Dear friends, members of the Philoptochos,
I greatly rejoice as we approach the great feast of the Nativity of Christ, which provides us with one more opportunity to serve God in worship and His people through our caring love.
This Christmas will be a warm and comfortable one for many people in need because of you, the members of the Philoptochos. But as you extend your helping hand to give joy to people in need do not forget to witness your faith as well in the new born Jesus who is the Son of God. This is what the Philoptochos is about; spreading faith, hope and love. Faith in God who cares for us, hope in His love which saves, and love for God and our fellow human beings who need us.
As we lift up those among us who are weak and vulnerable we become like Christ, we share in His life and virtues and make ourselves sons and daughters of God.”
God had mercy on the world and sent His Son to be born of a woman, to take humanity upon Himself, to become weak and vulnerable, so that He can share our broken life, lift us up and bring us to His Kingdom. As we lift up those among us who are weak and vulnerable we become like Christ, we share in His life and virtues and make ourselves sons and daughters of God. This is the ultimate goal of the Philoptochos, to open to its members the Kingdom of God through Faith, hope and acts of mercy.
Beyond the parties, the good food, the gifts and the glittering lights, Christmas is a feast of transformation of humanity. Let yourselves be transformed by the Love of Christ. As you serve others you serve the Lord. As you witness your faith, you open the door of God’s Kingdom to those who may not know it. As you offer hope through your acts of love and mercy, you witness the love of God to His world.
Stay the course! Be ambassadors of God’s Love!
In Christ’s Love,
† Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou Spiritual Advisor
Spiritual Advisor of the Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos
Fr. Panayiotis was born on the island of Cyprus. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from City College, New York, a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA and a Ph.D. in Early Christian Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
He has served as a priest in the U.S. and Cyprus and taught Orthodox Theology and Spirituality in Cyprus, Jerusalem, Canada and the US.
Currently, he is serving as pastor of Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, in Marietta, Georgia. He serves on the Atlanta Metropolis Council and Archdiocesan Presbyters Council.
Fr. Panayiotis continues to pursue research in the Late Antique Roman History and Theology and is the author of many articles. He has recently published the book: Homilies on Romans by St. John Chrysostom, Volume 1, (modern English translation) Holy Cross Press, 2013.
Fr. Panayiotis is married to Presvytera Catherine. They have two children, a son (Efstratios) and a daughter (Olympia), ages 23 and 20.