Instructions About Church Services

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In obedience to the request of our Archbishop, only the Sunday Divine Liturgy, the Vesperal Liturgy of the Feast of Annunciation, and the Presanctified Liturgies, will remain on our parish calendars through March 29. This implies, clearly, that no other gathering or service of any sort will take place on the parish property. Please modify your online/parish calendars accordingly.
The liturgies that will be offered will be served with a minimum number of participants: only the priest (and deacon), reader, altar server, two chanters (choir members), and a greeter. All parishioners who are not on this “crew” (previously appointed by mutual agreement) should remain home.
This means that Fr. Stephen, Deacon James, Reader Ignatius (Jeff), one or two choir members, and a greeter should come on Sunday and Wednesday.
All the rest should prayerfully stay home, offering supplications for the health of our parish and the community at large.

Virus Response

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Dear Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters in Christ,

On behalf of Archbishop Alexander and the Diocese of the South administration, all parishes in our Diocese have been asked to abide by the following precautions, to prevent the further spread of Corona Virus, and to protect our elderly parishioners from harm:

1)  All parish social gatherings are cancelled until further notice, including coffee hours, parish meetings, classes, and other social events.

2)  Those who are most at risk — especially those over 60, or who have health conditions such as COPD, diabetes, asthma, etc. — are asked to stay home and not attend liturgical services until further notice.

3)  Anyone who exhibits any signs of illness — including cough, fever, congestion, etc. — should stay home and not attend church services.

4) Although icons and other items in the parish should be cleaned regularly, parishioners should take care not to kiss the surfaces of these items directly when venerating.

His Eminence would like to emphasize that the Eucharist can never be a source of disease, as it is the source of Life.  However, other basic forms of human contact may enable the spread of the virus.  Although young persons are not at great risk, even if contracting Corona Virus, we must should due diligence in not spreading it, as it disproportionately affects the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.  Christian love mandates that we take care for the sake of our brethren.

Thus, additional precautions may be taken, such as not kissing the chalice or wiping the mouth at Communion, or not offering blessed prosfora and wine (zapivka) after receiving.  These are left to the discretion of each priest.

And finally, our two Deanery events,Sunday Mission Vespers (March 15 and 22), are also cancelled.

In Christ,

Fr. Joseph Lucas

The Street Sale is cancelled. No services are cancelled.

The Church Is Not a Cruise Ship, But a Battleship

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By: Archpriest John Moses | 28 December 2019

It always surprises me when someone comes to the Orthodox faith. Given the present age, there are so many versions of Christianity on offer. Many of them are in step with the values and hopes of the culture. Some offer a path of prosperity and comfort (whether they ever deliver is another issue). Some offer helpful hints for hurtful habits and demand little more while others teach the path of positive thinking. In some, the music is rousing and contemporary, but often the theology is not intellectually demanding.

Why then would someone want to join a Faith that asks you to be regular in your attendance instead of coming when it suits you; that you fast as a lifestyle; adopt a prayer rule instead of just praying what you want and when you want; tithe instead of dropping in the box whatever you have in your pocket; study to challenge your thinking instead of believing that all you have to do is “read and heed”; attend classes to learn from others, etc.

Read more here: battleship

Elder Ephraim Reposes in the Lord

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On December 7, 2019 at approximately 10 p.m., Elder Hieromonk Ephraim of Philotheou Monastery on Mount Athos Arizona, founder of 17 monastic communities in the United States, peacefully fell asleep in the Lord at Saint Anthony Monastery in Florence, Arizona at the age of 92.

The Athonite elder, loved throughout the entire Orthodox world, also remained the spiritual father of several monasteries in Greece and on Mt. Athos, where he labored for many years as the spiritual child of the recently-canonized Elder Joseph the Hesychast and as abbot of Philotheou Monastery.

The Funeral Service for Elder Ephraim was held on Wednesday, December 11 at Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, Arizona. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America presided, along with numerous hierarchs and monastics of his Archdiocese. May his memory be eternal!  ​

 

A Simple Approach to Reading the Entire Bible

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Archpriest John Whiteford | 04 August 2019

There are some elaborate charts that tell you how you could read the Bible all the way through in one year — which if you followed, would work fine. However, I wonder how many people have ever followed such charts all the way through, because it would require that you make regular reference to the charts, and remember where you were on the chart.
On the other hand, many people simply open up the Bible at Genesis, and then get bogged down somewhere towards the end of Exodus and Leviticus, and then quit.
One method I would suggest is much simpler to follow, and if you do, you not only will read the Bible all the way through in about a year or so… but you could continue to read the Bible and get a balanced intake of the various parts of the Bible rather than hit one section that is difficult and then lose interest.

Read the rest here: Read