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“We need media that is not going to be playing politic kind of games”
– A message from Father Alex Karloutsos of Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox – Church of Hamptons.
Father Alex Karloutsos, assistant to Archbishop Demetrios of America, Spiritual Advisor to the order of Saint Andrew Archons, of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America and to Faith: An Endowment of Orthodoxy and Hellenism.
Βy Phyto Stratis
Father Alex talked to Hellenic Daily News about the facilities of this beautiful Greek Orthodox Church and its role in the community.
This church is all dedicated to the Holy Mother, everything about it, even the inscriptions in the dome, everything, comes from the Holy Mother. It is truly a very unique complex. At the front, you see the mosaic, eight hundred and fifty thousand pieces of Murano glass, and they are all part of the Jewish followers of Christ -early Christians.
What about the interior of the church, the iconography and the Dome?
They’ve been working on it for two years. George Philippakis has been working with somebody who is a scholar and they guided us, but Father Ioakim Kotsonis disciplined everything. We just got done completed with the dome. It has the traditional Pantocrator which is surrounded by a rainbow. The rainbow come from the tradition of Noah and the Arc, and the covenant, they knew that God brought piece to the earth, by sending a rainbow to Noah. So that’s around the Pantocrator, and then we have what they call the celestial liturgy, the liturgy of the archangels around the Pantocrator, and then we have the prophets, all of the prophecies talk about the Holy Mother, then the four evangelists. In the altar itself we have another liturgy going on, and that’s the liturgy of the Saints; then we do the third liturgy. So you have the liturgy of the Saints, the Celestial and then you have the liturgy here on earth that we do.
Could you talk to us about “Muses”?
“Muses” is our Cultural Center. There, (at the front of the building) we have “The School of Athens” which is a copy of Rafael’s piece at the Vatican .It has seven hundred fifty thousand of Murano glass, and it shows the underpinnings of Western Civilization, as the Reign called it -the morning star of the western world-. We have a lot of non-Greeks but they come to liturgy, and come to our community. We have 37 nationalities, many of them have become Orthodox, we have an outdoor baptistery for adults, and we do adult baptism out here as well, so we are very fortunate. Father Constantine is the passion with me, does a great job, and we have a Greek language program; A Russian language program, a Romanian language program and a Georgian language program. We try to bring all the Orthodox family together and if there was a Turkish Orthodox community, we would teach Turkish language as well.
How do you feel about The Hellenic Daily News which is a Greek American Internet Service where it promotes news and updating news to the community?
Well, first of all I believe that is better for the community to connect than disconnect and I also believe that we need media that is not going to be playing politic kind of games, and just talking about the truth of our community and not trying to destroy each other but build up each other, and I know that Eva (Evageline Plakas) has always believed in building up neither than tearing down and unfortunately, sadly, often times Greeks try tear down each other rather than build up each other, and in this community we build up.
Father Alex Karloutsos & Evageline Plakas -photo courtesy of Hellenic Daily News