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.
Please join us on Sundays for the celebration of the Orthros 9:00 am (for those who may feel uncomfortable in a "group setting" the hour between 9 and 10 may be a good time to come to church, light a candle, pray, or leave your offfering) and Divine Liturgy 10 am as we are now "open" following the guidelines of our Metropolis and of our State of Mississippi.See the guideline details below. If you cannot join us the Liturgy will be streamed "live and in color", (streaming at 10:00 am). If you cannot attend and still want to light a candle, or make an offering and watch. Please use any of the links below
Our Facebook pagr click on the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/269685419794311/ or go to our church web page
www.holytrinitysaintjohnjackson.org and click on the link
We are grateful to those who have contributed and continue to contribute their donations through the mail or by the two secure on-line options both of which can be found on our web page.
The light a candle say a prayer link below or the Donate Button on the bottom of the home page
Ushers: ALL available Parish Council Members are asked to be here to help
Epistle Reader: Monique Polles
Prophoro: Soula Nikolis
The 40 Day Memorial Service for Jane Kountouris will be celebrated on Sunday August 9th. Please mark your calendars.
Please Note - Our guidelines for "worshiping in person"
There will be limited access to the church proper - the door by the Church offices will be unlocked please use this one, please note that one or both of the double doors to the Church proper will remain open, so please enter quietly. We ask that when you enter or leave please wash your hands in the appropriate rest rooms or use the hand sanitizer provided by the door as you enter the Church proper. A limited number of disposable masks will be available.
Per the guidelines - all persons are asked to wear a mask or face covering in church.
The offering tray will be on the bench as you enter the nave - you may leave your offerings as you enter the Church proper.
You may proceed to the back of the church to light a candle - for now we ask that you refrain from kissing icons, priest's hand, etc. Bowing is another way to show our reverence to icons etc. etc.
Pews have been marked with a green cross so that the proper social distancing of 6 feet between people. There are 40 seats marked so there is plenty of room that allows for social distancing. Members of the same family may sit together.
Distribution of Holy Communion - row by row and stand six feet apart in line. You may remove your mask to receive Holy Communion - allow the servers to hold the Communion cloth under your chin. But please refrain from "touching the cloth" to your lips. Please understand that our Metropolis guidelines have insisted that all priests and their adult servers that help with the distribution of Holy Communion wear face masks while doing so.
Antidoron will not be offered after Holy Communion but will be available when you leave Church and will be offered in plastic zip lock baggies. As we leave the Church please follow the directions of the ushers so that we leave in an orderly fashion and still observe the six feet rule of social distancing.
Since we are asked to avoid "gatherings" of people we ask that you avoid, at least for the time being, "the temptation" to socialize as you enter or leave the Church proper and building.
We of course will continue to live stream We hope that this will unite us as we pray, will calm our souls and bring us closer to Christ. Stay well. Thoughts and prayers for all of you.
These are just a few of the guidelines we have been issued by our Metropolis. They may not be ideal but at least we can all worship together again.
Our July Birthday Celebrations:
John Polles-July 3rd
Gayland Cox-July 4th
Christo Burnham-July 5th
McKenna Fowler-July 7th
Presbytera Bonnie Koufopoulos-July 8th
Nickolas Fowler-July 12th
Stamati Polles-July 13th
William Moxey-July 15th
Stephanos Manganfakis-July 15th
Jerry Kountouris-July 21st
Malissa Zouboukos-July 26th
Gebre Menfes Kidus-July 26th
Janet Ingram Grillis-July 28th
Emma Papadimitriou-July 28th
Alexis Ann Kountouris-July 29th
Michael Fowler-July 30th
August Birthday Celebrations: Sophia Efstratiou – August 4th Ellen Hontzas – August 9th Kimberly Thompson-August 10th Dianna Psaris-August 14th Lydia Laird-August 20th Pete Zouboukos-August 22nd Lana Sturgon-August 29th
Our Holy Trinity-St. John the Theologian Prayer List:
"Remember Lord, those whom each of us calls prayerfully to mind" Chuck Odom, Nicholas & Dianna Psaris, William Abihider, John Botes, Christ Castanis, George V. Pinchuk, Chris Grillis, Lambryne Angelo, Callie McDole, Malissa and Pat Zouboukos have asked that we pray for their friend Bill Hardin, Paula Fowler, Victoria Lepsa (Cristina Nica's mother in Romania), Tatianna Koufopoulos Quick of Phoenix Arizona, Please keep Costa Glennis's daughter Wanda Parker in your prayers, Miles "Alex" Graham has asked us to pray for his friend Alena Nasianceno, Please remember to pray for our Doctors, Nurses, and all those on the fronlines during these times and for all those who may be suffering or in hardships from this pandemic.
