“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, June 30, 2011

It Takes a "Given the Threat"???

Please click here to read the original message sent by the SELECTED Parish Council. - The Moderators

Dear Fellow Parishioners,                                                                                                    June 30, 2011

The Special Parish Assembly that had been scheduled for June 22, 2011, was cancelled as a result of a letter received from an attorney representing certain individuals who challenged the scheduled Assembly as not lawfully noticed or constituted. In order to address some of the technical concerns raised, and to preclude the possibility of unnecessary legal costs to the Parish, it was decided to reschedule and renotice the Assembly at a later date.

Given the continued threat (emphasis added) of legal action, it is imperative that the existing rules and regulations pertaining to the determination of membership in good standing for the anticipated Assembly be followed. The relevant portions of the UPR and our own By-Laws are listed below. (without the "threat" such action would not have been necessary? - INTERESTING!)

Uniform Parish Regulations (2007):
• Article 17, Section 1: “At a minimum, a parishioner in good standing must: be eighteen years of age or over; be current in his or her stewardship and other financial obligations to the Parish, abide by all the regulations herein stated and the Parish Bylaws; and cooperate in every way towards the welfare and well being of the Parish.”

• Article 17, Section 5: “A parishioner in good standing has the right to attend, participate and vote at Parish Assemblies, as well as to vote in Parish Council elections.”

• Article 31, Section 3: “A Parish Assembly consists of parishioners in good standing of the Parish who have met their stewardship obligations to the Parish in accordance with the Parish Bylaws. A person whose name appears on the Stewardship rolls but who is in arrears in the payment of his/her stewardship obligations may take part in the Parish Assembly by meeting such stewardship obligations on or before the date of the meeting.”

Parish By-Laws (1974):

• Article IV(a): “Any person, eighteen years of age or over, who was baptized according to the rites of the Church, or was received into the church through Chrismation, who lives according to the faith and canons of the Church, abides by the regulations herein and the by-laws of the Parish, except that persons under twenty-one, shall not serve on the Parish Council when such service is contrary to local law. A member in good standing is defined as one who has made and fulfilled his pledge in accordance with sub-section b) of this By-Law.”

• Article IV(b): “Membership obligation shall be made through a fair share pledge system, whereby the pledger in faith, prayer and sacrifice wishes to share in the support and work in our Lord’s Church and Parish by contributing according to his conscience and financial ability to cover the needs of the Church. This pledge shall be made on or before March 31 of each year for persons residing within the Parish payable in accordance with the terms of the completed pledge form, as provided by the Parish Council. A member is considered to be in good standing if his membership pledge is fulfilled on a quarterly basis. New members moving into the Parish shall have three months from the time of arrival to make their pledge.”

By following the above rules and regulations it ("it" is a vague pronoun reference - What/who is "it"?) should preclude potential legal challenges. However, the Parish Council feels that it is very important to have as many parishioners as possible participate in the upcoming Assembly (right! which is why the SELECTED Parish Council were so DILIGENT in making sure they had a LEGAL stewardship form sent out - NOT, and why THAT FORM was properly sent out to ALL parishioners - again, NOT!!) , therefore, the March 31 deadline for submitting the stewardship pledge card, (WHICH PLEDGE CARD? - we NEVER GOT A PROPER ONE!) as required by our By-Laws is waived, and the pledge deadline is extended until July 31. (How generous! WHEN WILL THE LEGAL ONE BE SENT to ALL PARISHIONERS?!)

In sum, IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING FOR PURPOSES OF THE ANTICIPATED ASSEMBLY, ONE MUST HAVE FILLED OUT A STEWARDSHIP CARD (which one? the one this SELECTED Parish Council sent out is ILLEGAL - it does not bear the PROPER, LEGAL NAME OF THIS COMMUNITY!!!) BY JULY 31 AND PAY A PROPORTIONAL AMOUNT OF THAT PLEDGE ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF THE ASSEMBLY. All pledge cards (the illegal ones?) that parishioners previously submitted will remain valid for purposes of determining membership in good standing.

The exact date of the rescheduled Special Assembly will be determined in consultation with Metropolitan Isaiah, and in consideration of the availability of the Metropolis Chancellor and our own Parish events. In no event, however, will the Assembly be schedule prior to the July 31 pledge deadline.

(Wow, how considerate! Thanks a lot - this should have been done some time ago and by a DULY CONSTITUTED PARISH COUNCIL!!!! In the meantime, guys and gals, send out a PROPER STEWARDSHIP FORM, FIRST-CLASS MAIL, TO ALL PARISHIONERS OF THIS COMMUNITY, that reads properly, with the LEGAL NAME OF THE COMMUNITY: THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREATER SALT LAKE - just in case you and our erstwhile clergy and hierarch have forgotten it!!!)

In His Service,

The Parish Council (The SELECTED one!)


Yannis Armaou said...

The person that "talks a lot and promises everything and at the end
delivers NOTHING" their "boss"and "mentor",the proistameno of Prophet Elias only,has appointed these geniuses that call themselves "The parish council".What a shame,they need the "baboula" in order to follow
rules and regulations!

Yannis Armaou said...

By the way, trying to convince the people that you have made a magnanimous gesture by waiving the local bylaws is disingenuous. According to the UPR when there is a conflict between local bylaws and the UPR, the UPR supersede. You're not doing us any favors!

Bill Rekouniotis said...

Stay away from doctors, lawyers and priests.

John Saltas said...

Three thoughts.
1. Why are our church clergy and leaders so disingenuous on this topic? Had they followed established protocol, we could have had our General Assemblies long ago. Every rule established for an upcoming General Assembly in this letter could have and should have been done in the first place without "threat of a lawsuit." Why is it so hard for our current leaders to do the right thing fro the entire community (and not just as salve for their bandaged egos or to accomodate demanding priests?) and to follow established, simple and ethical guidelines? Simply, if our church wants the benefits the State of Utah grants it--like certain tax benefits and other corporate protections--it must act in accordance of the state charter which allows it. Hiding behind "he (you fill in the blank) told me to do it" is no excuse.
2. Our parish bulletin should be used for alerting parish members to parish services, events, and calendars--not as a place to insert bias and nonsense on church matters. This letter is full of half-truths and un-truths, there only to make even more one-sided accusatory statements. Leave the bulletin neutral!
3. But because you have again carelessly not done so, and have made private church matters public, same for Mr.Derby whose letter is equally public, same for my own comments here, don't be surprised when you see your words cited in a newspaper or other media.

Bill Rekouniotis said...

Because John there is only one "current leader" and he don't "do the right thing". Giddy up! Great response John, bravo.