Christ is Risen! Christos Anesti! El Messieh Kahm! Christos Voskress! Krishhti Unjall! Hristus A Inviat! Christus is Opgestaan!
It was very rewarding to see the good turnout at our first Divine Liturgy last Sunday. I received many appreciative comments and I am grateful for them.
The turnout is a strong sign I think that the work of establishing St. Peter Orthodox Church will be blessed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I was hoping for 30 people and would have been satisfied with 20. When I arrived, our hotel liason told me 100 chairs had been set up by mistake and asked me if would I like to have them removed. I told her not to bother, that we would just sit closer to the front. Well, it’s a good thing they didn’t remove them. About 25 people still had to stand!
Another event I am grateful for is that we were able to secure all the liturgical supplies we needed. You may have noticed the beautiful chalice. That was donated by a friend of mine, also an Orthodox priest, as soon as I told him we would be starting a mission parish. Many people helped in locating the items. With some cleaning, polish, and a bit of elbow grease everything shined beautifully.
Some parishioners donated the altar cloth, communion wine, prosphora, and other times. Others helped with chanting. We even had three altar servers! This is a very good start and also the way that we will grow — each one of us offering what we can.
Much work needs to be done. In the near future we will be working on our vision, especially working out what we need to do as Church of our Risen Savior. I ask everyone to first pray, especially as we discern and shape the larger mission of our parish, and for understanding of how each one us can best serve the parish, each other, and the larger community. I also ask each one of you to support St. Peter Mission Church to the best measure that you can.
Please forward this note to your friends and invite them to sign up for mailings on the website. Also, invite your friends, especially those who may have drifted away from the Church, or those who have an interest in our Orthodox faith, to come with you to worship. They will be welcomed.
Again, I am very encouraged with our very strong beginning. My prayer is that God is with all of you, that you find His strength and direction in your life, and that He blesses our work in our parish — which He will.
Yours in Christ,