that we cherish the beauty, function, and purpose of all that God has created, consistent with the manner by which we invoke His holy name in our worship of Him. Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, It is on this day of the inauguration of this Ecclesiastical New Year, it is at this time, that all of us are called to think seriously about what St. Paul said to the Corinthians: Behold, now is the happily acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Let us then, hear this apostolic saying as a call to an enhanced participation in the liturgical life of our Church, to a renewed relationship to our natural environment, and to a deeper understanding of the preciousness of the time given to us by our God and Creator.
With paternal love in Christ,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
Appreciation Editor, I am writing to you for three reasons: To thank you profusely for sending me your Spirit-filled publication for years. God bless you. I just finished reading the May-June 2009 issue. The article “OCF 2009 Real Break to Constantinople,” literally moved me to tears so bad I had to stop a couple of times before I could continue. Thank you for publishing it. Please thank Fr. Mark Leondis for writing the article. It was inspiring to see youth giving of themselves for spiritual matters at spring break for really issues, not just fun. I wanted to share an article I had
Letters welcome The Observer welcomes Letters to the Editor on timely topics relevant to the Church and the Faith. Letters may be up to 500 words in length. E-mail to: email@example.com All letters must contain the writer’s name and city.
published in a professional journal. I have learned so much from my exposure to Orthodox teaching – especially the theology and Fathers’ writings. I will be 50 this year. I was 27 when I came to prison. I am a first - and last - time offender living for Christ the rest of my life. I have grown so much from the 1,000 nonfiction books I’ve read in prison. God’s grace is amazing. I was denied parole last November (my first board) despite never having a misbehavior report and all my accomplishments in here. I will be patient. I hope to one day, in freedom, be able to send you a donation to cover the cost of all the years you blessed me. I especially appreciated the multi-part series of articles you did on the Muslim conquest of Constantinople some years back. I should have written you then and thanked you. With much love, respect and appreciation, one of “the last of these.” Don Mason Warnick, N.Y. PS – I couldn’t write a lick before prison...
Focusing on Gathering the Unchurched
We continue our examination of the term “Gather,” as used in the theme of our most recent Clergy-Laity Congress, “Gather My People to My Home.” In our last reflection, we directed our attention toward gathering the “disconnected” Orthodox Christians, namely, those Orthodox Christians who for one reason or another over the passing of time, have lost what had once been for them a close connection to the Church. This month, we focus our task of gathering
by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America as it pertains to the so-called “unchurched.” The term “unchurched” differs in scope from the category of the “disconnected” Orthodox Christians, for it describes a varying array of different life experiences belonging to different people. The term “unchurched” represents a broader sociological distinction by which we mean people who, unlike the “disconnected” Orthodox Christians, have never at all had the experience of growing up within families or other social communities connected to the Church, familiar with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or, perhaps, affiliated at all with any religious faith. Thus, as we reflect upon those who are among the “unchurched,” and our task of “gathering” the unchurched to God’s Home, we are readying ourselves as Orthodox Christians to more directly engage a wider part of our general population with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This engagement is a two-phase task, consisting of first identifying the “unchurched,” and then developing effective and ethically proper methods to “gather” them to God’s Home, consistent with the theme and spirit of our Clergy-Laity Congress. The first phrase of this task, i.e. identifying the “unchurched,” begins most naturally in our immediate environment. Consider as examples, the numerous people with whom we work, our friends, and others whom we might see regularly in our lives and whom we may know well. Consider how many of these people whom we personally know fall into the category of the “unchurched,” as described above. Beyond our immediate environment, coming into contact and conversation with the “unchurched” can also extend to strangers whom we meet, such as when we travel to neighboring cities, states, or foreign countries. Because of this, our encounter with the unchurched is a frequent scenario; and, thus, our efforts to consciously empathize with the life conditions of others, so that that we may more keenly identify the unchurched, should run parallel to this frequency. Our ability to empathize with the realities of others implicates the second phase of our engagement with them of the Gospel, namely, our developing effective and ethical ways to “gather” the unchurched to God’s Home. By effective, we mean ways of gathering the unchurched by communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them with eloquence and accuracy. By ethical, we mean ways of gathering the unchurched that do not employ proselytizing, casting moral judgment on others because of their own beliefs, or using tactics that are deceptive or pressuring. Here, one beautiful example from the Bible that comes to mind is the story of Philip and the Ethiopian official, which we read in the Acts of the Apostles (8:26-40). In this text, we note the gentility of the manner by which Philip asked the official if he understood what he was reading, namely the prophet Isaiah, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ (v.30). Philip’s single, very gentle question initiates a remarkable discussion which leads the Ethiopian official to the point of asking Philip to baptize him. This dynamic exchange between the Apostle Philip and the Ethiopian official presents to us a very powerful model of gathering the unchurched. Regardless of where others might be in their relationship to the Church or to any religion, this story serves as an excellent teaching tool of “gathering” because it provides universally applicable principles in preaching the message of the Gospel with effectiveness and the highest ethical standards. It is a model of gentility, and an example of the power, presence, and guidance of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all those who are faithful heralds of the Gospel. It is also a model that portrays to us the well known truth that for any person’s decision to be authentic and lasting, it must be made by that person freely and upon his own initiative. Of course, the position of the Ethiopian official of the book of Acts in his relationship to a life of faith is not always the typical one that we face in our encounters with the so-called “unchurched.” We must note, that he is presented to us as a man of faith, a man connected to religion, as he was coming from Jerusalem. But, the Ethiopian is also presented as one who is in a state of great spiritual thirst, a thirst which could only be quenched by the water of baptism after he came to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the very first time through the Apostle Philip. It is in this way that the he can fit into the category of the “unchurched.” In our contemporary world, several of those who can be properly categorized as among the “unchurched” are close to the mentality and disposition of the Ethiopian, but several of them are not. Distinctions of this nature only underscore the importance of developing our sensitivities to understanding and appreciating the diverse life situations of others, remembering that the realm of a person and his faith represents the most intimate of sanctuaries. Therefore, it is our sacred responsibility as Orthodox Christians to share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others with sensitivity, love, and genuine interest in their well-being, just as we would kindly offer to others who are thirsty the glass of water of the Gospel, knowing firsthand its refreshing quality and comfort that it provides. This refreshment and comfort is the message of the good news, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us offer it lovingly and share it abundantly with others as we “gather” to God’s Home those who may be among the “unchurched.”
JULY – AUGUST 2009
Orthodox Stewardship Orthodox Christian Stewardship: A Way of Life by Fr. James W. Kordaris
HOW MUCH DO I OWE? It was Sunday and the parish council members were counting the Sunday offering in the church office as the offering trays were being brought in from the Divine Liturgy. One faithful parishioner found his way back to the church office and politely inquired, “How much do I owe?” This well-intentioned parishioner was asking if he was up-to-date on his pledge, but his question reveals something about our thought process in offering our gifts to the Church. No matter how generously we support the Church, can we ever feel that we have given in proportion to the blessings we have received? Many Greek Orthodox parishes have embraced the process of stewardship, by which we offer our gifts to the church according to our blessings. Many continue to operate in a dues system. And some operate under a hybrid Stewardship-witha-minimum system. IMPLICATIONS OF A DUES SYSTEM The idea that as a parish we are able to set an amount that is fair for all the faithful, the payment of which makes them members in good standing with rights and privileges, is flawed for a number of reasons. Is it fair to think that the elderly widow living on Social Security, the successful real estate developer, the banker, the young tradesman with a growing family, the teacher and the lawyer each have received the same material blessings and have the same ability to give? To set a specific required dues amount places an undue burden on some, but most often it underestimates the ability of our parishioners to support the church. JUST ANOTHER BILL The dues system also diminishes the joy of giving and turns it into just another bill to be paid. It’s important to give with joy from our heart. As St. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “So let each one give as he intends in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Gregory the Theologian writes, “You will never overcome God’s generosity, even if you give away all that you have…. And however much you bring to him, always more remains. Nor will you give anything that is your own; for all things flow from God. (2 Cor 14.22)” RIGHTS AND ENTITLEMENTS We often hear economists talk about the balance of payments. This concept applies to our offering to the Church. We can never give enough to God for the blessings He has given us. We are always in a deficit position. But when we set a dues amount, whatever it may be, it implies that if we pay this amount, then we have fulfilled our obligation to the Church. “I paid my dues, now I get to vote, receive sacraments, and express my opinion of how the parish should be run.” STEWARDSHIP WITH A MINIMUM Many parishes attempt a sort of hybrid system of Stewardship with a minimum. This sends the contradictory message to parishioners that we trust you to give as you have been blessed, but are not willing to take that leap of faith. When we deal with minimums, we also have to realize
that there is always a number of faithful who will be excluded when we have minimums and dues. We need to be reminded that God never gives to us in minimums and our giving should never be guided by a minimum. Orthodox Christianity is not about minimums, it is about maximums. Jesus gave the maximum for us. We now carry on His ministry with maximum giving. And from a practical point of view, minimums have a funny way of becoming maximums. STEWARDSHIP Stewardship is our response to God’s grace and moves us from grace to gratitude. Just as we love because God first loved us (I John 4:14), we give because God first gave to us. The question of the Psalmist “What shall I give to the Lord in return for all His benefits towards me?” (Ps 116:2), is answered in every liturgy when the celebrant calls us to “offer ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.” One January day, nearly 20 years ago, a young parish council president was just getting accustomed to his new duties when someone placed a stack of checks in front of him to be signed. As he quickly signed each check, his pen was suddenly stopped by the sight of a check that had been placed before him for his signature. It was the salary check for his priest – the priest who had baptized him, for whom he served as an altar boy, to whom he had gone for confession and whom he loved and respected as his spiritual father. It was one of the most humbling experiences of his life. And the amount of the check seemed ridiculously small in consideration of the effect that this priest had on the lives his parishioners. This is the same feeling we should have when we make our stewardship offering to the Lord – humility, appreciation, thanksgiving, joy, respect, and love. THE EARLY CHURCH In his book on the Eucharist, Fr Alexander Schmemann explains that in the early church, the Eucharistic sacrifice was offered by all the members of the church. Each person coming to the gathering of the Church brought with them everything they could spare for the needs of the Church. This meant for the sustenance of the clergy, widows and orphans, for helping the poor, and for all the good works of the Church. This is the Church that we as Orthodox Christians claim to be. We also learn about the early Church in Acts 2 (43-47): “Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” STEWARDSHIP – THE NEXT LEVEL A young man had taken his girlfriend to a high-priced restaurant. As the young couple looked over the menu the
JULY – AUGUST 2009
TICKETS TO GREECE ON SALE
Από ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – ΑΘΗΝΑ – ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗ
From From Plus fuel + taxes Plus fuel + taxes Airport Taxes + Fuel EXTRA O W N E R S VA S I L I S & M I N A A N G E L I S ΧΑΜΗΛΕΣ ΤΙΜΕΣ ΑΠ΄ΟΛΗ ΤΗΝ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗ From
S T E R L I N G T R AV E L 20 LAUREN LANE, PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. 08865
1–800–473–3238 • 908 213-6826 or 908 213-1251 • www.hellastickets.com
Move, Buy, Rent, Sell, Invest in ARIZONA Homes (2,000SF) @ $80,000 Bank Owned, Foreclosures, REO’s Short Sale
IT’S A BUYER’S MARKET Kostas Zistas (602) 315–9888 • firstname.lastname@example.org
SPECIAL DISCOUNTS Offered to Communities, Organizations, Church festivals and all other functions. Kontos Foods famous for its POCKET–LESS PITA, is proud to present its original products once again.
Fillo Kataifi Delicious, traditional products made
Spanakopita Tyropita with the highest quality ingredients
Courteous Service • WE SHIP EVERYWHERE in the US & CANADA
Exclusive Distributor for USA & CANADA of TRIKOMITES HALOUMI KONTOS FOODS, INC • EVRIPIDES KONTOS, President
BOX 628, PATERSON, NJ 07544 (973) 278–2800 • Fax: (973) 278–7943
M e m o r i a m
Fr. George Kalangis Rev. Dr. George P. Kalangis passed away on July 15, at the age of 74 at Calvary Hospital in New York after a brave and valiant seven-year battle with cancer. Fr. George was a Greek Orthodox priest for 48 years. Fr. Kalangis is survived by his wife of 48 years, Presbytera Helen (the former Helen Limperopoulos (Liberis) of Roslindale, Mass., his son Peter and his wife, Cynthia, also of New York; three daughters, Denise Kalangis Freeman and her husband, Daryl, Demetra Kalangis and Crystal Kalangis of New York; three sisters, Maria Kapsaskis and her husband, Spyros, of Jamaica Plain, Mass; Athanasia Papadakis of Roslindale, Anna Giannopoulos and her husband, Peter, of Arlington, Mass.; a brother, Dr. Constantine Kalantzis and his wife, Effe, of Quincy, Mass.; brother-in-law, Fr. Nicholas Limperopoulos and his wife, Presbytera Georgia, of California; and his mother-inlaw, the former Mrs. Thedusa Limperopoulos, now known as Ioanna Monahe, of Roslindale. Born in Georgitsion, Sparta, Greece on May 16, 1935, Fr. George graduated from Corinth Theological Seminary in Corinth, Greece with a Bachelor of Theology in 1956. Later in 1956 he immigrated to the United States, where he continued his theological studies earning an A.B. from Hellenic College-Holy Cross Theological School in June 1960. He was ordained a deacon on Nov. 27, 1960 and as a priest on March 26, 1961, by Archbishop Iakovos. He served as assistant dean at Boston’s Annunciation Cathedral until June 1963. In the summer of 1963, he was appointed by Archbishop Iakovos as priestorganizer of the newly established St. Demetrios parish in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Following a one–year ministry in Florida, Fr. George was transferred in 1964 to Sts. Anargyroi Church in Marlboro, Mass. In conjunction with his pastoral duties in Marlboro, Fr. George also completed his comprehensive examination and composed his thesis for his Masters of Sacred Theology degree in the field of social psychology. In June 1964, Fr. George was awarded the S.T.M. degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Mass. In June 1965, Fr George was admitted to the University of Rhode Island to continue graduate studies in Library Science, where he received his M.L.S. in June 1966. In September 1965, Fr. George was appointed as librarian at Marlboro High School. In September 1966 he accepted the position of assistant librarian at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., becoming the first Greek Orthodox priest to hold a position in a Roman Catholic college since the schism of the Eastern and Western Church
Gus Kyrkostas Archon Gus Kyrkostas of East Marion, N.Y. and Boca Raton, Fla., passed away in early July at age 86 at St. Francis Hospital on Long Island, surrounded by his wife, Julie, and children. His wake was held at Commack Abbey, Long Island on July 8. A funeral service was performed at St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church in Greenlawn and burial was at Pinelawn National Cemetery with military honors. He was one of the founders of St. Demetrios Greek Parochial School in Astoria, Transfiguration of Christ Church in Mattituck, and the Greek American Homeowners Association of the East End of Long Island (HATCAST) and was also a community activist. Raised in New York
es in 1054 A.D. In September 1967, Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., offered Fr. George the gifts and exchange librarian position. In 1970, Fr. George welcomed Archbishop Iakovos to Sts. Anargyroi, marking the community’s first visit by a North American Primate since its founding in 1925. In 1971, Fr. George was transferred to St. Nicholas Church in Portsmouth, N.H. In conjunction with his transfer, Fr. George was appointed assistant librarian and associate professor of psychology at the New Hampshire Technical Institute. Meanwhile, Fr. George opened new horizons in his academic pursuits by being accepted to Boston University to complete graduate studies in counselor education. In 1972, Fr. George attained his residence and graduate degree requirements and received the C.A.G.S (Certificate of Advance Graduate Studies) from the Boston University, School of Education. In September 1973, Fr. George was accepted to the School of Theology of the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, to pursue doctoral studies in Cross-Cultural Education Systems. In 1976, Fr. George was awarded a HEW Fellowship to pursue Ph. D. studies in bilingual/bicultural education at Florida State University in Tallahassee. During his tenure in Tallahassee, Fr. George served the Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox community. During the academic year of 1977, Fr. George received a doctoral dissertation award from the Rockefeller Foundation to write his thesis, titled, “The Socio-cultural and Religious Ethos of the Greek Parochial Schools in the American South.” In that same year, he was appointed director of the Multilingual/Multicultural Learning Resource Center, College of Education at FSU. Fr. George received his doctor of philosophy degree from FSU in 1979 and was assigned to Sts. Markella and Demetrios Greek Orthodox Community in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He became the learning resources director at Okaloosa-Walton Junior College in Niceville, Fla., and was appointed chairman of the Commission of Greek Studies and Culture in the American South by Bishop John of Charlotte, N.C. In 1983, Fr. George was recalled to the Greater New York Metropolitan area serving the Transfiguration of Christ Church in Corona, Zoodohos Peghe in the Bronx, Panagia of Island Park and St. Markella in Wantagh. Coupled with his pastoral duties, Fr. George was also appointed by New York Gov. Mario Cuomo to New York City’s Psychiatric Centers and to a leadership position at the Creedmore Psychiatric Center until his retirement in 2008. – Submitted by Fr. Elias Villis – Church of Our Saviour, Rye, N.Y. City, the son of immigrants from Greek Ionia, Asia Minor, he served in the Army Air Force during WWII. He was an instructor of remote control gunnery for the B29 airplane in the 20th Army–Air Force of the Pacific theater. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1955. During the 1950’s, Gus married his wife and the couple had four children: Billy, Elaine, Maria and Sandy. He started a newspaper business that served the New York Metropolitan area from Queens and began active community service in Queens and Long Island for 50 years. Kyrkostas was installed into the Order of St. Andrew/Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 2004.
JULY – AUGUST 2009
Greek Orthodox Washington
Special to the Observer
CONGRESSWOMAN DINA TITUS
Sworn-In with Grandfather’s Greek Bible
Editor’s note: Greek Orthodox Washington is an occasional series by Andrew Manatos on Greek Orthodox elected leaders and federal officials in our nation’s capital.
