25th Parish Anniversary
Posted on: Friday, October 30th, 2009
On Saturday , October 30th our parish celebrated the 25th Anniversary the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church with a Grand Banquet & Program.
Glory Be To God For All Things!
It is only by the Grace of God and His many blessings to us that we were able to celebrate our 25th Anniversary of the Consecration of our beloved Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Serbian Orthodox Church. Just as the Blessed Virgin Protects us (witness the beautiful full length fresco of her with her arms outstretched which is in the Sanctuary), her Son, Jesus, allows each of us the ability to come to Church and to worship Him. This weekend many of us came together in love and respect for God and for each other as we humbly thanked Him for the opportunity to pray together one more time. For those of us who stood within these walls 25 years ago, tears came to our eyes as we remembered others who have gone to their heavenly reward and been reunited with our God. For those of us arriving here during the last 25 years, we stood offering thanks that we have become part of the living family in such a beautiful House of God. For those of us still to come (and yes, there were Mothers-to-be in the audience), we pray that in the next 25 years, the next generation will love our Church as we do.
Much work went into this event. Hours of research went into this event. Many people are to be thanked – more than we will be able to mention in this brief article. Please know that God knows all the names of each person who assisted – your name is written in His Book of Everlasting Life. Please know that if you were not acknowledged during the event, you have not been forgotten by our Heavenly Father. It is we the weak mortals who forget, overlook (NOT intentionally), or never knew what someone had done in the past. Remember, God is the only omniscient One. He sees all. He knows all. He understands all. He remembers all. Be gentle with your heart and your hurts.
The Friday evening Vespers were offered quietly and prayerfully. Bishop Maxim had arrived earlier in the day and was in attendance. Approximately 30 of us prayed together and then met at the hall for a lovely seafood dinner prepared by Nevenka Kordic.
Bright and early on Saturday morning, long before the Divine Liturgy began at 10:30 a.m., people began gathering at the Church. Unbeknownst to anyone, Bishop Maxim and the other 8 priests in attendance decided to offer a Matins service since they all got there early! It was truly wonderful! By 9 a.m. as all of us started arriving for what we thought was going to be a 10:30 a.m. service, we found a service in progress! How peaceful and how beautiful – this is what we read happens at our Monasteries. Services are always happening and seamless from the beginning of the day to the end of the day – and this is the gift that was given to us on Saturday!
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, more than 200 people made their way to our Serbian Cultural Hall. There were hugs, laughter and smiles all around as we greeted each other in love. The hall had been decorated with fresh bouquets of flowers on each table and in the entrance way. All was quite festive. In the kitchen, Boris Seljak and his kitchen crew worked tirelessly. They produced a delicious meal that was relished by all.
After the food was blessed by Bishop Maxim, the young people of our parish stepped forth and became our waiters and waitresses. What a wonderful group of teen-agers and young adults we have! God has richly blessed us. Each teen and young adult who was approached to offer assistance did so immediately – no hesitation from any of them!
The afternoon program began with our children presenting a program for our enjoyment. Program varied in content (singing, dancing, musical instrument playing & poems recited) .
Stanley Mojsich was our Master of Ceremonies as well as the General Chairperson for the 25th Consecration Celebration. Stan thanked many individuals for stepping forth and offering assistance to make our celebration a truly remarkable event to remember. For each person he mentioned, an icon of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was presented to them. Stan acknowledged the fact that there were 2 – 3 times more people who could not be mentioned due to time constraints, however, we all know that an event of this magnitude cannot be undertaken by a few individuals. The Clergy, The Circle of Serbian Sisters, the Commemoration booklet, the video crew, the entertainment crew, the set up crew, the cleanup crew, the bar crew, the advertising crew, the planning crew – each group was in the background each step of the way. HUNDREDS of hands offered assistance to make this event possible. Stan was our figurehead for the day, but we each stood at his side assisting him.
For those individuals who were unable to attend due to illness, you were remembered.
For those individuals who have left our earthly home in these past 25 year, you were remembered.
For those individuals who were unable to attend due to work and life commitments, you were remembered.
For those of us who were able to attend, we thank each person who assisted to make our 25th Commemoration of our Beloved Church’s Consecration a wonderful lifetime event. We are thankful to Kumovi of this celebration Nikola and Zorka Tica.
We especially thank Father Dane Popovic and Father William Weir for their guidance. We thank Stan Mojsich for his leadership. We thank V. Rev. Protopresbyter Stavrophor Miladin Garic and his wife, Protinica Nina Garic, for guiding our Church during the years of our Church building and Consecration 25 years ago. We thank our Circle of Serbian Sisters for their lifelong dedication to our Church. Finally, we pray for each of our deceased members for their legacy to us – our Beloved Serbian Orthodox Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fair Oaks, CA.
God Grant Each of Us Many Years – for those of us living.
Memory Eternal – for those who have fallen asleep in the Lord.
“Everything we have is by His Grace! Only by the Grace of God! In spite of our sins. It is by His Grace that we are as we are. Through the Blood of Christ’s Sacrifice.”
Mother Gavrilia, Greek Orthodox nun – 10.2.1897 – 3.28.1992 from The Ascetic of Love