The National Philoptochos Boards Hosts Virtual Board Meeting of the New Term
On Saturday, March 27, 2021, 107 members "Zoomed-In" for the first virtual board meeting of the new term. The meeting went – almost- flawlessly, and the turn-out spoke for itself. The enthusiasm was evident- "together but apart."
Highlights of the meeting
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros:
- Opened the meeting with a prayer and commended the National Board and reiterated his pride, gratitude, and trust, especially in three specific areas-
- the efforts to fulfill the balance of the Philoptochos pledge of $250K to rebuild the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center
- the national support of the Ministry and Mission in South Korea
- the strong commitment to financial transparency and accountability
- Commented that Philoptochos remains the most "cohesive and constructive in the entirety of the Archdiocese infrastructure."
- His Eminence was delighted to formally introduce The Very Reverend Fr. Athenagoras Ziliaskopoulos as the new Spiritual Advisor to the National Philoptochos Board while also thanking his predecessor Bishop Apostolos of Medeia. His Eminence stated that although we are still holding virtual meetings, "he would affirm we are still together in person as our personhood is a gift from God."
Fr. Athenagoras Ziliaskopoulos:
- Expressed his love and gratitude for his new appointment as the Spiritual Advisor stating that it is an "absolute blessing to embark on the journey together" and thanked His Eminence for this distinct honor.
- Shared that there are "innumerable nonprofits around the world, however, the key difference is that Philoptochos is part of the church as established by Christ." Stating further that, "America is truly blessed to have this army of agape", and that the local and national work cannot be missed as Philoptochos spreads the Gospel with grace, selflessness, and love.
President Arlene Siavelis Kehl:
- Shared her excitement and commitment as the National Philoptochos President
- Expressed her thanks to the Executive Officers for their work since their appointment and to the National Board for their enthusiasm to get the new term started and taking time to acknowledge and warmly welcome the newly appointed board members to the National Board.
Barbara Pasalis, Treasurer, and Harriet Stoukas, Assistant Treasurer:
- Presented the Finance Report
- Since October of 2020, Disbursements totaling $219,691.21 were approved for HC/HC scholarships, missions, Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, and for the Texas Crisis Support
- National Ministry Commitments- despite the many fundraising challenges brought on by COVID-19, Chapters are encouraged to try their best to meet their ministry commitments as you did in 2019.
George Cantonis, President, Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology: shared an impactful report highlighting four key areas- a Financial Overview, Academics, Enrollment, and Accreditation with time allotted for a Q&A.
Anita Kartalopoulos, National Philoptochos Second Vice President- Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy Update:
- A full historical overview on the purchase of "our home"- the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy
- The operations are functioning well from the Center.
- The building did fine during lockdown and the staff is back in place with safety restrictions in place pursuant to CDC guidelines.
- Presented a report by the management company which stated that the "building is in excellent condition. It is in a very solid state, needs some modest upkeep/updating that is in line with normal preventive maintenance."
Aphrodite Skeadas, National Philoptochos Protocol Officer, Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution: Shared commentary on the revolution and a viewing of the video “Celebrating 200 Years of Friendship USA – Greece”, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Greece, click here for the video.
Jennifer Constantin, Direct Archdiocesan District President, Eleni Constantinides, Metropolis of New Jersey President, and Jeannie Ranglas, First Vice President and Metropolis of San Francisco President, Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center: spoke on the Philoptochos Fundraising Initiative and appeals.
Paulette Geanacopoulos, Director of the Department of Social Services: a report was given on an overview of the department’s services which mainly include assisting clients, of which 216 were assisted with financial grants in 2020. The department provides education and training and has conducted faith-based telephone support groups for Cancer Patients and Caregivers, as well as participating in a webinar and podcast on Domestic Violence.
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America closed the meeting with a prayer.