1.) To share the Truth of Orthodoxy, bringing others towards Christ- we are biblically directed to share the Good News which encourages us to mature in our own faith.

    ·      "Come and See" to our extended community
    ·      Sharing the fullness of Orthodox Christianity.

 

2.) Increase Liturgical participation and encourage Personal relationships with Christ by increasing Sacramental awareness.  This is accomplished through each of constantly assessing where we stand in relationship to our God.  Realizing the growth needed in each of us, clergy and laity, we should commit ourselves to regular participation in the weekly cycle of services, i.e. Orthros and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday's as well as on respective Feasts of the Church and those services unique to seasons of our Liturgical year.  Furthermore, as individuals and as families, we should find time for increased prayer in the home, making our dwellings extensions of our St. Demetrios Church.

 

3.) Ministering to the sick: visiting Shut-ins, visitations to hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

    ·      Although ministering to those in need is a primary task of the clergy, it is incumbent on each of us to pray for one another and to extend Christian love to those who are unable to participate actively in the life of our Church as we are all members of one body, that Body being Christ.
    ·      Prayer list

 

4.) Attending to the Youth: providing programs that develop knowledge of the Faith (Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition).

    ·      The primary task of educating youth belongs to the family, that is, the parents of our children, their godparents, extended families and parish family.
    ·      As such, we must labor to create more of a parish family ministry to support our parents in their divine task.  We should also place emphasis at the Church on studying Scripture and sharing our Holy Tradition with our youth in formal settings.

 

5.) Establish a healthy community of Brothers and Sisters, working hand in hand, serving each other, imitating Christ’s selflessness displayed during His Passion and practicing His command to Love and Forgive.  "Establish a loving, hospitable, community that gives sacrificially and offers the first fruits of their stewardship to God and to One Another."  The Biblical model of stewardship is not simply giving a financial gift to the Church but sharing one's self through a thoughtful offering of time, talent, and treasury to God and one another.  In so doing we not only function selflessly, in harmony, and with hospitality, we share in the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

 

6.) To maintain a focus for growth and development for our future expansion.  As any family responsibly plans for growth, we should do likewise. The Church and her auxiliary buildings belong to God, serve our needs and allow us to experience "God with us."  As we mature in faith, we will continue realize our physical needs of a new Sanctuary, fellowship hall, offices, classroom, etc to further our ministry and to share God's love with others.  Such expansion projects will be actualized through each of us sacrificially giving to the glory of God in the unique manner to which we are able, based upon His gifts to us.

 

7.) To present a good Christian example of Servant Leadership.  Each of us, priest and layperson, shares in an aspect of the Royal Priesthood of Christ. Our task is to realize this stewardship as His servants, in a manner befitting His example to His disciples, His people and His Creation.  With a humbled spirit, each of us should take up our Cross and assist those to stumble, like Simon of Syrene.

Message from Fr Gary

Fr Gary

Christ-Centered Parish


I learn a lot of interesting things at committee meetings. At one meeting, when discussing the newsletter of our parish, The Myrrh-Bearer, someone frankly said, “Nobody reads that.” That person is either right or wrong depending on how much further you go into this message. At our most recent Parish Council meeting, a parish council member, politely, combined the conversation about healthy church finances with the status of our relationship with Christ.

It wasn’t me, I wasn’t preaching, it was one of YOUR ELECTED OFFICERS, that was sharing this thought. I was mesmerized by his conviction; I looked around at the other members and they were too! The Holy Spirit was present. His inspiration moved us to take the conversation about Parish financial health to a new level.

“Every year we consider ways to raise money. What fundraisers can we hold? How will we meet our obligation to the Metropolis and Archdiocese? How can we motivate better giving? Instead,” he went on, “How can we serve Christ? How can we instill a deep love for Jesus, in every member, young and old, so that our Parish becomes financially healthy and shows greater concern for how Christ-Centered we are as a group?”

It was refreshing to hear a leader of our community express these thoughts. I have offered them in the past, but it is cliché for the priest to say it, because I’m supposed to. A group begins to reexamine the metric for success when a respected member of the Parish Council looks intently at his peers and says, “Are you concerned for your salvation?” If we look at our challenges through the lens of salvation, that is, how what we do will enhance our relationship with Christ, a new perspective is born.

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