Pastoral Letter September 24, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings from beautiful, Pittsburgh, PA! I am here representing our Metropolis at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Family Ministry Conference. I look forward to sharing some thoughts about the Office of Family Care, as supported by our national Church, and the work that this conference has produced. But more about the conference later. For now, I offer these simple thoughts…

Last Sunday, we as a parish had the opportunity to peek into the future and imagine our St. Anna community in a home that can accommodate growth, serve our expanding needs, pique our creative energies, and test our resolve against the backdrop of a challenging prospect. Did I cover everything? Oh wait…one other thing…we’ve pretty much outgrown our facilities now – let alone welcoming new friends to our loving community.

I believe that by now, every parishioner in our blessed family has received information, spent time in reflective prayer, asked for inspiration, and is beginning to answer these questions:

“What can our family do to make our church a reality?”
“Where do we sacrifice?”
“How soon can we offer our support?”
“How can we become a part of history?”
Parish history. Salt Lake City history. Salvific history.

At last count, our parish has committed almost $950,000 towards the purchase of the Atrium property. This tells me that if everyone catches the vision and steps forward in faith and with love, we will be successful in our endeavor, to the glory of God.

We are not exaggerating or overreaching. The time to act is now. Your favorable response is necessary to engage the process. To be sure, if it seems that we are moving quickly, that reality is not lost on anyone who follows our level of activity. Yes, we are moving quickly, but not hastily. Not recklessly. Not irresponsibly. We are moving at the pace of need, not luxury. Admittedly, this does seem fast. Just over three years ago, there was no St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church in Utah. Today, we are praying and working toward a multi-million dollar goal. Whoa.

Yes. That’s fast. We knew that “this bell would ring” one day. We had an idea, when this parish was established, that someday, we would need to provide for a church. Who could have predicted that this conversation would be happening today? Even three months ago, this conversation was inconceivable. However…

The need is present.
The building is available.
God’s blessings are limitless.
Our love for Christ is beyond measure.
St. Anna’s love for us is richly unveiled ever day.

I fly home on Saturday morning. I, alone have the key to the PO Box. My prayer is that our little box is too small to contain our community’s enthusiasm, as measured by a hopeful influx of support. Last Sunday’s Divine Liturgy, Open House and Sunday School was filled with wide eyes and even wider smiles. Positivity, enthusiasm and wonderment defined the day; guided by the Holy Spirit.

I pray that those precious sentiments will translate into sufficient support to purchase, transform and enter a building that was ultimately constructed for divine intentions, Orthodox worship, and blessed fellowship.

No doubt, what this message lacks in subtlety, it abounds with urgency. I promise that I will soon, very soon, stop sounding like an infomercial.

But if we are going to do this. Now is the time.

Glory to God in all things.

With Much Love in Christ,
Fr. Anthony