Polyeuctus the Martyr of Melitene in Armenia
Saint Polyeuctus, a soldier in rank, contested during the reign of Valerian, in the year 255. He was from Melitene, a city in Armenia.
DIVINE SERVICE SCHEDULE
Divine Services 9:00 am
Great Vespers 5:00 pm
Special Feastday 8:30 am
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Narthex Press
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Greek Standard Text
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Greek Standard Text
Today is the crown of our salvation, and the revelation of the mystery planned from eternity; the Son of God, becomes the Virgin’s Son, and Gabriel announces the grace. Wherefore, we along with him, to the Theotokos let us cry out: Rejoice, O full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Σήμερον τῆς σωτηρίας ἡμῶν τὸ Κεφάλαιον, καὶ τοῦ ἀπ' αἰῶνος Μυστηρίου ἡ φανέρωσις, ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, Υἱὸς τῆς Παρθένου γίνεται, καὶ Γαβριὴλ τὴν χάριν εὐαγγελίζεται. Διὸ καὶ ἡμεῖς σὺν αὐτῷ τὴ Θεοτόκω βοήσωμεν· Χαῖρε Κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ Κύριος μετὰ σοῦ.
Simeron tis sotirias eemon to Kefalaion, ke tu ap’eonos Mystiriu ee fanerosis; o Ios tu Theu, Ios tis Parthenu ghinete, ke Gavri-il tin harin evangelizete. Dio ke eemis syn afto ti Theotoke voisomen; Haire Keharitomeni, o Kyrios meta su.
Reading is under copyright and is used with permission, all rights reserved by: Greek Standard Text
Saint Polyeuctus, a soldier in rank, contested during the reign of Valerian, in the year 255. He was from Melitene, a city in Armenia.
Saint Gregory, the younger brother of Basil the Great, illustrious in speech and a zealot for the Orthodox Faith, was born in 331. His brother Basil was encouraged by their elder sister Macrina to prefer the service of God to a secular career (see July 19); Saint Gregory was moved in a similar way by his godly mother Emily, who, when Gregory was still a young man, implored him to attend a service in honor of the holy Forty Martyrs at her retreat at Annesi on the River Iris. Saint Gregory came at his mother's bidding, but being wearied with the journey, and feeling little zeal, he fell asleep during the service. The Forty Martyrs then appeared to him in a dream, threatening him and reproaching him for his slothfulness. After this he repented and became very diligent in the service of God.
Gregory became bishop in 372, and because of his Orthodoxy he was exiled in 374 by Valens, who was of one mind with the Arians. After the death of Valens in 378, Gregory was recalled to his throne by the Emperor Gratian. He attended the Local Council of Antioch, which sent him to visit the churches of Arabia and Palestine, which had been defiled and ravaged by Arianism. He attended the Second Ecumenical Council, which was assembled in Constantinople in 381. Having lived some sixty years and left behind many remarkable writings, he reposed about the year 395. The acts of the Seventh Ecumenical Council call him 'Father of Fathers."
This Saint had Cappadocia as his homeland. He lived during the years of Leo of Thrace, who reigned from 457 to 474. The Saint established in the Holy Land a great communal monastery, wherein he was the shepherd of many monks. While Saint Sabbas was the head of the hermits of Palestine, Saint Theodosius was governor of those living the cenobitic life, for which reason he is called the Cenobiarch. Together with Saint Sabbas, towards whom he cherished a deep brotherly love in Christ, he defended the whole land of Palestine from the heresy of the Monophysites, which was championed by the Emperor Anastasius and might very well have triumphed in the Holy Land without the opposition of these two great monastic fathers and their zealous defense of the Holy Council of Chalcedon. Having lived for 103 years, he reposed in peace.
Saint Tatiana was the daughter of a most distinguished consul of Rome. She became a deaconess of the Church, and for her confession of the Faith of Christ, she endured many torments. As she was suffering, angels punished her tormentors with the same torments they inflicted on her, until they cried out that they could no longer endure the scourges invisibly brought upon them. She was beheaded during the reign of Alexander Severus (111-135).
Saints Hermylus and Stratonicus contested for piety's sake during the reign of Licinius, in the year 314. Saint Hermylus was a deacon, and Stratonicus was his friend. For his confession of Christ, Hermylus was beaten so fiercely that his whole body was covered with wounds. Stratonicus, seeing him endure this and other torments that left him half dead, wept with grief for his friend. From this he was discovered to be a Christian, and when he had openly professed his Faith and had been beaten, he and Hermylus were cast into the Danube River, receiving the crown of martyrdom.
As for the holy Martyrs of Sinai and Raithu, those of Sinai contested during the reign of Diocletian, about the year 296; those of Raithu were slain about the middle of the fifth century. On both occasions, the perpetrators of these massacres were a barbarian tribe called Blemmyes, from the parts of Arabia and Egypt.
Because of the Apodosis of the Feast of Holy Theophany also on the 14th of January, the liturgical services to the Holy Fathers slain at Sinai and Raitho are transferred to January 13th.
The holy virgin Nina was from Cappadocia. According to some, her father Zabulon was a friend of the holy Great Martyr George, whose father was a Cappadocian. The conversion of Georgia by Saint Nina is reported in the Church histories of Rufinus, Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret: Rufinus, writing less than a hundred years after Saint Nina, said that he heard the history in Jerusalem from a Georgian Prince named Bacurius. Saint Nina was taken captive by the Georgians (whom the Greek accounts call Iberians), and while in captivity she lived a very devout life of sobriety and virtue, praying unceasingly night and day; this drew the attention of the Georgians, and to all who asked her about her way of life, she preached the dispensation of Christ. When she healed by her prayer a certain woman's sick child, whom no one else had been able to help, the report of her came to the ears of the Queen of Georgia, who was herself gravely afflicted with an incurable malady. She asked that the captive women be brought to her, but Saint Nina declined out of modesty, so the Queen commanded them to carry her to Nina. Saint Nina healed her immediately, and the Queen returned home in joy. When she extolled Nina and her faith to the king, he gave her no heed, although she mentioned it to him often. But while hunting in the forest, he was shrouded with an impenetrable darkness in which he lost his way, became separated from his men, and fell into despair; he made a vow that if Christ should deliver him, he would worship him alone. The light of day straightway shone again, and the king fulfilled his vow. He and the Queen were instructed in the Faith by Saint Nina, and they with the whole Georgian nation became Christ's. The King also sent an embassy to Saint Constantine the Great, informing him of their conversion, and requesting that priests be sent to Georgia. Saint Nina reposed in peace in about the year 335. The above-mentioned Church historians speak of her without calling her Nina. She is celebrated in the Roman Martyrology on December 15 under the name Christina.
Because of the Apodosis of the Feast of Holy Theophany also on the 14th of January, the liturgical services to Saint Nina are transferred to January 13th.
Saint Paul, first among hermits, was born about 227 in the Thebaid of Egypt. In 250 he fled into the wilderness because of the persecution raging at that time under Decius. Having lived a solitary life in a certain cave for ninety-one years, he reposed in 341, at the age of 114, and was buried by Anthony the Great, who had been directed thither by God several days before the Saint's repose.
Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great and king of the Jews, grew wroth against the Church of Christ, and slew James, the brother of John the Evangelist. Seeing that this pleased the Jews, he took Peter also into custody and locked him up in prison, intending to keep him there until after the feast of the Passover, so that he could win the favour of the people by presenting him to them as a victim. But the Apostle was saved when he was miraculously set free by an Angel (Acts 12:1-19). The chains wherewith the Apostle was bound received from his most sacred body the grace of sanctification and healing, which is bestowed upon the faithful who draw nigh with faith.
That such sacred treasures work wonders and many healings is witnessed by the divine Scripture, where it speaks concerning Paul, saying that the Christians in Ephesus had such reverence for him, that his handkerchiefs and aprons, taken up with much reverence, healed the sick of their maladies: "So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:12). But not only the Apostles' clothing (which certainly touched the bodies of the sick), but even their shadow alone performed healings. On beholding this, people put their sick on stretchers and beds and brought them out into the streets that, when Peter passed by, his shadow "might overshadow some of them"(Acts 5:15). From this the Orthodox Catholic Church has learned to show reverence and piety not only to the relics of their bodies, but also in the clothing of God's Saints.
Seventh Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from John 20:1-10
On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.
