“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, December 1, 2008

Church Attendance 101

For those of you who wish to participate in the life of our churches in the Greater Greek Orthodox Community of Salt Lake City, please be aware that: your honor, your good intentions, your prior stewardship, your previous efforts, your life-long commitment to your church are no longer "good enough". For a second time, our proistamenoi have rejected qualified candidates on the basis of church attendance. (We will discuss other "reasons" for disqualifications in a later article.)

You must now provide proof for our proistamenoi that you are "ecclesiastically eligible" to hold any position of responsibility in the "brave new church" of the constantly shifting clerical whims. You must attend church EACH Sunday, and you must take communion at a minimum of once each month. Other older rules or wisdoms, passed down by your less pious parents and grandparents or prior priests, no longer apply. (Please note, however, that NONE of these "new rules" apply when searching for festival volunteers or during stewardship drives!)

Insofar as attendance, however,
help is on the way. In order to be "eligible" to run for the parish council, or participate in youth ministries, dance groups or church sports, we have provided a downloadable attendance card.

The instructions are simple: click on the card image, then print out as many as you need.

Be sure to have an appropriate authority sign you in at the narthex as you enter, and be sure to have the priest sign you out as he gives the antidwro.

Bear in mind that you are responsible to keep this record in case you're ever questioned regarding your church attendance. Otherwise your priests reserve the right to determine for themselves how regular your attendance is. As they have photographic memories, along with ESP, they are fully aware at all times of everyone's attendance at either church on any given Sunday or holiday.

In the interest of time and economy, please be sure to provide your own pen for these purposes. (Three attendances in a row and you get one free! Weekday services count double!)

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