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February 2018 Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2018 Newsletter

 

Liturgical Notes

The calendar month of February contains one of the major twelve Feast Days of the liturgical year, The Meeting of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the temple. This day celebrates the forty-day dedication of the first-born child according to the Law given by Moses (Ex. 13:1-2, 14-15). And so Mary and Joseph came after forty days of purification to the Temple to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24).

Now there was a righteous and devout man named Simeon who had been guided to the Temple by the Holy Spirit. Simeon had been assigned to translate the Book of Isaiah from Hebrew to Greek in the year 270 B.C. When he came to the passage saying that a virgin should conceive and bear a son Simeon started to change the word virgin to young woman. An angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him not to do so and that Simeon would live to see this happen. Simeon's appearance in the temple was a fulfillment of this saying. (Note: Simeon must have been about 300 years old at this point).

St. Simeon, representing the Old Testament, took the Christ Child in his arms, and the Old and the New Testaments stood together: the Old, departing, held in its arms and blessed the New. Simeon was granted more than had been granted to any other man before him; he held the Almighty God in his arms and to him were revealed both the Glory and the Way of the Cross of his God: “for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to enlighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of Thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:30).

As in ancient times today we bring our children at the fortieth day to be presented to the Lord and we bind them over to God. Baptized and sanctified by grace, our children, by being made members of the Church, take their first steps upon the way of grace and the way of the Cross that lies before those who would follow Christ.

On Sunday, Jan 28, we begin the first of the three preparatory Sundays leading up to Great Lent which begins on Feb 19. On Monday, Feb 12 we drop meat from our diet and enter Cheese-fare week where we consume the rest of any remaining dairy products finishing with Cheese-fare Sunday, Feb 18.

 

Parish Notes

Congratulations to Kenny (Evgeny) and Anna Harrison on the blessing of their marriage on Sunday, Jan 28. God grant them many years of holy marriage. Please keep Ksenia Couch in your prayers as she is in Russian awaiting a medical procedure.

The annual parish business meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Feb 25, at 1:30PM. The parish reviews the previous year and set new goals for the coming year. Mark your calendars and plan to be there for the meeting.

Several of our members and friends have special days this month:

Maximus Olsen Feb 3 Namesday

Spyridon Murphy Feb 4 Birthday

Ksenia Couch Feb 6 Namesday

Ksenia Fitzgerald Feb 6 Namesday

Theodore Morcan Feb 21 Namesday

Theodora Morcan Feb 24 Namesday

Andrew Sawyer Feb 25 Birthday

Nikolai Gaffney Feb 27 Birthday

May God grant them many years!

 

from the Fathers

...Just as the children of Israel ate the 'bread of affliction' (Deut. 16:3) in preparation for the Passover so Christians prepare themselves for the celebration of the New Passover by observing a fast. But what is meant by this word 'fast'? Here the utmost care is needed, so as to preserve a proper balance between the outward and inward On the outward level fasting involves physical abstinence from food and drink, and without such exterior abstinence a full and true fast cannot be kept; yet the rules about eating and drinking must never be treated as an end in themselves, for ascetic fasting has always an inward and unseen purpose. Man is a unity of body and soul, 'a living creature fashioned from natures visible and invisible', in the words of the Triodion; and our ascetic fasting should therefore involve both natures at once. The tendency to over-emphasize external rules about food in a legalistic way, and the opposite tendency to scorn these rules as outdated and unnecessary, are both alike to be deplored as a betrayal of true Orthodoxy. In both cases the proper balance between the outward and the inward has been impaired.

