20th Anniversary Celebration
By Aristea Zekios
Teamwork! That's what a 20th Anniversary celebration requires. And our
teams exhibited a top performance to make the weekend of October 23, 24 a memorable
The planning started a year ago when Father Andrew suggested we
commemorate our 20th year milestone around the Feastday of Saint Luke (October 18). The
first step was to invite two honored guests - the Most Blessed Theodosius, retired
Archbishop of Washington D.C. and Metropolitan of all America and Canada, and His
Eminence Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest. With their acceptance of the
invitation, a 20th Anniversary committee was formed. Under the leadership of Luba
Johnson, these workers undertook a monumental feat. Their meticulous planning resulted
in an event that will be treasured by the entire parish community.
Saturday evening October 23 - After Great Vespers, His
Beatitude led the worshippers to the new "Living Memorial Garden" on the front lawn.
There he blessed the "Garden" which consists of bricks engraved with the names of loved
ones living in the Church triumphant and Church militant. It was a special moment for
all those who donated the bricks as they watched the sun set over the surrounding
autumn-colored forest. The Metropolitan then led the faithful back to the reception
area where beverages and sweets were served.
Sunday morning October 24 - It was another perfect
sunlit autumn day as the liturgical team prepared for Divine Liturgy. After the vesting
of Metropolitan Theodosius, three readers were tonsured. Thus Michael Bauml, Jason
Homiak, and Jim Lewandowski were inducted into the 'hall of readers'. His Beatitude then
blessed master bell ringer Lynn Betsanes to continue her sacred act of calling worshippers
to prayer. Following this, the kalimafka was then placed on Protodeacon Andrew
Werbiansky's head signifying his elevation to the "Proto" rank. (The kalimafka is a
liturgical hat worn at various parts of the Divine Liturgy.) The congregation then
responded with "AXIOS" which means he is worthy.
His Beatitude Theodosius, His Eminence Archbishop Job, Very Reverend
Oleg Mironowicz and Very Reverend Andrew Harrison celebrated Divine Liturgy with the
assistance of Protodeacon Andrew Werbiansky and Deacon Danial Doss. Readers Herman
(Jerry) Kincaid, Daniel Manzuk, and Andrew Lukashonak supervised the altar team with top
precision. Our singers of choir and congregation provided responses in their usual joyous
harmony, The liturgy culminated with a litya and blessing of 5 sweet loaves of bread that
were later distributed to the faithful. Before dismissal, there were two surprises. Lee
Kopulos, Ken Stevens and Maria Vrame were awarded a gramata for their many years of
service to the parish community. (The gramata is a special certificate of honor.) The
second surprise was the gift presented to Saint Luke Church - a relic of Saint Herman of
Alaska. His Beatitude offered this treasure because of the similar goals of St. Herman
and our parish to evangelize. The committee provided a coffee social after liturgy to
refuel for the next event.
Banquet 1:30 pm at the nearby luxurious Chateau Del Mar
- Our clergy were greeted with bouquets of roses. During the meal, the Waubonsie Valley
High School String Quintet filled the air with relaxing chamber music. After the family
style meal, Ken Stevens introduced our honored guests - Lay Chairperson Lee Kopulos,
Father Andrew, Archbishop Job and Metropolitan Theodosius. Each offered words of
encouragement and thanksgiving.
In Conclusion - A very special thank you to the 20th
Anniversary Fellowship Committee consisting of Luba Johnson, June Anderson, Christine
Bischoff, Patricia Dravillas, Nadia Doss, Robert Johnson, Linda Kopulos, Sue Lisowski,
Carla Staevens, and Ken Stevens. The Ad Book Committee of George Poulos and Diance
Wilczak are to be commended for providing a true work of art. And last but not least,
thank you to Father Andrew and his liturgical team for providing such beautiful services.
Above all, we thank our Lord who has blessed us beyond measure. We pray that He will
continue guide us as we rededicate ourselves to accomplish His will.