“And the Survey Says…”
– Steve Harvey
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Though it’s been many years since I worked as a professional in the advertising and marketing business, I still find it completely fascinating how highly effective communications can yield desired results. Before attending the Seminary, I was charged with the creating and execution of advertising campaigns for both local and national companies. People paid great sums of money for our firm to deliver targeted and measurable results for their advertising dollars spent.
But even though the movies and TV shows simply give the impression that days spent at work in an advertising agency are spent in creative bliss, catering to the whims of deep-pocketed clients, the reality is actually quite different. More time, for me, anyway, was spent in research than the actual design of a campaign.
Before an advertising can do it’s job of selling something, it must first be heard, seen, or read. And if people are going to take time out of their busy schedules to dedicated 30 seconds to your message, you better capture their attention in a hurry. And this is accomplished, only after you’ve done your homework on your audience, your product and your means of communication. Everything has to be in sync, or the message is lost in the clutter and white noise of daily living.
One of the most dependable forms of obtaining such information is the conducting of a survey. Not the kind of survey found on gameshows that are designed to entertain and get a laugh, but the data-driven, scientific, “boring” survey that requires preciseness in its creation and attention when taken. Surveys give us insights into how elections may play out (like a poll), they tell us how we feel about customer service, they provide useful information that well help with the improvement of literally every industry on the planet.
People who serve people want to know how to better serve those people. And the best way to find out how, is to ask those people.
Our St. Anna parish has embarked on just, such a process. Your Parish Council has gone through the process of creating, writing and delivering a survey to our Stewards in order to find out how best we can serve you in the capacity of planning for our future needs when it comes to a permanent church home. When properties around the Valley become available that might be attractive options for us, the Parish Council, together with the Real Estate Ministry Team, our Long Range Planning Ministry Team and the Capital Campaign Committee, needs to consider the needs, wants and climate of our parish. We need to know the individual thresh holds, limits, desires and opinions of those whom we serve. So, we sent out a survey.
If you are a Steward of St. Anna, and have filed and email address with us, you have received this survey. It will close on August 1, 2018 and I, together with the committee that created it, and the parish council who commissioned it, ask that you take the time and fill it out. It will take no more than about ten minutes. The questions are simple and they are important.
The future goals and direction of our parish require that the parish chime in on the important details where our future is concerned.
The questions are designed not to lead you down any path. Your input and your honest participation is all that is required. It is anonymous. So please don’t think someone will approach you at Sunday Fellowship and inquire about your opinion on this or that.
The conducting of this survey is the most active step we have made towards the eventual purchase of a property since last year. Knowing the most basic desires of the parish will help us to gain traction and prioritize our efforts. Seriously, please, fill out the survey.
On another point entirely, I would like to offer my sincere blessings and gratitude for all who participated in any way, in our Feast Day Celebrations this past week. Our picnic was electric. Great Vespers and the inaugural veneration of the Relic of St. Anna (please read His Eminence’s comments in the Bulletin) was an historic evening full of Grace. And the Divine Liturgy in commemoration of the Dormition of St. Anna was a blessed and inspired service; for the Relic remained for the veneration and adoration of the faithful in attendance.
We welcome Fr. Ambrose back with us, as he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy this Sunday. I will be with the participants of our Parish Fishing Trip up at Strawberry Reservoir. We will celebrate Sunday Services in the marina’s outdoor pavilion.
My final reminder is a continued call for volunteers for our Vacation Bible School. It’s right around the corner. Fun for all who participate. Fun for those who volunteer and contribute.
This has been and continues to be a very active summer for our parish and parishioners. I pray that the remaining days are filled with countless blessings and safe activities. By the time I greet you again with my Thursday/Friday message, the Fast for the Dormition of the Theotokos will have begun. Enjoy a blessed and fruitful Lent.
