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Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Forgiveness of

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Forgiveness of transgressions is fundamental to our
faith as Orthodox Christians. We understand that the
waters of baptism are, waters for the
Christ has the power and authority to forgive all of our
sins. Most acts of healing, mercy and love performed
by Christ in the Gospel, express Jesus’ forgiveness of
people’s sins. When He heals the paralytic, Christ says
He does it: “that you may know that the Son of Man has
power on earth to forgive sins” – then commands the
paralytic: “Arise, take up your bed and go to your
house.” (Matthew 9:6). When a woman was about to
be stoned for committing adultery, after the scribes and
Pharisees went away, Jesus said: “He who is without sin
among you, let him throw a stone at her first”. Jesus
then looked at the woman and said, “Woman, where
are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?” She
said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither
do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:7,
An attribute of the Divine is forgiveness. Baptism wipes
away our sins. St. Peter says, “Repent, and let every
one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for
the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of
the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) So once we have been
baptized, then what? There are two important issues to
remember. First, once we have been baptized, we live
a life being redeemed, sanctified, cleansed, and
forgiven. Through the sacraments of the Church,
forgiveness of sins is offered continuously. Because we
have been forgiven once, it does not mean we are
forgiven for sins we have yet to commit! As we sin, we
need the Grace of God through the sacraments of the
Church to renew our baptism and have our sins
Just as importantly, being baptized means we
have received the Holy Spirit and have had
our “fetters lifted,” as it states in the prayer
above. This means that the chains of pride,
avarice, jealousy, lying and the like, are
indeed broken and we have the authority and
power to forgive others of the sins they have
committed against us – if we truly allow those
chains to be broken! God has given us a
great gift – a divine gift – to be able to forgive
someone of their sins.
Of course, each time we sin, the sin takes two
forms; it is an affront to God, and an affront
to the neighbor.
God forgives the sin
committed against Him, but He does so
readily when we forgive others. “For if you
forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly
Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)
God allows us to forgive others and thus,
allows us to participate in one of His Divine
Forgiving others is an essential aspect of our
lives as Orthodox Christians. Could I be so
haughty, so full of hubris, that someone who
has offended me cannot be forgiven by me
? When
Christ was in agony on the cross, He asked His
heavenly Father to forgive those who crucified
Him, “Father, forgive them, for they do not
know what they do.” (Luke 22:34) So how
can any of us do any differently? We must
forgive others of their sins. We must forgive
others. We must forgive. We must!
With love in Christ,
Fr. Nick
Please visit our website to download the
stewardship form.
ear St. Nicholas Parishioners,
Once again, our 2013 Ya’ssoo Greek Festival
was a success! Most of us measure the success
of the festival by the amount of money we make,
which I agree is very important in order for us to
reduce our mortgage and for any future expansions to our church, but I feel the festival was a
success because we all came together, exhibiting our individual talents, to welcome over
6000 visitors! The comments I heard, the letters
we received, all praised the food, entertainment
and our hospitality. From the bottom of my
heart, I thank everyone, committee leaders and
parishioners young and old for all their hard
work and dedication.
Thank You to the Dean and George Bairactaris
families for donating the mulch and beautifying
our landscaping. The flower beds look great.
But as everyone who has a home knows, yard
work continues all summer. If you are at the
church and waiting for someone, take a
moment to weed a section of the flower beds.
And if you would like to be a committee leader,
please let me know. A little bit from everyone
goes a long way
The faith and food garden has brought fruit.
Thank you to Robert and Andrea Ashley, Chris
Kerry, Deno Prokos, Sophia Radwanski and
many others for all their hard work preparing
the garden. Now we wait for the vegetables to
Summer has come and gone and the new
school year is here. We all like to relax and
spend time with our friends and families when
we don’t pursue our busy schedules. Keep in
mind the church still operates everyday and
needs monies to pay its expenses. There are still
a number of parishioners who have not
Mark your calendars for these special events:
Saturday, December
7 - location to be determined
June 6-8, 2014
Yours In Christ,
George Kokales
Dear Fellow Parishioners,
The Compass is back!
We have had an
interruption in the publication of our monthly
bulletin as we are working towards a new format.
In mid-September, I accepted to help with this
transition and appreciate your patience at this
time. Expect the Format of the Compass to
change a few times until it finalizes. If you have
expertise in Publication Design particularly with
Adobe and online formats (Wordpress,
Googledocs etc) please, step forward. Younger,
or older, technical savvy parishioners are
particularly encouraged to help
with the
Please, forward all communication you want
included to the Compass, as well as with any
comments about omissions, or other editorial
matters to the Compass directly, at our new email:
[email protected] by the 17th of
each month. It would be helpful, if regular
contributors could maintain the same page or
word number of contribution every month.
All parishioners are invited to send their ideas
about the new format of the Compass; if you
prefer to read it on the screen or to print it on
paper and what facilitates your reading. For
example do color and graphics interfere or
enhance your experience? Please, feel free to
comment what would make the Compass more
valuable to you.
Yours In Christ,
Dr. Maria Athanassiou Papaefthymiou
Philoptochos always strives as an organization to carry out our Mission Statement and to
work to bring all people together for greater
acts of philanthropy and love. This is can only
be accomplished by the participation, support
and hard work of all the ladies, young and
old, married and single, of our Parish.
Thank you Perry Katsikas and Natalie Challis
for your dedication and hard work during the
summer months, June, July and August for
chairing the IOCC mission to collect funds for
this worthy cause. Thank you to the Parishioners who supported and contributed and for
the work of showing the love of God to
people around the world who are facing
terrible situations.
Thank you Elaine Karam and her committee
for chairing the first Educational Program of
homeless students in the Washtenaw County
by collecting needed items. Thank you to all
who contributed and see that these students
have a place to shower, are dressed in presentable clothing, have school supplies and
food in their bellies.
The first Philoptochos meeting of this ecclesiastical year. Took place on September 11 at
6:30 pm.
On Sept. 15, a special collection was done
for Holy Cross Seminary and on Sept. 26-28
our Philoptochos members attended the Metropolis Clergy-Laity Conference in Cincinnatti, Ohio.
On Sunday, Sept. 22 a luncheon was given
by the Parish, to honor our Presvytera Eva Paul
for her 40 years of service, dedication, love,
compassion and friendship to our Parish.
you are the
greatest! You are the beacon of faith for all of
us to follow.
On Sunday, Sept. 29 our coffee hour was
sponsored by Philoptochos to collect funds for
Cyprus and Greece. The National Philoptochos
has named Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 as
“National Philoptochos Fellowship Sunday”.
On this day Philoptochos Chapters throughout
the country are asked to host a Parish Coffee
Hour in support of the campaign to raise funds
for the Aid to Greece and Cyprus initiative.
Thank you to Perry Katsikas for chairing this
event and to parishioners Professor Barbara
Coremenos and Dr. Myria Petrou for their
heartfelt and informative presentations.
God Bless you all,
Vicky Masters
Philoptochos President
Plans for our 2014 festival are already taking
place, and your input is essential to our continued success. As we enter into our 8th year,
it is time now to think of new ways to further
enhance this event.
Our July wrap-up meeting resulted in new
participants attending with new ideas. We
look forward to even more participation in our
upcoming meetings to be held in our conference room at 7 p.m. Check the parish calendars and join us when you can. We hope
you can attend!
Our festival is now history and the aftermath of its
financial results is left to the accountants and
bookkeepers, and it cannot go without saying, its
real value lies in the effect of bringing people
together. The parishioners, from young children,
to our vibrant teenagers, and to the energetic
seniors, all worked hard to ensure a successful
festival. Thank you goes first to Fr. Nick for his
guidance, hard work and support, and then to
George Kokales and Pericles Chiatalas for their
hard work and organization.
News from our parishioners:
This past May, Socrates (Kyp) Papageorgiou, sang
Sinatra songs and was the lead pianist with the
Huron Jazz Band. He also performed in two other
choirs and an acapella group of which Katherine
Wardner and Tasia Gibson were also participants.
As for the Wardners, they had more reason to
celebrate by going to Winston-Salem for their
son’s Andrew’s graduation from Wake Forest.
Congratulations to all!
