Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Letter October 6, 2019

“When Your Children are Still Small, You Have to Help Them Understand What is Good. That is the Deepest Meaning of Life.”                                         

Elder Paisios of Athos

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I believe that in all of volunteer church work, the most important is in the hands of those dedicated to our youth. Anything with our youth. We take them on outings, we teach them sports, we teach them dance, we sponsor parties and service projects. Indeed, any time spent in bringing our children closer to God, through their relationships with each other is time that is anointed and blessed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Then, of course, there is another level of time dedicated to our children. The teachers and administrators of Sunday School programs are systematically and perpetually tied to the spiritual development and sacred knowledge that our children will develop and maintain. Of course, the primary source of instruction comes from the home. Kids watch mom and dad. They listen to the spoken word and they pick up on the unspoken language of faith. They feel when it is real. They life the Faith if their parents life the Faith.

But in this world, parents need partners in the development of their children’s relationships with God. They need knowledgeable people who take the time and put in the effort to prepare engaging lessons, then stand in a classroom and deliver that message with creativity, conviction, consistency and love.

Love. Love for the Lord. Love for Children. Love for the Gospel. Love for the Church.

These are motivations that drive the Sunday School Teacher. These are the qualities that define our St. Anna Sunday School Teachers.

Then, there are the administrators. They set the course, maintain the tone, inspire the vision and tie it all together. We’ve had the best.

From the time before our parish was even a parish, Kim Mallas has served in the capacity as our Sunday School Director. She vehemently dislikes any attention in her direction, and I usually comply with her demands to this end, but today is different. Today, there are not enough words to thank Kim Mallas for all she has done, and continues to do for our kids.

After serving as our Sunday School Director from the inception of our parish, Kim Mallas has prayerfully decided to step aside from this sacred position; the position she created and has so nobly served. I will be ever grateful for her sacrificial love for the young people of St. Anna’s – in both capacities of GOYA Adviser and in leading our Sunday School. Kim will be staying on for the remainder of this school year and retiring at the conclusion of this School Year.

As I look to the past and present in gratitude for the enthusiastic embrace of service to the youth of St. Anna’s, I can assure you that our future is just as bright.

Brandee Mau has accepted my request that she transition into the position, working side by side with Kim for the remainder of this year, and carry on as our new Sunday School Director, starting in preparation for the 2020-2021 Season. Brandee will also remain a teacher in our High School Class.

Professionally, Brandee is a teacher of teachers, and a dedicated, well-read and Christ-centered individual who is more than capable to continue the work that Kim has established.

I ask that you support Kim in her decision and Brandee in her new ministry. Pray for them, as they pray for your energies, inspiration and strength in service to our youth.

From the time St. Anna’s came to be, through Kim very specifically, there was a demand that a Sunday School program be created. Not later, not tomorrow, but today. The parish leadership responded and supported her in her efforts to establish our program.

The finest, and I mean the FINEST teachers are still assembled to this day. I pray continually for them. They have had, and for the remainder of this year, they will have an advocate and a friend in Kim. The time will come and the calendar will usher in a change. I have the utmost trust and respect for Brandee and her abilities to attain new levels for the sake of our kids and our teachers. From now, she is crafting and shaping a glorious vision.

May God continue to bless our precious children through the people and influences He places in their lives.

With Love in Christ,

Fr. Anthony