Good Evening, Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Well, I have to say that several people have been putting in countless hours of back-breaking work to prepare our new worship space and church home for next week’s grand procession and first Liturgy. God bless you all who are both putting in the time and effort; and everyone who is praying for your strength, endurance, patience and inspiration. As you can well-imagine, there are multiple facets to dismantling, moving and recreating a parish within a couple weeks. To be sure, we have been preparing for months, but the bell has only recently rung to get actual tasks accomplished.
All of the major moving has been done. There are only a few items remaining in the church that are necessary for worship at the most basic levels. I have some personal items to remove from the office as well as the official files for the parish Sacramental Registry and Stewardship. You won’t believe how much stuff we managed to acquire in only a few, short years.
What primarily remains are the sacred vessels, icons, and objects that you, the St. Anna Parishioners will transfer from the current location to the next. Please watch for details and specifics as they continue to evolve. But, by God’s grace, I was with the Metropolitan last weekend during the Metropolis Basketball Tournament and received much-valued instruction. Please pray for a sunny, clear, warmer-than-usual day, free of smog, traffic and red lights as we make our way to our new home on February 2, 2020.
But before we scooch out of here, let’s please keep in mind a few more thoughts:
Tomorrow, Saturday, January 25 is the Feast of St. Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople. Orthros is at 8:00 am followed by the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am
This Sunday, the 26th will be the FINAL SUNDAY LITURGY at the St. Thomas More Campus. Please, be with us this Sunday to celebrate the divine services in a place that has served us well, in an atmosphere which has inspired us to greater heights.
Next Thursday, January 30th will be the last service celebrated in our current chapel (or at least what will remain of it by then). The Feast of the Three Hierarchs, 2020 will forever be remembered as the final time that a holy chalice and paten were raised in the context of Orthodox Worship at St. Thomas More through St. Anna’s.
What blessings await us – that we will share together?
What challenges await us – that we may rise to meet them as one?
What souls are yet introduced to Christ – that we may serve them with love and devotion?
A building initially constructed to sell trees, seeds, shovels and bark will now perceive, echoing within its walls, the Baptisms of the Faithful, The Marriages of the Couples, The Burial Rights of the Departed, The Confessions of the Suffering, The Laughter of Fellowship, The Scampering of Children, The Wisdom of our Elders, The Proclaiming of the Gospel, The Celebration of all Divine Mysteries, and the Proclamation that Christ is, indeed, Risen from the Dead!
So, at the risk of repeating, we have only three more opportunities to receive Communion in our present location. Don’t miss the opportunity to create the latest memories of this blessed place.
With Much Love in Christ,
Through the Prayers and Intercessions of St. Anthony the Great, may God have Mercy on Us!
Good Evening Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Here are a few things to think about…
Today, January 17, 2020 the Orthros will be celebrated at 7:00 am and the Divine Liturgy for St. Anthony will follow at 8:00 am. St. Athanasios (January 18) will also be commemorated.
Tickets are selling quickly for our St. Anna Gala on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Please participate in this celebratory event. Buy your tickets this Sunday!
Orthros on Sunday, February 2, 2019 begins at 8:00 am Sharp! Be there to take part in the Procession to the New Church, Opening of the Doors and Hierarchical Liturgy upon arrival.. History in the making! Don’t you dare miss out! Celebratory Luncheon to follow. I promise we will finish in time for the Super Bowl. Don’t miss out!
There are still more than a few Stewardship Cards that need to be turned in for 2020. Please, take care of this before January ends. It’s important to fulfill the goal, voted upon unanimously at the last Parish Assembly. We established a Stewardship Budget of $340,000 and we are 75% there. Keep it up! We’re going to make it!
Directly following services today, our Junior Boys Basketball Team will fly to Dallas for the Metropolis of Denver GOYA Tournament. Please pray for our kids, and wish our coach, Gerard Gallegos a Happy, Happy Birthday. Many Years, Gerard! God bless you and thank you for your infectious enthusiasm for the sake of our children.
Now, just imagine, Dear Friends, we have only two Sundays left at our current location. Events are moving quickly and we are working tirelessly in hope for a seamless transition into our new space.
Almost six years ago, a handful of dedicated families and individuals acted on a common dream to establish a Greek Orthodox Community based on inclusion, a welcoming spirit, love for one another, respect for their clergy, a positive legacy for their children, a desire to serve Christ and a longing to worship Him in peace. They acted on this dream, sacrificed their familiar comforts and set up a little church in a rented reception hall. None of them really knowing how things might turn out. They just prayed and hoped for the best, enjoying every moment of their new adventure.
As it stands today, in just over two, short weeks, St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church will have a home. It’s a home brimming with potential, and if we continue to share in a common vision, it will transform, in time, into a stunning, glorious witness to our Traditions, Doctrine, Architecture and Liturgy. A Holy Temple dedicated to Christ our God.
Love has delivered this property. Love will sustain it. Love will transform it.
Please be sure to always, and I mean always act consciously on our founding principle of making people feel welcome and at home at St. Anna’s Let’s not slip back into the bad habit of speaking only to our friends and family members as we walk into church; and especially during Fellowship time. Do you see someone you don’t know? It’s not someone’s “job” to greet them with a smile and an introduction. Invite people to sit with you for coffee. Take pride in your community and do your best to see that everyone who walks through our doors instantly feels a part of our family.
God bless you all. It is such a joy, an honor and a privilege to work with you and to serve you. God has been so gracious to us. Again, thank you, dear Founding Members of the once-called, Greek Orthodox Mission Parish of Utah (“GOMPU” was always fun to say). Well done, good and faithful servants.
With Love in Christ,