“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, March 24, 2011

Letter, March 24, 2011, Archbishop Demetrios to Metropolitan Isaiah

Moderator's Note: Archbishop Demetrios wrote a letter to Metropolitan Isaiah concerning the situation in Salt Lake City. The text of that letter is cited below; the original may be viewed here.


March 24, 2011
His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver
Holy Metropolis of Denver
4550 East Alameda Avenue
Denver, CO 80246

Your Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah, beloved brother in the Lord,

At your request last October and in accordance with the Holy Canons and our Archdiocesan Charter and Regulations, the Holy Eparchial Synod agreed to review an appeal pertaining to the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake City. The Holy Synod in its meeting on March 17, 2011, reached consensus on the following decisions:

1. It is important to clarify that many of the existing misunderstandings and controversies are the result of the now-expired accommodations given to the parish in 1964 (referred to by some as the "1964 Accord"), with respect to the then-current Uniform Parish Regulations. It appears that a number of parishioners mistakenly believe that those accommodations are still in effect. In fact, since 1964, our Archdiocese has received two new Charters from our beloved Ecumenical Patriarchate and new regulations have been adopted by Clergy-Laity Congresses and ratified by the Holy and Sacred Synod of our Ecumenical Patriarchate. During this period, the Salt Lake City parish by having requested and accepted clergy and services from the Archdiocese, placed itself under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese and, given our Canonical and hierarchical Church structure, bound itself to the Holy Canons and all provisions of the current Archdiocesan Charter and Regulations.

It is our fervent prayer and expectation that, since we have now clarified that the "1964 Accord" is not in effect, the parish's General Assembly and its newly elected parish council will administer the affairs of the parish in accordance with the Holy Canons and current Archdiocesan Regulations. Our Regulations are clear that all parish funds (including those invested at Hightower) must be owned exclusively by the parish and must be under the custodianship of the parish council (subject to the various requirements and controls contained in the Archdiocesan Regulations). The Archdiocese will assist the parish with completing a proper release of the approximately S1.2 million in funds frozen by the HighTower investment firm. At the same time, it is necessary to assure the applicable administrative agencies and all involved that these funds were not stolen or misappropriated.

2. As agreed, the Salt Lake community will remain as one united parish, until such time as the appropriate conditions are in place for the separation into two communities. Therefore, the ecclesiastical charter for Prophet Elias that was issued on April 12. 2010, is to be considered inapplicable and consequently withdrawn. Similarly, the Prophet Elias corporation will be formally dissolved and no separate trade names will be filed with the state of Utah for Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias.

The Holy Eparchial Synod believes that there are long-term spiritual and other benefits with the separation of Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias in the future. It encourages the parish to develop, under the guidance of one unified, elected parish council, long-term strategy and planning committees. These teams of faithful should prayerfully and seriously consider ministry, operational, financial and other issues, in order to help meet the growing and diverse needs of the parishioners and provide greater opportunities for service to God's Holy Church.

3. The parish has an immediate need for an accurate list of stewards which reflects all individuals participating in the life of the parish. In an attempt to reach out to all the faithful the parish should contact those on stewardship rosters for the past several years and encourage them to submit a unified pledge of their time, talent and treasure for 2011, so that they may be considered stewards for the current year and participate in the general assembly voting for the Parish Council and similar activities. The Archdiocese will assist the parish in developing an updated roster and a comprehensive stewardship program. Since at this time the community will not be separated into two entities, there will be only one stewardship pledge form for the parish and all stewardship funds will be centrally administered by the parish council. Once the stewardship roster is developed, the parish will be in a position to hold a General Assembly according to the current Archdiocesan Charter and Regulations.

As stated in the Regulations, serving on the parish council is a ministry. There is a great need for our parish councils, and, indeed, for all parishioners in our communities, to fully understand their roles and obligations as stewards of the Church. Also every parish must make certain that fair and appropriate procedures for parish council elections are followed. Therefore, the legal, finance and stewardship committees of the Archdiocese will be at your disposal to assist the clergy with parish council training and developing a process for a fair and prompt parish council election.

