Greetings and Toast by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Luncheon Hosted by the Archons of the Throne
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
September 24, 2022
Your Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos,
Your Grace Bishop John,
Reverend Clergy and Presvyteres of the Holy Metropolis of San Francisco,
Esteemed Archons of the Throne,
Dear friends and beloved faithful in the Lord,
Anytime that I find myself in the company of the Order of Saint Andrew, our much beloved and deeply cherished body of Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate here in America, I feel tremendous pride and great happiness.
As you know, the Archons are a special group of people in the life of the Church. By their very offikia, they take upon themselves duties and responsibilities to the Mother Church of Constantinople that are essential for Her health and prosperity.
I know that here, in the God-protected Metropolis of San Francisco – under the wise and encouraging leadership of your Shepherd, Metropolitan
Gerasimos – the activities and initiatives of the Archons of the Throne are very much alive in the areas of sustaining the Great Church, and educating those around you about Her history, purpose and needs.
Your Eminence, as proud as you are of these parishes, you are also proud of the Archons across your Metropolis; for they bring awareness about the Ecumenical Patriarchate to its every corner. It is my sincere hope, that one day, we will have at least one Archon in every parish of our Archdiocese, and, of course, in some parishes, many Archons.
Your work, as I have said, is vital to the Mother Church. And it demonstrates that caring for the Ecumenical Patriarchate is not only the province of the clergy. The Archons are – by definition – a lay organization. Your mark of distinction is the cross bestowed upon you when you are declared Archons of the Ecumenical Throne. As such, it is a specific manifestation of the cross that we are all called to carry – just as Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the Holy Cross of the Lord by the soldiers who crucified Him.
You Archons, though, willingly take up the cross of the Martyric Church of Constantinople, and you walk the path following the Lord Himself in the wake of the spiritual father of us all, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
For this, then, and for so much more, I express to all of you my deepest gratitude. For someone born in Constantinople – like myself – it is most gratifying indeed to behold your devotion and dedication as Archons of the Throne here in Seattle, even though you may find yourselves almost halfway around the world from the Queen of Cities. Nevertheless, you seamlessly bridge and transcend this vast geographical distance through your unyielding pursuits and unwavering efforts on behalf of the Mother Church.
And so, in an expression abiding thanks, love and appreciation, I would like to raise my glass in your honor this afternoon. May you ever prosper in your lives and be blessed in your families and loved ones.