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Clergy-Laity 2004 Release

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For Immediate Release
June 17, 2003

New York, NY – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, announced today that the Thirty-Seventh Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress and National Philoptochos Convention of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will convene next year in New York City from July 25 to 29.

The Congress, which will be held at the New York Marriott Marquis located in central Manhattan, will have as its theme "Building Communities of Faith and Love: Orthodox Parishes in Worship and Ministry." Following the theme of the 2002 Congress in Los Angeles, "Offering our Orthodox Faith to Contemporary America", this theme will direct the preparations and work of the Congress in assisting and strengthening our Orthodox parishes, the primary places of worship, ministry, and offering.

Commenting on the theme and the importance of the Congress, Archbishop Demetrios stated, "This Congress will provide a unique opportunity to assist all of our parishes throughout America with the vital work that they do on a daily basis. All of our resources will be focused on equipping the faithful to build their parishes through worship and ministry, through ways that strengthen faith and offer service to anyone in need so that all may know the redeeming love of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The Archbishop, spiritual leader of 1.5 million Greek Orthodox faithful in America, will preside at the Congress, which is expected to attract several thousand participants, including delegates from the 500+ parishes of the Archdiocese. Special features of this Congress will include an educational program with over 50 workshops specializing in parish and family ministry; a grant program that will waive the registration fees of the 150 smallest parishes of the Archdiocese; and a special exhibit section of unique parish ministries and Archdiocesan ministry programs.

Registration information, as well as schedules, articles, and exhibitor applications will be sent to the parishes soon and also made available on the Archdiocesan web site at http://www.goarch.org.