Editor’s note: The following article by Nia Vardalos relates to becoming a first-time mom and the baptismal ceremony performed by Fr. John Bakas, dean of St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles. She talks in detail for the first time about the shock, chaos and “peaceful gratefulness” that came after she and husband, Ian Gomez, adopted a 3-yearold girl. The article first appeared in the May 9 issue of People magazine and was submitted for the Observer by Ms. Vardalos.
by Andrew Manatos
With her hand on her grandfather’s Greek Bible, Congresswoman Dina Titus was sworn-in by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2009 to become a member of Congress from Nevada. This symbolic gesture was Dina’s way of reaching back to include her Hellenic and Orthodox heritage in this particularly meaningful moment. It was the fulfillment of the American Dream for so many Hellenes who left Greece. Dina’s swearing in raises the percentage of members of Congress from Nevada with Greek ancestry to 66 percent. Dina joined Las Vegas’ Congresswoman Shelley Berkley whose mother’s family comes from the Jewish community in Thessaloniki, Greece. This percentage is extraordinarily high in light of the fact that Americans of Greek ancestry represents only .5 percent of the population of both America and Nevada and just 1 percent of the House of Representatives and Senate. Fulfilling the American Dream Congresswoman Dina Titus’ rise to national prominence is a story that will make all Hellenes and Orthodox Christians proud. It is an example of why the Pew Foundation recently found Greek Orthodox Christians to rank ahead of all religions in America, except the Jewish faith, in terms of academic and economic accomplishment. Dina was born in May 1950 and raised in small towns in Georgia, as her accent readily reveals. Dina was named in honor of her grandfather, Costandinos Cathones. From origins in Trikala, Greece (a city in northwestern Thessaly) Dina’s grandfather came via Athens through Ellis Island in 1911 and ended up in Georgia. Coincidently the Argonauts of Greek mythology that accompanied Jason in search of the Golden Fleece also left Thessaly for Colchis (the land that is today the country of Georgia). Mr. Cathones owned numerous restaurants in Georgia. He was particularly proud that his restaurant provided food for President Franklin Roosevelt at his “Little White House” in Warm Springs, as well as for troop trains passing through during the war. The closest Greek Orthodox Church to Dina’s home town of Tifton, was in Jacksonville, Fla., over two hours away. Like retired Sen. Paul Sarbanes, and many others who lived in small towns in that era, Dina and her family retained their Greek Orthodox faith while attending another Christian church in Tifton. Extraordinary Success in the Academic and Political Worlds Dina’s academic career began in an extraordinary fashion. She was admitted into one of America’s top tier universities, the College of William and Mary, starting her first semester there before graduating from high school. While at William and Mary, Dina proudly followed in the family
by Nia Vardalos
tradition by working at a Greek deli to help pay for her college expenses. She went on to receive her master’s degree at the University of Georgia, in aptly named Athens, and her Ph.D. at Florida State University. Dina remained in academia, teaching for 30 years several very popular government courses at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She authored two books and numerous academic papers. Her husband, Thomas C. Wright, is also a professor at UNLV. Dina encountered public service at an early age through her father’s run for Tifton City Council and her uncle’s long-time service in the Georgia State Legislature. Her personal pursuit of public service began in 1988 when she was elected to the state Senate in Nevada where she served for 20 years. After only four years in office, she rose to become her party’s leader in the Senate, a post she held for 15 years until her election to the U.S. Congress. As the Democratic leader in the Nevada Senate, Dina led efforts to enact resolutions recognizing various Greek Orthodox accomplishments and contributions in the state of Nevada. She stayed as active in her church as her university and state senate careers would allow. A Christian Reaction to Dishonest Politics Orthodox Christians would be proud of the ethics Congresswoman Titus brings to politics. Her 2008 opponent for the House seat ran an extraordinarily negative campaign that resorted to factually incorrect ads. Dina refused to go negative and still won by 5 percent of the vote. Even though her opponent ran such a harsh campaign, Dina had been prepared to call him with congratulations if he had won the race. Her opponent did not call to congratulate her. Looking Out for Orthodox and Hellenic Issues in the U.S. Congress After only six months in the Congress, Dina has already become one of the most proactive members of the House on Hellenic and Orthodox matters. In an effort to get President Barack Obama to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate during his trip to Istanbul, Dina wrote to President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Speaker
My daughter is a preschooler but I have only known her for a while. She is adopted. After years of wanting to be parents, my husband and I were given 14 hours notice ... then a little girl walked into our house. Trying to adopt had been a long and frustrating process. But, when we connected with an American Foster Family Agency, it happened very quickly. One night, the phone rang - the social worker told me we’d been “matched” with a 3-year-old girl. I hung up the phone and stood still for a second. Then, I had to sit down. Within a minute, I was lying on the floor. Yeah, this was real: A little girl was coming to our home. Tomorrow. There wasn’t a baby shower, there wasn’t time to discuss with family and friends, there was no way to really prepare for her arrival. She arrived without an instruction manual. I didn’t know if she had a sleep schedule, food allergies - there wasn’t even a note pinned to her shirt. She just talked in and looked up at me, like “got lunch?” There isn’t a word for the elation I felt. I grinned like a maniac and jumped into parenthood. We got to know each other: we blew bubbles in the backyard, drew with sidewalk chalk, threw the ball for our dog, (who looked up at her, like “dibs on the big bed.”) Together, we decorated her new bedroom - arranging white furniture, laying out a pink rug, messily peeling and sticking purple flower decals on the walls. I was delighted by her: Every facial expression, every tantrum, every small
thing she did was fascinating and fantastic. Mornings were now a flurry of juice spilling, tiny clothes washing and frenzied kid-chasing. It was thrilling chaos. Our families and friends were so happy for us, and our priest sweetly asked if he could bless her. So, that Sunday we headed to church. Our daughter silently took in the chanting and the smell of incense as the sun shone through the stained glass windows. After the service, the priest softly gestured for us to join him at the front of the church. He began to read. But I wasn’t hearing a standard blessing. This was new to me. It was a special prayer for adoption. The words and ceremony were a beautiful acknowledgment that some families are created in different ways, but are still in every way, a family. The priest said the words, “Today you have given birth to your daughter,” and I began to cry. It all poured out. All the grief, all the anger, all the angst at the difficult and long journey to parenthood. And that outpouring of tears was quickly followed by a peaceful gratefulness. I held my daughter in my arms and thanked God for bringing her to me. If the standard route of creating a family had worked for me, I wouldn’t have met this child. And I needed to know her. I needed to be her mother. And in that moment, I knew why it had all happened this way: So I could meet this little girl. She is, in every way, my daughter. Curiously, we humans seem to need these rituals to get things into our skulls. There isn’t just one reason we need these rites. Sometimes we need to witness, sometimes we need the catharsis. That ceremony on that day was healing and more importantly, helped it sink in that I am a parent, no matter how my child came to me. I thanked the priest for the ceremony and we headed home. And I realized ... while I have walked into the church many times ... on this day, it was the first time I walked out as a mother. To learn more about American Foster Care, go to http://adoptuskids.org. Nia Vardalos, star of “My Life in Ruins” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” is a member of St. Sophia Cathedral.
Professor Awarded Two Fellowships by Erica Soper
BROOKLINE, Mass. – The Rev. Dr. Eugen J. Pentiuc was awarded a Lilly Faculty Fellowship ($30,000) in support of his research for a book titled, “The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox Tradition” (under contract with the Oxford University Press, 2011). Up to six such awards are made annually to faculty at schoolmembers of the Association of Theological schools in the United States and Canada. The grant description states that awards are “made on a competitive basis for high-quality research projects that demonstrate significance for theological
education and applicability to the life of the wider academy, faith communities, and contemporary society.” Fr. Pentiuc also received a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship at the University of Athens to conduct research for the aforementioned book. Fr. Pentiuc is associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He joined the school in 1998. He has published five books and numerous articles. Erica Soper is in the Office of Institutional Advancement at Holy Cross-Hellenic College.
JULY – AUGUST 2009
Asia Minor Holocaust Tribute set for Sept. 20 BROOKLYN, N.Y. – A memorial service to commemorate the 87th anniversary of the 1922 Asia Minor Catastrophe will take place Sept. 20 at Three Hierarchs Church after the Divine Liturgy. Guest speaker will be historian Professor Michael Stratis. The event is sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Observance committee, chaired by Basilios Theodosakis of Brooklyn. The “Catastrophe” claimed the lives of an estimated 3.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians and others in Thrace and Asia Minor, including Pontos. For more information, contact Mr. Theodosakis at 1104 East 17th St., Brooklyn 11230.
Church Honors Readers SEATTLE – Thirty young people who participate in the Epistle Readers Program at St. Demetrios Church recently were recognized following a Divine Liturgy. Each received an Orthodox Prayer Book. Since the program was initiated by Arthur Saridakis in 1997, more 250 young people, 12 years old and over, have offered nearly 1,400 readings during Sunday services as well Great Lent and Holy Week. They read in English, New Testament Greek and Modern Greek, and at the Resurrection service Arabic is added. Many of the students who have little or no experience with the Greek language are taught to read by Mr. Saridakis with ease and clarity. Fr. Photios Dumont, proistamenos of St. Demetrios, extolled the readers and stated his pleasure with their ability and courage to stand before the congregation and present the lessons. He also thanked and commended Mr. Saridakis for organizing and guiding the program.
ORTHODOX OBSERVER photo
Philoptochos members of the Brooklyn-Staten Island chapters with Archbishop Demetrios and Alexander Conti.
Philoptochos Chapters Make Contribution to Worldwide Children’s Foundation by Christine Charitis
Members of the Combined BrooklynStaten Island Philoptochos chapters recently presented a $22,120 donation to the Worldwide Children’s Foundation of New York to help a 12-year-old girl from Albania who will soon undergo orthopedic surgery. The Foundation assists young patients from abroad coming to the United States for heart, orthopedic or plastic surgery. The ladies presented the check to Archbishop Demetrios who then presented it to Alexander Conti, the Foundation chairman. The “Combined Philoptochos Charities of Brooklyn and Staten Island” is comprised of five Philoptochos chapters: Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Brooklyn; Kimisis tis Theotokou, Brooklyn; Three Hierarchs, Brooklyn; Holy Cross, Brooklyn; and Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas, Staten Island. The organization held its 33rd Com-
bined Philoptochos Luncheon on March 1 to benefit the WWCF, which will coordinate travel and housing arrangements for the patient and her family, arrange for the surgery, and see that three months of follow-up care is given before sending her home.The event chairman and cochairman were Aliki Skoulas and Donna Leondis. To achieve their goal of helping children, WWCF has help from surgeons, doctors, and health care professionals who donate their time and expertise. Hospitals provide services for nominal or no cost. Ronald McDonald House will house this family. (Other times, host families who can accommodate the language and culture of the patients share their homes and offer emotional support.) Corporations and organizations help with medical equipment, transportation, housing or other services and other non-profit organizations partner with WWCF on specific cases. Joining Archbishop Demetrios at the
check presentation were: Bishop Andonios of Phasiane; Maria Skiadas, Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos president; Irene Panagos, first vice president, Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos; Eleni Psaras, president of Holy Cross Philoptochos; Stella Panagakos and Sophie Noulis, Holy Cross Philoptochos members; Evangelia Apostolakos, past president of Sts. Constantine and Helen; Lucy Bounas, Sts. Constantine & Helen Philoptochos member; Anna Zaharatos, past president of Kimisis tis Theotokou; Mary Sergentakis, Kimisis tis Theotokou member; Alexandra Diolis, president of Three Hierarchs Philoptochos and member of the Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos Board; Carol Janetakis, Three Hierarchs Philoptochos members, Panagiota Karidis, president of Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Philoptochos, and Christine Charitis, past president of the chapter. WWCF can be contacted at (800) 293-0370 or www.wwcf.org
ΕΤΟΣ 74 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1250
ΠΡΩΤΗ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΨΗ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΟΥ ΜΟΣΧΑΣ ΣΤΟ ΦΑΝΑΡΙ ôïõ Íéêüëáïõ Ìáããßíá
Συνεχίζεται o απόηχος της πρώτης ειρηνικής επίσκεψης (4-6 Ιουλίου) του Πατριάρχου Μόσχας Κυρίλλου στο Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο στο Φανάρι, για την οποία γράφτηκαν και ειπώθηκαν διάφορα για το θετικό κλίμα που επικράτησε στις συνομιλίες και γενικά σε όλη τη διάρκειά της. Πράγματι, υπήρξε πέραν των προσδοκιών εξαιρετικά καλή ατμόσφαιρα, χωρίς εντάσεις και με διάθεση αρμονικής συνεργασίας για το καλό των δύο Εκκλησιών και της Πανορθόδοξης ενότητας. Κατά την ολιγοήμερη επίσκεψη του Πατριάρχου Μόσχας επικράτησε εγκαρδιότητα και ειλικρίνεια και διατυπώθηκαν διάφορες σκέψεις, απόψεις και διαθέσεις και από τις δύο πλευρές στην διάρκεια των συνομιλιών, στα γεύματα και σε άλλες στιγμές. Ένα χαρακτηριστικό δείγμα ήταν και η εκ βαθέων δημοσιοποίηση της αγάπης που τρέφει ο
Πατριάρχης Μόσχας απέναντι στον Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο από την εποχή ακόμη που ήταν αμφότεροι ιερείς. Ο Πατριάρχης Μόσχας είπε χαρακτηριστικά για την αδελφική αγάπη που τρέφει προς τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο: «Προς τον Παναγιώτατο εκφράζω την αδελφική μου αγάπη, την οποία διατηρούσα πάντα στην καρδιά μου κατά την διάρκεια της πολυετούς μας γνωριμίας, αλλά είχα συγκρατηθεί και δεν είχα εκφράσει την αγάπη μου αυτή δημοσίως. Τώρα έχω το δικαίωμα να σας εκφράσω την αγάπη μου. Σας αγαπούμε, Παναγιώτατε. Ελπίζουμε και στην δική σας ανταπόκριση στη δική μας αγάπη». Στην συνέχεια ο Πατριάρχης Μόσχας επισήμανε το γεγονός ότι η αγάπη αυτή θα συμβάλει και στην επίλυση των θεμάτων που προκύπτουν κατά καιρούς, τονίζοντας: «Και αυτή η αγάπη θα ενι-
Τα Θυρανοίξια του ανακαινισμένου Ναού Αγίου ∆ημητρίου στην Πρίγκηπο
Πατριαρχικό συλλείτουργο του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου και του Πατριάρχου Μόσχας Κυρίλλου στον Πάνσεπτο Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου.
ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΙΚΗ ΕΓΚΥΚΛΙΟΣ Ἡμέρα Ἀνεξαρτησίας 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. Ἀγαπητοί Ἀδελφοί καί Ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ,
ôïõ Íéêüëáïõ Ìáããßíá
Με λαμπρότητα τελέστηκαν το Σάββατο 11 Ιουλίου στην Πρίγκηπο από τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο τα θυρανοίξια του ανακαινισμένου ναού του Αγίου Δημητρίου, παρουσία ιεραρχών του Οικουμενικού Θρόνου. Ο Πατριάρχης έφτασε στην Πρίγκηπο το πρωί του Σαββάτου και χοροστάτησε στην Θ. Λειτουργία, επί τη αποπερατώσει των ανακαινιστικών έργων, στον Μητροπολιτικό Ναό του Αγίου Δημητρίου. Ο υφ. Εξωτερικών Θεόδωρος Κασσίμης, ο πρέσβης της Ελλάδος στην Άγκυρα Φώτης Ξύδας, η οικογένεια του δωρητή Αθανάσιου Μαρτίνου, και πλήθος προσκυνητών από την κοινότητα της Κωνσταντινούπολης και την Ελλάδα παρέστησαν στα θυρανοίξια. «Είναι πολύ σημαντική η στιγμή που η Μητρόπολις, ο Άγιος Δημήτρης στην Πριγκηπόννησο, η ιστορική αυτή εκκλησία που επλήγη από τον μεγάλο σεισμό κατάφερε και πάλι να στυλωθεί περήφανη, σύγχρονη διατηρώντας όλα τα κειμήλια και τις εικόνες της», είπε ο υφυπουργός
Εξωτερικών Θεόδωρος Κασσίμης, μετά την τελετή των θυρανοιξίων και εξήρε τις προσπάθειες του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου. «Είναι πολύ σημαντικό ότι πολλοί Έλληνες, πολλοί Πριγκηποννησιώτες, αλλά και από την Ελλάδα βοήθησαν για να γίνει πραγματικότητα αυτό το όνειρο που είχαν πριν από δέκα χρόνια όταν σείστηκε ολόκληρο το νησί», είπε ο Έλληνας υφυπουργός . Ο ναός ανακαινίσθηκε εκ βάθρων, με την ευγενή χορηγία της οικογένειας Αθανασίου Μαρτίνου, και εντάσσεται πλέον στο πλήθος των πρόσφατα ανακαινισμένων ορθοδόξων ναών στην Κωνσταντινούπολη. «Είναι σημαντικό το έργο που γίνεται υπό την αιγίδα του Πατριάρχη μας. Έχουμε ανακαινίσει δυο εκκλησίες την Μητρόπολη, τον Αγιο Δημήτριο και την Κοίμηση. Η Πρίγκηπος είναι μία όαση Ορθοδοξίας εκτός Ελλάδας, εδώ στην Πόλη και πόλος έλξης για πολλούς Έλληνες προσκυνητές που έρχονται από την πατρίδα μας», είπε μετά τις τελετές ο κ. Αθανάσιος Μαρτίνος που συνεχίζει μια μεγάλη παράδοση δωρητών και ευεργετών της Εκκλησίας.
