CHRIST IS RISEN!
Rev. Fr. Jon Magoulias, Protopresbyter
Rev. Fr. Michael Sergakis
PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Sunday, April 26th
Sunday of St. Thomas the Apostle
Epistle Acts 5:12-20
Gospel John 20:19-31
Sunday Divine Liturgy 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, May 2nd
Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 3rd
Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women
Epistle Acts 6:1-7
Gospel Mark 15:43-16:8
Sunday Divine Liturgy 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, May 9th
Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 10th
Sunday of the Paralytic
Epistle Acts 9:32-42
Gospel John 5:1-15
Sunday Divine Liturgy 9:00 a.m.
It is always a blessing to welcome visitors to our Parish. The direction and guidelines established by both the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the State of California, however, limit us from how many people can attend Divine Services. We continue to pray that our Risen Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ bless you through the intercessions of the All-Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. We invite you to join us for church services when they resume and to pray with our Christian family. Please remember, ALL Divine Services may be viewed on our Internet Broadcast shown on our Parish Website (www.goannunciation.org/LiveServices), from the Archdiocese "Goarch" app, or from our Facebook site (Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation Modesto).
Fellowship Hour continues to be cancelled until further notice. We will continue praying the Divine Services and advise our parishioners to follow the directives given by the County and State Health Departments and to use their discretion regarding attendance.
May you have a blessed week!
Sunday, May 3rd - Team 3: John Mangelos, Stamatis Tsatsaronis, & Nick Stavrianoudakis
Sunday, May 10th - Team 4: Mitcheal Word, Tony Gavrilis, & Mike J. Kordazakis
Acolyte Coordinator: Manoli Rodarakis
Senior Altar Boys: Andreas Alexander ~ John Hillas ~ Pantelis Zanotto ~ Frankie Zanotto
Captains - Demitri Stamos & Walter Lemons
John Capous, Reid Fortin, Athan French, Ryan Hatton, Carson Maroudas, Aristedes Mason, & Peter Zanotto
Altar boys, ages 9-14 are to attend Sunday Church each Sunday following Holy Communion. Altar Boys, ages 15-18, are to attend Sunday Church School every other Sunday following Holy Communion.
The present Covid-19 Pandemic has turned our world upside down! It has caused us to examine how we do things and how we will adjust to life once the Coronavirus has passed.
From this experience, it has become obvious that the Parish Church MUST be supported through the Stewardship of the Parish Stewards. Reliance on outside sources to financially support our Parish cannot be the means by which our Parish will continue to function in the future.
Having entered the year of our Lord 2020, we celebrate the 90th year of our Parish in Modesto. As we remember and pray for the eternal repose of all the Stewards that established and supported our Parish through the years, we also give thanks to ALL the Stewards of our Parish Today that actively participate in our Stewardship Ministry. It is through active Christian Orthodox Stewardship that we live our precious Christian Orthodox Faith.
Our Holy Church is established upon Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition. We are taught to give cheerfully and without reluctance to the mission of God’s Holy Church. Your support is necessary to continue the growth and development of our Parish Ministries. We pray that we seriously consider what it means to become a more active participant in our Stewardship Ministry. We ask that you consider:
1.) increasing the Time you spend in Church;
2.) giving of the Talent you offer through various ministries of our Parish and;
3.) considering increasing the financial offering from your Treasure that will enable us to fully fund the operating costs of our Parish through YOUR Stewardship commitment!
Christian Stewardship is the very essence of living our precious Faith that teaches each us to return to the Lord a portion of our earnings so that the Church may continue to grow. Offering one’s support to the Church in weekly, monthly or quarterly contributions is a much easier way to manage the finances of one’s household. Each year we are blessed that a number of our Stewards increase their commitment to the Church. We continue to see many stewards increase their offering above the previous year’s contribution by as much as 25%! We would hope that each Steward would increase their offering by at least 10%.
Every person baptized and/or chrismated into the Orthodox Christian Faith is a parishioner but a Steward is one who is a baptized and/or chrismated person who understands his responsibility to God and His Church. This understanding directs him to live his life according to the teachings of our Faith and at the same time, offers Time, Talents and Treasure to the sacred work of the Church. It is important to understand that our Stewardship obligations determine a family (husband, wife, & children) or an individual as stewards of our Parish. Young adults (18 years and older) that have completed their schooling and/or find themselves in the workplace are expected to become stewards of the Parish. These individuals are not included in one’s “Family Stewardship” obligation.
