“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


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Letter of Rejection of the Corporation from the Archdiocesan Legal Counsel

Moderator's Note: This letter was circulated at the Parish Council Meeting of August 13, 2007. At the prompting of Philip Floor, due to his belief that the letter contains inaccurate information, the Parish Council has decided not to reproduce this letter in next month's Messenger. Instead, a synopsis of this letter and a summation of pertinent events and efforts regarding the approval process of the corporation will be authored by Mr. Floor, and published in the Messenger. We at TOCB feel that this letter is an important document and should be openly available to the community at large. It is in this spirit, we make it available to you for review. As always we have not edited the original document beyond converting it to html for Internet publication.

To: Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver
Via Fax 2 pages

Fr. Michael Kouremetis
Mr. Philip S. Floor
Mr. Christopher P. Gamvroulas
Mr. Nick Varanakis
c/o Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake
Via E-Mail

From: Archdiocesan Council Legal Committee

Date: August 10, 2007

Re: Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake (“Parish”)

Your Eminence, Mr. Floor & Mr. Gamvroulas:

The Archdiocesan Council Legal Committee has reviewed the correspondence and the documents transmitted to His Eminence in May, 2007.

The initial letter to His Eminence requested his ratification of the results of the Parish Special General Assembly held on February 11, 2007(“Assembly”). It appears that the request was made to obtain from him approval of the actions taken at the Assembly and, by implication, authorizing the proposed actions resulting therefrom, i.e. The incorporation of the Holy Trinity & Prophet Elias Heritage Corporation, A Utah Nonprofit Corporation (“Heritage”) as well as any transfers of title of Parish property to Heritage from the Parish which may be deemed necessary to fulfill the purposes of Heritage.

In addition, the stated purpose in the Articles of Incorporation of Heritage is: “The Corporation is organized an operated exclusively to support the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake and engage in other charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code…” Nowhere is it mentioned that the new corporation has any religious purpose or that it is Parish or a ministry of a Parish of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver and subject to the Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The only mention of religion occurs in Article IV which states: “The Corporation shall have voting members, the ‘members or Membership’ who must be natural persons that are, or have been within the past 365 days, a member in good standing of the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake.”

Article 6.6 of Heritage does not comply with the provisions of Article 22 of the Regulations.

Because the obvious intent of this action is to establish a separate corporation which would own, control & manage the properties which are presently owned, controlled & managed by the Parish, any ratification by His Eminence of the actions by the Special General Assembly may, arguably, grant approval for the entirety of the described actions.

The proposed actions of this Parish will constitute violations of the following sections of the Uniform Parish Regulations: Article 16, Sec. 1-3, Article 24,§1 and Article 29.

It is recommended by the Archdiocese Legal Committee that Your Eminence not ratify nor in any manner, approve the actions taken at the Special General Assembly of the Parish of February 11, 2007 as requested in the letter dated February 12, 2007.

In view of the fact that the Biennial Clergy-Laity Assembly of the Archdiocese will be held in July, 2008, changes to the applicable Regulations may be proposed via your Local Assembly.

Archdiocesan Council Legal Committee,

By: Catherine B. Walsh, Chairperson
Emmanuel Demos, Legal Counsel
Helen Hadjiyanakis Bender
Elenie K. Huszagh
Demetri Moschos

1 comment:

Matthew Hedberg said...

The committee commissioned by the Metropolitan has requested that he submit to our Parish, in writing, a statement that he will respect and abide by the will of our community. I wonder if we shall ever see such a letter. This correspondence only furthers my suspicions that the Archdiocese and Metropolitan's office are acting only in concordance with their own established agendas and will continue to over-step their bounds into the secular activities of our parish regardless of every effort we make to work with and accommodate them.