October 30, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Hopefully the memories of the 4th International Conference of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Pastoral Health Care will remain vivid in the minds and hearts of all its participants. Its success is attributed to the fact that, throughout the duration of Conference, hope was experienced within the “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”. In Rhodes, “we were called to one hope, the one of our calling” (Ephes. 4:3-4); to preach salvation and eternal life by ministering to one another with long-suffering, humility and with the spirit of love. Our hope was verified because, with the blessings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, we took delight in the loving care of the Mother Church that supports us in our ministry in a very active way. Above all, our hope was confirmed with the willingness that was expressed by all present to further cultivate and join together our efforts within a Network of solidarity and mutual support.
Furthermore, the success of the Conference was due to its ardent participants, the excellent response of the invited speakers, the selfless dedication of the members of the Organizing Committee and the co-workers of the Metropolis of Rhodes, together with the invaluable willingness shown by the sponsors to support the Patriarchal Network.
This success brings us before the great responsibility to further develop the Network of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Pastoral Health Care and to give special attention to the way we serve our fellow men and women. Understanding the importance of this responsibility, I assure you that every effort will be made to work toward meeting the demands this responsibility entails.
Sincerely valuing the ministry you offer to our suffering fellow men and women and your love toward the Ecumenical Throne, I pray that “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 15:13).
With brotherly love in Christ,
Rev. Protopresbyter Stavros K. Kofinas
Coordinator of the Network of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
for Pastoral Health Care