October 18, 2009
National Leadership 100 Sunday
Let us not grow weary in doing what is good,
for in due season we shall reap. (Galatians 6:9)
To the Most 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,
In this new ecclesiastical year, I greet you with paternal love on behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod in order to announce that in recognition of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund, our supporting charitable organization, the Holy Synod has designated Sunday, October 18, 2009 as National Leadership 100 Sunday. This is the Sunday prior to the Feast of St. Iakovos and has been purposely selected as a tribute to Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory, the visionary Founder of Leadership 100.
Faced with difficult economic times and challenges to our faith and culture, our Greek Orthodox men and women leaders are continually asked to support many causes. While they have been the pillars of support of their communities and of educational, health-related and cultural institutions across our great nation, they have been imbued with the philanthropic spirit that has been passed down to them by past generations to put first and foremost their commitment to the National Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in order to perpetuate Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America. They have become an example to us all of the words of St. Paul: God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Leadership 100 is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. While it has grown to 822 members in 167 of our parishes, in every Metropolis and in the Direct Archdiocesan District, its impact has been far wider and greater through $28.5 million in grants that have provided scholarships for seminarians studying for the priesthood, relieved active clergy of their student loan debts, assisted retired clergy and presvyteras, supported virtually every National Ministry, from youth and family ministries, Religious and Greek education, and Internet Ministry and Home Missions. Furthermore, Leadership 100 assisted the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and has given relief and comfort in national and international tragedies such as September 11, Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake and fires in Greece.
We ask all of you to be mindful of this important ministry on National Leadership 100 Sunday, and to provide to the Leadership 100 members who are amongst you an opportunity to share their experiences with all the faithful in their parishes. We encourage support for the work of this national ministry for the good of the people and the glory of God.
With great thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ and to all those who share in this ministry, we pray that Leadership 100 and its members listen to the advice of St. Paul, in his Epistle to Titus that those who have believed in God should be leaders in performing good deeds (Titus 3:8).
With paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America