Over the last several weeks throughout the Archdiocese of America, Archons of the Order of Saint Andrew have demonstrated their role as 'Defenders of the Faith' and organized several symposiums and presentations advocating for basic human rights and religious freedom for the Mother Church of Constantinople.
San Diego, CA
View Photos | On February 19-21, 2017, the Faith. Dance. Fellowship. (FDF) was held in San Diego, CA. National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis delivered a religious freedom presentation to the Archons of the Metropolis of San Francisco and was welcomed by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco and Regional Commander Theofanis V. Economidis along with several other Archons of the Metropolis of San Francisco.
View Photos | A lecture and dialogue was held at Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, Orange, CT, on February 15, focusing on twenty-five years of leadership, accomplishments and environmental activism of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The lecture was presented by the Historian of the Order of Saint Andrew Archon George E. Demacopoulos, Ph. D., Professor of Theology, Co-Director, Orthodox Christian Studies Center Fordham University, who highlighted the significant accomplishments of what he termed the transformative quarter-century of leadership of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Demacopoulos focused on three aspects in particular: Intra-Orthodox conciliation, as symbolized by the Holy and Great Council in Crete in the summer of 2016; Intra-Christian dialogue; and in particular, the worldwide leadership of His All-Holiness in environmental preservation, providing numerous examples of such leadership. Regional Commander Nikiforos Mathews offered an overview on the facets of the denials of religious freedom under which the Ecumenical Patriarchate labors while Archon Gregory Stamos, past Supreme Counselor for the Order of AHEPA, served as moderator.
The lecture was sponsored by the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America together with the Order of AHEPA, Chapter 98, the Hellenic Bar Association of Connecticut and St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church.
New York, NY
View Photos | On February 15, seminarians of Holy Cross/Hellenic College gathered at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America where they had the opportunity to become further educated on the work of the Order of Saint Andrew. National Vice Commander John Halecky, Archon Alexander Pritsos, Sergeant at Arms and Archon Theo Nicolakis offered presentations on the work of the Order and the religious freedom issues effecting the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Saint Augustine, FL
View Photos | Archons joined in celebrating the 35th anniversary of the dedication of the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine Day during a special banquet held on February 5 at the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, FL. The event was attended by His Grace Bishop Gregory of Nyssa of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese who was the keynote speaker. His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos and Regional Commander Dr. Manuel N. Tissura bestowed the Saint Photios Medal to Archon Ted P. Pappas and to Archon Christo Daphnides for their 40-plus years of commitment to the St. Photios National Shrine.
Archon Nicholas Furris, who served as Master of Ceremonies at the banquet was also joined by fellow Archons Harry Cavalaris, John Scurtis, George Donkar, John Grossomanides, George Parandes, Dr. Steve Poulos and Philip Yamalis.
The St. Photios National Shrine, located in the Avero House, commemorates the memory of 500 Greeks who landed in St. Augustine, Florida on June 26, 1768 as part of the contingent of indentured servants brought to Florida by Dr. Andrew Turnbull to establish the settlement of New Smyrna.
View Photos | A presentation covering the issues of concern facing the Ecumenical Patriarchate was held at St. Iakovos Greek Orthodox Church in Valparaiso, IN, following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 26. Archon Regional Commanders Gus Pablecas and John Manos delivered the presentation and also focused on Indiana Senate Resolution 2, a simplistic resolution currently making its way through the Indiana State Senate which declares support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and calls on the Turkish Government to ensure its religious freedom. Several Indiana State Senators and Representatives were invited to the special presentation which was attended by over 100 parishioners.
View Photos | With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, a symposium was held at the Assumption of the Theotokos Cathedral, Denver, CO, on Saturday, January 28 attended by over 85 people, which included 14 Archons. The symposium focused on the historical, canonical and ecclesiastical significance of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which concluded in June 2016, including a review of the previous seven Ecumenical Councils.
New Port Richey, FL
With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta a symposium was held at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in New Port Richey, FL on February 7, which focused on the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and religious freedom issues affecting minorities in the Middle East. The theme of the symposium was "The Sacredness of Childhood" which invited everyone to recognize and respect the rights and integrity of children, based on the appeal of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his 2016 Christmas Proclamation.
The symposium was organized by Archon Elias Damianakis who worked in cooperation with the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle. Featured speakers included Fr. Matthew Morgan of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Fr. John Kouki of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Fr. Harry Linsinbigler of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church along with representatives of the Palestinian and Jordanian communities.