Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for National Leadership 100 Sunday - October 15, 2017

Protocol Number 162/17

October 15, 2017

National Leadership 100 Sunday

Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
(I Corinthians 16:13)

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,

On October 15, we commemorate National Leadership 100 Sunday as we look forward to the Feast of Saint Iakovos on October 23. We give thanks to God for the courage and strength and labor in love of the members of Leadership 100 and celebrate the great achievements over 33 years of the Leadership 100 Fund. Now, for more than three decades since its founding by Archbishop Iakovos of Blessed Memory, Leadership 100 has remained firm in its commitment to support the ministries and institutions of our Church for the glory of God.  For eighteen of those years, I have witnessed the dedication of these outstanding leaders, men, women and young adults, who give their time and energy out of a deep and abiding love to serve and enable the sacred ministries of our Archdiocese.

Leadership 100 has reached out first and foremost to our youth and children and families through its support of Church Summer Camps in the Direct Archdiocesan District and in each Metropolis, of Youth and Young Adults programs, of the Center for Family Care Family Ministries while remaining firm in its commitment to provide precious gifts to men called to the Holy Priesthood through scholarships offered to our beloved Holy Cross School of Theology and to assist active and retired clergy and presvyteres.

 Leadership 100, furthermore, has provided essential resources from the local to the national and international level, by assisting new and struggling parishes through the Home Mission and Small Parish Programs, through Religious Education and Greek Education and Internet Ministries and GOTelecom, and to expand the outreach of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations to other religious and charitable institutions and to the United Nations.

In our challenging times, Leadership 100 has supported the charitable outreach of International Orthodox Christian Charities, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry and Orthodox Christian Fellowship and other ministries under the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. These courageous actions have witnessed to both love and truth in the face of mounting odds in crisis after crisis at home and abroad.

On this ninth commemoration of National Leadership 100 Sunday, I ask all of our parishes to honor Leadership 100’s faithful legacy of service and to recognize its members and their example.  May we acknowledge the special blessings of God through Leadership 100’s precious gifts. We fervently pray that the Lord will continue to bless abundantly Leadership 100 in the decades to come, and keep its members in health and prosperity as they continue to stand firm in the faith and do all that they do in love.

With paternal love in Christ,

 

† DEMETRIOS
Archbishop of America