Our Church values all its members and welcomes their ideas and contributions in building up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12). At this time we ask that all the faithful of the Parish of Greater Salt Lake City come together as brothers and sisters to continue their service in humility and love in the vineyard of our Lord. We expect that they treat each other with respect, live as exemplary Orthodox Christians and respect the Church, the Archdiocese, their elected Metropolitan, the clergy and all the laity. The Holy Eparchial Synod with great love and care urges everyone involved forgiving each other, and abiding by its decisions.

Your Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah, beloved brother in the Lord,

The Holy Synod, of which you are also a most valuable and integral member. affirms your authority as a Shepherd of the Holy Metropolis of Denver, and assures you, that it will firmly be at your side as you kindly implement the Synodal decisions for the benefit of the Greater Salt Lake City Community who are under your Administrative and Pastoral care.
On behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod, we remain

With deep brotherly love and high esteem,


+DEMETRIOS Archbishop of America President of the Holy Eparchial Synod

cc.: Member Hierarchs of the Holy Eparchial Synod
Fr. Michael Kouremetis
Fr. Matthew Gilbert
The Parish Council of Holy Trinity Cathedral and Prophet Elias Church
John Johns-Counsel of the Metropolis of Denver
Appelants (sic)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Facts" Concerning the Salt Lake City Situation - FIVE & SIX

Note: The Metropolitan's "facts" are highlighted.

5. The false rationale that parish funds controlled by individuals of the parish rather than the current parish council can be looked upon as a “local Leadership 100”, such as that of the Archdiocese, is dangerous and can take the organization of the Archdiocese as it is today back to 1931 when then-Archbishop Athenagoras was attempting to unite the Greek Orthodox parishes in America into a canonical, hierarchical structure, in harmony with the teachings and traditions of the Church from the days of the Apostles.

From the Leadership 100 Web site: “The Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund (the "Fund") was established in 1984, for the purpose of seeding and nurturing programs under the National Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and those that advance Orthodoxy and Hellenism.”

From the Hellenic Community Foundation Web site: “The Foundation was formed as the mechanism through which private, corporate, and foundation support is raised and managed for capital projects and programs benefiting the Hellenic community.”

How this entity is so dissimilar, or how it is “dangerous”, or how it can take the organization of the Archdiocese back to some ominously darker time more than a half-century ago is never explained. Why this organization is not harmonious with the teachings and traditions of the Church, yet Leadership 100 is, remains unanswered, thus ignoring the logical dictum, “he who asserts must prove.”

6. The threat of lawsuits by those who claim to be Greek Orthodox Christians against the Archdiocese, the Metropolis or the parish places these individuals in danger of excommunication from the Church and, also, if the observance of the current Uniform Parish Regulations of the Archdiocese of America is deliberately ignored or rejected by such individuals.

And yet, again, it comes to this! When the Metropolitan does not get his own way, he resorts to the “danger of excommunication” threat. Since reason and love do not seem to be the means by which the Church is governed by its hierarchs anymore, fear and exclusion become the weapons of choice. We have acknowledged before that this in an unequal contest - "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with threats of excommunication?"

The majority of the faithful in this community have tried hard to seek reasonable compromises and alternatives, have exhausted every reasonable avenue. To no avail. Time and again, we have tried vainly to discourse with a tone-deaf Parish Council whose members have sold out this community and the legacy of their own forefathers, complicit local clergy and Metropolis, who also dishonor their faith and heritage, and finally, to the Archdiocese, who, it seems either cannot or will not come up with a reasonable solution.

At each turn we have been ignored, rebuffed, lied to, or stalled while our collective legacy is sundered and squandered. Our community is stagnating. Stewards have had their livelihoods and reputations, and those of their families, tarnished. Our “shepherds” and “leaders” have turned friends, koumbaroi, siblings, cousins, parents and in-laws against each other. And, as far as ignoring the “observance of the current UPRs” we have noticed that His Eminence and his minions here constantly cite those supportive of their positions, and conveniently ignore those that do not.