It is imperative that we make our Stewardship offering in support of the sacred mission of our Church in Modesto… In 2020, our Parish will require an average Stewardship Offering of $1600.00 per family to fund the ministries of our Church. Do you realize that the first $250.00 from your Stewardship offering in 2020 is contributed to the Archdiocese of America for National Ministries? Your Stewardship offering supports the mission of our Church in Modesto and beyond! Please remember that our website enables you to securely make Stewardship contributions (and other donations) online.
We have a goal of 325 Stewardship families/individuals for our Parish this year. It IS an attainable goal…As of April 28th we have 228 Stewardship families/individuals supporting our sacred ministry, as compared to 204 in 2019. Please support our efforts! In supporting these efforts we ask that you reach out to family and fellow parishioners to become more active in the ministries of our Parish. This year's Stewardship Theme is taken from the Old Testament: “To all things there is a time, and a purpose for every matter under heaven…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
The instruction given from Holy Scripture teaches us to recognize the "Time" we experience in our lives and that there is a "purpose...under heaven" for how we pass the time of our lives. If you have any questions regarding your offering please contact Fr. Jon.
The “Stewardship Drive” to become a Philoptochos member is currently underway. We strongly encourage the ladies of our Parish to become members of the Philoptochos and to assist in this beautiful ministry that assists so many people by joining. For further information please contact one of the officers of Philoptochos.
The Philoptochos Board of Trustees is comprised of: Denna Tsatsaronis, President; Dena Brown, Vice-President; Diane Hillas Treasurer; Markella Tsatsaronis, Secretary; Maria Berris, Mary Gavrilis, Janelle Hatton, Helen Katotakis, Diana Demetrulias - Mayer, Kiki Shaw, Gloria Tronis-Bolakis, Ella Velthoen, and Eleni Venierakis.
FLOWER DONATIONS DURING GREAT LENT & PASCHA
We have celebrated Great Lent and Holy Week in a most unusual manner this year. In spite of the limitations that have been put upon us, we have celebrated the Divine Services with the same attention. The Church was prepared in such a way as to add to the beauty of the holy season we celebrate.
This year, our church attendance has been affected by Covid-19. It has disrupted every aspect of our lives as we are attentive to being kept safe from contracting and spreading the virus.
In spite of this, we have been able to acquire some flowers for the different services of the Church. For this reason, we are once again accepting contributions in order to beautify our church during Great Lent. If you would like to participate by making a contribution, please contact Anna Petrulakis or the church office.
When attending services, please be prompt! In order to partake of the Holy Eucharist please remember proper preparation is required to receive Holy Communion. Proper preparation in receiving Holy Communion requires that the person be in the Divine Liturgy on time, that means BEFORE 10:00 a.m.!
When receiving the Holy Eucharist come forward reverently, give your baptismal name, hold the red cloth under your chin and after receiving, wipe your lips.
Please remember that the "Cry Room" is intended only when an infant child may seem to be disrupting a divine service. It is wonderful to see so many families with young children and for this reason, we ask that only one parent and child be in the "Cry Room" at any given time. Parents should not be giving their children games to play while in the "Cry Room". Once the child has settled down they should return to the pews for the service.
VISIT OUR WEBSITE
In an effort to continue improving our Parish Ministry, we continue to upgrade and improve our Parish Website: www.goannunciation.org
The broadcasting of our Divine Services may now be seen from both our Parish Website and Parish Facebook page. The newly installed high definition cameras have added to the viewing clarity of our services. We do suggest that when viewing Divine Services from our Parish Website, that it may be better to use Chrome as the browser.
The use of today's technology to improve our ability to serve you, the faithful stewards of the Annunciation Church, is of paramount importance. Whether it is through our website or the broadcasting of Divine Services, it is the responsibility of good stewardship that we strengthen our ability to communicate Christ's message of love, peace and salvation to all.
A feature on the website now enables donations and Stewardship offerings to be made online. After researching a number of programs to provide a means by which online contributions may be made we have chosen to use "Paypal" which is a well tested and secure method.
Please accept this improvement to our Parish Ministry as an offering from your Parish Council. We are grateful to the stewards and friends of our Parish that support our ministry and we pledge to continue to provide the highest quality of service to you, the people of God.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE WHEN COMMUNICATING WITHIN THE PARISH
Texting and social media platforms have become prevalent as the means by which we communicate with one another. Although these methods of communication may be more convenient and seemingly instantaneous, they remain informal and impersonal. Moreover, our words can be misconstrued on account of improperly placed (or lacking) punctuation, misspelled words, and/or incomplete thoughts; simply done with the click of a button.
