Fifty years ago our Parishioners built Saint Thomas Greek Orthodox Church, to provide the Greek Orthodox faithful  of Delaware Valley a place to worship in the religion of those who came to the United States to begin a new life. The Church has become the home of more than 700 families who worship freely and celebrate their glorious Hellenic Heritage.

Today we honor those who started our Church by transforming the present building into a beautiful basilica to enhance our worship and to give glory to God who has blessed us.

 

 

 

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St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church
President’s Report No. 3 on the Building Project

December 23, 2018

Dear Fellow Parishioners,
My last report was in June and a lot has happened since then. I am pleased to report as part of
the upcoming Feat of the nativity of our Lord that we are ready to give Him as our humble gift a
completed beautiful Church where we will continue to praise Him and glorify Him.
At the Divine Liturgy when Father presents the gifts to Christ he says “Yours from Your own.”
What we give Him, the bread and wine has come from Him. Nothing is ours. In the same spirit, we will
complete our Church with our contributions, which He gave us and we will return to Him.
The architecture of our Church, with a perfect octagon, dates back to Constantine the great.
Before the beautiful cross design of Agia Sofia was imagined, the Orthodox Churches were made
octagonal, with St Constantine building the first such Cathedral of Christianity in Antioch. The octagon,
however, had a Dome in the middle, a design feature that was continued when the cross-in-square
design of Agia Sofia was developed. The Dome symbolizes the Universe over which Christ the Almighty
(Pantocrator) reigns.
So, Saint Thomas is built in a historic octagonal design and our placement of the Dome in the
middle will complete what our predecessors started fifty years ago.
Below are some dates you should be looking for in the next few months:
 On March 1, God willing and weather permitting, we will start the exterior construction of
the Bell Tower and the refinishing of the brick walls with stone. That part of the
construction will not interrupt the use of the Church.
 On May 21, the feat of Saints Constantine and Helen, we anticipate to have the last liturgy in
the Church before starting of the interior construction.
 On May 22 we will more the Church to the Danielle Kousoulis Cultural Center, where we will
have liturgy and services until completion of the Construction. On that day, May 22, the
construction in the interior of the Church will start. Father Christoforos will be keeping you
informed on the move of the Church for the summer months and will need your assistance
to complete the process.
 We expect that all construction will be completed on or before September 6, 2019. Since
the feast of Saint Thomas falls on Sunday, October 6 this coming year, we hope on that day
to bless the Bell Tower and the new Dome.
 Al that means that we want Saint Thomas to be on your Christmas list for giving. Our capital
campaign is in full swing and our campaign chair, George Horiates, will be reaching out to
you soon for your help.
 We will combine both parts of the construction (interior and exterior). They will be done at
the same time and then completion date will be the same (early September 2019).
Let us pray that the Newborn Christ give us strength and wisdom to complete what we started.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Anastasios Efstratiades
Parish Council President

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