NEW YORK – Representatives of various Christian communions met July 24-26, 2017, for an annual ecumenical retreat that was hosted by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

In addition to discussing regular business, the ecumenical officers also addressed issues that directly impact the lives of their respective communities and of Americans in general, including racism, wealth disparity and access to health care.

The ecumenical officers heard presentations from the World Council of Churches and other major ecumenical and interfaith organizations. They also provided updates from their own churches, reviewing internal events and important dialogues that have taken place in the last year.

Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, who represented the Archdiocese at the retreat, talked about the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church that was convened last year in Crete and the ongoing process of its reception.

“It’s not just about producing a common declaration or completing shared administrative tasks,” Fr. Nathanael Symeonides said of the three-day retreat. “Our time together provides the officers an opportunity to enhance their friendships and to associate Christian communities with their people and not just with their dogmas and confessions.”

On the last day of the retreat, Archbishop Demetrios of America received the group at Archdiocesan Chapel of Saint Paul. His Eminence affirmed the importance of dialogue between all Christians and reflected upon significant moments in inter-Christian cooperation.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is an active member of numerous ecumenical organizations, and helps facilitate dialogue among all people and rapprochement between churches.

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