ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
(copied from HI-KI 8-8-08) 

    Thanks to EFK members June Pearson, Tom Powell, and Howard Jackson we had our August 8, 2008 luncheon at St. George Greek Orthodox Church.  KOD June Pearson introduced Father James Pappas who has been in ministry for 24 years. His three children treated us to a Greek dance with the help of June Pearson and Lo Karagozian.  
    The Greeks are a people of great hospitality. They love to love, they love to fight, and they are always making up and having a good time.  Christianity itself has a 2,000 year history. Christianity was not called Christianity back then, it was called "the way". The term "Christian" was given by the Romans as a derogatory term just as the cross itself was considered an act of humiliation. The Christians loved derogatory terms, and they liked taking on symbols the rest of the world rejected. The cross became the symbol of victory.  
    Eastern Orthodox in the Roman Catholic Church was one body of believers up until for a variety of reasons, whether spiritual or political, the church had a split. It was another couple of hundred years before the churches even knew they were divided because news traveled very slowly by donkeys or camels, and there was no worldwide web, cell phones, or text messaging.  
    The church taught itself by writing Scripture on the walls. This was a visual way of touching the Divine. In Orthodox Christianity, they have continued many of the traditions in the church that go back for centuries. Everything they do is very ancient, but yet very contemporary. They chant hymns that were written in the the 2nd, 4th, and 9th centuries.  Liturgy was started in the 2nd century.  Worship is sung like an opera in a back and forth tradition.

    St. George was built at its current location in the 1950’s. The inside of St. George is filled with scaffolding from front to back because of renovations. A Byzantine iconographer is painting a magnificent ceiling. He started with a full-scale drawing, then outlined the drawings on the ceiling, and then started painting with oil paint directly on the ceiling. The scaffolding alone costs $1,200 a month. Father Pappas explained the icons at the front of the church, in the altar, and on the ceiling. The services are done from the center of the church. If you visit Greek Orthodox churches around the world, you will find that most of the churches do not have pews, and the service is done while standing. 
    President Patricia presented Father Pappas with an EFK donation.  He said he wants to apply this money to the work of the iconographer and would ensure our name was on the plaque of donators.   www.stgeorgefresno.org

 

 

  

 

  

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