St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2024-06-16
Bulletin Contents
Hlyfthrs
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St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • 860-664-9434
  • Street Address:

  • PO Box 134, 108 E Main St

  • Clinton, CT 06413-0134


Contact Information




Services Schedule

Please see our online calendar for dates and times of Feast Day services.


Past Bulletins


Welcome

Gospel1

Jesus Christ taught us to love and serve all people, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. To understand that, we need to look no further than to the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Every time we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, it is offered "on behalf of all, and for all." As Orthodox Christians we stand against racism and bigotry. All human beings share one common identity as children of God. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatian 3:28)

Members of our Parish Council are:
Greg Jankura - Vice President
Susan Davis- President
Sharon Hanson - Member at Large
Luba Martins - Member at Large
Susan Egan - Treasurer
Dn Timothy Skuby - Secretary

Pastoral Care - General Information

Emergency Sick Calls can be made at any time. Please call Fr Steven at (860) 322-2906, when a family member is admitted to the hospital.
Anointing in Sickness: The Sacrament of Unction is available in Church, the hospital, or your home, for anyone who is sick and suffering, however severe. 
Marriages and Baptisms require early planning, scheduling and selections of sponsors (crown bearers or godparents). See Father before booking dates and reception halls!
Funerals are celebrated for practicing Orthodox Christians. Please see Father for details. The Church opposes cremation; we cannot celebrate funerals for cremations.

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Announcements

Outreach Committee:  The Outreach Committee is holding a meeting downstairs Sunday, June 23, after Liturgy.  We will be discussing plans for an upcoming Ice Cream Social to benefit Scoops for Troops.  All are welcome to attend this meeting.  Bring your ideas!  Thank you…Marlene Melesko  860-739-4360  mmelesko@sbcglobal.net

“Weeders” Needed:  We are in need of people to weed the gardens around the church, especially the front garden between the driveway and brick walkway.  Please contact Vinny Melesko with any questions.

Saturday of Souls and Pentecost: On Friday, June 21 (6p) we will hold a Memorial (Panikhida) for the Departed faith of the Parish. If you have any names of the departed that you would like included, please be sure to provide them to Fr Steven before June 21st.

Vigil of Pentecost will be held Saturday evening at 5:30p.

Liturgy on Sunday, will be followed directly by Vespers of Pentecost with Kneeling Prayers. Coffee hour will follow Vespers. It would add to the Feast of Pentecost if we had volunteers to ensure that there would be plenty to eat.

Feast of Sts Peter and Paul: Fr Joshua Moser has invited parishes to join them in the celebration of their patronal feast in Meriden: Friday, June 28, Vigil at 6:00, and Saturday, June 29, Divine Liturgy and picnic in the yard, Lord willing.

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Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations

Christ_forgiveness

Many Years to all our Fathers, Grandfathers, and Godfathers.

Memory Eternal to all our Fathers, Grandfathers and Godfathers.

  • Pray for: All those confined to hospitals, nursing homes, and their own homes due to illness; for all those who serve in the armed forces; widows, orphans, prisoners, victims of violence, and refugees;
  • All those suffering chronic illness, financial hardship, loneliness, addictions, abuse, abandonment and despair; those who are homeless, those who are institutionalize, those who have no one to pray for them;
  • All Orthodox seminarians & families; all Orthodox monks and nuns, and all those considering monastic life; all Orthodox missionaries and their families.
  • All those who have perished due to hatred, intolerance and pestilence; all those departed this life in the hope of the Resurrection.

Please let Fr. Steven know via email if you have more names for which to pray.

  • Departed: Joseph Anselmo, Joan Navarro
  • Clergy and their families: Fr Sergei, 
  • ​Catechumen: Robert, Abbie, Matthew, Joseph, Mary, and Kevin
  • Individuals and Families:Luba, Suzanne, Gail Galina, Evelyn, Rosemary, John, Daniel & Dayna
  • Birthdays and Name’s Days this Month:  Jason Danilack-Fekete, Nancy Davis
  • Anniversaries this Month:Malcolm and Anastasia Littlefield
  • ​Expecting and Newborn:Lynn, David and their unborn child, Elizabeth and her unborn son, Timothy
  • ​Traveling: Maureen Skuby
  • ​Sick and those in distress: Thomas, Sheri, Joanna, Joshua, Stormy, Scott

Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council. Afterfeast of Ascension. St. Tychon (Tikhon, Tycho), Bishop of Amathus in Cyprus (4th-5th c.). Ven Tikhon of Kaluga (or Medin—1492). Ven. Tikhon of Lukhovsk (Kostromá—1503). Martyrs Tigrius the Presbyter and Eutropius the Reader, of Constantinople (5th c.).