Ἡ 4 η Ἰουλίου εἶναι ἡ ἡμέρα κατά τήν ὁποία μαζί μ έ ἑκ ατο μμύρι α ἄ λ λ ων ἀνθρώπων ἀπό ὁλόκληρη τήν ἐπικράτεια τοῦ ἔθνους καί ἀπό ὁλόκληρο τόν κόσμο γιορτάζουμε ἕνα ἱστορικό ἐπίτευγμα τό ὁποῖο τόνισε τήν ἀναγκαιότητα τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης ἐλευθερίας καί ἐγκαινίασε ἕνα πολιτικό καί κοινωνικό περιβᾶλλον πλῆρες εὐκαιριῶν καί δυνατοτήτων. Οἱ Ἡνωμένες Πολιτεῖες Ἀμερικῆς, χώρα γεννημένη ἐν ἐλευθερίᾳ καί ἀφοσιωμένη στά ἰδανικά τῆς δικαιοσύνης καί τῆς ἰσότητος γιά ὅλους , ὅπως εἶπε ὁ Ἀβραάμ Λίνκολν, ἀπέβη ἔθνος τό ὁποῖο διηύρυνε τό πεδίο δράσεως καί τήν ἀποστολή τοῦ πολίτη και τίς ἔννοιες τῆς κοινότητος καί τῆς ἐντάξεως σέ αὐτή. Ὡς Ὀρθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί, πέραν τοῦ ὅτι εἴμεθα Ἀμερικανοί πολίτες, γνωρίζουμε καί βιώνουμε τήν πραγματικότητα τῆς κοινότητος μέσα ἀπό τήν λατρεία, τήν ἀδελφοσύνη καί τήν διακονία στίς τοπικές ἐνορίες μας. Σέ αὐτές τίς κοινότητες πίστεως καί ἀγάπης, συνδεόμεθα μέ μία πολύ μεγαλύτερη καί αἰώνια κοινότητα, τήν Βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ. Στήν Βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, εἴμεθα πολίτες ἑνός χώρου ζωῆς καί ὑπάρξεως, στόν ὁποῖο ἀκολουθοῦμε τό θέλημά Του καί λαμβάνουμε τήν χάρη Του. Ὡς πολίτες τῆς Βασιλείας Του, καλούμεθα νά συνειδητοποιήσουμε καί óåë. 15
Κύριλλος προς Βαρθολομαίο: «Σας αγαπούμε, Παναγιώτατε» óåë. 13 σχύει τους Προκαθημένους των δύο Εκκλησιών. Και θα μας βοηθήσει να επιλύσουμε εκείνα τα προβλήματα τα οποία από καιρού εις καιρόν εμφανίζονται. Διότι γύρω από εμάς ο κόσμος ευρίσκεται εν μέσω μίας θυέλλης και θα ήταν περίεργο εάν αυτή η θύελλα της καθημερινής βιωτής δεν θα επηρέαζε και τόν βίο της Εκκλησίας». Στις συνομιλίες πού διεξήχθησαν δεν τέθηκαν σε σύζητηση τα θέματα Εσθονίας και Ουκρανίας, αλλά η προτεραιότητα δόθηκε στην περαιτέρω καλλιέργεια τής Πανορθόδοξης ενότητας και συνεργασίας, στην σύγκληση της Πανορθόδοξης Συνόδου. Για το θέμα αυτό, ο Πατριάρχης Μόσχας είπε σχετικά κατά το επίσημο γεύμα στο Φανάρι: «Είχαμε την ευκαιρία να αναπτύξουμε τη σημασία αυτής της Πανορθόδοξης συνεργασίας. Θα ήθελα να τονίσω τον δικό σας προσωπικό ρόλο στην διοργάνωση αυτού του διαλόγου σε ένα τόσο δύσκολο καιρό». Κατόπιν υπογράμμισε ότι θα πρέπει να συνειδητοποιήσουμε ότι η Πανορθόδοξος συνεργασία και η Πανορθόδοξος ενότης δεν πρέπει να καταλαμβάνει τη δεύτερη θέση, αλ λά να αποτελεί το πρώτιστο καθήκον των Εκκλησιών. Ακολούθως, ο Πατριάρχης Μόσχας αξιολογώντας την παρουσία του και τις συνομιλίες που είχε στο Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο είπε χαρακτηριστικά: «Γι΄ αυτό ερχόμενος σκέφτηκα με ποιο τρόπο θα διατηρήσουμε και θα ενδυναμώσουμε αυτές τις σχέσεις. Γι’ αυτό αποφάσισα να αφήσω όλες τις υπόλοιπες μου εργασίες και να πραγματοποιήσω την πρώτη μου επίσκεψη εδώ στις όχθες του Βοσπόρου, για να μπορέσω να μοιραστώ μαζί σας, να ακούσω εσάς και να συζητήσουμε για το μέλλον μας. Είμαι απόλυτα ικανοποιημένος με όσα συνέβησαν χθες και με συναίσθημα ελαφρύ και φωτεινό, ολοκλήρωσα σήμερα την τέλεση της Θείας Λειτουργίας μαζί σας. Είναι απολύτως σαφές ότι οι δύο Εκκλησίες μας έχουν αυτή τη δυναμική, η οποία θα μας επιτρέψει να διατηρήσουμε τις καθολικές σχέσεις για το καλό των εκκλησιών μας, αλλά και ολοκλήρου της Ορθοδοξίας». Από την πλευρά του ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος ήταν απόλυτα ικανοποιημένος από την επίσκεψη του Πατριάρχου Μόσχας Κυρίλλου και τα αποτελέσματα των συνομιλιών τους. Σχετικά δε με την νέα περίοδο, στην οποία εισέρχονται οι σχέσεις μεταξύ των δύο Εκκλησιών απευθυνόμενος προς τον Προκαθήμενο της Εκκλησίας της Ρωσίας, υπογράμμισε τά εξής: «Δεν ξέρω κατά πόσο μπορέσαμε να εκφράσουμε αυτή τη χαρά μας και τη συγκίνησή μας για την παρουσία σας με την νέα ιδιότητά σας, του Πατριάρχου. Το είπατε και εσείς και ο αδελφός Άγιος Βολοκολάμσκ. Αλλά και αν δεν το λέγατε είναι εμφανές απ’ όσα ζούμε αυτές τις ημέρες, ότι εισήλθαμε σε μία νέα περίοδο των διμερών σχέσεών μας και ότι άνοιξε μία καινούργια σελίδα στην ιστορία των αμοιβαίων σχέσεών μας». Πάντως ευχή όλων είναι ο χρόνος να δικαιώσει τις προσδοκίες αμφοτέρων των Πατριαρχών για την νέα αυτή περίοδο αρμονικής και γαλήνιας συνεργασίας.
Η ΣΥΝΑΝΤΗΣΗ Μετά την Δοξολογία στον Πατριαρχικό Ναό ο Πατριάρχης Μόσχας Κύριλλος συναντήθηκε στην αίθουσα του θρόνου με τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο, ο οποίος τον υπεδέχθη θερμά μαζί με την Ιεραρχία του Θρόνου. «Σας περιμέναμε με πολλή αγάπη και πολλή χαρά και με πολλή τιμή. Δεν μας είστε ξένος, είστε αδελφός αγαπητός εδώ και πολλά χρόνια. Χαιρόμαστε και για την τιμία συνοδεία σας, γνωρίζαμε τον αδελφό Ιλαρίωνα, γνωρίζουμε τώρα και τον αδελφό Σέργιο. Και καλωσορίζουμε όλα τα τίμια μέλη της συνοδείας σας, καθώς επίσης και τον κύριο Πρέσβη και τον κύριο Γενικό Πρόξενο», είπε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης απευθυνόμενος στον Πατριάρχη Μόσχας στην αίθουσα του Θρόνου. «Διερμηνεύω τα αισθήματα όλης της Ιεραρχίας του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, των εδώ αδελφών και των απόντων. Διά την αναθέρμανσιν των σχέσεων των δύο Πατριαρχείων όλοι είμεθα ευτυχείς. Μας είπε χθες ο αδελφός Άγιος Βολοκολάμσκ ότι επιθυμία της Μακαριότητάς σας είναι να γυρίσουμε μια καινούργια σελίδα στις σχέσεις των δύο αδελφών Εκκλησιών. Σας διαβεβαιώνουμε εν πάση ειλικρινεία ότι αυτή και η δική μας πρόθεση και επιθυμία». Απαντώντας ο Πατριάρχης Κύριλλος τόνισε πως ήταν μεγάλη επιθυμία του να επισκεφθεί το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο το συντομότερο μετά την εκλογή του. «Αμέσως μετά την εκλογή μου έλαβα την απόφαση να μην καθυστερήσω και να έρθω το συντομότερο δυνατό σ’ αυτή την αγία πόλη. Έτσι ώστε να έχουμε μια αδελφική επικοινωνία μεθ’ υμών. Για να ανοίξουμε μαζί μια νέα σελίδα στις μεταξύ μας σχέσεις. Πάντοτε ερχόμουν με ευχαρίστηση σε αυτή την πόλη ακόμα και όταν συμμετείχαμε σε δύσκολες συνομιλίες. Αυτό συνδεόταν με τις προσωπικές σχέσεις, οι οποίες με συνδέουν μετά του τιμίου προσώπου σας. Πράγματι γνωριζόμαστε εδώ και πάρα πολύ καιρό. Όταν ήμασταν και οι δύο μητροπολίτες είχαμε αδελφικές και στενές σχέσεις. Θυμάμαι πάντα την αδελφική σας επίσκεψη στην επαρχία του Σμολένσκ. Εκείνες τις θαυμάσιες ημέρες που περάσαμε μαζί. Και πράγματι η
επικοινωνία μαζί σας ήταν πάντοτε ευχάριστη» είπε ο Πατριάρχης Κύριλλος. «Θα ήθελα σήμερα να θυμηθώ μια ιστορική συζήτηση που πραγματοποιήθηκε εδώ στις παραμονές της συναντήσεως των Προκαθημένων των Αγιωτάτων Ορθοδόξων Εκκλησιών, η οποία πιστεύω και βοήθησε να ανασηκώσουμε αυτή τη νέα σελίδα. Το μόνο το οποίο μας έμεινε είναι να την γυρίσουμε έως το τέλος. Γι’ αυτό η άφιξή μας εδώ, στις ακτές του Βοσπόρου, υπαγορεύθηκε από μια ειλικρινή και εγκάρδια επιθυμία», σημείωσε και συνέχισε: «Το υπογραφέν κείμενο εις το Φανάρι, τον περασμένο Οκτώβριο, και ιδιαίτερα το σημείο που είχε τις θεολογικές προσεγγίσεις σε θέματα επίκαιρα μπορώ να σας διαβεβαιώσω ότι βρήκε μια πολύ θερμή ανταπόκριση σε διάφορους κύκλους της κοσμικής κοινωνίας. Είθε ο Θεός να μας βοηθήσει να συνεχίσουμε αυτό το σημαντικό έργο. Να αντιδρούμε θεολογικώς και ποιμαντικώς σε όσα συμβαίνουν στον κόσμο εξ ονόματος της μίας Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας, η οποία με την ευλογία του Θεού υπάρχει σε πολλές χώρες και συνενώνει πλήθη λαού». Οι επίσημες συνομιλίες μεταξύ του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου και του Πατριάρχου Μόσχας και των αντιπροσωπειών των δύο Εκκλησιών, διήρκεσαν παραπάνω από δυόμιση ώρες. Οι συνομιλίες ξεκίνησαν λίγο πριν τις 5 μμ και ολοκληρώθηκαν περίπου στις 7. 30 το απόγευμα του Σαββάτου 4 Ιουλίου. ΚΑΛΟ ΚΛΙΜΑ ΔΙΑΛΟΓΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΣΤΕΝΟΤΕΡΗ ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΣΙΑ Μετά την ολοκλήρωση των επίσημων συνομιλιών μεταξύ των αντιπροσωπειών του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και του Πατριαρχείου Μόσχας, οι δύο Προκαθήμενοι, ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος και ο Πατριάρχης Κύριλ λος εμφανίσθηκαν στην κεντρική είσοδο του Πατριαρχικού Οίκου και με δηλώσεις τους προς τα ΜΜΕ επαναβεβαίωσαν το καλό κλίμα των επαφών και την θέλησή τους για στενότερη συνεργασία. «Μέσα στην ατμόσφαιρα του διαλόγου και της αγάπης ελπίζουμε και πιστεύουμε ότι οι επόμενες διμερείς και πολυμερείς συναντήσεις μας θα φέρουν αποτέλεσμα». Με τα λόγια αυτά ο Οι-
κουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος αναφέρθηκε στις συνομιλίες που είχε με τον Πατριάρχη Μόσχας Κύριλλο. Από την πλευρά του ο κ. Κύριλλος είπε: «Πιστεύω ότι η καλή ατμόσφαιρα στις συνομιλίες και η φιλοξενία του Πατριαρχείου προάγουν τις καλές συνθήκες για την πρόοδο του διαλόγου». Σε ερώτηση για το «Εσθονικό» ο Πατριάρχης Κύριλλος απάντησε: «Συζητήσαμε το Εσθονικό ζήτημα καθώς και άλλα ζητήματα που μας απασχολούν και ελπίζω ότι θα συνεχίσουμε την πρόοδο της Συνόδου των Προκαθημένων». «Συνεργαστήκαμε στο παρελθόν πάντοτε με ομόνοια όσο και αν υπήρξαν προβλήματα μεταξύ των Εκκλησιών μας. Τόσο μεταξύ των δύο Εκκλησιών όσο και μεταξύ των δύο προσώπων μας κυριαρχεί το πνεύμα της συμφωνίας. Το πνεύμα αυτό της συμφωνίας και της αγάπης μας καθοδήγησε και σε αυτές τις δύο, δυόμιση ώρες που συζητήσαμε. Ελπίζουμε ότι οι καλές σχέσεις μεταξύ των δύο Εκκλησιών θα εξυπηρετήσουν και την παγίωση της ειρήνης στην περιοχή» είπε, μεταξύ άλλων, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης. Ερωτηθείς από τούρκους δημοσιογράφους για τις κινήσεις της Άγκυρας στο ζήτημα της Θεολογικής Σχολής της Χάλκης ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης απάντησε: «Όπως και εσείς, έτσι και εμείς διαβάζουμε στον Τύπο, ακούμε στις ειδήσεις και εξάγουμε το συμπέρασμα ότι η Κυβέρνηση σκέπτεται σε βάθος τη λύση του προβλήματος της Θεολογικής Σχολής Χάλκης. Αυτή η ιστορία κράτησε πολύ καιρό και ελπίζουμε σε σύντομο χρόνο να έχουμε θετικά αποτελέσματα. Το τι όμως συγκεκριμένα προγραμματίζει η τουρκική κυβέρνηση δεν το γνωρίζουμε, διότι δεν μας έρχεται κατευθείαν καμία είδηση από την Άγκυρα». ΕΠΙΣΚΕΨΗ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΓΙΑ ΣΟΦΙΑ Επίσκεψη στον Ναό–σύμβολο της Αγίας Σοφίας πραγματοποίησε κατά τη διάρκεια της ολιγοήμερης επίσκεψής του στην Πόλη, ο Πατριάρχης Μόσχας Κύριλλος. Τον προκαθήμενο της Εκκλησίας της Ρωσίας και την συνοδεία του ξενάγησε ο διευθυντής του μουσείου Αχμέτ Χαλιούκ Ντουρσούν, ενώ εκ μέρους του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη τον συνόδευσε ο Μητροπολίτης Γαλλίας Εμμανουήλ. Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι ο Πατριάρχης Κύριλλος ξεκίνησε την αντιφώνησή του στον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη, στην αίθουσα του θρόνου στο Φανάρι, αναφερόμενος στην Αγία Σοφία: «Σε αυτή την περιβεβλημένη με δόξα γη ενθυμούμεθα τα μακρινά γεγονότα της κοινής μας ιστορίας, τα οποία ζωντανεύουν εκ νέου θεωρώντας τον μεγαλοπρεπή Ναό της Αγίας του Θεού Σοφίας καθώς και τα άλλα μνημεία της βυζαντινής εποχής. Πολύτιμες για κάθε ένα από εμάς εικόνες ανασταίνονται στις σκέψεις μας: το βάπτισμα της Αγίας ισαποστόλου πριγκίπησσας Όλγας από τον Αγιώτατο Πατριάρχη Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Θεοφύλακτο και η επίσκεψη της Βασιλεύουσας από τους πρέσβεις του εγγονού της, του Αγίου ισαποστόλου πρίγκηπα Βλαδίμηρου. Εντυπωσιασμένοι από την μεγαλοπρέπεια της Μεγάλης του Χριστού Εκκλησίας και φανερώς αισθανόμενοι το άγγιγμα της Θείας Χάριτος, αυτοί, όπως ομολόγησαν και οι ίδιοι, δεν γνώριζαν που ευρίσκονταν: στον ουρανό ή στη γη».
ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΙΚΗ ΕΓΚΥΚΛΙΟΣ óåë. 13
Ο Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Καντουαρίας Δρ. Rowan Douglas Williams με τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο.
Επίσκεψη Αρχιεπισκόπου Καντουαρίας στο Φανάρι ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΕΙΟ - Ο Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Καντουαρίας καί Πριμᾶτος πάσης Ἀγγλίας ∆ρ. Rowan Douglas Williams, παρεπιδημῶν ἐν τῇ Πόλει ἐπ’ εὐκαιρίᾳ συγκληθείσης ∆ιαθρησκειακῆς Συναντήσεως ἐπεσκέψατο ἀνεπισήμως τό Οἰκουμενικόν Πατριαρχεῖον καί τήν Α. Θειοτάτην Παναγιότητα, τόν Οἰκουμενικόν Πατριάρχην, κ. κ. Βαρθολομαῖον, γενόμενος δεκτός μετά τῶν προσηκουσῶν τιμῶν. Τήν Αὐτοῦ Χάριν συνώδευον ὁ Αἰδεσιμολ. Canon κ. Jonathan Goodall, Γραμματεύς παρά τῷ Ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ Καντουαρίας, ἁρμόδιος ἐπί τῶν ∆ιαχριστιανικῶν Σχέσεων τῆς Ἀγγλικανικῆς Κοινωνίας, ὁ Αἰδεσιμ. Πρεσβύτερος κ. Anthony Ball καί ὁ Ἐντιμ. κ. Timothy Livesey. Η Α.Θ.Παναγιότης, μετά τῆς Α. Χά ριτος καί τῆς συνοδείας αὐτῆς διεπεραιώθησαν εἰς τήν νῆσον Χάλκην καί ἐπεσκέψαντο
τήν ἐκεῖσε Ἱ. Μονήν, ἔνθα ὁ Πατριάρχης ηὐλόγησε τήν μοναστηριακήν τράπεζαν, ἐδέχθη δέ καί τούς τελειοφοίτους τῆς ἐν Βοστώνῃ Θεολογικῆς Σχολῆς τοῦ Τιμίου Σταυροῦ, πρός οὕς ὡμίλησαν ἡ Α. Χάρις, ὁ Πανιερ. Μητροπολίτης ∆ιοκλείας κ. Κάλλιστος καί ὁ Πατριάρχης. Ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Καντουαρίας μετά τῶν συνοδῶν αὐτοῦ διέμειναν κατά τό τριήμερον 19-21 Ιουνίου ἐν τοῖς Πατριαρχείοις, ὡς φιλοξενούμενοι τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριαρχείου, καί ἔσχον συνομιλίας μετά τῆς ἁρμοδίας ἐπί τῶν ∆ιαχριστιανικῶν Ζητημάτων Ἐπιτροπῆς, τῇ συμμετοχῇ τοῦ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτου Περγάμου κ. Ἰωάννου καί τοῦ Πανιερ. Μητροπολίτου ∆ιοκλείας κ. Καλλίστου, Συμπροέδρου τῆς Μικτῆς Θεολογικῆς Ἐπιτροπῆς ἐπί τοῦ ∆ιαλόγου μεταξύ Ὀρθοδόξου καί Ἀγγλικανικῆς Ἐκκλησίας.
