On Our Cover
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST enjoys a distinction among the saints of the Church that he and the Virgin Mary are highly honored. The greatest tribute to John is that offered by Christ Himself, Who said that he is greatest “among those that are born of women…”
No wonder churches and monasteries throughout the world and throughout the centuries have been named after him and dedicated to his patronage.
St. John is the Forerunner of Christ, that is, the one who prepared the way for the coming of the Lord to earth. He is the Baptizer of Christ, performing this rite in the waters of the Jordan River. He is also a Prophet, an Apostle and a Martyr with his words echoing through the centuries: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand…The axe is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is to be cut down, and cast into the fire…”
This finely executed icon of John the Baptist on our cover graphically tells the story of his life, his ministry, and his death.
Þ He is portrayed with the wings of an Angel, not only because he was the unique messenger of God preparing the way for Christ, but also because of the sanctity and austerity of his life. He was, so to speak, an Angel in the flesh.
Þ Clothed in an inner garment of camel’s hair, John is poised in the stance of a preacher proclaiming repentance in the country about the Jordan.
Þ The rocky formations that astride the Baptist represent the wilderness of Judea where he dwelt.
Þ The bush and the axe are references to his teaching.
Þ The plate with his decapitated head is a reminder of his martyrdom at the hands of King Herod.
Þ John stands facing the half-Figure of Christ (in the upper corner of the icon) for Whom he pointed out to the people: telling them “Behold the Lamb of God…”
August 29 marks the date of his beheading by Herod and is kept as a day of sorrow, mourning and fasting.
BRING A FRIEND / HELP A FRIEND
In life we all go about our way, some people think they have lost their way! A feeling of not being whole, something is missing. We all know of someone, friend, family member, co-worker, or just people we meet and have conversation with going about our daily routine. Being a faithful parishioner, you may want to invite someone you know along your path with you. Some people are embarrassed to tell another person that they have no belief growing up and would now like to open a new door to their life. A life having Christ, Prayer and Worship in a church community can be so meaningful. You can open that door for someone by inviting them along with you to an event here, let them see how we are as a family, donating our time, talent and good will to help others. People do care. This could become the home that they are looking for and thanks to you, they may become whole again. You may have just helped a family by just reading this paragraph.
PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD
The first 15 days of August (known as Thekapentavgoustos) presents itself to Orthodox faithful with the opportunity to prepare for the revelation of the mystical Dormition of the Mother of God, the Ever Virgin Mary Theotokos, she who has shown us how mankind can fulfill the way of the Lord. It is this time of the year that we Orthodox welcome the opportunity to slow down from summer activities and reflect upon our personal nearness to Christ. The Virgin Mary assists us in that relationship through her constant intercession. This is the main reason why we offer the special Paraklesis Services in August. See the calendar page for dates and times.
Three Year Memorial for Presvytera Maria
On Sunday August 16, a Memorial will be served for Presvytera Maria. Visiting with us this day will be Rev Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis, Registrar of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and brother-in-law to Fr Andrew, who will also preach at the Liturgy. Following a light luncheon will be served.
BAKER FAMILY AT ST BASIL ACADEMY
Presvytera Kate Baker and her children are now residents at St Basil Academy – Center for Family Care in Garrison, NY. After the devastating events of Fr Matthew’s tragic death, they have found great solace and support thru the loving embrace of our Archdiocese in this well respected ministry of love which has nurtured so many special family crises over the years. They settled in well and are cared for with all their various needs of housing, food, education and medical and emotional care in this peaceful and restful setting on the Hudson River. The 6 children have been embraced by the other children there and new friendships are being formed. The current Orthodox Observer even shows them amongst the various photo coverage of St Basil’s graduation. With the Goya sponsored trip to St Basil’s in September, we will have the opportunity to re-connect. See back page for information.
7TH ANNUAL ANNUNCIATION GOLF TOURNAMENT
In memory of Presvytera Maria George
Who touched the lives of all the children she taught in her Sunday School classes.
