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Parish Council Members

Dimitrios Tsagaris
P: 801-554-1951
First Vice President
Philip Kithas
P: 801-718-5854
Second Vice President
Tykie Skedros
P: 801-860-2020
Gus Colessides P:
Assistant Treasurer
Chris Sakellariou
P: 801-699-5072
Alicia Mares
P: 801-673-3340
Corresponding Secretary
Maria Hardwick-Oneida P:

George Adondakis P: 801-530-

Steve Gamvroulas P:

John Mastakas P:

Thomas Peters P:

Sakis Sakellariou P:

Pete Saltas
P: 801-573-1827

Pete Sefakis
P: 801-390-3587

August 2, 2013

Dear fellow Parishioners,

Below please find a letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah.

This letter is dated July 29, 2013.

It was mailed on July 30, 2013 and reached our Church office today at
3:30 p.m. via first class mail.

Although it is customary that we receive time sensitive material via fax
or email prior to receiving the hard copy, this was not the case with
this particular letter.

It was unfortunate that the letter did not reach us by Monday July 29,
2013 as we stated in previous communications.

In His Name and Service,
Your Parish Council
4550 East Alameda Avenue, Denver, CO 80246-1208

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Reverend Michael Kouremetis
Reverend Matthew Gilbert
Reverend Elias Koucos
Mr. Dimitrios Tsagaris, Parish Council President
The Esteemed Parish Council
Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake
Holy Trinity Cathedral and Prophet Elias Parish
279 South 300 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Beloved in Christ,
I thank you for your recent letter signed by Mr. Dimitrios Tsagaris.
July 29, 2013
On the basis of the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Greek Orthodox
Archdiocese of America, I am obligated to inform you that neither of your
suggested options in the letter are possible. In fact, they are in contradiction to the
By now, all of you must know that there cannot be any Greek Orthodox parish
in existence anywhere without the assigned canonical priests, who represent Christ
and His Church through the canonical hierarchs over them. Otherwise, you end up
with a Greek club which focuses on fun and games.
From the days of my studies at our seminary, we were taught that, as the UPRs
state, "The Priest by virtue of his canonical ordination and assignment heads and
administers the Parish ... He shall also proclaim the Gospel and impart knowledge of
the doctrines, traditions, canons, and disciplines of the Church." At the Seminary
we took classes teaching us to do secretarial work, arid even janitorial work, if the
parish council could not afford to hire sucli =eniployees. In your letter, you infer that
such employees are vital, while an adequate number of priests is not. When
parishes cannot afford secretaries and janitors, it is hoped that the parishioners who
love their parish will volunteer their services. When I was a parish priest many
years ago, I had such blessings in committed people who loved their parish enough
to work for it in every way.
In regard to your suggestion in regard to Father Kouremetis be transferred or
involuntarily retired, Article 17, Section 2A of the UPRs state, "In accordance with
the canons and ecclesiastical procedure, neither the parish Council nor the Parish
Assembly is authorized to dismiss a priest." Moreover, your plan to "debate and
vote either to eliminate Father Michael Kouremetis' pay and/or position or in
alternative to permanently reduce all priests' salary compensation by a minimum of
4550 East Alameda Avenue, Denver, CO 80246-1208 Telephone: (303) 333-7794 Fax: (303) 333-7796
web: www. denver.goarch. org e-mail:
one third ... " is prohibited by Article 17, Section 8B which states, "No parish shall
reduce, withhold or adversely alter a Priest's compensation without the consent of
the respective Hierarch." If, indeed, you were to do such a thing, I would have no
choice but to instruct all the priests to discontinue all liturgical services anywhere
in Salt Lake City, including the two churches, of the Divine Liturgy, Baptisms,
Weddings, and Funerals. Moreover, if you were to take such drastic actions, you
would be inviting your own dismissal from the parish council.
My question to you is, "What have you done to increase the stewardship and
freewill giving to the parish treasury, rather than to your independent accounts of
over two million dollars?" You have been members of the parish council for at
least fourteen months. Have you increased your own stewardship, and including
the stewardship of those who gave ten or twenty dollars last year in order to vote
all of you in?
Let us be candid. To eliminate the salary of one priest, or to reduce the salaries
of all priests by one-third, will not resolve this problem. There are other options
you can take to resolve this situation, if you love God and His Church Which
promises to us eternal life in His Kingdom and not an eternal existence in the outer
darkness, called Hell.
You are all educated and highly intelligent individuals. I know that you can find
positive options which will put an end to your problems, and be as organized and
progressive as the three other large parishes in this Metropolis. Please begin to
think positively and I am certain that then you will begin to act in a positive spirit
as faithful members of our holy Greek Orthodox Church.
With paternal sentiments,
LJL, /) !) .I ;/ . / I ?'>

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