The Metropolis of Boston Clergy-Laity Assembly
On Saturday, November 9, over 200 delegates, members of the Philoptochos and clergy attended the Metropolis of Boston Clergy-Laity Conference. Usually Saturday is reserved for family activities, but this morning the larger family of our Church was the one we attended to.
Seeing all the tables full of people from all over New England, gave the strength and confidence that all the work we are doing is not in vain. Smiling faces, warm hugs and “attaboys” were filling the room.
The opening remarks of His Eminence, Metropolitan Methodios, set the tone for the conference. “Listen to all the reports, from the various Metropolis Ministers, ask questions, engage in dialogue” he advocated for all.
The Philoptochos message is always humbling. The endless work and love the ladies give back to the community, make everyone think we could be more, we could be better. From helping the Veterans, to new initiatives like women’s health and the opioid crisis Philoptochos is always quietly at the forefront of issues that our communities struggle with.
We heard from Stephen Christoforou, the Director of Archdiocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, about the roll-out of “policies for the safety of children and youth”. Yes, it is a tedious and maybe costly initiative, but the safety of our children must be uncompromised and be held at the highest level. The interest and support from the audience was shown by the many detailed and inquisitive questions, that were all answered in every detail.
The next part, was probably my favorite. Not because of the topics, but because the presenters were the future of our Metropolis. Panos Coufos and Eleni Kalioras, two young members of our community, showed us the passion, energy and new ideas that will propel us forward. In the areas of the Metropolis Boston Camp, and the Philoxenia House, those two dynamic individuals paved the way to our bright future. Having young people in leadership positions, shows the maturity of our community.
We heard from Michael Sintros about the progress and expansion plans of the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, New Hampshire. The vision and hard work the team has put to the New Hampshire property is bearing fruits, as more groups and more youth, young adults, families and parish communities are using the facilities. And we were reminded that the Metropolis, through generous donations, ensures that no camper ever misses the camp experience because of family financial hardship. Generous scholarships are available to all who need assistance.
Finally, Mr. Angelo Stamoulis, Vice-Chair of the Metropolis Council, gave the full and detailed accounting of the administration and finance report. The Metropolis is in solid financial ground to ensure that we can keep promoting our faith and working to help each other, sharing the message of love.
His Eminence said on his closing remarks that he is proud of the young people stepping forward, and proud to be our Metropolitan in these difficult and cynical times. I looked around the room, and I saw the old, the young, the men and women, the fabric that makes us all unite under the same roof of our Orthodox Church and I also felt proud. We, YOU, are doing God’s work with high spirits and energy; BE PROUD!