1 The Voice of the Greek Community MAR/APR CELEBRATING 65 YEARS OF COMMUNITY NEWS AND HISTORY VOL. 73 NO. 532 HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL 600 E. BOULEVARD CHARLOTTE, NC MAR/APR 2013 Our Vision: With the Grace of God, to provide a loving and caring Community where all belong to Christ, through worship, sacramental life, everyday spiritual discipline, sanctification, education, witness and fellowship. Χριστος Ανεστη Myrofores Greek Independence Day Our Mission Our Mission is to become faithful followers of Christ and thus active Greek Orthodox Christians by accepting and submitting to the Will of our Lord so that we may realize salvation and enter into the Kingdom of God. WHAT S INSIDE THIS ISSUE... Remarks from Father Michael... 3 Message from the President George Karres... 4 Oratorical Parish Winners... 5 Community Profiles Mr. Peter Couchell... 7 Philoptochos New Board Members Greek School Independence Day Celebration East Boulevard Charlotte, NC Charlotte, NC Permit No. 871 PAID Non-profit Organization U.S. Postage
2 2 MAR/APR 2013 The Voice of the Greek Community A Message From The Editor Voice Editorial and Business Staff Get up to date news and events at: Hello again Everybody, Christos Anesti. I hope everyone had a wonderful Pascha. Congratulations to all the Sunday School Seniors, Greek School and Preschool graduates. The Voice staff wishes the community a safe and happy summer. Until next time, be safe Angelo Pete Politis EASTER LAMBS AND GOATS KARRAS FARMS APVAKIA & KAT6IKAKIA DAIRY PRODUCTS AVAILABLE ORGANIC LAMBS ANDY KARAGOUNIS Voice Committee Members: Angelo Pete Politis, Editor; Effie Dounis, Despina Kaltsounis, Stephanie Kaltsounis, Lucy Zapsas, George Andrews Contributing Writers Fr. Michael Varvarelis, Dean of the Cathedral Fr. Tommy Vlahos, Priest Religious Reflection George Karres - P.C. Presidents Message Ministry Writers: Diane Christides Sunday School Larry Peroulas Greek School Maria Kleto Preschool Toni Karnazes Philoptochos Olga Yamalis Choir News Olga Yamalis Children s Choir Cathy Chicklistas Forever Young Tom Ganatsios GOSA Georgia Georgoulakos Around Charlotte Town Johnny Couchell Athletic Program Jimmy Demopoulos GOYA-HOPE/JOY Loula Kontoulas Heritage Preservation Committtee Gloria Kontoulas Education, Culture and Youth Diakonia, Around Charlotte Town Helen Beleos Community Profiles Andrew Karras Spiritual Dr. Taki Hondros Health George Politis Professional Services Daughters of Penelope N. Markos Kontos AHEPA Harry Cavalaris WTVI Project Clergy/Staff: Rev. Fr. Michael Varvarelis, Dean of the Cathedral; Mrs. Helen Karras, Office Manager/Secretary; Angelo Tatsis, Building Supervisor; Jimmy Demopoulos, Youth Director; Mr. Larry Peroulas, Greek School Director; Mrs. Maria Kleto and Cindy Balatsias, Preschool Directors; Lucy Zapsas Choir Director; Toni Karnazes, First Sevice Choir Director; Irina Monzolevskaya, Organist; George Politis, Effie Fotopoulos, Sunday School Directors Parish Council: George Karres, President; John Karagiannis, Vice President; George Andrews, Treasurer; Spero Koufaliotis, Assistant Treasurer; John Tsumas, Secretary; Peter Thomopoulos, Assistant Secretary; Dr. Takie Hondros, Member; Dino Pappas, Member; Margaret Nixon, Member; Caleb Russell, Member; Angelo Kefalas, Member; Dimitri Dounis, Member; Jimmy Georgiou, Member; George Limbanovnos, Member; Angelo Spero, Member. Cathedral Foundation: Harry Stathopoulos, Chairman;, Nickolas Ballas Vice-Chairman; Mathew Karres, Secretary; Chris Karres Tresurer; Nick Kantsios, Assistant Sec./Tres. Number of Parish Families 1200 Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral bi-monthly publication is published 6 times per year. Church Telephone: 704/ ; Preschool: 704/ Check out the latest news and photos on the web
3 The Voice of the Greek Community MAR/APR Remarks From Father Michael by Father Michael Varvarelis Dean of the Cathedral A Home Run for Holy Trinity!!! I want to congratulate and thank our St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival contestants who did an outstanding job at the Parish level. The winners of our Parish Oratorical Festival, two senior winners (Margarita Margiotis and Katerina Exarhos) and two junior winners (Lea Holevas and Floriana Boardman), went on to the District Oratorical Festival in Durham, NC. There, another seven parishes participated in this District Oratorical Festival with their respective contestants. From this District Oratorical Festival, two would be chosen from the junior level and two from the senior level to represent our District at the Metropolis level at Tarpon Springs, FL in May. In Durham our Holy Trinity Team hit a Home Run!!! Thanks to our four Contestants; three of them (Margarita, Lea and Floriana) were awarded to represent the whole District!!! The District is represented by four contestants and three of them were selected and awarded from our Community. I believe this event alone indicates the maturity, the great preparation and the outstanding work completed by our youth concerning the Orthodox Τεράστια Διάκριση-Αναγνώριση στήν Αγία Τριάδα!!! Θέλω να συγχαρώ και να ευχαριστήσω τούς διαγωνιζομένους στίς Ομιλίες Ρητορικής γιά τό Φέστιβαλ τού Αγίου Ιωάννου τού Χρυσοστόμου. Πράγματι τά ευλογημένα αυτά παιδιά έκαναν εξαιρετική δουλειά στο επίπεδο της ενορίας μας. Οι νικητές τού Φέστιβαλ Ρητορικής της Ενορίας μας, δύο από τό Λύκειο (Μαργαρίτα Μαριώτη καί Κατερίνα Εξαρχος) και δύο από τό Γυμνάσιο (Λία Χολέβα καί Φλωριάνα Boardman) πήγαν καί διαγωνίστηκαν στό Περιφερειακό Φέστιβαλ Ρητορικής στο Durham, NC. Εκεί άλλες επτά ενορίες συμμετείχαν σε αυτό τό Περιφερειακό Φέστιβαλ Ρητορικής με τούς δικούς τους διαγωνιζόμενους. Από αυτό το Περιφερειακό Φέστιβαλ Ρητορικής επιλέγονται δύο νέοι από το Λύκειο και δύο νέοι από το Γυμνάσιο πού θά εκπροσωπήσουν την Περιφέρειά μας στό επόμενο επίπεδο πού είναι γιά όλη τήν Μητρόπολη Ατλάντας τόν Μάιο στο Tarpon Springs, FL. Εκεί, λοιπόν στο Durham η ενορία μας, ο Καθεδρικός τής Αγίας Τριάδος, δέχθηκε αυτή τήν τεράστια διάκριση-αναγνώριση. Συγχαίρομε και ευχαριστούμε τούς τέσσερις διαγωνιζόμενους τής ενορίας μας, οι οποίοι κέρδισαν τα ευνοϊκά σχόλια όλων πού ήσαν παρόντες στήν εκδήλωση αυτή. Οι τρείς από τούς νέους μας (Μαργαρίτα, Λία καί Φλωριάνα) Christian faith which should always be the focus, the torch of witness and the mark of identity we carry and practice in our lives. I would like to thank and recognize the Parish Oratorical Festival Chairperson, Mrs. Jerri Holevas. Thank you for organizing the Oratorical Festival and for encouraging and motivating our Sunday School students to participate. Jerry provided appropriate guidance and helpful tips in selecting topics, organizing ideas and materials as well as delivering their speeches with their hearts. Thank you Jerri!!! You always make us so proud!! Furthermore, I wish to thank and congratulate the parents of our contestants for their encouragement, their support and essential help they offer to their children in preparing their speeches. I would also like to thank our Sunday School Teachers and Supervisors for their inspirational influence and appropriate motivation to their students to participate. Furthermore, I would like to thank our Youth Director, Jimmy Demopoulos and his crucial role in inspiring our GOYANS to deeply look in their hearts and make the commitment to participate In Durham our Holy Trinity had a Home Run!!! Thanks to our four Contestants Margarita Margiotis, Katerina Exarhos, Lea Holevas and Floriana Boardman. I personally believe that our youth are connected with the Church, with the Orthodox faith, with our Savior. This reality mainly is contributed to their parents and family. at the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. It is worthwhile to mention that our beloved Philoptochos annually awards $100 to each of our four winners at the Parish level. Thank you ladies for enhancing this important event of our children with your great incentive. In our Parish Level, we had 18 participants who made a huge impression with their insights and specific messages during their powerful speeches. We all were εκεί, βραβεύτηκαν γιά νά αντιπροσωπεύσουν όλες τίς ενορίες τής Βορείου Καρολίνας! Εάν οι ενορίες τής Βορείου Καρολίνας εκπροσωπούνται από τέσσερις διαγωνιζόμενους και οι τρεις από αυτούς έχουν επιλεγεί και βραβευτεί από την κοινότητά μας, πιστεύω ότι το γεγονός αυτό και μόνο δείχνει ότι τά παιδιά στήν Κοινότητά μας έχουν ωριμότητα, έκαναν μεγάλη προετοιμασία και απέδειξαν το εξαιρετικό έργο που γίνεται στη νεολαία μας, όσον αφορά την σωτήρια ορθόδοξη χριστιανική πίστη που θά πρέπει πάντα να είναι η προσεκτική εστίαση, η φλόγα μαρτυρίας και το σήμα ταυτότητας που όλοι μας πρέπει να μεταφέρουμε καί να ασκούμαστε στη ζωή μας. Θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω δημόσια και να παρουσιάσω την Υπεύθυνη τού Φέστιβαλ Ρητορικής τής Ενορίας μας, την Γερασιμούλα Χολέβα, η οποία όλα αυτά τα χρόνια οργανώνει το Φεστιβάλ Ρητορικής στήν ενορία μας και ενθαρρύνει και παρακινεί τούς μαθητές μας από τό Κατηχητικό Σχολείο γιά να συμμετάσχουν. Επίσης τους βοηθά με κατάλληλες οδηγίες και χρήσιμες