Newsletter-March/April 2017

Preparation for Lent

What is the purpose of a Lenten journey? Among more serious Christians that I have asked they answer “It is a time of fasting from certain foods, to keep Christ as constant reminder in our daily lives during this spirituals season. The rewards being Christ’s resurrection in which we can all participate.” I’ll admit fasting is a key way of keeping Christ in front of us as a daily reminder of spirituality. But is there more to the Lenten journey that fasting? The answer is yes.

The first lesson in preparation for Lent is Sunday of Zacchaeus. It is the story of a short man who so desperately wanted to see Jesus that he climbed up a sycamore tree to see him. Thus the first theme in our preparation for Lent through repentance is desire.

The next Sunday is the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. Here the Church develops the next major aspect of Lent through repentance is humility.

In the third Sunday in preparation for Lent is the parable of the Prodigal Son. This parable teaches us the deep desire to return, to go back, to recover and the Love of our Father which he so freely gives and which we had rejected.

On the fourth Sunday, preceding Lent we hear the gospel lesson which taught Christ’s parable of the Last Judgement. The parable of the Last Judgement is about Christian Love. Hence, this parable teaches us the meaning of Christian Love, and our accountability for it at the Last Judgement.

Lent is the liberation of our enslavement to sin, from the prison of this world. The gospel lesson for the fifth Sunday sets the conditions for that liberation. The first condition is Fasting, the refusal to accept the desires and urges of our fallen nature as normal, the effort to free ourselves from the dictatorship of the flesh over the spirit. To be effective, our fast must not be hypocritical, or a “showing off”. We must “appear not unto men to fast but to our Father who is in secret.” The second condition is forgiveness. “If you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.” The triumph of sin, the main sign of its rule over the world, is division, opposition, separation and hatred. Therefore, the first break through this fortress of sin is forgiveness. The return to unity, solidarity and love. To forgive is to put between me and my “enemy” the radiant forgiveness of God Himself. To forgive is to reject the hopeless triumph of sin, division, opposition, separation and hatred of sin that is found in human relations and to refer them to Christ. Forgiveness is truly a breakthrough of the Kingdom into this sinful fallen world.

Through these five Gospel lessons we have thus learned the meaning of repentance and more the meaning and purpose of Lent. First the desire to be near Christ. Second, humility, the way in which we try to become Christ-like into our own lives. Third, man’s return from exile. To overcome our alienation from God, our desire to return home to the Father. Fourth, we learned the meaning of Christian Love and our accountability for that love on the day of Judgement.

Finally, we learn how to become liberated from our fallen nature. Through fasting and through forgiveness we learn how to triumph over sin.

These are our tools in which we can find the meaning of Lent and how to practice it. (1) The Desire for Christ; (2) The Humility of Christ; (3) Our return from exile to Christ; (4) The Christian Love of Christ: (5) Fasting and forgiveness like Christ.

Se kale Sarakosti (To a good lent),

Fr. John

Parish News

Schedule of Service

Please notice that there are several more services scheduled leading up to Easter. Because of the additional services, we are going to need many more Prosfro than we normally do. Father John expects to use at least two a week. If you can help with making Prosfro, please get a hold of Vetta Kallas as she will be coordinating the baking of Prosfro.

Easter

Easter is drawing near at an alarming speed! Pascha is on April 16, 2017. Preparation for Holy Week as well as our annual Easter dinner will soon be underway. Please think about how you can offer your services as we prepare for this event. Most importantly, please take steps to arrange your daily schedule to be able to attend services and worship together during this most sacred and spiritual time.

For those who would like to read more about Great Lent as well as our journey through Christ’s Passion and Pascha, here is a link to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website: www.goarch.org/ourfaith/pascha.

Tickets for the dinner will be available for purchase beginning March 22th. They will be available at church or by calling Jenny Gaviotis at 389-3416. Dine-in seating is limited to 122 people. We will give parish members the first opportunity to purchase tickets; however, ticket sales will be opened to the public on April 5th. We are also offering 15 take-out tickets. ALL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE! There will not be any tickets available at the door! To obtain an accurate count for food purchase, sales will STOP on April April 10th and no more tickets will be sold after this date. All tickets must be paid for before April 10th. We will not be making any exception to this rule as it makes it very difficult for our cooks and preparation committee. Prices are $25.00 per adult; children from 6-12 years old are $10.00 and children 5 and under are free. When purchasing tickets please advise if you have children 5 & under attending as they must be counted in our seating total. PLEASE GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY!! We cannot stress enough that if you have not purchased your tickets by the deadline, you will not be able to attend the dinner.

There is a ton of work and several activities that will require everyone’s participation to make this Holy Week and Pascha celebration a success! Please give careful consideration as to how you can help! We need people to help with giving the church a really good cleaning upstairs and downstairs. We will do this on Lazarus Saturday when we have completed the palm crosses. We need help with chanters, altar boys, readers, food prep (Friday, April 14th and Saturday, April 15th, times TBA), and set-up of the church hall for the dinner (Friday, April 14th, time TBA).

Future Fundraisers

We are participating in International Day again this year on Saturday, July 8th. Please start planning now as to how you can help. This is a huge undertaking and with everyone’s involvement we can, again, make this a very successful event.

We are also looking at possibly serving food at Rods and Rails. We will share those details as information becomes available.


March 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017
1st Salutation to the Theotokos 6:00 pm

Sunday, March 5, 2017
Orthros 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Wednesday, March 8. 2017
Presanctified Liturgy 6:00 pm

Friday, March 10, 2017
2nd Salutation to the Theotokos 6:00 pm

Sunday, March 12, 2017
Orthros 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Presanctified Liturgy 6:00 pm

Friday, March 17, 2017
3rd Salutation to the Theotokos 6:00 pm

Sunday, March 19, 2017
Orthros 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Presanctified Liturgy 6:00 pm

Friday, March 24, 2017
4th Salutation to the Theotokos 6:00 pm

Saturday, March 25, 2017
Annunciation of Archangel Gabriel To
the Virgin Mary

Orthros 9:00 am Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Sunday, March 26, 2017
Orthros 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Presanctified Liturgy 6:00 pm

Friday, March 31, 2017
Akathist Hymn 6:00 pm


April 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017
Orthros 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Saturday, April 8, 2017
Lazarus Saturday
Orthros 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
Fold Crosses, Decorate Upstairs, Cleaning

Sunday, April 9, 2017
Palm Sunday Orthros 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
Lenten Pot Luck

Watch for Special Holy Week Service Calendar to be mailed to all Parish Members

April 16, 2017
Great and Holy Pascha
Agape Service 4:00pm

April 23, 2017
Orthros 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

April 30, 2017
Orthros 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

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