Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Message March 28, 2021

Beacon of Orthodox belief, the strong support of the Church and her teacher inspired by God, you are the ornament of monks, the unassailable champion of theologians, O Gregory the Wonder-worker and the boast of Thessalonica, the messenger of grace. Forever earnestly entreat for the salvation of our souls.

Hymn of St. Gregory Palamas

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Sunday is the Second Sunday of Great Lent . We have all reached a precious milestone. This Sunday was originally dedicated to Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (February 23). But following the formal recognition of sainthood for St. Gregory Palamas in 1368 on November 14,, a second commemoration was also appointed to him for the Second Sunday of Great Lent as a second “Triumph of Orthodoxy.”

Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica, was born in the year 1296 in Constantinople. Saint Gregory’s father became a prominent dignitiary at the court of Andronicus II Paleologos (1282-1328), but he soon died, and Andronicus himself took part in the raising and education of the fatherless boy. Endowed with fine abilities and great diligence, Gregory mastered all the subjects which then comprised the full course of medieval higher education. The emperor hoped that the youth would devote himself to government work. But Gregory, barely twenty years old, withdrew to Mount Athos in the year 1316 (other sources say 1318) and became a novice in the Vatopedi monastery under the guidance of the monastic Elder Saint Nikodemos of Vatopedi (July 11). There he was tonsured and began on the path of asceticism. A year later, the holy Evangelist John the Theologian appeared to him in a vision and promised him his spiritual protection. Gregory’s mother and sisters also became monastics.

After the demise of the Elder Nikodemos, Saint Gregory spent eight years of spiritual struggle under the guidance of the Elder Nicephorus, and after the latter’s death, Gregory transferred to the Lavra of Saint Athanasius (July 5). Here he served in the trapeza, and then became a church singer. But after three years, he resettled in the small skete of Glossia, striving for a greater degree of spiritual perfection. The head of this monastery began to teach the young man the method of unceasing prayer and mental activity, which had been cultivated by monastics, beginning with the great desert ascetics of the fourth century: Evagrius Pontikos and Saint Macarius of Egypt (January 19).

Later on, in the eleventh century Saint Simeon the New Theologian (March 12) provided detailed instruction in mental activity for those praying in an outward manner, and the ascetics of Athos put it into practice. The experienced use of mental prayer (or prayer of the heart), requiring solitude and quiet, is called “Hesychasm” (from the Greek “hesychia” meaning calm, silence), and those practicing it were called “hesychasts.”

During his stay at Glossia the future hierarch Gregory became fully embued with the spirit of hesychasm and adopted it as an essential part of his life. In the year 1326, because of the threat of Turkish invasions, he and the brethren retreated to Thessalonica, where he was then ordained to the holy priesthood.

Saint Gregory combined his priestly duties with the life of a hermit. Five days of the week he spent in silence and prayer, and only on Saturday and Sunday did he come out to his people. He celebrated divine services and preached sermons. For those present in church, his teaching often evoked both tenderness and tears. Sometimes he visited theological gatherings of the city’s educated youth, headed by the future patriarch, Isidore. After he returned from a visit to Constantinople, he found a place suitable for solitary life near Thessalonica the region of Bereia. Soon he gathered here a small community of solitary monks and guided it for five years.

In 1331 the saint withdrew to Mt. Athos and lived in solitude at the skete of Saint Savva, near the Lavra of Saint Athanasius. In 1333 he was appointed Igumen of the Esphigmenou monastery in the northern part of the Holy Mountain. In 1336 the saint returned to the skete of Saint Savva, where he devoted himself to theological works, continuing with this until the end of his life.

In the 1330s events took place in the life of the Eastern Church which put Saint Gregory among the most significant universal apologists of Orthodoxy, and brought him great renown as a teacher of hesychasm.

About the year 1330 the learned monk Barlaam had arrived in Constantinople from Calabria, in Italy. He was the author of treatises on logic and astronomy, a skilled and sharp-witted orator, and he received a university chair in the capital city and began to expound on the works of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (October 3), whose “apophatic” (“negative”, in contrast to “kataphatic” or “positive”) theology was acclaimed in equal measure in both the Eastern and the Western Churches. Soon Barlaam journeyed to Mt. Athos, where he became acquainted with the spiritual life of the hesychasts. Saying that it was impossible to know the essence of God, he declared mental prayer a heretical error. Journeying from Mount Athos to Thessalonica, and from there to Constantinople, and later again to Thessalonica, Barlaam entered into disputes with the monks and attempted to demonstrate the created, material nature of the light of Tabor (i.e. at the Transfiguration). He ridiculed the teachings of the monks about the methods of prayer and about the uncreated light seen by the hesychasts.

Saint Gregory, at the request of the Athonite monks, replied with verbal admonitions at first. But seeing the futility of such efforts, he put his theological arguments in writing. Thus appeared the “Triads in Defense of the Holy Hesychasts” (1338). Towards the year 1340 the Athonite ascetics, with the assistance of the saint, compiled a general response to the attacks of Barlaam, the so-called “Hagiorite Tome.” At the Constantinople Council of 1341 in the church of Hagia Sophia Saint Gregory Palamas debated with Barlaam, focusing upon the nature of the light of Mount Tabor. On May 27, 1341 the Council accepted the position of Saint Gregory Palamas, that God, unapproachable in His Essence, reveals Himself through His energies, which are directed towards the world and are able to be perceived, like the light of Tabor, but which are neither material nor created. The teachings of Barlaam were condemned as heresy, and he himself was anathemized and fled to Calabria.

But the dispute between the Palamites and the Barlaamites was far from over. To these latter belonged Barlaam’s disciple, the Bulgarian monk Akyndinos, and also Patriarch John XIV Kalekos (1341-1347); the emperor Andronicus III Paleologos (1328-1341) was also inclined toward their opinion. Akyndinos, whose name means “one who inflicts no harm,” actually caused great harm by his heretical teaching. Akyndinos wrote a series of tracts in which he declared Saint Gregory and the Athonite monks guilty of causing church disorders. The saint, in turn, wrote a detailed refutation of Akyndinos’ errors. The patriarch supported Akyndinos and called Saint Gregory the cause of all disorders and disturbances in the Church (1344) and had him locked up in prison for four years. In 1347, when John the XIV was replaced on the patriarchal throne by Isidore (1347-1349), Saint Gregory Palamas was set free and was made Archbishop of Thessalonica.

In 1351 the Council of Blachernae solemnly upheld the Orthodoxy of his teachings. But the people of Thessalonica did not immediately accept Saint Gregory, and he was compelled to live in various places. On one of his travels to Constantinople the Byzantine ship fell into the hands of the Turks. Even in captivity, Saint Gregory preached to Christian prisoners and even to his Moslem captors. The Hagarenes were astonished by the wisdom of his words. Some of the Moslems were unable to endure this, so they beat him and would have killed him if they had not expected to obtain a large ransom for him. A year later, Saint Gregory was ransomed and returned to Thessalonica.

Saint Gregory performed many miracles in the three years before his death, healing those afflicted with illness. On the eve of his repose, Saint John Chrysostom appeared to him in a vision. With the words “To the heights! To the heights!” Saint Gregory Palamas fell asleep in the Lord on November 14, 1359. In 1368 he was canonized at a Constantinople Council under Patriarch Philotheus (1354-1355, 1364-1376), who compiled the Life and Services to the saint. (OCA)

With Much Love in XC,

Fr. Anthony Savas


Weekly Bulletin for March 28, 2021

Weekly Bulletin for March 28, 2021

Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Message March 21, 2021

Remember that this Thursday, March 25th is the Feast of the Annunciation! Great Vespers are at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 24th. Orthros begins the following morning at 8:00, the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am, followed by a Doxology for the 200 Year Anniversary of Greek Independence. The hard-fought liberation of the Greek People after 400 Years of Ottoman suppression, abuse and indignity is a celebration of freedom and sanctity throughout the world. Join us for this dual celebration!

Fr. Anthony SavasAttachments1:03 AM (5 hours ago)
to Anthony

Remember that this Thursday, March 25th is the Feast of the Annunciation! Great Vespers are at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 24th. Orthros begins the following morning at 8:00, the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am, followed by a Doxology for the 200 Year Anniversary of Greek Independence. The hard-fought liberation of the Greek People after 400 Years of Ottoman suppression, abuse and indignity is a celebration of freedom and sanctity throughout the world. Join us for this duel celebration!

Image result for sunday of orthodoxy icon

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Rejoicing in the triumph of Orthodoxy on the first Sunday of Lent, we joyfully commemorate three events: one event belonging to the past; one event to the present; and one event which still belongs to the future.

Whenever we have any feast or joy in the Church, we Orthodox first of all look back — for in our present life we depend on what happened in the past. We depend first of all, of course, on the first and the ultimate triumph—that of Christ Himself. Our faith is rooted in that strange defeat which became the most glorious victory — the defeat of a man nailed to the cross, who rose again from the dead, who is the Lord and the Master of the world. This is the first triumph of Orthodoxy. This is the content of all our commemorations and of all our joy. This man selected and chose twelve men, gave them power to preach about that defeat and that victory, and sent them to the whole world saying preach and baptize, build up the Church, announce the Kingdom of God. And you know, my brothers and sisters, how those twelve men — very simple men indeed, simple fishermen — went out and preached. The world hated them, the Roman Empire persecuted them, and they were covered with blood. But that blood was another victory.

The Church grew, the Church covered the universe with the true faith. After 300 years of the most unequal conflict between the powerful Roman Empire and the powerless Christian Church, the Roman Empire accepted Christ as Lord and Master. That was the second triumph of Orthodoxy. The Roman Empire recognized the one whom it crucified and those whom it persecuted as the bearers of truth, and their teaching as the teaching of life eternal. The Church triumphed. But then the second period of troubles began.

The following centuries saw many attempts to distort the faith, to adjust it to human needs, to fill it with human content. In each generation there were those who could not accept that message of the cross and resurrection and life eternal. They tried to change it, and those changes we call heresies. Again there were persecutions. Again, Orthodox bishops, monks and laymen defended their faith and were condemned and went into exile and were covered with blood. And after five centuries of those conflicts and persecutions and discussions, the day came which we commemorate today, the day of the final victory of Orthodoxy as the true faith over all the heresies. It happened on the first Sunday of Lent in the year 843 in Constantinople. After almost 100 years of persecution directed against the worship of the holy icons, the Church finally proclaimed that the truth had been defined, that the truth was fully in the possession of the Church. And since then all Orthodox people, wherever they live, have gathered on this Sunday to proclaim before the world their faith in that truth, their belief that their Church is truly apostolic, truly Orthodox, truly universal. This is the event of the past that we commemorate today.

But let us ask ourselves one question: Do all the triumphs of Orthodoxy, all the victories, belong to the past? Looking at the present today, we sometimes feel that our only consolation is to remember the past. Then Orthodoxy was glorious, then the Orthodox Church was powerful, then it dominated. But what about the present? My dear friends, if the triumph of Orthodoxy belongs to the past only, if there is nothing else for us to do but commemorate, to repeat to ourselves how glorious was the past, then Orthodoxy is dead. But we are here tonight to witness to the fact that Orthodoxy not only is not dead but also that it is once more and forever celebrating its own triumph — the triumph of Orthodoxy. We don’t have to fight heresies among ourselves, but we have other things that once more challenge our Orthodox faith.

Today, gathered here together, Orthodox of various national backgrounds, we proclaim and we glorify first of all our unity in Orthodoxy. This is the triumph of Orthodoxy in the present. This is a most wonderful event: that all of us, with all our differences, with all our limitations, with all our weaknesses, can come together and say we belong to that Orthodox faith, that we are one in Christ and in Orthodoxy. We are living very far from the traditional centers of Orthodoxy. We call ourselves Eastern Orthodox, and yet we are here in the West, so far from those glorious cities which were centers of the Orthodox faith for centuries — Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Moscow. How far are those cities. And yet, don’t we have the feeling that something of a miracle has happened, that God has sent us here, far into the West, not just in order to settle here, to increase our income, to build up a community. He also has sent us as apostles of Orthodoxy, so that this faith, which historically was limited to the East, now is becoming a faith which is truly and completely universal.

This is a thrilling moment in the history of Orthodoxy. That is why it is so important for us to be here tonight and to understand, to realize, to have that vision of what is going on. People were crossing the ocean, coming here, not thinking so much about their faith as about themselves, about their lives, about their future. They were usually poor people, they had a difficult life, and they built those little Orthodox churches everywhere in America not for other people but for themselves, just to remember their homes, to perpetuate their tradition. They didn’t think of the future. And yet this is what happened: the Orthodox Church was sent here through and with those poor men. The truth itself, the fullness of the apostolic faith—all this came here, and here we are now, filling this hall and proclaiming this apostolic faith — the faith that has strengthened the universe. And this leads us to the event which still belongs to the future.