συμβουλές για να προσφέρουν τον καλύτερο εαυτό τους στην επιλογή θεμάτων, την οργάνωση ιδεών και συγκέντρωση υλικού και τελικά την παρουσίαση τών ομιλιών τους πού πρέπει να γίνεται με την καρδιά τους. Σέ ευχαριστούμε Γερασιμούλα! so proud of their commitment to Christ and knowledge of the Orthodox faith. We all knew how difficult it would be for the judges to select four of them as our representatives to the District Level. The story of this year s Oratorical Festival is that we should know, enjoy and feel the pride about our youth. I personally believe that our youth is connected with the Church, with the Orthodox faith, with our Savior. This reality mainly is contributed to their parents and family. Our youth programs help in translating the messages of Christ to their lives. These messages are two-fold. First, that God loves us. He especially loves his children. He wants to protect them in life. Second, the Church is our large and local family in which we are vital members. These members we should know, respect, care and have fellowship. Together with these members, we worship, we associate, we support and we enjoy. When I speak with our youth, I like to relate to stories and teachings of the Saints. The Saints are the real friends of God. We have Saints of the old, Saints of the 20 th century and Saints that are alive now. They are God Bearers. They know the Lord and can help us get to know Him, as well. God is love, joy, peace and life. All these specific gifts were granted to the Saints, as well. These gifts motivated them to speak and to live for the Lord. These gifts made them respect, honor and care for others. These specific elements we learn from the lives of the Saints and pray to them to protect and guide us so that the Lord may grant us these gifts. At the Oratorical Festival, our youth showed and expressed their commitment to Christ and how they care for their fellowman. Indeed we enjoy the spiritual progress of our youth. We, the adults, through our example, need to show them to keep God with them. The Lord will protect them and grant to them His blessings in their lives. At that time, we will feel that we did our part and obligation. With love in Christ, Fr. Michael Varvarelis Πάντα μάς βγάζεις ασπροπρόσωπους και μάς κάνεις νά καμαρώνουμε! Επιπλέον, θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω και να συγχαρώ τους γονείς των διαγωνιζομένων μας νέων για την ενθάρρυνσή τους, την υποστήριξή τους και την ουσιαστική βοήθεια που προσφέρουν στα παιδιά τους κατά τήν προετοιμασία τών ομιλιών τους. Θα ήθελα επίσης να ευχαριστήσω τούς Δασκάλους καθώς καί τούς Υπευθύνους τού Κατηχητικού μας Σχολείου γιά τήν εμπνευσμένη επιρροή τους και τήν κατάλληλη παρακίνηση στους μαθητές τους γιά να αναλάβουν το καθήκον καί να συμμετάσχουν. Επιπλέον, θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω τον Υπεύθυνο τής Νεολαίας μας, Δημήτριο Δημόπουλο γιά τον κρίσιμο ρόλο πού παίζει νά εμπνέει τούς GOYANS μας να κοιτάξουν βαθιά μέσα στις καρδιές τους και να αναλάβουν τήν δέσμευση να συμμετάσχουν στό Φέστιβαλ Ρητορικής τού Αγ. Ιωάννου τού Χρυσοστόμου. Θέλουμε νά ευχαριστήσουμε τήν Φιλόπτωχο τής Ενορίας μας πού επενδύει προσφέρει στούς νικητές τού Φεστιβάλ Ρητορικής κάθε χρόνο $100 γιά τόν καθένα. Στο Επίπεδο τής Ενορία μας είχαμε 18 συμμετέχοντες που έκαναν τεράστια εντύπωση με τις ώριμες ιδέες και τα συγκεκριμένα πνευματικά μηνύματα πού έδωσαν σε όλους μας όταν παρουσίασαν τίς εμπνευσμένες ομιλίες τους. Ολοι μας καμαρώσαμε καί συγκινηθήκαμε γιά τήν εμπιστοσύνη τους στο Χριστό και τη γνώση πού Fr. Michael Continued on page 4
4 4 MAR/APR 2013 The Voice of the Greek Community The President s Message by George Karres Parish Council President Dear Parishioners, Christ is Risen! I hope everyone had a wonderful Pascha. On behalf of the Parish Council I would like to express my appreciation to everyone that gave of themselves unselfishly in their time and talents and making this a wonderful Pascha celebration. I would also like to thank everyone who attended services during Holy Week and the Anastasi. Additionally, I wanted to acknowledge and thank all of the Parish Council members for their dedication, time spent away from their families, and for their continued support in making Holy Trinity the best Church. We are fortunate and blessed that we have such a wonderful and caring Community, Parish Council and Spiritual Leaders. As the Improvements Repairs and Renovations Committee continually reviews our facilities and identifies items that are in need of being repaired or replaced, I would like to reach out to you, the community, for your support in donating to the Building Fund. In giving to the Building Fund, you are investing in your Church, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. This will ensure our continued growth at 600 East Boulevard for future generations. With the arrival of spring, it is once again time to begin preparations for the Festival. In the coming weeks and months, we will need your assistance. Please make every effort to help support your community. Look for preparation schedules in the biweekly bulletin and remember, without you our Festival would not be a success. Furthermore, I ask for your continued support in your Stewardship Program. Thus far we have experienced great success in the Stewardship Program. Remember the goal is to become Festival Free. In doing so, we would be able to use the proceeds from the Festival for capital improvements, repairs and renovations and not as a means to pay our bills. Please do not forget to complete your Stewardship Pledge Card and return it to the office. As always, the Parish Council and I are always here to listen and discuss your suggestions and ideas in making our Church a safer and more enjoyable place for future generations. I Remain Respectfully Yours in Christ, George Theodore Karres today! Αγαπητοί Ενορίτες, Χριστός Ανέστη! Ελπίζω ότι ο καθένας είχε ένα υπέροχο Πάσχα. Εξ ονόματος τού Ενοριακού Συμβουλίου, θα ήθελα να εκφράσω την εκτίμησή μου σε όλους που έδωσαν τον εαυτό τους ανιδιοτελώς από τόν χρόνο τους και τα χαρίσματά τους και έτσι συνετέλεσαν νά έχουμε μια υπέροχη γιορτή τού Πάσχα. Θα ήθελα επίσης να ευχαριστήσω όλους όσους συμμετείχαν στίς ακολουθίες κατά τη διάρκεια της Μεγάλης Εβδομάδας και της Ανάστασης. Επιπλέον, θα ήθελα να αναγνωρίσω και να ευχαριστήσω όλα τα μέλη του Ενοριακού μας Συμβουλίου για την αφοσίωσή τους, τόν χρόνο πού πρόσφεραν μακριά από τις οικογένειές τους, καθώς και για τη συνεχή υποστήριξή τους γιά νά αναδείξουν τήν Αγία Τριάδα σάν τήν καλύτερη Εκκλησία. Είμαστε τυχεροί και ευλογημένοι που έχουμε μια τέτοια υπέροχη Κοινότητα, Ενοριακό Συμβούλιο και πνευματικούς ηγέτες. Καθώς η Επιτροπή γιά τά Κτίρια τής Εκκλησίας εξετάζει συνεχώς τις εγκαταστάσεις μας και προσδιορίζει τα διάφορα θέματα τών κτιρίων που έχουν ανάγκη να επισκευαστούν ή να αντικατασταθούν, θα ήθελα να έλθω κοντά σας, στην Κοινότητα, καί νά παρακαλέσω για την υποστήριξή σας στο Building Fund. Προσφέροντας στό Building Fund επενδύεται στην Εκκλησία σας, στόν Καθεδρικό τής Αγίας Τριάδος. Αυτό θα εξασφαλίσει τη συνεχή ανάπτυξη μας στο 600 East Boulevard για τις μελλοντικές γενιές. Με την ερχομό της άνοιξης, για άλλη μιά φορά ήλθε ο χρόνος για να αρχίσουν οι προετοιμασίες για το Φεστιβάλ. Κατά τις προσεχείς εβδομάδες και μήνες θα χρειαστούμε την βοήθειά σας. Παρακαλούμε να καταβάλετε κάθε δυνατή προσπάθεια για να προσφέρετε την υποστήριξη στήν Κοινότητά σας. Θά βρήτε τίς πληροφορίες καί τίς ανακοινώσεις προετοιμασίας στό δεκαπενθήμερο δελτίο και πάντα νά έχετε υπόψιν ότι χωρίς εσάς τό Φέστιβάλ μας δεν θα είναι επιτυχημένο. Επιπλέον, παρακαλώ για τη συνεχή υποστήριξή σας στο Πρόγραμμα τής Εθελουσίας Προσφοράς. Μέχρι στιγμής έχουμε μεγάλη επιτυχία στο Πρόγραμμα τής Εθελουσίας Προσφοράς. Υπενθυμίζουμε ότι ο στόχος είναι να μήν έχουμε οικονομική εξάρτηση από τό Φεστιβάλ. Με αυτόν τον τρόπο θα είμαστε σε θέση να χρησιμοποιήσουμε τα έσοδα από το Φεστιβάλ για την βελτίωση τών κτιρίων, μέ επισκευές και ανακαινίσεις και όχι σάν ένα μέσο για να πληρώνουμε τά έξοδα τής Εκκλησίας μας. Παρακαλώ μην ξεχάσετε να συμπληρώσετε τήν κάρτα Υπόσχεσης και να τήν επιστρέψετε στο γραφείο. Όπως πάντα, το Ενοριακό Συμβούλιο και εγώ είμαστε πάντα εδώ για να ακούσουμε και να συζητήσουμε τις προτάσεις και τις ιδέες σας για να κάνουμε τήν Εκκλησία μας ένα ασφαλέστερο και πιο ευχάριστο χώρο για τις μελλοντικές γενιές. Παραμένω με εκτίμηση στον Χριστό, Γεώργιος Θεοδώρου Καρύγιανν Fr. Michael Continued from page 3 είχαν γιά τήν Ορθόδοξη πίστη. Όλοι καταλάβαμε τότε πόσο δύσκολο θα ήταν για τους κριτές να επιλέξουν τέσσερα από αυτά τά παιδιά ως εκπροσώπους τής Ενορίας μας στο περιφερειακό επίπεδο. Αυτό είναι πού συνέβη στό φετινό Φέστιβαλμ Ρητορικής που θα πρέπει να γνωρίζουμε, να χαιρόμαστε και να είμαστε υπερήφανοι για την νεολαία μας. Προσωπικά, πιστεύω ότι η νεολαία μας είναι συνδεδεμένη με την Εκκλησία, με την Ορθόδοξη πίστη, με τον Σωτήρα μας. Αυτή η πραγματικότητα οφείλεται κυρίως Στο Durham η ενορία μας, ο Καθεδρικός τής Αγίας Τριάδος, δέχθηκε αυτή τήν τεράστια διάκριση-αναγνώριση. Συγχαίρομε και ευχαριστούμε τούς τέσσερις διαγωνιζόμενους τής ενορίας μας (Μαργαρίτα Μαριώτη, Κατερίνα Εξαρχος, Λία Χολεβα καί Φλωριάνα Boardman)... Προσωπικά, πιστεύω ότι η νεολαία μας είναι συνδεδεμένη με την Εκκλησία, με την Ορθόδοξη πίστη, με τον Σωτήρα μας. Αυτή η πραγματικότητα οφείλεται κυρίως στους γονείς και την οικογένειά τους. θα μας χαρίσει ο Θεός και εμάς αυτά τα χαρίσματα που τα έχουμε ανάγκη στήν ψυχρή, σκληρή και αδιάφορη κοινωνία μας. Στο Φέστιβαλ ρητορικής απέδειξαν τα παιδιά μας ότι τούς ενδιαφέρει ο Κύριος, η πίστη στον Χριστό και ο συνάνθρωπος. Πράγματι χαιρόμαστε γιά τήν πνευματική πρόοδο πού διαπιστώνουμε ότι κάνουν τά παιδιά μας. Εμείς οι μεγάλοι πρέπει μέ τό παράδειγμά μας νά τούς δείχνουμε πώς νά έχουν τόν Θεό στήν ζωή τους. Τότε ο Θεός θά τούς προστατεύει καί θά τούς χαρίζει τίς ευλογίες τής ζωής. Τότε και εμείς θα έχουμε την ικανοποίηση ότι κάναμε το καθήκον μας. Μέ αγάπη εν Χριστώ, π. Μιχαήλ Βαρβαρέλης στους γονείς και την οικογένειά τους. Η Εκκλησία με τα προγράμματα τής νεολαίας βοηθά νά μεταφράζονται τα μηνύματα τού Χριστού στη ζωή τους. Αυτά τά μηνύματα μπορούν νά έχουν δύο συνισταμένες. Πρώτα, ότι ο Θεός μας αγαπά. Αγαπά ιδιαίτερα τά παιδιά. Καί θέλει να τα προστατεύει στή ζωή. Δεύτερον, ότι η Εκκλησία είναι η μεγάλη τοπική οικογένειά μας, στήν οποία αποτελούμε ζωτικής σημασίας μέλη. Αυτά τά μέλη, τούς ενοροτίες μας, πρέπει να γνωρίζουμε, νά σεβόμαστε, νά φροντίζουμε και νά συντροφεύουμε. Λατρεύουμε μαζί τόν Θεό, συνδεόμαστε ο ένας μέ τόν άλλον, υποστηρίζουμε και χαιρόμαστε μαζύ. Όταν μιλάω με τη νεολαία μας, μου αρέσει να τούς λέγω ιστορίες καί διδάγματα των Αγίων μας. Οι Άγιοι είναι οι πραγματικοί «φίλοι» του Θεού. Έχουμε Αγίους από το παρελθόν, Αγίους του εικοστού αιώνα και Αγίους που είνα τώρα ζωντανοί. Οι Αγιοι είναι φορείς τού Θεού. Γνωρίζουν τόν Θεό καί ημπορούν νά μάς βοηθήσουν να Τον γνωρίσουμε καί εμείς. Ο Θεός είναι αγάπη, χαρά, ειρήνη καί ζωή. Ολα αυτά τα χαρακτηριστικά τα είχαν και οι Αγιοι. Αυτά τους παρακινούσαν να μιλούν και να ζούν γιά τον Θεόν. Αυτά τούς έκαναν να σέβονται, να τιμούν και να φροντίζουν τούς άλλους. Αυτά μαθαίνουμε από τούς Αγίους και προσευχόμαστε να μάς προστατεύουν Cell
5 The Voice of the Greek Community MAR/APR St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Parish Winners Senior Division Katerina Exarhos Of all the feasts and holy days in the Orthodox Church -Easter is by far the most meaningful and important. Celebrating the Resurrection of Christ...Easter is the feast which defines our faith, and connects us all most closely to God. During the days and weeks leading up to this holy feast - the period known as Great Lent - we as Orthodox Christians are given the opportunity to focus our hearts, minds and prayers more closely to God. We enter into this somber period prayerfully, and spend 40 days preparing our minds and bodies for the coming of Christ. How do we do this? There are a number of ways for us to connect to God during this important time. One way is to fast - abstaining from certain foods and activities in order to get our minds and bodies more focused. During the entire period of Lent, there are also an increased number of church services to attend...from Vespers, to Presanctified Liturgies, the Great Compline and many other special services. These are all opportunities for us to further prepare ourselves for Holy Week and the celebration of the Anastasi. But perhaps the most important way to prepare ourselves is through prayer. Prayer, at any time of the year, is necessary to our spiritual growth...but prayer during Lent is vital and of the utmost importance. We pray especially to ask God for forgiveness -- without which we cannot come closer to Him. During Lent, one of the most beautiful and simple prayers we can offer to God is the Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian. St. Ephraim was a theologian who lived during the 4th century, who wrote many hymns and prayers to God. The most recognized of his writings was his Lenten prayer, in which he asks forgiveness from God for the sins of laziness, idle curiosity, love of power and vain talk. He asks God to grant him the spirit of moderation, humility, patience and love. Finally, he asks God to help him acknowledge his own faults and not to judge others for theirs. It is a short and simple prayer, but so powerful - and so applicable to our lives today in the 21st century. In reading and thinking about this prayer, I started to reflect on my own faults, and the way that I devote my time to prayer. Am I lazy? Does my curiosity get the best of me? Do I think I know it all? Have I spoken ill or gossiped about someone? The answer is YES. I have committed each sin that St.Ephraim speaks about in his prayer. Although I am not proud of my behavior, I know that through the path of repentance - there can be salvation. That is what Lent is all about; realizing what our sins are, how we can repent for them and how we can come closer to God. As a teenager living in today s society we are bombarded with so much technology. From computers and iphones - to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Although this technology was created to help us communicate with friends and loved ones, it has also made it easier for teens to become lazy and engage in idle curiosity and gossip (to quote St. Ephraim). In other words, these social media sites may be doing more harm than good! We have become too concerned with what is going on in everyone else s lives...as they post their thoughts and actions - or - we are the ones broadcasting a play-by-play of our day. Do we spend that much time working on our relationship with God? The answer, sadly, is NO! During Great Lent we should prove our love to God by fasting, being humble and respecting others. During this holy time we need to focus on becoming better Christians. Fasting alone doesn t make us better, but prayer and acts of selflessness do. We should not gossip, concern ourselves with what others are doing, or be lazy in our own lives. We should practice humility and restraint. Instead of pointing out and criticizing the faults of others, we should reflect on our own shortcomings - and contemplate what we can do to improve our actions and avoid sin. This is something we should be doing always, and not just during Lent. As this holy and wondrous season of Great Lent approaches, and we await for the Resurrection of Christ, let us not only recite the beautiful words of St. Ephraim -- but let us live them in every aspect of our day. After all, our relationship with God is about learning from our mistakes and repenting for them. Every day, we live a spiritual struggle where we have to fight to do what is right, and not give in to temptation. God wants us to be closer to Him - and the only way to accomplish that is to speak to Him through our daily prayers. Junior Division Lea Holevas Discuss the importance of participating in the life of the Church in light of Jesus s teaching in John 15:5: I am the vine, you are the branches. Revered Fathers, Honorable Judges, Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Orators, Good Afternoon It is not I who live but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20). Christ lives in all living things. He is always present in the beauty of the entire world. As our creator, He gives us free will to cultivate our relationship with Him as Orthodox Christians. Just as we would cultivate an amazing rose garden, we must cultivate our hearts in our quest to enter the kingdom of heaven. In John 15:5, Christ says I am the vine, and you are the branches. This indicates we are unable to exist without our Heavenly Father. Thus, we must enrich our spiritual life through our prayer with Christ, participating in our church, and by living a Christ centered life. Therefore, we ask what do we learn from the church? As Orthodox Christians, we have been taught from a very young age that prayer helps us strengthen our relationship with Christ. It is one of the most precious and powerful gifts He has given us. We should always pray to Christ; however, it is when life challenges us that we turn to Him the most for guidance. These challenges are symbolic of thorns and weeds that corrupt our relationship with Christ. Yet, when we listen to Christ and have blind faith in His Your Neighborhood Jeweler! We offer a large selection of quality jewelry at affordable prices as well as watches that include Citizen, Seiko, Bulova, Swiss Army, Skagen and more. We have full service jewelry and watch repair to care for your treasures! Brownlee Jewelers is a Charlotte tradition specializing in excellent customer service for over 70 years! For more information on what is offered at Brownlee as well as additional store locations: ability to guide us, then we destroy the temptations of the world and ultimately strengthen our bond with Him. Furthermore, participating in our church helps us stay connected and rooted to Christ. It is our actions in this world that will help us gain a place in God s heavenly kingdom, for James 2:26 tells us, Faith apart from actions is dead. As Orthodox Christians, we believe that our path to salvation is paved with our good works. As a young Orthodox