32nd Metropolis of Boston Awards Banquet

On Sunday, June 10th parishes from the throughout the Metropolis of Boston gathered together once again for the 32nd Annual Metropolis of Boston Ministry Awards Banquet. His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios bestowed the Ministry Awards to recipeints who had been nominated for their dedication, love, and support to their home parishes. His Eminence selected the Rev. Fr. Evangelos Georgiadis as his designee to receive the Minitry Award this year. All of the recipients were honored with the presence of over 800 guests in attendance.

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Metropolitan Methodios’ Remarks
Awards Dinner
2018

During the Divine Liturgy this morning we heard St. Paul teach us in his Epistle to the Romans that “Glory, honor, and peace (is due) everyone who does good” (Romans 2:10) We learned from St. Matthew that when Jesus called His disciples Peter and Andrew, they “Immediately left their nets” and followed Him. We learned that, later, James and John the sons of Zebedee immediately left their boat and father and followed Jesus. (Matthew 4 18:23)

        I don’t know if there are two more appropriate verses to describe the spirit of tonight’s dinner.

        This is the 32nd time we come as a church family to a Ministry Awards Dinner – to this banquet of achievement, to this table of thanksgiving. We come to strengthen the bond of unity that links us to the past and bridges us to the future – that bond of faith, of love and commitment which unites us in mind and spirit.

        We gather as a family of parishes tonight (as we do every year on the second Sunday of June) to express our gratitude to our clergy and laity who contribute their time and talents to our parishes throughout New England. We gather to celebrate our unity. To mentor and encourage one another. To read the pages of our parish achievements written by those whom we honor. Pages written with the pen of faith, with the ink of vision and spiritual boldness.

        This evening we want to say “thank you” to our dedicated clergy who have answered the call of God to serve as His priests. Our Parishes are truly blessed with priests and deacons who serve “from the morning watch until night” the spiritual needs of the faithful entrusted to their care. We come tonight to say “thank you” to the laity who volunteer as catechetical and Greek School teachers. We come to say thank you to the chanters, the members of our choirs, to the members of our parish councils and our Philoptochos societies. We are here to express our appreciation to the ladies who bake the prosforo and prepare the koliva for memorial services. We come to say thank you to those who work during festivals and all other community functions.

        We come here tonight because “Glory, honor and peace” is due to everyone (as St. Paul teaches) “who has done good.” We gratefully acknowledge those honored tonight who “immediately” leave what they do to offer their services to their Parishes.

        It’s always a particular pleasure for me to attend this Awards Dinner to see parishioners from our communities throughout New England gathering to share fellowship, to share their parish ministries with one another, to encourage one another and to share their visions for the future of our Church in America…  It is pleasure to see attendees meeting old friends and making new ones and taking pride in countless achievements of our priests and laity. Tonight, we all share the joy and pride experienced by several of our parishes which celebrate their 100th Anniversaries – Chicopee, Holyoke, and Newburyport in 2018.

        Tonight is an opportunity for us to feel good about our Church. This past year has been a difficult one. The financial crisis of our Archdiocese coupled with the fake news promulgated by some have wounded us painfully. It is my hope and expectation that the upcoming 44th Clergy-Laity Congress which our Metropolis is hosting here in Boston will be an opportunity to learn just exactly what happened and why and what is being done to heal the wounds inflicted upon the Church as a result of this crisis.

        I think we have an interesting program tonight which you will enjoy. It will begin with an inspiring presentation from a participant of our Metropolis Oratorical Festival which took place recently. When you hear this young man you will go back to your homes tonight confident that our Metropolis and its Parishes have a bright future thanks to our young people.

Our program will continue with an update from the president of our Clergy Brotherhood and the president Metropolis Philoptochos Societies.

You will hear about the ongoing programs at the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center in Contoocook. Last week, I participated in the Nation Orthodox Catholic Theological Dialogue followed by the Orthodox Catholica Bishops meetings which were hosted at our Faith and Heritage Center.

I mentioned the clergy laity congress a little earlier. I am happy tonight that our honorary chairman, Arthur Anton, a dearly beloved and respected leader of our Church is here tonight with us. One of our co-chairs, Peter Bassett, will give you an update on the Congress program.

And of course, we will welcome to the microphone the Consul General of Greece, Stratos Efthymiou, to address us.

Finally, we are happy to have students with us from the Berklee College of Music who will provide us with entertainment.

        Enjoy the program. I will be back at the end to present the Ministry Awards.

Now I will turn the program over to Litsa Pappas, a TV reporter at Boston 25 News.