To those of us of my generation, the Cooley names
of Peter, now deceased, and his wife Katherine, a
former choir member, bring memories of their
beautiful children Dimitri, Christopher and
Anastasia Cooley-Jamieson, a
graduate of the University of Michigan School of
Music, has appeared at national and international
venues as a featured soloist in works by Handel,
Haydn, Brahms, Bach and Beethoven.
Most recently, Anastasia performed in Washington
DC as the lead soprano in the opera
which was hosted by the Ambassador of Greece
H. E. Christos P. Panagopoulos.
maintains a private voice studio in Anchorage,
Alaska, where she has lived with her husband and
two children since 1991.
Dr. David Engelke, has been appointed interim
chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry.
He has served as a professor of biological
chemistry since 1996, having joined the U-M
faculty in 1983.
Professor Engelke has held numerous leadership
positions, including director of the Cellular and
Molecular Biology Training Program, assistant
dean for graduate and postdoctoral studies in the
Medical School, and associate dean of the Horace
H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.
June is graduation month and many of our young
people celebrated high school and college graduations. Some will be embarking on future careers
or higher education. Congratulations and good
luck to all of you.
To all I wish the best for the coming challenges
and may you enjoy good health and a blessed
Yours In Christ,
Nicholas S. Stamos
We would like to thank the Bairactaris, Kotsis,
Kiningham, and Vlahopoulos families for
graciously hosting our bible studies and meetings
for the summer. We were able to plan for the
following year while growing spiritually by studying
the lessons and stories of the Bible.
The GOYA is excited to welcome all incoming
members to our family. Please look for upcoming
events that you will be able to attend. We look
forward to seeing you there. Registration for
GOYAns has a $35 fee and all the forms are
available on the church website and on the GOYA
Shutterfly account. Please, ask an advisor for the
Some of our older GOYAns helped volunteer as
counselors at the Vacation Bible School. We were
pleased and honored to work with the future Parish
members of the church as we learned about
themes from the Old Testament. GOYA graduates
Petropoulos each ran an American Red Cross
Scholarship blood drive at our church. We would
like to extend our gratitude to all involved in this
project. Our final activity of the summer was to
help construct a shed for a private residence,
helping Habitat for Humanity. Thank you to the
GOYAns and advisers, who took this challenge
upon themselves. We look forward to doing this
again next year.
Grant Vlahopoulos, GOYA Vice President
Philoptochos again sponsored our annual
community care ministry, International Orthodox
Christian Charities (IOCC) during the summer
months. Essential donations are made to people in
need around the world without regard to religious
affiliation. We are grateful to our parish for your
very generous support for putting your faith into
action , by opening your hearts to the pain and
suffering caused by natural and manmade
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North
and Central America. Since 1992, IOCC has
delivered more than $438 million, in relief and
communities in more than 50 countries.
Since 2011, IOCC has been working to address the
urgent humanitarian needs of Greek children,
families and elderly who face poverty and an
uncertain future. IOCC is partnering with Apostoli
– the humanitarian arm of the Greek Orthodox
Archdiocese of Athens, and with Médecins du
Monde-Greece (MDM), also known as “Doctors of
the World”. So far, IOCC has delivered more than
$3.3 million in medical support, food and job
assistance programs to Greece.
assisted an estimated 649,081 affected and internally displaced Syrians with emergency relief.
IOCC works hard
to be an efficient steward of your donations. On
average, 92 cents of every dollar you donate goes
directly to assisting the people IOCC serves. Every
dollar you gives helps IOCC secure $7 in matching
from other sources.
We are so grateful for your continued support of
With much gratitude,
Natalie Challis and Perry Katsikas, Co-Chairs
IOCC Frontliners:
Fr. Jon-Stephen Hed
ges (l) and Fr. Da
Oklahoma, with torn
vid Hostetler (r) in
ado survivors. (Ph
oto: Dan Chr istopul
On May 22, members of the IOCC Emergency
Response Network or Frontline were dispatched to
central Oklahoma. Since then, IOCC has delivered
emergency clean-up buckets, hygiene kits &
blankets to University of Oklahoma & Holy
Ascension Antiochian Orthodox Church for
distribution to storm survivors.
6.8 million people are in need across all 14 of
Syria’s governorates. About 4.2 million Syrian
people are displaced in their own country, with 1.5
million people at imminent risk for lack of food.
IOCC in cooperation with the Greek Orthodox
Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East (GOPA) has
distributed emergency relief. To date, IOCC has
t Volunteer
s and Adul
ion Churc
s at Vacat
The Outreach & Evangelism Committee is
partnering with Rite Aid pharmacy to host an
influenza vaccination clinic for our parishioners.
The clinic will be held on Saturday, October 5th,
from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The vaccine is
covered by most insurance plans, or can be
purchased for $23.99 per shot if not covered. A
sign up is required so that Rite Aid knows how
much vaccine to bring. The sign-up sheet and the
required forms are available in the social hall.
During the summer, Outreach and Evangelism
and the GOYA hosted two American Red Cross.
The first High School Scholarship Blood Drive at
our Church was ran on June 6, 2013 by GOYA
President, Christopher Mitropoulos-Rundus.
Our second summer blood drive was organized
on Friday, August 16th, by Lee Petropoulos. Our
total for the past twelve months from three
Scholarship Fund Drives was about 90 donations.
Remember, your blood donation may help save
three lives. Our thanks go to God, to Fr. Nick,
to Christopher, to Lee to everyone here at St.
Nicholas who came to donate and/or offered
their support.
Outreach and Evangelism has continued its
partnership with Habitat for Humanity again this
year. Several build dates were scheduled; Saturday, July 13, and Friday and Saturday, August
2-3, and 16-17. Parishioners worked on renovating a home and helped build a shed at the
church. Please, consider helping to renovate
homes for those in need with us in the future.
No experience is necessary.
We are now collecting donations for our annual
contribution of 5,000$ to the Habitat. Please,
sign up at our board or with the Church Office.
The Outreach and Evangelism committee needs
everyone’s help. Please join us at our next
monthly meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 2
at 7:00 pm. Your ideas are always welcome!
For more information on any of our projects or
to contribute to the Committee, contact Rob
Ashley at [email protected]
Paraskevi Evi Bernitsas, just
graduated from AWTY
International School in
Houston, Texas, with High
Honors. A native of Ann
Emerson and Greenhills
and moved to AWTY for
High School.
She attended the International Baccalaureate Program of AWTY which is
ranked among the top ten
IB programs in the world.
She received the bilingual IB Diploma in English and
Greek taking Greek lessons as additional load
outside her school with University of Houston faculty.
She is also fluent in Spanish.
Passionate about Physics and Math she will attend
Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon
University starting in August 2013. She is quite ready
for the challenge after one internship in the Ocean
Engineering Laboratory of MIT and two in the Marine
Renewable Energy Laboratory at the University of
Michigan. She has authored two engineering reports
and coauthored one conference paper to be
presented at the Offshore Mechanics and Arctic
Engineering Conference, in Nantes, France in June
Choir, singing, piano, Tae-Kwon Do black belt,
community service, and international travel fill up the
rest of her time. A lover of Greece, Greek Orthodox
Church and customs, Evi is getting ready for the
engineering challenge.
Thank you to the following who so generously donated flowers for Great Lent and Holy Week:
Craig and Hongyun Theros.
