“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 25, 2011

Accidentally, on Purpose

From his bully pulpit Father Kouremetis once again holds forth. He castigates those who are irritated by the recent listing of youth basketball teams from this community as “throwing Prophet Elias ‘under the bus’ “ for what is claimed to be an honest error.

The “accidental” listing of our community’s teams as being SOLELY “Prophet Elias, HOLLADAY, Utah”, rather than as Holy Trinity / Prophet Elias, or Prophet Elias / Holy Trinity (depending on whether or not one lists alphabetically), at the recent Metropolis GOYA Basketball tournament is but one in a series of “accidents”. (Note: It is interesting that in recent memory this recurring “mistake”, “oversight,” “honest omission” has NEVER occurred where Holy Trinity, Salt Lake City, Utah is listed and Prophet Elias is not.)

  • First, this “accident” did not occur at last year’s tournament where the community’s teams were listed and/or announced as Holy Trinity / Prophet Elias. Was it so difficult to copy over that name to this year’s application and acknowledge youth who attend at one church, the other or both?
  • Second, the recent honor accorded to Dr. Charles Beck , who has been invested as an archon, lists his home parish as Prophet Elias, Holladay, Utah.
  • Third, when Nick Varanakis and Fr. Kouremetis attended the Metropolis Clergy Laity Congress in Dallas, May 2009, they were listed on the agenda as representatives from Prophet Elias, Holladay, Utah.
The Proistomenos-of-PE-only doth protest too much! He is fully aware of what he and/or his minions are doing, as are we – he and they fool no one. He has instructed administrators of these programs HOW to register. At best, he has failed to instruct them in how NOT to do so.

This is DELIBERATE. Just as it was DELIBERATE to deride Holy Trinity to the Holy Eparchial Synod as being near a “needle park”. Just as it has been DELIBERATE to defer and delay needed repairs at Holy Trinity. Just as it has been DELIBERATE to suspend fundraising efforts through the HCF in order to fulfill the Skedros’ family dream of building the Anthony G. Skedros Memorial Gymnasium, along with needed upgrades to Sunday School facilities, at Holy Trinity. Just as it has been DELIBERATE to build pavilions and gardens, or upgrade office facilities, at Prophet Elias that were NOT approved by any General Assembly. There is NO “accident” here. This is ALL deliberate so that the Proistamenos-of-Prophet-Elias-only and his lackeys can claim that Holy Trinity is little-used, outdated, dilapidated and moribund.

These statements and actions are continually taken to escalate frayed tempers and to further the dissension he has sown since his arrival. If we protest, the claim goes forth that the atmosphere has become aggravated and that Prophet Elias is being "dissed". If we don’t, Fr. Kouremetis has pulled off a fait accompli – the done deal. Heads he wins; tails our community LOSES!

Oversight? Omission? Accident? Please.

A follow-up postscript: TOCB has been informed that our youth, when registering for this year's tournament, were asked by the registrars in Oklahoma City to indicate whether they were with HT or PE.  WHO told the OKC registrars to ask THIS question? We're fairly confident they would NOT have asked this on their own.  Yet another "accident"? Or just another divisive ploy using our youth as pawns! Appalling is the ONLY word that comes to mind.


Steve Gamvroulas said...

My sympathies go out to Fr. Kouremetis,the officers of the new Prophet Elias Corp. and the esteemed, appointed, and illegitimate parish council for the undue criticism they face. I am very confident that their intentions and actions this past year has been nothing but transparent, honest, ethical and first and foremost meant to improve and strengthen the Greek Orthodox Church in Utah and to build goodwill within the Greater Salt Lake Community. After all aren't things so much better here since Fr. Kouremetis arrived? Shouldn't we be patient and supportive of them with all the fine work they have accomplished to date? We feel terribly that the bus was driven over you. It is not deserved.

Yannis Armaou said...

"Ο έξυπνος παραδέχεται το λάθος του,
ο πονηρός δικαιολογείται
και ο βλάκας επιμένει."

Barbara Billinis Colessides said...

Also interesting:

At the May 2009 Metropolis Clergy-Laity Congress, when Mr. Varanakis and Fr. Michael were listed on the agenda as representatives from Prophet Elias, Holladay, Utah, the illegal attempt to extract Prophet Elias from our community had not yet occurred. That happened nearly a year later.