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Archbishop Sypridon Offers Invocation at President's Summit Closing Ceremony

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May 2, 1997

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Nikki Stephanopoulos

New York-His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, offered the invocation at the Closing Ceremony of the President's Summit for America's Future on Tuesday, April 29th at Independence Hall Plaza in Philadelphia.

President Clinton and former Presidents Bush, Reagan, Carter and Ford served as Honorary Chairmen of the Summit which was aimed at bringing America to a new level of commitment to volunteer service, especially targeting the Nation's young people. Serving as Summit General Chairman is General Colin Powell and Vice Chairman is Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

"Lord" His Eminence invoked in his prayer, "You brought the children close to you and comforted their pain and embraced their innocence. We remember your words at this Summit, that if we are to enter into the glory of Your Kingdom we must become as one of these children. Let us this day be mindful that we must use the talents and resources which come from You alone to provide for needs of these our Neglected Children, Your, &qout;angels&qout; who abide with us here on earth".

On Monday, April 28th, Archbishop Spyridon participated in a brunch and roundtable discussion with the Presidents, governors religious, civic and business leaders and chairmen, to discuss the Summit's goal: to mobilize millions of citizens and thousands of organizations to make effective citizen service an integral part of the American way of life.

Prior to this meeting, His Eminence prayed at St. George Cathedral and returned to St. George in the afternoon to visit Senior Citizens and meet with the Greek Orthodox faithful of Philadelphia.

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Invocation of Archbishop Spyridon at the President's Summit for America's Future Independence Hall Plaza, Philadelphia, Tuesday, April 29, 1997

As we bow our heads, Lord of Power and Light, we give thanks to you that you have allowed us to come together and share in a National call that we more truly love our sisters and brothers and daily show more understanding and compassion for one another. In your light you make all things new. As we gather together at Independence Hall, illumine us to see that our personal independence is based upon our mutually respectful interdependence as citizens of this Great Country. In your light, we ask you to renew our faith in one another; to renew our commitment to help each other; and to renew our firm belief that we are all brothers and sisters united in your love. We thank you, O Lord, that you have inspired women and men of good will to assemble these days, so that by seeing your image in our neighbor we may commit ourselves, our resources and our creativity to being a more loving and nurturing Nation.

Lord, You brought the children close to you and comforted their pain and embraced their innocence. We remember your words at this Summit, that if we are to enter in the glory of Your Kingdom we must become as one of these children. Let us this day be mindful that we must use the talents and resources which come from You alone to provide for the needs of these, our Neglected Children, Your "angels" who abide with us here on earth.

Bless our President, and Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush and General Colin Powell and all the civil authorities and all those who contributed their time, talents and treasure to make this a historical moment in the history of our blessed country. Lord, as we leave this city of Philadelphia, let us truly depart as "filoi" - friends, and "adelphia" - sisters and brothers. Let us depart as did Peter and John and Mary and Salome, when they saw with souls filled with joy the brilliant light of the empty tomb on that first Easter morning. Let us depart as did Thomas with a bold faith, after he encountered you in the upper room. And finally let us depart this city and return to every corner of this great land with hearts burning with love for you and one another, as did Luke and Cleopas and Martha and Mary when you opened up for them the sacred scriptures.

Be with us, bless us and give us strength, for your Name is Holy, now and always and to the close of the ages. Amen

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