Christian, I turn to my church to guide me in the right direction. Our GOYA is always seeking for opportunities to help the community. We serve food at the Ronald McDonald House and we make sandwiches for the soup kitchen. An experience that most touched my heart was the Skyland service project. Our Goya helped serve food and distribute toys to the less fortunate. The children s faces lit up for a warm meal and a toy from Santa. These are the actions that strengthen the bond between the vine and branch and help us grow closer to Christ. In order for our branches to continue to grow in eternity and to strengthen our bond with God we must remember that prayer and participating in the church are the basic principles of having a Christ centered life. From a young age, I can remember attending preschool and Sunday school, going to Hope and Joy events and attending church with my family. Throughout these years, I believe I have accumulated a strong relationship with Christ. I do not take for granted that I was born in to such an amazing community and family that all try to live Christ centered lives. I realize that others are not as blessed to be a part of an amazing community such as our own. One of my friends recently asked me if I truly believed that God created the world. She seemed as if she believed in God; however, she questioned His power, His existence, and even His strength. To be honest, I didn t know how to respond. I was naïve to believe that everyone has the same blind faith in Christ as I do. As Orthodox Christians, it is our responsibility to help others cultivate the same bond with Christ, to experience His love, His forgiveness, and ultimately His heavenly kingdom. I do not pretend to know everything about being an Orthodox Christian, but I have no doubt that God created the world and without him we wouldn t exist. Just as branches can not survive without a vine. Junior Division Floriana Boardman Glory to the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, Continued on page 14 Michelle Pavlakos Μιλάμε Ελληνικά store manager and graduate gemologist Park Road Shopping Center 4147 Park Road Charlotte, NC Hours: M-F 10-7, Sat. 10-6
6 6 MAR/APR 2013 The Voice of the Greek Community By Helen Beleos Mr. Peter John Couchell Pete Couchell is one of the many immigrants who came to the United States and made an outstanding success of his life. The work ethic of the young Greek boys who ventured to our country is remarkable to read and hear about. You will enjoy getting to know Pete!! He was born in Karyae, Laconia, Greece in 1935, the son of John and Anastasia Koutsogeorgas. Their name was later changed to Couchell. When Pete was only six years young in 1941, his father was drafted into the army to fight the Germans and Italians. When his father departed, the tavern and butcher shop that his father owned had to be closed. But, Pete told his mother that he would open it up again as soon as he could!! While his father was away, Pete with the help of his best friend, Ted Karres, reopened the tavern & butcher shop. Pete remembers vividly when he and Ted slaughtered the first animal they would cook in the restaurant. A year later, in preparation for his father s return from the war, Pete and his buddy, Ted, removed all the tables and chairs from the tavern, washed them, cleaned the tavern and made everything ready to re-open for his father. Even though the family was back in business, they faced a very difficult period between In 1943, when Pete was eight years young, the Germans drove into their village, let up machine guns in the main square, and went from house to house rounding up all the villagers into the square to be executed. This was very early in the morning on a cool autumn day. As Pete stood there with his mother, brother-george, and sister-emily, as well as all their neighbors, two large white Disc & Sciatic Problems? Decompression Therapy...Without Surgery! vans with American Red Cross written on the sides drove into the square. Two male Red Cross workers and a nurse came from the vans and immediately began speaking with the Germans. When they were finished, they re-entered the two vans and drove away. The Germans put away their guns and dismissed the entire group, ordering them to return to their homes! A wonderful Greek man, Mr. Paraskevas Maydanis, who had grown up in Arahova, had been to the U.S., spoke English, had come back to Greece and was in Tripolis had received word from someone in Arahova about the execution that was to take place. He immediately contacted the American Red Cross and they came right away and saved the entire village. What an amazing story. God blessed all of them. In 1945, the Second World War came to an end and the civil war was being fought. Pete s father, John, who had returned from the war, was elected President of the village of Arahova. In 1946, Pete and his siblings, George and Emily, were happy to have a new baby sister born into their family. Her name is Vivian (now she is married to Father Nick Bacalis in Richmond, Virginia). While Mr. John Couchell was serving as the president of the village, his life began to be threatened. The family did not feel safe. So, in 1947, they left Arahova and moved to Sparta, and in 1949, they left Greece. Pete was fourteen years of age. Their destination was to be Charlotte, N.C. Pete s mother, Anastasia, was born in Wilmette, Illinois, but because her birth took place at home rather than a hospital, she had no birth certificate with which to prove her U.S. citizenship. Luckily, she had a brother in Ontario, Canada, and that became the family s destination. Upon their departure from Greece on October 30, 1949, by boat and after a stormy passage, they arrived in New York on December 20, For nine days, they remained in New York City celebrating Christmas with family and friends who lived there at this time! They then traveled to Canada by train on December 30, Upon their arrival, the family took measures to help Anastasia establish her U.S. citizenship and to prepare the family to immigrate to the United States. While the family was in Canada, Pete s first job was washing dishes in his uncle s restaurant from 3:30 after school until 9:30 PM for a salary of $3.00 a week!! Six months later and with a growing knowledge of English, Pete was hired at the soda shop next door to serve sodas, ice cream and candy for the same after school hours, but at $14.00 per week! The family moved south to Charlotte, N.C. in The population at that time in our city was 110,000. In order to work, Pete continued school by taking night classes. His first job in Charlotte was at his Uncle Pete Leventis Car Wash on Fourth Street. Uncle Pete paid him $17.00 per week and told Pete every pay day to find himself a better job! Pete did not wash cars for very long. A fellow Arahovitan, Mr. George Kakaris, owned and operated a Greek Grocery Store uptown on Trade Street. Next door to his business was the Purity Café owned by Mr. Jim Meleos. Mr. Kakaris recommended that Mr. Meleos give Pete a job in his second uptown restaurant---the Quality Café. Mr. Meleos hired Pete to manage the first shift from 6:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. seven days a week for $35.00 per week. Six months later, Uncle Pete Leventis bought a 45-seat restaurant on Monroe Road. Pete was the oldest of his siblings. His parents had not yet become fluent in speaking the English language, but at the age of 16, Pete felt ready and enthusiastic to take on the challenge of managing their own family restaurant. They changed the name from Ray s Grill to Johnny s Grill. When the Couchell family took over the restaurant, the monthly sales were only $3,000. Three years later after many changes and much hard work, the monthly sales increased to $18,000. In the beginning, it appeared that the people of the neighborhood did not feel comfortable doing business with Johnny s Grill. They were not familiar with the new Greek family. Furthermore, they had lost their good friend, Ray, the original owner of the restaurant. It took some time for the neighborhood and the new family to bond. Once the neighbors could see how the immigrant family was doing their best to serve good food, and once they realized how much business was appreciated, the bond of friendship really took hold and grew very strong indeed. The first three years of managing and improving the family restaurant turned out to be the foundation of Pete s invaluable education in the world of business. To begin with, the building was very simple and unattractive, constructed with concrete blocks and furnished with plain tables and chairs. The parking lot allowed only nineteen cars. Pete had an idea of a marketing plan to help the business. He had the restaurant s name and telephone printed on many pencils and passed them out to all the workers at the nearby construction site. The construction company was grading and hauling away vast amounts of dirt in order to build the old coliseum on Independence Boulevard. Soon, Mr. Harkey and twenty of his employees were eating lunch at Johnny s Grill everyday! He told Pete that the restaurant needed more parking spaces and that he, Mr. Harkey, had plenty of dirt and that he could increase the parking to accommodate forty-eight cars. He also told him that he would only charge $1.00 per load. Pete rushed to discuss the matter with his uncle who said that, if Johnny s Grill wanted to spend the money to make the improvements, it would be okay with him. Next, Pete had to close up the windows in the basement with concrete blocks. 