: Vicky Masters, Ioanna Boutsikakis, Andrea Kahn, Sophia Radwanski,
Penny Bekiares
Laura Kokkales
: Anne Hulce
Joanne Kokales, Diane Geczi, Athina Res, Anastasia Goffas Eva Mikhail Lambrini Lagos,
Liz Mitropoulos, David and Demetra Mitropoulos-Rundus, Anne Hulce, Helen Evangelides, Lambrini
Lagos, Mr. and Mrs. Kolokithas, Jack Fry, Maria Marcu, Katena Presutti, Gigi Kitromelides, Christopher
Webber Family, Peter Ballios family, Mara Krause, Margaret Yates, George and Ellene Contis, Diane
: Epitaphion
Cerene Tangalakis, Magda Hicks, Helen Garris, Richard Dekeon, Angela Pantazatos, Bessie Madias,
Craig and Hongyun Theros, Billy and Margaret Yates, Helen Botchen, Costa and Ioanna Boutsikakis,
Dino Christoulias, George and Elizabeth Bairactaris, Bill Vlisides, Peter and Zorene Kussurelis, Steve and
Stacy Garris, Michael Garris, Tom and Sophia Roumanis, Gregory and Alexis Dileo, Gina and Joshua
Ney, Patrick Gibson and Helen Kales, Marina Christos, Carl Pardon, Perry and Georgia Porikos, Cynthia
Kokkales, Robert Doumanian, Tom and Doreen Tziahanas, Gus and Mary Fernimos, John and Mary
Curtis, Peter and Pat Metsovas, Evan and Barbara Batsakes, Olga Bilakos, George and Susan Dendrinos,
Nakos and Patricia Kovanis, James and Mary Baldwin, Panagiota Murphy, George and Dena Petropoulos, Kurt and Sophia Radwanski, Jack Fry, Demetrios and Vera Politis, George and Maria Papadoulis,
Anne Hulce, Costa and Sylvia Kleanthous, Helen Pappas, Nick and Vasso Panagoulias, Vasili and Koula
Pliakas, Zakhour and Androulla Youssef, John and Helen Kokinakis, Olga Bekiares, Peter and Liz
Roopas, Ramona Uristescu-Lombard, Eugenia Pantely, Garris, Garris and Garris, Mike Kapetan and
Karen Munson, Perry and Deann Alex, George Gochis, Joe and Maria Hochendoner, Christo and Perry
Katsikas, Tony and Clevie Daniels, Diane Geczi, Juanita Clufetos, Dimitri and Pauline Tzavaras, Steve
and Fay Cotitsas, Terry and Evanthia Patzias, George and Teddy Sotiropoulos, Bill and Connie Ziegler,
Ekaterini Stamadianos, Pauline Skinner, Jennifer and Chris Patselas, George and Lula Koutoulas, Photios
and Ioanna Ioannou, Theodore and Maria Davlantes, Jacalen Garris, Avraam and Paraskevi Piniatoglou, Marian, Emi and Cristina Varzoaba, Nick and Eleni Michos, Gail Altenburg, Maria Marcu,
Christina Giouroukos, Donnelly and Helen Hadden, Elias and Evdokia Karageorge, Sam Roumanis,
John and Persephone Pappas, John and Helen Kolias, John and Diana Underhill, Antonis and Despina
Eleutheriou, Stevan and Joy Melzian, Nellie and Renaud Guibert, Gordon and Thelma Steers, John and
Cheryl Venious, John and Katerina Roumanis, Marion Curtis, Chris and Kari Bilakos, Michael and
Evanthia Bernitsas, Michael and Natalie Challis, David and Alexandra Engelke, Barbara Joannides, Nick
and Betty Lardas, Betty Manolakis, Demos and Helen Panos, Bob Tsarbopoulos, Harry Tselios,
Christopher and Margarita Bekiares, Penelope Bekiares, Brian and Andrea McRae, Helen Evangelides,
Lilian Pantos, Presvytera Eva Paul, Peter Poulos, David and Mary Price, Nicholas and Katherine
Arhangelos, Elizabeth Mitropoulos, Mirko and Georgia Vulcevic, George and Diane Papandreou,
Michelle Weaver, Artemis Alex, George and Ellene Contis, Helen Garkinos, Alex and Theodora Kales,
Mara Krause, James and Tula Prokos, Tommy and Maria Vaughn, Anna Stefanopoulou, Tony Ghazal,
Diane Hall, George and Carol Bokas, James and Patricia Douglas, Thano and Vicky Masters, Zannis
and Athina Res, Vasilios Res, Nick and Helen Stamos, Fr. Nick and Presvytera Sandra Kotsis and all
others who so generously left cash in the Epitaphion box.
The St. Nicholas Church School Department would
like to thank our dedicated teachers for devoting
their time and talents in making this a successful
school year. The results of the student’s hard work
was visible in the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical
Festival essays they presented and in the high scores
on their final exams. The students also participated
in all of the Church School philanthropic events by
collecting nonperishable food items and coins for
these programs. We also thank the parents for their
support and Fr. Nick for his leadership and spiritual
Congratulations to Jackie Stokes, who advanced to
level of the St. John Chrysostom
Oratorical Festival and to Athena Chapekis, who
advanced to the
Level of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. Both Jackie and Athena
received an honorable mention for their speeches.
This year our St. Nicholas Church School 12th grade
graduating class had 9 students. At the Church
School graduation, which took place on June 16th,
each graduating senior received their graduation
certificate and a gift of a folding tripychon of the
Theotokos with an angel on each side which they
can take with them to college.
The theme of this year’s Vacation Church School
. Students learned
about the connections between the Old and New
Testament and discussed how we use these connections to guide us in our lives as Orthodox Christians.
Each day’s program started with the students assembling in church and being led in prayer by Fr. Nick.
The students then assembled according to their
youth group for instruction. They also made crafts,
sang songs, played games and ate together as a
We would like to thank Julie Skrettas, for doing
such a wonderful job of organizing this year’s curriculum, and all the individuals who helped to
make this a successful event. We would also like to
thank Fr. Nick for his spiritual guidance and assistance in preparing and teaching this year’s curriculum.
Oratorical Festival, Metropolis level:
Top: Jackie Stokes
Middle: Athena Chapekis.
Bottom;: Athena Chapekis and her cousin, also
at the competition.
The St. Nicholas Church School 2013-2014 program begins on
Registration for children entering Preschool (age 3 years
old by September 1st) through 12th grade can be
completed on line at the Church School website Parents also
need to fill out an
for each child. This form is also available on
the Church School website. The registration fee for
Church School is $20 per child (payable by September 8) and covers the cost of books and supplies.
Our 2 lead advisors, Laura Kokkales and Demetra Mitropoulos-Rundus, are retiring from
GOYA. These two vibrant ladies did an amazing
job of providing structure, adding community
service and much more during their years leading
GOYA. We are very grateful for all they have
done. Thank you also goes to Fr. Nick for his
support and spiritual guidance and to all the
parents who supported the GOYA during their
Our new lead advisors are Elizabeth Bairactaris,
Vicki Kiningham and Dani Nadra. To continue
having a vibrant GOYA, we need support from
all the parents. Please consider helping us with
our many GOYA activities. Contact any current
GOYA Advisor; Elizabeth Bairactaris, Vicki Kiningham or Dani Nadra, if you are interested in
volunteering your time in any capacity.
Thank you also to our outgoing officers, three of
which are graduating seniors; President Christopher Mitropoulos-Rundus (2 year term), VicePresident Nick Kokkales, Secretary Angelos
Bairactaris and Treasurer Margo Apostoleris.
Your energy, commitment and love for the church
was clearly evident at all the GOYA activities.
The GOYA Ya’ssoo dancers put on an amazing
performance at the 2013 St Nicholas Ya’ssoo
Greek Festival last month! After many practices
during the month of May, we donned our traditional costumes, watched the clouds and rain
move away to clear skies, and just in the nick of
time, performed for our families, our friends, our
fellow parishioners, and guests from near and
far. In between and around our five performances, we all rolled up our sleeves and dug in to help
with the workload. From their smiling faces, you
could see the love our GOYAns had for their
church. A big thank you goes to our dance instructor, Mrs. Persilla Zervos, who drove from
Toledo, Ohio to not only teach our GOYAns
to dance, but also to inspire in them a
President Christopher Mitropoulos-Rundus, and
Lee Petropoulos under the guidance of GOYA
Advisor Vicki Kiningham and the Outreach and
Evangelism committee, led the second and third
American Red Cross Summer High School Scholarship Blood Drives here at St. Nicholas.
A note from Kristie Cannon, the American Red
Cross Donor Resources Representative says “I just
wanted to send you a quick note to let you know
how the drive ended up! 30 units of blood was
collected! The staff extends their heartfelt appreciation for your efforts on behalf of the many patients whose lives depend on the availability of
blood products in our community. Coordinating
an American Red Cross blood drive - and knowing you're responsible for saving so many lives makes you an invaluable contributor in our community”.
Many factors go in to a successful Drive - a worthy
cause, a strong organizational structure - both at the
Red Cross and our Church, a supportive staff, a
willing community, and a student committed to taking on the challenge and rising to the task! Thank
you again to GOYA Advisor Vicki Kiningham, for her
guidance, support and ceaseless commitment of the
Blood Drive. As it is said in Greek - Axios!
Elections were held during our June GOYA meeting.
Congratulations go to our new GOYA Officers:
President Kanella Smyrnis, Vice President Grant Vlahopoulos, Secretary Angelos Dean Bairactaris, Treasurer Angelos George Bairactaris. We are looking
forward to another great year from our new officers.
