Pastoral Letter July 14, 2019

It is of great significance if there is a person who truly prays in a family. Prayer attracts God’s Grace and all the members of the family feel it. Pray always.

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnika

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

I would like to give you an update as to the acquisition of our new church home. The summer months have been busy in preparation for our intended move and to God’s glory, I am filled with joy and ask your prayers for the following:

We have successfully submitted our application for a Conditional Use Permit to the Office of Community Development of Sandy City. What this means that upon approval, our building will be permitted to function as a house of worship. The current zoning for the building is in our favor, but still requires the designation from the City.

Please pray, as a member of our parish family, giving God thanksgiving that we have carried the process this far.

We have scheduled a date for the surrounding neighbors of the building, that they may hear of our intentions and plans for the space. Allowing our neighbors to have such an opportunity is a requirement of Sandy City and we are grateful to comply. It is obviously important for us to enjoy a favorable relationship with our neighbors and we hope that we all make good impressions to one another as we begin what will be a blessed and permanent relationship. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 31st at the Atrium. Parish Council members and transition team members will be in attendance.

Please pray, as a member of our parish family, that we enjoy a blessed union with our neighbors and that Christ’s love and the movement of the Holy Spirit will guide our every step.

The Community Development Department has also scheduled our hearing before the Sandy City Planning Commission. This is the body which ultimately has the say to approve our application. We will go before the Commission, with our collective voice, with the support of the department staff, and hopefully with the backing of the neighbors, to present our goals, aspirations and intentions for the use of the property. We were given the date. We did not choose it. The city did.   Wait for it…

August 15th.

There you have it. St. Anna has apparently gotten her daughter directly involved in this blessed process. As we approach the Planning Commission on the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, we humbly ask her intersessions and guidance through the process.

Please pray, as a member of our parish family, that St. Anna, her daughter the Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary, and all the Saints will continue to beseech the Lord on our behalf, that we may progress smoothly and without incident in the transformation of a garden center and reception hall to a holy temple, a sacred space, a blessed sanctuary, indeed, a house of God.

As we are all quite aware, we have reached a milestone in our fundraising efforts, in that our parish is less than $100,000 away from attaining our goal of a 50% down payment. Any person who works to raise capital funds for non-profit organizations will tell you that the final, small percentage of a goal is the most difficult to raise. So at this time, I ask and implore you; if you have intended to participate in our project and look forward to taking an active role in our building momentum, please, please, please, do not wait any longer and help us reach our goal. Our closing in October is closing in quickly, and we need to have our finances in order. We are living in historic times within the life of our parish. We will never re-create these days or get them back. Let us seize this moment in trust, enthusiasm, sacrifice and excitement. We are so close. Please help us get there.

Please pray, as a member of our parish family, that the spirit of generosity continues to pour over our congregation and that we all participate in establishing a permanent home for the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church.

Onward and upward, my Beloved in the Lord. Please enjoy the remainder of the summer. Please participate in our Parish Feast Day Celebrations that are also right around the corner. And for those of us participating in the Parish Fishing Trip this weekend, I pray that the Lord delivers us back home safely. God bless!

With Much Love in Christ,

Fr. Anthony