Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for Independence Day - July 4, 2018

Protocol No. 97/18

                                                                                                 July 4, 2018

                                                                                             Independence Day

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

            As we commemorate Independence Day, we are gathered in Boston for our 44th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress.  We are meeting in a city that has deep historical connections to the struggle for independence, a place where events supported the cause of liberty, and significant effort and sacrifice secured freedom and the birth of a new nation.

            The theme of our Congress is connected to this history and to this place in a manner that provides a spiritual foundation for our freedom.  Within the land of liberty and beyond, we have the freedom to pursue our potential in offering faith and love to others.  We continue to affirm through our Congress and through our witness as Orthodox Christians that all things are possible to the one who believes in Christ.   

            We know and proclaim that all things are possible through faith because our Almighty God has freed us from sin and death through the power of the Holy Resurrection.  We know the impossible is possible, because He has the power to set all of creation free from the bondage of decay to obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:21).   Through our faith in Christ, we have the freedom to live in the manner and for the purpose for which we were created, to explore the unlimited potential of the power of His grace.

We are blessed to live in a nation and society that values liberty and in a place where our freedom in Christ is joined with a freedom to worship, to minister, and to serve as we are led by God. We are free to work together as brothers and sisters in Christ, free to show and lead others to Him, and free to pursue the unlimited potential of our faith.  Let us be committed to pursuing the opportunities offered by this freedom.  As people of faith living in a free society and guided by the freedom we have in Christ, let us proclaim the truth that all things are possible and follow with action and plans that will bring honor and glory to God!

         With paternal love in Him,

†DEMETRIOS

Archbishop of America