March 7, 2021 ~ Judgement Sunday
The foregoing two parables — especially that of the Prodigal Son — have presented to us God’s extreme goodness and love for man. But lest certain persons, putting their confidence in this alone, live carelessly, squandering upon sin the time given them to work out their salvation, and death suddenly snatch them away, the most divine Fathers have appointed this day’s feast commemorating Christ’s impartial Second Coming, through which we bring to mind that God is not only the Friend of man, but also the most righteous Judge, Who recompenses to each according to his deeds.
It is the aim of the holy Fathers, through bringing to mind that fearful day, to rouse us from the slumber of carelessness unto the work of virtue, and to move us to love and compassion for our brethren. Besides this, even as on the coming Sunday of Cheese-fare we commemorate Adam’s exile from the Paradise of delight — which exile is the beginning of life as we know it now — it is clear that today’s is reckoned the last of all feasts, because on the last day of judgment, truly, everything of this world will come to an end.
Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal Second Mode
Ἀγγελικαὶ Δυνάμεις ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμά σου…
Angelic powers were above Thy tomb, and they that guarded Thee became as dead. And Mary stood by the grave seeking Thine immaculate Body. Thou hast despoiled Hades and wast not tried thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst grant us life. O Thou Who didst arise from the dead, 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 First Mode
Ὅταν ἔλθῃς ὁ Θεός, ἐπὶ γῆς μετὰ δόξης…
O God, when You come upon the earth in glory, the whole world will tremble. A river of fire will bring all before Your Judgment Seat and the books will be opened, and everything in secret will become public. At that time, deliver me from the fire which never dies, and enable me to stand by Your right hand, O Judge most just.
Prokeimenon. Fourth Mode. Psalm 146.5;134.3.
Great is our Lord, and great is his power.
Verse: Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.
The reading is from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 8:8-13; 9:1-2.
Brethren, food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother’s falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
The Reading is from Matthew 25:31-46
The Lord said, “When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Anastasios and Christina Lymperopoulos present Leonidas for the traditional 40 day mother and baby blessing.
Schedule of Church Services
- 3/7 Sunday: 9am/10am Orthros/Divine Liturgy
- 3/13 Saturday of Souls: 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.
Mental Health Resources
Late last year, the Assembly of Bishops assembled a Mental Health Task Force to assist our Churches in this very important ministry to the faithful. I am therefore very pleased to announce that, as the result of the work of the Task Force, a National Directory of Orthodox Mental Health providers has been created. Visit https://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/mental-health/ .
I join my fellow Hierarchs in thanking the Steering Committee of the Mental Health Task Force, and all those Orthodox Professionals who participated in the creation of this directory, so that it might help the greatest number of individuals.
Praying for the continued health of all, both in body and soul, I remain,
Paternally yours with love in Christ,
+ A L E X I O S
Metropolitan of Atlanta
Resources for Lent, Holy Week and Pascha
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Saturdays of Souls
The Saturdays of Souls are March 6, March 13, and March 20. Matins will start at 9:00am with Divine Liturgy following at 10:00am. You may reply to this email to list the names of your beloved who have fallen asleep in the Lord. In order for them to be included, we must have the names by Wednesday prior to the Saturday Service.
“…The Greatest Of These Is Love” 1 Cor 13:13
We ask you to support the worship, service and activities of St. Demetrios Church. Giving to His Church is a way to thank God for His grace, His generosity and His many blessings. Let’s Step Up our gifts of Time Talent and Treasure!
Please fill out a pledge form by either visiting https://stdemetrios.org/our-parish/stewardship/stewardship-form/ or downloading this form. You can make contributions towards your financial pledge by visiting https://stdemetrios.org/make-a-donation/ .
St. Demetrios Festival Replacement
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Demetrios Church
Our annual Greek Festival has unfortunately been canceled this year. The Parish Council and Father Peter came to this decision after a lot of debate.
Prior to making this decision we actually did study what many other communities had done this past summer and fall as alternatives to their traditional festivals. Most put on a drive through food only festival. Our festival planning committee actually met 3 times this fall to begin planning just such an event. Unfortunately, we discovered that there will be ongoing construction on the sewer system in front of the church through the summer of 2021.
Each year our community counts on the Greek Festival to raise the $95,000 necessary to balance our budget and continue the ministry of Saint Demetrios. Our community cannot survive without these funds. Borrowing money for operating expenses is out of the question. The Parish Council and Father Peter therefore came up with the following strategy to procure the necessary monies.
Drs. Joyce and Anthony Kales and Dr. George Georgakakis would each donate $10,000. In addition, the community would use a portion of it’s annual gift from the William and Bridget Eaton Partalis Family Trust. We would also ask 10 parishioners to support what we are calling the “Saint Demetrios Festival Replacement Fund” with individual donations of $1,000. The remaining estimated $40,000 would hopefully be raised by asking each of our 260 parishioners to consider contributing $160 to the Festival Replacement Fund. This would get us to our goal of $95,000
At our Winter General Assembly meeting last month we actually had 11 parishioners step up and offer to be $1000 donors. Since that time we have been blessed with several more such donors.
