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.
Ushers: ALL available Parish Council Members are asked to be here to help
Epistle Reader: Alex Graham
Prophoro: Father Andrew
Please Note - Our guidelines for "worshiping in person"
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
or go to
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
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.
September Birthday Celebrations:
Jennifer Ann Cora-September 6th, Laura Efstratiou-September 7th, Alex Christopher Broome-September 9th, Maria Burnham Wise-September 12th, Dos Thompson-September 12th, Katherine Efstratiou-September 20th, Costa Glennis-September 21st, Despina Mangafakis-September 22nd, Dorothy Pavlou-September 26th, George Provias-September 29th, Kari Grillis East-September 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 and the friend and neighbor Bill Spence, 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, Maria Costas. Theo Mavridoglou asks that we pray for his dear friends Stelios and Penelop. 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.
The feast today in honour of the Archangel Michael commemorates the great miracle he wrought when he delivered from destruction a church and holy spring named for him. The pagans, moved by malice, sought to destroy the aforesaid church and holy spring by turning the course of two rivers against them. But the Archangel appeared and, by means of the Cross and a great earthquake that shook the entire area, diverted the waters into an underground course. Henceforth, the name of that place changed from Colossae to Chonae, which means "funnels" in Greek.
According to the ancient tradition of the Church, the Theotokos was born of barren and aged parents, Joachim and Anna, about the year 16 or 17 before the birth of Christ. Joachim was descended from the royal line of David, of the tribe of Judah. Anna was of the priestly tribe of Levi, a daughter of the priest Matthan and Mary, his wife.
Today, the day following the Nativity of the most holy Theotokos, we celebrate the synaxis of Saints Joachim and Anna, honouring them as her parents.
This saint lived in the fifth century. Out of remorse for the adultery that she committed with another man, she fled from her husband's house, renamed herself Theodore, clothed herself as a man, and pretending to be a eunuch, entered a monastery of men. Her identity as a woman was discovered only after her death.
Second Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Mark 16:1-8
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back, for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.
Prokeimenon. Fourth Tone. Psalm 103.24,1.
O Lord, how manifold are your works. You have made all things in wisdom.
Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul.
The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 16:13-24.
Brethren, be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. Now, brethren, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; I urge you to be subject to such men and to every fellow worker and laborer. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicos, because they have made up for your absence; for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men. The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brethren send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If any one has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
13th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 21:33-42
The Lord said this parable, "There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to them, saying 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons." Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: 'The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?'"
1 Corinthians 16:13-24; Matthew 21:33-42
Our reading from St. Matthew’s gospel follows the Savior’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. After being hailed by the crowds as the conquering Messiah Who would cast out of the Romans and establish an earthly kingdom, He told the chief priests and Pharisees that tax collectors and prostitutes would enter the Kingdom of God before them, for they had disregarded the preaching of St. John the Baptist, even after notorious sinners had repented in response to his teaching. They were like sons who had promised to work in their father’s vineyard, but then did not keep their word.
By virtue of their knowledge, teaching, and ministry, the religious leaders of the day had a deep obligation to serve God faithfully. They had, however, become so corrupt that they were like the false prophets and wicked rulers described so often in the Old Testament. Their predecessors had worshiped foreign gods, exploited the poor and weak, and killed those who dared to criticize them or stand in their way. Christ identified His opponents in the days leading up to His crucifixion with those of previous generations who had thought nothing of murdering righteous people who truly spoke the word of the Lord. He foretold His own death at the hands of those who would not even respect the Son of God in Whom all the promises to Abraham are fulfilled. The chief priests and Pharisees knew that the Savior had told this and others parables against them, but they did not arrest Him at that time because they were afraid of the crowds of people who thought that He was a prophet.
Because they rejected Him, the Lord said in the verse immediately following this reading, “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” (v. 44) Here He points to the coming of the Church in which there is neither Jew nor Greek, for those with no ancestral connection to Israel are now “grafted in” as branches of the olive tree whose roots extend back to the covenant with Abraham. (Rom. 11: 17) St. Paul warned Gentile Christians not to take pride in their status in relation to Jews who had rejected the Messiah, for “They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.” (11: 20-21)
By faith in Christ, we have become the new tenants of the vineyard “who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” Remember that that is precisely what the original tenants refused to do. Instead of tending the vineyard and offering its fruit to their rightful owner, they wanted everything for themselves and even killed the son of the owner in order to take his inheritance. We must read this passage as a reminder that embracing our membership in the Body of Christ requires offering all the blessings of life to Him. It requires a refusal to distort our faith into a way of excusing ourselves from the exacting demands of accepting our high calling as those who have inherited by grace the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham in our Savior. He is the vine and we are the branches, which means that we are organically united to Him and one another. Our entire life in the world, then, must be taken up into His great Self-Offering on the Cross for our salvation. Instead of being enslaved to getting what we want, we must die to self-centeredness as we learn to offer all the blessings of this life back to the Lord for Him to bless and multiply for the growth of His Kingdom as He sees fit.
If we do not, we will fall into the same spiritual trap as the chief priests and Pharisees who rejected the Lord and handed him over to the Romans for crucifixion. Instead of humbly accepting the great blessings of the law and the prophets, they used them to gain worldly power over other people. They corrupted them in order to condemn the sins of others, while failing even to acknowledge their own. They blinded themselves spiritually to the point that they not only failed to recognize their own Messiah, but actually wanted Him dead because He was such a threat to their desires. We will do the same thing if we attempt to identify our Lord’s Kingdom with a nation, a race, or a culture; doing so makes it inevitable that we will see those who stand in the way of our worldly agendas as God’s enemies to be hated and condemned. We will then become blind, not only to our own sins, but also to how even those the world tells us are our enemies bear the Lord’s image and likeness. We will fail to see that how we treat them as Christ’s living icons is how we treat Him.
As the Lord said in the parable, ‘“The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’” Of course, He was speaking of Himself. As St. Paul wrote to the Gentile Christians of Ephesus, “You are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:19-22) The Hebrews of old were accountable for being faithful to what had been revealed to them. Now we, who have the fullness of the promise and share in the life of Christ by grace, are responsible to a much higher standard. We are responsible for living as those solidly grounded on the one true foundation of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, in Whose Kingdom the racial, national, and political divisions of this world become irrelevant.
If we do not so live, however, the consequences are as clear as the prophetic word He spoke to the chief priests and Pharisees: “Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” ( v. 44) If we do not share in the life of Christ, we will revert to being strangers and foreigners from the Lord’s vineyard. We will have as little life in us as branches that have fallen off the tree.