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Electronic Giving Now Available

The work of Holy Trinity and the Chapel is entirely supported by sacrificial gifts from members of its parish family. Thank you.

Now, at no cost to you—and at a minimal cost to the parish (on average, less than the price of offering envelopes)—your donations can be withdrawn directly from your checking account, savings account, or debit card. This convenient payment portal is made possible through our partnership with Fulton Bank and Jack Henry and Associates.

With just a few clicks, you can set up a one-time or recurring payment, ideal for busy families and travelers.

Donate Now

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Let us know your feedback at online.giving@holytrinity-oca.org.

 

Annual Meeting to be held Sunday, November 8

Holy Trinity will hold its Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 8 following the Divine Liturgy. Nominations are open for Council positions of Secretary, Treasurer, and Facilities Chair. All agenda items must be submitted in writing to the Parish Council for review. Nothing will be considered from the floor.

Parishioners in good standing who were registered with the parish as members at the end of the previous calendar year and who have fulfilled their Lenten obligations of Confession and Communion may and should attend.

Agenda

  1. Opening Prayer: “O Heavenly King…”
  2. Establishment of Quorum
  3. Minutes of the 2014 Meeting
  4. Priest’s Report
  5. Treasurer’s Report
  6. Review and Approval of the 2016 Budget
  7. Election of Officers
  8. Closing Prayer: “It is truly meet…”

 

Synod Accepts Holy Trinity’s Resolution;
Delegates Pass Reform Measures

by Fr. John Reeves

Deacon Alexander and I represented Holy IMG_8164 IMG_8163 IMG_8149Trinity at the 18th All-American Council in Atlanta, July 19-24. Several actions of note were taken, each affecting the life of the parishes in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

The first was the revision of the Normal Statute, which is the chief constitutional document governing our national church. Although amended since its adoption in 1971, the Statute had not undergone a thorough revision in the intervening years.

Besides edits for clarity and style, primary changes included the addition of several articles that better reflect the life of an autocephelous Church—monastism and stavropegial institutions such as seminaries, for example—and the replacement of religious language (in to make the Church understandable to civil governments and courts).

Several changes will have to be made in our parish bylaws to bring Holy Trinity into conformity with this revision.

Additionally, deacons have now been granted representation at future Councils. Prior, they had to be elected as members of the laity in order to participate. The vote was 97% in favor for the revised Statute.

Second was the adoption of proportional giving as the means for supporting the central administration, effectively abolishing the per capita assessment. Vote was by a similar margin in favor.

Finally, Dr. Jennifer McClure spoke before the delegates to introduce our parish’s resolution to the Holy Synod on spiritual abuse and give reasons as to the need of its passage. It was accepted by the Synod without a vote.

A full report on the AAC will be presented at the Parish Council meeting on August 20. More information can also be found on the OCA’s website.

AAC Resolution Voting

  • On the motion to adopt the revised OCA Statue: Passed—473 in favor; 15 against.
  • On the motion to fund the work of the Synodal Chancery for the next triennium using a varying proportion of each territorial diocese’s income: Passed—451 in favor; 14 against; 17 abstentions.
  • On the motion to express solidarity and support for Christians suffering in the Middle East: Passed unanimously by acclamation.

Parish Votes to Purchase Adjacent Building

123 S Sparks StAt a meeting of the parish today, members voted to approve a $340,000 offer to purchase the building adjacent to Holy Trinity (123 S. Sparks St.), which the American Cancer Society has owned for the past twenty years. The vote tally was 60 votes in favor, 7 votes against, with 2 abstentions.

Closing on the building is expected in November. In the meantime, the Parish Council will explore several options to maximize its sustainability and usability in order to meet our needs, the needs of our community (Penn State and State College), and the Church beyond our parish.

Attend a Vision 2020 Survey Feedback Session

Jennifer McClure will present the findings of, and moderate discussion on, the Vision 2020 parish survey at during two focus groups this month. The purpose of these sessions is to collect your candid feedback on the results to develop further consensus about what we pray is God’s will for our future growth.

They take place on Wednesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m. (pick a time that works best for you).

