2001 News Archives

Archdiocesan Council Spring Meeting Convenes at Hellenic College / Holy Cross in Brookline

Brookline, MA -– His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, convened the spring meeting of the Archdiocesan Council and National Philoptochos Board on Friday April 20th at Hellenic College / Holy Cross Theological School in Brookline, Massachusetts. The two-day session included reports that highlighted the Archdiocese finances, the charter, administrative advances and the strategic planning that has taken place over the past year.

In his opening remarks to the joint session of the Council, Archbishop Demetrios offered a very positive review of the activities and progress since the fall meeting of the Council. He reported that the previous debt of the Archdiocese has almost been resolved and thanked those individuals who joined the “Challenge Campaign” which raised approximately $4.2 Million in contributions to eliminate the debt. He offered insight into the programs the Archdiocese will be focusing on this year and specifically highlighted the areas of Family Ministry, Youth, Inner Mission, Education, Charitable Work and Institutions.

He also announced the upcoming National Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North America from May 1st – 3rd in Washington DC. This will be the largest gathering ever of hierarchs in the United States, active and retired, that will discuss the SCOBA pastoral letter on the occasion of the Third Christian Millennium, which was released on December 14th of last year.

His Eminence thanked the Archdiocese Council sub-committees for their dedicated work and stressed the importance of their continued efforts between Council meetings to help the Archdiocese in the continual growth and planning process.

Mr. Michael Jaharis, Vice-Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, gave a brief report on the issues the Executive Committee has been discussing and charged the council to focus on the priorities that have been set forth by His Eminence. He stressed the importance of the growth of the Church and the work of the Council on important areas of Development and Strategic Planning.

The Director of Finance, Mr. John Barbagallo, and Finance Committee Co-Chairman, Mr. John Pappajohn, reported on the Church’s financial situation and the progress that has been made to eliminate the fiscal deficit and reduce the outstanding debt. Mr. Barbagallo reported that the Archdiocese has reduced operating expenses by approximately $1.2 Million and the overall fiscal deficit has been eliminated. In 2000 the Archdiocese reported an adjusted net income of approximately $200,000 compared to a $3.0 Million loss in 1999. While administrative changes have helped reduce expenses, the Archdiocese also recorded $9.9 Million in Stewardship revenue, an increase of $830,000 over prior years and the highest amount ever collected.

In addition to its normal operating income, Mr. Barbagallo indicated that at the end of 2000, the special “Challenge Campaign” had raised approximately $3.2 Million and as of April of 2001, this amount has increased to approximately $4.2 Million. These funds have been used to pay down prior outstanding debt remaining from 1998 and 1999.

His Eminence opened the Friday afternoon session with a full discussion on the progress of the Archdiocesan Charter revision including the meeting in February at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He applauded all the members of the representatives of the Patriarchate and Archdiocese for the serious and sober nature of the discussions befitting such a crucial matter. His Eminence emphasized that everything in the proposed Charter continues to be open for discussion and he welcomed the input of the members as the Charter committee prepares for its next meeting in Constantinople on May 9th –10th. Lively discussion followed, with several members of the Council, clergy and laity, reinforcing and expressing their love and respect for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and for His Eminence, while emphasizing that the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America have proven, in the first century of their existence, to have achieved a high level of maturity anchored in their deep abiding faith and love for their Church. They urged that their words be heard and the Holy Eparchial Synod, led by His Eminence, conveys them to the Patriarchate.

Mr. Jerry Dimitriou, Executive Director of Administration, and Mr. Anthony Stefanis, Chairman of the committee, reported on the changes in administration at the Archdiocese and the savings that have been realized as a result. Mr. Dimitriou reported that the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund has provided the Archdiocese with over $1 Million in Grants for a Development Office, Management Training, Missions, Technology Upgrades, Interfaith Marriage and Youth Ministry. Several of these new programs will be implemented in 2001 and additional grants are pending for increased communications with the faithful.

During the session, the Council also heard reports on Legal matters from the Legal Counsel, Mr. Emanuel G. Demos; Information Technology – Mr. Theo Nicolakis, Director; Interfaith Marriage – Mr. Demetri Moschos, Chairman; Youth Ministry - Father Mark Leondis, Director and Mrs. Georgia Skeadas, Chairman; Greek Education – Dr. Steven Gounardes, Chairman and Strategic Planning – Mr. George Behrakis, Chairman.

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