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Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Report to the Archdiocesan Council
September 27, 2002

The mission of GOTelecom is to serve the needs of the Greek Orthodox Church in America by producing and disseminating religious, cultural and educational mass media materials pertaining to Orthodox Christianity and Hellenic Culture. Our goal is to help educate our Orthodox and Hellenic audiences about who they are - so that they may develop pride and confidence about their faith and cultural heritage. Then we will work to educate the audience at large -- so that together we may help develop the proper perceptions about Orthodoxy and Greek culture.

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).

GOTelecom is honored to participate in the following grants awarded by Leadership 100:

"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 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.

  • Your assistance will be needed in the fall to help secure carriage on local NBC affiliates. Information will be forthcoming.

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.

  • 5 Satellite feeds that were pickup nationally and internationally for networks

  • Contacted media outlets — secured AP, Television Network, Radio Network, Newspaper coverage

  • Live Archierarchical Divine Liturgy videotaped and broadcast LIVE internationally and nationally

  • Archival videotaping of entire event

  • Hellenic College/Holy Cross Promotional Videotape

  • Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) — promotional, fundraising videotape

  • St. Photios Shrine — promotional, fundraising videotape

  • International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Promotional Videotape

  • GOTelecom will develop and present a workshop that will offer the tools to assist parishes and priests secure local media coverage

  • GOTelecom will videotape the Congress for the Archives of the Archdiocese

  • GOTelecom will coordinate the audiotaping of the workshops of the Congress which will be immediately available for purchase

  • LIVE Resurrection Service from Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City

  • LIVE Great and Holy Friday Service from the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in NYC

  • LIVE Holy Thursday Service from St. Demetrios in Jamaica, NY

  • LIVE Holy Wednesday Service from St. Paul Cathedral in Hempstead, NY

  • Substance Abuse: Our Kids are not Immune — produced in cooperation with the National Youth Ministry Office and the Denver Diocese Youth Ministry Office

  • Leadership 100 Conference — January 2001 — 3-part video presentation

  • CBS Christmas Special "An American Christmas" — produced a segment for a national program

  • Defenders of the Faith: The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

  • Archbishop Anastasios: Recipient of the Athenagoras Human Rights Award — presented at the Archon Banquet 2001

  • Special Holiday Message of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios

  • Videotaping and audio taping of Press Conferences, and visit to the Archdiocese by dignitaries

  • Supervision of videotaped interviews with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios

  • Supplied footage for A & E Special Presentations

  • Supplied footage for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly — PBS program


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.

Public Relations

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.


Production — We are currently working on and/or plan to complete the following programs:

  • Completion of the Sacrament Series

  • National Radio Public Service Announcements

  • National Television Public Service Announcements

  • 4 additional Youth Ministry video programs to be produced within the next years

  • Increase national radio presence

  • Work to promote the activities of the Archdiocese within the Greek Orthodox Community

  • Work on co-productions with other faiths to air on the Hallmark Channel


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.

Respectfully Submitted,
Marissa P. Costidis
Nicholas J. Furris