To aid in the discussion, please look over the results prior to the session.

Special Meeting Information—Sunday, June 22

As reported last month, the parish originally planned to vote at a special meeting on May 18 on a $160,000 Archdiocesan loan proposal for the construction of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Beavertown. However, the May 18 meeting was postponed because several concerns were raised about the specific terms of the financing agreement.

To address these concerns and to give the parish more flexibility in the process, the Parish Council met on May 21. After discussing and documenting the issues with the original proposal, the Council moved to cancel the May assembly and call for a new meeting of the entire parish. It is scheduled for Sunday, June 22 following the Divine Liturgy at both Holy Trinity and the Chapel.

The Parish Council has called for a special meeting to be held Sunday, June 22 following the Divine Liturgy to be held at both Holy Trinity and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. The sole agenda item will be to vote on a new resolution pertaining to construction project financing for a church building in Beavertown.

It differs considerably from the previous one under consideration at the meeting that was cancelled. While the original resolution specified loan terms to be voted on by the parish meeting, the new resolution delegates all negotiating power to the Parish Council. If terms are met to the satisfaction of all parties, especially the Chapel faithful, the Council will engage the loan. The new resolution also authorizes the council to seek other lenders besides the Archdiocese, if necessary. This process is the same one the parish used when it authorized the Council to act in its behalf to obtain the loan for the remodeling the church in 2006.

The resolution is as follows:

I. The Parish authorizes the Parish Council to:

a. Enter into immediate negotiations with the Archdiocese or other appropriate lending agency for a loan in an amount not to exceed $160,000 to build the Chapel of the Holy Spirit on the property in Beavertown; with

b. terms that are the most advantageous both to the Chapel and to the parish corporation as a whole; and in such case, to

c. enter into a loan agreement in accordance with those terms and communicate the results to congregation membership by post.

II. Voting shall take place at both Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, State College and at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Beavertown, as permitted by parish bylaws (Art. III, Sec. 3-D).

III. The special meeting shall commence immediately upon the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy in both locations.

For more information, please contact info@holytrinity-oca.org.

Chapel Approved for Building Financing

Special Parish Meeting Called for Sunday, May 18

Chapel of the Holy Spirit Proposed Design

A proposed profile of a new building for the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Beavertown. Featuring an ascending nave and a large narthex that doubles as a fellowship area, it is roughly based off traditional Alaskan Orthodox designs.

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP — At its spring 2014 meeting here at the Chancery, the Diocesan Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing a loan for the construction of a church building in Beavertown. According to the financing plan terms, the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh will offer the Chapel of the Holy Spirit $160,000 amortized over a 20-year term.

If approved by the May 18 special parish assembly called by the Parish Council, the financing agreement calls for a zero or negligible annual percentage rate during the first five years, calculated such that the Archdiocese breaks even on the loan servicing (but not to exceed 3%), making the Chapel’s monthly payments in the $600-800 range. After that time, a 2% and 4% surcharge will be added to the APR for years 5-10 and 10-20, respectively. The diocese can require full repayment only after the tenth or fif-teenth year,  provided the council and diocesan bishop concur. The Archdiocese will have a lien on the already-purchased lot and any structure built upon it. The Chapel will make a down payment of $40,000 from reserves and fundraising to be determined, to meet the estimated project cost of $200,000.

The sole item on the assembly’s agenda will be to authorize this loan to the parish corporation. A super-majority of two-thirds of the parish’s members is required for quorum. Should the quorum not be met, the meeting will be postponed until the following Sunday, at which the members that attend shall con-stitute a quorum. Parishioners in good standing that were registered with the parish as members last year and who have fulfilled their Lenten 2014 obligations of Confession and Communion may attend and vote. Balloting will occur at both Holy Trinity and the Chapel immediately following Liturgy.

Should you have any questions, please contact Frs. John or Basil, or Council President Chuck Beechan. Or, attend the next regular meeting of the Parish Council on Wednesday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Summary of Proposed Bylaw Changes

Notice of Annual Meeting:

Holy Trinity will hold its Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 10 following the Divine Liturgy. Voting on the proposed changes to the Parish Bylaws will begin immediately after the dismissal. Ballots will be tabulated during Coffee Hour before the assembly proceeds. Parishioners in good standing who were registered with the parish as members at the end of the previous calendar year and who have fulfilled their Lenten obligations of Confession and Communion may and should attend.