We, therefore, ask you to please refrain from texting or reaching out to Fr. Jon, Michael, or the Office Staff through social media platforms. Rather, you are asked to contact them through the Church Office to schedule appointments or sacraments, confirm service times, meetings, request visitations and/or to ask for pastoral or theological questions. In the event of an emergency, please contact Fr. Jon via the numbers provided in our Parish Directory.
In addition, we would like to remind you that calls to the Church Office should ONLY pertain to activities of the Parish. Any personal calls to Office Staff, unless it is a family emergency, should be made AFTER or BEFORE their work hours.
Some internet sites of our Parish include:
Parish Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/goannunciation/
Philoptochos - https://www.facebook.com/Philoptochos4011/
Tots N Toddlers (TNT) - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1752911011651397/
GOYA - https://www.facebook.com/groups/906681666103047/
YAL - https://www.facebook.com/groups/690691877659137/?ref=group_browse_new
Dance Groups - Shutterfly - https://greekdanceclub.shutterfly.com/
iPhone App for Shutterfly Share Sites can be found at - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shutterfly-share-sites/id567273381?mt=8
CHURCH MUSIC MINISTRY
The ministry of our choir members is to represent YOU and to serve as volunteers by using the gift of music to sing praises to our Lord is a true act of Christian Orthodox Stewardship.
Parishioners, who may be interested in of our Church, and especially our young people, are invited to join the choir. St. Augustine wrote: "What better thing can the people do than sing. I know of no better thing than this!" Please contact Markella Tsatsaronis or the Church Office, to find out more about our Church Choir.
Divine Services on Sunday morning begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. (Weekdays at 8:30 a.m.). There is no set time as to when the Divine Liturgy actually begins since the hymns of the Matins vary from week to week. According to actual Church Service procedures, each and every member of the congregation is required to be seated in the pews by the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.
It is only through leniency that anyone is allowed to enter the Church once the Service has begun. Thus it behooves us not to take undue advantage of this leniency. Also, unnecessary noise is extremely distracting during worship, especially when it comes from the adults talking; in addition, our nursery is equipped with all the conveniences for young children and a parent to participate in the Liturgy. Please remember to prepare yourself properly to attend the Divine Liturgy; dress accordingly; do not chew gum; turn off your cell phone; and please do not create a disturbance. Please remember that the Parish Council members are re quired to see to the order during Church Services and everyone should follow their directions at all times.
"The Lord has given us many counsels and commandments to help us toward salvation. He has even given us a pattern of prayer, instructing us on how we are to pray. He has given us life, and with His accustomed generosity, He has also taught us how to pray. He has made it easy for us to be heard, as we pray to the Father in words taught us by the Son.Let us pray as God our Master has taught us. To ask the Father in words His Son has given us, to let Him hear the words of Christ ringing in our ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer." St. Cyprian, martyred Bishop of Carthage (+258)
PARISH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
We have had to cancel our regular session of Sunday Church School. Once the restrictions due to COVID-19 are lifted, we will resume our Sunday Church School Ministry.
During this time, we will be having Sunday Church School class on Zoom. So far, we have had a tremendous response to using the technology in this manner. We are grateful to our Sunday Church Directors Helen Katotakis and Kari Fortin, along with our teaching staff, for planning activities and lessons. Please see the Sunday Church School Facebook page (Sunday School of Annunciation Modesto) for details and times classes will be held...
Parents are encouraged to use this time to teach their children our precious Christian Orthodox Faith so that our young people may “Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
GREEK SCHOOL NEWS
Our afternoon Greek School ministry is being cancelled until further notice. We have a responsibility to adhere to the State and County Health agencies regarding Covid-19 (coronavirus) and will suspend extra events at this time.
PARISH YOUTH MINISTRY
Our Parish Youth Ministry is designed to teach our Faith through fellowship and service. The success of this ministry rests with the parents and we urge them to support this ministry with enthusiasm and love. Our Youth Ministry is comprised of young people in:
H.O.P.E. – Grade 3-5; J.O.Y. – Grades 6-8; G.O.Y.A. - High School; Y.A.L. – College - 35.
