Our Purposeful Life – Blessings

Joseph Olas
October 14, 2012

Book Reference
Life of the Beloved
Spiritual Living In A Secular World
By Henri J. M. Nouwen


Blessed

Who do you ask blessings from?
Whom do you give your blessings to?

Book of Job
Blessed is the man whom the Lord has reproved (Job 5:17)

How have you been blessed in correction?

Broken

What pains are in your life?

Henri states: “The great spiritual call of the Beloved Children of God is to pull their brokenness away from the shadow of the curse and put it under the light of the blessing (p. 79/sc p. 97). How does putting our brokenness under the blessing differ from putting it under the curse? Why do we find it so difficult to do this?

What cross are you called to carry?

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

Save the Date!


St. Demetrios Events

We’ve got a couple of great events at St. Demetrios coming up in the next few months that should be tons of fun for everyone involved. Here are some of the details. Check them out.

October
25

St. Demetrios Vespers

Join us as we celebrate the feast day of St. Demetrios the Myrrh Bearer Patron saint of our community.

10/25 – Vespers 7:00 pm

10/26 – Orthros 8:45 am
            Divine Liturgy 9:30 am
    

December
8

Christmas Gala

Please join us family and friends for a night of fellowship at the beautiful Hilton Beach Resort.

Where:  Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

October
27

Dinner Dance

Join us for some community fellowship at our St. Demetrios Dinner Dance.  We hope that all parishioners and family members can attend the annual St. Demetrios Dinner Dance.  With a spectacular performance by Ellada.

When: Saturday, October 27th at 7:00pm

Where: St. Demetrios Community Center

December

31

New Year’s Eve Dance

Join us for our first New Year’s Eve dance hosted by PAREA, our young professionals group.

Where:  St Demetrios Community Center

Our Purposeful Life – Living Purposefully

Fr. Christopher Metropulos
October 7, 2012

Book Reference
Life of the Beloved
Spiritual Living In A Secular World
By Henri J. M. Nouwen

Opening thoughts and basis for discussion

Purpose in Life – Living a Purposefully Orthodox Christian Life

A life of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Not an occasional glance at each but rather a more meaningful and on purpose action in each area.

When we define the word purpose the following words come up: intention, aim, object, objective, goal, end, plan, scheme, target; ambition, aspiration. These definitions or synonymns are action based.

Reaching Our Full Potential

We don’t realize our full potential to be purposeful due to the trappings of this life but also because we really do not know how special we are to God according to Henri Nouwen. We are in God’s eyes the beloved.

It all stems from knowing who we are from the beginning of time. Jesus Christ’s baptism is a good place to start. We hear the voice of God at Jesus’s baptism, “You are my Son, the Beloved;my favor rests with you.” (Matt 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11, Luke 3:21-22) The key words here are, You are my beloved.

What Voices Are You Listening To?

What are the voices of the world calling you? Beloved or not loved at all. True to heart or hypocrite. etc. When Henri Nouwen hears the word beloved this is what he hears. “I have called you by name, from the very beginning. You are mine and I am yours. I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace. I look at you with infinite tenderness and care for you with a care more intimate than that of a mother for a child. Wherever you go I go with you, and wherever you rest I keep watch.

Has anyone ever expressed themselves to you in such a way? If yes, Glory be to God and if not, why not?

I don’t want you to waste to much of your time on silly things. I have fewer years behind me than ahead of me.

The Journey

The journey of the spiritual life calls not just for determination but to also know the terrain you are traveling on. I don’t want you to get stuck somewhere and not be able to fend for yourself, free yourself and move towards our Lord.

It is our task our destiny to become one with God as we discussed last month. In the words of St. Augustine, “My soul is restless until it rests in you,O God”. We were innocent before we started to feel guilty; we were in the light before we entered into the darkness; we were at home before we started to search for a home.

Becoming God like in a purposeful way takes more than determination. It means becoming vulnerable and asking God to enter your life and take charge. “Letting the truth of our belovedness become enfleshed in everything we think do and say.

Words to Live By

Let’s talk now about four words that Henri Nouwen feels he lives his life by and frankly words that we would do good to live by as well.

Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given

Conclusion

St Theophan the Recluse: Exert all your strength, but rest your concern with success on God.”

Finally, “May your baptism remain as your shield, your faith as your helmet, your love as your spear, your patience as your armor.”

A Message From Your President

For half a century, many of us have called St. Demetrios home. I grew up here and interacted with people that I still call my friends. I serve as the President of the Parish Council.

We come to here to learn how to grow in our faith, how to enrich in our culture and how to grow as a community. There are many ways to progress in this growth and one of them which is just within our grasp is to beautify our facilities, more specifically our community center and social hall. How would you like to see our community center revamped and upgraded? Well, the great news is that recently our parish council agreed that a portion of the proceeds from this Mercedes raffle will go to the improvement and renovation of the hall. Isn’t it time we improve the hall? Well I think it’s long overdue, don’t you?

The Parish Council has appointed a great committee of individuals under the most capable leadership of John George our new Chairman. We have set a goal of selling 5000 tickets and it is with your help we will reach that goal.

All it takes is for each family to sell the one book of tickets that was sent to your home. That’s it…yes, it’s that simple. Just ask people to buy a few tickets so that they have a chance to win a luxury car. You can also forward this email to your friend and ask them to buy a ticket online. It is that simple.

Oh and also if you sell the winning ticket, you receive two thousand dollars – that’s win number one, if your friend wins, they win the car- that’s win number two, and win number three of course is St. Demetrios, her mission, her facilities and her families. Please support this worthy cause – Remember it’s a win, win, win!

