Sunday Morning Orthros/Matins 8:15am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am; Saturday Great Vespers 5:00pm (October thru May); Weekday Services (see Online Calendar, Sunday Bulletin & Monthly Newsletter); Confession (by appointment).
This Martyr practiced the ascetic discipline in Nisibis of Mesopotamia; she was of such great beauty that the report of her came to the persecutor Selenus, and every attempt was made to make her deny Christ. After many horrible tortures, she was cruelly dismembered by the executioners, then beheaded, in the year 310 (or, according to some, in 302, during the reign of Diocletian).
Third Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Mark 16:9-20
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.
Prokeimenon. 2nd Mode. 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 Letter to the Romans 5:1-10.
BRETHREN, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man -- though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
3rd Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 6:22-33
The Lord said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."
Sin of Perfectionism (6-18-2017)
Humor- Once upon a time a church’s pastor was struck with a serious illness. Every week an update was posted in the bulletin about the pastor’s condition. One Sunday the posting read: “God is good--The pastor is better!”
Blessed Father’s Day to all! When we recall our father and his role in our life, some are filled with joy and thankfulness. Others are filled with sadness and resentment. Some of us, perhaps most of us had admirable fathers, while a few had fathers that failed in many ways. For most of us, there was a time, perhaps yet to come, when we realized our fathers were not perfect and we had to accept that--make peace with it so we could grow and mature.
This same realization and acceptance occurred or needs to occur with our grandfathers, godfathers and father-figures, especially our spiritual fathers—the priests and bishops of our Holy Orthodox Church. Consider for a moment the following:
MEMO TO: Jesus of Nazareth FROM: The Jerusalem Management Consulting Firm
Dear Sir: Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for management positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken a series of tests, and we have not only run the results through our computer, but we have also conducted an in-depth interview with each of them by our staff psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.
The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully. It is the staff’s opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education, and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept and we would highly recommend that you continue your search for persons with more experience, higher qualifications, and greater managerial abilities.
Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and is given to fits of temper. Andrew simply has no qualities of leadership.
The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interests above company loyalty and are quite boisterous. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale among the ranks.
It is also our duty to inform you that the Better Business Bureau of Greater Jerusalem has received reports on Matthew regarding questionable business practices. James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus definitely have radical leanings and both demonstrate attitude problems which would present difficulty in their dealings with the public.
However, one of your candidates shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, responsible, and is not afraid to take the initiative. We recommend Judas Iscariot as the most qualified of all of your prospective candidates. Sincerely, The Jerusalem Management Consulting Firm
It was not just the disciples of Jesus who were imperfect. We are all imperfect, especially the priests and bishops of our Church. However, God uses weak and imperfect people to accomplish His exalted purposes. “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1Cor.1:27). This is important to remember on the Second Sunday of Matthew as we hear in the Gospel (Mt.4:18-23) about Jesus calling His first disciples: Peter, Andrew, James and John.
For us to expect our fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, father-figures and spiritual fathers to be perfect is not only unrealistic but it is a sin. It’s called the sin of perfectionism. Perfectionism is basically the sin of pride. It assumes that being perfect is a realistic possibility. And we not only apply it to others, sometimes we apply it to ourselves. A perfectionist once said, “I never make a mistake. I thought I did once, but I was wrong.” On the other hand, a repentant sinner once said, “I try to never make the same mistake twice but every day I make new ones.”
Fr. Anthony Coniaris in his sermon/book, “Imperfect Disciples: The Sin of Perfectionism” (Homilies from an Orthodox Pulpit, pp.84-91) says that perfectionism is a personal tendency to expect perfect performance from ourselves and others. Thus, minor imperfections and tiny mistakes are intolerable and unacceptable. Common feelings about ourselves associated with imperfection include: “I am indispensable, they can’t do it without me…If I make an error I am a failure…If I don’t do it, it will not be perfect nor will it succeed…What others think of me is very important…I am what I do…I can’t forgive myself…I am unable to relax, I must always be busy…I fear not being like or loved…I cannot say no.”
