Date: May 15, 2019
My Beloved Faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:
Χριστὀς Ἀνέστη! Christ is Risen! He is truly risen!
Even though I am, as the Apostle Paul once said, “absent in the body” from you, I am very much with you in heart, in mind, and in spirit (cf. I Cor. 5:3). I wanted to take this moment to communicate with you through this marvelous tool of social media, to express how much I desire to embrace all of you as spiritual children, and to manifest to you the love with which God has graced my heart for the precious flock of the Holy Archdiocese of America.
In the coming days and weeks, we will all be learning about one another. I have already received and continue to receive warm greetings and messages of congratulations from across America, and I am heartened by them all. You will be learning about me, but what I want all of you to know most importantly, is that that I am coming to America not only to be your Archbishop, but I am coming to be your spiritual friend and brother, your servant in the Lord, your co-worker in Christ, and your fellow steward of all the gifts of God that have been bestowed upon the Greek Orthodox Faithful of America. Together we will bring the Holy Archdiocese of America to the greater understanding that we are the Body of Christ, and each of us a precious member.
To you and to all our Orthodox Christian Brethren across America, I bring the blessing of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. I am coming to you as your brother in Christ. And, on June 22nd at my Enthronement, I look forward to embracing our ecumenical and interfaith friends as well, and the whole pluralistic American society that values freedom of conscience and religious liberty with such intensity.
Let this be a time of hope and positive expectation for us all. We have much to accomplish together, and by God’s grace and with His strength, we must surely be victorious.
Χριστὀς Ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!
In the Risen Lord,
Archbishop Elpidophoros of America