Download: Current Bylaws with Proposed Bylaws in Parallel.

Article III: The Parish Meeting

Current (1999)

Annual Meeting: An annual meeting of the voting members of the Parish shall be held on the first Sunday in the tenth month of every year… [§1-A]

Proposed (2013)

Annual Meeting: An annual meeting of the voting members of the Parish shall be held on the second Sunday in the eleventh month of every year…
[§1-A]

Notice of Meetings: Notice of the Annual and any Special Parish Meeting shall be given by the Rector from the ambo at the Divine Liturgy on three (3) consecutive Sundays prior to the Meeting… [§1-D]

Notice of Meetings: Notice of the Annual and any Special Parish Meeting shall be given by the Rector from the ambo, or the Council President, at the Divine Liturgy on three (3) consecutive Sundays prior to the Meeting…The exact procedure shall be determined by the Parish Council prior to the vote. [§1-D]*

The quorum for all Parish Meetings shall be 50% of voting members enrolled at the end of the calendar year preceding the date of the Meeting… [§2]

The quorum for Parish Meetings shall be 33% of voting members enrolled at the end of the calendar year preceding the date of the Meeting… [§2-A]

[none]

In the event the Parish shall seek to sell or purchase property or encumber the same, a 50% quorum of voting members shall be required. [new §2-B]

[none]

There shall be no voting by proxy. [new §3-C]

[none]

For votes taken by physical ballot, a list of voting members will be prepared, with a copy placed at each of the premises of the Parish and of any Parochial missions. Members voting will sign the list as a prerequisite to receiving a ballot, and return the ballot prior to leaving the premises. Sealed ballots and voter lists with signatures will be conveyed from Parochial missions to the Parish premises for determination of the quorum and counting of votes. No voting member may cast more than one ballot. Nothing in this provision permits voting by proxy; voting members must be present at the balloting location in order to cast a vote. [new §3-D]

[none]

[newSection 5. Delegation

a) The Annual Parish Meeting may expand the number of members of the Parish Council by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting should cause warrant.

b) The Annual Parish Meeting may subsequently reduce the number of members of the Parish Council by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, provided:

  1. there are at no time less than six members, in addition to members representing parochial missions, and
  2. that an interval of two (2) years shall have elapsed between the addition of Council members before the number may be reduced.

c) All items for consideration at an Annual Parish Meeting shall be submitted in writing to the Parish Council for discussion in advance of the Annual Parish Meeting by members of the Parish in good standing. If the Parish Council deems the matter not within the competence of the Annual Parish Meeting, it shall not be brought forward for consideration, the reasons for such being duly recorded in the Parish Council Minutes by the Secretary.

d) No items may be introduced from the floor.

Article IV: The Parish Council

Current (1999)

Eligibility of Elected Members: Voting members of the Parish are eligible for election to the Parish Council with the following exceptions:

  1. any full-time employee of the Parish is not eligible to serve on the Parish Council;
  2. only one member of any household, including the Rector’s household, is eligible to serve at the same time as a member of the Parish Council.  [§1-C]

Proposed (2013)

Eligibility of Elected Members: Voting members of the Parish are eligible for election to the Parish Council with the following exceptions:

  1. any full-time employee of the Parish is not eligible to serve on the Parish Council;
  2. only one member of any household, including the Rector’s household, is eligible to serve at the same time as a member of the Parish Council
  3. other clergy assigned or attached to the Parish, and their wives, shall be ineligible to serve on the Parish Council.
  4. qualifications for members of the Parish Council shall be the same as those specified in the Normal Statute of the Orthodox Church in America for any elective or appointive office.   [§1-C]

Term of Office: Three of the six Trustees shall be elected for a term of two years at each Annual Meeting of the Parish… [§2-A]

Term of Office: Half of the Trustees shall be elected for a term of two years at each Annual Meeting of the Parish…  [§2-A]

