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Rolly: The Greeks find many paths to spirituality

Published August 29, 2013 7:34 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Greeks have been having issues with their churches in the Salt Lake Valley recently, and for a time it looked like they wouldn't be able to attend Sunday services for a few weeks.

But the Greeks are creative. They have other ways of being spiritually fed.

Literally.

You might recall the controversy over a proposed cut in pay for the three Greek Orthodox priests. That led to a suspension of church services ordered by the Metropolitan Isaiah, who oversees Salt Lake City's Holy Trinity Cathedral and Holladay's Prophet Elias Church.

The pay has been restored and the suspension of services lifted, but even the threat of a spiritual lockout didn't deter dozens of volunteers from engaging in a baklava blitzkrieg Monday at the Holy Trinity Cathedral at 300 S. 300 West.

The Philoptochos Societies of Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias, plus about 50 volunteers, made 105 trays of baklava, which equates to about 10,000 individual pieces of the sweet, tasty morsel that will be sold at the annual Greek Festival at the cathedral on Sept. 5-8.

The baklava preparation consumed 375 pounds of butter, 200 pounds of walnuts, 200 pounds of almonds and about 45 pounds of honey, not counting the simple syrup.

It's enough to make anyone prayerful.

Speaking of volunteers • Statistics compiled by Holly Mullin, director of the Rape Recovery Center in Salt Lake City, reveals that volunteers there performed 1,200 hours of service in June.

Here is the breakdown: They worked 715 hours on the 24-hour crisis phone line; 366 hours responding as Hospital Response Team advocates; 82 hours training; and 40 hours helping around the office. Those 1,200 volunteer hours correspond to savings of $13,338 in one month!

Posters helping posters • Often times, I've noticed a troubling trend involving readers who post online comments on stories and columns in The Tribune. There seems to be too much bickering under their user names between Mormons and non-Mormons, no matter the subject of the story.

I once wrote a column about neglected potholes on some streets in Salt Lake City, and by the third post, someone blamed it all on the Mormons, which led to dozens of accusations and name-calling back and forth. The actual subject of the column was ignored.

So a recent story of two regular posters to the Tribune is worth noting.

One poster said he had been steadily getting behind on his bills to the point that his rent check was returned and marked "insufficient funds."

He checked with several agencies but was unable to get help. Desperate, he spoke to the LDS bishop in his area (he is not LDS, but his daughter is) and was told the ward could help with food, but not with the rent.

As he prepared for eviction from his apartment, he was contacted by another regular poster, "ammon1953," who asked him for the phone number of the rental office.

A few minutes later "ammon1953" sent him an email message letting him know his rent had been paid.

"Ammon1953" is a member of the bishopric in that ward, so it's not hard to connect the dots as to how the philanthropy came about.

Free parking in SLC? • Stepanie Rosenfield couldn't believe her luck at about 7 p.m. Tuesday when she noticed a row of diagonal parking spaces with no cars in them and no meters in front of the new Public Safety Building on 500 South.

But when she asked a nearby parking enforcement officer if she could park there, the officer said no, and that people who had parked there had been towed.

Rosenfield noted there were no meters and no signs prohibiting parking there. But the parking enforcer was adamant.

Turns out the parking enforcer was wrong.

Ryan Zumwalt of the city's Parking Services said city officials decided to put about a dozen free parking spaces on 500 South for people who access the Public Safety Building.

So first come, first served. There's not even a time limit.

prolly@sltrib.com