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"Gather My People to My Home" 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress Theme

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Apr 2, 2008

"Gather My People to My Home"

39TH BIENNIAL CLERGY-LAITY CONGRESS THEME

New York, NY - Preparations for the Clergy/Laity Congress are well underway and are progressing in a manner which will focus and develop the theme of the Congress "Gather My People to My Home." The theme is based on a number of biblical references, primary among which is the verse from the book of Deuteronomy 4:10 Gather the people to me, and let them hear my words, (15:18), on the parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:23) and on the parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:12), as well as on the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:18).

The 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress and National Philoptochos Convention will be held July 13-18 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC. The National Young Adult League Conference will be held in conjunction with the Congress from July 11-13. Also meeting during the Congress will be the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council, National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, Retired Greek Orthodox Clergy of America, the National Forum of Church Musicians, Leadership 100 and the Order of St. Andrew.

In reflecting on the theme of the Congress, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, spiritual leader of 1.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians in America, said: "This Congress comes at a very critical time. People, families and communities throughout this country and the world are facing serious challenges and struggles and are in need of love and ministry. We will gather in Washington D.C. to renew our commitment as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as Orthodox Christians, and as parishes to go out to all of those in need and lead them home."

"First, by using the words 'My People,'" he continued, "the theme of the Congress recognizes the value of each and every person, created in the image and likeness of God for eternal life and communion with Him. Second, it acknowledges that many people are struggling and are seeking a spiritual home where they can find true peace and hope, and where they can experience an illuminating and transforming faith that offers them the absolute truth and the loving presence of God. Third, this theme is an affirmation of our calling to find the lost sheep, to bring home the unchurched, to help others renew the bonds of faith, to strengthen the unity of the family, to proclaim the necessity of the Gospel to new generations, and to guide all into the spiritual haven of the Church, into the blessings of worship and faith that offer to each and every person a foretaste of our eternal home with God."

The Clergy-Laity Congress is convened biennially and is concerned with all matters, other than doctrinal or canonical, affecting the life, growth and unity of the Church, her institutions, her finances, her administration, educational and philanthropic concerns and her growing role in the religious life of the nation.

Congress details will be available at www.clergylaity.org in the coming weeks.

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