...One reason for this decline in fasting is surely a heretical attitude towards human nature, a false 'spiritualism' which rejects or ignores the body, viewing man solely in terms of his reasoning brain. As a result, many contemporary Christians have lost a true vision of man as an integral unity of the visible and the invisible; they neglect the positive role played by the body in the spiritual life, forgetting St. Paul's affirmation: 'Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit...glorify God with your body' (I Cor 6:19-20). Another reason for the decline in fasting among Orthodox is the argument, commonly advanced in our times, that the traditional rules are no longer possible today. These rules presuppose, so it is urged, a closely organized, non-pluralistic Christian society, following an agricultural way of life that is now increasingly a thing of the past. There is a measure of truth in this. But is needs also to be said that fasting, has always been difficult and has always involved hardship....Why should the self-denial gladly accepted by previous generations of Orthodox prove such a intolerable burden to their successors today? Once St. Seraphim of Sarov was asked why the miracles of grace, so abundantly manifest in the past, were no longer apparent in his own day, and to this he replied: 'Only one thing is lacking—a firm resolve'.

The primary aim of fasting is to make us conscious of our dependence upon God. If practised seriously, the Lenten abstinence from food particularly in the opening days-involves a considerable measure of real hunger, and also a feeling of tiredness and physical exhaustion. The purpose of this is to lead us in turn to a sense of inward brokenness and contrition; to bring us, that is, to the point where we appreciate the full force of Christ's statement, 'Without Me you can do nothing' (Luke 18: 10-13). Excerpts from The Lenten Triodion.

 

During Great Lent we add additional prayers to our daily effort. The following prayer attributed to St. Ephraim the Syrian is added to our prayer rule and read three times a day during this period.

 

O Lord and Master of my life, a spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition, and idle talk give me not.

Bur rather a spirit of chastity, humble-mindedness, patience, and love bestow upon me, Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my failings and not condemn my brother, for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

February 2018 Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2018 Newsletter

 

Liturgical Notes

The calendar month of February contains one of the major twelve Feast Days of the liturgical year, The Meeting of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the temple. This day celebrates the forty-day dedication of the first-born child according to the Law given by Moses (Ex. 13:1-2, 14-15). And so Mary and Joseph came after forty days of purification to the Temple to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24).

Now there was a righteous and devout man named Simeon who had been guided to the Temple by the Holy Spirit. Simeon had been assigned to translate the Book of Isaiah from Hebrew to Greek in the year 270 B.C. When he came to the passage saying that a virgin should conceive and bear a son Simeon started to change the word virgin to young woman. An angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him not to do so and that Simeon would live to see this happen. Simeon's appearance in the temple was a fulfillment of this saying. (Note: Simeon must have been about 300 years old at this point).

St. Simeon, representing the Old Testament, took the Christ Child in his arms, and the Old and the New Testaments stood together: the Old, departing, held in its arms and blessed the New. Simeon was granted more than had been granted to any other man before him; he held the Almighty God in his arms and to him were revealed both the Glory and the Way of the Cross of his God: “for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to enlighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of Thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:30).

As in ancient times today we bring our children at the fortieth day to be presented to the Lord and we bind them over to God. Baptized and sanctified by grace, our children, by being made members of the Church, take their first steps upon the way of grace and the way of the Cross that lies before those who would follow Christ.

On Sunday, Jan 28, we begin the first of the three preparatory Sundays leading up to Great Lent which begins on Feb 19. On Monday, Feb 12 we drop meat from our diet and enter Cheese-fare week where we consume the rest of any remaining dairy products finishing with Cheese-fare Sunday, Feb 18.

 

Parish Notes

Congratulations to Kenny (Evgeny) and Anna Harrison on the blessing of their marriage on Sunday, Jan 28. God grant them many years of holy marriage. Please keep Ksenia Couch in your prayers as she is in Russian awaiting a medical procedure.

The annual parish business meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Feb 11, at 1:30PM. The parish reviews the previous year and set new goals for the coming year. Mark your calendars and plan to be there for the meeting.

Several of our members and friends have special days this month:

Maximus Olsen Feb 3 Namesday

Spyridon Murphy Feb 4 Birthday

Ksenia Couch Feb 6 Namesday

Ksenia Fitzgerald Feb 6 Namesday

Theodore Morcan Feb 21 Namesday

Theodora Morcan Feb 24 Namesday

Andrew Sawyer Feb 25 Birthday

Nikolai Gaffney Feb 27 Birthday

May God grant them many years!

