“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, March 9, 2009

Rollback 5

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 Both) l of 8

I attend Prophet Elias and Holy Trinity also. I like having the option to attend either church. (survey # on cover letter; disconnected)

I feel comfortable attending either church. I think most people feel the same way. Why split us up? Splitting up would create many problems. (265)

Get rid of the two time keeping interior decorating pimps who claim to be priests...and if Isaiah pulls any stunts we'll sue his ass, like everyone else. (383)

To divide the churches would be a HUGE mistake!! We're happy the way is now-divided we FALL united we STAND!!! (505)

I support the current status of two churches. If separated it would cause a lot of friction & hostility between churches & members within the community. It's [sp] been this way all these years, let's not change it now-(318)

(Addressing question #2: This Question is irrelevant) There is a procedure for splitting this community that is utterly and completely NOT part of this survey, regardless of the results. (73)

Shame on those who want to split our churches (1230)

We have come so far in the past 102 years as one Greek Orthodox community. With the added members who are not of Greek heritage, needs change. We have been able to handle the language issue to satisfy the majority of parishioners. The two churches don't have to think alike on all topics. Both sides are equally represented. Keep the status quo. (124)

Majority of time is spent at Prophet Elias. I believe thing appear to be well as they are, but honestly I don't care regarding the outcome. (1174)

What we have may not be perfect but it works! Don't mess it up with this idea of "two communities is better" message. If there are families that want separation [sp] let them start their [sp] own separate [sp] church. I'll give them the first $500 to get started! (622)

There is no really good reason to have two separate churches so why change. Wait until the founders of P.E. have passed on and consider this in the future. There are too many people who do not want this to happen. So why cause problems. It will cause more than a physical split. It will be spiritual as well.(350)

Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias were build as one community, and should stay. Those who want to an other community build their own. (319)

The beauty of attending church in both Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias is: you go wher there is a memorial service you would like to attend, or there is a special event such as Memorial Day, Museum (moderator note: response continued below)

Responses to HT/PE Survey; (Attending both) 2 of 8

lunch/lecture activity. Also you interact with the people of both churches and that promotes friendship, fellowship and help with Philoptochos activities. There are quite a few of us who do help in both churches. (368)

I don't think the Orthodox community in the Salt Lake Valley is large enough to have two separate parishes. (5)

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Do something constructive instead of destructive. (680)

Splitting the community for a small fraction of members will be huge mistake. It will cause separation & distance rather than unity. We need to stay strong and act as ONE. I feel strongly about this subject, and support the current status! (976)

This entire episode is the saddest chapter in our parish history. "Christian Fellowship" is not occurring at P.E. now-why expect it to by splitting this parish? Many people are now attending H.T. & many more will. Also -have you seen attendance at P.E. lately? You are driving people AWAY from our church, not towards it. Leave our parish alone. (436)

I am very disappointed in the board allowing this to happen to us. We have been one community for years and have no problems. Look what happened to the Philoptochos, since the split, nothing but trouble. I'm sure that's going to happen with the split of these two churches. We were told that we would vote on the matter, but know we are taking a survey, what a joke, we have no say in the matter, it's a done deal, you're [sp] just trying to cover up. I'm very disappointed with Bishop Isaiah and FatherMichael; they have betrayed us. Look at the problems Denver has had since they split. (669)

Fr. Mike hasn't or doesn't care about anybody or anyone unless they have money! Bottom line he's overpaid!!! (940)

I would like to attend either church. I grew up going to Holy Trinity and would hate not being able to still go there. I also like going to Prophet Elias it is close to me. I would hate to see the churches divided as I love both churches! What about the Greek Festival, the apartments & parking lots. Which church would profit from these? (695)

I feel our church needs the strength it gets from having one parish unified in Salt Lake. We do not provide enough outreach to our community as it is and we lose people at the college level. A unified parish gives us strength. (1152)

I believe that this survey is a total sham. The real reasons are not even mentioned, As for the parish council being overworked, no one is forced to run for office, If they feel overworked they can resign. Others will be happy to serve. The bottom line is the entire situation is about a few who want to ontrol the money and minimize or eliminate the "Greek" aspect of our parish. (1023)

Responses to HT/PE Survey: (Attending both)/3 of 8

Have them build one on their own. (446)

Why is separating the churches even happening, when it is obvious the majority of the community is against it? Do our comments really matter? We know it is a done deal! Don't patronize us!!! (456)

United we stand. Divided we fall. (979)

I support very strongly the status of the two churches in one community (1188)

I detest a split of our churches. Our two priests have been split up. Leave is as is. Do us all a favor and split up Isaiah and that would be fine. (479)

