2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612
On behalf of the board, I would like to give you an overview of three interwoven initiatives that are underway to ensure the health and longevity of our church community. Many of you have been involved in sustaining our place of worship, our community, and our unique cultural lineages. Some of you have joined us recently, and some of have persevered since the inception almost 19 years ago. We are grateful for all that each of you has done. The time has come, through the grace of God and generosity of Mr. Milan Panic, for us to make more substantial progress toward ensuring that we, and those that follow, will have a permanent structure in Orange County to worship together, to interact as a supportive community, and to continue the unique identities of our Orthodox Faith and our cultural lineages.
Along with managing the day to day operations of our parish, the three interlaced initiatives include a survey, the development of our purpose/vision/values guiding document, and the necessary funding to secure a permanent structure. This survey will provide crucial information about our hopes and dreams for this parish. It will also provide insight into what we envision for this parish’s permanent structure. The information from the survey will be foundational for the other two initiatives and will guide our future actions on these initiatives. Please take the time to share your experiences and views through this survey. As you will see in the introduction of the survey, your individual responses will be held confidential. The compiled data will first be shared with the board and then with the whole parish. Narandja Milanovich, BSME, MME, MA Counseling, MA Psychology, Ph.D. Psychology along with her husband Gary Eagleson, will compile the results of the survey and present this data to the church board and parish.
The purpose/vision/values document will initially be drafted by a smaller group of parishioners, for practical purposes, followed by the engagement of the whole parish. For clarity, below are some thoughts on what this document is about.
Our purpose (or mission) statement will answer the question ‘Why does this parish exist?’ in the larger context of the Church as a living manifestation of our spiritual beliefs. A purpose statement (or mission statement) is something that will directionally guide those that follow us for decades to come. The vision answers the question, ‘What will be accomplished?’ in the next 5–10 years in pursuit of our purpose/mission. The vision statement speaks to specific, concrete objectives and goals that we can measure. The values or rules of engagement/conduct provide guidance of how we are to act and be as we move toward our vision. All three elements: purpose/vision/values give direction to our decisions as we search for funding, securing a permanent structure, and how we conduct our day to day operations in the parish.
We will ensure alignment of the contents of purpose/vision/values to coincide and align with our Serbian Orthodox Church’s Western Diocese’s mission. It will be the primary guiding document for a future decision regarding securing our permanent structure and our day ‑to- day operations. Narandja Milanovich, Gary Eagleson, and Mila Evanovich will provide facilitation for the development of our guiding document.
The ongoing search for funding and securing of our permanent structure has entered a unique six-month phase. Mr. Milan Panic’s generous offer to match up to one million dollars will expire November 13, 2017, so there is much to accomplish given this unique opportunity. Spearheading the matching fund’s effort is John Vukasovich, and he will be looking for expertise and help. Our vision of what we foresee for our future parish facility must be clear and concise because it will guide our implementation strategy. The implementation strategy will in turn set priority and timing for which structures (cultural center, hall, sanctuary, et al.) will be secured and made operational first. Please make sure you answer the last question in the survey pertaining to the area where you want to get involved, using your unique skills and experiences.
I am hopeful that we are entering a more secure and sustainable phase of our parish where we can continue our spiritual development, get and give support as a community, and ensure the longevity of our unique Orthodox Christian and cultural lineages.
Blessings to each of you,
Father Blasko on behalf of
Nativity of The Most Holy Theotokos Serbian Orthodox Church of Orange County