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Assistant Lay Chairperson Report - January 2015

Submitted by Phil Stamatakos


The parish contributed over $25,000 to charities in 2014. Charitable giving is funded almost entirely through monthly collections taken one Sunday each month during the Divine Liturgy and those collections are matched by the Church. The parish's charitable contributions, which are entirely a function of the good will and generosity of our parishioners, have assisted a variety of Orthodox Christian missions and causes at home and around the globe and collectively represent about 10% of our parish’s budget – a tithe.

The parish council believes that the combination of repeatedly giving to charities that are effective in doing good, Christian works and giving in an "ad hoc" manner as needs arise provides both the parish and the recipient organization with a number of benefits. Repeat giving permits the parish to become more closely identified with an organization and its objectives and allows the recipient organization to rely upon a relatively consistent level of annual giving; giving to newly identified organizations permits the parish to address immediate needs.

Certain charities have been recipients of giving for several years and are likely to receive money from the parish in the future. These include the following:

• The Orthodox Church in America,
• International Orthodox Christian Charities which offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide,
• Journey Pregnancy and Life Hub, a pro-life organization that serves the South suburbs, and Below is a complete list of charitable giving by the parish in 2014:

January charity St. Luke Mission Trips 8,800
Feburary charity Orthodox Christian Mission Center 600 Deanery Vespers 482
March charity Int’l Orthodox Christian Charities 1,838
April charity OCMC –Romanian mission 2,738 Guatemala Orphanage 1,000
May charity Paws Assisting Wounded Warriors 1,730 St. Joseph’s 25th anniversary 100
June charity Antiochian Women of N. America 600
June charity Coptic Orphans 600
July charity Journey Pregnancy and Life Hub 1,270
August charity OCA – Stewards of America 682
September charity Flight 93 Memorial Fund 600
October charity OCMC - Guatemala mission 1,630
November charity Brkic triplets 1,430
December charity Orthodox Christian Fellowship 1,172

Total 2014 charity donations: 25,332

If you have suggestions for monthly charities, please contact Phil Stamatakos at


For yet another year, the Church hosted homeless women and children every Monday night (except during the Summer) through the PADs organization. Our guests arrive in the evening and enjoy dinner in our social room and many stay the night and leave in the morning. The number of guests per week averaged between 15 and 30 for dinner and 15-20 for overnight stays. This activity is running smoothly and the Church's food teams are doing an outstanding job, but active participation from our parishioners remains a necessity if we are to continue this activity. Jill Olsen is leading this important charity and has been assisted by a large phalanx of regular volunteers. Several outside groups routinely handle food service, including volunteers from Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Family Harvest Ministry and group from various churches in Lemont.

Particularly in the Winter months, our guests are in need of certain essentials such as blankets and pillows to keep warm and comfortable during the day, and also items such as cough drops. If you have items you would like to donate, please contact Jill Olsen at

Strategic Planning

Toward the end of 2014, we formed a strategic planning committee comprised of Father Andrew, Steve Hansen, Bob Zubenko, Maria Kopulos and me. The goal of the committee is to develop, define, articulate and provide guidelines for implementing the parish’s objectives in a variety of areas, including its various ministries. These objectives will be based, in part, on interviews with and surveys of parishioners. The Committee will publish a report at the conclusion of its work.