Kicking Off Our 100th Year Anniversary
Who wouldn’t want to participate in a birthday party for someone who turns 100 years old? It’s amazing to meet someone who was born in 1919 and to reflect on all the changes they’ve lived through in their life. Celebrating such a birthday would be all about looking back and remembering the past - the incredible changes and fond memories, the bonds of love with family and friends, the accomplishments and legacy they leave behind. Much would be made about the past, since everyone would know the celebrant’s future is quite limited.
Well, our Saints Constantine and Helen Church Family will celebrate our 100th Birthday on Sunday, November 24th, and we want every member of our community to be there! In fact, this Sunday will mark the official Kick-off for a year long 100th Anniversary Celebration of our past, our present, and our future!!
For a Church Family to celebrate 100 Years is something quite different than when a person marks their birthday. Surely, it is a time to reflect on the PAST and to remember from where we came. We want to honor our forebearers who established and maintained this beautiful community for a century. We will highlight certain milestones and praise God for the faith that was lived and proclaimed. We will recall the past with deep thanksgiving and gratitude!
We will also celebrate the PRESENT. Today, we are not the same community of immigrants who came from Greece and Albania to discover the American Dream and find a better life for themselves and their children. We do have parishioners whose grandparents were among the founders and first people of this church, but we also have many others. We have new immigrants from other traditionally Orthodox lands like Romania, Russia, Belarus, Lebanon and Egypt. We have members who married Orthodox spouses and then themselves embraced the Orthodox faith. We have others who simply discovered the treasures of this ancient church in their search for truth and the original Christian church. And we have still others who have found our community to be a family of love that attracted them to join and become committed members. We will celebrate our present diversity as well as our unity in faith!
Of course, it is extremely important that as we celebrate our 100th Anniversary, we focus on the FUTURE! We remember where we came from and who we are, but where are we going? Who do we want to become? Where do we want to be 100 years from now? How can we continue to faithfully represent the Church of Christ, especially in a society that is drastically turning away from organized religion and even Christianity? What do we want others to see in us and in our Church Family? In other words, what do we want to be known for? Is it good enough to be known for our Greek Festival or should we be known for much more than that?
Throughout our year long celebration, we will do a number of things. Each month, we want to remember and celebrate and plan in different ways. Every month we will try to have some special event, or a particular activity, or a celebration, or a fundraiser marking our 100th Anniversary.
We want to accomplish many things over the next year. We want to remember. We want to celebrate. We want to plan for the future. We want to establish more firmly our Church as a central and vital institution (or more appropriately a loving family) that serves the people of Webster, central Mass, and northeast Connecticut, but also reaches out to the world at large!
Our special Kick-Off event on November 24th will be something new and unexpected! It will present a radical challenge that may shock some of our people, but when properly understood, has the great potential to get all of us to reflect on and hopefully discover WHO WE ARE as we celebrate our Church Family’s 100th Anniversary. Through this event, we hope to:
¨ Do something that can ENGAGE every person and family in our Church .
¨ Get each of us to think carefully about what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.
¨ Be creative in helping our Church get involved in the larger community all around us
¨ Create a powerful teaching moment in our personal lives as well as in the live of our overall church community
Please make sure that you come on Sunday, November 24th to find out what we are doing!!!
Yet our Kick-Off Sunday is only the beginning. Throughout the year, we are planning a variety of events. We are working on some right now, and we are still open to any creative ideas that someone else in the community may have. For example, we have set our date for the end of our celebration.
Our 100th Anniversary Gala Dinner is set for Saturday, November 7, 2020. Please mark your calendars from now so that everyone can be present for this closing highlight of the year long celebration next year!
In January and February, we hope to have some Fellowship Dinners where groups of families from our community will come together to share fellowship over a meal, and to discuss what they like about our Church and where they want to see our church go. We want to engage every family in our community in these small group dinners.
During Great Lent we will have a very special music filled EIKONA WEEKEND when we invite the music group Eikona to offer a concert, a music workshop, and chant some Lenten services with us. It will be a beautiful weekend!
We will have other special guest speakers, and do other activities throughout the year. We will also have some various fundraisers. In December, we will kick it off with our December Raffle Calendar, where each day someone can win a special gift card.
We also have set a goal to raise $100,000 for our 100th Anniversary. Mike Chito will be talking with various people and trying to encourage our community in this important fundraising effort
We have an exciting year coming up in our Church Family. Let us reflect, with deep gratitude and thanksgiving, for the 100 years of our Church, but let us also dream about where we want to go in the future with this beautiful community
With much love and hope in Christ Jesus,
Welcome to our Church
Holy Land Pilgrimage 2019