Inspiring Vespers at Kimisis Church of the Hamptons

by Catherine Tsounis

Summer for many middle class families revolves around the beach and attending the local Greek Orthodox Church for August 15th, The Dormition of the Virgin Mary (Kimisis Tis Theotokou). I had the inspiring religious experience of attending the August 14th Vespers of the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church of Southampton with forty members of our community from the Transfiguration Church in Mattituck, Long Island. An incredibly moving service in Greek and English mesmerized all. Priests from neighboring churches participated in the liturgy with Protopresbyter Rev. Alexander Karloutsos. Greek hymns filled the packed church. Upon conclusion of the church services, refreshments were served by the ladies of the Philoptohos under the Church tent. One can comprehend nature and God by attending a rural church.

A filled Kimisis Church on August 14th.

My association with the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church began in 1975 when I taught Modern Greek to the Bakas and Anagnostopoulos children at the Transfiguration Church in Mattituck. Pericles and Tula Bakas and their friends left us to form the Greek Orthodox Kimisis Church in the late 1970's. The parish remained a quiet, rural community until Rev. Alexander Karloutsos was assigned as her pastor. His dynamic, energetic ministry transformed the community. Converts with young families were attracted. A remarkable festival, Modern Greek language school and unique Zoullas lecture series resulted in the metamorphosis of this Greek Orthodox center of worship. The annual Christmas Pageant with a church full of children gave everyone present the true meaning of Christmas.
Father Alex's work on the South Fork has had a positive uplifting of the Greek-American community on the North Fork of Long Island from Riverhead to Orient. His interest and support of our Transfiguration Church has been invaluable. A unique cooperation has been forged between all the far flung communities of Eastern Long Island, New York.

Rev. Alexander Karloutsos (right) with Rev. Samaras,
and staff veneration the
icon of the Virgin Mary.

(Posting date 22 August 2006

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