νά ἀνταποκριθοῦμε στίς ἀνάγκες τῶν ἄλλων κατά τήν διάρκεια τῆς ζωῆς μας ἐπί τῆς γῆς. Ὁ Κύριός μας τό ἐπιβεβαίωσε αὐτό μέ πολλή ἔμφαση τόσο μέ τήν διακονία Του ὅσο καί μέ τήν διδασκαλία Του ὅταν εἶπε ὅτι ἡ κληρονομία τῆς Βασιλείας Του καί τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς συνδέεται μέ τήν ἀνταπόκρισή μας στίς ἀνάγκες τῶν ἀδελφῶν Του τῶν ἐλαχίστων (Ματθ. 25:40). Ἔτσι, ἕνα σημαντικό χαρακτηριστικό μας ὡς οὐρανίων πολιτῶν εἶναι ἡ ἐνεργός φροντίδα μας ἐπί τῆς γῆς ἐκείνων πού ἔχουν ἀνάγκη βοηθείας. Ἡ εὐθύνη γιά τούς ἄλλους, εἰδικώτερα ὅταν αὐτοί ἀντιμετωπίζουν σοβαρό πρόβλημα ἤ κρίση, εἶναι σημαντική γιά τή δυναμική καί τή βιωσιμότητα μιᾶς ἐλεύθερης κοινωνίας. Ἡ ἰδιότητά μας ὡς πολιτῶν καί ἡ συμμετοχή μας στό σύνολο τῶν πολιτῶν αὐτοῦ τοῦ μεγάλου Ἀμερικανικοῦ ἔθνους ὑποδηλώνει τήν ὕπαρξη καί παρουσία μιᾶς κοινότητος ἡ ὁποία ἐκτρέφει καί προάγει τήν δυνατότητα ὅλων τῶν ἀνθρώπων νά βιώσουν τή ζωή, τήν ἐλευθερία καί τήν εὐτυχία. Ὑποδηλώνει, ἐπίσης, τήν παρουσία μιᾶς κοινότητος ἡ ὁποία ἀναπτύσσεται ἀπό τήν αὐθόρμητη ἀνταπόκριση τῶν μελῶν της στίς ἀνάγκες τῶν συμπολιτῶν καί συγκατοίκων τους. Ἀσκῶντας διάκριση ἀλλά ὄχι μεροληψία, ἀνταποκρινόμεθα σέ κάθε ἄνθρωπο πού ἔχει ἀνάγκη, γνωρίζοντας ὅτι τά ἰδανικά τῆς ἐλευθερίας, δικαιοσύνης καί ἰσότητος σχετίζονται μέ τήν εὐημερία ὅλων καί ἑκάστου ἀνθρώπου τῆς κοινωνίας μας. Στόν ἑορτασμό μας τῆς Ἡμέρας Ἀνεξαρτησίας, ἄς σκεφθοῦμε τή σημασία πού ἔχει τό νά εἴμεθα πολίτες ἀνήκοντες στό Ἀμερικανικό ἔθνος καί τό νά εἴμεθα μέλη τῆς Βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπικυρώνοντας ἔτσι τήν ἀλήθεια ὅτι ἡ συμπόνοια καί βοήθεια πρός τούς ἄλλους εἶναι σημαντική καί γιά τά δύο. Ἄς θυμηθοῦμε, ἐπίσης, ὅτι ἡ κλήση μας ὡς Ὀρθοδόξων Χριστιανῶν εἶναι νά μοιραζόμεθα τό Εὐαγγέλιο τῆς ἀγάπης καί ἀλήθειας, ἔτσι ὥστε ὅλοι νά γνωρίσουν τήν χάρη τοῦ Θεοῦ καί νά γνωρίσουν τή σωτηρία διά τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Ἡ μετάδοση καί διακήρυξη τοῦ μηνύματος τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου αὐξάνει τήν εὐθύνη μας ὡς Ἀμερικανῶν νά φροντίζουμε γιά τούς συνανθρώπους μας. Ὅταν συντρέχουμε σ’ αὐτούς οἱ ὁποῖοι ἔχουν ἀνάγκη, ἐνδυναμώνουμε τήν γενική εὐημερία τῆς κοινωνίας μας, καί στηρίζουμε τήν ἐλευθερία, δικαιοσύνη καί ἰσότητα, ἰδανικά τά ὁποῖα ἰδιαίτερα τιμοῦμε καί τά ὁποῖα ἀπολαμβάνουμε ὡς ὑπέρτατα δῶρα τοῦ Θεοῦ. Μέ πατρική ἐν Χριστῷ ἀγάπη,
ÿ ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς ∆ημήτριος
Νέος πρόεδρος στο τιμόνι της ΑΧΕΠΑ
ΑΓΙΟΣ ΦΡΑΓΚΙΣΚΟΣ, Καλιφόρνια - Ο κυπριακής καταγωγής οµογενής Νίκος Καρακώστας εξελέγη οµόφωνα ύπατος πρόεδρος της Ελληνοαµερικανικής οργάνωσης ΑΗΕΡΑ, στη διάρκεια του 87ου συνέδριου που πραγµατοποιήθηκε στον Αγιο Φραγκίσκο της Πολιτείας της Καλιφόρνια. Ο νέος ύπατος πρόεδρος ο οποίος είναι γνωστός δικηγόρος από τη Νέα Υόρκη, υπηρετούσε την ΑΧΕΠΑ από τη θέση του αντιπροέδρου. Ο κ. Καρακώστας, αµέσως µετά την εκλογή του βαθύτατα συγκινηµένος από το αποτέλεσµα ευχαρίστησε τα µέλη για την ψήφο και την εµπιστοσύνη τους στο πρόσωπο του, επιβραβεύοντας όπως είπε µια πορεία δράσης 25 ολόκληρων ετών. Τις υπόλοιπες θέσεις στο ύπατο συµβούλιο της οργάνωσης καταλαµβάνουν οι: Δρ. Ιωάννης Γροσσοµανίδης, αντιπρόεδρος, Νίκος Αρουτζίδης πρόεδρος Καναδά, Αντώνης Κουζούνης γενικός γραµµατέας, Νικόλαος Βαµβακιάς ταµίας, Αναστάσιος Κωνσταντίν, σύµβουλος και υπεύθυνος Αθλητισµού,
Σπύρος Σιάγκας. Γεννηµένος στην Κερύνεια, ο νέος πρόεδρος της ΑΧΕΠΑ, ήλθε στις ΗΠΑ σε ηλικία τριών µόλις ετών µε τους γονείς του Ανδρέα και Σωτηρούλα Καρακώστα. Οι γονείς του υπήρξαν ιδρυτικά µέλη του Παγκυπρίου Συνδέσµου Αµερικής, τον οποίο υπηρέτησαν από διάφορες θέσεις, ενώ ο ίδιος υπήρξε ποδοσφαιριστής στην οµάδα. Αδελφός της µητέρας του είναι ο πρόεδρος της ΠΣΕΚΑ κ. Φίλιπ Κρίστοφερ – τον οποίο ο Νίκος Καρακώστας χαρακτηρίζει παράδειγµα αγωνιστικότητας για την Κύπρο. Ο Νίκος Καρακώστας κι η σύζυγός του Άννα έχουν δύο κόρες. ΕΚΛΟΓΗ ΝΕΩΝ ΠΡΟΕΔΡΕΙΩΝ Νέα πρόεδρος του γυναικείου τµήµατος Θυγατέρων της Πηνελόπης εξελέγη η Ελέιν Σαµπάνη. Πρόεδρος του νεολαιϊστικου ανδρικού τµήµατος «Γιοί του Περικλή» εξελέγη ο Ντίν Τσελέπης. Πρόεδρος του νεολαιϊστικου γυναικείου τµήµατος «Κόρες της Αθηνάς» η Σία Ζώη.
Για ερωτήματα σχετικά με τον Κανονισμό για θέματα επιλήψιμης σεξουαλικής συμπεριφοράς κληρικών της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής ή για σχετικές καταγγελίες καλέστε χωρίς χρέωση τον ειδικό αριθμό (877) 544-3382 Όλες οι καταγγελίες θα ληφθούν σοβαρά υπ’ όψιν και θα διερευνηθούν πλήρως και με απόλυτη αμεροληψία. Μπορείτε να μιλήσετε Αγγλικά ή Ελληνικά σε εθελοντή ή εθελόντρια.
OPA! Let the fun begin. Join other Americans, Greeks, Friends and Family on our
4th Annual Greek Cultural Cruise
February 20 - 27, 2010
Aboard the Costa Atlantica Departs from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to: Key West, FL; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Roatan, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico.
G PRICE REAT VAL S STAR UE T AT O NLY
LIMIT PP E RESER D CABIN VE EA S RLY!
* Rate includes taxes,port charges and entry to all private Greek events.
Experience an Authentic Greek Festival at Sea! This is not your typical cruise...In addition to traditional cruise activities,casinos, shows & food,you’ll enjoy Greek Dances, Greek Singers, Comedians,Movies, Greek Food,Lectures & More! Enjoy the music of Nick Trivelas,as well as the “Night in Athens Trio” featuring George Antonopoulos & Joanna.Join us in song,dance and an occasional “OPA!” as you sail the Western Caribbean.
You must call and book with TravelGroup International to be eligible to attend any and all private Greek functions!
Sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Mission of Ocala, Father George Papadeas, Pastor
For reservations & information contact: TravelGroup International: 1.866.447.0750 or 561.447.0750 ext: 102 or 108 or email@example.com Fax: 561.447.0510 125 SE Mizner Blvd., #14, Boca Raton, FL 33432 www.opacruise.com
Τα Ελληνικά μου: το πρώτο βιβλίο της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής για τους μαθητές των δημοτικών σχολείων μας Επιμέλεια: Λευτέρης Πισσαλίδης ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ - Από το νέο σχολικό έτος το οποίο ξεκινά το Σεπτέμβριο του 2009, οι μαθητές και οι μαθήτριες που φοιτούν στην πρώτη τάξη των ημερήσιων και απογευματινών ελληνοαμερικανικών σχολείων θα έχουν πλέον τη δυνατότητα να χρησιμοποιήσουν για την εκμάθηση της ελληνικής γλώσσας ένα νέο βιβλίο με τίτλο «Τα Ελληνικά μου» που εξέδωσε η Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής, ειδικά γραμμένο και προσαρμοσμένο στις ανάγκες και ιδιαιτερότητες των ελληνοπαίδων που γεννήθηκαν στις ΗΠΑ. Κατά τη διάρκεια της συνέντευξης Τύπου παρουσιάζοντας τα νέα βιβλία – στην ουσία πρόκειται για τρία νέα βιβλία, ένα βασικό, ένα βοηθητικό μαθητή και ένα βοηθητικό διδασκάλου– ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος, ανέφερε ότι «τα συγκεκριμένα βιβλία απευθύνονται κατά κύριο λόγο στα παιδιά ελληνορθόδοξης καταγωγής, τα οποία είναι γεννημένα στην Αμερική και μεγαλώνουν σε αγγλόφωνη κοινωνία». Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αμερικής παρουσιάζοντας το πρώτο από τρία βιβλία της νέας αυτής σειράς, αναφέρθηκε και στους ευρύτερους στόχους για την ενίσχυση του συστήματος ελληνικής παιδείας στις ΗΠΑ, το οποίο υπάγεται στην Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής. «Η ιστορία του βιβλίου είναι ενδεικτική μιας προσπάθειας που καταβάλλουμε για την παιδεία. Η μία πτυχή της είναι το βιβλίο, η άλλη οι δάσκαλοι κι η τρίτη οι μαθητές», ανέφερε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος, τονίζοντας την ανάγκη «να καταβληθεί ακόμη μεγαλύτερη προσπάθεια συστηματοποίησης της δουλειάς μας για τους μαθητές». ΤΟ ΠΡΩΤΟ ΒΙΒΛΙΟ ΤΗΣ ΣΕΙΡΑΣ Το πρώτο βιβλίο της σειράς «Τα Ελληνικά Μου» καλύπτει τις εκαπιδευτικές ανάγκες των μαθητών της μικρής ηλικίας (6-9 ετών). Ολοι μαθητές των ελληνοαμερικανικών σχολείων (ημερησίων και απογευματινών) πριν περάσουν στο επόμενο εκπαιδευτικό επίπεδο, θα πρέπει να έχουν καλύψει πλήρως τα μαθήματα του πρώτου βιβλίου της νέας σειράς. Το νέο αυτό βιβλίο συνοδεύεται επίσης από δυο επιμέρους σχολικά βοηθήματα/εγχειρίδια, ένα για το μαθητή κι ένα για το διδάσκαλο. Στα σχολείο θα διανεμηθεί και ειδικός ψηφιακός δίσκος (DVD) με οπτικοακουστικό υλικό για τη διδασκαλία. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος, τόνισε επίσης ότι ήδη έχει ξεκινήσει και η συγγραφή των επόμενων δύο βιβλίων της νέας αυτής σχολικής συγγραφικής σειράς της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής. Αναμένεται δε ότι θα είναι έτοιμα και θα εκδοθούν σε ένα χρόνο περίπου, ώστε οι μαθητές που θα ξεκινήσουν φέτος να διδάσκονται το βιβλίο αυτό, θα συνεχίσουν να διδάσκονται την ελληνική γλώσσα με βάση το περιεχόμενο, το πνεύμα και την αντίληψη των καινούριων βιβλίων, τα οποία θα προσφέρονται δωρεάν, όχι μόνο στα ομογενειακά σχολεία, αλλά και σε άλλα, όπως σε «σχολεία τσάρτερ», σε περίπτωση που υπάρξει σχετική ανταπόκριση. Επίσης, λόγω των θρησκευτικών αναφορών που υπάρχουν στο νέο αυτό βιβλίο, είναι δυνατόν κάποιες πολιτείες να μην επιτρέψουν τη χρήση τους στα
Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος παρουσιάζει το νέο βιβλίο κατά τη διάρκεια της συνέντευξης Τύπου για τα ομογενειακά και ελληνικά ΜΜΕ στην έδρα της Ιεράς Αρχιεπικοπής Αμερικής στη Νέα Υόρκη.
σχολεία της περιφέρειάς τους. Το συνολικό οικονομικό κόστος της προετοιμασίας, και έκδοσης των νέων βιβλίων, για όλες τις εκδόσεις της σειράς, έχει αναλάβει το κληροδότημα της Αρχιεπισκοπής, «Πίστις: Ταμείο για την Ορθοδοξία και τον Ελληνισμό». Η συγγραφή και εκτύπωση των τριών πρώτων βιβλίων (βασικό– βοηθητικό μαθητή–βοηθητικό δασκάλου) κόστισε 220.000 δολάρια περίπου. Τη συγγραφική επιμέλεια του βιβλίου είχε ο καθηγητής Γλωσσολογίας και πρώην Πρύτανης του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών, Γεώργιος Μπαμπινιώτης, ενώ στη συγγραφική ομάδα, συμμετείχαν επίσης οι φιλόλογοι Ασημίνα Αναγνωστοπούλου, Αντωνία Δημητράσκου και Μαργαρίτα Καλογρίδου–Κολυβά, καθώς και η εκπαιδευτικός των Αρσακείων Σχολείων Αθηνά Μακροπόδη. Την ομάδα εργασίας του βιβλίου στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες αποτέλεσαν ο Δρ. Ιωάννης Ευθυμιόπουλος, διευθυντής Ελληνικής Παιδείας της Αρχιεπισκοπής, Μαρία Τελειοπούλου, Αριστοτέλης Μιχόπουλος, Σταματία Δόβα (απόφοιτος του Χάρβαρντ και καθηγήτρια του Ελληνικού
Κολεγίου) και Κυριακή Ιατρού. Την επιμέλεια και το συντονισμό του συγγραφικού έργου στις ΗΠΑ, είχαν ο Δρ. Ιωάννης Ευθυμιόπουλος και η Μαρία Τελειοπούλου. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος ανέφερε επίσης ότι «η ιδέα για τη συγγραφή αυτών των βιβλίων υπήρχε πάντοτε. Ξέραμε ότι είχαμε δυσκολίες με το υπάρχον σχετικό υλικό. Πολλά από τα βιβλία που υπάρχουν για εκμάθηση της ελληνικής γλώσσας, είναι πολύ καλά, αλλά είχαν ορισμένα μειονεκτήματα και κυρίως είχαν δυσκολία εφαρμογής. Μπορεί να γραφτεί ένα βιβλίο, άψογο από γλωσσολογικής πλευράς, αλλά να έχει βαθμό δυσκολίας που το καθιστά, όχι αποτελεσματικό. Αυτό, ήταν ένα μεγάλο θέμα, που έπρεπε να προβλεφθεί και να καλυφθεί». Ο κ. Δημήτριος τόνισε επίσης ότι «η προσπάθεια δεν τελειώνει εδώ, γιατί τα σχολεία είναι χώρος ανανεωμένου ανθρωπίνου υλικού» και πως ότι «παράγοντες του υπουργείου Παιδείας της Ελλάδας, που είδαν το βιβλίο, είπαν ότι θα μπορούσε κάλλιστα να χρησιμοποιηθεί γενικότερα για την εκτός Ελλάδος Ομογένεια». Συνολικά, τυπώθηκαν 10.000 αντίτυ-
Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος απαντά στις ερωτήσεις των δημοσιογράφων.
πα του βασικού βιβλίου, 10.000 του βοηθητικού βιβλίου για το μαθητή και 2.000 του βοηθητικού βιβλίου για το διδάσκαλο. Από την πλευρά του ο διευθυντής του Γραφείου Παιδείας της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής, Δρ. Ιωάννης Ευθυμιόπουλος, τόνισε κατά τη διάρκεια της συνέντευξης Τύπου ότι υπό τη δικαιοδοσία της Αρχιεπισκοπής λειτουργούν σήμερα στις ΗΠΑ 29 ημερήσια και 340 απογευματινά ελληνικά σχολεία με συνολικά 19.200 μαθητές. Υπολογίζεται ότι από το νέο σχολικό έτος, οι μαθητές της πρώτης τάξης του Δημοτικού –που θα είναι και οι πρώτοι που θα αρχίσουν να χρησιμοποιούν το βιβλίο του πρώτου επιπέδου– είναι 3.500 με 4.000. Οπως ανέφερε ο κ. Ευθυμιόπουλος, μέχρι στιγμής, το 80% περίπου των σχολείων έχει ανταποκριθεί στο αίτημα της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής να δώσει ακριβή στοιχεία με τον αριθμό των μαθητών της πρώτη τάξης του Δημοτικού. Επίσης, όπως τονίστηκε κατά τη διάρκεια της συνένετυξης Τύπου, η χρήση του συγκεκριμένου βιβλίου από όλα τα σχολεία θα είναι υποχρεωτική. Όπως τόνισε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος, «είναι αυτονόητο ότι θα σπεύσουν να το χρησιμοποιήσουν κι αν δεν το κάνουν θα είναι ζημιογόνο. Πρακτικώς δεν είναι εύκολο να ελεγχθεί αν θα διδαχθεί παντού, όμως, η απόφαση είναι να μην υπάρξει εξαίρεση...».
