PARISH NEWS AND EVENTS
Church School on FACEBOOK:
Our Sunday Church School has created a FACEBOOK page. Like our page: Assumption Sunday Church School! Keep up to date on upcoming events and view photos from recent events.
Ministry, Ministry, Ministry!
Every Christian who has accepted salvation has also accepted the responsibility of working in the ministry of the Church. The clergy have been called apart and given the grace and blessing to perform the specific sacramental functions of the church, but all Christians, clergy and laity alike, have been called to serve in our Lord’s ministry. If this is not what the Church is doing, then we have entered into serious error. Everything that we do as a Church should be in direct support of Christ’s ministry of salvation. If we build buildings, they should be to support ministry. Any event sponsored by the Church should be ministry or in support of ministry. The Church’s budget should be driven by its ministry, not the ministry to be limited by its budget.
Sunday Church School Happiness Challenge:
The children of our Sunday Church School continue to spread happiness from organization to organization.
September: Feed My Starving Children
October: Rush University Hospital Road Home Program/IMD Guesthouse
November: Hephzibah Home
Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot
December: Food Drive
Loretto Toy Drive
Christmas Caroling at Greek American Rehab.
Care packages for Assumption College Students
“Blessing Bags” for Chicago Area Homeless
Every month the children will have an opportunity to put our faith in action with various philanthropic service projects. We will have monthly bulletin updates to show our children’s progress as well as updates to our website with pictures that will show a glimpse of the beautiful example of our faith in action that our children continue to offer.
The 2017 stewardship packets were mailed to all faithful (stewards) of this Parish. We ask that you please prayerfully consider your pledge commitment for 2017, complete the pledge card and mail in the the envelope provided. We are forever grateful to the many loving stewards, supporters, and friends of this Parish who stand tall in their commitment to our Lord, the Blessed Panagia and this ministry.
Christmas Offering Appeal:
The Annual Appeal for Christmas where our faithful and supporters are able to make their prayerful gift to our Panagia Parish and our Lord’s Ministries have been mailed this past week to all stewards. We ask that you please consider and remember your Spiritual Home with your gift of love.
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 will now be part of a growing number of places with a hearing loop.
Adult Education Program:
Once again, Fr. Dimitrios is continuing the Adult Education Program (AEP) one Sunday each month for the 2016-17 year. The next AEP will be held on Sunday, January 29, 2017 in St. Catherine Chapel following the SCS Liturgy.
Did you miss the last Adult Education Program session? Have no fear! The hard working video team at Assumption will be recording all of the AEP sessions and posting them on the parish website. You can watch all of the videos at http://www.assumptionchicago.org/video/educational-videos/.
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 web site 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 each Sunday 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 email@example.com.
Dates to Remember:
Sunday, December 25th
8:30 am – Orthros
10:00 am – Divine Liturgy
Monday, December 26th
Synaxis of the Theotokos
8:30 am – Orthros
9:30 am – Divine Liturgy
Tuesday, December 27th
Feast of St. Stephen
8:30 am – Orthros
9:30 am – Divine Liturgy
Adult Bible Study Monday January 16, 2017:
Our Adult Bible Study will meet Monday evening, January 16, 2017, at 7:00 pm, in Saint Catherine’s Meeting Room. We will continue with our study of the Epistles written by Saint Paul the Apostle. This class is open to all, and it is hoped that you will avail yourself to the opportunity to study the Bible in-depth. All you need to bring along with you is your Bible. For further information and/or questions, please see Father Timothy.
Church Basketball Season:
Basketball Season has started. Tom Demos is our Youth Athletic Director and he has provided the dates of game days. Should you have questions about the schedule please contact Tom by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an incredible opportunity for the kids to represent the Church, enjoy memorable times with their friends, encourage fellowship amongst our families, the opportunity to travel and compete against other local Greek Orthodox Churches, enjoy friendly competition and learn about sportsmanship and playing the game the right way.
