In 2021, your Board of Trustees focused on bringing our community back to together following a very difficult 2020 and the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This goal had its challenges throughout the year as the pandemic surged and retreated several times. The process of reengaging required us to be mindful of striking the right balance between the health and safety of our people and the mission of our church, namely spiritual worship, fellowship, and charity.
With renewed excitement, our church “re-opened” in the spring after Massachusetts lifted restrictions on operating capacities, social distancing, and the wearing of masks. Those comfortable returning to church shared in our beautiful Badarak and reconnected during coffee hour. We had a very successful spring fair, fall picnic and holiday bazaar. Our Sunday School re-opened in person. Our Men’s club returned to hosting monthly dinners. Our anniversary banquet brought the community together for a wonderful mezza meal, graced with the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian. Our young athletes attended the AYF Olympics and returned with several medals. Care packages were sent to our youth studying home & away at college. The inaugural St. Gregory Bike-A-Thon was a great success and drew many of our youth.
With great excitement, we finalized a design and secured work estimates to replace our church sign. The installation is planned for the spring 2022 once final town approvals are obtained and weather allows.
Continuing with tradition, our community generously supported fundraising efforts for our brothers and sisters in Armenia & Lebanon and maintained our orphan sponsorship. Charity starts at home and our church provided a generous donation to the Lazarus house to close the year.
The church ended 2021 with a net income of $18,981 versus $7,831 in 2020. The significant improvement in our financial stability has been due to the continued generosity of our members responding to our COVID appeal, the improved profitability of our fundraising events, further cost reductions, forgiveness of small business government PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans and importantly the continued generosity of our parishioners and friends – THANK YOU! Our church Endowment fund on 12/31/21 reached $477,002 up from the previous year end of $385,072. In addition to favorable investment appreciation, we were blessed to receive $50,000 and $10,000 respectively from the estates of our beloved Martha Hananian & Rose C Annaian.
Looking ahead, we all should recognize that our church still faces many challenges. Membership and attendance are still in decline. The role of the church in people’s life is changing, requiring an openness to change, to adopt new ideas and to renew efforts of outreach – especially connecting with our younger families.
In closing, I would like to thank Der Stephan for his continued spiritual leadership, guidance, and partnership. The Board of Trustees wish him and his family all of God’s blessings and we look forward to his continued spiritual guidance over the coming years. To my fellow Board of Trustees, thank you for your time, work & expertise in support of our church - I am privileged to have served with you and proud of our accomplishments. A special thanks to Trustee Armen Kourkounian who along with Jim Kochakian and myself will be leaving the Board after serving 6 consecutive years. Armen has been an incredibly valuable member of our board bringing new ideas, community spirit and limitless energy to our very important work. Lastly, I would like to thank all of our church organizations – both leadership & members, our deacons, acolytes and choir members for their time, expertise, and unwavering devotion to carry on the mission of the Church.
Board of Trustees