Πρόσκληση συμμετοχής του θέματος της Κληρικολαϊκής ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ - Στα πλαίσια της προσπάθειας της Ορθοδόξου Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής για την προώθηση του θέματος της Κληρικολαϊκής Συνελεύσεως του 2008 στην Ουάσιγκτον με τίτλο “Συνάξετε τον λαό μου στην Οικία μου,” ο «Ορθόδοξος Παρατηρητής» καλεί τις ενορίες, εκκλησιαστικούς οργανισμούς και ιδιώτες να υποβάλουν άρθρα προς δημοσίευση σχετικά με τις πρωτοβουλίες και τις προσπάθειες που έχουν ληφθεί, ή τα προγράμματα και τα έργα που έχουν ξεκινήσει για την εκπλήρωση των στόχων του εν λόγω θέματος. Αυτό θα δώσει τη δυνατότητα στις ενορίες σε όλη την Αρχιεπισκοπή να μοιραστούν από κοινού τις διάφορες εμπειρίες και τις προσεγγίσεις που χρησιμοποιούνται από τις επιμέρους κοινότητες όσον αφορά την εφαρμογή του θέματος της Κληρικολαϊκής του 2008. Τα άρθρα θα πρέπει να είναι 1.000 λέξεις ή λιγότερο. Επιπρόσθετα, κάθε Μητρόπολη θα επιλέξει ένα “μοντέλο κοινότητας”, η οποία έχει συμπεριλάβει και εφαρμόσει το θέμα της Κληρικολαϊκής, για αναγνώριση στο Αρχιεπισκοπικό Σύμβούλιο και στην επόμενη Κληρικολαϊκή συνέλευση. Ο «Ορθόδοξος Παρατηρητής» σε δοκιμασττική βάση θα αρχίσει να προβάλλει τα άρθρα που υποβάλλονται από τις ενορίες σε συνεχή βάση, αρχής γενομένης από τον ερχόμενο Σεπτέμβριο ή Οκτώβριο. Προθεσμία υποβολής 31η Αυγούστου 2009. E-mail στη διαδικτυακή διεύθυνση: firstname.lastname@example.org
JULY – AUGUST 2009
NJ GOYA Spins to Benefit Greek Children’s Fund by Elena Thomopoulos
TENAFLY, N.J. – Giving to others is an extraordinary feeling, and the Goyans of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Theologian in Tenafly experienced that feeling on May 16. The youth group consisting of over 50 teens had been planning a spin-a-thon for a couple of months, with the help of the head of Philanthropy committee, Elena Thomopoulos and advisors, Irene and Stephen Ferranti. On the day of the fundraiser, 40 teens, parents, including the Cathedral Dean, Fr. Panagiotios Lekkas, met at Max Fit gym in Tenafly to take part in the hour-long spin. This spin-a-thon was a fundraiser for the Greek Children’s Fund, a foundation established 25 five years ago to help offset the expenses of children of Hellenic decent diagnosed with cancer. Those who participated raised money by soliciting sponsors. “When we were through, I felt great! We helped someone in need, and got a great workout,” said Elpitha Soussou, an active member and corresponding secretary of the GOYA chapter. The group continuously spun for an hour to a mix of Greek and American music and had a blast. “It was quite the task, all that spinning! I couldn’t imagine going another minute, but thinking of the children I was going to help, motivated me to keep going the full hour,” said recording secretary Eleni Demetrakopoulos. With instruction and supervision from Chris and Amy Miller, Effie Thomopoulos, and Irene and Stephen Ferranti the teens were able to make the spin-a-thon a success. They collected over $3,000 and will formally present a check to the founder of the organization, Mr. Stanley Matthews. Elena Thomopoulos is head of the GOYA philanthropy committee.
Campers and staff at Camp St. Paul with Archbishop Demetrios and other clergy.
Camp St. Paul Completes Successful Fifth Year by Stavros H. Papagermanos
Up in the scenic Berkshire Hills of Connecticut – amidst the serene beauty of nature and about a two-hour drive from NYC – operates for the fifth year “Camp St. Paul” of the Direct Archdiocesan District. Archbishop Demetrios spent July 7 at the camp, talking with campers, counselors and other staff, touring the grounds and the facilities and having lunch with the children. “There is a lot of excitement today,” said one counselor. “It feels great to be visited by the Archbishop,” added another as campers, counselors and directors gathered around His Eminence. The Archbishop talked with some of the groups that were gathered under the trees and by the bleachers near the lake. He asked them about the things and the values that are important in their lives and spoke to them about those values that an Orthodox Christian should hold dear and near his heart. A passing thundershower drove everyone inside and the planned barbecue took place in the lunchroom. Afterwards, everyone gathered in the chapel for a Q&A session with the Archbishop, who offered his blessing and a small cross or diptych icon as a keepsake. “We are in this wonderful camp in an ideal setting, surrounded by this magnificent nature, the trees and the scenic large lake,” said the Archbishop when asked for
an initial reaction. “The facilities, the buildings the chapel, the cabins, they are all appropriate for the needs of the children and the program. I congratulate and express gratitude to our priests and all the staff that make this camp a reality,” he said and emphasized the importance of programs like this: “This camp offers an opportunity to our young people for physical wellness and spiritual edification. Most importantly, it provides them with all that is necessary to stay close to the Church and the Faith. We have similar camps in other areas of the country, in our Metropolises, and of course we have Ionian Village, our camping program in Greece, and they are all a great service and ministry to the Youth, building and cultivating their Orthodox and Hellenic character.” Some of the campers and counselors expressed the many reasons they liked their camp experience: Effie Z., 14, said that she thought the camp experience was fun and a good opportunity to be with other young people and come closer to Jesus. Alexa K., 10, said her favorite thing in camp was swimming. Evie A., 10, said she enjoyed being by the waterfront. Nicole V., 9, said she liked making new friends. Nektarios K., a counselor said his favorite part in camp was getting together with other Orthodox Christian boys and learning about his faith. Peter T., 17, appreciated the opportunity to meet with all the other guys he had not seen in a while and learn more about Orthodoxy and traditions and Nicholas, 9,
said his favorite part was the waterslide. Fr. Elias Villis, pastor of the Church of Our Saviour in Rye, N.Y., and camp director, kindly offered some information and thoughts about the camp: “This is our fifth year of ‘Camp St. Paul. In our first year we had 43 campers and we now reached almost 200 campers. We went from a oneweek-session to three weeks. Our goal is to reach five to six weeks for the total camp program. We want to have an opportunity for our children of JOY-and-GOYA-age to have a summer retreat experience and help them understand the unconditional love of God. We envision that these campers will eventually, as young adults, serve as camp counselors, and eventually serve the parish councils and the Church. One profound thing about this camp is the amazing and intense love of the Greek culture. We have a Greek night, we have a dance night and the enthusiasm and the fun these kids have is incredible, he said and added: “This camp is a credit to the young adults who volunteer their time, talent and energy and come here to help, watch and support the kids at the camp. Without them it would not be possible.” Visiting along with the Archbishop were Bishops Savas of Troas and Andonios of Phasiane, Frs. Peter Karloutsos, Elias Villis, Dimitrios Moraitis and Constantine Lazarakis and Deacon Nathaniel Symeonides. An online photo album of the Archbishop’s visit can be seen at:http://photos. goarch.org/main.php?g2itemId=2686
Indianapolis Parish Opens New Church
(Photo courtesy of Bobby Kokinos)
Aerial view of the new Holy Trinity Church complex during the recent Thyranoixia.
CARMEL, Ind. – Holy Trinity Church recently marked another step in a long journey for the Indianapolis–centered parish. In 1998, 88 years after opening their first church on West Street in Indianapolis, the parish purchased a 20-acre tract outside of the city in Carmel as an initial act in supporting their growing community and faith in the future of their ministry. Ten years later, in December 2008, the parish triumphantly completed their iconic brick and stone, golden domed Byzantine sanctuary, designed by CJK Design Group and built by Shiel Sexton and, on Christmas Eve 2008, the congregation held its first worship service with more than 900 in attendance in their landmark temple. Holy Trinity parish engaged the services of Christ Kamages, architect and president of CJK Design Group, San Francisco, a specialist and world leader in Orthodox Church design. He and his firm have com-
pleted over 120 such building projects over the last twenty years. In the right place, at the right time, Mr. Kamages had developed just the innovation this parish needed, a Byzantine design like no other in the world – the patent pending “Triad” plan. On May 30-31, the parish, led by Fr. Anastasios Gounaris, celebrated their Thyranoixia (literally door opening) along with Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit. During the Thyranoixia ceremony, the Archbishop and Metropolitan blessed the new structure, and offered many prayers. The Archbishop knocked on the massive 12–foot bronze entry doors and claimed the new temple for Christ and the Great Church. The festive weekend events included a youth reception with the Archbishop, the Thyranoixia and Vespers followed by a reception, and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, followed by a luncheon.
JULY – AUGUST 2009
IOCC NEWS IOCC NEWS The Soul in Star Trek: To Boldly Go Where God Is Leading Single Working Moms Survive Hurricane, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Ephesians 4:1 by Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos
Sacrifice, loyalty, honor, and friendship are some of the topics the ever-sopopular Star Trek television and movie series addresses. The most recent addition to the cinema screen, Star Trek XI, continues this tradition of delineating the human condition – its hideous weaknesses and noble aspirations – by focusing on the important issue of humanity’s celestial calling. From the spectacular opening battle scene to its noble closing moments, Star Trek XI proves to be one of the most electrifying films of the summer. Like a newly discovered Old Testament Apocryphal text, the film provides critical yet previously lacking background information concerning the physical, emotional and even spiritual formation of the primary Star Trek characters. Who were they before entering Star Fleet? What were their personalities, and how did they become friends? The film resolves the queries of many fans by providing more than a passing glimpse into their formative years and succeeds in briefly outlining a process of spiritual development that generally follows what many Orthodox Christian authors have proffered throughout the centuries. According to the Holy Fathers, spiritual growth includes: (a) increasing the understanding of God’s Word and Will through spiritual mentorship, (2) decreasing the frequency and severity of sin through spiritual warfare, (3) increasing the practice of Christ-like qualities in community, and (4) prayerfully celebrating through prayer trust in God’s Grace. Perhaps the best summary of this process of spiritual growth is the desire to become more like Jesus Christ. For over four decades, many clergymen and teachers have employed Star Trek vignettes in their sermons and lessons to springboard into conversation with teens, young adults, and adults regarding biblical teachings and patristic observations concerning the proper formation of the spiritual life. From such a perspective, a close examination of Star Trek XI’s plot discloses the existence of the salient elements: (a) calling, (b) risk/ sacrifice, (c) mentorship, (d) warfare, (e) community, and (f) celebration. As the prequel introduces younger Trekies to a better understanding of past science fiction traditions, there is also a need for the Church to teach and explain these elements of spiritual formation to each new generation of young Christians. Who are we and why are we here? Who or what determines our future existence? Is there a God, and does He have a purpose for our life? Is there a risk, a cost, associated with accepting God’s call? Do we fight alone or do we overcome life’s difficulties together? These and other soul-centered questions are at the heart of Star Trek XI. They are the salient questions whose answers engrave our hearts with spiritual maturity. Star Trek XI opens with the U.S.S. Kelven encountering a lightning storm in space. After a sinister Romulan enemy murders its captain, Commander George Kirk, the Kelvin’s most senior officer, assumes the responsibilities of command. With the autopilot function destroyed, the new captain has no choice but to sacrifice himself and his crew by flying the
Kelven into a mining ship. His pregnant wife escapes before impact along with 800 passengers aboard fleeing ships and gives birth to their son, James T. Kirk! For the next 25 years, young Kirk is tethered to the flat lands of Iowa. Although mentally brilliant he is emotionally immature, choosing to break the law by spending most of his time fighting and womanizing. It is here, during a bar fight with a number of Star Fleet cadets on leave, that Kirk receives his call to destiny. He is challenged by an officer that knew his father. “Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes and saved hundreds of lives, including yours,” he tells him. “I dare you to be better!” For the very first time in its long film history, the Star Trek prequel describes the initial call of James T. Kirk. The nonstop action of the film revolves around this most important invitation . . . a choice that must be made. In the powerful vignette that follows his invitation to join Star Fleet, Kirk rides his motorcycle, a symbol of his rebellious self, into a recruiting center. He tosses the keys to the first person he encounters and unflinchingly boards a spacecraft with a group of eager young cadets headed for training. Not so hidden in the entire Star Trek narrative is the issue of personal destiny . . . of divine calling. Whereas each Star Trek episode begins with the statement “To boldly go where no man has gone before,” Christian viewers might consider the expression as an invitation by God. Like Abraham in the Old Testament who was exhorted “ to leave his country, people and father’s household and go to the land God would show him” (Gen. 12:1), each and every one of us is challenged to accept God’s call by boldly going where He alone will lead us. Scripture is replete with examples concerning such divine callings. A list of the most prominent might include Moses, Abraham, Samuel, Gideon, Esther, Jonah, and the disciples Andrew and Peter. Whereas the disciples were invited by Jesus to leave their boats, nets and relatives in order to become “fishers of men,” it is significant that the Old Testament prophet Jonah was caught in the belly of a large fish because he did not respond affirmatively to God’s call. While both images center on the issue of freedom, Jonah-type choices rest on the illusion that we are capable of successfully living according to our personal ideology and desires while denying those of God! Like a defiant young Kirk living a flatland existence in Iowa, lifestyle choices that do not consider God’s calling will never provide the wings of spiritual flight but tethers our existence to the earthly. Entombed in the whale of such a self-centered perspective, our spiritual development is stymied! Like the prophet Jonah, however, young Kirk repents and accepts the risks and sacrifices associated with his initial calling. His is to become a captain whose leadership is based on sacrifice. From the ensuing mentorship and wise council he receives from Spock (Mind) and McCoy (Body), to the fierce warfare and subsequent celebration of the Star Trek crew’s victory over their Romulan enemy, Star Trek XI hosts its viewers to a delicious multi-course banquet of spiritual development for the soul. Like Captain Kirk, when we are willing to follow in the footsteps of our Heavenly Father, then we are emboldened to throw away the keys to temporal pursuits and achievements.
Realize Dream of Homeownership
COVINGTON, La. - At 43, tan, and muscular, Michelle bounds up a ladder and uses her shoulder to hoist a “truss,” a large wooden structure that will secure the roof of a new home. When she ducks as the team below her slides the truss into place, Michelle, a New Orleans native, reminds you of a pioneer woman. In fact, she is one. For the first time in her life, she will own a home, something that this landscape gardener and single mother never thought was possible. Michelle is working on a Habitat for Humanity home, putting in the 300 hours of sweat equity required towards the acquisition of her own house. Her American dream is about to come true thanks in part to the hundreds of IOCC volunteers who have toiled in the Louisiana sun since 2006 to build new Habitat homes for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. “The idea of owning my own home for personal security, for personal investment, for my two growing sons - plus one that is affordable and that can withstand a Category 5 hurricane is something I never thought possible,” says Michelle. In this year’s deepening recession and subprime mortgage meltdown, her story of home ownership is a refreshing change. She’s not alone. Of the 127 families in the St. Tammany Parish area who received Habitat homes since Katrina, 100 are single working mothers. Katrina devastated them, but it also gave them the impossible: first-time home ownership at an affordable price. Habitat homes are 1,100 - 1,300 square feet with three or four bedrooms and are worth approximately $135,000 in the St. Tammany market, although they cost only $89,000 to build with volunteer labor and are sold to homeowners for $75,000. The average Habitat owner has a 20-year, 0 percent mortgage that requires monthly payments of $420. To qualify for a Habitat home in the St. Tammany area, a family of four can earn no more than $35,800. The program aims to provide a lot more than just a house. As part of their 300 hours of sweat equity, homeowners
(photo credit: IOCC Baltimore)
IOCC volunteers help secure the roof of a new Habitat for Humanity home in Covington, Louisiana. Since 2006, IOCC volunteers have invested 8,000 volunteer hours, worth a total of $160,000, towards the completion of 50 new homes on the Gulf Coast.
are required to take classes in personal finance, home repair, landscaping, career skills, and even parenting. The “Volunteer in the Gulf Coast” program is IOCC’s largest volunteer program. In 2008, IOCC mobilized 204 volunteers from 55 Orthodox parishes to work on Habitat homes in Louisiana. Participants put in over 8,000 volunteer hours, worth a total of $160,000, towards the completion of 50 new homes. Now in its third year, the program is still recruiting volunteers for the 2009 season. For more information on helping to build homes on the Gulf Coast, go to www.iocc.org/gulfcoast. IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has implemented over $300 million in relief and development programs in more than 33 countries around the world.
Next issue deadlines The deadline for articles/photos for consideration in
the September issue is Monday, Aug 24. Photos should be sent as jpg attachments 300 dpi or greater. E-mail to: email@example.com or mail to: Editor, Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79th St., New York, NY 10075. Advertising deadline is Sept. 1st
JULY – AUGUST 2009
PEOPLE Deadly Illness Led to the Eventual Establishment of the Community New Presidents Delegates at the 87th AHEPA Supreme Convention in San Francisco, unanimously elected Nicholas A. Karacostas of Flushing, N.Y. as their supreme president. He ran unopposed in elections that were held Saturday, July 4. His first official meeting took place July 8, when he visited Archdiocese headquarters and met with Archbishop Demetrios. Mr. Karacostas is a former parish council member at St. Nicholas Church in Flushing. The Daughters of Penelope elected Elaine M. Sampanis of West Chester, Ohio, Grand President for the 2009-10 administrative year. She also was elected July 4 at the AHEPA Supreme Convention. A 30-year member of the Daughters of Penelope, Mrs. Sampanis has served all major positions at national and regional levels within the organization. In the community, Sampanis was a two-term president of Philoptochos in Louisville, and is currently an active Philoptochos member in Middletown, Ohio.
