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100TH ANNIVERSARY ELECTRONIC PICTURE FRAME HIGHLIGHTS

Over the summer, over 1000 pictures taken by AGAPE AWARD recipient PETER J. CHRISTOPOULOS were reviewed, scanned and selected for viewing on the church’s electronic frame. *(On sale now at the church preloaded for $60.)

The work to scan and edit these pictures was done by PETER J.CHRISTOPOULO’S grandson ALEX BERTUCCI.

Mr. Bertucci further edited a highlighted version of these 1000 photos set to music, played at the Gala 100th Anniversary Luncheon on October 29th and is offered free below here to you for viewing pleasure.

THANK YOU ALEX BERTUCCI from the entire St. Demetrios Community.

THANK YOU ST. DEMETRIOS PERTH AMBOY 100TH ANNIVERSARY GALA PATRONS

On behalf of the Parish Council we wish to thank ALL of you who could be with us during any or all of our St. Demetrios Feast Day and 100th Anniversary celebrations. We are currently working on selecting as many events highlight photos. However, we would like to share with you and ask you to pass onto others the two recorded live streamed videos from the Anniversary week:

The Special Concert Performed by the Archadian chorale under the musical and artistic Direction of Maestra Marina Alexander along with the actual program from the evening’s Salute to the Great Martyr Demetrios.

Also we have for further inspiration the moving Hierarchical Divine liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos, Metropolitan of the Metropolis of New Jersey along with the Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church musicians from the Metropolis of New jersey under the Direction of guest conductor Nicholas Kyrus and the program to that service.

Gala Luncheon Celebration Event

Sunday, October 29, 2017

His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos opened the celebration event with a prayer of God’s blessings to all upon this wonderful milestone of our 100th Anniversary. Guests were welcomed by Rev. Dr. George Parsenios who expressed much hope for the future with our prayerfulness for grace and mercy.

It was wonderful to have the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos, Father George Parsenios & Pres. Marina Corodemus, Father Iakovos, and Marina Alexander, Musical and Artistic Director of the Arcadian Chorale seated at our head table as our distinguished guests.

This auspicious day had finally arrived and we were prepared to rejoice, reminisce and remember our rich, deep-rooted history as we looked forward to our future. This day evoked many emotions as we commemorated our forefathers, the first Greek immigrants, our ancestors, who chose Perth Amboy as their hometown. For many of us who are third generation parishioners, they were our grandmothers and grandfathers, our Yiayias and Pappous who formed a congregation in 1917, built their very first Church on the corner of High St. and Center St. in 1923 and about 30 years later, built our beautiful Church here where we worship today. They left us with a strong legacy of our Greek Orthodox faith, culture and traditions which we hope to have fulfilled in a way to make them proud. Their legacy is so very precious to us and we plan to keep their dreams alive so that at the 200th Anniversary, it can be said that we did well. Their presence has certainly been felt over these past few months and was, certainly, felt on our Anniversary Day.

It was a great privilege to acknowledge and appreciate His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos and His Eminence Maximos for joining us a few times during our celebration week which was truly a very special honor and a blessing. It was our pleasure to also recognize, His Eminence’s father, Kyrios Ioannis Kourounis. Also, our thanks were extended to Deacon Philotheos, Father Iakovos and Cantor, Mr. Fousteris

Additonally, His Eminence was thanked for bringing us our beloved priest, Rev. Dr. George Parsenios, Presbytera Maureen and their lovely children Nicholas, Julia & Constantine. We will be forever grateful; they were truly God-sent.

It was our honor to have the family of our late priest, Rev. John Liadis, with us. We were very pleased to have Mrs. Poppy Liadis join us. We all remember Father Liadis very fondly. Several other guests were recognized and acknowledged who were instrumental in making this celebration possible.

As our Keynote Speaker, His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos, addressed the audience with gracious words of congratulations and prayers for a blessed future for our St. Demetrios Church Community.

Our Parish Council President, Hon. Marina Corodemus spoke eloquently in relation to the State of our Church acknowledging special guests, our Parish Council, Church staff and volunteers for their tireless work. She highlighted the significant progress that has been made in preparation for our future hopes and dreams.

Everyone was thanked for joining us on this momentous occasion in the history of our Church. Our prayers and those of our ancestors will forever echo in the walls of our blessed Church, Holy One, Great Martyr Demetrios, invoke Christ our God for us, that He may grant us His Great Mercy.

Helen Coutros Horan
Parish Council, Secretary
100th Anniversary Committee

Photos to follow soon!

Rev. Fr. George Parsenios welcomes His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos, music and artistic director Maestra Marina Alexander and The Archadian Chorale to St. Demetrios. Friday night’s homage to St. Demetrios included excerpts from the oratorio on the life of Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki by composer Nicolas Astrinidis. The concert was a spiritual and artistic triumph.

Special Guests At Great Hierarchiacal Vespers

Father George and Parish Council President Marina Corodemus welcome Their Eminences Metropolitan Evangelos and Metropolitan Maximos of Silivria as well as the iconographers of our church Demetri and Panagiotis Christodoulou from Thessalonika. They honored us with their presence at our Great Hierarchical Vespers for St. Demetrios on Thursday, October 25th.

