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Lay Chairperson Report - January 2015

Submitted by Steve Hansen

January, 2015

I rejoined the St Luke Parish Council this past year after a two year hiatus. I am thankful for the opportunity to be involved with this team in support of our church. The success of our parish is dependent upon individuals who are willing to donate their time and talents for the glorification of Christ’s Church. There were many examples of this willingness to get involved in 2014 and I will highlight just a few of these programs and events:

• Our Mission Ministry allowed several parishioners and youth to experience mission work in Guatemala and Montana.

• The wonderful St Luke 30th Anniversary Celebration that we all enjoyed.

• Our PADS program continues to provide shelter for homeless women and children.

• The knowledge our children are receiving from our excellent Christian Education Program.

• The Women’s Book Club, Men’s Forum, Bible Study Group, Movie Club, and Restaurant Rovers

• Our continuing Christmas giving program with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Foster Children.

I could go on and on if I tried to name all of the events and opportunities where parishioners contributed their time and efforts this past year. The point is, that in order to continue our vision of becoming an Icon of an American Orthodox Church, we all need to contribute in some way with our time, resources, and God-given abilities.

We are at a crossroads in our 30-year existence at St Luke Orthodox Church. Father Andrew has announced his intention to retire at the end of 2015, we recently received the Right Reverend Paul Gassios as our new Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest, and our mortgage was paid off in October leaving us with some decisions to make about our future. A strategic committee has been formed to help us determine our focus and future direction. You will hear more about this in the coming months.

As you will see on the following page, our attendance has flattened out since it peaked in 2011. We will have to determine whether or not we have reached capacity, whether regular attendance is slipping, or whether we have just stopped growing.

Please do not hesitate to contact myself, Father Andrew, or any parish council member with any concerns or ideas you may have about our future.