Community Outreach

Community Outreach Meeting, July 19 at 7:00 p.m.


Community garden feeds families

              

A great success!

That’s how Krista Loucas describes the school supply drive conducted in August. Every item on the teacher’s wish list — and there were dozens, including a bean bag chair — was supplied by our generous parishioners. A big thank you to all who contributed.

The annual school supply drive benefits those in our congregation who are teachers as well as teachers from John B. Cary Elementary School.

Krista also reports that the community garden at John B. Cary was a rousing success. It produced a bumper crop of vegetables, including peppers, eggplants, cantaloupes, tomatoes and watermelon. A number of our GOYANs signed up to help harvest food on weekends. Much of the produce goes to John B. Cary families. Leftovers are donated to a mission at a local Baptist Church, which directs the food to organizations such as FeedMore. Virginia State University is working on cool weather plants to continue the supply through the fall.

Other notable outreach activities:

Serving for Charity: Mark Chronis has done yeoman’s work coordinating this annual tennis tournament, which is our biggest fundraiser for International Orthodox Christian Charities. The tournament will take place on the weekend of October 14-16 at the Midlothian Athletic Club, 10800 Center View Drive in Midlothian. Besides the regular competition, this year there will be a match between nationally ranked juniors and highly rated club adults at Midlothian Athletic Club. Also, an IOCC representative plans to attend to discuss the IOCC ministry. Our fundraising goal for this tournament is $5,000, which was last achieved in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

IOCC Bucket Drive: Chronis also coordinated an emergency bucket drive on September 18. He was helped by the Sunday school teachers and students. The buckets are used by the IOCC to help families affected by natural disasters, such as floods.

Habitat for Humanity: On Saturday, October 22 from 8 a.m. till 3 p.m., the Cathedral will send a team of volunteers to help Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity build a home in Southside Richmond. Volunteers are wanted. No construction experience is needed; Habitat will provide instruction, tools and materials. Volunteers should be at least 16 years old. Lunch will be provided. For more information or to sign up, please email Katherine Boege at bradley.katherine@gmail.com.

Evelyn D. Reinhart House: In September, the outreach ministry committee provided a meal to guests at the Reinhart House on Libbie Ave., which houses out-of-town guests visiting loved ones being treated at St. Mary’s Hospital. It was the 53rd month our Cathedral family has fed Reinhart guests. Virtually, all Cathedral organizations have participated in providing meals. The ministry is coordinated by Outreach’s Greg Silvestri. If your organization would like to get on the calendar to provide a meal, please call Greg at 804-288-1587.

Outreach Sunday: Note that the Community Outreach Ministry committee will sponsor the coffee hour on October 2. Come and grab a snack and a brochure to learn about our activities.

The next meeting of the Community Outreach Ministry committee will be on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. The meeting will take place either at the Cathedral or by Zoom call. All parishioners are welcome to attend. If you are interested in participating or if you have a suggestion of a project we could support, please call our chairman Jim Katsaros at 804-241-1632.


The Outreach committee continues to explore ways in which it can help those in need during these times. If you have suggestions for ways the committee can help in our community or if you would like to participate in its meetings, please contact the cathedral office.


Community Outreach Ministry Vision

To grow closer to the broader Richmond community through acts of service as a Cathedral family and, by this, unite ourselves to Christ.

To achieve this Vision, we will:

  • Help build awareness of existing outreach activities at the Cathedral
  • Be a resource to facilitate involvement and participation of Cathedral parishioners in outreach activities
  • Serve as a sounding board for expanding the scope of volunteer outreach
  • Sponsor community-wide activities (outside existing organizations) targeted for the local community
  • Coordinate Cathedral response to national & international crisis/emergencies

Community Outreach Ministry Members:

Jim Katsaros, Chair / Parish Council Liaison

Tom Kazas, Co-Chair / Communications Director

Father Nicholas Bacalis, Sponsor / Inspiration

Key Ministry Champions:

Calypso Bletsos, College Student Ministry

John Bletsos, Companionship Ministry

Ruth Catherines, Philoptochos Liaison / Saints Cosmos & Damianos House

Mark Chronis, IOCC Liaison: Emergency Supply Drives & Tennis Tournament / Fisher Guest House Meals

Gina Guinn, FeedMore / Food Drives

Elaine Hall, Clothing Supply Drives

Nikki Katsaros, ICU Comfort Kits

Katherine Boege (Bradely), Habitat for Humanity Programs

Krista Loucas, Elementary School Ministries / Micah Initiative

Greg Silvestri, Reinhart House Guest Meals / FeedMore & Food Drives

Martha Sotos, Medical Services Ministry, Blood Drives

If you would like more information contact the cathedral office.