Sunday, August 23, 2015, 1pm. Metacomet CC, East Providence
Registration deadline: Friday, August 14, 2015
Registration online: www.annunciationgolf.org
For tournament or sponsorship information, please contact Dennis Sampalis (401-529-7054, firstname.lastname@example.org) Peter Manis (617-930-0099, email@example.com), or Jimmy Grammas (401-965-6017, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Individual golfer-$175, includes 18 holes of golf with cart, lunch, dinner, long drive & closest-to-pin contests, and registration gifts.
Foursome-$700, same features as individual golfer, but for 4 players.
Guest dinner-$50.00, includes dinner only.
Mulligan Super Ticket-$35.00, includes 2 mulligan’s, and 10 raffle tickets. Limit 1 super ticket per golfer.
Sponsorships for various aspects of the tournament are sought—please discuss with the committee.
THIS IS A CHARITY EVENT TO BENEFIT THE CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION AND THE INTERFAITH FOOD MINISTRY.
A day of relaxing enjoyment, special time with family and friends and what more makes for a great day, but in knowing you are helping a worthy benefit. We thank you.
Since our last issue’s tribute to graduates, we have received the following additional information…
Student School Graduating From Future Plan
Alexia Lekos East Greenwich State University of New York
(Music award ) at Fredonia
College & Universities:
Alexandra Drager CCRI in Dental Hygiene Hygienist in RI
Rhea Maintanis URI-BA in Communications
Minor in Public Relations
CJ Tsoumakas RI College-Sports Management URI/Masters-employed at
RI College/Athletics Dept.
REMAINING GREEK FESTIVAL BAKING 2015
Tuesday August 25th—Koulourakia
Wednesday August 26th –Koulourakia
Tuesday September 1st-Kourabiedes/Melomakarona
Wednesday September 2nd – Diples
Thursday September 3rd – Pack Kourabiedes
Tuesday September 8th – Honey Dipping -10:30 a.m.
Wednesday September 9th – Macaroons—10:00 a.m.
Wednesday September 9th – Packing-6 p.m.
Galaktoboureko – TBA / Karidopita – TBA
William Floskis, age 89, of Warwick, RI passed away on 6/26/15. His funeral and burial was held on 7/1/15. Arthur P. Fidas, age 74, of Cranston, RI passed away on 7/2/15. Private prayers were on 7/6/15. Dr. Nicholas Pliakas, age 83, of Cumberland, RI passed away on 7/3/15. His funeral and burial was held on 7/9/15. Additionally, the brother of our parishioner Evelyn Rattie passed on June 3 in NY; Charles Erinakes, age 65 of North Kingstown (raised in our parish) passed on June 15. Services were held elsewhere. Also, well known in our parish, Claudine Arsenis, age 54 wife of the late Nikolaos Arsenis of our parish, passed on suddenly. Her funeral and burial was held on 7/7/15 out of state at her parish.
~May Their Memory be Eternal~
2015 PLEDGE PROGRAM REPORT
We have to date 343 parishioners with a total pledge of $178,547.00.
The Actual Amount Received is $152,467.41.
Since our last newsletter, the following pledges have been received for 2015:
Nicole Arsenis, Harry Bablenis, M/M Daniel Cardosa, Michael Choy, M/M Brian Leroux, Evridiki Metakos, Georgia Pappas, Liza Pappas and M/M Grigorios Sifakis.
Kate Otto, has recently published a book thru Atria Paperback titled “Everyday Ambassador: Make a Difference by Connecting in a Disconnected World.” Raised in our parish Kate has traveled in her college and post college years working on global health programs in Indonesia, Ethiopia, Ghana and South Africa and has stayed connected with people met there thru Face book and Twitter. Her book discuses how there is a disconnect in the human connection no matter how digitally connected she was. She is founder and director of Everyday Ambassador, a network of organizations and individuals who run and engage in international service opportunities and travel-aboard experiences as well as domestic community service projects. She currently resides in NYC. Learn more at <SimonSchuster.com>
Anthony Pappas, was elected Direct Support Professional for 2015, by co-workers and Administration alike, in an overwhelming majority, both at the Residential Home where he works with people who have special needs, as well as for Avatar, the company he works for. He represented Avatar at an Award Ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza, where he and others from various similar organizations throughout the state were honored for excellence in the workplace. He is also currently filling in as Interim Assistant Director in the Residential Home where he works.
