GOARCH - June 17, 1997
Archdiocesan Council Executive Committee
Meets to Chart Course for Future
NEW YORK - His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon preached "teamwork" at a very productive, upbeat meeting of the Archdiocesan Council's Executive Committee at Archdiocese headquarters on June 12.
At the committee's first meeting since the newly organized Archdiocesan Council met in March, the top lay leaders of the Church, together with members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, discussed a wide range of issues and goals.
In his introductory remarks, Archbishop Spyridon expressed satisfaction at the progress made at the Archdiocese since his enthronement, including technical advances with the home page on the internet, and in the Orthodox Observer. His Eminence noted that "during the past months, the Archdiocese has been able to set up a staff that operates as a team," and also reflected on the success of his parish visits throughout the nation. Participants engaged in a free exchange of ideas in their discussions.
"I liked what I saw," said Alex Spanos of Stockton, Calif., president of the Archdiocesan Council. "The meeting went extremely well." He said he especially appreciated the candor of the deliberations. "I strongly believe we had a meeting of the minds," sand Spanos. It couldn't have been more perfect. We're moving in the right direction." Spanos, in addressing the meeting, asked the members to "do your best for one purpose only -- the Church." He also thanked Andrew Athens of Chicago, for his 21 years' service to the Council, and Demitri Moschos, his immediate predecessor. He also underscored the importance of working toward a sound financial basis for the Archdiocese and Ecumenical Patriarchate.
With regard to finances, the report by Jerry Demetriou, director of Finance at the Archdiocese, was one of the most positive in many years. Operating revenues are ahead of expectations for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 1997 that ended March 31. And from a deficit of nearly $500,000 in 1996, that figure has been slashed by the end of the first quarter to only $687.
Other agenda items included reports presented on the National Ministries, Leadership 100, stewardship, missions, and clergy benefits.
Report highlights include plans announced by the Very Rev. Eugene Pappas for the reversion of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center in St. Augustine, Fla., to the Archdiocese so it can implement a more effective domestic missions program while simultaneously enhancing cooperation with our canonical jurisdictions in the United States.
In other business, participants received briefings from Fr. Alexander Karloutsos on the upcoming visit of His All Holiness to America on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Archdiocese.
Anthony Stefanis of Atlanta also gave a report, concerning ways for improving the efficiency and organization of the Archdiocesan Council.
Meeting participants included the following Holy Synod members: Bishop Iakovos of Chicago, Bishop Anthony of San Francisco, Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh, Bishop Methodios of Boston, Bishop Isiah of Denver, Bishop Philotheos of Meloa and Bishop Alexios of Troas as vicar of the Atlanta Diocese.
Executive Committee members attending, in addition to Spanos, were John Castimatidis, John Payiavlas, Anthony Stefanis, Alexander Anagnos, Pamela Liapakis, James Argeros, Helen Hadjiyannakis-Bender, Theodore Theophilos, John Pappajohn, Andrew Athens, George Behrakis, Peter Dion, Michael Jaharis, Dr. George Korkos, John Mavroudis, Demitiros Moschos and Peter J. Pappas.
June 17, 1997 ]