The Fourth Friday of Every Month are our St. Anna Parish Family Nights.
Tonight is our Family Night!
Friday, October 27th, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall
Call it a Halloween Party if you can. A Costume Party if you must. A Fall Harvest Festival if you really must…
But no matter what you call it…
Join us for an enjoyable evening of Halloween/Costume/Harvest Fellowship.
Please bring some candy for the kids.
Please, don’t bring inappropriate, gory, evil or scary costumes.
Remember, St. Anna Family Nights are for our Parish Family – come with six kids, come with no kids. No wife, no husband, no problem!
Please join us!
Thank you to Barbara Hillas for chairing St. Anna Family Nights.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13
Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
Praying you are well on this beautiful evening, I share with you some news that many of you will find regretful, but for all of us, we trust in God’s ways and His wisdom. As you know, for several months now, our parish has been embarking on a journey that would allow us to purchase an existing property to establish a permanent home for our St. Anna parish. The building in Sandy, Utah that we have referred to as the “Atrium Property” was identified in late July as a viable solution to our real estate needs. As we had already begun a Capital Campaign in search of property upon which to build, the knowledge of this available land and structure seemed to be a near perfect fit. And indeed it was.
As of today, after weeks of negotiations and discussions with the owner of the Atrium, we were unable to come to a viable solution for both seller and buyer. I, together with our parish council and appropriate committees would not have spoken so highly and enthusiastically of this opportunity, were we not assured that it was the right move for us, and that the sellers were actually engaged in the processes with us. In the end, our parish leadership simply could not comply with the sellers’ ultimate conditions, by which a transaction could be completed.
Your St. Anna leadership always came to the table of these negotiations with the best interest of each parishioner in mind, and with the desire to serve God in every word, action or intention. Negotiations for this property halted hastily and at the very end of the process. Our final offer was not accepted and no counter was offered.
In the blink of an eye, it was over. Hours upon hours of time, energy and prayer ended with a short email message, indicating what I’ve just told you.
Scripture tells us, in instances such as these, to learn from the process, identify the blessings and press on. We press on towards the prize which is a life in Christ. We press on with faith, enthusiasm, convictions, character and the knowledge that we did our best to serve the needs of our parish and we did it in an open, honest and honorable fashion.
We began the efforts of working towards a home for our parish, well before the Atrium came to our attention. We will allow the happenings of these days to resonate within the hearts of the people involved in this transaction, and within the prayers of our entire community. We came together beautifully during this process. Many, many people caught a vision, responded with generosity and support. This building will not be the only opportunity that will be presented before us.
God has a plan. We have a purpose. The blessings, we pray, will continue.
We’re going to chill for a little bit. There are some who believe that the time to identify another property is now, and that we must press on with immediacy and with the same levels of dynamic enthusiasm. There are others who feel that we should now take pause, allow for a breather, and let the process come to us, at this point. For myself, I feel that both of these approaches are equally valuable, and are mutually agreeable.
Our real estate ministry team and our capital campaign committee will re-group immediately. There is no “break” to be had for the leaders of our blessed community. But we will not come to the parish with any one, specific property or possibility for a little while, at least.
To be sure, we thought we had a workable deal. We did not. We are sort of exhausted and a little disappointed. We aren’t going to rush into anything. God provided our last engagement as a learning opportunity to gain experience, discernment, patience and wisdom, as He watches us grow, mature and develop. I have to believe that our motivations and actions were well-pleasing to Him. We entered into this experience in prayer and were continually sustained by the same. There are lessons to be learned and blessings to be gratefully received.
The need for proper and larger space has not changed. Our desire to fulfill the spiritual and sacramental needs of God’s faithful has not diminished. Our focus on Christ Jesus has not wavered.
We, as a parish, will now re-direct our energies and efforts elsewhere; while keeping our eyes set on Him. St. Anna will continue to guide and protect us. The Theotokos and all the Saints will continue to intercede for us. The abundant and life-pouring energies of the Eucharist will continue to sustain us.