  • Again we pray for those who have lost their lives because of the wars in Ukraine and in the Middle East: that the Lord our God may look upon them with mercy, and give them rest where there is neither sickness, or sorrow, but life everlasting.
  • Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, for those who are suffering, wounded, grieving, or displaced because of the wars in Ukraine and in the Middle East.
  • Again we pray for a cessation of the hostilities against Ukraine and the Middle East, and that reconciliation and peace will flourish there, we pray thee, hearken and have mercy.
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Parish Calendar

  • Schedule of Services and Events

    June 16 to June 24, 2024

    Sunday, June 16

    Fathers of the 1st Council

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, June 17

    Isaurus the Holy Martyr & his Companions of Athens

    Tuesday, June 18

    Leontius, Hypatius, & Theodulus the Martyrs of Syria

    8:30AM Matins

    6:00PM Parish Council

    Wednesday, June 19

    🍇 Thaddeus (Jude) the Apostle & Brother of Our Lord

    Thursday, June 20

    Methodios the Martyr, Bishop of Olympus

    Repose of Ann Cooke

    8:30AM Matins

    Friday, June 21

    🍇 The Apodosis of the Feast of the Holy Ascension

    6:00PM Memorial for Saturday of Souls

    Saturday, June 22

    The Saturday of Souls

    5:30PM Vigil for Pentecost

    Sunday, June 23

    Tina Roman

    John Krawchuk

    Holy Pentecost

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    11:45AM Vespers of Pentecost w/ Kneeling Prayers

    Monday, June 24

    Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist

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Saints and Feasts

Hlyfthrs
June 16

Fathers of the 1st Council

The heresiarch Arius was a Libyan by race and a protopresbyter of the Church of Alexandria. In 315, he began to blaspheme against the Son and Word of God, saying that He is not true God, consubstantial with the Father, but is rather a work and creation, alien to the essence and glory of the Father, and that there was a time when He was not. This frightful blasphemy shook the faithful of Alexandria. Alexander, his Archbishop, after trying in vain to correct him through admonitions, cut him off from communion and finally in a local council deposed him in the year 321. Yet neither did the blasphemer wish to be corrected, nor did he cease sowing the deadly tares of his heretical teachings; but writing to the bishops of other cities, Arius and his followers requested that his doctrine be examined, and if it were unsound, that the correct teaching be declared to him. By this means, his heresy became universally known and won many supporters, so that the whole Church was soon in an uproar.

Therefore, moved by divine zeal, the first Christian Sovereign, Saint Constantine the Great, the equal to the Apostles, summoned the renowned First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, a city of Bithynia. It was there that the shepherds and teachers of the Church of Christ gathered from all regions in the year 325. All of them, with one mouth and one voice, declared that the Son and Word of God is one in essence with the Father, true God of true God, and they composed the holy Symbol of Faith up to the seventh article (since the remainder, beginning with "And in the Holy Spirit," was completed by the Second Ecumenical Council). Thus they anathematized the impious Arius of evil belief and those of like mind with him, and cut them off as rotten members from the whole body of the faithful.

Therefore, recognizing the divine Fathers as heralds of the Faith after the divine Apostles, the Church of Christ has appointed this present Sunday for their annual commemoration, in thanksgiving and unto the glory of God, unto their praise and honour, and unto the strengthening of the true Faith.


