The Order of St. Andrew welcomed two distinguished guests at its annual Archon General Assembly on Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Hilton Hotel in New York City: The Honorable James F. Jeffrey, U.S. ambassador to Turkey, and Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice and European Centre for Law and Justice.
National Commander Limberakis called the meeting to order that morning and welcomed all Archons and Archon-elects to the assembly.
Limberakis shared a letter sent by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew which read, "We recognize the progress and results of your extraordinary Religious Freedom Project commenced in 2006. The passing of nineteen religious freedom resolutions for the Ecumenical Patriarchate by sixteen states to date and the signing of seventy-five U.S. Senators of a letter to the U.S. President asking for his direct intervention and assistance for the Ecumenical Patriarchate are unprecedented accomplishments for which the Order is solely responsible."
|Archon Theofanis Economidis presents Archbishop Demetrios with California State's Senate Joint Resolution #17. California became the 16th state to unanimously adopt the Religious Freedom Resolution for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. (Photo by J. Mindala)|
The Secretary, Treasurer, Audit Committee, Bylaws Committee, Nominating Committee, Patriarchal Education Committee, Pilgrimage Committee, and Regional Commanders Liaison Committee provided reports throughout the morning.
That afternoon, The Order of St. Andrew sponsored a Ladies' Tea Reception for all wives, family members and honored guests of the Archons and Archons-elect. Dr. Maria A. Limberakis, the wife of the National Commander, hosted the event and welcomed Archbishop Demetrios who explained the significance of the Archon offikion.
The General Assembly reconvened after lunch with reports from Archon John A. Catsimatidis on the Religious Freedom Initiative, and Archon Christopher Stratakis, Esq. on the Legal Committee Initiative. Additionally, Archon John Zavitsanos reported on the Legal Defense Fund, and Archon Andrew Manatos offered words on recent developments in Washington.
|ACLJ/ECLJ's Jay Sekulow, a nationally recognized expert on religious freedom and popular guest on nationally televised news programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC, and PBS, addresses the Archon General Assembly. (Photo by J. Mindala)|
Archon Theofanis Economidis presented His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios with California State's Senate Joint Resolution #17 by which California became the 16th state to unanimously adopt the Religious Freedom Resolution for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Ambassador Jeffrey offered remarks and answered many questions posed by Archons on the many concerns that the Order had in regards to religious freedom rights for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Sekulow, one of the leading voices in the world on behalf of religious freedom, then offered an invigorating keynote address in which he addressed religious freedom rights pertaining to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Sekulow spoke of the issues regarding religious freedom rights and also outlined the cooperative efforts between the ACLJ/ECLJ and the legal committee of the Order of Saint Andrew.
The assembly concluded with a memorial service celebrated by His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios for all departed Archons. His Eminence then offered the Archiepiscopal Charge to the Archons-elect.
|View photos of the Archon General Assembly|