(Addressing question #2: Irrelevant) If more than one or two P.C. [parish council) members had BOTHERED to attend the October 28 event at Holy Trinity, you might have learned the meaning of the word "OXI"! (604)

The Separatists have not provided sufficient evidence to sustain two separate churches. The demographics of the "faithful" are changing, i.e. the PE area originally had appeal as a "bedroom community." Now this is rapidly changing. Expansion is county-wide, However, we still do not have the financial means to sustain two different churches. Costs continue to rise. The Greek Festival, which attracts 40-50,000 attendees now has probably reached its peak, In the eye of the non-Greek community --the Festival is one of the best known activities of the Greater Greek Orthodox church. To split this into two parts would be rmost harmful. In a few words; check with other Greek communities -such as Denver -you will find animosity between families, friends & relatives. We say that we have 1,000 families -yet the percentage of donations, memberships, etc. remains relatively the same! The separatists should come up with actual financial projections to justify this movement. Where will its membership come from? Who will cover the costs of PE which is built on fragile (large water table ground) which has already required expensive maintenance? The dome for instance -requires immediate (and expensive) repair. Priests' salaries are rising faster than inflation. A new priest will be faced with many challenges. And-being a scarce commodity, will seek more & more higher salaries. Why not prepare for a 7-man (and woman) indpendent committee -give them an adequate budget a 5-year term & let the committee come up with recommendations, (102 )

This is absolutely ridiculous! Why is this "just" a survey? Why is it not a ballot? Are we afraid of "losing" this vote unexpectedly, just like the vote was "lost" in February at the SGA? Then what do you do, invalidate the election? Not proceed with the will of the people. 72% of the people in attendance at the largest general assembly of our community ever voted to proceed with a course of action at that time. Why are we not proceeding? How is it that that action was "uncanonical"? (1213)

Without a super-majority approval of any issue, especially of this magnitude, we should never pass a proposed plan. I do believe this parish has needs that will someday warrant either another location or revisiting this issue. That being said, we should begin to anticipate future needs and certain growth

Responses to HT/PE Survey: (Attending both 4 of 8)

TODAY! Our parish council has no plan for 5-10-15 years in the future. A committee is needed, with several p.c. members on it at all times, that reports at EVERY GENERAL ASSEMBLY (I remember such discussions 40 years ago). Please consider keeping these issues alive and not letting them slip away only to be re-visited 5 years from now. Note: I feel that the proposal of splitting our parish has some merit; that perhaps more individuals would care to be involved with the goings on of our church. As it stands, many parishioners are tired of the politics and egos involved and would welcome change in the status quo. This does not require splitting the parish. Our needs today differ from those of our ancestors. Change, when anticipated, can lead to our benefit and is inevitable. (1092)

I also strongly believe that since are one community we should only have one & only one proistamenos!(649)

Things work beautifully the way they are now. Why you want to split the community and alienate the parishioners from each other-[?] (705)

I recommend that you get rid of the Priest & the Bishop, elect a board who thoroughly operates for the parishioners --in order to have continuity with Holy Trinity & Prophet Elias. Legaily, Holy Trinity built & owns Prophet Elias. Utah has a great deal of land. You want a new church? Build one (881)

We must remain as one community with two churches as originally implemented. Prophet Elias was meant (sp) to serve the overflow of Holy Trinity and never a child of Holy Trinity. Two churches of equal status and not one subordinate to the other. Prophet Elias as a child of Holy Trinity is nonsense. Families of the community should be able to worship at either church with one head priest. As to the other specific issues stated:1.Increasing complex structural and operational changes. The board has handled these problems well for the last 40 years. The problems arise when CLERGY get involved in secular matters rather than sticking to religious matters. 2.If the current status of two churches under one community is causing competition [sp] between Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias, why wouldn't one youth program for the community splitting cause competition? 3.The entire community is the flock and can be administered by all the priests as in the past 100 years plus. 4.The administrative needs of two churches have not outgrown the capability of one governing body. The final analysis is stay one community with two churches. [856]

I attend both churches and there is a definite difference between the two. There is no reason not to have 2 parish councils & 2 separate churches. The Catholic church does it & they are just fine. We need to take a step forward rather than 10 steps back. Don't hide the fact that there is definitely an underlying discontent between the 2 churches. There are some people that refuse to go to the other church. One church has mostly Greek. The other is 1/2 & 1/2. This community is already split and has been for years. (1051)

Who ever put this form together doesn't know the difference between a survey and a ballot(995)

It is long over-due! -Start looking to the future, instead of the past. (746)

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