GAME INFORMATION - Assumption (5th and 6th grade) G.O.A.L. Basketball Games:
Players' please arrive 15 to 30 minutes prior to our official game times which are normally at 5:30pm.
Saturday, January 14 v. St. Peter and Paul @ Westchester - 5:30pm
Sunday, January 15 v. Holy Apostles @ Westchester - 4:30pm
Sunday, January 15 v. St Haralambos @ Westchester - 5:30pm
Saturday, January 21 v. St. Demetrios Chi @ Westchester - 5:30pm
Sunday, January 22 @ St. Nectarios - 5:30pm
Please take a moment to sign up to receive text updates at http://remind.com/join/8dc48g. This will be used to help communicate any last minute issues.
Coffee Fellowship Hosts Needed:
Have you considered selecting a day to host the Weekly Fellowship Hour following Worship Services on a specific Sunday in 2017? 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 2017 Year:
Jan. 22 Feb. 26 April 23 June 11
Jan. 29 March 5 April 30 June 18
Feb. 5 March 12 May 7 June 25
Feb. 12 March 19 May 14 July 2
Feb. 19 April 2 June 4 July9
The 2016-17 PanHellenic Scholarship Application is Now Available!
The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation's 2016-17 scholarship application is now available! This year, the Foundation will once again distribute $250,000 in scholarship awards. The Foundation will accept applications from eligible college students through January 31, 2017. The scholarship application and the qualification criteria, requirements, and guidelines are available on our website email@example.com, or call the Church office (773-626-3114) for additional information.
To be eligible to apply for a scholarship, applicants must:
Be US Citizens or US permanent residents
- Be of Hellenic descent
- Be a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited 4-year university in Fall 2016
- Have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
If you are an undergraduate of Hellenic descent, we encourage you to apply for the scholarship awards!
The Kulis Foundation Scholarships:
The Kulis Foundation is offering over 30 scholarships for current college undergraduate and graduate students of Greek heritage and/or Orthodox faith. Applications will be available December 1, 2016. For detailed information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
13th District AHEPA Scholarship:
Applications are now available from the Order of AHEPA’s 13th District Scholarship awards for the year 2017. Eligible student must be a high school senior, have a minimum four-year cumulative grade point average of B, and be either of Greek heritage or have a parent that is an active member of the AHEPA family. Application forms may be obtained by calling the Church office at 773-626-3114 or by e-mailing: email@example.com.
Philoptochos One Warm Coat Drive
Thank you for your very generous response. As of Monday, December 5th, our volunteers, led by Jette Georgopoulos, collected and delivered 75 coats to Ark Ministries in Cicero, an organization recommended by the One Warm Coat Organization.
The collection box will remain in the St. Catherine narthex through the winter months until Sunday, February 12th. Thank you to our generous and volunteers.
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 individuals 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, and 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 along with the many others who are offering a prayer for the person who is ill, will bring comfort beyond comprehension.
Just think about that….our prayers 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.
Cemetery Graves Update:
Individuals/Families interested in purchasing graves at Elmwood Cemetery, please be advised of the following rates: $1,995.00 (members), and $2,295.00 (non-members). Our Parish has only a few graves remaining in the Panagia section, and the Church pricing is about 50% less than the graves that are being sold at Elmwood. For more information, please call the Church office and speak with Gail (773.626.3114).
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 Mrs. Demetra Spyropoulos. 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? Then please 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.
PROPER CHURCH ETIQUETTE FOR WORSHIP
ENTERING THE CHURCH
When entering an Orthodox Church, reverently make the sign of the 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. The Church school students and their teachers should approach first. All others who are prepared to do so may then approach the holy chalice. The 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 Liturgy: Save your greetings and conversations for the fellowship hall. We are in the Liturgy to pray and worship God, not to distract others.
- 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, not 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.
- We do not clap in Church.
- Lipstick: Do not wear lipstick while taking 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 for 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 so as 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 in peace..."). To leave immediately after Communion is to treat 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
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, and 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.
Chris Limperis, Bill Vranas, Stacy Lynch, Dean Sarantos