Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I trust and pray that all is well, and you are feeling the abundant love of Christ in your lives. As I seem to share every year around this time, we are entering into my favorite season. Schools are beginning (way too early), today is a crispy, rainy day, the leaves will soon change, and a full calendar of services, events, classes and ministries will again, come fully alive. I think we had something like 28 days of 100-degree temperatures the past several weeks. Yes, I am ready for autumn.
So much of what we do, and how we schedule the activities of the parish really does orbit the school calendar. If you have kids in school or not, our educational system has a strong influence on our daily living. What’s available in stores, sports and entertainment choices, the fact that vacations are over, and we need to settle into patterns and programs, are all part of the reality of the season. Fun’s over. Get back to work!
But the beauty of this turning point in the calendar, is grounded, at least for me, in the knowledge that fundamental needs and our higher priorities are once again brought to the forefront. “Back to School” is not simply a slogan for stores, malls and shopping sites. Nor is it limited to football games, homecoming dances, and renewed friendships. Getting back into the classroom; the secular classroom or the St. Anna Sunday School classroom, means that concepts, ideas and information will once again flow freely. Minds will be enriched; imaginations will be inspired and, in church any way, the knowledge of Christ, His Church, His holy traditions, His Saints, His sacramental life, His ministry, His gift of everlasting life can be absorbed, actualized and put into practice.
Knowledge and education are fundamental needs. We are busily crafting and finalizing the calendar of spiritual education programming at St. Anna’s, for all age groups. New and continuing opportunities are ever expanding, and I am looking forward to sharing the start dates and times by this time next week. I know that modern school districts are telling us that mid-August is the start of the process, but my brain is still programmed for September.
Registration emails have been sent to the continuing and new families of our Sunday School program. If you have not been contacted personally, please use the QR Code on the attached flyer and sign up your child(ren), grandchild(ren) or godchild(ren). I truly ask the forgiveness of anyone I may have not contacted. We will bless the New School Year next Sunday, take a quick Labor Day Weekend break and begin actual classes on September 11, 2022.
We are finalizing times for our Evening Bible Study, Daytime Bible Study, Orthodox Inquirer’s Class, Spiritual Book Study, Parish Nights, and Chanting Classes. Wow. That’s a lot! Please afford yourself the opportunity to grow in your Faith in any and all classes taught at St. Anna’s.
Finally, I would like to bring your attention to another fundamental aspect of life – literally – blood. For the past several years, Beverly Bartel has led the efforts at St. Anna’s to host blood drives, at least on an annual basis. Our next drive, open to the public, will take place this coming Wednesday. At the time of scheduling, we weren’t quite sure where it would be staged. But I suppose an advantage to slow-moving construction is a conveniently placed blood drive – to be held in the social hall. If able, please be responsive, there are ten spots open for the day. These are the most spots we’ve had open this late.
Following is Bev’s final message for this week’s initiative:
LAST CALL FOR BLOOD DONORS
FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO SIGN UP
10 SPOTS LEFT
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24
ST. ANNA GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
We hope you will sign up!
I pray that this evening’s Tables Extraordinaire will be fun and successful. And I very much look forward to seeing you all in church tomorrow. You might want to come and see the progress on the bell tower (spoiler alert – buried at the bottom of an email – the bells arrive on September 9th!) We look forward to blessing them in the church the following Sunday. Watch for details. Ooooh. It’s getting very real and very exciting. Praise be to God!
With Much Love in XC,
Fr. Anthony Savas