 

from the Fathers

...Just as the children of Israel ate the 'bread of affliction' (Deut. 16:3) in preparation for the Passover so Christians prepare themselves for the celebration of the New Passover by observing a fast. But what is meant by this word 'fast'? Here the utmost care is needed, so as to preserve a proper balance between the outward and inward On the outward level fasting involves physical abstinence from food and drink, and without such exterior abstinence a full and true fast cannot be kept; yet the rules about eating and drinking must never be treated as an end in themselves, for ascetic fasting has always an inward and unseen purpose. Man is a unity of body and soul, 'a living creature fashioned from natures visible and invisible', in the words of the Triodion; and our ascetic fasting should therefore involve both natures at once. The tendency to over-emphasize external rules about food in a legalistic way, and the opposite tendency to scorn these rules as outdated and unnecessary, are both alike to be deplored as a betrayal of true Orthodoxy. In both cases the proper balance between the outward and the inward has been impaired.

...One reason for this decline in fasting is surely a heretical attitude towards human nature, a false 'spiritualism' which rejects or ignores the body, viewing man solely in terms of his reasoning brain. As a result, many contemporary Christians have lost a true vision of man as an integral unity of the visible and the invisible; they neglect the positive role played by the body in the spiritual life, forgetting St. Paul's affirmation: 'Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit...glorify God with your body' (I Cor 6:19-20). Another reason for the decline in fasting among Orthodox is the argument, commonly advanced in our times, that the traditional rules are no longer possible today. These rules presuppose, so it is urged, a closely organized, non-pluralistic Christian society, following an agricultural way of life that is now increasingly a thing of the past. There is a measure of truth in this. But is needs also to be said that fasting, has always been difficult and has always involved hardship....Why should the self-denial gladly accepted by previous generations of Orthodox prove such a intolerable burden to their successors today? Once St. Seraphim of Sarov was asked why the miracles of grace, so abundantly manifest in the past, were no longer apparent in his own day, and to this he replied: 'Only one thing is lacking—a firm resolve'.

The primary aim of fasting is to make us conscious of our dependence upon God. If practised seriously, the Lenten abstinence from food particularly in the opening days-involves a considerable measure of real hunger, and also a feeling of tiredness and physical exhaustion. The purpose of this is to lead us in turn to a sense of inward brokenness and contrition; to bring us, that is, to the point where we appreciate the full force of Christ's statement, 'Without Me you can do nothing' (Luke 18: 10-13). Excerpts from The Lenten Triodion.

 

During Great Lent we add additional prayers to our daily effort. The following prayer attributed to St. Ephraim the Syrian is added to our prayer rule and read three times a day during this period.

 

O Lord and Master of my life, a spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition, and idle talk give me not.

Bur rather a spirit of chastity, humble-mindedness, patience, and love bestow upon me, Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my failings and not condemn my brother, for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2018 Newsletter

 

Liturgical Notes

The calendar month of January contains two of the twelve major Feast Days of the liturgical year as well as one of the secondary Feast Days of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first of these days begins on Friday, Jan 5 with the Royal Hours of the Nativity of our Lord. The services of Nativity will be celebrated on the Saturday with vespers and vigil. Divine Liturgy for the Nativity will be celebrated on Sunday Jan 7, at 10:00AM. This will allow several people who wish to celebrate Nativity on the old calendar to be with us. The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is the culmination of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament between God and man. This is a Divine Condescension whereby God takes on the form of a man, a servant for mankind. It is a great mystery beyond comprehension in its majesty of the mercy and love of God for mankind.

