“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


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rollback 3

Moderators Note: TOCB has advocated the unity of this community and looks to return to one Proistameno and one Philoptochos which should have occurred upon the receipt of the Metropolitan's letter announcing there would be no split. We roll back the clock to the November 2007 General Assembly where the much heralded survey results were announced. The survey responses posted are done so as they were received. TOCB has not edited or altered the survey responses.

Responses to HT/PE Survey: (Attending PE)/3 of 9

To split our two churches will be a catastrophe! You will be separating families and the entire Greek community. We can't tolerate this drastic movement, as we need the support of each other, now and in the immediate future. Helen E. Kalivas -I am proud to sign my name, as a Greek Orthodox member. (844)

"GOOD LUCK" You will need it. We have a ten million dollar investment and we operate like a streetcorner taco stand. Where is our parish administrator, Accounting procedures [sp] and internal Audits.(1081)

I attend P.E. but if they split the churches I would attend Holy Trinity. (623)

I fail to see what has materially changed in the past 30+ years that causes this united community to now require two separate Proistamenoi and to be divided into two parishes. I believe that Metropolitan Isaiah is doing our community a grave disservice and is leading us astray. He has lost all credibility with many of us. (1173)

We use Prophet Elias for regular church services and Holy Trinity for special occasions such as wedding, baptisms & funerals. We need to remain united especially in this city & state. Our collective opinion matters more in matters of politics, etc. if we are united. (105)

It is beyond comprehension that a community that has survived (and thrived) for over 125 years would be separated on the whims of a few influential people. We are living in a time where evil influences have risen out of control and are working overtime to undermine and destroy our faith, not only in ourselves but in our Lord. When we separate strong communities, as is being proposed, we only add to that destruction. Every Sunday we invite Jesus into our midst. We celebrate the teachings of our Lord as well as acknowledge the sacrifice he made for us. Separating or dividing our community (whatever you want to call it) reduces these sacrifices to a meaningless effort by our Lord. If anybody b eieves that our church is immune from the "Evil One" entering into our midst, think again! When we talk bout weakening our strength by separating our community we in fact open the doors wide for Evil to enter and do its worst. Together we are strong in Christ. (869)

The church membership has been intertwined since P.E. was built and we have a wonderful Orthodox family. It's nice to be able to attend either church and feel comfortable. Why split the community? When a child reaches maturity he should go out on his own. But, why should he take his parents' home? Let him get his own home, with the blessing of his parents. (204)

As an American convert to the Orthodox church I have felt the deep love between "the body" of members in both locations but of one community. I have attended both churches. (729)

For 100 years we are doing FINE! Why separate the churches and the people of the community now.(960)

Responses to HT/PE Survey: (Attending PE) 4 of 9

As Saint Paul tells Timothy, we all belong to CHRIST. We do not belong to Holy Trinity or to Prophet Elias. WE BELONG TO CHRIST. I do not believe [sp] the Lord wants schism within His HOLY CHURCH. This whole idea or concept of schism is selfish, self serving, self centered, and ELITIST! It is in no way Christ centered. The whole idea of us and them is foreign [sp} to Him. Let Him divide the sheep and the goats. It is embarrassing for me to hear from some that the people who attend PE are in some way more pious or holier than their brothers and sisters worshiping the same Lord at Holy Trinity -the Publican & the Pharisee-Shame on us for even thinking such nonsense. In the arguments for the schism it is pointed out that the youth groups and St. Sophia, dance, sports would be shared. I wonder why split? Yes these are secular aspects of a parish, so if we are all one in Christ, why are we even considering dividing ourselves? No matter how one tries to interpret St. Paul's words, he meant AVOID DIVISIONS. I hope his Eminence puts a stop to this. He has stated twice that I have heard him publicly that he would not split us unless we want it. (520)