We extend appreciation to Maria Zaharakos who donated 2 new large size coffee urns, John Massenzio for a wine press (used to squeeze spinach for our Spanakopita), Harry and Gloria Nicolopoulos for all the flowers that grace the church entry and office areas and Lynda Takoudes and George Tsimikas who maintain the various shrubbery and fountain area. We also thank Fadia Sarkis for her continued washing of our Communion Cloths, Zoe Mitrelis for making new coverings for our various auxiliary tables in church and Argiri Ghionis for making a supply of new Communion Cloths.
The Financial Corner
Below we have a comparison of the 2nd quarter of our financials.
INCOME APR 2015 MAY 2015 JUN 2015
Stewardship $ 16,458.03 $ 9,910.97 $ 11,375.28
Total Envelopes $ 6,112.40 $ 506.80 $ 360.00
Sunday Collections $ 14,487.00 $ 3,704.00 $ 4,075.00
Special Fund Raisers $ 33,973.54 $ 966.00 $ 2,591.00
Special Contributions $ 1,852.88 $ 1,356.00 $ 582.00
Sundry Receipts $ 635.75 $ 172.00 $ 116.00
Hall Rentals $ 4,865.00 $ 1,000.00 $ 000.00
Total Revenues $ 78,384.60 $17,615.77 $ 19,099.28
Our revenues in April were very good because we had an additional $33,973 from the Greek Food Fair. Sunday collections were $10,000 higher due to Easter and Holy Week. During the months of May and June revenues dropped dramatically. When revenues drop to that level we have to transfer money from the Festival Account to pay bills. In May we were forced to transfer $13,000 from the Festival Account in order to pay expenses for that month. In June we transferred a total of $17,500 from the Festival Account to pay bills.
Our expenses for the same months are listed below. Social Functions Expenses were high in May because of the Greek Food Fair. In May you will notice Music & Worship Ministry Expenses were high due to purchases of candles and flowers during Holy Week and Easter.
EXPENSES APR 2015 MAY 2015 JUN 2015
Pastoral Expenses $ 13,310.77 $ 11,964.30 $ 12,895.01
Administrative Exp. $ 9,134.16 $ 7,308.82 $ 9,154.63
Building & Grounds $ 6,185.67 $ 6,229.23 $ 5,524.07
Mortgage Loan $ 4,725.90 $ 4,725.90 $ 4,725.90
Social Function Exp. $ 2,872.07 $ 10,174.87 $ 2,197.75
World Mission Ministries $ 4,586.67 $ 4,647.92 $ 4,366.67
Music & Worship Ministry $ 3,364.38 $ 9,553.39 $ 1,674.69
Education Ministry $ 3,397.84 $ 2,612.10 $ 3,626.77
Utilities $ 4,308.78 $ 3,941.71 $ 2,385.22
Parish Center $ 2,490.00 $ 741.08 $ 596.19
Youth Ministry $ 1,982.99 $ 985.51 $ 240.00
Hall Rental $ 166.35 $ 95.76 $ 182.22
Total Expenses $ 56,525.58 $ 62,980.59 $ 47,569.22
If anyone has any specific questions they can submit those questions to my attention at the church office.
Cordially Submitted by
Dr. Mary Despina Lekas Endowment Fund News
Financial Report – period ending June 30, 2015
Endowment Fund Portfolio $756,691.62
Endowment Fund Checking Account $2,060.78
Donor (s) for current period: Mary Samaras in honor of James & Elizabeth Degaitas’ 40th Wedding Anniversary
Others…….in memory of Nicholas Pliakas (died 7/3/15) age 83,
M/M Charles H. Casey Jr., M/M Christos Demetriou, Alice Fay,
Robert J. Melucci, M/M Eugene Merlini, William J. Riggs Jr., Camille Roberti,
Calliope Kay Spires, Eleanor Sullivan, M/M Henry Vandersip and Catherine Whipple.
Never to be forgotten…
Three years ago, on the 20th day of August, our beloved Presvytera Maria went to heaven to be with the angels.
