Why "Greek"?

When people see the word “Korean” or “Greek” describing a church community, they may assume that such churches are mainly (or even only) for those particular ethnic groups. This is not true of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. All people are welcome here, regardless of ethnic background.

You may then be wondering: Why do you keep the word “Greek” in your name and on your sign?

The reasons are historical.

The most recent history pertains to the way the Orthodox Church came to America. While missionaries from Russia came to North America through Alaska, immigrants from various traditionally Orthodox countries—such as Greece, in the case of this community—came to America in search of a better life. One of the first things they often did was to establish a parish in their new home. During the early years, the parish was a center of life that combined their native languages, cultures, and Orthodox faith. As they became more integrated into American society, learned English, and married spouses outside the Greek Orthodox culture, the feeling and function of parish communities changed. 

But the historical reasons go much deeper, much further back in time.

First, the vast majority of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. To understand these central texts of the Christian faith, unmediated by interpretive biases in translations, it’s helpful to read them in their original form and with the guidance of the Church Fathers, who interpreted them according to the canon of faith. This leads to the next historical fact.

Greek was likewise the language in which the early Church Fathers wrote. It was the language in which they composed the liturgical texts for worship and their commentaries on Scripture. It was the language of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, which defined the teachings of the Christian faith. It is a linguistic tradition that has communicated the substance of the faith for nearly 2000 years. Because our purpose is to keep, practice, and proclaim the Orthodox Christian faith pure and undefiled, the preservation and cultivation of the Greek language is a core priority of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. 

But following the example of the great Greek missionaries to the Slavs, Saints Cyril and Methodios, we offer our main services primarily in English. If a verse of a hymn or a response is repeated, we will generally alternate singing or chanting it in English and Greek, but we remember the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, to go forth and make disciples of all nations, who must understand the faith if they are to become followers of Jesus Christ in the Orthodox way.

Today, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is a multi-ethic, international parish community in which any and all people who are seeking the deepest roots of the Christian faith can find them and be nourished by them. We hope you will visit us in person soon!