Archbishop Demetrios and L100 Chairman Constantine G. Caras speak at opening of Exhibit Hall
Leadership 100 Chairman Constantine Caras joined Archbishop Demetrios and other Hierarchs for the cutting of the ribbon at the official opening of the Congress Exhibit Hall at the 40th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on July 4, 2010 in Atlanta. Leadership 100 provided the underwriting for the exhibit area, which featured numerous booths with vendors from the United States, Canada, Greece, and Cyprus and included a ministry pavilion which highlighted the National Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
Caras, who attended along with Paulette Poulos, Acting Leadership 100 Executive Director, also spoke at the plenary session on Monday July 5. Together they attended and addressed the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians and a reception for Clergy and Presvyteras. Both groups, collectively and individually, have been recipients of Leadership 100 grants.
In his remarks at the plenary session, Chairman Caras pointed out that Leadership 100 stands for the advancement of Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America through enduring support of the National Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and its institutions, especially Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology to which it has recommitted scholarship support through the year 2018, which will total $20.4 million in scholarship aid since the inception of Leadership 100; that the organization has distributed close to $30 million in a wide range of grants over its 26 years of existence; that it now has 751 regular members and 90 Leadership 100 Partners and that close to half of its 841 memberships, 431, are now fulfilled, having paid the $100,000 stipulated as the required contribution.
Caras thanked Archbishop Demetrios and the Holy Eparchial Synod for establishing National Leadership 100 Sunday last year, on the 25th Anniversary of Leadership 100 and thanked all the parishes that observed it nationwide on October 18, 2009. That date was chosen as the Sunday prior to the Feast Day of St. Iakovos, a tribute to Archbishop Iakovos of Blessed Memory, the founder of Leadership 100. He pointed out that the Second National Leadership Sunday will be observed on October 17, 2010 and asked for the assistance of His Eminence, Their Eminences the Metropolitans, all Clergy and Laity.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, in his closing remarks urged the delegates “to convey in detail and in essence” all that transpired in this Clergy-Laity Congress back to their parishes and their fellow brothers and sisters. He said that the ideas and the proposals initiated and cultivated in this Congress should be the subject of discussion and ministry in the parishes so that the message of the theme Gather My people to My Home – Come and See can be realized. The Archbishop also asked the Congress participants and all the faithful to support the priests in parishes and communities that cannot afford them, so every Greek Orthodox Church in America has an uninterrupted liturgical life and ministry.
Several resolutions were presented and approved by the delegates of the plenary session. These were 1) a resolution regarding the oil spill and the ecological catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico calling upon the faithful “to do their utmost to preserve our planet and to take all possible care to avoid future man-made calamity,” 2) a resolution calling for peace in the world, 3) a resolution in support of the work of the recent Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Bishops in North and Central America, 4) a resolution recognizing the heroic sacrifices of uniformed men and women in the armed forces and in support and commendation of Orthodox Chaplains around the country, and 5) a resolution of “Thanks” which recognizes that the 40th Clergy-Laity Congress has provided us with a unique opportunity to strengthen the witness of faith and love, to facilitate the work of our Holy Archdiocese, Metropolises and parishes and to offer to the world an invitation to “Come and See.”