Moderator's Note: This correspondence was sent out today by our Parish Council. It may be viewed in the original form here.
December 10, 2013
Please find below the Salt Lake Parish Council Letter of 12-9-2013.
Your Parish Council met last night for a scheduled Parish Council meeting to discuss important community issues including the Parish Council election results.
Many Parishioners were present.
Our Proestamenoi were not present and no prior notification of their absence was given. (Fr. Elias notified our President on Sunday Dec 8, 2013 that he would be on vacation).
We were informed by one of the parish council members at the beginning of the meeting that Fr. Michael was not coming. Towards the end of the meeting the same parish council member received a text from Fr. Michael stating that the proestamenoi were directed by our Metropolitan to not attend the Parish Council meeting.
Election results and other important issues will be communicated to the Parish via separate communication.
We are in constant communication with the Archdiocese and pray for resolution of our present difficulties.
In His Name and Service,
Your Parish Council
December 9, 2013
VIA E-MAIL AND FIRST CLASS MAIL DELIVERY
His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver
4550 East Alameda Ave. Denver, CO 80246
Attached please find the resolution and motion passed by the Parish Council. Please note that this will take effect on January 1, 2014.
MOTION FROM 11-11-2013 PARISH COUNCIL MEETING:
On January 1, 2014 the Parish Council will implement the Parish Assembly directives made on August 25, 2013 and November 10, 2013 and eliminate the highest clergy compensation package to balance the budget.
In His Name and Service
/s/ Dimitrios Tsagaris
For the Parish Council
2013 Parish Council President
CC: His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew; His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios; Mr. Michael Jaharis; Fr. Michael Kouremetis; Fr. Mathew Gilbert.
RESOLUTION OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREATER SALT LAKE
DATED NOVEMBER 11, 2013
WHEREAS, in 2007 the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake (“GOCSLC”) held its Spring Parish Assembly;
WHEREAS, during that Spring Parish Assembly, the membership in good standing, against the advice of the then parish council and Clergy, approved a request for a third priest to be assigned to GOCSLC;
WHEREAS, since 2007 the GOCSLC has had difficulty in meeting its financial obligations;
WHEREAS, the current Parish Council has repeatedly warned the Community and Metropolitan Isaiah of the pending financial crisis its faces;
WHEREAS, in July 2013, the current Parish Council reduced Clergy salaries by 40% (net overall reduction of 27%) to prevent financial default on its payroll obligations and accounts payable;
WHEREAS, in August 2013 a Special General Assembly was held and the membership in good standing voted to restore Clergy salaries to full compensation levels, including the payment of all back pay, and additionally voted to request Metropolitan Isaiah reassign one of the priests as soon as possible;
WHEREAS, despite the directive from the August 2013 Special General Assembly and repeated pleas from the Parish Council, Metropolitan Isaiah has not reassigned a priest as of this time;
WHEREAS, on November 10, 2013 in accordance with Article 1, Section 31 of the Uniform Parish Regulations, the Fall Parish Assembly consisting of members in good standing (the appropriating and policymaking body) voted in support of and passed an amended balanced budget for 2014 with Clergy salaries reflecting only 2 priests;
WHEREAS, absent the relief provided by the balanced budget, the GOSLC will be in financial stress and struggle to meet its financial commitments by year end December, 2013; and
BE IT RESOLVED that on January 1, 2014 the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake will implement the directives from the Fall Parish Assembly reflecting a balanced budget with only two Clergy salary positions receiving compensation.