If today we can only proclaim, if we can only pray for that coming triumph of Orthodoxy in this country and in the world, our Orthodox faith forces us to believe that it is not by accident but by divine providence that the Orthodox faith today has reached all countries, all cities, all continents of the universe. After that historic weakness of our religion, after the persecutions by the Roman Empire, by the Turks, by the godless atheists, after all the troubles that we had to go through, today a new day begins. Something new is going to happen. And it is this future of Orthodoxy that we have to rejoice about today.

We can already have a vision of that future when, in the West, a strong American Orthodox Church comes into existence. We can see how this faith, which for such a long time was an alien faith here, will become truly and completely universal in the sense that we will answer the questions of all men, and also all their questions. For if we believe in that word: “Orthodoxy,” “the true faith”; if for one moment we try to understand what it means: the true, the full Christianity, as it has been proclaimed by Christ and His disciples; if our Church has preserved for all ages the message of the apostles and of the fathers and of the saints in its purest form, then, my dear friends, here is the answer to the questions and to the problems and to the sufferings of our world. You know that our world today is so complex. It is changing all the time. And the more it changes, the more people fear, the more they are frightened by the future, the more they are preoccupied by what will happen to them. And this is where Orthodoxy must answer their problem; this is where Orthodoxy must accept the challenge of modern civilization and reveal to men of all nations, to all men in the whole world, that it has remained the force of God left in history for the transformation, for the deification, for the transfiguration of human life.

The past, the present, the future: At the beginning, one lonely man on the cross — the complete defeat. And if at that time we had been there with all our human calculations, we probably would have said: “That’s the end. Nothing else will happen.” The twelve left Him. There was no one, no one to hope. The world was in darkness. Everything seemed finished. And you know what happened three days later. Three days later He appeared. He appeared to His disciples, and their hearts were burning within them because they knew that He was the risen Lord. And since then, in every generation, there have been people with burning hearts, people who have felt that this victory of Christ had to be carried again and again into this world, to be proclaimed in order to win new human souls and to be the transforming force in history.

Today this responsibility belongs to us. We feel that we are weak. We feel that we are limited, we are divided, we are still separated in so many groups, we have so many obstacles to overcome. But today, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, we close our eyes for a second and we rejoice in that unity which is already here: priests of various national churches praying together, people of all backgrounds uniting in prayer for the triumph of Orthodoxy. We are already in a triumph, and may God help us keep that triumph in our hearts, so that we never give up hope in that future event in the history of orthodoxy when Orthodoxy will become the victory which eternally overcomes all the obstacles, because that victory is the victory of Christ Himself.

As we approach the most important moment of the Eucharist, the priest says, “Let us love one another, that with one mind we may confess….” What is the condition of the real triumph of Orthodoxy? What is the way leading to the real, the final, the ultimate victory of our faith? The answer comes from the Gospel. The answer comes from Christ Himself and from the whole tradition of Orthodoxy. It is love. Let us love one another, that with one mind we may confess . . . confess our faith, our Orthodoxy. Let us, from now on, feel responsible for each other. Let us understand that even if we are divided in small parishes, in small dioceses, we first of all belong to one another. We belong together, to Christ, to His Body, to the Church. Let us feel responsible for each other, and let us love one another. Let us put above everything else the interests of Orthodoxy in this country. Let us understand that each one of us today has to be the apostle of Orthodoxy in a country which is not yet Orthodox, in a society which is asking us: “What do you believe?” “What is your faith?” And let us, above everything else, keep the memory, keep the experience, keep the taste of that unity which we are anticipating tonight.

At the end of the first century — when the Church was still a very small group, a very small minority, in a society which was definitely anti-Christian when the persecution was beginning — St. John the Divine, the beloved disciple of Christ, wrote these words: “And this is the victory, our faith, this is the victory.” There was no victory at that time, and yet he knew that in his faith he had the victory that can be applied to us today. We have the promise of Christ, that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church. We have the promise of Christ that if we have faith, all things are possible. We have the promise of the Holy Spirit, that He will fill all that which is weak, that He will help us at the moment when we need help. In other words, we have all the possibilities, we have everything that we need, and therefore the victory is ours. It is not a human victory which can be defined in terms of money, of human success, of human achievements. 

