NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

December 14, 2013

Giving on each Monday

It is always a joy for me to write about something that occurs in my life and that I wish to share with my readers.

Every Monday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., my friends and I have traveled to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church at 7 Harris St., Newburyport, to enjoy the luncheon that is put on for anyone to enjoy. Only a small donation is suggested from those who can afford to give to the program.

This year the church celebrates the 20th anniversary of the lunch program and everyone is very excited about having a celebration at a Monday luncheon soon.

Many people are involved with this effort. Father Constantine Newman, whom I respect very highly, has been involved with Annunciation Church for several years and has performed many services that I’ve been fortunate enough to attend. I’ve been to funerals, Christmas Eve services, as well as going to many of the fundraising events that the church has held in Nicholson Hall, Yankee Homecoming, the fall craft and jewelry show, and have the privilege of helping the women serve on Mondays when they’ve been short of help.

Father Constantine, as he is known by his parishioners, has vast experience, plus he teaches at the University of New Hampshire along with his wife, who is a very gracious and caring woman. He certainly is an asset to the members of his parish. They both teach the “classics” to their students at UNH, and you can tell by his enthusiasm that he loves everything he does in his two careers. He earned his PhD at Johns Hopkins University and attended seminary at Holy Cross in Brookline. He is well trained, don’t you agree?

The members and volunteers who every week serve, cook and visit with all their guests are the following: Don Argyrople, the overseer of the lunch program, who shops, sends recipes to members of the parish who contribute to the main meal, coordinates with Michael, who has been present in the kitchen every Monday for the past five years. Don’s wife, Jill, worked with Don at the kitchen project for several years and now teaches Sunday school to the teenage members of the church. Michael Murphy is a faithful volunteer who has worked hard to coordinate the servers, getting the meal out on time and taking care of last-minute emergencies in the kitchen. He has been extremely dedicated and is very well loved by everyone who works with him. Peter Mamakos helps out at the kitchen every Monday. The wonderful women who are so faithful are Mary Dollas, Barb Carolan, Mary Clare Francis, Ann Peralta, Margaret Seaman, Helena Greene and Connie Mathieu. The enjoyment and sincere love that these volunteers show is pure dedication.

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