St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2020-11-01
Bulletin Contents
Unmercenaries
Organization Icon
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)

Weekly Services
During this COVID era, services dates and times are subject to change. Please read the schedule provided withing the bulletin itself for the dates and times of services, and whether they will be held "in person" or streamed via Zoom.

Members of our Parish Council are:
Joseph Barbera - Council Member at Large
Dori Kuziak - Council Secretary
Natalie Kucharski - Council Treasurer
Glenn PenkoffLidbeck - Council President
Kyle Hollis - Member at Large
Roderick Seurattan - Council Vice President

Pastoral Care - General Information
Emergency Sick Calls can be made at any time. Please call Fr Steven at (860) 866-5802, 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

Greetings St. Alexis community! For anyone who wasn’t able to make it on Zoom/Facebook last Sunday (& I would like to make this more formal), I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the cards, phone calls, encouraging words, prayers, & everything in between during my time of quarantine/surgery. It was a smooth process, I was home early afternoon after surgery, & have returned back to work the next day.
Again, words can’t describe how much everyone means to me. I love you all!
Sarah Gaulin

Lectionary Wall Calendars

The 2021 wall calendars from St Tikhon's Monastery are now available. If you come to Liturgy on Sundays, you may pick up one up at the candle desk. If you do not yet come to Liturgy, I will make arrangements to drop one off to you or to put it in the mail for you.

 

Once again: the parish shared folder can be accessed by going to the following link: http://bit.ly/St-Alexis. 

 

Annual Parish Meeting

Our Annual Meeting this year will be held on Sunday, November 22nd. This will be entirely on Zoom and will begin at 12:00p, so that those who wish to attend Liturgy may do so, and then return home before the meeting starts. More information will be posted in the upcoming weeks. If anyone has a report or a resolution they wish to present, they should submit it to me no later than Sunday, Nov 15th.

We still in need volunteers to be nominated for Parish Council, Diocean Assembly Deligate and All American Council Deligate.

 

Stewards of the OCA Sunday, November 15: Support the work of the Orthodox Church in America by becoming a Steward of the OCA. Your support will enhance the work of the ministries and departments of the OCA that serve the entire church by providing important resources such as liturgical texts, liturgical music, religious educational material, and educational events. Other new and exciting projects are also under development. Go to oca.org/stewards to learn more and to view the schedule of upcoming live online events that will highlight the work and plans of the departments.

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Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations

Christ_forgiveness

Archpriest Michael, Archpriest Dennis, Deacon Timothy, Evelyn, Katheryn, Anne, Veronica, Richard, Nancy, Susann, Carol, Luke, Aaron, Alexander, Gail, Vincent, Nina, Ellen, Maureen Elizabeth, Christopher, Joshua, Jennifer Petra, Olivia, Jessica , Sean, Sarah, Justin, Arnold, Michael, Kirk, Carol-Anne, Anthony, Natasha, Janice, Gene, John

Memory Eternal! for His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosious

___

  • 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 and intolerance and all those departed this life in the hope of the Resurrection.

___

Today we commemorate:

Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Mesopotamia, and their mother, St. Theodota. Hieromartyrs John the Bishop and Jacob (James) the Presbyter, of Persia (ca. 345). Martyrs Cyrenia and Juliana in Cilicia (4th c.). Martyr Hermenegild the Goth of Spain (586). Martyrs Cæsarius, Dacius, Sabbas, Sabinian, Agrippa, Adrian, and Thomas, at Damascus (7th c.). Monastic Martyrs Jacob, Jacob the Deacon, and Dionysius, of Prodromou (Mt. Athos—1520).

 

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Parish Calendar

  • Services and Events

    November 1 to November 9, 2020

    Sunday, November 1

    Joan Navaro

    6th Sunday of Luke

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, November 2

    The Holy Martyrs Acindynos, Pegasios, Aphthonios, Elpidophoros, and Anempodistos

    Tuesday, November 3

    Acepsimas the Bishop, Joseph the Presbyter, & Aeithalas the Deacon, Martyrs of Persia

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    Wednesday, November 4

    Joannicius the Great

    6:30PM General Confession

    Thursday, November 5

    Galaktion & his wife Episteme, the Martyrs of Emesa

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    Friday, November 6

    Paul the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople

    10:00AM NE Diocese Assembly - 1

    1:30PM NE Diocean Assembly - 2nd Plenary Session

    Saturday, November 7

    Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny of Brooklyn

    10:00AM NE Diocese Assembly - 2

    5:30PM Great Vespers

    Sunday, November 8

    Repose of Mother Olga

    7th Sunday of Luke

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, November 9

    Stetson Bray - B

    Onesiphorus and Porphyrius of Ephesus

    St. Nectarious of Pentapolis

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Saints and Feasts

Unmercenaries
November 01

Cosmas and Damian the Holy Unmercenaries of Asia, and their mother Theodota

These Saints were from Asia (that is, Asia Minor). After the death of their father, their Christ-loving mother Theodota reared them in piety and in all manner of virtue, and had them instructed in every science, especially that of medicine. This became their vocation, and they went about healing every illness and malady, bestowing healing freely on both men and beasts alike; because of this, they are called "Unmercenaries." And thus, having completed the course of their life, they reposed in peace.