Holy12ap
June 19

Thaddeus (Jude) the Apostle & Brother of Our Lord

The Apostle Jude was of the choir of the Twelve, and by Luke was called Jude, the brother of James the Brother of God (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13), and therefore also a kinsman of the Lord according to His humanity. But by Matthew (10:3), he is called Lebbaeus, surnamed Thaddeus (he is not the Thaddeus who healed the suffering of Abgar, as Eusebius says in his Eccl. Hist., 1:13; see Aug. 21). Saint Jude preached in Mesopotamia, Arabia, Idumea, and Syria, and, it is said, completed the path of his divine apostleship by martyrdom in Beirut in the year 80. Written after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, his is the last of the Catholic (General) Epistles to the believing Jews in the Diaspora. His name (a variant of Judah) means "Praise."


Allsaint
June 20

Nicholas Cabasilas of Thessaloniki

Saint Nicholas Cabasilas was born in 1322 A.D. in Thessaloniki. Very little is known about his life, but he is remembered through two texts he wrote: The Life in Christ and The Exposition of the Divine Liturgy. He lived at the same time as Saint Gregory Palamas (see 11/14 and the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent) and was an ally of his during the Hesychastic Controversy on Mount Athos in the 14th century.


Lastjudgement1
June 22

The Saturday of Souls

Today we remember all pious and Orthodox Christians who have fallen asleep in the Lord, and also recall the dread Day of Judgment. May Christ our God be merciful to them, and to us.


0622alban

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Hymns of the Day

Angel_design

Tone 6 Troparion (Resurrection)

The Angelic Powers were at Your tomb;
the guards became as dead men.
Mary stood by Your grave,
seeking Your most pure body.
You captured hell, not being tempted by it.
You came to the Virgin, granting life.
O Lord, Who rose from the dead,//
glory to You.

Tone 4 Troparion (Ascension)

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God,
granting joy to Your Disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Through the blessing, they were assured
that You are the Son of God,//
the Redeemer of the world!

Tone 8 Troparion (Fathers)

You are most glorious, O Christ our God!
You have established the Holy Fathers as lights on the earth.
Through them You have guided us to the true Faith.//
O greatly compassionate One, glory to You!

Tone 8 Kontakion (Fathers)

The Apostles’ preaching and the Fathers’ doctrines have established one Faith for the Church.
Adorned with the robe of truth, woven from heavenly theology,//
It defines and glorifies the great mystery of piety.

Tone 6 Kontakion

When You had fulfilled the dispensation for our sake,
and united earth to heaven:
You ascended in glory, O Christ our God,
not being parted from those who love You,
but remaining with them and crying://
“I am with you, and there is no one against you!”

(Instead of “It is truly meet…,” we sing:)

Magnify, O my soul, Christ the Giver of Life, Who hath ascended from earth to heaven!

We the faithful, with one accord, magnify thee, the Mother of God, who, beyond reason and understanding, ineffably gave birth in time to the Timeless One.

Communion Hymn

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest! (Ps. 148:1)
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous; praise befits the just! (Ps. 32:1)
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

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Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 4th Tone. Daniel 3.26,27.
Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
Verse: For you are just in all you have done.

The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36.

IN THOSE DAYS, Paul had decided to sail past Ephesos, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. And from Miletos he sent to Ephesos and called to him the elders of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them: "Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, 'it is more blessed to give than to receive.' " And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.


Gospel Reading

Fathers of the 1st Council
The Reading is from John 17:1-13

At that time, Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; and now, Father, you glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made.

"I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you; for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you did send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are mine; all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves."


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Wisdom of the Fathers

For there is One God, and One Mediator between God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus. For He still pleads even now as Man for my salvation; ...
St. Gregory the Theologian
4th Theological Oration, 4th Century

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Beyond the Sermon

Acorns___leaves

Christ, as Great High Priest, prays to His Father for Himself, the Apostles, and for all who will put their faith in Him. He prays that His Father will glorify Him so that His Father will be glorified through Him. He prays that His followers will remain in communion with\ Him, united as one, as the Father and the Son are one. This is our Orthodox Christian Faith — the unity of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the unity of Christ’s Body, the Church.

