Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
I cordially greet you on the occasion of the upcoming beginning of the Nativity Fast. Although we all do not start this soul-saving journey at the same time, it leads us to the same Universal Celebration, the incarnation of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. I wish you all to spend this time in prayer, repentance, good deeds: of love and mercy, so that all of us can happily celebrate Nativity in the flesh of Our Savior.

October was not only full of events, but for me it was also diverse in my geographical movements. I returned from my Moscow trip on October 1st, which was mentioned in the previous bulletin. October 10 -13th I participated in the Diocesan Assembly which took place in Portland, Oregon, where I had the honor and great spiritual joy to communicate not only with our hierarchy, but also with my spiritual brothers in the priesthood and representatives of the majority of the parishes of our diocese. The Diocesan Assembly, in addition to current reports and administrative and financial issues, drew attention of the clergy and laity of our Diocese to many spiritual problems raised by modern society. Archbishop Benjamin held a two-hour conference with the clergy, during which everyone could speak and listen to the answers to many difficult pastoral questions that arise during our service. Archbishop Benjamin, in his opening speech, especially noted our parish and on behalf of the Diocese expressed his gratitude to us for the excellent and successful organization of the Diocesan Assembly last year.
I once again would like to thank everyone for participating in raisings funds for our video surveillance system. We were able to collect $15,200. The installation of the video surveillance system was completed on October 24th. I hope that by the end of this year we will be able to pay off the remaining debt in the amount of $4,800.
On October 15th, we successfully held our semi-annual meeting. Our treasurer Margaret showed that our financial situation is gradually getting better, which means that we become more spiritually mature and understand that financial and administrative future of our parish and most important its spiritual growth depends on our participation, whether it is related to our prayers, life, use of our God-given talents and labor for the benefit of our Parish or our financial contributions.

I am grateful to all of you for your zealous prayers. I am grateful to you for your work and help in organizing numerous projects. We see that the number of parishioners in our parish is gradually increasing, and we sincerely hope that the mission of the Holy Virgin Mary Church, named in honor of Her icon "Rescuer of the Perishing", the original of which I was honored to venerate during my visit to Moscow, will continue to develop and carry the light of Christ to the people of North America.
I especially want to thank Irina Usova and the teaching staff of our Russian Saturday school for their enormous efforts to repair the parish school building. This year, with their efforts and with their financial support, all the second-floor windows facing the upper parking lot were restored.
On October 30th, with a small group of parishioners and with the blessing of Archbishop Benjamin, I plan to make a pilgrimage trip to Mount Athos. In the course of our pilgrimage, with the help of God we plan to visit and pray in the Great Lavra, before the Iverion Icon of All Holy Theotokos, in the monasteries of Pantokrator, Hilandar, Vatopedi and of course in St. Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Mount Athos and in my beloved monastery of the Holy Mountain -  Docheiariou monastery, dedicated to the memory of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. We receive many blessings and spiritual gifts from this particular monastery, such as the wonderworking icon of Holy Virgin Mary “Quick to Hear” that we are blessed to have in our cathedral.
If you want to prepare commemoration slips for the health and the repose, which I could take with me for commemoration at the Holy Mount Athos, please bring them to me before our departure on Monday, October 30th.
During my absence, if necessary, please contact the church office and Fr. Yousef Rassam at (818) 881-1123 and (714) 308-6778. All the planned services will be served according to the schedule.

God Save You All!

                                                    Archpriest Nazari Polataiko