Elected at 95 Parishioners of St. Demetrios Church in Seattle recently re-elected Clara Nicon, 95, to the parish council and also celebrated her birthday at a coffee hour. Mrs. Nicon, the mother of Presbytera Faye Stylianopoulos and John Nicon, is thought to be the oldest parish council member in the Archdiocese. She also is a member of Leadership 100 and received the Medal of St. Paul from Metropolitan Anthony several years ago. She has been active in the parish since its founding in 1939, has served as a leader in the Philoptochos and, some years ago, was the first woman parish council president.
HTSF Scholarships The Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund awarded scholarships to 38 students from 16 states at its 18th annual dinner gala in New York on May 16. Since the event began, more than 500 scholarships have been awarded. This year’s recipients include:
Arizona: Genevieve Milonas; California: Julia Black and Nicholas Murchison; Connecticut: Amy Sierpina and Nicole Sierpina; Florida: George Mantzidis; Illinois: Costadina Aneziris, Eugenia Skourletos and Joanne Skourletos; Iowa: Dimitria Klein; Massachusetts: Casey Cokkinias, Nicole DeLisle, Debbie Bakes, Angella Koritsaris and Alyssa Robidoux; Michigan: Elissa Nicolaou; Missouri: Jordan Lynch; Nevada: Alexandra Sigillo; New Jersey: Panayiotis Chantzis, Vasilios Chantzis, Christina Giuliadis, Kevin Howley, Stephanie Psyllos and Margaret Roidi; New York: Konstantinos Antonopoulos, Konstantina Bardos, Victoria Hatzelis, Andreas Pafitis, Stephanie Rontiris, Amalia Stavropoulos and Maria Stantyos; Oregon: Michaelangelo Anastasiou; South Carolina: Candace Lydakis; Texas: Jonathan Baklas and Shannon Coutouzis; Virginia: Christopher Aloezos, Sappho Gilbert and John Pappas of Virginia. HTSF Chairman and Vice Chairman are John and Margo Catsimatidis. President is Nick Katsoris, author of the Loukoumi children’s books.
Jeannine Stamatakis, daughter of Nicholas and Catherine (Ivales) Stamatakis and granddaughter of Calliope (Tsucalas) Ivales, graduated with her master’s degree in counseling-psychology (psychotherapy) with a specialization in marriage and family therapy with highest honors from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif.
P A R I S H
p ro f i l e
Name: St. George Greek Orthodox Church Location: Albuquerque, N.M. Metropolis of Denver Size: about 300 families Founded: 1944 Clergy: Fr. Paul Patitsas (Holy Cross ’87), Dn. George Collaros (deacon by lay profession, MBA Harvard) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.stgeorge-nm.org Noteworthy: The older of the two parishes in New Mexico ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Before the development of antibiotic treatments, the customary means of treating tuberculosis patients was to expose them to plenty of fresh air at a high altitude and provide good nutrition. This was thought to help their immune systems. Special hospitals called sanatoria, developed in Europe in such areas during the 19th century and were later introduced to the United States. Several sanatoria were established in Albuquerque in the early 20th century and tuberculosis patients, including several from Greece, relocated here. One sanatorium was established by the AHEPA in 1939 for Greeks coming here. They remained in the city as their health improved and formed the nucleus of the future Greek Orthodox community. Another factor contributing to the beginnings of the parish was the establishment of Kirtland Air Force Base in 1939 to train pilots for what appeared to be America’s eventual involvement in World War II. Its presence helped create many jobs and business opportunities in the area. Mid–‘40s origins Efforts to establish the parish began in the early 1940s and resulted in the founding of St. George in 1944 under its first pastor, Fr. Daniel Sakellariou, who served until 1945. According to information from Fr. Patitsas, the first baptism took place Oct. 15, 1944, for George Laskaris. The first wedding was performed Sept. 24, 1944 between Adam Frangos and Colleen Elizabeth Fortuin and the first burial was held Dec. 22, 1944, for Fotini Gouzelis of Chicago, who had come to Albuquerque for treatment of tuberculosis. Fr. Sakellariou was succeeded by the community’s second priest, Fr. Silas Koskinas, who years later went on to become Metropolitan Silas of New Jersey and president of Holy Cross-Hellenic College. Fr. Silas established the Greek school and served as its first instructor.
Construction of the present church began with the laying of the cornerstone on March 27, 1948 by Fr. Silas. He celebrated the first Divine Liturgy only five months later, on Aug. 15. In 1949 Also in 1949, the establishment of Sandia National Laboratories, a major U.S. Department of Energy research and development facility with the primary mission of developing, engineering and testing non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons, also brought additional employment to the city. Some parishioners of St. George Church are currently employed there. Following Fr. Silas, 14 priests served the parish until 2006 with the arrival of Fr. Patitsas, a native of Kent, Ohio. He describes the composition of his community as mostly American-born Greek Orthodox, with some members of Palestinian, Armenian, Romanian, Russian and Serbian background, and a few Hispanics. There also are several converts through marriage. One man of Hispanic background, who is married to a Greek American, teaches Sunday school. Another formed a Greek band with nine members called the Aegean Sounds. “It’s a pretty neat group,” said Fr. Patitsas. The priest said he tries to emphasize strong preaching in his ministry, along with helping to “join people together in the faith and encouraging community life.” The parish has ministries that include GOYA, a Bible study with about 30 regular participants, a Sunday school with about 80 students and a Greek school with 10 children and one volunteer teacher. Tuition is free. The parish has no choir, but there are Byzantine chanters. Fr. Patitsas said the parish hosted a choir convention in 2008 that focused on Byzantine chant and drew 120 participants. Chris Geanaopoulos is director of Byzantine chanters at the parish. The community also has a “very strong” Philoptochos that provides volunteers to a homeless and battered women’s shelter. Two parishioners serve on the
board of the women’s shelter. Another parishioner brings food to the church once a month to feed the hungry. Recent improvements The church is the original structure built in 1948 and recently underwent a $300,000 refurbishing project with new iconography. “The sanctuary is very beautiful,” Fr. Patitsas remarked. St. George Church has also hosted the Metropolis GOYA Basketball Tournament that drew about 1,000 participants. The Divine Liturgy had to take place at a local hotel. “They’re good at hospitality,” the priest said of his parishioners. Albuquerque is noted for its live theater, an international Indian powwow and its International Balloon Fiesta, which has drawn as many as 1,000 hot air balloons. It is the largest event of its kind in the world. The community holds its church festival in conjunction with this major event that draws thousands of spectators. The priest serves a flock that is scattered far beyond the boundaries of Albuquerque. A group of about 20 Greek Orthodox families is situated in Farmington in the northwest corner of the state, about 180 miles away. Statewide Ministry Other families are located in Roswell, about 200 miles to the southeast of Albuquerque, a fourhour drive. Fr. Patitsas said he shares these long-distance ministries with the Santa Fe parish priest. The parish last year celebrated its 60th anniversary. In addressing a celebratory banquet, Fr. Patitsas noted, “In our commemorating our sixty years we must also remember the work of the AHEPA which by God’s will ultimately led to the establishment of this parish. “When they opened their sanatorium in 1939, their ministry to the dying Greeks in America laid the foundation of this parish. “May God reward them for their love.” — Compiled by Jim Golding
JULY – AUGUST 2009
St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival National Finals 1st Place, Senior Division Niko Moustakis, St. George Church, Clifton, N.J. Topic #3: Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). What is the appropriate attitude of a Christian towards money and wealth? Reverend Fathers, honorable judges, fellow participants, ladies and gentlemen, Good Afternoon. In today’s society, money is not just one part of the world; it seems to have evolved into the only part, or at least the only part that matters. It is constantly on our minds. I am willing to bet that, for many of you here today, money has already slipped in and out of your thoughts several times since you woke up. Perhaps it was when you saw the “low fuel” light blink on in your car and thought about how yet another fill-up was going to affect your budget. For some, it may have been when you got dressed this morning and thought, “Can I afford a new suit?” –But, either way, money always seems to find ways to seize our attention. Why shouldn’t it be the first thing on our thoughts every day? After all, as the saying goes, “Money makes the world go round.” Taken at face value, this seems to be just a harmless expression. But when you look at it more deeply, it reveals a very negative message that shows us how engulfed our lives have become by wealth. All of our decisions, our goals, and even our values have shifted to become money centered. For example, a quick Google search of the phrase “Good values to teach your children” yields as the first result Education.com’s article titled, “Teach your child the value of money. “Not a single result involves religion, charity, love, or any such Christian virtues. Given this, it is clear that, for many of us, our sets of values have changed. Desire for money is so potent and focused that now people are willing to do anything to become wealthy. These extreme desires are what give true meaning to Jesus’ words in Timothy 6:10 when he says, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” People are starring on humiliating shows such as, “I Love Money,” where they are required to stick their hands into vats of cockroaches or shave off all of their hair, just to stay on the show. Even more despicable is the recent situation involving Bernie Madoff, the architect behind the most infamous Ponzi scheme in history. Rather than using his money to help those in need, he devastated thousands of families by literally robbing them of their life savings and hard–earned money. Bernie Madoff was a vile man whose lust for money clearly got the best of him. Now, that is not to say that all wealthy people are corrupt or overcome by greed. In fact, our history is replete with examples of the contrary. For instance, Saint Basil the Great is one of the most recognized philanthropists in Christian history. He was also one of the most wealthy saints in our history as well. Saint Basil, or Αγιος Βασίλης, was so well known for using his money to take care of those around him, that in the Greek culture, it is actually believed that he is the one who brings presents to children on Christmas, and not Saint Nicholas. As Orthodox Christians, we must try to
learn from philanthropists like Saint Basil and recognize that putting wealth first is an extreme emerging societal concept that contradicts the tradition of the church. Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” In this analogy, Jesus wants us to clearly understand that if we become selfishly bound up in our money, we will never pass through the tight gates leading to heaven. In the case of someone like Bernie Madoff, this could not ring more true. However, Jesus’ reference to a “rich man” was not simply talking about all men with wealth, but rather, those who do not use their money in the way that they should, as God intended. As Saint John Chrysostom once said, “Wealth will be good for its possessor if he does not spend it only on luxury; if he distributes the rest to the stomachs of the poor, then wealth is a good thing.” As a young Orthodox Christian in today’s society, it is often very difficult to resist the temptations presented to me. Because I may have been given a better start than many others in the world, I am constantly tempted to buy the latest electronic gadget, or designer clothing. Before making these purchases, however, I must always remember the teachings of Saint John Chrysostom as he summarizes in his book, On Wealth and Poverty. A rich man is not someone with many possessions, but few desires. And a poor man is not someone with few things, but many needs. So I ask myself, “Do I need this, or desire it?” Every purchase made on desire should be recognized as a luxurious one. It is now my job to try and fast from these luxuries and sacrifice what I do have to ensure that the money I control is spent properly and fairly amongst everyone, not just myself. This is the true way to view wealth as an Orthodox Christian if we intend to stay on the right path as we journey toward the kingdom of heaven. So, from now on, keep these teachings in mind and stop before all of your purchases so that you may ask yourselves, “Do I need this, or desire it?” Thank You.
1st Place, Junior Division Arianna Aram Sts. Constantine and Helen Church Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif. Topic 1: In his First Baptismal Instruction (ch. 44), St. John Chrysostom writes, “You must act and deliberate in all things with the knowledge that He is everywhere with you.” Discuss how a Christian can remain aware of the presence of God in his or her life. Last summer I had the blessing of witnessing and venerating a miracleworking icon. It was a copy of the “Iveron Icon of the Theotokos”, which by tradition, was painted by the Apostle and Evangelist Luke. The moment I approached the icon, I was overwhelmed by a sweet fragrance. As I proceeded to draw nearer to the icon, I noticed myrrh streaming down the length of the simple print. Standing in awe, I felt the presence of God that very moment! But, realistically will I always be in the presence of a miracle-working icon? Unfortunately, not. Yet how then can I remain aware of the presence of God in my life? For Saint John Chrysostom writes, “We must act
and deliberate in all things knowing that He is everywhere with us.” As I ponder this, I ask myself what I can do on a daily basis. To begin with I should start each day with the “Trisagion Prayer.” In this prayer, I hear the words, “O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art present in all places and fillest all things.” These words remind me that God is truly everywhere, even in the most dark and hidden places. Next, I can make time for daily Bible reading. While reading the word of God, I am reminded of His presence. For example, the Lenten reading in Proverbs teaches us that,“The eyes of the Lord are in every place.” (Prov. 15:3) Once I leave my room and interact with my family, I need to remind myself that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. While hanging-out with friends I must be aware that God is present there as well and not fall into the temptation to criticize others. As St. John Chrysostom states,“What does it profit if we abstain from birds and fish, and yet bite and devour our brethren? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother, and bites the body of his neighbor.” This may sound harsh yet sadly this is what I do when I criticize or judge someone. While attending the Divine Liturgy I am easily reminded of the presence of God. In the book, Experiences of the Divine Liturgy, Father Anagnostopoulos writes “The primary thing we need in order to stand before the presence of God is peace.” Not the world’s notion of peace, with its wealth and enjoyment, but the peace only God can provide; “the peace from above”. This is the peace the Lord gave His disciples when He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.”(Jn 14:27) St Seraphim of Sarov said: “Acquire the spirit of peace and a thousand around you are saved.” Finally, I am reminded of God’s presence when I participate in the sacramental life of the church. While attending services during Lent, I enjoy chanting in Greek, “For God is with us”. When I confess my sins before my spiritual father, observe the church fasts, receive Holy Communion, and obey God’s Laws, I am constantly reminded of God’s presence. On my wrist is a chombischini- a prayer rope- a constant reminder for me to say the “Jesus Prayer.” When I say the familiar words, “ Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner,” I feel the peace that surpasses understanding filling me calmly, whatever the situation. In the end, whether I am at home, at school, with friends, or in the presence of a miracle-working icon, I am in the presence of God and it’s up to me to remind myself daily of this most wonderful aspect of my Orthodox faith.
GET RESULTS advertise GET RESULTS advertise GET RESULTS advertise email@example.com
Tel.: (212) 570–3555 • Fax: (212) 774–0239
JULY – AUGUST 2009
Young adult group in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
National Young Adult Pilgrimage to Russia by Christina Meares
It feels as if I just returned from the National Young Adult Pilgrimage to Russia, and I’m still amazed by the majesty and splendor that I witnessed in Moscow and St. Petersburg. I have been blessed to participate in all of the young adult pilgrimages over the past few years, each one a unique journey through our Orthodox history in Greece, Turkey, Italy, and now Russia. This year, our group of 24 young adults gathered from across the country, including participants from as far away as California, Texas, Chicago, and Detroit. Our group leader, Fr. Luke Melackrinos, dean of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Hempstead, N.Y., led our group through this remarkable journey, providing spiritual direction, Orthodox history, and reflection for every site we visited. After getting acquainted at the airport, it’s safe to say we were all excited to visit a country with such a rich Orthodox Christian history. Our trip began in Moscow with Divine Liturgy at the rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The church was destroyed on Dec. 5, 1931 under Stalin’s regime, and in the 1990’s construction began for an exact replica, completely funded through private donations. Hearing the beautiful a cappella voices soaring into the lofty space of the cathedral is something I’ll never forget. After receiving a blessing from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, we embarked on a tour of Moscow. We visited St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, known for its colorful onion domes and individual chapels. One highlight of the day was the Andronikov Monastery, home of the museum dedicated to Andrei Rublev, Russia’s most famous iconographer, well known for his icon of the Trinity or “Hospitality of Abraham.” Our next stop was St. Sergius Monas-
tery whose complex includes a seminary, several churches, and the relics of St. Sergius, St. Innocent of Alaska, and St. Maximos the Greek. Historically, this is a well known pilgrimage site for all Russians. In the early days of the monastery, it was a tradition for pilgrims to walk there from Moscow, some 40 miles away. We also spent time within the Kremlin walls, strolling through its enormous grounds, cathedrals, administrative buildings, Russian national treasures, and armory. Our trip continued on a train through the Russian countryside to St. Petersburg, the “Venice” of Russia. St. Petersburg had a completely different feel than Moscow, as Peter the Great created it to look and feel like a European city. We visited the Cathedral of our Lady of Kazan, named after one of Russia’s most revered miracle-working icons—it’s hard to believe that this church was once renamed “The Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism” under communist rule. We were also fortunate enough to visit St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra monastery founded by Peter the Great, as well as a nearby cemetery where outstanding Russian artists like Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky were buried. We also made a short stop at Smolensk Cemetery to venerate the relics of the beloved Russian St. Xenia. The highlight of our time in St. Petersburg was the Church of the Resurrection (Savior on Spilled Blood). This church houses 7,500 square meters of mosaics, and was built as a monument over the assassination site of Czar Alexander II. Our last day in St. Petersburg was spent at the opulent Hermitage Museum, the former residence of Russian czars, better known as the Winter Palace. We walked through room after room viewing
JULY â€“ AUGUST 2009
28th Metropolis of Chicago Olympics: A Weekend of Christian Athletic Fellowship CHICAGO â€“ Nearly 2,000 youngsters, ages 7-18, representing 32 parishes participated in the 28th annual Metropolis of Chicago Junior Olympics May 22-24. Parishes from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota were represented at this Christian athletic fellowship event. The Junior Olympics were hosted, once again, by the community of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Palos Hills, Ill. More than 150 volunteers assisted in helping to make the Junior Olympics a success. Opening ceremonies were held May 23rd with young athletes from 32 parish teams entering the field holding their colors and sharing in the spirit of Christian fellowship and competition. Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago opened the Olympics with prayer and his blessings. The ceremonies featured many of the traditions of the ancient Olympic Games and concluded with the lighting of the torch. This was accompanied by fireworks, music and balloons. Participants competed in several
sports, including basketball, volleyball, swimming, soccer, tennis, softball, track and field, 10K run, chess, checkers, bowling, wrestling, table tennis and more. Approximately 800 medals were awarded. Scholarships were awarded to the following winners after the Sunday Divine Liturgy: Thomas Argires, Sts. Constantine and Helen Church, Palos Hills; Anastasia Way, St. Nectarios Church, Palatine, Ill.; Peter Korbakes, St. Spyridon Church, Palos Heights, Ill.; and Leonidas Skiadopoulos, Sts. Constantine and Helen Church, Palos Hills. Each received a $500 scholarship. Planning for the 29th Junior Olympics will begin in 2010. For more information about the Metropolis Junior Olympics, contact Chris Avramopoulos, director of registration at (773) 626-5400, Tom De Medeiros, director of publicity and volunteers, Jim Stavrou, director of operations or Fr. Nicholas Jonas, spiritual advisor, at (708) 974-3400. Also visit the web at www. stconstantinehelen.org/jrolympics.html for picture galleries and more information.