Saint Hermolaus and those with him were priests of the Church in Nicomedia, living in hiding after the Emperor Maximian had burnt to death the 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia (see Dec. 28). It was Hermolaus who converted Saint Panteleimon to Christ. When Saint Panteleimon was seized as a Christian and was asked by Maximian who it was that had turned him from the idols, the Saint, enlightened by God that the time of his teacher's martyrdom also was at hand, revealed to Maximian that it was Hermolaus the priest. Saint Hermolaus was taken with Saints Hermippus and Hermocrates, and when they had confessed Christ to be the only true God, they were beheaded in the year 305. Saint Hermolaus is one of the Holy Unmercenaries.
Saint Paraskeve, who was from a certain village near Rome, was born to pious parents, Agatho and Politia. Since she was born on a Friday (in Greek, Paraskeve), she was given this name, which means "preparation" or "preparedness" (compare Matt. 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, and John 19:31, where 'Friday' is called "the day of the preparation"). From childhood she was instructed in the sacred letters and devoted herself to the study of the divine Scriptures, while leading a monastic life and guiding many to the Faith of Christ. During the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, she was apprehended because she was a Christian and was urged to worship the idols, but she answered with the words of Jeremias: "Let the gods that have not made heaven and the earth perish from off the earth" (Jer. 10:11). Because of this she endured exceedingly painful torments, and was beheaded in the year 140. The faithful pray to her for the healing of eye ailments.
This Saint, who had Nicomedia as his homeland, was the son of Eustorgius and Eubula. His father was an idolater, but his mother was a Christian from her ancestors. It was through her that he was instructed in piety, and still later, he was catechized in the Faith of Christ by Saint Hermolaus (see July 26) and baptized by him. Being proficient in the physician's vocation, he practiced it in a philanthropic manner, healing every illness more by the grace of Christ than by medicines. Thus, although his parents had named him Pantoleon ("in all things a lion"), because of the compassion he showed for the souls and bodies of all, he was worthily renamed Panteleimon, meaning "all-merciful." On one occasion, when he restored the sight of a certain blind man by calling on the Divine Name, he enlightened also the eyes of this man's soul to the knowledge of the truth. This also became the cause for the martyrdom of him who had been blind, since when he was asked by whom and in what manner his eyes had been opened, in imitation of that blind man of the Gospel he confessed with boldness both who the physician was and the manner of his healing. For this he was put to death immediately. Panteleimon was arrested also, and having endured many wounds, he was finally beheaded in the year 305, during the reign of Maximian. Saint Panteleimon is one of the Holy Unmercenaries, and is held in special honor among them, even as Saint George is among the Martyrs.
The names of the Holy Maccabees are Abim, Anthony, Guria, Eleazar, Eusebona, Achim, and Marcellus. They were Jews by race and exact keepers of the Laws of the Fathers. They lived during the reign of Antiochus, who was surnamed Epiphanes ("Illustrious"), the King of Syria and an implacable enemy of the Jews. Having subjugated their whole nation and done many evil things to them, not sparing to assail the most sacred matters of their Faith, he constrained them, among other things, to partake of swine's flesh, which was forbidden by the Law. Then these pious youths, on being apprehended together with their mother and their teacher, were constrained to set at nought the Law, and were subjected to unspeakable tortures: wrackings, the breaking of their bones, the flaying of their flesh, fire, dismemberment, and such things as only a tyrant's mind and a bestial soul is able to contrive. But when they had endured all things courageously and showed in deed that the mind is sovereign over the passions and is able to conquer them if it so desires, they gloriously ended their lives in torments, surrendering their life for the sake of the observance of the divine Law. The first to die was their teacher Eleazar, then all the brethren in the order of their age. As for their wondrous mother Solomone, "filled with a courageous spirit, and stirring up her womanish thoughts with a manly wrath" (II Macc. 7:21), she was present at her children's triumph over the tyrant, strengthening them in their struggle for the sake of their Faith, and enduring stout-heartedly their sufferings for the sake of their hope in the Lord. After her last and youngest son had been perfected in martyrdom, when she was about to be seized to be put to death, she cast herself into the fire that they might not touch her, and was thus deemed worthy of a blessed end together with her sons, in the year 168 before Christ.
Because of the many diseases that occur in the month of August, the custom prevailed of old in Constantinople to carry the precious Wood of the Cross in procession throughout the city for its sanctification and its deliverance from illnesses. It was brought forth from the imperial treasury on the last day of July and placed upon the Holy Table of the Great Church of the Holy Wisdom; and beginning today, until the Dormition of the Theotokos, it was carried in procession throughout the city and was set forth for veneration before the people.
Seventh Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from John 20:1-10
On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.
Prokeimenon. Fourth Tone. Psalm 67.35,26.
God is wonderful among his saints.
Verse: Bless God in the congregations.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 3:23-29; 4:1-5.