Seventh Orthros Gospel
Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 20:1-10
Τῇ δὲ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ ἔρχεται πρωῒ σκοτίας ἔτι οὔσης εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ βλέπει τὸν λίθον ἠρμένον ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου. τρέχει οὖν καὶ ἔρχεται πρὸς Σίμωνα Πέτρον καὶ πρὸς τὸν ἄλλον μαθητὴν ὃν ἐφίλει ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· ἦραν τὸν Κύριον ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου, καὶ οὐκ οἴδαμεν ποῦ ἔθηκαν αὐτόν. ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ Πέτρος καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς καὶ ἤρχοντο εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον. ἔτρεχον δὲ οἱ δύο ὁμοῦ· καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς προέδραμε τάχιον τοῦ Πέτρου καὶ ἦλθε πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ παρακύψας βλέπει κείμενα τὰ ὀθόνια, οὐ μέντοι εἰσῆλθεν. ἔρχεται οὖν Σίμων Πέτρος ἀκολουθῶν αὐτῷ, καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον καὶ θεωρεῖ τὰ ὀθόνια κείμενα, καὶ τὸ σουδάριον, ὃ ἦν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ, οὐ μετὰ τῶν ὀθονίων κείμενον, ἀλλὰ χωρὶς ἐντετυλιγμένον εἰς ἕνα τόπον. τότε οὖν εἰσῆλθε καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς ὁ ἐλθὼν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ εἶδε καὶ ἐπίστευσεν· οὐδέπω γὰρ ᾔδεισαν τὴν γραφὴν ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῆναι. ἀπῆλθον οὖν πάλιν πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς οἱ μαθηταί.
Prokeimenon. First Mode. Psalm 32.22,1.
Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 4:7-13.
BRETHREN, grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." (in saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Προκείμενον. First Mode. ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 32.22,1.
Γένοιτο, Κύριε, τὸ ἔλεός σου ἐφ' ἡμᾶς.
Στίχ. Ἀγαλλιᾶσθε δίκαιοι ἐν Κυρίῳ
τὸ Ἀνάγνωσμα Πρὸς Ἐφεσίους 4:7-13.
Ἀδελφοί, ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ ἡμῶν ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις κατὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Διὸ λέγει, Ἀναβὰς εἰς ὕψος ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν, καὶ ἔδωκεν δόματα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. Τὸ δέ, Ἀνέβη, τί ἐστιν εἰ μὴ ὅτι καὶ κατέβη πρῶτον εἰς τὰ κατώτερα μέρη τῆς γῆς; Ὁ καταβάς, αὐτός ἐστιν καὶ ὁ ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν, ἵνα πληρώσῃ τὰ πάντα. Καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν τοὺς μὲν ἀποστόλους, τοὺς δὲ προφήτας, τοὺς δὲ εὐαγγελιστάς, τοὺς δὲ ποιμένας καὶ διδασκάλους, πρὸς τὸν καταρτισμὸν τῶν ἁγίων, εἰς ἔργον διακονίας, εἰς οἰκοδομὴν τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ· μέχρι καταντήσωμεν οἱ πάντες εἰς τὴν ἑνότητα τῆς πίστεως καὶ τῆς ἐπιγνώσεως τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰς ἄνδρα τέλειον, εἰς μέτρον ἡλικίας τοῦ πληρώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ.
Sunday after Epiphany
The Reading is from Matthew 4:12-17
At that time, when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Sunday after Epiphany
Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 4:12-17
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ὅτι ᾿Ιωάννης παρεδόθη, ἀνεχώρησεν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, καὶ καταλιπὼν τὴν Ναζαρὲτ ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν εἰς Καπερναοὺμ τὴν παραθαλασσίαν ἐν ὁρίοις Ζαβουλὼν καὶ Νεφθαλείμ, ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ ῾Ησαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος· γῆ Ζαβουλὼν καὶ γῆ Νεφθαλείμ, ὁδὸν θαλάσσης, πέραν τοῦ ᾿Ιορδάνου, Γαλιλαία τῶν ἐθνῶν, ὁ λαὸς ὁ καθήμενος ἐν σκότειεἶδε φῶς μέγα, καὶ τοῖς καθημένοις ἐν χώρᾳ καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτουφῶς ἀνέτειλεν αὐτοῖς. ᾿Απὸ τότε ἤρξατο ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς κηρύσσειν καὶ λέγειν· μετανοεῖτε· ἤγγικε γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.
