hellenic times - July 29-August 11, 1994

The nitty-gritty issues facing Greek Orthodoxy - particularly the 1.5 million in North and South America," writes Michael Hirsley in the Chicago Tribune, "have a harder edge. Call it the headache of ministering interfaith marriage in the U.S. While some of these marriages bring new converts, some result in losses, as spouses convert to the other religion, usually Roman Catholicism." At this point, the author quotes Rev. Dr. Milton Efthimiou as saying that "Clergy-Laity Conferences do no resolve issues, but give us a sense of direction." And a sense of direction it has given to the near 2,000 communicants who attended the week-long confab in the Windy City.

"Be renewed," His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos exhorted. "Cast off every old, worn, torn cloak. As many of you was were baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. This is the true and needful renewal, in contrast to all other kinds that we are called to pursue." It was part of his keynote address to his flock, all of which attended the Independence Day Doxology in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton and Towers Hotel.

The Congress was highlighted by Divine Liturgy in a number of churches on Sunday, several workshops, an Archdiocesan Council luncheon, the Congress Brunch, the Archons Breakfast, the Philoptochos Luncheon, several Plenary meetings, discussions, Philoptochos Forum, seminars, a reception for Senator Paul Sarbanes, and the Grand Banquet on Thursday evening, attended by a large number of  |Hierarchy and clergy, including the envoy of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, His Eminence Metropolitan Spyridon of Italy. Ernie Anastos delivered the keynote address during the Banquet, an impressive affair made more impressive by the use of special effects that brought the speakers close to the audience and presented a view of the attending parish churches, both exterior and interior.

On the lighter side, Thursday night conventioneers were treated to a show at the DePaul University Theater across the street from the headquarters to a program that included Greek American comedienne Hope Christodoulou Mihalap and with two vignettes by Harry Mark Petrakis, performed by the Greek Streets group....

[ hellenic times - July 29 - August 11, 1994 - p. 11 ]