1 Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Forgiveness of transgressions is fundamental to our faith as Orthodox Christians. We understand that the waters of baptism are, waters for the. Christ has the power and authority to forgive all of our sins. Most acts of healing, mercy and love performed by Christ in the Gospel, express Jesus forgiveness of people s sins. When He heals the paralytic, Christ says He does it: that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins then commands the paralytic: Arise, take up your bed and go to your house. (Matthew 9:6). When a woman was about to be stoned for committing adultery, after the scribes and Pharisees went away, Jesus said: He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. Jesus then looked at the woman and said, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you? She said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more. (John 8:7, 10-11) An attribute of the Divine is forgiveness. Baptism wipes away our sins. St. Peter says, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38) So once we have been baptized, then what? There are two important issues to remember. First, once we have been baptized, we live a life being redeemed, sanctified, cleansed, and forgiven. Through the sacraments of the Church, forgiveness of sins is offered continuously. Because we have been forgiven once, it does not mean we are forgiven for sins we have yet to commit! As we sin, we need the Grace of God through the sacraments of the Church to renew our baptism and have our sins forgiven. Just as importantly, being baptized means we have received the Holy Spirit and have had our fetters lifted, as it states in the prayer above. This means that the chains of pride, avarice, jealousy, lying and the like, are indeed broken and we have the authority and power to forgive others of the sins they have committed against us if we truly allow those chains to be broken! God has given us a great gift a divine gift to be able to forgive someone of their sins. Of course, each time we sin, the sin takes two forms; it is an affront to God, and an affront to the neighbor. God forgives the sin committed against Him, but He does so readily when we forgive others. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14) God allows us to forgive others and thus, allows us to participate in one of His Divine attributes. Forgiving others is an essential aspect of our lives as Orthodox Christians. Could I be so haughty, so full of hubris, that someone who has offended me cannot be forgiven by me? When Christ was in agony on the cross, He asked His heavenly Father to forgive those who crucified Him, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. (Luke 22:34) So how can any of us do any differently? We must forgive others of their sins. We must forgive others. We must forgive. We must! With love in Christ, Fr. Nick
2 Please visit our website to download the stewardship form. ear St. Nicholas Parishioners, Once again, our 2013 Ya ssoo Greek Festival was a success! Most of us measure the success of the festival by the amount of money we make, which I agree is very important in order for us to reduce our mortgage and for any future expansions to our church, but I feel the festival was a success because we all came together, exhibiting our individual talents, to welcome over 6000 visitors! The comments I heard, the letters we received, all praised the food, entertainment and our hospitality. From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone, committee leaders and parishioners young and old for all their hard work and dedication. Thank You to the Dean and George Bairactaris families for donating the mulch and beautifying our landscaping. The flower beds look great. But as everyone who has a home knows, yard work continues all summer. If you are at the church and waiting for someone, take a moment to weed a section of the flower beds. And if you would like to be a committee leader, please let me know. A little bit from everyone goes a long way The faith and food garden has brought fruit. Thank you to Robert and Andrea Ashley, Chris Kerry, Deno Prokos, Sophia Radwanski and many others for all their hard work preparing the garden. Now we wait for the vegetables to grow! Summer has come and gone and the new school year is here. We all like to relax and spend time with our friends and families when we don t pursue our busy schedules. Keep in mind the church still operates everyday and needs monies to pay its expenses. There are still a number of parishioners who have not pledged. Mark your calendars for these special events: Saturday, December 7 th - location to be determined Yours In Christ, George Kokales Dear Fellow Parishioners, June 6-8, 2014 The Compass is back! We have had an interruption in the publication of our monthly bulletin as we are working towards a new format. In mid-september, I accepted to help with this transition and appreciate your patience at this time. Expect the Format of the Compass to change a few times until it finalizes. If you have expertise in Publication Design particularly with Adobe and online formats (Wordpress, Googledocs etc) please, step forward. Younger, or older, technical savvy parishioners are particularly encouraged to help with the Compass, Please, forward all communication you want included to the Compass, as well as with any comments about omissions, or other editorial matters to the Compass directly, at our new by the 17th of each month. It would be helpful, if regular contributors could maintain the same page or word number of contribution every month. All parishioners are invited to send their ideas about the new format of the Compass; if you prefer to read it on the screen or to print it on paper and what facilitates your reading. For example do color and graphics interfere or enhance your experience? Please, feel free to comment what would make the Compass more valuable to you. Yours In Christ, Dr. Maria Athanassiou Papaefthymiou
3 REACHING OUT Philoptochos always strives as an organization to carry out our Mission Statement and to work to bring all people together for greater acts of philanthropy and love. This is can only be accomplished by the participation, support and hard work of all the ladies, young and old, married and single, of our Parish. Thank you Perry Katsikas and Natalie Challis for your dedication and hard work during the summer months, June, July and August for chairing the IOCC mission to collect funds for this worthy cause. Thank you to the Parishioners who supported and contributed and for the work of showing the love of God to people around the world who are facing terrible situations. Thank you Elaine Karam and her committee for chairing the first Educational Program of homeless students in the Washtenaw County by collecting needed items. Thank you to all who contributed and see that these students have a place to shower, are dressed in presentable clothing, have school supplies and food in their bellies. The first Philoptochos meeting of this ecclesiastical year. Took place on September 11 at 6:30 pm. On Sept. 15, a special collection was done for Holy Cross Seminary and on Sept our Philoptochos members attended the Metropolis Clergy-Laity Conference in Cincinnatti, Ohio. On Sunday, Sept. 22 a luncheon was given IN THE NAME OF CHRIST by the Parish, to honor our Presvytera Eva Paul for her 40 years of service, dedication, love, compassion and friendship to our Parish. you are the greatest! You are the beacon of faith for all of us to follow. On Sunday, Sept. 29 our coffee hour was sponsored by Philoptochos to collect funds for Cyprus and Greece. The National Philoptochos has named Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 as National Philoptochos Fellowship Sunday. On this day Philoptochos Chapters throughout the country are asked to host a Parish Coffee Hour in support of the campaign to raise funds for the Aid to Greece and Cyprus initiative. Thank you to Perry Katsikas for chairing this event and to parishioners Professor Barbara Coremenos and Dr. Myria Petrou for their heartfelt and informative presentations. God Bless you all, Vicky Masters Philoptochos President Plans for our 2014 festival are already taking place, and your input is essential to our continued success. As we enter into our 8 th year, it is time now to think of new ways to further enhance this event. Our July wrap-up meeting resulted in new participants attending with new ideas. We look forward to even more participation in our upcoming meetings to be held in our conference room at 7 p.m. Check the parish calendars and join us when you can. We hope you can attend!
