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This Sunday was determined to be Stewardship Sunday at St. Luke Parish. In the preceding weeks Father Andrew spoke during his sermons about our role in the church as stewards not only from a monetary standpoint, but also in terms of time and talents. Today all members of the congregation were asked to turn in a pledge card indicating the amount that they would tithe in the upcoming year. This is very important at our parish as the parish council will now take these cards to determine the budget for the upcoming year. These cards were collected during an offerring and blessed by Father Andrew.
It was also fitting on Stewardship Sunday that we were visited by Father Eugene Vansuch representing The Fellowship Of Orthodox Stewards. Father Eugene spoke concerning the role on this national organization and asked us to consider helping this worthwhile cause.
National Council of Churches
Last week Fr. Andrew attended the general assembly of the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCC) as a delegate of the Orthodox Church in America. The General assembly was held in Baltimore Maryland. The agenda dealt with several important issues. One of these was a concern by the NCCC about the Antiocian Orthodox Church resigning membership. Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, president of the OCA delegation, addressed the assembly explaining the need for the NCCC to listen to the issues raised by the Orthodox member churches. A letter was drafted by the Orthodox delegation be sent to Metropolitan Phillip to reconsider and that the NCCC would make efforts solve any disagreements.
Fr. Andrew is seated with the delegation from the Russian Orthodox Patriarchal Parishes of America. Around the table were seated Proto Deacon Sergei Kapral of the OCA and the delegation from the Coptic Orthodox Church. They are discussing the policy statement on Human Bio technologies which was approved unanimously by the NCCC.
Bishop Vicken Aykazian, of the Armenia Apostolic Orthodox Church was elected president for the next triennium. In the photo he is making his acceptance speech.
The representatives from all the Orthodox delegations are discussing resolutions which are to be sent to the Governments of Egypt and Turkey commending them of their quick response to the recent persecution of Coptic Orthodox Christians in Alexandria and the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul.
The installation service for the presiding president Rev. Michael E.
Livingston was held at the Baltimore's Douglas Memorial Community Church. Rev.
Livingston is from Frankford Illinois. For more information on the work of the
NCCC click on this link.
This Sunday following Liturgy, St. Luke Parish in conjunction with our local Fire Protection District held a Fire Drill. This was organized by our Safety Ministry as part of our efforts to insure a safe place for us to worship.
Here we see some of our parishioners exiting the building after the fire alarm sounded.
Jim, the head of our safety ministry along with one of our local fire fighters observe the evacuation.
After assembling a safe distance from the church, we were given a job well done as the building was evacuated in under two minutes.
Children's Sermon for November
At the end of the Liturgy Fr. Andrew had another of his monthly children's sermons. The subject was suggested by Karen Verderber from a book she uses in her school classroom.
Fr. Andrew explained the growing of a pumpkin, harvesting and making of a Jack-o -lantern as a parable on how Jesus transforms us into special people. He washed the pumpkin to symbolize baptism and the removal of the pulp and seeds as the forgiveness of sins.
He then cut out the face and put a candle in the pumpkin to show how the light of Christ fills us and make us smile. He quoted many verses from the bible about seeds, planting, harvesting and preparation and to teach the children about how God loves and cares for His creation.