By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Archdiocesan District Clergy & Families Vasilopita Dinner
The Greek Orthodox Church of Our Saviour
Rye, New York
January 22, 2023
Very Reverend Archdiocesan Chancellor, Fr. Nektarios,
Reverend District Chancellor, Fr. Elias,
Dear Fathers, Presvyteres and Clergy Families,
Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I am so happy to share this evening with you – the clergy and families of our Archdiocesan District – in order to celebrate our annual Vasilopita Dinner here in Rye.
Even though January 1st has already passed, I still convey to all of you my warmest prayers and heartfelt wishes for a healthy, successful and spiritually prosperous New Year.
We have faced and overcome many challenges over these past three years. And I especially wish to convey my deepest gratitude and appreciation to all of you – the clergy, Presvyteres and families of our District – for being steadfast in your faith and consistent in your ministries.
Last year, the centennial of our Sacred Archdiocese, brought us to tremendous milestones – including the consecration and completion of our Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at Ground Zero.
We have had much to celebrate, but even though we are a Church grounded in history, we always look to the future. We do not rest on the laurels of our accomplishments, because we are called to be visionaries, whose reach will always exceed our grasp, for we reach from the heart.
As we cut the Vasilopita this evening – no matter who finds the coin – the sweetness and nourishment in every slice of the Pita should remind each and every one of us that we are all blessed by God to be ministers of His Gospel of salvation.
We are all part of the greater family of God that surrounds us with love and forgiveness.
We are all part of this Sacred Archdiocese and the Holy Great Church of Christ, our Ecumenical Patriarchate.
We are all valuable members of the Body of Christ – each of us with different skills and talents. And together – united in our love for God and love for one another – we are a powerful engine of God’s love for the world.
Therefore, my beloved friends,
Let us embrace this New Year of 2023 and accept the blessing of the Vasilopita with hearts and minds set on the things of God, so as to fulfill them in our collective ministry throughout the Archdiocesan District.
I know that all of you will apply yourselves with great faith and great energy, to accomplish God’s will in your communities and in your personal lives.
May the Lord grant unto us all a very blesséd, happy, healthy and spiritually prosperous New Year of the Grace of our Lord! Amen.