Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Christ is in our midst!
Dorothy Day was a great example of love manifest in this often sorrowful world. She, like so many of our saints, discovered the truth that the Gospel's Good News is truly life-affirming and life-transforming. She lived and breathed, particularly in the later years of her life, the air of love and service. Here is a quote that demonstrates her philosophy and should represent ours.
"A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that."
St. Mary's is a pebble and what kind of pebble? What kind of ripples are we sending into the world?
During the long 90 years of her existence, the people of this community opened themselves and the church doors to everyone regardless of national origin or ethnicity. At first it may have been a matter of survival. Things were rough at first. I often hear of the collection plates in the early days filled with nickels, dimes and quarters like the Widow's Mite. Devotion to Christ and his Church, to the Mother of God, to one another, and to hard work kept the doors open and has paid off with the wonderful Pan Orthodox parish we witness today every time we gather. One of my dearest friends remarked to me only today, "When I come to St. Mary's, I see colors!"
I am grateful to God for all of you who are keeping this long legacy alive and nurturing it with your own devotion and hard work.
What kind of pebble are we and what kind of ripples are we sending? It is my belief (and I have evidence to prove it) that we are a community of love and inclusion and that the life we are living as a church family is nothing less than the Gospel itself and is an example for others to emulate.
Our mission is to make our thoughts, words and deeds conform at all times to the teaching and example of our Lord and Savior. I am thankful that we are in this together. Life is short, my friends. Who has time for anything less than that?
With deep affection,