His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel, Geron of Chalcedon
Remarks for the Grand Banquet Centennial Clergy Laity Congress
July 7, 2022
Marriot Marquis – Broadway Ballroom
New York, New York
Your Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America,
Your Eminence Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos Very Reverend Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios,
Your Eminences of the Holy Eparchial Synod,
Your Graces and Reverend Clergy,
Delegates of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese,
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Tonight’s closing celebrations of this 46th Biennial Clergy Laity Congress is truly a cause for our collective joy and the joy of the Mother Church of Constantinople. His Eminence, Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnon, the Grand Ecclesiarch, Archimandrite Aetios, and I have not only cherished our time with you, but have been moved by the dynamism and zeal of this First Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Western Hemisphere.
This Clergy Laity Congress, celebrating the Centennial of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, has laid the groundwork for the next hundred years of this Archdiocese as you have envisioned a future for our Orthodox Faith in America, calling upon our rich legacy and recommitting yourselves to the salvific objectives of renewal and unity for our Church and world. We have seen your many and various activities throughout this past week, spanning a great diversity of ministries, services, and vocations, all sealed by our aspiration for union in Christ. In all, we have born witness to the deep and abiding devotion of both the clergy and laity to this Archdiocese and our Mother Church of Constantinople. All of this has, through the blessings of the Holy Spirit, allowed for a much inspired celebration of our Church’s legacy in America and more importantly, an intentioned reflection and dialogue on continued work needed for the future sustainability, growth, and vitality of this Archdiocese.
We saw the celebrations of our Church’s great accomplishments this week notably with the Consecration of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, a service that will go down in the laudable history of this Eparchy as that which marked a new era of stewardship, outreach, and engagement with our Church and American society at large.
It is my prayer that this place of worship and prayer will also be a place of solace for all people as any Church is a living icon of our communion in Christ through His Life, Death, and Resurrection.
From the exhibit hall to the committee meetings from the receptions to the plenary sessions, everywhere we look, we see our legacy which must forever be treasured, a sense of renewal in mission and devotion to our faith and tradition, exemplified in the ministry and person of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, and a developing vision for the next century that points to our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.
As the Lord said: “All things are possible to those who believe.”* I have seen your faith and cherish it in my heart. I have seen your caring for the Archdiocese and our Mother Church and I am confident in your God-given abilities and abounding love. I have seen your future because I have seen you and such a future will, by God’s Grace, be filled with brightness and life.
On behalf of the Mother Church of Constantinople, I congratulate all of you upon the completion of this 46th Biennial Clergy Laity Congress here in New York City and commend you to God’s providential care and the blessing of the Century to come.
Thank you for your kind attention!