Honoring Patricia Aleck December 3

Honoring Patricia Aleck December 3

t is customary for the immediate past president of the Ladies Philoptochos to be honored, at the conclusion of her service as President (as it is also custom for the immediate past president of the Parish Council to be so honored). Our Ladies Philoptochos will honor Pat with a pre-Christmas fête, on Sunday, December 3. As we will be in the preparation period for the great feast of the Nativity of our Lord, the hall will be “dressed up” for Christmas. The theme of the event is JOY. Joy as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. Joy as we celebrate the spirit of service and generosity, which Pat embodies. Her love for her Church and her life-long dedication to the Cathedral—as Parish Council member, as Stewardship chair, as Parish Council President, as Philoptochos member and as Philoptochos President. A lifetime of devoted service! The event will benefit the Building Fund. We’re sure you will not want to miss it.

Meanwhile, members of the JOY: Honoring Patricia Aleck Steering Committee include: Vivian Curd, Liberty Nuris, Meena Vellis, and Presbytera Aliki Kyriacou. Jan Petrou and Valerie Roumeliotes are Co-Chairs. Grace Koutoulas is Reservations Chair. Concurrently with this Herald, you should also be receiving a separate invitation by mail. The meal will be a sit-down luncheon, followed by a musical interlude and, of course, presentation of our honoree. The donation is $40 per person, with a discounted amount for children. All proceeds will benefit the Building Fund. Do plan on joining Philoptochos and the entire parish, as we usher in the joyful Christmas season, honor Pat, and support our rebuilding of the Cathedral.

Festival 2017: Remembrances, with Thanksgiving

Festival 2017: Remembrances, with Thanksgiving

With so much sadness around us (we refer to Last Vegas, to the Napa Fires, and to the wave of hurricanes), we are grateful for cherished friendships, for community building, for relationships. They are occasions for thanksgiving, both because they validate what we are called to do as the Church—to proclaim the Good News—and because they strengthen us as we continue to build bridges, help others, and lay the groundwork for the future, both for our community, and for the world, generally. This is at the heart of the time-honored event known as the annual festival.

A panorama of photographs of the festival is available by clicking on the following link: http://www.kostasphotography.com/Client-Galleries/San-Francisco-Greek-Food-Festival-2017/n-G5mPjw/ You may download individual photos or the entire gallery. We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of Kostas Petrakos of kostasphotography.com.

Isidoros and Maria Garifalakis

Isidoros and Maria Garifalakis

Isidoros and Maria Garifalakis recently visited the Cathedral and viewed the progress. They are the donors of all the rebar steel used throughout the foundation concrete. It’s generosity like this, and generosity like yours, that is making the rebuilding of the Cathedral possible.

Would You Consider Donating $1 Million? (Redux)

Would You Consider Donating $1 Million? (Redux)

Back when Father Scott was helping us raise money to begin rebuilding the Cathedral, at one of the meetings where we were discussing holding a gala-type event, we recall his saying: “If we can get someone to donate $1 million, that would electrify the community.” He used these very words. Since then, we worked in earnest to raise the money to rebuild, and we did, in fact, raise that single donation of $1 million. In fact, it was over $1 million. It came from the late Katherine Costopoulos. May God rest her soul, as we remember her among the “Founders and Benefactors of this Holy Church.” The time is now come when we are poised to receive another singe gift in the amount of $1 million (or more), towards the rebuilding of the Cathedral. We’ve been cultivating a few individuals and can only pray that this will come about. There are a number of people in the Greek Orthodox community who are in a position to make this kind of gift, if they are so inclined. The project itself is compelling. First, it’s about the rebuilding of a church. But, it’s also about “making firm” our presence as a faith community and as a cultural community, in the heart of the City. At a time when mega buildings are rising, at an unprecedented rate, making an important contribution to the City’s skyline. At a time when the vibrancy of youth is re-energizing the City’s neighborhoods. At a time when an optimism about the future abounds (despite the many challenges facing our society). Precisely at this time, God is enabling a church to be built, to be a beacon of hope and reconciliation. For, that is what our faith is all about, the gathering of the nations of the earth into one household, where “Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11). So, again, and again, the question: would you consider donating $1 million?

Or Lending the Cathedral $1 Million?

The above paragraph suggests there are people in the Greek Orthodox community who are in a position to making a significant monetary contribution towards the rebuilding of the Cathedral (and there are). Recently, a suggestion was made that 4 to 6 people lend the Cathedral $1 million each—interest free--, so as to enable the rebuilding to continue, but also, to enable the Cathedral to save the $22,000 a month it’s paying the Bank, in interest alone! This could be a win-win for all. Those who may wish to consider this kind of assistance are invited to discuss this first with their financial planners and advisors. The potential is there. And the time for us to do something about it is now.

Making Good on/Paying Off Your Building Fund Pledge

Making Good on/Paying Off Your Building Fund Pledge

Our Capital Campaign was undertaken in good faith, for the purpose of rebuilding the Cathedral. At the time, the Cathedral, together with its underground parking component, was estimated to cost a total $14 million, about $10.9 for the exterior and about $3.1 for the interior. And, we approached our parishioners and friends, and you responded generously. Some of you made a one-time payment; others made a 5-year pledge. Most of those who made a 5-year pledge have made good on your pledge and we thank you. This has enabled us to break ground and get to the point where we are now. Yes, there have been a few glitches along the way, like when lead was found in the soil, like when it was discovered the neighboring property slightly encroached on ours. But, we overcame these delays. And then there were cost overruns. And the monthly interest from the Bank, to the tune of $22,000. And the annual balloon payment, to the tune of $400,000. (We barely made it this year, but we were able to pay it.) Now, our Capital Campaign fund is down to its last $100,000 and here we have a total of about $600,000 outstanding on Capital Campaign pledges. It’s really a no-brainer. Out Parish Council has been charged with the responsibility of reaching out to those with outstanding balances, asking them to consider accelerating their payments, if possible, or, in the case of those whose payments have fallen behind, to make good on their pledges. This will enable us to go on in earnest to complete the outside of the building, so that we can utilize the courtyard, and also begin using the parking component. By now, those with outstanding pledges have been contacted by a member of the Parish. We thank you for the courtesy you afforded them and also for making arrangements to complete your gift.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.

John 4:7