From the Parish Council

November 2015

As we push into the fall season and reflect back to all the adventures we had during the summer months I thought it would be a good time to raise the topic of “giving” within in our small community of Saint Demetrios. So, before anyone raises an eyebrow or stops reading my message let me be clear – I am not speaking of the financial aspect of giving. Rather I want to discuss the topic of our parishioner’s time and talent. I and many of the members of the Parish Council have been members of Saint Demetrios for well over 20 years and have seen the dream of a new sanctuary become a beautiful reality. This could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of so many of our parishioners who worked and sacrificed year-over-year to achieve this lofty goal. Yes, raising the funds was a priority, however maintaining our facility and the programs & ministries offered was also a key element of the success of our community.

So, my message is this – now that we have this beautiful facility, growing youth programs that are busting at the seams, orthodox enrichment programs on a weekly basis and many more activities - we are coming to the point that we need your help to continue these programs and grow Saint Demetrios. We all see the messages that are sent by Father Gary or Kim asking for help for one thing or another and in most cases these requests are answered - but too often they are answered by the same parishioners. Now is the time for many of our new families to carve out time from their busy schedules and offer assistance to the various groups, committees or outreach programs that are the backbone of our community. You will be amply rewarded in the connections you will make with other members & families as you work side by side.

This can be as simple as offering to help with our weekly coffee hour, volunteering to help clean up after Church events or hosting a fund raising event of your own.

For those parishioners who would like to make a more impactful role, please consider becoming a member of our Capital Campaign Committee, taking a role within the Greek Festival Leadership Committee or looking into running for a seat on our Parish Council. These are but a few of the areas that we could use your help with but be assured that there are many more opportunities that I, Father Gary or any member of our Parish Council can help identify for you.

The important thing is to get involved - as the saying goes: “if not us then who if not now then when”

Finally, I wanted to remind everyone that our next semiannual General Assembly is set for November 15th and ask that all parishioners make plans to attend and learn more about the goings-on at SD’s and what the plans are for the future !!

In Christs name,

Tom Vegos
Parish Council President


The Passing of our Beloved Father Peter Lambert

Dear Friends, 

It is with great sadness we announce that Father Peter V. Lambert fell asleep in the Lord. 

(Funeral service information below)


His biography from the Greek Orthodox in America website: 

Father Peter V. Lambert was born in Flint, Michigan, in 1931; however, he grew up in Cleveland, Ohio with his adoptive parents.

He attended public schools, did two years of study at Western Reserve University, and went on to take credentials from Wentworth Technical Institute in constructional engineering, receiving a diploma of completion. He attended Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, and was ordained a Greek Orthodox Priest in Engelwood, New Jersey in 1960. Prior to his ordination, he married Sophia Ann Cougialis of Hyde Park, MA.

His first parish assignment was in Iron Mountain, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Father Lambert became very active in religious organizations, educational and civic causes. He was one of the driving forces to bring the Community School concept to the area from the MOTT Foundation in Flint, MI. And was one of the major members in establishing the Office of Economic Opportunity (War On Poverty) and the VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) project in the Upper Peninsula becoming its first Deputy Director. While Deputy Director, he developed a Sheltered Workshop called TRICO, INC. for the mentally and physically challenged, which is still operating after 45 years.

Father Lambert was transferred to Canton, Ohio, in 1969 and established a new parish - Holy Cross Parish in North Canton, Ohio. From there he was transferred to Grand Rapids, MI, to replace the position of the Chancellor of the Archdiocese at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. In 1972, he was sent to solidify the new parish of St. Michaels in Van Nuys, CA.

His talents brought him to Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles as First Assistant to the Dean of the Cathedral where he served for four years. He then took up the mission parish in Camarillo, CA, and subsequently purchased the existing Air Force Chapel at the Camarillo Airport, which became St. Demetrios Orthodox Church. Father Lambert's next challenge was in Bakersfield, CA, where he served for ten years.

Due to serious eye surgery followed by eye degeneration, Father Lambert took a part-time parish of St. Constantine and Helen in Lancaster, CA, but was forced to retire in 1992.

Upon the death of his son Andrew in 1996, and as Father Lambert says "who is now in heaven; he was a gay young man and he died of AIDS at age 33, but we loved him and will always love him," Father Lambert was asked to be on the organizing task force to establish an HIV/AIDS for the Diocese of San Francisco. For the past ten years, he is Executive Director of an HIV/AIDS and hospital ministry called "PHILANTHROPIA, INC." which means to show love, compassion and caring for all the people of God.

Father Peter Lambert served at Saint Sophia Cathedral as Father Confessor, with an office in the Parish bookstore, and developing the PHILANTHROPIA Ministry. He is legally blind!

Father Lambert was an honorary member on the Board of Directors of The Wall-Las Memorias Project, a monument that was erected in Lincoln Park -- the first government sponsored monument in memory of AIDS victims. In addition, he has also served on the Los Angeles County Health Department Advisory Board on AIDS and its prevention. Father Lambert is survived by his wife Sophia, son Perry and daughter Carrie. 

Please take a moment to read an article he wrote just 8 month ago during Lent:

Prior to Fr. Lambert's funeral on Tuesday, November 10th, there will be the official church protocol for the funeral of a priest. The Orthros service will be held at 8:30 am followed by the Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am. The actual funeral service will be held at 11:00 am. 

The Trisagion service will be Monday evening at 7:00 pm.

Christmas Card Sponsors Needed

Christmas Card Sponsors Needed

The “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” will be here before you know it! Spreading the joy of this Blessed season to your fellow parishioners by including your name or your family name on the St. Demetrios Christmas card multiplies the happiness among others. Please see the sign-up sheet insert in the bulletin, fill it out and return it to Cally or the church office. Payments can be made online using PushPay or by calling the church office. Deadline is Monday, November 30th.