We now humbly ask all of our Saint Demetrios family to please consider coming to the aid of our parish in this time of great need. Your gift of $160 will help ensure that our church survives this upcoming year in spite of all the unknowns associated with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Your gift ensures that Saint Demetrios will remain a healthy and vibrant Christian community when the world returns to normalcy. Please help Saint Demetrios continue its vitally important ministry.
You may mail a check to: (make sure to note Festival Replacement in the memo)
St. Demetrios Church
820 NE 14 Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304
Or, visit https://stdemetrios.org/make-a-donation/ , choose General Donation from the drop down menu and note “Festival Replacement” in the comment section.
Sunday School News
- Oratorical Festival
The St. Demetrios Oratorical Festival is set for Sunday, March 21. The event will take place after liturgy in the church. To learn more, students and parents may contact James W. Carras at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below are the topics. Visit https://www.goarch.org/en/oratorical for tips and resources on the topics, the rules, the various scholarship opportunities, and the Metropolis level and Archdiocese level dates.
Junior Division (Grades 7–9) Topics
1. Discuss the challenges and opportunities of watching a church service that is live streamed.
2. Prayer is called a “conversation with God.” Discuss the meaning of prayer in your life.
3. During the pandemic, people noticed that our natural environment became cleaner. What can this teach us about our care for the natural world?
4. Why is the Church still relevant, especially for young people, in our increasingly secular, post-COVID world?
5. Choose one parable from the Gospel of Luke chapters 15 or 16 that is particularly meaningful to you and explain what we can learn from it.
Senior Division (Grades 10–12) Topics
1. During the stay at home period of the pandemic, Orthodox Christians had to find ways to practice their faith without attending church in person or participating in parish activities. Discuss what you learned during those days.
2. In July 2020, a Turkish court gave permission for Hagia Sophia to be converted from a museum into a mosque. Discuss the significance of Hagia Sophia in the history of Christianity and the power of monuments like it to inspire religious identity.
3. We live in a highly polarized society – left vs. right, personal liberty vs. common good, and other issues where it seems everything is politicized. How are we as Orthodox Christians called to navigate this environment?
4. St. Peter writes, “Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16). What is freedom and how does it become a basis for being a servant?
5. In the Psalms we read, “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you.” (Psalm 130:3-4, NRSV). Discuss how an Orthodox Christian understands sin, forgiveness, mercy, and repentance.
Applications for the Dr. Helene Tzitsikas Scholarship for students enrolled in higher education as well as applications for St. Stephen’s Summer Camp are open. More information about the Dr. Tzitsikas Scholarship can be found on the St. Demetrios website www.stdemetrios.org. Information about St. Stephen’s Camp can be found on their website St. Stephen’s Summer Camp – Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta – Atlanta, GA (atlmetropolis.org)
Scholarship applications are available on line at the St. Demetrios website or call the Church Office 954-467-1515 Monday – Thursday. Deadlines for all applications are May 1, 2021.
Hellenic Initiative Events
The first online event will be a lecture by Dr. Kaldelis (professor of Byzantine History at the University of Ohio) on March 14th. His presentation will be followed by online coffee hour and conversation. More information to follow.
The second online event will be a presentation by Petros Tsingelis about the 25th of March celebration of 200 years from the war of Independence. His presentation will be followed by Q&A during the online coffee hour. This event will be held on March 28th. More information to follow.
- Metropolis Philoptochos Spiritual Retreat
The annual Metropolis Philoptochos Spiritual Retreat will be virtual this year, so we can engage with popular Orthodox author Federica Matthews-Greene and have fellowship with other women from across the Metropolis without the long trek to the Diakonia Center,
All women are invited. See the flyer attached and click here to register https://atlmetropolis.org/virtual-spiritual-retreat-2021
Matthews-Greene has written 10 books on the Greek Orthodox faith, and is Khouria/Presvytera at Holy Cross Antiochian Church in Baltimore.
Dear Ladies of St. Demetrios,
This has been a year like none other. Many of us and our loved ones have faced illness, unemployment, and loneliness. And yet the women of St. Demetrios have reached out to fill our spiritual, material, and emotional needs. It was women, through the Ladies Philoptochos, St. Elpis (Hope) chapter, who called to check on parishioners, got food and money to families who were suddenly unemployed, called and sent cards to the sick, reached out to our young people, and donated to the needs of greater Ft. Lauderdale.
But our patron St. Elpis wasn’t alone. She was the daughter of Sophia (Wisdom) and the sister of Pistis (Faith) and Agape (Love). To continue its work, Philoptochos needs ALL the wisdom, hope, faith, and love of ALL the women of St. Demetrios.
Please use the form below to join or renew for 2021.
- National Philoptochos Department of Social Services
Daughters of Penelope News
- Food Drive The Daughters of Penelope are having an Easter Food Drive Drive starting Sunday, February 28th thru March 28th. Non perishable items, grocery store gift cards or monetary donations will be greatly appreciated.
- Membership Drive We would love to have you join our wonderful Chapter!! Our next initiation will be in January 2021. Please contact Erin Ryan at 954 683-6452 or email@example.com.
- Virtual Bingo
- Comedy Night
Creative Expression and Research Contest
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