Message from Fr Gary December 2017

MAKE IT HAPPEN, Fr. Gary’s Message


In 2008 we were at Skyway Drive dreaming of a new building, today we are experiencing that dream come true. We have shared a lot of visions and goals in the last decade here at St. Demetrios. We sat in the valley of doubt and stared up at the mountain top of success often. Sitting there, some would whisper, “It’s not gonna happen.” We took on debt to purchase land then paid off that debt. We started fundraising campaigns, we asked for pledges and they came in. We all participated in giving towards the need of our collective DREAM and we did it! Success never happens if you sit in the valley merely hoping to be at the mountain top. Success only comes before work in the dictionary!

It’s time to get back to work. The configuration of our community looks much different than it did a decade ago. The pews on Sunday mornings are filled with many new faces. Some may not have had the opportunity to experience the pressures imposed by the undertaking of those dreamers. “Build it and they will come,” we recited meeting after meeting. Now here we are, together as one community, enjoying the benefits of a shared dream that started over 40 years ago. In the last several years we have made great progressions, but the need is the same now, as it was then, if not greater.

Today we sit in the valley of a $1.9 million loan. We have 8 years to eliminate that debt. A new Capital Campaign is beginning. 100% participation is needed from every family and parishioner at St. Demetrios. In the last 13 years the Golf Tournament has grown from a $3,000.00 annual event to an $82,000.00 annual event. The Golf Tournament has quietly grown into a year-round event in terms of planning, execution and most importantly sponsorship. Today the Capital Campaign and the Golf Tournament merge to encourage us to achieve the mountain top of success.

The Capital Campaign is driven by the concept of generous Gift Givers. These can come in all sizes and many forms, from $1000 to $1 million/per year. We have 8 years to retire $1.9 million, so it is time to get creative as we look to our Stewards and others in the surrounding community to support such a large need.

Although it sounds crazy what we need is an ARMY OF FINANCIAL ANGELS! These ANGELS can provide Gifts in many forms:

1. Annual Gifts
2. Capital Campaign Pledge Cards (starting in 2018 to be fulfilled by 2022)
3. Endowment and Tax Planning
4. Estate Planning and Family Trusts
5. After Life Gifts

Many of these charitable ideas can be favorable from not only a tax standpoint, but from a Spiritual standpoint to fulfill the vision of St. Demetrios in Ventura County. St. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

The Golf Tournament and the Capital Campaign is CoChaired by Joe and Mary Freeth, George Joannou and Fr. Gary Kyriacou. If you would like to assume the role of a FINANCIAL ANGEL and be a “cheerful giver,” please contact Fr. Gary at 805 443-3376, Mary Freeth at 805-390-9551, Joe Freeth at 805-390-9553 or George Joannou at 805-231-8696 Together, each committing to give what we can, we can eliminate the loan and continue to enjoy the rich blessings our Lord has bestowed upon us. Please take some time and prayerfully consider your contribution today.


In Christ’s Service,

Fr. Gary Kyriacou

Fr Gary

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Sunday Bulletin

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Sunday Bulletin

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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