The gymnasium at Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox church in Holladay was packed with hundreds of parish members on Sunday. The general meeting was called to try and resolve the conflict that has kept the parish priests from holding regular services for most of the past month.
The Greek Orthodox hierarchy suspended most services after the parish council proposed a 40-percent pay cut for the priests. Phil Floor, a church member who was at the meeting, says members showed a new willingness to step up their contributions to get the church out of its current financial troubles.
“There was tremendous support for increasing stewardship," Floor told KUER. "There was even a basket that some people contributed to, so there were some thousands of dollars that were raised on the spot.”
The resolution passed in Sunday’s meeting promises to pay the three priests their regular salaries plus back pay for the weeks they’ve missed. It included a request to the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan in Denver to reassign one of the priests to reduce the financial burden on the parish.
Metropolitan Isaiah hasn’t yet responded to the request.
The Greek Orthodox parish includes Prophet Elias church and the Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake. The parish holds its biggest fundraiser, the annual Greek Festival, in less than two weeks.