January 31, 2021 ~ Sunday of Zacchaeus
This is one of the preparatory Sundays before the beginning of Great Lent. On this day we learn about “Desire for God” through hearing the story of one who was willing to sacrifice his pride, status and wealth in order to be near Jesus.
This event tells how Christ brought salvation to a sinful man, and how his life was changed simply because he “sought to see who Jesus was” (Luke 19:3). The desire and effort to see Jesus begins the entire movement through Lent towards Pascha. It is the first movement of salvation.
Our Lenten journey begins with a recognition of our own sinfulness, just as Zacchaeus recognized his. He promised to make restitution by giving half of his wealth to the poor, and by paying to those he had falsely accused four times as much as they had lost.
The example of Zacchaeus teaches us that we should turn away from our sins, and atone for them. It also teaches that we can be assured of God’s mercy and compassion through Christ’s words, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9).
Cyrus & John the Unmercenaries
Commemorated on January 31
These Saints lived during the years of Diocletian. Saint Cyrus was from Alexandria, and Saint John was from Edessa of Mesopotamia. Because of the persecution of that time, Cyrus fled to the Gulf of Arabia, where there was a small community of monks. John, who was a soldier, heard of Cyrus’ fame and came to join him. Henceforth, they passed their life working every virtue, and healing every illness and disease freely by the grace of Christ; hence their title of “Unmercenaries.” They heard that a certain woman, named Athanasia, had been apprehended together with her three daughters, Theodora, Theoctiste, and Eudoxia, and taken to the tribunal for their confession of the Faith. Fearing lest the tender young maidens be terrified by the torments and renounce Christ, they went to strengthen them in their contest in martyrdom; therefore they too were seized. After Cyrus and John and those sacred women had been greatly tormented, all were beheaded in the year 292. Their tomb became a renowned shrine in Egypt, and a place of universal pilgrimage. It was found in the area of the modern day resort near Alexandria named Abu Kyr.
Resurrectional Apolytikion in the First Mode
Τοῦ λίθου σφραγισθέντος ὑπὸ τῶν Ἰουδαίων…
Although the stone was sealed by the Jews, and the soldiers guarded Your most pure body, You arose on the third day, O Savior, giving life to the world. For this reason, the heavenly powers cried out to you, O Giver of Life: Glory to Your resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Your kingdom! Glory to Your dispensation, only Lover of Mankind!
Apolytikion for Unmercenaries Cyrus & John in the Plagal First Mode
Τὰ θαύματα τῶν Ἁγίων σου Μαρτύρων…
Since Thou hast given us the miracles of Thy holy Martyrs as an invincible battlement, by their entreaties scatter the counsels of the heathen, O Christ our God, and strenghten the faith of Orthodox Christians, since Thou alone art good and the Friend of man.
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
Ὁ μήτραν παρθενικὴν ἁγιάσας τῶ τόκω σου…
Your birth sanctified a Virgin’s womb and properly blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and saved us O Christ our God, give peace to Your commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen those in authority, whom You love, as only the loving One.
Prokeimenon. First Mode. Psalm 32.22,1.
Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.
The reading is from St. Paul’s First Letter to Timothy 4:9-15.
Timothy, my son, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and suffer reproach, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you. Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.
The Reading is from Luke 19:1-10
At that time, Jesus was passing through Jericho. And there was a man named Zacchaios; he was a chief collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaios, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaios stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Nikolaos Stratoudakis (40 days) survived by his wife Niki, his daughter Angeliki (George) Ioannou, his son George (Dorothea), and his grandchildren, Yianni, George Jr., and Christina Marina Ioannou, and Nicholas and Dimitri Stratoudakis.
Theodora Kantzavelos (40 days) mother of George, Sotiri (Mary), and Aspasia (Tom), 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
Victor G. Vogis (20 years) survived by his parents Victor and Margo, his siblings Katya (Omar) and Esther (Tony) and his niece Margo Marie.
Schedule of Church Services
- 1/31 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.
“…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/ .
Thank you to all who took time out of their weekend to participate in the landscape/church cleanup.
The Three Hierarchs
In celebration of the Three Hierarchs, the Greek School will share a short presentation. The main speaker will be Xenya Currie; a student in the Advanced Greek Language class.
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 email@example.com. 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.
- Thanking Healthcare Workers
See the details below. If you would like to help us reach out, visit https://ladies-philoptochos-of-st-demetrios.square.site/
- Thank you for supporting St. Basil’s Academy
Thank you for donating to help the young people at St. Basil’s Academy. With your donations, including $100 from our own young people in GOYA and $100 from Dance, we were able to donate $400 to St. Basil’s.
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.
Creative Expression and Research Contest
Daughters of Penelope News
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Valentines Bingo
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