We will never forget her gracious, gentle and loving contributions to our parish life. We will always be grateful for her unselfish support and devotion to our Father Andrew, thus making it possible for him to fulfill the spiritual needs of our parishioners so magnificently.
Upon her passing, an unprecedented number of individual donations were received in her memory, totaling $17,289.00, of which $9,600.00 was designated by the donors for our Endowment Fund. This was a fitting tribute to Presvytera Maria and was evidence of the love and respect in which she was held by us all. She is greatly missed.
May her memory be eternal.
Mary Samaras, Endowment Fund Secretary
Greek Festival Sponsor Book Advertising
Businesses, groups, families and individuals are invited to place a business ad, memorial, or best wishes ad in our 2015 Greek Festival Sponsor Book.
The Sponsor Book Advertising Rates:
Half Page, Black & White – $100
Full Page, Black & White – $150
Full Page, Color – $300
Deadline for payment and submission of advertising, is Friday, August 14, 2015.
Please contact Paul Pliakas by phone (401) 572-3644, or email at email@example.com.
Memorial Bench Program
The Church of the Annunciation’s Memorial Bench Program allows parishioners to dedicate a bench on the church grounds in memory of their family members and loved ones. All donations to the Memorial Bench Program will be placed into the church’s Memorial Fund. The Memorial Fund is used exclusively to benefit the church edifice itself.
No monies from the Memorial Fund are used for the Parish Hall, the church grounds, or for payroll or operating expenses. Benches may also be donated for purposes other than memorials. Bench donations can be made by any church parishioner, past parishioner, or church group, in honor of living or deceased family members, loved ones, or for a church group, charity or association such as the AHEPA, GOYA or a church sports team.
There is still time to donate a bench for installation in 2015; the deadline for 2015 donations is August 31st .
The 16 bench locations are depicted in a schematic that can be obtained by contacting the church office, or by visiting the church’s Face book page. The 6’ black, metal benches will be identical to the bench installed in loving memory of Presvytera Maria George.
Each bench will include a 2” by 10” engraved metal plaque, with appropriate wording of it’s dedication.
Each bench purchase requires a minimum donation of $7,500 to the Memorial Bench Program, and will be deposited in the church’s Memorial Fund. If you are interested in making a donation to the memorial bench program, please contact Paul Pliakas at (401) 572-3644, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine
Eleventh Annual Essay Contest
An Invitation to all High School Students To Learn the Amazing Journey of the Greek, you are invited to submit a 1,000 word essay.
Most Americans appreciate an immigrant story – perhaps that is because the United States is known as ‘a melting pot’ of many cultures. The immigrant’s story is held as a precious thread of the family legacy. It is unique to each family’s history in America with recurring themes of why the immigrant left, what was met in the new land and how their life mani-fested itself through its course.
In your essay, compare and contrast the immigrant story of one of the Greek colonists who came to America in 1768 and a person you know – a family member or a friend of the family. How are the stories similar? What was unique to the individual? Did the story touch you? What have you learned from writing this essay?
Please note that all essays will be independently judged and ranked. Certificates of participation will be sent to all participants and the top three ranked essayists will receive:
First Prize $500
Second Prize $250
Third Prize $100
The 2015 Essay Contest Committee consists of Chair, Katherine Bacalis of St John the Divine (Jacksonville, FL), Renee Gahagan and Nancy Laskos of St Demetrios (Daytona Beach, FL), and Dr. Tony Tsitos of St. Augustine, FL. Dr Constantine Santas serves as professional consult.
Previously submitted essays will not be considered. Students who have participated in the contest in years past must choose a different person to interview for development of topic.
All essays become property of St Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine.
We ask that the essays are submitted by email to email@example.com with a cover page which includes: author’s name, name of his or her home parish, address, phone number and email address.
