Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for AHEPA Sunday – May 17, 2015
May 17, 2015
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ἀνέστη!
In the light and joy of this blessed season of the Resurrection of our Lord, we give praise and thanks to God who meets all our needs according to the abundance of His glory. Through Christ we have received life, and through His grace and our faith we will have life eternal in His glorious presence.
Today we celebrate a wonderful miracle, the healing by Christ of a man who had been blind since birth. (John 9:1-38) This is a strong declaration of the great healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel.
This day is also our annual commemoration of AHEPA Sunday in recognition of the members of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association and their vital work around the world. Through housing for senior adults, scholarships for youth, and many charitable and educational programs, the AHEPA family has been generously and compassionately meeting needs.In the spirit of Christ Who said to His disciples, Let your light so shine before the people, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16), the members of AHEPA are offering light, hope, and opportunity to many.
This is especially visible in the vital work of AHEPA in providing medical and food relief for the people of Greece. During the current crisis the AHEPA family has participated in the relief effort through donations to food charities, gifts of medical equipment, and facilitating regular shipments of medical supplies. This reveals the compassionate character of AHEPA members and their longstanding willingness to respond to urgent needs.
On AHEPA Sunday I ask all of our parishes throughout the Holy Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to recognize the members, work, and mission of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. In addition, please encourage and support the work of the local chapters as they contribute to these efforts and assist with the work of our parishes. Many members of AHEPA are leaders and benefactors in our communities, and they offer a vital witness of the strength and importance of our Hellenic ideals, our Orthodox faith, and the power of the Resurrection in meeting the needs of others.
With paternal love in our Risen Lord,
Archbishop of America