Rectors Annual Report January 2016
By Father Paul Jannakos
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen!
With God’s help, I continue in my first few months of service at St. Luke’s. All in all, I am grateful to say that things are going better than I anticipated.
The parish has been extremely welcoming to both Michelle and myself. I am slowly learning how things work in the parish community, especially in regard to the many wonderful ministries. I am thrilled to be a part of a Church that has the faith and courage to serve the Lord, not just during the Divine Liturgy and the other services of the Church, but "in the trenches" - through the Church’s mission, evangelization, and philanthropy. I have spent the last two months with the goal of listening to everyone I meet, not only so that I can get to know them better in the personal sense, but to hear from them about the past, present, and future of St. Luke’s.
Our parish is truly unique. In one way, we are a “pilot” parish for many others, taking the lead in envisioning how the Orthodox Faith must be fully incorporated within the American context, all the while remaining true to the Holy Tradition of the Church. I am grateful to Fr. Andrew Harrison for having laid out the path in this respect so clearly, and zealously.
I am also coming to a gradual understanding of some areas where our parish needs more attention. I would like to see about forming a middle school and high school youth group ministry so that our teenagers might have an opportunity to get to know each other better and be further integrated into the life of the Church through retreats, lock-ins, mission trips, and service projects.
In June, Protinica Michelle will carry on with our music ministry in the Church, expanding the good work that has been done these many years by both Paulette Velasquez and Maria Vrame. I am also beginning to get to know the other Orthodox clergy in the area and am hoping to invite them to help support our PADS program on Monday evenings with volunteers. I continue to work with Stephen Hansen, Phil Stamatakos, and the council in order to wrap things up with the wonderful work they have done with current strategic plan. For as the Holy Scriptures say, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs, 29:18).
Finally, I am grateful for your love and prayers. May God continue to protect and grow our parish in every way.