Rectors Annual Report January 2013
By Father Andrew Harrison
Orthodox Christian Clergy Association - Sanctity of Life service committee
We continue to grow slowly, replacing those who move on with new members. We have adult membership of 119. Eight of those are non-pledgers which include youth over age 18 and seniors who are in nursing facilities. The reason for our slow growth may be the lack of worship space. Sunday attendance has decreased from last years report -averaging 114 with a high of 135 on the Sunday before Christmas. Weekday Liturgies and Saturday Vespers are about the same as last year. We have 5 chanters who chant the Sunday morning Matins and Third hour. Tuesday and Thursday morning prayers have been moved to a later time in order to attract greater attendance of seniors. This coming year I will add a senior morning Liturgy once a month. We had 1 baptism, and 2 chrismations. Our total operating budget was decreased to $231,825 because of the down turn of pledged income.
The educational program has 10 teachers and 75 children registered for 2013. The adult education program consists of the 2 weekly Bible studies and an independent reading program in the School of the Seventy. Our website is updated weekly with event photos with captions. It is still our best source of new members. Plans are in progress to renew the website. We continued to have a close relationship with Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church participating in joint services and Junior Olympics.
The PADS homeless program continues now for the sixth year. We housed a total of 336 women and children one night a week with 4800 volunteer hours over a period of 6 months. We are seeing an increase in the number of homeless woman and children. During the month of January we had 28 each Monday, 10 of them children. Tom Kozbiel has not been able to supervise because of illness. Jill Olson has stepped up to cover some of Tom’s work. Doreen Dubney from St. Alphonzo’s in Lemont has been doing the volunteer scheduling. We continue to need volunteers and organizational support. We sent 4 teens and 2 adults to the Navaho and the Blackfeet reservations through the YOCAMA and Fr. Andrew went to Tanzania to lecture on Alcoholism and its effects on clergy families for OCMC medical missionary team. Michaelyn Sloan is ministry leader for missions. She is planning an Alaskan mission in July. For this team we need to raise about $2000 per person. We may have several of our teens return to the YOCAMA Indian reservation mission program. I am recommending we help fund the missions from our Cell Tower income.
Alcoholic Anonymous and Codependents Anonymous are meeting on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at St. Luke. We have made the hall available for other groups such as Scouting, Genealogy and parishioner celebrations. We do not rent out the hall as it is provided for parishioners use for a small donation.
We have 46 active ministries. We added 4 new ministries: Senior Prayer Ministry, Men’s Eucharistic Ministry, Missions Ministry and Book Exchange. Seniors who can join the morning prayer group will help the community by praying for the sick; we need more men for Eucharistic support, and we need used Orthodox books for the book exchange. On September 11, we had our 11th year memorial program with Chaplain Alexander Webster as the guest speaker. Civil Air Patrol Color Guard and other community leaders were also participants.
Last year we completed the fellowship hall bookstore cabinets. The only major issue facing the parish is lack of adequate worship space. At the Annual Parish Meeting, George Evangelopoulos will present plans for a new addition which will increase the worship space, add office and fellowship hall space and correct problems with bathrooms and exits. Much of this report has been the work of you, our members. Please read the reports for more details. I pray for and commend George Poulos Council Lay Chairman, Parish Council members and those who are doing ministry. Please read their reports!