ORDINATION OF DEACONS IN ST. ATHANASIUS CHURCH, TARPON SPRINGS, FLORIDA
Sunday, January 22, 2012. His Eminence, Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim celebrated the Holy Qurobo (Divine Liturgy) at 10:30 AM, at St. Athanasius Church in Tarpon Springs, FL. He was assisted by the parish priest, Rev. Fr. John George Kouki, the deacons and the choir of the Church. During the Holy Liturgy, His Eminence ordained the following individuals to the rank of Qoruyo (Reader):
George Malki, Peter Kouki, George Kouki, Michael Jallo, Joseph Zeiro, Christ Zeiro, Noah Bassous, Andrew Malki, Mike Malki, Michael Matli, Mena Bassous, Gabriel Fermano, Christ Kerio, John Ichoa, Issac Ichoa, Robert Abraham, Rami Abraham,Yousef Merza, Elias Pano,George Aslan.
Following the ordination, Archbishop Karim offered thanksgiving to the Lord for blessing the parish with such a large number of alter servants who offered themselves to His service. The Archbishop also congratulated the newly ordained Qoruye (Readers) as well as their families and the parishioners. He also thanked Rev. Fr. John Kouki for helping these deacons and training them for the service of the altar of the Lord.
In his sermon centered on the encounter between Our Lord Jesus Christ and Nicodemos, a teacher of the Jews, Archbishop Karim emphasized the importance of remembering and being faithful to the vows which every christian makes at his or her baptism through the family and the God parents. He, likewise, warned to parishioners not to be deceived by individuals and groups who preach the necessity of being born again although they were baptized as infants. He highlighted the Orthodox faith which considers the Baptism of water and the Spirit as a second birth from above. At the same time Christians are required to renew their faith every moment of their lives.
After concluding the Holy Qurobo, His Eminence was lead to the church hall by the new deacons in a procession while the choir sung (Toe Bashlom Ro’yo Shareero) a hymn sung for the prelates of the church.
On Saturday night His Eminence met with deacons to be ordained and conducted evening prayers with them. Afterwards, he offered the his fatherly instructions and the explained to the them the nature of the new responsibility they are entrusted with as Qoruye. After answering their questions, he adviced them to spend some time reading the Psalms of David and to make their confessions in preparation for their ordination.