4 Our festival is now history and the aftermath of its financial results is left to the accountants and bookkeepers, and it cannot go without saying, its real value lies in the effect of bringing people together. The parishioners, from young children, to our vibrant teenagers, and to the energetic seniors, all worked hard to ensure a successful festival. Thank you goes first to Fr. Nick for his guidance, hard work and support, and then to George Kokales and Pericles Chiatalas for their hard work and organization. News from our parishioners: This past May, Socrates (Kyp) Papageorgiou, sang Sinatra songs and was the lead pianist with the Huron Jazz Band. He also performed in two other choirs and an acapella group of which Katherine Wardner and Tasia Gibson were also participants. As for the Wardners, they had more reason to celebrate by going to Winston-Salem for their son s Andrew s graduation from Wake Forest. Congratulations to all! To those of us of my generation, the Cooley names of Peter, now deceased, and his wife Katherine, a former choir member, bring memories of their beautiful children Dimitri, Christopher and Anastasia. Anastasia Cooley-Jamieson, a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, has appeared at national and international venues as a featured soloist in works by Handel, Haydn, Brahms, Bach and Beethoven. Most recently, Anastasia performed in Washington DC as the lead soprano in the opera, which was hosted by the Ambassador of Greece H. E. Christos P. Panagopoulos. Anastasia maintains a private voice studio in Anchorage, Alaska, where she has lived with her husband and two children since Dr. David Engelke, has been appointed interim chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry. He has served as a professor of biological chemistry since 1996, having joined the U-M faculty in Professor Engelke has held numerous leadership positions, including director of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Program, assistant dean for graduate and postdoctoral studies in the Medical School, and associate dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. June is graduation month and many of our young people celebrated high school and college graduations. Some will be embarking on future careers or higher education. Congratulations and good luck to all of you. To all I wish the best for the coming challenges and may you enjoy good health and a blessed year. Yours In Christ, Nicholas S. Stamos We would like to thank the Bairactaris, Kotsis, Kiningham, and Vlahopoulos families for graciously hosting our bible studies and meetings for the summer. We were able to plan for the following year while growing spiritually by studying the lessons and stories of the Bible. The GOYA is excited to welcome all incoming members to our family. Please look for upcoming events that you will be able to attend. We look forward to seeing you there. Registration for GOYAns has a $35 fee and all the forms are available on the church website and on the GOYA Shutterfly account. Please, ask an advisor for the password. Some of our older GOYAns helped volunteer as counselors at the Vacation Bible School. We were pleased and honored to work with the future Parish members of the church as we learned about themes from the Old Testament. GOYA graduates Christopher Mitropoulos-Rundus and Lee Petropoulos each ran an American Red Cross Scholarship blood drive at our church. We would like to extend our gratitude to all involved in this project. Our final activity of the summer was to help construct a shed for a private residence, helping Habitat for Humanity. Thank you to the GOYAns and advisers, who took this challenge upon themselves. We look forward to doing this again next year. Grant Vlahopoulos, GOYA Vice President
5 Philoptochos again sponsored our annual community care ministry, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) during the summer months. Essential donations are made to people in need around the world without regard to religious affiliation. We are grateful to our parish for your very generous support for putting your faith into action, by opening your hearts to the pain and suffering caused by natural and manmade disasters. IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North and Central America. Since 1992, IOCC has delivered more than $438 million, in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries. assisted an estimated 649,081 affected and internally displaced Syrians with emergency relief. IOCC works hard to be an efficient steward of your donations. On average, 92 cents of every dollar you donate goes directly to assisting the people IOCC serves. Every dollar you gives helps IOCC secure $7 in matching from other sources. We are so grateful for your continued support of IOCC. With much gratitude, Natalie Challis and Perry Katsikas, Co-Chairs Since 2011, IOCC has been working to address the urgent humanitarian needs of Greek children, families and elderly who face poverty and an uncertain future. IOCC is partnering with Apostoli the humanitarian arm of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Athens, and with Médecins du Monde-Greece (MDM), also known as Doctors of the World. So far, IOCC has delivered more than $3.3 million in medical support, food and job assistance programs to Greece. IOCC Frontliners: Fr. Jon-Stephen Hedges (l) and Fr. David Hostetler (r) in Moore, Oklahoma, with tornado survivors. (Photo: Dan Christopulos/IOCC) On May 22, members of the IOCC Emergency Response Network or Frontline were dispatched to central Oklahoma. Since then, IOCC has delivered emergency clean-up buckets, hygiene kits & blankets to University of Oklahoma & Holy Ascension Antiochian Orthodox Church for distribution to storm survivors. 6.8 million people are in need across all 14 of Syria s governorates. About 4.2 million Syrian people are displaced in their own country, with 1.5 million people at imminent risk for lack of food. IOCC in cooperation with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East (GOPA) has distributed emergency relief. To date, IOCC has Goyans and Adult Volunteers at Vacation Church School
6 The Outreach & Evangelism Committee is partnering with Rite Aid pharmacy to host an influenza vaccination clinic for our parishioners. The clinic will be held on Saturday, October 5th, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans, or can be purchased for $23.99 per shot if not covered. A sign up is required so that Rite Aid knows how much vaccine to bring. The sign-up sheet and the required forms are available in the social hall. During the summer, Outreach and Evangelism and the GOYA hosted two American Red Cross. The first High School Scholarship Blood Drive at our Church was ran on June 6, 2013 by GOYA President, Christopher Mitropoulos-Rundus. Our second summer blood drive was organized on Friday, August 16 th, by Lee Petropoulos. Our total for the past twelve months from three Scholarship Fund Drives was about 90 donations. Remember, your blood donation may help save three lives. Our thanks go to God, to Fr. Nick, to Christopher, to Lee to everyone here at St. Nicholas who came to donate and/or offered their support. Outreach and Evangelism has continued its partnership with Habitat for Humanity again this year. Several build dates were scheduled; Saturday, July 13, and Friday and Saturday, August 2-3, and Parishioners worked on renovating a home and helped build a shed at the church. Please, consider helping to renovate homes for those in need with us in the future. No experience is necessary. We are now collecting donations for our annual contribution of 5,000$ to the Habitat. Please, sign up at our board or with the Church Office. The Outreach and Evangelism committee needs everyone s help. Please join us at our next monthly meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 2 at 7:00 pm. Your ideas are always welcome! For more information on any of our projects or to contribute to the Committee, contact Rob Ashley at Paraskevi Evi Bernitsas, just graduated from AWTY International School in Houston, Texas, with High Honors. A native of Ann Arbor has attended Emerson and Greenhills and moved to AWTY for High School. She attended the International Baccalaureate Program of AWTY which is ranked among the top ten IB programs in the world. She received the bilingual IB Diploma in English and Greek taking Greek lessons as additional load outside her school with University of Houston faculty. She is also fluent in Spanish. Passionate about Physics and Math she will attend Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University starting in August She is quite ready for the challenge after one internship in the Ocean Engineering Laboratory of MIT and two in the Marine Renewable Energy Laboratory at the University of Michigan. She has authored two engineering reports and coauthored one conference paper to be presented at the Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering Conference, in Nantes, France in June Choir, singing, piano, Tae-Kwon Do black belt, community service, and international travel fill up the rest of her time. A lover of Greece, Greek Orthodox Church and customs, Evi is getting ready for the engineering challenge.
