October 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Now that summer is past and school has begun the parish is filling up with college students, many of them new to the community. We also have a number of new families who have moved to the area who have been attending. Welcome them! Make a special effort to be on the lookout for faces you do not recognize and greet them with the warmth St. Mary's is known for.

We also have a new seminarian in our midst and he comes with a young family. Christopher, Jessica, and Christian Kies came to Church for the first time on Sept. 11. Make sure that you meet them and welcome them as well. If all goes well, they will be with us for the entire year. A notice went out asking for furniture donations for the family. If you can help, please call the church office.

Bob Kowalik has taken David Vermette's place as our new catechist. We have five students already who will be exploring Orthodoxy with him. Since this class is specifically for non- Orthodox inquirers and some Orthodox have expressed an interest furthering their knowledge of the faith as well, we are considering offering another class to accommodate. Please speak with me or Bob if you are interested. You will be hearing more about this in the days to come.

The Sunday School is now open for business and is staffed with some very good teachers. If you have children, please bring them as often as you can. They cannot bring themselves! If you are interested in helping out, why wait? There is always something that needs doing.

St. Mary's has a number of auxiliary organizations that would love to welcome you as well. The Women's Club, SOYO (for teens), and the Fellowship of St. John the Divine are groups that are ready to accept new members anytime. Each has a unique and vital place in the life of the parish. If you want to get involved, please let us know. If you can sing (or think you can), why not join the choir or join the chanters at the chanter's stand? There are many ways to serve and get involved. The more that do, the more dynamic the parish will be.

The heart of the parish is the Divine Liturgy on Sundays, but there are other services as well that help strengthen the community and our spiritual lives. Vespers on Saturday evenings, Orthros on Sunday mornings before Liturgy, Evening Divine Liturgies, and Paraclesis services.

I hope you will make an effort to attend some of these as well as Liturgy on Sunday. The spiritual life is corporate and personal, and one cannot do without the other.

I pray that God will bless us this year and bring us all closer to Him and to one another. Do not hesitate to speak with me if you have any questions or concerns. I am here to serve and am happy doing so.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Antony