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

Four in Three


Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books of the Bible. We find classic lines like, “To everything there is a season,” or “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!” Taken as a whole, the Book of Ecclesiastes is full of wonderful wisdom. During my time at the seminary, a beloved priest professor would encourage us to read the entire book from beginning to end whenever we felt overwhelmed with the pressures of life. This tool served me well as a student, and has become a valuable tool in my ministry to Christ’s Church. A Priest witnesses all the emotions of life. You rejoice at the birth of a child and you mourn with the passing of a loved one. Ecclesiastes verbalizes this sentiment well.


In the past three weeks, I have participated in four funerals. Four beloved individuals left this world in the hope of the resurrection. Two funerals were for 30 something year old’s and two funerals were for 80 something year old’s, yet their loved ones shed the equal number of tears at each of the funerals. All four individuals left behind the same thing, a lasting memory of the relationships developed. Their grieving loved ones mourn their physical losses.


In late February, we lost Kevin, a 33 year old loving husband, father of two, son and good friend. Kevin battled stage 4 oral cancer for 16 months before leaving this life. During his last days, as he prepared to die, he taught those around him how to live! His love for baseball inspired a road trip, with his father, to San Francisco to see his beloved Giants play, and the holidays gave him the opportunity to express his love for his family and friends as they showered him with their loving sentiments. I stood, in rapt amazement, watching his beautiful young wife, with her their two year old child in her arms, sharing cherished memories. She made us laugh and she made us cry, but she reminded us that our hope as Christians is in our Lord’s Resurrection.

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