Clergy-Laity Congress Theme Article – Part 2 - Clergy-Laity

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Clergy-Laity Congress Theme Article – Part 2

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In a few weeks we will gather in Boston for our 44th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress and the national meeting of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society.  We give thanks to Almighty God for this opportunity to meet so that we can address the needs, challenges, and opportunities in our vital work of sharing the Gospel of love and truth through the witness and ministries of our Holy Archdiocese, our Metropolises, and our Parishes. 

Our theme for the Congress is All Things are Possible to the One Who Believes in Christ.  In the first article on this theme, we examined the passages in Holy Scripture that affirm this truth.  First are the words of our Lord who said, all things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).  Second is the affirmation of the Apostle Paul who said, I can do all things in Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:12-13). Third, Christ emphasized the power of faith to do what seems impossible: He who believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than these will he do (John 14:12). Finally, we know that all things are possible to the one who believes because Christ said, If you ask anything in my name, I will do it (John 14:14).

When we reflect on the magnitude of these promises and assurances, we are in awe of the tremendous power and potential that we have as people of faith.  This is power to make the impossible possible, the unreachable reachable, the unachievable achievable.  We have the unlimited potential to do great and glorious things through our faith in Christ.

First, all things are possible because we believe that in Christ we have the strength and resources to meet our current challenges.  Our sacred work will never be without challenges.  At all levels of our ministry we have at times faced significant obstacles and what seemed to be insurmountable needs.  But our faith has remained strong and determined.  We have found assurance in the promise as affirmed by the Apostle Paul, my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).  We can be assured that all things are possible if we believe that through Christ every need we have for the work of ministry and our witness of the Gospel will be filled.  We can find strength to move forward boldly, undeterred by the limits of fear or want, to accomplish even greater works.

Second, all things are possible because we know that our witness and ministry must continue to grow.  Our work throughout our Holy Archdiocese is the most important work we do.  It is the work of God.  It is our divine calling as Christians to share the Gospel through our lives, to offer worship and service through our parishes, and to reach each and every person in need of His saving grace.  This work cannot be limited.  It must constantly be moving, changing, adapting, and reaching the unreachable.  In addition, we must have perspectives and attitudes that always seek to expand our ministry.  New methods and resources with a foundation in the sacred traditions of our Holy Orthodox Church must continue to form a powerful and dynamic witness.

Finally, all things are possible because we know the power of faith offers us unlimited potential.  The power of faith turns despair into hope.  It transforms anger and hatred into love.  It is a power the builds determination out of frustration.  It is the power that defeats death and gives us life abundantly.  It is the power that makes all things possible to the one who believes in Christ.

When we meet in Boston for our Clergy-Laity Congress, let us be led by God, inspired by our faith, and emboldened by our potential to accomplish the impossible.  Let us come together as brothers and sisters in Christ from throughout our Holy Archdiocese and gather in worship, prayer, and unity in our commitment to our sacred work.  Let us address our challenges in the bonds of fellowship and grace, and let us set before us a vision that proclaims that all things are possible to the one who believes in Christ!

With paternal love in Him,

Archbishop of America

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