“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


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Letters Sent from the Parish Council, 5 December 2013

The following packet of letters was sent out today by our Parish Council. The original packet, sent via e-mail, may be viewed here.

December 5, 2013

Dear Parishioners,

Elections for Parish Council will proceed this Sunday, December 8th as previously communicated. The letter below from Metropolitan Isaiah clearly states that the elections can proceed as planned.

Below is a letter from Fr. Michael and Fr. Matthew appealing to the Metropolitan to postpone elections. This letter is a request to the Metropolitan, and is not direction to delay or cancel the election process. As such, the election procedure will commence as planned this Sunday, December 8th at both Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias.

Also below please find a Notice of Appeal to the Holy Eparchial Synod that will be filed today.

In His Name and Service

Your Parish Council

November 26, 2013

Rev. Michael Kouremetis
Rev. Matthew Gilbert
Rev. Elias Koucos
The Members of the Parish Council
The Greek Orthodox Community of Salt Lake City
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral
279 South 300 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church
5335 S. Highland Dr.
Holladay, UT 84117

Beloved in the Lord,

I thank you for your letter of November 13, 2013 infonning me of what took place at the meeting of the parishioners which was supposed to be a canonical parish assembly. For the clergy and at least one hundred parishioners to leave the meeting before it ended in a proper manner forces me to declare the meeting invalid along with any decisions which may have been passed.

In regard to candidates for the eight parish council positions to be filled, according to my letter to you dated October 23, 2013, their names, along with the names of those already received, may be given to the Board of Elections by December 8, 2013. This way the list of candidates for parish council elections will be compl eted by December 9, 2013, if the elections will take place on the second Sunday of December, as the uniform Parish Regulations provide (Article 25, Section 1). If, for necessary reasons, this time frame appears to be too short, I grant pennission for the elections to take place on Sunday December 15, 2013.

Please keep in mind that the candidates who plan to run for the new parish council must have been approved by the two proista menoi (Article 25, Section 2), as well as the approval of the list of parishioners who plan to vote for them. On the basis of this regulation both Father Matthew Gil bert and Father Michael Kouremetis must approve of the list of parish council candidates, as well as the roster of those parishioners who are qualified to vote.

If for whatever reasons, these directions are not followed and the parish council elections do not take place, I will have no choice but to appoint eight of the qualified candidates who wish to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church in Salt Lake City for the next two years, 2014 and 2015, and who will join the continuing seven members of the council.

It is time for all the Greek Orthodox people who consider themselves as members of our Archdiocese family here in the United States and who reside in the Salt Lake City region, to want to work together in the spirit if Christian love and to continue our two thousand year Apostolic Christian heritage to the glory of God and for the salvation of all His people.

May our loving God guide and bless all of you as you demonstrate that you belong to Him as heirs of His coming Kingdom.

With paternal blessings


Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver

December 3, 2013

Received via fax December 4, 2013

His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver
4550 East Alameda Avenue
Denver, CO 80246-1208

Your Eminence,

We are writing to inform you that parish counci l elections cannot yet take place because the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese are not being upheld.

Having received your letter of November 26, 2013, in which you confirm and "declare the assembly meeting invalid along with any decisions which may have been passed'', we remind Your Eminence that we cannot proceed with parish council elections because the invalid assembly negated, as well, the appointment of an election committee and any parish council candidate nominations that were received at the invalid assembly.

There cannot be anyone in canonical good standing at this point without a canonical parish assembl y. As a result, we cannot proceed to determine who is in canonical and fmancial good standing as referenced in Article 25 Section 2 which states, "A candidate for the Parish Council must be a parishioner in good standing of the Parish for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the date of the election and must live his or her life in accordance with the Faith and canons of the Church. The Priest determines whether the Parishioners are in canonical and financial good standing as specified in Article 18, Sections 1 through 3".

Therefore, we cannot proceed with a parish council candidates' seminar nor allow parish council elections to take place without first having a canonical parish assembly.

With love and respect,
we are Kissing Your Right Hand.
 Fr. Michael Kouremetis
Fr. Matthew Gilbert





December 5, 2013

To: His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, and the Holy Eparchial Synod of Bishops of the Archdiocese of America

This is an Appeal to the pursuant to and in accordance with PART IV, ARTICLE 35, Dispute Resolution Procedures, “Addendum B, Dispute Resolution Procedures,” of the Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 2007, (the “UPRs”).

This Appeal is being filed by and on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake.

This Appeal is taken from certain determinations having been made by His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, as more particularly set forth in the attached letter dated November 26, 2013, marked Exhibit “A” and by this reference is incorporated herein and made a part hereof, and all related matters leading up to the above referenced letter.

It is hereby respectfully requested that the Holy Eparchial Synod considers this matter, at such time as convenient to the Holy Eparchial Synod, and to the parties.

Appellant respectfully submits that it will be filing its Appellate brief within 30 days from date hereof. Dated this 5th day of December, 2013.

By Order of the Parish Council of the

Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake


Dimitrios Tsagaris, President


The undersigned hereby certifies that a copy of the foregoing has been served as set forth herein below:
Via Fax: 212/570-3592

Via Email:

The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
c/o His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela
Secretary Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
8-10 East 79th Street
New York NY 10021

Via Fax: 212/570-3592

Via Email:

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios

Office of the Archbishop

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

8-10 East 79th Street

New York NY 10021

Via Fax: (303) 333-7796

Via Email:

His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah

Metropolitan of Denver

4550 East Alameda Avenue

Denver CO 80246-1208

by Email and Federal Express overnight service, this 5th day of December, 2013. Dimitrios Tsagaris, President

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