“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


Sunday, May 1, 2011


Moderator's Note: The below-cited missive arrived from the Metropolis, clearly in direct contradiction to Archbishop Demetrios' instructions and tone, in the latest Messenger. The original may be viewed here.

March 28, 2011
Protocol 11-8

Beloved in the Lord,

It has recently been brought to my attention that there are questions regarding membership in our parishes and member participation in General Assemblies and other parish gatherings.

What a coincidence! Questions? Participation in General Assemblies? Wonder where this line of “reasoning” is headed, and, for that matter WHO has been asking “questions”?

The matter is very clear and simple, since it is succinctly defined in Article 18 of the Uniform Parish Regulations (UPR).

Every person who is baptized and chrismated according to the rites of the Orthodox Church is a "parishioner”.

(Sounds straightforward, no? Ah, but there’s more…!)

Being a "parishioner," however, does not in and of itself mean that one can participate in a General Assembly or be a candidate for election to the parish council. For that matter, merely being a "parishioner" does not - again, in and of itself - mean that one can receive the Sacraments, be a sponsor at a Baptism or Marriage, or receive an Orthodox funeral. (emphasis added) All of these are afforded only to Orthodox Christian parishioners who are in "good standing."

Hmmm…let’s see, we’re starting to get on some thinner ice here, right down to refusing Orthodox funerals to Orthodox members in this community … does this sound Christ-like? Regardless, that seems not to be pertinent anymore. To be on the safe side, perhaps we should re-introduce the attendance card  we designed a while ago to assist the "average Joe" parishioner from being accused of insufficient attendance by the parish council and local clergy?

As further defined in the Article 18 of the UPR, a "parishioner in good standing" is one who practices the religious, moral and social duties expected of him or her and who applies the tenets of the Orthodox Faith to his or her life. Specifically, these duties are: to attend frequently the Divine Liturgy and also the other worship services; to participate regularly in the holy sacraments; to respect all ecclesiastical authority and all governing bodies of the Church; to be obedient in matters of the Faith, practice and ecclesiastical order; to contribute toward the progress of the Church's sacred mission; and to be an effective witness and example of the Orthodox Faith and Tradition to all people. Furthermore, a "parishioner in good standing" must be eighteen years of age or over; must be current in his or her stewardship and other financial obligations to the Parish; must abide by all the stipulations of the UPR and of the Parish Bylaws; and must cooperate in every way toward the welfare and well being of the Parish.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20, KJV) Funny, the Lord doesn’t mention “ecclesiastical authority” or “UPRs” or the like. He nowhere threatens the withholding of his sacred mysteries. He doesn’t threaten to seize or divide the properties and the community that are our legacy. He had, and still has, much to say regarding Pharisees and those who are craven. By the way, these were the sorts of tactics employed when the much-vaunted, and seriously flawed, UPRs were enacted. Lay "leaders" were carefully vetted; any remaining dissenting voices were systematically squelched. Our local "leaders" are now, presumably, "asking questions" of our ecclesiastical "authorities" clearly designed to do the same. As though we haven't experienced it from them in prior general assemblies or through their deceitful actions in trying to split our community, despite the overwhelming wishes of the community to remain united!  They now seek to control WHO may vote in the next General Assembly that the Archbishop has asked the Metropolitan, with the assistance of the Archdiocese, to facilitate. The Metropolitan and the current local regime, representing a demonstrable MINORITY, KNOW they will NOT win, so the tactic is to eliminate  votes beforehand!


I trust this clearly settles any question regarding this matter in the parishes of our Metropolis.

Yes, Your Eminence, the matter is settled as clearly as if it were designed by any recent or past unscrupulous politician seeking to increase the chances of influencing elections through gerrymandering and ballot-box fixing. 

With Paternal Blessings, (?!)

+ Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver

4550 East Alameda Avenue, Denver, CO 80246-1208
'l'elephone (303) 333-7794 • FAX (303) 333-7796
Web: www.denver.goarch.org. e-mail: metropolis@denver.goarch.org


Bill Rekouniotis said...

Sounds like the old "bait and switch".

Steve Gamvroulas said...

Shall we all join and prostrate ourselves in front of the money changers now?

When will the Popes of Denver and Holladay have their fill?


Bill Rekouniotis said...

What if you're in a coma for 20 years and can't go to church. Is there UPR's to cover that?

Barbara Billinis Colessides said...

Tony Soprano, Huey Long, Richard Daley, Tom DeLay and the Borgias spring to mind!

What would Jesus do? Weep - gnash His teeth - from sheer frustration at the ARROGANCE, surely.

- Barbara Billinis Colessides

Steve Gamvroulas (son of the old country) said...

I really feel bad for the illegal parish council...