7 Thank you to the following who so generously donated flowers for Great Lent and Holy Week: Craig and Hongyun Theros. Laura Kokkales : Anne Hulce : Vicky Masters, Ioanna Boutsikakis, Andrea Kahn, Sophia Radwanski, Penny Bekiares Joanne Kokales, Diane Geczi, Athina Res, Anastasia Goffas Eva Mikhail Lambrini Lagos, Liz Mitropoulos, David and Demetra Mitropoulos-Rundus, Anne Hulce, Helen Evangelides, Lambrini Lagos, Mr. and Mrs. Kolokithas, Jack Fry, Maria Marcu, Katena Presutti, Gigi Kitromelides, Christopher Webber Family, Peter Ballios family, Mara Krause, Margaret Yates, George and Ellene Contis, Diane Hall. : Epitaphion Cerene Tangalakis, Magda Hicks, Helen Garris, Richard Dekeon, Angela Pantazatos, Bessie Madias, Craig and Hongyun Theros, Billy and Margaret Yates, Helen Botchen, Costa and Ioanna Boutsikakis, Dino Christoulias, George and Elizabeth Bairactaris, Bill Vlisides, Peter and Zorene Kussurelis, Steve and Stacy Garris, Michael Garris, Tom and Sophia Roumanis, Gregory and Alexis Dileo, Gina and Joshua Ney, Patrick Gibson and Helen Kales, Marina Christos, Carl Pardon, Perry and Georgia Porikos, Cynthia Kokkales, Robert Doumanian, Tom and Doreen Tziahanas, Gus and Mary Fernimos, John and Mary Curtis, Peter and Pat Metsovas, Evan and Barbara Batsakes, Olga Bilakos, George and Susan Dendrinos, Nakos and Patricia Kovanis, James and Mary Baldwin, Panagiota Murphy, George and Dena Petropoulos, Kurt and Sophia Radwanski, Jack Fry, Demetrios and Vera Politis, George and Maria Papadoulis, Anne Hulce, Costa and Sylvia Kleanthous, Helen Pappas, Nick and Vasso Panagoulias, Vasili and Koula Pliakas, Zakhour and Androulla Youssef, John and Helen Kokinakis, Olga Bekiares, Peter and Liz Roopas, Ramona Uristescu-Lombard, Eugenia Pantely, Garris, Garris and Garris, Mike Kapetan and Karen Munson, Perry and Deann Alex, George Gochis, Joe and Maria Hochendoner, Christo and Perry Katsikas, Tony and Clevie Daniels, Diane Geczi, Juanita Clufetos, Dimitri and Pauline Tzavaras, Steve and Fay Cotitsas, Terry and Evanthia Patzias, George and Teddy Sotiropoulos, Bill and Connie Ziegler, Ekaterini Stamadianos, Pauline Skinner, Jennifer and Chris Patselas, George and Lula Koutoulas, Photios and Ioanna Ioannou, Theodore and Maria Davlantes, Jacalen Garris, Avraam and Paraskevi Piniatoglou, Marian, Emi and Cristina Varzoaba, Nick and Eleni Michos, Gail Altenburg, Maria Marcu, Christina Giouroukos, Donnelly and Helen Hadden, Elias and Evdokia Karageorge, Sam Roumanis, John and Persephone Pappas, John and Helen Kolias, John and Diana Underhill, Antonis and Despina Eleutheriou, Stevan and Joy Melzian, Nellie and Renaud Guibert, Gordon and Thelma Steers, John and Cheryl Venious, John and Katerina Roumanis, Marion Curtis, Chris and Kari Bilakos, Michael and Evanthia Bernitsas, Michael and Natalie Challis, David and Alexandra Engelke, Barbara Joannides, Nick and Betty Lardas, Betty Manolakis, Demos and Helen Panos, Bob Tsarbopoulos, Harry Tselios, Christopher and Margarita Bekiares, Penelope Bekiares, Brian and Andrea McRae, Helen Evangelides, Lilian Pantos, Presvytera Eva Paul, Peter Poulos, David and Mary Price, Nicholas and Katherine Arhangelos, Elizabeth Mitropoulos, Mirko and Georgia Vulcevic, George and Diane Papandreou, Michelle Weaver, Artemis Alex, George and Ellene Contis, Helen Garkinos, Alex and Theodora Kales, Mara Krause, James and Tula Prokos, Tommy and Maria Vaughn, Anna Stefanopoulou, Tony Ghazal, Diane Hall, George and Carol Bokas, James and Patricia Douglas, Thano and Vicky Masters, Zannis and Athina Res, Vasilios Res, Nick and Helen Stamos, Fr. Nick and Presvytera Sandra Kotsis and all others who so generously left cash in the Epitaphion box.
8 The St. Nicholas Church School Department would like to thank our dedicated teachers for devoting their time and talents in making this a successful school year. The results of the student s hard work was visible in the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival essays they presented and in the high scores on their final exams. The students also participated in all of the Church School philanthropic events by collecting nonperishable food items and coins for these programs. We also thank the parents for their support and Fr. Nick for his leadership and spiritual guidance. Congratulations to Jackie Stokes, who advanced to the level of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival and to Athena Chapekis, who advanced to the Level of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. Both Jackie and Athena received an honorable mention for their speeches. Axioi! This year our St. Nicholas Church School 12th grade graduating class had 9 students. At the Church School graduation, which took place on June 16th, each graduating senior received their graduation certificate and a gift of a folding tripychon of the Theotokos with an angel on each side which they can take with them to college. The theme of this year s Vacation Church School was. Students learned about the connections between the Old and New Testament and discussed how we use these connections to guide us in our lives as Orthodox Christians. Each day s program started with the students assembling in church and being led in prayer by Fr. Nick. The students then assembled according to their youth group for instruction. They also made crafts, sang songs, played games and ate together as a family. We would like to thank Julie Skrettas, for doing such a wonderful job of organizing this year s curriculum, and all the individuals who helped to make this a successful event. We would also like to thank Fr. Nick for his spiritual guidance and assistance in preparing and teaching this year s curriculum. Oratorical Festival, Metropolis level: Top: Jackie Stokes Middle: Athena Chapekis. Bottom;: Athena Chapekis and her cousin, also at the competition. The St. Nicholas Church School program begins on Registration for children entering Preschool (age 3 years old by September 1st) through 12th grade can be completed on line at the Church School website Parents also need to fill out an for each child. This form is also available on the Church School website. The registration fee for Church School is $20 per child (payable by September 8) and covers the cost of books and supplies.
