“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, October 24, 2007

An Open Letter from Jim Kastanis to the Parish Council President

Moderator's Note: We are posting with Mr. Kastanis' permission. As always we have sought to keep the author's original emphasis in his writing when converting letters to html format.

October 23, 2007

Mr. Nick Varanakis President
Greek Orthodox Community of Salt Lake City
279 South 300 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

Dear Nick:

I have read the directive dated October 9, 2007 from Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver. He has made the announcement that Fr. Michael Kouremetis as the Proistamenos only of Prophet Elias Parish and Fr. Mathew Gilbert as the Proistamenos of Holy Trinity Cathedral.

I and the rest of the community need some clarification.

1- What is a Proistamenos? When I was President of the community and also on many additional boards, the community had a HEAD PRIEST. When did it change from a HEAD PRIEST to a Proistamenos and what if any are the differences?

2- Fr. Michael is Proistamenos of Prophet Elias Parish and Fr. Mathew of Holy Trinity Cathedral. What is the difference between a Parish and a Cathedral?

3- Based on the blessings of the archdiocese, The Greater Community of Salt Lake City was given the authority to have ONE COMMUNITY with TWO CHURCHES. Until this directive is rescinded in writing to the Salt Lake Community it is valid.
Therefore you as President along with the signatures of all the board members should send a letter to the Metropolitan rejecting his directive appointing two proistamenoi and abiding with directive of the archdiocese previously given to the community. We are a single community with two churches and we only need one head priest to administer to members of both churches.


Jim Kastanis

1 comment:

Barbara Colessides said...

Well said, sir. We also need to remind the parish council and the clergy that there already exists a procedure, established by those who built these churches - our parents, grandparents and greatgrandparents - for splitting the community. In May of this year, TOCB posted that procedure, which at that time passed in General Assembly UNANIMOUSLY (view here).

We insist that the wishes of our forefathers, who HAD the consent of the hierarchy to maintain a UNIFIED community, be honored. If our community is to split, let it do so based on the established procedures and not through back-door edicts.