Brethren, before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
7th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 9:27-35
At that time, as Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, "Have mercy on us, Son of David." When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to him, "Yes, Lord." Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done to you." And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, "See that no one knows it." But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.
As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, "Never was anything like this seen in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "He casts out demons by the prince of demons."
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.
We’re witnesses thru today’s Gospel to the healing of two blind men. And through this life-changing encounter in which Christ’s power is in full evidence, we’re advanced in our understanding of healing and salvation.
Responding to their plea for mercy, the God of mercy, the only true Lover of mankind, Jesus Christ, receives the two blind men into His presence and He heals them. But Jesus doesn’t perform this great miracle randomly.
To paraphrase St. John Chrysostom, Christ doesn’t run after those in need of healing everywhere, lest anyone think He’s healing out of vainglory. No, there’s more at work here: Christ’s healing presupposes a participation, a cooperation, from those who are healed. Just as our relationship and communion with Him necessitates a participation on our part, by definition: a return of love, an act of repentance and an abandonment of self-will, so too our healing bespeaks a reciprocal relationship. In fact, in most of the healings we see in the Gospels, those in need of healing personally seek out that healing from Christ. In other words, they desire their healing. They desire their healing enough to seek Christ out, to entrust themselves to Him, to acknowledge their need for Him. They desire healing enough to step forward in faith, recognizing that God alone is worthy of their trust.
The two blind men seek out Jesus; they follow Him, crying out to Him, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” These two men know the Source of mercy; they know that God alone can give such a mercy, such a miraculous healing.
To test their faith further, Jesus asks them even after such a demonstration of faith, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” And they say to Him, “Yes, Lord.” But note what Christ says in response, “According to your faith, let it be to you.”
Do you see the involvement of their souls here, the relationship which Christ God develops between them and Him? Their volition, their will, was to be healed of their physical infirmity, their blindness, but it demanded great faith from them; it demanded the ‘eyes’ of faith and the strength of soul.
Even still, Jesus does not heal everyone today; not everyone receives physical healing. It remains a mystery. To some, like St. Paul, who petitioned God to remove the “thorn in his flesh,” God’s response was, “My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in weakness” (II Cor. 12). In other words, there was something about that ‘thorn’ that St. Paul ‘needed’ if he was to trust in God for his strength, to be humble before Him, to serve God to the amazing extent he did, converting whole nations to the truth of God and His salvation.
While our physical healing necessarily involves our will, our souls, the inverse is also true: the spiritual healing of our souls involves our bodies, our volition, our participation.
When it comes to healing our eternal souls, we know that God desires this above all: He calls all to salvation from sin-sickness, spiritual sickness. The truth is that all of us are to one degree or another sin-sick, that is, we’re ‘works in progress;’ as St. Paul says, we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” (Phil. 2:12) if we’re to grow in our relationship and communion with God, be deified, and find spiritual healing, that is, salvation in Christ.
And God gives us a sure and prescribed path toward our healing, our growth, and salvation through His Church. He teaches us how to pray through the Church, He feeds us with the Sacrament through the Church, He teaches us the disciplines of the ascetic life: fasting and prayer through the Church, and He gives us Confession through the Church as a means to be purified, so that we may continue to learn and entrust more of ourselves to Him who is the Great Physician. And through these ‘tools’ we progress in the knowledge and love of God.
This progress in the knowledge and love of God is meant to be ever active, never ‘static,’ never status quo. To be deified, we cannot be ‘couch potato’ or ‘arm chair’ Christians. It’s easy to fall into a rut, preferring our own opinions and ways to those of the Church, listening to the culture instead of Christ, taking Orthodoxy on our terms, but that isn’t Christianity and won’t bring us the healing we need.
The prayers for reception of the Eucharist presuppose confession and its purification as a preparation for worthily receiving Christ’s precious and holy Body and Blood. And so through all of this, we see that our healing in soul demands something of our material bodies, our time, our energy, our worship, our prayers, our heart-felt repentance and turning to Christ God just as the blind men did and cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us.”
Our ongoing willingness to be healed, to progress in our healing, is an integral part of our salvation. We’re saved through our belief (faith) that manifests itself thru our actions and deeds, the living out of that faith. Faith and works go hand in hand, St. James teaches us. We cannot afford to lay aside our struggle with sin and our obedience to what Christ teaches us through His Church. Christ asks the blind men, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” We’ve been shown the way if we would make use of it.
My prayer for each one here is that we would all continue to make use of the tools of our salvation, which Christ offers us through His Church for our growth, our healing, our salvation. As we grow, individually and corporately in our reflection of Christ and the Kingdom, others will find their healing and salvation in Christ as well through our example. May we each cultivate the attitude of soul and the cooperation of body to follow Christ with all that we have, all that we are, crying out to Him as did the blind men, “Lord, have mercy on us,” knowing that He is the Lord who loves us and indeed has mercy on our souls.