It is quite clear that Lord Acton, yet again, is proven correct. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is obvious that having been given excessive power by the Patriarch, through the latest Charter and through the Uniform Parish Regulations, which have provisions designed to scuttle the previously concilliar governance shared by the clergy and laity, there is simply too much temptation to wield this absolute power unkindly and unwisely. The situations in Lowell, Lynn and Salt Lake City are but the latest examples. The lay leadership of the faithful in this country simply rolled over and “hoped for the best”, while any dissenting voices were either removed or silenced at the 2004 Clergy-Laity Congress.

The results have been predictable. Our bishops continue to demonstrate that they will wield this overly vast power, not lovingly, but ruthlessly when they do not get their way. They are the Lord’s Apostolic successors, yet they treat His flock and His Bride, the Church, with cynical disdain because they can. When things finally become too overwhelming, and the laity, finding no palatable alternative, revolts, the bishops resort to threats, claiming the Church solely for themselves. L’eglise, c’est moi!

Would Jesus do this? We doubt it, and that IS a FACT!

"Facts" Concerning the Salt Lake City Situation - THREE & FOUR

Note: The Metropolitan's "facts" are highlighted.

3. The conflict or confusion is intensified because at least two million dollars of parish funds are not under the custodianship of the legal parish council, but under secular entities, eight hundred thousand of which are under the Hellenic Cultural Foundation, whose members do not comprise the legitimate parish council. Article 34, Section 1 of the Uniform Parish Regulations states clearly concerning the custodianship of parish assets.

The only conflict or confusion surrounding these disputed funds has come from the Metropolitan’s acquiescence to the very few who want control of these funds, which are designated for specific purposes. Having witnessed the outrages committed by those who have seized power in this community, we have no doubt that they would and could easily justify a demand for half of them once they engineered their division of this community.

Considering their dismal record of faulty governance, they could borrow against these monies, even if they could not divert the funds. Do we trust them in light of behaviors the past several years? Other sources of confusion are that first the Metropolitan was in favor of the HHC, then the HCF, which was overwhelmingly approved by a highly attended General Assembly, and then pulled his approval when he realized it would hamper the plans of those demanding a split.

We remind the Metropolitan of his words in November 2005 (well after the oft-cited UPRs were adopted):

  • "First and foremost it must be stressed that every Greek Orthodox parish is owned by the general membership."
  • "All real estate and all revenues belong to the membership."
  • "Neither the Archdiocese, nor the Metropolis, NOR ANY OTHER ENTITY can claim title to the revenues and the property of a canonical parish, since each parish is separately incorporated in the city and state in which it exists."
  • "This means that in the matter of revenues and property, the general membership makes all the decisions." (emphases added)
He also stated that he would NOT forcibly split this community. Apparently however, he forgot to mention that he would do it secretly and behind our backs.

4. The so-called appeal to the Archdiocese concerning the decision for the recognition of two separate parishes in Salt Lake City is irregular, since each Metropolis is administered by the presiding Metropolitan and not by the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese administered all of the present Metropolises before September 1979 when each entity was considered an Archdiocesan District. However, when the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognized the former districts as autonomous dioceses, and later as metropolises, the sole authority of each metropolis is the presiding Metropolitan. Only if the presiding metropolitan deviates from the Canons of the Church and the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Archdiocese can the Holy Synod enter into the matter for the proper determination or solution.

There are several instances of tortured logic in this “fact”. The Metropolitan claims authority to basically do as he wishes in his Metropolis so long as he does not violate the ARCHDIOCESE Uniform Parish Regulations (obviously a matter of "interpretation") or those elusive, never-cited Canons.

After removing Spyridon as Archbishop of America, the Patriarch did, in fact, grant each Metropolitan vast authority over his own individual Metropolis. Whether they were granted SOLE and unfettered authority is questionable.

The Archbishop is “first among equals” here in America. Theoretically at least, he then presides to some degree over the Metropolitans. It was Archbishop Demetrios who issued the charter to the conspirators at Prophet Elias (only ONE of whom was an APPOINTED parish council member). This charter was obtained under secrecy. Its existence was kept secret for over half a year. We contend this was done under false pretenses insofar as the information given to the Archbishop at the time the charter was requested from him. Certainly Archbishop Demetrios is NOW aware that there NEVER was a General Assembly to even DISCUSS, let alone approve, dividing our community or its properties – clearly a violation of those oft-cited UPRs.

