Parish Council at St. Nicholas
The Parish Council is the administrative body of a Church community elected by its stewards for the purpose of working together with the Parish Priest or Proistamenos in fulfilling the mission and goals of that particular community.
This brief description of the local governing body of a Parish also explains a fundamental aspect of the structure of the Orthodox Church. Both clergy and laity are the “People of God,” who seek by the grace of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the mission entrusted to them to live and proclaim the Holy Gospel and the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church.
Historically, clergy and laity have worked together in dealing with matters of the Church’s life. The Parish Council is an example of the synergy of clergy and laity; it is a vehicle for implementing the ongoing mission of the Church and planning the necessary strategies, policies, procedures, and activities that will enable the Parish to move forward in accomplishing God’s work.
As a member of the Parish Council, it is important to remember that you have been elected to serve a special ministry which requires total love, loyalty, and dedication to Christ and His Church. You are now an official representative of the Church and thus are expected to exert every effort to exemplify its sacred character and spirit. Upon election to this trusted office, you assumed three basic obligations which will help guide you in your ministry:
- To understand, live by, and uphold the tenets, teachings, and traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church;
- To understand and abide by the GOAA Regulations (formerly known as the UPR) as set forth by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America through the Clergy-Laity Congresses.
- To live by and uphold your oath of office by utilizing your God-given time, talents, and treasures for the spiritual progress and advancement of your parish.
You attested to this publicly before the congregation of your parish when the following affirmation of office was administered to you by your parish priest (and to which you affixed your signature):
“I,__________________, do solemnly affirm that I will uphold the dogma, teaching, traditions, holy canons, worship and moral principles of the Greek Orthodox Church, as well as the Charter and Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and that I will faithfully and sincerely fulfill the duties and obligations required of a member of the Parish Council. So help me, God.”
Parish Council elections are held annually for a two-year term. At St. Nicholas, our current Parish Council comprises the following seven qualified individuals:
Mr. Dane Wood (President)
Ms. Theodora Brehmer (Vice-President)
Mr. Jens Oien (Secretary)
Ms. Georgann Jouflas (Treasurer)
Dr. John Raftopoulos
Ms. Dyann Blackburn
Dr. Carol Fowler