Our Grand Golden 50th Anniversary Celebration
My Dear Spiritual Ohana,
It is with great joy I greet you as we come to celebrate our Grand Golden 50th Anniversary Celebrations on October 2nd, 3rd and 4th! It is the summit and highlight of all our celebrations for the entire 2015 year.
I am happy to announce that His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia, our Chancellor, will be with us for this special weekend to represent the Holy Metropolis of San Francisco and His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos.
Throughout the 2015 year I, especially, have enjoyed reading the stories of all our Founders which have been offered by their families and one of our surviving Founders himself each and every month, in all the editions of the Shorelines for this entire year. The Founders remain ever-shining beacons of examples to us in their zealous faith and dedication. Today, we reap the benefits of their deep and profound faith. May we never forget them and their amazing legacies!
The celebrations do not end with October’s festivities, but are intended to continue throughout the rest of the year. A new chapter will soon begin as we come to celebrate another 50 years in the making and beyond with the help of all of you and future generations to come. In order for us as a community to continue on with the legacy that our Founders of our Cathedral established, we need to always have in mind, a clear understanding of who we are, why we exist and what is the purpose and vision of the Church as the Body of Christ.
St. John Maximovitch, a most revered Saint in modern times, beautifully answers what the Church as the Body of Christ is all about. Please read and consider what he has to say: “Now the Church consists of both her earthly and heavenly parts, for the Son of God came to earth and became man that He might lead man into heaven and make him once again a citizen of Paradise, returning to him his original state of sinlessness and wholeness and uniting him unto Himself.
This is accomplished by the action of Divine grace grated through the Church, but man’s effort is also required. God saves His fallen creature by His own love for him, but man’s love for his Creator is also necessary; without it he cannot by saved. Striving towards God and cleaving unto the Lord by its humble love, the human soul obtains power to cleanse itself from sin and to strengthen itself for the struggle to complete victory over sin.”
In summary, we should always strive to internalize, as much as it is humanly possible throughout our lives, the immensity of God’s Immeasurable Love and Awesome Glory and steadfastly keep in mind who we are as Christians in relationship to Him. We are members of Christ’s Body, His Church. By this, I emphasize that we the Christian people in union with God are the Church, much more than the building, structure and edifice are of themselves. In It we seek and experience the healing of our spiritual ailments, wholeness and fulfillment. We ought to come to the Church, of our own free will, as physically ill patients go for physical healing at a hospital or doctor’s office. The Church is a spiritual hospital in which we are to seek the healing presence of Christ, first and foremost through It. We receive this healing through the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) by God Himself Who works through His priests and His people. We are not forced to seek His healing presence. That is up to each one of us in our personal response to Him. For the Lord Himself says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) After all, we are free beings having been created in God’s Image and Likeness.
As we continue with our 50th Anniversary Celebrations throughout the rest of this year, I wish you all many blessings!
With Love in Christ,