NEW YORK – The 41st Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will convene in Phoenix, Arizona, July 1- 5, 2012, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and it will focus on the theme of this Congress “Chosen and appointed by God to go and bear fruit.” Concurrently with the Clergy-Laity Congress, the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society will convene its Biennial National Convention in the same venue.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America setting the theme “Chosen and appointed by God to go and bear fruit,” offered the following reflection:
“We have been chosen and appointed by God to offer a witness of Him through our worship and service, through our lives and before all people so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us, and us in Him as St. Paul said (I Thessalonians 1:11-12). In addition, as God has chosen and appointed us, He gives us all that we need to do this great work. He equips us with the grace, the power, the ability, the wisdom, and the resources to develop effective means for reaching others with the Gospel of healing truth and peace.”
Archbishop Demetrios has also asked each member of our Archdiocese to consider the theme of the Congress and the various ways we have explored its meaning and application.
“In worship, fellowship, and spirit, we will affirm that we are chosen and appointed by God for a very special purpose and service in our communities, parishes, nation, and the world. To accomplish this purpose and to address the great needs before us, we need plans and resources. We need faithful who are committed to the work of God. May we pray that our Congress will be blessed with an atmosphere of potential and shared commitment, and most of all, by a willingness to dedicate all that we do to living in Christ, bearing fruit in the lives of others, and bringing honor and glory to God.”
The Clergy-Laity Congress is convened biennially and is concerned with all matters, other than doctrinal or canonical, affecting the life, growth and unity of the Church, her institutions, her finances, her administration, educational and philanthropic concerns and her growing role in the religious life of the nation.
The 41st Congress takes place this year in the Metropolis of San Francisco headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos, and is co-chaired by Theofanis Economides, of Los Altos, Calif., who is the vice-chair of the San Francisco Metropolis Council and Isidoros Garifalakis of Vancouver, Wash., who is the Metropolis Council Secretary. His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto will be the Patriarchal Representative.
In addition to the 2012 National Ladies Philoptochos Society biennial convention, other organizations are holding meetings and include the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council, the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, the Retired Greek Orthodox Clergy of America, the Order of Saint Andrew – Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians.
The Official Congress Opening and Keynote Address on Monday morning July 2, will be broadcast live, and a link will be posted on the Archdiocese home page www.goarch.org
A summary schedule follows and more detailed information is available at www.clergylaity.org
Sunday, July 1, 2012:
09:00am – Divine Liturgy, Holy Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix
12:00pm – Congress Registration
03:30pm – Exhibit Opening
04:00pm – National Philoptochos Opening
05:30pm – Church Musicians Reception
06:00pm – Archons Reception
Monday, July 2, 2012:
08:00am – Congress Registration
09:00am – Official Opening and Keynote Address (broadcast live on: www.goarch.org)
11:00am – Hierarchal Sessions
12:00pm – Committee Meetings
06:00pm – Congress Western Night
Tuesday, July 3, 2012:
08:00am – Archons Breakfast
09:00am – Retired Clergy Breakfast & Meeting
09:00am – National Philoptochos General Assembly
09:00am – CLC Committee Meetings
02:00pm – Church Musicians Workshop
03:00pm – Clergy-Family Workshops
04:30pm – Hellenic College/Holy Cross Reception
07:00pm – National Philoptochos Outing
07:30pm – Clergy-Family Outing
07:30pm – Free evening for delegates
Wednesday, July 4, 2012:
08:30am – Final Day of Meetings
09:00am – Clergy Laity Plenary Session
07:00pm – Reception and Grand Banquet
Thursday, July 5, 2012:
09:00am – Clergy Breakfast with Archbishop Demetrios