Composition: The Parish Council shall consist of the President, the Vice-president in charge of Building, the Vice-President in charge of Grounds, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer. [§3]

Composition: The Parish Council shall consist of the President, who will serve as Warden; the Vice-President, who will serve as Assistant Warden; the Secretary, and the Treasurer, plus at least two additional members, for a minimum of six. [§3]

Parish Council Meeting Chairman: The President shall be Chairman. [§7-B]

Parish Council Meeting Chairman: The Rector shall preside at all meetings of the Parish Council. He may appoint the Council President to chair meetings with him or in his stead (viz. Statue of the Orthodox Church of America, Art. X, §8-C)
[§7-B]

[none]

Other Members: The duties of additional members shall be determined by the Parish Council, annually, as needs warrant. [new §8-E]

[none]

Parochial Mission Representative(s): At the Annual Parish Meeting, each parochial mission (chapel) of the Parish shall present for ratification the name of one of its membership to serve on the Parish Council with voice and vote for the upcoming year; with concurrence of its Priest-in-charge; in addition to the six members specified above. [new §8-F]

Article VI: The Parish Organizations

Current (1999)

[none]

Proposed (2013)

[new] Section 2. Parochial Missions (Chapels)

a) All parochial missions (chapels) shall operate under this article.

b) In the event that a parochial mission shall have attained sufficient development and financial security to warrant its becoming a free-standing mission or parish of the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Church in America, to the satisfaction of the Archdiocesan authority, it may petition the Archdiocese for reception as the same on the affirm-ative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of its particular membership, with concurrence of a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting at a parish meeting [as provided in Article III, Section 2, Subsection (b) and Article III, Section 3, Subsection (b)].*

c) Upon confirmation by the Archdiocesan authority of such a request:

  1. the new mission or parish shall incorporate under Pennsylvania state law as a not-for-profit corporation and adopt Bylaws to the satisfaction of the Archdiocesan authority; and
  2. the Parish Council shall then begin to devolve and divest all real and liquid property held for the parochial mission to the new free-standing mission or parish within thirty (30) days of its incorporation to the satisfaction of the Archdiocesan authority.

Article VIII: The Amendments, Regulations and General Provisions

Current (1999)

[none]

Proposed (2013)

In these Bylaws the word “State” shall refer to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  [new §4-B]

Adoption: These Bylaws were accepted at a Parish Meeting held on the fifth day of February, 1995, at which the appropriate quorum was present, the Parish members having been duly notified, and have become effective on the fifth day of February, 1995, by the approval of the Diocesan Bishop. They revoke, supplant and replace any and all Parish Bylaws, whether corporate or not, previously in use.

Adoption: These Bylaws were accepted at a Parish Meeting held on the twenty-fourth day of March, 2013, at which the appropriate quorum was present, the Parish members having been duly notified, and have become effective on the _______ day of __________, 2013, by the approval of the Diocesan Bishop. They revoke, supplant and replace any and all Parish Bylaws, whether corporate or not, previously in use.

* this section now contains different text from the proposed bylaws that were presented for consideration at the Parish Special Meeting on March 24, 2013.

Proposed Bylaw Changes Increase Chapel Representation; Look to Future

Notice of Annual Meeting:

The Parish Council has called a Special Meeting of all the members of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church to be held Sunday, March 24 at 12:30 p.m. Parishioners in good standing who were registered with the parish as members at the end of the previous calendar year and who have fulfilled their Lenten obligations of Confession and Communion may and should attend.

Parish Council has called for a vote on proposed changes to the bylaws that govern Holy Trinity at a special meeting of all its members. The assembly will take place following the Divine Liturgy and children’s icon procession on Sunday, March 24.

In addition to codifying practices that have become standard practice over the past several years, the bylaw amendments primarily pertain to the governance and eventual transfer of parochial missions, including the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. The additional section under Article VI (Parish Organizations) anticipate a time when the Chapel will “attain sufficient development and financial security to warrant its becoming a free-standing” church community. It will grant its faithful the authority to petition the Archdiocesan bishop for reception as a mission or parish on the affirmative vote of 80% of its particular membership and two-thirds of the general Parish membership.

