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Lay Chairperson Report - January 2016

Submitted by Steve Hansen

January, 2016

St. Luke Orthodox Church is a place where Orthodox Christians come together to be in communion with God. We come together in fellowship to give glory to God and to thank him for everything that we have because they are all gifts from God. Because God gave us free will as well, we get to choose whether we attend services or not. I decided to begin my report this year with these statements of faith as a reminder that Christ established the Church as both His Body and His Bride, and our attendance is a reflection of God’s place in our personal and spiritual lives. I have been taking attendance at Divine Liturgy for the past 10 years because it is a statistic that we are interested in, but also because it is an indicator of the “desire” of the faithful to attend services at St. Luke. We recently asked all of our parishioners to complete a survey to help us determine what steps we should take to make our church a place where people choose to come because they want to be in communion with God. We also want to ensure that St. Luke is able to persevere in the face of all of the distractions present in our daily lives. The Strategic Planning Committee will meet again soon to determine the best way to present the results of the survey to the parish.

Christ tells us to love each other as He has loved us. We are participating in many activities that bring us closer to Christ in this way. We supported several charities throughout 2016, sent groups of missionaries to Guatemala and to New Mexico, continue with our PADS program to house homeless women and children, and provide support for several self-help groups that meet at St. Luke. These are all examples of opportunities that allow us to serve others as we are called to do. If you have a personal passion to help others in some way, please don’t hesitate to approach Father Paul or a council member with your idea. As an example, one of our young parishioners, Daniel Lynch, approached the council with a request for support in his efforts to provide assistance to a Ukrainian orphanage. He was very passionate about his desire to help those less fortunate than himself. With the help of our church, Daniel was able to raise $7,000.00 in order to personally provide whatever assistance he could to the Ukrainian orphans at The Last Bell.

We have enjoyed the consistent efforts of Father Andrew over the past 20 years to lead us in the right direction and to encourage us all to take on a ministry and get involved at St. Luke. We thank him for his service, for the building up of our church, and we wish him and Pat a long and happy retirement. For those of us who have been here over those years, we have seen much growth in our physical property, but more importantly, in our spiritual well-being. Let us all welcome Father Paul and his family with open arms and help him, help us, to continue what the founders of this church began, and what Father Andrew has nourished over the years. We have much left to accomplish and we owe it to the next generation of parishioners to continue to grow in faith at St. Luke. Please take the time to consider where your passion is and how you can get involved to contribute to the sustainment of our parish and for the Glory of Jesus Christ!