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Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council Convenes in Houston Texas

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.wfn.org/2007/04/msg00264.html [GOAA] Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council Convenes in Houston Texas From Worldwide Faith News Date Mon,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2007
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      [GOAA] Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council Convenes in Houston Texas
      From Worldwide Faith News <wfn@...>
      Date Mon, 30 Apr 2007 13:29:48 -0400

      79th St. New York, NY 10021 Tel: (212) 570-3530
      Fax: (212) 774-0215 Web: http://www.goarch.org Email: communications@...

      For Immediate Release: April 27, 2007

      Contact: Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos Cell:
      617-680-7222 Email: communications@...



      HOUSTON, TX ? The Archdiocesan Council of the
      Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America held its
      spring meeting at the Renaissance Hotel in
      Houston, Texas on Thursday and Friday, April
      26-27, with Archbishop Demetrios of America presiding.

      Following the opening prayer Archbishop Demetrios
      delivered his Introductory Address. He outlined
      three major issues that are relevant to the life
      and mission of the Church: religion and science,
      family and youth, and the increasing interest in
      Hellenic universal tradition in contemporary
      socio-cultural contexts in America. â??As members
      of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese we are the
      carriers of Orthodoxy and Hellenism that have a
      direct impact in dealing with the three issues
      that I have outlined,â?? said the Archbishop. He
      added that, â??we must also focus on the fact
      that ultimately we serve the Gospel of Christ,
      and as St. Paul says in his Epistle to the
      Colossians we must offer the Gospel in a fruit
      bearing and growing manner (Col. 1:6).â??

      In his comments, Vice Chairman of the
      Archdiocesan Council, Mr. Michael Jaharis,
      congratulated the members of the Standing
      Committees of the Archdiocesan Council for their
      faithful and productive work. He also commented
      on the significance of the phenomenon of the
      increasing number of converts entering the
      Orthodox Church. In addition, he spoke about the
      inter-faith family, and family in general, and
      the ensuing Councilâ??s responsibility to promote
      Orthodoxy and Hellenism as vital factors for the
      existence and growth of the Orthodox Christian family.

      The Standing Committees of the Archdiocesan
      Council each described the recent progress of the
      institutions and ministries of the Archdiocese
      and outlined specific initiatives that will be
      pursued in the future. More specifically:

      1. The Administration Committee outlined key
      administrative considerations, including the SWOT
      strategic process and the establishment of parish
      council training programs. The committee provided
      a review of the Clergy-Laity Congress in
      Nashville, TN. Minor amendments to the
      Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of
      America were presented, discussed and accepted.
      2. The Communications Committee reported on the
      work that was done during the Papal Visit to the
      Ecumenical Patriarchate in November 2006 and the
      vast media coverage it received worldwide. Based
      on the critical issues identified by the SWOT
      process it also discussed the enhancement of
      overall communications through the development of
      parish list-serves, an on-line daily Observer,
      the publication of a parish communications
      handbook, and the creation of a video production
      studio at the Archdiocese. 3. The Youth Committee
      report described numerous educational initiatives
      and SWOT-based programs and activities.
      Information was provided concerning the formation
      of a task force for Ionian Village and the
      upcoming 2nd International Young Adult Conference
      sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on July
      10-16, in Constantinople. 4. The Religious
      Education Committee outlined seven specific
      recommendations addressing the primary SWOT
      concern of providing effective educational
      material and resources for adults. A detailed
      action plan was presented which included, among
      other initiatives, the appointment of a Religious
      Education Director in each Metropolis. 5. The
      Finance Committee presented a report on the
      meetings that have been held at various
      Metropolises in order to provide information
      concerning the new financial funding strategy for
      the Archdiocesan budget. Included in the report
      was a detailed financial summary of 2006 and the
      first quarter of 2007 income and expenses of the
      Archdiocese that indicated a major decrease in
      accumulated debt. 6. The Committee on Marriage
      and Family provided an overview of its work with
      Interfaith Marriages, the launching of a new
      website, and educational resources and programs
      for families and parents. The Committee report
      also included a description of the work that is
      being done to address important issues facing
      clergy and their families. 7. The Outreach and
      Evangelism Committee reported on its cooperative
      work with the other departments and organizations
      of the Archdiocese. In reviewing the SWOT data
      the committee reiterated its intention to provide
      educational resources that assist in the
      establishment of new parishes and the interest
      for the Orthodox Faith among the non-Orthodox. 8.
      The Committee on Technology reported on the
      status of the Alexander Project that aims to
      develop a system that will empower the
      Archdiocese, the Metropolises, and parishes to
      achieve the goal of personalized ministry through
      the robust management of the data available to
      the Archdiocese. This project will provide the
      ability to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to
      reach out and minister to all of her faithful. 9.
      The Greek Education Committee described the
      primary activities of the Department of Greek
      Education which included among others the staff
      development seminars for teachers throughout the
      various Metropolises, the development of
      performance questionnaires, and the continued
      cooperation with the Ministries of Education of
      Greece and Cyprus in training our teachers and
      providing new instructional materials tailored to
      the needs of our schools and students.

      A detailed report was presented by the President
      of the Retired Orthodox Clergy Association (RCA)
      who highlighted its goals and the work that is
      being done for the support of the retired clergy
      and presbyteres by the Archdiocese and the RCA.

      Additionally, a brief report was offered by the
      Chairman of the FAITH Endowment for Orthodoxy and
      Hellenism and announced that thus far 40 million dollars have been pledged.

      On Thursday morning the Archdiocesan directors
      and the chairmen of the Standing Committees met
      to discuss the next phase of the strategic
      planning process based on the data obtained from
      the 2006 SWOT Analysis Research Project.
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