The Congregation of St. Demetrios should be governed by Four Main Values:
- Worship (Liturgia): A SPIRITUAL RESURGENCE
- WITNESS (Martyria): MANIFESTING THE FAITH
- SERVICE (Diakonia): MINISTERING THE FAITH
- FELLOWSHIP (Koinonia): COMMUNION IN THE FAITH
“He that eats flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me, and I in him.” (John 6:56)
WORSHIP (Liturgia) refers to our relationship with God through prayer, worship and the sacramental life. It is through Liturgia that we actually experience and get to personally know the personal Godhead — who is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, “the Trinity, one in essence, and undivided”. How and why each practicing Orthodox Christian worships God is an essential question that each must be resolved if he is to be a true member of Christ’s Church.
The Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments of the Orthodox Church provide basic spiritual nourishment, but they must become a meaningful personal experience for the worshipper, and not simply an empty form.
Liturgia, then, means encouraging and developing a penetrating program for spiritual growth, both as individuals and as groups. All other dimensions of Christian life depend on this. Man does not live by bread alone, but must seek and come to Christ, be nourished by Him and confess Him as Lord.
WITNESS (Martyria): MANIFESTING THE FAITH
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16-24)
Worship is just the beginning. Man is both a spiritual and a physical being, and therefore the spiritual reality is expressed through the physical world. We cannot only have faith, we must also exemplify it in our life.
WITNESS (Martyria) is the living and witnessing of Christianity to others within the faith, to those who may have left the faith, and to those outside the faith, by sharing and actually living the Gospel Of Jesus Christ.
WITNESS (Martyria) is the logical extension of worship (Liturgia). If we are united with God, we will certainly reflect Him in our daily life.
SERVICE (Diakonia): MINISTERING THE FAITH
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:37-40)
Christ came not to be served, but to serve, and He urges us to do the same. We can live in the image of God by loving and serving mankind. Orthodox Christians, and especially young adults and adults, may use their respective “charismata” (God-given grace/gifts/talents) to be kind and merciful just as Christ was when He walked among the sick, the poor, and the down-trodden … and extended His holy hand.
We all share in the mission of the Church, working side by side together with the ordained priest. SERVICE is lay ministry.
Each person is blessed with unique God-given talents, and each person is called by God to offer their very life, in love and thanksgiving, and to use their talents, not to bury them in the sand. Diakonia is a call to each Orthodox Christian to energetically participate in the active ministry of the Church.
FELLOWSHIP (Koinonia): COMMUNION IN THE FAITH
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment, and the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, on these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
In FELLOWSHIP (Koinonia) we are one.
FELLOWSHIP refers to the way in which the Orthodox Christian brings his faith into his daily and social life.
We begin to realize and become aware that Christ is the focal point of all our activities and relationships with one another. Our love for Christ and our faith in the Holy Spirit begins to guide us as we center our lives around loving one another the way Christ loves us, unconditionally, unselfishly, and wholeheartedly.
INSPIRED by Father Michael Lewis.