History of Our Parish - The 80s and 90s PDF Print
History of Our Parish
Celebrating the First Divine Liturgy
Building the First Church
Growth In The Church Community
World War II Involvement and Post War Growth
Building the Hellenic Center
Building the Present Church on South Grande Avenue
Growth in the New Church, Tragedy, and Recovery
The 80s and 90s
List of Chanters, Choir Director, Organists, and Sunday School Directors
List of Parish Council Presidents
List of Parish Priests
Closing Remarks
All Pages

The early 1980’s saw a surge in new youth activities in addition to those that existed before. The Junior Choir took part on a regular basis in the Church. A Senior Greek Folk Dance group was organized. Not only did they dance at Church community events but did so quite often by invitation to other organizations outside the Church in the Poughkeepsie area. Soon a Junior Dance Group was formed and they too performed at many events. Both groups were attired in authentic costumes sewn by the ladies of the community. The dance group directors who led this renewal were Sophia Harrison and Kiki Mavodones and later assisted by Joanna Savides.

Most churches refer to themselves as parishes. Those of Greek heritage have a wider view of their Church life. They see themselves as part of a community where the Church serves as a major role in their life. They refer to their Church parish as a “Κοινοτητα” (a community). When those of Greek heritage meet they ask each other about Kinoteta (community), not just about the parish. They have deep feelings that the Church and community are intertwined, not separate entities.

1987 Greek SchoolYouth Welcoming Group for the Olympic Flame in 1980

Throughout all of the years in the history of the Kimisis community, the members and the Trustees have sought to retain the Greek Language. They have always believed that language enables one to retain a heritage. This is the reason they established a Greek School from the community’s beginning. The Greek language was taught over the years in the late afternoon classes held first in the old Church hall and now in the school wing of the new Church. Classes are still taught in the late afternoon but not 5 days a week as years ago.

The teaching of Greek has also helped retain the history, lore and legends of the classical Greek world that we all are familiar with. Each year, near the date of March 25th, the Greek School presents a program in Greek by the students in honor of Greek Independence day in costume and song. In the early days of the community, the Greek language was heard and used in homes. Today it is a second language that is heard and used in Greek School and in some homes. The language of the Church Liturgy has shifted over the years so by the 1980’s it was half in Greek and half in English. But the teaching of Greek retains the Church and historical heritage.

It was during the 1980 Winter Olympics that a costumed delegation from the Kimisis community welcomed the Olympic Torch as it passed through Poughkeepsie on its way to the Lake Placid Games. With the help of Mrs. Sophia Paivanas, who was on the Poughkeepsie Welcoming Committee, Mr. Mavodones took a lighted votive candle with the Olympic flame and lit every candle in the Church. Thus, as the Games were illuminated by the Olympic flame, that same light illuminated the Kimisis Church during all the games as well.

After many years of hard and trying times the Church had completed its final payments on the Church Mortgage. The community had a Gala Dinner at the Center for a Mortgage Burning Ceremony on August 15, 1987. For a second time in its history the community was debt free. It was a happy event.

For many years the community had a food booth at the Dutchess County Fair. The Dutchess County Fair Administration demolished several long-standing church food booths, one of which was the Kimisis booth that they had operated over the years. The booth was missed by many who attended the Fair for its fine Greek food. Often in its time the Greek Fair booth had received rave reviews about the delicacies served. Now the Kimisis community decided to have a Spring Festival and a Fall Festival to replace what they lost at the Dutchess County Fair. Greater Poughkeepsie responded by attending both Festivals with huge crowds.

It was in 1999 that Rev. Steve Sarigianis in semi-retirement was assigned to St. George’s Church community in nearby Kingston, NY. He had become our Pastor Emeritus. Rev. Nicholas Pastrikos was assigned here in 1999 to continue the work of Rev. S. Sarigianis.