Please attend the meetings!
We look forward to another exciting year of GOYA,
filled with blossoming friendships, community service, Orthodox fellowship and FUN!
Liz Bairactaris [email protected]
Vicki Kiningham [email protected]
Dani Nadra [email protected]
St. Thomas, Oct. 6
St. Luke, Oct. 18
St. Luke, Oct. 18
Γιώργος - George Bairactaris
Μαρίνος - Marinos Bernitsas
Αγαπητέ πάτερ
Νικόλαε, κυρία Ιωάννα,
μητέρα και πατέρα,
οικογένεια και φίλοι. Το
όνομά μου είναι Γιώργος
Μπαϊρακτάρης και μόλις
τελείωσα το Ελληνικό
Σχολείο. Είμαι
υπερήφανος που έμεινα
για έξι χρόνια στο
Ελληνικό Σχολείο μέχρι
το τέλος. Θέλω να πω ένα μεγάλο ευχαριστώ
στην κυρία Ιωάννα και στους γονείς μου για
όλη τη βοήθεια που μου έδωσαν στο Ελληνικό
Dear Father Nick, kyria Ioanna, Mother and
Father, family and friends. My name is George
Bairactaris and I just graduated from the St
Nicholas Greek School. My time in Greek
School was actually very fun. During my first
year, I thought it was very tough but now I
think it's easier. I'm proud I stuck with it for
six years until the end. I learned how to read,
write and speak Greek. I also learned about
my family' Greek heritage. I want to share
with you a story. One time last year, my
brother's class was about to finish and mine
was about to start. There was a storm coming.
It was a tornado. We were racing towards the
church and there was hail. It was scary. When
we got there, my brother's class had moved
into the girl's bathroom with their chairs and
books. Kyria Ioanna was making sure the
lesson was going on and everyone was safe! I
would like to thank Kyria Ioanna for all the
help she gave me whenever I needed it. She's
the best! I'd also like to thank my Father and
Mother for taking me to Greek School.
Έφτασε η ώρα να
γράψω την έκθεση της
αποφοίτησης μου από το
Ελληνικό σχολείο. Μου
το είπε η δασκάλα μου.
Μου το είπαν οι γονείς
μου. Βαρυγκωμούσα!
Θύμωνα! Δεν ήθελα να
την γράψω! Η μαμά κι ο
μπαμπάς μου είπαν: Θα
πάρεις μικρό βαθμό! Τους είπα: «Δεν με
νοιάζει.» Μου είπαν: «Δεν θα αποφοιτήσεις.»
Τους είπα: «Δεν με νοιάζει. Ένα πτυχίο
λιγότερο.» Μου είπαν: «Δεν θα πας εκδρομή
με το σχολείο σου αύριο.» Τους είπα : «Δεν με
νοιάζει. Θα παίξω στο σπίτι.» Και τότε ήρθε
το τελικό χτύπημα. Πολύ ήρεμα ο πατέρας
μου είπε: «Θα επαναλάβεις την έκτη τάξη.
Χωρίς αμφιβολία! Θα επαναλάβεις την έκτη
τάξη.» Δεν είπα τίποτα. Έτρεξα, πήρα μολύβι
και χαρτί κι άρχισα να γράφω. Ήρθα στο
Ελληνικό σχολείο του Αν Άρμπορ στην τρίτη
τάξη. Ήμουνα πριν στο Χιούστον και πριν από
το Χιούστον στο Κλίβελαντ. Ακόμα θυμάμαι
την πρώτη μου μέρα. Αν και είχα ωραίες
αναμνήσεις από το Xιούστον, η κύρια Ιωάννα
ήταν η καλύτερη από τις δασκάλες μου —
προπαντός πολύ υπομονετική! Έμαθα πολλά,
αλλά μου άλλαξε τα φώτα! Τραγούδια, χοροί,
ποιήματα και πολλή δουλειά. Γραμματική,
ορθογραφία κατανόηση κειμένου και
αποστήθιση της Κυριακής Προσευχής από τη
στιγμή που ήρθα! Έτσι όμως έμαθα την
Ελληνική γλώσσα, τη γλώσσα των γονέων
μου, την γλώσσα όλων μας. Το ελληνικό
σχολείο τελειώνει. Όχι πια άλλοι εφιάλτες. Θα
απολαμβάνω την γλυκιά εκδίκηση του
πρωτότοκου. Να βλέπω τον μικρό μου αδελφό
να ανεβαίνει τα σκαλιά του Γολγοθά ένα, ένα
αργά-αργά. «Υπομονή Χρήστο!» θα του λέω,
«τρία χρόνια ακόμα θα περάσουν γρήγορα.»
Όσο για μένα, δεν θα ήθελα με τίποτα στον
κόσμο να ξεχάσω τα ελληνικά. Με νοιάζει και
με παρανοιάζει να καταλαβαίνω, να μιλώ και
να διαβάζω ελληνικά. Είμαι χαρούμενος όταν
συζητώ Ελληνικά με τους παππούδες και τις
γιαγιάδες μου, τα ξαδέλφια και τους φίλους
μου στην Ελλάδα. Τελειώνοντας, θα ήθελα να
αποχαιρετήσω τους συμμαθητές και φίλους
μου από το Ελληνικό σχολείο. Ένα μεγάλο
ευχαριστώ στους γονείς μου και ένα ακόμα
μεγαλύτερο ευχαριστώ στην κύρια Ιωάννα για
τη διδασκαλία και την καθοδήγηση της.
It was time to write the last essay for my
graduation from Greek school. I heard it form
my teacher. I heard it form my parents. I
mumbled. I grouched. I got angry. I did not
want to write it. Mom and Dad told me:
“You'll get a low grade.” I told them: “I do not
care.” They said: “You will not graduate.” I
answered: “I do not care. Fewer diplomas,
more space for legos!” They screamed:
“You're not going on the field trip with your
school tomorrow.” I gave my best answer: “I
do not care. I will stay at home and play.”
Then came the final strike. Very calmly, my
father said: “You will repeat the sixth grade.
No doubt. You will repeat the sixth grade.” I
did not say anything. I ran, grabbed pencil and
paper and began to write. I joined the Greek
school of Ann Arbor in the third grade. I came
to Ann Arbor from Houston. Prior to Houston,
I was in Cleveland. I still remember my first
day in this school. Even though I have fond
memories from Houston, Ms. Ioanna was the
best teacher I ever had in Greek school —
very patient! I learned a lot, after hours of hard
work and of course, torture! Songs, dances,
poems and tons of homework. Grammar,
spelling and reading comprehension. I started
memorizing the Lord's Prayer in Greek from
the moment I arrived! But I did learn the
Greek language, my parents’ language and the
language of all of us. Greek School ends for
me today! No more nightmares! I will enjoy
the sweet revenge of every firstborn: I will see
my little brother climbing up the steps of
Calvary, one by one, very slowly! “Just three
more years, Chris, they pass by quickly… Or
not!" I am done, you know…” As for me, I
would not want for anything in the world to
forget the Greek I learned. No matter what I
said in the beginning, I do care and I will do
my best to understand, to speak and read
Greek. I am happy to be able to talk and
communicate in Greek with my grandfathers
and grandmothers, my cousins and my friends
in Greece. I am happy to be able to read books
in Greek and to learn about our beautiful
country and our unique culture. Finally, I
would like to say a fond “goodbye” to my
classmates and friends from Greek School. A
big, sincere “Thank you” to my parents and an
even bigger “Thank you” to Ms. Ioanna for
her teaching and guidance.
