Thank you for another soul less email.
I am taking your advice though and am sending my response not just to you but to the entire "rogue" parish council and to the Metropolitan as well. In your email, you asked this question:
Is it possible to step back from the cliff’s edge before our Parish falls into a thickening mire of conflict and hatred?
It appears that you, or some of you, have been quite busy at that already......Here's just one of many samplers from the Devil's right hand, Facebook, where Dimitri Tsagaris has been compared to Nikita Khrushchev, and the parish council labeled a bunch of communists, devils and heathens:
Enough of your protracted maligning of so many good people of this community!
My message to the council: Affect the will of those who voted for you. If you indeed had a mission of "unity" then never forget why that mission originated and who was behind the mayhem that begat the mis-unity in the first place. I suspect that POC and those who brought this community to its financial knees these past, many years are one and the same or combinations thereof. Why else doth they protest so much? Why do they hate dancers and basketball players? Why do they play with decoder rings when a cup of coffee and some eye contact is more effective?
Why do they get so many facts wrong? Why do they "make sh*t up"? Oh, oops. Forgot. It's because the faceless and anonymous (and the afraid) can and do lie with impunity. And if you think that is a lie, ask yourself this: Have you ever seen a Klansman without a hood?
My message to the Metropolitan: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Mr. Saltas wrote the above in response to this e-mail
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2013 22:29:32 -0700
Subject: Brace Yourself For Another Church Closure Compliments of the Parish Council
As predicted, our rogue Parish Council is again pursing its agenda to secede from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, but this time without the pretense of a “heavy heart”. We must brace ourselves for yet another closure of our Churches while dance and basketball programs continue unhampered. See the attached “Salt Lake Parish Council Letter 12-9-2013” for a complete display of its secular and legalistic approach to managing Christ’s Church. The code words “eliminate the highest clergy compensation package” translates to “we are firing Father Michael”.
The Council persists in its belief that the vast majority of our Church members agree with their tactics and goals, in spite of the letter signed by over 500 members pleading for a return to normalcy. The Parish Council claims that it is implementing the directives of the Parish Assembly, but the truth is that its decision to terminate a Priest is contrary to the motion made in August to reinstate clergy salaries.
His Eminence did not ignore the decision of the August Parish Assembly. He specified only one prerequisite to his considering a reduction of clergy, that being to follow the UPR requirement that all Parish funds be under the control of the Parish Council. This would be a simple task that the Parish Council has inexplicably refused to follow.
The inevitable result from the most recent Parish Council action will again be the closing of our Churches. We need to understand that such closing is not a refusal by the clergy to perform their duties over a pay issue, but in fact is the only option that the Hierarchs have. The Parish Council surely anticipates this consequence, but again, places its agenda before the wellbeing of the entire Parish, young and old, regardless of where they worship.
The Parish Council has orchestrated the current financial situation and has made no effort to improve stewardship, discredit the campaign to withhold stewardship, or truly unify the community. Most recently it resorted to giving away funds that the Parish Assembly directed towards Church operations. The disbursement of $20,000 to the Holy Trinity Philoptochos from the Greek Festival account is not only unauthorized, but if the Council’s claims that the parish is near insolvency are true, it is an extravagant and reckless expenditure, regardless of the philanthropic nature of the Philoptochos.
The hypocrisy of this clergy reduction is exemplified in the fact that those who most ardently advocated for a third priest in 2007 are those who now push to discharge clergy, and never in the interim worked towards increasing stewardship to cover the cost of a third priest. But rather, they promoted withholding of stewardship as a form of political protest.
Further irresponsible behavior on the part of the Parish Council can be seen in the circumstances surrounding the “elections” held last Sunday. Election results, for unknown reasons, were first published through unofficial social media sources. We have learned that the tally reports 84 in-person votes from PE, which conflicts with eye witness accounts of the voting activity, and also included 54 absentee ballots (along with 13 via email) which equates to 20% of the total 272 votes cast. If the election was in any way valid, these results would seem to be somewhat questionable.
Is it possible to step back from the cliff’s edge before our Parish falls into a thickening mire of conflict and hatred? The Parish Council seems steadfast in its desire to bring ruin upon us all, but we should at a minimum question their intentions and authority to do so. We suggest contacting the Council members directly to express your opinions and dissatisfaction. We also recommend communicating your concerns and frustrations with His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah.
Listed below are the email addresses for the Parish Council and the contact information for the Metropolis.
George Adondakis firstname.lastname@example.org
Gus Colessides email@example.com
Steve Gamvroulas firstname.lastname@example.org
Philip Kithas email@example.com
Alicia Mares firstname.lastname@example.org
John Mastakas email@example.com
Maria Oneida firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Peters email@example.com
Chris Sakellariou firstname.lastname@example.org
Sakis Sakaellariou email@example.com
Pete Saltas firstname.lastname@example.org
Pete Sefakis email@example.com
Tikey Skedros firstname.lastname@example.org
Dimitrios Tsagaris email@example.com
Metropolis of Denver
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver
4550 East Alameda Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80246-1208
Tel.: (303) 333-7794 • Fax: (303) 333-7796