Berlin, NJ – St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church celebrated its fiftieth year as a parish on Sunday. The day was marked with speeches and traditional folk dancing.
Some 450 guests, members of the clergy, and dignitaries filed Adelphia’s dining hall to commemorate the golden jubilee (October 1st, 1967 – October 1st, 2017). Charles Sandilos, Esquire, and Archon Anastasios Efstratiades, Esquire, shared the duties of Master of Ceremonies.
Popi Karapalides of Seizmos kicked off the evening with the singing of the National Anthems of Greece and the United States. The Very Reverend Archimandrite Christoforos Oikonomidis gave the Pastoral Greeting, which was then followed by a short speech by Archon George G. Horiates, Esquire, and President of St. Thomas Parish Council.
Carol Pappas, President of the Saint Irene Philoptochos also addressed the crowd and thanked the Philoptochos for their years of dedication. The Honorable Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic, was also present from New York. “There are over ten million diaspora Greeks outside of the motherland, and we need you,” said Koutras. Dr. Konstantinos Koutras went on to praise Greek Americans and the strength they have to represent their country.
His Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, also thanked the parishioners. During his speech, he praised those that have led and helped build the community. The evening concluded with the Hellenic Heritage Dance Group (members and alumni) performing. A group photo and a cake cutting ceremony closed out the event that ended with dancing to the sounds of Seizmos Music.