The reasons that this did not happen will one day, be revealed to us. When something comes our way that is infinitely better and abundantly, more suitable, we will be in a stronger position to react and further down the road of financial preparation. That said, I share a few, final thoughts:
I am grateful for the generosity and involvement of all who contributed in any way and in any amount to our Capital Campaign. Your vanguard participation will forever be appreciated.
I am grateful for the prayers, good will and enthusiasm of all who shared in our vision of fortifying our efforts to minister to the faithful and to glorify God through this process.
I am grateful for the leaders of our parish council, real estate committee and capital campaign committee who steered this effort with the best of our collective ability and who demonstrated integrity and character throughout the process. To the sellers of this building, we were an open book and an open heart.
I am grateful for the many volunteers who chaired events and who worked in the trenches of every gathering; both large and small. Your efforts are not wasted. We still have work to do and a future to fortify.
I am grateful for our Women’s Ministry Team, in particularly, who lead by example, sacrifice and the love of Christ in their collective and individual souls.
I am grateful for many people, and many leaders, but specifically, Chuck Karpakis, Joe Sasich and Dr. Charles Beck. As the leaders of the real estate committee and as our parish council president. these men, these Brothers in Christ, served our interests well and with firm conviction, grounded in God’s precious commandments. These are truly, beautiful men.
I am grateful for the process itself. It was a good thing to pray about and prepare for the future generations of our young and Spirit-filled parish. It was a good thing to set goals and to work towards them. It was a good thing to stretch, grow and learn. And we’ll do it again. Perhaps we’ll have other disappointments. Perhaps even setbacks. But we’ll apply what we learn and press on.
I am grateful for our loving Lord who continues to nurture us and to sustain us. For our Matron Saint Anna and for her precious daughter, I am most thankful.
I am grateful for you all.
No doubt, there will be many people with many questions in the coming days. I’ve answered most of them, if not all of them with this writing. We will re-focus and re-group. We will not re-purpose or re-direct. Our goals haven’t changed. Our purpose has not altered.
The only thing that’s changed is our future address.
With Much Love in Christ,
Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
Please find attached this week’s Bulletin. I pray that you receive it with the richest of blessings upon your household. Your Parish Council, Capital Campaign Committee, and Real Estate Committee have one simple message for you:
St. Anna’s is close, and we mean very close, to having the funds that will enable us to acquire a permanent church home. Given what we have already collected (thank you and bless you), and what we will have the ability to finance (Given Parish Assembly Approval at our November Meeting), we are in need of only $160,000 by year’s end.
Our parish has responded with immediacy, vision, love and a desire to fortify our future. We will provide our children with a house of worship that will not burden them financially. We will give them, and all future generations a church home, having done so with fiscal responsibility and providing them with a myriad of options to grow and enrich their church. We will have seen God’s promise to them fulfilled. We will fulfilled our sacred obligations to Him, the Theotokos, and to her mother, our precious St. Anna.
Only $160,000 and we are on our way.
If you have yet to participate, I prayerfully implore you to be part of the group that will put us over the top.
If you have pledged your support, I prayerfully ask you to consider moving up the date of fulfilling your pledge, and perhaps increasing if possible.
I ask you to continue praying about our task at hand, the vital importance of its cause and the sacred responsibility we have been blessed to receive.
And finally, I humbly remind us all, me included, that as we approach the conclusion of the year, that our Stewardship commitment be fulfilled, and that our support of our church into next year will be as vibrant and Spirit-filled as we have illustrated in the past. Rest assured, we are not asking for more, just the same level of enthusiastic participation.
We have been blessed beyond measure. We have worked diligently and honorably for the sake of the Kingdom and to spread the message of Salvation through the abundant traditions of Orthodox Christianity. We have answered the call. We are so incredibly close to achieving more than was ever thought possible in a remarkably short period of time. Let us continue that course.
We know what needs to be done. Let’s do this.
With Much Love in Christ,
“Lord of the Powers be with us; for in times of distress, we have no other help but You. Lord of the Powers, have mercy on us.”
