November 10, 2016

To the Reverend Clergy and members of Parish Councils
in the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston

My brothers and sisters in the household of God,

          As you prepare for Parish Council elections, please abide by articles 24, 25, 26, 27, and 31 of the Uniform Parish Regulations of our Archdiocese. Those serving on the Parish Council must be men or women who live the sacramental life of the church, thus providing a sterling example to all the stewards of the Parish. While term limits are provided only for the president and treasurer (no more than six consecutive years), I personally recommend that those who have served more than 10 consecutive years (there are cases of brethren who have served on the Parish Councils for three and four decades) to step down in order to be replaced by other parishioners, especially young adults who have never served.

          Also, while the Archdiocese regulations do not address these issues, I believe that:

  1. No more than one member of a family should serve on the Parish Council at the same time. There are communities whose Parish Councils have family members serving simultaneously. i.e. husband and wife, parents and children, etc.

  2. Relatives of the Parish Priest should not serve on the Parish Council. Their presbytera, their children and spouses, as well as siblings and in-laws can actively work to benefit the parish, but not in an administrative position.

  3. Finally, in response to inquiries concerning why the Metropolis categorically forbids gambling as a means for raising funds in our parishes, I refer you to Fr. Stanley Harakas’ book, “Contemporary Moral Issues Facing the Orthodox Church” in which he writes, “Compared to this noble, uplifting and spiritually resourceful concept of giving, (stewardship) the advantages of gambling as a church fundraising method, pale shamefully. Gambling is wrong because it deprives us of the privilege of making our giving a dimension of our spiritual lives. It splits our giving from our commitment to love God, His Church and His people. Gambling is wrong for church and fundraising, not only because of its consequences, but primarily because it appeals to and serves motives which separate it from the essence of what the church is all about: a loving relationship with God and His people.”

Praying that you continue receiving the blessings of our Lord and Savior, I remain,

                                                          With Archpastoral love,

                                                          M E T H O D I O S
                                                          Metropolitan of Boston