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Assistant Lay Chairperson Report - January 2017

Submitted by Luke Kopulos

STEWARDSHIP

The table below compares stewardship between 2015 and 2016. The data is as of January 5, 2017 and was collected and compiled by Luba Johnson. It should be noted that although there was an increase in membership, our estimated giving (as a percentage) was down when comparing 2015 to 2016. Similarly, the number of increased donations was slightly greater than decreased donations, while a near majority remained the same. As a whole, we must continue to encourage one another to strive towards the goal of a tithe, which is how we can measure ourselves over time.

Scene from Asst. Lay Chairperson Chart.

CHARITABLE GIVING

The parish contributed $23,232 to charities in 2016. Charitable giving is funded through monthly collections taken one Sunday each month during the Divine Liturgy and through funds from the cell towers. We have continued to assist, among other things, a variety of Orthodox Christian missions and causes at home and around the globe. As has been described in previous years, our goal is to support and encourage charities that perform good, Christian works, consistently and in such a manner that 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. The recipient organization can therefore count on us to help fulfill their goals in a more predictable manner. Finally, giving to newly identified organizations helps the parish to fulfill our calling and to help address the immediate needs of said organization in an efficient, responsible way.

The following is a summary of our charitable giving since 2011:

Year Amount
2016 $23,686
2015 $44,773
2014 $17,000
2013 $17,055
2012 $12,643
2011 $22,113

As you can see, the median figure for charitable giving is around $17,000. Although the average for yearly charitable giving is $22,803, the median figure gives a better benchmark on which we should base our decline or improvement in this category. 2015 had a combination of multiple charities and additional community giving which should be noted and for which our parish should be commended --- an atypical, but outstanding year. Below you will see the breakdown of our charities, in a more detailed fashion, for 2016.

Scene from Asst. Lay Chairperson Chart.

PUBLIC ACTION TO DELIVER SHELTER (“PADS”) and BEDS PLUS – Jill Olson

St. Luke continues hosting homeless women and children every Monday night (except during the summer) but now through BEDS PLUS, our new site directing agency. Jill Olson spearheads the St. Luke location as site manager with the assistance of a large group of dedicated volunteers, which over the shifts from evening to morning typically includes 10-12 people. Our guests (mostly women and children) arrive in the evening, have meals and fellowship in our social room, and the women and children stay the night and leave in the morning after breakfast with a sack lunch for that day.

We host up to 28 guests per week. On average, this number was comprised of 20 women and 6 children. Jill Olson should be commended for another season of sound service and organization. Generally, our shelter is running smoothly thanks to all of dedicated volunteers from St. Luke and the food teams provided by St. Luke and the following churches: various Lemont churches, Family Harvest Church, Our Lady of the Woods, and our community Orthodox Churches Saints Constantine & Helen, St. Mary, Ss. Peter and Paul, and St. Nicholas. Jill is actively seeking assistance for shifts, the status of which we update commonly after Sunday’s Divine Liturgy, as well as another St. Luke member to help with site management. The help with site management and Laundry Service (bedsheets and linens) are the most pressing needs currently.

Strategic Planning

2017 Strategic Plan

Background

In January of 2015, the parish council initiated the development of a strategic plan for the St. Luke parish community. This strategic plan is a “work in motion,” a living document (carrying on the work of an earlier plan from 2005) that serves to direct and promote actions, build on parish strengths, sees future opportunities, and addresses challenges over the next five years. Guided by the mission of the Orthodox Church, the strategic goals and strategies provide a framework for future initiatives in 6 vital areas of parish life.

Planning Process

The development of this plan reflects the input, involvement, and participation of many parishioners over the last 2 years. We are especially indebted to Mr. Philip Stamatakos + who began the process with a detailed satisfaction, strengths, and needs assessment survey composed of 17 questions that was completed in the fall of 2015. Feedback from parishioners, planning committees, parish data, and external information guided the Strategic Planning Committee in shaping a draft plan to guide our St. Luke Parish in realizing its full potential as Christ’s holy Church. A summary of the highlights of the survey was shared at a town hall meeting in September 2016.

