Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver (AD 1979)
Clergy Retreat, Clergy-Laity Assembly,
Philoptochos Convention, and
Church Music Federation Convention

The Metropolis Family
Each Orthodox Christian family is called to make their home “ἡ κατ᾽οἶκον ἐκκλησίαν,” a “home church;” i.e., a sacred place and one of prayer where spouses and children live a Godly life.

Every parish is, in fact, a “family of families,” a sacred place of prayer where the local Christian community teaches and lives a life in Christ.

The teaching of the Orthodox Church is that the Church is the Bishop and the faithful gathered with him: “Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the people also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the fullness of the Church” (Saint Ignatius of Antioch (AD 30-117), Epistle to the Church in Smyrna, Chapter 8).

It is therefore proper and right that the faithful of the Metropolis — the family of its parishes — gather with our father and chief shepherd, His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah, on a regular basis. Indeed, in this gathering the catholicity of the Church is manifest.

Thus on a biennial basis Metropolitan Isaiah calls the Local Clergy-Laity Assembly, the Philoptochos Convention, and the Church Music Federation Convention, as well as the Clergy in their Retreat and all the faithful laity to assemble together as one family in Christ for prayer, worship, fellowship, and education.

“How” and “What”?
What is required to join this biennial gathering? What are the various Assemblies and Conventions? Who can attend? The answers to these questions are provided in the following sections!

What is the "Local" (Metropolis) Clergy-Laity Assembly?
The Clergy-Laity Assembly of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver is convened biennially by His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah in accordance with the 2007 Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The Assembly meets a year prior to the biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America so that any necessary resolutions or recommendations can be forwarded to the Congress for consideration.

Click to download

Archdiocese Regulations
Our 2013 Metropolis of Denver Clergy-Laity Assembly will convene May 31 and June 1, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Assembly deals with matters affecting the life and growth of the Parishes within the Metropolis. These include the spiritual well-being of the faithful, the uniform governance of the Parishes, educational programs, financial programs, and philanthropic concerns as well as with the better organization and effectiveness of the Parishes. The Local Assembly also submits proposals and recommendations to the Archdiocese for submission to the next Congress.

The members of the Assembly are: the Metropolitan, the Chancellor, the members of the Metropolis Council, the Vice President of the Metropolis Philoptochos Board, members of the Archdiocesan Council within the Metropolis, and clergy and lay representatives of the parishes. Each parish may have four representatives: the parish Priest; the parish council president of the Parish Council, and two members of the parish.

What is the Metropolis Philoptochos Biennial Convention?
The word “philoptochos” translates to mean “friends of the poor,” but the name does not even begin to describe the many facets of the organization. The Greek Orthodox ladies of Philoptochos are involved in all areas of philanthropy. Whether it be on a global scale, such as helping earthquake and tsunami victims, or at the local level, helping a struggling parishioner to pay a bill, Philoptochos seeks to serve those in need. Following the dictates of Christ, they aid those who are in physical or emotional pain, work in homeless shelters, conduct food drives, raise funds for cancer, autism & other medical needs. They help their parishes in countless ways; they extend theit hand to as many as possible. As they do this Christian work, they find not only the joy of giving and helping, but also of creating fellowship and treasured friendships. Click to download

Philoptochos Bylaws

The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc., is the duly accredited women’s philanthropic society of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The mission of the Society shall be:

• To help the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, the unemployed, the orphaned, the imprisoned, the widowed, the handicapped, the victims of disasters, to undertake the burial of impoverished persons and to offer assistance to anyone who may need the help of the Church through fund raising efforts; and
• To promote the charitable, benevolent, and philanthropic purposes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, through instructional programs, presentations, lectures, seminars and other educational resources;
• To preserve and perpetuate Orthodox Christian concepts and the Orthodox Christian Family, and through them, to promote the Greek Orthodox Faith and traditions, in accordance with its doctrines, canons, discipline, divine worship, usages and customs;
• To promote participation in the activities of the Greek Orthodox community, with the cooperation of the Parish Priest and the Parish Council.
The charitable work of the Society shall be performed with discretion, courtesy and kindness.

The Metropolis Philoptochos Biennial Conference is held in the year prior to the National Philoptochos Biennial Conference which takes place in conjunction with the Biennial Archdiocese Clergy-Laity Congress.

