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19th All American Council

Having recently returned from the 19th All-American Council (July 23-27, 2018) in St. Louis, MO, I submit this Pastoral Reflection to our Holy Trinity community.

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The Holy Trinity Church community bid a fond farewell to Bonnie, Madegan, and her sister, Maya, after Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 6, 2014.

The girls have offered so much to our church the past four years, and a fitting tribute was necessary to thank them for their contribution to our church. The girls, along with their mom, Bonnie, who joined us on this special occasion, along with her brother, Orion, and Dad, Jim, are relocating to the Kansas City, MO, area where they will be closer to their families.  

The girls began attending Holy Trinity with their mom in Summer, 2011.  A year later, they indicated a desire to be received into the Orthodox Church. Madegan and Maya received the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation on December 9, 2012. Bonnie meanwhile, joined her daughters in the Orthodox Faith on August 25, 2013, on the occasion of her 45th birthday.

The Morrison sisters and their mom brought a palpable Christian joy to Holy Trinity. It has often been said, it’s not what you do, it is how you do it. Madegan, Maya, and Bonnie served with great enthusiasm and passion. Their presence among us alone served to lift each of us every week.

Both Maya and Madegan sang in the choir, held the communion cloth on a regular basis, participated in the church school program, and assisted on every level of parish life, including being engaged with our many children in such a passionate manner. Each is deeply involved with the Girl Scouts, and both accepted opportunities to speak in front of the parish community; Maya on a Scout activity she was involved with, and Madegan after a school trip to China in 2013.

After Divine Liturgy concluded on July 6, V. Rev. Marc Vranes, HTOC pastor, spoke on the contribution and difference Madegan and Maya had made to our parish. He encouraged them to share the same spiritual gifts to their new parish home in Overland Park, Kansas, and to make new church friends, citing the deep relationships they establish with other Orthodox Christians will not only sustain them in times of difficulties, but will bring them peace and joy in a way other relationships do not often provide.

Madegan and Maya were presented with a pair of earrings from Russia, each received a box of cookies made by parishioner Dr Barbara E. Lacey, and a beautiful book which highlighted their years at Holy Trinity and their heart-felt contribution. Fr Marc also indicated the annual Christmas Pageant will be now referred to as the Morrison Nativity Pageant out of respect to the efforts the girls and their mom had given the pageant the past few years.

Finally, a cake was presented to the girls (they had received flowers on Sunday, June 15, 2014, after receiving their Orthodox Scouting Awards). Hugs and tears were shed by everyone, then it was off to prepare for the final push to Missouri.

Madegan will be a high school sophomore, and Maya, a 7th grade student, will be entering her first year of junior high school.

Many Years Madegan, Maya, and Bonnie Morrison!

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