Sydney, 13 February 2020
Distinguished guests, Reverend Fathers, and dear friends in Christ,
It is with great joy and pleasure that I am with you this evening and I thank you for the invitation, which shows the reciprocal feelings that you also share. This is the very point that I want to emphasise tonight with my presence and that is for all of us to remain united together in a spirit of love.
This has been my message since I first stepped foot on this continent because I firmly believe that this is what God wants from us and the only way that we can progress and move forward.
Our history shows us that as Greeks we made significant advances and made great achievements, even when we faced the most difficult odds, but only when we were united with each other and with our faith in Christ. However, on the contrary, when we were divided, we experienced the terrible heartbreaking tragedies that we all know too well.
This Relaunch for the Greek Herald is a very appropriate theme because we are, in truth, experiencing a new beginning. A new era is unfolding before us with many opportunities at our doorstep because it is a period of love and unity between the Church and the people and we should take advantage of this to rise even further.
Australia is a blessed nation and it has much to offer us. But this goes both ways. We, as Australians of Greek ancestry, have much to offer as well; each one of us, in our own domain and sphere of influence.
The Greek Herald, being part of the press and media world is able to make a significant witness by promoting and highlighting our Greek language and culture as well as the Orthodox faith and Christian values including those of compassion, faith and by upholding the respect and dignity for all peoples created in God’s image and likeness.
As your Archbishop, I would like to assure you that we, the Church, are by your side and that you have our support in whatever you may need. I mean these words because unless we remain united and have forgiveness and love, we will not be able to give a good witness to those around us.
There is too much in the news about the fighting and divisions between people and groups in our society. God is love. And God is three Persons in a perfect relationship of love. And this is our Prototype and our mode of existence as well.
So, I urge you to remain with the Church and the Church will remain with you; and as different members but of the one Body, we will be shining lights for our community and for our families and even for our own personal benefit as well. For where there is love, there is also peace, joy, kindness and longsuffering.
And where there is unity, then we know with certainty that God is present because He has already told us that “where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
So, with Christ at the helm, and the Church by your side, together we will travel and make our presence felt in the broader community and achieve great things.
May God bless you, your families, and your endeavours and may He grant you many more fruitful years of service.