Weekly Sunday Bulletin – October 25th, 2020

Dear Parishioners and friends of St. Demetrios Church,

As the New Ecclesiastical year unfolds, we would like to wish to you and your family joy, happiness and health.

We invite you to celebrate with us the Feast Day of our Patron Saint, St. Demetrios, on Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 7:00 PM.  His Grace Bishop Sevastianos will be officiating, assisted by area Clergy.

On Monday morning, October 26, Orthros and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be held at 9:00 AM officiated by His Grace Bishop Sevastianos. 

We hope to see you and your families at our Patron Saint Celebration and welcome you to The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Demetrios.  We would be honored by your presence. 

In anticipation of your presence, I remain,

In Christ,

 † Rev. Fr. Panagiotis Zougras

     Ieratikos Proistamenos

 


October 25, 2020~ 6th Sunday of Luke

 

 

Saint Tabitha the Widow
Commemorated on October 25

 

Saint Tabitha, the widow raised from the dead by the Apostle Peter, was a virtuous and kindly woman who belonged to the Christian community in Joppa. Being grievously ill, she suddenly died. At the time, the Apostle Peter was preaching at Lydda, not far from Joppa. Messengers were sent to him with an urgent request for help. When the Apostle arrived at Joppa, Tabitha was already dead. On bended knee, Saint Peter made a fervent prayer to the Lord. Then he went to the bed and called out, “Tabitha, get up!” She arose, completely healed (Acts 9:36). Saint Tabitha is considered the patron saint of tailors and seamstresses, since she was known for sewing coats and other garments (Acts 9:39).

 

 

The Holy Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius the Notaries
Commemorated on October 25

 

These Martyrs were disciples of Saint Paul the Confessor (see Nov. 6). Martyrius was a subdeacon, Marcian a chanter and reader. They were beheaded by the Arians in the year 346. Miracles were wrought at their tomb, and demons were cast out; Saint John Chrysostom began the building of the church in their honour in Constantinople, and it was completed by patriarch Sisinius.

 

 

The Holy Great Martyr Demetrios the Myrrh-streamer
Commemorated on October 26

 

Saint Demetrios was a Thessalonian, a most pious son of pious and noble parents, and a teacher of the Faith of Christ. When Maximian first came to Thessalonica in 290, he raised the Saint to the rank of Duke of Thessaly. But when it was discovered that the Saint was a Christian, he was arrested and kept bound in a bath-house. While the games were under way in the city, Maximian was a spectator there. A certain friend of his, a barbarian who was a notable wrestler, Lyaeus by name, waxing haughty because of the height and strength of his body, boasted in the stadium and challenged the citizens to a contest with him. All that fought with him were defeated. Seeing this, a certain youth named Nestor, aquaintance of Demetrios’, came to the Saint in the bath-house and asked his blessing to fight Lyaeus single-handed. Receiving this blessing and sealing himself with the sign of the precious Cross, he presented himself in the stadium, and said, “O God of Demetrios, help me!” and straightway he engaged Lyaeus in combat and smote him with a mortal blow to the heart, leaving the former boaster lifeless upon the earth. Maximian was sorely grieved over this, and when he learned who was the cause of this defeat, he commanded straightway and Demetrios was pierced with lances while he was yet in the bath-house, As for Nestor, Maximian commanded that he be slain with his own sword.

 


 

Liturgical Guide

 

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Third Mode
Εὐφραινέσθω τὰ οὐράνια...
Let the Heavens rejoice; let earthly things be glad; for the Lord hath wrought might with His arm, He hath trampled upon death by death. The first-born of the dead hath He become. From the belly of Hades hath He delivered us, and hath granted great mercy to the world.

Apolytikion for Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius in the Fourth Mode
Οι Μάρτυρές σου, Κύριε
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Apolytikion of St. Demetrios in the Third Mode
Μέγαν εύρατο εv τοίς κιvδύvοις …
Greatness has been found in danger.  You are champion of the world.  A victor who could turn the nations back.  You boldly encouraged Nestor to defeat Lyaeus in the arena.  Therefore, holy great martyr Demetrios, intercede with Christ our God, to grant us His great mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Second Mode 
Προστασία τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀκαταίσχυντε…

O Protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the creator most constant: O despise not the voices of those who have sinned; but be quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession and speed thou to make supplication, O thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.

Prokeimenon. Third Mode. Psalm 46.6,1.
Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
Verse: Clap your hands, all you nations.

The reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 1:11-19

Brethren, I would have you know that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it; and I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.

The Reading is from Luke 8:26-39

At that time, as Jesus arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, there met him a man from the city who had demons; for a long time he had worn no clothes and he lived not in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beseech you, do not torment me.” For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him; he was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters, but he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them leave. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. When the herdsmen saw what happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how he who had been possessed with demons was healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked him to depart from them; for they were seized with great fear; so he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but he sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

 

Memorial Prayer

 

Danielle Kavgic (6 days) survived by her father George Kavgic.

 

Trisagion Prayer

Diane Jablansky (10 days) survived by her parents John and Patricia Jablansky.

Donald Kavgic (2 years) survived by his father George Kavgic.

Diamantina (Diane) Zitis (6 years) survived by her children, Charlotte, Andrea, Paul, Cynthia, and Karyl.

Bessie Kareotes (10 years) survived by her son Peter Kareotes.

Darren Kavgic (18 years) survived by his father George Kavgic.

Kostandinos (Gus) Zitis (26 years) survived by his children, Charlotte, Andrea, Paul, Cynthia, and Karyl.

Constantine Lycouris survived by his son, Stephen, and by his grandsons Alexander and Constantine.


 

Schedule of Church Services

 

  • 10/25 Sunday:  9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy
  • 10/25 Sunday:  7pm Great Vespers on the Eve of the Feast Day of St. Demetrios
  • 10/26 Monday: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy for the Feast Day of St. Demetrios

Also, we are live streaming our services.
Visit https://stdemetrios.org/ where a link to the broadcast will be found.

 


 

Stewardship Year 2020

 

Thank you to our parishioners who have renewed their stewardship for pledge year 2020.

The pledge year runs from January 1st through December 31st.

To pledge visit https://stdemetrios.org/our-parish/stewardship/stewardship-form/ and choose “Stewardship” from the drop down menu.  If you have already pledged and wish to make a donation towards your pledge visit https://stdemetrios.org/make-a-donation/

 


 

Announcements

 

Philoptochos service project
All citizens have the right to vote and be sure that their ballot won’t be lost or delivered too late to be counted. But voting is difficult for some of our elders who have no one to take their ballots to the ballot box if they don’t wish to mail them. Philoptochos wants to help.  If you can be a driver to pick up and deliver ballots from your area of Broward County to one of the early-voting secure ballot box sites, contact Juanita Antley, 954-257-7843, as soon as possible. If you need help casting your ballot or know someone who does, call Juanita.  ( Be sure to leave a message if she does not answer.)

 


 

Philoptochos
We hope all women will become members of Philoptochos and help us do the Church’s good works.   Join or pay 2021 dues online at https://ladies-philoptochos-of-st-demetrios.square.site/ or send a check payable to Ladies Philoptochos, c/o Philoptochos, St. Demetrios, 820 NE 14th St. Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304

 


 

 

Philoptochos Holiday Bake sale:
See the attached flyer to order your Christmas goodies and New Year’s Vasilopita now.  Make your check payable to Ladies Philoptochos or buy online at https://ladies-philoptochos-of-st-demetrios.square.site/.  Email philoptochos@st.demetrios.org with questions, or call Paula Kirifides 954-240-2896.


 


 

College student address request
Our college students are setting off on a new school year. If you have a child, grandchild or Godchild in college, please email the name and college address to philoptochos@st.demetrios.org Help us make sure they know that St. Demetrios loves them and prays for them.  We’ll be sending College Care Boxes soon.

 


 

 


 

 

Light a Candle & Say a Prayer at Saint Demetrios

“It is impossible to imagine an Orthodox church in which candles are not lit.”
(Blessed Simeon of Thessalonica, 15th Century) 

 

“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) 

We know that at this time it can be difficult to pray from home and not physically be in the church. One of the first things most people do upon entering an Orthodox Church is to light their candle and offer prayers for one’s personal needs or that of a family member or friend, we also light candles to pray for protection and safety so that we may live this life without fear.

If you wish to light a candle, visit https://saintdemetrios.square.site After you select the candle(s) that you would like us to light and before pressing the “Place Order” button, please submit the names of your loved ones, those who are alive and/or those who have departed this life. During these times we would be happy to light the candle for you and read the names that have been submitted during the Divine Liturgy.

 


 

Dear St. Demetrios Family,

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Ft. Lauderdale is open to the faithful.  We are complying with all CDC, State, Local and Archdiocese guidelines.  Here is the list of things that will be taking place on Sundays.

1)  Everyone must wear a mask in order to enter the church.
2)  Before entering the church, the temperature of each person will be taken by a designated person. If the person’s temperature is above 100.4 F he or she will be kindly asked to return to their home, both for their safety and the safety of others.
3) Parish Council will direct each parishioner to the designated X in the pews for each person or household to sit starting in the front of the church and working their way to back.
4) A place to accept offerings will be provided in the Narthex upon entering or leaving.
5) Parishioners are not to move around the church during the services to light candles or venerate icons.
6) Names and phone numbers of each attendee at every service will be taken in the event that a subsequent infection requires tracing.
7) If you have any symptoms of coronavirus, COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell), you must NOT attend church, and immediately seek medical attention for yourself and your household.
8) Parishioners who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by civil authorities are given dispensation not to attend services and will be asked to refrain from attending.
9) In terms of preventing the spread of this virus, we ask parishioners to follow CDC directives, which currently include: washing of hands thoroughly and frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding sharing personal items, wearing a mask, and maintaining a social distance of six feet.
10) Honor is to be shown to Holy Icons and the Holy Cross by only doing your cross and bowing, keeping in mind not to kiss or to touch the Holy Icons and the Holy Cross.
11) No one is to enter the Holy Altar except the clergy and assigned adult helpers.
12) For Memorials, please write the names of your deceased for the clergy to pray for their souls (without Koliva).
13) Artoclasias will be celebrated as normal.
14) No service books will be left out for common use. This includes papers of any kind (bulletins etc.). Parishioners are encouraged to bring their own service books.
15) During Holy Communion – Communicants must line up row by row (with help from Parish Council) and remain six feet apart using the designated social distancing X’s that have been placed in the church.  Communicants may remove their masks only momentarily to receive Holy Communion.
16)  For the continued safety of those attending church services in person, parishioners should immediately leave when the service is finished. For the sake of others, please do not socialize in the Narthex or other areas of the church or its surrounding buildings or parking lots. Additionally, Sunday Coffee Fellowship hours will be suspended until further notice.

Yours In Christ,
Fr. Peter Zougras

 

Weekly Sunday Bulletin – October 18th, 2020

 

October 18, 2020~ Luke the Evangelist

 

 

This Apostle was an Antiochean, a physician by trade, and a disciple and companion of Paul. He wrote his Gospel in Greek after Matthew and Mark, after which he wrote the Acts of the Apostles, and dedicated both works to Theophilus, who, according to some, was Governor of Achaia. He lived some eighty-six years and died in Achaia, perhaps in Patras, the capital of this district. His emblem is the calf, the third symbolical beast mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), which is a symbol of Christ’s sacrificial and priestly office, as Saint Irenaeus says.

 


 

Liturgical Guide

 

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Second Mode
τε κατλθες πρς τν θνατον…
When Thou didst descend unto death, O Life Immortal, then didst Thou slay Hades with the lightning of Thy Divinity. And when Thou didst also raise the dead out of the nethermost depths, all the powers in the Heavens cried out: O Life-giver, Christ our God, glory be to Thee.

Apolytikion for Luke the Evangelist in the Third Mode
Απόστολε Άγιε, καί Ευαγγελιστά Λουκά…
O Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Apolytikion of St. Demetrios in the Third Mode
Μέγαν εύρατο εv τοίς κιvδύvοις …
Greatness has been found in danger.  You are champion of the world.  A victor who could turn the nations back.  You boldly encouraged Nestor to defeat Lyaeus in the arena.  Therefore, holy great martyr Demetrios, intercede with Christ our God, to grant us His great mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Second Mode 
Προστασία τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀκαταίσχυντε…

O Protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the creator most constant: O despise not the voices of those who have sinned; but be quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession and speed thou to make supplication, O thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.

Prokeimenon. Plagal Fourth Mode. Psalm 18.4,1.
Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

The reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians  4:5-11, 14-18

Brethren, conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one. Tychicos will tell you all about my affairs; he is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimos, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of yourselves. They will tell you of everything that has taken place. Aristarchos my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions if he comes to you, receive him), and Jesus who is called Justos. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brethren at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippos, “See that you fulfill the ministry which you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my fetters. Grace be with you. Amen.

The Reading is from Luke 10:16-21

The Lord said to his disciples, “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.”

 

Memorial Prayer

 

Panagiota Philippidou (40 days) survived by her daughter Marianthe and son Demitri, and her grandson Constantinos Barth.

Kallie Xenakis (1 year) survived by her son Demetrios.

 

Trisagion Prayer

 

Kyriakoula Lambiri (6 years) survived by her daughters Ioanna Lambiri (Evagelos Andriotakis), Angeliki Stringos, and Petroula Papastavrou, 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

Thomas Loucas (9 years)  Survived by his wife, Athena, children & grandchildren.

Emmanouil, Georgios, Nikolaos, Emmanouil, Anna survived by the Lambiris, Andriotakis, Stringos, and Papastavrou families.

 


 

Schedule of Church Services

 

  • 10/18  Sunday: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy
  • 10/25 Sunday:  9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy
  • 10/25 Sunday:  7pm Great Vespers on the Eve of the Feast Day of St. Demetrios
  • 10/26 Monday: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy for the Feast Day of St. Demetrios

Also, we are live streaming our services.
Visit https://stdemetrios.org/ where a link to the broadcast will be found.\

 


 

Stewardship Year 2020

 

Thank you to our parishioners who have renewed their stewardship for pledge year 2020.

The pledge year runs from January 1st through December 31st.

To pledge visit https://stdemetrios.org/our-parish/stewardship/stewardship-form/ and choose “Stewardship” from the drop down menu.  If you have already pledged and wish to make a donation towards your pledge visit https://stdemetrios.org/make-a-donation/

 


 

Announcements

 

Philoptochos service project
All citizens have the right to vote and be sure that their ballot won’t be lost or delivered too late to be counted. But voting is difficult for some of our elders who have no one to take their ballots to the ballot box if they don’t wish to mail them. Philoptochos wants to help.  If you can be a driver to pick up and deliver ballots from your area of Broward County to one of the early-voting secure ballot box sites, contact Juanita Antley, 954-257-7843, as soon as possible. If you need help casting your ballot or know someone who does, call Juanita before October 23.  ( Be sure to leave a message if she does not answer.) We will adhere to these deadlines, to ensure that ballots are delivered in plenty of time.

 


 

Pencil Pouches
The Daughters of Penelope would like to thank everyone who donated to make our District Challenge a success!  We made 300 Pencil Pouches for Bennett Elementary in Ft Lauderdale including a face mask and mini hand sanitizer for each student!  Thank you to our Sisters and our GOYA for making the pouches!

 

   

 


 

Philoptochos Holiday Bake sale:
See the attached flyer to order your Christmas goodies and New Year’s Vasilopita now.  Make your check payable to Ladies Philoptochos or buy online at https://ladies-philoptochos-of-st-demetrios.square.site/.  Email philoptochos@st.demetrios.org with questions, or call Paula Kirifides 954-240-2896.


 


 

College student address request
Our college students are setting off on a new school year. If you have a child, grandchild or Godchild in college, please email the name and college address to philoptochos@st.demetrios.org Help us make sure they know that St. Demetrios loves them and prays for them.  We’ll be sending College Care Boxes soon.

 


 

College Care Boxes 2020-2021   
Philoptochos is collecting for College Care Boxes 2020-21 for our college students. They will be mailed out twice this school year, so the list below covers both boxes.  If you would like to help us remind our college students that we love and care about them, please donate an item listed or donate any amount online at: https://ladies-philoptochos-of-st-demetrios.square.site/ (Select College Care Boxes) Please write checks to Ladies Philoptochos and mail checks to: St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, College Care Boxes, 820 NE 14th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

We are trying to keep the element of surprise, so if you have any questions about what an item is, please email  philoptochos@stdemetrios.org

If you would like to donate an actual item, there are 30 students.  Please contact philoptochos@st.demetrios.org  to coordinate.

 


 

Light a Candle & Say a Prayer at Saint Demetrios

“It is impossible to imagine an Orthodox church in which candles are not lit.”
(Blessed Simeon of Thessalonica, 15th Century) 

 

“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) 

We know that at this time it can be difficult to pray from home and not physically be in the church. One of the first things most people do upon entering an Orthodox Church is to light their candle and offer prayers for one’s personal needs or that of a family member or friend, we also light candles to pray for protection and safety so that we may live this life without fear.

If you wish to light a candle, visit https://saintdemetrios.square.site After you select the candle(s) that you would like us to light and before pressing the “Place Order” button, please submit the names of your loved ones, those who are alive and/or those who have departed this life. During these times we would be happy to light the candle for you and read the names that have been submitted during the Divine Liturgy.

