There won't be any more Sunday services, baptisms, weddings, or funerals in Salt Lake City, Utah's two Greek Orthodox Churches -- Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias -- per order of the regional metropolitan, due to a 40 percent pay cut for the churches' priests, the Salt Lake Tribune website reports today (August 10, 2013).
Metropolitan Isaiah -- the Denver-based Greek Orthodox leader whose region includes Utah -- recently ordered the three clergy members serving the community to "immediately suspend all priestly ministry to the parishes."
His directive came after the cash-strapped parish council voted July 29 to cut the pay of the three priests by 40 percent to balance the 2013 budget. "Our community is out of money and unable to meet the payroll this week," the parish council explained the next day in a letter to parishioners.
The 40 percent reduction for the three priests -- Father Michael Kouremetis, Father Matthew Gilbert, and Father Elias Koucos -- will save the parishes $124,980 annually, the council calculated. Parish Council Chairman Dimitrios Tsagaris said the council is working with Metropolitan Isaiah to find a solution to the situation, and expects the problem to be rectified soon.