“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, January 23, 2014

"Saving souls..."

Fr. Kouremetis,

Will you please tell us if you condone or condemn
last Sunday's unfortunate events ? 

The Parish will be waiting.

Yannis Armaou

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Parish Council Letter to the Community - January 22, 2014

The Parish Council has responded to the events that took place last Sunday. Their original correspondence may be viewed here.

January 22, 2014

Dear Parishioners,

Your parish council is very concerned with the events at Prophet Elias last Sunday, January 19th.  For those of you who may not be aware, one of the parish council was assaulted in the narthex by one of our fellow  parishioners.   This  altercation  was  physical and resulted in the authorities being called to the scene. No one was injured.

We have filed a formal report with the  local authorities and  our  Hierarchs.  We  are  taking  this event very seriously and will be taking necessary precautions to prevent further violence.

At this time we ask everyone to refrain from altercations in our houses of worship.

In His Name and Service

Your Parish Council

Monday, January 20, 2014


We are not looking for the PC to fund our Priest, we are doing that OURSELVES thank you very much! As I've said before, stay in your playground and we'll stay in ours. What took place after church today will continue to happen until you and yours get the message that we REFUSE the PC's authority. The PC are NOTHING but simple-minded parishioners hungry for properties, power and control. Don't come to PE looking to cause problems or you will surely find them.

- from the former first "lady" of our community

It should come as no surprise whatsoever that these holier-than-thou "orthodox" "Christians" are not ASHAMED of their disgraceful and cowardly actions, incited by the priest to whom they have a cult-like devotion.

This promised threat is directed toward properly elected officials of OUR community, and presumably, toward anyone they deem as "not belonging" to their cult.

They claim our church now as their turf. Further, as with all BULLIES their "enforcers" chose to pick on the most elderly of the Parish Council members who served that day.

Now they claim that if we don't stay in our "playground" (really?) this will happen again.

Our church, the church where we were married, where we christened our children, where we buried loved ones, where our forebears are memorialized, is called a "playground"?

Again, we call on the hierarchy to put a stop to this lunacy - to these bullying THREATS - before someone gets seriously hurt!

The Time for Laughter Has Passed; It's Time for Tears!

What can one say about a group of people, who, while clearly in the minority (a fact proved over and over again) have simply decided to behave like vicious squatters who claim what belongs to ALL of US solely for themselves?

The facts are still coming in regarding yesterday's debacle at Prophet Elias. We have refrained from commentary thus far in order to give those involved time to give statements to the authorities and to the Archdiocese.

What is clear is that Father Michael, in refusing for far too many months now to deal with, a) the properly elected lay authorities of this community, and b) in using the Nave as his forum, is continually creating what is evolving into an incendiary and now dangerous situation.

We have asked several people if any can ever recall a priest using the Divine Liturgy and the Antidoron to express his contempt for a community's lay leadership. Despite several historical instances of tensions, no one ever remembers such.

For several weeks now, the minority and former anointed appointed have made it their business to harass any Parish Council member, or anyone who has been vocally against the split, who dares show his or her face AT THEIR OWN CHURCH!

Father Michael's comments to the assembled congregation during the Antidoron have, in effect, incited some of his more ardent supporters, first to ugly and unseemly outbursts during services, and afterward, to violence.

Of course, in the manner of all bullies, the most "ardent" of what is becoming the cult of Fr. Michael, chose to threaten, then assault - physically - a gentleman in his late 80s.

This gentleman has served this community long before most of us were born. He was part of that great generation of immigrants who clung to the church and community as a harbor. He is part of what should be our collective memory as he has, for several decades, chanted during liturgies, holidays, memorial services. Agree with him, or not, NO ONE has the right to tell him not to come to his own church, let alone to threaten or to assault him, or other members of the Parish Council, or anyone else for that matter.

To the Metropolitan, to the Archbishop, and to the Patriarch: 

If you cannot understand that your one-sided, top-heavy Uniform Parish Regulations have led to this sorry pass, then woe unto you all!

We have BEGGED you to understand that the clergy you now have here do not lead with a shepherd's love. Instead, they now sow bitterness, hatred, divisiveness. They are directly responsible for pitting us against each other, for dividing families and friends, and for leading with examples of pettiness, greed and arrogance. 

Are you all willing to continue with the ugly construct you have created and condoned until your dithering leads to someone being seriously injured or worse? 

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Moderator's Note: (from a previous comment - refer to 2nd comment, previous blog)

We are sorry we had a respondent who had some difficulties posting a comment.

[Strange are the ways of Google, indeed? (NOTE: few others have had problems?)]

That said: please be aware that, a) the hierarchy, the clergy, and the former anointed appointed IGNORED several requirements of the highly flawed UPRs as have suited their purposes, and, b) in this community, it is NOT the job of the Parish Council to FUND a PRIEST - ANY PRIEST - for Prophet Elias ONLY!