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7 The Voice of the Greek Community MAR/APR in on the back side of the building and up to the level of the street. Pete then built a fence around the new parking lot and graveled it. Their curb service increased three times over. Next, a big bright sign was needed to advertise their presence on Monroe Road. Pete spoke with the Borden Ice Cream manager who agreed to pay half the cost of a neon sign for the privilege of advertising on the lower portion of the sign. The cost was $1,400 which was the cost of a new Chevrolet car at that time. Many improvements continued to be made. A new store front was added. The parking lot was paved. Two new additions were: A small bar in which Pete placed a T.V. so the customers could relax and enjoy the games. Table & chairs were removed, and updated booths were added. The Kitchen was remodeled. The family operated Johnny s Grill for nine years and then decided to sell it. Pete, at the age of twenty- five, felt he was finished with the restaurant life! He started a vending food and beverage company, Charlotte Vending Service, which he owned and operated for forty years. When he sold the vending business in 1998, it was serving eighty-two industrial locations & 18,000 employees who worked in those plants and other operations. In 1964, Pete built his first very small, retail shopping center on The Plaza. He continued to develop commercial real estate, shopping centers, warehouses, and offices. Pete has been a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral on East Boulevard since He has served as Treasurer and Vice President of the Parish council. From , he served as President of our community. During his tenure as President, Pete doubled the size of the Yiasou Festival by implementing an ingenious idea for ticket distribution. He delivered to businesses throughout the city bundles of tickets to be given to employees and customers. The value of each ticket was one dollar. For each ticket that was distributed in this manner and then collected at the entrance to the festival, Pete reimbursed the Festival Committee. This wonderful plan doubled the attendance of the festival, which has continued through the years. Thank you, Pete! One day, Father C showed Pete a map of Charlotte on which Father had pinpointed all the residences of our parishioners at Holy Trinity. The overwhelming majority of our parishioners were in the Southeast part of Charlotte. Pete had a great idea and began to look for a tract of land in Southeast Charlotte that would meet the future needs of the Greek Orthodox Father C, Gary Anderson, Pete Couchell, & Faye Couchell at Hellenic Park Ground Breaking Community. Pete contacted his good friend who was a realtor, and his friend said he had just learned of an excellent property that had not yet been put on the market. There were 26 acres located on McKee Road and owned by Mr. Fred Grotophorst. Pete met with the owner and initiated a formal agreement that, with a security deposit of $2,500.00, the property would be locked in for a nine month period. During this time, all the details would be discussed with the Holy Trinity Parish and they could consider and choose to go forth with the purchase of this land. Pete was very happy that the community decided to go forward with this excellent piece of land. The major contributions were applied to defray the cost of the property: $160,000 was given by the John/Mary Kiliveros Family, $62,000 came from the Jim Meleos Estate Fund, and $28,000 came from Pete Couchell. These three contributions covered 85% of the total cost. We all know this beautiful tract of land as the Hellenic Park. It serves our families and children with soccer fields, picnic shelter, and many other outdoor events. And, also, a Cell Tower was placed on the property and leased, which provides approximately $80,000 per year to our church. Thank you, Pete, for being the inspiration behind this acquisition for our community. Pete s life has been a very successful one. He has shared many experiences with his lovely wife, Faye, whom he married on February 25, She has been by his side with an open heart and working with him in all his plans. Faye is very devoted to Pete and our church. Pete Couchell and his family: Emily,Stephanie,Faye and Pete, Chris, Anastasia and husband, Petro They have five children: John, who is married to Renee; Anastasia is married to Petros Petrou; Christopher is engaged to Jacquelyn Yannucci; Emily and Stephanie. They also John and wife, Renee have two grandchildren Maria (9) and Diana (7). They are blessed to have a wonderful family. We appreciate all Pete, Faye, and all their family have offered to our Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Community. Pete would like to express his heartfelt appreciation to each and everyone he worked with over the years while he was serving on the parish council. He will always remember the warmth and enthusiasm that the parishioners displayed during this period of time. Now Offering Dj Services for Weddings & Special Events Greek & American Music HD DVD Quality 3D Graphics Digital Effects Custom Wedding Albums Over 20 years experiance International video conversions We convert foreign video DVD s/vhs tapes (PAL/SECAM) to American (NTSC) or vise versa. Wedding Specialist Service: As believers we like to fulfill our commitment to serve others within and outside our Community. We do this by sharing our time, talent and treasures for the ministry and the glory of the Lord Preschool REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY For information contact us at: Preschool Office: or Co-Directors: Cindy Balatsias or Maria Kleto Fellowship: Recognizing that the Church is a unified body of Christ, we value our Community being renewed and transformed, producing the fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. APOLLO VIDEO PRODUCTIONS Weddings Baptisms Engagements Photo s to Video Video to DVD We can now video your special event in the 16 to 9 format for today s wide screen televisions. Member of Carolina s Professional Videographers Association & Wedding and Event Association
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10 10 MAR/APR 2013 The Voice of the Greek Community Steve Pete Fellos Steve Pete Fellos CHARLOTTE - Mr. Fellos, 87, of Charlotte, NC died Sunday, March 3, 2013, in the Harris Hospice Unit of Presbyterian Hospital. A native Charlottean, Steve was born October 15, 1925, son of the late Peter and Helen Mavrika Fellos. Mr. Fellos was a graduate of Central High School and was a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. A successful entrepreneur, Steve had many real estate ventures and was the former owner of Providence Road Sundries and Steve s Self Service Drug Store. He also was involved with the Coliseum Bowling Center and Freedom Bowling Lanes. Steve was an avid golfer and made thirteen hole in ones, the last one was when he was in his seventy s, they were noted by an article in Sports Illustrated. In addition to his parents Steve was preceded in death by his wife, Tula Cavalaris Fellos; daughter, Elaine Fellos Young and sister, Katina F. Laskaris. Survivors include his children, Pam F. Cook and husband, John of Charlotte, NC, Stephanie F. Holleman and husband, Leon of Manteo, NC, Denise Fellos, Peter T. Fellos and Zoe F. Bell all of Charlotte, NC; sisters, Lula F. Pappas of Charlotte, NC and Jeannie Gallins and husband, Johnny of Winston-Salem, NC; grandsons, Blake Young of South Beach, FL, Steve Young of Charlotte, NC and Christopher Fellos of High Point, NC and many nieces and nephews. Funeral service for Mr. Fellos was held 11:00 AM Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Interment followed the service in Evergreen Cemetery. The Trisagion was 7:00 PM Tuesday evening March 5, 2013, at the Cathedral. Memorials may be made to the Harris Hospice Unit c/o Presbyterian Hospital PO Box 33549, Charlotte, NC or the Ministry Fund at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC Arrangements were in the care of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service, 1111 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC. Please share condolences online at www. hankinsandwhittington.com. Tula Rallis Pappas Tula Rallis Pappas Venetia CHARLOTTE - Mrs. Pappas, 92 of Charlotte, NC, passed away on Saturday, March 16, She was born on March 10, 1921 in Charlotte to the late Chris and Marigo Rallis. She was a graduate of Central High School, a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral and the Ladies Philoptochos Society. In 1942 she married the love of her life, John Pappas to whom she was happily married