“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


Monday, June 4, 2007

Letter to N. Varanakis

June 3, 2007

Mr. Nick Varanakis, Parish Council President
Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake
279 South 300 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Dear Nick,

Immediately following the General Assembly of May 21, 2007 (exactly two weeks ago) I wrote you commending the success of the meeting. I also kindly requested a copy of the video made of the meeting and that the letter written by our Proistameno to His Eminence regarding the assignment of Fr. Mario as a third priest for our community be made public in the June Messenger. To my dismay I have received no response from you.

I have received and read the June Messenger and while you mention in your letter to the parish the pavilion and dome construction, you make no mention of the letter requesting assignment of Fr. Mario. Is the assignment of another priest to our parish, which we so desperately need, a lesser matter than the others or is this yet another attempt to keep the members of this community in the dark?

It is my understanding, when a General Assembly mandates an action that mandate holds and must be carried out unless another General Assembly mandates otherwise. Was the letter written? If it was written, what did it say and why was it not made public? WHY ALL THE SECRECY? As a community we are entitled to know. This is not a matter between 15 people, the Proistameno and the Metropolitan. THIS IS ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY!!! You, the parish council and the Proistameno have no right whatsoever to play hide and seek once again.

Since tomorrow you have a parish council meeting, I would again reiterate my requests of TWO WEEKS ago. Please make available to me and anyone who requests, the video of the General Assembly AND please publish the letter supposedly sent immediately following the meeting by our Proistameno requesting the assignment of Fr. Mario to this community.

The above requests are relatively simple and I see no reasonable reason why they can’t be fulfilled. The practice of ignoring requests and silence will not make the issues go away. Be a president to the people who have given you their trust. Let’s get away from the silence and secrecy that has been a clergy privilege for years now. ENOUGH!!

It is my understanding that His Eminence will be in Ogden for the choir conference on June 15-17. I would like to request a meeting with him while he is in the state.

I await your quick response and resolution with regards to my requests after tomorrow’s meeting.


Yannis Armaou

Cc: His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah
Rev. Alexander Karloutsos
Rev. Michael A. Kouremetis
Rev. Matthew Gilbert

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