Greek Orthodox Church of America Welcomes Religious Leaders to Share in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2003

On Tuesday January 24, 2023, the Greek Orthodox Church in America
offered a beautiful Ecumenical Prayer Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian
Unity at Saint Nicolas Shrine on Ground Zero. [1] The event, entitled “Do Good, Seek
Justice,” (Theme of the International Observance, Isaiah 1:17) brought
speakers / Scripture readers, and prayer leaders together representing a variety of
churches, including:

Presider: His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, a most humble and
inspirational leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. The archbishop
spoke of FRIENDSHIP as the most essential element in advancing Ecumenical
dialogue and service. [2]

Biography of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (

Gospel Homilist: His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Catholic Archdiocese of
New York His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan – New York, NY Cardinal Dolan
spoke of the importance of his friendship with Archbishop Elpidophoros, and
official representatives from the Episcopal, Lutheran, Baptist, non-denominational
Christian, and National Council of Churches present there. His homily focused on
words of Pope Francis insisting the Church give priority to an outward focus with
friendship, collaboration, and charity, and less on the politics of each respective
denomination’s internal struggles.


A. Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith, World Council of Churches President
from North America, who pleaded for more efforts to break down cultural
and political barriers that separate African American Churches from the
White Christian Churches. She urged greater, focused solidarity on
economic reforms and related social justice issues while maintaining
collaboration on the more visible mutual works of charity.

Reverend Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith’s Biography (

Recommended Website to find Collaborators:  THE DIGITAL REPOSITORY FOR THE BLACK EXPERIENCE  – Homepage | The HistoryMakers 

B. Rev. Samuel Davis, St. Simon of Cyrene Orthodox Mission, New Brunswick,
NJ, Orthodox Church in America. Rev. Davis, an African American convert to Orthodoxy, proved an imposing presence with a sonorous voice making unequivocal statements on the hypocrisies of those who claim to be “color blind.” He urged more humility in inter-racial relations and the importance of the Church cultivating greater listening skills.

“Responding to Racism: The Orthodox Witness in America” – Juneteenth – From the Archdiocese – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (

Parishes – St. Simon of Cyrene Mission – Orthodox Church in America (

C. FYI: Scheduled Speaker (Unable to Attend) Bishop Vashti Murphy
, President and General Secretary of the National Council of
Churches, African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). Bishop Vashti
Murphy McKenzie (

Other Readers and individuals present:

Fr. Nicolas Kazarian, an appointed Ecumenical Officer of the Greek
Archdiocese of America. Fr. Nicolas helped coordinate the event and its
invitations and served as Master of Ceremonies. He is also pastor at New
York City’s Saint Eleftherios Greek Orthodox Church, and a fellow Board
Member for Religions for Peace USA (RFPUSA) among other organizations.

Rev. Dr. Protopresbyter Nicolas Kazarian | St.Eleftherios Greek Orthodox Church

The Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche

Bishop Dietsche was installed as the 16th Bishop of New York on February 2, 2013
at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. Bishop Dietsche – Episcopal Diocese of New York ( In anticipation of his preparatory year that will begin his
retirement, Bishop Dietsche was cited for his extensive Ecumenical service, and awarded an Icon of St. Nicolas by the Greek Patriarch Elpidophoros.

The Rev. Dr. Chloe Breyer (Episcopal)

Rev, Breyer is the Director of The Interfaith Center of New York, ICNY Staff | ICNY
Harvard grad, and author of The Close: A Young Woman’s First Year at Seminary

The Rev. Margaret Rose

Episcopal Church Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Collaboration. Episcopal Church representative on the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches of Christ, Religions for Peace USA (RFPUSA) Episcopal – Lutheran Shared Ministries and other bodies. Living Interfaith: Interview with the Rev. Margaret Rose – Episcopal News Service Lutheran-Episcopal Shared Ministries | Episcopal Asset Map

Roman Catholic Bishop Robert J. Brennan, Brooklyn, NY

Robert J. Brennan – Wikipedia

Rev. Michael Lynch V.E.

Rev. Lynch is the Vicar for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Brooklyn

The Very Reverend Patrick Malloy, Ph.D.

Rev. Malloy is the Dean of the Cathedral Church of Saint John
the Divine, New York, NY, and pastor of the Congregation of Saint Saviour

Dean & Clergy – Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (

Members of the Chemin-Neuf Community,

Chemin-Neuf is establishing a New York City initiative for Ecumenical Relations among Young Adults in their 20’s in Autumn 2023 based at Saint John the Devine, New York. For information:

The Chemin Neuf Community – Chemin Neuf Community in the US (


[1] To get a sense of the beautiful iconography of the new Greek Orthodox Shrine in New York City, see  Iconography of Saint Nicholas | Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church ( Related articles:

Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Destroyed on Sept. 11, Reopens – The New York Times (

[2] Personal note: I first heard His Eminence speak and preside at the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) in Anaheim, CA last spring. I was inspired by his wisdom and eloquence then as now. 


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