Web Posted October 11, 2016
Encyclicals from Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Protocol Number 204/16
October 23, 2016
National Leadership 100 Sunday
Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought
to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we
love one another, God lives in us, and his love is
perfected in us. (1 John 4:11-12)
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America.
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On this Sunday, October 23, the Feast of Saint Iakovos, we give thanks first to God whose love was revealed among us in sending his Son into the world so that we might love through him (I John 4:9), for the love manifested by the benevolent energies of the members of Leadership 100 and to celebrate these manifold acts of love and faithfulness now demonstrated for 32 years by the Leadership 100 Endowment Fund, founded by Archbishop Iakovos of Blessed Memory.
Leadership 100 has been steadfast and faithful in its support of the ministries and institutions of our Church for the glory of God. I have witnessed first-hand the loving dedication of these extraordinary leaders who excel in the work of the Lord and advance our Orthodox Faith and Hellenic Heritage.
Leadership 100 has made it a labor of love to assist Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology, primarily by providing scholarship aid to men called to the Holy Priesthood. It has also assisted active clergy, retired clergy and their presvyteres, supported our youth and children and families through the Center for Family Care and Church Summer Camps in the Direct Archdiocesan District and in every Metropolis, enabled our Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations to advance the presence of our Church in national and international forums and most notably, supported the Holy and Great Council of Orthodox Churches convened in Crete in June and the building of the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center.
Leadership 100 has also supported innovations in our programs in outreach and evangelism, technology and video and digital communications and religious and Greek education, enriching our faithful and more effectively communicating our faith to the society and world at large.
In these confounding times when the voices of hatred and discrimination threaten the solidarity of our nation and the world order, with the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, the refugee crisis in Europe, and the continued economic disruptions in Greece and other countries, Leadership 100 has supported the charitable outreach of International Orthodox Christian Charities, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center and the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, speaking truth in love. We acknowledge too the readiness of Leadership 100 to respond with loving care directly to humanitarian crises at home and abroad.
On this eighth commemoration of National Leadership 100 Sunday, we hereby remind all the faithful and all who would seek God and desire a better world to remember the insightful and profound words of I John 4:11-12, to love one another and know that God lives in us and that in continuing to act in love, no matter how difficult that may be, we can only then realize fully His purposes for us. I ask all our parishes to honor the exemplary witness of love in action of Leadership 100 and to recognize its members. We fervently pray that the Lord will continue to bless abundantly Leadership 100 and keep its members in His care as they labor in love in order to perfect His love that is within us and to fulfill their sacred mission.
With paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America