That is a MINDSET that exists in a brainwashed small minority of this community, and in the notion that THAT minority can take HALF this community's assets for themselves, and do with such as they wish.

We don't have a "priest at Prophet Elias". We don't have a "priest at Holy Trinity".

We insist on priests who will serve a unified Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Salt Lake. If this Archdiocese and Metropolis won't provide such, they have only to say so.

If the current "standards" in the benighted UPRs, passed through several "kangaroo" Clergy-Laity Congresses insist on something else, so much the worse for them! (Who can take such nonsense seriously, when the hierarchy themselves won't abide by them?)


We insist on priests who will serve a unified Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Salt Lake.

We know what our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents had in mind! These exist in writing - in resolutions that have been passed.

If you want to change them, bring them to a vote. If you lose the (SEVERAL) votes, be GRACIOUS enough to accept that - and MOVE ON!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thoughts for the New Year: If You Don't LAUGH, You'll CRY!

We've been offline a while. It was the holidays; everyone is tied up, busy, planning for family visits, holiday festivities, winter colds, and the like.

Well, well,well ... since our last posts:

- the anointed appointed put out numerous disingenuous messages regarding "lack of transparency" and such from the current Parish Council. (Note: these are the same people who "can't find" the recordings of the Parish Council meetings when they were in (appointive) "power", and whose financials were a nightmare.)

We would remind them that, a) unlike them, this Parish Council WAS fairly elected, despite their ongoing disingenuous and idiotic excuses regarding "absentee ballots" which the Metropolitan is so fond of parroting as well; b) they themselves found the accounting, after a separate investigation of such, to be to their satisfaction, though they were too disingenuous to follow up with the local media after initially claiming (and then reclaiming) "problems"! (Note: they tried mightily to curb the power of the vote, yet again, by demanding NO absentee ballots even though their vaunted and flawed UPRs allow them!)
- we were treated to a ridiculous tirade that the November General Assembly, with its nominations, was "invalid" because the priests walked out; a further ridiculous tirade was launched because the parishioners present chose NOT to elect a former "anointed appointed" to the Audit Committee (where he would have had an OBVIOUS conflict of interest);

- we were also told that the former anointed appointed were going to pay for the Proistamanos of Prophet Elias Only through a separate account established at the Metropolis.
Really? Good luck with that! (And in setting such an extraordinary precedent, nowhere mentioned in your beloved, flawed UPRs, you might find yourselves paying for far more than you bargained for! Just saying …)
- they also "objected" to the involvement in our community's problems of a nationally and internationally prominent archon, advisor to the Archbishop, in our community's issues;
Because, of course, it was and is OK for them to involve an advisor to the Metropolitan, related to some of the former anointed appointed; but, of course, it's wrong if this community's MAJORITY turns to persons who might also have an interest in the future of our community and, for that matter, for our faith in the entire country? 
- it was also evident that the majority in this community would not "buy in" to the fact that anytime a clergyman didn't like the course of the discourse, he/they could "negate" any discussion they wished not to hear simply by leaving - yeah, the majority here doesn't buy into that anymore either!
How convenient is it to have priests simply choosing to walk out when they do not care for the turn of conversation? How convenient is it for the former anointed appointed to have the priests walk out when they realize they do not have the votes? (they even whined about such in a follow-up letter to their supposed supporters!) How interesting is it that they still do not understand, no matter what, THEY ARE A MINORITY!!!???
The only reason they think they are a majority is that we, THE REAL MAJORITY, have made a serious mistake! Because many are sick and tired of the ongoing lunacy, they have decided to avoid such by driving the extra miles downtown. As such, we have abandoned OUR COMMUNITY'S CHURCH in Holladay to them. Thus, they delude themselves that they've "won"!
- being so certain of their "majority", they actually have had the nerve to confront various properly elected Parish Council members, including one of our outstanding youth, demanding to know "what are YOU doing here? WE can handle this (meaning the pangari/candle donations)!"
Again, our mistake is quite evident. 
The reply is:

NO ONE has the RIGHT to tell ANYONE that Prophet Elias is NOT their church!

The youngster who was chastised, is an elected Parish Council member and an outstanding young man in our community. How smart is it to antagonize one of our youth, since it's not that easy to keep them engaged? Our co-Treasurer is a lifelong member who has served in various capacities for over three decades, and mostly at PE. Our President, as well.

NONE of the people who are being harassed currently needed an appointment from Denver; they were fairly ELECTED, after this community's majority had been denied voting privileges allowed by those same UPRs for so long.

Stewards actually ELECTED THEM - and re-elected many of them! (If some chose not to participate, that was their choice.)

We ALL, as stewards of this community, have an ABSOLUTE RIGHT to attend either of OUR community's churches (where so many of us were baptized, married, or had parents and loved ones memorialized) whenever we wish!

No one should tell any member of our community, regardless of his or her thoughts on the problems we face, to leave, or to ask "what are YOU doing here!?"

Both churches belong TO ALL OF US - and NOT TO SOME OF US!