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GREEK ORTHODOX METROPOLIS OF DENVER
November 15, 2005
Reverend Michael Kouremetis, Proistamenos
The Esteemed Parish Council
Holy Trinity Cathedral and Prophet Elias Church
5335 Highland Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84117
Beloved in the Lord,
I am in receipt of your letter from Father Michael Kouremetis dated November 4, 2005.
The content of the letter has to do with the meeting I had on Saturday, October 29, 2005 with Father Kouremetis, Mr. Chris Gamvroulas, Mr. Kosta Katsohirakis, and Mr. George Metos. At that meeting I was presented with a tentative plan regarding the proper use of the properties owned by the members of the community around the Holy Trinity Cathedral and across the street on 300 West.
My understanding of the plan was to utilize those adjacent properties in ways that would create a restricted fund strictly for the purpose of building new facilities for the benefit of the Cathedral for appropriate classrooms, banquet facilities, a gymnasium, and also for a Hellenic Cultural Museum. The basic purpose of their plan is, as the committee mentioned, to bring new life into the ministries of the Cathedral.
Because of the fact that our parishes should not operate apartment buildings, parking lots, and other operations that belong strictly to the secular world, I do believe that the committee has been thinking clearly in this matter.
First and foremost it must be stressed that every Greek Orthodox parish is owned by the general membership. All real estate and all revenues belong to the membership. Neither the Archdiocese, nor the Metropolis, nor any other entity can claim title to the revenues and the property of a canonical parish, since each parish is separately incorporated in the city and state in which it exists. This means that in the matter of revenues and property, the general membership makes all the decisions.
What you must be very careful of is to follow the proper procedures. First, was the Hellenic Heritage Campaign Committee established by the General Assembly? What kind of responsibilities was the committee given? This must be very clear. Second, if a separate corporation is being considered, it must be such as to be under the legal authority of the general membership so that the members of the Cathedral do not forfeit their control of any real estate or revenues of any kind. This is in accordance with the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Archdiocese.
On the basis of what I was told at the meeting on Saturday, October 29, 2005, I encourage you to allow the Hellenic Heritage Committee to continue to develop its proposals so that the Holy Trinity Cathedral may become as active as it was when, with God's blessings, I served there in my first assignment and I will always see the Cathedral as my first spiritual home.
Finally, I urge the committee to fine tune its plan and proposal, so that the general membership will realize that it must not depend on the finances of a new entity to cover all the costs of operating the Cathedral, but each and every member must be a faithful steward of the parish and give to the Church and to the Lord not less than ten percent of his or her net income on an annual basis. Only in this way will our holy Apostolic faith shine among the citizens of Salt Lake City and of the entire State of Utah.
I commend the gentlemen with whom I met on October 29,2005, and am most appreciative to them for sacrificing much of their time and using their God-given talents to help breathe new life into the Cathedral.
May our Lord Jesus Christ, the Establisher of the Church and our holy Faith, bless every member of the Salt Lake City community to the glory of God and for their inheritance of eternal life in His coming Kingdom.
With paternal blessings,
+ Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver