The Carlson and Voulgaris Families will be hosting Coffee Fellowship in Memory of Michael Voulgaris.
Dates to Remember
Saturday, January 5
Eve of Epiphany
8:30 am Orthros
9:30 am Divine Liturgy
Monday, January 7
Feast of Saint John the Baptist
8:30 am Orthros
9:30 am Divine Liturgy
We are forever grateful to our many stewards who faithfully contribute their stewardship gift to our Panagia Church without fail. It is with the support of each member, supporter, and friend to Panagia and Her Church that allows this Parish to continue to offer its ministry to the faithful who enter its doors.
Stewardship is our way to give to back to God a portion of the ‘never-ending blessings’ that He unceasingly give to us each and every day. That is a gift that can only be measured by us, and God expects us to make that determination honestly and with an open and loving heart. Our Parish of Panagia is grateful to the vast majority who understand how we are expected to be ‘caretakers’ of His Earthly Church. We call upon those individuals and families who have not, as yet, completed their 2018, to do so before year end.
2019 pledge Commitment Packets were mailed to all current stewards last month. If you have not submitted your pledge card, please do so at your earliest convenience. Stewardship Pledge Cards and information is located on the Pangari in the Narthex. Please consider making your gift. Thank you.
The 2019 Philoptochos membership drive continues. Please join if you are not a member, rejoin if you are an existing member, or reinstate your membership if it has lapsed. Consider sharing your special talents to help fulfill the Philoptochos Mission. You may pick up a 2019 Philoptochos Membership form at the Pangari or come to our Membership table in Plato Hall during the coffee fellowship.
The ONE WARM COAT drive also continues. We are collecting clean, gently used children’s, men or women’s coats until March 3rd. In addition, monetary and/or new children or adult undergarments are needed. If you have any donations, please place them in the collection box located in St. Catherine’s narthex.
The celebration of Metropolis of Chicago Vasilopita will be held on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Palos Hills at 6 p.m. Ticket donations are $10 each. If you wish to attend the Vasilopita or make a donation to benefit Saint Basil Academy, please see any Philoptochos Board member. Checks should be made payable to the Assumption Philoptochos Society.
Dive for the Cross
Saturday, January 12th at 7pm to 9 pm, Dive for the Cross at the Park Ridge Park District. This event reflects the Epiphany, and it is a fun time of fellowship. Please encourage your families to RSVP by email or call the church office. There is no charge for this event.
Vasilopita Sunday is January 13th. Sunday Church School will have Vasilopita for each class. More details to follow.
Annual Stewardship Brunch January 20th
On Sunday, January 2oth, following the Divine Liturgy, we again will enjoy our Annual Complimentary Stewardship Brunch, hosted by the Stewardship Committee and the Parish Council. We cordially invite everyone to join us in Plato Hall to enjoy fellowship following worship services.
Assumption Youth Basketball
Our Assumption basketball team is off to a great start this year. This is the schedule of upcoming games. Join us in supporting our team by cheering on our players:
January 12 vs St. Demetrios of Elmhurst
Game time ~ 2:30pm at Holy Trinity
January 13 vs St. Andrew/St George
Game time ~ 2:30pm at Holy Trinity
January 19 vs Holy Apostles
Game time ~ 2:30pm at Westchester Park District
February 2 vs SSTT's Constantine and Helen
Game time~ 2:30pm at SSTT's Constantine and Helen
February 9 vs St. Spyridon
Game time ~ 2:30pm at Holy Trinity
February 9 vs St. Demetrios of Chicago
Game time ~ 3:30pm at Holy Trinity
Super Bowl Sunday
On Sunday, February 3, our parish will host a Super Sunday Supper Spectacular. Come watch the Big Game (and the commercials) on the big screens with family and friends. $40 adults, $20 12-17 years, under 12 FREE. Please contact Christina Kozil for reservations (847) 567-4785, firstname.lastname@example.org. Doors open 1 hour before game time (TBD).
