Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon presided over the Pan-Orthodox Liturgy at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Washington, DC, on October 24, 2021, inducting the Inaugural class of Senators for Orthodoxy and Hellenism.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who was scheduled to preside over the service, felt unwell in the morning and his doctor recommended that he rest and be taken to hospital for observation.
During the service, Archbishop Elpidophoros, who instituted the Senators in 2020, stated: “Your Eminence, these devout men, and women before You today are stewards of varying ministries within the Church. But all have produced ‘a hundredfold’ through their harvests of leadership.
They bow their heads to receive Your blessing for them to continue their service to this Eparchy and to the Great Church of Christ. As they serve in a capacity as ex-officio members of the Archdiocesan Council, their counsel and guidance are invaluable. We humbly ask that You bestow upon them your archpaternal benediction, so that in good health and spiritual prosperity, they may continue to minister to the Body of Christ.”
Also in attendance at the Service and Induction were Metropolitan Iosif of Proikonissos, Metropolitan Ioustinos of Nea Krini and Kalamaria, Metropolitan Antony of Ierapolis (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA) Metropolitan Ilia of Philomelion (Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America), Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa (Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church of the USA), Metropolitan Joseph (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America), Bishop Irinej (Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central, and South America) and Bishop Saba (Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church in North America). After the Divine Liturgy, a Pan-Orthodox Luncheon was held at the Cathedral Hall.
Later in the evening, the Order of AHEPA held their 45th Biennial Congressional Banquet at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC honoring the Ecumenical Patriarch. The Banquet was attended by members of Congress, including Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), who also offered remarks, Chris Van Hollen (MD), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), and John Sarbanes (MD-3).