Thank you,

Chris Nichols, Parish Council President

 

Fall Harvest 2012

Join us for the St. Demetrios Fall Harvest Dance where there will be bountiful food, drinks and friends.

Who: Hosted by the Orthodox Christian Parishes of all Jurisdictions From Miami to Fort Pierce and from Florida’s South West Coast
What: St. Demetrios Fall Harvest Dance
Where: St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Ft. Lauderdale
When: Saturday, October 27th at 7:00 pm

Live Greek music performed by ELLADAPresale: Purchase tickets by October 7th
$40 Adults
$12 Children
$25 Teens

Fall Harvest 2012 Flyer

2013 Grand Raffle Update

As a result of your contributions we have as of September 24th we have sold 266 tickets and raised $6550!!

We ask that you continue to support your community to reach its goal of selling 5000 tickets!! You can purchase tickets online here at our website. Also look for the raffle table in our hall during our Fellowship hour.

Theosis – What is Prayer?

Fr. John Codis
September 23, 2012

Book Reference
Making All Things New
An Invitation to the Spiritual Life
By Henri J. M. Nouwen

Opening thoughts and basis for discussion

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me.”

Matthew 6:5-13
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
Prayer is not magic rather a relationship between two begins.

Three Stages of Prayer

Purification –  Praktiki – The practice of the virtues
Illumination –  Physiki – The contemplation of nature in God
Union – Theologia – The contemplation of God

No one can ever claim in this life to have passed beyond the first stage.  The three stages are not so much successive as simultaneous.  Three deepening levels, interdependent, coexisting with each other.

Prayer as Discipline – Repentance, metanoia
Prayer as Nature – Contemplating the things which God has made, present time
Prayer as God – The realization of God beyond nature and in all things

Prayer in Solitude

Prayer is a time for solitude.  What is solitude?

Solitude is a discipline by which it enables us to live active lives in the world while living in the active presence of God.

Solitude is not time for talking rather a time for listening.

Solitude is essential for the Spiritual Life.

How will solitude benefit us?

Prayer in Community

What is communal prayer?

“It is a free and empty space among people where together we can practice true obedience.”

Through corporate worship we prevent ourselves from clinging to each other in fear and loneliness, and clear free space to listen to the liberating voice of God.

The sacramental life in which we participate within the Church, is what constitutes our life in Christ.  Personal prayer and corporate prayer form a single unity.

Conclusion

“There is no other virtue that is either higher or more necessary than sacred prayer, because all other virtues – I mean fasting, vigils, sleeping on the ground, ascesis, chastity, alms-giving, and all the rest – even though they are ways of imitating God, even though they cannot be taken away from us and constitute in the immortal ornaments of the soul – do not unite man with God but only render him fit to be united.  Sacred prayer, and it alone, unites.  It alone joins God with man and makes the two one spirit.”

St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite.

2013 Raffle Kickoff

We are excited to announce the official 2013 Mercedes Benz Raffle.  As a result of the participation of all who offered their time and talent to make last year’s Grand Raffle and festival an amazing success we are once again asking for your help. WE WANT YOU to make this year’s Mercedes Grand Raffle an even greater achievement. Through your help and contributions we reached our goal last year and sold 2500 tickets. Help your community reach this year’s goal of 5000 tickets sold.

We ask that every family sells or buys 12 tickets. It is a Win Win Win! The person who is selected wins the automobile, the church ministries benefit, and the people who sell the tickets benefit. The person who sells the winning ticket receives $2000, the person who sells the most tickets receives $750, the person who sells the second most tickets receives $500, and the person who sells the third most tickets receives $250.00

As of September 10th we have sold 148 tickets and raised $3700!!

Help your community reach its goal of 5000 Sold Tickets!!

Theosis – Becoming One with God

Fr. Christopher Metropulos
September 9, 2012

Book Reference
Making All Things New
An Invitation to the Spiritual Life
By Henri J. M. Nouwen
Anaphora of St. Basil, writings of the fathers; Athansios. Ireanaus, Dionysios, Justin Martyr, Theophilus and many others

 

Opening thoughts and basis for discussion

Psalm 82:6:
“You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.  But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes”…using the metaphor of life and death…Theosis becoming once again with God.

Stages of Theosis

Came about or developed by Evagrious of Pontus, Dionysios the Aeropagite, St Maximus the Confessor.
Purification
Illumination
Union

Not a three step process but rather a process of dynamic growth.
How do we work our way towards Theosis?

INNER PEACE and Worrying

The authentic spiritual life finds its basis in the human condition which all people whether they are Christians or not find themselves.

Scripture Reference:

Let us make the human being according to our image and likeness Gen 1:26 And let them rule the fish.

What must we do to achieve inner peace?

The authentic spiritual life finds its basis in the human condition which all people whether they are Christian and not have in common. Spiritual life is a real when it is lived in the midst of pain and joys of the here and now.

Occupation or preoccupation

On top of our everyday lives is all of the bad news in the avalanche of ads-unrelenting insistence that we will miss out on something very important if we do not do something specific they advertise.

How do you feel about your present life?

What do you long for spiritually?

What are your priorities?

Unfulfilled

Henri reflects that boredom, resentment, and depression are the result of being unfulfilled. What role have these feelings played in your life? Henri describes boredom, resentment and depression, all of which are signs of disconnectedness.

Conclusion

“Jesus responds to this condition of being filled yet unfulfilled…” (p. 37).

Jesus says in Matthew 6:33-34 on page 21 in your bibles..

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”