“I envision an Orthodox Christian community, devoted to worshiping God, and living the Gospel in the hope of our Salvation”

Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Fidelity - Gentleness - Self-Control





December 05, 2019

Archiepiscopal Encyclical
for the Feast of St. Nicholas

- His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros -




December 6, 2019

Feast of our Father among the Saints,
Nicholas the Wonder-worker,
Archbishop of Myra in Lycia

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,

The name of Saint Nicholas brings joy to people around the world as nearly a synonym for love and generosity. Even more does his name evoke reverence and delight among Orthodox Christians, who know the wondrous deeds God worked through His servant. By the power of Christ within, Saint Nicholas fought injustice, raised the dead, healed the sick, and supplied the needs of the flock under his care. In these wonders we rejoice.

In connection with the National Shrine at the World Trade Center, however, the mention of Saint Nicholas has come to evoke the opposite feelings. A name that should be associated with holiness, peace, and prayer is instead linked with debt, corruption, and mismanagement. Angry voices have been raised against clergy and laity alike, without regard for involvement or responsibility. Some think that the priests and bishops are obliged to find money to complete the Shrine. The clergy, however, are not trained to be fundraisers or bankers. Their attention should be prayer and the ministry of God’s word (Acts 6:4).

The time has come to seek more actively the assistance of the Shrine’s holy patron. Perhaps what we have failed to do on earth, he can help to accomplish from heaven. Christ has given Saint Nicholas the power to right wrongs and provide for the needs, whether spiritual, medical, or financial. By his intercessions he raised a fallen sailor from the dead; surely through his prayers the work on our Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine can be resurrected once more and brought to completion.

I would ask, therefore, that in every parish of our Archdiocese, a Service of Paraklesis to Saint Nicholas be offered in connection with his feast. Let us seek the help of the Wonder-worker of Myra, asking for him to show us God’s power and provide that which we lack, until the church bearing his holy name stands once more at the World Trade Center.

With one heart and one voice may we chant on his feastday:

Winged like a young bird flying forth from the nest of the angels to hover over the blossoms of the Church, thrice-blessed Nicholas, you call out to God always on behalf of all in any kind of necessity, peril, or temptation; and by your intercessions rescue them and us.

(1st Sticheron of the Lauds of December 6)

 

May the name of Saint Nicholas once again be known only for love, generosity, and the glory of God forevermore. May the Lord grant many years to those who celebrate their name day with this bright festival, as well as to us all.

 

With paternal love in Christ,

ELPIDOPHOROS, Archbishop of America

 



His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) of America, Most Honorable Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, was born in 1967 in Bakirköy, Istanbul. He stud...[more]
“I envision an Orthodox Christian community, devoted to worshiping God, and living the Gospel in the hope of our Salvation”

Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Fidelity - Gentleness - Self-Control

Sunday Morning Divine Liturgy - 8:30 at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church - 5050 Harrison Street, Omaha, Nebraska

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His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) of America, Most Honorable Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, was born in 1967 in Bakirköy, Istanbul. He studied at the Department of Pastoral Theology, Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, from which he graduated in 1991. In 1993, he finished his postgraduate studies at the Philosophical School of the University of Bonn, Germany submitting a dissertation entitled, “The Brothers Nicholas and John Mesarites.” He was ordained a Deacon in 1994 at the Patriarchal Cathedral and was appointed as the Codecographer of the Holy and Sacred Synod. In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod. From 1996-1997 he studied at the Theological School of St. John the Damascene in Balamand, Lebanon, where he improved his knowledge of the Arabic language. In 2001, he presented a doctoral dissertation at the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki under the title: “Severus of Antioch and the Council of Chalcedon,” proclaiming him a Doctorate of Theology with highest distinction. In 2004, he was invited to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, where he taught as a visiting professor for one semester. In March 2005, at the proposal of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, he was promoted by the Holy and Sacred Synod to the position of Chief Secretary and was ordained to the priesthood by the Ecumenical Patriarch in the Patriarchal Cathedral. In 2009, he submitted two dissertations to the Theological School of Thessaloniki and was unanimously elected Assistant Professor of Symbolics, Inter-Orthodox Relations and the Ecumenical Movement. The dissertations are entitled: “The Synaxis’s of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne (1951-2004)” and “Luther’s Ninety-five Thesis. Historical and Theological aspects. Text - Translation – Commentary.” In March 2011, he was elected Metropolitan of Bursa and in August of the same year was appointed Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of the Holy Trinity on the island of Chalki. He has served as the Orthodox Secretary of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Lutheran World Federation and as a member of the Patriarchal delegations to the General Assemblies of the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches. He was the Secretary of the Pan-Orthodox Synods in Sofia (1998), Istanbul (2005), Geneva (2006), and Istanbul (2008). He has been a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches since 1996.