12/11 announcements

December 11, 2011
Twenty-ninth Sunday after Pentecost;
Sunday of the Forefathers
 
Colossians 3:4-11:  As we read in Colossians, we see St Paul encouraging the Church to practice the virtues of compassion, kindness, and humility.  He reminds us that love is the bond which holds us together and calls us to let the peace  of Christ to rule us.
 
Luke 14:16-24:  In the parable of the man who gave a dinner we see that not all who are called to dine will come and that the consequences of refusing the invitation are great.
 
Troparion of the Resurrection:  The stone being sealed by the Jews, and thy pure body being guarded by the soldiers, thou didst arise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life to the world.  Wherefore, the heavenly powers acclaimed thee, O Giver of life, crying, Glory to thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to thy kingdom! Glory to thy gracious providence, O only Lover of mankind.
 
Troparion of the Forefathers: Thou hast justified by faith the ancient forefathers and through them thou hast gone before and betrothed unto thyself the Church of the Gentiles.  Let the saints, therefore, take pride in glory; for from their seed sprouted forth a noble fruit, and she it was who gavest birth to thee without seed.  Wherefore, by their pleadings, O Christ God, save our souls.
  
Troparion of the Chains of St. Peter: O Holy Apostle, Peter, thou dost preside over the Apostles by the precious chains which thou didst bear.  We venerate them with faith and beseech thee that by thine intercessions we be granted the great mercy.
 
Kontakion Preparatory for Nativity:  Today the Virgin comes unto the cave to give birth in an ineffable manner to the Word before the ages.  Rejoice, therefore, O universe, when you hear, and glorify with the angels and the shepherds him who shall appear by his own will as a new babe, being God before the ages.
 
CALENDAR

Sunday, December 11   
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            1:00 p.m.         — Young Adults
 
Monday, December 12   (St. Spyridon the Wonderworker)
            Office Closed  — Father John’s Day Off
           
Tuesday, December 13   
            6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
 
Wednesday, December 14  
5:00 p.m.         — Catechism Class
6:30 p.m.         — Advent Paraklesis
7:30 p.m.         — Choir Practice
 
Thursday, December 15   (Hieromrtyr Eleftherios)
6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
 
Friday, December 16             
6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
 
Saturday, December 17
7:30 a.m.         — Bible Study with Breakfast
5:45 p.m.         — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
 
Sunday, December 18   (Sunday before the Nativity)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            5:30 p.m.         — Youth Group

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Bakers for the Divine Liturgy today and the Artoklasia was offered by the Hendersons for the Feast of St. Nicholas last Monday evening.  
 
Please be reminded of the following:
Be very careful with the Blessed Bread when you take it after communion.  Because this bread has been blessed, we should take care not to let crumbs fall on the floor.  Parents, especially, please help your children to choose a small piece and treat it carefully.
         Also, at the end of the liturgy, maintain a prayerful disposition during the veneration of the cross as the prayers of thanksgiving after communion are still underway.  Please exchange your greetings with each other in the Fellowship Hall during Coffee Hour.
 
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                                      Eucharist Bread                     Coffee Hour
         December 11                        Bakers                                     Ellis/Zouboukos
         December 18                        Woods                                     Meadows/Lasseters/Karen
         December 24 (p.m.)              R. Roots                                   Sandi Strain/Mary Ellis
         December 31 (p.m.)                                      (Artoklasia Bread for the Circumcision of our
                                                                                 Lord and the feast of St. Basil)
 
Schedule for Epistle Readers – Page numbers refer to the Apostolos (book of the Epistles) located on the front pew.  Please be sure to use this book when you read.
                                          Reader                                 Reading                          Page#
December 11                     Sh. Charlotte Algood            Col. 5:4-11                     233
December 18                     Kh. Sharon Meadows           Heb. 11:9-10, 32-40       348
December 24                     Warren Strain                        Gal. 4:4-7                       351
 
Please be reminded that the Sacristy/Vestry which is adjacent to and behind the altar in our church is considered by the Orthodox Church to be part of the Sanctuary (Altar area) and should not be entered without the blessing of the priest for a specific purpose.  If you need to speak with a member of the clergy while they are in the Sanctuary, please ask them to come to you in the nave.
 
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle and their daughter Abigail in your prayers.   
 
Please remember the following in your prayers:  Maria Costas; Amy and Michael Surratt and Amy’s family; Tom and Jennifer Skirtech and Jennifer’s mother, Jessamine Hinkson;  Warren and Sandi Strain and Warren’s mother, Quida Strain; Fr. Leo, Kh. Be’Be’, Stephen and Amy, Justyn and Jeffrey; Steve, Sheryl and Stephen Chamblee; Amy and Brantley Oliver; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit; David Turner’s mother Mary Jean; Sophie Dansereau (as she recovers from surgery), Rebecca and Chris.
 
Please remember Dorin and Carolina Lavric and Carolina’s brother Victor in your prayers.  Victor was injured in a car accident in the Ukraine and remains in a coma.
 
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
 
Please be sure to schedule a time for Confession with your priest during the Fast of the Nativity.
 
Come one; come all to the 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Bake-off to be held at the church on Saturday, December 17th from 1-3 p.m.  (Jennifer assures all that there will be no discrimination due to age, gender or being artistically challenged.)  Parents will help little ones through stations and then have a chance to decorate some themselves.  Snacks, drinks and activities will also be provided.  Please let Jennifer or Emily know by December 16th if you will be attending.  (Parents:  the children will be working with peanut butter, chocolate and red food dye in case your child has any of these allergies.)
 
