Skip to content. Skip to navigation
Personal tools
Sections

Some Highlights of the Upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress

Document Actions

By Very Rev. Andonios Paropoulos

Held every two years, the Clergy-Laity Congress is a unique gathering of clergy and laity representing the parishes which comprise the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. At their inception, the Congresses were primarily legislative in nature and most of the energies of the attendees were on the adoption of a budget and of legislature relevant to the operation of the Archdiocese, Her institutions and programs. While those are still a major part of the agenda of this Congress, recently there has been a noted change in the format of the Congress with more emphasis placed on forums and work shops which assist the participants to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". Met with tremendous enthusiasm by the delegates, these forums and workshops enable the participants to be empowered not only in their personal lives as Orthodox Christians but also in the fulfillment of their sacred duties in their respective parishes.

One aspect of the Congress often over looked is that it is an opportunity to rein force our identity as one Church. Covering two hemispheres and stretching from coast to coast, the Archdiocese encompasses parishes scattered from bustling metropolises to isolated locales in far off places thus contributing to a very diverse population with greatly different orientation and needs. Congresses are, therefore, an occasion to put aside geographical and cultural differences and to gather together in Christian fellow ship to renew the bonds which unite us as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ in the Western Hemisphere.

CENTRAL PARK DIVINE LITURGY

In no other metropolis of the world is there at the very epicenter of the city such a bucolic tract as New York City's Central Park... an 843 acre oasis of greenery bound ed on all sides by the towering skyscrapers of the Big Apple. It is in this unique setting that the opening Divine Liturgy will be held the morning of Sunday, June 30 - the Feast of the Holy Apostles. His Eminence, assisted by Hierarchs and clergymen from through out the Orthodox world, will officiate at this historic Eucharistic gathering. In attendance will be an estimated congregation of 10,000 faithful from the parishes of the New York/ New Jersey/ Connecticut area as well as worshipers from throughout the world. The Liturgy will be conducted in a number of languages expressing the cultural diversity of Orthodoxy and the responses will be offered by a choir of over 300 voices.

HIS EMINENCE TO MEET WITH DIOCESAN REPRESENTATIVES

At the request of His Eminence, separate receptions have been arranged during the Congress so that the Archbishop can meet with the representatives from each diocese who will be attending the Clergy-Laity Congress and the Philoptochos Conference. Since it will be the last Congress convened by His Eminence, the Archbishop would like to meet with each group so that he can express to them his heartfelt appreciation for their years of service to the Church here in the Americas.

"A SALUTE TO ARCHBISHOP IAKOVOS"

Serving as Chairman of the Grand Banquet of the 33rd Clergy-Laity Congress is the
Michael Sotirhos. A long time member of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and past president of the church board, Mr. Sotirhos has deemed it only appropriate that this gala banquet the evening of Wednesday, July 3, be called "A Salute to Archbishop lakovos" in recognition of His Eminence's distinguished service to the Greek Orthodox Church and the world community. The format of this year's event will be slightly different since the Archbishop has expressed his wish that the banquet be an opportunity for him to be with "his people" without the fanfare of past banquets. This will be the last gathering of such magnitude before His Eminence's retirement on July 29 and as the spiritual father of the Church in the Americas, he would like to be able to express his gratitude and farewells to his spiritual children. A highlight of the evening's event will be a video recounting the ministry of the Archbishop. A ticket for the Grand Banquet is a part of the registration packet and over 2,000 attendees are expected. There are a limited number of tickets available for purchase for those not registered for the Congress. Anyone interested in securing a ticket for this most memorable evening should call the Congress Office at (212) 570-3500.

A NIGHT IN BYZANTIUM

On Tuesday evening, July 2, under the direction of the world renown Byzantine chanter, Archon Protopsalti - Spyros Peristeris of Athens, Greece, a choir of 70 professional chanters from the Metropolis of Athens, the "Spyros Peristeris Institute" of New York and individuals from Chicago and Toronto will offer a Byzantine Music Concert entitled "O Megalis Voulis Angelos. " This concert of select Byzantine hymns, writ ten by noted hymnographers of the early 19th century, will recount in chant the life of Christ from His Birth to His Resurrection as recounted in the New Testament. Spear headed by the noted chanter, Demetrios Fousteris, this event will include a one and half hour program and is cosponsored by the Peristeris Institute and Education Department of the Archdiocese, assisted by the Council on Hellenic Letters and Art.

Anyone interested in attending the 33rd Clergy-Laity Congress should call the Congress Office at 212-570-3500. former United States Ambassador to Greece, Michael Sotirhos. A long time member of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and past president of the church board, Mr. Sotirhos has deemed it only appropriate that this gala banquet the evening of Wednesday, July 3, be called "A Salute to Archbishop lakovos" in recognition of His Eminence's distinguished service to the Greek Orthodox Church and the world community. The format of this year's event will be slightly different since the Archbishop has expressed his wish that the banquet be an opportunity for him to be with "his people" without the fanfare of past banquets. This will be the last gathering of such magnitude before His Eminence's retirement on July 29 and as the spiritual father of the Church in the Americas, he would like to be able to express his gratitude and farewells to his spiritual children. A highlight of the evening's event will be a video recounting the ministry of the Archbishop. A ticket for the Grand Banquet is a part of the registration packet and over 2,000 attendees are expected.

There are a limited number of tickets available for purchase for those not registered for the Congress. Anyone interested in securing a ticket for this most memorable evening should call the Congress Office at (212) 570-3500.