“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


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rollback 8

TOCB Editors' Note: Throughout these "rollback" responses there are numerous [sp] references noted by the original compilers of the parishioner responses. Often the reference is itself not correct - that is, spelling or grammatical errors are noted where there are none. The TOCB editors did not add these references in any of these responses.

Responses to HT/PE Survey: Comments Attending HT 1 and 2 of 10

Please do not separate our community this way - We have been one since the founding of our communities. Whose [sp] crazy idea is this? Most of us have been friends since birth splitting would change alliances/friendships-lay the groundwork for unhealthy competition, etc. (67)

I would like more English in the Service to make the church more friendly to all Orthodox people. (336)

The use of both churches as is, works well for many reasons, For many who regularly go to church downtown, or had, Prophet Elias offers a choice for those who can't make it up the stairs, parking, etc... again an option, (1044)

Quoting the former Archbishop, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." There are numerous issues that should be clarified prior to any actions in splitting our church. Hopefully, this will be discussed during the next General Assembly meeting. Thank you. (850)

I support the current status only if Father Michael is transferred from here. If not I would like to split. (394)

After reading both views it seems to me that those for the split want to keep the help and support of the other church only where they think they will need it. So if we are going to keep a number of things together (dance groups, sports leagues, Saint Sophia School) why not just I have things the way they are .(231)

Quit fightingll This is a CHURCH, remember? (88)

Since Father Michael [sp] was assigned to our community, he has caused nothing but troubles. He's [sp] constantly telling you he will do what you ask him and he does the opposite. It is a great trait of his, therefore you can never trust him. We have the greatest community with two churches under one parish; it has worked for 38 years. (52)

We attend Holy Trinity primarily, however when our child attends liturgy with St. Sophia School, we will attend PE. It's [sp] too bad we have so much politics & bad feelings amongst member. It's [sp] actually embarrassing all the problems we're having. Two parishes will cause further separation [sp] & somewhat competition which is not what God teaches or desires. (222)

The "buildings" don't make the "parish"! The "people" make the "parish" (community)! Don't let families & koumbari be broken apart by dividing the "parish"! Please!! (44)

As I think about this current affliction plaguing our Greek Orthodox community, I can not help recall the following quotation by not only one of America's greatest leaders but by Apostle Matthew as well. "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand." It is sad that a community started 100 years ago has come to a point where we no longer see each other as brother and sister. It was this Hellenic bond 100 years ago that kept us as a family. Now through the evil workings of greed and power, this bond is to be destroyed. Shame should be felt by those who have taken up the tools of Satan to destroy the house of God. It might seem that this is no great deal to separate [spl the churches, but this is where it all begins. Slowly over time we change this and we change that and before long we no longer know who we are, for our identity a Greek Orthodox Christians will surely be lost in time. Shame to all of you that have transgressed against the house of God! (256)

I think we as a community should consider breaking away from the archdiocese and re-organize our parishes with new priests that we go out and harvest, then elect a new un-biased board and continue with our spiritual journey. (1242)

Although I primarily attend services at H.T., I still go to P.E. for some services and several activities. I firmly support keeping the current status of two churches in one community. It offers more opportunities for everyone. (435)

In a city surrounded by a homogeneous religious clan, I can see little to be accomplished in splitting a now homogeneous culture (we Hellenes) and making it more divisive, which I think will happen. The only reason for such a divisive action would be some desirable economic benefit to the Greek community. By referring to this as "two independent" communities makes it even less savory, less comraderly [sp), less justifiable. (506)

Despite statements that he will not split the community, Bishop Isaiah continues his relentless pursuit of just that. He has told us we live in polygamy and that some of our members are "money mongers ." These are not the words of a spiritual leader concerned for the members of this church. They are the words of someone determined to split this community in order to obtain more money for his endeavors. In support of his efforts he has sent Father Michael as the instrument of his wishes. Even a blind man can see what's going on. Just as clear is what happens when separate parishes are established within the same community; competition and animosity. We have only to look to Denver and the strained relationship between the Cathedral and St. Katherine's to document this. Prophet Elias is not a daughter church but rather an equal "sister" and should remain a such. Those pushing for a split should seek their own property and build their [sp] own church if they are so dissatisfied, but they have no right to take what our families established nearly 40 years ago. Finally, the Parish Council needs to send a clear message back to Denver by reversing the split of the Philoptochos and refusing the establishment of separate "head priests" at each church. Just so no one accuses me of hiding behind anonymity, I am signing this. (Philip A. Kithas) (397)

Our community requires growth and consolidation of resources to meet the increasing demands of operational challenges, programs and services. Separation will only further diminish overall financial support and greatly exacerbate already strained relationships between parishioners, resulting from this proposition. Based on the arguments put forth in the position papers, there is a clear need for administrative and organizational review and restructure, but splitting the community is not the answer. (355)

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