“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Letter From A Fellow Parishioner

Dear Fellow Blog Readers,
I was fortunate enough to attend the last parish council meeting where several things were discussed. Some of the issues discussed I would like to share with you. Before starting let me say that I was not the only parishioner outside of the parish council who attended the last meeting and would like to thank the president and the members of the council who were most gracious to all of us in allowing us to briefly speak about our concerns.
It was discussed during the meeting that the minutes of parish council meetings will now only include action items and no details. In my opinion the minutes of past parish councils were open and honest in that they include more than action items but issues discussed. During my tenure on the parish council we went the extra mile and audio taped the meetings to insure that the minutes accurately reflected the opinions and discussions of all members involved. This way, the community that elected us could see what each of us stood for. I was told by a member of this current parish council at this last meeting I attended that the only reason we used audio tape was because "we didn't trust each other." The use of audio tapes has nothing to do with trust it has to do with being open and honest to the whole community. I hope that this parish council uses the practice of earlier years and offers us complete minutes not just action items.
Also discussed was the letter sent from the Metropolitan and read by the president about splitting the community. A letter was given to each member of the parish council by the executive committee that will go out shortly to the community explaining the letter from the Metropolitan. I am strongly offended and disagree with this parish council sending me a letter explaining what the Metropolitan wrote in his about our community. Instead of sending us their letter, I would prefer they send us the ORIGINAL letter from the Metropolitan. This way I can see for myself and you all can see for yourselves what our Metropolitan is saying should be done to OUR community. What these letters say we don't know yet. This same parish council member discussed above commented that general assembly decisions are just a WISH and what a general assembly decided 35 years ago is not binding today. The fact remains that in 1969 a general assembly voted and passed a motion related to how a split can take place. That motion was not just a WISH and is still binding until another general assembly votes to reverse that decision. Also in attendance at this last parish council meeting were two past presidents who spoke passionately against the split.
I wanted to speak about the split in detail but will refrain until we all receive the parish council's letter which is being sent to the community. Until that time we need to speak loudly about being kept in the dark and treated like second class citizens. Thank you to the blog moderators for allowing us this forum to voice our opinions.
Yannis Armaou


Matthew Hedberg said...

I was one of the other parishioners in attendance at this meeting. I can attest to the accuracy of comments made in Mr. Armaou's letter regarding the dialog of the Parish Council. Everything he claims was said, was, to my best recollection, indeed verbally addressed in the meeting. As a note of concordance with one issue in Mr. Armaou's letter I would like to pose a question to this community. I am not an expert on the rules governing Parish Council and General Assembly meetings. I believe they are called Robert's Rules of Order, but I may be mistaken. That being said it seems logical to me that the 1969 motion regarding any attempted schism which was unanimously passed and bears no time restraint on its effectiveness would remain in effect until a current General Assembly passes a motion overriding it. If we assume the "wish" logic, as was coined by some members of the Parish Council during the meeting, would not all official guidelines issued by gatherings such as past Ecumenical Councils merely be wishes? I defer to your wisdom; please, enlighten me.


Matthew Hedberg

Barbara Colessides said...

Well said, Matt and Yanni. Matt's comments cut to the heart of the matter in ANY idea of rule of law. The capricious notion that issues that have been voted upon and passed by previous General Assemblies - a LEGALLY consituted legislative body - can be considered "wishes" is WISHFUL THINKING!

Barbara Colessides