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Orthodox church turns 100

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  • John Schroedel
    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070915/NEWS01/709150358/1056/COL02 Orthodox church turns 100 *FINNEYTOWN* - In 1907, an Orthodox priest
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 22, 2007
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      http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070915/NEWS01/709150358/1056/COL02

      Orthodox church turns 100

      *FINNEYTOWN* - In 1907, an Orthodox priest visited Cincinnati on a steamboat
      from New Orleans and decided there was a need for a Greek Orthodox church.

      Next weekend, Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church will celebrate
      the perseverance and determination of a group of immigrants, their
      descendants and people who have converted to the faith.

      "They came to the city with nothing in their pockets and they began their
      families here and began their lives here and began practicing their faith
      here," said Eleni Zaferes, a member of the church for 34 years.

      "The church continues to be a place where we honor our traditions and our
      background, and it serves as a place for us to worship and a sense of family
      and, for new immigrants every year, a sense of home away from their native
      land," she said.

      The church's centennial celebration includes a youth rally Saturday morning
      with visiting Archbishop Demetrios Metropolitan Nicholas, the highest North
      American clergy in the Greek Orthodox Church in America.

      "It's a real honor for him to be here with us, and it's his first visit to
      our church," said David Love, of Wyoming.

      The previous archbishop visited in 1987 for the church's consecration.

      Next Saturday at 6 p.m., the church will celebrate with a banquet. The
      following Sunday, the archbishop and other clergy will celebrate a
      Hierarchal Divine Liturgy marking the centennial at 9:30 a.m. Prayers begin
      at 8:30 a.m. at the church, 7000 Winton Road, Finneytown.

      "We enjoy being a part of what we see as the one true faith that began with
      Jesus and the earliest Christians," Love said. "And that's what's drawn
      people from outside the Greek heritage to allow the church to grow bigger
      and flourish with immigrants and all Americans."

      For example, Love's father converted to the faith after marrying a woman
      from Greece, and likewise, his wife, Iris, converted to the faith and their
      children, 4 and 2, are being raised Orthodox.

      Outside religious circles, the church is perhaps best known for its annual
      Panegyri festival.

      "It's an important way we've tried to share our heritage," Zafares said. "We
      enjoy life and enjoy the Cincinnati community. We wanted to give back to the
      Cincinnati community what they have given us."

      SUMMIT LINKS BUSINESS AND CHURCHES

      Business and church leaders are looking to come together to benefit the
      community at large with a four-day conference on development.

      "Oftentimes business people think pastors are a little too needy and we
      pastors think that businesses are too greedy," said Pastor Jim Vickers,
      founder of Valley Learning Center, the summit sponsor. "We're looking to
      change that perception. We feel the church is really the most underutilized
      resource in the community."

      The Mountaintop Economic Summit, Sept. 26-29, aims to bring pastors and
      business leaders together at the Sheraton Cincinnati North Hotel, 11320
      Chester Road.

      "We're encouraging those in the faith community and the business community
      to forge relationships," Vickers said.

      He said the church is a morally conscious employee pool, a ready volunteer
      group and a customer base. Business brings opportunities for leadership and
      economic revitalization.

      Chuck Proudfit, founder of At Work on Purpose, said he's eager to
      participate in the summit to find deeper solutions to intractable problems
      in our community, specifically economic development.

      "We often spend a lot of time and money on Band-aids. We hope to define what
      are longer term sustainable solutions," Proudfit said.

      The summit will also include the Carl H. Lindner Project Think Tank, an
      opportunity for entrepreneurs to present ideas and get advice from a panel
      of "biznistry" experts - business people in ministry and ministry people in
      business.


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