Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ἀνέστη!
At the time this article is being written, our sister parish of The Ascension of Our Lord in Lincolnshire is nearing completion in the building of their new Church. For years, upon the diligent foundations laid by Fr. Jim Gordon, and now reinforced by Fr. Sotiri Malamis, our brothers and sisters in Christ have striven to grow their community into the thriving Body of Christ that it is today. Countless hours, fundraisers, meetings, labor and construction have gone into building their new Church. Yet none of this would have been possible if it were not for the dedication of the community as a whole. One person did not push this through on their own. It took hundreds of people all working together toward a singular goal. Each had their own role within the endeavor, nonetheless each contributed.
This is how our patron saint, St. Paul describes the Church:
But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”… if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12:20-21,26)
In these words, Paul is describing the entirety of the Church, not simply the parish. We as Orthodox Christians, are not simply members of the parish of Saints Peter and Paul, but more essentially members of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. As one is honored, we all rejoice. Thus, even though our parish is celebrating our feastday this month, I feel it more beneficial to offer my words in rejoicing praise of another member, another parish in the Metropolis.
This type of broader Church perspective is part of the mindset that we would like to develop here at Saints Peter and Paul. All too often on a parish level, we fail to rejoice with others in their triumphs. But if we are one body, as members of the Metropolis of Chicago, we should be supporting and fostering a collaborative and extroverted focus toward the other members ie parishes.
So I invite all of you to join me for the first services at Ascension’s new Church the evening of Wednesday June 5th. In addition to the Ascension Feastday Vespers, we will celebrate the Thyranoixia, or Door Opening of the Church. If you are not able to attend the Vespers, or the following day’s Feastday Liturgy, I encourage you to spend a Sunday in Liturgy with our brothers and sisters of the Ascension parish. Go to see the work that they as a community have been able to accomplish. Support them in their continued efforts to grow their community. Share and rejoice with the other members of our body.
+ Fr. Panagiotis
Ascension of our Lord is located at 1207 Riverwoods Rd, Lincolnshire, IL 60069