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Pastoral Reflection: The Icon Project

The entire Holy Trinity community extends a warm welcome to all our visitors who have traveled to celebrate our parish’s joy this morning, and also and expressing great gratitude to those from our own community, and to our donors, without whose financial support, this day would not be possible. A heart-felt thanks. May God repay.

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Mr John Skrobat, the Diocese of New England Treasurer the past seven years, was the honored guest of the Holy Trinity Church Community this morning (April 3, 2016). John was accompanied by his wife of 45 years, Joan, and his sister-in-law Rosemary Delaney, from Holy Trinity in near-by New Britain.

At the conclusion of  Divine Liturgy, John offered a 15-minute presentation of how the Diocesan & National (Orthodox Church in America) churches are funded. This was particularly valuable to our community, as there was existing confusion in terms of how our annual Fair Share is distributed towards the upkeep of the church. Holy Trinity's annual Fair Share that is committed to the Diocese is approximately $5,000 per year, half of which we learned today, is then forwarded to the national church office in Syosset, NY. John's presentation cleared up much confusion that our parish has had over the years. John concluded his remarks by speaking on various funding methodologies and financial figures, both before and after last year's (2015) All-American Council in Atlanta, GA.

John concluded his presentation in the nave of the church by briefly explaining Orthodox New England (ONE) Stewards Program and Stewards of the OCA. These programs are above and beyond the Fair Share, and go a long way in funding various ministries on the national level.

John agreed that funding the diocesan and national church is an on-going concern, although he added that the operating budget of the OCA is slightly under $2M, whereas years ago it was over $4M.

During Coffee Hour John participated in a Q&A session. He pointed out that the Diocese of the South was the one diocese that was experiencing significant growth.

"We needed to hear this message," Holy Trinity Council President Timothy Fetzko said. "As a worshipping community, we would do well to increase our participation on both the diocesan and national level. John's presentation was enlightening, and will help us as we continue to develop as a church community."

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