November 1, 2010
Reverend Clergy of the Holy and God-protected Metropolis of Atlanta
My dear priests and con-celebrants,
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”(1 Peter 4:10)
I greet you today with love and great joy in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, praying that He will bless you always, bestowing upon you good health, wisdom, patience and abundant joy!
I am very pleased and happy to report that the inaugural Metropolis of Atlanta Family Retreat at the Diakonia Retreat Center was a great success. During the weekend of October 15 – 17, families from six different states enjoyed fellowship, worship, confession, family strengthening activities, marriage and parenting classes, enhanced by perfect weather and superb hospitality. It was an incredible and blessed weekend! Photographs from the retreat are on our website. Preparations have already begun for the second retreat, ‘Connections,’ at the Diakonia Retreat Center on April 1-3, 2011. As well, the Marriage Enrichment Seminar Tour is underway with several seminars planned for the Florida area in the new year. Registration information can be found at www.atlanta.goarch.org/index.php?pr=MFE
January 22, 2011 at St. John the Divine Church, Jacksonville, Fl.
February 12, 2011 at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Tarpon Springs, Fl.
March 19, 2011 at the Annunciation Cathedral, Atlanta, Ga.
As you know, we are constantly thinking about programs and the means by which we can support our young families. Through Marriage and Family Ministry, participants will not only acquire various skills but also nurture a personal, vital and living faith. I encourage you, because of the need that exists around us, and because many people are seeking help, information and guidance to inform our Faithful about programs like this. If we do not offer them help and guidance from our Orthodox faith, they will look elsewhere. This is why it is so important that we, as the spiritual fathers, make every effort to motivate our families in nurturing and supporting their spiritual lives. As good shepherds, we should care for the flock that God has entrusted to us, especially before there is a crisis.
Therefore I expect the local parish community and the priest to go out of their way to share this important information with the Faithful, and encourage their participation in this vital ministry to our families. With this letter, you will receive further information from the Metropolis Marriage and Family Committee, from the chairman, Fr. Gregory Georgiou and Mrs. Paula Marchman. I pray that all of our families will be blessed with an abundance of God’s good gifts: joy, health, love, and peace of mind and heart. Thanking God in every way for you and remembering you in prayer, I remain
Paternally yours with love in Christ,
Metropolitan of Atlanta