Aside from the deception involved, the situation begs the question: If the Metropolitan truly has total, unfettered authority, why was the Archbishop’s grant of a charter for a separate church required? He must then have some authority over the Metropolises.

The Metropolitan seeks to have it both ways, on the one hand he demands complete obedience on the laity’s part to the UPRs of the Archdiocese, though not necessarily on his part or on the part of his cohorts here. Yet, on the other hand, he claims he doesn’t answer to the Archdiocese!

"Facts" Concerning the Salt Lake City Situation - ONE & TWO

Note: The Metropolitan's "facts" are highlighted.

1. The present organizational structure of the Community is an anomaly and is not covered by the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Archdiocese.

It is in no way the fault of this unique, and not anomalous (to the Metropolitan's mind), community that the recent UPRs of the ARCHDIOCESE (there is, by the way, a similar situation to ours in the Archdiocesan District) were passed without proper representation and proper CONSIDERATION for the needs of ALL concerned. (Yes, we know that the authors of the UPRs, who sold the laity out COMPLETELY, addressed these problems in the usual cavalier way of banana republics - by telling us we were not ALLOWED to object whether we were represented or not.)

Based on this “fact”, the Metropolitan, along with a small minority in this community, seeks to:

  • rescind the expressed wishes of the founders of this community, who put procedures in place designed to maintain unity in a unique religious and secular situation; 
  • demand HALF this community's assets for a minority of less than 15% as measured by THEIR OWN SURVEY, with questions that they themselves composed; when the numbers didn't meet their expectations, they sought a back-door route, continuing to do so in spite of growing opposition to this action;
  • brush aside civil property matters with regard to this community’s collectively owned assets;
  • ignore the wishes of the overwhelming majority of faithful stewards in this community, who steadfastly honor the intent and sacrifices of their ancestors.
2. The article which most closely identifies with correcting the Salt Lake City matter, which has two houses of worship under one parish council, is found in the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Archdiocese in Article 23, which states that a parish shall have only one church edifice. This article alludes to the administrative structure of a parish, as well as the canonical and spiritual.

We don’t need or want this sort of “correcting”. Again, this community is unique; this fact was recognized by discerning bishops in decades prior, and should be so decades hence, until such time as this community chooses, with the proper MAJORITY, to follow the established local procedures for such action.

The administrative structure of this parish had worked quite well until the clergy, under these "new rules" tried to stifle the voice of the majority with regard to governance. They did so in order to satisfy their overarching need for control, and to satisfy the insular ambitions of the very few. Insofar as “the canonical and spiritual”, yet again the Metropolitan alludes to canons never cited.

Finally, we would ask what the Metropolitan means by asserting (again, with no proof) that there has been spiritual impairment in this community for the previous 100 years? Is the Metropolitan implying that our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents - those brave, pious souls who gave so much to the Church - were and are spiritually impaired?

Monday, March 14, 2011

By: Nick J. Colessides
March 14, 2011

(Or how the Archbishop and the Holy
Eparchial Synod were thrown under the bus)

The Prophet Elias Church [not “Parish”] Proistameno worked feverishly last Thursday and personally supervised and mailed a letter penned by the Denver Metropolitan, in January 2011. It is titled “Facts Pertaining to the Salt Lake City Situation.” There will be 1,087 local lucky parishioners/recipients of the letter.

In paragraph 4 of his letter to the Holy Eparchial Synod and the Archbishop of America, the Denver Metropolitan is letting us know that he holds “King’s X” over our spiritual and worldly lives.

The Denver Metropolitan has mistaken his appointment as a Metropolitan to that of a king. He confuses his Bishop’s Mitre with a king’s crown; however, no one has celebrated his coronation. He confuses his liturgical robes with imperial robes. He needs to know that the emoluments [and Offikia] of the Metropolitan’s Office are like perfume; they are supposed to be smelled not swallowed.

