“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


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Thoughts, A Week Later

It’s been a week since the Special Parish Assembly held last Sunday, August 25. Several people have let us know some thoughts and observations.

It was odd to hear, more than once, that the Parish Council was responsible for denying to many their sacramental prerogatives. No one with this childish attitude bothered to think that, a) the Metropolitan had been informed – several times in the past months – that this community has been struggling financially; b) that, while the Metropolitan may have been angry that the Parish Council finally had to reduce clergy base pay by 30% overall since he would not reassign a priest, he did not have to react as he did – one can discuss possibilities without resorting to blackmail; c) that our priests could have tried to convince their “boss” not to suspend their services to their FLOCK, despite the cut in pay. (Keep in mind they did still minister to their “favored few”.)

It is not unreasonable that the clergy were not pleased with the situation; it is, however, unprofessional for clergymen, who continually claim to be educated “professionals”, deserving of professionals’ salaries, to strike.

Granted, the assembly voted, by an extremely narrow margin, to return the clergy, restoring their salaries, along with back pay, but the damage by the “strike” is sadly evident. Even many of those wanting the priests back in church have expressed disgust at their clergy's and hierarch's actions, and at the regulations that enable such behavior.

Along with the claims that sacramental prerogatives needed restoring, it was odd to hear a judge – an officer of the court – tell us that we do not need large edifices, gymnasiums, youth programs, festivals and the like. He objected to the distribution of Festival tickets while the priests were striking. (Whether he likes it or not, for years now, this is part of the way they’re being paid!) He claimed we can do without staff, but no one has seen him yet come and volunteer to clean floors and tables while souvlakia are skewered, or baklava is being made, it's hard not to say that his claims ring hollow. Most incredibly, he said the community should not worry about fixing the P.E. dome! Really? One would assume that anyone who went to law school would understand the concept of “liability”!

We also heard from a former appointed Parish Council member that “the blog isn’t helping”. This is an odd statement coming from a former appointed PC member, who was hugely instrumental in a FINRA/SEC action against an outstanding member of our community – an Archon, a long-standing member of Leadership 100. This person and others, along with our priests and Metropolitan, in a fine demonstration of “true Christianity”, threatened a gentleman’s and his family’s reputations and livelihood. Was this action "helpful?" Further these people’s actions resulted in the freezing of funds, hence interest gains, intended for specific purposes in improving the Holy Trinity campus. We were told by other speakers that these funds, that are thankfully now unfrozen, need to be released by the persons who donated such for specific purposes in order to pay for striking priests and for the vision a small portion of parishioners have for the community. Interestingly, none of the priests’ ardent supporters made any similar suggestions for the PE Dome funds, the PE Pavilion funds, or the PE Prayer Garden funds.

Are we to assume these people’s past actions and present attitudes have been “helpful”? Hardly!

The fact is the Charter and the Uniform Parish Regulations, as they now are implemented and enforced, are a prescription for ongoing inertia at best, further outrages at worst. Such large and small disasters are currently occurring, or will occur, with ever more frequency. We were told by the same former appointed that we can work within the framework of these regulations. It is becoming more and more evident by the actions of our clergy and hierarch that we cannot. The blog remains committed to this end.

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