We have held Zoom meetings with our youth groups. It is wonderful to have this technology to interact. We look forward to getting together and to see one another face to face!
It is important for our young people to participate in this ministry so that they may develop the skills necessary to live our Christian Orthodox teachings in today’s world.
It has been said: “The more you read…the more you know!” Our Bookstore Manager, Ella Velthoen, is willing to assist you through a great selection of books, icons, music and other items for every Orthodox Christian. Included in our selection are Children’s Orthodox books and games. New titles in our bookstore include: Parent Points, Illness and the Believer, Do not Judge, Love your Enemies, Be Ready, and Repentance and Confession. In addition, our bookstore has many excellent gifts for every occasion. Please visit our Bookstore during Fellowship Hour!
During the pandemic of the Coronavirus, people are reading a lot more. If you are interested in visiting the bookstore to obtain books on our Faith, please schedule a time to visit with the Church Office.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE
It is the practice of our Faith that upon entering the House of God, an offering and prayer is made as we light candles to symbolize that Christ is the Light of the world. Please remember that if a check is being written for this purpose or for a donation, in accordance with the non-profit status of our Parish, any check made out to the Annunciation Church must be for the exact amount. Thank you!
The Divine Liturgy begins with the offering of the faithful people of God. The gifts we bring forth are an expression of our faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Holy Communion makes us one with the Holy Trinity and is given for "remission of sins and life everlasting". The people are invited to bring forth their offering, i.e. "Prosforon", for the Divine Liturgy to be celebrated. We use 4 prosfora on a regular Sunday and they may be given through our Philoptochos for a donation. The Eucharist Bread may be offered in memory of a loved one or for someone's health and well-being. Anyone wishing to donate the Eucharist Bread ("Prosphoron") on a particular Sunday may contact Anna Petrulakis, 522-0298. In addition to contributing the Eucharist Bread it is customary to bring a bottle of olive oil for the vigil lights and a bottle of wine for Holy Communion. The ONLY wine being used for Holy Communion is Coumantaria and will now be available for purchase from the Church Office.
We would also like to obtain the e-mail addresses of ALL the families in our Parish. We have begun to communicate much more frequently via the internet. Parents and students are asked to send their email addresses so that we may have them for our Parish records. We also ask that you please submit the names, addresses and e-mails for college students attending school away from home.
It is also important to inform the Church Office when you have an address change. In this way we are able to keep our files current and avoid unnecessary charges from the Post Office.
In addition, we ask that you please notify the Church Office when you plan a trip and put your mail on "Hold." Each time there is an address change or a temporary hold one's mailing address, the Parish is charged by the Post Office.
PARISH COMPLEX SECURITY
For the safety of our Parish complex we have installed security cameras on the exterior and interior of our church complex. Please be aware that the cameras will be recording daily 24/7 – 365 days a year. Don’t forget to smile!
The ongoing responsibility to maintain the beauty and safety of our church complex is of utmost importance. We have accomplished many projects and express our appreciation to the Stewards and Friends of our Parish that have been so generous to our ministry.
In the last three years we have completed:
1. The replacement of the doors throughout our facility which was approximately $25,000.00.
2. The installation of new lighting around the complex perimeter that was completed at a cost of $3500.00.
3. The new lighting in front of the church (replacing the old MID poles) has finished. The cost of this project was $23,000.00.
4. Sealing and repairing the parking lot - cost $17,000.00
5. The addition of new curbing on back parking lot planters - cost $4,000.00.
6. New lighting in the Classroom Building - cost $10,000.00...DONATED.
7. New Heating/Air Conditioning for the back of the Church Hall - cost $12,000.00;
8. Upgrading of the main electrical panel of our Church complex - cost $3,000.00.
9. Painting of the outdoor pavilion. (Donated.)
10. Landscaping in the upgraded planters behind our complex.
11. Trimming of the cypress trees. (Donated)
12. Upgrade to the Internet Broadcast equipment.
13. Painting of the Vestry and Sacristy. (Donated).
14. Sound System for the Pavilion. (Donated).
15. 2 Flagpoles (Donated).