9 Our 2 lead advisors, Laura Kokkales and Demetra Mitropoulos-Rundus, are retiring from GOYA. These two vibrant ladies did an amazing job of providing structure, adding community service and much more during their years leading GOYA. We are very grateful for all they have done. Thank you also goes to Fr. Nick for his support and spiritual guidance and to all the parents who supported the GOYA during their tenure. Our new lead advisors are Elizabeth Bairactaris, Vicki Kiningham and Dani Nadra. To continue having a vibrant GOYA, we need support from all the parents. Please consider helping us with our many GOYA activities. Contact any current GOYA Advisor; Elizabeth Bairactaris, Vicki Kiningham or Dani Nadra, if you are interested in volunteering your time in any capacity. Thank you also to our outgoing officers, three of which are graduating seniors; President Christopher Mitropoulos-Rundus (2 year term), Vice- President Nick Kokkales, Secretary Angelos Bairactaris and Treasurer Margo Apostoleris. Your energy, commitment and love for the church was clearly evident at all the GOYA activities. The GOYA Ya ssoo dancers put on an amazing performance at the 2013 St Nicholas Ya ssoo Greek Festival last month! After many practices during the month of May, we donned our traditional costumes, watched the clouds and rain move away to clear skies, and just in the nick of time, performed for our families, our friends, our fellow parishioners, and guests from near and far. In between and around our five performances, we all rolled up our sleeves and dug in to help with the workload. From their smiling faces, you could see the love our GOYAns had for their church. A big thank you goes to our dance instructor, Mrs. Persilla Zervos, who drove from Toledo, Ohio to not only teach our GOYAns to dance, but also to inspire in them a. A note from Kristie Cannon, the American Red Cross Donor Resources Representative says I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how the drive ended up! 30 units of blood was collected! The staff extends their heartfelt appreciation for your efforts on behalf of the many patients whose lives depend on the availability of blood products in our community. Coordinating an American Red Cross blood drive - and knowing you're responsible for saving so many lives - makes you an invaluable contributor in our community. Many factors go in to a successful Drive - a worthy cause, a strong organizational structure - both at the Red Cross and our Church, a supportive staff, a willing community, and a student committed to taking on the challenge and rising to the task! Thank you again to GOYA Advisor Vicki Kiningham, for her guidance, support and ceaseless commitment of the Blood Drive. As it is said in Greek - Axios! Elections were held during our June GOYA meeting. Congratulations go to our new GOYA Officers: President Kanella Smyrnis, Vice President Grant Vlahopoulos, Secretary Angelos Dean Bairactaris, Treasurer Angelos George Bairactaris. We are looking forward to another great year from our new officers. Please attend the meetings! We look forward to another exciting year of GOYA, filled with blossoming friendships, community service, Orthodox fellowship and FUN! Liz Bairactaris Vicki Kiningham Dani Nadra President Christopher Mitropoulos-Rundus, and Lee Petropoulos under the guidance of GOYA Advisor Vicki Kiningham and the Outreach and Evangelism committee, led the second and third American Red Cross Summer High School Scholarship Blood Drives here at St. Nicholas.
10 St. Thomas, Oct. 6 St. Luke, Oct. 18 St. Luke, Oct. 18
11 ΤΑ ΕΞΙ ΜΟΥ ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΣΤΟ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ MY SIX YEARS IN GREEK SCHOOL Γιώργος - George Bairactaris Αγαπητέ πάτερ Νικόλαε, κυρία Ιωάννα, μητέρα και πατέρα, οικογένεια και φίλοι. Το όνομά μου είναι Γιώργος Μπαϊρακτάρης και μόλις τελείωσα το Ελληνικό Σχολείο. Είμαι υπερήφανος που έμεινα για έξι χρόνια στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο μέχρι το τέλος. Θέλω να πω ένα μεγάλο ευχαριστώ στην κυρία Ιωάννα και στους γονείς μου για όλη τη βοήθεια που μου έδωσαν στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο. Dear Father Nick, kyria Ioanna, Mother and Father, family and friends. My name is George Bairactaris and I just graduated from the St Nicholas Greek School. My time in Greek School was actually very fun. During my first year, I thought it was very tough but now I think it's easier. I'm proud I stuck with it for six years until the end. I learned how to read, write and speak Greek. I also learned about my family' Greek heritage. I want to share with you a story. One time last year, my brother's class was about to finish and mine was about to start. There was a storm coming. It was a tornado. We were racing towards the church and there was hail. It was scary. When we got there, my brother's class had moved into the girl's bathroom with their chairs and books. Kyria Ioanna was making sure the lesson was going on and everyone was safe! I would like to thank Kyria Ioanna for all the help she gave me whenever I needed it. She's the best! I'd also like to thank my Father and Mother for taking me to Greek School. Μαρίνος - Marinos Bernitsas Έφτασε η ώρα να γράψω την έκθεση της αποφοίτησης μου από το Ελληνικό σχολείο. Μου το είπε η δασκάλα μου. Μου το είπαν οι γονείς μου. Βαρυγκωμούσα! Θύμωνα! Δεν ήθελα να την γράψω! Η μαμά κι ο μπαμπάς μου είπαν: Θα πάρεις μικρό βαθμό! Τους είπα: «Δεν με νοιάζει.» Μου είπαν: «Δεν θα αποφοιτήσεις.» Τους είπα: «Δεν με νοιάζει. Ένα