 


 

Dear St. Demetrios Family,

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Ft. Lauderdale is open to the faithful.  We are complying with all CDC, State, Local and Archdiocese guidelines.  Here is the list of things that will be taking place on Sundays.

1)  Everyone must wear a mask in order to enter the church.
2)  Before entering the church, the temperature of each person will be taken by a designated person. If the person’s temperature is above 100.4 F he or she will be kindly asked to return to their home, both for their safety and the safety of others.
3) Parish Council will direct each parishioner to the designated X in the pews for each person or household to sit starting in the front of the church and working their way to back.
4) A place to accept offerings will be provided in the Narthex upon entering or leaving.
5) Parishioners are not to move around the church during the services to light candles or venerate icons.
6) Names and phone numbers of each attendee at every service will be taken in the event that a subsequent infection requires tracing.
7) If you have any symptoms of coronavirus, COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell), you must NOT attend church, and immediately seek medical attention for yourself and your household.
8) Parishioners who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by civil authorities are given dispensation not to attend services and will be asked to refrain from attending.
9) In terms of preventing the spread of this virus, we ask parishioners to follow CDC directives, which currently include: washing of hands thoroughly and frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding sharing personal items, wearing a mask, and maintaining a social distance of six feet.
10) Honor is to be shown to Holy Icons and the Holy Cross by only doing your cross and bowing, keeping in mind not to kiss or to touch the Holy Icons and the Holy Cross.
11) No one is to enter the Holy Altar except the clergy and assigned adult helpers.
12) For Memorials, please write the names of your deceased for the clergy to pray for their souls (without Koliva).
13) Artoclasias will be celebrated as normal.
14) No service books will be left out for common use. This includes papers of any kind (bulletins etc.). Parishioners are encouraged to bring their own service books.
15) During Holy Communion – Communicants must line up row by row (with help from Parish Council) and remain six feet apart using the designated social distancing X’s that have been placed in the church.  Communicants may remove their masks only momentarily to receive Holy Communion.
16)  For the continued safety of those attending church services in person, parishioners should immediately leave when the service is finished. For the sake of others, please do not socialize in the Narthex or other areas of the church or its surrounding buildings or parking lots. Additionally, Sunday Coffee Fellowship hours will be suspended until further notice.

Yours In Christ,
Fr. Peter Zougras

Weekly Sunday Bulletin – October 11th, 2020

October 11, 2020~ Sunday of the 7th Ecumenical Council  

Liturgical Guide

 

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the First Mode
Το λθου σφραγισθντος π τν ουδαων…
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews and the soldiers were guarding Thine immaculate Body, Thou didst arise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life unto the world. Wherefore, the powers of the Heavens cried out to Thee, O Lifegiver: Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ. Glory to Thy Kingdom. Glory to Thy dispensation, O only Friend of man.

Apolytikion for Sun. of the 7th Ecumenical Council in the Plagal Fourth Mode
περδεδοξασμνος ε, Χριστ Θες μν… 
Most glorified art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast established our Fathers as luminous stars upon the earth, and through them didst guide us all to the true Faith. O Most Merciful One, glory be to Thee.

Apolytikion of St. Demetrios in the Third Mode
Μέγαν εύρατο εv τοίς κιvδύvοις …

Greatness has been found in danger.  You are champion of the world.  A victor who could turn the nations back.  You boldly encouraged Nestor to defeat Lyaeus in the arena.  Therefore, holy great martyr Demetrios, intercede with Christ our God, to grant us His great mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Second Mode 
Προστασία τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀκαταίσχυντε…

O Protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the creator most constant: O despise not the voices of those who have sinned; but be quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession and speed thou to make supplication, O thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.

 

Prokeimenon. Fourth Mode. Daniel 3.26,27.
Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
Verse: For you are just in all you have done.

 

The reading is from St. Paul’s Second Letter to Titus 3:8-15

Titus, my son, the saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned. When I send Artemas or Tychicos to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful.  All who are with me send greeting to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Sunday of the 7th Ecumenical Council
The Reading is from Luke 8:5-15

The Lord said this parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold.” And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.” As he said these things, he cried out “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

 

Trisagion Prayer

Antonia Thermis (70 years) the mother of Mitchell James and Sophia Thermis, the grandmother and great grandmother of 5 generations.

 

 


 

Baby Blessing

John and Erin Haralambis present Eleanor for the traditional 40 day blessing.

 

 


 

 

Sunday of the 7th Ecumenical Council

On the Sunday that falls on or immediately after the eleventh of this month, we chant the Service to the 350 holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, which gathered in Nicaea in 787 under the holy Patriarch Tarasius and during the reign of the Empress Irene and her son, Constantine Porphyrogenitus, to refute the Iconoclast heresy, which had received imperial support beginning with the Edict issued in 726 by Emperor Leo the Isaurian. Many of the holy Fathers who condemned Iconoclasm at this holy Council later died as Confessors and Martyrs for the holy Icons during the second assult of Iconoclasm in the ninth century, especially during the reigns of Leo the Armenian and Theophilus.

 

 

Philip the Apostle of the 70, one of the 7 Deacons

Saint Philip, who had four daughters that prophesied, was from Caesarea of Palestine. He preached throughout Samaria; it was he also who met the eunuch of Candace, the Queen of the Ethiopians, as the eunuch was reading the Prophet Esaias, and he instructed and baptized him (Acts 8:26-39). He reposed in Tralles of Asia Minor while preaching the Gospel.

 

 

Theophanes the Confessor, Bishop of Nicaea

Saint Theophanes, the brother of Saint Theodore the Branded, was a Palestinian by race. Both were monks at the Monastery of Saint Sabbas. They were called “the Branded” because Theophilus, the last of the Iconoclast emperors, had twelve iambic verses branded by hot irons on their foreheads and then sent them into exile, where Theodore died in the year 838. After the death of Theophilus in 842, Theophanes was elected Bishop of Nicaea. Both brothers composed many canons and hymns, thereby adorning the services of the Church.

 



Schedule of Church Services

  • 10/11   Sunday: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy

Also, we are live streaming our services.
Visit https://stdemetrios.org/ where a link to the broadcast will be found.

 



Stewardship Year 2020

 

Thank you to our parishioners who have renewed their stewardship for pledge year 2020.

The pledge year runs from January 1st through December 31st.

To pledge visit https://stdemetrios.org/our-parish/stewardship/stewardship-form/ and choose “Stewardship” from the drop down menu.  If you have already pledged and wish to make a donation towards your pledge visit https://stdemetrios.org/make-a-donation/

 



Announcements

 

Philoptochos service project
All citizens have the right to vote and be sure that their ballot won’t be lost or delivered too late to be counted. But voting is difficult for some of our elders who have no one to take their ballots to the ballot box if they don’t wish to mail them. Philoptochos wants to help.  If you can be a driver to pick up and deliver ballots from your area of Broward County to one of the early-voting secure ballot box sites, contact Juanita Antley, 954-257-7843, as soon as possible. If you need help casting your ballot or know someone who does, call Juanita before October 23.  ( Be sure to leave a message if she does not answer.) We will adhere to these deadlines, to ensure that ballots are delivered in plenty of time.

 


 

Pencil Pouches for Kids
The Daughters of Penelope are making “Pencil Pouches for Kids” for the students at Bennett Elementary School where our Sister Danielle Smith is the principal. We appreciate a minimum donation of $ 10.00 or any of the following supplies. Items needed are Safety scissors, washable markers, # 2 pencils, pencil sharpeners, glue sticks, erasers, Crayola (24 count) crayons, children’s face mask, mini hand sanitizer, small packets of tissues. Contact Judie Pappas 954 849-5859 or any member of the Daughters of Penelope for additional information.  Monetary donations may be payable to Narcissus Chapter 289 and mailed to DOP c/o Demetrios, 820 NE 14th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33304.

 


 

ZOOM BINGO – Friday October 16th 7:30 pm.   
The Daughters of Penelope are hosting a Virtual Bingo game via Zoom for the Community of St. Demetrios,   2 cards for $ 5.00 additional cards can be purchased at the same price. Must register and pay by October 12th to receive your bingo cards by email Please include your email address. Payable to DOP Chapter 289 c/o St. Demetrios Church 820 NE 14th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33304. Contact Judie Pappas 954 849-5859 or email jpappas34@yahoo.com for further information.  All proceeds will be donated to the church.


 



College student address request

Our college students are setting off on a new school year. If you have a child, grandchild or Godchild in college, please email the name and college address to philoptochos@st.demetrios.org Help us make sure they know that St. Demetrios loves them and prays for them.  We’ll be sending College Care Boxes soon.

 



College Care Boxes 2020-2021  
 
Philoptochos is collecting for College Care Boxes 2020-21 for our college students. They will be mailed out twice this school year, so the list below covers both boxes.  If you would like to help us remind our college students that we love and care about them, please donate an item listed or donate any amount online at: https://ladies-philoptochos-of-st-demetrios.square.site/ (Select College Care Boxes) Please write checks to Ladies Philoptochos and mail checks to: St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, College Care Boxes, 820 NE 14th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

We are trying to keep the element of surprise, so if you have any questions about what an item is, please email  philoptochos@stdemetrios.org

If you would like to donate an actual item, there are 30 students.  Please contact philoptochos@st.demetrios.org  to coordinate.


 

Light a Candle & Say a Prayer at Saint Demetrios

“It is impossible to imagine an Orthodox church in which candles are not lit.”
(Blessed Simeon of Thessalonica, 15th Century)

 

“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) 

We know that at this time it can be difficult to pray from home and not physically be in the church. One of the first things most people do upon entering an Orthodox Church is to light their candle and offer prayers for one’s personal needs or that of a family member or friend, we also light candles to pray for protection and safety so that we may live this life without fear.

If you wish to light a candle, visit https://saintdemetrios.square.site After you select the candle(s) that you would like us to light and before pressing the “Place Order” button, please submit the names of your loved ones, those who are alive and/or those who have departed this life. During these times we would be happy to light the candle for you and read the names that have been submitted during the Divine Liturgy.

 


 

Dear St. Demetrios Family,

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Ft. Lauderdale is open to the faithful.  We are complying with all CDC, State, Local and Archdiocese guidelines.  Here is the list of things that will be taking place on Sundays.

1)  Everyone must wear a mask in order to enter the church.

2)  Before entering the church, the temperature of each person will be taken by a designated person. If the person’s temperature is above 100.4 F he or she will be kindly asked to return to their home, both for their safety and the safety of others.

3) Parish Council will direct each parishioner to the designated X in the pews for each person or household to sit starting in the front of the church and working their way to back.

4) A place to accept offerings will be provided in the Narthex upon entering or leaving.

5) Parishioners are not to move around the church during the services to light candles or venerate icons.

6) Names and phone numbers of each attendee at every service will be taken in the event that a subsequent infection requires tracing.

7) If you have any symptoms of coronavirus, COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell), you must NOT attend church, and immediately seek medical attention for yourself and your household.

8) Parishioners who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by civil authorities are given dispensation not to attend services and will be asked to refrain from attending.

9) In terms of preventing the spread of this virus, we ask parishioners to follow CDC directives, which currently include: washing of hands thoroughly and frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding sharing personal items, wearing a mask, and maintaining a social distance of six feet.

10) Honor is to be shown to Holy Icons and the Holy Cross by only doing your cross and bowing, keeping in mind not to kiss or to touch the Holy Icons and the Holy Cross.

11) No one is to enter the Holy Altar except the clergy and assigned adult helpers.

12) For Memorials, please write the names of your deceased for the clergy to pray for their souls (without Koliva).

13) Artoclasias will be celebrated as normal.

14) No service books will be left out for common use. This includes papers of any kind (bulletins etc.). Parishioners are encouraged to bring their own service books.

15) During Holy Communion – Communicants must line up row by row (with help from Parish Council) and remain six feet apart using the designated social distancing X’s that have been placed in the church.  Communicants may remove their masks only momentarily to receive Holy Communion.

16)  For the continued safety of those attending church services in person, parishioners should immediately leave when the service is finished. For the sake of others, please do not socialize in the Narthex or other areas of the church or its surrounding buildings or parking lots. Additionally, Sunday Coffee Fellowship hours will be suspended until further notice.

Yours In Christ,
Fr. Peter Zougras

Weekly Sunday Bulletin – October 4th, 2020


October 4, 2020~ 1st  Sunday of Luke

Liturgical Guide

 

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal 4th Mode
ξ ψους κατλθες εσπλαγχνος…
From on high didst Thou descend, O Compassionate One; to burial of three days hast Thou submitted that Thou mightest free us from our passions. O our Life and Resurrection, Lord, glory be to Thee.

Apolytikion of St. Demetrios in the Third Mode
Μέγαν εύρατο εv τοίς κιvδύvοις …

Greatness has been found in danger.  You are champion of the world.  A victor who could turn the nations back.  You boldly encouraged Nestor to defeat Lyaeus in the arena.  Therefore, holy great martyr Demetrios, intercede with Christ our God, to grant us His great mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Second Mode 
Προστασία τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀκαταίσχυντε…

O Protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the creator most constant: O despise not the voices of those who have sinned; but be quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession and speed thou to make supplication, O thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.

Prokeimenon. Plagal Fourth Mode. Psalm 75.11,1.
Make your vows to the Lord our God and perform them.
Verse: God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.

The reading is from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:16-18; 7:1

Brethren, you are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”  Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.
2nd Sunday of Luke
The Gospel Reading is from Luke 6:31-36

The Lord said, “As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Memorial Prayer

Maria Papastamatis (40 days) survived by her husband George, son Michael, son Alexander (Maria), and granddaughter Christina.

Dobri Petrov Penev (9 years) survived by his daughter Aneta Peneva – Zlateva.

Catherine Lycouris survived by her son Stephen and her grandsons Alexander and Constantine.

 


 

 

Hierotheus, Bishop of Athens
October 04

According to some, Hierotheus, like Saint Dionysius, was a member of the court of Mars Hill. Having first been instructed in the Faith of Christ by Paul, he became Bishop of Athens. He, in turn, initiated the divine Dionysius more perfectly into the mysteries of Christ; the latter, on his part, elaborated more clearly and distinctly Hierotheus’ concise and summary teachings concerning the Faith. He too was brought miraculously by the power of the Holy Spirit to be present at the Dormition of the Theotokos, when, together with the sacred Apostles, he became a leader of the divine hymnody. “He was wholly transported, wholly outside himself and was so deeply absorbed in communion with the sacred things he celebrated in hymnology, that to all who heard him and saw him and knew him, and yet knew him not, he seemed to be inspired of God, a divine hymnographer,” as Dionysius says (On the Divine Names, 3:2). Having lived in a manner pleasing to God, he reposed in the Lord.

 



Schedule of Church Services

  • 10/4   Sunday: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy

Also, we are live streaming our services.
Visit https://stdemetrios.org/ where a link to the broadcast will be found.

 



Stewardship Year 2020

 

Thank you to our parishioners who have renewed their stewardship for pledge year 2020.

The pledge year runs from January 1st through December 31st.

To pledge visit https://stdemetrios.org/our-parish/stewardship/stewardship-form/ and choose “Stewardship” from the drop down menu.  If you have already pledged and wish to make a donation towards your pledge visit https://stdemetrios.org/make-a-donation/

 



Announcements

 

A “Thank You” To Our Church Musicians

This Sunday we celebrate National Church Music Sunday.  It is a day set aside across our entire Archdiocese to commemorate the dedicated and talented women and men in our congregation whose stewardship provides music for our liturgical services throughout the year.

The ministry of music is an essential part of our religious life.  Through our hymns, we worship the Lord, our God-we give thanks, we ask for blessings, we renew our faith, and we express the joy of Orthodox Christian fellowship.

When you see our chanters, Alex, Vassilis, Athena, and Mona, please tell them how much you appreciate their gift to our parish.

 



Youth Programs and the Greek School at St. Demetrios

  • Watch your email for details to register for the youth programs.
  • The Greek School classes for children and adults commenced on Monday, September 21.  Kindly contact Dr. Stavroula Christodoulou at isapaul@aol.com for additional information.

 



Philoptochos service project

All citizens have the right to vote and be sure that their ballot won’t be lost or delivered too late to be counted. But voting is difficult for some of our elders who have no one to take their ballots to the ballot box if they don’t wish to mail them. Philoptochos wants to help.  If you can be a driver to pick up and deliver ballots from your area of Broward County to one of the early-voting secure ballot box sites, contact Juanita Antley, 954-257-7843, as soon as possible. If you need help casting your ballot or know someone who does, call Juanita before October 23.  ( Be sure to leave a message if she does not answer.) We will adhere to these deadlines, to ensure that ballots are delivered in plenty of time.

 



Pencil Pouches for Kids

The Daughters of Penelope are making “Pencil Pouches for Kids” for the students at Bennett Elementary School where our Sister Danielle Smith is the principal. We appreciate a minimum donation of $ 10.00 or any of the following supplies. Items needed are Safety scissors, washable markers, # 2 pencils, pencil sharpeners, glue sticks, erasers, Crayola (24 count) crayons, childrens face mask, mini hand sanitizer, small packets of tissues. Contact Judie Pappas 954 849-5859 or any member of the Daughters of Penelope for additional information.  Monetary donations may be payable to Narcissus Chapter 289 and mailed to DOP c/o Demetrios, 820 NE 14th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33304.

