The first gathering of the new Council
The Metropolis Council meeting was held at our Holy Metropolis on November 23rd, the first gathering with its new composition, under the Presidency of Metropolitan Sotirios. The meeting began with the reading of the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament; Metropolitan Sotirios conveyed the love, prayers and blessings of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Council members.
The Metropolis Council consists of 11 lay people who are elected at the Clergy-Laity Assembly; nine priests who are elected by the Clergy Syndesmos; and 10 lay people who are appointed by Metropolitan Sotirios. Honourary members participate in the Metropolis Council including the presidents of Pan-Canadian Greek organizations and the directors of various Metropolis programs.
Each committee of the Metropolis Council submits a written report which is discussed and appropriate decisions are made. Central issues included youth involvement in the Church and religious education in general.
The Ambassador of Greece to Canada, His Excellency Georgios Marcantonatos and his wife Vasiliki; the Consul General of Greece in Toronto, Mr. Alexandros Ioannidis; and, the Consul General of Cyprus in Toronto, Mr. Constantinos Christofides also attended the Metropolis Council meeting. Mr. Christofides has announced that the Consulate in Toronto will close and he will be promoted as High Commissioner in Ottawa.
During the luncheon, Metropolitan Sotirios introduced all Council members to the Ambassador and Consuls General. Delegates represent all parts of Canada, from Halifax to Vancouver.
Following the luncheon, the Consul General of Cyprus spoke first and with much emotion thanked and congratulated our Holy Metropolis and Metropolitan Sotirios for the excellent cooperation experienced during his period of service here in Toronto.
Following, the Ambassador of Greece, Mr. Marcantonatos, spoke to the Council and referenced the superb work done by the Church in Canada, especially with regards to Greek education and the success of our Theological Academy. He expressed the love, gratitude and congratulations of Greece but also personally as well.
Metropolitan Sotirios thanked the Consuls General and especially the Ambassador and referred to their work which is performed with great success.
In his report, Metropolitan Sotirios referred to the Synaxis of Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, emphasizing the excellent organization and expressing the respect and gratitude of the Church in Canada towards His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
He also discussed the recent international conference on the Middle East organized by the Greek government in Athens; His Eminence was invited by Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Nikolaos Kotzias and spoke at the Conference. The Metropolitan remarked that the Conference was very well organized and thanked and congratulated Greece, in addition to Minister Kotzias.
Metropolitan Sotirios again conveyed the prayers and blessings of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and thanked all of the Metropolis Council members for the great work that they perform.
The meeting of the Metropolis Council continued until late in the afternoon. Metropolitan Sotirios expressed his complete satisfaction with the first gathering of the new Council and glorified God for all of the blessings He has bestowed.
The meeting concluded with prayer and the chanting of Phos Hilaron.