πτυχίο λιγότερο.» Μου είπαν: «Δεν θα πας εκδρομή με το σχολείο σου αύριο.» Τους είπα : «Δεν με νοιάζει. Θα παίξω στο σπίτι.» Και τότε ήρθε το τελικό χτύπημα. Πολύ ήρεμα ο πατέρας μου είπε: «Θα επαναλάβεις την έκτη τάξη. Χωρίς αμφιβολία! Θα επαναλάβεις την έκτη τάξη.» Δεν είπα τίποτα. Έτρεξα, πήρα μολύβι και χαρτί κι άρχισα να γράφω. Ήρθα στο Ελληνικό σχολείο του Αν Άρμπορ στην τρίτη τάξη. Ήμουνα πριν στο Χιούστον και πριν από το Χιούστον στο Κλίβελαντ. Ακόμα θυμάμαι την πρώτη μου μέρα. Αν και είχα ωραίες αναμνήσεις από το Xιούστον, η κύρια Ιωάννα ήταν η καλύτερη από τις δασκάλες μου προπαντός πολύ υπομονετική! Έμαθα πολλά, αλλά μου άλλαξε τα φώτα! Τραγούδια, χοροί, ποιήματα και πολλή δουλειά. Γραμματική, ορθογραφία κατανόηση κειμένου και αποστήθιση της Κυριακής Προσευχής από τη στιγμή που ήρθα! Έτσι όμως έμαθα την Ελληνική γλώσσα, τη γλώσσα των γονέων μου, την γλώσσα όλων μας. Το ελληνικό σχολείο τελειώνει. Όχι πια άλλοι εφιάλτες. Θα απολαμβάνω την γλυκιά εκδίκηση του πρωτότοκου. Να βλέπω τον μικρό μου αδελφό να ανεβαίνει τα σκαλιά του Γολγοθά ένα, ένα
12 αργά-αργά. «Υπομονή Χρήστο!» θα του λέω, «τρία χρόνια ακόμα θα περάσουν γρήγορα.» Όσο για μένα, δεν θα ήθελα με τίποτα στον κόσμο να ξεχάσω τα ελληνικά. Με νοιάζει και με παρανοιάζει να καταλαβαίνω, να μιλώ και να διαβάζω ελληνικά. Είμαι χαρούμενος όταν συζητώ Ελληνικά με τους παππούδες και τις γιαγιάδες μου, τα ξαδέλφια και τους φίλους μου στην Ελλάδα. Τελειώνοντας, θα ήθελα να αποχαιρετήσω τους συμμαθητές και φίλους μου από το Ελληνικό σχολείο. Ένα μεγάλο ευχαριστώ στους γονείς μου και ένα ακόμα μεγαλύτερο ευχαριστώ στην κύρια Ιωάννα για τη διδασκαλία και την καθοδήγηση της. It was time to write the last essay for my graduation from Greek school. I heard it form my teacher. I heard it form my parents. I mumbled. I grouched. I got angry. I did not want to write it. Mom and Dad told me: You'll get a low grade. I told them: I do not care. They said: You will not graduate. I answered: I do not care. Fewer diplomas, more space for legos! They screamed: You're not going on the field trip with your school tomorrow. I gave my best answer: I do not care. I will stay at home and play. Then came the final strike. Very calmly, my father said: You will repeat the sixth grade. No doubt. You will repeat the sixth grade. I did not say anything. I ran, grabbed pencil and paper and began to write. I joined the Greek school of Ann Arbor in the third grade. I came to Ann Arbor from Houston. Prior to Houston, I was in Cleveland. I still remember my first day in this school. Even though I have fond memories from Houston, Ms. Ioanna was the best teacher I ever had in Greek school very patient! I learned a lot, after hours of hard work and of course, torture! Songs, dances, poems and tons of homework. Grammar, spelling and reading comprehension. I started memorizing the Lord's Prayer in Greek from the moment I arrived! But I did learn the Greek language, my parents language and the language of all of us. Greek School ends for me today! No more nightmares! I will enjoy the sweet revenge of every firstborn: I will see my little brother climbing up the steps of Calvary, one by one, very slowly! Just three more years, Chris, they pass by quickly Or not!" I am done, you know As for me, I would not want for anything in the world to forget the Greek I learned. No matter what I said in the beginning, I do care and I will do my best to understand, to speak and read Greek. I am happy to be able to talk and communicate in Greek with my grandfathers and grandmothers, my cousins and my friends in Greece. I am happy to be able to read books in Greek and to learn about our beautiful country and our unique culture. Finally, I would like to say a fond goodbye to my classmates and friends from Greek School. A big, sincere Thank you to my parents and an even bigger Thank you to Ms. Ioanna for her teaching and guidance. Αλεξάνδρα - Alexandra Chalogianis Φέτος ήταν η έκτη μου χρονιά στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο. Έμαθα πολλά πράγματα και θα σας μιλήσω για όλα τα αγαπημένα μου. Για μένα το πιο αγαπημένο πράγμα είναι οι φίλοι που έχω γνωρίσει. Οι φίλοι μου κι εγώ διαβάζαμε όλοι μαζί και γελούσαμε μαζί για τα διάφορα πράγματα που γίνονταν στην τάξη. Μαθαίναμε τα ποιήματα και τα τραγούδια μας και μας άρεσε να μαθαίνουμε καινούριους Ελληνικούς χορούς. Η αυτοπεποίθηση μου μεγάλωσε στο Ελληνικό
13 Σχολείο και είμαι πολύ χαρούμενη. Όλα τα ποιήματα, τραγούδια και χοροί που έχω μάθει με βοήθησαν να έχω περισσότερη αυτοπεποίθηση. Μου άρεσε να χορεύω στο "Γεια Σου" Φεστιβάλ με την τάξη μου και μου άρεσε πολύ όταν η κυρία Ιωάννα μας έδινε λουκουμάδες. Μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ που διάβασα μέσα στην εκκλησία στο πρόγραμμα της εικοστής πέμπτης Μαρτίου. Το Ελληνικό Σχολείο μου έχει μάθει να διαβάζω και να γράφω στα Ελληνικά. Με βοήθησε να μιλώ με την οικογένεια μου στην Ελλάδα. Μου άρεσε που διάβαζα με τη μαμά μου και τον μπαμπά μου και με βοηθούσαν με την Ελληνική εργασία μου. Στην τάξη μου άρεσε όταν απαντούσα σωστά στις ερωτήσεις. Κι ένα από τα αγαπημένα μου πράγματα ήταν όταν η κυρία Ιωάννα μας έδινε τσίχλα στο τέλος του μαθήματος. Τα έξι μου χρόνια στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο μου έχουν μάθει πολλά. Μπορώ να μιλώ, να γράφω και να διαβάζω Ελληνικά. Έχω μάθει να χορεύω Ελληνικούς χορούς και έχω περισσότερη αυτοπεποίθηση τώρα. Έχω πολλούς φίλους από το Ελληνικό Σχολείο! Σ ευχαριστώ κυρία Ιωάννα για όλα τα πράγματα που κάνεις για τα παιδιά. This year was my 6th year in Greek School. My favorite thing about Greek School has