The Purpose of the Church: Fr. Gary Kyriacou

Pastor Rick Warren’s bestselling book, The Purpose Driven Life, was actually a sequel to a lesser known book he wrote called The Purpose Driven Church. In The Purpose Driven Church, he gives a great list of “purposes” that each church should aim to accomplish. Liberally summarizing Warren’s work, he says each successful church should be: warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, broader through ministry, and larger through evangelism. To see how these principals stacked up against the specific requirements of Orthodoxy, I reviewed the Archdiocese Bylaws. They state: "The diakonia (work, ministry, mission) of the parish will include proclaiming the Gospel in accordance with the Orthodox Faith, sanctifying the faithful through God's grace in worship, the Divine Liturgy and the other Sacraments and Devotional Services, enhancing the Parishioners’ spiritual life; and adding to their numbers by instructing others and receiving them into the Church through Baptism and/or Chrismation, catechizing them in the Orthodox Faith and in the ethos of the Church through the establishment of programs, schools and philanthropic activities, and implementing Christian ministries." As you can see, there is a great deal of overlap between what Warren outlined and what the Archdiocese dictates, and I found myself wondering, as a priest and pastor, if the parish I serve is meeting these objectives. Does St. Demetrios hold true and fast to the aims and purposes established by the Archdiocese?  ... read more 

Greetings, I pray you are well. It seems that many have not been receiving some of the messages I have sent. Please check your "junk" folder every now and then . . . Following is a list of events and activities happening at our loving Parish over the next few days. Please make every effort to participate in as many Lenten services as possible. Hope to see you. Tuesday, March 25: Liturgy, Annunciation- Orthros at 9AM and Liturgy at 9:30AM Wednesday, March 26:Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30PM Potluck 7:30 Orthodox Study until 8:30 We are studying THE WAY OF A PILGRIM Friday, March 28: Fourth Stantza of the Akathist Hymn 6:30PM Please come! Also, please be sure to use my NEW email address when corresponding: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. With Christ’s Love, +Fr. Gary In Christ, +FG Father Gary Kyriacou St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 1970 Camarillo, CA 93011 CHAPEL ADDRESS (Physical meeting site): 3100 Ponderosa Camarillo, CA 93010 805-482-1273 cell: 805-443-3376

"Did you know that 20 million people turn to AmericanTowns.com each year to find out what's going on around their community? This is one of the reasons thousands of nonprofit community organizations partner with AmericanTowns to help get the word out about their events & activities each month and connect with the community."

We are delighted to announce that the Camarillo community site on AmericanTowns has a fresh new look this month and we have expanded our rich content offering for every town in America. The updated Camarillo community site focuses much more on "Things to Do" around Camarillo and the surrounding area, plus new navigation features and a more user-friendly design aesthetic.

In addition to all that local goodness, the Camarillo Community site of course offers easy-to-use tools for nonprofits to promote their events and activities - all at no cost!

Please take a few moments to review the page for St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on the Camarillo site and we invite you to add your upcoming events, latest press releases and news, or even post a photo. If you need assistance updating your page, please let me know and we'll be happy to help.

Message from Fr Gary

Fr Gary

God’s Holy Word


A great benefit of spending time at summer camp is the opportunity to disconnect from technology. Not having a phone or internet connection gets you excited to receive mail. A great joy is receiving a (good old fashioned) letter from home. The delight in holding an envelope with the familiar handwriting of a loved one is a highlight for all the staff, counselors and campers. Everyone gets electrified when they get mail (real, handwritten, stamped envelope mail).

One afternoon at St. Sophia Camp, the Director handed me a small envelope sent to me from Christie. I took it, looked at it and put it in my pocket. “You gonna read it?” He asked. I nodded, smiled and walked to the chapel to prepare for evening vespers. I placed it on the altar and put my vestments on for the service.

Vespers ended and the kids were excited to go up the hill to mail call, anticipating their own letters and packages. Prior to their leaving the chapel I shared with them the unopened envelope from my wife. I asked, “What if I just set this letter from my wife on my night stand and never opened or read it?” The responses were touching and hilarious.

One little guy said, “I think you should read it, it will make you happy!” Another jokingly said, “You might end up sleeping on the couch if you don’t.” An older teen girl said, “That’s just coldhearted, what if...

Continue Reading