until his death in In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a son, George; sister, Barbara Economou; and brothers, Bill and Spero Rallis. Mrs. Pappas is survived by sons Chris Pappas and Harry Pappas and his wife, Carol; daughter, Patrice Pappas; sister, Ronnie Poulas; five grandchildren, John, Timmy, Jimmy, John Frank and Venetia Pappas; five great-grandchildren, Jordan, Zackary, Austin, Emma, and Alicia Pappas; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Trisagion and Funeral service for Mrs. Pappas was held 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Interment followed the service in Evergreen Cemetery. The family received friends at the Cathedral for one hour prior to the services. Memorials may be made to the Cathedral Foundation of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC Arrangements were in the care of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service 1111 East Blvd. Charlotte, NC. Please share condolences online at Vaselike M. Copsis Vaselike M. Copsis Vickie CHARLOTTE - Vickie, 91, of Charlotte, NC passed on peacefully, at her home on Sunday, April 21, She was born in Oxford, NC, on March 21, 1922 and moved to Charlotte at the age of fourteen where lived with her aunt and uncle. Her family followed a few years later. Vickie was the third child of the late Paganiota Levenits Maydanis and Nicholas Andrew Maydanis. She was preceded in death by her sisters Basilike, and Mary; and her brothers Andrew and Epaminondas. She is survived by her brother Peter and his family. On May 20, 1956, she married Sotiros (Sam) Chris Copsis. Sam passed away in Vickie was always ahead of her time. As a very young woman, she was an astute business person. She rose thru the ranks to become the manager of the popular Delmonico Restaurant on Trade St. She later helped establish the famous South 21 Drive-in Restaurants with her husband Sam and his brothers Nick Copsis and George Copsis. In more recent years, she was often a hostess at the family s Sea Farer restaurant. She continued to manage her real estate until the time of her death. Vickie was a devout and active member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral and also St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church. She was a long time member of Agia Elpis Ladies Philoptochos Society and a past President of the Daughters of Penelope Venus Chapter #102. She gave selflessly of her time and creativity to both of those charitable organizations. In the earlier years she helped to prepare pastries for the yearly pastry sale which later morphed into the Yiasou Festival. She was known for her decorating skills which she shared with the church through many of it s organizations such as the AHEPA, New Year s festivities and many other functions. She entertained lavishly at her home. Additionally, she was a member of the Adelphotis of Karyae and the Ladies Society of Karyae. She enjoyed traveling and went on many trips with her husband, children, and good friends. She also had a soft spot for animals, especially her pet dog, Alipou. After World War II, Vickie helped many refugees and new comers who came to Charlotte to make their new home. Because she was fluent in both Greek and English, she assisted them with everything from setting up their households to purchasing fashionable clothing. She had an innate flair for fashion. Her greatest love was love of family. She was always available to assist them, from her parents to her brothers and sisters, to her husband and children, to her grandchildren and her many nieces and nephews. In addition to her brother, Vickie is survived by her daughter, Maria Pamela; and her son, Chris Sam and his wife, Lisa; and grandchildren, Victoria, Nicole and Christopher. The Trisagion Service and Funeral Service was held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 600 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC Pallbearers were Dr. Peter Nick Copsis, Chris George Copsis, Peter A. Pappas, Freddy Bill Kanos, George John Plumides, and Jimmy George Demopoulos; and honorary pallbearer was George Leventis. Burial followed in Evergreen Cemetery. Donations may be made to the Holy Trinity Cathedral Foundation, 600 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC or the St. Nektarios Iconography Fund, 5108 Kuykendall Rd., Charlotte, NC Arrangements were in the care of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service; please share condolences online at Living the Orthodox Life: Putting Christ first in our lives through prayer, worship and partaking in the Sacraments thus building and growing spiritually, His Kingdom on earth. Authentic Greek Restaurant Located in Southend 200 East Bland St. Charlotte, NC Lunch: Sun - Fri 11:00am - 2:30pm Dinner: Mon - Thur 5:00pm - 10:00pm Dinner: Fri & Sat 5:00pm - 11:00pm Available for Private Parties on Sundays Call for Reservations
11 The Voice of the Greek Community MAR/APR GOYA News By Jimmy Demopoulos Our youth program has been staying busy as usual. March started with the Anoixi dance, Lenten Retreat and Hope/ Joy s Gym night. April continued on just as full with open gym during spring break, Goya elections, communion breakfast and the Palm Sunday luncheon. We also had two opportunities for our Goyans to come for Great Compline, a Lenten meal and discussion with Father Michael on the purpose of Lent and what it means to our Goyans. Holy Trinity s youth program is continuing to operate in high gear and make strides towards building a better program for all to participate in. T h i s year s Lenten retreat was one of t he most attended Lenten Retreats. The weekend was a very relaxing and spiritually uplifting. On Friday night, we had dinner, participated in an ice breaker, and shared fellowship with the others. Goyans seem to always click on these retreats. Saturday was laid back involving Morning Prayer, free time, games, spiritual enrichment, and great fellowship amongst everyone. These retreats emit something very special not just for the Goyans but everyone involved. There is so much love surrounding the group that it really enhances our experience. Our experience was ultimately based on Christ and his love for us and all mankind. Hope/Joys gym night was once again another great turnout! Over 40 of our Hope/Joy little ones came out to play basketball, ping pong, and other games. This was held right after Greek school making it convenient for the kids to come and participate. They all had a wonderful time! The Goya s open gym was just as fun. The Goyans go together and helped with making the eggs for the Easter Egg hunt this year. They then turned to what they enjoy the best, basketball! They also got to play ping pong and had refreshments. During the time of lent, the Goya participated in sessions led by Father Michael to discuss lent and what it means to our Goyans. This involved participating in the Great Compline service, a Lenten dinner, and discussion. The discussion was fantastic! The Goyans had the opportunity to have an open discussion with other learning opportunities how to really make Lent a powerful tool in their quest to strengthen their relationship with Christ. I even felt that this was a rewarding opportunity for myself but to be able to self analyze and determine what I need to be doing to better my relationship with God. This was just a great thing and thank you Father Michael s wisdom to make it that much more special. This is something we will look into doing on a monthly basis. Lent this year, comes at a time where our world is going through quite a bit of turmoil, pain and really awful and heinous events. There is blood shed for greed of power, money and really things that do not really get us anywhere. I like to think that during Lent, we give up the things that we enjoy; meat, cheese, ice cream, cookies, sweets, facebook, video games etc. however what we do not give up and maybe even learn to increase is our love for one another but more importantly to Christ. It is through this love we really accomplish what we want to accomplish. Whether that be at home, work, school and here at our own community. Imagine if the entire world showed love to one another. It is really hard to describe that as anything else other than the closest thing to paradise. It would bring end to bullying, arguments, greed, war, bloodshed, terrorism, etc. The reason why all of this would happen is quite simple; God is love! He is the purest form of love and that is exactly why he sent his son here to die for us and our sins! 1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. On behalf of the youth program, I would like to thank everyone who supported, volunteered and donated towards the Palm Sunday luncheon in benefit of our youth program. The lunch was a great success, and couldn t have been possible without the love and support shown from our community. Thank you to Demetri Kakouras, George Demopoulos, Mr. Spero Kalivas and others who donated food and time to make this luncheon successful along with all the volunteers! Check out our new website and Get up to date news and events at Visit today!
