Address by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
Following the Doxology
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
September 24, 2022
Your Eminence, and beloved Brother in Christ, Metropolitan Gerasimos,
Your Grace Bishop John,
Reverend Fathers of this Holy Metropolis of San Francisco,
Beloved sisters and brothers in the Lord,
This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!* Indeed, what a joy it is for me personally to be here in Seattle, with the vibrant Greek Orthodox Communities of the American Northwest.
Your Eminence, you should be very proud of these parishes, which are clearly cooperating with one another, so as to bring everyone together for the centennial anniversary of the Church of Saint Demetrios here in Seattle. It is a sure and certain sign of love, which is the most fundamental value of our Orthodox Christian faith. Without it, we are, as the Apostle says, merely “the clatter of clanging metal, or at best a sounding cymbal.” † But I hear the sounds of harmonious joy, as the other Psalm says, with cymbals of jubilation. ‡
I am so glad to witness the hospitality of this Assumption Parish, and I know that we are being hosted here afterward by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. But I want to be sure to greet everyone here today, whether they remain or not. For you are all the precious People of God, and you give me such gladness of heart to be among you.
We glorified God together during this Doxology service with hymns and praises, because “His mercy endures forever.”§ Even in these uncertain times, when we see disorder in our world – war and threats of war, violence and threats of violence – we, who bear the name of the Christ, still give praise and glory to God.
For we know that in His providential love for every human being, and for the world that He Himself created, God will provide the solutions to our every dilemma and uncertainty.
Our praise and glorification of God is not in spite of the world’s problems, but it is an affirmation that there is something – or rather, Someone – greater than the world’s most extreme problems…problems of climate change, of war, of greed, and of injustice.
The Evangelist John writes in his First Epistle of how we are to confront the challenges of life:
You are of God, little children, and you have vanquished them, because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!**
Therefore, my beloved Christians,
Let us truly rejoice in this Day that the Lord has made, and be glad in it. During this weekend, when we celebrate the dual celebrations of the centennial of the Parish of Saint Demetrios, together with the centennial of our Sacred Archdiocese, as the leading Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne abroad, let us treasure this fellowship and time together that God has granted us.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit, always be with you – through the intercessions of our Panagia, and the Great-Martyr and Myrrh-Bearer Demetrios.