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 G R E E K   O R T H O D O X   
A R C H D I O C E S E   O F   A M E R I C A

8-10 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021 Tel:(212) 570-3500 Fax:(212) 570-3569

 Protocol No. 42/02

April 17, 2002

Clergy Laity Congress 2002

Los Angeles, California

 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 Day and Afternoon Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America

 My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

             I greet you in the anticipation of our celebration of the sacred and glorious feast of Pascha, asking for our Lord's continuous blessings of strength and grace as you prepare for the Day of Resurrection through prayer, worship services, fasting, and ministry to those in need.

             During this time, preparations are also being made for the meeting of our Biennial Clergy Laity Congress to be held in Los Angeles, June 30 – July 5.  This gathering of the faithful from throughout America takes on particular significance in light of the events of this past year.  We are reminded on a daily basis that our world is in a time of crisis with tremendous challenges to be overcome and needs to be met.  But we also must be aware of the tremendous resources and opportunities we have as Orthodox Christians, not only to assist in addressing critical issues, but also in offering the transforming power of our faith in Jesus Christ.  It is this faith, combined with hope and love that will heal relationships and restore peace.

            Due to the necessity of Offering Our Orthodox Faith to Contemporary America, the theme of our Congress, and by extension to the commission we have to offer our faith throughout the world, we ask for full participation of the clergy and laity of our Holy Archdiocese in this vital meeting.  In being together in one mind, one body, and one heart, we manifest our unyielding commitment to Christ and the work of His Church, and we affirm our unquenchable desire to offer the gift of faith and salvation.  Please let all our parishes enthusiastically participate in the Clergy Laity Congress in Los Angeles and affirm that this will be seminal event, an inauguration of an intense effort to offer to all people what has been given to us by God.

               With paternal love in Christ and warm wishes for a blessed Pascha,

                                                                                       

                                                                                    †DEMETRIOS

                                                                               Archbishop of America