The secondary Feast Day is celebrated on Jan 14. It is the Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Giver of the Mosaic Law condescends to submit Himself as a man to that Law. On the eighth day after His birth his Mother, the Theotokos, and Joseph take the Christ Child to the temple to be circumcised according to the Law. In His submission Christ fulfills the Law as He said He would. This day is also the feast day of St. Basil the Great, one of the three holy hierarchs of the Orthodox Church.

The third of these days is the Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ. This day commemorates the baptism of our Lord in the Jordan river by St. John the Baptist. This occurs on Jan 19. After Pascha and Pentecost, this is the greatest Feast of the Orthodox Church, predating even the Nativity in importance. This is the first public manifestation of God the Word Incarnate to the world. The Creator enters into the basic element of life, water, and thereby sanctifies fallen creation. The Lord by submitting to baptism institutes the Sacrament of Holy Baptism for the Church. Through this Sacrament we mystically die to the world and are joined to the Body of Christ and reborn a new creature cleansed of our former sins. The Great Blessing of Water is performed during this period and the water is used to bless homes during this Holy Season. Following Divine Liturgy we will proceed to De Queen lake to bless the waters with a Cross made from Theophany blessed water.

 

Parish Notes

The eve of Nativity is always a strict fast day: food with oil, but without fish, is allowed after the vespers service. Those who can observe this rule are encouraged to do so. There are exceptions from this fast for those who are normally excluded from the fasting rules due to sickness, etc. If there are questions please ask Fr. George for the appropriate guidance. During the weeks following Theophany, Jan 19, we will be doing the annual house blessings of the parish members. Please schedule this with Fr. George if you wish your home blessed during this season.

Work on getting St. Georges Inn operational is still in progress. The electrical, water and sewage systems are in place but there is still a problem with the HVAC unit. Work is in progress on that system. The Inn will require entry steps and a deck for the front door. A queen size bed has been donated as well as a dining room table and chairs. Look around and see if you might have some appropriate furniture in good shape for the bed rooms. Any donations of money or labor toward completing this project will be gratefully appreciated.

Several of our members and friends have special days this month:

 

Carmen Maria Montero Jan 8 Birthday/Namesday

Fr. Deacon David Carder Jan 8 Namesday

Tatiana Skoumbourdis Jan 25 Namesday

Tatiana Stone Jan 25 Namesday

Anton Khudoley Jan 30 Namesday

 

God grant them many years!

 

From the fathers

...From the foundation of the world, no mortal man had risen to greater power than Caesar Augustus, who ruled without rival over the whole world;...In this time of external peace and internal despair, the Lord Jesus Christ the Savior of the human race and the Renewer of all creation, was born. Why was He not born as the son of the powerful Caesar; able, with one single edict, to impose a new religion, with not suffering or humiliation, without blood and a crown of thorns, without the Cross and the dark grave?

...In order that we should show up this folly for what it is,...we shall at once give the reminder that God created the first man out of the greatness of His love, and that man's being is based on two principles: on freedom and on humble obedience....Adam had to test his humble obedience on one, single commandment given by God, and on one, single thing in Paradise-on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil....But as soon as Eve and Adam drew near to the tree of testing, they sinned: their humility turned to pride, their faith to doubt and their obedience to disobedience.

God could have fenced the tree in Paradise about with fire of such intensity that Adam and Eve were unable to approach it. But where, then, would have been the freedom of this lovely being created by God, of man the little God? Where would have been the difference between him and all other creatures, who had not been given this freedom?

God could have had the Savior born in Rome, to be called Caesar's son and, by decree-by fire and the sword, as with Mahomet, impose the new Faith on mankind....God could have chosen a still quicker way....simply have sent a whole army of His holy angels to blow their trumpets....and men would have fallen to their knees in fear and trembling...where would have been the beauty of human freedom, and the beauty of humble obedience before the Creator?

The Lord Jesus had to show as clearly as the sun four things, that man, astray and with a darkened mind, had cast into oblivion: the humble, filial obedience of man towards God, God's fatherly love towards men, the lost, kingly freedom of man and, lastly, the imperial power of God.

