“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, August 8, 2007

Mitch Manousakis Offers Further Perspectives

I think that we are so fortunate to live in this the greatest country on earth - AMERICA. Here we have the right of free speech and are able to worship our God however we choose to do so. We also have the right to express our opinion, whatever it may be. Many of our early Greek immigrants came here to pursue these freedoms and to make a better life for their families and future generations.

As we all have read in history books, some written by our own parishioners, these immigrants came into a hostile environment not knowing the language and lacking greatly in education. They took jobs that most people would not do in order to provide for their families. Before they were on their feet so to speak, they were initiating efforts to build churches where ever there were even a few of their fellow Greeks. And with the very meager wages that they were earning they accomplished this monumental task. They wanted to preserve not only their faith, but their heritage as well. They passed it on remarkably well to their children and grandchildren.

These early immigrants did everything in their power to educate their children and make them contributing citizens of their communities but never relinquishing the knowledge of where their roots came from. Never giving up on their native language and faith. Through their efforts the Greeks gained the respect and envy of their fellow citizens in this great country of ours AMERICA. Just the thought that some would think about diminishing the Greek aspect of our heritage to include the Greek language, is indeed a saddening thing and shows little respect for those great people who immigrated here and gave us so much.

Now, many of us who have so much because of the great people before us, are insinuating that the language not be used in our church services and perhaps even dropping the word Greek from our church name.

I believe that only a small minority would have us do this. However, the silent majority must come out of our hiding comfort and be strong and united stating our opinions for the entire parish if not the world to know.

I would challenge our parish council to at last come forth with the total truth on all the matters that concern our Greek Orthodox Parish of Salt Lake City, Utah. If the documents that you have signed pledging secrecy, support and allegiance to our proistameno and or to the metropolitan are invalid as someone has suggested on this blog, then shed yourselves of them.

All the parishioners deserve to know the truth. Help us to reunite and become a whole community again. Do not be faithful to those that would divide us.

Even politicians realizing that what they are doing may hurt their party, resign for the sake of the party.

They do this even when they are in the right. They do it out of love and concern for their party. Perhaps some of our leaders who are causing this turmoil in our Greek Orthodox Parish of Salt Lake City should consider doing the same thing.

Again I say this because I believe that the issues are not of a religious nature, but of a political one.

As a last note, I again say that there is strength in unity and numbers. More of our parishioners need to come forward and state their position on the issues that are confronting us at this time.

Thank you,

Mitch Manousakis

1 comment:

Paula Saltas Mason said...

I agree that it is likely a small minority that would have the word Greek sriken from our name as well as stop using Greek in our services but as I stated in a previous post comment, I believe there is room for BOTH languages. I also believe that I come from as strong a Greek background as most in this community. However, I was not afforded the ability to speak, read or understand the Greek language by sheer birth alone nor from my forefathers as some others were. This leaves me with a lack of understanding a good portion of our services and I fully rely on "greeklish" to learn words and more study to learn the meaning of those words.

I will gladly stand with the silent majority as you called it to defend and maintain the integrity of our community as is (two churches one parish).

I will also stand alongside parishioners like my husband who do not speak Greek or who not were born of Greek decent but are equally important to this community by Faith, volunteerism and other community groups.

We all need to be fed spirtually and in a language we can understand as well as work together in the spirit of love and understanding to make our parish stronger.

Regardless of how this all plays out we will always be one community!