Metropolis Of Boston Holds 2006 Clergy-Laity Assembly

 Marks 22nd Anniversary Of Metropolitan Methodios' Enthronement

April 10, 2006 

On April 8, 250 clergy and laity representing the parishes of the historic Metropolis of Boston gathered in the Cathedral and Metropolis Centers in Brookline for the 2006 Clergy-Laity Assembly. “Today’s Parish: Reaching the next Generation” was the theme of the Assembly which featured presentations, discussions, election of Metropolis Council members, and an impromptu celebration marking the 22nd Anniversary of the Enthronement of Metropolitan Methodios as Bishop of Boston. (His Eminence was enthroned on April 8, 1984 by Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory in the Annunciation Cathedral of Boston). Participants rated the conference as “inspiring and uplifting.”

“Fostering a Family Minded Parish” was the presentation made by Dr. Philip Mamalakis, Professor of Pastoral Theology, at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Fr. Philippe Mousis, the Metropolis Youth and Young Adult Ministries Director, and Michael Sintros, the Director of the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center of the Metropolis, spoke on “Parish and Family Ministry” and showed a newly released video of the Camp Programs which received enthusiastic approval. Fr. Evagoras Constantinides traveled from Indiana to speak on “Providing the Future for the Next Generation,” a realistic presentation of stewardship---its applications and benefits. Theo Nicolakis, the Archdiocesan Director of Internet Ministries and Information Technology, updated the gathering on the department’s progress and showed how each parish can benefit from the literature offered on the Internet Ministries website, including Bulletin Builder. Members of the Philoptochos heard a special presentation by Fr. Charles Joanides of the Archdiocesan Department on Marriage and Family, on “Interfaith Challenge.” Elected to the Metropolis Council were: Mark Adam of the St. George cathedral in Manchester, NH; Christine Karavites of the Annunciation Church in Brockton; Frances Levas of the Taxiarchae Church in Watertown; Diane Miminos of the Sts. Constantine & Helen Parish who is also the President of the Metropolis Philoptochos Board; John Pantekidis of the St. John Church in Boston; Christopher Pappas and Angelo Stamoulis of the St. Demetrios Church in Weston; Stephen Themeles of the Holy Trinity Parish in Lowell.

During the luncheon, Metropolitan Methodios was surprised with an anniversary cake marking the 22nd anniversary of his enthronement as Bishop of Boston. Father John Maheras, the Pastor of the Panagia Church in Cohasset, MA and Ecumenical Officer of the Metropolis of Boston, offered the following reflections:

“We are gathered here around our revered Hierarch and Metropolitan, His Eminence Methodios. We gather as clergy and laity to express our gratitude and Thanksgiving to God for having brought to the Episcopal Throne, as Hierarch of Boston, His Eminence Methodios, 22 years ago.

“His presence brought a youth and vitality when he arrived. Throughout the years, the years his insights and his virtues have shown a real understanding and clear perception of the direction he envisions that we, as a Diocese and now Metropolis, should direct our prayers and our energies, our stewardship and ourselves.
“For 22 years His Eminence brought forth wisdom and good sense, attributes which spring from the youthful vigor of his mind.

“Throughout the years, Metropolitan Methodios he has always been prudent and never thoughtless; never one way now and another way later. His inner spiritual life is founded on a profound faith that gives him an immovable steadfastness distinguished by an admirable ease of conduct and flexibility.

“Through his efforts we have the beautiful Center, which is greatly admired by all. His empathy and compassion for those in pain and who are ill, brought us the gem of our Metropolis, the Philoxenia House, which is world renowned. His foresight brought us a Faith and Heritage Center for he realized with pastoral prudence and discernment the times in which we live, and knows what is necessary to reach our children and our youth, and to help the adults as well reach spiritual maturity.

“God has given Metropolitan Methodios the grace to be a man of our time, a man of our faith, a man of our countries. Broadminded when such is needed, universal in his thinking as he welcomes one and all no matter their race, religion, country of birth, he embraces everyone; is available to all with his open door policy. And many take advantage of his generosity and kindness. He has a way of making everyone feel at ease --- the young and the old, the simple and the educated, the people of our Faith and those of other faiths, the faithful and the unbeliever. For sure he has his point of view undergirded by a love for Christ and His message. He listens to others and does not judge.

“He has encouraging words which strengthen people: His critical observations are gentle yet firm and are welcomed as well. A staunch advocate for our Holy Orthodox Faith, he follows her traditions and thus guarantees our Faith for future generations.
“If you have ever seen him around children and teenagers you know that he has this inestimable aptitude to transmit the love of God and the riches of Orthodoxy to them: and they welcome it and hold it close.

“Indeed, all His Eminence has given us these 22 years have been founded on important virtues, namely faith --- faith in Almighty God; hope in the generations to come; trust that the Holy Spirit will guide this Metropolis to greater heights and glory; love for each of the people he encounters; yet more than all of these, is a conspicuous humility which manifests itself in his soft voice, his overall demeanor to young and old in spite of the fact he towers over all of us.

“He is the affectionate father who shepherds the flock entrusted to him, who lives his Orthodoxy to the fullest, proclaims it as widely as possible and protects it as well from innovations and incursions which deteriorate rather than build up.

“We gather then in an atmosphere of doxology to the Holy Trinity for His Eminence Methodios, and pray that God will grant him many year --- many, many years as our Metropolitan. Eis polla eti despota.”


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