Rev. Fr. Jon Magoulias, Protopresbyter
Rev. Fr. Michael Sergakis
PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Friday, January 7th
Synaxis of St. John the Baptist
Epistle Acts 19:1-8
Gospel John 1:29-34
Divine Services 8:30 a.m.
Saturday, January 8th
Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 9th
Sunday After Epiphany
Epistle Eph. 4:7-13
Gospel Matt. 4:12-17
Sunday Divine Services 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, January 15th
Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 16th
12th Sunday of Luke
Epistle Col. 3:4-11
Gospel Luke 17:12-19
Sunday Divine Services 9:00 a.m.
It is always a blessing to welcome visitors to our Parish. We continue to pray that our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ bless you through the intercessions of the All-Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
The guidelines regarding Covid-19 are changing each day, but we continue to be concerned about everyone's safety. We give thanks to God that the vaccines being offered seem to have a positive affect in managing the coronavirus and its variants.
Many people have been vaccinated and we see a gradual increase in church attendance. While we welcome our parishioners returning to Divine Services, we still encourage you to be cautious. We will continue practicing social distancing in church and if you would like to wear a mask, please do so.
In the Narthex of the church, there is sanitizer, as well as, masks for those who wish to wear them. It is acceptable to bring your own sanitizer and mask. We strongly advise you to be responsible in making decisions in regards to your health. During Divine Services, we will continue to follow the procedures that include social distancing and other practices that promote good hygiene. We ask that you be patient and follow the directions given by the Parish Council.
Presently, we are still refraining from meetings on the Parish Campus, along with Fellowship Hour or receptions in our hall. As soon as we are granted permission to fully return to our Parish activities, we will inform you. While the Metropolis of San Francisco is concerned about our well-being, they will support our decision on how to proceed. At the same time, we must also follow the guidelines of the Department of Health for Stanislaus County.
The Supreme Court of the United States of America has ruled that churches may be open during the pandemic. We, however, will continue to follow the guidelines provided by the State of California, the Metropolis of San Francisco, and our Parish. Divine Services will continue to be prayed and livestreaming continues to be available, but we strongly encourage everyone to make the best choices in regards to their safety.
The Guidelines for Attending Church during a Pandemic have been sent to you in our Monthly Bulletin (the hardcopy and the digital), along with through emails. Please read it carefully and follow the instructions.
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 suspended 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, January 9th - Team 3: Pete Mamalis,Stamatis Tsatsaronis & Nick Stavrianoudakis
Sunday, January 16th - Team 4: Mitcheal Word,Tony Gavrilis & Mike J. Kordazakis
Parish Council Elections for the term 2022-2023 have been ratified by the Metropolis of San Francisco. The members of the Parish Council who will serve this year are: Jeff Brown; Nick Faklis; Jaylen French; Tony Gavrilis; Mike Kordazakis; Peter Mamalis; John Mangelos; Nick Pallios; Manoli Rodarakis; Stamatis Tsatsaronis; and Mitcheal Word.
Once the Affirmation of Office is administered by Fr. Jon, the Parish Council will convene under his chairmanship to elect officers for 2022. Please pray that our Lord may guide our Parish Council to serve our Church with faith and love.
Acolyte Coordinator: Manoli Rodarakis
Senior Altar Boys: Andreas Alexander ~ Panos Constantinou ~ John Hillas ~ Frankie Zanotto
John Capous, Reid Fortin, Niko Fortin, Athan French, Luke Hartley, Carson Maroudas, Aristedes Mason, & Peter Zanotto
We are inviting our younger acolytes to return to the blessing of serving in the Holy Altar. Should parents desire that their sons wear a mask while serving, that is acceptable.
Young men who are turning 9 years old before December 1st may join the Altar Boys. Please contact Fr. Jon or Fr. Michael if your son would like to have the blessing and honor to serve in the Holy Altar.
STEWARDSHIP 2021 & 2022
As we enter the New Year of our Lord 2022, we want to express our appreciation to ALL the Stewards of our Parish that are generously supporting and actively participating in our Stewardship Ministry. The Stewardship we offer supports our Parish Ministries, along with support to the ministries of our Metropolis and Archdiocese.
Active Christian Orthodox Stewardship is the means by which we live our precious Christian Orthodox Faith. The pandemic has shown how important the Stewardship Ministry is in regards to how our Parish functions. During this time, we have continued many of our ministries and we encourage you to reach out to one another.
