Pastoral Message from the July Beacon
Dear Faithful and Friends of the Assumption,
If there is one word that describes 2020 it is “change!” Our parish began the year expecting big change—a new building, which will still happen. In addition, we got Covid, which seems to have changed just about the way that we do everything. I find myself experiencing great joy and great discontent simultaneously.
This July 30th, I will be celebrating the 15th Anniversary of my Ordination to the Holy Priesthood. It is incredible how quickly the years pass, yet each day seems to be an eternity. Serving His Church has been and continues to be the greatest blessing and privilege of my life.
I feel blessed beyond what I deserve to have such wonderful supportive family. Presbytera Doreece is the one who allows me to serve you as I should. Her work in our family gives me the freedom and ability to serve the parish without worry. Presbytera allows me to be a priest without any impediment and truly is an icon of what a Presbytera should be. Our daughter, Lia, is truly amazing. Lia has all gifts that I feel God has bestowed on me, only greater! It has been incredible to see Lia embracing her gifts and her faith. It has been amazing to have her as a chanter for various Sacraments. And, of course, you - My children in the Lord! When I was given the opportunity to come to Louisville, 6 years ago, I was not horribly enthused; but after meeting you, I felt that God had given me a true gift. Our parish is truly special is so many ways—our members embrace visitors, value education, don’t gossip, give generously, attend regularly, and generally love one another. I pray that I may be given the privilege of serving you for many more years and that together, we will continue to grow in faith as we serve the Risen Lord.
At the same time, it has been truly distressful to have been in church celebrating the Divine Liturgy with no one in the Nave. Evanthia has been a true blessing for whom I will always be thankful—without her, I would have been unable to have continued Sunday Services. Saying “Peace be with you all” to a camera was challenging. I received so much strength from reading the comments on Facebook after the service and speaking with you throughout the week. I pray that Evanthia and I brought you as much comfort as you brought us.
The lesson that I hope that you receive from this letter, is that you can feel the presence of the Lord while suffering. His blessings are ever present even when we are dwelling in the most difficult of contexts. Covid kept us apart, but it also caused us to more greatly appreciate one another. The Church doors were closed, but worship continued. Families were “isolated,” but they grew closer. Don’t dwell on our suffering, it will always be there. Dwell on His blessings, for they are the greatest of gifts from our Father you loves the greatest sinner more than the greatest saints loves Him.
In Service of the Risen Lord,