By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Plenary Session
Centennial Clergy-Laity Congress
Marriott Marquis (Broadway Ballroom)
New York, New York
July 7, 2022
Your Eminence Elder-Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon,
Your Eminence Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos, and Very Reverend Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios,
Your Eminences, beloved Brothers of the Holy Eparchial Synod,
Your Graces and Reverend Clergy,
Beloved Delegates to this Centennial Clergy-Laity Congress,
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As we open our Plenary Session of this 46th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress – the centennial celebration of our Sacred Archdiocese of America – I would like to express my profound gratitude to all those who have made this gathering possible.
Generous donors, hardworking volunteers and industrious staffers have labored long and hard to make these days of the Congress effectual for the work of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church.
As you listen to the presentations of the Plenary, and make decisions about what actions you wish to take, I hope that you will remember that we are one family in Christ.
Let each of us make contributions that are positive, optimistic and, above all, based in love.
Love is the sign of our discipleship to Christ.
Love is the only measurement of spiritual life that matters in the end.
Love is the ultimate goal of the Church.
We may not always agree with each other – think of your own immediate families. You disagree, you even fight sometimes, but you never stop loving each other.
Here, as delegates representing your communities, you are bound by only one rule and regulation – the love of God for all people, that is our vocation to fulfill.
Therefore, let us proceed apace with our business today, realizing that we are about “our Father’s business,” as the boy Jesus once said. (Luke 2:49)
Let us do honor to the work of the Church, even as we honor one another as sisters and brothers in the Lord.