Moving Forward
A Reflection By Matt Peifer

Glory To Jesus Christ!

In a continuing effort to move forward, we have redesigned the web site with a new look. A new freshness, if you will, to better express the spirit of the ACRY in the 21st century. We have listened to you as to what you would like to see on the site, as well as to the advice of experts and have come up with what we think will better serve our ACRY members and the Orthodox community. Please take some time and browse the site. Let us know what you think; and drop an email to let us know.

I believe we are at a great beginning. We are expressing ourselves like no other time in the history of the ACRY. Ideas are plentiful and enthusiasm is high. Our young members are slowly becoming more involved.

Just the other day I was discussing various topics of the ACRY with one of the other board members and we struck on something that was enlightening. "It is hard to beat perfection." Are we perfect? That is up for further discussion, but the point was that we have hit a plateau. A plateau that we have been sitting on for quite some time. To your credit, you have recognized this and voiced your opinion that we need to move forward. With that being said, I believe we were perfect to a point - a point in time that led us to this point in time. Let me explain.

We have been doing all the things that any other organization does. Fund raisers of all sorts; dinners, bingos, car washes etc. We attended spiritual functions locally and nationally, camp and our local church. We did all we could in that time. As you know times change and we must change too, even if it is a different spin on the past. But is a different spin what we need?

As you know the young people are the future. This is nothing new and it will always be true. We are now moving into a different time, where our youth are starting to get more involved. We are listening and slowly moving with them, as it should be. We will soon be the ones that follow. Now there will always be a place for everyone. You have heard this before "And a child will lead them." Right next to that child will be an elder who is there to give advice and wisdom when asked and needed. Next to them will be other people who are eager to work and lend a hand. We all fit! I know! What am I getting at? Our next move off this plateau belongs to the youth. They are already giving their thoughts and willingness to be a part and we must let them!

Last year I instituted a new program "Just One More." It has worked pretty well. But I know we can do better. Let me take that first step towards the next plateau. I am a young guy I can do it! Let that "One More" be a young member. Work hard this coming membership drive and sign up "One more" youth. If you don't have a junior ACRY in your local parish, help your youth start one. Then turn to your senior ACRY and sign "One More" to help with the youth. With the coming of our Strategic Plan, I will be setting up a membership committee that will work strictly with our members on just how to accomplish this. Information will be forthcoming and I am sure you will find it exciting.

Like any organization members are the driving force. We have a huge core group, a great foundation on which to build, but like other organizations we constantly need more people. This is not a new concept and one that you are quite aware of. I encourage you to work hard this coming membership drive and add to our already strong base. We belong to the greatest Church in the world. Yes I am going on a limb but this is what I believe. By saying this I in no way mean to disrespect other religions, nor am I implying that we are superior. I believe in our Church and I believe in YOU!

Together, let us keep working towards that next plateau and keep moving "Forever Forward and Heavenward."

(2006-2009) National Senior ACRY President,
Matt Peifer