“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


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jim Kastanis Responds to the Stewardship Committee Letter

January 21, 2008

Reply to the letter to the community from the stewardship committee.

“Responsibility of stewardship to our church.”

Let us start by reviewing 2007 and seeing what our stewardship provided the community.

  1. Spring General Assembly: Metropolitan gives approval to hold a General Assembly to sanction Foundation Effort. The largest assembly ever in recent years. (300+) Foundation is approved by the assembly overwhelmingly. Metropolitan rejects the results. Additional correspondence throughout the year and no final approval as yet. CONTINUE TO PAY
  2. A board member questions the Metropolitan's rejection of the Foundation and is subsequently dismissed from the board and denied his Sacraments. CONTINUE TO PAY
  3. General Assembly approves and passes a motion to request a third Priest. A letter is to be sent immediately to the Metropolitan requesting that our third priest be Fr. Mario Giannopoulos. Weeks later a letter from the Metropolitan rejects the assembly motion because the community cannot afford a third Priest, with additional reasons mentioned. The letter of request was not written as passed by the assembly, but was written to infer that the community did not have sufficient funds for a third Priest. Thus the Metropolitan rejects the motion. CONTINUE TO PAY
  4. The Metropolitan then appoints Fr. Mathew as Proistamenos at Holy Trinity. This action was taken prior to sending out a special survey to determine if the community wishes to split into two separate churches, or remain as one united community with two churches. The Metropolitan states he will abide by the decision. Again the result is an overwhelming decision to stay as one community with two churches. We now have one community now with two proistamenoi. CONTINUE TO PAY
  5. The Metropolitan announces that Fr. Elias is assigned to Prophet Elias Church as an assistant Priest – specifically to Prophet Elias Church and not to both churches. Where and when was this ever discussed with the community for their input? How is it that we do not have enough money for Fr. Giannopoulos to be our third Priest and yet there is enough for Fr. Elias to be an assistant Priest? I want to make it definitely clear that I have nothing against Fr. Elias and his position. It is again the fact that the community has no representation. CONTINUE TO PAY
  6. Nominations are announced for the upcoming elections for the Parish Council. Two applicants are rejected because of ineligibility. They question their ineligibility and send a protest letter with over 100 signatures to the Metropolitan protesting the elections and requesting new elections. The Metropolitan finds their request “without merit” and rejects their protest. CONTINUE TO PAY
  7. Jim Kastanis is nominated from the floor at the General Assembly and is rejected because he is not present to accept even though he has given a written consent of acceptance if nominated. Additional candidates may apply for nomination after the General Assembly by submitting an application for nomination to the board of elections up to an announced cut off date. (Administrative Guidelines for Parish Council Elections –Revised September 2006. Regulation # VIII Nomination Process #7). Again rejection even though an application was submitted with the appropriate $2.00 required. CONTINUE TO PAY
  8. The new board is sworn in and officers elected. A meeting was called to fill the vacant Parish Council seat. To this date, I, Jim Kastanis, who filed an application as per Administrative Guidelines, have never been notified as to the status of my application or the return of the $2.00 fee. The meeting was held and besides my application two other applicants were approached to fill the vacancy. Mr. Pete Giamalakis was asked to be a candidate by the President of the Parish Council, and Ms. Elaine Zambos was asked to apply by Fr. Kouremetis. The vote was taken and the vacancy filled without any official notification to the applicants or the count of the votes. CONTINUE TO PAY

Now to the letter to the Community from the Stewardship Committee. Is the community being told that regardless of the amount of funds raised in 2008 the Archdiocese, Clergy, and staff will receive their allotment and any and all shortages will result in a decrease of youth programs, senior citizen programs and other activities of the community?

I take this as a personal threat; I urge all parishioners to minimize their stewardship until we, as a community, have a voice in the secular affairs of our churches and community.

We have existed for over 100 years with open doors to our churches and we will continue to do so. Our forefathers built this community and these churches for the people of the community to own, prosper and worship within and not for any other entity to control or own.

- Jim Kastanis

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