PHOENIX – During the recent visit of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros to the Metropolis of San Francisco, a dinner was held to welcome the Archbishop and also honor the Centennial of the Archdiocese. His Grace Bishop Spyridon of Amastris and Archon Kyriacos “Gig” Kyriacou, who are representing the Metropolis of San Francisco on the Archdiocese Centennial Committee, most capably chaired this fundraising effort and event, held on Saturday, February 19, 2022, which included Archons and donors to celebrate this auspicious milestone for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
It was in 1922 that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America was officially recognized by the state of New York and, since that time has served as the guiding beacon for the development and promulgation of our faith and Hellenic culture throughout the United States.
When those first parishes were established, they not only served as a place of worship, but a place for fellowship and a direct connection to the ancestral homeland of their founders. The church was the center of their lives, and through their offerings of time, talent and treasure, the Archdiocese blossomed across this country and is now widely respected and recognized as the Greek Orthodox Church in America.
During the first 100 years so many important programs and initiatives were launched including Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Saint Basil’s Academy, Philoptochos, Saint Michael’s Home, GOYA, and other ministries including Religious Education, Church Music, Camps, Greek Education, and more. There is much to celebrate and there remains much for which to aspire over the next century.
In his remarks, Metropolitan Gerasimos shared, “We may be in the Metropolis of San Francisco, but we are much more than that. We are part of a greater family – that of the Archdiocese and Ecumenical Patriarchate. We are just one of the links in the important chain of our Mother Church, and it is an honor and blessing to have His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros with us this weekend to not only celebrate Faith, Dance and Fellowship at FDF, but to also celebrate the first 100 years of our Archdiocese and look forward with great hope to the future the next century and beyond.” With those words, Metropolitan Gerasimos offered a gift of $50,000 toward the national effort to create a virtual exhibit to chronicle the important milestones of the first 100 years of our Archdiocese.
Additionally, Metropolitan Gerasimos expressed the commitment of the Metropolis of San Francisco to bring resolution to the challenges facing the Clergy and Lay Employee Pension Fund, offering a $50,000 towards this worthwhile cause. “We are grateful for all those who labor in the Lord’s vineyard, and it is of the utmost importance to us that they and their families have a secure future and will receive the support they are deserving of in recognition of their years of service to the Church,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos. “The Metropolis of San Francisco is just one small component of our Archdiocese, but it takes all of us, working together and supporting the work of the Body of Christ to elevate our faith and stand tall as an example of stewardship in action.”
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros accepted these gifts with heartfelt gratitude stating, “I am deeply appreciative for this opportunity to break bread with you and hear your ideas and considerations for this Centennial of our national Archdiocese. For this historic anniversary belongs to every member of our Church – from sea to shining sea. And it is not only a time for reflection on an elaborate and indeed glorious past, but a time for envisioning the future. As a Church, we have an abiding responsibility to the generation who will succeed us. We are to ‘equip’ them, not only with the ‘whole armor of God,’ – which is the complete theological and moral teaching of the Church, but with the skills and wisdom to navigate the world around them.”