been making really close friends. My friends and I did homework together, laughed together and practiced poems and songs together. I really liked learning Greek dances with my classmates. Something that I appreciate very much was gaining confidence to speak in front of a lot of people and to perform Greek dances. This year I got to narrate part of the 25th of March program and it was really exciting. I liked dancing at the Yassoo Greek Festival and enjoyed the loukoumathes Kyria Ioanna gave us at the end of the program. Something that will help me through out my life is to read and write in Greek. This will help me to communicate with my family in Greece. I liked studying with my mom and dad and that helped me answer the questions in class correctly. One of my favorite things was finishing up my homework and getting gum at the end of class. Over the last six years I have learned how to read, write and understand Greek. I also learned how to memorize and perform poems and songs. I learned so much about the Greek culture. I have made a lot of friends and really loved making Prosforo the bread for the church. Thank you kyria Ioanna for teaching me and for all you do for all the kids. Παναγιώτης - Panayiotis Georgakas Ω, δεν μπορώ να πιστέψω ότι ήταν μόνο έξι χρόνια. Μου φαίνεται σα να ήταν είκοσι. Έχω μάθει τόσα πολλά σε αυτά τα έξι χρόνια. Η κυρία Ιωάννα ξόδευε πολλές ώρες κάθε εβδομάδα για να μας μάθει Ελληνικά. Είναι η καλύτερη δασκάλα που θα μπορούσαμε να έχουμε. Μας δίδαξε τόσα πολλά για την Ελληνική γλώσσα. Η κυρία Ιωάννα είναι ο πιο σημαντικός λόγος που εγώ μπορώ να γράφω και να διαβάζω και να μιλάω Ελληνικά σήμερα. Οργάνωσε όλες τις γιορτές που είπαμε ποιήματα, τραγουδήσαμε τραγούδια, χορέψαμε, και αισθανθήκαμε περήφανοι για την εθνική μας κληρονομιά. Σε ευχαριστώ τόσο πολύ κυρία Ιωάννα. Και θέλω να σου ζητήσω συγνώμη που έβρισκα όλα τα τυπογραφικά λάθη στα χαρτιά εργασίας αλλά το έκανα μόνο για extra credit. Όταν δεν ήμουνα στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο και δεν μπορούσα να ρωτήσω την κυρία Ιωάννα για
14 βοήθεια, είχα τους γονείς μου. Με βοηθούσαν με την Ελληνική εργασία (που ήταν πάντα μεγάλη!), μιλούσαν Ελληνικά μαζί μου, και με οδηγούσαν στο σχολείο. Μου θύμιζαν ακόμα πόσο σημαντικό ήταν να μάθω Ελληνικά για να μπορώ να καταλαβαίνω και να μιλάω με την οικογένεια μας στην Ελλάδα. Ας έχω και λίγη Αμερικανική προφορά, δεν πειράζει! Σας αγαπώ πολύ μαμά και μπαμπά και σας ευχαριστώ τόσο πολύ για την βοήθεια σας τα τελευταία έξι χρόνια. Όταν οι γονείς μου δεν ήταν κοντά, είχα τη γιαγιά και τον παππού μου, που είναι φανταστικοί. Πήγαινα στο σπίτι τους σχεδόν κάθε μέρα μετά το σχολείο και αν κολλούσα με κάτι στην εργασία με βοηθούσαν πάντα. Η γιαγιά μου πάντα μαγειρεύει πολύ νόστιμα ελληνικά φαγητά και γι' αυτό μου αρέσει παρά πολύ να πηγαίνω στο σπίτι της μετά το σχολείο. Σας αγαπώ πολύ γιαγιά και παππού και σας ευχαριστώ παρά πολύ για την βοήθεια σας και την αγάπη σας. Έκανα και πολλούς καλούς φίλους και φίλες στο Ελληνικό σχολείο που ελπίζω να κρατήσω για πάντα. Όταν η κυρία Ιωάννα δεν κοιτούσε... θέλω να πω μετά το σχολείο... συζητούσαμε, παίζαμε ποδόσφαιρο, και διασκεδάζαμε. Θα θυμάμαι πάντα τους χορούς που κάναμε όλοι μαζί στο Ελληνικό Φεστιβάλ κάθε χρόνο. Είσαστε όλοι φανταστικοί και σας ευχαριστώ που είσαστε φίλοι μου όλα αυτά τα χρόνια. Το Ελληνικό Σχολείο ήταν μια από τις καλύτερες εμπειρίες της ζωής μου και είμαι λιγάκι λυπημένος που έφθασε τελικά η ώρα να πούμε αντίο. Αντίο όμως για τώρα, γιατί ξέρω ότι μια μέρα θα γυρίσω και θα φέρω τα δικά μου παιδιά στο Ελληνικό σχολείο! Wow, I can t believe it has only been six years. It feels like twenty. I have learned so much in these six years. Kyria Ioanna has been spending many hours every week to teach us Greek. She is the best teacher anyone could ask for. She taught us so much about the Greek language. Kyria Ioanna is the main reason I can read and write Greek and carry a conversation today. She also organized all the events where we recited poems, sang songs, danced, and felt proud of our heritage. Thank you so much Kyria Ioanna! By the way, I want to apologize for finding all the typos in the handouts but I was only doing it for the extra credit. When I wasn t at Greek school and I couldn t ask Kyria Ioanna for help, my parents were there. They were constantly helping me with my Greek homework (which was always way too long!!!), speaking Greek with me, and driving me to school. They also reminded me of the importance of learning Greek so that I can be able to communicate with my family in Greece, even with a little American accent. I love you Mama and Mpampa and thank you so much for your help over these past six years. And when my parents weren t around I had my great Yiayia and Pappou to help me. I was at their house almost every day after school and, if I ever got stuck with my homework, they would always help me. My Yiayia also makes her delicious Greek food and I love going over to her house after school. I love you Yiayia and Pappou and thank you so much for the help and your love. I have also made so many friends in Greek school that I hope to keep forever. When Kyria Ioanna wasn t looking, I mean after class, we would talk, play soccer, and just have fun. And I will always remember when we danced all together at the Greek Festival every year. You guys are the best and thanks for being my friends for all these years. Greek school was one of the best experiences of my life and I m sad that it s finally time to say goodbye. But I know that one day I will return and I will bring my kids to Greek School.
