On Friday evening, July 3rd, the Youth and Philoptochos meeting began.
On Sunday, July 4th, the 2015 Clergy-Laity conference officially began.
More than 350 registered delegates are participating. This year's theme is "Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No." In his introductory speech, Metropolitan Sotirios more precisely raised the issue saying "The yes to God and what it means for everyone."
At the Clergy-Laity, each day begins with the Divine Liturgy, which Metropolitan Sotirios celebrates on his own in the chapel which has been formed within the hotel. It is moving, all the delegates participate during the Divine Liturgy, in which everyone chants together and partake in Holy Communion.
The Youth Assembly concluded its work Monday evening. The Philoptochos Assembly concludes its work tomorrow (Tueday). The Clergy-Laity Assembly will continue until Wednesday.
During the opening of the Assembly, Metropolitan Sotirios conveyed to delegates the love, wishes and blessings of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and said characteristic. "His All-Holiness lives and works in the midst of many difficulties and problems, but is another David defeating Goliath of all kinds." He pleaded with all the participants and indeed all Orthodox Christians of Canada to pray for the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Ecumenical Patriarchate but also for the success of the Great Council of the Orthodox Church which is scheduled to be held next year in Constantinople. The Metropolitan and all the participants chanted traditionally for health and many years for His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Thus far, two important decisions, agreed to unanimously, have been taken. First, to bring the Uniform By-Laws of the Philoptochos in accordance with Canadian law; and, second, to organize a Greek-Canadian Congress since the Canadian Hellenic Congress, after 32 years, ceases to exist. The new Greek-Canadian Congress will be composed of the 78 Greek Orthodox Community Presidents who themselves will elect Board of Directors.
The other themes discussed and debated were spiritual in nature.
Metropolitan Sotirios emphasized that all Greek Orthodox in Canada are a family, and as a family must think and work together. He insisted that the Divine Liturgy should be sung by all the people. Moreover, the children of catechetical and Greek schools should participate in the Divine Liturgy and chant together the hymns of our Church (e.g., Lord of Mercy, By the intercessions of the Theotokos..., Save us, O Son of God..., Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal).
We have CDs and DVDs with a simple and wonderful Liturgy which should be used by all families, including within the home and in their cars, to listen and to pray on the one hand, and on the other hand to better understand and learn the Divine Liturgy. Metropolitan Sotirios will preside over the Divine Liturgy, along with the participation of all the clergy across Canada at St. Katherine G.O. Church.
All the delegates could not believe their eyes when they saw the large participation in the Clergy-Laity Assembly of our Holy Metropolis.