Essential to the successful implementation of this strategic plan is the sharing of time, talent, and treasure to accomplish the mission and the goals of this parish. As the planning process continues and presents opportunities, parish members are encouraged to serve and help work towards the parish vision of becoming “An Icon of an American Orthodox Parish.”

Strategic Planning Members

Fr. Paul Jannakos, Fr. Deacon John Segvich, Mr. Stephen Hansen, + Mr. Philip Stamatakos, Mr. Robert Zubenko, Mrs. Sarah Stamatakos, Mrs. Maria Kopulos, & Ms. Caye Caswick.

Why a Strategic Plan?

- The only genuine “strategic plan” in the Orthodox Church is the Nicene Creed. “…And I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, Amen!”
- Parishes, however, may use a strategic plan as a local visionary tool to articulate and implement the goals and objectives that align with its fundamental beliefs, mission, and core values.
- A strategic plan helps turn faith into action: “For faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20).

Parish Vision & Mission Statements

Our Vision

“To become an icon of an American Orthodox Church.”

Our Mission

“To reach out and welcome all people who seek the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and blend them together into one Eucharistic community through the worship and beliefs of the Orthodox Church.”

Our Guiding Question

“What does our Lord want our Church to be in the next five years?”

- What will our Church “look” like in the overall sense?
- What will we be doing that we’re not doing now?
- What unmet needs need to be addressed?
- What are the present obstructions that inhibit growth?
- What are the present opportunities that facilitate growth?
- What are the specific objectives that will take us to where the Lord wants us to be in five years?
- How will we measure our progress?
- Who will be responsible for ensuring that these objectives are achieved?

Our Approach

- “Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Mat. 5:16)
- Inreach before outreach. “Physician, heal yourself.” (Luke 4:23)
- Ministering first to our own faithful (inreach) so that each can “grow in life and faith and spiritual understanding” allows us to be properly equipped by the grace of God for ministering to those on the outside (outreach) through philanthropic works and evangelical witness.

St. Luke Strategic Plan, Goals – 2016 – 2021

1) Inreach to our current membership
Action items:

- Revitalize the youth group
- Organize activities for elementary school children
- Launch a young adult ministry
- Implement OCF program at Moraine Valley Community College
- Connect with our lost sheep
- Offer elderly support – Agape ministry
- Provide transportation for elderly

2) Outreach to local community
Action items: - Continue to host the homeless – Beds Plus program
- Support other local charities to the poor
- Launch St. Zenaida’s Mental Wellness Ministry (Ethos Counseling Group) & coordinate activities with SAMI Expand support for Right to Life (Journey, Mary and Martha House)

3) Mission & Evangelization
Action Items:

- Increase Church’s “visibility” in the community
- Launch lifestyle evangelism programs
- Host classes on Orthodoxy for the community
- Continue community Bible studies
- Explore possibility of coffee house & bookstore(?)
- Expand mission trips (local and abroad)
- Continue to support St. Luke South Chapel

4) Church & Building Renovation
Action Items:

- Incorporate additional iconography for the Church
- Install new floor in the Main Church (e.g., Terrazzo and Carpet)
- New Chairs for the Church
- Upgrade old basement - new floor (Epoxy) & Bathroom
- Repair foundation & correct drainage issues

5) St. Luke Endowment Fund
Action Items:

- Parish members in need & local charities (e.g., Beds Plus, Journey, Martha & Mary House) International needs, IOCC, etc
- Building Renovations
- Mission trips
- Educational needs (Seminary tuition, etc.)

6) Property Search (Long term 5-10 years)
Action Items:

- Research possibility of purchasing land - future site, picnic grounds, investment
- Community center for use of many ministries
- Focus on one particular mission; serve poor, mentally ill, pregnant/pro-life center, women’s shelter, homeless children program, OCF affiliate, youth center, soup kitchen, lifestyle focused