15 Mαρίνα - Marina Govatsos Είμαι χαρούμενη και λίγο λυπημένη που τελειώνω το Ελληνικό Σχολείο. Τον περασμένο χρόνο με την Κυρία Ιωάννα έμαθα να διαβάζω, να γράφω και να μιλάω καλύτερα την Ελληνική γλώσσα. Γνώρισα και έκανα καινούριες φίλες και έμαθα να χορεύω Ελληνικούς χορούς. Είμαι χαρούμενη που μπορώ να μιλώ Ελληνικά μαζί με τον μπαμπά μου και του χρόνου όταν θα πάω στην Ελλάδα θα μιλάω και θα καταλαβαίνω τη γιαγιά μου. Με τη βοήθεια του Ελληνικού Σχολείου έμαθα την Κυριακή προσευχή, το Πάτερ Ημών, και πολλά Ελληνικά και Ορθόδοξα ήθη και έθιμα. Την περασμένη εβδομάδα χόρεψα Ελληνικούς χορούς με τους συμμαθητές μου στο Γεια Σου Φεστιβάλ της κοινότητας μας και περάσαμε φανταστικά! Ήταν και λίγο λυπηρό γιατί ήταν η τελευταία μας φορά σαν μαθητές του Ελληνικού Σχολείου. Τα έξι χρόνια στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο περάσανε γρήγορα και είχα πολλές χαρούμενες εμπειρίες με τους συμμαθητές μου, τη δασκάλα μου και τους γονείς μου. Πήγαμε σε χορούς, πικνίκ, στο ζωολογικό κήπο και κάθε εβδομάδα που περνούσε μάθαινα κάτι καινούριο. Θέλω να ευχαριστήσω την Κυρία Ιωάννα που για ατέλειωτες ώρες με βοήθησε τα τελευταία έξι χρόνια σε ότι χρειάστηκα να μάθω και να διαβάσω Ελληνικά. Επίσης θέλω να ευχαριστήσω τους γονείς μου και τη γιαγιά μου για τη βοήθεια που μου έδωσαν. Χριστόφορος - Christopher Hays Τα περασμένα έξι χρόνια στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο ήταν δύσκολα, μπερδεμένα, πολύπλοκα και τόσα αλλά πράγματα, αλλά εγώ επέμενα. Ποτέ δεν πίστευα ότι θα ήμουν εδώ σήμερα. Αυτή δεν είναι απλά μια ημέρα που τελειώνουμε το Ελληνικό Σχολείο στο Ann Arbor. Αυτή είναι η ημέρα που έχω περισσότερη εκπαίδευση. Αυτό είναι πολύ μεγάλο και σημαντικό πράγμα. Πριν από έξι χρόνια, ήξερα ότι αυτό θα ήταν μια πρόκληση. Ήξερα ότι αυτό θα ήταν βάρος και μάλιστα μεγάλο. Αλλά εγώ ήμουν αποφασιστικός και δεν άφησα αρνητικές σκέψεις να με αποτρέψουν από το στόχο μου. Θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω την μητέρα μου για όλη τη βοήθεια με το διάβασμα στο σπίτι. Θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω την δασκάλα μου για το δώρο της γνώσης. Για τα κλειδιά που μου έδωσε για να ξεκλειδώσω τις δυνατότητες μου στην Ελληνική γλώσσα. Και να σκεφτείτε ότι πριν από έξι χρόνια το μόνο που ήξερα να λέω στα Ελληνικά ήταν το "ναι" και το "όχι"! Μετά από δώδεκα διαγωνίσματα και εκατόν ογδόντα έξι μαθήματα σας διαβάζω την έκθεση μου και είμαι πολύ ευχαριστημένος! Over the last six years, Greek School was hard, confusing, complex, and so many more things, but I persevered. I never knew that I would make it here today. This is not just a day where I graduate from a random Greek school in Ann Arbor. This is the day where I further my education. Six years ago, I knew this would be a challenge. I knew this would be a burden and a large one at that. But I remained resolute and did not let my negative thoughts deter me from my goal. I would like to thank my mother for helping me study at home. I would like to thank my teacher for the gift of knowledge to unlock my potential
16 in Greek. To think that six years ago all I knew how to say in Greek was "yes" and "no". Τwelve tests and 186 (one hundred and eighty six) classes later, Ι am here, reading my Greek School graduation essay in Greek and I am very pleased, indeed! Zωή - Zoe Michos Κάθε γράμμα στις λέξεις "Ελληνικό Σχολείο" σημαίνει κάτι για μένα. Το Έψιλον είναι για την Εμπιστοσύνη. Το Λάμδα είναι για το Λάθος. Μαθαίνουμε από τα λάθη μας. Το άλλο Λάμδα είναι για τον Λόγο. Το Ήτα είναι για την Ήρα και τον Ηρακλή που έμαθα στη μυθολογία. Το Νι είναι για τον Νου και το Νόημα Το Ι Γιώτα είναι για την Ιστορία της Ελλάδας. Το Κάπα είναι για την Κύρια Ιωάννα. Το Όμικρον είναι για Όλους και Όλες που με βοηθούσαν. Το Σίγμα είναι για τις Συμμαθήτριες και τους Συμμαθητές μου. Το Χι είναι για τους Χορούς που Χόρεψα με Χαρά. Το Όμικρον είναι για όλες τις Ομιλίες και τα ποιήματα στις γιορτές. Το Λάμδα είναι για το ρήμα Λείπω. Θα μου λείψει πολύ το Ελληνικό Σχολείο. Το Έψιλον είναι για τους Εύζωνες και Αμαλίες μαζί σε όλα τα προγράμματα που κάναμε. Το Ι Γιώτα είναι για το ρήμα Ισοζυγίζω. Ισοζύγιζα το Ελληνικό Σχολείο και το Αμερικανικό Σχολείο για έξι χρόνια. Και τελικά το Όμικρον είναι για το όταν θα πάω στην Ελλάδα, θα Ομιλώ Ελληνικά! Every letter in the words Greek School means something important to me. G is for the Great experience. R is for Relationships, because I formed many friendships while in Greek School. E is for Everyone who helped me. E the other E, is for Everyone in my class. K is for Kyria Ioanna who has been teaching me since the day I started. S is for Singing and dancing. C is for Confidence because having to perform helped me to gain more Confidence. H is for Homework, which helped me learn the language better. O is for Opportunity because knowing a language helps when you are traveling to different places. O the other O, is for Orthodoxy. I learned a lot about my faith while in Greek School. L And finally L is for Laughter. We laughed a lot and had a great time, and I will never forget Greek School! Γεωργία - Georgia Stamatopoulos Τα έξι μου χρόνια στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο ήταν τα καλύτερα μου χρόνια. Γνώρισα πολλά ελληνόπουλα και έκανα πολλούς φίλους και πολλές φίλες. Τα πρώτα μου χρόνια ήταν δύσκολα μέχρι να αρχίσω να γράφω και να διαβάζω ελληνικά. Όσο περνάγανε τα χρόνια γινόμουνα πιο καλή και μου άρεσε. Η Κυρία Ιωάννα ήταν πάντα καλή μαζί μας παρόλο που μερικές φορές δεν την ακούγαμε όταν μας έλεγε διάφορες ιστορίες κι εμείς μιλούσαμε και κάναμε πλάκες μεταξύ μας. Θα ήθελα να την ευχαριστήσω για την υπομονή της και την επιμονή που έχει και γιά αυτά που μας δίδαξε. Δεν θα την ξεχάσω ποτέ όσα χρόνια και αν περάσουν! My six years in Greek School where the best years. I met lots of kids and made lots of