Essays may also be sent via postal service to 41 St George Street. Recommended but not mandatory, please send a one paragraph autobiographical statement and photo that may be used for possible publication
Deadline is November 21, 2015
The Essay Contest is underwritten by Mrs. Kathie D‘Anna of Baltimore, MD, and Jacksonville, FL, and the AHEPA Speedway Chapter 410 of Daytona Beach, FL. Mrs. D’Anna does this in memory of her beloved husband of blessed memory, Carmen V. D ’Anna, Sr. May his memory be eternal. The AHEPA Brothers do this in their commitment to the memory of the Greek Colonists who arrived in 1768 and sacrificed their lives for a better life in the New World to settle the New Smyrna.
YOUTH NEWS – SUMMER
August Vacation Church School (VCS)
Starts Monday August 3—Friday August 7– hrs. from 9:30am—2:30pm. A fun and spiritual based program for children ages 5 through grade 5. Older children are welcome (and needed) to serve as helpers and can actually earn community service credits. No fee, but donations are welcomed. Registration is required and applications are available. Please contact Beth Nichols at 401-383-6708, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Marion Pappas at 215-866-6801, email at email@example.com.
August 15—2nd Annual “Family Fun Day”
Saturday, from 11:30am to 4:00pm, sponsored by the Stewardship Committee. To be held after the Dormition Feast Liturgy on the church grounds similar to last year’s first such gathering. Food, drinks, cookies, popcorn, and a bouncy house for all children to enjoy!! Come enjoy a great afternoon relaxed event.
August 19—Trip to 6 Flags New England:
Depart from the Church at 8:30am-return around 7:45pm, tickets $35.00 ea. Rides, Friends & Fun, Goya will provide $10.00 for lunch in the park. Reply by August 12th directly to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Goya & Jr Goya come enjoy the End of the Year Trip….Thrill it up!! (Chaperons and Drivers are needed)!!
August 25-Tues—Youth (Groups) Night – Horseneck Beach—5pm
5 John Reed Road—Westport, Ma 02791
All youth group children (and parents) Hope, Joy, Jr Goya and Goya would gather after the beach gate closes (no fee). Bring your own picnic basket per family and we will have a relaxing evening of faith, fun and fellowship thru mid evening! Look for the Greek Flag which will be our gathering location. In case of rain, we will gather at the Mihailides Center.
As we enter the Dormition Lent on August 1st, there are so many extra church services, some in the morning and some in the evening; most evening services are the Paraklesis, which so many of you have learned to chant at camp. Each Sunday of the summer there is a Liturgy of course – don’t disappear – please come. We know that many will travel a bit or hit the beach. But do include Sunday attendance in your summer as much as possible as well, even if you come for a portion if your travel plans necessitate otherwise. Remember as well we actually have 2 services every Sunday / 8:15am-Orthros and 9:30am– Liturgy.
Sat Aug 15 Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary
(11:30am—4pm) – rain or shine
Family Fun Day (on our parish grounds)
open to everyone, of all ages, free of charge
Sponsored by the Stewardship Committee
Bring your beach chairs and blankets
BBQ, cookies, popcorn, bouncy house
FESTIVAL IN PAWTUCKET – AUG 21-23
The Assumption Parish of Pawtucket is having their annual Greek Festival a little later than usual this year on Fri – Sun August 21- 23 (not the Aug 14th weekend). The parish festal observance of the Assumption will of course be held at the designated liturgical time – Great Vespers on Fri Aug 14 at 7PM.
HOSPICE SEEKING VOLUNTEERS
The Gentiva Hospice of Warwick is looking for dedicated and compassionate volunteers to provide companionship and 1:1 interaction to terminally ill patients. Your smile, friendship and a few hours each month can improve the quality of someone’s life, including yours! Call 738-1492 and ask for the manager of volunteer services.
SAVE THE DATE-GRANDPARENTS OBSERVANCE
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 27TH
A special Luncheon will follow after Liturgy to highlight the special relationship between grandchild and grandparents. Youth from ages 8 and older may submit an essay describing their thoughts about their grandparents and grandparents also are urged to submit as well, describing their thoughts on their grandchildren. Selected essays will be read and campership awards will be announced for the winter camp sessions.
Watch for details.
We hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful summer weather we have been having, and getting ready for our Annual Greek Festival just a few weeks away. With everyone’s help, we will have a successful Festival once again. Please see the baking dates posted, and plan to come. Everyone is welcomed…..experienced and learners.