 



Model of St. Demetrios Church

Thank you to the Visvardis family for the LEGO model of St. Demetrios Church!

 



ZOOM BINGO – Friday October 16th 7:30 pm.
   
The Daughters of Penelope are hosting a Virtual Bingo game via Zoom for the Community of St. Demetrios,   2 cards for $ 5.00 additional cards can be purchased at the same price. Must register and pay by October 12th to receive your bingo cards by email Please include your email address. Payable to DOP Chapter 289 c/o St. Demetrios Church 820 NE 14th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33304. Contact Judie Pappas 954 849-5859 or email jpappas34@yahoo.com for further information.  All proceeds will be donated to the church.



College student address request

Our college students are setting off on a new school year. If you have a child, grandchild or Godchild in college, please email the name and college address to philoptochos@st.demetrios.org Help us make sure they know that St. Demetrios loves them and prays for them.  We’ll be sending College Care Boxes soon.

 



College Care Boxes 2020-2021  
 
Philoptochos is collecting for College Care Boxes 2020-21 for our college students. They will be mailed out twice this school year, so the list below covers both boxes.  If you would like to help us remind our college students that we love and care about them, please donate an item listed or donate any amount online at: https://ladies-philoptochos-of-st-demetrios.square.site/ (Select College Care Boxes) Please write checks to Ladies Philoptochos and mail checks to: St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, College Care Boxes, 820 NE 14th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

We are trying to keep the element of surprise, so if you have any questions about what an item is, please email  philoptochos@stdemetrios.org

If you would like to donate an actual item, there are 30 students.  Please contact philoptochos@st.demetrios.org  to coordinate.


 

Light a Candle & Say a Prayer at Saint Demetrios

“It is impossible to imagine an Orthodox church in which candles are not lit.”
(Blessed Simeon of Thessalonica, 15th Century)

 

“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) 

We know that at this time it can be difficult to pray from home and not physically be in the church. One of the first things most people do upon entering an Orthodox Church is to light their candle and offer prayers for one’s personal needs or that of a family member or friend, we also light candles to pray for protection and safety so that we may live this life without fear.

If you wish to light a candle, visit https://saintdemetrios.square.site After you select the candle(s) that you would like us to light and before pressing the “Place Order” button, please submit the names of your loved ones, those who are alive and/or those who have departed this life. During these times we would be happy to light the candle for you and read the names that have been submitted during the Divine Liturgy.

 


 

Dear St. Demetrios Family,

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Ft. Lauderdale is open to the faithful.  We are complying with all CDC, State, Local and Archdiocese guidelines.  Here is the list of things that will be taking place on Sundays.

1)  Everyone must wear a mask in order to enter the church.

2)  Before entering the church, the temperature of each person will be taken by a designated person. If the person’s temperature is above 100.4 F he or she will be kindly asked to return to their home, both for their safety and the safety of others.

3) Parish Council will direct each parishioner to the designated X in the pews for each person or household to sit starting in the front of the church and working their way to back.

4) A place to accept offerings will be provided in the Narthex upon entering or leaving.

5) Parishioners are not to move around the church during the services to light candles or venerate icons.

6) Names and phone numbers of each attendee at every service will be taken in the event that a subsequent infection requires tracing.

7) If you have any symptoms of coronavirus, COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell), you must NOT attend church, and immediately seek medical attention for yourself and your household.

8) Parishioners who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by civil authorities are given dispensation not to attend services and will be asked to refrain from attending.

9) In terms of preventing the spread of this virus, we ask parishioners to follow CDC directives, which currently include: washing of hands thoroughly and frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding sharing personal items, wearing a mask, and maintaining a social distance of six feet.

10) Honor is to be shown to Holy Icons and the Holy Cross by only doing your cross and bowing, keeping in mind not to kiss or to touch the Holy Icons and the Holy Cross.

11) No one is to enter the Holy Altar except the clergy and assigned adult helpers.

12) For Memorials, please write the names of your deceased for the clergy to pray for their souls (without Koliva).

13) Artoclasias will be celebrated as normal.

14) No service books will be left out for common use. This includes papers of any kind (bulletins etc.). Parishioners are encouraged to bring their own service books.

15) During Holy Communion – Communicants must line up row by row (with help from Parish Council) and remain six feet apart using the designated social distancing X’s that have been placed in the church.  Communicants may remove their masks only momentarily to receive Holy Communion.

16)  For the continued safety of those attending church services in person, parishioners should immediately leave when the service is finished. For the sake of others, please do not socialize in the Narthex or other areas of the church or its surrounding buildings or parking lots. Additionally, Sunday Coffee Fellowship hours will be suspended until further notice.

Yours In Christ,
Fr. Peter Zougras

Patriarchal Encyclical – September 2020

View/Download PDF Version -> Patriarchal Encyclical September 1_2020

————————————–

Prot. No.529

+ B A R T H O L O M E W

BY GOD’S MERCY ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE-NEW ROME AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH TO ALL THE PLENITUDE OF THE CHURCH GRACE, PEACE AND MERCY
FROM THE MAKER OF ALL CREATION OUR LORD, GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

Dearest brother Hierarchs and beloved children in the Lord,

It is a shared conviction that, in our time, the natural environment is threatened like never before in the history of humankind. The magnitude of this threat becomes manifest in the fact that what is at stake is not anymore the quality, but the preservation of life on our planet. For the first time in history, man is capable of destroying the conditions of life on earth. Nuclear weapons are the symbol of man’s Promethean titanism, the tangible expression of the “complex of omnipotence” of the contemporary “man-god.”

In using the power that stems from science and technology, what is revealed today is the ambivalence of man’s freedom. Science serves life; it contributes to progress, to confronting illnesses and many conditions that were hitherto considered “fateful”; it creates new positive perspectives for the future. However, at the same time, it provides man with all-powerful means, whose misuse can be turned destructive. We are experiencing the unfolding destruction of the natural environment, of biodiversity, of flora and fauna, of the pollution of aquatic resources and the atmosphere, the progressing collapse of climate balance, as well as other excesses of boundaries and measures in many dimensions of life. The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church (Crete, 2016) rightly and splendidly decreed that “scientific knowledge does not mobilize the moral will of man, who knows the dangers but continues to act as if he did not know.” (Encyclical, § 11)

It is apparent that the protection of the common good, of the integrity of the natural environment, is the common responsibility of all inhabitants of the earth. The contemporary categorical imperative for humankind is that we live without destroying the environment. However, while on a personal level and on the level of many communities, groups, movements and organizations, there is a demonstration of great sensitivity and ecological responsibility, nations and economic agents are unable – in the name of geopolitical ambitions and the “autonomy of the economy” – to adopt the correct decisions for the protection of creation and instead cultivate the illusion that the pretended “global ecological destruction” is an ideological fabrication of ecological movements and that the natural environment has the power of renewing itself. Yet the crucial question remains: How much longer will nature endure the fruitless discussions and consultations, as well as any further delay in assuming decisive actions for its protection?

The fact that, during the period of the pandemic of the novel coronavirus Covid-19, with the mandatory restrictions of movement, the shutdown of factories, and the diminishment in industrial activity and production, we observed a reduction of pollution and encumbrance of the atmosphere, has proved the anthropogenic nature of the contemporary ecological crisis. It became once again clear that industry, the contemporary means of transportation, the automobile and the airplane, the non-negotiable priority of economic indicators and the like, negatively impact the environmental balance and that a change of direction toward an ecological economy constitutes an unwavering necessity. There is no genuine progress that is founded on the destruction of the natural environment. It is inconceivable that we adopt economic decisions without also taking into account their ecological consequences. Economic development cannot remain a nightmare for ecology. We are certain that there is an alternative way of economic structure and development besides the economism and the orientation of economic activity toward the maximization of profiteering. The future of humanity is not the homo oeconomicus.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate, which in recent decades has pioneered in the field of the protection of the creation, will continue its ecological initiatives, the organization of ecological conferences, the mobilization of its faithful and especially the youth, the promotion of the environment’s protection as a fundamental subject for interreligious dialogue and the common initiatives of religions, the contacts with political leaders and institutions, the cooperation with environmental organizations and ecological movements. It is evident that the collaboration for the protection of the environment creates additional avenues of communication and possibilities for new common actions.

We repeat that the environmental activities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are an extension of its ecclesiological self-consciousness and do not comprise a simple circumstantial reaction to a new phenomenon. The very life of the Church is an applied ecology. The sacraments of the Church, its entire life of worship, its asceticism and communal life, the daily life of its faithful, express and generate the deepest respect for creation. The ecological sensitivity of Orthodoxy was not created by but emerged from the contemporary environmental crisis. The struggle for the protection of creation is a central dimension of our faith. Respect for the environment is an act of doxology of God’s name, while the destruction of creation is an offense against the Creator, entirely irreconcilable with the basic tenets of Christian theology.