The Prophet Elias Church Proistameno follows him. He was appointed as “εφημέριος;” he earned the right to become “εφήμερος.” He has earned the right to have achieved the distinction of becoming irrelevant to the spiritual lives of the parishioners of our parish.

Those who forget to learn from history are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past.

The arrogance of incompetence. Serfdom was abolished about 400 years ago; the Constitutional liberties of the Magna Carta were adopted in the United States almost 250 years ago. The Denver Metropolitan’s favorite ploy is to threaten excommunication. He forgets that the Catholic “Holy [Spanish] Inquisition” was abolished almost 700 years ago.

One wonders about the fact that over the last decade our community has paid to the Denver Metropolitan about one and a half million dollars. What benefit did our community receive from the Denver Metropolitan ??

It is time that the Denver Metropolitan get in touch with reality. It is time for the Marine to lay down his sword and retire; he should be asking for forgiveness for his illusion of grandeur. And, wherever he goes, to take with him the Prophet Elias Church Proistameno.

T. P. M. G.

Φωνή λαού, οργή Θεού. Remember Egypt.

Kali Sarakosti.

Too Good Not to Be Its Own Blog Article!

Moderator's note: Jim Sefandonakis sent this in as a response to the previous blog article, ...The Decline of Filotimo. We thought it was a well-needed touch of levity, and, as such, it deserved its own space.

While true our community has witnessed concerning changes over the last decade, one of the most difficult things to swallow is the coffee served up during social hour.

Where are our priorities? Will we drink anything the church hands us to drink?

Sure we need church upgrades like a new dome and past due bills need to be paid. In fact, some of these concerns can cause us to lose sight of what really matters, like a good cup of coffee that does not leave a bad taste in our mouth.

Years ago actual coffee grounds were perked and a half decent cup of coffee could be found after church. It was good coffee back then. It was coffee that we enjoyed drinking because we were drinking it as one community. But the coffee today? Search high and low, you will not find one person that likes what is being served up.

So I think the time has come for a new coffee maker. I'm talking about a chrome and brass Italian espresso machine that we can all be proud of. A machine that keeps us from sneaking out early from church to visit the Starbucks just down the street. We need this coffee maker and we need it yesterday. We can even call it our Filotimo coffee maker.

But how will we pay for this new machine when so many of us are reluctant to contribute funds to a church that has been serving us bad coffee for so long? I for one would give much more to my church if I knew the money that I gave them was being used for good things. I don't have an unlimited pocket book so when I do give I hope the money is used wisely. But now I am not even being told what they are doing with our funds. They won't let us vote for a board or allow us to have a general assembly. As far as I know they are building secret rooms with wires running in and out of them. Does anyone know other than a very small handful of people how our money is being managed? I don't have a clue what is going on because no one is telling anybody anything. So until we make right these problems, not very many people are going to hand over a check to an organization that keeps us in the dark on how they spend our money. Looks like it will be a long time before we get a new coffee maker, and we will just keep drinking cup after cup of the same old thing.

See you at Starbucks.

- Jim Sefandonakis

Friday, March 11, 2011

The True Costs of a Lost Decade: The Decline of "Filotimo"

We have often outlined on this site the lost "opportunity costs" in this dismal period in our community's history. For nearly a decade, we have witnessed overarching clerical control, aided and abetted by an unquestioning, cherry-picked lay "leadership". We have seen, first-hand, what this lost decade has done to this once-vibrant community.
During this time, our community's faithful have witnessed:
  • missed opportunities for badly needed church upgrades and expansion
  • ongoing and pernicious squabbles that have put worthwhile projects on hold
  • unilateral re-prioritization of projects to suit the needs and wishes of the few
  • gross negligence in governance - including tax penalties and liens
  • an audit revealing faulty accounting and operational practices
  • resignations of parish council members under the cloud of conspiracy and ethics issues
  • bullying by the hierarchy (using the sacred), and priests and parish council members (using the profane) against faithful, loyal stewards of several DECADES' standing
  • dismissals of entire boards, and/or individual board members
  • removal of stewards from ballots to ensure only certain individuals will be on the parish council (native Greek speakers need not apply!)
  • capricious and arbitrary ecclesiastical sanctions for specious reasons, without benefit of hearing
  • deliberate action to denigrate and cause harm to the reputations and livelihoods of outstanding stewards in the community
  • stewardship declines
  • dysfunction, confusion, sadness, frustration, outrage, apathy
This caustic situation has been foisted upon us as a deliberate and calculated tactic to maintain absolute control by the very few and on their SOLE behalf to divide us. This, in spite of the FACT that the great majority of us DO NOT WISH TO BE DIVIDED. This (mis)administration's own survey demonstrated this FACT quite clearly.

