LAST UPDATE 17:43
Today, September 9th at noon, Archbishop Elpidophoros will convene the first ever virtual, and the largest Clergy Laity Congress ever, in the history of the Holy Archdiocese of America.
With almost 1200 registered delegates, the first day will be filled with messages from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Keynote Address of Archbishop Elpidophoros, the Message of the Archdiocese Council Vice-Chair John Catsimatidis, and the Welcome from the Secretary of the Archdiocese Council, the Hon. Judge Theodore Bozonelis, who will preside at the Congress on behalf of the Archbishop.
Day One will include the meetings of the Finance and Administrations Committees, as well as a special Forum on the Pension Plan in the evening. Throughout the Day One, there will be special Ministry Webinars that follow the usual program of an in-person Clergy Laity Congress (times may be found at https://www.clergylaity.org/agenda).
They are as follows:
· Center for Family Care, Presenter: Father Alexander Goussetis
· Youth Safety, Presenter: Father Earl Cantos
· Ecumenical Office, Presenter: Father Nicholas Kazarian
· Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Presenter: Steve Christoforou
· Stewardship, Outreach and Evangelism, Presenter: Father Jim Kordaris
· Church Music, Presenter: Vicki Pappas
· Internet Ministries, Presenter: Jamil Samara
· Religious Education, Presenter: Father Tony Vrame
· Greek Education, Presenter: Dr. Anastasios Koularmanis.
On Tuesday, September 8, 2020, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America convened the Holy Eparchial Synod via teleconference in order that it might be properly be briefed in advance of the upcoming Archdiocesan Executive Committee meeting and the 45th National Clergy-Laity Congress.
Archbishop Elpidophoros of America wished a blessed, productive and healthy New Ecclesiastical year and conveyed the heartfelt blessing and best wishes of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew from the Sacred Center of Orthodoxy.
The Holy Eparchial Synod expressed sympathy to the people who have been devastated by the destructive fires in the Holy Metropolis of San Francisco through the person of the Metropolitan Gerasimos.
Lastly, it was decided that the next regular meeting of the Eparchial Synod would convene on Monday, September 28.
Having just returned from the Phanar, the Archbishop stated:
“If anyone doubts the vitality of the Greek Orthodox Church of America – particularly in this time of COVID, let them consider the historic registration for this first-ever Virtual Clergy-Laity Congress. I am very proud of our Parishes and their leadership around the country and the staff of the Archdiocese who have labored so intensively to make this 45th Congress possible. Our theme, “…The Greatest of These is Love” (1 Cor. 13:13), is clearly manifest in the dedication and energy that is being poured into this most important gathering of our Ekklesia. Together, as the one Body of Christ, we face our many challenges are building a future that will brighter than ever for generations to come.”