“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


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Enough Is Enough!

The discord within the Greater Greek Orthodox Community of Salt Lake has got to stop and continuity restored. Our fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers along with all the other immigrants came to Salt Lake City from Greece and established the first Greek Orthodox Church in 1905. Their exclusive intent was to perpetuate and preserve their ethnic culture and heritage. As their children had children and the population grew a new church, HOLY TRINITY, was built. Years went by and the continued success and foresight of their endeavors prospered. In 1969 a second Greek Orthodox Church was built and named Prophet Elias. Two Greek Orthodox Churches under the leadership of one community were prospering in the predominant Mormon city of Salt Lake. How proud our forefathers must have felt.

Now after some 40 years of continuity there is a faction that wants to divide the community into two separate parishes. In questioning their motive it seems they no longer wish to have the Greek language as part of the church service. The quote I have heard is "The church service should be done in the language of the country we live in." I wonder what our forefathers would say and how they would react after all the toil and sacrifices they made to establish their GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH.

The churches were established as Greek Orthodox and this they should remain. Those wishing change should build their own church, to their own liking, and leave the present churches as they were intended.

I understand that Kennecott Copper is offering land in their new city plan at a very attractive price for any faith that would build within their city.

It appears that the only way our voices will be heard is to follow the Money Trail. Reduce our fair share commitment to a limit of bare necessities to pay the daily expenses of the churches. Instead of putting a dollar or more in the basket when you light a candle, put in a quarter. The same when the tray is passed in church. Once it is realized that the community wants a voice in the affairs affecting the community, they will give abundantly. We always have and always will. We have had enough and we want to be heard.

- Jim Kastanis

1 comment:

Paula Saltas Mason said...

I just want to make a comment on your post. I would like to say that there is room for use of BOTH languages in our church. I love to hear Greek from the Choir and the Priest but I also appreciate the fact that I can understand the meaning of the litergy by use of the English language as well.

We may be Greek by our heritage but we are Orthodox by faith and the Grace of God. So just as an English only service offend many so too would a Greek only service exclude many who have embraced our faith.