The 2022 calendar and Stewardship Directory have been mailed to your homes. If you have not receieved them, please contact the Parish Office.
We hope you prayerfully take time to read the the Stewardship Directory and our Church's teaching on being faithful and active Stewards. This year, we celebrate the centennnial of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For this reason, the 2022 Stewardship Theme is: "Our Church - Our Spiritual Home." When speaking about the Church, St. John Chrysostom wrote: “Your hope the Church. Your salvation the Church. Your refuge the Church.”
In these very unusual times, it is important to remember that the constant in our lives is the Church! Even though times and values change, the Church is changeless and continues to proclaim and preserve the teaching that our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ established in His Church.
As we continue to serve you, the people of God, our Parish Church, we are managing the Covid-19 Pandemic the best way possible. 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.
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% (So far this year, a few have increased their Stewardship contribution 35% above last year)! 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.
The response that many of our Stewards have shone is a beautiful expression of their faith in God and His Church. While our obligations continue to be met, it is only possible through the generosity being expressed by our Stewards. The restrictions of the pandemic have had an impact on the contributions we receive. Candle offerings are down, trays are not being passed, and we hope you will consider those offerings in your Stewardship commitment of the "Treasure" you give to Christ and His Church.
It is, therefore, imperative that we make our Stewardship offering in support of the sacred mission of our Church in Modesto… While we have been able to reduce our operating expenses substantially we will still need an average Stewardship Offering of $1600.00 per family to fund the ministries of our Church. When considering your financial commitment to our Parish, please realize that the first $250.00 from your Stewardship offering in 2021 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. To reach 325 Stewardship families/individuals IS an attainable goal…As of December 24th we have 297 Stewardship families/individuals supporting our sacred ministry in 2021, as compared to 292 in 2020. 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.
If you have any questions regarding your offering please contact Fr. Jon.
This Sunday, we will celebrate our Parish Vasilopita for the New Year. The Vasilopita celebration will be held immediately following the Divine Liturgy. The leadership of our Parish Ministries and Community Organizations will be recognized during the Vasilopita. Following the cutting of the Vasilopita, we will cut Vasilopita for each person in church.
The Vasilopita celebration is an opportunity for us to welcome in the New Year. Your contributions will benefit:
St. Basil's Academy
Archbishop Iakovos Library at Hellenic College - Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
As you depart from church this Sunday, there will be a try in the Narthex for your donation. Checks should be made out "Philoptochos" and in the memo, Vasilopita.
We wish to thank those who have already contributed to the 2022 Vasilopita Celebration. We also express our appreciation to the ladies who have baked the Vasilopita for this year.
The Philoptochos continues to minister during this time of pandemic. We are conducting many of our Parish ministries through internet technology. Please be sure to give your email to the Denna Tsatsaronis, President of the Philoptochos so that members are apprised of meetings and activities being planned. As we provide a virtual concept to our Philoptochos Ministry, we ask that you please support this sacred work of our Church.
Donations are accepted by Philoptochos for its philanthropic ministry. It is important that ALL ladies in our Parish join the Philoptochos so that we can strengthen our sacred mission. The “2021 Stewardship Drive” to become a Philoptochos member will end on December 31, 2021. The Stewardship offering to join Philoptochos may be sent to the Parish Office. Please make your offering check out to "Philoptochos" and in the memo, please write "Stewardship".
The Philoptochos is a beautiful ministry that assists so many people and organizations in our Church and in our county. 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.
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.!
Please be mindful of the Covid-19 protocols: Social distancing is still in affect. Please sit where there is a cushion in the pew; It is encouraged for you to wear a mask while in church.
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.
VISTATIONS: HOSPITALS, SHUT-INs & EMERGENCIES
"Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;...for I was sick and you visited me..." (Matthew 25:31-46). When a member of the parish is ill and has been admitted to the hospital, the immediate family of the ill person should contact the Parish Office as soon as possible so that one of the priests may visit the one who is ill.
When health circumstances hinder a parishioner from coming to church, the Parish Office should be contacted by a member of the immediate family when the family wishes for one of the priests to visit.
The priests cannot rely on the hospitals or members of the parish to inform him and it is the responsibility and duty of the immediate family to communicate with the Parish Office. Our priests are attentive to the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of the faithful and they are ready to minister to you at any time.
