What a wonderful and
blessed summer we had at St. Luke's!
We kicked off
the summer season with the first gathering of the new
group of our Church initiated by the Family Enrichment Initiative.
This first gathering was a Wine & Cheese Social that was
graciously chaired by Paul and
Kristen Chryssikos on June 6th.
Paul and Kristen created a warm and inviting evening of
fellowship, so much so, we went beyond the expected concluding hour.
Over 50 young married parishioners filled our courtyard.
Candles, music, new friends, a cool evening with great ambiance
left us with a memorable evening.
Thank you Paul & Kristen and we look forward to the next
summer months, the Senior Men & Women groups met regularly as did our
Orthodox Forum/Bible Study
group. Following our Sunday
worship, we were also blessed to have
James Markellos and Antigone
Gabriel pep up our morning with coffee and refreshments.
Religiously they came early every Sunday morning and prepared a
wonderful reception for all of us after the Divine Liturgy.
activities came to a close just recently with a very successful
School during the week of August 11th.
Directed once again by
Niki Thompson, the week was filled with song, dance, crafts, games
and quiet time with me in Church as we prayed and learned about Jesus
Christ. With 40 little ones
attending, several young teens and parents who assisted, we remain
grateful to Niki for creating this opportunity for our kids.
Ushering in the
Fall season, we are blessed to begin seeing the spiritual transformation
of our Church proper. Our Chair,
Paul Mattis and I have been working hard these summer months on the
project. Our world renowned
Iconographer, George Papastamatiou, will begin his God-given talent
in the Altar with the icon of Christ distributing Holy Communion.
activities and events for the 2014-2015 season over the last couple
months, I am very encouraged and excited for this period of continued
spiritual growth, outreach and fellowship for all of our parishioners
With brotherly love
and pastoral blessings,
SUMMER PASTORAL MESSAGE
What a glorious couple of summer months we have at hand.
We begin with the month of July as we celebrate the birth of our
Nation on the 4th of July. That celebration is followed by the much
anticipated Biennial National Clergy-Laity Congress which is held in our
backyard in Philadelphia. St
Luke parishioners are participating in numerous ways beginning with the
herculean task of co-chairing the entire Congress by Michael Karloutsos.
Parish Council President, Anthony Palmieri, has been appointed
coordinator for the historic Hierarchical Divine Liturgy taking place at
the St George Cathedral July 6th.
Tony will bring good order for ushering well over a thousand
people where 13 Bishops of our Holy Archdiocese and a Patriarchal
representative will be present.
Assisting Tony will be Alexis Bové, Cary Limberakis, Andrea
Papadopoulos and John Touring. The following Altar Boys from St Luke
also have the honor of serving in the Altar during the Hierarchical
Divine Liturgy: Nick Peters, Eli Papadopoulos & John Papadopoulos.
Alexis Limberakis will be organizing the fellowship hour following the
Liturgy. Veronica Crisp
generously has provided 2 buses to take parishioners to the Liturgy.
This wonderful gesture by Veronica allows our parishioners to
participate in what very well may be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
St Luke will also be hosting a pastichio booth
(yes, the delicious pastichio prepared by John Solomon we serve at the
festival) for guests at the Monday evening Cultural/Social event at the
Waterworks Restaurant which was graciously opened to us by Michael
Karloutsos. Good food, music
and entertainment will be enjoyed by all present. Max Armenti, Evi
Karros, Nikoletta Karros, Karros, Chris Palmieri, Eli Papadopoulos,
Alexi Peters and Aris Tsingiropoulos from our GOYA will be representing
St Luke in a joint dance troupe performance made up of youth from all
Many of our parishioners are members of the VFW Eleftheria Post 6633.
These brave men and women who served our country with pride will
be honored as the color guard and will be presenting flags at the formal
National Assembly of Philoptochos on July 6th.
Our Ladies Philoptochos is intimately involved with hosting events,
preparing food and organizing events for the Clergy Laity with President
Alexis Limberakis and many of our Ladies Philoptochos assisting.
Finally, our very talented and gifted Serena (Benedetti) Pantazopoulos
will grace us at the Grand Banquet.
The highlight social event of the entire Congress is the Grand
Banquet at the Marriott on July 9th. Serena's
beautiful soprano voice will fill the Grand Ballroom as she leads us in
singing the National Anthems of Greece and the United States of America.
Finally, our formal parish delegates for the Clergy Laity are your truly
as the Presiding Priest, Tony Palmieri as President of the Parish
Council, Alexis Bové & Dr. Cary Limberakis as Parish Representatives.
Formal Philoptochos delegates are Deme Peters, Alexandra Perrot
and Betty Tsarouchis as Philoptochos representative and Alexis
Limberakis as a National Board member.
What a wonderful opportunity available to us all, right in our back
yard. The most important
part of the Congress however, are the many workshops and sessions
available to all those present.
All of our youth workers and group leaders should take advantage
of these opportunities to help our many Church ministries.
Complete schedule can be found here: http://clergylaity.org/.
There is no charge to attend the workshops nor do you need to be
After a busy July, we are given a pause with the 15 day fast for the
Falling Asleep of the Theotokos.
We are invited during the 15 days of August to pray, listen and
worship with the beautiful Supplication/Paraklesis which is offered for
our edification. Follow the
Ecclesiastical Calendar and join us for this most beautiful gift we have
as Orthodox Christians. Even
though it is only 45 minutes long, it is one of the more melodic and
uplifting services of our Church.
August also offers our youth an opportunity to have fun!
Chaired by Niki Thompson, our Vacation Bible School takes place
the week of August 11th. Our
youth will have fun playing games, growing in their faith while spending
time with me in learning about Christ and His Church, and enjoying all
the activities Niki has prepared for them.
Reach out to Niki and register
your kids today for what will be a week of playing and praying!
More information can be found in the Epistle.
Friends, as I wish you a blessed
summer and hope you can find moments to rest, I also encourage you to
remember God on Sundays.
Wherever your travel plans take you, be sure to find a local Church to
give thanks to God for His many blessings.
Peace and blessings from Above to you and yours,
Rev. Father Christ Kontos, Protopresbyter