Flemington, NJ.- On Sunday, January 31, 2010, another momentous milestone was reached by the Greek Orthodox Parish of Hunterdon County, NJ. His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos, announced the official name of the parish would henceforth be St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church. He also issued the permanent charter for the church, which is part of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey. (St. Anna is the Mother of the Virgin Mary and this name was chosen in honor of the beloved, deceased wife of one of the parish’s primary benefactors who wishes to remain anonymous.)
The Very Reverend Archimandrite George Nikas, interim pastor of St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church and Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey commented, “His Eminence has once again blessed our young parish by honoring us with the name of St. Anna, a most beloved Saint of the Orthodox Church.
The naming of our church and granting of the permanent charter has infused renewed enthusiasm and determination into the community. Now more than ever, our devout faithful are inspired to build our church and community center, which shall be a blessing and welcomed addition to the residents of Hunterdon County.”
In October of last year, the Greek Orthodox Parish of Hunterdon County celebrated the purchase of a 12-acre property on Voorhees Corner Road in Raritan Township (next to the J.P.Case Middle School) on which to build the parish’s church and community center. The Metropolitan will visit the parish in the spring to personally bless the faithful and place the sign “Future Home of St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church” at the site.
Last June, the Raritan Township Planning Board approved the two-phase site plan for the church complex to include multi-functional spaces in which to conduct religious, educational, social, and recreational activities. The first phase will include construction of a small church, administrative offices, classrooms for the Greek language school and Sunday School, and a community hall. The hall will be used for social gatherings and will have the ability to convert to a basketball or volleyball court for recreational purposes. The second phase will include construction of the main church, with seating for approximately 300 and a dome which is indicative of Byzantine architecture, and conversion of the first phase church into a chapel and additional administrative and educational spaces.
Formed in 2002, with about a dozen or so families, and the support of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey, the young parish has blossomed into a vibrant, dynamic community. The parish serves the Greek Orthodox faithful of Hunterdon County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas (including Bucks County, Pennsylvania) and offers a full-range of spiritual, educational and cultural programs. Currently, St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church has about 100 steward families and this number is projected to grow in future years. Since 2006, through a gesture of kindness and Christian fellowship, the parish has been holding weekly services at The Allerton United Methodist Church in Annandale, New Jersey. (Orthros begins at 8:00 a.m. and the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m.). They plan to continue to worship there while fundraising efforts continue and construction gets underway for their new home.