Pastoral Letter August 13, 2017

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Not that I need any reminders, but this past week has been the perfect opportunity to reflect upon how blessed I am to serve as the priest of St. Anna’s. To be sure, this week was full of emails, lists, meetings, running around and the normal happenings of “a day in the life…”

This week was also Vacation Bible School; those three days were the littlest of God’s creation descend upon the church in loud, pounding, squiggly droves. There are no greater sounds, which ring through the hallways of our rented space than the voices, laughter, and roar of the children. I mean, really, how often do you hear people making “train sounds” as they move from room to room? Adorable!

Spending time with the kids in the church is a reminder of the precious responsibility that we all have, when it comes to correctly raising our young people. They need instruction. They thirst for knowledge. They want to laugh, but yes, they want to learn.

Seeing the curriculum come alive in their eyes is the most rewarding experience. To know that a future generation is being given the opportunity to know God and to understand that He loves them unconditionally is our hope that the seeds planted today, will yield spiritual fruits tomorrow. The reason that St. Anna was founded, was for these children. They will enjoy a stable, positive, nurturing environment that is grounded in Christ, and protected by His angels. (Angels are the theme for this week’s VBS).

It is also a motivational inspiration to see all of the “grownups” who come together for the sake of the children. This is undoubtedly, an extremely, busy time of year. Never the less, so many people have chosen to bank their time in the Kingdom, so that our little ones could enjoy a quality program – dedicated only to them and to their Savior. Please allow me the opportunity to thank the people that made this week a blessed possibility. True Angels, themselves:

Our Chairman, Barbara Hillas. Heidi Gounaris, Heidi, Hanna, and Luke Varechok; Kim, Mitch and Matthew Mallas; Zachary Petrogeorge; Argie Priskos; Anne Cline; Tanya Holbeck; Kris Parenti; Christina Georgelas Packer; Rose Pylidis; Eleni Johnson; Laina Mau; Kennedy Chachas; Joanna Dokos; Liberty Mudrock; Mary Feotis; Dr. Irene Petrogeorge; Yelana Brockbank; Eleni Yannias; Pres. Andrea and Markella Savas. Food donations were generously given by Sophie Wondolowski, Dn. Anatoli and Margaret Kireiev, Marriane Jesse with the Landmark Grill and Dr. Charles and Elizabeth Beck.

You see? That’s quite a list. With about thirty kids participating this year – that’s about a one-to- one ration of kid being served/person serving kid. Praise God for the generosity that is shown to our precious youth!

I also with to thank the parents, grandparents and godparents who took the time out of their set schedules to bring their kids to Vacation Bible School. Your commitment to them will be rewarded as these young people grow to raise their own kids in the Church, and place Jesus Christ at the center of their lives.

Simply stated: these fun, innocent, and creative efforts are meant solely for the purpose of salvation. Salvation for the participants and for those who serve them. Programs like Vacation Bible School are quite literally, Liturgy in action. Yes, its cute. But its purpose is serious.

Please continue to pray for our little ones. They will need all possible assistance, as they grow to navigate the world themselves. And when their stakes are higher, when their decisions are more critical, and when their judgement is put to the test, they will have experiences such as Vacation Bible School to keep them safe and grounded.

So, thank you, to the teachers, volunteers, lunch ladies and providers.
You’ve heeded the command of the Lord to bring the children to Him. You are now doers of the Word. You are now apostles.

With Much Love in Christ,

Fr. Anthony

Please forgive me if I misspelled or forgot your name in our list of volunteers. You are all appreciated; listed or not!

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP FOR A COMPLIMENTARY, INFORMATIONAL Q&A DINNER EVENT TO LEARN ABOUT OUR CAPITAL CAMPAIGN?

MANY HAVE ATTENDED THESE FUN EVENTS; BREAKING BREAD TOGETHER AND BUILDING THE ANTICIPATION OF OUR FUTURE! NO PRESSURE. NO HYPE. NO HARD SELL.

THE NEXT EVENTS:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 12 AT THE HOME OF JOE AND ANN SASICH. SPACE IS LIMITED BUT AVAILABLE. CALL ANN AT 801-518-2528. LET HER KNOW YOU’RE COMING!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 17 AT THE HOME OF STEVE AND ELAINA SIMOS. SPACE IS LIMITED BUT AVAILABLE. CALL GEORGETTE LOWE AT 801-573-8856. LET HER KNOW YOU’RE COMING!

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23 AT THE GUN VAULT. SPACE IS AVAILABLE. CALL CHARLES BECK AT 801-573-6800. LET HIM KNOW YOU’RE COMING!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 26 AT THE SIX PACK RANCH. SPACE IS AVAILABLE. CALL ELAINE ZAMBOS AT 801-599-6954. LET HER KNOW YOU’RE COMING!

See the Bulletin for full details. Then sign up and attend an event. God bless! Those kids I just wrote about, they’re going to need a church some day. Just saying.