“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


Friday, November 16, 2012

Con Skedros - A Good and Faithful Servant

Today we are burying Constantine James Skedros.

Con was a quiet, unassuming man of letters – an historian who knew the importance and the value of documenting the world he lived in. He was a man who understood that what might seem commonplace or mundane to most, was, in fact, unique and important in the larger scheme of things.

I had the singular opportunity and the great honor to meet with Con, one-on-one, last year a few days before our November Special General Assembly where our hierarchy was demanding that we foreswear the special agreement (the 1964 Accord) we had in place that gave this community control over its own assets. This was, in fact, the same assembly that our hierarch had also forbidden this good and faithful steward, along with five others, entrance into HIS OWN CHURCH! This, because he was willing to put his name on a lawsuit, representing hundreds of others, in opposing a construct that kept those same hundreds from proper representation in their church’s affairs and governance!

Con’s quiet and wise counsel, his extraordinary documentation, were not only enlightening in light of the events about to take place, but provided an insight into the history of our community. They also explained the thought processes of those who gave the community its unique legacy.

To enumerate all the roles this GREAT MAN took upon himself, humbly, without complaint, in our community, and in the community at large, not only in this city, but in this nation, would probably take years and fill volumes!

Con achieved the status in our Church of Archon Depoutatos. No big deal, perhaps? Others have done this as well. I would tell you that Con achieved that status through time and through talent - not only as a stalwart Sunday School teacher, but as a tireless servant to this community and to Orthodoxy throughout this country. Further, he was a faithful schoolteacher to thousands of public school students in this valley, and as a responsible civic leader in his field on various civic and charitable boards and committees. Con did not have the means – the treasure - to achieve this status in the manner that many, if not most, Greek-Americans in this country have done so. It is to our faith’s great credit that it often looks beyond a person’s means to elevate someone so entirely worthy as Con Skedros, counselor,  friend, mentor, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, godfather – TEACHER– so many titles!

Axios – kai ΠΑΝΤΑ AXIOS!

It is so often said when someone so illustrious and accomplished passes, that we shall not see his (or her) like again. It is my fervent hope that we SHALL see his like again. His example should be a shining light to us, to our children, to our grandchildren and to generations beyond!

Αιωνία η μνήμη του! Καλὀ ταξεἰδι, ἁξιε και αγαπημἑνε δάσκαλε!

- Barbara Billinis Colessides


Γιάννης Αρμάου said...

Απλά,καλό ταξίδι Δάσκαλε!
Ελαφρύ τό χώμα πού σέ σκεπάζει!

Bill Rekouniotis said...

To Palikari, we'll miss you Con, until we meet again.