The 2013 Metropolis of Denver Biennial Philoptochos Conference will convene May 31 and June 1, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Click here to go to the Metropolis Philoptochos home page.

What is the Church Music Federation Convention?
The Metropolis Church Music Federation was founded in 1975. Its purpose is to serve the church musically through assisting the growth and development of its member parish choirs. The annual Church Music Federation Convention includes musical and spiritual workshops, rehearsals, and social activities with the high point being the singing by the combined choirs of the Federation of the Divine Liturgy written by various composers.

The 2013 Metropolis of Denver Church Music Federation Conference will take place May 31 through June 2, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Click here to go to the Metropolis Church Music Federation home page.

Clergy Retreat
Prior to convening the Assembly, the clergy gather for a spiritual retreat.

The Spring 2015 Clergy Retreat will take place April 28 through 30, 2015 in Houston, Texas.

Click here to go to the Clergy Retreat page.

What is the “Κατ᾽οἶκον ἐκκλησίαν”, the “Home Church”?

Likewise greet the church that is in their house.” Romans 16:5

Marriage is more than human. It is a ‘microvasileia,’ a miniature kingdom,
which is the little house of the Lord.” Saint Clement of Alexandria

With us everything should be secondary compared to our concern with children,
and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord.” Saint John Chrysostom

According to our Orthodox tradition, the “Κατ᾽οἶκον ἐκκλησία” or “Home Church” is a sacred place and one of prayer. Within our Holy Orthodox Christian faith, each Christian family is considered a Home Church or “little church,” the smallest unit of Christian community, faith, and practice. It is in this Orthodox Christian home that one lives out his Orthodox Christian faith. The Gospel of Saint Matthew records Jesus as saying: “For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20).” What is the Orthodox home if not two or more gathered together in the Name of Christ? The lives of the members that comprise this “little church” revolve around our Savior. It is a Christ center home. Each family, being part of the Ecclesia (Church), is responsible with much the same diakonia (ministry) as the local parish church; namely worship, Christian brotherhood, philanthropy, instruction in the faith, growth in virtue, evangelism, philoxenia and acts of compassion and love.

In the Home Church, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reigns and His love is felt by all. It is there that both the Christian parents and their children practice their faith daily through fasting, repentance, confession, obedience, love, righteousness, word of God and Christian virtues. The parents teach their children by example otherwise they will not be successful in their effort to build the necessary Christian foundation upon which their children will built upon. The holy Apostle says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2).”

The Orthodox Christian family must always practice true asceticism. As Orthodox Christians we have received Christ's exalted resurrection life in Holy Baptism, and we need to keep on seeking the ultimate and spiritual glories of the age to come. We must always remember our baptism and live according to His Resurrection! We must continue to seek our true life in our Lord Jesus Christ, awaiting the heavenly and glorious apocalypse!

Today the “little church” is under fire and evil forces are attempting not only to undermine it but to destroy it completely. We, however, must remain steadfast in our faith and maintain the Christian character, ethos and integrity of the κατ᾽οἶκον ἐκκλησία according to the teachings of our Savior Christ and His Saints. Standing up to the affliction and challenges of the world produces great virtue. Saint John Chrysostom writes: “For such is the nature of affliction — when it lays hold of a brave and noble soul, this is what it is wont to effect. And as the fire makes the pieces of gold, when it is applied to it, of better proof: so also affliction when it visits golden characters renders them purer and more proven.” And Saint Paul the holy Apostle adds: “Affliction worketh patience, and patience probation ... More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope (Romans 5:3-4).”

A blessing that is offered for the Christian couple during the marriage ceremony affirms the inherent significance and dignity of Christian parenting: “Unite them in one mind and one flesh, and grant unto them fair children for education in faith and fear.” The blessing or prayer reveals that the vocation of marriage and parenthood must be Christ-centered and thus marriage and parenting is according to the will of God.

Orthodox Christian parents must make every effort possible to learn and practice their faith. Only then will they be able to teach their children and to raise godly, moral, caring, truthful, virtuous people. There are many distractions today but we must stay focused and keep our Lord in our sights. Remember Martha the sister of Lazarus and what Jesus said to her: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:41-42).” The “one thing” needed was for her to listen to Christ, to hear His Divine words. This is also what we must always do and make Christ and His Divine words our greatest priority.

By the Reverend Protopresbyter George D. Konstantopoulos,
Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, South Bend, Indiana, Metropolis of Chicago