On Saturday, November 4, 2023, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America convened the Fall Meeting of the Archdiocesan Council in New York City.
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The biannual meeting brings together both clergy and lay leaders from across the country for Committee Meetings and to hear reports from departments, ministries and organizations of the Archdiocese.
In his Keynote Address, Archbishop stated, “this Council, as stated in Article Five of the Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, is concerned with matters and issues that affect the life, growth and unity of the Archdiocese. Life – Growth – Unity.
These are our mandates. These are our responsibilities and duties before God, and to the faithful of our Parishes from coast to coast.” Archbishop Elpidophoros also remarked on the suffering of people around the world, stating that:
“Our Church stands against violence, and even in the case of self-defense, we see it as the wrong answer to a wrong problem. Those who live by the sword eventually die by the sword. We pray for the peace of the world at every Service, but we see peace giving way to aggression and war at seemingly every turn, especially in the land where our Savior walked.”
An informative presentation from the Youth and Young Adult Committee was made by Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries Eva Konstantakos who highlighted the growth of the youth programs across the nation and detailed the vision for the future.
Additional remarks and presentations were made by Vice President John Catsimatidis, Secretary of the Archdiocesan Council Nick Karacostas, President of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology George Cantonis, and Andrew Veniopoulos for the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine.
A full report on the finances of the Archdiocese was given by Treasurer Elaine Allen and Chairman of the Finance Committee Lazaros (Lou) Kircos followed by a legal briefing by Legal Counsel George Tsougarakis.
Chairman of the Administration Committee Judge B. Theodore Bozonelis presented a number of amendments to the Uniform Parish Regulations for adoption by the Council.
The meeting closed in a spirit of optimism for the future of our Church in America.