17 friends. My first years where difficult until I learned how to read and write in Greek. As the years went by I started to like Greek School. My teacher Kyria Iοanna was always good to us, even when sometimes we did not pay attention to what she was saying and instead we talked and fooled around. She told us interesting and great stories and we made funny jokes with each other. I would like to thank Kyria Iοanna for her patience and persistence and for everything that she taught us. I will never forget Greek School and Kyria Ioanna as long as I live. Έλενα - Elena Tsantis Τα έξι μου χρόνια στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο ήταν υπέροχα. Μου άρεσε να έρχομαι κάθε Πέμπτη να βλέπω τους φίλους μου, να μαθαίνω την Ελληνική γλώσσα, τους χορούς, τα τραγούδια, τα ποιήματα και να κάνω πολλές άλλες δραστηριότητες. Μου άρεσε πολύ η δασκάλα μου, η κυρία Ιωάννα. Είναι πολύ καλή και νοιάζεται για μας. Μου έχει διδάξει τα πάντα για το γράψιμο, την ανάγνωση και την γραμματική. Χάρη σ αυτήν θα μπορώ να επιβιώσω μόνη μου στην Ελλάδα και θα μπορώ να επικοινωνώ με τους ανθρώπους εκεί. Μου άρεσε πολύ που μας έμαθε παραδοσιακούς Ελληνικούς χορούς, ποιήματα, τραγούδια, μύθους και τόσα άλλα πράγματα. Όλα ήταν πολύ ενδιαφέροντα για μένα και θα μου λείψει που δεν θα συμμετέχω του χρόνου. Εν κατακλείδι, θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω την κυρία Ιωάννα που είναι μια καταπληκτική δασκάλα και η διδασκαλία της περιλαμβάνει πολλαπλά πράγματα. Θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω τους γονείς μου που με έγραψαν στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο. Τώρα που φεύγω θα μου λείψουν τόσα πολλά και ιδιαίτερα οι συμμαθητές μου. Θέλω να ευχαριστήσω την κοινότητα μας που μας προσφέρει ένα τόσο καλό Ελληνικό Σχολείο. My six years of Greek School have been wonderful. I loved coming every Thursday to see my friends and learn the Greek language, dances, songs, poems and participate in so many activities. I really liked the teacher Mrs. Ioannou. She is nice and caring. She has taught me everything about writing, reading and grammar. Thanks to her, I can survive on my own in Greece and I can communicate with the people there. I enjoyed learning Greek traditional dances, poems, songs, myths and so many other things. In conclusion, I would like to thank Mrs. Ioannou for being an amazing teacher and teaching me so much. I would like to thank my parents for signing me up for Greek School. I will miss everything and everyone so much after this day. I want to thank our St. Nicholas community for offering us such a great Greek School. Φίλιππος - Philip Valtadoros Το Ελληνικό Σχολείο τελείωσε! Θυμάμαι σαν να ήταν χθες που ήμουν στην πρώτη τάξη και μάθαινα το αλφάβητο, ονομασίες τροφών, ζώων και χρωμάτων. Πάντοτε μου άρεσαν τα ποιήματα και τα τραγούδια στις Ελληνικές γιορτές. Μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ να χορεύω στο Φεστιβάλ. Έμαθα τόσα πολλά. Νομίζω είμαι έτοιμος τώρα να μιλώ Ελληνικά με τους θείους και τις θείες όταν θα
18 πάω τον Ιούνιο στην Ελλάδα. Η Κυρία Ιωάννα με βοήθησε πολύ. Η γιαγιά μου όσες φορές ερχόταν στο σπίτι με βοηθούσε αν και δεν ήθελα. Με απειλούσε με την αυστηρότητα της και εγώ τελείωνα αμέσως την εργασία μου. Έμαθα την Ελληνική παράδοση και την ιστορία. Έμαθα για την «Ημέρα του Όχι», για τους «Τρεις Ιεράρχες» και για την «25 η -Εικοστή Πέμπτη Μαρτίου». Ονειρευόμουν για το πότε θα τελείωνα το Ελληνικό Σχολείο επειδή είχα επιπλέον σχολική εργασία από το Αμερικάνικο σχολείο. Έφτασε αυτή η μέρα! Παρ όλο που τελείωσα και χαίρομαι γι αυτό, θα σκέφτομαι και θα θυμάμαι τα έξι χρόνια του Ελληνικού Σχολείου με αγάπη. Ξέρω πως θα μου λείψει! Greek School is over?! Finished? Done? Wow, I remember my first year learning the alphabet, foods, and animals like it was yesterday. It has been a long time, but I m glad I stuck with it and completed all six grades. I really enjoyed reciting poems and singing songs at our programs. I enjoyed dancing at the festival very much, too. I have learned so much! I think I can understand Greek and can have a conversation with my aunts and uncles in Greece when I visit them this summer. Kyria Ioanna taught me a lot and helped me get to where I am now. My great yiayia also helped me a lot. Whenever my yiayia visited, even if I didn t feel like doing any homework, she would whip me into shape and I would finish my homework lickety split. I enjoyed learning about the Greek culture and history. I learned about Oxi Day, the Three Hierarch s Day and the 25 th of March-Greek Independence Day. I m glad I know more about my heritage and understand my family history a little better. I remember dreaming about not having to worry about extra homework and an extra after-school activity. Now that day is here. Even though I m glad that I ll have more free time, I ll look back at my six years of Greek school and I ll miss it.
19 St. Thomas receiving the girdle of the Theotokos. St. James the Brother of the Lord. Oct. 23 Please, note there will be a Paraklesis Service on October 18 at 7:30pm. Spanakopita prep begins the week of October 21st and baklava prep begins the week of November 18, with pick up scheduled for Friday, November 22. Come and help the Philoptochos ladies in this important fund-raiser that allows them to do good works. They will be in the fellowship hall from 9am on prep days. Another important Philoptochos Fundraiser, the Spaghetti Dinner, is scheduled for Thursday, November 7. All proceeds go to Charity. Sstewardship, always