The bishop is the “overseer" of the congregation and clergy in a given geographical area. Often the terms “bishop" and “elder" are used interchangeably in the New Testament (Acts 20:17, 28), with the bishop being the leader of the elders. The qualification for bishop listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-17 and Titus 1:7-9 underscore his role. Nonetheless, the bishopric is a specific office both in the New Testament and in the early Church.
The Twelve were the first to hold this office (Acts 1:20 “office" could literally be translated “bishopric") and they in turn consecrated other bishops to follow them. For example, Timothy and Titus are clearly of a separate order from that of elder (see 1 Timothy 5:17 and Titus 1:5). Early records show James was bishop of Jerusalem by AD 49 and functioned accordingly at the first council there (Acts 15:13-22). Peter is on record as the first bishop of Antioch prior to AD 53. Toward the end of his life, he probably went to Rome and there was crucified head downward during the reign of Nero (54-68AD). For more about the Apostles, see the Short Biographies of the Twelve.
Metropolitan GerasimosHis Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos, is the bishop of the San Franscisco Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church of America. The San Franscisco Diocese includes seven states, Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. His Eminence has been overseeing the Metropolis of San Franscisco since his enthronement in April 2005. This diocesan region includes sixty seven parishes as well as three monastic communities, for a total of over one hundred clergy in the diocese.
Metropolitan Gerasimos has served the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for nearly forty years in various capacities including as the Archdeacon of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese and as the Dean of Students at the Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Following Holy Week
Χριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
During year's Paschal celebrations, Metropoliton Gerasimos sent the Holy Light via e-mail and represented Holy Week in the form of reflections for everyone in the San Francisco diocese! The on-line experience of messages and services has been just wonderful.
We are thankful for the postings of the Palm Sunday Reflection, Holy Monday Reflection, Reflection for Holy Thursday, Holy Friday Reflection and Paschal Reflection on Vimeo. These are all very beautiful reflections.
Preparing for Holy Week
On vimeo, a few weeks ago, Metropoliton Gerasimos posted a message entitled “Our Spiritual Desert Transforms into a Spiritual Oasis," for the fifth Sunday of Lent. Regarding the new reality imposed by the coronovirus His Eminence asks, “The question is, for how long? And we do not know the long term effects that our physial distancing will have on ourselves, on our parishes, even on our society. What kind of normal will we return to?"
The world we return to may be entirely different. With the combined work of all people of goodwill to bring light to this world, hopefully the future will be a much brighter one!
Homily by Metropolitan Gerasimos
on Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross (March 22, 2020)
Letter from Archbishop Elpidophoros
Regarding Divine Services During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Message of Hope During the Coronavirus Pandemic
We pray that this upcoming Season of the Great Fast becomes a time of spiritual renewal.