Metropolis of Boston Holds Clergy-Laity Congress
BOSTON – The annual Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston was hosted by the St. Demetrios parish in Weston, MA. More than 300 clergy and parish representatives attended the day-long event, hearing from numerous guest speakers and attending small group discussions of the conference that was attended by clergy and Parish Council representatives from all 62 parishes throughout the metropolis.
The assembly consisted of speaker sessions, group discussions, and reports from various Metropolis Ministries. Members and participants of the Metropolis Philoptochos Board, the Thriving Congregations Initiative (TCI), the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center, and others discussed their contextual understanding of the current landscape of Greek Orthodoxy as it relates to youth safety, parish missions, and parish council procedures. Guest speakers included: Athena Kalyvas, Philoptochos Board President, Panos Coufos, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries, Bill Marianes, Thriving Congregations Initiative, Fr. George Parsenios, Former Dean of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology speaking on ‘Cultivating Spiritual Practices’, Mike Sintros, Director of the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center, and Gordon Bristol, Project Manager for the construction of the new indoor gymnasium and sports center at the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center. Nicholas Kourtis, Chairman of the Metropolis Scholarship Committee served as Moderator.
Three major donations were presented to Metropolitan Methodios for the Metropolis Ministries during the Conference:
$25,000 was presented as the third and final installment by the St. George Cathedral Parish of Springfield, MA, completing their full pledge of $100,000 to the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center and the Metropolis of Boston Camp; $10,000 was presented by the Philoptochos of the Annunciation Parish in Brockton, MA for a cabin renovation or similar needed project at the Camp; and $2,000 was presented by Bessie Mavredakis on behalf of the Pan-Cretan Association of America for the Philoxenia House.
In accepting the donations, Metropolitan Methodios expressed the appreciation and gratitude of the entire Metropolis family – and especially MBC campers and staff.
During the conference, a new Metropolis Philoptochos 16 Board members elected on Saturday, with the former president Athena Kalyvas remaining as an advisor. His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios will appoint the other four members. Finally, the new Metropolis Council was instated with new vice-chairman Bob Badavas of the Annunciation Cathedral parish.
In his homily Metropolitan Methodios said among other things that, “as we gather here in the church of St. Demetrios, I look out and see several hundred [from] Saint Demetrios. They are you, our priests and laity, the men and women gathered here today who are called to continue the work of this great saint. As the frontline soldiers on the battlefield of hatred, hypocrisy, jealousy, anxiety, and worst of all apathy, your actions and your example possess the power to inspire those who have drifted away from the church. Your love and your embrace possess the power to capture the minds and souls of everyone, especially our young people.”Metropolitan Methodios and the delegates of the Clergy-Laity Congress attentively listen to the speakers’ presentations. (Photo provided by the Metropolis of Boston)
He also said “we gather today to celebrate several great victories and to inspire each other to continue the sterling ministry you offer in your parishes. Over the course of today’s program, we will hear from representatives of the ministries offered by the Metropolis. As we hear about the work done on the Metropolis level, we must all take special note that this work is amplified by the sterling efforts taking place in each of our parishes.”
His Eminence also said, “our young people discuss the impact of artificial intelligence on their lives now and in the future. We are at the starting point of a transformative technology that could change and alter our lives and livelihood. It is vitally important to define the moral principles that guide technological advancements and work to ensure that technology remains human-centered, ethically grounded, and directed towards human advances.”