LINKS TO WEBSITES Final Results
Full Photo Gallery
JULY – AUGUST 2009
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY Should We or Shouldn’t We Live Together? by Fr. Charles Joanides, Ph.D., LMFT
In the 1960s, my generation called it “shacking up.” Today it’s called “living together,” and academics call it “cohabitation.” In this article I’ll use the latter two terms to describe why more and more couples are choosing to live together before marriage. I’ll also talk about some of the myths and risks attached to this choice. Finally, I’ll provide some reasons why our Church counsels its faithful to avoid this temptation before marriage. But first, I’d like to share the following few statistics. Facts and Stats Cohabitation rates have spiked dramatically since the ‘60s. In 1960 an estimated 450,000 couples lived together, by 2006 that number increased to around 5.4 million. That’s a 12–fold increase in just 46 years. As a result, over 50 percent of all couples who get married today choose to live together before marriage. So, why the dramatic increase? Reasons Why People Choose to Live Together These are some reasons why people choose to live together. Everyone’s doing it, so why not us? It decreases the divorce rate by helping potentially incompatible couples avoid a fatally flawed marriage and an ugly divorce. Living together is like a trial marriage. It will help us save money before we get married. But the question remains, Are these reasons based on fact or fiction? Let’s take a closer look at what research has found. Everyone’s Doing It While it’s true that over 50 percent of couples do cohabit before marriage, it’s also true that nearly 50 percent don’t live together before marriage. So, in actuality, while the cohabitation rates are very high, not everyone “is doing it.” It Decreases the Divorce Rate It’s also not true that cohabitation helps couples avoid divorce. Research clearly indicates that couples who live together before marriage are nearly twice as likely to divorce when compared to couples who do not cohabit before marriage. So, from an evidence-based perspective, if couples want to increase their chances of staying together after marriage they should avoid living together before marriage. It’s like a Trial Marriage Living together is not like a trial marriage. That’s because cohabitation is qualitatively different from marriage in many important ways. Here are some examples of how these lifestyles differ. Couples who live together tend to be less committed to one another when compared to married couples. Cohabiting arrangements are significantly less permanent when compared to marriages. Cohabiting couples are four times more likely to break up when compared to married couples. Cohabiting partners are less likely to value fidelity and are more likely to engage in sex outside of the relationship when compared to married couples. Couples who cohabit are also more likely to separate their earnings. Married couples are more likely to pool their money.
What these differences suggest is that, on average, there is less permanence and less commitment among cohabiting couples. These differences also mean that couples who view cohabitation like a trial marriage may be doing themselves a great disservice because the two lifestyles are not comparable.
Looking to BUY or SELL a Home in Florida?
It Will Help Us Save Money It’s true. Some cohabiting couples do save rent money on utilities and other related living expenses before marriage. Yet, it’s debatable how cost–effective these saving are when compared to the habits and patterns that these couples form before marriage. For example, consider the topic of finances. Couples who live together are more likely to separate their earnings and are less likely to pool their money both before and after marriage. That’s because the habits and patterns that couples adopt while cohabiting are hard to break after marriage. Moreover, such habits and patterns can and often do have a toxic effect on a couple’s efforts to cultivate financial oneness and togetherness after marriage. What the Church Teaches The Church teaches that human sexuality is a gift from God. It also teaches that sexual relations should exclusively be reserved for the marriage bond. As a result, when we choose to misuse this gift outside of the marriage bond, we engage in behavior that displeases God and creates distance between us and God - which incidentally is not the same as saying that God will punish and condemn us to hell if we choose to live together. On the contrary, we do not worship a punitive God who seeks a pound of flesh each time we stray from his teachings. We worship a loving, forgiving, merciful God who “desires that all people should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:4) – His truth. It’s for this reason, among other similar reasons, that God counsels us through writings like St. Paul’s to “flee from sexual immorality” (I Cor. 6:18), since he cares and loves us and desires a relationship with us. So, when we make choices that stand in opposition to God’s revealed truths and counsel, we are distancing ourselves from God and His life-sustaining, healing, transformative grace. That is precisely the reason why our Lord offered the following gentle, constructive admonition to the Samaritan woman who was living with someone out of wedlock: “…for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband” (Jn. 4:18). In making this observation Jesus was not standing in judgment of this woman as much as he was lovingly trying to help her embrace some of the realities of her sinful choices – choices that had a marked negative effect on the quality of her life, as well as her ability to discern and accept Christ’s life–sustaining, healing, transformative message. A Few Final Thoughts If this article has unsettled you, forgive me. This was not my intention. My intention was to provide some information that you may not have heard. My other intention was to begin to help you understand why the church takes the position it does with regard to sexual relations outside of marriage and in particular, cohabitation.
21737 State Road 7 Boca Raton, Florida 33428 Office: 1 888 350–2345 Ext. 318 Office: 1 561 488–1669 Direct
• NON–STOP FLIGHTS ON JUMBO JET • EASY CONNECTIONS from anywhere in the U.S.A.
at UNBELIEVABLE LOW RATES! $
One Way *A Limited Number of Seats
Round trip plus taxes & fees
Owner: Markos Hatzikonstantis
Call Markos Travel Now! NATIONWIDE TOLL FREE
800–243–7728 800–842–8260 CONNECTICUT RESIDENTS 860–296–1722
48 SILAS DEANE HWY. SUITE 12 WETHERSFIELD, CT 06109
...BOOK NOW AND SAVE!
JULY – AUGUST 2009
by Stephania Gianoulis
As parents, you know your children better than anyone else. You can interpret their cries, read their body language, decipher their messages. You’ve likely figured out the approaches that will and will not “work” with each of your children. You know that each child is a unique combination of moods, mannerisms, and traits that make him or her like nobody else. This means that all children have their own ways of learning, processing, responding, and growing in the faith. Maybe one of your children peacefully gazes at the icons during a liturgical service, while another is constantly moving, picking up books in the pew, or pacing the church. You may have a child who sings along with hymns, reads along in a book, or vocally responds to the priest’s petitions or to people around you. We are all called to be ourselves Our church tradition and theology embrace the ways that each person is unique, as part of our creation and human vocation. What is this vocation, this “calling” that is ours as human beings? The second-century Church Father St. Ireneaus sums it up eloquently: “A person fully alive is the glory of God.” What a beautiful idea: God is glorified when a person is fully alive, most authentically him- or herself. When do you see your own children most fully “alive”? These are the opportunities for you to incorporate each child’s individuality to bring glory to God in the church and at home.St. Ireneaus was intimately familiar with the creation narrative in the book of Genesis, which teaches that, “God created us in the divine image” (Genesis 1:27). Every person carries a divine spark, an inherent dignity from God. However distinctive each child is, everyone is a “partaker of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), and shares in the same potential. In fact, it is one’s uniqueness that likens a person to God. St. Paul explains this as “different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit…To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” (I Cor. 12:4-7) God blesses people in various ways, and everyone responds uniquely, offering back to God and to the human family in forms and expressions that are truly his or her own. We are called to give our gifts back to the Giver, for His glory and our growth. We see this concept of mutual giving during the Eucharist, when the priest proclaims
Multiply Blessed and Fully Alive: To Grow in Faith is to Glorify God “Multiple Intelligence Theory” and Learning in the Orthodox Church that we “offer these gifts to You of Your own, and for Your own.” The Parent in God’s Image Parenthood itself is a vocation that glorifies God. Like God the Father and Vinedresser (John 1:15), you can nurture and cultivate the traits in which you see your children growing and thriving. When you do so, you participate in God’s work. Like the Father who lovingly raises each person to the fullness of life, you can invite and inspire your children to grow to their full capacity, in whatever ways work for each. “How are you smart?” not “How smart are you?” The diverse gifts of the Spirit can manifest as various ways that children learn, their ways of “being intelligent.” In the 1980’s, Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner contributed to the field of education the theory of “multiple intelligences,” that students learn and express in varying ways. Educators and parents can capitalize on the modes of learning that best fit particular children, instead of measuring all students according to a single concept of intelligence. He summarized that learners have strengths in one or more of eight “intelligences,” classified as language-related, object-related, and person-related. Multiple Intelligences and our Orthodox faith Our Orthodox tradition is richly and “multiply” abundant with ways to know and grow in God through Scripture, liturgical worship, icons, hymns, and personal prayer. However your children are “smart,” you can engage them in ways that are true to their personalities and to our faith. Discerning your children’s “intelligences” is the key to helping them learn and grow. Below are the different kinds of intelligences, and some practical ways that your children can use their gifts to glorify God. Use the following ideas according to the season of the Church and Liturgical cycle, and adjust them for your child’s age and level. Some engage more than one intelligence at a time, and others can be combined. Apply, integrate, or modify in whatever way may help your child. Language-related intelligences include linguistic and musical intelligences. • Read aloud stories from Scripture or
children’s books about the faith. • Discuss words of a prayer, the Nicene Creed, or liturgical petitions. Ask children to explain who are “the sick and the suffering,” or what it means to “grant our whole life to Christ our God.” • Teach musically inclined children simple melodies about the faith, and festal hymns to include during family prayer times. Object-related intelligences include logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic and naturalistic intelligences. • In church, younger children can count crosses, images in icons, or how many times they hear something. • Point out important numbers in our tradition Three for the Holy Trinity. Explain that the number three is complete; the Holy Spirit invites people into the love between the Father and the Son. Twelve, for the tribes of Israel and Jesus’s Apostles. Forty, the days that Moses led the Israelites to freedom, Jesus was alone in the desert, and that we journey through the season of Great Lent. Surround visual learners with icons that teach about feasts, saints, and Scripture, and have them “visualize” or illustrate if you read aloud to them. • Use maps to show Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, flight to Egypt, travels around Nazareth, and baptism in the River Jordan, as well as the places where Saint Paul sent letters. • Help kinesthetic learners learn from making the sign of the cross, prostrating, venerating icons and relics, and lighting candles. Teach them to tie these actions to prayers for others and praises to God. • Help them come up with signs and movements to express imagery in festal hymns, like the “wise fishermen” in the hymn of Pentecost. • Naturalistic learners can help prepare materials we use in worship, like boiled wheat for koliva, beeswax candles, and incense. • Connect natural materials to Christ’s words, like “faith as small as a mustard seed,” “living water,” and “bread of life.” • Help children plant and grow flowers, vegetables, or fruits, like God the Vinedresser. Person-related Intelligences include interpersonal and intra-personal intelligences, intuitive children who understand themselves and others well. • Help them reach out to others through service, letter writing, or praying for people. • Share stories of saints’ lives, and invite them to “write letters” to or “interview” saints. The extroverted, “natural leader” may want to lead prayers at home. • Introverted children may enjoy journaling or drawing pictures to reflect upon what they learn in church. Authentic Giving, True Glory, Real Growing You know your children’s gifts and
strengths, but more importantly, you know the unique combination that makes up the whole person of each child. The ideas we’ve shared are a starting point, to inspire you to engage your children in ways that fit them. It is only in offering our gifts back to the Giver, glorifying God in authentic ways, that our children can truly grow more into His image and likeness. We pray that you find ways to use and enhance some of these examples, and that you will see your children’s spiritual lives bear fruit. Stephania Gianulis has a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and master’s degree in Elementary Teaching from the University of Virginia and is completing a post-master’s specialization degree in religious education from Boston College, with a project on children’s literacy and Orthodox Christian children’s books. She writes and reviews curriculum for the Archdiocese Department of Religious Education, and has experience teaching and tutoring students from elementary school through college.
Resources for Parents Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, 2nd ed., Howard Gardner, Basic Books, 2004. Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons for Theory & Practice, Howard Gardner, Basic Books, 2006. Gifts of the Spirit: Multiple Intelligences in Religious Education, Ronald Nuzzi, National Catholic Educational Association, 1999. Multiple Intelligences and Christian Education, Rev. Dr. Jose Abraham De Jesus, full text available at www.receduc.com/christian_ed/ multipleintelligences.pdf St. Ireneaus, Against Heresies. The full text of this work, which was written around 185 AD, can be found at www.newadvent. org/fathers/0103.htm
Family Activity What is wonderful about “Multiple Intelligence Theory,” children, and Orthodoxy is the abundance of possibilities for learning and growing. Below are some ways that your family can engage the various intelligences–so there is something for everyone–revolving around the theme of the feast of Christ’s Transfiguration, which we celebrate on August 6. Linguistic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal: Read each Synoptic Gospel’s account of the Transfiguration, found in Matt. 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36. Compare and contrast similarities and differences in the stories. Help your children connect to the experience of Peter, James, and John, who desired to remain on Mt. Tabor but had to leave this holy place to continue Christ’s work. Musical: Teach children the hymn of the Transfiguration feast. Visual: Light a candle and discuss Christ’s brightness and luminescence, which was even brighter than fire or the sun. Just as we cannot look directly at the sun, Peter, James, and John were knocked down by Christ’s brightness. Use the icon to reinforce this point.Naturalistic: Involve children in presenting the “first fruits” of the harvest for blessing, customarily grapes. Explain that this tradition comes from the symbolism of the Church as the vineyard and God as our Vinedresser. You and your children may want to plant other fruits or vegetables to represent the new, “first” harvest.
JULY – AUGUST 2009
National Young Adult Pilgrimage to Russia page 21 priceless pieces of art, including Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Monet, and El Greco among many others. Our last stop was the fortress of Peter and Paul, the original citadel of St. Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great in 1703. The cathedral houses the burial place of all Russian Czars, as well as the Imperial martyrs, Nicholas II and his family, interred in the side chapel of St. Catherine. Our excursion through Russia, a country that in many ways is renewing its Orthodox Faith, was one of fulfilled expec-
tations, treasures, and beauty. It’s clear to me that our trip was so much more than a sightseeing vacation—we visited these famous destinations not only as young adults, but as pilgrims. While it’s impossible to capture the full impact of this opportunity in words, I would highly recommend this journey for young adults who want to experience the beauty of our Christian history for themselves. Christine Meares is special projects coordinator in the Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.
Should We or Shouldn’t We Live Together? page 23 While some may unfairly criticize the Church’s position regarding cohabitation, suggesting that it is inherently out of touch and out of step, the Church does not take the position it does because it refuses to change or is unsympathetic to our needs. On the contrary, these perceptions and interpretations come more from an ignorance of Holy Tradition and are not based in an understanding of Church teachings. A more accurate interpretation of the Church’s teachings regarding cohabita-
tion begins from an understanding of the wisdom contained in the following quote from St. Paul. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think of these things” (Phil. 4:8). These God given “things,” are the morals, values, holy principles, teachings, dogmas that undergird our faith tradition and draw us close to God and one another. So, choose wisely with God’s help. Amen.
Orthodox Christian Stewardship: A Way of Life page 9 young woman scanned the prices of the entrees, and then turning to the young man she asked, “How much do you love me?” Continuing to scan the menu, the young man replied, “Probably more than the corned beef, but not as much as the broiled lobster.” Stewardship is not about calculations or portions or percentages. It can’t be reduced to a number of hours of service or dollars offered. Stewardship is a way of life. As Orthodox Christians, we are called to a new way of seeing things – a new way of life. Our stewardship is obedience to
the greatest commandment to “love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” You are called to bring others to commit their lives to Jesus Christ in such a way that leads to the joy of knowing Him personally and profoundly. As Orthodox Christians, we see the world as God’s gift, as a sacrament of God’s presence and a means of communion with Him. And so we are able to offer the world back to God in thanksgiving as we say in every Divine Liturgy “Thine own of Thine own we offer to thee…” Fr. Jim Kordaris is director of Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism (FrJimK@ goarch.org).
New Book Published on N.E. Ohio Greek Community page 6
The book is divided into four chapters, focusing on St. Haralambos and Holy Trinity in Canton, St. George in Massillon, and on organizations in the Greek community. St. Haralambos, the mother church, was established in 1913. As in most large Greek communities in the early 20th century, political divisions caused a schism. The supporters of Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, including the large Stark County population from the Pontos region of Asia Minor, split off to form Holy Trinity in 1917. In Canton, unlike most other communities, the split was permanent, and each parish has continued to develop and prosper. The Massillon community surmounted other difficulties as it came together to form St. George during the Depression. The book provides valuable and previously-unpublished information about the activities of the first two archbishops of the Archdiocese and other early hierarchs and priests of the church. The 128-page book is written by Wil-
liam H. Samonides and Regine Johnson Samonides of Canton, who both hold doctorates from Harvard University. William H. Samonides is Holy Trinity’s historian and president of the Asia Minor Hellenic American Society, and Regine Johnson Samonides is parish council secretary. Based on many years of research locally and at museums and archives around the country, the book is an expansion of the authors’ exhibition, “In Search of the Golden Fleece” held in 2004 at the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton. Greeks of Stark County is sponsored by the parishes of Holy Trinity, St. Haralambos, and St. George, the Greek Orthodox Alliance of Stark County, AHEPA Canton Chapter 59, and Daughters of Penelope Chapter 40. Stark County priests Fr. Nicholas Gamvas, Fr. Daniel Rogich, and Fr. Constantine Valantasis supported the authors’ work. Their churches are selling the book as a fundraiser for $21.99 plus shipping and handling. To purchase a copy contact Holy Trinity Church at 330-494-8770, St. George at 330-832-3659, or St. Haralambos at 330-454-7278.
Congresswoman Dina Titus page 11 of the House Nancy Pelosi and the House’s liaison with the White House, Congressman Chris Van Hollen. She also met with the President’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, about this matter. In the end President Obama did not visit the Patriarchate but did meet separately with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Dina works closely with other Hellenes in Congress in an attempt to make sure that policies toward these matters are fair and in America’s best long-term interest. Dina’s Prospects for Congressional Longevity Capitol Hill’s members of Hellenic origin or Greek Orthodox faith have recently been elected with reasonable margins. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) was reelected in 2006 with a 74 percent majority. Last election, Nikki Tsongas (D-Mass.) was unopposed, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) won with 70 percent, Shelly Berkley (D-Nevada) with 68 percent, Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) with 62 percent and Zack Space (D-Ohio) with 60 percent. However, Dina was elected with only 47 percent of the vote (5 percent ahead of her closest opponent in a race with a third party candidate).
The Hellenic and Orthodox community learned years ago about the fragility of elected office. The first Greek-American Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives would have been Congressman John Brademas (D-Ind.) in 1989 if he had not been outspent by his opponent in 1980. Dina’s good work in Washington and attention to her congressional district in Nevada, which she travels to virtually every week, give her a good chance at reelection. If enough people support her campaign in 2009 and 2010, so that she can communicate the truth to her voters, she should be able to stay in Congress for a very long time. Studies show that once a member of Congress wins his or her first reelection, they usually stay in Congress for a long time. In her typically humble and warm way of expressing herself, Dina seems to enjoy being in the U.S. Congress. She said, “Even now, when I walk outside and see the Capitol Building it kind of tugs at my heart.” Andrew Manatos is a long-time member of the Archdiocesan Council and of its Communications Committee, president of Manatos and Manatos in Washington and a former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce. He also is a member of St. George Church in Bethesda, Md.