Most honorable brothers and dearly beloved children, the ecofriendly values of the Orthodox tradition, the precious legacy of the Fathers, constitute an embankment against the culture, whose axiological foundation is the domination of man over nature. Faith in Christ inspires and strengthens the human endeavor even before the immense challenges. From the perspective of faith, we are able to discover and assess not only the problematic dimensions, but also the positive possibilities and prospects of contemporary civilization. We call upon Orthodox young men and women to realize the significance of living as faithful Christians and contemporary people. Faith in the eternal destiny of man strengthens our witness in the world.

In this spirit, from the Phanar, we wish all of you a propitious and all-blessed new ecclesiastical year, fruitful in Christ-like deeds, for the benefit of all creation and to the glory of the all-wise Creator of all. And we invoke upon you, through the intercessions of the All-Holy Theotokos, the Pammakaristos, the grace and mercy of the God of wonders.

September 1, 2020
+Bartholomew of Constantinople
Fervent supplicant of all before God

Ἀριθμ. Πρωτ. 529

† Β Α Ρ Θ Ο Λ Ο Μ Α Ι Ο Σ
ΕΛΕΩι ΘΕΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΣ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΕΩΣ ΝΕΑΣ ΡΩΜΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ ΠΑΝΤΙ Τῼ ΠΛΗΡΩΜΑΤΙ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ ΧΑΡΙΝ, ΕΙΡΗΝΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΛΕΟΣ ΠΑΡΑ ΤΟΥ ΔΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΟΥ ΠΑΣΗΣ ΤΗΣ ΚΤΙΣΕΩΣ
ΚΥΡΙΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΘΕΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΗΜΩΝ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ

Προσφιλεῖς ἀδελφοί ἱεράρχαι καί τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητά,

Ἀποτελεῖ κοινήν πεποίθησιν, ὅτι εἰς τήν ἐποχήν μας τό φυσικόν περιβάλλον ἀπειλεῖται ὅσον ποτέ ἄλλοτε εἰς τήν ἱστορίαν τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος. Τό μέγεθος τῆς ἀπειλῆς ἀποκαλύπτεται εἰς τό γεγονός ὅτι τό διακύβευμα δέν εἶναι πλέον ἡ ποιότης τῆς ζωῆς, ἀλλά ἡ διατήρησις αὐτῆς εἰς τόν πλανήτην μας. Διά πρώτην φοράν εἰς τήν ἱστορίαν, ὁ ἄνθρωπος δύναται νά καταστρέψῃ τούς ὅρους τῆς ζωῆς ἐπί τῆς γῆς. Τά πυρηνικά ὅπλα εἶναι τό σύμβολον τοῦ προμηθεϊκοῦ τιτανισμοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἁπτή ἔκφρασις τοῦ «συμπλέγματος παντοδυναμίας» τοῦ συγχρόνου «ἀνθρωποθεοῦ».
Εἰς τήν χρῆσιν τῆς πηγαζούσης ἐκ τῆς ἐπιστήμης καί τῆς τεχνολογίας ἰσχύος, ἀποκαλύπτεται σήμερον ἡ ἀμφισημία τῆς ἐλευθερίας τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. Ἡ ἐπιστήμη ὑπηρετεῖ τήν ζωήν, συμβάλλει εἰς τήν πρόοδον, εἰς τήν ἀντιμετώπισιν τῶν ἀσθενειῶν καί πολλῶν καταστάσεων αἱ ὁποῖαι ἐθεωροῦντο μέχρι σήμερον «μοιραῖαι», δημιουργεῖ νέας θετικάς προοπτικάς διά τό μέλλον. Ὅμως, ταυτοχρόνως, δίδει εἰς τόν ἄνθρωπον πανίσχυρα μέσα, ἡ κακή χρῆσις τῶν ὁποίων δύναται νά ἀποβῇ καταστροφική. Βιοῦμεν τήν ἐξελισσομένην καταστροφήν τοῦ φυσικοῦ περιβάλλοντος, τῆς βιοποικιλότητος, τῆς χλωρίδος καί τῆς πανίδος, τήν ρύπανσιν τῶν ὑδατίνων πόρων καί τῆς ἀτμοσφαίρας, τήν προϊοῦσαν ἀνατροπήν τῆς κλιματικῆς ἰσορροπίας καί ἄλλας ὐπερβάσεις ὁρίων καί μέτρων εἰς πολλάς διαστάσεις τῆς ζωῆς. Ὀρθῶς καί προσφυῶς ἀπεφάνθη ἡ Αγία καί Μεγάλη Σύνοδος τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου Ἐκκλησίας (Κρήτη 2016), ὅτι «ἡ ἐπιστημονική γνῶσις δέν κινητοποιεῖ τήν ἠθικήν βούλησιν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ὁ ὁποῖος, καίτοι γνωρίζει τούς κινδύνους, συνεχίζει νά δρᾷ ὡς ἐάν δέν ἐγνώριζεν» (Ἐγκύκλιος, § 11).

Εἶναι προφανές ὅτι ἡ προστασία τοῦ κοινοῦ ἀγαθοῦ, τοῦ ἀκεραίου φυσικοῦ περιβάλλοντος, εἶναι κοινή εὐθύνη ὅλων τῶν κατοίκων τῆς γῆς. Ἡ σύγχρονος κατηγορική προστακτική διά τήν ἀνθρωπότητα εἶναι νά ζῶμεν χωρίς νά καταστρέφωμεν τό περιβάλλον. Ἐνῶ ὅμως εἰς προσωπικόν ἐπίπεδον καί ἀπό πολλάς κοινότητας, ὁμάδας, κινήματα καί ὀργανώσεις ἐπιδεικνύεται μεγάλη εὐαισθησία καί οἰκολογική εὐθύνη, τά κράτη καί οἱ οἰκονομικοί παράγοντες ἀδυνατοῦν, ἐν ὀνόματι γεωπολιτικῶν σχεδιασμῶν καί τῆς «ἰδιονομίας τῆς οἰκονομίας», νά λάβουν τάς ὀρθάς ἀποφάσεις διά τήν προστασίαν τῆς κτίσεως καί καλλιεργοῦν τήν ψευδαίσθησιν ὅτι τά περί «παγκοσμίου οἰκολογικῆς καταστροφῆς» εἶναι ἰδεολόγημα τῶν οἰκολογικῶν κινημάτων καί ὅτι τό φυσικόν περιβάλλον ἔχει τήν δύναμιν νά ἀνανεώνεται ἀφ᾿ ἑαυτοῦ. Τό κρίσιμον ἐρώτημα, ὅμως, παραμένει: Πόσον θά ἀνθέξῃ ἡ φύσις τάς ἀκάρπους συζητήσεις καί τάς διασκέψεις, τήν περαιτέρω καθυστέρησιν εἰς τήν ἀνάληψιν ἀποφασιστικῶν δράσεων διά τήν προστασίαν της;

Τό γεγονός ὅτι κατά τήν διάρκειαν τῆς πανδημίας τοῦ νέου κορωνοϊοῦ Covid-19, μέ τόν ἐπιβληθέντα περιορισμόν τῶν μετακινήσεων, τό κλείσιμον ἐργοστασίων καί τήν μείωσιν τῆς βιομηχανικῆς δραστηριότητος καί παραγωγῆς, παρετηρήθη μείωσις τῶν ρύπων καί τῆς ἐπιβαρύνσεως τῆς ἀτμοσφαίρας, ἀπέδειξε τόν ἀνθρωπογενῆ χαρακτῆρα τῆς συγχρόνου οἰκολογικῆς κρίσεως. Κατέστη εκ νέου σαφές ὅτι ἡ βιομηχανία, ὁ σύγχρονος τρόπος μετακινήσεως, τό αὐτοκίνητον καί τό ἀεροπλάνον, ἡ ἀδιαπραγμάτευτος προτεραιότης τῶν οἰκονομικῶν δεικτῶν καί ἄλλα συναφῆ, ἐπῃρεάζουν ἀρνητικῶς τήν περιβαλλοντικήν ἰσορροπίαν καί ὅτι η ἀλλαγή πορείας πρός τήν κατεύθυνσιν μιᾶς οἰκολογικῆς οἰκονομίας ἀποτελεῖ ἀδήριτον ἀναγκαιότητα. Δέν ὑπάρχει ἀληθής πρόοδος, η ὁποία στηρίζεται εἰς τήν καταστροφήν τοῦ φυσικοῦ περιβάλλοντος. Εἶναι ἀδιανόητον νά λαμβάνωνται οἰκονομικαί ἀποφάσεις χωρίς νά συνυπολογίζωνται αἱ οἰκολογικαί ἐπιπτώσεις των. Ἡ οἰκονομική ἀνάπτυξις δέν εἶναι δυνατόν νά παραμένῃ ἐφιάλτης διά τήν οἰκολογίαν. Εἴμεθα βέβαιοι ὅτι ὑπάρχει ἐναλλακτική ὁδός οἰκονομικῆς ὀργανώσεως καί ἀναπτύξεως ἔναντι τοῦ οἰκονομισμοῦ καί τοῦ προσανατολισμοῦ τῆς οἰκονομικῆς δραστηριότητος εἰς τήν μεγιστοποίησιν τῆς κερδοφορίας. Τό μέλλον τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος δέν εἶναι ὁ homo oeconomicus.