I would add that perfectionism also affects our feelings about others: “He/she is lazy…They can never get it right…They must not be very smart…I cannot relate to him/her…They don’t really care about me…I cannot trust them.”
Because of their role, pastors, priests and bishops are very susceptible to perfectionism. A retired psychiatrist said to her pastor one day, “Your trouble is obvious. You want to be God. You wonder if your counseling will help others. You want to straighten life out for them. You fret about the results of your preaching. However, we cannot control the response or reaction of others to what we do or do not do. That belongs to God. If we try to manipulate the response to our actions, then we try to be God. We are called to do the best we can, and leave the consequences or results up to God. We are to do our part but to let God be God. He is supreme. He is sovereign. He is perfect. He is all-knowing. He, not we.”
We, both clergy and lay persons, cannot come to God if we think we are perfect. Our pride in our perfection places a barrier between us and God. The Apostle John wrote, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1Jn.1:8). Christ did not die for us because we are perfect. Rather, He died because we are not. The perfect person needs no Savior. Jesus said, “12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Mt.9:12-13).
But Jesus also said, “48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Mt.5:48). What does He mean? Christ’s command to perfection, not perfectionism, keeps us humble and penitent knowing that we can never attain it.
How often have we heard non-church goer say, “When I find the perfect church, I’ll join it!” The best response to this is, “There are not perfect churches because they are always filled with imperfect people. But if you find the perfect church, don’t join it because then it will be imperfect.”
Mahatma Ghandi said once, “I’d be a Christian if it were not for the Christians.’ He also said, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” On the one hand, Ghandi was correct because there will never be a Christian exactly like Christ. Jesus alone was perfect and sinless. On the other hand, Ghandi was incorrect because Christianity does not necessarily offer us Christians but it does offer us Christ.
The Desert Fathers tell us about St. Sisoes who lay dying when the Lord appeared to him. He pleaded with the Lord, “Give me time to repent O Christ!” The brothers who were with Sisoes were astonished because they knew how holy he was and asked him, “You mean you have not repented yet?” Sisoes replied, “Believe me brothers, I have not yet begun to repent.” His example shows us that holiness is attained through sincere, daily repentance and confession, which is an attitude of unworthiness, not an attitude of perfectionism.
The great French preacher Francois Fenelon said once, “The love of God never looks for perfection in created things. It knows that perfection dwells in Him alone. As it never expects perfection, it is never disappointed.” This is especially important for us to remember on Father’s Day. How many people carry resentments because they never let go of their expectations for perfection—resentments towards their fathers for being imperfect and/or resentments towards others because they idealized their imperfect fathers. Think about it.
Just as wise fathers do not expect perfection from their children, so our heavenly Father does not expect it from us. But He asks that we keep it as our goal. Listen to these pertinent passages from the Scriptures:
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in allyourconduct,16because it is written,“Be holy, for I am holy.” (1Peter 1:15-16).
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (1Cor.7:1)
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1John 3:2)
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (Philippians 3:12).
Nicholas Cabasilas writes, “The life in Christ originates in this life…It is perfected however, in the life to come.” Thus, as children of God we should always be aiming at perfection. But demanding it with a perfectionism that cannot accept failure misses the point of who we are as humans living in a fallen world.
As we close today, Fr. Coniaris writes that in the first century, the Christian community was known as the Way (n odos) (Acts 9:2; 24:14). This is an apt description for Christians because we are, or should be, always on the road, found at different locations, different levels of growth, driving different cars. And, as long as we are on the road moving forward, we should be patient with ourselves and understanding of others. More than that, we need to link hands and help our weaker brothers and sisters. This is what the Church is all about. It is a redemptive fellowship of repentant sinners who are on the slow, difficult process of being turned into saints. Perhaps we have seen the bumper sticker, “Don’t criticize me. God isn’t finished with me yet.”