12 12 MAR/APR 2013 The Voice of the Greek Community PreSchool BY PRESCHOOL STAFF Whooose in the News at the Preschool? March and April at the Preschool Kalo Pascha to our Preschool families and our Holy Trinity community. March and April have been busy months at the preschool. We are all having Spring fever as the weather warms and the flowers bloom. The children have been learning about the Lenten season and the events leading up to Pascha. We celebrated Greek Independence day with a parade as the children sang The Greek National Anthem while marching and waving the Greek flags. During the months of March and April, the three and four year old classes participated in a couple of our in-house fieldtrips. Party Pets visited the preschool on March 6 th. The children had the opportunity to learn and even touch a variety of animals and reptiles. On April 10 th, we had the Fun Bus come to the preschool. This is an old school bus that has been converted into a mini gym. It was exciting to see the children engaged in fitness activities. Just a reminder Registration is ongoing for the school year for children 18 months old through 4/5 years old. We are fortunate to have a preschool where our children can receive quality early childhood education with the incorporation of our Orthodox Faith and the Greek language. We invite you to visit our preschool and to become a part of our preschool family. Please be sure to contact us for more information or to schedule a tour. Teacher s Corner: M-F 4 s The Little Explorers In March, our Little Explorers were very excited and eager about our new themes, dinosaurs, St. Patrick s Day, and Greek Independence Day! We will also have discussions about feelings, manners and the Season Spring. Our children will be learning about dinosaurs by going back to prehistoric times. We will experience digging up dinosaur bones, erupting a volcano and even dressing up as a Tyrannosaurus Rex! For St. Patrick s Day, activities will Free Delivery 15% off Every 3rd of the Month on all non-prescription Items Drive Thru Durable Medical Equipment Six Month Supply Discount US Post Office 2334 South Blvd include mixing yellow and blue to create the color green, making shamrocks and learning about the colors of a rainbow. We will finish the month learning about Greek Independence Day, the Greek Flag and the Greek National Anthem. The children will celebrate this day with a parade! In April, we will discuss what spring brings, Renewed Life. This includes plants in bloom, life cycle of bugs, chickens and plants, and of course the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The children will learn about Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. We will finish our Easter session with teaching our children how to sing Xristos Anesti. Why do we recycle? We will learn the answer to this and how it relates to the earth through Jungles, The Rain Forest and frogs. Finally, we will also reinforce the ABCs, numbers, colors, months, days and seasons, in the English and Greek languages. M-F 4 s The Shining Stars It s March and Spring is on the way. Our Shining Stars will be busy this month. Our focus will be on our 5 senses, practicing good manners and sharing our feelings. Party Pets will visit us, giving the children a chance to learn about animals. It will be very exciting. Our Show and Tell this month will feature our favorite books. Some of our students are beginning to read! Of course, we will be learning about St. Patrick s Day and later in the month, Greek Independence Day and the Annunciation of the Theotokos. As you can see, March will be a full and exciting month for our Shining Stars. PS. Parents, the children love when you visit and share your talents with us. Please let us know if you are interested. Spring has sprung and we are ready for the exciting month of April. Bugs and insects, seeds and plants, and life cycles for animals and plants will be our focus. Also we will learn about Earth Day, recycling and how we can help our planet. Of course, we will learn the Easter Story with special focus on the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Don t forget class pictures on Thursday, April 24 th with their caps and gowns. Kalo Pascha to all from Mrs. Athina, Ms. Mimi and Mrs. Mahe. MWF 3 s The Faithful Fish This March our Faithful Fish will enjoy learning about recycling, the circus, Greek Independence Day, and St. Patrick s Day. We will have a new Bible lesson each Friday led by Ms. Mimi (check your calendars for the theme each week). We will continue learning our letters in English (O, P, Q, R) and in Greek (Ο, Π, Ρ, Σ), and introduce our new color-blue and new shape the diamond. The children will be working hard this month learning the Greek National Anthem, so that on the 25 th they can enjoy a celebration here at school (remember to wear blue and white). This April, our Faithful Fish will enjoy our Spring themes. They will learn about bugs and insects, and life cycles with a special emphasis on the butterfly. We will also spend time discussing the significant events leading to Easter with emphasis on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. Last month, our students enjoyed a variety of Dr. Seuss books. This month we will read books by the author, Eric Carle. We will continue learning our English alphabet letters ( S, T, U, V) and Greek alphabet letters (Τ, Υ, Φ, Χ) and introduce the color yellow and the oval shape. Please check your calendars for special events like our Spring Pictures, The Fun Bus, and our Easter Party. It will be another busy yet fun month for our little ones. TTH 2 s The Leaping Frogs March is another action-packed and busy month for the two year olds. We begin our month of learning with different books and crafts honoring Dr. Seuss, and celebrating his birthday. Our shapes for the month are the diamond, and shamrock. We will blend the colors yellow and blue to make green, which we will incorporate into our many different art projects. Our themes for the month include: St. Patrick s Day, and Greek Independence Day. The children will enjoy fun filled activities that go along with these special days. Our religious themes include: the Annunciation, the miracles of Jesus, the Trinity, and preparing for Lent. We have a fun and busy month ahead! Spring is in the air, and with it brings another fun filled month of learning. April will jumpstart our Easter lesson. We will incorporate different crafts and activities focusing on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord. We will continue to explore the outdoors, as we discover the wonders of nature, for example: how seeds become plants and flowers, and how caterpillars turn into butterflies. Our colors for this month will be yellow and purple, and our shape will be the oval. We have begun to say the Lord s Prayer before lunch every day. By hearing the prayer repeatedly, the children are becoming more familiar with it and are starting to be able to repeat along with us. We wish everyone a restful and safe spring break!
13 The Voice of the Greek Community MAR/APR PHILOPTOCHOS BY TONI KARNAZES The Ladies of Philoptochos, Agia Elpis chapter, held elections at the last general meeting. Congratulations to the newly elected Board and officers. Many thanks are extended to the outgoing Board members. Your leadership and hard work are appreciated. The Philoptochos Board is as follows: Officers President Georgia Andrews 1 st Vice President Diane Ramsay 2 nd Vice President Lucy Zapsas Recording Secretary Cathy Polimenos Corresponding Secretary Viola Weber Treasurer Presvytera Kathryn Constantinides Assistant Treasurer Toni Karnazes Advisor Irene Politis Board Members Joanna Andrinopoulos Katina Antoniou Rena Georgiou Melpo Kalevas Toula Kourakos Maria Nickolopoulos Laura Nixon Mary Pappas Maria Pistiolis Frances Troupes The new Board recited the Oath of Office and was sworn in by Father Michael at the year-end picnic on June 6 at Elatos Park. All members look forward to working with each of you as we continue our service of assisting others in need. Please join us as we continue our mission. Choir News BY OLGA YIAMALIS YOUTH CHOIR We ve come to the close of another successful Sunday School year in which the St. John Koukouzelis Youth Choir, grades 4 th, 5 th and 6 th, have done a great job! This past Sunday School year, the Youth Choir successfully completed 6 Sunday Liturgies and 2 Saturday Liturgies. Words cannot describe the angelic sounds that filled the Church and were heard throughout, as they chanted the hymns and responses of the Divine Liturgy. Thank you again to the students for such a great accomplishment. Thank you to the 4 th, 5 th and 6 th grade teachers and parents for their support and cooperation as well. Another achievement that has come to a close in this past Sunday School year is the completion of the Hymnology program for K, 1 st, 2 nd and 3 rd grades conducted by Kathy Xyrafakis. The rotating sessions that were held throughout the Sunday School year acted as the stepping stones to the St. John s Youth Choir in which students learned the basic responses and hymns of the Divine Liturgy in both Greek and English. Thank you to Kathy for another successful year! ADULT CHOIRS The brand new St. Romanos Baritone Choir of Holy Trinit y Cathedral, under the direction of Dr. Philip Thevaos, sang during the first Divine Liturgy on March 17 th and the second Divine Liturgy on April 21 st. About once a month, this men s choir will sing music with a somewhat different character than what the congregation of Holy Trinity is used to hearing from us. New members are still being accepted. Please contact Philip ( ) for more information. Our community was selected to host this year s annual meeting of the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians on July 11-13, Individuals representing choir federations from all around the country will participate. Typically, Forum members discuss ongoing national projects relating to church music such as youth choirs, Byzantine chant, English translations, etc. The meetings will run all day Thursday and Friday (7/11 & 7/12) and half a day on Saturday (7/13). (Some of the participants will be staying over until Sunday in order to sing with our own choir during the Divine Liturgy!) The meetings are open to anyone interested in finding out what is happening with regards to church music at the Archdiocesan level. Contact Lucy ( ) for additional details. CASCADE REFINING INC Since 1974 Selling your GOLD and SILVER Jewelry? SELL YOUR JEWELRY WHERE THE JEWELERS SELL THEIRS! NO MIDDLEMAN = NO JEWELER FEES! BEST PAYOUT IN TOWN! FREE & HONEST ESTIMATES