Τό Οἰκουμενικόν Πατριαρχεῖον, τό ὁποῖον κατά τάς τελευταίας δεκαετίας πρωτοστατεῖ εἰς τόν χῶρον τῆς προστασίας τῆς κτίσεως, θά συνεχίσῃ τάς οἰκολογικάς του πρωτοβουλίας, τήν ὀργάνωσιν οἰκολογικῶν συνεδρίων, τήν κινητοποίησιν τῶν πιστῶν καί πρωτίστως τῆς νεολαίας, τήν ἀνάδειξιν τῆς προστασίας τοῦ περιβάλλοντος εἰς βασικόν θέμα τοῦ διαθρησκειακοῦ διαλόγου καί τῶν κοινῶν πρωτοβουλιῶν τῶν θρησκειῶν, τάς ἐπαφάς μέ πολιτικούς ἡγέτας καί θεσμούς, τήν συνεργασίαν μέ περιβαλλοντικάς ὀργανώσεις καί οἰκολογικά κινήματα. Εἶναι προφανές ὅτι ἡ σύμπραξις διά τήν προστασίαν τοῦ περιβάλλοντος δημιουργεῖ διαύλους ἐπικοινωνίας καί δυνατότητας διά νέας κοινάς δράσεις.

Ἐπαναλαμβάνομεν, ὅτι αἱ περιβαλλοντικαί δραστηριότητες τοῦ Οἰκουμε-νικοῦ Πατριαρχείου εἶναι προέκτασις τῆς ἐκκλησιολογικῆς αὐτοσυνειδησίας του καί δέν ἀποτελοῦν ἁπλῶς περιστασιακήν ἀντίδρασιν εἰς ἕν νέον φαινόμενον. Ἡ ἰδία ἡ ζωή τῆς Ἐκκλησίας εἶναι ἐφηρμοσμένη οἰκολογία. Τά μυστήρια τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, σύνολος ἡ λατρευτική ζωή, ὁ ἀσκητισμός καί ὁ κοινοτισμός, ἡ καθημερινότης τῶν πιστῶν, ἐκφράζουν καί παράγουν βαθύτατον σεβασμόν πρός τήν κτίσιν. Ἡ οἰκολογική εὐαισθησία τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας δέν ἐδημιουργήθη, ἀλλά ἀνεδείχθη από τήν σύγχρονον περιβαλλοντικήν κρίσιν. Ὁ ἀγών διά τήν προστασίαν τῆς δημιουργίας εἶναι κεντρική διάστασις τῆς πίστεώς μας. Ὁ σεβασμός τοῦ περιβάλλοντος εἶναι ἔμπρακτος δοξολογία τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐνῶ ἡ καταστροφή τῆς κτίσεως εἶναι προσβολή τοῦ Δημιουργοῦ, ὅλως ἀσύμβατος μέ τάς βασικάς παραδοχάς τῆς χριστιανικῆς θεολογίας.

Τιμιώτατοι ἀδελφοί καί προσφιλέστατα τέκνα, Αἱ οἰκοφιλικαί ἀξίαι τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου παραδόσεως, ἡ πολύτιμος παρακατα-θήκη τῶν Πατέρων, ἀποτελοῦν ἀνάχωμα κατά τῆς κουλτούρας, ἀξιολογική βάσις τῆς ὁποίας εἶναι ἡ κυριαρχία τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπί τῆς φύσεως. Ἡ πίστις εἰς Χριστόν ἐμπνέει καί ἐνισχύει τήν ἀνθρωπίνην προσπάθειαν ἐνώπιον καί τῶν μεγίστων δυσκολιῶν. Ὑπό τό πρῖσμα τῆς πίστεως, δυνάμεθα νά ἀνακαλύπτωμεν καί νά ἀξιολογῶμεν ὄχι μόνον τάς προβληματικάς πτυχάς, ἀλλά καί τάς θετικάς δυνατότητας καί προοπτικάς τοῦ συγχρόνου πολιτισμοῦ. Καλοῦμεν τούς ὀρθοδόξους νέους καί τάς νέας νά συνειδητοποιήσουν τήν σημασίαν τοῦ νά ζοῦν ὡς πιστοί χριστιανοί καί σύγχρονοι ἄνθρωποι. Ἡ πίστις εἰς τόν αἰώνιον προορισμόν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου κρατύνει τήν μαρτυρίαν μας ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ.

Ἐν τῷ πνεύματι τούτῳ, εὐχόμενοι ἐκ Φαναρίου πᾶσιν ὑμῖν αἴσιον καί παντευλόγητον τό νέον ἐκκλησιαστικόν ἔτος, καρποτόκον εἰς ἔργα χριστοπρεπῆ, ἐπ᾿ ἀγαθῷ τῆς κτίσεως ὅλης καί πρός δόξαν τοῦ πανσόφου Ποιητοῦ τῶν ἁπάντων, ἐπικαλούμεθα ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς, πρεσβείαις τῆς Παναγίας τῆς Παμμακα-ρίστου, τήν χάριν καί τό ἔλεος τοῦ Θεοῦ τῶν θαυμασίων.

,βκ’ Σεπτεμβρίου α’
Ὁ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως
διάπυρος πρός Θεόν εὐχέτης πάντων ὑμῶν

An Important Holy Week Letter from Archbishop Alexios

April 15, 2020

To the Reverend Clergy and Monastics,
the esteemed Archons,
the esteemed Parish Council Presidents and members
the esteemed Philoptochos Presidents and members,
And all the faithful of the Metropolis of Atlanta:

My Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

As we are in the middle of Holy Week, I wish to offer some thoughts during an uncertain time. We have heard stories of grandparents separated from their grandchildren; and though this is an understandable protection, it is still painful. Similarly, as spiritual people, it is understandable that we miss being in the home of our Heavenly Father, who took on flesh for our sakes, and gave Himself up, as the Divine Liturgy says, “…for the life of the world.” However, despite our absence from our parishes, Christ is risen from the dead—whether or not we are in church.

If we think of the life of St. Mary of Egypt, she was literally not permitted to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchere because she was a great sinner. Another way of looking at her story though, is not that God was denying her the sacramental life, but He was guiding her. I do not try to judge when I say that we too live in sin, whether these sins are in our desire for material things, or in our relationships. Therefore, we should consider the Coronavirus not as a punishment from God, but as opportunity to grow closer to Him. Our Heavenly Father is the God of Love, forever ready to welcome us, Prodigal Sons and Daughters, if we show a willingness to repent.

I was blessed to receive a message from an Abbess whom I greatly respect, Gerondissa Thekla of the Convent of the Panagia Panagoritissa in Quebec, Canada. Her message, which I will quote in part, offers a beautiful reflection on the power of God, even in the absence of Eucharist.

To summarize, when the Gerondissa first entered the monastic life, a lack of monks and priests meant that her convent did not receive the Eucharist on the Great Feasts. The Abbess writes that instead of complaining or becoming angry (as the Devil wishes), “We would fast as if preparing for Holy Communion, we would gather together in our chapel which was an extension to a hallway… We would read the services and at the end, our Most Holy Gerondissa Makrina would “commune” us by giving us Great Holy Water and Holy Bread. She would always counsel us that, “If we would be as we should be spiritually, then it is possible noetically to receive Holy Communion from Holy Angels, just like we have read many times in the lives of the Saints.”

Gerondissa Thekla goes on to describe the “…many heavenly moments which we never encountered again even after when we had a permanent priest and would serve forty-day liturgies… The chapel would be fragrant as if someone had sprinkled it all over with myrrh. Our eyes would stream with endless tears. Our heart would leap from the Grace of God. On the days that we supposedly “communed”, without even realizing it, we would speak softly because we felt as if we had partaken in some sacred ceremony. Saying the prayer, our mouth would taste as if we had taken a very fragrant candy. We would feel the presence of Holy Communion, even though we had not received it… No matter what I write, it is not possible to describe the feeling of Christ’s grace that we lived back in those days of deprivation, because there are not words to express this.”