The Lord Jesus showed humble, filial obedience in deciding to be born as a man in the flesh. For the humiliated body of man was, to Him, a cave even more humiliating that that of Bethlehem. Furthermore, He showed His humble obedience by being born in poverty, with none of the necessities of life: into a little-known nation, in an even less-known village and of a mother completely unknown to the world. The New Adam had to heal the old Adam of disobedience and pride. The medicine was obedience and humility. This is why the Lord did not appear to the world from proud Rome but from Bethlehem, and not from the self-proclaimed divine House of Augustus but from the repentant and humble House of David.

The fatherly love of God was revealed by the Lord Jesus in His suffering with and for mankind... Man's kingly freedom over nature, over his own bodily and emotional nature as over his physical nature in the round, were shown by the Lord Jesus in His long fasts, His fearlessness in the face of all the dangers and discomforts of life, and His divine miracles, by which His total power over nature was revealed....The Lord Jesus showed God's imperial power over life and death most clearly by His own glorious Resurrection from the tomb. Excerpts from a homily on Nativity by St. Nikolai Velimirovic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2017 Newsletter

 

Liturgical Notes

The calendar month of December is completely in the Nativity Fasting period. This is a period of forty days of preparation prior to the Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. In length like Great Lent prior to Pascha, this fast is not as strict wherefore fish is allowed on weekends and special feast-days during the week. However, like Great Lent, the Nativity fast is not optional for Orthodox Christians and must be observed to the best of one's ability. There are exceptions to the rule of fasting but these must be discussed with the priest.

December 4 (Nov 21 OS) is the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos. This one of the twelve major feast-days of the liturgical year and commemorates the taking of the three year old Virgin Mary to the temple by her parents. Since the Virgin Mary was a miraculous gift to the aged parents, they decided that she would be dedicated to God. She was taken to be raised with the other virgins in the temple in Jerusalem. The young Virgin ran up the steps of the temple and as she reached the top she was met by Zacharias, the future father of Saint John the Baptist. Zacharias was a priest and was serving in the temple at this time. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and carried the young Virgin into the temple and into the Holy of Holies, the sacred place where only the high priest entered once a year. The Virgin Mary was to be the Holy of Holies as she would contain god Incarnate within her womb and carry Him in her arms. The young Virgin would be raised in the temple dedicating her life to prayer, fasting, and perpetual virginity. The angels attended her as she grew.

On December 19 (Dec 6 OS) the Church celebrates the feast-day of Saint Nicholas who is revered throughout the world as a great intercessor before God. His life may be read in the The Prologue of Orhid which is available in the church library. December 25 (Dec 12 OS) is the feast-day of Saint Herman of Alaska, one of the patron saints of our parish. Saint Herman was one of the seven initial missionaries sent to Alaska in 1794 to teach the native Alaskans Christianity. He was a wonder-worker both during his earthly life and now in his eternal life.

 

Parish Notes

We will welcome two new members into the parish this month. Margaret Elizabeth Carder will be baptized on Dec 2 at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Little Rock, AR and Nikita Daren Harrison will be baptized on Saturday, Dec 9, at 10:00AM here at All Saints. Glory be to God!

Commercialism can easily overtake the real meaning for the time of Christmas with all of the tinsel, glitter, advertising, and shopping associated with this time of year. Struggle to remember the glorious Incarnation of our Lord Jesus. We are blessed to be on the old calendar for our celebration takes us past the distraction of Western Christmas. Remember that it is also a time for sharing the wealth that God has given us with others who are less fortunate in the spirit of Saint Nicholas. This generosity can open our hearts more fully to God's greatest gift to us, His Son our Savior.

Our parish students will be enduring end of semester testing during December. May God give them strength and wisdom to do well on their tests.

