Last July, just before I traveled to Greece, I promised to provide some pictures of our annual Greek Festival in Saco, Maine held at the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. It took me awhile however, I finally got around to it. This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of our community, founded by Greek immigrants at the turn of the twentieth century. Our annual festival has become a huge event in York County, attracting local residents as well as visiting tourists. It is our opportunity to show others the pride we have in who we are and the things we believe in. Things like our Orthodox faith, our familes and our rich cultural legacy. Looking at the faces of our parishoners I cannot help but see the faces of those early Greek pioneers who ventured so far from their native homeland. Most were poor peasants who came with only a few meager possessions but a treasure trove in their hearts and souls. The first thing they did was to build a church. A place that became a religious and cultural focal point for the new settlers. A century after their arrival, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren fill that church and it pulses with life. To be sure the outward ties to the world they left behind may be more tenuous, however, the spirit of the early pioneers remains very much alive. Cynics often decry these festivals as big "money making" operations offering watered down versions of Greek culture. To be sure, they do raise some, though not all, of the much needed revenue to help fund the various financial requirements that sustain a community like ours. The glimpse they offer into Greek culture is anything but cursory. I see things very differently. I see an enthusiastic, committed group of people, young and old, who come together to work diligently and selflessly for months, in order to benefit their tight knit community. I see a community that welcomes others into its midst by the dint of their example. I see women and men baking, cooking, painting, organizing, managing and being good stewards. I see the children working side by side with their parents and emulating their example. I see pride, laughter, piety, a sense of extended family and most of all, of faith in something greater than me, myself and I. The virtues that say more about Greek culture than any slick Olympic closing ceremony. Who knows what the future will bring? Will our grandchildren and great-grandchildren be celebrating its two hundredth anniversary? That will depend on how well we prepare our young people and what we instill in their hearts and minds. The larger society we live in is moving away from the values we inherited from our forebearers. Religious communities like St. Demetrios are merely islands now surrounded by a swirling, tempestuous sea yet they seem to thrive, even in the darkest of times.