14 14 MAR/APR 2013 The Voice of the Greek Community Continued from page 5 When my grandparents first came to America from Greece, they not only brought their culture with them but their religion as well. As a matter of fact, Greek culture and Greek religion are hard to separate. We hear in the Gospel of John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Well because of our grandparents and parents, the vine of Orthodoxy was planted in America. I have learned through my culture and religion, traditions of a Greek Orthodox household. The home is the nucleus of the Church. In many ways, our home is symbolic of a small Church. For instance, the father represents the Bishop. He is the head of the household and is the one always leading us in prayer. The mother represents the priest. She is the one that helps prepare everything in the home. She helps and teaches all of the children who represent the faithful. All of our homes, which represent small Churches collectively make the Greater Church. There are many traditions inside of our homes that are used and passed down from generation to generation. One example, is placing icons in the rooms of our homes. Icons help us pray, remember the Gospel and remember the Holy Saints. In my home, we have a small iconostasia in our bedrooms and icons above the doors. The icons are a visual representation of our Faith. One very important tradition inside the household of Greek Orthodox Christians is blessing the home. My family blesses the home once a week on Saturday evenings with incense. And while we bless the home we sing Son Son Kyrie. I feel so good after doing this with my family because it brings peace to me. Also once a year, after Ephiphany, the priest will visit to our home to bless it. This is a wonderful experience; even our dogs follow the priest from room to room. Inside a Greek Orthodox home on Pascha, there are many traditions that are passed REMARKABLE FAMILY CARE is just around the corner. Crown Point Family Physicians is a name you can trust when it comes to your family s health. We combine leading-edge technology with personalized service to deliver remarkable care. Our board-certified physicians can care for every member of your family from newborns to seniors. Your entire family can count on us for: Newborn, infant and pediatric care Adolescent, adult and geriatric care Routine gynecological care and post-menopausal care Same-day sick appointments Treatment of minor injuries School, sports and employment physicals On-site laboratory, X-ray, ultrasound and bone density testing Cardiovascular testing echo and stress testing down. Traditions such as dying eggs red, making tsourekia, and koulourakia on Holy Thursday. On Good Friday, we are supposed to refrain from doing any housework. One thing that I think is very important and has been passed through my ancestors is eating greens with vinegar on Good Friday to represent the bitter wine Jesus was given to drink while on the cross. In John 19:28, we read Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled said. I thirst! now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said It is finished and bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. I love how we continue these traditions because they help us stay close to God and remember to be a good Christian. Another tradition in my home is that my mother makes Prosforo on our name days and takes it to church with the names of our family members both living and dead. My father told me the story of when his mother was making Prosforo during a Tornado Watch. He remembers the whole family hiding in the basement and his mother bringing down the rising Prosforo. The whole neighborhood was devastated by the tornado except my grandparent s home. My grandmother still to this day says that the reason their home was not damaged by the tornado was because she was praying and making the Prosforo. So when we make Prosforo at my home, we remember our family as well as the miracle God granted us that stormy night. Living in the faith is so important to me and thanks to my ancestors who struggled to keep the Faith, I am able to be a Greek Orthodox Christian. If it was not for them, the branches of the vine of Christ would not have continued. My hope and prayer is to be able to raise another generation in the church so that they may continue growing in the Apostolic faith. Now and forever unto the ages of ages amen. Make an appointment today by calling Monroe Road, Suite 155 Charlotte, NC Dial Charlotte, N.C Ray M. Teague - Res: Jeffrey Hutchings, MD Dimitrios Hondros, MD Jaime Wise, MD M. Mark Hester, MD Kate Lowe, MSN, RN, FNP Marshall McMillan, MD John Crawford, MD
15 The Voice of the Greek Community MAR/APR Holy Trinity Greek School Celebrated the Greek Independence Day the Greek and American Democracy REMEMBERING... the 25 th of March 1821 Σήμερα γιορτάζει πάλι η Παναγιά... Σήμερα γιορτάζει πάλι η Λευτεριά! Την Κυριακή, 24 Μαρτίου 2013 οι μαθητές, εκπαιδευτικοί και γονείς του Ελληνικού Απογευματινού Σχολείου του Καθεδρικού μας Ναού Αγίας Τριάδος γιόρτασαν, με ιδιαίτερη λαμπρότητα και υπερηφάνεια τη διπλή τρανή ελληνοχριστιανική γιορτή του Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου και της εθνικής μας παλλιγγενεσίας. Η αίθουσα των εκδηλώσεων ήταν γεμάτη από γονείς, μέλη και φίλους της κοινότητάς που τίμησαν με την παρουσία τους, όπως κάνουν κάθε χρόνο, τη διπλή αυτή λαμπρή γιορτή. O προϊστάμενος του Καθεδρικού, πρωτ. Μιχαήλ Βαρβαρέλης, έκανε την προσευχή και μαζί με τους μαθητές και γονείς έψαλλαν όλοι μαζί το απολυτήκιο της ημέρας και το «Τη Υπερμάχω». Ακολούθησαν οι Εθνικοί ύμνοι, παραδοσιακά πατριωτικά τραγούδια και η γλαφυρότατη και γεμάτη νοήματα πανηγυρική ομιλία του π. Μιχαήλ, η οποία άγγιξε τις καρδιές όλων των παρισταμένων. Στη συνέχεια έγινε η απονομή των βραβείων και των εκ 50 δολαρίων δωροεπιταγών που πρόσφεραν ο κ. Αθ. Νικόπουλος, πρόεδρος του τοπικού τμήματος του Βελουχιού και η σύζυγός του Ελευθερία στους 7 μαθητές και μαθήτριες από κάθε τάξη που πρώτευσαν στο διαγωνισμό ζωγραφικής «25 η ΜΑΡΤΙΟΥ Πριν και Μετά», τον οποίον οργάνωσαν, όπως κάνουν κάθε χρόνο, με εξαιρετική επιτυχία και καθολική συμμετοχή των μαθητών, η διεύθυνση και οι εκπαιδευτικοί του σχολείου δυο εβδομάδες νωρίτερα. Στο διαγωνισμό ζητήθηκε από τους μαθητές να απεικονίσουν σε χαρτί, με δημιουργική φαντασία και ζωγραφική επιδεξιότητα, τα ανάμεικτα συναισθήματά τους για τα 400 χρόνια σκλαβιάς και φυλακής καθώς και για τα αγαθά της ελευθερίας που χάρισε στους Έλληνες προγόνους τους η ηρωική επανάσταση του Αξίζουν θερμότατα συγχαρητήρια στους πρωτεύσαντες Γεώργιο Τάσιο (ΝΗΠΙΑΓΩΓΕΙΟ), Ελένη Φιόρ (ΠΡΩΤΗ ΤΑΞΗ), Τούλα Μπίκα (ΔΕΥΤΕΡΑ ΤΑΞΗ), Σταυρούλα Αποστολοπούλου (ΤΡΙΤΗ ΤΑΞΗ), Σοφία Πίττμαν (ΤΕΤΑΡΤΗ ΤΑΞΗ), Δήμητρα Καρρύγιαννη (ΠΕΜΠΤΗ ΤΑΞΗ) και Ελένη Τσοτ (ΕΚΤΗ ΤΑΞΗ) αλλά και σε όλους τους μαθητές που πήραν μέρος στο διαγωνισμό και είχαν την ευκαιρία να ευαισθητοποιηθούν και να μάθουν περισσότερα για το ηρωικό έπος του 21 και να αναπτύξουν μεταξύ τους την ευγενή άμιλλα προς διάκριση. Σε ποσοστό πάνω από 65% οι γονείς των μαθητών του σχολείου κατάγονται από την Ευρυτανία. Τέλος, οι μαθητές όλων των τάξεων έκαναν μια ιστορική αναδρομή στα ηρωικά γεγονότα του Έπους του 21 με απαγγελίες ποιημάτων, παρουσίαση πατριωτικών σκετς, παραδοσιακούς χορούς και τραγούδια. Οι γονείς, παππούδες, γιαγιάδες και φίλοι δεν χόρταιναν να καμαρώνουν τα βλαστάρια τους, τους αυριανούς ηγέτες της ελληνικής κοινότητας Αγίας Τριάδος της Σάρλοτ όπου είναι και η Έδρα της Ένωσης Ευρυτάνων Αμερικής «Το Βελούχι». Ο διευθυντής του σχολείου, Ελευθ. Περούλας, δήλωσε τα εξής μετά τη λήξη της λαμπρής αυτής εκδήλωσης: «Η εκδήλωση αυτή θα μείνει χαραγμένη στις καρδιές των παιδιών και τις δικές μας. Τέτοιες εκδηλώσεις μάς δυναμώνουν και μας θεριεύουν την πίστη μας προς τα ελληνοχριστιανικά μας ιδεώδη, μας ενισχύουν την ελληνική μας συνείδηση και μας εμψυχώνουν στο θεάρεστο αγώνα μας για ελευθερία, δημοκρατία και ειρήνη. Αισθάνομαι υπερήφανος και με τιμά ιδιαίτερα που μου δόθηκε η ευκαιρία εδώ και 15 περίπου χρόνια να διευθύνω το Ελληνικό Απογευματινό Σχολείο της ιστορικής Ελληνικής Κοινότητας του Καθεδρικού Ναού Αγίας Τριάδος στη Σάρλοτ της Β. Καρολίνας και που μου δίνεται κάθε χρόνο η ευκαιρία να γιορτάζουμε με τους μαθητές, τους γονείς και φίλους τη διπλή επέτειο του Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου και της Ελληνικής Επανάστασης του Κι αυτό γιατί θεωρώ υποχρέωση και ιερό καθήκον να διδάσκουμε τις επόμενες γενεές να τιμούν και να γιορτάζουν κι εκείνες με ευλάβεια και υπερηφάνεια τη διπλή αυτή τρανή γιορτή και να είναι οι νέοι μας αντάξιοι απόγονοι των μεγάλων ηρώων και της βαριάς κληρονομιάς μας.. Γιατί... «ό,τι δε γιορτάζεται ξεχνιέται, φθείρεται στο πέρασμα του χρόνου και πεθαίνει». Ας μην ξεχνάμε ότι η Ελλάδα είναι έννοια, τρόπος βίου, πολιτισμός και ότι Έλληνας δε γεννιέσαι, γίνεσαι ανάλογα με το ποσοστό που μετέχεις στην πρόταση πολιτισμού που είναι η Ελλάδα. Πρέπει με κάθε θυσία να διατηρήσουμε τα ελληνορθόδοξα ιδεώδη, την πίστη μας, τη γλώσσα μας, την κουλτούρα μας, τα ήθη και τα έθιμά μας. Οδηγός μας η γνώση της Ιστορίας. Πίστη μας η πίστη στο Θεό και στην Πατρίδα, πυξίδα μας οι αρετές της φυλής μας και στόχος μας τα πεπρωμένα του Έθνους μας».
16 Compassionate hearts providing quality service at a sensible price Specialists in shipping and receiving loved ones Traditional funeral arrangements made with the care and certainty that the service selected properly memorializes your loved one Pre-arrangement planning and transfer of existing pre-arrangements Make the HeritageChoice Charlotte/Ballantyne Lancaster Hwy. Charlotte, NC Indian Trail 4431 Old Monroe Road Indian Trail, NC Weddington/Matthews 3700 Forest Lawn Dr. Matthews, NC if you are considering a move or would Like to keep up with the real estate activity in your neighborhood with automatic updates, please Let me know! Jerry O Keefe Licensed in nc & sc All the latest news and photos are now on the web