IF YOU HAVE NOT SENT IN THIS YEAR'S STEWARDSHIP PLEASE DO THAT TODAY.
THE GREEK DANCE CLASS ON WEDNESDAY AND BIBLE STUDY ON THURSDAY ARE IN SESSION. PLEASE CALL THE CHURCH OR ASK ANYONE AT THE CANDLE STAND FOR INFORMATION.
WE ARE MOVING AHEAD WITH THE RENOVATIONS OF THE CHURCH AND HALL. OUR ARCHITECT HAS FINISHED THE PLANS OF ALL THE WORK NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE RENOVATIONS.
ST. JOHN'S IS PREPARING AN 80TH ANNIVERSARY JOURNAL TO COMMEMORATE THIS GREAT ACHIEVEMENT AND TO HELP DEFRAY THE COST OF THE RENOVATIONS.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!
Last night at Bible Study we read and studied the 49th Psalm. Its sentiment and message focused on the importance of taking care of our soul over the fleeting material things of this world. Below is a wonderful article that Fr. Angelo Artemas wrote and published in the Orthodox Observer. I hope it will enlighten and bless you with its contain.
The Church of 2019
by Father Angelo Artemas
"Imagine that each parish in our Archdiocese had a Starbucks kiosk open to parishioners at the conclusion of the Sunday Divine Liturgy. After coffee hour, would there be more proceeds at the kiosk, or in the Sunday collection? How many parishioners would skip the Divine Liturgy and go directly to the kiosk?
An internal Starbucks marketing report recently indicated that loyal drinkers spend an average of $25 a week on their products - that's $1,300 a year! These days, many faithful like to lament about the decline of the church while at the same time reminiscing about the glory days of past. People reason that if we only had the caliber of priests and bishops of previous generations, we would be better off. Let's consider the caliber of parishioners.
When many of our ancestors came to this country, they dedicated themselves to two things - family well-being and their church. After securing their own financial stability they immediately poured their resources into establishing and growing their church communities. The church was their second financial priority after family.
In the last 40 years we have seen a cup of coffee go from 35 cents to $2, a Honda Accord go from $6,000 to $28,000, a typical three-bedroom home from $70,000 to $350,000, college tuition at Ohio State University from $500 to $15,000 per year, college tuition at Notre Dame from $3,500 to $50,000 per year, and the average US annual household income from $16,800 in 1979 to $52,300 today. The $300 dues of old would adjust to $1,200 today, yet we are still averaging well below $800 as an Archdiocese, and the same dollars are going into trays 40 years later.
How can we point the finger at leadership when the faithful choose not to keep up? There is more treasure today in Starbucks, Comcast, Apple and T-Mobile than in church. Are we now the church of coffee and devices?
For a church to flourish, first support and take care of your families (the house church). Plan for your children's educations and secure your retirement. But then support the church as if your life depends on it - for it does. Go to church regularly (and don't be late) and donate generously. Don't be more concerned about the things you can't take with you.
Worshiping and tithing are not optional, they are essential in saving us from ourselves; freeing us from self-righteousness, judgment and materialism. Let's face it - we have taken advantage of the notion of "free-will offering" and have diminished the church. We cannot point fingers elsewhere when we are not doing our part.
If you are experiencing financial hardship or are on a fixed retirement income, please disregard this commentary. If you are already tithing and donating generously, please disregard this commentary and accept sincere thanks and gratitude.
For the rest of us, let's make our church better by placing our treasures there. Perhaps our hearts will follow, and we may experience new and greater glory." AMEN!