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Melbourne: The Third talk of the series “Power of the Word” presented by Fr Gerasimos Koutsouras

With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios and the under the guidance of His Grace Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis, the third talk in the Power of the Word series was delivered by Father Gerasimos Koutsouras at St Haralambos Templestowe within the District of Melbourne on Sunday, 5 June 2022.

Father Gerasimos is the Parish Priest of St George at Rose Bay in Sydney. He was also on the faculty of St Andrew’s Theological College for sixteen years, teaching and lecturing Church History Byzantine Music, Hymnology and Modern Greek.

In the talk titled, ”How would they believe if they haven’t heard and how would they hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14), Father Gerasimos focused on explaining the power of the word through its message. he explained how in the Orthodox Christian context, the scriptural messages are underpinned by how they communicated.

He chose an example of how when our Lord delivered a sermon to the people from the boat of the then fishermen and now Apostles. He uses the shoreline as an amphitheatre so he could be easily be heard and understood. Furthermore, he also explained how early Christians were the first to use spaces between words and lowercase letters to make it easier for the Christian message to be understood, adopted, and therefore spread. He also highlighted that when St John Chrysostom was asked to simplify his sermons, he humbly accepted. Father Gerasimos continued to emphasise how Christians invented new ways to communicate with their audiences, Sts Cyril and Methodius devised a new language for the Christian faith to be understood by nations in Eastern Europe.

Ultimately, the message from Father Gerasimos’s talk was that we should not aim to fossilise our Orthodox Christian services as 60 percent of Greek Orthodox in Australia are born in Australia. We need to continue to be inventive in how we communicate the Word of God as did Christ, the Apostles and the Saints of our Holy Church. Father Gerasimos encouraged us not to use the English language sparingly instead we need to incorporate it further as this would benefit the Orthodox Church and future generations to come in communicating the word of God.

After the talk, Parish Priest Father Elias Kentrotis presented to Fr Gerasimos a gift to thank him for his inspiring presentation.

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