In the meantime the new bylaws, if accepted by a two-thirds majority on March 24, will also grant the Chapel official representation “with voice and vote” on the Parish Council effective November 2013.

The Parish Council will see additional structural changes should the bylaws be amended. Under the new provisions, members at the annual meeting may expand (or eventually reduce) the number of officers who serve on the Parish Council with a supermajority vote of quorum (the redefinition of which is also under consideration), so long as there are at least six on the Council at all times.

A summary page of all the bylaw changes are available here. The current and proposed bylaws presented in parallel form are now available to download (hardcopies will be made available in the Narthex). There will also be an open hearing on the bylaw amendments at the March Parish Council meeting on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m.

State of the Parish: Celebrations and Opportunities

Brethren: Holy Trinity has much to celebrate over the year past and has several opportunities in 2013 to further our mission of building up the Church beyond our parish.

First, let me highlight a number of unqualified successes. [Sections with asterisks (*) have their own reports and I refer you to them for greater details.] 

Celebration

A prime example of building up the Church beyond our parish is the Penn State Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF)* which actively ministers to students who participate on campus and in our parish in activities led by Deacon Alex Cadman. Over the years by means of campus ministry, Holy Trinity has been formative in the vocations of priests, deacons and monastics who now serve the Church. In addition to our own Dn. Alex, these are Fr. Hector Firoglanis, Fr. Gheevarghees John, Fr. John Diamantis, Sister Helene (Krenitsky) and Sister Margarete (Roeber).

Additionally, Alexey Petrides and Ryan Stingle are now completing Master of Divinity degrees at Holy Cross Seminary in anticipation of future church service, and Jabra Tannous has begun studies at St. Vladimir’s. Maria Roeber is finishing her two year appointment as a missionary to Tanzania. This is not to mention the numerous Penn State alumni now serving as lay leaders and simply good Orthodox Christians in so many parishes and careers in various parts of the country who credit OCF with providing them with a spiritual base and formation during their university years.

Sunday School/VBS* have seen consistent growth and excellence under the capable direction of Deacon Mark Oleynik. With five classes now in session on Sunday mornings, we now face the joyous challenge to find more room to accommodate more students. (Don’t forget that in Deacon Mark’s previous assignment at St. Mark’s, Bethesda, the Sunday School tripled in size and the parish was “forced” to build a Christian Education wing to accommodate the growth. It’s easy to see why.) 

Matthew 25* provides all of us with regular opportunities to impact the lives of Christ in the poor and the homeless in our community through its considerable work and partnership with Strawberry Fields and Housing Transitions. 

Men’s Fellowship sent a team of ten on a short-term construction mission to Marshall, Alaska. This marks the first time that a group of adults from Holy Trinity have done mission work, although we have helped to send many students on short-term missions throughout the world over the years. Upon return, the men have decided to support an Alaskan seminarian, Deacon Jason Isaac, in his studies at St. Herman’s Seminary, Kodiak. Dn. Jason is from Marshall. We appreciate the support which others have committed to this effort as well.

Opportunity

Our Strategic Growth Team (SGT) is actively engaged with charting our course over the next several years. As I noted at last year’s meeting, we have a five-year window to do the following:

  1. Build a chapel for our parochial mission, Chapel of the Holy Spirit (CHS)*, Beavertown.
  2. Come to a decision about our own building/expansion/relocation options in State College.
  3. Continue to expand and develop ministry at Holy Trinity in the meanwhile.

This year, it is a joy to refer you to Fr. Basil’s report and the considerable progress which is being made to build that chapel in Beavertown. Barring unforeseen complications, it is anticipated, and quite possible, to clear all the hurdles, dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s and break ground for CHS in 2013.

SGT has been at work over the past six months trouble-hooting several options for the parish to consider for addressing our need for more space for future ministry. As these are further refined by staff and council, the parish as a whole will have ample opportunity over several months to assess these options, comment upon them, and help us reach consensus on a prudent way forward which is faithful to our mission—to build up the Church beyond the parish—and our core values of worship, discipleship, fellowship, ministry and stewardship.