Αλεξάνδρα - Alexandra Chalogianis
Φέτος ήταν η έκτη μου
χρονιά στο Ελληνικό
Σχολείο. Έμαθα πολλά
πράγματα και θα σας
μιλήσω για όλα τα
αγαπημένα μου. Για μένα
το πιο αγαπημένο
πράγμα είναι οι φίλοι που
έχω γνωρίσει. Οι φίλοι
μου κι εγώ διαβάζαμε
όλοι μαζί και γελούσαμε
μαζί για τα διάφορα πράγματα που γίνονταν
στην τάξη. Μαθαίναμε τα ποιήματα και τα
τραγούδια μας και μας άρεσε να μαθαίνουμε
καινούριους Ελληνικούς χορούς. Η
αυτοπεποίθηση μου μεγάλωσε στο Ελληνικό
Σχολείο και είμαι πολύ χαρούμενη. Όλα τα
ποιήματα, τραγούδια και χοροί που έχω μάθει
με βοήθησαν να έχω περισσότερη
αυτοπεποίθηση. Μου άρεσε να χορεύω στο
"Γεια Σου" Φεστιβάλ με την τάξη μου και μου
άρεσε πολύ όταν η κυρία Ιωάννα μας έδινε
λουκουμάδες. Μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ που
διάβασα μέσα στην εκκλησία στο πρόγραμμα
της εικοστής πέμπτης Μαρτίου. Το Ελληνικό
Σχολείο μου έχει μάθει να διαβάζω και να
γράφω στα Ελληνικά. Με βοήθησε να μιλώ με
την οικογένεια μου στην Ελλάδα. Μου άρεσε
που διάβαζα με τη μαμά μου και τον μπαμπά
μου και με βοηθούσαν με την Ελληνική
εργασία μου. Στην τάξη μου άρεσε όταν
απαντούσα σωστά στις ερωτήσεις. Κι ένα από
τα αγαπημένα μου πράγματα ήταν όταν η
κυρία Ιωάννα μας έδινε τσίχλα στο τέλος του
μαθήματος. Τα έξι μου χρόνια στο Ελληνικό
Σχολείο μου έχουν μάθει πολλά. Μπορώ να
μιλώ, να γράφω και να διαβάζω Ελληνικά.
Έχω μάθει να χορεύω Ελληνικούς χορούς και
έχω περισσότερη αυτοπεποίθηση τώρα. Έχω
πολλούς φίλους από το Ελληνικό Σχολείο! Σ’
ευχαριστώ κυρία Ιωάννα για όλα τα πράγματα
που κάνεις για τα παιδιά.
This year was my 6th year in Greek School.
My favorite thing about Greek School has
been making really close friends. My friends
and I did homework together, laughed together
and practiced poems and songs together. I
really liked learning Greek dances with my
classmates. Something that I appreciate very
much was gaining confidence to speak in front
of a lot of people and to perform Greek
dances. This year I got to narrate part of the
25th of March program and it was really
exciting. I liked dancing at the Yassoo Greek
Festival and enjoyed the loukoumathes Kyria
Ioanna gave us at the end of the program.
Something that will help me through out my
life is to read and write in Greek. This will
help me to communicate with my family in
Greece. I liked studying with my mom and
dad and that helped me answer the questions
in class correctly. One of my favorite things
was finishing up my homework and getting
gum at the end of class. Over the last six years
I have learned how to read, write and
understand Greek. I also learned how to
memorize and perform poems and songs. I
learned so much about the Greek culture. I
have made a lot of friends and really loved
making Prosforo — the bread for the church.
Thank you kyria Ioanna for teaching me and
for all you do for all the kids.
Παναγιώτης - Panayiotis Georgakas
Ω, δεν μπορώ να
πιστέψω ότι ήταν μόνο
έξι χρόνια. Μου
φαίνεται σα να ήταν
είκοσι. Έχω μάθει τόσα
πολλά σε αυτά τα έξι
χρόνια. Η κυρία
Ιωάννα ξόδευε πολλές
ώρες κάθε εβδομάδα
για να μας μάθει
Ελληνικά. Είναι η
καλύτερη δασκάλα που
θα μπορούσαμε να έχουμε. Μας δίδαξε τόσα
πολλά για την Ελληνική γλώσσα. Η κυρία
Ιωάννα είναι ο πιο σημαντικός λόγος που εγώ
μπορώ να γράφω και να διαβάζω και να μιλάω
Ελληνικά σήμερα. Οργάνωσε όλες τις γιορτές
που είπαμε ποιήματα, τραγουδήσαμε
τραγούδια, χορέψαμε, και αισθανθήκαμε
περήφανοι για την εθνική μας κληρονομιά. Σε
ευχαριστώ τόσο πολύ κυρία Ιωάννα. Και θέλω
να σου ζητήσω συγνώμη που έβρισκα όλα τα
τυπογραφικά λάθη στα χαρτιά εργασίας αλλά
το έκανα μόνο για extra credit. Όταν δεν
ήμουνα στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο και δεν
μπορούσα να ρωτήσω την κυρία Ιωάννα για
βοήθεια, είχα τους γονείς μου. Με βοηθούσαν
με την Ελληνική εργασία (που ήταν πάντα
μεγάλη!), μιλούσαν Ελληνικά μαζί μου, και με
οδηγούσαν στο σχολείο. Μου θύμιζαν ακόμα
πόσο σημαντικό ήταν να μάθω Ελληνικά για
να μπορώ να καταλαβαίνω και να μιλάω με
την οικογένεια μας στην Ελλάδα. Ας έχω και
λίγη Αμερικανική προφορά, δεν πειράζει! Σας
αγαπώ πολύ μαμά και μπαμπά και σας
ευχαριστώ τόσο πολύ για την βοήθεια σας τα
τελευταία έξι χρόνια. Όταν οι γονείς μου δεν
ήταν κοντά, είχα τη γιαγιά και τον παππού
μου, που είναι φανταστικοί. Πήγαινα στο σπίτι
τους σχεδόν κάθε μέρα μετά το σχολείο και αν
κολλούσα με κάτι στην εργασία με βοηθούσαν
πάντα. Η γιαγιά μου πάντα μαγειρεύει πολύ
νόστιμα ελληνικά φαγητά και γι' αυτό μου
αρέσει παρά πολύ να πηγαίνω στο σπίτι της
μετά το σχολείο. Σας αγαπώ πολύ γιαγιά και
παππού και σας ευχαριστώ παρά πολύ για την
βοήθεια σας και την αγάπη σας. Έκανα και
πολλούς καλούς φίλους και φίλες στο
Ελληνικό σχολείο που ελπίζω να κρατήσω για
πάντα. Όταν η κυρία Ιωάννα δεν κοιτούσε...
θέλω να πω μετά το σχολείο... συζητούσαμε,
παίζαμε ποδόσφαιρο, και διασκεδάζαμε. Θα
θυμάμαι πάντα τους χορούς που κάναμε όλοι
μαζί στο Ελληνικό Φεστιβάλ κάθε χρόνο.
Είσαστε όλοι φανταστικοί και σας ευχαριστώ
που είσαστε φίλοι μου όλα αυτά τα χρόνια. Το
Ελληνικό Σχολείο ήταν μια από τις καλύτερες
εμπειρίες της ζωής μου και είμαι λιγάκι
λυπημένος που έφθασε τελικά η ώρα να πούμε
αντίο. Αντίο όμως για τώρα, γιατί ξέρω ότι
μια μέρα θα γυρίσω και θα φέρω τα δικά μου
παιδιά στο Ελληνικό σχολείο!
Wow, I can’t believe it has only been six
years. It feels like twenty. I have learned so
much in these six years. Kyria Ioanna has been
spending many hours every week to teach us
Greek. She is the best teacher anyone could
ask for. She taught us so much about the
Greek language. Kyria Ioanna is the main
reason I can read and write Greek and carry a
conversation today. She also organized all the
events where we recited poems, sang songs,
danced, and felt proud of our heritage. Thank
you so much Kyria Ioanna! By the way, I want
to apologize for finding all the typos in the
handouts but I was only doing it for the extra
credit. When I wasn’t at Greek school and I
couldn’t ask Kyria Ioanna for help, my parents
were there. They were constantly helping me
with my Greek homework (which was always
way too long!!!), speaking Greek with me, and
driving me to school. They also reminded me
of the importance of learning Greek so that I
can be able to communicate with my family in
Greece, even with a little American accent. I
love you Mama and Mpampa and thank you
so much for your help over these past six
years. And when my parents weren’t around I
had my great Yiayia and Pappou to help me. I
was at their house almost every day after
school and, if I ever got stuck with my
homework, they would always help me. My
Yiayia also makes her delicious Greek food
and I love going over to her house after
school. I love you Yiayia and Pappou and
thank you so much for the help and your love.
I have also made so many friends in Greek
school that I hope to keep forever. When
Kyria Ioanna wasn’t looking…, I mean after
class, we would talk, play soccer, and just
have fun. And I will always remember when
we danced all together at the Greek Festival
every year. You guys are the best and thanks
for being my friends for all these years. Greek
school was one of the best experiences of my
life and I’m sad that it’s finally time to say
goodbye. But I know that one day I will return
and I will bring my kids to Greek School.
