Archiepiscopal Encyclical 4th of July, Independence Day (07/04/2017)

Our annual commemoration of the 4th of July, Independence Day in the United States of America, provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the blessings of liberty and to express our gratitude to our forbearers for the freedom that has been advanced and sustained throughout the history of this country. We have and experience a multitude of social, political and economic freedoms because many sacrificed courageously to protect the highest ideals, others engaged in challenging debate and decisions over the shape of governance and society, and countless more have cherished freedom by respecting the rights and liberties of others.
Read MoreAboutArchiepiscopal Encyclical 4th of July, Independence Day (07/04/2017) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2016)

As we observe the annual commemoration of Independence Day, hierarchs, clergy and laity from throughout our Holy Archdiocese are gathered in Nashville for our 43rd Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress. Certainly, we are meeting to address the needs and opportunities in the life of our Church in America. We are also gathered in the presence of God with a focus on a specific theme that guides and challenges our work of ministry: “You are the Voice of Christ in a Changing World.” On this day and in our celebration of the freedom we have in this country, the voice of Christ should be heard through us so that all may know the true depth and spiritual power of the liberty we have in Him.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2016) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2015)

The annual celebration of Independence Day in this country is an opportunity for all to reflect on the value of freedom, its role in the history of the United States of America, and the opportunities it provides for relationships, life, and well-being. The value and priority of freedom is evident in the history of this country, both through the struggles to achieve it for all persons as well as in the great accomplishments and progress that have been made in terms of the freedom to think, speak, move, invent, and succeed.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2015) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2014)

On this Independence Day we offer thanksgiving and praise to God for the freedom we have as human beings created in His divine image and as citizens of a nation that values, protects and promotes freedom as essential to human life, well-being, and potential. As Orthodox Christians we know and affirm that God is the source of our freedom because He is the absolutely Free and the Creator of genuine freedom.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2014) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2013)

As we commemorate Independence Day and its significance for this nation, for our American heritage, and for the quality of our lives, we must also affirm and share the truth our Orthodox faith offers concerning freedom. In our contemporary world, many people understand freedom in a very individualistic way. For example, some emphasize freedom as an individual right in terms of speech, movement, belief, or behavior. Others speak of freedom from the arbitrary use of the power of government. Many affirm the liberty to have or to pursue a wide range of economic and social opportunities.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2013) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2012)

Our theme, “Chosen and Appointed by God to Go and Bear Fruit,” is directly related to our divine calling as Orthodox Christians to carry the message of the Gospel and to reveal the grace and power of God in our lives so that beautiful and eternal spiritual fruit may be produced in the lives of others.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2012) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2011)

On this annual celebration of freedom and the commemoration of the founding of this nation, I greet you in the love of our Lord who offers to us enduring liberty leading to a creative life on earth and ultimately eternal life. Our liberty in Christ frees us from the bondage of sin and death through the power of the Resurrection and the presence of the Holy Spirit. As the Apostle Paul states in his Epistle to the Galatians, this liberty is to be led by the Spirit and should not be an opportunity to do the works of the flesh or fulfill selfish desires. Instead, this freedom should produce and nurture the fruit of the Spirit, leading each person in love and acts of service toward others (Galatians 5:22).
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2011) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2010)

On this annual observance of Independence Day, we give thanks to God for the spiritual freedom we have in Christ and for the freedom we have in this nation in which we live. As people of faith we are recipients of the grace of God, which frees us from the bondage of sin and death and enables our ascent to restoration and eternal communion with Him. As citizens and residents in the United States of America, we are beneficiaries of a form of government that recognizes both the political and social freedoms inherent to each of us as human beings.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2010) »

Encyclical on the Fourth of July (07/04/2009)

The Fourth of July is a day when we join with people across this nation and around the world in the celebration of an historic achievement that exalted the necessity of human freedom and initiated a political and social environment filled with opportunity and potential.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical on the Fourth of July (07/04/2009) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2008)

The annual observance of Independence Day is an instance for us to be thankful for the peace, freedom and opportunities we have in this nation, the United States of America. It is a day when we celebrate ideals that have been realized for the benefit of humankind, when we remember what so many have offered for the sake of liberty, and when we recommit ourselves to the cause of freedom and to building a society that upholds all that is good and just.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2008) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2007)

This day, July 4, is one that we share each year with millions of others who live in the United States of America and who continue to celebrate the preservation of independence and freedom. Throughout this land people will participate in ceremonies, prayers, parades, and family gatherings that will embody the life, liberty and happiness this nation has offered to so many.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2007) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2006)

On July 4, 1776, the United States of America boldly and firmly declared its Independence. In so doing, it articulated a cherished phrase in the text of the Declaration of Independence, which is today enshrined in the hearts of every student and admirer of American history and in the fabric of our national conscience: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2006) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2005)

Our annual celebration of American Independence on the Fourth of July is an opportunity for us to grow in our appreciation of the principles of democracy, liberty, and freedom for all humankind. We celebrate these principles as Greek Orthodox Christians who are blessed to call America our home.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2005) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2004)

On this Day of Independence, I greet you in the spirit of love and joy inspired by our gracious God, the giver of life and liberty. Our annual celebration of July 4th as a national holiday commemorating the independence and founding of the United States of America is an occasion to affirm the necessity of freedom for promoting loving and lasting relationships with others and with God.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2004) »

Encyclical on Independence Day (07/04/2003)

On July 4th, we gather as families and communities to celebrate the independence of our nation. We affirm on this important day the values of freedom and liberty that have characterized our national spirit for over two centuries. As we celebrate this national holiday, we are granted the occasion to consider that freedom and liberty are not only treasured values, but are essential and universal conditions for cultivating loving relationships with God and with others.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical on Independence Day (07/04/2003) »

Encyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2002)

On Independence Day we come together as families, as communities, and as a nation to celebrate freedom and to honor the history of a country that has offered people unprecedented opportunity for achievement and growth in all areas of life. But as we gather on this day, we do so following the events of September 11, a day of national and world tragedy on which we witnessed the of thousands of people and a vicious attack on freedom.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical for Independence Day (07/04/2002) »

Encyclical on Independence Day (07/04/2001)

The annual celebration of July 4th as a national holiday commemorating the independence and founding of the United States of America is an occasion for affirming the necessity of freedom for the proper existence and advancement of all aspects of civilization.
Read MoreAboutEncyclical on Independence Day (07/04/2001) »

Independence Day Message (07/04/2000)

The Fourth of July is a day for heartfelt celebration, not only for us living in America, but also for the entire world. For in our observance of American Independence Day, we commemorate far more than just the 226th anniversary of a political declaration: rather, we honor the timeless ideal of freedom that the founders of this nation cherished. “Liberty or death!” was their watchword. They risked their homes, their possessions, their families and their lives, not for wealth or fame or the fleeting pleasures of this world, but for the enduring cause of freedom. Brave were their words in pursuit of independence; braver still were their deeds.
Read MoreAboutIndependence Day Message (07/04/2000) »