Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

I am profoundly grateful to our 2020 Faith Forward stewards for your generous support of the ministries of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco. We have often heard the phrase, “it takes a village”, and in this case of Faith Forward, it has been a true and heartfelt demonstration of our village of faithful stewards and your love for God and for your Church that we exceeded our goal. This was made possible through each and every donation along with the generous matching grant from the George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation.

Supporting Faith Forward is how you have empowered the unique and engaging ministries in the Metropolis to elevate their work and ensure the ongoing development of valuable resources for our parishes, our clergy, and all those we serve. Especially with the challenges faced during this past year, I am proud of the vision and resiliency of our ministries to provide opportunities for spiritual nourishment, education, fellowship, and cultural enrichment.

I previously shared with you some of our earlier initiatives including a five-part comprehensive Stewardship training, creative Greek Village and Summer Camp online programs, and our collaboration with Faithtree Resources to provide The Relationship Project to help our teens address issues of spirituality, mental health and building healthy relationships. And more recently, we just concluded a most successful virtual Young Adult League Conference with over 300 participants that helped them Reclaim their connection to their faith and their commitment as Orthodox Christians. Our Faith Forward stewards helped up accomplish so much, and because of you, we can accomplish even more!

At this time, we are developing plans for the coming months and I look forward to sharing those with you, including a year-long Stewardship Town Hall Series, an expanded focus on Youth and Young Adult Ministries, new opportunities for Christian Education, fostering growth through outreach and evangelism, and continuing to address issues of spiritual and emotional health through our Family Wellness ministry. Once these formal plans are announced, I encourage you and your families and your children, along with your fellow parishioners to participate in them. The ministries of the Metropolis, along with those from our Archdiocese, are offered to provide opportunities for you to deepen your experience of the Faith, to grow in Christ, and to serve His Church and His people.

The physical vastness of our Metropolis does not overshadow our many bonds as the Body of Christ, unified by our faith. When you gather in your parish for the Eucharist, you are expressing your thanks to our Heavenly Father for the many blessings He bestows on us on a daily basis. This is also a collective expression of thanks, 67 congregations united in faith and common worship giving thanks to God and singing praises to Him.

God bless your faithfulness. God bless your generosity. And may He, the giver of all good things, bless you and your loved ones with His grace, peace and love always.