Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christ is Risen!
Truly He is Risen!
Last Sunday, following the Divine Liturgy (and a wonderful lunch sponsored by amazing Russian and Ukranian members of parish family), we held our Spring Parish Assembly. Among other business, we shared the latest details on our building project. When I see you tomorrow morning for Sunday Divine Liturgy, we you will notice, even from now, significant progress.
I would like to share with you, the prayer I lifted up on behalf of our community, to begin the blessed process of transforming our massive space into sacred space.
Please, don’t just read the following words, pray them. Lift them up in your voice. Please speak to God through your heart.
As of Monday, the mess began. And so does the fun, excitement and anticipation. By God’s grace, I offer this for your consideration…
Let us Pray to the Lord.
Lord Have Mercy.
O God Almighty, Who made the Heavens with wisdom and has established the earth upon its sure foundations, the Creator and Author of all men, look upon these Your servants, the parishioners of your St. Anna Church, dedicated to the ministry, witness and eternal memory of Your maternal grandmother. Grant these Your children to whom it has seemed good to build up a house of worship, in the dominion of Your Power, and to rear it by building; establish it upon a stable rock, and found it according to Your divine word in the Gospel, so that neither wind, nor flood, nor any other thing shall be able to harm it; graciously grant that we may bring it to completion, and deliver all us who shall wish to worship therein from every attack of the evil one.
You, O Lord, gave your instructions to build the Ark of the Covenant to house the tablets of Your Commandments.
You, O Lord, before the coming of the flood waters, gave your instructions to build the Ark of Noah, thus preserving life on Earth, awaiting Your redemption and mercy,
You, O Lord, gave the instructions upon which Your Temple was built in Jerusalem, so that your people would know You, Find You and worship You.
You, O Lord are the architect of life, the creator of existence, the designer of this word, the heavens and all that exists.
You are the builder of the Church. For You, O Lord, are the Church.
Lord God, bless our efforts as we begin the task of transforming the building, which in Your wisdom, and through the clear intercessions of St. Anna, has been received by your people.
Bless the hands of the craftsmen who are charged with the transformation of a Garden Center, to the Center of Your Garden. Allow us to find here, Your Kingdom. Allow us to walk through Your Garden Gates to find comfort, peace, refreshment, respite, clarity and grace.
Lord, keep the construction workers and all who will enter herein for the following many months, safe from and harm or injury.
Lord, please continue to inspire in us a spirit of sacrifice, generosity, and vision. Allow us to see to the end, a house dedicated to you: a dignified space of Orthodox worship. A place for fellowship and learning. A place for gathering as a Christian people of service and outreach.
Lord, let this transformed place, with bells tolling, and voices singing, be a source of witness to the greater community. Let the people see a transfigured space and divinely purposed grounds, that your face may shine upon them. Let them be introduced to You through the efforts we are about to undertake.
Lord Christ our God, You have guided us to this place. Inspire and strengthen us. Grant us patience and understanding in the coming months as our spiritual lives will no doubt be inconvenienced and disrupted at times. Let the challenges of each passing day not cause us frustration or resentment, but rather show us the greater and ultimate purpose that will be revealed in the end.
Lord, never let our spirit of gratitude ebb or fade. We are grateful for all of the abundant gifts that You have showered down upon us. Keep us mindful that You are the one and only reason we have embarked on such an ambitious journey.
Lord, allow us to enjoy every milestone, point of progression and completed task in our church construction project. Every new wall, stone, door, tile and hinge will be placed to bring You glory.
Lord. We ask of You. Bless the beginning steps of this effort.
For Yours is the dominion, and Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Christ is Risen From the Dead, Trampling Down Death by Death, and upon Those in the Tombs He is Bestowing Life. Truly the Lord is Risen!
With Much Love and Gratitude in our Risen Lord,
Fr. Anthony Savas