February 21, 2021 ~ Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee ~ Triodion Begins
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
The Pharisees were an ancient and outstanding sect among the Jews known for their diligent observance of the outward matters of the Law. Although, according to the word of our Lord, they “did all their works to be seen of men” (Matt. 23:5), and were hypocrites (ibid. 23: 13, 14, 15, etc.), because of the apparent holiness of their lives they were thought by all to be righteous, and separate from others, which is what the name Pharisee means. On the other hand, Publicans, collectors of the royal taxes, committed many injustices and extortions for filthy lucre’s sake, and all held them to be sinners and unjust. It was therefore according to common opinion that the Lord Jesus in His parable signified a virtuous person by a Pharisee, and a sinner by a Publican, to teach His disciples the harm of pride and the profit of humble-mindedness.
Since the chief weapon for virtue is humility, and the greatest hindrance to it is pride, the divine Fathers have set these three weeks before the Forty-day Fast as a preparation for the spiritual struggles of virtue. This present week they have called Harbinger, since it declares that the Fast is approaching; and they set humility as the foundation for all our spiritual labors by appointing that the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee be read today, even before the Fast begins, to teach, through the vaunting of the Pharisee, that the foul smoke of self-esteem and the stench of boasting drives away the grace of the Spirit, strips man of all his virtue, and casts him into the pits of Hades; and, through the repentance and contrite prayer of the Publican, that humility confers upon the sinner forgiveness of all his wicked deeds and raises him up to the greatest heights.
Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch
Commemorated on February 21
Saint Eustathius, the great defender of piety and illustrious opponent of Arianism, was from Side in Pamphylia. He became Bishop of Beroea (the present-day Aleppo), and in 325 was present at the First Ecumenical Council. From thence he was transferred to the throne of Antioch. But Saint Constantine the Great, led astray by the slanders directed against the Saint by the Arians, banished him to Trajanopolis in Thrace, where he reposed in 337, according to some. Others say he lived until 360.
Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Fourth Mode
Τὸ φαιδρὸν τῆς Ἀναστάσεως κήρυγμα…
Having learned the joyful proclamation of the Resurrection from the Angel, and having cast off the ancestral condemnation, the women disciples of the Lord spake to the Apostles exultantly: Death is despoiled and Christ God is risen, granting great mercy to the world.
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 Fourth Mode
Φαρισαίου φύγωμεν ὑψηγορίαν…
Let us flee from the boasting of the Pharisee and learn through our own sighs of sorrow the humility of the Publican. Let us cry out to the Savior, “Have mercy on us, for through You alone are we reconciled.”
Prokeimenon. Fourth Mode. Psalm 103.24,1.
O Lord, how manifold are your works. You have made all things in wisdom.
Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul.
The reading is from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Timothy 3:10-15
TIMOTHY, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at lconion, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
The Reading is from Luke 18:10-14
The Lord said this parable, “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Gari Paticopoulos (40 days) survived by her children Marie Paticopoulos Needham and Margret Poole, 4 grandchildren, and 1 great grandson.
Elpitha Markides Zapantis (40 days) aunt of Elias Zapantis and family.
Neophytos Demetriou (1 year) survived by his children and grandchildren.
Michael Homatas (1 year) survived by his wife Stacy and the Homatas, Nesi, and Prevolis families.
Louis Elias Salas (1 year) survived by his wife Sandra Louise, daughter Keen Ann, grandchildren, aunt Sophia Thermis, nieces and nephews.
Peter James Thermis (2 years) survived by his sister Sophia Thermis, nieces and nephews.
Sophia Pacani (10 years) survived by her parents Anan and Petros and by her siblings Thanassi, Dhimitri, and Gabriella Sofia.
Elias Aspras (29 years) and Anthony Aspras (36 years) family of Alice Aspras.
George Pappas (71 yrs), Cleo Pappas (35 yrs), Michael Pappas (36 yrs), George Pappas (6 yrs), and Philip Pappas (8 mos) family of Alice Aspras.
Dimitri and Svetlana Paicopoulos present Alexander for the traditional 40 day blessing.
Schedule of Church Services
- 2/21 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.
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 (make sure to note Festival Replacement in the memo) to:
St. Demetrios Church
820 NE 14 Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304
Or, visit this link https://stdemetrios.org/make-a-donation/
“…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/ .
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.
- 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.
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