Allsaint
November 04

Joannicius the Great

Saint Joannicius was born in Bithynia about the year 740. His father was named Myritrikes and his mother Anastaso When he had reached maturity, he excelled in soldiery and was counted worthy of royal honours for his bravery. He had been brought up an iconoclast, but while yet a soldier, he was converted to Orthodoxy by a certain holy elder. He later forsook all things and departed for Mount Olympus, where he spent the remainder of his life in asceticism. Becoming great in virtue, he reposed in the Lord in the year 834, having lived some ninety-four years. To this Saint is ascribed the brief prayer, "My hope is the Father . . . ."


Allsaint
November 05

Galaktion & his wife Episteme, the Martyrs of Emesa

Saint Galaktion was from Emesa, the son of Cleitophon and Leucippe, pagans who had been instructed in piety by a certain Christian named Onuphrius and received holy Baptism. Saint Episteme, born of unbelieving parents, was baptized before she was wedded to Galaktion. After their marriage they remained in virginity and lived in separate monastic houses. Betrayed as Christians, they suffered martyrdom during the reign of Decius, about the year 250.


Allsaint
November 06

Paul the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Paul was from Thessalonica. He became the secretary of Alexander, Patriarch of Constantinople (see Aug. 30), a deacon, and then the successor of Saint Alexander in about 337. Because of his virtue, his eloquence in teaching, and his zeal for Orthodoxy, the Arians hated and feared him. When the Arian Emperor Constantius, who was in Antioch, learned of Paul's election, he exiled Paul and proclaimed the Arian Eusebius Patriarch. Saint Paul went to Rome, where he found Saint Athanasius the Great also in exile. Provided with letters by Pope Julius, Paul returned to Constantinople, and after the death of Eusebius in 342, ascended again his rightful throne; the Arians meanwhile elected Macedonius, because he rejected the Son's con-substantiality with the Father (and the divinity of the Holy Spirit besides). When Constantius, yet at Antioch, learned of Paul's return, he sent troops to Constantinople to drive Paul out. The Saint returned to Rome, where Saint Athanasius also was again in exile. Constans, Emperor of the West, Constantius' brother, but Orthodox, wrote to Constantius that if Athanasius and Paul were not allowed to return to their sees, he would come with troops to restore them him-self. So Paul again returned to his throne. After the death of Constans, however, Constantius had Paul deposed. Because of the love of the people for Saint Paul, Philip the Prefect, who was sent for him, was compelled to arrest him secretly to avoid a sedition. Paul was banished to Cucusus, on the borders of Cilicia and Armenia; a town through which his most illustrious successor, Saint John Chrysostom would also pass on his way to Comana in his last exile. In Cucusus, about the year 350, as Saint Paul was celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the little house where he was a prisoner, the Arians strangled him with his own omophorion, so much did they fear him even in exile. His holy relics were brought back to Constantinople with honour by the Emperor Theodosius the Great.


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Hymns of the Day

Angel_design

Tone 4 Troparion (Resurrection)

When the women disciples of the Lord
learned from the angel the joyous message of Your Resurrection,
they cast away the ancestral curse
and elatedly told the apostles:
“Death is overthrown!
Christ God is risen,//
granting the world great mercy!”

Tone 8 Troparion (Unmercenaries)

Holy Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers, Cosmas and Damian, heal our
infirmities.//
Freely you have received; freely you give to us.

Tone 4 Kontakion (Resurrection)

My Savior and Redeemer
as God rose from the tomb and delivered the earth-born from their chains.
He has shattered the gates of hell,
and as Master,//
He has risen on the third day!

Tone 2 Kontakion (Unmercenaries)

Having received the grace of healing,
you grant healing to those in need.
Glorious wonder-workers and healers, Cosmas and Damian,
visit us and put down the insolence of our enemies,//
and bring healing to the world through your miracles!

 

Communion Hymn

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest! (Ps. 148:1)
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

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Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 4th Tone. Psalm 103.24,1.
O Lord, how manifold are your works. You have made all things in wisdom.
Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul.

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 2:16-20.

Brethren, knowing that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


Gospel Reading

The Reading is from Luke 8:26-39

At that time, as Jesus arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, there met him a man from the city who had demons; for a long time he had worn no clothes and he lived not in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, and said with a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beseech you, do not torment me." For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him; he was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters, but he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them leave. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. When the herdsmen saw what happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how he who had been possessed with demons was healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked him to depart from them; for they were seized with great fear; so he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but he sent him away, saying, "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.


