“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, August 6, 2007

The Blood Has THINNED!

It is fascinating that the only two members of the committees supposedly “studying” the “possibility” of the split had the courage and fortitude to resign in the face of a total farce. It is no surprise that these gentlemen are two of our long-time members who belong to what we know as the “greatest generation”. Mr. Skedros is an Archon, an ever-present volunteer, has been a Sunday School teacher to many of us, an almost perpetual Parish Council member, a former Parish Council president - the grand old man of this community - our current church historian and chronicler of the community’s 100-plus years. Mr. Sefakis is another ever-present volunteer, and former President and Parish Council member as well. Why is it that these men are the only two with the discernment to know a scam when they see one? (What are the rest of the committee members thinking and doing?) Between these two men there is more than a century of service to our churches and community. Worthy representatives, indeed, of our greatest generation! Their actions should be the example for the rest of us.

Some days ago our Parish Council, in what at long last seemed like a show of logic and proactivity, voted to conduct a mail-in vote regarding the community’s view on the proposed split. This vote was also going to allow each community member to write a short essay, if desired, regarding the subject. All this was laudable. It seemed that finally the Parish Council was going to at least try to discern and follow the will of its constituents.

Unfortunately, the undemocratic and utterly dissembling proclivities of our Proistameno and it seems, sadly, our Parish Council President, are inexorable. Despite the Parish Council vote, which would, if it were to take effect, SURELY negate the need for the "split committees", our Proistameno and Parish Council President insist that these committees continue to meet. They have, obviously, decided we ARE going to have this split, by God, come hell or high water! The Metropolitan’s dirty work and will be done, the Proistameno will have gotten his way, and the will of the majority be damned! The charade continues unabated.

Most of our parents and grandparents, living or not, contemporaries and forbearers of Con Skedros’ and Nick Sefakis’ generation, would not have put up with this high-handed nonsense. They would not have allowed the popular will to be suppressed so utterly and so blatantly. They would not have sought to keep fellow parishioners so deeply in the dark. They would NOT operate under bogus confidentiality agreements.

We of this generation are letting those of the greatest generations, living and dead, down! And, we are passing on to our children a legacy of acquiescence, submissiveness, dissembling and sycophancy. Seemingly, we accept lies. We don’t care and WON'T ACT when the will of the majority is squelched. We don’t demand accurate vote counting any longer; we don't demand that our vote is honored. We don't insist on accountability. We don’t fight these disturbing trends in our churches, in our local communities, in our national public life, or in the increasingly condescending and dictatorial behavior of what now passes for leadership.

We put up with leaders who do not act with reason or compassion. These so-called leaders substitute ethical and intellectual integrity with a superstitious interpretation of faith and a supercilious reliance on unquestioning obedience. They have a "we-know-best" attitude and are unwilling and unable to articulate or exemplify a leadership based on logic, honesty and transparency. They rely on the willingness of far too many of us to trade our independence and our ability and God-given RIGHT to control our destiny. We give these up for what we think is a guarantee of security in the here and/or the hereafter. Allowing ourselves to regress four to five centuries, many of us seemingly accept that our leaders MUST dominate us. We allow them to act upon their beliefs that they can ignore the popular will. We permit them to think that it is now somehow reasonable that their actions are dictatorial and that it is further acceptable that their actions fly in the face of logic and justice.

If we continue to operate with this mindset, we will rightly be remembered as a "fearful and fearing generation." There is little sign of greatness in us.

Tell us, gentlemen of this generation, of this Parish Council, if you can, that in the face of these unfolding events in ONE community in ONE city, in the face of constant acquiescence and submissiveness, in the name of being respectful of a clerical authority that no longer treats its flock with love and mutual respect, that the blood in this generation hasn’t thinned!

But HOW can you tell us this, when you are CONSTANTLY submitting and acquiescing, when you, representing us, won't confront the secrecy, the dissembling and the high-handed activities designed to divide us, and we, our children and our grandchildren will surely be the poorer for it?

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