There are members and friends of our parish who have special days this month:

Deacon Nicholas Olsen Dec 7 Birthday

Nicholas Gaffney Dec 7 Birthday

Andrew Sawyer Dec 13 Namesday

Deacon Nicholas Olsen Dec 19 Namesday

Nicholas Gaffney Dec 19 Namesday

Nikolai Gaffney Dec 19 Namesday

Deacon David Carder Dec 24 Namesday

Spyridon Murphy Dec 25 Namesday

 

God grant them many years!

 

From the fathers

on Charity....

Let there then be two ways of a most holy life, and let the one secure the goodness of him who practices it, but the other of his neighbor also...Hear ( from Paul) what his language is to one and to the other. “Let no man seek his own, but every man anther's wealth.) (I Cor. 10;24) ...Again, “Let every one of you please his neighbor for good to edification” ...”For even Christ did not please Himself” (Rom. 15:2.,3) ...Hear then Paul in this matter also saying, “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing” (I Cor 13:3).

St. John Chrysostom Homily 37 on Matthew 24.

 

You ask, “Must one do something?” Of course one must! And do whatever comes along-in your circle of friends and in your surroundings—and believe that this is and will be your real work. More will not be demanded of you. It is a great misconception to think, whether for the sake of heaven or, as the modernists put it, to “make one's mark on humanity,” that one must undertake great, reverberating tasks. Not at all. It is necessary only to do everything according to the commandments of God. Just what exactly? Nothing in particular-only those things which present themselves to everyone in the circumstances of life, those things which are required by every day happenings we all encounter. This is how God is. God arranges the fate of each man, and the whole course of one's life is also the work of His most gracious foreknowledge, as is , therefore, every minute and every encounter. Let's take an example: a beggar comes up to you; it is God who has brought him. What should you do? You must help him. God has brought the beggar, of course, desiring you to act toward this beggar in a manner pleasing to Him, and He watches to see what you will actually do ...If you do what is pleasing to God, you will be taking a step toward the ultimate goal, the inheritance of heaven. Generalize this occurrence, and you find that in every situation and at every encounter one must do what God wants him to do. And we know truly what He wants from the commandments He has given us. If someone seeks help, then help him. If someone has offended you, forgive him. If you yourself have offended someone, then hasten to ask forgiveness and to make peace. St. Theophan the Recluse. Letter to a Young Girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2017 Newsletter

 

Liturgical Notes

Although there are no major feast-days in this month, there are several important saints that we remember. On the calendar date of November 1 (OS Oct 19) the church celebrates the repose of Saint John of Kronstadt, one of Russia's most famous people of recent history. Saint John was born to humble parents and had a learning disability as a child. He prayed to God to help him overcome this disability and his prayers were answered. God also revealed to him that he would be a priest of His Church. He became to pre-revolutionary Russia what Saint John the Baptist was to Israel. Saint John saw what was coming upon Russia and pleaded with her people to repent and to return to Godly ways. The church where he served would be packed with so many people that an apple thrown above the crowd would not hit the floor so closely were they together. Because of his holiness, Saint John was given the gift of healing and was called to the bedside of the poor and royalty. The story of his life is available in the church library.

On November 8 (OS Oct 26) the church celebrates the feast-day of the Great Martyr Demetrios who, like the the Great Martyr George, was a Roman soldier who suffered because he would not worship the Roman idols. On November 26 (OS Nov 13) we celebrate the feast-day of Saint John Chrysostom who was one of the greatest preachers of the church. He was archbishop of Constantinople during the 4th century. Because of his God-given gift of speaking he was given the name of Chrysostom which means “golden tongue” in Greek.

Please remember that daylight savings time ends on November 5. Remember to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night and you can enjoy that extra hour of sleep that you had to give up this past spring! The Thanksgiving Holiday this year will be fast-free so that you can enjoy the traditional meals of the day. The Nativity fasting period begins on November 28 and continues until the feast-day of Nativity on January 7 (OS Dec 25).

