Pastoral Letter September 10, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I pray that you are enjoying a blessed and peaceful week. Today, I have some very important information that needs to get into your hands, so I want to quickly share some thoughts, rather than a lengthy message. Please be prayerfully mindful of the following:

This evening [September 7], we will commemorate the One Year Anniversary of the Passing of Fr. Matthew Gilbert. Presbytera Denise and members of her beloved family will be with us at St. Anna’s at 6:30 pm. We will celebrate Great Vespers for the Nativity of the Theotokos (Liturgy tomorrow [September 8] at regular time), with a Memorial Service offered on behalf of the soul of our Erstwhile Fr. Matthew. A light reception will follow the service, hosted by our Women’s Ministry Team. I thank them for their love, generosity and compassion. May His Memory be Eternal!

This Sunday is the beginning of the Sunday School Year at St. Anna’s. We welcome new and continuing families to enroll your children in our dynamic, Christ-centered and Spirit-filled program. Following the Divine Liturgy this Sunday, our teachers will be recognized for their year’s of service and Small Blessing of the Waters service will take place to sanctify our year, the students, their teachers and their classrooms. Please support our Sunday School Program by faithfully bringing your kids to class.

Last week, we took up a collection to benefit hurricane victims in Houston, TX, through International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), per the directive encyclical from His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver. We will take up a second collection this Sunday. And since, I presume, that by then Hurricane Irma will have made her way through Florida, those good people will also be in need of assistance. Then Hurricane Jose, then …

Please make your checks out to the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church Altar/Benevolence Fund. We will forward one check to the IOCC and they will disperse as they identify the need. Of course, this is the same IOCC who will be sponsoring a fund raising event here in Salt Lake City, next month. The save the date announcement is in the Bulletin. Please take note. Please be generous.

Lastly, as you’ve been made aware, there will be no services at St. Anna next Sunday, September 17th. We will celebrate Orthros, the Divine Liturgy, enjoy fellowship and have Sunday School, at the Atrium Property, our hopeful, new church location at 9201 South 1300 East. If you have yet to receive an informational packet, commemorative icon of St. Anna and a Capital Campaign Pledge Card, please contact me at franthony@stannagocutah.org. We very much look forward to all of us taking the time to visualize ourselves in that space, enrich our ministry opportunities, and aspire to reach our collective potential.

If we are to acquire this property, time is of the essence and there is a sense of urgency that needs to be communicated and understood.

To this date, nearly $900,000 has been committed to this effort. Momentum is gaining and excitement is growing. We are not there yet, in terms of funds needed to be considered “buyers” of this property. Come to church at the Atrium Property on Sunday, September 17th, tour the facility and fall in love with the space; as has everyone else who has walked through it, and saw it as their future church home. Praise be to God. We can do this!

I realize, that as I type this message, there is much that is being asked of all of us in terms of time, effort and resources. Scripture tells us that as we freely receive, we are to give freely. It’s a circle of generosity, faith love and mission. We are a parish of generosity, faith, love and mission. I look forward to our coming days, months and years of witnessing these very truths and concepts.

With Much Love in Christ,
Fr. Anthony