By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Plenary Session Closing
Centennial Clergy-Laity Congress
Marriott Marquis (Broadway Ballroom)
New York, New York
July 7, 2022
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,
Some might say that the labor of this Centennial Clergy Laity Congress has concluded.
But I say to you that the endeavor has only just begun.
We assembled in this Congress in a work of exploration:
reflecting on the legacy of our past,
engaging in renewal in our current moment,
and forging even stronger bonds of unity for our future.
As a community, we are as diverse as any other in the United States. We need to own this, and not allow it to own us.
That is why unity in Christ, unity in Faith, unity in tradition and unity under the apostolic authority of our Mother Church of Constantinople is the only way forward to a successful and prosperous spiritual future.
As we all gather here today for the last day of this historic Clergy-Laity Congress of our Holy Archdiocese, I would like, with both joy and humility, to relay to you some important news:
The decision of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to call me to participate in the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for this upcoming year, beginning in September.
Though I had the privilege of exercising Synodal duties in the past as the Metropolitan of Bursa, this is the first time I will serve the highest institution of the Mother Church in my capacity as Archbishop of America.
I am deeply honored by His All Holiness's decision.
I am also fully aware that this invitation to participate in the Synod reflects the importance that the Ecumenical Patriarch places on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, which is embarking on its second centennial in America, united to the Mother Church.
I thank all of you for your dedication and participation here today.
I look forward to seeing all of you tonight at our celebratory Grand Banquet, where we can rejoice together as one Church, united in purpose and mission.
To pass on the truth of the Gospel to our children and the generations to come,
And to share with the world the Good News of Salvation that is found in our Holy Orthodox Faith.
May the Good Lord bless you all!