Mαρίνα - Marina Govatsos
Είμαι χαρούμενη και
λίγο λυπημένη που
τελειώνω το Ελληνικό
Σχολείο. Τον
περασμένο χρόνο με την
Κυρία Ιωάννα έμαθα να
διαβάζω, να γράφω και
να μιλάω καλύτερα την
Ελληνική γλώσσα.
Γνώρισα και έκανα
καινούριες φίλες και
έμαθα να χορεύω
Ελληνικούς χορούς. Είμαι χαρούμενη που
μπορώ να μιλώ Ελληνικά μαζί με τον μπαμπά
μου και του χρόνου όταν θα πάω στην Ελλάδα
θα μιλάω και θα καταλαβαίνω τη γιαγιά μου.
Με τη βοήθεια του Ελληνικού Σχολείου
έμαθα την Κυριακή προσευχή, το Πάτερ
Ημών, και πολλά Ελληνικά και Ορθόδοξα ήθη
και έθιμα. Την περασμένη εβδομάδα χόρεψα
Ελληνικούς χορούς με τους συμμαθητές μου
στο Γεια Σου Φεστιβάλ της κοινότητας μας
και περάσαμε φανταστικά! Ήταν και λίγο
λυπηρό γιατί ήταν η τελευταία μας φορά σαν
μαθητές του Ελληνικού Σχολείου. Τα έξι
χρόνια στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο περάσανε
γρήγορα και είχα πολλές χαρούμενες
εμπειρίες με τους συμμαθητές μου, τη
δασκάλα μου και τους γονείς μου. Πήγαμε σε
χορούς, πικνίκ, στο ζωολογικό κήπο και κάθε
εβδομάδα που περνούσε μάθαινα κάτι
καινούριο. Θέλω να ευχαριστήσω την Κυρία
Ιωάννα που για ατέλειωτες ώρες με βοήθησε
τα τελευταία έξι χρόνια σε ότι χρειάστηκα να
μάθω και να διαβάσω Ελληνικά. Επίσης θέλω
να ευχαριστήσω τους γονείς μου και τη γιαγιά
μου για τη βοήθεια που μου έδωσαν.
Χριστόφορος - Christopher Hays
Τα περασμένα έξι χρόνια στο Ελληνικό
Σχολείο ήταν δύσκολα, μπερδεμένα,
πολύπλοκα και τόσα
αλλά πράγματα, αλλά
εγώ επέμενα. Ποτέ δεν
πίστευα ότι θα ήμουν
εδώ σήμερα. Αυτή δεν
είναι απλά μια ημέρα
που τελειώνουμε το
Ελληνικό Σχολείο στο
Ann Arbor. Αυτή είναι
η ημέρα που έχω
περισσότερη εκπαίδευση. Αυτό είναι πολύ
μεγάλο και σημαντικό πράγμα. Πριν από έξι
χρόνια, ήξερα ότι αυτό θα ήταν μια πρόκληση.
Ήξερα ότι αυτό θα ήταν βάρος και μάλιστα
μεγάλο. Αλλά εγώ ήμουν αποφασιστικός και
δεν άφησα αρνητικές σκέψεις να με
αποτρέψουν από το στόχο μου. Θα ήθελα να
ευχαριστήσω την μητέρα μου για όλη τη
βοήθεια με το διάβασμα στο σπίτι. Θα ήθελα
να ευχαριστήσω την δασκάλα μου για το δώρο
της γνώσης. Για τα κλειδιά που μου έδωσε
για να ξεκλειδώσω τις δυνατότητες μου στην
Ελληνική γλώσσα. Και να σκεφτείτε ότι πριν
από έξι χρόνια το μόνο που ήξερα να λέω στα
Ελληνικά ήταν το "ναι" και το "όχι"! Μετά
από δώδεκα διαγωνίσματα και εκατόν
ογδόντα έξι μαθήματα σας διαβάζω την
έκθεση μου και είμαι πολύ ευχαριστημένος!
Over the last six years, Greek School was
hard, confusing, complex, and so many more
things, but I persevered. I never knew that I
would make it here today. This is not just a
day where I graduate from a random Greek
school in Ann Arbor. This is the day where I
further my education. Six years ago, I knew
this would be a challenge. I knew this would
be a burden and a large one at that. But I
remained resolute and did not let my negative
thoughts deter me from my goal. I would like
to thank my mother for helping me study at
home. I would like to thank my teacher for
the gift of knowledge to unlock my potential
in Greek. To think that six years ago all I
knew how to say in Greek was "yes" and "no".
Τwelve tests and 186 (one hundred and eighty
six) classes later, Ι am here, reading my Greek
School graduation essay in Greek and I am
very pleased, indeed!
Zωή - Zoe Michos
Κάθε γράμμα στις
λέξεις "Ελληνικό
Σχολείο" σημαίνει
κάτι για μένα. Το
Έψιλον είναι για
την Εμπιστοσύνη.
Το Λάμδα είναι για
το Λάθος.
Μαθαίνουμε από τα
λάθη μας. Το άλλο
Λάμδα είναι για τον
Λόγο. Το Ήτα είναι για την Ήρα και τον
Ηρακλή που έμαθα στη μυθολογία. Το Νι
είναι για τον Νου και το Νόημα Το Ι–Γιώτα
είναι για την Ιστορία της Ελλάδας. Το Κάπα
είναι για την Κύρια Ιωάννα. Το Όμικρον είναι
για Όλους και Όλες που με βοηθούσαν. Το
Σίγμα είναι για τις Συμμαθήτριες και τους
Συμμαθητές μου. Το Χι είναι για τους Χορούς
που Χόρεψα με Χαρά. Το Όμικρον είναι για
όλες τις Ομιλίες και τα ποιήματα στις γιορτές.
Το Λάμδα είναι για το ρήμα Λείπω. Θα μου
λείψει πολύ το Ελληνικό Σχολείο. Το Έψιλον
είναι για τους Εύζωνες και Αμαλίες μαζί σε
όλα τα προγράμματα που κάναμε. Το Ι –
Γιώτα είναι για το ρήμα Ισοζυγίζω. Ισοζύγιζα
το Ελληνικό Σχολείο και το Αμερικανικό
Σχολείο για έξι χρόνια. Και τελικά το
Όμικρον είναι για το όταν θα πάω στην
Ελλάδα, θα Ομιλώ Ελληνικά!
Every letter in the words “Greek School”
means something important to me.
G is for the Great experience.
R is for Relationships, because I formed many
friendships while in Greek School.
E is for Everyone who helped me.
E – the other E, is for Everyone in my class.
K is for Kyria Ioanna who has been teaching
me since the day I started.
S is for Singing and dancing.
C is for Confidence – because having to
perform helped me to gain more Confidence.
H is for Homework, which helped me learn
the language better.
O is for Opportunity – because knowing a
language helps when you are traveling to
different places.
O – the other O, is for Orthodoxy. I learned a
lot about my faith while in Greek School.
L – And finally L is for Laughter. We laughed
a lot and had a great time, and I will never
forget Greek School!
Γεωργία - Georgia Stamatopoulos
Τα έξι μου χρόνια στο
Ελληνικό Σχολείο ήταν
τα καλύτερα μου χρόνια.
Γνώρισα πολλά
ελληνόπουλα και έκανα
πολλούς φίλους και
πολλές φίλες. Τα πρώτα
μου χρόνια ήταν δύσκολα
μέχρι να αρχίσω να
γράφω και να διαβάζω
ελληνικά. Όσο
περνάγανε τα χρόνια γινόμουνα πιο καλή και
μου άρεσε. Η Κυρία Ιωάννα ήταν πάντα καλή
μαζί μας παρόλο που μερικές φορές δεν την
ακούγαμε όταν μας έλεγε διάφορες ιστορίες κι
εμείς μιλούσαμε και κάναμε πλάκες μεταξύ
μας. Θα ήθελα να την ευχαριστήσω για την
υπομονή της και την επιμονή που έχει και γιά
αυτά που μας δίδαξε. Δεν θα την ξεχάσω ποτέ
όσα χρόνια και αν περάσουν!
