Our Parish History
Historically the maintenance of Religious Beliefs and Cultural Tradition has been in the heart and soul of the Greek. The few Greek Families that settled about thirty years ago here on Long Island were similar to the early Greek Settlers who arrived in America at the turn of the Century - after settling, their first thoughts turned to perpetuating their Orthodox Faith and their Greek Cultural Heritage. Their success is legend today.
Officially, from the perspective of our Archdiocese, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church began when it was accepted December 26, 1973. It was granted a Charter on October 21, 1977. However, in the hearts and minds of those early families, 1972 will always be the inaugural year - the beginning of its history, when they pursued their vision of establishing a Greek Orthodox Church and Community.
A wonderful Episcopalian priest opened his heart to the Greek Orthodox faithful and made his church available to them. For a long time they used the facilities of their Church free of charge. It was in the basement of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church that many of our programs and organizations began. With great faith, encouragement and enthusiasm of fellow Christians the dream became a reality and continued to grow, so that in time they wanted to build their own edifice. With free will contributions and several fund raisers they succeeded.
On September 10, 1978, following the Lord’s Command, they broke ground at the future site of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and on Palm Sunday 1980 we celebrated the first Divine Liturgy in the beautiful new building. Dedicated to Holy Trinity since 1980, Fr. George Stavropoulos has given spiritual inspiration and guidance. He and his family have grown together with us. Presvytera Angeliki professionally teaches in the Greek School, Catechetical School and many other educational and cultural programs.
In April 1990 the community decided to add an Educational Center. With love of faith and culture the school opened its doors six months later to accommodate hundreds of pupils eager to receive a Greek Orthodox Education in a modern environment. This is our legacy, a legacy which performs miraculously for the glory of God and His Greek Orthodox Church. We are thankful to our pioneers whose Godly guidelines for Free Will Offerings please God and His people.
Our Family Ties, Principles and Christian Values are strengthened by sharing the Word of God, the Power of the Holy Spirit and the Traditions of Greek Orthodoxy. The highest ideals of the Greek Classical Education, History and Civilization have been shared with our students all these years. Theatrical events like, Iphigeneia and Antigone, were staged and played enthusiastically by our youth. Additional events and presentations are observed on March 25, Mothers’ Day, October 25, together with some more sophisticated efforts are made by our pupils for musical concerts, and Christmas plays. “Iphigeneia in Avlidi” as well as a tribute to the ideals of the “2004 Olympics” are on the schedule for 2004.
The community, in its efforts to facilitate its growth requirements, has purchased two adjoining properties, the latest in February 2002. In the course of time our church has grown to be one of the most important in the Archdiocese. With all the educational programs offering the best Greek Orthodox Education our Greek School continues to grow and produce the highest scoring students. Our philanthropic efforts are well organized and our Senior Citizen Fellowship is growing stronger.
On Sunday, October 12, 2003, the community united in celebration of the Consecration of the Holy Altar and a dream was fulfilled. It was after almost a year of preparation for this event. All participated, young and old. Everyone contributed time, talent and finances. All were blessed.
The Legacy Continues
The Lord’s invitation is: If anyone wants to follow Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Mark 8:34) Our Lord’s divine wisdom and our pioneers legacy have taught us to appeal to all those who wish to support the cause of Jesus and His Greek Orthodox Church. It is not unusual to witness a joyous parade of leaders from our church organizations, cheerfully giving their Free Will Offerings. Their offerings are an affirmation that we are united with the Holy Spirit guiding us, and under the leadership of the parish council we carry out Godly efforts for new horizons in securing the future of our beloved Holy Trinity family.
As in the days of the Apostles, the followers of Christ have experienced the life of faith in the context of community. The church is a community; not a mere collection of individuals but a collection of individuals who share a common set of beliefs. It is a community beyond geographical or time limitations.
The church, and its community, means many things to many people, but first and foremost, it is a living expression of our faith in God. It serves as a lighthouse guiding us in both the tranquil and stormy moments of our lives. It is a bridge that unites us with our past, present and directs us toward our future. It is, like Christ, “all things to all people”. Although the wood and paint, the gold, silver and brass will suffer the ravages of time, the call to be transfigured in Christ and the principles and precepts of our faith and heritage will continue for generations to come.