His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America issues Encyclical regarding Leadership 100 Sunday
Prot. No. 186/2020
Ἰάκωβε θεσπέσιε, πρῶτόν σε ἀνέδειξε τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων, Ποιμένα καὶ Διδάσκαλον, καὶ πιστὸν οἰκονόμον, τῶν μυστηρίων τῶν πνευματικῶν· ὅθεν σε πάντες τιμῶμεν Ἀπόστολε.
O godly Iakovos, shown as the First Shepherd and Teacher of Jerusalem, faithful steward of the spiritual mysteries; wherefore we all honor thee, O apostle. (Kontakion of Saint Iakovos the Brother of God)
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today, just two days after the feast of the “First Shepherd and Teacher of Jerusalem,” we celebrate one of the greatest legacies of the ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos: the Leadership 100 Endowment Fund that bears his name. Now in its fourth decade of existence, we join together across our great Archdiocese for this twelfth commemoration, on the Sunday nearest to the Feastday of our late Archbishop Iakovos. We not only remember his visionary leadership that created the Endowment in 1984, but also the ongoing dedication and sacrifice of the founders and members of Leadership 100 that have enhanced and nurtured so many ministries throughout our Church.
Leadership 100 is more than an organization; it is a movement based in the dream of Archbishop Iakovos to create an extraordinary level of stewardship within our Archdiocese. He foresaw the possibilities of our community, and together with leading members of our Church, he founded this organization that had a simple principle – to endow the work of the Church for future generations.
Today, after thirty-six years of faithful service, nearly sixty million dollars has been distributed throughout the Archdiocese. Of this extraordinary amount, over twenty-five million dollars has gone to support Hellenic College and Holy Cross, to ensure highly qualified and educated candidates for the clergy. This fact alone demonstrates the wisdom, value, and foresight of the mission of Leadership 100. Like the Saint whose memory is commemorated on October 23rd, Leadership 100 was established to help shepherd and teach, and provide abiding stewardship for our Church. Let us all give thanks this Leadership 100 Sunday for its continuing ministry that honors its unforgettable namesake.
With paternal love in our Lord Jesus Christ,
† ELPIDOPHOROS Archbishop of America