Friday, April 4, 2008

Holy Ghost Orthodox Christian Church - "..big devastating vote on selling property.."

Several days ago I received an email with one word in the subject line, "Help".

There were few words in the initial correspondence, "I wanted to post a anon. (anonymous) issue on your blog about a big devastating vote on selling property at Holy Ghost for HUD housing...".

Also included was a newly created website.

I have a deep and personal connection to Holy Ghost Church. I love the Church and the people. To the parishioners who are in much pain on both sides of the issue, I share the fact that I was asked to help, and I will.

This controversial issue has been added to my blog, among other reasons, to honor the promise I made to do so after I had time for research.

Holy Ghost Orthodox Christian Church is located on the eastern corner of Starr and Bridge Streets in Phoenixville.


Anonymous said...

I too was at the meeting to sell the property of this wonderful parish. I spent many years running the social hall and running around in the grass under the trees on the area to be changed forever. I pray every day that this will not go through as once the town realizes the history and green open space, shrines, cottage, so on and so forth that Phoenix Park/Holy Ghost Property offers as well as the negative impact to traffic and historical improvements to the Main Street Program, I pray they agree with many from our parish, not to allow this project to move forward.

With prayers, hope and some fundraisers, the young people of this parish can reach the goals their founders have for them in keeping the property for themselves with a planned leadership team effort of all who love the parish.

Thanks for keeping our freedom of speech with your blog. I hope more comment on this issue are received to show the council how the town people feel on another HUD 4 story at this intersection. NOT

Karen said...

I know full well the depth of the concern of the parishoners and others regarding the possible sale of the Holy Ghost property, and I know how much everyone cares for their beloved Church.

Many prayers were said and will continue to be said to bless the good work and intentions of the people of the Church. The last thing anyone would ever want to do is act in any manner that denies God's grace to the efforts.

Please, try be mindful of the spiritual benefits achieved by approaching this issue with an attitude of faith in God and His plan for the situation.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a list of who is currently on the planning commission?

Karen said...

The Planning Commission members are:

Deb Johnston

George Martynick

Jim Evans

David Sanek

Jennifer Faggioli

Mike Hott (Leaving)

Teena Peters

Anonymous said...

Would Mr Evans be removed from any decisions for this since he is on the Planning Commission and it could be a conflict of interest with this being his project/proposal ?

Would those also on council, on Mr Evans directors lists, be removed from voting, as well for the same reason ?

Seems the church needs a fair representation and homework by council and commission to ensure this all is voted on for the betterment of the community historical district?

Interesting on why the funds would not rehab current facilities which need TLC instead ? !

Anonymous said...

Maintaining the theme of doing what is right for the Borough of Phoenixville the hope would be all conflict of interest be removed.

This is a significant project that will clearly change the landscape to the entrance of Phoenixville as well as the historic nature as the property itself.

This appears to be a very unfortunate situation for the parishioners of Holy Ghost Orthodox Church.

Hopefully this is something that the Phoenix picks up with and runs in an effort to drum up the active voices of concerned residents of Phoenixville.

Karen said...

Anonymous 3:38 p.m., I believe the Planning Commission is governed by the same rules and guidelines as Council is regarding conflict of interest on an issue.

The need for recusing oneself has in the past been addressed by the solicitor.

Any interested or concerned party can certainly address either body and bring the issue to the floor for discussion in a public meeting.

Regarding the representation and understanding of the complexity of the Holy Ghost Church situation, they are among the criteria needed for a fair and impartial vote.

Insuring that outcome will be the amount of accurate information given to both bodies, Council and Planning. It's incumbent upon all parties to be present at meetings and be willing to speak to their position and offer needed information.

The current conditions at other HUD facilities are seperate from the Holy Ghost proposal and do not impact on this or any other new HUD projects.

Anonymous said...

Why would we continue to build HUD housing of this magnitude in Phoenixville when the funds could be used to upgrade and repair those not up to par all over the area ???

This is important as if money is spent on the new project, less money is available for the ones in need !

They would have to take a backseat and live in squalor.

Karen said...

Anonymous 9:12 p.m., that's a good question for the bureaucrats at HUD.

Logically, I suspect that a certain allotment of annual funds is earmarked for new development and another allotment is for maintenance and repairs.

That, however, is pure speculation on my part.

Anonymous said...

"The last thing anyone would ever want to do is act in any manner that denies God's grace to the efforts"

No assumption should ever be made that this is God's effort (to sell and develop our property)! Simply because the clergy is involved and heavily lobbying the older congregants (in secrecy) should be some indication that there is some other agenda at work here. Older parishioners often defer to their spiritual leaders, and may not have all the facts.

This has happened before - we were told some were trying to sell off the property in secret and we summarily tossed them out. What has changed this time around.

One thing is certain - when ALL the facts are laid out for ALL the people to see, they are in a much better place to make a decision. Until that time, NO action should be taken that cannot be reversed.