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For Immediate Release
2019 Clergy-Laity Assembly adjourns; delegates approve key measures promoting change and growth in the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL, October 7, 2019 – More than 300 delegates, observers, volunteers and staff from across the Metropolis of Chicago traveled to the Twin Cities September 26 – 29 to participate in the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago’s Clergy-Laity Assembly of 2019. During the Assembly, the delegates voted to approve the 2020/2021 Metropolis budget, continue parish support of the Saint Iakovos Retreat Center and authorize the sale of Burton Place.

“We are humbled and honored by trust and confidence conferred to us by our parishes through their delegates,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. “The unity, grace and purpose seen at our Clergy-Laity Assembly in the Twin Cities is an experience I will not soon forget. My only response is to offer a heartfelt pledge to work even harder in service to the faithful for the years to come.”

Delegates also elected 16 of the 24 members of Metropolis Council and three Metropolis representatives to the Archdiocesan Council. In the coming weeks, His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael will make appointments to fill the remaining eight open seats on the Metropolis Council.
Archdiocesan and Metropolis Council members elected at the Clergy-Laity Assembly include:

Archdiocesan Council:

• Reverend Fr. Sotirios Malamis, Ascension of Our Lord, Lincolnshire, IL
• Mr. Tom Kanelos, Holy Taxiarhai and St. Haralambos, Niles, IL
• Mr. Bill Vranas, Assumption, Chicago, IL

Metropolis Council:

• Ms. Anne Marie Adams, Sts. Peter and Paul, Glenview, IL
• Reverend Fr. Tilemahos Alikakos, St. Spyridon, Palos Heights, IL
• Reverend Fr. Stephen Bithos, All Saints, Joliet, IL
• Mr. Nick Boosalis, St. Mary’s, Minneapolis, MN
• Dr. George Bovis, St. John the Baptist, Des Plaines
• Ms. Lori Chiampas, St. Demetrios, Chicago, IL
• Mr. Mark Dinos, Sts. Constantine and Helen, Palos Hills, IL
• Reverend Fr. Chrysanthos Kerkeres, St. George, Chicago, IL
• Reverend Fr. Sotirios Malamis, Ascension of Our Lord, Lincolnshire, IL
• Mr. John Mercuris, St. George, Des Moines, IA
• Ms. Rachael Pontikes, St. George, Chicago, IL
• Reverend Fr. Ciprian Sas, Annunciation, Milwaukee, WI
• Reverend Fr. Timothy Sas, Twelve Holy Apostles, Duluth, MN
• Reverend Fr. Dimitri Tobias, Saint Basil, Chicago, IL
• Archdeacon Vasilios Smith
• Mr. Chris Varones, St. Andrew, Chicago, IL

The Strategic Plan of the Metropolis of Chicago, the culmination of two retreats and the hard work by hundreds of parishioners from across the Metropolis, was officially presented to and discussed among Clergy-Laity Assembly participants. Anyone who wishes to learn more about the Strategic Plan or to participate in the work of a Task Force Team should visit HERE.

The parishes of the Metropolis reconfirmed their commitment to their youth and young adults. A special keynote presentation addressed the reality within American Christianity of 60% of young people leaving their Church by young adulthood and how we can respond. The Youth Plenary Session featured a panel of young people sharing their experiences—positive and negative—in the Church. Moreover, the parishes reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Archdiocesan Policies for the Safety of Children and Youth.

Additionally, the Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos Society held its Conference concurrently with the Clergy-Laity Assembly. Several presentations were held including the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon (to be held on November 16, 2019 at Marriott Magnificent Mile Chicago), the Fanari Camping Ministries and Servant Leadership. New members also were elected to the Philoptochos Metropolis Board. They include:

• Ms. Demetria Bakris, St. George, Schererville, IN
• Ms. Flora Dimitriou, Assumption, Town & Country, MO
• Ms. Georgia Gavaris, Annunciation Cathedral, Chicago, IL
• Ms. Pat Gerbanas, St. Demetrios, Chicago, IL
• Ms. Christina Hiotis, St. Demetrios, Elmhurst, IL
• Ms. Marilynn Jemas, St. Nicholas, St. Louis, MO
• Ms. Vonnie Karafotias, St. Andrew, Chicago, IL
• Ms. Kathleen Katrakis, St Sophia, Elgin, IL
• Ms. Maria Macris, All Saints, Joliet, IL
• Ms. Georgia Sarlas, St. Nicholas, Oak Lawn, IL
• Ms. Katherine Siavelis, St. Andrew, Chicago, IL
• Ms. Carol Stamas, Ascension of Our Lord, Lincolnshire, IL
• Ms. Kathi Stamatis, St. John the Baptist, Des Plaines, IL
• Ms. Joanne Stavrakas, Annunciation Cathedral, Chicago, IL
• Ms. Marilyn Tzakis, St. Andrew, Chicago, IL
• Ms. Kathy Walstrom, St. Basil, Chicago, IL
• Ms. Pam Argyris, St. Sophia, Elgin, IL (advisor)

“We are deeply grateful to the Clergy-Laity Assembly Co-Chairs, Alexis Bighley and Georgia Andron, the countless volunteers from the parishes of St. Mary’s (Minneapolis) and St. George (St. Paul), the Metropolis Council, the Metropolis Philoptochos, Bill Marianes, and all of the speakers and presenters at the Assembly for their sacrifice and service to the faithful of the Metropolis of Chicago,” His Eminence said. “With this kind of selfless spirit present, our Metropolis will deliver on its promises, meet and exceed the expectations of the faithful, and fulfill its mission in earnest.”

About the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago

Tracing its roots back to 1923, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is the diocese of Greek Orthodox faithful in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin as well as northern Indiana and southeastern Missouri consisting of 58 parishes and two monastic communities. The Metropolis is one of nine regions in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. The general offices of the Metropolis are temporarily located in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. For more information, visit To sign up for news from the Metropolis, visit:

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Chris Varones