Remarks and Invocation
By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Bethlehem Development Foundation Benefit Dinner
Lotte Palace Hotel
New York, New York
November 10, 2022
Your Eminences and Graces,
Esteemed Trustees and Directors of the
Bethlehem Development Foundation,
Dear Friends of the Holy Birthplace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
I am so very glad to be with you once again for this dedicated organization’s sincere efforts to strengthen and sustain the sacred Τόπος of our Christian Faith. The “little town of Bethlehem,” as the sweet Christmas Carol by the Episcopal Clergyman Philipps Brooks sings, has been suffering under undue pressure and the diminishment of its freedoms for far too long.
This Sacred Place, home of the Church of the Holy Nativity – one of the oldest Churches in all of Christendom, and originally constructed by Saint Helen herself – must be free to live in peace and exercise all the privileges and rights of belonging to a state that recognizes its integrity.
I thank all of you, the Trustees and Directors of the Bethlehem Development Foundation, for your tireless efforts on behalf of this precious and spiritually powerful landscape, or perhaps better, “Godscape.”
Therefore, please bow your head, heart and mind with me, as we pray
for the “House of Bread,” where our Lord Jesus Christ revealed humanity anew within the Cave in which His Holy Mother birthed Him into His own creation.
Let us pray:
O Holy God, Who chose the City of David for the portal of Eternity into Time, and the Uncreated into Creation,
we give You thanks for this evening’s fellowship that is so devoted to our precious Bethlehem.
Bless all those who cherish this Holy Ground, where Heaven and earth have become one.
Bless our breaking of bread with one another, so that we may be strengthened to defend and prosper the Sacred Locus of Your Nativity.
Bless our sustenance, and increase it in all the world,
for You are Holy, now and forever. Amen.