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Wisdom of the Fathers

The man who has once chosen pleasure in this life, and has not cured his inconsiderateness by repentance, places the land of the good beyond his own reach; for he has dug against himself the yawning impassable abyss of a necessity that nothing can break through.
St. Gregory of Nyssa

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Beyond the Sermon

Burnbush

Image of a True Disciple: The Gadarene Demoniac

One of the most challenging narratives in the Gospels is the healing of the Gadarene demoniac [Mark 5:1-20; Matthew 8:28-34; Luke 8:26-39]. This dramatic event, which reveals the power of Christ over the demons, will appear to the 21st century mind as either archaic or even primitive. We may listen with respect and sing “Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee!” upon the completion of the reading, but “wrapping our minds” around such a narrative may leave us baffled, if not shaking our heads. The spectacle of a man possessed by many demons, homeless and naked, living among the tombs, chained so as to contain his self-destructive behavior, is not exactly a sight that we encounter with any regularity, to state the obvious. (Although we should acknowledge that behind the walls of certain institutions, we could witness to this day some horrible scenes of irrational and frightening behavior from profoundly troubled and suffering human beings). Add to this a herd of swine blindly rushing over a steep bank and into a lake to be drowned, and we must further recognize the strangeness of this event. This is altogether not a part of our world!

Yet, there is no reason to doubt the veracity of the narrated event, which does appear in three of the Gospels, though with different emphases and details—in fact there are two demoniacs in Saint Matthew’s telling of the story! It is always instructive to compare the written account of a particular event or body of teaching when found in more than one Gospel. This will cure us of the illusion of a wooden literalism as we will discover how the four evangelists will present their gathered material from the ministry of Jesus in somewhat different forms. As to the Gadarene demoniac, here was an event within the ministry of Christ that must have left a very strong impression upon the early Church as it was shaping its oral traditions into written traditions that would eventually come together in the canonical Gospels. This event was a powerful confirmation of the Lord’s encounter and conflict with, and victory over, the “evil one.” The final and ultimate consequence of that victory will be revealed in the Cross and Resurrection.

Whatever our immediate reaction to this passage, I believe that we can recognize behind the dramatic details the disintegration of a human personality under the influence of the evil one, and the reintegration of the same man’s personhood when healed by Christ. Here was a man that was losing his identity to a process that was undermining the integrity of his humanity and leading to physical harm and psychic fragmentation. I am not in the process of offering a psychological analysis of the Gadarene demoniac because I am ill-equipped to do so and I do not believe that we can “reduce” his horrible condition to psychological analysis. We are dealing with the mysterious presence of personified evil and the horrific effects of that demonic presence which we accept as an essential element of the authentic Gospel Tradition. The final detail that indicates this possessed man’s loss of personhood is revealed in the dialogue between himself and Jesus.

“Jesus then asked him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Legion,’ for many demons had entered him” [8:30].

To be named in the Bible is to receive a definite and irreducible identity as a person. It is to be “someone” created in the “image and likeness of God.” It is the role of the evil one to be a force of disintegration. The “legion” inhabiting the man reveals the loss of his uniqueness and the fragmentation of his personality. Such a distorted personality can no longer have a “home,” which is indicative of our relational capacity as human beings, as it is indicative of stability and a “groundedness” in everyday reality. The poor man is driven into the desert, biblically the abode of demons. Once again, we may stress the dramatic quality of this presentation of a person driven to such a state, but would we argue against this very presentation as false when we think of the level of distortion that accompanies any form of an “alliance” with evil—whether “voluntary or involuntary?” Does anyone remain whole and well-balanced under the influence of evil? Or do we rather not experience or witness a drift toward the “abyss”?

Then we hear a splendid description of the man when he is healed by Christ! For we hear the following once the demons left him and entered into the herd of swine and self-destructed (the ultimate end of all personal manifestations of evil?).

“Then the people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid” [8:35].

“Sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.” This is clearly one of the most beautiful descriptions of a Christian who remains as a true disciple of the Master. This is the baptized person who is clothed in a “garment of salvation” and who is reoriented toward Christ, the “Sun of Righteousness.” The image here is of total reintegration, of the establishment of a relationship with Christ that restores integrity and wholeness to human life. It is also an image of peacefulness and contentment. Our goal in life is to “get our mind right,” which describes repentance or that “change of mind” that heals all internal divisions of the mind and heart as it restores our relationship with others. Jesus commands the man “to return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you” [8:39]. We, too, have been freed from the evil one “and all his angels and all his pride” in baptism. In our own way, perhaps we too can also proclaim just how much Jesus has done for us [cf. 8:39].

by Fr. Steven Kostoff

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Bulletin Inserts

    Appeal

    Appeal

    from Christ the Savior Church


    Inserts

    Inserts

    from Christ the Savior Church


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