With the Feast of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, we are called to come together in church to celebrate, liturgically and sacramentally, the precious gift of our theology. We expressly commemorate the Fathers of the Church who met during the First Ecumenical Council in 325 AD in Nicaea, under the protection of Saint Constantine the Great. The Fathers met to affirm the eternal and divine nature of Christ. They recognized that Christ is of the same essence as the Father. Jesus says: “the glory which I had with you before the world was made.” And in this way, a fundamental part of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity was established. Theology can be looked at as the study of God and His relationship to us. For its part, a Church doctrine is a teaching about God that is accepted by the Church as being true. In contemporary society, it is not always easy to meaningfully connect to the theology and the doctrines of the Church. Their relevance in our daily life and routine is often difficult to establish. We may reasonably ask ourselves what practical advantage theology can offer us. The Gospel reading for the Feast of the Fathers of the First Council can help us to better understand our faith. As a result, we may be able to place the continued rel evance of theology in perspective.

In this reading, the Lord is praying. He is communicating to the Father. He is inter-acting with the Father. As Saint John Chrysostom explains, “Our Lord turns from admonition to prayer; thus, teaching us in our tribulations to abandon all other things, and flee to God. He lifted up His eyes to heaven to teach us intentness in our prayers: that we should stand with uplifted eyes, not of the body only, but of the mind.” Let us consider what the Son says to the Father. It is the moment just before Jesus is captured to be crucified. The Lord says it is time for the Son to be glorified because the Son has completed His mission of manifesting the Father to those who were chosen. It is time to praise the Son with the Father, as it was before the creation of the world. Immediately afterwards, Christ prays for His disciples. He says to the Father: those you see here, my disciples, they are Yours. The Lord gives back to His Father what His Father gave to Him. This act of giving back is fundamental because it sets out the model for our worship in the Divine Liturgy. We say to the Lord in every Liturgy: “We offer to You Your own from Your own.” The presiding bishop or priest exclaims this phrase during the Eucharistic Prayer, which is the most solemn part of the Liturgy, where the gifts are consecrated.

It is useful to focus on the basics in order to better understand what all of this means for us today. Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ is the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16) who intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father (Romans 8:34). All ofus are called to participate in His priesthood (1 Peter 2:9; Exodus 19:6). We are called to participate in His sacrifice, His Crucifixion. We do not offer up our own sacrifice, as was the case in the Jewish faith or in other religions which practiced animal sacrifice. Instead, we offer to Christ, what He offered to us — Himself. Through this prayer of confession of Him, as God and Savior, we ask, pray and entreat Him to send down the Holy Spirit and transform the bread and wine into His Body and Blood — the Body and Blood of Christ. In this High Priestly Prayer, the Lord ends by asking that His disciples may experience the joy of the Lord. This joy comes from the presence of the disciples at the crossroads of the innermost aspect of the relationship between the Father and the Son. In the same way, we can also experience the Divine Energy of God within the great mystery of the Holy Trinity. All of this is part of the apostolic tradition which has been handed down to us through apostolic succession, and which we are meant to hand down to future generations. However, in order to properly transmit our faith to our children and grandchildren, it is important to first understand it and experience it in its fullness. Our own witness and example are the most compelling means to convey our faith to others, starting with our loved ones.

What practical conclusion stems from all this? Why is our theology so important? Quite simply, our theology allows us to experience God in a direct and personal manner. Our theology enables our salvation. This is what the Fathers of the Church wanted to preserve in the First Ecumenical Council. They wanted to protect and maintain the conduit which connects humanity to God — the “one mediator between God and humankind” (1 Timothy 2:5). They wanted to make straight the path that leads humanity to God, for Christ is “the Way” (John 14:6). This, in fact, is our ultimate goal, to be in full communion with God, always and forever. Saint Athanasius the Great, who played an important role in the First Ecumenical Council, teaches that God was incarnated and became man in order for humankind to come to God. Christ came to us, so we can find our way to Him. When we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, our purpose is to enter into the innermost aspect of the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The human mind cannot fully comprehend this mystery, but it can spiritually be felt, it can be lived as the joy of the Lord, as joy in the Lord. Let us open ourselves to the theology of the Church in order to make better sense of God’s presence in our life. As the Apolytikion hymn of the Feast of the Fathers declares, “Supremely blessed are You, O Christ our God. You established the holy Fathers upon the earth as beacons, and through them You have guided us all to the true Faith.” Glory be to God!

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Just a little extra...

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