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Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chicago held their 8th Annual Metropolis of Chicago Archon Business Meeting at the Saint Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, Wisconsin, on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Honored guests His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago and His Grace Bishop Timothy of Hexamilion, Chancellor of Chicago, joined 22 Archons from the Metropolis of Chicago for this year’s meeting.

During the meeting, National Secretary and Regional Commander Gus M. Pablecas and Regional Commander John G. Manos recognized the recently invested 2022 Archons from the Metropolis of Chicago: John H. Gountanis, Esq., Dikaiophylax, James G. Lakerdas, Esq., Asingritis, Yanni H. Sianis, Skevophylax, and Thomas P. Williams, DDS, MD, FACS, Orphanotrophos. They also recognized the Archons recently named to the Archon National Committees, John Gumas, Hartophylax, of San Francisco, and John S. Koudounis, Eftaxias of Chicago. In addition, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation Investment Committee Members John S. Koudounis, Eftaxias, Robert A. Buhler, Referendarios, and William Spell, Laosynaktis, were recognized. In addition, the results from the 2023 National Councilelection were announced: Hon. B. Theodore Bozonelis, Ekdikos, as Vice Commander, Peter J. Skeadas, Hieromnimon, as Treasurer, Gus M. Pablecas, Ostiarios, as National Secretary. All three were re-elected to these positions.  

They also remembered the Archons from the Metropolis of Chicago who have Fallen Asleep in the Lord: Archon Steve A. Manta, Laosynaktis; Archon Arthur Labros, Nomophylax; and Archon George Gritsonis, Ekdikos.

A large portion of the meeting highlighted Archon activities on the national and local level aimed at raising awareness of the issues facing the Ecumenical Patriarchate, noting that in the last six months alone approximately 25 events were held across the United States. Upcoming initiatives including the 4th Archon International Religious Freedom conference to be held in Athens, Greece in May 2024, and this summer’s Pilgrimage of Discovery, were also discussed. The Pilgrimage of Discovery is a pilot program for young adults to travel to Constantinople to meet His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and to visit sites relevant to our Orthodox faith.     

The Archons also shared thoughts and ideas on to how to continue the Archons’ mission and Archon involvement locally and nationally, reviewed upcoming local and national Archon-related events, discussed Christian persecution throughout the world, and reviewed financials associated with the matching grant the Archons established with the Renaissance Fund and their Archon Local Initiative fund to help further their mission at the local level. 

The meeting culminated with a lecture by His Grace Bishop Timothy of Chicago. His presentation explored the role of the Archons in promoting religious freedom worldwide.