April 2004

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Fr. Antony PortraitIt is with great joy that I greet you in this Bright Paschal Season. The beauty of Holy Week at St. Mary's is an incomparable reminder of the life, death, and resurrection of the Savior of all. But we do not remember only; we are granted the grace to enter into the mystery of the Faith existentially. We live, breath and move as Orthodox Christians by the grace of Holy Baptism, the seal of Chrismation and the medicine of immortality itself, the Life Giving Eucharist all because of the Lord's voluntary act of ultimate self-sacrifice on the Cross and His glorious Resurrection from the dead.

"We have seen the true light, we have received the heavenly spirit, we have found the true faith worshipping the undivided Trinity for He hath saved us!"

Please allow me to offer my heartfelt thanks to all of you for your commitment and deep faith to our God, our Holy Faith and our community. Welcome to the newly illumined servants of God who were baptized and chrismated on Holy Saturday. St. Mary's is a warm and welcoming home and I am sure that the gifts you bring will only make it even better than before. Thanks to our catechist, Michael Phillips for teaching with such skill and pastoral care. Thanks to all who contributed to our celebration: the clergy, the chanters and singers, the altar boys, the volunteers who cleaned the church, everyone who made donations, the Parish Council, the Teen SOYO, the Women's Club, the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, and finally, everyone who prayed and worshipped with us.

It remains for us to carry the Light of the Resurrected Christ into the world. "Freely we have received, freely give." Remember, "faith without works is dead." The commandment of our Lord was that we preach the Gospel to the whole creation and, as St. Francis so aptly said, "if necessary use words."

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Antony Hughes