I'm so tired of all this -but I thought I would also voice my opinion. I've seen what happened to the community in Phoenix, which is a big church that comprised Phoenix, surrounding areas with no problem-Bishop Anthony & others wanted a church built in Scottsdale (mistake). Now!Ask your Phoenician brothers and see the serious problems Holy Trinity has. The money is hardly there. The parishioners that pledged money for various needed fix ups are going to the Assumption & have not come thru on their [sp] pledges. I hear so much & cringe -if they were 1 community with both churches there would be no problem. Yes, independent churches work on the East Coast & in California, but they are huge cities. We're not -plus with our Mormon neighbors we need to be strong. (1256)

I feel that the Metropolitan is breaking up the SLC Orthodox Community for one reason-money. Today he alone has caused continued strife in this church for years, whether it be his mishandling of the Parish Council problems 2-3 years ago or NOW with splitting our church. Instead of building our church within the SLC Community the Metropolitan sent Father Michael here for one purpose -split the church. In spite of Father Michael's words to me earlier this year at the Saint Sophia "Boys night out" event: "If the Salt Lake Community wants to split into two churches-they will do it, not me." When I read the Metro's letter where he discussed the polygamy statement with Father John years earlier, I realized that Father Michael has know the entire time he's been here that his task was to break apart the community, as we have always known it. I just wish he had been straightforward & plain spoken with his task and not saying one thing and knowing in his heart it was not saying the whole of the issue. With the strong religious & cultural presence of the Mormon Church we need to stay a solid, together and unified SLC Orthodox Community. Not now or not ever splitting unless the 75% community vote passes a split. Who is Metro Isaiah to call Archbishop lakovos' blessing & consecration wrong canonically. If it had been polygamy then he would have said so, and he didn't. (412)

Please keep Prophet Elias with Greek & English services. Don't change it to English only! (805)

Responses to HT/PE Survey: (Attending PE 5 of 9)

I believe at this time if the schism takes place I will switch to the church I received all the sacraments from --Holy Trinity. My parents married there, I was baptized, married, baptized my children there. Yes, P.E. is more convenient to my living location, but H.T. has always been "home." (926)

The position paper supporting two independent communities mentions a crossroads that requires Prophet Elias to stand on its own. I don't understand what that crossroads is and why both churches aren't currently flourishing in a Christian atmosphere. I have been a long time active member of our community and find now more than ever the need for us to be one united Greek Orthodox Community of the Greater Salt Lake area. We are constantly influenced and pressured by our Mormon neighbors. This is something the Metropolitan, Archdiocese and our priests know [sp] nothing of having not grown up in this community. This is the main reason that sets us apart from all other Greek parishes in the USA. We need to be unified to keep our flock together. Splitting into two separate parishes will only cause confusion & leave the door open for other religions to prey upon our Youth. We must stay unified to fight against this. As far as the Parish Council, this is a voluntary position that people are elected to. If there's a problem with commitment, people shouldn't run & donate their time. They should know in advance what they're getting into. Not a good reason to split the churches. Having grown up in this community, I don't see both churches "competing" for attention and funds. We seem to always pull through when the need arises. Another "lame" excuse to split the churches. I also don't see that splitting the community will force more people to get involved. The few have always done the work of many and a split won't change this. There are better ways & alternatives to solve thi issue. Ownership is individual and where is the proof of facts that a split will force or empower people to take ownership. If you're not interested now, you certainly won't be later. God forbid, how much work that would be. I also don't see where two parishes will increase individual financial commitment to the church. What I do see is more people forced to pick between PE or HT. Then I see us back to how we were over 40 years ago when permission was granted to build PE. We are the Greek Orthodox Community of the Greater Salt Lake area with one Parish & two Churches. We should remain that way! (1195)

United we stand, divided we fall. (404)

If the churches become independently governed, I will attend Holy Trinity. (670)

Our situation is a unique one here in Utah. Because of the strong LDS Mormon element in Salt Lake City, our community works better as one parish, and always has! Other states in the U.S. don't have this problem. (1012)

(continued on next page 6, to keep the flow of the next response together)

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