TLAA is a one-week intensive program offering instruction in either Byzantine chant or iconography according to the tradition of the Orthodox Christian Church. Held at the Metropolis of Atlanta’s Diakonia Retreat Center in Salem, South Carolina, the Academy offers 5-6 hours of daily instruction along with matins and vespers services that continue the training for the chant students. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes are offered.
On Saturday, January 28, 2023, the First Synaxis of Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the USA convened in Los Angeles, California, under the presidency of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. The hierarchs, twelve in all, represent the Orthodox ecclesiastical eparchies under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, namely the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as well as the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox and Albanian Orthodox dioceses.
A record 3,000 participants gathered Jan. 13-16 at the Marriott Marquis in Downtown Atlanta to attend the 22nd annual Hellenic Dance Festival (HDF). The Metropolis of Atlanta-sponsored event hosted record numbers from across its Metropolis and beyond. Participants included 48 dance groups representing parishes from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, and Kansas. HDF also welcomed for the first time groups from New York and Nebraska.
The Metropolis of Atlanta hosted our Annual Winter Youth Rally December 27-30, 2022 in Atlanta, GA. 520 GOYANs and 120 advisors from 33 different parishes in the Metropolis come together in fellowship and to compete in tournaments representing their church community. A special Congratulations to Holy Trinity in Augusta, GA for taking first place in Bible Bowl!
As we look forward to this coming Saturday's Archangel Michael Feast and Honors Banquet, the Metropolis is equally blessed to come together in the preceding days, and discuss important developments in the life of our Church.
On November 5-6, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Mobile, Alabama, hosted a regional conference on Byzantine music and chanting by the Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music. Over thirty people attend the workshop, representing eight parishes from our Metropolis. We were blessed with a visit from His Grace Bishop Sevastianos who offered the opening prayer for the workshop and spoke to the participants about the importance of our ecclesiastical musical tradition... On November 5, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church also hosted the annual Greek Fest Charity Gala.
His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios presided at the Hierarchical Feast Day for Archangel Michael and the Heavenly Hosts at Archangel Michael Chapel in Atlanta on Tuesday, November 8th. Joining him were Fr. George Tsahakis, Metropolis Chancellor, Fr. Paul Kaplanis, Annunciation Cathedral Dean, and Fr. Christos Mars, Ephemerios at the Cathedral. Afterwards, the Metropolis staff hosted a special reception in honor of the Metropolis of Atlanta's Patron Saint.
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, and Chairman of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society reappointed Arlene Siavelis Kehl as National Philoptochos President, as well as appointing the Executive Board Members for the 2022-2024 term. From the Metropolis of Atlanta, Valine Georgeson is Second Vice President, Martha Driscoll is Parliamentarian, and Metropolis Board President Irene Politis has also been appointed to serve. AXIOS!
Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Daytona Beach, Florida was blessed with a pastoral visit by His Grace, Bishop Sebastian of Zela who presided over the celebrations of the feast day of the Parish on October 25th and 26th. As part of the various activities prepared for this visit, His Grace, Bishop Sebastian bestowed a special award from the Greek School Program of Saint Demetrios Parish upon one of the students, Michael Bramblett.
It is with gratitude to Almighty God that I am pleased to report that our parish communities in Southwestern Florida (Ft. Myers, Port Charlotte & Naples) are in regular contact with the Metropolis to report only minor damage to their churches, and no loss of life among our brothers and sisters. Truly, it is impossible not to feel God's continual presence--from the time we began to prepare, until today. Even as the storm traveled across the state and out to sea, communities in the Tampa Bay area and Orlando continually express their thankfulness to God for sparing them the worst of the damage.
With hurricane season upon the Southern United States, I prayerfully ask that we turn our attention and prayers to the state of Florida, recently fallen under a State of Emergency due to the oncoming Hurricane Ian. Specifically, I offer my prayers and blessing to those Metropolis communities which are in the storms current path, including the Tampa Bay area and Naples.