Adult Bible Study
The next gathering of our Adult Bible Study will take place on Monday, January 7th, at 7 p.m., in Saint Catherine’s meeting room. You need only to bring your Bible. We continue with our study on the ‘Epistle of Jude’. All are welcome! Future dates: January 21st - February 4th & 18th - March 4th & 18th
Adult Education Program
Fr. Dimitri will be conducting monthly religious education lectures for adults on the following dates after the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy in St. Catherine's Chapel. This year's theme is "Send down your Holy Spirit: The Sacraments of the Orthodox Church". The tentative dates for the lectures are:
January 27th - February 17th - March 10th - April 7th - May 5th
Young Adult League
The Assumption Church is revitalizing their Young Adult ministries. In order to do so, we are asking young adults (ages 18-27 who are out of high school) and families with young adults to contact the church to provide contact information. All we need is a name, phone number, and email address to create a young adult database for our parish. Please email contact info to email@example.com. Our hope is to periodically organize social events for the young adults and support the Metropolis of Chicago YAL events and programs.
College Students -- Check Out OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship)
To our young people who are going away to college for the first time, or to those returning to school to continue their studies, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is the organization which keeps you connected to your Church and your Orthodox Faith. OCF has 300 chapters in colleges and universities throughout North America, so be sure to check out their website to locate and find out about your chapter -- WWW.OCF.NET. We also encourage our college young people to share their e-mail addresses with our Church so that we may keep them informed of their “Spiritual Home” while they are away. And always remember, your Assumption Church’s weekly Divine Liturgy Services are just a click away on your computer as we now broadcast live each Sunday. Just access it by going to our website at: www.assumptionchicago.org.
Also, our parish is starting a database of all college students in the community. If you have a college student in your family or if you are a college student, please send your name, school, area of study, address, and email address to Fr. Dimitri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee Fellowship Hosts Needed
Have you considered selecting a day to host the Weekly Fellowship Hour following Worship Services on a specific Sunday in 2019? You might want to celebrate a family event, a memorial, or just want to share time with the Church family. Please call the Church Office (773.626.3114) to book a date and for more information. Available dates for the 2019 Year:
January 13, 27
March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
April 7, 14, 21, 28
We are in the Loop!
Through a generous donation by Mr. and Mrs. Chris Maniates in memory of Mrs. Helen Maniates, we are delighted to announce that we are now part of a growing number of places with a hearing loop. If you need assistance, please see one of the Parish Council Ushers for assistance.
Assumption Prayer Ministry
The Assumption Adult Bible Study Group has developed an idea that may be of interest to parishioners and friends of our Panagia Parish. They are interested in being able to form a ministry comprised of individuals who would like to pray for the health of those who may be ill or experiencing health issues. Our Orthodox Faith teaches us that the ‘power of prayer’ literally works miracles, and Jesus instructs us in the Bible that we should “always pray for one another in the fellowship of love and through the Holy Spirit”. As a Panagia Parish, we are united as brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are encouraged to pray for one another as any family would do. So, how do we plan to do it? It’s simple, easy, spiritually uplifting and rewarding. Here is what we can all do:
- If you are interested in participating, you need only submit your name and email address to the Church Office or Fr. Timothy.
- When a name is submitted to be prayed for, you will be contacted by email, given the first name of the person to be prayed for, along with the prayer to be read by you, offering the prayer for the intercession of God upon that individual, and asking that the afflicted be healed by God’s abundant blessing.
- Your prayer, together with the many others who are offering a prayer for the person who is ill, will bring comfort beyond comprehension.
Just think about that….collectively praying for a person who needs the loving and tender Hand of God during his/her special time of need. It’s that simple. Just provide us with your email address, and you can join this ministry team who will pray for the person who needs help the most. It costs nothing, takes only a few seconds to do, but will make us all part of a spiritual family that looks and cares for one another.
Prosfora Bakers Needed
One of the blessings of Stewardship that we are given is the ability to serve our Church in a number of ways. Our Church is in need of individuals who can offer the weekly Prosforo (Bread) for the Divine Liturgy. Should you be able to offer your service, please inform the Church office or see either Fr. Timothy or Fr. Dimitrios. With the help of each steward/member, we come together as a Church family to better offer our thanks to our Lord.