C.S. Lewis suggested that God is easy to please but hard to satisfy. We are that way with our children. When our kids come home from school and are able to read for the first time, we are pleased but we are not satisfied until they can also read Plato and Aristotle, the newspaper and the Bible. So, consider this when you remember your own fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, spiritual fathers and father-figures. Blessed Father’s Day! Amen!
ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
REV. FR. RICHARD DEMETRIUS ANDREWS, PRESBYTER
June 25, 2017 3rd SUNDAY OF MATTHEW
TODAY’S EVENTS: Serve-a-Meal at FOCUS MN 4pm; Greek Dance Practice 6:30pm.
Memorial: Ringo George Cender (1 year) Prosfora: Evelyn Charnell
Epistle Reader: Stephen Kanavati Fellowship: Vicky & Soule Paraschou Family Head Usher: Jim Theros
Saturday 07-01 Summer Church Camp in Amery,WI through July 7
Sunday 07-02 ORTHROS (8:15am) &DIVINELITURGY- 4th SUNDAY OF MATTHEW 9:30AM
Serve-a-Meal at FOCUS MN 4:00PM
Greek Dance Practice 6:30PM
Tuesday 07-04 Independence Day Holiday, office closed
Thursday 07-06 Prison Ministry Leaders meeting at St. Mary’s GOC 12:00PM
Welcome! To Fr. Jason Houck who is celebrating the Divine Liturgy while Fr. Rick is on vacation, returning June 29. For pastoral emergencies, call St. Mary Greek Orthodox Church. For other urgent issues, call the church office or a parish council member.
40-Day Churching: Sophia Pachito and baby Nicholas were churched last Sunday, June 18.
Baptized into Christ: Margaret Gabrik, daughter of Rena Sarigianopoulos & Scott Gabrik on May 28th. Godparent is Nouna Anna Christoforides. Congratulations to all!
New Metropolitan of Chicago: will be elected in the following manner: With input from 120 Archdiocesan Council members, the Holy Eparchial Synod of America will select three candidates for consideration and will forward the names to the Patriarchal Synod in Constantinople, which will make the final decision. Likely, the announcement will be made after the 40 day memorial for Metropolitan Iakovos. Until then, Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit is serving as locum tenens.
Think About It: A place does not save you. There is no place where you can escape from yourself. St. Nikon of Optina (+1931)
Don’t Forget to Fast: We are currently in the Fast of the Apostles, which runs from Monday after All Saints Sunday (June 11) to Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul (June 29). No meat or dairy is allowed but fish can be eaten on any day except Wednesdays and Fridays during this Fast. Remember to pray too!
Summer Church Camp: begins this Saturday with several children from our parish participating. Please keep them and all the campers and staff in your prayers for a safe, enjoyable and edifying week.
Festival Baking: Join our dedicated bakers and help make delicious Greek sweets for the Summer Festival. We will bake Wednesdays- June 28, July 5, July 12, and July 19 starting at 9:30am. Please contact Nanette Gomez or the office for more information.
Young at Heart: will meet on Tuesday, July 11 at 9:30am at The Original Pancake House, located in Crossroads of Roseville, 1661 County Road B2 W, Roseville, 55113. Everybody is welcome!
Mural Icons (Corrected)- Thank you to all for designating memorials of departed loved ones and making additional significant personal contributions: Resurrection Icon - Presvytera Miriam Paraschou in memory of Fr. Parry; Crucifixion Icon - Christ Kontenakos & family in memory of Antonia Kontenakos; Nativity Icon - Irene Loudas in memory of Basil Loudas; and Pentecost Icon - Mary Arvanitis in memory of Loucas Arvanitis, Nick and Frances Arvanitis, Michael Eric, and Aphrodite Arvanitis.
Thank you! to everyone who expressed sympathies and condolences and support when Dimitri fell asleep in the Lord. Thanks also for the memorial gifts, flowers and anonymous gifts given in his memory. May his memory be eternal! -Becka Dokos and family.
