Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Message July 4, 2021

Lord, we stand today as our forefathers have stood before You in times gone by, Celebrating our history and reveling in all the great things that our country has achieved. On this day we rejoice in the favor You have graciously given us. We thank You for the blessings of liberty, for this generation and for the generations to come. We thank You for our independence, peace and for all those who have bravely given their lives in the defense of freedom and justice. We thank You that Your gracious and provident hand has given us so much. Yet as a nation and people we have not always chosen the right way. We ask You to forgive us for these times. On this day we commit ourselves to wholeheartedly honoring and serving You. With everything that we are, we lay our lives before You. Make us a generous people, A holy nation, A people set aside to love You forever, For the sake of the land of the brave and free, And the peoples and nations of this world. Today, we do not presume Your grace for our country. Our land is in need of You, Our people are in need of You, Our industry and business is in need of You. May we look only to You This Independence Day, dependent on You. Please come now by Your glorious Holy Spirit, Breathe new life into the sinews of this nation. May justice flow like rivers, And righteousness like a never failing stream, Until the whole of our country is covered with Your glory, As the waters cover the sea. We ask all this in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Now and Forever, and to the Ages of Ages.Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Many of of our parents and grandparents came to America in order to establish a better life for us – the progeny they couldn’t even know at the time. Let us never disrespect their love and sacrifice. My grandfather, Nicholas Zakis earned his American Citizenship by serving in the US Army. Our family’s most prominent portrait of him and his wife, my Yiayia Zambia, is in uniform, proudly sporting his Sargent’s Stripes. He worked hard, suffered greatly, lived gently, and absolutely loved this country. 

It is my humble prayer that our nation can be healed, united, blessed, made safe, grounded in prayer, bathed in love, and continued in strength. American independence is a gift to the world. This is not nationalistic pride, but a God-given promise that all men shall be seen as equal, just as the Lord views His creation.

Sacred principles such as this have been tested, twisted, stretched and shrunk since our nation’s birth. But they are principles worth keeping sacred.

They should not be discarded, taken for granted or assumed that they are intended for “some,” not the “other.” The Lord has gifted the world these United States of America. The Lord has established His holy Church within these blesses shores.

We have a prayerful responsibility as Orthodox Christians to be the light, to be the comfort, to be the guide, to be the protector, to be the witness, to be the face of Christ in our country and beyond. God bless America. God bless our leaders. God bless our military and veterans. God bless the peace makers. God bless us all. 

Happy Independence Day Weekend! God bless you on the 4th of July!

With Love in XC,

Fr. Anthony Savas