Do you need gifts for your family or relatives? Visit the Bookstore in Plato Hall after the Divine Liturgy on Sundays. There you will find unique gifts for everyone, such as books for children and adults, icons of your or your children’s patron saints, crosses, key chains and other beautiful items which will make much appreciated gifts this year. Please stop in and browse! You’ll be glad you did!
Holy Communion Announcement
While we pray and work for the reconciliation and unity of all the world’s Christians, the reality remains that there is still no intercommunion between our Orthodox Churches and the Churches of the West. This means that only baptized, chrismated, and observant Orthodox faithful are allowed to receive Holy Communion in our churches. At the same time, we warmly welcome all non-Orthodox to join us in prayer and celebration, and humbly offer to all present the Antidoro bread of fellowship at the end of the worship service. We offer this important symbol ‘instead of the Gifts’, in the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘Till we all come to the unity of the Faith’ (Eph. 4.13).
In addition our Parish’s website, we encourage you to keep abreast on the latest news and happenings about Orthodoxy from our Metropolis of Chicago and our Holy Archdiocese.
Please use the links below to access any of the three sites:
Assumption Church: www.assumptionchicago.org
Metropolis of Chicago: www.metropolisofchicago.org
Archdiocese of America www.goarch.org
All three websites will provide you with articles and resources for the Orthodox Church. They include the history of Orthodoxy, special services and blessings, spirituality, teachings of the Orthodox Church, how to become a member of the Orthodox Church, the meaning and celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the form and characteristics of Orthodox worship, the Sacrament of Confession, Holy Week Meditation and Study Guide, fasting, the Orthodox calendar, and much more. Specifically, on our Parish’s website, we have uploaded past and current editions of the Assumption Newsletter and the St. Catherine Newsletter, which are available for reading online.
We Need Your E-mail Address
Are you receiving the weekly bulletin online in your e-mail mailbox each week? How about our Assumption Church’s Newsletter and the Saint Catherine’s Newsletter? If not, please give the Church Office your e-mail address so that you can stay informed about the schedule of religious services, events, and news of our Community.
Our Sunday Church Services are broadcast live on the Internet each week
A reminder to all, our parish of Panagia began broadcasting live to the internet each Sunday. This is of particular benefit to our shut-ins, elderly, college students, and vacationers who are away from home, yet need to receive the benefit and blessing of the weekly Divine Liturgy experience. All you need to do is log on to our website, www.assumptionchicago.org, and click the link to begin watching the worship service live. We have also archived our services, allowing anyone to click and watch the service/sermon at their leisure. We encourage you to give it a try.
NOTE: Please note that this morning’s Divine Liturgy, as well as prior Divine Liturgies, are available for rebroadcast. Simply log on to our parish’s website (www.assumptionchicago.org) and click on the “Watch Worship Services Online” link.
Ushers: Ted Pappas, Tom Collis, RoseMarie Stewart
PROPER CHURCH ETIOUETTE FOR WORSHIP
ENTERING THE CHURCH
When entering an Orthodox Church, reverently make the sign ofthe Cross. First, light your candle. Candles represent the light of Christ and the flame of the Holy Spirit. Candle-stands are in the narthex. You may then venerate the icons before you.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PUNCTUALITY
The Orthodox Divine Liturgy begins when the priest intones, "Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit". We need to arrive early enough to receive this blessing. Arriving later causes a distraction for others who are praying. If an occasional problem occurs and you have to come in late, enter the Church reverently and quietly. Try not to interrupt the Liturgy by your entrance. The best way to avoid this situation is to arrive on time.