Despite what their own numbers tell them and us, we are continually witnessing that which is not so easily measured - the depth of the human costs - the strained relationships - between parents, children, in-laws, siblings, cousins, koumbaroi, friends - that will take years to mend, if they mend at all.

Clergy are, we are told, "men of God." We would posit that to be "a man of God", you first have to be A MAN, and a GOOD man at that! To be a good man is to be a good husband, a good father, a good son, a good brother, a good friend. A good man loves the Lord, loves his spouse, loves his family, loves his friends. A good man is not just an observant Christian, more than that, he is an ethical Christian. A good man stands for what is right, despite the cost. A good priest, married or not, must go yet further and love his flock, exemplified by Jesus' love for His Church and for mankind. No professed MAN of God should ever foster, condone, or seek to excuse the situation that pits a community's members against each other. Yet, inexplicably, our clergy, our shepherds (lower and higher), have done so and continue to do so. A good man, and therefore a good clergyman, has "filotimo".

"Filotimo!" That most untranslatable of Greek words! Loosely, it means the honoring of friends, but more so, it denotes one who is a friend of HONOR! No one single word in the English language can describe it. It is an attribute of character described by the Hellenes that is very much in line with Christian love, Christian compassion, Christian empathy and Christian humility. It is a trait we ought to strive for in our reflections during this Lenten season.

Kali Sarakosti s'olous,

- Barbara Billinis Colessides

Παντα υποχρεοι - Always Obliged

Θερμες ευχαριστιες στον προισταμενο της κοινοτητας μας πατηρ Κουρεμετη για τον
υπερμετρο ζηλο που επεδειξε να φερει εις περας την δυσκολον αποστολη της ταχυδρομησης επιστολης
απο το Μητροπολιτη Ησαια!

Το γοργον και χαριν εχει.
Τα ρασα δε κανουν το παππα.

Γιαννης Αρμαου


Warmest thanks and appreciation to the Proistamenos (of-Prophet-Elias-only) Kouremetis for the immeasurable zeal he has shown in sending us and delivering to us, with some measure of difficulty, the message via "snail mail" from Metropolitan Isaiah.

There is virtue in quick decisions.
The cassock does not make the priest.

Yannis Armaou

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Define Sermon

Congratulations to all the children of Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Churches of Greater Salt Lake City, who participated in the Oratorical festival. Those who will participate in the Metropolis competition will do so as members of the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake and not from the "Prophet Elias parish" as was mistakenly announced today by the proistameno of Prophet Elias only.

A good sermon can go a long way in setting the tone for the upcoming week. It is an opportunity for the clergy to connect with their flock and inspire them. Lately, the proistameno of Prophet Elias only has taken the liberty of turning the sermon into an question and answer session.  Here are some highlights from his  "sermon" today:

  • He explained how we have a new parish council.  Our question is:  Is this parish council legal?  We believe it is NOT.  
  • He explained how the Prophet Elias "parish" nominees were sworn in but the Holy Trinity "parish" nominees refused to be sworn in.  Our question is:  When was the split finalized making two parishes?
  • He unsuccessfully tried to explain how the current "parish council" came to be.  What he didn't explain is that one "member" was not part of the initial interim parish council and therefore in violation of the directive of the metropolitan.
After concluding with the mundane, he asked if there were any questions.  Seeing none he was convinced that everyone understood the state of affairs.  He did happen to mention that those with questions will post them to the blog or talk about them at Einstein's.  (Glad we could be of service)

