Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Report to the Archdiocesan Council
The mission is three-fold — 1) internally — to archive the activities of the Archdiocese and the Archbishop, 2) to produce in-house programs that educate and awaken our faithful about the ministries of our Archdiocese (i.e. Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology, St. Basil Academy, etc.) and, 3) to produce programs of quality that can be distributed nationally on television and through video (full-length programs and public service announcements).
"ILLUMINATIONS" — The Archdiocese Quarterly Video News Program, takes you across the country and around the world offering a closer look at the work and ministry of our Archdiocese, Dioceses and parishes and show you the ways our hierarchs, our Clergy and our faithful are making a difference in the lives of others. The second in this 4 part series is being distributed at today’s meeting and is now on its way to all parishes across the country. Faithful may also view the program on our website at www.goarch.org. This funding has also allowed the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to purchase a digital video camera to archive the activities of the Archbishop and Archdiocese, resulting in a tremendous cost savings.
Department of Archives: Video Archives — This grant will fund the archiving of the video and film footage currently held by the Archdiocese onto DVD media. The current video and film stock has been deteriorating and without proper archival onto DVD the Archdiocese will lose this historical, valuable footage. Over three quarters of this project has been completed.
GOTelecom has been selected by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCCC) to produce a television special to air on NBC nationally during the Christmas/ Epiphany season. This television special will highlight the Epiphany services in Tarpon Springs, FL in 2002. Additional production has begun and will include interviews with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and other theologians. Please follow the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website this fall to find out specific days and time in your area.
Other GOTelecom Projects & Programs:
Throughout our fifteen years, we have produced over 175 programs; and have received awards from many organizations. Our two EMMY Awards have shown our faithful that Orthodox Christianity can be proclaimed with originality and excitement… on videotape. Since the Clergy-Laity Congress of 2000 we have produced the following video presentations and completed the following projects.
1st ever Easter Video News Release produced and distributed on satellite. Coordination with parish priests to secure national media coverage
Initiated the television coverage of the March 2002 visit of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and assisted in the extensive media coverage.
The Department has continued its sales of videotapes, through ads in the Orthodox Observer, to our parishes, schools, universities and homes. Our daily duties include fulfillment of these orders. Additionally, GOTelecom has acquired the rights to distribute the numerous outside productions. In addition to distribution relationships with Greek Orthodox distributors, i.e. Light & Life, we have established contracts with Vision Video, Concilar Press, and bookstores of other Orthodox jurisdictions.
With the use of press releases through our list server, our goal is to increase our sales. Each parish in America should have our entire library of videotapes available in a "lending library". Additionally, university, college and high school libraries should have our major titles available for research and information.
Immediately following the tragedy of September 11, and upon the request from numerous television networks, GOTelecom has make available video footage of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios’ visits to Ground Zero. One particular program highlights the pilgrimages of faithful to the site. This footage offers a unique insight into our faith, our Ecumenical Patriarch, our Archbishop and our St. Nicholas church — which was destroyed in the attack.
For His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios Holiday Messages, GOTelecom provides over 25 Greek television producers and over 60 radio producers in the United States with tapes for airing, at no cost.
GOTelecom occasionally broadcasts its programs on national networks and on local cable television systems, and to an increasing extent on radio.
Marissa P. Costidis, Managing Director, serves on the Member Board of Faith and Values Media, whose membership is composed of over 64 different faith groups. Faith and Values Media is a partner with the nationally distributed Hallmark Channel.
During 2002, the staff of GOTelecom has begun initiating contacts within the television media industry. These contacts are imperative if the national Communications effort of the Archdiocese is to succeed. LOCAL CONTACTS initiated by local priest are ever crucial to this effort. GOTelecom will offer tools to parishes and media outlets that must be offered on a local basis.
GOALS FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS
Production — We are currently working on and/or plan to complete the following programs:
By using television as a ministry we are able to make our ancient and traditional church visible in today’s modern society. What better method to reach all of our faithful and all of those from other faiths, than television and video? By producing and disseminating our own video programs we can control how we are viewed by society at large.
Growth for GOTelecom is dependent upon our faithful to recognize the value of our faith and it relates to the outside world. Greek Orthodoxy has so much to offer. But we remain "the best kept secret". Do you wonder why? We must be committed to using today’s technology to promote our faith. We are anxious to work together will our Director of Communications, Father Nektarios Morrow, and the other Department with in Communications, to fulfill the mission of our Archdiocese and the mission of GOTelecom.
GOTelecom has been working on this mandate for almost 16 years. We have accomplished much, but we have much more to do. Let us work together.