Philoptochos has had two fun events recently. Our Drink and Dabble Night at Mile and a Quarter was a very enjoyable evening. Our paintings were amazing! Recently, we went on our Fun Trip to Astoria. We had an overwhelming response to this trip. It was a very enjoyable day, and a good time was had by our group of 55 travelers.
OPERATION HOUSEWARMING- HOMELESS VETERANS PROJECT
We now look ahead to our Fall events. As previously announced, our Philoptochos is participating in a Metropolis-wide Project, OPERATION HOUSEWARMING. This Project assists homeless veterans to begin their life again and transition into independent living once they leave the military. Housewarming Baskets are filled with necessary items to begin this process. A sample basket has been placed in the Demetrakas Hall, and a list of needed items is on a poster board. Please bring an item or two and place it in the empty basket provided. You may donate a basket in honor of or in memory of a military veteran or one currently serving in the military. Cost of one basket is approximately $100. Our goal is to have 12 completed baskets by Veterans’ Day in November. This Project will benefit our Rhode Island Veterans who are transitioning from the VA Hospital to an apartment or home.
WE NEED YOUR HELP AND PARTICIPATION IN THIS PROJECT. Thank you.
ANNUAL GREEK FOOD FAIR AND CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: We are beginning our planning for our Annual Christmas Bazaar and will be announcing our plans soon. Our final figure for last year’s Bazaar is $29,488 for Saturday and half day on Sunday. We ask for your help and support once again this year. Please mark your calendar Nov. 14th and 15th. Chairing the Bazaar this year is Diane Mitrelis assisted by her niece, Stephanie Venditelli. An organizational meeting will be held Thursday, August 6th in the Church Center at 7:00 p.m. Please come with your ideas.
NATIONAL PHILOPTOCHOS CHILDREN’S MEDICAL FUND LUNCHEON OCTOBER 31ST IN BOSTON: Our Metropolis Philoptochos is hosting the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon. Last held in Boston in 1997, we have been selected to host this event once again. Please mark your calendars and support this event in any way you can: by attending, by purchasing raffle tickets, and more importantly, by being a sponsor. Grants will be awarded to programs (501c3) benefitting children’s health issues throughout our Metropolis. Among the applicants for a Grant is Hasbro Children’s Hospital for a Welcoming Room for Parents of Critically Ill Children can gather. We need your support to make these Grants possible. Please contact Bessie Papigiotis 949-3240 BPapigiotis@verizon.net or Marianne Phelan 943-9201 email@example.com. Thank you.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY: We are continuing our Ministry and crocheting prayer shawls, baby blankets for 40-Day Blessing of Moms and Babies, blankets and hats for preemie babies, and hats for babies at Women’s and Infants’ Hospital. Welcome to our group Lynda Poulos Theroux. We welcome anyone who can crochet or knit. Please contact Anna Demetrakas 946-0550 for information. Yarn will be provided. Thank you to all who have donated money or yarn to this project.
Our first Philoptochos meeting of this new year will be held on Monday, September 21st. Please join us on our mission of philanthropy. Enjoy the rest of the summer. Hope to see you soon at church.
GEORGIA PAPPAS, PRESIDENT
BESSIE PAPIGOTIS, CORRESPONDING SECRETARY
Saint Basil Academy Annual Walkathon
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19th 2015
The GOYA of the Annunciation Church would like to invite the entire parish to participate in St. Basil’s Academy annual walkathon. A general format of the day will be as follows:
Departure, Cranston: 7:00am sharp
Lunch/festivities: Noon to 3:00pm
Tour/free time: 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Dinner at Saint Basil’s: 6:00p.m.
Arrival back in Cranston: 10:15p.m.
Entry fees for walkathon:
Adults: $25 sponsorship donation per person
Children: $15 sponsorship donation per person
Seniors: $20 sponsorship donation per person
Little ones 5 and under : Free
Fee for bus and dinner meal at St. Basil’s to be determined.
Space is limited: Reserve by contacting MariaCoclin@aol.com or 944-7894