ATHENS, GREECE — This ancient capital of the Greek empire became the city of sisterly love as church members from around the world gathered for the fifth Philadelphia Conference. Members of the Omonia church coordinated the annual women’s retreat. More than 85 women — from Greece, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, the United States and the Philippines — attended the event, coordinator Eleni Melirrytos said.
Katerina Lenhart, a church member from Abilene, Texas, was the main speaker. June Peeples of Double Oak, Texas, and students from Harding University in Searcy, Ark., presented a drama, “Mary’s Reflections at the Cross.”
Debbie Poss of Dallas led singing, and members of the Russian, Greek and Bulgarian congregations sang hymns for the group in their native tongues.
Melirrytos, whose husband, Alexander, is a minister for the Omonia church, said coordinating the retreat was a daunting and rewarding task.
When she’s not organizing church events, Melirrytos is cooking for them. Encouraged by friends in the United States, she recently published In the Light of the Aegean Sea, a calendar featuring her favorite recipes.
“I have entered the back kitchen door of many church buildings and have been welcomed by a bunch of sweet American women waiting to peel garlic, bathe food in olive oil and learn all kinds of new ways to prepare food,” she said. “All these experiences have greatly inspired me.”
Dec. 1, 2006