The Metropolis of Chicago's Archons held their Third Annual Archon Business Retreat on Saturday, February 24, at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, Wisconsin. The retreat was organized by Regional Commanders Gus M. Pablecas and John G. Manos.
During the event, the Regional Commanders discussed news relating to the Order of Saint Andrew, including the Third Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom, which was held in Washington D.C. in December 2017. The retreat included a business and planning session, a dialog on defending and promoting the Holy and Great Mother Church of Constantinople and how to create new ideas for raising awareness of the issues facing the Ecumenical Patriarchate today.
"It was one of the most productive, high spirited meetings where new constructive ideas were created and action plans were implemented," said Regional Commander Pablecas.
As part of the Retreat, there was a segment that was basically a think tank session where expanded ideas were discussed. This allowed the Regional Commanders to tap into the vast experience of the Archons attending the meeting.
Regional Commander Manos concurred, "You could feel the synergy from the start. That synergy, coupled with the Archons' enthusiasm, made this the best of the three retreats to date."
As part of the Retreat, a presentation was also made by Archon Dr. John Fotopoulos, Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana, who lectured on the Theological School of Halki. He spoke on the School's history and its need to reopen to train clergy, which was forcibly closed by Turkish authorities in 1971, therefore leaving the administrative functioning and future of the Ecumenical Patriarchate imperiled. Archon Fotopoulos also spoke about Vasileios Antoniadis, a biblical theologian and professor at Halki who helped compile the Greek text of the New Testament that we hear in worship within many of the Greek speaking churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.