16. New handicap ramp on side of the church (Donated).
17. Remodeling of the Classroom Building (Donated).
18. New and repair of gutters on the entire church complex (Donated and completed).
19. Security cameras inside and outside our facilities (Donated).
20. A new sound system for the church (Donated and completed).
21. A railed platform area and ramp behing the kitchen. (Donated and completed)
22. Roofing repairs over the kitchen, Lodge Room and entry way to the Hall. (Completed at a cost of $12,580.00)
23. Resealing and restriping of the front Church parking lot and area behind the kitchen. (Completed at a cost of $10,500.00)
24. The purchase of 3 AED units (Donated)
25. The paneling of the kitchen walls (Donated and being completed).
26. Installation of a ceiling fan and lights in the Choir Room. (Donated and completed)
27. Installation of automatic hand towel and soap dispensers throughout our facility. (Completed)
28. Replacing of the church carpet (Donated and installed).
29. Refurbishing the cushions in the church pews (Donated and completed).
30. Chairs and Tables for the Hall (Donated).
31. Fans for the outdoor pavilion (Donated and Installed).
32. New silverware for the GFF (Donated and received).
33. New LED lights in the pavilion (Donated and installed).
34. New LED lights to be installed in the existing parking lot light poles (Donated and Installed).
35. Seal coating and striping of the church parking lot (Donated and Completed.).
36. New metal doors for the Utility Room of the Classroom Building (Donated and installed).
37. New Heating and Air Conditioning systems for the Classroom Building installed ($26,000).
We, again, are grateful to the parishioners that have already made contributions towards these projects.
Recently, we have received donations for new items that will be used during Divine Services. They are:
1. New Acolyte Robes (Donated and received);
2. A new Resurrection Candleholder (Donated and received);
3. 2 new sets of covers for the Holy Altar Table and Chalice Set (Donated and received);
4. A set of new Bishop Candlesticks (Donated and received);
5. A new Gospel in Greek and English (Donated and received);
6. A new set of covers for the Holy Altar Table and Chalice Set (Donated)
7. One Rantistirion (Sprinkler) for Holy Week (Donated)
8. Two silver vigil lights that are placed on each side of the Cross (Donated);
9. An icon of the Virgin Mary Directress (Donated)
10. A new set of covers for the Holy Altar Table and Chalice Set (Donated and received)
11. Updating of our electronic Carillon (bell) system (Donated and installed)
12. The installation of 7 new chandeliers for the Church (Donated and completed).
13. The installation of a new High Definition Broadcast System (cameras, control panel, monitors, and computer) for the church (Donated and completed).
14. Two brass candlestands for the 7 Day Vigil Lights (Donated and completed).
15. New altar and chalice covers (Donated).
16. New altar curtain (Donated and being made).
17. New microphones for the church (Donated and installed).
18. New sterling silver candle holders for the Holy Altar Table (Donated and being used).
19. New cabinets and closet doors for the Vestry (Donated and installed).
The Parish Council continues to review each area of our Parish Complex so that we can meet the ongoing needs that include upgrading certain areas. Once the study is completed, a presentation will be given at the Parish Assembly.
If you would like to contribute toward ecclesiastical items needed, please contact Fr. Jon or a member of the Parish Council.
We encourage you to visit our Parish Website: www.goannunciation.org. It is frequently updated and contains the Monthly and Weekly Bulletins, along with photographs and other information about our Parish.
We are very blessed to have a wonderful church complex. This has only been accomplished by the generosity of the stewards of our Parish that understand the importance of gathering for Christian Orthodox Fellowship. We are grateful to everyone that has contributed over the years and we commit ourselves to be responsible to maintain our facilities to the best of our abilities.
For this to happen, we need YOUR support too! This is why we must remind parishioners that church property is not to be removed from our complex. Please do not remove plates, pans or other utensils from our facilities for any reason unless approved by the Parish Priest and Parish Council. If you have any items from the Cultural Center please return them this week. In addition, we would like to remind parishioners that we rely on volunteers to serve the meals at our luncheons. During meals that are served in our Church Hall please do not enter the kitchen unless you are volunteerin g to help! We thank you for your understanding and support!
The demands on each individual and family are great. In an effort to understand this we would like to remind our parishioners that before anyone plans on selling items in our church complex or during Parish activities, they must have the approval of the Parish Priest. We also understand that organizations within our Community, as well as, organizations we may support, have a need to raise funds for their activities. We do not want times of fellowship to become a time when parishioners may be bombarded to purchase items.
We would also like to remind everyone that the placement of flyers on our cars is prohibited! Flyers that you wish to have distributed may be brought by the Church Office for approval and then included in either our Monthly and/or Weekly bulletins.