“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


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rollback 4

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: Comments (Attending PE)/6 of 9

The discussion about splitting the Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Salt Lake into two separate congregiations is upsetting to me. While some adjustments are certainly necessary to accommodate the increasingly complex logistics of our large parish, dividing the community seem unnecessary & extreme. The Greeks of Salt Lake City share a rich history, and over the past century have triumphed over many challenges. This community is unique not only in its past, but in how strongly the present generations keep their faith, traditions & community alive. I have lived in other parts of the U.S., and the Greeks of Salt distinguish themselves by their cohesiveness, organization { e.g. the Greek Festival} and their appreciation & documentation of their own history & traditions (e.g. the museum}. The achievements of the Greeks of Salt Lake are a result of their coming together as a people & as worshipers. In these times, there are so many outside pressures that conspire to pull communities & families apart: popular culture, commercialism, suburban sprawl, non-church activities, and work. Splitting ourselves into two congregations could lead to further cracks in a foundation that has taken generations to build.(633)

I feel that we should not put ourselves into a classification of "those in the Cathedral community and those not." We should all work together as one united Greek Community. I went to Holy Trinity when I was a small boy with my grandfather. I occasionally go there. And still intend to go to both. (822)

My grandchildren, who are college students, are very unhappy with the thought of the separation, because they believe [sp] that this is going to separate the youth of the community. Besides the arguments for the independence do not convince me as serious enough. We have managed very well for more than 40 years. (974)

To separate the churches would create many problems. How would the properties be divided? The original concept was for the convenience of all parishioners. The original money came from devout members who never envisioned a separation. New converts and members not connected to Holy Trinity could never understand or appreciate the sacrifices made. (1251)

I attend P.E. because I like being with my family. I also attend the Cathedral because it has been a big part of my life. (492)

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!! The animosity to others has gotten out of control. The few who want to split should not try to steal a church, but go build their own. There would be no fair way to split the assets/properties. This community doesn't need two festival, dance groups, etc. We can b arely keep afloat what we have. The sign outside P.E. says Greek Orthodox Church, not American Orthodox Church, Go to the Antiochian church or build your own if you don't like being Greek. (909)

(continued on next page 7, to keep the flow of the next response together)

Responses to HT/PE Survey: Comments from (Attending PE / 7 of 9

We should not separate the Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Salt Lake. We are two buildings but one community. We live in a unique community because of the Mormons. The proistamenos and Metropolitan do not understand this, because they did not grow up in our community. We need to continue as a strong community {both churches as one} as we have for almost 40 years. I think that the church board has let us down by not listening to what people are saying and letting the proistamenos have too much say in everything we do. He should take care of the liturgical needs of our church and the board should handle everything else. If the load is too great for the board we could increase the number of board members. If you're thinking of a unified youth program, isn't that we already have? Both communities {P.E. and H.T.} already support St. Sophia. There is no fair way to divide properties, that we've both (P.E. and HT) financed. I say our churches are one and should continue to work united. I see no benefit in the separation. We are progressing. We will not get more financially if we separate -I think probably less. Let's unite -our community is great let's keep it that way. It's also very important to keep Greek in our services. We can have a 50-50 service. More Greek would be nice at P.E. (973)

We have always been a "one family" church. Why fix something that isn't broken? There have been too many cities when a new church is built and then the friction begins. People who were friends are now competing enemies. Take for example what has happened since Prophet Elias started their own Philoptochos -There is so much animosity from so many parishioners from Holy Trinity. What happens if the churches are separated, and why should Prophet Elias end up with no property or any of our holdings? We all paid for everything we have and own-why should just Holy Trinity end up with it all? What about the festival --if we are separated, how many of Prophet Elias parishioners will want to help Holy Trinity -and would the proceeds be divided -of course not. When all is said and done-God is interested in how we love and worship Him -not who is the head of this church or that one, or how any of them are governed. Keep our community one loving family. (1176)

