“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, January 19, 2010

Throw the KIDS Under the Bus!

There is a special General Assembly scheduled for January 31st to discuss and vote upon the 2010 budget – the one that did not pass last winter. If the rumors coming out of the Parish Council are true, every member of this community has an obligation to be there.

It seems that the CLERGY and board members have been unable to get the message we are trying to get across to them.

If everything we hear is true, we are going to be presented with two options; one would be the original budget which requires us to allot some $135,000 from the Festival proceeds. The other option will involve budgetary cuts involving Youth Expenditures!

Yes, again, we witness that our clergy, along with its hand-picked parish council, is perfectly WILLING to throw our kids under the bus in order to coerce the community to hand over more monies to them!

We do not need our youth, do we? Let them go play basketball, soccer, practice dancing, or go camping, or even attend Sunday school at their neighboring LDS wards! And we do not need hourly paid employees to maintain our properties! NO. Let’s just give pay raises to the ones who already draw six-figure salaries, even in a depressed economy, while others suffer. One wonders if the Parish Council members run their family affairs and finances in the same manner as they seek to run our community’s finances.

In last 100 years we have been through the Great Depression and several recessions since then, but never before have we experienced the financial difficulties our Church is going through now. Nor have we ever witnessed the indifference of the clergy and our elected leaders to this degree in prior times of hardship.

Certainly this is not 1929, but why are we having these problems? In the last few years we have conducted two surveys; we still don’t know the full results; we just have the commentaries, but no “big picture” interpretation – surely our board must have learned SOMETHING from these surveys – why are they not publicizing them or ACTING upon them. Is it because they didn’t get the answers they hoped to get? Our Parish Council undoubtedly has looked at these surveys and they know what has brought us to this BIG FAT MESS we are in right now. It is unfortunate that our Parish Council members have agreed to be so blinded and so cowed.

For those who will attend this General Assembly, we ask that they remember that almost 50% of our budget expenses are in priests’ salaries, along with our obligation to the Metropolis and Archdiocese. THIS is where cuts should be made, and not in our Youth programs. Once again we see our clergy and hierarchy holding our own kids hostage.

We should all be there, and we should all remember that it takes a Village, a Community, a CHURCH, to make a difference in the lives of our youth, our future!

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