Today is the triumph of Orthodoxy, and a hymn sung today states solemnly and simply: “This is the Apostolic faith, this is the Orthodox faith, this is the faith of the Fathers, this is the faith that is the foundation of the world.” My dear brothers and sisters, this is also our own faith. We are chosen. We are elected. We are the happy few that can say of our faith, “apostolic,” “universal,” “the faith of our fathers,” “Orthodoxy,” “the truth.” Having this wonderful treasure, let us preserve it, let us keep it, and let us also use it in such a way that this treasure becomes the victory of Christ in us and in His Church. Amen. (From the Orthodox Church in America)

Fr. Anthony Savas


Weekly Bulletin for March 21, 2021

Weekly Bulletin for March 21, 2021

Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Message March 14, 2021

We were expelled of old, O Lord, from the Garden of Eden, for wrongly eating from the tree. But, O my God and Savior, You once again have restored us through Your Cross and Your Passion. Thereby, O Master, fortify and enable us purely to finish Lent and to worship Your holy resurrection, Pascha our saving Passover, by the prayers of Your Mother.                 

Hymn of Forgiveness Sunday

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Sunday, the final Day of the Lord which precedes Great and Holy Lent is known as Forgiveness Sunday. It is the final day of the Triodion Period and stands as the entrance to what will be our “new normal” for the next 50+ days. Our Lenten journey will be filled with successes, struggles, victories, defeats, highs, lows, celebrations, laments, good days, and, likely some not-so-good days. 

But from the time we tasted of the fruit of the forbidden tree, stood ashamedly before God, blamed the other for our own offences, found ourselves expelled from the Kingdom, and felt true isolation, we have yearned to reconcile with God. Thankfully for us, He pined equally for union as well.

Standing in sharp contrast to the theme of forgiveness which defines this Sunday morning and evening, the Church also commemorates on this day the horrific event of our Expulsion from the Garden. Look upon the icon at the top of this message. Even as a mere fragment of the image, the depiction is clear. The Archangel Michael has his hands on Adam, literally shoving him away. There is a gate behind him, guarded by the Cherubim so that no man or woman could enter therein.

The eyes of our forefather and foremother are downcast and crestfallen. Their hands are lifted in a posture of self defense. But regrettably, they have no defense. The eyes of the angel are peering, laser-focused and stern. He is doing God’s bidding. He is casting out human kind from their natural environment, from their comfortable existence, and their familiar surroundings. Their every need was met. Their every, wholesome desire was fulfilled and they lived in a perpetual state of bliss. At least they should have.

But they ate from a tree that was forbidden, and suffered the consequences. Orthodox theology is quite clear on this concept: the Church does not teach the false doctrine of “original sin,” as the West supports. While we inherit the circumstances and the consequences of the Fall, we do not suffer, or participate in the actual guilt of Adam’s sin. The consequences are bad enough. 

Adam and Eve’s desire to acquire God’s knowledge as their own, as the serpent promised, was their downfall and the commencement of our woes. Every ill, malady, vice, addiction and disease flooded around us from that point and challenges our every moment to this day. Ironically, their hunger for that which was not theirs to take, is the direct cause of literal hunger in the world today.

My Beloved in the Lord, as we begin our new life in Christ through the Great Fast, I would like to introduce to you a new and ongoing ministry that will begin on Monday, March 15th, the First Day of Lent: 

St. Anna Food Support Program

In response to the critical need to address hunger in our community, St. Anna is establishing our Church building as a permanent collection/drop-off location to supplement two local pantries that distribute food items to families in need throughout the Sandy and greater area.

Donations of nonperishable food items can be brought to Church on designated days and times below and delivered regularly to the pantries at Copperview Food and Resource Center, operated by Utah Community Action, and Diamond Ridge Alternative High School/Entrada Adult High School in the Canyons School District. Both pantries partner with Utah Food Bank.

The pantries have provided a list of basic, most-needed food items, which will be collected on an ongoing basis. Additional requests for urgently needed items will be addressed by coordinating short-term mini-drives/projects with various parish ministries. Moving forward, we will expand our collection efforts to incorporate donations from the community. (See flyer with the attachments and in the Bulletin)

Most needed food items

Canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon, etc.); canned vegetables, canned chili, peanut butter, jelly, Top Ramen, Instant Mac and Cheese, Cup O’ Noodle (other instant meals); rice; flour, sugar, dry milk, and granola bars

Donation drop-off

Drop-off days/times: Sundays 9:00 am -12:00 noon and Tuesdays 9:00-11:00 am. Place donated items in the large blue bin in the Fellowship Hall. All donations from the above list are appreciated. Families can also join together to purchase case goods (e.g., WinCo Foods, Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.).

