“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


Monday, November 14, 2011

Fellow Parishioners

November 10, 2011

Dear Parishioner,

You have heard about us. And what you have heard is wrong.
We are you. We are of one mind. We are an integral part of the Archdiocese of America. We belong to the Metropolis of Denver. We are members of the Holy Orthodox Church. We recognize the patriarch and the Holy Eparchial Synod as the highest Ecclesiastical Authority of our Holy Orthodox Ch urch.

For 106 years we have followed the rules, bylaws and canons of our Church. Yet, over the past several years, responsible administration of our Parish has been forsaken.  Reckless accusations and irmuendo pass for leadership.  We have not had open meetings. We have not had open elections. We have not been provided essential financial data about our commun ity. We need accountability. Our facilities are in disrepair. Our HT Sunday School classrooms are firetraps. The gym roof at PE is leaking.

If you want fair and open elections to determine membership of the Parish Council of our
Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake,


If you want a fair and honest general assembly of a duly-elected Parish Council, .


If you want to maintain Parish Assembly management of our hard earned  properties and specially designated donations as we have always enjoyed,


If you want an end to secrecy and bias that restricts some faithful members of our
Greek Orthodox Community from voting on the destiny of their Church,


If you want a return to fmancial accountability and honest governance of our Greek Orthodox Church Community,


Note: The Unity Group, which is providing this information, consists of regular, stewardship-paying, God-fearing, dedicated, long­ standing members of the Greek Orthodox Community of Utah. Our love and passion for the Greek Orthodax Church of Greater Salt Lake has never wavered. It is that love and passion that motivates us to seek  better governance of our cherished churches than has been afforded us in  the past several years.  That  is why we are encouraging all parishioners to vote against affirmation of the restated and amended articles of incorporation and the new parish by-laws Nov.20 th at Prophet Elias Church.



Bill Rekouniotis said...

I understand on Sun. Nov 20th at the Special Parish Assembly, there will be police officers at the door. Marshal Dillon went out and got Chester and Festus. VOTE NO!.

Jim Sefandonakis said...

The police can be hired to be there to make sure that no one violates any laws. They cannot prevent us from entering our own church. If a police officer tries to stop or arrest us from entering OUR church, he will be intervening in a civil matter, not a criminal issue and will end up being sued. If they see a crime or a crime about to happen then they will act to keep the peace. But entering your own church for a meeting is not against the law, in fact, it is our right. If a police officer arrests me or stops me from entering my church I will file a civil rights action against him. Police do not like getting sued for violating the public's civil rights and when they are acting as rent-a-cops they are even more cautious and will not over step their authority. In fact, I'm happy the police will be there to act as witnesses to what takes place. These police officers will not get involved in our civil dispute unless we give them a reason to do so. What the police witness is all that matters. If they see anyone make a threat or act like they will get violent then the officers will get involved. Now wouldn't that just make the other side happy? I'm not going to give them the pleasure.

Steve Gamvroulas said...

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” Plato

Do not argue with the police officer. He is only doing his job and is not familiar with the intricacies of the unethical actions of the current "leadership".

Be prepared for the "clergy" to tell the officer that you are not a member in good standing and they are to issue you a trespass order. If that is the case do not argue or enter into a debate with the person issuing the order or the officer.

Step back and avoid any action or make any statement that could be construed as aggressive or potentially violent.

If there is any attempt to bar any member of the community from the meeting it will be a public relations disaster for the current "leaders".

I still don't think they have the intestinal fortitude to do it, but I do think they are stupid enough to try.


Remember NOV 20, The new OXI Day.

Bill Rekouniotis said...

I hope they bring their handcuffs, there's one person we would all love to see hauled away. Giddy up!

Bill Rekouniotis said...

Steve, thank you for the advice. Everyone should read this.

Nia said...

Perhaps I am missing something but what time on Sunday? I would like to be there but I haven't seen a time posted.

Yannis Armaou said...

2 o'clock Nia.

Christos Kyrmadias said...

This is one of the saddest things one can imagine. From afar, this looks pretty simple.

Petty "local" politics wanting authority and access to funds which historically have been raised for the benefit of a united Parish by pillars of the Greater Salt Lake Community...

A collection of priests, who have shown brazen disregard for the order of the Archdiocese of North America, which has indicated a unified Parish is preferred and sensible...

A group of appointed Parish Council members -- who but the Parishoners can appoint their council? How absurd is that?! -- who appear neutered or unwilling to correct/right a strident behavior by local priests who seem destined to kiss the ring of a certain Metropolitan who wants to impose His holy authority beyond anything the community has traditionally experienced and, by furthering and cultivating the local collection of aspirants for independence, he has now meddled into a local Parish beyond any manner he ever should have.

A North American Archdiocese who, at some point, needs to "weigh in" and direct the Church hierarchy in the Rockies to behave and, more likely, inform the local priests that they have now, sadly, vanquished any hope of credibility in the community. The priests in town should start looking for new parishes, since no one is going to follow their leadership after this behavior.

The idea of a great orthodox Christian, Con Skedros, sitting outside of that Church after devoting his life to it is, to put it pointedly, the most repugnant thing one can imagine. People like Mr. Bapis, Mr. Skedros, Mr. Korologos and so many others have contributed to the preservation and enhancement of the Greater Salt Lake community beyond anything the hierarchical politics can possibly understand.

The Greater Salt Lake parish will remain united, and the leadership, up to the Patriarch's level, should now be on notice that they should replace leadership and return the situation to a stable normalcy.

Modifying the charter, adopting amendments, other structural changes could all have been entirely feasible and accomplished had leadership been interested in maintaining the integrity of the Greater Salt Lake Parish and supporting the virtue of a unified Orthodox community under a united infrastructure.

Instead, personal objective by a number of local people and personal ego on the part of some in the Orthodox hierarchy have created a mess.

Now that the food has been spilled on the floor, only actions by the Archdiocese of North America or the Patriarch can make this right. And it's about time they acted.