In the case of an emergency, if it is during Parish Office hours, the immediate family should call: 209-522-7694. If the emergency is after Parish Office hours, you may contact either Fr. Jon or Fr. Michael.
To contact Fr. Jon in the case of an emergency, he may be reached in one of two ways: 1.) You may call his home (telephone number is listed in the Parish Stewardship Directory); or 2.) If you call the Parish Office and connect to Fr. Jon's office to leave a message, he will receive an email within minutes so he may respond to your emergency.
To contact Fr. Michael in the case of an emergency, he may be reached by calling: 1.) 209-602-7979; or 2.) If you call the Parish Office and connect to Fr. Michael's office to leave a message, he will receive an email within minutes so he may respond to your emergency.
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.
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
Our Sunday Church School Ministry has begun conducting "in-person" class. We are grateful to our Sunday Church School Staff and families that have planned a safe and inspirational program for the new Ecclesiastical Year.
We are continuing to work on our Sunday Church School Ministry registration. We hope and pray that we will be able to begin having classes on campus. For this reason, it is important to register our young people from ages 3 - high school.
When attending Sunday Church School, the following is the list of requirements necessary to attend:
1. Students will sit with their parents in church;
2. They should come up prayerfully for Holy Communion following the acolytes and the choir, no matter where they are sitting;
3. Teachers and students will wear masks while in class (masks will be available);
4. They will be socially distanced in class;
5. Sanitizer will be provided;
6. Classes should be about 20 minutes;
7. There will be no snacks offered; and
8. Students will be dismissed and escorted out of class maintaining social distancing.
We are grateful to our Sunday Church Directors Helen Katotakis, 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 be an example and 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 has begun holding in-person classes. Children 5 years old and older may register for Greek School. Classes are being held on Tuesday afternoons at 4:00 p.m.
As we return to Greek School, the same guidelines as Sunday Church School will be followed. They are:
1. Students will sit with their parents in church;
2. Teachers and students will wear masks while in class (masks will be available);
3. They will be socially distanced in class;
4. Sanitizer will be provided;
5. There will be no snacks offered; and
6. Students will be dismissed and escorted out of class maintaining social distancing.
Our afternoon Greek School teaches our children the Orthodox Christian Faith and Hellenistic culture and we encourage all of our young people to participate. You may contact the Parish Office to register.
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.
Last Tuesday evening, HOPE and JOY went ice skating at the Modesto Civic Plaza. We had a great turnout and enjoyed a wonderful evening on the ice. We would like to thank the families for supporting this activity...Everyone had a great time!
We have begun conducting youth meetings in person. The young people are expected to wear masks when attending the meetings.
The next meeting of GOYA will be on January 3rd, at 7:00 p.m. ALL High School students are invited to attend so that we may plan activities for 2022.
HOPE and JOY will meet on Monday, January 17th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Classroom Building. Young people in grades 3-8 are invited to attend.
We would like to ask that should any parent wish to serve as an advisor, please contact Fr. Michael. The parent advisors assist in coordinating meetins and activities.
We ask that parents please support and encourage their children to participate in these meetings. 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.
The Metropolis of San Francisco has announced that it is planning on hosting the Greek Folk Dance and Choral Festival in Phoenix, Arizona. FDF is being scheduled for February 11-14, 2022.
As we continue to responsibly consider everyone's safety, we will not schedule dance practices or encourage participation in FDF 2022 until we evaluate how the virus is being handled. Please understand our concerns and support the decisions that will be necessary during this time.
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.
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).
20. A new computer to manage the broadcast of our Divine Services (Donated and installed).
21. A new woodcarved chair for the Holy Altar (Donated and installed).
22. A new set of purple Altar Covers (Donated and received).
23. A woodcarved children's icon stand (Donated and installed).
24. An icon of our Lord for the children's icon stand (Donated and installed).
25. The purchasing of 4 new bakery convection ovens (Donated and installed).
26. A new sterling silver blessing cross for the Holy Altar Table (Donated and received).
27. A new gold-plated censer for the Holy Altar (Donated and received).
28. New icons to be placed in the "Cry Room" (Installation around the Spring of 2022).
29. A beautiful new set of red and gold covers for the Holy Altar Table including Chalice covers (Donated and received).
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.
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.