“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, April 24, 2012


A member recently sent us an e-mail and "requested/suggested" that the blog moderators post a “rebuttal” in answer to the Audit Committee Report for the year 2009. The member implies that since the Audit Report of 2009 has been discussed on the blog, it might be “fair” to post such a response. The gentleman making the request is a member of the "Finance Committee." (One might be tempted to consider what a swell job they have done! Oh, and by the way, under what authority does such a committee exist? Appointment/election by the General Assembly? No. Mentioned in the much-vaunted UPRs? NO.) At any rate, he and that committee, whoever they may be, hold absolutely no authority according to the UPRs, subsequently leaving his request - or is it a demand? - somewhat moot.

No matter. He brings up an old and dead issue that could have easily been addressed in a more timely manner. Instead it is brought up nearly TWO YEARS later. After all, we've had all kinds of other decrees, demands and assertions sent out by the various unrepresentative, appointed parish councils these past long years, who have had unlimited control over this community’s checkbook, haven't we? (We would further point out that the Audit Report was discussed on this site AFTER its presentation to the community and not before.)

The fact is, the ELECTED Audit Committee did NOT exceed its reach or its duty. The committee reported on the documentation for that year that the existing parish council and clergy ALLOWED them to see. They were delayed for weeks due to stalling, demands for signatures on questionable confidentiality agreements, etc. Nowhere did the Auditors – again, ELECTED by the General Assembly – exceed their authority. In fact, they probably were overly gentle in their conclusions, despite outrageous provocations, hoping, vainly, to unite and to heal this sorely tried community.

Furthermore, a "rebuttal" to an audit committee's work is apparently heretofore unheard of and questionable. We have taken time to inquire as to the issue to several out-of-state ecclesiastical contacts – thus far, we have found that this just hasn't happened anywhere else. We should also consider that the last audit we had, again, by a duly elected, properly qualified, audit committee was in 2009.

It is now 2012! Under these same UPRs, that these people are so fond of cherry-picking and quoting, should we not have had further audits? Especially under these trying circumstances? Surely.

We have also learned that the justification given by those who have pushed for this rebuttal NOW, is that they are simply reporting and answering the questions from the audit in the next "regular" general assembly. Strangely enough, however, the minutes from the June 6, 2010 meeting where, in addition to the Audit Committee’s report to the community, other key motions passed and were to be part of the official record, have not been copied and distributed. Official records which are key to the type of discussion THEY wish to hold are NOT included in the packet! (We would herein note that the 2010 meeting was also videotaped by a member, since resigned, but then serving on the parish council. There is NO EXCUSE as to why this record is not included!)

Is it not curious that current appointed parish council members, who were also serving at that time as well, have claimed that they did not send a the rebuttal earlier since this Sunday's meeting will be our next "regular" General Assembly - a damning statement in and of itself! The UPRs they LOVE to quote clearly spell out how often communities are to hold REGULAR GENERAL ASSEMBLIES!

So - you want the rebuttal posted here, Mr. Finance Committee Member? Fine. Produce the minutes from that last “regular” General Assembly held nearly TWO YEARS AGO, and we will gladly post everything!

We recognize only too well that this so-called “request” and “rebuttal” is merely the latest ploy designed to allow those who, like you, have sought to split our community, sully our heritage, and who have sundered this community, in order to justify the unjustifiable.

Say, assert what you will. Play the games you want. Fact is: We WILL NOT permit it!


Bill Rekouniotis said...

It took them to 2 years to come with a biased rebuttal, slow but sure.

- Barbara Billinis Colessides said...

It is really quite simple. The current parish council members who were also serving at that DISMAL time, wish to use the "respectability" of a far more representative - though still NOT properly representative - Parish Council. The majority of this still-appointed council had nothing whatsoever to do with the dismal governance we have been witnessing these past years.

The excuse is that the "rebuttal" (who rebuts audit committee reports? in over 20+ years in business this is the first such incident I've heard of) had to be presented NOW because this is the next scheduled "regular" general assembly. That anyone can even say this and not choke on these words is SHAMEFUL, especially since these are the people who are so fond of demanding adherence to the UPRs. This nonsense provides merely another example of the mendacity we have witnessed for far too long now.

The "rebuttal" has NO BUSINESS being in this packet! It has not business even being considered. It could have been sent out at the time it was - supposedly - composed, November 2010.