Pastoral Letter January 26, 2020

Good Evening, Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Well, I have to say that several people have been putting in countless hours of back-breaking work to prepare our new worship space and church home for next week’s grand procession and first Liturgy. God bless you all who are both putting in the time and effort; and everyone who is praying for your strength, endurance, patience and inspiration. As you can well-imagine, there are multiple facets to dismantling, moving and recreating a parish within a couple weeks. To be sure, we have been preparing for months, but the bell has only recently rung to get actual tasks accomplished.

All of the major moving has been done. There are only a few items remaining in the church that are necessary for worship at the most basic levels. I have some personal items to remove from the office as well as the official files for the parish Sacramental Registry and Stewardship. You won’t believe how much stuff we managed to acquire in only a few, short years.

What primarily remains are the sacred vessels, icons, and objects that you, the St. Anna Parishioners will transfer from the current location to the next. Please watch for details and specifics as they continue to evolve. But, by God’s grace, I was with the Metropolitan last weekend during the Metropolis Basketball Tournament and received much-valued instruction. Please pray for a sunny, clear, warmer-than-usual day, free of smog, traffic and red lights as we make our way to our new home on February 2, 2020.¬†
But before we scooch out of here, let’s please keep in mind a few more thoughts:

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 25 is the Feast of St. Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople. Orthros is at 8:00 am followed by the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am

This Sunday, the 26th will be the FINAL SUNDAY LITURGY at the St. Thomas More Campus. Please, be with us this Sunday to celebrate the divine services in a place that has served us well, in an atmosphere which has inspired us to greater heights.

Next Thursday, January 30th will be the last service celebrated in our current chapel¬† (or at least what will remain of it by then). The Feast of the Three Hierarchs, 2020 will forever be remembered as the final time that a holy chalice and paten were raised in the context of Orthodox Worship at St. Thomas More through St. Anna’s.

After that…

What blessings await us – that we will share together?

What challenges await us – that we may rise to meet them as one?

What souls are yet introduced to Christ – that we may serve them with love and devotion?

A building initially constructed to sell trees, seeds, shovels and bark will now perceive, echoing within its walls, the Baptisms of the Faithful, The Marriages of the Couples, The Burial Rights of the Departed, The Confessions of the Suffering, The Laughter of Fellowship, The Scampering of Children, The Wisdom of our Elders, The Proclaiming of the Gospel, The Celebration of all Divine Mysteries, and the Proclamation that Christ is, indeed, Risen from the Dead!

So, at the risk of repeating, we have only three more opportunities to receive Communion in our present location. Don’t miss the opportunity to create the latest memories of this blessed place.

With Much Love in Christ,

Fr. Anthony