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: Monique Polles & Malissa Zouboukos
Epistle Reader: Alex Graham (English) & Theo Mavridoglou (Greek)
Prosphoro: Father Andrew
Orthros starts at 8:45 am
Metropoliitan Alexios will visit Holy Trinity-Saint John Church on Sunday February 14th - Mark your calendars and plan to join us.
FRONT DOOR TO CHURCH NOW OPEN: Please use the main door to the Narthex area and exit through the door by the Church offices will. Please note this door is now locked and main door unlocked. We ask that use the hand sanitizer provided by the door as you enter or leave the Church proper.
A limited number of disposable masks will be available.
Please Note - Our guidelines for "worshiping in person"
Please join us on Sundays for the celebration of the Orthros 8:45 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 page 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
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 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
Our February Birthday List: Chuck Odom-February 2nd, Demetra Papademitriou-February 5th, Noah Wood-February 6th, Jean Hare-February 9th, Chris Valsamakis February 11th, Cari Fowler-February 17th, Monique Polles-February 20th, Theo Mavridoglou-February 21st, Nicholas Mangafakis-February 22nd, Bill Nikolis-February 25th Please let us know of any errors or omissions PLEASE LET FATHER ANDREW KNOW OF ANY ADDITIONS OR CORRECTIONS
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, 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 their 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, Maria Costas, Alexa Zouboukos, Dot Pavlou, Jean Hare has asked that we pray for her nephew Scot Smith, Presvitera Bonnie Koufopoulos, Sherry Wheat (Theo Mavridoglou's friend's spouse), Charlie Privett (Chris Valsamkis' friend from Aberdeen MS). Please remember to pray for our Doctors, Nurses, and all those on the frontlines during these times and for all those who may be suffering or in hardships during this pandemic.
Saint Parthenius was born in Melitopolis on the Hellespont, the son of a deacon named Christopher. Because of the miracles that he wrought even as a young man, he was ordained a priest and then Bishop of Lampsacus in the days of Saint Constantine the Great, from whom he received great gifts and authority both to overturn the altars of the idols and to raise up a church to the glory of Christ. Working many miracles throughout his life, he reposed in peace an old man and full of days.
The holy Martyr Theodore was from Euchaita of Galatia and dwelt in Heraclea of Pontus. He was a renowned commander in the military, and the report came to the Emperor Licinius that he was a Christian and abominated the idols. Licinius therefore sent certain men to him from Nicomedia, to honor him and ask him to appear before him. Through them, however, Saint Theodore sent back a message that it was necessary for various reasons, that Licinius come to Heraclea. Licinius, seeing in this a hope of turning Saint Theodore away from Christ did as was asked of him.
When the Emperor came to Heraclea, Saint Theodore met him with honor, and the Emperor in turn gave Theodore his hand, believing that through him he would be able to draw the Christians to the worship of his idols. Seated upon his throne in the midst of the people, he publicly bade Theodore offer sacrifice to the gods. But Theodore asked that the emperor entrust him with the most venerable of his gods, those of gold and silver, that he might take them home and himself attend upon them that evening, promising that the following day he would honor them in public. The Emperor, filled with joy at these tidings, gave command that Theodore's request be fulfilled.
When the Saint had taken the idols home, he broke them in pieces and distributed the gold and silver to the poor by night. The next day a centurion named Maxentius told Licinius that he had seen a pauper pass by carrying the head of Artemis. Saint Theodore, far from repenting of this, confessed Christ boldly. Licinius, in an uncontainable fury, had the Saint put to many torments, then crucified. While upon the cross, the holy Martyr was further tormented -- his privy parts were cut off, he was shot with arrows, his eyes were put out, and he was left on the cross to die. The next day Licinius sent men to take his corpse and cast it into the sea; but they found the Saint alive and perfectly whole. Through this, many believed in Christ. Seeing his own men turning to Christ, and the city in an uproar, Licinius had Theodore beheaded, about the year 320. The Saint's holy relics were returned to his ancestral home on June 8, which is also a feast of the Great Martyr Theodore.
The Prophet Zacharias was the son of Barachias, and a contemporary of the Prophet Aggeus (Dec. 16). In the days of the Babylonian captivity, he prophesied, as it says, in the book of Ezra, "to the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem" (Ezra 5: 1); he aided Zerubbabel in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. In the book of Ezra he is called "Zacharias the son of Addo (or Iddo)" but in his own prophetic book he is called more fully "Zacharias, the son of Barachias, the son of Addo the Prophet" (Zach. 1:1). When the captives returned from Babylon, he came to dwell in Jerusalem in his old age. His book of prophecy is divided into fourteen chapters and has the eleventh place among the books of the minor Prophets; his name means "Yah is renowned." Sozomen reports that under the Emperor Honorius, Zacharias' holy relics were found in Eleutheropolis of Palestine. The Prophet appeared in a dream to a certain Calemerus, telling him where he would find his tomb. His body was found to be incorrupt (Eccl. Hist., Book IX, 17).
This Saint was a priest of the Christians in Magnesia, the foremost city of Thessaly, in the diocese having the same name. He contested during the reign of Alexander Severus (222-235), when Lucian was Proconsul of Magnesia. At the time of his martyrdom the Saint was 103 years of age.
