His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine of Denver's Post-Enthronement Luncheon Message June 22, 2024

Your Eminence Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa, Patriarchal Representative, Your Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Your Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos of New Jersey, Your Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago, Your Graces, Reverend Fathers, beloved Metropolis of Denver Philoptochos President, Stella Piches, Madam President of the Metropolis of Denver Presvyteres Sisterhood, Katina Gartelos, Archon Mike Emanuel, dear friend and Master of Ceremonies, Archons of the Ecumenical Throne, Members of Leadership 100, dear family and friends, I am overjoyed witnessing what has taken place today. Learning of the history of this sacred Metropolis, we remember our pioneers who were not afraid to take that first step on these sacred grounds. Faithful people leaving their homeland and making that journey, following their heart, hoping for a better future, and with the anticipation if you will of living the American dream. Our folks, having no idea what to expect, and in many instances the harsh reality of where they were truly set the example for us to follow, and receive that - inheritance, to lead us to where we are today. Over the last few years of my life, journeying with you throughout this sacred land and seeing what is taking place. I think about those generations gone by with families being separated, leaving wherever they called home, to make this their home. I think about parents from Greece and Italy, saying goodbye to their young sons, and sending them to Dawson, New Mexico to work in the mines 100 years ago. Hoping only for the best for their sons, only to end in tragedy when the mine exploded and collapsed on 263 souls - and today, it stands as a monument to them. For myself, standing on those sacred grounds offered me insight on our people. They are steadfast and never give up. I reflect upon the holiness of this tens of thousands of miles, Saint Tikon himself, placing his pastoral staff in these grounds, gathered the faithful, built churches - even one of our own that we worship in of Saint John the Baptist in Pueblo, Colorado where when you enter the Nave, you feel nothing more than the splendor of our Lord. Standing in that space, praying, and even to sound simple, inhaling that history and years of prayer, you cannot help but understand what our faithful did for us. I think about our clergy, who through their time, began churches from dust. Traveling, some with their families, others leaving what they knew as home, and simply heading to America. Clergy hearing about the presence of Orthodox Christians, traveling to remote areas, offering services, establishing churches, whatever they can to bring and keep our people together. As time would pass and history was beginning more to be written, our people were steadfast in all they did. Faithful purchasing small pieces of property - then little by little, more and more - and establishing ranches and farms. Others through history receiving higher education and becoming professionals, and countless others becoming part of that great American dream. You see, what I have learned is the steadfastness of our people. After that generation that has passed established themselves, the people gathered and built their churches. Sacred space, in many places in very familiar cities, and in others, in some of the most remote areas of the country - and I am proud to stand here today, and without any question in my mind to say, they are not monuments, but faithful communities that have struggled, and continue to struggle, but with that they are succeeding in all aspects. I am sharing just a portion of this so that we as a Metropolis will never forget where we came from. It was important for me that when all of this was being planned for my enthronement, that in all aspects of everything, we never forget where we came from - and this is why we are in a parish hall of our Metropolitan Cathedral, this is why we need to be part of church life more than ever, and this why we can never forget that even though today, we have been together for hours, we have so much more time to be together and continue to work and labor and with one voice, the glorify the Name of our Lord. Your Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, Your Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos, Your Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael, through your prayers, support, and encouragement, along with the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod, the prayers and encouragement of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and the Patriarchal Synod of Constantinople- I tell you without any reservations in my mind or my soul - I am grateful to you. For whatever reason, having now been elected and duly enthroned as the Metropolitan of Denver, I am beyond proud and humbled to serve. The day cannot pass without acknowledging my immediate predecessor, His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Lystra. A strong figure in our lives and always answered the call of the church to serve. We are grateful to him, and today, we continue to keep him in our prayers. I cannot let the day pass without acknowledging and thanking our faithful. Thank you to the Metropolis of Denver staff - Father Lou Christopulos, Chancellor and now Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople - Axios - a pastor par excellence, and steadfast servant of the church. Presvytera Marsha Christopulos, who continues to be that person who holds all of us together, does nothing more than to serve the church with grace, and beyond any measure, is a person that has the answer to the questions at the Metropolis. Presvytera - on behalf of all of us - thank you! I wish to also thank Olga Marlangoutsos. Olga stepped into the role as an administrative assistant and is a wonderful asset to our Metropolis. Her service is invaluable and we are grateful for her service to the church. Mrs. Elaine Cladis - the voice of the Metropolis. She is the person behind the phone who bring comfort to the most troubled of souls. We thank Mary Mather, who is at a family reunion this weekend - our controller who diligently watches over every penny we receive and every penny we pay. Mr. Pete Kappos who oversees our property at the Metropolis in making sure that all systems are functioning. I want to, from the depths of my heart, thank Father Jordan Brown, Mr. Luke Loukopoulos and the staff at the Assumption Cathedral here in Denver. Thank you for all you have done to bring this to fruition. Thank you for all of your efforts in making this beautiful. I was in school with Father Jordan - and am grateful that he is at the Cathedral. Without measure and tireless, and all of these events this weekend, he is the director of our camp this week and between events, has been leading sessions in staff training, and leaving tomorrow afternoon to welcome our young people to camp. Finally, dear people, thank you to our Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Mike Emanuel of Fox News. Mike and I have become friends through our mutual friend, Father Nicholas Verdaris in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mike, I am grateful you and your family are here with us today. Thank you for your assistance with Western Boots and Ancient Roots to benefit Holy Apostoles in Cheyenne. Dear faithful - we are a church of the living and of the Resurrection. We cannot be afraid to be ready to preach the good news of Christ. We cannot afford any opportunity when and unfamiliar person walks into the doors of our churches, not to welcome them. As clergy, we at any time in our life do not have any moment to never be dignified in all things - and we as good people of faith, do not have the luxury of merely stepping aside for anything, but always standing up for what is good and what is wholesome. Be those fearless apostles. I can offer whatever I have, the calling to serve these good people in this region of the United States is more than enlightening. The encouragement is overwhelming to me, and meeting people that labor on our ranches, fields, mines, and in all walks of life has manifested the Holy Spirit working in some of the most remote towns in the country, to some of the most thriving cities in the world. In simple parish churches that were built in areas that are remote, and now receiving an influx of faithful from all religious backgrounds being drawn to Orthodoxy in the rebirth of many of these towns, it is an overwhelming witness of faith. As in many instances, I rub my eyes because I cannot believe how alive these churches are in thirsting for the faith. Saint John Chrysostom always reminds us to offer “Glory to God in all things.”

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