Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for the Feast of Saint Basil and the New Year 2019
I can do all things in Christ
Who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
January 1, 2019
Feast of Saint Basil and New Year
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we offer thanksgiving to God at the inception of the new year and with a vision for the marvelous works He will accomplish through us for His honor and glory, we also are mindful of the promise we have affirmed throughout this past year: All Things are Possible to the One Who Believes in Christ. This was the theme for our 44th Biennial Clergy Laity Congress in Boston last July, and it continues to be the inspiration for dynamic work throughout our Holy Archdiocese.
This powerful promise offered to us by our Lord should also guide and strengthen us throughout this New Year of 2019. We should anticipate the power and potential of our faith in Him. We should move forward in ministry and service with the assurance that His promises will be fulfilled. Through our worship and prayer, we should constantly ask for His will to be done knowing that the possibilities are boundless, the opportunities are immeasurable, and His marvelous works are unlimited!
Today as we celebrate the Feast of Saint Basil, we see through the witness of his life that all things are possible in Christ. In full dedication to God and faith in His divine will, Saint Basil led the faithful in worship and in ministries that offered help to the poor, sick, elderly, orphans, and travelers. By the power of God, he stood firm against false teachings and beliefs, revealing the power of truth through his sermons and theological works. Through his life of service what seemed impossible for many became possible, as they found hope, healing, and abundant life in Christ.
On January 1 and the Feast of Saint Basil, it is our annual tradition to recognize the work of our beloved Saint Basil Academy. For over 70 years this vital ministry of our Holy Archdiocese has been a witness of the promise that all things are possible through faith in Christ. Through the blessed work of the staff and directors and the support of many benefactors, children and youth have found care and healing, lives have been transformed, and many have experienced the unlimited possibilities of the power of faith and compassion. We give thanks to God for those who have offered this sacred ministry. As we are led by our Ladies Philoptochos Society in the cutting of the Vasilopeta, I ask that you offer your prayers and generous support for Saint Basil Academy.
Together, we know and affirm that faith in Christ makes this ministry possible and makes the impossible possible through our faith and our service in our parishes and communities. We know that the possibilities are endless and the transforming power of grace is inexhaustible. Thus, we should prayerfully approach all aspects of our service and witness throughout this year by seeking possibilities, exploring potential, and following the will of God. May His abundant blessings be upon our sacred work in His name in 2019, and may we live each day in faith and in anticipation of the great and marvelous things He will do!
With paternal love in Christ,
† D E M E T R I O S
Archbishop of America