Direct Archdiocesan District Council Meets at Archdiocese
The Direct Archdiocesan District Council met with His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America along with the Archdiocesan District Chancellor Protopresbyter Elias Villis on March 20, 2023 at the Archdiocese for their regularly scheduled meeting. His Eminence welcomed all the members of the Council with great appreciation for their dedicated service. In his comments, His Eminence highlighted the vast work that our Clergy and lay leaders have accomplished especially through the pandemic. His Eminence encouraged all people to be involved in the ministries of their parishes, specifically during this time of Great Lent, with an increased focus on our spirituality in anticipation of Great and Holy Pascha.
Fr. Elias Villis equally expressed his thanks to all the members of the Archdiocesan District, and each local volunteer who served tirelessly to offer their talents to their local parishes and all the vicariates of the District. Several times throughout the evening, Archon Harry Raptakis was thanked for his many years of service to the Archdiocesan District. Archon Harry Raptakis has served on the finance committee and many other committees throughout the Archdiocese.
Ms Elaine Allen, Treasurer for the Archdiocesan Council, was also present and commented on the financial good standing of the Archdiocese, national Ministries such as Ionian Village and also presented on the expansion of the St. Anastasia Addictions Ministry project. This addictions ministry, which is currently offered in Yonkers, NY - Stamford, CT - and Port Jefferson, Long Island for the past year. After a generous grant from Leadership 100, this addictions ministry will be expanded with hope to be a national addictions ministry. The goal is to offer an Orthodox Christian embrace struggling and suffering with any type of addiction will soon have the ability to gather with clergy along with certified counselors to discuss their needs and concerns with their respective addiction.
In preparation for the April 1st Archdiocesan District Clergy-Laity being held at the Archangels Greek Orthodox Church in Stamford, CT, the council heard presentations and updates concerning the new Youth Ministry Protection program. The Archdiocese and our local District has recently updated its youth protection service company to Sterling Protection Services, and all Clergy, youth workers, teachers, and Parish Council members are registering and trained in the area of youth protection awareness. The Archdiocesan District currently has 500 volunteers registered in the system with a goal of achieving 1500 volunteers registered by late spring. This is a tremendous step forward in the area of youth protection, educating youth workers, and protecting our children within our parishes and ministries.
The upcoming First Annual Servant Leadership Awards Dinner, being held on June 6th at Greentree Country Club in New Rochelle was also discussed. Parishes will be selecting a senior leader and a young adult leader of their community to be recognized and thanked during this event. All this information and further updates will be presented at the District Clergy Laity on April 1st in Stamford, CT.
Photos: Archdiocesan District