“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, January 22, 2008

Sending Mixed Messages

Only 21 days into the new year and we've already received our first "send your money now, or else" letter.

Can things be that bad? All we can do is to ask rhetorically, since any detailed information explaining our actual financial condition is unlikely to be forthcoming.

Instead, we read that salaries will remain "unchanged", Archdiocese commitment and utilities will not be "reduced" or "lowered", but youth programs, senior citizens, religious and Greek education programs will suffer. In addition, capital expenditures will also face the same fate.

All this agony because it is perceived that there are those who are "not pledging or giving only a minimal amount" to "send a message". (Interestingly, we were told at the last General Assembly, November 18, 2007, that stewardship was "slightly up". What happened?)

In examining the areas that we are told by our Stewardship Committee will "suffer" if the "message-senders" have their way, we might come to different conclusions as to what (or who) might "suffer".

We offer the following for consideration:

  • The senior citizens are financially self-sufficient and require no financial commitment from the community.
  • The Greek education program charges tuition to those who participate, making the community's commitment negligible.
  • Our youth programs purportedly receive 10% of the festival net income. Further, youth attending the recent GOYA convention in Houston footed their own air fare, hotel and transportation bills.
  • That same festival income funds capital expenditures.
Not much here impacting the operating expenses.

On the other hand, our commitment to the Archdiocese has been increased $20,000 for 2008 and salaries have also increased. These are the actual increases directly impacting the operating expenses and rely solely on our stewardship. We might well wonder if some of this increase is to cover the shortfall from the Dallas community's "message-senders".

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