“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


Monday, October 20, 2008


Six years to the day, on October 8, 2002, the new Proistamenos, now solely of Prophet Elias, had a meeting with eight members of the then-recently deposed (by Metropolitan Isaiah) parish council. Members of that group advised the Proistamenos to avoid two things: don't form cliques; and don't try to split the community. He was cautioned that if he did either of these, "Θα φυγεις νυχτα". (“you’ll leave by night.”) Unfortunately, six years later, this Proistamenos has almost continually contrived to do both. Over the past six years we have seen:

  • Governing – “shepherding” his flock - with a demand for absolute power and authority, disregarding the people he was sent to serve.
  • Continually attempting, throughout his tenure, to hand-pick members of the parish council, and to require them to maintain absolute silence about council meetings. Members disagreeing with him were either forced to resign or not allowed to run.
  • Almost constantly chastising the people in his flock.
  • Prioritizing his “special” projects before the immediate needs of the community.
  • Blatantly categorizing parishioners by class, and according to wealth.
Considering the aforementioned, how is it that:
  • This Proistamenos rules with an iron fist, yet claims to know nothing about any meetings of those wanting to split this community? How is this believable when, according to those who conducted these meetings, they were given permission to use the facilities at Prophet Elias for their meetings?
  • How is it possible that the Proistamenos “knew nothing” about the establishment of a separate Philoptochos for Prophet Elias, by claiming to be conveniently out of town? (something that occurs quite FREQUENTLY).
  • How is it plausible that the Proistamenos, along with our Parish Council president, knew nothing of the resolution passed in Oklahoma during a Diocesan Clergy-Laity meeting that directly concerned the splitting of this community, which ultimately became an official agenda item at the Clergy Laity Conference this year in Washington, D.C.?
  • Worse yet, and again last year in Oklahoma, how is it that neither the Proistamenos nor our president stood up to defend this community’s special dispensation to have a unified community with two churches?
  • Why were three members of this community, whose thinking runs counter to the Proistamenos’ concept of “leadership”, denied the opportunity to run and, if elected, to serve our community on the parish council? In America, in Greece, and in other European countries where there are Orthodox, individuals are free to speak their minds? Clearly this does not sit well with our current “leadership”.
  • Through this Proistamenos’ actions, a member of this community was not only removed from the parish council, but actually excommunicated for a period of time.
  • As recently as two weeks ago, this Proistamenos was complaining about parents not letting their children pay stewardship.
  • This Proistamenos declared that he was embarrassed in Washington D.C. when asked about the problems in Salt Lake City. Does he not consider that his actions may have something to do with these problems?
  • How is it that during a time where there is financial difficulty in the community, likely to get worse due to his mismanagement and along with the malaise of the world economy at large, our Proistamanos managed to have his office refurnished?
  • We have participated in two separate surveys sent by our parish council; yet this Proistamenos and the timid souls on this parish council have yet to publish comments from the first survey, which were supposed to have been made public, and we know nothing whatsoever about the results from the second survey. Why?
  • The Proistamenos and our parish council executive committee have shown a blind and slavish obedience to the Metropolitan, yet they are now being audited by him because, obviously, he doesn't trust them. (We would hope that this mistrust isn’t due to a notion by His Eminence that our community might be using second set of books! If this is the case, they should all resign; if it is not, the audit should NOT be occurring, and they should be STRONGLY objecting! Just exactly what is going on here?)
The Proistamenos and the parish council have threatened in past correspondence to cut programs that are not funded by the general fund (Senior Citizens, Youth activities, etc. – lending a new “meaning” to ‘women and children, first’?) Of course, we will not be witnessing any sacrifices from our clergy who claim to love their flock and their community. (Imagine if they hated us!) It is painfully obvious that this clergy and hierarchy will now demand, in a time of economic hardship, due in no small part to their divisive activities, that festival funds (heretofore restricted) be moved to the operating budgets to salvage their “lifestyles” at the expense of the community’s programs and other ongoing needs.

How sad!

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