Parish Notes

Congratulations to the Carder family and the Harrison family on the birth of their new children. Margaret Elizabeth arrived on October 21 and Nikita Harrison arrived on October 26. May God richly bless these new additions to our parish family.

Saint Tikhon while archbishop of the Orthodox Church in this country blessed a special Thanksgiving service for the American Holiday of Thanksgiving. We will be doing this service on Wednesday evening, November 23, at 6:30PM. Join us in remembering on this day the real Source of all that we are and have, and offering heartfelt thanks for such blessings.

Several of our parish members and friends have special days this month.

 

John Gawrieh Nov 1 Namesday

John Timmons Nov 1 Namesday

Ivan Murphy Nov 2 Birthday

Matrona Gaffney Nov 2 Namesday

Euphrosyne Carder Nov 6 Namesday

Theofil Carder Nov 10 Namesday

Victoria Gawrieh Nov 24 Namesday

May God them many years!

 

From the fathers

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Phil 4:6-8).

 

...in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thess 5:18).

 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Rom 8:28).

 

As long as you are on earth, consider yourself a guest in the household of Christ. If you are at table, it is He who honors you. If you breathe air, it is His air you breathe. If you bathe, it is His water you bathe in. If you travel, it is over His land that you travel. If you amass goods, it is His goods you amass. If you squander them it is His goods that you squander. If you are powerful, it is because He allows you to be strong. If you are in the company of men, you and the others are His guests. If you are out in nature, you are in His garden. If you are alone, He is present. If you set out somewhere, He sees you. If you do anything, He remembers it. He is the most considerate Householder Who ever hosted you. Be considerate then toward Him. In a good household, the guest is required to behave. These are all simple words, but they convey to you a great truth. All the saints knew this truth, and they governed their lives by it. That is why the Eternal Householder rewarded them with eternal life in heaven and with glory on earth. Prologue of Ohrid. Reflection for March 6.

 

May the above words sink deeply into our hearts and may we offer our profound appreciation and thanksgiving for our great benefits that we receive freely from All-mighty God. May we not prove to be ungrateful guests! Our forefathers in this land set aside a special holiday that we might stop from our busy doings and remember to give thanks to our Benefactor!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 2017 Newsletter

 

Liturgical Notes

 

During the calendar month of October we celebrate the repose of the Apostle John the Theologion, the author of the Gospel of John, on October 9. He is also known as the Apostle of Love since he taught of the necessity of loving one another as Christ loves us.

A secondary feast of the Mother of God occurs on Oct 14. This feast-day is known as the Protection of the Theotokos. The feast commemorates an event that happened at Constantinople in the year 911 A.D. During the reign of Emperor Leo the Wise, a large army of Saracens was preparing to attack the city to conquer it. The pious people of the city reacted to the threat by turning to prayer. They thronged to the Church of Blachernae wherein was preserved the Robe and Veil of the Mother of God. There they raised their voices to Christ the Lord, to His Mother, the all-Holy Theotokos, pleading for mercy and help against the foe. Among the believers present was St. Andrew, a Fool-for-Christ, and his disciple, St. Epiphanius. Suddenly they saw a vision of the Virgin Mary surrounded by a choir of angels, prophets and apostles. “Do you see, brother, the Queen of all praying for the peace of the world,” asked St. Andrew? “ Indeed I see, father,” answered the disciple. The Holy Virgin appeared with outstretched arms, holding a veil over the city as a sign of protection, and imploring God's mercy upon the people. The inhabitants of the city heard of this vision to the two men, and were filled with joy and hope that this was a sign of deliverance. All night they prayed in the Church, while outside The Christian army fought against the enemy. The defenders emerged with a decisive victory. Since that time the Feast of the Protection of the Most-Holy Theotokos has been celebrated in the Church.

 

Parish Notes

Father Deacon David and Euphrosyne are expecting the arrival of their third child in late October. Kenny Harrison and Anya are expecting their first child in November. Please keep them in your prayers for safe deliveries.

