Ground Breaking Ceremony
By Pearl Homiak
On Wednesday, April 4, 2001, a shovel will strike and break the ground on a hilltop in Palos Hills, Illinois. Prayers will be said and hymns sung as BishopJob of Chicago blesses the ground for the building project that will expand St. Luke Orthodox Church as well as provide a bell tower and a multi purpose fellowship and educational complex for parish activities. Prior to the Presanctified Liturgy that evening, clergy and parishioners from both St. Luke and our neighbor, SS. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, will gather around as Bishop Job sanctifies and breaks the soil.
None of this would have been possible before March 7, 2001. That was the day on which we all held our breath. A Cook County zoning variance board meeting was being held at the County Courthouse across the street from the Daley Center in Chicago. Real estate attorney Peter Coules, architect Eugene Batitich, and Fr. Andrew Harrison, our priest, waited their turn to present our request for two necessary zoning changes.
One involved the distance between our proposed activities building and the end of our church property. The other change concerned the distance between the front of the building and the street. After some questions and answers, both variances were granted, and St. Luke's building project was on its way!
The next day Fr. Andrew showed the building plans to Bishop Job. Our hierarch recommended at least five bells and a stairway to access them be placed in our bell tower so that they can be run by trained parishioners in an Orthodox style. He also asked for a cross to be place at the peak of the church.
He also agreed to do the blessing and ground-breaking on April 4th. Paul Dravillas, Building Committee Chairman, and Committee members Steve Hansen and Andy Chakonas are now getting ready to obtain building permits and oversee building construction. They await only Mr. Batitich's detailed drawings of our building plan and the selection of the contractor. We hope to be using our expanded church building, activities hall, and bell tower by the Pascha (Easter) of 2002.
On April 1st we will be kicking off our bond sale program. We have contracted with Security Church Finance who will administer the program. Mr. Englebrake from Security Church Finance will be present at St. Luke on Saturday March 31st after Vespers to answer any or your questions.
This is the truth!
Beginning on April1,2001, Security Church Finance, Inc., will begin selling the bonds that will finance St. Luke's building project. The company will offer the bonds to parishioners and friends of St. Luke's first. However, within two weeks of this date, the remaining bonds will be made available to the general public. The bonds are then expected to sell quickly. So invest now in St. Luke's, yourself, your children, and their future. These bonds have a better yield than an IRA, a CD, a trust, and a lot of other investments 7% to 9%. They are secured by our telephone towers. Come to St. Luke on Saturday evening, March 31st to find out more and select the bonds you want. See you then!
Strategic Planning Workshop
By Andrea Dauro
St. Luke's held a Strategic Planning Workshop on March 10th, 2001 that was attended by 12 members of our church. Ken Stevens should be commended for the incredible amount of work he did compiling all of our questionnaire answers into an organized format from which we could work. We would like to thank everyone who took the time and effort to complete the surveys. Without those responses we would not have been able to move forward with confidence that we were truly doing wishes of the parishioners. He organized all our responses, concerns and suggestions into 8 Goals we would like to cover and accomplish in the near future. The Goals are: Mutual Ministry- Encouraging each of us to be on a ministry at St. Luke's. Communications-We will be creating a Year-In-Advance calendar for all to see. Hospitality-We will create a "Hospitality" committee whose main purpose will be to make all visitors feel welcome and comfortable the entire time they are visiting us. Education-Some areas of the church school program have been re-vamped, other areas still need work. Building and Grounds- Our goal for completing the work on our grounds and new building has been moved up from 2005 to 2002. Outreach/ In We also have had many visitors each year who have since become members. Stewardship and Charity- We will also include in this year's Pledge Drive a Time & Talent drive so that we can tap into our member's talents Worship and Evangelism- We encourage our parishioner's to attend workshops on their own or on behalf of St. Luke's. We will start a "children's sermon" whereby Father Andrew will give a sermon tailored for the children occasionally. Plans for a second liturgy and mission south of I -80 were considered. Father was pleased with the progress we made at the workshop. We covered many areas and we all felt a sense of accomplishment with the decisions that were made. As a parish on the whole, we have to make sure and encourage everyone that these goals are really implemented. We have some exiting things happening here and we want everyone to rejoice in the blessings that we have and join in the activities!