The weekend of January 18-19, 2020 saw more than 50 Archons and their families from all over the US gather in Naples, Florida to attend the first-ever All-Florida Archons Retreat, co-sponsored by the Florida Archons and the Christian Rights and Freedom Institute (CRFI), a ministry of the Metropolis of Atlanta at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Naples.
Archons arrived from as far away as Denver, Philadelphia, and New York, with the majority driving across the state from the Miami area. The speakers were Lauren Green, Chief Religion Correspondent of Fox News, and Archon Dr. George Demacopoulos of Fordham University. Other honored guests included Hank Hanegraaff; National Council Member Dr. Nicholas Loutsion, Regional Commander Dr. Gregory Papadeas and Regional Commander John Scurtis, a co-organizer of the event.
The weekend of reflections and celebrations proceeded with the blessings of the Father Philemon Patitsas, presiding priest of St. Katherine; the leadership of Archon Fotios Frangakis, President of the Parish Council; Archon Steve Ramphos, Chairman of CRFI; Archons Dr. John Eliopoulos and Art Katsaros; and Archon Dr. Harry Dimopoulos, organizer, Master of Ceremonies and Chairman Emeritus of CRFI.
Celebrations began Friday evening with a welcome dinner attended by more than 25 Archons and their spouses. On Saturday, in the presence of a sold-out audience of over 250 in the St. Katherine Parish Hall, Dr. Demacopoulos addressed the audience on the subject of “Prospects for a United Orthodoxy in America.”
Lauren Green followed with an address on "Understanding This ‘Present Evil Age’ in the Persecution of Christians.”
An enthusiastic audience engaged both speakers in a series of thoughtful questions and enlightening discussion.
That evening, St. Katherine’s traditional annual Vasilopita Dinner Dance was celebrated.
Following the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy, Fr. Philemon invited Lauren Green, Dr. George Demacopoulos and Hank Hanegraaff to have a dialogue about a topics of interest before the congregation. A lively and inspiring conversation ensued.
The success of the entire weekend motivated various leaders to pledge to making this an annual gathering of fellowship, celebration, and remembrance of the plight of persecuted Christians and of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.