BOSTON, MA – New Leadership 100 Argyris Vassiliou, gave a detailed report of the prestigious organization at the 44th Biennial Clergy Laity Congress.
His remarks follow:
Your Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Your Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, Respected Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Apostolos and Metropolitan Maximos, Revered Metropolitans of the Holy Synod, Your Graces, Reverend Clergy, Delegates and Friends:
As I stand before you, as Chairman of Leadership 100, I am reminded of my own upbringing in the Greek-American Community in Astoria, New York. Our parish of St. Demetrios was the center of our faith, our values and our lives. Today at the Church of the Archangels in Stamford, Connecticut, it is very much the same. Of course, the times are different, as are the challenges. Still, our centering in the Church has given us a distinct advantage, especially in an age “tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). Our primary responsibility is to ensure that our parishes remain vital and growing so that we may grow in faith for the benefit not only of ourselves and our families, but for all who would know the truth in Christ and carry that truth into the world.
Leadership 100 was established for the purpose of seeding and nurturing the National Ministries of our Archdiocese. I work closely with our Executive Director, Paulette Poulos and our Board of Trustees, our Vice-Chairman Jim Logothetis is also in attendance, to make sure that we remain true to our mission. I am proud to report that since its inception in 1984, Leadership 100 has distributed over $50 million in grants toward the ministries of our Archdiocese.
Leadership 100 has just completed two consecutive $10 million grants to Hellenic College-Holy Cross and is now considering the approval of another $10 million grant at rate of $1 million a year to continue to provide scholarships to our young men who are preparing for the Holy Priesthood. In the past, we have funded the relief of student loans for ordained clergy and have also assisted clergy in need. Additionally, Leadership 100 supports the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council, the Retired Clergy Association and the National Sisterhood of Presbyteres.
We are also proud supporters of the Metropolis Summer Camping Program, Ionian Village, the Department of Youth and Young Adults Programs, Greek and Religious Education, the Center for Family Care, Outreach and Evangelism, Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Home Missions and the Small Parish Initiative program.
Leadership 100 funding has also supported the Internet Ministries at the Archdiocese and the School, has helped initiate and support International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF). We have also assisted with generous support of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, the Holy and Great Council and the Pastoral Care Program of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Furthermore, at times of crisis, Leadership 100 has always responded with rapid support, in the aftermath of 9/11 and devastating hurricanes, earthquakes and fires both home and abroad.
We are committed to our mission of supporting the essential ministries and programs of our Archdiocese. Our ability to provide this funding is due to an endowment program that has consistently earned good returns while also exercising fiduciary responsibility to our members, by keeping their contributions inviolate, a contract that has never been violated.
We have responded to the financial concerns of the Archdiocese by remaining true to that purpose and to our donors and this past year distributed another $2.7 million in grants. We are working with the Archdiocese and Hellenic College to ensure that our grants are properly and effectively applied. This includes a detailed monitoring process with regular reporting. We also work closely with every grant recipient to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
As Chairman, I am privileged to take up this responsibility in helping to advance the mission of Leadership 100 in supporting the National Ministries, the School and other programs that advance Orthodoxy and Hellenism. I pledge a strong continuation of commitment to the Faith we hold in common and the Heritage we cherish.
Leadership 100 brings together exceptional individuals who are willing to recommit to this mission and to give of their time, talent and treasure as true and faithful stewards. We have established a young professionals program within Leadership 100 to assist our young people in meeting like-minded individuals while helping to educate them on the importance of learning to give for the needs of the Church. In Leadership 100, they have a place that demonstrates how our faith and values continue to be an essential part of our lives and our families.
We have become an extended family who reinforce one another while learning firsthand the importance of philanthropy and service. As a result, our total membership has grown phenomenally approximately 1,100 members, our young professionals to 160 and our fulfilled members to 636.
In closing, I want to especially thank His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and our Metropolitans who have welcomed us and supported us in their respective Metropolises, and special appreciation to our Clergy and Presbyteres and the faithful who have supported our mission.
I would be remiss if I did not single out our esteemed officers, George Tsandikos, Cathy Walsh, and Michael Psaros for their exceptional work during these last nine months. I want to assure you all that Leadership 100 will continue to offer our untiring support to our beloved Archbishop Demetrios and our Holy Archdiocese as they continue in their worthy mission.
May God bless us all!