St. Michael Church, Greensburg, PA -- 50th Anniversary
"GO HOME AND CALL YOUR FRIENDS, TELL THEM THE CHURCH IS OPEN!"
"I’m stubborn and I don’t give up easily. I will nag you until you get that billboard up on Route 30. But I’ll do it with a smile." Bishop THOMAS spoke these words during an informal meeting with the Parish Council of St. Michael’s Church in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, at which a member suggested billboard usage to help make the church more visible.
Words such as those quoted above were generously sprinkled throughout the messages of Bishop THOMAS during his visit to St. Michael’s on November 5 and 6. The occasion for the visit was the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of the Westmoreland County church and the informal theme for the weekend was quickly recognized in the bishop’s already well-known drum beat -- be holy, make yourselves known, open your doors, be a family, and invite someone to church -- every week!
From his initial meeting with the Parish Council and parishioners of St. Michael’s on Saturday morning, following two days of addressing the participants in the Department of Christian Education Seminar at Antiochian Village, to his departure on Sunday, following a post-Sunday-Liturgy Grand Brunch at a local hotel, Bishop THOMAS was a non-stop evangelistic and motivational whirl-wind. "I love to work!" he said.
"I want all of you to go home and call the newspaper and radio stations and ask them if they know that St. Michael’s is celebrating its 50th anniversary." This he said on Saturday morning. His desire was fulfilled by the afternoon as a newspaper reporter called and said he wanted to do an interview because of the "barrage of calls" he had been receiving about the event.
That job being complete, there was a brief moment of rest at a Saturday night dance at which Sayidna THOMAS continued to meet and encourage the church’s membership during this his first "formal" episcopal visit to St. Michael’s. The respite ended the next morning as he presided over the Divine Liturgy, beginning with the ordination of Joel Gazal (axios!) to the sub-deaconate, blessing new icons, and inducting new members into the Order of Saint Ignatius. The day concluded with the aforementioned brunch at which Sayidna again focused our attention on our need to be thankful for everything we have, past and present, and to be bold about sharing it with all of Greensburg and Westmoreland County, now and in the future.
Whew! In a short thirty hours, Bishop THOMAS had succeeded in infusing all who heard him speak with a renewed sense of the important and urgent work we have to do in bringing people to Christ here at St. Michael’s Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of Greensburg, PA.
No doubt he’ll be back in touch with us soon, to urge and encourage us -- even nag us toward that goal, if necessary. And he’ll do it with a smile!