PTO Picnic Kicks Off Sunday School Registration

Our PTO Picnic was a success! Our parishioners enjoyed a delicious lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs and all of the trimmings on Sunday, Sept. 10th after Liturgy. Parents were able to sign up their children for the 2017/2018 Sunday School year as well as our youth groups and Greek schoo.l Thank you to Helen Horan for coordinating as well as all of the people who helped out and donated food.

A Letter Regarding St. Demetrios’ Plan for Rebuilding

Dear Friends and Neighbors of St. Demetrios,

Much has been said, but few facts have been known, regarding St. Demetrios’ plan for rebuilding on our own property adjoining our Church. Allow us to TELL YOU THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH SO HELP US GOD:

1. Through no fault of ours, The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection found coal tar and ordered that the property had to be cleaned up (remediated).

2. The contamination is directly under what was our community center which required our community center to be demolished in order to excavate the tar.

3. Elizabethtown Gas (ALG), modern day corporate successor, stepped up, took responsibility for the clean up, complied with the law and put a clean-up plan into action.

4. The Church did not bring a law suit. We sat down and negotiated terms of a settlement including testing to make sure the tar did not spread onto the Church property, parking arrangements until clean up starts, and the level of clean up is suitable for subsequent rebuilding.

5. Our first priority is to replace our community center IN THE SAME FOOTPRINT: i.e., the same size except moved back into the corner of Linden and Sadowski, modernized with windows on both the Linden and Sadowski sides, allowing full enjoyment of the beautiful waterfront Vista.

6. Following the national trend, our population has a baby boomer plus population desirous of downsizing their homes and moving back into an urban environment. So, we explored the possibility of providing condominiums next to our Church, where Orthodox worshippers could be next to our Church and live in fellowship in their senior years.

7. We consulted with three different architects until we found an aesthetically pleasing, environmentally sound ” green’ building” that includes a Church office for our Priest to do counseling, a Chapel so the residents could come in prayer anytime, an Orthodox kitchen to follow Church dietary laws, and 24 two-bedroom market priced condominiums.

8. We recognize that NO restriction on residents is permitted pursuant to the FAIR HOUSING Law, but response among the Orthodox Community, Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Copic, Albanian, etc., has been very positive. There is NO PAN Orthodox Retirement community in New Jersey.

9. This structure will produce: taxes for the City, NO stress on the School System, reduced street parking as we have plenty of parking for residents AND our Church. This will provide a stable community spending money within the city.

10. Despite some past bad experiences with building projects in the city, redevelopment is a lawful and constitutionally-protected law providing citzens with the means to develop what used to be called a “blighted” area.

11. Our Church hired an experienced attorney as our lawyer, Robert Goldsmith, of the firm Greenbaum Roe and Smith who was born and raised in Perth Amboy. We wanted a lawyer who cared and was familiar with the City as we are. We have had a several blows with discovering the contamination, suffered damage from Hurricane Sandy and need help to expedite our recovery.

12. We have followed the law to the letter. The City Council referred our application to the Planning Board, who performed a study and made a recommendation that our property should be and is appropriate for redevelopment. With a resolution passed, it was returned to the City Council for a vote on redevelopment.

13. Many cities throughout New Jersey, including Hoboken, Jersey City, Red Bank, and New Brunswick, have all had successful waterfront development projects through redevelopment. When used correctly, Perth Amboy can also have successful waterfront projects.

14. PAST BAD EXPERIENCES WITH LARGE COMMERCIAL DEVELOPERS IS NOT OUR SITUATION NOR SHOULD IT BE A REASON TO PREJUDICE OUR APPLICATION FOR REDEVELOPMENT.

15. This year, St. Demetrios celebrates our 100th Anniversary of worship in Perth Amboy. We have just completed a three-year historic restoration of our Church.

16. Rebuilding our community center, the lifeblood of our congregation, plus housing for an Orthodox population, will secure our future for the next 100 years. We have not gone anywhere, nor do we intend to go anywhere for at least the next 100 years.

17. UNFORTUNATELY, some fringe group, without the facts or a correct understanding of the law, has not told the truth about our interview on Monday, 9/11, our sincerity or our motives. As good neighbors, we reached out to this group to invite them to St. Demetrios to share our plans and willingness to have any questions answered. No one took us up on our invitation.

18. We, the community of St. Demetrios, applauds and appreciates those Council people who exercised their sworn duty to independently learn the facts of our project and visited our Church to see the significant restoration we have made to our Church in preparation for our anniversary and generations ahead.

19. While other Churches have succumbed to “suburban flight”, our community has held fast to our Perth Amboy roots. We have integrated into the City with our congregation, now on the increase, with our new priest and historic restoration.

20. We ask each of you to pray for us, pray for our Heavenly Father to guide our Council people to see the TRUE facts, help our Church not just survive, but thrive in the future with our building plans. We pray the hard hearts of those spreading falsehoods and fears about our Church be softened. We welcome you to share these true facts with as many Facebook friends as possible.

Please join us Monday, September 11, 2017, 4:30 pm, at City Hall where these facts will be presented. Stand up for the Constitution and the truth.

Out With The Old…

Our old community center has been demolished. Replacement of our community center is our number one priority. We need all parishioners to come to city hall on Wednesday, Sept. 13th to support our right to redevelop. A presentation by our Parish Council President Marina Corodemus will be held immediately after church on Sunday, Sept. 10th to explain the upcoming city vote.