Sunday Services: Orthros-8:45 a.m. Divine Liturgy-10:00 a.m. Sunday School after Distribution of Holy Communion. Holy Day Services As announced in weekly bulletins.
Sunday August 20th
11th Sunday of Matthew
Ushers: Chuck Odom & Costa Glennis
Greeter at Narthex: Adaya Wood
Epistle Reader: Monique Polles
Prosphoron: Sophia Cox
Coffee Hour: Michaele Glisson
Greek Festival Report and Luncheon - Sunday August 27th. The Parish Council invites you to this informational meeting and luncheon to hear the report on the 2017 Greek festival and " the future of our church ".
Our Holy Trinity-St. John the Theologian Prayer List:
"Remember Lord, those whom each of us calls prayerfully to mind" Georgia Dennery (Beau Ridge Memory Center 650 Highland Colony Parkway Ridgeland), Ted and Nancy Panaretos, Chuck Odom, Katina Marodis, Nicholas & Maria Psaris, William Abihider (Lakeland Rehab Jackson), Christ Castanis, Alice Sturgon, George V. Pinchuk, Bill and Diane Chaffins (Leslie Zouboukos's parents).Virginia Cora, Chris Grillis.
Our August Birthday list:Sophia Efstratiou-August 4th, Ellen Hontzas-August-9th, Kimberly Thompson-August 10th, Russell Thomas-August 11th, Dianna Psaris-August 14th, Moscha Mouzakis-August 15th, Lydia Laird-August 20th, Pete Zouboukos-August 22nd, Victoria Applewhite-August 23rd, Lana Sturgon-August 29th
September Birthday Celebrations: Jennifer Ann Cora-September 6th, Laura Efstratiou-September 7th, Alex Christopher Broome-September 9th, Maria Burnham-September 12th, Dos Thompson-September 12th, Virginia Cora-September 14th, Katherine Efstratiou-September 20th, Costa Glennis-September 23rd
PLEASE LET FATHER ANDREW KNOW OF ANY ADDITIONS OR CORRECTIONS-Thank You!
Congratulations: Congratulations to Kari Grillis who recently got engaged to Will East. Kari is the daughter of parishioners Chris and Janet Grillis. The couple plan to wed in June of 2018,
As we approach the beginning of another school year - we ask if there are any people interested in helping with the Sunday School Ministry. Please contact Presvitera Bonnie. Sunday school registration will take place on Sundays in the Church Hall. Classes will begin on the second Sunday in September (10th).
We need volunteers to help usher on Sundays - usually two people usher each week. Anyone interested in ushering please contact Father Andrew to volunteer.
Altar Servers - young men over the age of 10 are invited to serve in Altar during the Divine Liturgy - if you are interested and want serve your help is greatly appreciated. Just let Father Andrew know. Being at Church 10 mins prior to the LIturgy is appreciated.
Without your donations and constributions it becomes difficult to meet our budgeted expenses. Our monthly expenses include salaries, Gas, Electricity, Water, Archdiocese commitments, and from time to time extra expenses to repair items in the church proper. Please remember that your donations help us to meet these monthly expenses of $12k.
2017 Stewardship Commitment Cards are available in the Church Narthex and in the Fellowship Hall. Please return your card as soon as possible. Thanking you in advance for your prompt response and continued support of Holy Trinity-Saint John.
This most holy man, a Prophet of God from childhood, was the last judge of the Israelite people, and anointed the first two Kings of Israel. He was born in the twelfth century before Christ, in the city of Armathaim Sipha, from the tribe of Levi, the son of Elkanah and Hannah (Anna). He was the fruit of prayer, for his mother, being barren, conceived him only after she had supplicated the Lord with many tears; wherefore she called him Samuel, that is, "heard by God." As soon as Hannah had weaned him, she brought him to the city of Silom (Shiloh), where the Ark was kept, and she consecrated him, though yet a babe, to the service of God, giving thanks to Him with the hymn found in the Third Ode of the Psalter: "My heart hath been established in the Lord . . ." Samuel remained in Silom under the protection of Eli the priest. He served in the Tabernacle of God, and through his most venerable way of life became well-pleasing to God and man (I Kings 2: 26). While yet a child, sleeping in the tabernacle near the Ark of God, he heard the voice of God calling his name, and foretelling the downfall of Eli; for although Eli's two sons, Ophni and Phineas, were most lawless, and despisers of God, Eli did not correct them. Even after Samuel had told Eli of the divine warning, Eli did not properly chastise his sons, and afterwards, through various misfortunes, his whole house was blotted out in one day.