Please do not misunderstand and think this is a passing food drive or seasonal project. The collection bin will be a permanent fixture at St. Anna’s. It will serve with the same level of importance as the altar table itself. It is my fervent prayer that going forward, when we prepare ourselves to come to church, it will be completely natural to always have in hand a case of peanut butter or a flat of canned green beans. Food insecurity is a very real and pervasive reality in our surrounding neighborhood. This project was developed out of a desired partnership between local faith leaders and school officials of the Canyons School District. 

We will help to supply small, local, educationally-based food pantries that serve the needs of thousands of families per year.

The realities of the Fall are just that…realities. Together, we as a community who strive for, and work towards the return to God’s Kingdom will do so, in part, but giving back was taken away at the Fall: dignity and sustenance.

This is an on-going project under the umbrella of our Service Ministry Team, and supported by our Men’s and Women’s Ministry Teams.

For questions, call Kathy Shand or Ann Sasich. 

Fr. Anthony Savas

Remember to participate in this year’s Lenten Challenge and pick up your free copy of “Toolkit for Spiritual Growth” at the St. Anna Bookstore. Gain insight into the spiritual principles of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Follow the five-week Study Guide and enhance your experience with the following link:


Weekly Bulletin for March 14, 2021

Weekly Bulletin for March 14, 2021 Lenten Schedule 2021St. Anna Bookstore Lent and Pascha Resources St. Anna Bookstore Blessings BagsSt. Anna Food Support Program

Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Message March 7, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I pray you are enjoying what has been a most lovely, sunny and warm day today. Next Sunday evening, we will begin our Lenten Journey with the Sunday Great Vespers of Forgiveness. Within that service, Great Lent will begin and the entire tone and meter of the Church will set our hearts, minds, bodies and souls on a path toward enlightenment, discipline, prayer and connection – connection to God, connection to each other and a connection to the Cross.

In order to enhance your Lenten efforts, I wish to invite you and your families to another Lenten Challenge; similarly to what we did two years ago. Through our St. Anna Altar Fund, we have purchased enough copies of Fr. Evan Armatas’ book, “Toolkit for Spiritual Growth – A Practical Guide to Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving” for our entire parish.

Unlike last time, when I asked you to purchase “Tending the Garden of our Hearts,” a copy of this book will be waiting for you, as Stewards of St. Anna, beginning next Sunday. We will be distributing them from the St. Anna Book Store. This simple, yet inspirational guide will walk you through the primary pillars of Lent; prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and hopefully inspire you to incorporate a newly-discovered awareness and inspiration that will transform your every day living. 

The author has graciously written a brief introduction to the book specifically for our parish and offers his encouragement and support of our efforts to grow in Christ through Lenten praxis.

I will also be including information on Ancient Faith Publishing’s Five-Week Study Guide to the book. This will help you as individuals and as families to generate discussions and learn together.

We started a tradition of these Lenten Family Challenges, and I am grateful to continue this practice, as it was enthusiastically received. I still hear of people discussing the lingering and positive effects it had on families.

So, remember, if you are a Steward of St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church, please come by during services and pick up your free copy at the Bookstore.

Why are we not mailing these to every household in the parish? Well, postage is an obvious answer. The not-so-obvious answer is, quite frankly, that it’s time I start actively inviting you to church once again. 

Great Lent is the perfect opportunity to test these waters. There are many, many services available to you throughout the week. Literally every day but Thursday, there is at least one service taking place LIVE at the church. Please, re-introduce yourselves to an active, Orthodox Christian life of liturgical participation. We were shocked and disappointed when our worship was taken from us. Let’s now answer that pain and frustration with a joyful return.

No, the pandemic is not over. We are not out of danger and we must remain vigilant and aware. But our dedication to safety, the expansion of vaccinations in the state, and our continued awareness of local, governmental standards is at the point where we need to start thinking about our plans to return to a vibrant worshipping community. 

Masks are still obviously required. We are still unable to offer hospitality of food and beverage fellowship. The choir is still unable to chant and participate. There are still reminders that things are different and require our attention, sacrifice and patience. That said, your church is waiting for a full and vibrant effort on all our part in anticipation of Holy Week and Pascha.

I am so very excited to see you all, pray together and celebrate our love for Christ with a unified voice. 
Come, get your book. Sit with your family, or dedicate time with yourself, to learn, grow, stretch and flourish in your Faith.

May our Loving Lord guide your every step and effort in the coming weeks.

With Much Love in Christ,

Fr. Anthony Savas


Weekly Bulletin for March 7, 2021

Weekly Bulletin for March 7, 2021 Lenten Schedule 2021