It might benefit Fr. Kouremetis to review the linked Protocol from the metropolitan which states in part: "In this light, I exhort each of you who are pastors to ensure that the sermon or homily  in the Divine Liturgy is always focused on the readings given to us by the Church for our edification and is invariably in accord with the Apostolic tradition of our faith." http://www.denver.goarch.org/protocols/1996-Protocols/protocol-96-08.html

For the record, the Gospel reading today was from Matthew 6:14-21

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Parishioner's Response to the Formation of a "New" Parish Council

I guess they forgot to send us a ballot and we missed the election. Funny, I don't even remember having the opportunity to place people I believe in on the ballot. As a matter of fact, I don't even remember being given notice of a general assembly where we are supposed to openly discuss potential council members, hold elections, and decide the trivial matters such as the finances and the future of our community.

Even stranger than all of this, I do remember being told where and how to send my stewardship check. I do recall being told that if I didn't follow the properly approved methods that I would not be deemed a steward of our church and as a punishment would not be able to attend these imaginary meetings and vote for this imaginary parish council.

I guess I will just have to send an imaginary check, on an imaginary approved card and pretend that I am a steward. I think I will even add a couple of imaginary digits to the end of it so that I can feel real good about my commitments.

After all what do I really have to lose?

- Dean J. Shilaos

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Secret Deals - Byzantine Machinations

The Conspiracy Theorist Will Love it!

And, suddenly the truth is known.

The 6 individuals who resigned on February 25, 2011, had a private deal to serve until February 28, 2011. They were not the thinkers that we thought they were, when appointed to those positions. I guess it must have been done as a favor to the Denver Metropolitan and Fr. Kouremetis.

I suppose the parishioners are not worthy to know any particulars; ... no one told us.

What were the 6 promised? Who brokered the deal?? Were there any minutes kept about the secret deal??? Is the extension legal either under the UPRs or the State By-Laws ????

The Denver Metropolitan’s October 6, 2010, letter ordering the split did not reference any extension of service by the 6. I am thinking that our Appeal to the Holy Eparchial Synod intervened and he had to change course. ... but of course the Denver Metropolitan did not adhere the admonition “all parties must refrain” part of the Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod’s letter anyway. Loose cannons on deck.

The Denver Metropolitan and Fr. Kouremetis are enjoying running things Rambo-style yet again. Fr. Matthew just follows. None of them have shown any respect toward either substance or process. No respect for their parishioners. Yet, what does one expect?

Neither the UPRs nor the State filed By-laws permit the extension of any term of any member of the Board of Trustees; it cannot be done by either the Denver Metropolitan or his anointed clergymen Fr. Kouremetis or Fr. Gilbert; the 6 are not permitted sua sponte to have their own term extended.

The 2 have resigned first; and the 6 resigned on Sunday. Today another one resigned... Only 6 left. This corporation has been left without a quorum to transact any business.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that if one cent is spent for any purpose whatsoever, from and after March 1, 2011, from the GOCGSL funds, I will make sure that whoever spends any money, the funds so expended illegally, unlawfully, and ultra vires, will be paid back from his/her own pocket. This a new cause of action in addition to all the illegal expenditures made by the appointees from and after January 1, 2011.

Enough is enough. How long does anyone think that we should be subjected to such an outrage? Can we endure any longer???

People, lawyer up!

Best regards,


Nick J. Colessides

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ERRATUM: Mr. Colessides has asked the blog moderators to add the following:

Mr. Steve Simos, a former member of the Parish Council called me earlier this afternoon (March 2, 2011) and reminded me of my error in this Blog piece. He took issue with my conspiracy theory assertion because he reminded me that the disclosure about the extended term of service, was contained in the SECOND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION; it was thus disclosed to the entire community on December 8, 2010. Mr. Simos is correct. My apologies to all and my thanks and appreciation to Mr. Simos for giving me an opportunity to correct the record.


Nick J. Colessides

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