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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 10 August 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 10 AUGUST 2019 23 OPINION tion session on how laws are passed in the Greek Government. Our next stop was Kalambaka and the beautiful Meteora monasteries. Meteora is the most important monastic centre in Greece after Aghios Oros. Students spent two days reflecting amongst the peaceful landscape of Kalambaka, on the life of the first ascetics and how they devoted their life to a spiritual connection with God. It was certainly well received by all after spending the first week in the extreme Athens heat wave. On our way to Thessaloniki we stopped in Vergina to tour and view the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great and view the magnificent waterfalls in Edessa. An unforgettable highlight of the trip was also being greeted by our sister school the 2nd Junior High School of Thessaloniki. A two-year growing partnership between the schools meant that this dream finally became reality. Students that had participated in correspondence via Skype or the more conventional process of letter writing and exchanging of gifts were going to finally meet their pen pals and long distance friends. Students, staff and families of our sister school came together in the middle of their summer break and held an emotional assembly and gifting ceremony to celebrate our arrival, friendship and partnership. In the true spirit of Hellenic hospitality and philoxenia, students and staff were taken out to dinner and a tour of our beautiful sister city. Our students spent the next few days being toured around Thessaloniki by their new friends and establishing lifelong connections. The second night in Thessaloniki we were immersed in true Hellenic Folklore, culture and dancing. Pefka Greek Dance Academy situated in the outskirts of Thessaloniki entertained us with a night of traditional food, drink and dancing after first conducting a dance workshop for our students. A traditional 'glendi' was enjoyed by all and had us buzzing back to our hotels. We were certainly not ready to turn in for the night. Our last day in Thessaloniki started with a visit to the White Tower and a meeting with the local deputy Mayor of Tourism, where students posed questions about the city and how it caters for young people, tourists and locals. Questions from our students encouraged some dialogue around strengthening the ties between Melbourne and Thessaloniki through the already existent Sister City Program. There were also questions (on our student's behalf) on developing opportunities for a student exchange program in the future. Our last destination… magical Crete! Well, words can do no justice! We flew into Heraklion and the next day caught an early high speed ferry to Santorini where we visited picturesque Oia and had lunch at Perissa. We swam at the well-known black beach, made of volcanic sand. On our return to Rethymno we were greeted by our very own Principal Mr Mark Robertson who joined us for the remainder of the trip. Together we visited Knossos, Stavros (the beach Zorba the Greek was filmed), the Museum of Natural History, Preveli Monastery and Arkadi. Another cultural immersion was in store for us. The students’ visit to beautiful Crete came to an end with a series of traditional Cretan dance workshops that were run by the Tzanidakis Cultural Centre. We were welcomed with Cretan delicacies upon arrival and learnt the following dances: Chaniotiko Sirto and Sigano (Rethymniotiko and Hrakliotiko). The last few days in Crete found us indulging in local delicacies and enjoying our flavoursome Greek and Cretan Dakos salads. A perfect end to a perfect trip in a perfect destination. An equal balance of experiential learning and much-needed time out! * Paula Tsiagalos is the 9Ways Coordinator and International Trips Leader of Oakleigh Grammar. Do you have a story to tell? Neos Kosmos welcomes news from the Greek diaspora around the world. Send us your news, photos from events, and share personal moments from your life that you would like us to publish. We also welcome robust dialogue, however the views and opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor or the Opinion pages of our newspaper and website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the publisher. Send your stories, opinions, interesting photos you'd like to share with us or story suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org The newspaper reserves the right to edit contributions. Archbishop Makarios arrives at St Eusthatios Church, South Melbourne. PHOTO: STELLA ARGYRIS Archbishop Makarios offers his ‘whole being’ to the people of Melbourne ARCHBISHOP MAKARIOS Since my election on 9 May as Archbishop and primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, I have been overwhelmed by the great outpouring of love from you, the faithful members of our church and from the wider Australian community. I feel humbled by such generosity of spirit. I assure you that I feel the same love towards each one of you. I reflect upon the words of St John's first letter in order to understand this mystery of communion. Would it come to know and rely on the love God has for us? God is love and a person who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. It is into this communion of love that I invite all of you, wherein we feel humbled by the great love that God has for us, understanding too, that we cannot exist outside of the love God has for us. For this reason we rely upon it so that we can truly understand our existence. To exist from the Greek word υπάρχω literally means that I am under υπό a higher authority and that authority αρχή is God. Therefore, if all of us emulate God in a loving disposition to all, without discrimination, we will abide in God and He in us. And this, my dear friends, will be our fulfilment – a true and genuine and authentic existence in God. I then come as your shepherd and father, sent by the mother church of Constantinople as a successor to the highly esteemed theologian, poet, prolific writer and great shepherd – Archbishop Stylianos of best memory; who toiled the earth of this great and vast land and yielded many good crops during his 44-year tenure. To his great legacy I pay tribute and respect. In like manner, I too, have come to lay down my life for the people entrusted to me. In these weeks since my arrival and enthronement, I have met many people and have seen thousands and I look forward to meeting more, to greeting you the people of Melbourne in this great city which has the largest Greek population of any city of the world outside Greece. You have had the great blessing to have had gifted spiritual fathers and leaders in the presbyters and bishops in this, the second archdiocese of the district. His Grace Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis has been the assistant Bishop of Melbourne for 35 years. He is known as a humble, strong, caring, considerate and learned leader who has served the church well since the time of his graduation from the Theological School of Halki. I also acknowledge the efforts and the good work of His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, a graduate of St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College, who is known for his humility, vigilance and love for the people of God. It is only ever possible for the leader to excel if he or she has good coworkers, and I therefore acknowledge also the gifted presbyters who have supported the bishops but have also done exemplary work in the parishes and broader community. It is to this broader community of Australia to which I turn my attention and encourage all of the faithful within the church to do also – to embrace and invite into the church the people who have not learnt of or experienced the treasures of Orthodoxy, the spiritual of our church which is the antidote, the remedy for the people who thirst, who yearn for spirituality and are still looking. When I presented myself before his All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the members of the Holy synod who elected me. They asked for a 'small message' – I promised them to preserve what I received, but also to multiply these gifts. I can only do this with the Grace of God, the support of my clergy, the assistance of the many people of God and of course, the assistance of my bishops and the strength God has given to me. I promise to you all that I will be your father, a brother and a friend, at all times ready and willing to support you and provide you with whatever I have, my whole being. * Transcript of Archbishop Makarios' first sermon at St Eustathios Church, South Melbourne, on 3 August.
03 August 2019
17 August 2019