“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


Saturday, April 28, 2012


We recently posted a couple of blog articles (Let the Games Begin / Let the Games Continue) that a member of the finance committee objected to; specifically, he had a problem with our comparing the impasse we keep witnessing to “a game” to be won or lost. The irony of this statement is obvious.

The reference to "let the games begin" is an historic allusion to the Roman period, where so many early church members met their fate in the arena. It is also an accurate description and apt metaphor describing a small minority's ongoing and continuing attempts to split the community. They want this to happen no matter what they have to do to accomplish it, or how badly it continues to damage our community and its parishioners.

Instead of simply holding the upcoming assembly, looking for ways forward, and having an election, we are witnessing ongoing gamesmanship on the part of this minority that clings to power and to a discredited set of aspirations (please specifically see the “policies” section buried at the end of the assembly packet) they still seek to foist on the community.

We are told that there is no appreciation for the time and efforts of these people. Regrettably, there has been a lack of appreciation all around. Throwing other hard-working, dedicated stewards under the bus including stewards who have served for several decades, members of the Audit Committee, elected HCF board members, nominees who have been culled, largely for simply daring to disagree, secret negotiations for dividing the community, clergy and hierarchical threats of sanctions, etc. - all seem to have become standard procedure these past years.

We didn't hear or or see this person being overly upset when others were castigated, culled, called "robbers", were banned from entering their own church, were forbidden to take part in services, had their faithfulness and reputations questioned, and, in one of the most egregious instances, had their livelihood and that of their family threatened. No one saw this gentleman, or his like-minded cronies, step forward in defense of other equally dedicated stewards.

Further, he asserts that there was a poor management model in running two churches under one council. Major companies run operational entities throughout the world under one overall Board of Directors. Are we to believe that two relatively tiny entities, each within a 20-minute driving distance from the other within the same city, in the age of the Internet, cannot be effectively governed by one Parish Council? It is not the model that is flawed; it is the management team, its intent and its style.

We agree that Parish Councils - fairly ELECTED ones - might name a variety of their members to various committees without appointing unelected “consultants”. The UPRs do not mention “consultants”, referring most likely to intra-council expertise. But, fine, we acknowledge it's been done in the past. During a time when the rest of this nonsense was not occurring, unelected committee appointees probably would not be an issue. Right now, however, we have yet another unelected, appointed person, representing a minority view, telling a sorely tried majority what they must do.

This nonsense should have stopped long ago. The survey told them, the Archbishop told them, several votes have told them, the Special General Assembly told them – they don’t have the numbers.

The gentleman asserts that the majority’s resistance efforts and rhetoric has driven an "irreversible" wedge in this community. In fact, that wedge exists and persists because a small group of people, along with clerics, still trying to "save face", continue to wrangle for things this community does not want or need.

They still seek to shove through their own agenda, to eliminate the Hellenic Cultural Foundation (which was overwhelmingly enacted by the General Assembly as a fundraising model utterly similar to Leadership 100 - and whose members were ELECTED), to see this community foreswear its historic legal exception that allows it to own its own assets. The answer was NO last November despite threats and intimidation; it should be NO now.

Finally, there is the assertion that the dissension and game-playing overshadows the church's mission of salvation. That is the real point, isn't it? Our hierarchy and clergy, thanks to the misbegotten new charter and UPRs, are now becoming Machiavellian politicians, CEOs, fundraisers, tax collectors, day-to-day administrators, apparently more interested in their own prerogatives than in their apostolic duty toward their flock - ALL their flock - among whom they have sown further dissension.

George Santayana, philosopher, said it best. "Fanaticism is redoubling your effort when you've lost your aim."

1 comment:

Yannis Armaou said...

The policies are:"Adopted by the parish council".
Which parish council?
The current or the previous?
Please step forward and inform the community.
NO,means NEVER.
Your Trojan Horse tactics,will not
get you what you wish.
Move on!