Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Message April 23, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen!

Truly He is Risen!

Greeting you in the season of the Resurrection is such a blessing. We have traveled spiritually, a great distance from the time the Triodion Gospels were first proclaimed. Even in the midst of construction messes and displacements, you were diligent, engaged, and prayerful. Thank you to all who made our services, lectures, retreats, and fellowship uniquely special. Christ has been greatly glorified in His Third Day Rising!!! 

But speaking of construction messes and displacements, I need to share some information with you, concerning the current state of the church’s interior. Starting this weekend:

Sunday School will resume, but the pre-school class will now enter the exterior storage building from the north door, not the west door, as in the past. The interior of that space has been reallocated with the installation of the racking system. Thank you to Ron Steele for quickly setting up a new Sunday School classroom in the building. 

Phase II of the project has reached a new milestone. The new narthex, exo-narthex (foyer), hallways, office, bookstore, bathrooms, and three classrooms are taped and ready for the painting contractors to begin their work. Therefore, there will be no access through that space until further notice, other than coming in the front door and going directly into the church. For practical reasons, we decided not to divert everyone through the single door on the north side of the building. But when you come into the building, pretend your mom is there telling you, “Don’t touch anything!”  

The current narthex is set up just inside the sanctuary, and access to restrooms and fellowship will be through the sliding barn doors at the back of the church. This will be slightly distracting for a couple weeks, but of course, the results of these slight inconveniences will be well worth it!

I should also give you an update on the finishing touches to the exterior of the building. The decorative grills for the bell tower windows have arrived. They will be installed in the coming weeks. The exterior lighting has begun its transformation. New, wall mounted floodlights, that are brighter, more efficient, and with a more attractive profile have been added to the north face of the building and have replaced the older units on the western face of the building. The accent lights have been installed and are operational in front of the exterior mosaic. The image of St. Anna and her daughter, the Theotokos, walking in their garden is now beautifully lit at nighttime. The accent lighting on the faces, and levels of the bell tower are currently being installed, and I believe all rain gutters are finished on the bell tower, as well. 

New handicap parking spaces will be permanently designated in the entire front of the building. The new spaces have been redrawn to comply with code and will be painted to reflect these changes. Thank you to all, who observed our temporary designation of the space during Holy Week and Paschal services. Thank you to Chuck Karpakis who made the temporary signs. When the exterior details of the building are complete, the current handicap signs will be removed from the side of the building, along with the backlit welcome sign. All touch up exterior painting will take place at that time.

Please know that the next phase of the project, the sanctuary, last two classrooms, utility space and kitchen are still scheduled to begin in May. All said and done, please pray that we will be in our new church in December. And my Beloved in the Lord, December is NOT that far off. Remember how quickly Pascha emerged. 

Architect James Derby, General Contractor Bill Souvall, and President Steve Simos are keeping everything on track, on budget and on target. God bless them!

Lastly, I would like to express my appreciation to the St. Anna Philoptochos for providing the red eggs for Paschal Services, and for cleaning the church before Holy Week, and for really, really cleaning the church during Bright Week. Thank you to the Men’s Ministry Team for keeping us safe and clutter free. Thank you to the church musicians, myrrh bearers, altar boys, fellow clergy, and ushers who made services so lovely.  That is allot of effort on the part of many people. And to the parish council, together with Gerard and Klea Gallegos, thank you and your crew for hosting a spectacular Anastasi Dinner following the Resurrection Service and Divine Liturgy. 

God Bless you in these days of Resurrection. Find hope in the empty Tomb. Find life in the power of God. Find joy in His self-emptying sacrifice. Find Him in everything!

With Much Love in our Triumphant Lord,

Fr. Anthony Savas