Greek Festival: August 19-20. 2017; save the dates! Advance Sale tickets will be sold in the social hall on Sundays after liturgy, ticket price is $10 for $12 of food & beverages through July 23. Yard signs are also available in the social hall. If you are interested in serving on the Clean-up Committee or any other, please contact Jon Kennedy, Phyllis Kapetanakis or Alexis Bighley.
Patristic Wisdom: In the measure that we pay attention and take care to carry out what we hear, God will always enlighten and make us understand His will. St. Dorotheos of Gaza (+565)
Middle Eastern Festival: July 14-16 at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church. For details, see flyer in social hall or visit www.mideastfest.com.
St. George Date Night: Saturday, July 15, 6-9pm. The couples group of St. George, formerly known as Hearth & Hearts, are planning a progressive dining and fellowship experience for couples and singles--all are welcome! We hope to come up with a new name then too! Approximate schedule: 6:00pm Lake Monster Brewing Company, 6:30pm Urban Growler - plan on dinner here, 8:00pm Burning Brothers Brewing. For more info, please contact Peter Hofrenning or Presbytera Jane firstname.lastname@example.org.
Church Fathers Speak: No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to know God unless we live according to His commandments. For God is not known by science but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and learned persons came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to believe that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his/her soul will burn with love for God day and night, not being bound by anything earthly. St. Silouan the Athonite (+1938)
Prothesis Project- the masonry work for the new antiprothesis/skeuvophylakion project is complete. This is the first phase. After sealing and painting, the next is the installation of the new carved wood cabinets for both the original prosthesis in the north niche and the new antiprothesis in the south niche. Each will have a special carved panel, one of St. George and the other a Lamb with a Cross. Additional work includes marble tops and an icon in the south niche. This will be beautiful addition to our sanctuary space and provide practical storage, display and preparation space for the worship services. Stay tuned!
Wisdom from the Church Fathers: Just as we are careful of anything that might harm our physical health, so our concern should also be to watch for anything that might harm our spiritual health, faith and salvation. Therefore, carefully and attentively assess your inner impulses: are they from God or from the spirit of evil? Archbishop John Maximovitch of Shangai and San Francisco (+1966)
Roselawn Cemetery Lots: available to parishioners at a 15% discount off 2017 list prices. Discounted prices are: Monument Lot (2 graves) $5,865.00; Flat Lot A (2 graves) $3,485.00; Flat Lot B (1 grave-limited availability) $2,040.00. For more info or to purchase a lot, please contact the church office.
Welcome Visitors Thank you for joining with us in prayer and fellowship. The worship of the Orthodox Church is deeply rooted in and very similar to that of the early Christian Church. Unique sensory stimuli and mystery are elements that go back even to the liturgy of the Jewish temple. Everything in an Orthodox Christian church communicates the majestic presence of God the Holy Trinity with His Saints. It is literally heaven on earth. It is a sad consequence of the divisions in Christianity that we cannot extend a general invitation to receive Holy Communion. Visitors are invited to receive the blessed bread (antithoron) at the conclusion of the liturgy. We pray and work for the reconciliation and unity of all Christians. If you are interested in learning more about Orthodoxy, please contact Fr. Rick at email@example.com. We are proud of our Greek heritage but one does not have to be of Greek descent, nor speak Greek to be a Greek Orthodox Christian.
Note to Orthodox about Holy Communion: Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is one of the most Holy experiences for a Christian in order to be granted the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. We are never worthy to partake of Divine Nature. Yet, it is essential that we prepare ourselves for this sacred Communion by constant prayer, reading the Scriptures, regular fasting and periodic Confession. At a minimum, we should fast all morning before Communion, arrive at the beginning of Liturgy, and come for Confession at least once a year. In addition, we should not have separated ourselves from the Church through serious sin. Otherwise, please refrain from Communion to avoid “judgment…not discerning the Lord’s body” (1Cor. 11:29). Contact Fr. Rick for pastoral guidance.