“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

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

JOHN SALTAS RESPONDS TO LATEST PROTECT OUR CLERGY EMAIL

Moderators' Note: Mr. Saltas has given his permission that his response to P.O.C. be posted. 
On Dec 11, 2013, at 1:01 AM, John Saltas wrote:



Dear POC

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:



You've already crossed the hatred abyss POC. Please keep on going. You're a disruptive, faceless coward with a keyboard. Nothing more. On that score, I will credit Mary for signing her name and she has once or twice exposed a bit of clever wit. But you? A spud. A potato. All eyes and thin skin. No heart nor brain. All rot when exposed to the light of day.

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.

John Saltas


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
From: protectourclergy@gmail.com

To:

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.

Parish Council
George Adondakis gadondakis@nicholasandco.com
Gus Colessides gcolessides@gmail.com
Steve Gamvroulas sgamvroulas@gmail.com
Philip Kithas philipkithas@comcast.net
Alicia Mares alicia_mares@bd.com
John Mastakas john@usemetro.com
Maria Oneida mariaoneida@comcast.net
Tom Peters twp@psplawyers.com
Chris Sakellariou csakellariou@hotmail.com
Sakis Sakaellariou jsiouris@hotmail.com
Pete Saltas pete.saltas@gmail.com
Pete Sefakis pns@yahoo.com
Tikey Skedros tsked@aol.com
Dimitrios Tsagaris dimitrios.tsagaris@gmail.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
Email: metropolis@denver.goarch.org

2 comments:

chris dokos said...

I know I leave myself open to the sharp pen of Mr. Saltas, but I'm going to ask anyway.

Since he strongly has hinted that he is the only one capable of writing a good article, I would humbly like to see his Pilitzer Prize. I am in awe!!!

Come on John. Stick with the good work you do with the Weekly. Don't keep tearing your own brothers and sisters apart

As I look down the list of the new board, I can't help but feel that this new board was set up to have a confrontation with the Metropolitan. What a waste. What a shame!!! We are tampering with 2000 years of religious tradition that has set us apart from the rest of the world. How arrogant are we. Shame on us all.

I am saddened by the fact that I love people on both sides of the battle. I can't decide who, if anyone, is right. I know one thing. The Metropolitan is very intelligent. He is sitting back and letting us destroy ourselves. Who wins? Nobody.

My Mormon friends are laughing at us all!!

God forgive us all.

I have an idea. Since priests aren't worth anything to us. Why don't we fire them all. We should, then, put the names of all parishioners in good standing in a hat. The first one pulled out is the Bishop of our churches. Then he picks 12 more names out of the hat to be his council of 12, or apostles. We, then, change the names of the churched to GOC ward 1 and ward 2.

Every Sunday, we should go to the Ward and listen to the bishop and apostles bare their testimony, telling us how great they and their families are. Afterwards, we pay our tithing at the door and wait until next week. Our Philoptohos(relief society)(only one!!) will meet once a month.

Stupid,huh? Yes we are.

I travel to other Greek communities with my band. They are all laughing at us. How embarrassing. I know we are better than that.

Give the money back to the donors. That would solve one big problem.

My heart is broken. My family has been here since 1904. I hate seeing people I love tear each other apart.

I hope that this is the last blog written by ANYONE!!!

If I have made any grammar mistakes, forgive me. I'm only a third grade teacher.

I'm the older Chris Dokos. So don't attack my son.

John Saltas said...

Chris

I'd never attack you or your son or any member of your family. And you know I have ties to the Dokos family so that's a non-starer anyway. Plus, you should know I have great respect for teachers and musicians.

I honestly don't know what my hint is about being a capable writer, Chris--I just write and sign my name, which in this community seems to strike awe.

I'm happy you're in the conversation and more than happy you've signed your name to your words. But, I would ask you to show me where I've attacked our "brothers and sisters". I have not. I've responded to false and baseless claims made by an anonymous author or authors. Those falsehoods cannot stand in my world.

I do not see the new board as you do. Rather, I see that an entire block of persons--small but vocal--decided not to participate in our open system of elections, but who now cry foul. They did not submit names to run. They clocked out of a General Assembly. They did not nominate persons to run. They did not vote. Now they are complaining in letters like this recent one from POC and mocking our "brothers and sisters" all over Facebook.

And, yes, I plus a few hundred others will stand against such systemic mockery despite that the "Mormons are laughing" or anyone else. If there was no wrong committed, there would be no news and nothing to laugh about. Finger pointing about who is more wrong is pointless.

You and I agree on this: Our Metropolitan has let this community down in a big way. We should not let him nor anyone else rip us apart--my family on both sides has been here since 1906, right behind yours.

Looking forward to the next 100 years, Chris, and to hearing your band as often as I can on Thursday nights.

Respectfully,

John Saltas