Gentle Priest of St. Nicholas
Thebarton South Australia
The Greek Orthodox faith of Reverend, Father Ioannis Pokkias became the center of his life.
He found his passion in serving God, our dear Lord, Jesus Christ, our Blessed Virgin Mary, the Saint, Prophets and Angels.
He prepared himself to share in the special mission of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Reverend Father, Ioannis Pokkias - o Papa Yiannis was born in the small, Southern Rhodes village of Arnitha in 1929.
While still just a boy, his chanting filled the village church every Sunday with the beautiful and sacred hymnology of his Greek Orthodox faith.
He immigrated to Adelaide, South Australia in 1955 and married his wife, Eleni in 1958.
As a young immigrant, he began chanting at the old Koimisis Theotokou church at Brompton and was ordained a priest in 1971 at the Cathedral of Archangels Michael and Gabriel (Taxiarhis) in Franklin Street, Adelaide.
Soon after, he was appointed to serve as parish priest of St. Nicholas in Thebarton.
Over a lifetime of service, o Papa Yiannis has stood forth with dignity and humility as the messenger of our dear Lord, Jesus Christ guiding his flock to the light of truth and wisdom with the warmth of his love and a soft, compassionate heart that was so familiar to those who knew him.
His beautiful and inspirational voice has led his parish in prayer and Liturgy for the Glory of God.
His commitment to service in the church and the Greek Orthodox community in fulfilling the spiritual needs of his congregation to lead, counsel and fortify them is worthy of all praise.
Every Good Friday, Andreas Vatenos will accompany Jesus and to retrace His Footsteps along the road of His Passion and Crucifixion in a spirit of sincere reverence and faith, carrying the Cross of Christ.
Spiritual Gift of Service
The needs of a community and of the church are many that require caring individuals who volunteer their time and talents to provide valuable support and help with one or more of their many programs.
God graciously grants every Christian with their own unique spiritual gifts.
When we serve, we grow spiritually because the Presence of God is in our lives.
Andreas Vatenos, an immigrant from the small, hilltop village of Mesanagros, Rhodes Island, honors God and w
Walks in the Footsteps of Jesus, the Humble Servant Who came to serve and to give.
Andreas Vatenos gives generously from the heart to serve God in his church at St. Nicholas, Thebarton.
He goes to church to honor Jesus Christ as the King of his world.
And, he goes to church to enjoy the richness of Christian fellowship.
"The greatest among you will be your servant".
- Matthew 23:11 NIV
Stellios Valasakis (left) and George Koumpis (his story is in Immigrant Life Themes - the Koumpis Brothers), humble servants of God who express their faith through their humble hearts who honor Jesus Christ as the King of their world.
Faith Service and Humility
The Bible extols service that is expressed by love for God and for our neighbor.
God weaves His Goodness through humble people to build wholesome communities and to strengthen Christian faith.
Stellios Valasakis, an immigrant from Mesangros, Rhodes Island, has served his community through his church of St. Nicholas, Thebarton, the PanRhodian Society of S.A. -Colossus and the Rhodian Messanagrenos Association O Taxiarhis Inc.
Stellios contributions to his community are many.
He has provided that needed pair of hands that have always been available for the benefit of his church and his community.
Through service, Stellio, lives out the Vision of God.
Christian Life, the Path That Takes me Nearer to Thee
Living Out the Vision of God
Jack and Maria Gazecimeon embody the values and spirit of Christian faith and Greek culture.
They live fulfilling and meaningful lives through service to others.
As servants of God, they radiate humility and are uniquely gifted to guide, help and support their community.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
- Matthew 18:20 | NIV
Humble Servants of God
Community minded people have a sense of pride, a sense of belonging and a sense of identity.
They give value to people's lives, they build wholesome communities and they have a positive impact on society.
Jack and Maria Gazecimeon serve their church to Honor God.
They find fulfillment in the traditional values of their southern Rhodes (Rhodes Island, Greece) heritage and the spiritual traditions of their Greek Orthodox faith.
As two faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, they have a passion for service that reaches beyond the walls of their church that make them faithful and productive citizens of their community.
PanRhodian Society of S.A. "Colossus"
As immigrants from Rhodes Island, Greece, Jack and Maria maintain a deep affection for their native island, their community spirit becomes priceless for those who want to pass on their valuable cultural traditions and Greek Orthodox faith for the generations ahead.
The Colossus Hall in Adelaide, South Australia, over the years has served as the hub of many Greek gatherings from festive dances and cultural feasts to barbecues, weddings, birthdays, exhibitions, seminars and afternoon teas for charities.
And, the philanthropic work undertaken by the PanRhodian Society of S.A. "Colossus", serves as a wonderful example of their good works and good deeds.
Jack has worked tirelessly over the years in various capacities to serve the Greek community through the PanRhodian Society of S.A. "Colossus" without expecting anything in return.
And Maria, together with a small group of Rhodian ladies have also formed their own sub-committee and worked toward generating social and recreational activities as well as providing strong support to charities such as the Thalassaemia Association.
Their devotion to service and their contributions have helped to make a big difference to the Greek community of South Australia.
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members".
- Coretta Scott King
Sevice With Humility
Stergos Magafakis was born in Pilona, Rhodes Island, Greece in 1938 and immigrated to Adelaide, South Australia in 1956.
As a devout, Greek Orthodox Christian, Stergo has served Saint Nicholas, Greek Orthodox Church in Thebarton over the years through its administrative, financial and other important functional capacities, as president of its Epitropi branch.
That Special Sunday
Every Sunday, Stergos Magafakis goes to church to hear the Divine Liturgy that re-eanacts the Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection of our dear Lord, Jesus Christ.
And, as a devout, Greek Orthodox Christian, he observes and follows the sacred Greek Orthodox Sacraments of his faith by which we achieve union with God and with each other.
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
- Colossians 3:4 ESV
A Heart Devoted to Serving
As a servant of God, Stergo serves his church for the benefit of his community.
Serving God reveals the goodness of the true Christian heart.
The gift of service, brings us closer to God, our church, our family and to our fellow human being.
With a humble heart, Stergo, the faithful disciple of Christ, serves his church to bring Glory to God.
To serve God, to love God, to enjoy God, is the sweetest freedom in the world.
- Thomas F. Wilson
Faith and Service
Loving God and our neighbor are the two greatest Commandments.
We bring Glory to God through faith and serving His church.
For Anastasios Paschalis, serving God and his fellow human being has been a lifetime journey of fulfillment.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms".
1 Peter 4:10 NIV
Humble Servant of God
Never is life more noble than when we do things unto God.
Never does one feel better about how they spend their time than at the end of a day of serving our fellow human being.
As Christians, we are called to put our faith into practice and truly love our neighbor.
Taso gives generously from the heart to serve God at Saint Nicholas, Greek Orthodox Church in Thebarton, Adelaide, South Australia.
With a giving heart Taso gives freely of his time to fulfill the many needs of his humble church.
Through service, he enjoys Christian fellowship and that indescribable, inner contentment that can only come from God Who will say “Well done my humble and faithful servant”.
Being of service to others is what brings true happiness.
- Marie Osmond
St, Nicholas, Greek Orthodox Church
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