GARFIELD, NJ – The Metropolis of New Jersey Clergy Laity Assembly Grand Banquet was held in the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America on September 20 at the Venetian catering hall in Garfield.
During the Assembly, held earlier in the day, with the participation of the clergy, the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the presidents and members of the parish councils, the presidents and members of the Philoptochos Societies, the principals and teachers of the Sunday and Greek Schools, and a number of official guests discussed Church issues, exchanged views on key concerns of the communities, the spiritual and theological education of the members, as well as the continuation and increase of the spiritual progress of the Holy Metropolises.
At the same time, members of the communities were honored for their contribution to the Church and for their charitable and social work.
In his speech, Archbishop Elpidophoros welcomed all those present with joy and gratitude.
As he stated, "at this beautiful event we are given the opportunity to be together and celebrate the efforts and achievements of the previous church year. We recognize and honor the selfless contributions of the faithful of the Holy Metropolis, who gladly offer their time and talent in the service of the Church and its mission to the world. We are grateful to you for your continued support and help for the Church without any hesitation. The flourishing of this special relationship gives me great pride and satisfaction. I pray that this celebration will further strengthen the spiritual bond that unites us as a family and with inspiration and dynamism we will continue to provide the ideals of Christianity for many more years. I thank you once again for your unwavering devotion and I wish you a blessed, spiritual and successful ecclesiastical year.”
The Metropolis of New Jersey Clergy Laity Assembly Grand Banquet was held in the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America on September 20. Photo: Steve Lambrou
His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medea wholeheartedly wished success in the work of the Holy Archdiocese and the Metropolis and thanked the faithful for their dedication to the sacred mission of the Church. He said, “I feel blessed and proud for all of us and grateful once again to our Archbishop who brought me to you. May we all be well with the blessing of God and always have the protection of the Virgin Mary to continue the work we have undertaken for the good of the Church. I ask God to give many years to our Archbishop to guide us and to make us all safe under his own spiritual guidance.”
Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos Society President Eleni Constantinides wished the work of the Assembly to contribute to the spiritual and psychic resurrection of the faithful and asked for the participation of all so as to continue the great charitable and social work of the society, which, as she said, despite the adverse conditions due to the pandemic, continues and in fact with greater faith and strength than all the members.
Archdiocesan Council Vice President of the Metropolis of New Jersey Leon Andris also sent a greeting message with his best wishes.