Stewardship Renewal 2013: Fr. Gary

Every year the Church does what She can to encourage the faithful to support Her ministries. From the Archdiocese of the United States to the Metropolis of San Francisco, to St. Demetrios on Skyway Drive, we do what we can to activate the heart of the giver and gather financial support for the Church. We make pleas from the pulpit, give presentations, publish articles, print stewardship cards and brochures. At the end of it all, we come up short. Why? I think it’s because we expect fundraisers and extra collections to provide more revenue than they actually do. At St. Demetrios we passed a budget anticipating $277,681 in annual expenses. We need $283,200 to achieve a balanced budget with a modest cushion. At the November 11th Fall Parish Assembly we agreed to set a Stewardship collection goal of $225,000, hoping that our “other fundraisers” (Epiphany, Dinner Dance, garage sales, bake sales, etc.) would make up the $75,000 deficit. The 2013 Stewardship Committee (Bo Baikoshev & Terry Vegos and I) would like to eliminate the crutch of “other fundraisers” and focus on raising a total of $300,000 from annual giving. I believe our reliance on fundraisers hinders proper God-inspired Stewardship. This means that through our 2013 Stewardship Campaign we are hoping that every FAITHFUL supporter of St. Demetrios will increase their annual giving by an honest amount that allows our leadership to properly plan and execute the mission of the Church. On the next page, you will find a chart outlining the plan. Please study the program and find a giving amount that makes sense for you and your family; a stewardship pledge that you can reliably fulfill over the course of the year.




NEW YORK – In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America has expressed the concern, prayers and care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for the life, safety and well being of the millions of people in the affected areas of the northeastern United States.


The Archbishop, through his chancellor, has been in contact with clergy of the Direct Archdiocesan District to assess and determine the extent of damages on our faithful and parishes in the areas ravaged by the storm. He also spoke yesterday, October 31, with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and thanked him for all that he is doing for New York City during this unprecedented crisis.  He pledged the support and assistance of the Archdiocese in the efforts of recovery and reconstruction, an offering for which the Mayor thanked him. In addition, the Archbishop spoke with Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, who informed him about the damages to the churches and communities of the Metropolis of New Jersey.

My Heartfelt Thanks: Fr. Gary

The words popped off the page and penetrated my heart! Emotion overtook me at the Groundbreaking Ceremony when I was given the opportunity to turn the earth and chant: “Upon the unshakable rock of your commandments, Christ, make firm your Church.” I was lifted in a cloud of enthusiasm as I pressed the shovel into the ground. “Yes God! Keep me grounded, and help me lead,” I thought, as His Eminence concluded the service. How many priests and communities are given the opportunity to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony? None of this would have been possible without the commitment of all who have offered contributions: donations of time, talent, money, love and support!  read more .. 

Message from Fr Gary

Fr Gary

God’s Holy Word

A great benefit of spending time at summer camp is the opportunity to disconnect from technology. Not having a phone or internet connection gets you excited to receive mail. A great joy is receiving a (good old fashioned) letter from home. The delight in holding an envelope with the familiar handwriting of a loved one is a highlight for all the staff, counselors and campers. Everyone gets electrified when they get mail (real, handwritten, stamped envelope mail).

One afternoon at St. Sophia Camp, the Director handed me a small envelope sent to me from Christie. I took it, looked at it and put it in my pocket. “You gonna read it?” He asked. I nodded, smiled and walked to the chapel to prepare for evening vespers. I placed it on the altar and put my vestments on for the service.

Vespers ended and the kids were excited to go up the hill to mail call, anticipating their own letters and packages. Prior to their leaving the chapel I shared with them the unopened envelope from my wife. I asked, “What if I just set this letter from my wife on my night stand and never opened or read it?” The responses were touching and hilarious.

One little guy said, “I think you should read it, it will make you happy!” Another jokingly said, “You might end up sleeping on the couch if you don’t.” An older teen girl said, “That’s just coldhearted, what if...

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