Pastoral Letter September 17, 2017

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Have you noticed that the leaves are beginning to change and the colors of the mountains are slightly yielding to hues of red, orange and yellow? These changes in the valley scenery are as vibrantly beautiful as the colors of springtime. I think that this season is even more beautiful than the months just before summer. January marks the beginning of the calendar and May ushers in the commencement of life’s precious cycle. But for all practical purposes, this time of the year marks the beginning of everything else. Much in our lives is dictated by the school year – whether we have children in our homes or not.

Once you spend some time reading this week’s Bulletin, you will quickly recognize that we are gearing up for an active year of ministries and activities at St. Anna’s.
I feel that I must ask your forgiveness and understanding for the late start to the programs in our parish. This was not an accidental sputtering, but rather, I knew that the Fall would be consumed with our fundraising efforts towards our intended property. There is no way, however, that we could have conceived of a property with a suitable building to come available in an ideal neighborhood. That was the summer’s surprise.

The Capital Campaign is in full swing and with this Sunday’s services and activities taking place at the Atrium, we will see and gauge just how realistic of a proposition this may be. The space is ideal. The location is perfect. The potential is endless and the price is perceivably within striking distance. The gap between a dream and an inevitability is diminishing with each passing week. Only God knows if this is intended for us. But the process is exciting, regardless of the outcome.
The reality is, of course, that no matter where we gather as a community, the active life of our parish needs to continue, grow, mature and expand. That said, please be aware that the following dates are right around the corner:

Sunday October 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm
Following the Divine Liturgy and Sunday School, parents and children will gather for the Inaugural Meeting for our St. Anna Greek Folk Dance Program. Please come and learn all of the details that our dance leadership has been preparing for over the past six months.

Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm
GOYA and JOY will begin their year’s activities at a Kick Off Party at our house. All children in elementary, junior high and high school grades, together with their parents are invited to attend. Dinner will be served and the coming activities will be discussed.
Find us at 2009 Waldo Drive, Holladay, UT 84117.

Monday, October 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Every Monday evening, except for the Third Monday (Parish Council Meetings), we will gather for chanting class and practice time. Our emerging church musicians made great strides during the summer months in preparation for the Paraklesis Services. We will continue with the same enthusiasm and desire to chant the divine services of the Church. All who are interested in learning to chant the Orthros Service are invited to attend. We will gather in the church office.

Friday, October 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Orthodox Married Life (OML) is one of the more popular and well-attended ministries of St. Anna’s. Couples who are engaged, married for over 50 years, and everyone in between are encouraged to participate. The lesson material is always practical and spiritual in nature, and the opportunity for fellowship is unmatched. We will meet the Second Friday of each month. Join us!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Bible Study is resuming at St. Anna’s. Our group had swelled to almost 60 people at one time. I would love to see that many people, and more, return for our study of The Book of Acts. This part of Scripture, written by the Apostle Luke is the Bible’s “Adventure Story.” I know that there are many people who are excited to open our Bibles again. Let the adventure begin!

Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Our Orthodox Spirituality Inquirer’s Class did not make it into the Bulletin…so you are reading about the beginning or our Fall Class, here, for the first time. I would like to introduce to you, our new adult religious education teacher, Mary Yannias. With her expansive knowledge, love for the Faith, and years of experience in teaching high school Sunday School, Mary is a wonderful addition to our Adult Religious Education Team. Well actually with Mary on board, we now have a team. Yeah, team!

Tuesday, October 24th at 6:30 pm
Our Junior Orthodox Youth (JOY) Ministry is returning to the Fourth Tuesday of every month. Please have your children from Kindergarten through 5th Grade join us for a fun and exciting year.

Friday, October 27th at 7:00 pm
Family Nights are returning to St. Anna’s on the Fourth Friday of every Month. Please join us with your entire family (that includes you, by yourself…if you are by yourself) for monthly opportunities to grow in our Faith and as a church family.

Another change to our way of ministering to our young people is the institution of our St. Anna Youth Ministry Council. This group of dedicated people is devoted to the well-being and spiritual growth of our parish children. The Council consists of:
Kim Mallas as the Director of Sunday School
Theros and Cindy Johnson as our GOYA Directors
Nicol Zambos as our JOY Director
Connie Cayias as our Greek Folk Dance Director
Alexander Nicholas as our Acolyte (Altar Boy) Director
Barbara Hillas as our Special Projects and St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Chairman.

Please pray for these lovely people. They are taking an active and positive role in the lives of our children.

Groups like our Women’s Ministry Team and the Forever Young Fellowship continued to gather during the summer. The Men’s Sexton Ministry Team also continued to work over the summer. Of course, let us not forget the dedication and diligence of our parish council, real estate committee and capital campaign committee. They did not rest for a moment over the summer. At St. Anna’s, there is a flurry of continuing and newly-created activity. Not to mention a possible, new CHURCH! There are countless ways to get involved. I welcome your involvement!

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, improvements or prayerful considerations to offer, please, never hesitate to contact me, or one of the leaders in our various ministries. Thank you for your dedication and spiritual affection towards our precious community.

With Much Love in Christ,
Fr. Anthony

Remember: Services this Sunday, September 17th will be at the Atrium Property, 9201 South 1300 East. Everything begins at regular times. Though, in the historical sense, these are hardly, “regular times.” Please come with an open imagination, prayerful heart and a generous spirit. If this dream is to become a reality, we’ll need all three from each and every one of us!

If I neglected to mention a group that you are involved in, please forgive the omission – this message is intended to highlight newly-introduced ministries and leaders, and is not intended as an exhaustive list of all activities.

Lastly, as you notice the plain, old typewriter look of this week’s message, please know that my computer has some formatting issues. I will work to correct the issue this week. God bless!