The Metropolis of Boston Ministry Awards Honor
60 Faithful Stewards from New England Parishes

By Theodore Kalmoukos

BOSTON - More than 750 Greek Orthodox faithful from across the parishes of the Metropolis of Boston attended the annual Ministry Awards at elegant Lombard's Social Facilities Hall in Braintree, Massachusetts. Sixty faithful stewards from various parishes were honored by Metropolitan Methodios for their long, fruitful and dedicated services to their local parishes from many positions including Philoptochos volunteers, cantors, prosforon makers and parish council members.

The President of the Philoptochos of the Metropolis of Boston, Dianna Miminos, announced that the Philoptochos will donate $15,000 to the Philoxenia House and also $29,000 to the Camp and Retreat Center in Contoocook, New Hampshire.

Sixty volunteers from the parishes of New England were honored by
the Metropolis of Boston at the annual Ministry Awards at Lombard's
Social Facilities Hall in Braintree, Massachusetts. More than 750
guests attended the ceremony

Metropolitan Methodios began his speech by remembering the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the struggles that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is going through under the Turkish rule in Constantinople.

"Our Annual Ministry Awards dinner this year falls on the eve of the celebration of the Feast of St. Bartholomew, Patron Saint of our Ecumenical Patriarch," Metropolitan Methodios said. "The wings of our faith bring us to Constantinople to pray for the blessings of Almighty God upon our Patriarch Bartholomew and all the hierarchs, priests and laymen who heroically struggle to keep the light of our faith shining 'for all to see.' We pray especially for Patriarch Bartholomew whose life is under constant threat. May God continue to inspire and embolden him during these critically difficult and challenging times at the Phanar."

Metropolitan Methodios experienced the life, the ministry and the difficulties the Ecumenical Patriarchate faced for one year as a member of its Holy Synod.

Metropolitan Methodios also remarked about the award ceremony.

"Today we honor parishioners throughout our Metropolis who, as members of the Royal Priesthood, are also disciples of Christ who offer ministry in our communities ­the Psalti, the Choir Director, the Philoptochos lady, the Catechetical and Greek School teacher, the lady who prepares the prosphora."

The Metropolitan also said that "many of our honorees and many of you attending this evening's dinner have faithfully served on Parish Councils and Philoptochos Boards. I thank you all for your dedicated service, but tonight, I want to share with you my conviction that it is of outmost importance and critically necessary that we strongly encourage those who have never assumed leadership roles to do so. Our Parish Councils and Philoptochos Boards must be renewed. All those who have served for a number of years should step aside to give others the opportunity. It is imperative that we encourage new membership on our administrative boards to spark new enthusiasm,

Metropolitan of Boston Methodios speaks to the more than 750 Greek
Orthodox faithful who packed Lombard's Social Facilities Hall
in Braintree, Massachusetts for the annual Ministry Awards. Sixty
Greek Orthodox faithful were honored by the Metropolis.

refreshing new visions, dreams and aspirations. Opportunities for service ­on Parish Councils, Parish Philoptochos Boards, on our Metropolis Council and Philoptochos Board, and on the various Archdiocesan bodies - must be made available to brethren who have never served. There are those who will argue that it is difficult to find to serve and that it is difficult to find people to "run for the Board", maybe it is because they have every reason to run away from the various boards in their parishes. Maybe it is because the manner in which these administrative bodies function is no different than similar boards in the secular world. But the Church isn't a business, it is the Body of Christ."

Metropolitan Methodios also emphasized that "over-inflated egos, personal agendas, and self­promotion have no place in the governance of our Church as they do all too often in our communities. Service on these boards should not be considered the lifelong privilege of an exclusive few. There are many qualified individuals anxious to get involved that stand at the periphery of the Church. The time has come to give them an opportunity to serve, to invest their enthusiasm, their vigor, their dedication."

Expressing his care for the youth Methodios said, "I am particularly interested in our young people. I strongly encourage you to visit our camp at the Faith and Heritage Center in New Hampshire to see with your own eyes the vital ministry."

John Diamianos from St. Nicholas parish in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Christina Mitkonis from St. Spyridon in Worcester, Massachusetts read their Oratorical Festival presentations and received a standing ovation.

Consul General of Greece Constantine Orphanides, greeted the gathering and Massachusetts State Senator Bruce Tarr served as master of ceremonies.

The recipients of this year's awards were the following: John Tsikrikis of St. Nicholas in Enfield, Conn., William Bellos of Saint Sophia in New London, Conn., Milan Kukich of Holy Trinity in Norwich, Conn., David Rivet of Holy Trinity in Lewiston, Maine, Christina Bathras of Holy Trinity in Portland, Maine, Stephanie Connor of Saints Constantine & Helen in Andover, Mass., Panayiota Paras of Saint Athanasius in Arlington, Mass., Theodore Elliot of Annunciation Cathedral in Boston, Mass., Arthur and Bess Collias of Saint John the Baptist in Boston, Mass., Savvas Xenidis of Saint Nectarios in Boston, Mass., Athena Constance Pappas of St. Catherine's in Braintree, Mass., Demetrios & Evanaelia Papantoniou of Saints Constantine & Helen in Cambridge, Mass., Gerry Andrew Leneweaver of Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Cohasset, Mass., Ilias & Athanasia The­ofilopoulos of Assumption in Dracut, Mass., Steve Mastroyin of Saint Luke in East Longmeadow, Mass., Katherine Bissinnett of Saint Demetrios in Fall River, Mass., Cosmas & Dimitra Yiannos of Holy Trinity in Fitchburg, Mass., Eleftherios Beikoussis of Holy Apostles in Haverhill, Mass., John Atsalis of Saint George in Hyannis, Mass., Richard Parent & Nicholas of Assumption in Ipswich, Mass., John & Felia Proakis of Saint Nicholas in Lexington, Mass., Athena Ivos Hayes of Holy Trinity in Lowell, Mass., Nicoletta Millianos of St. George in Lowell, Mass., John & Daphne Zaralidis of Transfiguration in Lowell, Mass., William P. Booras of Saint George in Lynn, Mass., John & Joanne Krouskos of Saint Gregory in Mansfield, Mass., Nicholas & Lydia Kotsianis of Saints Anargyroi in Marlboro, Mass., Kiki Feldmar of Saint George in New Bedford, Mass., Chrysanthe Macheris of Annunciation in Newburyport, Mass., Stephen Kalivas of Saint Vasilios in Peabody, Mass., James Boulas of Dormition of the Virgin Mary in Somerville, Mass., Despina & David Costa of Saint George Cathedral in Springfield, Mass., Ted Panagopoulos ofTaxiarchae in Watertown, Mass., Arthur & Tefta Pappas of Saints Constantine & Helen in Webster, Mass., Georgia Mavro of Saint Demetrios in Weston, Mass., William Gochis of Annunciation in Wobum, Mass., Christopher M. Lekas of Saint Spyridon Cathedral in Worcester, Mass., Andreas & ChryssouIa Trellis of Holy Trinity in Concord, N.H., Presbytera Anna Newman of Annunciation in Dover, N.H., Peter & Maria Bradshaw of Saint George in Keene, N.H., Martha Galanis of Assumption in Manchester, N.H., George Karakantas of Saint Philip in Nashua, N.H., Dr. Aristotle & Frances Damianos of Saint Nicholas in Portsmouth, N.H., John Rengigas of Annunciation in Cranston, N.H., Marea Lewis of Saint Spyridon in Newport, N.H. and George & John Stratis of Assumption in Pawtucket, N.H.

(Posting date 26 June 2007)

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