With Love in Christ,
Fr. Anthony Please-Fill-Out-Your-Survey Savas
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In his collectively-known “I Am” statements, Christ described Himself in many ways, such as “The Good Shepherd, The Door, The Vine, The Resurrection, The Bread of Life, The Way, The Truth, The Life. He also stated and mystically illustrated that He is “The Light.” I love this one. The Light! It’s special. It’s unique. It involves us in a collaborative way.
In the great “I Am’s,” Jesus gave us imagery that we could better understand His ministry and His divinity. They help us relate to Him and give us concrete explanations about our relationship with Him. If He is the Good Shepherd, we are His Sheep. If He is the Door, we are the ones who walk through that door. If He is the Vine, we (as He clearly states) we are the branches. If he is the Light…
We are not darkness. We are not shadows. We are not the sunrise. We are, in fact, like Him…the Light.
Jesus never called us Doors, Vines, Shepherds, or the Resurrection. He reserved all of the “I Am’s” for Himself, except for the “Light.”
Like a Paschal candle that lights another, then another, then so on until the sanctuary is filled with the Light of Christ, the joy of the Resurrection and the anticipation of Pascha; the Light is shared and passed along. Though the “I Am” statements of Christ are primarily found in the Gospel of John, the above passage, from Matthew are some of, I suppose you can call them the “You Are” statements. Salt, nice. Light; yesss!
Light sources illumine pathways for others to safely follow. They shine warm radiance, they reveal hidden obstacles, they allow us to function in otherwise darkness. This is our calling for the others around us. That is to shine a spotlight on Christ, His Church, His Gospel and His ways. And who are the brightest lights? The children, of course.
Thus far, this message has been a long introduction to the theme of this year’s Vacation Bible School.
Be the Light!
From August 8th to the 10th, the preschoolers through 5th graders of St. Anna’s will gather at church to learn how to be little sources of radiant light. Barbara Hillas and Kim Mallas have worked hard to lead an outstanding program for our children. Even though the summer is beginning to wind down (God forbid) and our sights are set on squeezing out the last drop of vacation time, IK ask and encourage you to make time to have your kids with us at VBS. Bible lessons, crafts, songs, sports, nutrition…it’s all there for your beautiful kids.
We would also like to remind you that staging such a ministry as VBS requires the assistance of several adult and older-kid volunteers. If you would like to help teach a class, assist with crafts, sponsor a lunch, underwrite a craft project, or just be around with an extra set of hands, please contact Barbara Hillas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VBS is one of my most favorite times of year. The classrooms, hallways and our sanctuary are filled with laughter, singing and joy. You don’t want your kids to miss out. Hey, I don’t want your kids to miss out!
Even though there are quite a few happenings in the parish before VBS begins: our Feast Day services and Picnic, the receiving of the Relic of St. Anna, the Fishing Trip, the beginning of the Dormition Fast, the chanting of the Paraklesis services and the Feast of the Transfiguration, to name a few. However, we need to shout out loud that VBS is around the corner!
I pray that through the inspiration of our little ones, we may also be vibrant luminaries. Please enjoy the remaining weeks of summer and continue, as you so faithfully have, to be with us for Sunday Worship with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. If you really want to see you friends during the remaining Sundays before Fall’s arrival, come see them in Church!
With Much Love in Christ,
Fr. Anthony Savas
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Please remember that while we are not sons and daughters of the Pioneers, we are indeed, sons and daughters of St. Anna. As the Feast of her Dormition (Falling Asleep) quickly approaches, let us be mindful to participate in the events that are associated with the Name Day of our parish.
The St. Anna Feast Day Picnic
will be held NEXT SUNDAY, July 22, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. at Canyon Rim Park,
3100 S. Grace Street, Salt Lake City. Food, games, music, fellowship,
Great Vespers for the Feast of the Dormition of St. Anna
Tuesday, July 24th
Please watch next week for an extremely important announcement concerning this service.
The Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Dormition of St. Anna
Wednesday, July 25th
Orthros: 9:30 am
Divine Liturgy: 10:30 am