After these things came to pass, Samuel was chosen to be the protector of the people, and he judged them with holiness and righteousness. He became for them an example of all goodness, and their compassionate intercessor before God: "Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; yea, I will serve the Lord, and show you the good and the right way" (ibid. 12:23). When he asked them -- having God as witness -- if he ever wronged anyone, or took anyone's possessions, or any gift, even so much as a sandal, they answered with one voice: "Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, nor afflicted us, neither hast thou taken anything from anyone's hand" (ibid. 12:4). When Samuel was old, the people asked him for a king, but he was displeased with this, knowing that God Himself was their King. But when they persisted, the Lord commanded him to anoint them a king, saying, "They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me from reigning over them" (ibid. 8:7); so Samuel anointed Saul. But Saul transgressed the command of God repeatedly, so Samuel anointed David. Yet, since Samuel was a man of God, full of tender mercy, when the Lord told him that He had rejected Saul, Samuel wept for him the whole night long (ibid. 15:11); and later, since he continued to grieve, the Lord said to him, "How long wilt thou mourn for Saul?" (ibid. 16:1). Having lived blamelessly some ninety-eight years, and become an example to all of a God-pleasing life, he reposed in the eleventh century before Christ. Many ascribe to him the authorship of the Books of judges, and of Ruth, and of the first twenty-four chapters of the First Book of Kings (I Samuel).
The Apostle Thaddaeus was from Edessa, a Jew by race. When he came to Jerusalem, he became a disciple of Christ, and after His Ascension he returned to Edessa. There he catechized and baptized Abgar (see Aug. 16). Having preached in Mesopotamia, he ended his life in martyrdom. Though some call him one of the Twelve, whom Matthew calls "Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus" (Matt. 10:3), Eusebius says that he is one of the Seventy: "After [Christ's] Resurrection from the dead, and His ascent into Heaven, Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles, inspired by God, sent Thaddaeus, one of the seventy disciples of Christ, to Edessa as a preacher and evangelist of Christ's teaching" (Eccl. Hist. 1: 13).
The wonderworking icon of the Mother of God of Prusa was saved from destruction at the hands of the Iconoclasts in the ninth century, when a certain nobleman of Prusa (near Constantinople) brought it secretly to Greece. There he lost the icon, but it miraculously appeared in a cave in the area of Litza and Agrapha, where the monastery and the shrine of the icon are presently found. The feast today was established in commemoration of the many signs and healings that the holy Theotokos has wrought through the icon.
The Holy Hieromartyr Irenaeus was born in Asia Minor about the year 120, and in his youth was a disciple of Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. Saint Irenaeus was sent to Lyons in Gaul, to be a fellow labourer of Pothinus, Bishop of Lyons (celebrated June 2), who had also been a disciple Saint Polycarp. After the martyrdom of Saint Pothinus, Saint Irenaeus succeeded him as Bishop of Lyons. Besides the assaults of paganism, Irenaeus found himself compelled to do battle with many Gnostic heresies, against which he wrote his greatest work, A Refutation and Overthrow of Knowledge Falsely So Called . He was also a peace-maker within the Church. When Victor, Bishop of Rome, was prepared to excommunicate the Christians of Asia Minor for following a different tradition celebrating Pascha, Irenaeus persuaded him to moderate his zeal, and mediated peace. He made Lyons an illustrious bastion of Orthodoxy and a school of piety, and sealed his confession with martyrdom about the year 202, during the reign of Septimius Severus. He is not to be confused with Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Sirmium, also celebrated today, who was beheaded and cast into a river in 304 under Diocletian.
Our holy Father Cosmas was from the town of Mega Dendron (Great Tree) of Aetolia. At the age of twenty, he went to study at the school of the Monastery of Vatopedi on the Holy Mountain. Later, he came to the Athonite Monastery of Philotheou where he was tonsured. With the blessing of his abbot, he departed for Constantinople where he learned the art of rhetoric, and thereafter, he began to preach throughout all the regions of northern Greece, the Ionian Islands, but especially in Albania, for the Christian people there were in great ignorance because of the oppression and cruelty of the Moslems. Finally, in 1776, after having greatly strengthened and enlightened the faithful, working many signs and wonders all the while, he was falsely accused by the leaders of the Jewish people and was executed by strangulation by the Moslem Turks in Albania.