My six years in Greek School where the best
years. I met lots of kids and made lots of
friends. My first years where difficult until I
learned how to read and write in Greek. As the
years went by I started to like Greek School.
My teacher Kyria Iοanna was always good to
us, even when sometimes we did not pay
attention to what she was saying and instead
we talked and fooled around. She told us
interesting and great stories and we made
funny jokes with each other. I would like to
thank Kyria Iοanna for her patience and
persistence and for everything that she taught
us. I will never forget Greek School and Kyria
Ioanna as long as I live.
Έλενα - Elena Tsantis
Τα έξι μου χρόνια
στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο
ήταν υπέροχα. Μου
άρεσε να έρχομαι κάθε
Πέμπτη να βλέπω τους
φίλους μου, να
μαθαίνω την Ελληνική
γλώσσα, τους χορούς,
τα τραγούδια, τα
ποιήματα και να κάνω
πολλές άλλες
δραστηριότητες. Μου άρεσε πολύ η δασκάλα
μου, η κυρία Ιωάννα. Είναι πολύ καλή και
νοιάζεται για μας. Μου έχει διδάξει τα πάντα
για το γράψιμο, την ανάγνωση και την
γραμματική. Χάρη σ’ αυτήν θα μπορώ να
επιβιώσω μόνη μου στην Ελλάδα και θα
μπορώ να επικοινωνώ με τους ανθρώπους
εκεί. Μου άρεσε πολύ που μας έμαθε
παραδοσιακούς Ελληνικούς χορούς,
ποιήματα, τραγούδια, μύθους και τόσα άλλα
πράγματα. Όλα ήταν πολύ ενδιαφέροντα για
μένα και θα μου λείψει που δεν θα συμμετέχω
του χρόνου. Εν κατακλείδι, θα ήθελα να
ευχαριστήσω την κυρία Ιωάννα που είναι μια
καταπληκτική δασκάλα και η διδασκαλία της
περιλαμβάνει πολλαπλά πράγματα. Θα ήθελα
να ευχαριστήσω τους γονείς μου που με
έγραψαν στο Ελληνικό Σχολείο. Τώρα που
φεύγω θα μου λείψουν τόσα πολλά και
ιδιαίτερα οι συμμαθητές μου. Θέλω να
ευχαριστήσω την κοινότητα μας που μας
προσφέρει ένα τόσο καλό Ελληνικό Σχολείο.
My six years of Greek School have been
wonderful. I loved coming every Thursday to
see my friends and learn the Greek language,
dances, songs, poems and participate in so
many activities. I really liked the teacher Mrs.
Ioannou. She is nice and caring. She has
taught me everything about writing, reading
and grammar. Thanks to her, I can survive on
my own in Greece and I can communicate
with the people there. I enjoyed learning
Greek traditional dances, poems, songs, myths
and so many other things. In conclusion, I
would like to thank Mrs. Ioannou for being an
amazing teacher and teaching me so much. I
would like to thank my parents for signing me
up for Greek School. I will miss everything
and everyone so much after this day. I want to
thank our St. Nicholas community for offering
us such a great Greek School.
Φίλιππος - Philip Valtadoros
Το Ελληνικό Σχολείο τελείωσε! Θυμάμαι
σαν να ήταν χθες που
ήμουν στην πρώτη
τάξη και μάθαινα το
αλφάβητο, ονομασίες
τροφών, ζώων και
χρωμάτων. Πάντοτε
μου άρεσαν τα
ποιήματα και τα
τραγούδια στις
Ελληνικές γιορτές.
Μου άρεσε πάρα
πολύ να χορεύω στο Φεστιβάλ. Έμαθα τόσα
πολλά. Νομίζω είμαι έτοιμος τώρα να μιλώ
Ελληνικά με τους θείους και τις θείες όταν θα
πάω τον Ιούνιο στην Ελλάδα. Η Κυρία Ιωάννα
με βοήθησε πολύ. Η γιαγιά μου όσες φορές
ερχόταν στο σπίτι με βοηθούσε αν και δεν
ήθελα. Με απειλούσε με την αυστηρότητα της
και εγώ τελείωνα αμέσως την εργασία μου.
Έμαθα την Ελληνική παράδοση και την
ιστορία. Έμαθα για την «Ημέρα του Όχι», για
τους «Τρεις Ιεράρχες» και για την
« 25η -Εικοστή Πέμπτη Μαρτίου».
Ονειρευόμουν για το πότε θα τελείωνα το
Ελληνικό Σχολείο επειδή είχα επιπλέον
σχολική εργασία από το Αμερικάνικο σχολείο.
‘Έφτασε αυτή η μέρα! Παρ’ όλο που τελείωσα
και χαίρομαι γι αυτό, θα σκέφτομαι και θα
θυμάμαι τα έξι χρόνια του Ελληνικού
Σχολείου με αγάπη. Ξέρω πως θα μου λείψει!
Greek School is over?! Finished? Done?
Wow, I remember my first year learning the
alphabet, foods, and animals like it was
yesterday. It has been a long time, but I’m
glad I stuck with it and completed all six
grades. I really enjoyed reciting poems and
singing songs at our programs. I enjoyed
dancing at the festival very much, too. I have
learned so much! I think I can understand
Greek and can have a conversation with my
aunts and uncles in Greece when I visit them
this summer. Kyria Ioanna taught me a lot and
helped me get to where I am now. My great
yiayia also helped me a lot. Whenever my
yiayia visited, even if I didn’t feel like doing
any homework, she would whip me into shape
and I would finish my homework lickety split.
I enjoyed learning about the Greek culture and
history. I learned about “Oxi Day”, the “Three
Hierarch’s Day” and the “25th of March-Greek
Independence Day”. I’m glad I know more
about my heritage and understand my family
history a little better. I remember dreaming
about not having to worry about extra
homework and an extra after-school activity.
Now that day is here. Even though I’m glad
that I’ll have more free time, I’ll look back at
my six years of Greek school and I’ll miss it.
St. Thomas receiving the girdle of the
St. James the Brother of the Lord. Oct. 23
Please, note there will be a Paraklesis Service on October 18 at
Spanakopita prep begins the week of October 21st and baklava
prep begins the week of November 18, with pick up scheduled for
Friday, November 22. Come and help the Philoptochos ladies in
this important fund-raiser that allows them to do good works. They
will be in the fellowship hall from 9am on prep days.
Another important Philoptochos Fundraiser, the Spaghetti Dinner, is
scheduled for Thursday, November 7. All proceeds go to Charity.
Sstewardship, always
We want to congratulate our Fifty Year members for
their dedicated service. On June 15, at the luncheon
of the annual District Number 10 Convention of
AHEPA/Daughters of Penelope at the St. Nicholas
Church in Troy, Michigan, the Daughters of Penelope
District Governor Dori Daskas congratulated and
thanked these esteemed ladies. Esther Starnal, Past
Grand Governor and Past District Governor; Anne
Hulce, Past District Governor and Helen Kokinakis
were honored, even though they were unable to
attend the event. Their service these past 50 years has
included their chairmanships of various committees
and as officers at the chapter and district levels. They
were involved as advisors to the junior order of the
DOP, the Maids of Athena. In execution of their
duties, they visited many other chapters around the
state of Michigan, and also served on the District
Number 10 Educational Foundation, which offers
scholarships to worthy students within Michigan.
Esther Starnal also served at the National level in
several capacities, requiring her to travel around the
country. Mrs. Starnal currently serves our chapter as
These ladies were also honored in 2012 at the District
Convention held in Ann Arbor. At the same time
honored at that convention for their longevity of
service were Helen Pappas and Marguerita Yates.
“The objectives of the Daughters of Penelope are to
promote Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic
Responsibility, Family and Individual Excellence.” Its
activities began with helping newly immigrated Greek
women to the U.S. learn the English language and to
assist them in attaining American citizenship.
Philanthropic projects currently include Penelope
House for abused women and children in Mobile,
Alabama, scholarships for students, seminars, Greek
Immigrant Oral History Study, Penelope’s Books,
which promotes children’s literacy, St. Basil’s
Academy, Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer
Center (formerly Papanicolaou Cancer Center),
preparing Breast Cancer awareness pamphlets in
many languages including Chinese, Finnish, and
many western languages, Thalassemia and many
other significant projects that aim at assisting social
and health concerns. At the district level, the DOP
has assisted Motts Children’s Hospital.
organization shares headquarters with AHEPA in
Washington, DC.
