“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


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meanwhile in SLC ... "Selected" Priorities: (What's in a Name)?

It is becoming ever more interesting to discover what our selected Parish Council and local clergy consider "priorities" for this long-suffering community.

Let's examine a few items of interest and see if we can discern their "priorities":

1. Audit. An independent audit showed several glaring deficiencies in standard accounting and administrative practices that have cost this community several thousands of dollars; this along with the unauthorized expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars on unapproved projects

Is addressing this deficiency a priority for the selected Parish Council? No - in fact, the silence has been deafening.

2. Budgets. Have we been presented (in recent memory) any budget based on reasonable, FACTUAL expectations in terms of expected revenues and expenditures? Is the situation likely to be addressed in the near future? 

If the recent past is an indication, hardly.

3. General Assemblies. We haven't had one for quite a while now, probably due to the fact that the selected Parish Council seriously expected to be part of a Parish-Council-of-Prophet-Elias-only council - following a coup that was attempted in order to establish, illegally, an entity not approved by ANY General Assembly. Worse. three non-ELECTED parishioners sought to  circumvent all regular due process. Worse still, the Archbishop was informed by local clergy and the Metropolis that this was legally and properly effected. (So much for adherence to the much-vaunted UPRs!) Regardless, we haven't had a regularly scheduled General Assembly in quite some time now. 

Are open and fair general assemblies a priority? Please.

4. Parish Council Elections. The current SELECTED Parish Council seeks an agenda that will simply add, via election (WOW! how kind of them!), the remaining vacancies on the council, presumably with the clergy's ongoing ability to cull any candidates not to their liking. 

In other words, those SELECTED are arrogant enough to believe that they should not be required to submit their names for fair and open ELECTION, and, further, that certain parishioners still NEED NOT APPLY for any unfilled spots! (Banana Republic Orthodoxy at its finest!) Fair Elections? Priority? Not!

5. What's in a Name? And here we discover the MAIN concern of the SELECTED parish council and the current clerical dictato-leadership - the REAL priority! 
  • They're not concerned about their DEMONSTRABLE incompetence in overseeing the affairs of the church these past few years. 
  • They're not concerned as to how many (or how often!) of the current UPRs they themselves have violated. 
  • They have had no compunction in recently thumbing their noses at Archbishop Demetrios' kind and wise solution to what is admittedly a difficult situation. Grudgingly, the SELECTED PARISH COUNCIL is ostensibly, FINALLY adhering to Archbishop Demetrios' request that a SINGLE stewardship form be made available. 
  • The latest form replaces the ridiculous blue/yellow separated church stewardship forms and supposedly reflects the united community that we LEGALLY are - yet the most important part is MISSING - the LEGAL name of the community!
  • For EIGHT WEEKS now, our SELECTED Parish Council, using the excuse of following the Metropolis' (but not the Holy Synod's) directives, has FAILED to provide a normal, standard stewardship form that reflects the LEGAL name of this community - the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake. The proposed current form still does not include the legal name of this community!
We may well ask WHY! 

Why? Because like trained fighting pitbulls they will NOT let go of their wish for TWO SEPARATE COMMUNITIES. And therefore, their new form does NOT say "Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake." It says "HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL & PROPHET ELIAS CHURCH" – not the LEGAL NAME of our community. 

THIS is their ONLY priority. To catch the majority unaware. To trick us into accepting a name that implies separation

6. CONCLUSIONS: Incompetence means nothing; lying means nothing; HONOR means less than nothing; violations of ethics and even the much-cited UPRs mean nothing; the vindictive threatening of fellow parishioners with sacramental sanctions means nothing; the directives of the Holy Synod and Archbishop Demetrios mean nothing. The only meaning these people have is their one true "God" - the division of this community NOW
Much has been made of "the name". Metropolitan Isaiah has chastised us for it constantly. But seen in historical context there is a different story, much as he (Isaiah) would like to make something "sinister" and "secular" of it.  The 1974 amendments to the Articles of Incorporation offend him, because he seems to think that Christianity was taken out of our Parish's corporate structure.

The contrary is true. Were he to inquire, he might learn that prior to 1974 a general assembly appointed a "Long Range Planning Committee" for our community. It was chaired by Constantine Skedros who served along with 25 parishioners as its members. The Long Range Planning Committee recommended the selection and purchase of a parcel of land, somewhere on the south east/west part of the Salt Lake Valley, where we could build a third church edifice later in the future.

Among other recommendations was included that the Parish General Assembly directed that the legal name of the Parish be changed to that of "Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake" in order to convey the message of "universality," and that our Parish's light would shine throughout the Salt Lake Valley and County.

There was no sinister, un-Christian plot - just practical common sense. Only the hyperventilating, pseudo-religious mindset found among some in this current, ill-informed generation - a mindset conspicuously absent in our parents' and grandparents' era – causes some to infer something "sinister" about THE NAME.

Therefore, PLEASE, when signing your stewardship checks, make your checks out to the "GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREATER SALT LAKE" - the correct and legal name of this community.


Steve Gamvroulas said...

"Any law which violates the inalienable rights of man is essentially unjust and tyrannical; it is not a law at all."

"Any institution which does not suppose the people good, and the magistrate corruptible, is evil."

Maximilien Robespierre

Yannis Armaou said...

That is the"christian way",deception,fake miracles,lies and backdoor tactics to achieve their purpose.Nothing else matters to them,just one thing only,to divide
any way they can.Obey what the Holy Synod told you or,THIS COMMUNITY WILL BE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE!

Bill Rekouniotis said...

Not to worry the world will end on May 21, 2011, on Ss. Constantine and Helen, at 4:00 p.m. MDT. Holy crap it's 4:20 p.m. and I'm still here. Wait till I get my hands on that little creep that made the prediction. XPOVIA POLLA to all.