Houston’s HC/HC Benefit Exceeds Goal page 6 by James Stamos featured pastors who had attended Holy Cross and served at Annunciation Cathedral and other local Orthodox parishes. In a stirring address to the audience, Fr. Triantafilou emphasized the need for these funds to continue the work of the scholi.Following the president’s
speech, seminarian George Athanasiou discussed his experiences as a student at the school. After the benediction by Fr. Anastasios Raptis of St. Basil the Great Church, Fr. Lambakis, parish council President Andrew Savas, and event coordinator Mary Poulos, presented Fr. Triantafilou with the donation. The community had attained that goal before the deadline date.
ascha: The Resur ection of Christ
JULY – AUGUST 2009
OBSERVER’S CLASSIFIEDS REAL ESTATE GREECE
Handling all your legal affairs in Greece Managing your property, wills and estates, transfers, sales and purchases, and any other legal issues
Nikitiades & Associates Law Office
5 Lycabettus Street, Athens, Greece 10672 Tel: +30 210 364-2909 • Fax: +30 210 362-5331 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Information: Alexia A. Kotsopoulou, Esq. Admitted to Practice in Athens and in New York
GLOBE REAL ESTATE AGENCY
ΥΔΡΟΓΕΙΟΣ στην Αθήνα
Η Ελληνοαμερικανική οικογενειακή επιχείρηση του Νικολάου Γεωργίου Ρουσάκη από το 1990 με ιδιαίτερη ευαισθησία στους ομογενείς, αναλαμβάνει όλες τις αγοραπωλησίες ακινήτων, ενοικιάσεις, αντιπαροχές οικοπέδων, στεγαστικά δάνεια, νομική κάλυψη, ασφάλειες, τεχνική υποστήριξη. Ôçëåöùíéêü ÊÝíôñï: 011-30-210-600-2809 Öáî: 011-30-210-601-7850 Çñþùí Ðïëõôå÷íåßïõ 8, Áãßá ÐáñáóêåõÞ E-mail: email@example.com website: globe-real-estate.com
GLOBE REAL ESTATE AGENCY
in Athens, Greece
Globe Real Estate Agency is a Greek-American family business of Nicholas George Rousakis, established 1990. Our company has a special sensitivity for Greek-Americans and promises to treat you with the utmost care and respect. We handle all real estate related transactions: sales, rentals, building contracts, mortgages and ﬁnancing, legal, insurance and technical support. Call: 011-30-210-600-2809 Fax: 011-30-210-601-7850 Mailing Address: Iroon Polytechniou 8, Agia Paraskevi E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: globe-real-estate.com
REAL ESTATE NEW WAY REALTY
CLEARWATER-TARPON SPRINGS-FLORIDA Call
New Homes & Resales Condos start at ’50s, Homes at ’80s
ÏÌÉËÏÕÌÅ ÅËËÇÍÉÊÁ HOUSE for RENT In Githeon 3 bedrooms,
spectacular view of the ocean and mountain. Private. Minutes to the beach Tel.: (207) 934-2733
ΤΡΙΠΟΛΗ ΑΡΚΑΔΙΑΣ 12 στρέµµατα
w/road East and South Ready to be annexed by the city Tel.: (330) 673-7124 and (330) 673-2994
FOR SALE 8 studio E.O.T. (G.N.T.) licenced complex with penthouse apartment on 4 stremata, overlloking bay towards Parikia’s port. Walk to beaches, 5 min. Livadia & 10 min. Krios. email@example.com 011-30-697245-9346
CAPE SOUNION AREA
Rare large hilltop parcel, 11 plus stremata, overlooking sea and valley. Close to Temple of Poseidon, in area of year round and vacation villas. Firm price $750.000. Last chance before property listed with broker. Serious inquiries only! Call: ( 207 ) 282-1197
HOUSE for SALE In Githeon 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, fireplace, spectacular views! 4 stremata, private, olive trees. Call (207) 934-2733
MUSICIANS GEORGE KENT•GREEK•AMERICAN•INTERNATIONAL ORCHESTRA & ENTERTAINMENT
ATTENTION! EXCELLENT NEWS - SOMETHING NEW! FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO PLEASE EVERYONE OF ALL AGE GROUPS FOR YOUR SOCIAL AFFAIR! A BEAUTIFUL SOLUTION AND MONEY SAVER! IN ADDITION TO OUR GREEK MUSIC, WHICH COVERS ALL THE REGIONS AND COLONIES OF GREECE WITH GREEK KLARINO, BOUZOUKIE & VOCALS AND AMERICAN/INTERNATIONAL MUSIC.WE NOW OFFER A PACKAGE DEAL WITH “LIVE MUSIC” AND A “DJ” WHICH SAVES MONEY - TOGETHER OR SINGULARLY! YOUR CHOICE!
CALL KENT 1-914-476-3020
or write: 118 Bolmer Ave., N.Yonkers, NY 10703-1637 Send for CD albums “Zorba” or “Athena” $16.99 for one, $26.99 for both (cassette $11.00 for one, $20 for both) to address above.
APARTMENT for SALE
For SALE in Tripolis 2 bedrooms, full dinning room, large kitchen. Best location and view. 95m2 Full furnished Call (216) 520-1409 ask for James
ΖΗΤΩ ΝΑ ΑΓΟΡΑΣΩ
σε οποιαδήποτε κατάσταση µονοκατοικία, µαιζονέτα ή οικόπεδο κατά προτίµηση στην
περιοχή πόλεως Ζακύνθου Τηλ.: (704) 889-2004
ΠΩΛΕΙΤΑΙ ΟΙΚΟΠΕΔΟ 12,000 m2 στη Λεµεσό-Αγ. Φύλας κοντά στο Τσίρειο Στάδιο. Νερό µε γεώτρηση και ρεύµα. Με τίτλους ιδιοκτησίας. Για τα 12,000m2 η τιµή είναι 380,000, για τα 6,000m2 είναι 190,000, Για πληροφορίες: κινητό 011357--994-16852 Κυριάκος Κυριάκου, στην Αµερική (856) 767-2199 Ρεβέκκα.
TOULA XISTRIS, CRB, GRI
(941) 468-0258 www.toula.biz firstname.lastname@example.org
Dimitrios Photography & Video
To Purchase Photos from all events visit www.panagos.com You can find us on Facebook
CALL NOW ( 516) 931-2333
New Homes and Resales and Foreclosures Greek spoken • 20 Years in Real Estate
RENT A CAR SERVICES
Collector wants established and old Greek (American) paintings. Please call Tina at (718) 278-6368 or send photos to email@example.com
SPECIAL OCCASIONS INC. Finest Quality Wedding and Christening Supplies, Accessories and Clothes All Items Unique and Handmade for You Visit Our Photo Slide Show at www.SpecialOccasionsPA.com Philadelphia, PA•(610) 853-4438 A DV E R T I S I N G R AT E S DISPLAY ADVERTISING per column inch: ......$ 55.00 quarter pg: ...............$ 750.00 half page: ................$ 1,500.00 full page: ..................$ 3,000.00
VENICE and SARASOTA, FL.
••• ATTENTION •••
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING single column inch ......$ 50.00 dbl. column inch ..........$100.00
(2.25”). For each additional column add 15 picas (2.5”). Classiﬁed ads: Six columns to a page. Single column width is 9 picas (1.5”), double column width is 19 picas (3.25”) Camera ready ads preferred. DEADLINES:
Reservations: 25 days
“Type page width” is 59 picas (9.75”), depth is 14 inches
payable in advance, unless contract
Display ads: Four columns
agreement is in effect and account
to a page. Single column width is 14 picas
All ads are
GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING PHOTOGRAPHS 1) Conventional photographs: We accept Color or Black & White photos, printed on photographic paper. Photographs should be sharp and clear. Pictures printed on color printers, either Inkjet or Laser and photocopies or clippings of previously published photos are NOT accepted.
IF YOU ARE MOVING
Certiﬁed Translations: GREEK-ENGLISH-GREEK
Legal, Medical, Certiﬁcates of all kinds • Same day service available • Very reasonable prices Call (646) 460-0470 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail this coupon to the Orthodox Observer 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021 A N D Ask your parish to forward your name and new address to the Observer in order for you to continue receiving the newspaper IF you move but your new home is located in the district of the same parish, then list your new address below: NAME ___________________________________________ ADDRESS ______________________________________ CITY___________________ STATE ______ ZIP________ PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR OLD LABEL
2) Digital photographs: We accept digital pictures if they conform to the following specifications: • Minimum resolution 1600 pixels wide x 1200 pixels high (approx. 2 mega pixels, digital cameras should be set to high resolution, high quality. If you scan a standard photograph -usually 4x6”- use a minimum of 300 dpi. We discourage scanning your own photos, send the actual photo.) • File format JPEG or TIFF (JPEGs are smaller files and easier to e-mail, TIFFs are better quality) • Color mode RGB, color depth minimum 8-bit. • Image files placed within any word-processing file or any other application are not accepted. • Digital pictures can be submitted by e-mail, CDROM, Zip, Floppy Disk (Disks can not be returned). • E-mail to: email@example.com. In the subject line write only the word “photos” VERY IMPORTANT: Attach the image files and do not include them in the body of the e-mail or they will not be usable. 3) Please include information about the photo(s); place, time and event as well as the names of all persons shown, left to right.
JULY – AUGUST 2009
Spotlight on: Ionian Village As we anxiously prepare for the Byzantine Venture session of Ionian Village, we offer a glimpse into the life of the Summer Travel Camp session, which concluded on July 16, 2009. Thirty highlytrained, well-qualified, and camp-loving staff members from all around the USA gathered to welcome 175 excited campers to the first session of Ionian Village! After a long flight campers arrived in Athens and were whisked away to the campgrounds in Glyfa on the Ionian Sea. The week began fittingly on Sunday morning with Divine Liturgy under the pines. While this session was one of the largest in recent history, we managed to squeeze everyone into the outdoor chapel. After a delicious breakfast of loukoumades (traditional Sunday breakfast at IV), the campers got their first taste of typical camp life. The young people rotated through several sessions, including Athletics, Arts and Crafts, Music and Greek Culture, Orthodox Life, and Free Swim at our beautiful beach on the Ionian Sea. In Music and Greek Culture the campers learned various Greek dances, useful Greek phrases, the Lord’s Prayer in Greek and more! In Arts and Crafts they were able to let their creative juices flow with an icon project, jewelry making, and a travel pillow project. Campers had a blast in Athletics with sports like kickball, ultimate frisbee, basketball and football. The Orthodox Life sessions were truly the backbone of camp, a place where campers discussed God, their Orthodox faith, and the realities of teenage life. Campers were also given the chance to get to know them-
Top 5 Awesome things about Summer Summer Camp! Check out www.camp.goarch.org for a list of camps No school! BBQs Longer days! More sun = more fun outside Beach and Pool time hanging out with friends
Did you Know? That there are around 25,000 Orthodox Christian men and women serving our country in the Armed Forces? Show them you care by praying for them and maybe sending them a care package! Visit www.uso.org to find out how you can help! Support our vets at www.supportourwounded.org
selves and grow in their faith with evening cabin devotionals, Night with God, and daily church services—many even participated in the sacrament of confession for the first time! In between our daily rotations, beach time, and siesta, we were treated to three huge Greek meals a day! Our cook “Kyria Sophia” spoiled us with amazing authentic Greek food, which is no small task for over 200 people! In the evenings, the fun was non-stop and included a gyro social on the beach, music night, junkyard wars, a scavenger hunt and a 4th of July themed glendi. After three full days of hanging out at camp, getting familiar with the schedule and the programs, it was time to travel! During our excursions, the campers had numerous opportunities to walk in the footsteps of the saints, venerate their relics, and see some of Greece’s most important historical sights. One of the first trips was to St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Patras where they venerated the “X” that St. Andrew was crucified on and drank from the nearby spring of fragrant water. Campers also visited the island of Zakynthos where they venerated the relics of St. Dionysios and also honored the monument of Dionysios Solomos, author of the Greek National Anthem. The next stop was the island of Kefalonia where campers were not only able to venerate the relics of St. Gerasimos, but also crawl into his small dwelling place (a cave) located beneath the church. In Kalavrita, campers visited the memorial site of those men and children murdered during the Nazi occupation in WW II, as well as the church of Agia Lavra, birthplace of the
Photo by Cameron Thorpe
Despina Wilson of Lexington, Ky, lights a candle at the Monastery of Mega Spilaion.
revolution against the Ottoman Empire in 1821. After these travel days, campers returned to camp and reunited with their friends for evening vespers and relaxing evening activities. Our last night at camp was celebrated with an authentic Greek glendi, complete with a live band and lamb roasted on a spit! Any reluctance to pack and leave camp was overshadowed by the excitement of the last three days traveling in and around Athens. The campers stopped in Delphi, spent a day on Aegina visiting the home of St. Nektarios, roamed around the Acropolis, and experienced authentic Greek folk dancing at Dora Stratou. These final days were definitely a whirlwind experience—a once in a life time opportunity packed with destinations! We
What’s Up with Freedom? by Specialist Nathaniel G. Lourie, U.S. Army
When looking through the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights, one observes the various freedoms that American citizens possess. The right to bear arms, the right to freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion are just some of the essential civil liberties Americans are so proud to have. But the possession of these rights has come at a dear price. Over 400,000 Americans have given their lives to preserve these precious liberties and the fight goes on today. Being an American soldier and an Orthodox Christian, I appreciate these freedoms immensely. Freedom of religion gives all Orthodox Americans the right to worship the way we want and how we want. In some countries, you could be murdered for simply disagreeing with the national
religion. As an American Orthodox soldier I fight to protect our freedom to worship in the oldest Christian church in the world with no persecution or restrictions. The pursuit of freedom can be felt throughout the world, as I have witnessed the Christian resurgence that is occurring in Iraq now, as thousands of Iraqi citizens are free to worship how they please. Before America moved into Iraq, Iraqi Christians, many of whom are Orthodox, were forced to worship underground for fear of being killed by government officials. Now many Iraqi’s in Northern Iraq have rebuilt churches and are free to worship how they wish. Freedom isn’t free but the price that we pay is worth it. Seeing my friends and family worshiping our Lord without fear is an honor for me, and something that I will continue to fight for until the end.
Ask a Priest As part of the New Challenge, we are adding a section called “Ask a Priest”. We need YOU to submit your burning questions that you’ve always wanted to ask! You can submit questions at www.youth.goarch.org or you can submit them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
ended our time in Athens with a rooftop dinner dance and an amazing slideshow highlighting our time together. Looking back, it’s easy to see why this first session was so successful, as both campers and staff worked hard to create a loving Christian community. It’s no mistake that the word “AGAPE” echoed throughout Ionian Village’s program this summer. We discussed how we are called to love God with our whole heart, striving to love others as we love ourselves. Ultimately, our time at Ionian Village offered us a glimpse into the kingdom of heaven and a vision of Christ’s perfect love. To follow Ionian Village 2009 live, log onto www.ionianvillage.org or www. goarch.org
Check it out! You might have seen an AT&T commercial recently that highlights a company called TOMS Shoes. This company is based on an amazing idea- for every pair of shoes that you buy from TOMS, a pair is donated to a child in need. TOMS plans to give out over 300,000 pair of shoes this year alone! Why shoes you may ask? “Wearing shoes prevents feet from getting cuts and sores on unsafe roads and from contaminated soil. The leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted parasites, which penetrate the skin through open sores. Wearing shoes can prevent this and the risk of amputation.” (www .tomsshoes.com ) Although the company doesn’t claim to be a Christian organization, their mission is clearly consistent with God’s call to minister to the poor. St. Basil said, “The bread you do not use is the bread of the hungry. The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of the person who is naked. The shoes you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot.” I challenge you to check out the website and buy a pair of shoes or a t-shirt. You’ll look cool and also be helping children in need!
JULY – AUGUST 2009
New York Youth Olympics Draws Over 1,100 Athletes BRENTWOOD, N.Y. – The 31st annual Direct Archdiocesan District Olympics attracted 1,175 participants from 24 parishes on Memorial Day Weekend. They represented both JOY and GOYA. Highlighting the event was the visit of Archbishop Demetrios who spent about three hours with the participants, viewing many of the events and also helping to award medals. The Olympics took place over three days and included numerous swimming and track and field events, softball, soccer, volleyball and tennis. The Vamvakitis sisters, Diana and Elli, of Kimisis Church in Southampton repeated their last year’s victories, winning the gold and silver in the girls’ tennis category. Elli graduated from high school this year, which gives Diana a shot for the gold next year. A new category was introduced this year – the heptathlon, which involved participation in seven different individual events in swimming, track and field and basketball free-throw. Only one girl participated in this first-ever event, Alexandra Lappas of Sts. Constantine and Helen parish in West Nyack. There were two boys winning medals in the event: Peter Papasopoulos of Kimisis tis Theotokou in Brooklyn won the gold medal and Daniel Cuyulis, also of West Nyack, won the silver. The following parishes sent athletes to the Olympics, which took place at Suffolk County Community College. Albany - St Sophia (the community that traveled the farthest); Astoria - St. Demetrios; Blue Point - St. John; Bronx - Zoodohos Peghe; Brooklyn - Sts. Constantine & Helen, Holy Cross and Kimisis tis Theotokou; Brookville, Church of t h e R e s u r r e c t i o n ; Flushing - St. Nicholas; Greenlawn - St. Paraskevi; Hempstead - St. Paul. Hicksville - Holy Trinity; Jamaica - St. Demetrios; Merrick - St. Demetrios; Middletown - Holy Cross ; New Rochelle - Holy Trinity; Port Jefferson - Church of the Assumption. Roslyn - Archangel Michael; Rye - Church of our Savior; Southampton - Kimisis tis Theotokou; Staten Island - Holy Trinity; West Babylon - St. Nicholas West Nyack - Sts Constantine & Helen; and Whitestone - Holy Cross.
ORTHODOX OBSERVER photos
Archbishop Demetrios (above r.) cheers on the runners, along with Direct Archdiocesan District Youth Advisor Fr. Constantine Lazarakis.
The “tennis sisters” of the Hamptons (above) , Elli and Diana Vamvakitis, silver and gold medalists.
Alexandra Lappas (left), first girls heptathlon winner.
Complete Olympics coverage at: www.goado.org
Observer - July / August 2009