The enthusiasm and hard work of the remaining
organization members speaks to the dedication
and loyalty they feel toward this historic women’s
group. Several generations of women have enjoyed the many worthwhile benefits of this organization and its current members aspire to
remain a force in women’s lives in the future
through their many contributions and community
The local Daughters of Penelope Knossos Chapter Number 174 is pleased to honor our dedicated members for their longevity of service.
Their example has been a motivation to each of
us. Again we congratulate these outstanding
women for their loyal service.
Yan Theros won a MEFGOG Scholarship for her
dedication to Church music, her participation in
Church Choir and for her excellent scholarship.
Konstantinos Papaefthymiou won the Monte
Kofos, AHEPA National Student Athlete Scholarship and was an AP scholar with honors in
2012. He continues as a National Merit Scholar
and Presidential Scholar at American University
in Washington, DC. His brothers, Greg and
Pavlos will be performing works by Mozart,
Vivaldi and Rieding at the Kerrytown Concerthouse, Thanksgiving weekend, November 30,
at 12 noon. Come see them and support
musical education in Ann Arbor.
Tasia Gibson, not only is a talented singer at
Huron High School and helped with the music
program of VCS but she also leads her boat at
rowing events with the Huron rowing team.
Special thanks and congratulations to Elaine
Spiliopoulos for participating in the "Race for the
Cure." Elaine raised over $4,000 and walked 65
miles in three days to raise funds and awareness
for breast cancer research. Many thanks to her
and the many others who dedicated their time
and considerable energy to help make a difference in so many lives. You are a very caring and
generous lady and a blessing in the lives of
others. May God bless you always and keep you
well to continue to give of yourself so abundantly.
Bravo, Elaine!
Transformers: Old & New
What does it mean to transform oneself? What is
the definition of “transform”?
Talk to any of the 41 children (ranging in age from
3 to 12 years old) who participated in Vacation
Church School at St. Nicholas G.O.C. and he/she
can outline it for you. Each day, the students of
HOPE and JOY along with the teachers and
volunteers, participated in the Orthros; examined
Bible stories from the Old & New Testaments and
the lives and works of various Saints; and sang
praises to God , all under the leadership and
guidance of Fr. Nick. The daily lessons were
designed to echo the following quotes from the
· “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew 4:1
· “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what
they do.” Luke 23:34
· “And the child grew and became strong in spirit,
filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon
Him.” Luke 2:40
· “...go make disciples of all nations.” Matthew
“…your faith has made you well.” Luke 8:48
The campers created beautiful art to remind them of
the lessons learned, and to inspire them to complete
their transformations each day. One such art piece
is a Noah’s Ark paper mosaic that is currently on
display outside the Social Hall. To add to the fun,
we ran relay games, had a blast playing with water
balloons, and even completed a scavenger hunt.
What was especially touching for me was the sense
of family and community that was strengthened
through VCS. When our younger campers were
missing Mom and Dad, the other children rallied
around them and gave them hugs and words of
encouragement. As some of our campers were new
to the US and limited in their English, several
students offered to buddy up with them and
translate the lessons and directions to Greek.
During the week, everywhere I turned, I saw smiling
faces and children huddled together, talking about
what they learned in class, giggling and making
plans to get together over the summer. On the last
day of VCS, many of the campers asked if we could
continue the camp all summer long! Wow, what a
St. Nicholas’ VCS was successful as a result of the
hard work, dedication and heart of Fr. Nick, and
more than 25 GOYA and community volunteers!
From the bottom of my heart I thank you for giving
of your time and yourselves!
You are truly
Finally, thank you Fr. Nick and Katherine Phan for
giving me the opportunity to work with you, creating
lessons, making memories, and teaching our youth.
I will cherish this experience always.
Julie P. Skrettas M.A.T.
Director, Vacation Church School 2013
Parishioners Maria Pliakas (second from left) and Kostas Roumanis (right) were two of the OCF students that benefited from the Modern Greek Chair’s Summer in Greece
program. Below, our very own Panagiotis Hasiakos explains how his study of Greek at the U of M is helping him with his current Theology studies at Holy Cross.
Reprinted from
• Stefana (crowns)
• Lambathes
• Martirika
(witness ribbons)
• Bonbonierres
• Crosses
• Baptismal clothing
• Programs
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Door to door pick up and drop off
for your special family or group events:
4, 7 OR 13 passengers, also
[21PAX] or
Handicapped-access ranch available for sale within 5 minute walk from Church. For information
call Maria at 734.644.1614.
1-14-13------ Melina, daughter of Michael & Demaris Kasotakis
1-14-13-------Haralambos, son of Christo Sidiropoulos & Xanthippi Chatzistavrou
1-17-13------ Penelope, daughter of Ryan & Kana Greenawalt
3-20-13-------Alexander, son of Steve and Angela Normand
6-23-13-------Athanasios, son of Antonios and Cleopatra Mihalopoulos
Emily, daughter of Michael & Jennifer Petrou – Nonoi: Michael Petrou & Christine
Mendel John, son of Matthew and Sally Merkling – Nonoi: Kristen SakelarisBenton
Airi May, daughter of Andrew & Miyuki Curtis – Nono: Benjamin Curtis
George, son of Fr. Nick and Presvytera Sandra Kotsis – Nono: Grant Vlahopoulos
Christopher, son of James and Stephanie Jackson – Nono: Jacob Malacos
Penelope, daughter of Ryan and Kana Greenawalt – Nono: Darrin Greenawalt
Ellery, daughter of Grant and Lauren Toth – Nona: Megan Degrand
Olga, daughter of Marco and Paraskevi Cassone – Nonoi: Konstantinos Bolenas and
Panagiotis Bolenas
Theresa Biesiada and Brion Cooley – Koumbaro: Angela Biesiada
Christina Lingris and Stephen Tobelmanm – Koumbaro: Brian Lingris
Katherine Hardcastle and Stephen Kolokithas – Koumbaroi: Thomas and
Evangeline Kolokithas
Maria Grzesiak and John Bistolarides – Koumbaro: James Bistolarides
Laura Sucher and Nicholas Panos – Koumbaroi: Mirko and Georgia Vulicevic
Angelina Pargoff and Levi Stafford – Koumbaroi: Robert and Julia Kondoff
Daphne Lambropoulos and Michael Vander Roest - Koumbaroi: Tom and Sophia
Nathaniel Knapp and Julia Krause – Koumbaroi: Tom and Sophia Roumanis
Karen Munson
James T. Chapekis –(Funeral: 9-21-13, Bethlehem)
Rosaleen Baldwin – (Funeral – Connecticut)
(If there are any mistakes or omissions, we apologize. Please contact the office so that we may correct it.
Thank you.)
George Kokales, President
George Michos, Vice President
Michael Kasotakis, Secretary
Vasilios Pliakas, Controller
Christos Kitromelides, Treasurer
Patricia R. Douglas, Assistant Treasurer
Elizabeth Mitropoulos, Corresponding Secretary
Christopher A. Bekiares, Christopher Bilakos, Dr.
Costas Kleanthous, Lambrini Lagos, Eva Mikhail,
Nicholas Stamos, Christopher Webber, Robert J.
Ashley, Jr.
Ioanna Ioannou, Principal and Teacher
Costas Boutsikakis
Perry Katsikas
OCF (UM Campus Ministry)
Brian Johanides
(Tuesday at 8:00 pm in the Michigan Union)
Maria Pliakas
Zannis Res (Protopsaltis), George Smyrnis
Sam Roumanis, Dr. Anthony Kales
Dani Nadra
Dr. Artemis Leontis, Joy Melzian, Dr. Sophia
Roumanis, Mara Krause
Dr. Jon Wardner, Teresa Stokes
Vicky Masters, President
(Second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm)
Dr. Maria Athanassiou-Papaefthymiou
[email protected]
Diane Geczi
Email: [email protected]
For emergencies: (734) 604-3214
Katherine Phan, Photios Ioannou, Assistant
Demetra Mitropoulos-Rundus
Demetra Mitropoulos-Rundus
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: 9am-3pm, Monday through Friday
Kanella Smyrnis, President
Mary Hays
Dr. Sophia Grias-Radwanski, Vasilia Tsilimingras,
Antonios Mihalopoulos
Robert J. Ashley, Jr.
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