“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, January 15, 2013

Letter to the Parish Council.

January 7, 2013

Members of the Parish Council,

Many months have passed since the members of our community showed their trust in your abilities by electing you as members of the parish council of the Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Salt Lake City.  You each accepted the overwhelming task of leading our community back to its foundational roots.  This task has certainly been difficult in the short time you have been elected and there are certainly more difficult roads ahead.  Without question, in order to make progress, difficult roads must be traveled and difficult decisions must be made. 

The elections of almost 7 months ago are an example of one of these difficult roads.  As you well know, these elections would not have taken place if it were not for the courage of several individuals who fought for what they felt was necessary for our community.  Neither the Archdiocese nor the Metropolis went out of their way to see  the needs of our community were met as required by their Uniform Parish Regulations.  It has been very clear for a very long time that in order for this community to move forward, we must have the courage to take matters into our own hands. 

There are those who believe that any decision made which may not be to the liking of the Metropolitan will result in repercussions.  If we are to move forward for the progress of our community, we cannot act out of false fear.  Because of the 1974 Accord, the only action available to the Metropolitan (besides threating for dismissal) would be removal of the clergy.  Anything else is merely a threat tactic. 

Thus far, you have followed the Uniform Parish Regulations in requesting assistance through the proper channels.  Neither the Archdiocese nor the Metropolis has responded to you.  The president of our community has attempted repeatedly to contact the Metropolitan to no avail.  The  Metropolitan’s  refusal to speak with the President of one of his communities shows his irrelevance to the matters concerning our community.  Just as he ignores the President’s repeated phone calls, he has ignored those who have met with him in the past year in Dallas and at the Alta Club.  What would make anyone believe he will change his tactics now? Stalling is the Metropolitan’s  best ally.

The time has come to put away false fear and make the difficult decisions that will move our community forward.  Stop believing in the false hope that the Archdiocese or Metropolis will come to our aid.  The parishioners have elected you to reunite our community.  It will take courage on your part to make the decisions necessary to see this happen.  I urge you to stop following false promises and do what is right for our community. 

Thank you for your time.  Please include this, as part of your meeting minutes.


Yannis Armaou

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