St. Haralambos is commemorated on February 10th, with the exception when this date falls on the Saturday of the Souls preceding Lent or on Clean Monday (the first day of Lent), in which case the feast is celebrated on February 9th.
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.
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. 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 Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:1-10.
Brethren, working together with him, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in any one's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
16th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 25:14-30
The Lord said this parable: "A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." As he said these things he cried out: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Three servants received large sums of money, called talents, from their master when he went away on a long journey. He was a shrewd businessman and expected them to make the most of what he had entrusted to them. One invested so wisely that his five talents turned into ten. The one given two talents did the same and earned two more. They both doubled their money and earned the praise of their master when he returned. But the third servant, who had only one talent to invest, was not such a good steward. Out of fear that he might lose what little he had, he simply buried the money in the ground and produced nothing at all. The master scolded him for not even putting the money in the bank and earning interest. So he took away his talent and gave it to the first servant. Near the end of the parable, we read that “to everyone who has, more will be given and he will have abundance, but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”
Jesus Christ used this story about investing money as a reminder of the importance of being a productive steward of all that God has given us. Life itself and all our blessings and abilities come from the Lord. Ever since He created us in His image and likeness, He has called us to invest ourselves in ways that enable us to flourish as His sons and daughters. He invites us to an abundant life that bears fruit for the Kingdom, blesses others, and radiates the light of holiness throughout the world.
Most of us probably wonder, however, whether that is really possible for us. Perhaps we are so consumed by the practical challenges of just making it through the day that we find it difficult to imagine that our struggles could have any larger significance. Maybe we think that only what rich, powerful, and famous people do really impacts the world in meaningful ways. Perhaps we imagine that holiness is a possibility only for people with no problems or who have never done anything wrong. It may be that our previous efforts to grow in faithfulness have been somehow disappointing or frustrating, so we have given up. I imagine that many of us identify with that cowardly servant who had so little confidence in bearing fruit that he simply buried his talent in the ground.
That might seem like a practical response, but it is actually the opposite; it leads to nothing but weakness and loss. Just as a person who is unable to move physically for a long period of time quickly loses muscle mass and strength, any ability, talent, or gift that we have will become weaker the less use we make of it. Playing it safe by becoming stagnant never works. Nothing in this life ever stays exactly the same over time, and if we are not actively using our gifts to bear fruit in whatever circumstances we face, we will end up worse off than when we started.
What St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians in today’s epistle reading applies to each of us, regardless of whether we have one or ten talents, regardless of whether we think that our present situation is especially conducive to becoming a great channel of blessing to anybody. As St. Paul put it, “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2) If we are going to be faithful stewards, we have to begin with our lives as they are now. To wait until all is perfect and we have time, energy, and resources to spare is to fall prey to an illusion, for life in this world will never be without its challenges. Cowardly servants will always find reasons to be afraid and to bury their talents in the ground. The more practice that we have in doing that, the harder it will be to invest ourselves in ways that bear fruit for the Kingdom. It is nothing but a lie and a delusion to think otherwise.
Remember that St. Paul endured beatings, imprisonment, attempts on his life, shipwreck, and so many other difficulties before he died as a martyr. He did not wait until life was completely peaceful and calm before serving God and blessing his neighbors. He describes the life of the apostles “as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” (2 Cor. 6:10)
We probably do not yet have the eyes to see it, but our paths are ultimately the same as his. No matter how sad, sick, frustrated, or deprived we may be, the Lord still calls us to invest our lives in holiness for the blessing and salvation of the world. We probably will not do that on as large or obvious a scale as St. Paul, but that is irrelevant. The servant with only one talent was still called to be as faithful with what he had as the one who had ten. Like it or not, we have the lives in this world that we have. We cannot say a magic word and become someone else or change anything about the past. We can, however, be faithful stewards of the present as we fulfill our identity as those blessed by God and called to become a blessing to others as a sign of His love, mercy, and holiness.
No matter how much or how little money someone has, the basic principles of making a budget and planning for the future are the same. That is also true about the life in Christ. Regardless of the details, we will all invest ourselves for the abundant life of the Kingdom through common and familiar practices, such as: prayer; fasting; generosity to the needy; repentance; forgiveness; reading the Scriptures, the lives of the Saints, and other spiritually beneficial writings; and doing whatever we are able to do in the service of the Church and our neighbors. We do not have to be billionaires in order to live lives of abundant blessing or to be able to bless others in profound ways. We do not have to be spiritual superheroes in order be faithful stewards of our talents and play our role in fulfilling God’s purposes for the world. We simply have to offer what only we can offer to the Lord in obedience and let Him do the rest.
Nobody else can save or invest your money; you have to do it. Nobody else can become a faithful steward of your life and blessings; you have to do it. The choice that we all face is whether to cower in fear of failure as we bury our talents in the ground, weaken ourselves, and refuse to do what only we can do for the healing and transformation of the world. Or will we make a solid investment of our talents, no matter how large or small they may be, and grow in the abundant life for which God created us in His image and likeness? Unlike financial matters, there is no difference here between those who have a lot in this world and those who do not. The only difference is whether we will offer our humble lives to the Lord like the bread and wine of the Eucharist. If so, then we will receive back infinitely more than what we offered in the first place. And our life in this world, regardless of the outward details, will then become an icon of the Kingdom, producing fruit “thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:8) Now what shrewd businessperson would not want that rate of return?