Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Message December 5, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I pray and trust that you are all well and that the joy of Christmastime is blessing your homes. When you come to church this weekend, tomorrow for St. Barbara, and Sunday, you will see a transformed space thanks to the gifted hands and eyes of Sandra Zoolakis and Stephanie Chachas. Thanks also to Chuck Karpakis for the heavy lifting and to Jim Karpakis for donating the large Christmas Tree that is placed in the sanctuary. Merry Christmas!

As you are surely aware, all of the ministry and administrative events that were scheduled for this Sunday have been supplanted to Sunday, December 12th. That is, Stewardship Sunday, the Special Parish Assembly, and the 2021 Parish Council Election. Please allow me to share some thoughts about these events.

Stewardship Sunday

For the past several years, we have treated the blessing of our Stewardship Offerings as a special and prayerful event. We have been distributing 2022 Pledge Packets for the past couple of weeks. It is important for people to pick them up as soon as possible. That way you have time to prayerfully contemplate your Pledge, and it saves the church the costs to mail these large envelopes. Please, please, please be swift, deliberate and thoughtful in your 2022 Pledge.

We will be mailing the packets out on Monday so that as many Pledge Cards as possible can be blessed upon the Altar as an offering to God. Since we are still not at pre-Covid capacity on Sundays, I presently have the fewest returned Pledge Cards at this point. Hope to see you in church this weekend, and with your packet in hand. Thanks in advance for your continued commitment!

Special Parish Assembly

At the Fall Parish Assembly, you were introduced to our final plans, layout and timeline for our massive renovation project. You have all been very patient and understanding as we conduct worship, fellowship, ministry activities, classes, rehearsals and meetings in the wide-open interior space of our building. God willing, and with the good pleasure of our St. Anna Community, we will soon have a permanent sanctuary, ballroom space, classrooms, new bathrooms, offices, a kitchen and storage. Not to mention the transformed exterior with the bell tower and appropriate crosses on the building. The entire cost will be about $2.5 million dollars. We have a plan. We have the means. We have the vision. We have the faith to execute such a large undertaking. Be sure to have your 2021 Stewardship up to date in order to vote. Be present and let your voice be heard.

On Monday, December 6th, the Feast of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, I am traveling to Denver to receive the blessing of Metropolitan Isaiah. I have not seen His Eminence since Covid times, and I am eager to be in his pastoral, warm and engaging presence. The specific purpose of my visit is to present to him the same information we will share at the Special Parish Assembly. Anything voted upon can only move forward with his guidance and permission. It is important that he see, beforehand, our intentions. That way, once the Assembly has spoken, he can proceed quickly with his archepastoral blessing upon our project. Let us build our House unto the glory of God!

Parish Council Election

There are five seats open on the Parish Council and nine people have been properly nominated to fill those positions for a two-year term. I wish I could just add all of these new candidates to our current and complete board. But that is not possible or my call to make. Your voice, the collective voice and individual voices of the parish, choose our leadership. Each and every one of them are capable, faithful and engaged. Please pray upon their names, faces and experiences. 

Jacob Dennis

Jacob currently assists Leo in the chanting of our services and also sings in the choir. He is in the technology field and has always demonstrated a tender love for our St. Anna parish.                           

Doug Felice

Though Doug is only recently Christmated in the Orthodox Faith, he has been a parishioner of St. Anna’s for the past two years. He is an engineering consultant and former Marine. Very committed. 

Tom Leitko

Tom is a retired professor, consultant and analyst. He has designed and executed all of our parish surveys and currently sits on or all-important Medical Advisory Ministry Team.  Tom is a gifted leader.                           

Elaine Peterson 

As the editor of our Parish Bulletin and chairman of our St. Anna Name Day Events, including last year’s successful dinner in honor of the Archbishop, Elaine is a capable and energetic leader.                     

Joseph Sasich

Currently sitting on our Parish Council, Joe brings a great wealth of wisdom, experience, humility and expertise – especially in construction/buildings, especially as we begin our buildout.

George Sergakis

Currently sitting on our Parish Council, George brings his expertise in insurance and business acumen to the parish and its leadership. George is an active, energetic and supportive leader. He’s funny, too!

Bruce Shand

Bruce has served before on our Parish Council, Legal Ministry Team and heads up our efforts in Sustained Giving. Highly organized, highly capable and always willing to serve, Bruce is trusted and valued. 

Steve Simos

Steve currently serves as the Vice President of our Parish Council and has been involved and vital to all decisions concerning operations, stewardship, communications and strategic planning.

Sam Soter

Sam is a successful businessman who then pursued the sacrificial vocation of education and became a high school teacher.  Highly engaging and capable. Sam is always willing to serve. 

If you are in need of an absentee ballot, please follow the instructions on the election notice that has been sent to all parishioners. Craig Stagg will send you a ballot and it will be returned to me. I, in turn will preesent all absentee ballots to the chairman of the election committee on the day of the election.  Well, I suppose this message was more administrative than pastoral. But let us all remember that the business, the activity and the very purpose of a Greek Orthodox Church is to witness, glorify, serve, and celebrate Christ. 

With Much Love in XC,
Fr. Anthony Savas