STANDING IN CHURCH
It is the custom of some Orthodox Christians to stand throughout the Divine Liturgy. If you choose to stand, please do so near the sides so that the view of the Altar is not blocked for those who are seated. If you are accustomed to sitting during the Divine Liturgy, remember to stand at these times:
When the Liturgy begins and the priest gives the blessing
During the Small and Great Entrances
- When the priest turns and faces the congregation, giving his blessing
- When the priest is censing the icons and congregation
- During the Gospel reading
- At the Anaphora
- For Holy Communion
- At the final blessing
RECITATION OF NICENE CREED AND LORD 'S PRAYER
We must remember that when the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is celebrated, it is 'interactive '. That means we are not merely spectators but participants. The Nicene Creed is the foundation and principle tenets of our Orthodox Faith. Therefore, we should recite it together, loudly and with conviction, as it defines us as 'believers' and 'Orthodox Christians'. Likewise, the Lord's Prayer is to be recited loudly and boldly. It is the one prayer that Jesus Christ authored and recited when preaching here on earth.
Orthodox Christians are invited to approach and receive Holy Communion if they are properly prepared and ecclesiastically in order with the Church. The Church school students and their teachers should approach first. Once the children have communed, all others who are prepared to do so may then approach the Holy Chalice. Please come as close to the Chalice as possible to avoid accidents. The red cloth held by the priest and the altar servers is there to prevent any particles of the gifts from falling onto the floor.
If a baby or toddler needs a snack, please clear away any leftover pieces. However, the child should not have anything in his/her mouth when he/she comes to Holy Communion. It is not acceptable at any time to chew gum in Church (at any age). Plan to have your children use the restroom and get a drink before Liturgy begins, and don't allow them to come and go continually
Remember that you are in Church to worship God, the Holy Trinity. The priest says, "With the fear of God, faith, and love draw near". Let this be the way you approach your worship:
- Refrain from socializing during the Divine Liturgy: save your greetings and conversations for the fellowship hall. We are in the Liturgy to pray and worship God, not to distract others. This especially applies to the Narthex where parishioners and Parish Council members gather.
- Mobile devices: The use of mobile phones is never proper during the Liturgy. If you have a professional reason to carry one for emergencies, keep it on mute or vibrate, and sit near the exit so that leaving for an emergency will not be a distraction to others. Otherwise, turn off your phone before entering the sanctuary.
- Lipstick: Do not wear lipstick when approaching to take Holy Communion or when kissing the cross, an icon, the priest's or bishop's hand, or any sacred object. It is best not to wear it at all in the Church.
- Leg crossing: One should not be too casual in the Divine Liturgy. In our North American culture, we tend to cross our legs to get comfortable when sitting. Crossing one's legs in Church is not permitted, not because it is "wrong", but rather because it is too casual and relaxed för being in Church. Keeping your feet on the ground also enables you to remain attentive and to stand when necessary.
- Church Dress: Respectful attire is also an important part of attending Orthodox services. You do not need to be dressed "fancy" but respectfully and modestly to present yourself to God. No shorts, short skirts, or revealing clothing please. Men and boys must remove their hats when entering the Church.
HANDLING THE HOLY BREAD (ANTIDORON)
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, it is customary to receive a piece of holy bread or antidoron. While antidoron is not Holy Communion, it is blessed bread and as such should be eaten carefully so that crumbs do not fall. Both adults and children should always remember to eat the antidoron with respect. Leaving Church without receiving antidoron and the final blessing from the priest is foreign to our Orthodox culture. This includes the chanters, choir, parish council members, and ushers as well.
LEAVING BEFORE DISMISSAL
Leaving Church before dismissal deprives us of a blessing. Worship has a beginning ("Blessed is the Kingdom... ") and an end ("Let us depart inpeace... 'Y). To leave immediately after Communion is to freat the Church with disrespect.
NOTE: Worship services are vital instruments and components to our prayer development. In order to do this, we need to be cognizant of our fellow parishioners and all those around us. For those parents with children, we encourage you to expose them to the worship experience. If a child is in need of attention, please feel free to take him/her to the Narthex or Cry Room. You are most welcome to enter and exit the Church proper as many times as necessary. By doing this, all who are in attendance will be afforded the opportunity to worship and pray together. Please keep in mind that we are also privileged to have a complete Sunday School Liturgy celebrated in Saint Catherine's Chapel each week for your use as well. We ask for your cooperation. Ushers will be available to help you, if needed.
Wedding ~ December 31 at 4:30pm
Meredith Rogers to Joseph Kott