In all probability, the icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir was painted in Constantinople. In the twelfth century, Patriarch Luke Chrysoberges sent it to Kiev to Great Prince Yuri Dolgruky. The icon was kept in the convent at Vyshgorod, whence the holy Prince Andrew of Bogoliubovo brought it to Vladimir. The icon is one of the most venerated in Russia, having been carried by princes in military campaigns, prayed before by rulers for the welfare of the people, and flocked to by the faithful of all walks of life. At the election of the metropolitans and patriarchs, the names of the candidates were placed before this holy icon, and after prayer, the lot chosen; Patriarch Tikhon the Confessor was elected this way. The icon is celebrated also on June 23 and May 21, the last feast being established to commemorate the deliverance of Moscow in 1521 from the onslaught of the Tartar Khan Makhmet-Girei.
Hymn of Pentecost:
O blessed are You, O Christ our God. Who by sending down the Holy Spirit upon them, made the fishermen wise, and through them illumined the world. And unto You the universe was ever drawn. All glory to You O Lord.
Hymn of St. John the Theologian
O Apostle, beloved of Christ our God, hasten to deliver a defenseless people. He that allowed thee to recline in His breast, receiveth thee bowing in intersession. Implore Him, O Theologian, do dispel the persistent cloud of the heathen, and ask for us His peace and great mercy.
Eleventh Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from John 21:14-25
At that time, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after he was raised from the dead, and he said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me."
Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!" So, the word went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die; but Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?" This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
Prokeimenon. Second Tone. Psalm 117.14,18.
The Lord is my strength and my song.
Verse: The Lord has chastened me sorely.
The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 9:2-12.
Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a sister as wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
11th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 18:23-35
The Lord said this parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, 'Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord delivered him to the torturers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."
Four Biblical Principles of Stewardship
1. The principle of ownership. The psalmist begins the 24th psalm with,
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
In the beginning of Genesis, God creates everything and puts Adam in the Garden to work it and to take care of it. It is clear that man was created to work and that work is the stewardship of all of the creation that God has given him.
This is the fundamental principle of biblical stewardship. God owns everything, we are simply managers or administrators acting on his behalf.
Therefore, stewardship expresses our obedience regarding the administration of everything God has placed under our control, which is all encompassing. Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service, recognizing that we do not have the right of control over our property or ourselves.
Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.
2. The principle of responsibility.
In explaining responsibility,
Although God gives us “all things richly to enjoy,” nothing is ours. Nothing really belongs to us. God owns everything; we’re responsible for how we treat it and what we do with it. While we complain about our rights here on earth, the Bible constantly asks, What about your responsibilities? Owners have rights; stewards have responsibilities.
We are called as God’s stewards to manage that which belongs to God. While God has graciously entrusted us with the care, development, and enjoyment of everything he owns as his stewards, we are responsible to manage his holdings well and according to his desires and purposes.
3. The principle of accountability.
A steward is one who manages the possessions of another. We are all stewards of the resources, abilities and opportunities that God has entrusted to our care, and one day each one of us will be called to give an account for how we have managed what the Master has given us.
This is the maxim taught by the Parable of the Talents. God has entrusted authority over the creation to us and we are not allowed to rule over it as we see fit. We are called to exercise our dominion under the watchful eye of the Creator managing his creation in accord with the principles he has established.
Like the servants in the Parable of the Talents, we will be called to give an account of how we have administered everything we have been given, including our time, money, abilities, information, wisdom, relationships, and authority.
We will all give account to the rightful owner as to how well we managed the things he has entrusted to us.
4. The principle of reward.
In Colossians 3:23-24 Paul writes:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
The Bible shows us in the parables of the Kingdom that faithful stewards who do the master’s will with the master’s resources can expect to be rewarded incompletely in this life, but fully in the next.
We all should long to hear the master say what he exclaims in Matthew 25:21:
Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!
As Christians in the 21st century, we need to embrace this larger biblical view of stewardship, which goes beyond church budgets or building projects, though important; it connects everything we do with what God is doing in the world.
We need to be faithful stewards of all God has given us within the opportunities presented through his providence to glorify him, serve the common good and further his Kingdom.