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Language and Culture in December

The Language and Culture Program celebrated OXI Day on October 25th. Following the Vesper services for the feast of Saint Demetrios, many members of our Community and several visitors from other churches attended a reception graciously offered by the Philoptochos Ladies Society in the large Hall. There, they listened to poetry recitation by two very young students and a lecture by Petros Tsingelis who gave a detailed and moving overview of the fateful events on October 28, 1940 and their aftermath.

Natalia Cerna, Xenya Currie, Nikita Legakis, Dimitri Selimos and Athena Tsingelis continue to practice the Prayer to the Theotokos and the Prayer to the Lord. We are looking forward to hear them offer these beautiful prayers during the Heretismoi in the Spring.

Grades 6-12 have been merged with the Adult Sunday class taught by Petros Tsingelis. This was done in order to expose the Junior High School and High School students to a series of lectures on the history of Greece that complement their studies in their daily schools. It has proved to be a welcome arrangement whereby mature students, some over 90 years old, became role models to the young ones, some of whom are just entering their teenage years. This is a testament that learning is a lifelong process and that different generations can and do share common interests.

Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for OXI Day- October 28,2013

Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for OXI Day – October 28, 2013

 

What does the Lord seek from you but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America

 

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On this day of October 28, we give thanks to God and we remember our valiant forbearers for their stand against the forces of tyranny in 1940.   For the people of Greece, their love of freedom after centuries of occupation helped them to recognize the heinous nature of the expansion of the Axis powers and to support heroically the “NO” given in reply by the prime minister when asked to surrender.  In the midst of overwhelming threats of violence and destruction, they also relied on their faith in God and on their affirmation of all that is just and true.

Certainly, the people of Greece knew that the attempt to occupy their beloved land was unjust.  The forces of the totalitarian regimes of the Axis had already taken life, liberty, and property in other countries, and the onslaught of fascism continued.  In response our ancestors sought to defend our homeland, to meet injustice with honor, and to support the response of “NO” with a willingness to sacrifice all for the cause of freedom.  They knew their character, identity, and faith would not allow them to step aside quietly and acquiesce to the demands of tyranny.

The response of the Greeks to the Fascist and Nazi Axis forces and the resistance to occupation was just, for it was a firm and bold recognition of evil.  They knew that ultimately this was a confrontation with powers that sought to strip people of their freedom, their dignity, and even their lives.  This just cause was also motivated by a love of family, of sacred and ancestral lands, and of the blessings of freedom.  Further, the stand of the people of Greece was not characterized by arrogance, disdain, and conceit.  These attributes of the Axis leaders and forces were met by a strong and humble people whose love of God and each other led them to act justly, seeking to uphold what was good and noble and placing their hope and future in the promises of God.

On this day the “NO” of October 28, 1940, and the heroic stand of the people of Greece inspires us and offers a witness to the world of the priority and character of justice in the face of great threats and adversity.  Throughout the world there are many struggles for power as well as movements against tyranny and injustice.  Through our faith in God and in our recognition of our cherished inheritance, we must discern what is just and what is not.  As Orthodox Christians, we are called to live and do justly, to confront the machinations of evil, and to do so in the grace of God with a love for life and for others who are created in His image and likeness.  Our just and holy ways should also be characterized by dignity and humility.  True, decent humility is not a sign of weakness, but of great strength and faith, revealing a deep and abiding trust in the sacredness of the human person and in the power and promises of God.  It is in this way that we will not only honor the legacy of our Greek forbearers, but we will also bring honor and glory to God as we allow His grace to prevail and as we bear witness to the truth of life and salvation in Him.

May His abundant blessings be upon all of our commemorations of this day, and may we continue to offer a bright witness of the sacrificial and just stand made by the people of Greece!

 

With paternal love in Christ,

†DEMETRIOS
Archbishop of America

Language & Culture in November

The Embassy of Greece in Washington, D.C. moved their Education Department to the Consulate of Greece in New York City. As a result of this move, they offered gratis a list of books to the Greek Schools in the United States. Malvina Protogerou Currie saw this invitation on the Internet and compiled a wish list for our Program. She called repeatedly the number on the website but she was unable to make contact with the Embassy personnel. Enter Fr. Christopher Metropulos. As soon as he heard of the difficulty at his monthly meeting with the teachers of the Program, he sent an email to Fr. Steven P. Zorzos, Dean of the Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Washington, D.C., asking for his help. Within hours, Fr. Steven contacted the office manager of his church who in turn spoke to the appropriate person at the Embassy. Two boxes of books and dictionaries arrived at Saint Demetrios within a few days!!! All we had to do was to pay the postage. Thank you Fr. Christopher!

Petros Tsingelis has prepared his part of the presentation for the OXI Day celebration and Malvina Protogerou Currie has videotaped the other part that features several of our students reenacting some of the events of that fateful day, October 28, 1940! The reenactment required that some children dress in costumes from Epirus and the Dance Youth Ministry graciously provided the costumes. We thank Erin Ryan, the Head of Dance and Maggie Barlow, curator of the Dance extensive and beautiful wardrobe. This was cooperation at its best for the benefit of our children.

Five children are learning to intone the Prayer to the Panagia and the Prayer to the Lord. They are: Natalia Cerna, Xenya Currie, Nikita Legakis, Dimitri Selimos and Athena Tsingelis. It is hoped that, God willing, they will delight the parishioners with their angelic voices during Lent.

A Night at the Parthenon

In honor of the feast day for St. Demetrios, come celebrate, Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Night at the Parthenon

A night reserved for Dining, Dancing and Music

6:30pm- cocktail reception

7:30pm- dinner

a choice of entree– roast lamb, salmon or vegetarian delight

live entertainment by Demetri and the Islanders

fabulous raffle prizes

Admission

ticket pre-sale until October 20 / after October 20

adults $45.00/ $50.00

children 12 & up/ college students $30.00/ $35.00

PJ & Pizza Party

children 11 and under (reservations required)

first child $10.00/second child + $5.00 / per family

tickets sold after Sunday Services in the community center.

for reservations contact

Marion Koliniatis at 305-632-1415 or email marionk2@bellsouth.net

Katherine Ziegler at 954-564-3379 or email katherineziegler@msn.com