Calendar Items:
*    The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.
*    During the Fast of the Nativity, as is our parish custom, we will celebrate the Advent Paraklesis in place of Daily Vespers on Wednesday evenings, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
*    We will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord with Orthros and Divine Liturgy beginning at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, December 24th.  Royal Hours for the Feast of the Nativity will be held at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, December 23rd.
*    As is our custom, we will have Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia to celebrate the Circumcision of our Lord and the feast of St. Basil the Great on Sunday evening, December 31st, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
*    Parish Creative Arts Festival – Saturday morning, February 4th from 9-12.
*    The Annual Deanery Youth Retreat will be held on February 10-12, 2012 at John W. Kyle State Park in Sardis.  Joel and Sarah Finley will be addressing the topic of the Culture of Dating.  More information will be available as the time draws near.
*    Father Thomas Hopko will be speaking at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Clinton February 14-16, 2012.  More information will be available at a later date.
*    The Youth Group is planning to hold their annual Cheesefare Fundraising Luncheon on Sunday, February 26th.
*    His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN will be here the weekend of May 6, 2012 to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary as a parish.  The planning committee is working very hard to make our celebration a memorable one.  There will be an evening event at the MS Museum of Art on Saturday, May 6th.  Other events are being planned and more information will be available in the coming months.
 
Volunteers for Village Confections:  We will be working at Village Confections (the bakery that benefits the Christmas Village ministry to mothers with unplanned pregnancies) on Saturday evening, December 17th.  If you would like to volunteer, please let Joanna or Anastasia know.

Windows into Heaven:  We are looking for a volunteer to take charge of the small bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall that was used in the past to display icons, hymns and information about the major feasts that occur during the year.  The packets of material needed for the bulletin board are available in the church office and only need to be changed for each of the feasts as they occur.  We would like to have the bulletin board up before the Feast of the Nativity.  If you are interested in taking on this responsibility, please let Fr. John know.
 
Fasting Discipline for December
In December the traditional fasting (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil) is observed each day of the week until the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord.  Note, however, through December 19th there is a katalysis on Tuesdays and Thursdays when wine and oil are permitted, and on Saturdays and Sundays when fish, wine and oil are permitted.  There is no fasting from December 25th through January 4th.
 
Major Commemorations for December
December 12   Spyridon the Wonder-worker
December 15   Hieromartyr Eleutherios
December 20   God-bearer Ignatius of Antioch
December 25   Nativity of our Lord
December 26   Synaxis of the Theotokos
December 27   Protomartyr Stephen
 
Happy Birthdays in December:
         December 1           —    Christina Katool
         December 2           —    Jim Roehner
         December 3           —    Stephanie Baker
                                       —    Athena Zouboukos
         December 4           —    Brenda Baker
         December 8           —    Ben Brock
                                       —    Sam Habeeb
                                       —    Michael Surratt
         December 11         —    Sh. Charlotte Algood
         December 12         —    Jenna Skirtech
         December 20         —    Steve Chamblee
                                       —    Anna Freundt
         December 21         —    Caroline Halley
         December 27         —    Ben Skirtech
                                       —    Warren Strain
                                       —    Nicholas Zouboukos (#12!)
         December 28         —    Sheryl Chamblee
 
Happy Anniversary on December 21st  to Fr. John and Kh. Janet Henderson (#37!)

If you are the last to leave the building, please make sure that the heating and cooling unit in the Fellowship Hall is turned off.
 
Parish Creative Arts Festival:  The Christian Education classes will have a festival to work on their entries for this year’s Creative Arts Festival on Saturday morning, February 4th from 9-12.  There will be teaching about this year’s conference theme and then time to work on the projects themselves.  A Pizza lunch will be provided afterwards.  Please make plans now for your children to attend.
 
Breakfast and Bible Study:  we are continuing to meet every 2-3 weeks for Bible Study on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast. This is open to all who are interested.  Be sure to come and enjoy the fellowship.
 
Quotable:         “The word ‘mystery’ can be quite baffling.  Like all words, it is a pointer, but in this particular instance it is pointing at something that cannot be described, something that lies beyond the place where the mind can make sense of things.
                             Yet, this word ‘mystery’—together with its many levels of meaning and its profound significance—lies at the heart of the Eastern Orthodox experience of God.  Those who come to Orthodoxy from another Christian tradition or from a Western educational background will do well to come to terms with this word before they proceed to make the most of the immense treasures of faith and practice Orthodoxy has to offer.
                              In everyday English, the word ‘mystery’ implies a puzzle to be solved, a conundrum to be unraveled.  The idea is that if you think about a problem long enough, you will find a solution.  In the East, on the other hand, a mystery is an area where the human mind cannot go, where the heart alone makes sense—not by knowing, but by being.  The Greek word mysterion leads you into a sense of ‘not-knowing’ or ‘not-understanding’ and leaves you there.  Having arrived, all you can do is gaze and wonder; there is nothing to solve.”
                                                Archimandrite. Meletios Webber, Bread and Water, Wine and Oil: an Orthodox Christian Experience of God
 
 
Worship:         Sunday, December 18, 2011 (Sunday before the Nativity)
 
         Scripture:                               Hebrews 11:9-10; 17:23, 32-40; Luke
         Celebrant:                              Father John
         Epistle Reader:                      Kh. Sharon  Meadows
         Prosphora:                             Woods
         Coffee Hour:                           Karen Cooper/Meadows/Lasseters

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