– Troparion from the Great Compline
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last Sunday evening, I went to bed glancing at a headline on my phone that read “Shooting in Las Vegas.” I was pretty exhausted so I didn’t click to read more. So, like so many other people around the world, I woke up to the news about what took place the evening before. As Facebook posts started pouring in throughout the morning, I read accounts of personal friends who were present. People who had attended that concert in the past. People who’s children have attended that concert in the past. I know people connected to my former parish who lost family in this shooting. What an incredibly horrific tragedy!
On Monday afternoon, Fr. John Hondros, the pastor of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Las Vegas was kind enough to take the time to call me back. He is a good friend and an outstanding priest. He sounded exhausted, as you can imagine. Though there were no casualties connected directly to his parish, he was quick to point out that several of his young adults were in attendance. Many of his parishioners work in that hotel. Several people he knows worked at the concert venue. When things like this happen, we look for answers. And we look to the people who guide us and lead us in the Faith, to make sense out the senseless and convey hope to the hopeless.
Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco is the bishop who’s metropolis includes Las Vegas. His Eminence is a gentile pastor and a clinical psychologist. He understands brokenness and the need for healing. Though we posted his response to this tragedy on our Facebook page, I want everyone to read it so that we can all come together and pray, in our Orthodox tradition, for wholeness, peace, healing, love and protection to be showered down upon our fractured world. Please pray for Fr. John Hondros and his parish, that St. John the Baptist Church can be a source of comfort to the people of Las Vegas. And especially, let us pray for the victims and their families. We may never know why this man made the decisions he made, and acted out as he did. Evil exists. Sickness abides. But the love, strength and peace of God will always prevail.
The words of His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos:
Beloved in the Lord,
We are shocked and saddened by the violence that occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada last night, October 1, 2017, where people enjoying an outdoor music festival were confronted with rapid gunfire, killing at least 58 and wounding over 500 more. This senseless act has shaken our entire country and is now sadly the largest mass shooting in the United States.
I have been in contact with the parish priest in Las Vegas, Father John Hondros, who informed me that he is aware of parishioners that were in attendance at this concert but, by God’s grace, they are all are safe. I have also learned that faithful from parishes in other parts of the Metropolis were in attendance and, thankfully, they are also among those not injured in this attack. First responders from our clergy, in partnership with the International Orthodox Christian Charities, are en route to offer their support during this most difficult time.
There are also several Las Vegas parishioners affiliated with the police and fire departments, as well as crime scene investigators, who have been working throughout the night and will continue to labor over these next several days while this situation is brought under control. Our prayers are with them for God’s strength as they continue to serve the community with valor and selflessness.
The parish of Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church will gather in prayer at 5:00 p.m. this evening to offer a Trisagion for those whose lives were lost, along with a Paraklesis Service for those who have been injured as well as for the peace and protection of their city, our country and throughout the world. If you are in the Las Vegas area, I encourage you to join with the community in prayer. For those located elsewhere in the Metropolis, please pause and take a moment to offer personal prayers for all those affected by this violence.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco offers our deepest condolences to all those who are mourning the loss of loved ones, and we pray for the eternal rest of those who perished. We also ask God to bring healing to all those injured, and to grant His peace and comfort to the injured and their families, the musicians, and all those in public service who risked their lives for the safety of others.
With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco
With Much Love in XC,
Fr. Anthony Savas
GOYA – Tuesday October 10th at the Home of Zachary and Jonathan Petrogeorge, 7:00 pm
TOPIC: WHAT ISIS CAN TEACH US ABOUT OUR ORTHODOX CHURCH
Does this topic sound absolutely crazy? This topic is literally closer to home than you could ever imagine!
Don’t let your kids miss out!
Orthodox Married Life (OML) begins next Friday, October 13th at 7:00 pm
Please join us as we actually bless the marriage of Joshua and Vanny Lowery, our beloved parishioners who were kind enough to invite our OML Ministry into there household spiritual journey. We will celebrate their wedding and enjoy a discussion immediately following. This will be the most special OML Meeting to date!