Our former member, Andrew Sawyer and his new wife, Kati were married during Divine Liturgy on September 24 in Pennsylvania. May God grant them a blessed married life. They will reside near Cleveland, Ohio

The manufactured home that was donated to the parish last October has been moved in place. The necessary water, power, and sewer hook-ups are pending as well as a few minor repairs. This will all cost money from the parish building fund so any donations for finishing preparation of this facility will be greatly appreciated. If anyone in the parish has appropriate extra furniture that is in good shape we can use that also. We need bedroom, dining room,and living room furniture as well as a washer and electric dryer. Look in your storage areas to see if you have extra suitable items.

Several members and friends have special days this month:

 

Kenny(Evgeny) Harrison Oct 8 Namesday

Kenny Harrison Oct 9 Birthday

Elias Gawrieh Oct 14 Birthday

Dennis Stone Oct 16 Namesday

Denis Kalinin Oct 16 Namesday

John Gawrieh Oct 21 Birthday

Tatiana Skoumbourdis Oct 22 Birthday

Matushka Paraskeva Oct 25 Birthday

Matushka Paraskeva Oct 27 Namesday

 

May God grant them many years!

 

From the fathers

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23).

Amazing again, how He has raised the Church, as though He were lifting it up by some engine. He has raised it up to a vast height, and set it on yonder throne, for where the Head is, there is the body also ...''''what is meant by 'over all things?' He has suffered neither Angel or Archangel nor any other being to be above Him. But not only in this way has He honored us, in exalting that which is of our selves, but also in that He has prepared the whole race in common to follow Him, to cleave to Him, to accompany His train ...This is so when you hear of the Head you may behold Him not only as supreme Ruler, but as Head of a body ...He introduces Him as having need of each single one of us and not only of all in common and together, for unless we be many, and one be the hand, and another the foot, and another some other member, the whole body is not complete...

If anyone were to place a diadem about our head, a crown of gold, would we not do everything so we might seem worthy of the lifeless jewels? But now it is not a diadem that is placed about our head, but-what is far greater- Christ is made our very Head, and yet we pay no regard to it. Yet Angels reverence that Head and Archangels, and all those powers above...If you are the body of Christ, bear the Cross, for He bore it; bear spitting, bear buffetings, bear nails ...that Body 'did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth' (I Pet, 2:22)...

And as many of us as partake of that Body and taste of that Blood, are partaking of that which is in no wise different from that Body, nor separate ...I observe many partaking of Christ's Body lightly ...And yet it is not the Epiphany, nor is it Lent, that makes a fit time for approaching, but it is sincerity and purity of soul. With this, approach at all times; without it never. 'For as often ...as you do this, you proclaim the Lord's death,' (I Cor. 11:26), i.e., you make a remembrance of the salvation that has been wrought for you, and of the benefits which have been bestowed...

Look, I entreat: a royal table is set before you, Angels minister at that table, the King Himself is there, and do you stand gaping? Are your garments defiled, and yet you make no account of it? - or are you clean? Then fall down and partake ...You have sung the hymns with the rest; you have declared yourself to be of the number of those who are worthy, by not departing with those who are unworthy. Why stay and yet not partake of the table? I am unworthy, you will say. Then are you also unworthy of that communion you have had in prayers? For it is not by means of the offerings only, but also by means of those canticles that the Spirit descends all around ...You are not more allowed to be here than the Catechumen is. For it is not at all the same thing never to have reached the mysteries, as it is when you have reached them, to stumble at them and despise them, and to make yourself unworthy of this thing ...So I may not then be the means of increasing your condemnation, I entreat you, not to forbear coming, but to render yourselves worthy both of being present, and of approaching ...And what then is our hope of salvation? We cannot lay it on our nature. It is indolence and nothing else that renders us unworthy. St. John Chrysostom, Homily III on Ephesians I.

 


 
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