FROM OUR RECTOR: ON MARKING TEN YEARS OF MISSION
Dear Brethren in Christ:
The start of 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the mission work of All Saints of North America Orthodox Church.
Those who were with us at that time will remember our first Liturgies, consisting of a tiny group of faithful gathered in a basement each Saturday and Sunday, singing the hymns of the Church in simple tones. Our catechism classes were conversations over a cup of tea, and many people traveled a long distance to be part of something quite new at the time: an Orthodox Christian community worshiping Jesus Christ using the English language.
God has blessed and strengthened us in many ways since that time. Our parish has grown spiritually, and in the number of souls; we have gained support in the services and our choir has grown, allowing us to serve the Holy Services more and more frequently; we have been blessed to offer Orthodox Christian educational programs to children, youth and adults; and we have been sent - truly, by God - a skilled and self-sacrificing group of faithful who have helped complete, expand and run our new temple.
Throughout 2013, our parish will be celebrating ten years of mission through special events such as our annual Orthodox Spirituality Series in Lent and our Chinese Missions Dinner, the continuation of our Icon Project, as well as a number of initiatives to look back on the many ways in which God has granted our parish to grow over the last ten years. If you or someone you know has any suggestions of ways to mark this special anniversary, please share them with the rector or a member of the parish executive.
In addition, 2013 has been set for the completion of our entry portico and the raising of the cupola at the front of the church, to bring to fruiting the original architectural plans for the parish drawn up years ago. This Raise the Roof Campaign will be an important focus for fundraising events and appeals throughout 2013. It is our hope to have the new portico, its roof, and the cupola, completely in place and paid for by the fall of 2013. This whole project will cost about $60,000, for which we have already received $16,000. Our efforts and generosity, along with God's continued grace in 2013, will help make this possible.
Looking forward to enjoying together a reverent and prayerful thanksgiving through this year-long celebration, I ask for your prayers for each member of the parish family, and for me as your rector.
With love in Christ,
P.S. - Please remember to call on our parish Meals Ministry, for your family or those you know, who are having surgery, in sickness, with a new baby, or in some kind of need. It is this kind of work that brings blessings to Christian people - let's not miss any opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ to our faithful.and to other people.