With the end of each passing year, and the beginning of anew, not only do I take increased honor and delight in having the privilege of being the Head Priest of the only ancient Greek temple to ever exist in the Polis of Machesney Park, Illinois, and quite probably, all the State of Illinois, I take the same in being of service to all of the people who are a part of each.
Temple Of The Greek Gods of North Central Illinois is indeed a beautiful one, but as I have said before, we are more than a singular portion of land and building. We emanate from our central location(s), but we are more broadly a community and an ideal. We are made up of Greek Polytheists from everywhere. We are an organization as well as an idea by which to live. One does not even have to ever visit our physical location to be considered a member. I will always continue to build our home into the most beautiful I can, but it's also not just about me. It's about all of us, wherever we may be in the world. And most importantly, about the Gods.
I note the progress our temple has grown into as a community, for it is not all the splendor of a beautiful piece of property, but the people at large who create the support we have for one another. We are always so concretely united in our devotion to Olympos. Life, perhaps, isn't about who is advantaged or disadvantaged, or who has Greek blood and who doesn't, or where a physical temple is or isn't, but all of us helping one another and being united in our love for The Dodekatheon. When we allow the goodness of the Gods to shine through us, we always make the world we live in a better place, and our lives more blissful.
Remember always, both in your public and private life, there is no such thing as a good or bad year. There is only the year that you make. How you perceive something, and therefore how it makes you feel, is based largely on how you make it, and how you decide to look at and interpret it. If you want to see your statue, for example, as an old piece of metal, then so it shall be. But if you see it as a holy, sacred, and immortal depiction of the God it represents, shrouded in mystery, intrigue, and an eternal undying story for all of humankind that you yourself have the privilege of worshiping at, decorating and making your own, you will go a far greater distance.
But living a Hellenic life, I think, is not only about our own private lives and community, but to ensure that the ways of the Ancient Hellenes will never again be threatened with eradication, that to the greatest of our ability and dedication, the true Spirit of Hellas will never perish from the Earth. And take assurance in the fact that we have been winning that struggle every day since the founding of America and the Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes.
I hope that in 2024, you will continue to take that undying dedication with you in your worship, writings, and activism. To not only build a shrine or temple, but save one too. To not only recite hymns of old, but write new ones. And to not only recall the deeds of ancient Heroes, but make new room for your own to be told.
In the Goodness of the Gods,