“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


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Save the Postage - Setting the Record Straight

We can all live another day secure in the knowledge that the record has finally been set straight. Gone are the sleepless nights and paranoid looks over our shoulders. What a great relief. It would be a waste of time then to offer another review of the latest message from our parish council. What say we waste a little time?

For the sake of argument, let's assume we accept the explanation that the decision to withhold the infamous letter from the metropolitan was a mutual one made between the parish council and the assigned clergy. We will also assume as accurate that the letter was read by the president of the parish council and discussed. Copies of the letter were never distributed to all members of the parish council even though it was addressed to them. Could it be that it was never made clear that the letter was addressed to the "Esteemed Parish Council"? The metropolitan's letter was by no means confusing in its direction as we are asked to believe. Could it be that previous private, off the record, back-room discussions regarding this letter and its content were different than the end result? Lest we forget that our Proistameno doesn't know anything about and hasn't been involved with any aspect of the splitting of our community. He most certainly hasn't been involved in any plotting regarding this issue either.

Now, by a show of hands, how many of you are tired of reading about the special little meetings that have been held between the metropolitan, our Proistameno and the president. Don't be shy, raise them up high so we can count them. With the exception of the "finance summit" in Denver (and we'll get to that in a minute) it's always the same people who are afforded the honor of being part of the inner-circle plot sessions. Have any other members of the parish council been invited? Keep your hands up. In "setting the record straight" it is reported, presumably by those who were part of the discussion, that the metropolitan wanted to know how the community "felt" about splitting the parish, he would not force a separation of the churches and he wanted to get an accurate idea of what the parishioners want. If this really were the case, why on earth would he send the letter he actually sent and not one expressing these new desires? We know that this Proistameno wants a split but from what we are told the metropolitan just keeps going back and forth. You can put your hands down.

On June 13, 2007 Protocol 07-09 was sent to the "Pious Pastors, Esteemed Parish Council Presidents and Parish Finance Committee Chairmen" of the Metropolis. The referenced protocol announced the "finance summit" recently held in Denver and mentioned in "Setting the Record Straight." For the record, no mention of this meeting was made at the recent parish council meeting nor was any mention made of our community being represented. One would think this might have been of some relevance to the entire parish council. Also, in "Setting the Record Straight", no offer is made regarding what specifically was discussed. We are offered the ever enlightening phrase "issues affecting our community." Thanks, that narrows it down.

What we do get as a result of the 'finance summit' is more of "this is what His Eminence said". Not only does our metropolitan know what is in our minds and hearts (remember, the almighty dollar nonsense) but he also knows that his successor "would probably be more inclined to order the separation of the parishes." His successor could probably also order the community to remain united. Why even make a ridiculous statement like this? Instead of the continuous "he said" statements someone please tell the metropolitan to put it in writing and then we can go from there. Come to think of it, he doesn't mean what he writes, or what he says for that matter, so never mind. By the way, for the record Your Eminence, we are still The Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake City - one community NOT two parishes.

The entire discussion regarding the "split committee" is a farce. Apparently, when making the appointments from Prophet Elias, our Proistameno was able to find a nice cross section of parishioners all from the same family. Let's do another hand raising exercise: All those who believe that the assigned clergy (especially our Proistameno) will not influence the direction of this committee please raise your hands. Thanks for your participation. Now a question: When this committee requests funds to hire a "professional survey-research-opinion company" will our Proistameno demand that this first be reviewed by the finance committee before making a decision like he has with the requesting of a third priest? The split fits with his agenda and the latter does not... hmmm. We'll just have to wait and see.

Now that we've wasted our time all we can say is thanks for wasting it with us. We will continue to forge ahead inspite of having the record set straight. As always, comments both favorable and unfavorable are welcome.

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