Never was intended to split the community & it will never happen. Easily -get rid of Father Michael & Metropolitan -full of lies & misspoken words-(366)

I believe our forefathers built our community to be one! This is why we're so strong! I don't want to see 2 churches within Salt Lake City. Those who support the split should. start their own 3rd church! (650)

(continued on next page 8, to keep the flow of the next response together)

Responses to HT/PE Survey: Comments from (Attending PE /8 of 9

I have yet to hear a logical and reasonable argument in favor of dividing our community. If there are church members who truly desire a separate community, then they have every right to create a new parish. There is no good reason, however, to divide our unified parish. Our parish members of all ages need a unified community. We are bombarded daily with the influence of the Mormon organization. It is important that we stand united against the Mormons and their influence here in Salt Lake City and Utah. If some parishioners want more opportunity to serve, then the Parish Board can have 2 committees-one made of members who attend PE and the other made of members who attend HT . Those committees would advise and consult with all the Board members concerning all matters of the church. I pray for God's direction concerning this issue, I believe we are strong as a united community. There is no good reason that our next 100 years as a parish should be spent divided. (659)

Those parishioners that want to split the community should purchase [sp] some property, get the funding and build their church wherever suits them. We have been 1 community, 2 churches and will fight to remain so! (690)

I want to continue with the 2 churches in our 1 community. We have enough external interference one"church" keeps us strong! I belong to the Greek Orthodox church of Salt Lake City; not PE or HT-we're one! Those who want another church should start a 3rd separate church. Leave PE &HT alone!! (703)

If it's not broken --don't try to fit it. Our church and community are functioning well-don't mess things up for our youth! What about the Festival it won't work with individual parishes -it grows & flourishes since it is put on by people from both churches. Getting along and finding ways to work together is what we should focus on -not splitting up! (763)

Dividing the churches will greatly affect the youth of our community. By splitting the churches dance groups and the basketball organization will also be divided. Having danced in both Sr. and Jr. GOYA I believe it will hurt the youth by dividing these activities. Our community is small in portion in a predominantly [sp] Mormon population, so we need to keep and preserve our community. Growing up I was the only Greek Orthodox attending my elementary, middle and high school. All throughout my education I was around the Mormon influence. The schools I attended were surround by ward houses on every side. Every day I was pressured to attend Mormon youth activities & convert to the Mormon faith, however, because I was active in the youth activities within the Orthodox community, (Greek School, summer programs, and dance) I remained an Orthodox Christian. If the churches split the Greek School program will fail. Parents would not see the point in teaching their children Greek for they would not hear it in church. The youth is the future of our community -if we separate them now we create the possibility for them to decimate [sp] the Greek Orthodox community of Greater Salt lake (1045)

Responses to HT/PE Survey: Comments from (Attending PE /9 of 9

The community has function successfully as one community. There is no reason to make this change!(1269)

I attend Prophet Elias on most Sundays but go to Holy Trinity for special occasions such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals. In our extended family all such events have taken place in the Cathedral since it was first built. I do not want to ever have to choose between the two churches. In addition, it is very important in this, the headquarters of the LDS church, that we remain united. We speak with a bigger voice than our size would dictate because it is one voice. Our children are close because we are part of one church and one community. To split would be a tragic mistake. (111)

(Directly under the selection supporting current status proposal):

All the people with "money" will go to Holy Trinity minus the Papanikolas, Adondakis , Varanakis, J&M. If it gets split, my family will be attending [Prophet Elias] along with most families I've talked to.

(Next to selection #2) Have the Adondakis family build their own church. How will youth involvement increase with the addition of new programs? There's only a few kids from HT that attend anything. I hope this does not drag on for much longer. These problems are hurting the relationships of the parishioners. We all look at each other & say: "Are you or aren't you for it?" The Catholic church looks more appealing to me every day. We're all tired of this. (656)

Moderator's Note: This ends the comments from those attending Prophet Elias. Remaining comments from those attending Holy Trinity and those attending both churches will follow.

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