Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - April 6, 1999
ARCHONS HAVE BANNER 1998
1998 YEAREND SUMMARY
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior!
I take great pleasure in providing you with a 1998 yearend summary of the activities of the Order of St. Andrew.
New National Commander Appointed - It has been my great honor to have been appointed the National Commander of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle by His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon. My entire family and the memory of the late great commander of the Order and my father-in-law, Dr. Anthony Borden, have been honored, as well. His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, have my complete support, loyalty and commitment. Each and everyday I will strive to do the right thing in promoting and defending the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Holy Archdiocese, true to my offikion and mission as an Archon.
Economic support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate - Year to date, the Order of St. Andrew has transmitted $400,000 to the Phanar, having completed 80% of our $500,000 Pledge committed during the Concert for Peace. Once again, we express our deepest gratitude to Executive Vice Commander Nicholas J. Bouras for his philanthropy to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Order of St. Andrew. Within the next several months, we anticipate completing our Pledge, as we await proceeds from the Annual Archbishop's Appeal and Sunday of Orthodoxy festivities.
Nana Mouskouri 1998 Athenagoras Human Rights Award Recipient At Annual Banquet - Miss Nana Mouskouri was presented with the 1998 Athenagoras Human Rights Award for her work at the United Nations on behalf of children and promoting children's and women's causes in the European Parliament. Miss Mouskouri presented a magnificent musical response during the annual Archon Banquet in March. Dr. Chris Philip, National Commander Emeritus, was recognized for his many years of executive service to the Order and was presented a special cross of St. Andrew by His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon.
Sixteen New Archons Invested - During Orthodoxy Sunday services at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on March 8, 1998, 16 Archon candidates were invested into the Order of St. Andrew by His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon.
Order of St. Andrew Represented at Various National Meetings - The National Commander represented the Order of St. Andrew at the Conference for Hellenic American Leaders and Organizations (HALO) hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon in Washington, DC in March 1998. He also represented the Order at the Hellenic Leadership Conference hosted by UHAC in September 1998 in Washington, DC, where issues regarding the security of the Ecumenical Patriarchate were raised with 25 Members of Congress.
Order of St. Andrew Represented at Yale University Commencement honoring His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew - The National Commander and other members of the National Council represented the Order at the Yale University Commencement in May 1998 when His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received an Honorary Doctorate Degree.
Concert for Peace Airs Throughout United States on PBS Television Network - The Archon Patriarchal Concert for Peace featuring Nana Mouskouri aired throughout the United States on the PBS Television Network in August 1998. The Concert is airing again in December 1998 and will reprise in 1999, as well. The Concert Video Production which contains a vignette on the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is a magnificent tribute to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and provides an invaluable instrument to introduce Orthodoxy and the Ecumenical Patriarchate to millions of American homes. In August Miss Mouskouri conducted a 13-city tour which coincided with the video airing.
Archons Actively Participate in 1998 Clergy Laity Congress - Some 150 Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate actively participated in the 1998 Clergy Laity Congress in Orlando, Florida. All the major committees were chaired by Archons. The Order sponsored an Archon reception and Breakfast Meeting during which His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon and His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon of Tyroloi and Serention, the official representative of Ecumenical Patriarchate, addressed the Archons.
Largest-ever Pilgrimage to Ecumenical Patriarchate - Under the inspirational leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, the National Council sponsored a Pilgrimage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate from August 26 through September 2, 1998. The Pilgrimage to the spiritual center of world Orthodoxy, was the largest-ever in the history of the Holy Archdiocese. In excess of 100 Archons, friends and family members journeyed to the Phanar to express their love, respect and fidelity to the Ecumenical Throne. An elegant Grand Banquet in honor of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarchate Bartholomew hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon and the Order of St. Andrew was attended by representatives of the Holy and Sacred Synod, the visiting Hierarchs of America, the United States diplomatic corps and the Pilgrims. It was at this venue that His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, on behalf of the Order, presented His All Holiness a $200,000 donation towards our $500,000 Pledge. During the Pilgrimage, the Order established close diplomatic relations with United States Ambassador to Turkey, Mark Parris, United States Council General Carolyn Huggins and the United States Department of State. The National Council members also made diplomatic courtesy visits to the Mayor of Istanbul R. Tayyip Erdogan and the Provincial Governor of Istanbul Erol Cakir.
Reorganization of Archon Committees - The Standing Committees of the Order are being reorganized so that they are more efficient, more attuned to technological advances including the Internet and more responsive to the needs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Congressional Correspondence - Throughout the year, all 535 Members of the United States Congress, as well as the President and other members of the Executive Branch, received correspondence from the National Commander regarding issues importance to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This stream of correspondence from the Order emphasized the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the spiritual center of the world Orthodoxy to our elected government leaders.
Order of St. Andrew Assists His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon Regarding Halki School of Theology Re-instatement of Board of Trustees - The National Council assisted His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon lobby our elected leaders and the United States Department of State to reverse the decision of the Turkish Government to dismiss the Board of Trustees of the Halki School of Theology. The groundwork for this assistance was established during the Pilgrimage to the Phanar, when a close relationship to the American Ambassador to Turkey and the State Department was initiated.
Prof. Elie Wiesel, 1986 Nobel Peace Laureate and Recipient of Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Liberty to Receive the 1999 Athenagoras Human Rights Award - Prof. Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate, author and acclaimed champion of human rights will be the recipient of the 1999 Athenagoras Human Rights Award. Details of the Sunday of Orthodoxy Weekend Program, including the Grand Banquet, General Meeting and new Archon Investiture will be forthcoming shortly.
Regional and State Commanders to be Appointed - In the next several weeks the Regional and State Commanders will be announced. These officers of the Order will serve to further the mission of the Order, so that Archons throughout the United States, in all states and regions, will be more organized to serve the needs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Holy Archdiocese.
In closing we wish to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of Archons Michael Bilirakis (R. Florida) and Paul Sarbanes (D. Maryland) for shepherding through the United States Congress legislation which called on the Turkish Government to do the following:
- Recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its nonpolitical, religious mission;
- Ensure the continued maintenance of the institution's security needs;
- Provide the proper protection and safety of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Patriarchate personnel; and
- Reopen the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Halki Patriarchal School of Theology.
President Bill Clinton signed this legislation into law, and it is now the official policy of the United States government. It is partly on this basis that the State Department took such a strong position with respect to the dismissal of the Board of Trustees of the Halki School of Theology. We salute Representative Michael Bilirakis and Senator Paul Sarbanes who are such exemplary Archons and Greek Orthodox stewards.
Thank you for the opportunity to present the 1998 yearend summary of the Order of St. Andrew. We look forward to the New Year with the hope that all Archons of the Ecumenical Throne will continue to serve the Great Church of Christ with all our energy and resources.
Anthony J. Limberakis, MD
December 27, 1998
[ Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
April 6, 1999 ]