The 2023 Parish Council of the Annunciation Cathedral
Welcome to the newly redesigned Annunciation Cathedral web site. This revised web site was an objective of ours for some time and we are grateful to Fr. Tom and our Parish Assistant, Jack Bushell for their dedication and commitment to see this through. The newly redesigned web site is symbolic of the strength of our community foundation as well demonstrating the importance of evolving the ways in which we communicate and inform.
This is also a good time to ‘welcome’ all of you ‘back’ to the Cathedral, the “beacon of Orthodoxy in New England”. For nearly 120 years our Cathedral Church has guided, has comforted and and has embraced the faithful from throughout New England, throughout America and throughout the world. For so so many, your “roots” are at the Cathedral - it was the Church of your grandparents and your parents; you were baptized here, you were married here. You came to worship, to celebrate, and to pray for the repose of your loved ones. For so so many the Cathedral is at the center of your Church life even if today your regular participation is at a sister parish. Because the Cathedral’s reach is far and wide it is imperative that we continue to do what we can to reach you, to touch you, and to embrace you.
Our newly designed web site is one way to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Parish. It is emblematic of honoring the past by embracing the future. We have committed ourselves to being an open, welcoming and embracing community for all our faithful. The Church exists as a gathering place, where we can worship together and enjoy our fellowship. The new web site is a window to our Community when we are not in Church or are not able to be in Church. The life of the Christ and His Church should be with us always and every ‘window’ that offers a connection to Christ and His Church must be open. Our new web site is one such ‘window’. We hope you enjoy it but more importantly we hope, and pray, you stay connected.
What is a Parish Council?
A Parish Council is the administrative body of a Church community elected by its stewards for the purpose of working together with the Parish Priest or Proistamenos in fulfilling the mission and goals of that particular community. This brief description of the local governing body of a Parish also explains a fundamental aspect of the structure of the Orthodox Church. Both clergy and laity are the “People of God,” who seek by the grace of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the mission entrusted to them to live and proclaim the Holy Gospel and the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Historically, clergy and laity have worked together in dealing with matters of the Church’s life. The Parish Council is an example of the synergy of clergy and laity; it is a vehicle for implementing the ongoing mission of the Church and planning the necessary strategies, policies, procedures, and activities that will enable the Parish to move forward in accomplishing God’s work.
As a member of the Parish Council, it is important to remember that you have been elected to serve a special ministry which requires total love, loyalty, and dedication to Christ and His Church. You are now an official representative of the Church and thus are expected to exert every eff ort to exemplify its sacred character and spirit. Upon election to this trusted office, you assumed three basic obligations which will help guide you in your ministry:
- To understand, live by, and uphold the tenets, teachings, and traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church;
- To understand and abide by the GOAA Regulations (formerly known as the UPR) as set forth by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America through the Clergy-Laity Congresses.
- To live by and uphold your oath of office by utilizing your God-given time, talents, and treasures for the spiritual progress and advancement of your parish.
You attest to this publicly before the congregation of your parish when the following affirmation of office was administered to you by your parish priest (and to which you affixed your signature):
“I,__________________, do solemnly
affirm that I will uphold the dogma,
teaching, traditions, holy canons, worship
and moral principles of the Greek
Orthodox Church, as well as the Charter
and Regulations of the Greek Orthodox
Archdiocese of America, and that I will
faithfully and sincerely fulfill the duties
and obligations required of a member of
the Parish Council. So help me, God.”
Ministry of the Parish Council
Parish Council members serve as role models for parishioners and must take their ministry very seriously. They should lead by example by attending Church and parish events, and regularly participating in the sacramental life of the Church. By doing so, they will have a powerful effect on the overall life of the community. If Parish Council members treat everyone with love and respect, as Christ loves us, then parishioners will do likewise. The Council members must practice servant leadership by identifying and examining the ministry needs of the parishioners and taking the necessary steps to meet those needs, whether through the improvement and expansion of existing ministries or through the creation of new ones.
The most important responsibility of the Parish Council is to assist the Parish Priest in the administration of the ministries of the Parish (GOAA Regulations 29:1A). Some of the principal roles employed by effective Parish Councils include, but are not limited to, planning, developing, organizing, and implementing stewardship programs and various educational ministries of the Church; reporting and communicating to the parishioners the work and ministries of the Church at the Metropolis and Archdiocesan levels; and recruiting and training others for further service. The Parish Council must also abide by Local, State, and Federal statutes applicable to the Parish and by the GOAA Regulations. In all things, Council members should imitate our Lord Jesus Christ, who “came not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). The entire focus of the Parish Council must be to serve the needs of the faithful and to spread the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Mentoring & Succession
Within the Parish Council, there are two very important activities needed to continue developing the leadership of its members. The first is to enhance leadership skills through the mentoring of competent leaders. In order to assist new members as they assume their positions and ministries within the Parish Council, the more experienced members should aid, guide, and encourage these new members to assume their responsibilities. The second is the development of a systematic succession strategy in which each ministry has a chairperson and an assistant (who will eventually become the next chairperson).
The role that you assume as a member of your Parish Council is best understood when the Parish is viewed as an integral part of the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” that we confess in the Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed at every Liturgy. Misunderstandings can occur when the Church is looked upon purely from a merely local or parochial point of view. To be sure, the needs of the local Parish are the most immediate concern of the Parish Council. To see only this is to fail to comprehend the role of the Parish in the overall life and structure of the Church at the Metropolis and Archdiocesan levels. It would be like a family member showing no interest in or responsibility for the problems and needs of other members of the family.
According to St. Paul, the Church is the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians. 12:27), the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25- 27), and the pillar and foundation of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Without this basic understanding the Parish can easily be reduced to little more than an organizational center or administrative structure, a kind of religious business enterprise, instead of being a Holy and Divine Eucharistic community, called to be in the world, but ultimately not of the world, a community that is set apart from all other organizations and bodies in our secularized society.
Members of the 2023 Annunciation Cathedral Parish Council
Carol Travayiakis, President
Jim Tringas, Vice-President
Nicholas Bouritsas, Treasurer
Dimitrios Zaferacopoulos, Assistant Treasurer
Alex Mavradis, Secretary