These options include, but are not limited to, the following: purchasing additional property in the neighborhood, specifically the American Cancer Society next door; purchasing property elsewhere in State College to build a larger, new temple and facilities; remaining on-site with no additional capital expansion, but the possible addition of two liturgies on Sundays; developing a second mission in this area to accommodate growth; or perhaps some combination of the options above. God will guide and God will provide both the direction and the means to do his will.

Seminarian Internship—Fr. Basil and I are exploring the possibility of a seminarian internship at Holy Trinity/Holy Spirit for this coming summer to develop the choirs and singers for both State College and Beavertown. Much technical knowledge is needed to conduct and sing Orthodox services well. This is something we have come to expect in our liturgical experience in our parish. The intern would possess considerable seminary and musical training in order to expand upon the dedicated work of Dr. Bob Roberts, Karen Cattell and our many church singers. It is envisioned that the intern would spend most Sundays in Beaver Town, while workshopping and developing voice and conducting techniques in State College during the week.

The proposed cost noted in the two budgets (HTOC and CHS: $4,000) would be raised apart from general offerings through grants and appeals. Besides providing a seminarian with parish experience in anticipation of future ministry in the church, it would also offset a portion of his or her educational expenses for the ensuing school year.

Seminary faculty from St. Vladimir’s Seminary is involved in developing criteria for participation as well as vetting possible candidates for this program. The term would last 8-10 weeks.

Everything outlined above is faithful to our mission and based upon our core values, building up the Church beyond our parish by means of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry.

Now for the stewardship: When I first cast vision for my pastorate in State College (1995!), I told mission leaders at that time that under my leadership it would be a pastorate whose ministry was based upon sacrificial, proportionate giving for the work of the Church. The mission community was already in agreement that Holy Trinity would never charge “dues” because it never wanted to become a religious club but a church in the fullest sense of that term.

I promised that God would bless us if we honored him with a tithe, something which Scripture indicates and which I practice. I also promised to lead them and the future parish in scripturally based financial support (cf. Malachi 3:8ff).

Over the years our financial stewardship has grown and our blessings have been multiplied. Currently our sixty families and supporting units provide not only the bulk of the parish budget through weekly offerings but mission and outreach appeals above budget, as well. Total giving as noted in the financial reports from both State College and Beavertown is now approximately $250,000 per year. That’s an average of more than $3,500 per family. And that is a blessing! But now, we called to be blessed more by increasing support sacrificially to meet the opportunities God has in store for us in 2013.

Chiefly, the majority of the increase is to provide adequate compensation in terms of pension and health care for Deacon Alexander. In addition to being on campus, he serves as parish ministry coordinator. As a full-time church worker, he is entitled to the benefits which most of the rest of us already enjoy. The Pastoral Care Committee is to be commended for its diligence in applying the Clergy Compensation Guidelines of the OCA in order to propose the increase in Deacon’s Alex total support.

It might be tempting to say, “let’s just have every family increase giving” by 1/60th of the total increase needed. In other words, a $12,000 increase divided by 60 families: that would work out to approximately $200 per family, or $17 per month, or $4 per week. And that certainly would be one way to do it, if everyone responded equally. But would it be the right way?

Have we ever noticed that things we are tempted to do are never really God’s way to do anything? Now, I’m not saying that everyone increasing his pledge by $4 per week is an evil thing to do! But what I am saying is that Scripture teaches us to give in proportion to how God has blessed us. For some, $17 per month might be the cost of a latte a week at Starbucks. For others, it might be the cost of a medical prescription. So while leveling the field might sound good, it actually might hurt some of our brethren.

In other words, to those to whom much has been given, is much more required. So, I lay this before you as an opportunity to increase your giving and then increase your joy in proportion to God’s blessings, in your lives personally and in our parish’s life corporately. Take a fixed percentage of your income blessing and thank God for it by returning it to him, weekly or monthly, and put him to test, as he indicates to us:

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 8:10-12)

Then let’s see what God will give us to celebrate next year, and how many more opportunities he will give us to continue building up the Church beyond the parish through worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and stewardship.

— Fr. John