In a few years, the number of Priests’ grew, but when her obedience brought her to Canada, a similar situation occurred. Though there were enough clergymen to serve the Sisters during weekday Liturgies, the priests’ responsibilities to their home parishes meant that, again, the nuns were left alone to support the younger novices during the Great Feasts. However, the Gerondissa had not forgotten how a lack of Communion had mysteriously uplifted her. “…Whoever prepares themselves with humility, without grumbling and protesting, but with much prayer and faith in the Providence of God, and receives Holy water and Holy Bread in replacement of Holy Communion and contemplates that theoretically “God did not permit me to receive Holy Communion, as being “unworthy and unprepared”, then this person will be filled by God’s grace of endurance of martyrdom, of which Saint Luke the doctor would say: “I loved much the grace of martyrdom, which so wonderfully cleanses the soul”.

If you still feel sadness at missing Divine Liturgy, I only ask that you think, not only of Gerondissa Thekla, but again, of St. Mary of Egypt. When she became an ascetic, she lived for 47 years without any community at all. She did not attend church and received Holy Communion only once. St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”  (Corinthians 3:16) St. Mary of Egypt knew this, which is how, despite living without any sort of community, St. Mary was still a faithful Orthodox Christian who lived in purity, until she was prepared to greet her Heavenly Father. And so, my beloved, I encourage all of us to take strength, for as long as we may be apart from one another, it will certainly not be the 47 years which St. Mary dedicated to her spiritual life.

I would like to take these thoughts just a step further: how many times in our life do we use the many wonderful media tools we have, simply for pleasure—whether for movies, television or sports? Like St. Mary of Egypt, before her conversion, we too are focused on these things which make us feel “better”, but really provide no true spiritual nourishment. In spite of the fact that we cannot attend the services, I, His Grace Bishop Sevastianos, your clergymen, and our Archbishop, His Eminence Elpidophoros, continue to commemorate this Holy Week,  as well as to honor those fighting this virus, the sick, and those who have fallen asleep.

I firmly agree with the Gerondissa when she writes of this pandemic that, “The tempter wanted to close the churches; let us make our homes into churches. He shut 11 churches; let us open 11 thousand. May each home become a church; let prayer be raised like a torch of fire towards heaven; let the incense fragrance all the neighbourhoods; may the candle and the vigil lamp always be lit. Let us attend the services through electronic correspondence, praying together… If we do this, instead of closing down the churches, they will grow and spread and whole cities will become churches. Then God will give His blessing, and seeing our repentance and our faith, He will cast away this evil plague and give us the freedom along with our churches to live many years working for Him.”

I think of that phrase, “…working for Him.” How, especially, can we work for Him during this time, this struggle, which as St. Paul says, “…is not against flesh and blood, but against… the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)? Let us  look at this time in our homes, not only as a time for spiritual growth, but living out the Word of the Lord, who instructed us to feed, clothe and visit those in need: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:40). Even in this time of social distancing, we can still care for those who are vulnerable, by helping provide their food and their basic needs, or just to call our friends and remind them we love them.

I offer all these thoughts to encourage positivity in this time when it seems negative. Participate in all the coming Holy Week services throughout the Metropolis: offer your own processions, respond to the petitions. Truly, when we are together in prayer, we are together in spirit, even if we are far from one another physically.

Please know that you have my love and blessings, praying for your forgiveness, as I hope you will also pray for me. May we grow, so that when God gives us the ability to be together in person, our prayers and hymns will be full of the Paschal spirit. I remain,

Paternally yours with love in the Lord


+ A L E X I O S
Metropolitan of Atlanta

Weekly Sunday Bulletin – March 29th, 2020

Based on the Archdiocese communication to all Greek Orthodox Churches, all services will be conducted by a priest and a chanter only.  The Faithful are asked not to assemble but participate virtually via the internet.  Please see https://www.goarch.org/live broadcasts for a list of churches that broadcast their services.


Did you know that The Archdiocese’s website has an online chapel where you can find the daily scripture reading?  If you scroll down and look at the right side of the page you will also find apps for your smartphone  https://www.goarch.org/chapel

 


Sunday of Saint John Climacus – March 29, 2020

The memory of this Saint is celebrated on March 30. He is celebrated today because his book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, is a sure guide to the ascetic life, written by a great man of prayer experienced in all forms of the monastic polity; it teaches the seeker after salvation how to lay a sound foundation for his struggles, how to detect and war against each of the passions, how to avoid the snares laid by the demons, and how to rise from the rudimental virtues to the heights of Godlike love and humility. It is held in such high esteem that it is universally read in its entirety in monasteries during the Great Fast.

This Saint gave himself over to the ascetical life from his early youth. Experienced both in the solitary life of the hermit and in the communal life of cenobitic monasticism, he was appointed Abbot of the Monastery at Mount Sinai and wrote a book containing thirty homilies on virtue. Each homily deals with one virtue, and progressing from those that deal with holy and righteous activity (praxis) unto those that deal with divine vision (theoria), they raise a man up as though by means of steps unto the height of Heaven. For this cause his work is called “The Ladder of Divine Ascent.” The day he was made Abbot of Sinai, the Prophet Moses was seen giving commands to those who served at table. Saint John reposed in 603, at eighty years of age.

 


 

 

 Liturgical Guide

 

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal Fourth Mode
Ἐξ ὕψους κατῆλθες ὁ εὔσπλαγχνος

From on high didst Thou descend, O Compassionate One; to burial of three days hast Thou submitted that Thou mightest free us from our passions. O our Life and Resurrection, Lord, glory be to Thee.

Apolytikion for Sunday of St. John Climacus in the Plagal Fourth Mode
Ταίς τών δακρύων σου ροαίς

With the streams of thy tears, thou didst cultivate the barrenness of the desert; and by thy sighings from the depths,thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold in labours; and thou becamest a luminary, shining with miracles upon the world, O John our righteous Father. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Apolytikion of St. Demetrios in the Third Mode
Μέγαν εύρατο εv τοίς κιvδύvοις …

Greatness has been found in danger.  You are champion of the world.  A victor who could turn the nations back.  You boldly encouraged Nestor to defeat Lyaeus in the arena.  Therefore, holy great martyr Demetrios, intercede with Christ our God, to grant us His great mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal Fourth Mode
Τὴ ὑπερμάχω στρατηγῶ τὰ νικητήρια …

To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I, your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: “Hail, unwedded bride!”

Epistle Reading ~ The reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 6:13-20.

BRETHREN, when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore to himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel Reading ~ The Reading is from Mark 9:17-31

At that time, a man came to Jesus kneeling and saying: “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit; and wherever it seizes him it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has he had this?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.” They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”

Memorial

Neophytos Demetriou (40 days) survived by his children Andreas, Mary, Georgia and Victor and their families.

Trisagion

Robyn Pappas (3 yrs) survived by her husband Andrew and by her siblings Judith, Bobbie, Robert and Bill.

 


Weekly Sunday Bulletin – March 22nd, 2020

Based on the Archdiocese communication to all Greek Orthodox Churches, all services will be conducted by a priest and a chanter only.  The Faithful are asked not to assemble but participate virtually via the internet.  Please see https://www.goarch.org/live broadcasts for a list of churches that broadcast their services.

 


Sunday of the Holy Cross – March 22, 2020

With the help of God, we have almost reached the middle of the course of the Fast, where our strength has been worn down through abstinence, and the full difficulty of the labour set before us becomes apparent. Therefore our holy Mother, the Church of Christ, now brings to our help the all-holy Cross, the joy of the world, the strength of the faithful, the staff of the just, and the hope of sinners, so that by venerating it reverently, we might receive strength and grace to complete the divine struggle of the Fast.

 

 


 

 

 Liturgical Guide

 

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Grave Mode
Κατέλυσας τῷ Σταυρῷ σου τὸν θάνατον …

Thou didst abolish death by Thy Cross; Thou didst open Paradise to the thief; Thou didst transform the myrrh-bearers’ lamentation, and didst bid Thine Apostles to preach that Thou art risen, O Christ God, granting great mercy to the world.

Apolytikion for Sun. of the Holy Cross in the First Mode
Σώσον Κύριε τόν λαόν σου καί ευλόγησον τήν κληρονομίαν σου …

Save, O Lord, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance; grant Thou unto the faithful victory over adversaries. And by the power of Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.

Apolytikion of St. Demetrios in the Third Mode
Μέγαν εύρατο εv τοίς κιvδύvοις …

Greatness has been found in danger.  You are champion of the world.  A victor who could turn the nations back.  You boldly encouraged Nestor to defeat Lyaeus in the arena.  Therefore, holy great martyr Demetrios, intercede with Christ our God, to grant us His great mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal Fourth Mode
Τὴ ὑπερμάχω στρατηγῶ τὰ νικητήρια …

To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I, your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: “Hail, unwedded bride!”

Epistle Reading ~ The reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:1-6.

BRETHREN, since we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee”; as he says also in another place, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

Gospel Reading ~ The Reading is from Mark 8:34-38; 9:1

The Lord said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”