St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2020-08-02
Bulletin Contents
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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



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.



Joyous Feast of the Cross and Blessed beginning to the Dormition Fast!

With beginning of this ascetical season in which we celebrate not only passing of our Lady the Theotokos, but also the Transfiguration of Our Lord on Mount Tabor, I would like to re-establish a small sense of normalcy - hence the production of this bulletin.

Services will still be held via Zoom. The invitation for which I am including below: HERE

Topic: All Services

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Passcode: 1994
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I am also including the link where texts for services may be download: HERE


Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations


Archpriest Dennis, Deacon Timothy, Evelyn, Katheryn, Robert, 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

The newly departed and ever memorable, Becky

  • 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.


Many Years! to Michael Kuziak and Susan Davis on the occasion of their birthdays.


Today we commemorate:

Translation of the Relics of the Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen from Jerusalem to Constantinople (ca. 428), and the finding of the Relics of the Righteous Nikodemos, Gamaliel, and Abibas (ca. 428). Blessed Basil of Moscow, Fool-for-Christ (1552). Bl. Basil of Kubensk (15th c.). Hieromartyr Stephen, Pope of Rome, and those with him (257).


Parish Calendar

  • Services and Events

    August 2 to August 10, 2020

    Sunday, August 2

    Akathist to St Stephen

    8th Sunday of Matthew

    9:30AM Typica

    Monday, August 3

    Isaacius, Dalmatus, & Faustus, Ascetics of the Dalmation Monastery

    Tuesday, August 4

    Michael Kuziak

    Seven Holy Youths of Ephesus

    Susan Davis

    8:30AM Morning Prayers

    Wednesday, August 5

    Forefeast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

    6:30PM Great Vespers for the Transfiguration

    Thursday, August 6

    Holy Transfiguration

    Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

    8:30AM Typica for the Transfiguration

    Friday, August 7

    Afterfeast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

    Saturday, August 8

    Emilian the Confessor & Bishop of Cyzikos

    5:30PM Great Vespers

    Sunday, August 9

    9th Sunday of Matthew

    Glorification of St. Herman

    9:30AM Typica

    Monday, August 10

    Laurence the Holy Martyr & Archdeacon of Rome


Saints and Feasts

August 02

Phocas the Martyr

Saint Phocas was a gardener in a small village on the south coast of the Black Sea. He lived a simple life, carrying out acts of piety and love for all around him, even serving the pagans of the village, some of who left their ways and followed Christ. The local governor heard of this and sent soldiers to kill him. The saint stumbled upon these very soldiers and, without disclosing his name, ministered to them by receiving them into his home, feeding them, and giving them rest. That night he dug a grave for himself in his garden and prepared for all his possessions to be given away after his death.

The next morning, Phocas disclosed to the soldiers that it was he whom they were seeking to kill. The soldiers were distraught, not wanting to kill the saint who had shown them so much kindness. Phocas insisted that they must carry out their mission as he willingly laid his head beneath the sword. They proceeded to execute him and then bury him in the grave he dug in his garden. The site later became a source of miracles, and eventually a Church was erected upon it. Saint Phocas is frequently invoked for those who travel by sea. His life was recorded by Saint Asterius of Amasia (see October 10th).

August 02

Translation of the Relics of Stephen the Protomartyr

After the First Martyr had been stoned to death (see Dec. 27), Gamaliel, his teacher, encouraged certain of the Christians to go by night and take up the Saint's body and bury it in his field, which was at a distance of some twenty miles from Jerusalem and was called by his name, "Kaphar-gamala," that is, "the field of Gamala," where Gamaliel himself was later buried. About the year 427, a certain pious man called Lucian, who was the parish priest of a church near to that field, received from God a revelation in a dream concerning the place where the First Martyr was buried. He immediately made this known to John, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Thus, coming to the place indicated, and digging there, they found a box with the word "Stephen" in Aramaic letters. On opening it, they took these most sacred relics and transferred them to Jerusalem with great honor and in the company of a very great multitude of the faithful.

August 04

Seven Holy Youths of Ephesus

The Seven Youths hid themselves in a certain cave near Ephesus in the year 250, to escape the persecution of Decius. By divine grace, a sleep came upon them and they slept for 184 years, until the reign of Saint Theodosius the Younger, when the doctrine of the resurrection was being assailed by heretics. They then awoke, that is, were resurrected, confirming in the sight of all the bodily resurrection; and again after a short time, by divine command, they reposed in the Lord in the year 434.

August 06

Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Our Lord had spoken to His disciples many times not only concerning His Passion, Cross, and Death, but also concerning the coming persecutions and afflictions that they themselves would endure. Since all these evils were near at hand, but the enjoyment of good things which they hoped to receive in their stead was yet to come, our Savior desired to give them full assurance, evidently and openly, concerning that glory which is prepared for those who endure to the end. Therefore, fulfilling that which He had promised shortly before, that "there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His Kingdom" (Matt. 16:28), He took His three foremost disciples and ascended Mount Tabor, where He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as the light. Suddenly, together with this dread and marvelous effulgence of light, there appeared those pinnacles of the Prophets, Moses and Elias, who spoke with the Lord Jesus concerning His saving Passion which was about to take place. Standing before Him as reverent servants, they showed that He is the Lord of both the living and the dead, for Moses came forth from Hades, having died many centuries before, and Elias, as it were from heaven, whither he had been taken up while yet alive. After a little while a radiant cloud overshadowed them and out of the cloud they heard that same voice which had been heard at the Jordan at the Baptism of Christ, testifying to the Divinity of Jesus and saying: "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased; hear ye Him" (Matt. 17: 5).

Such are the marvels, truly worthy of God, celebrated in this present feast, which is an image and prefiguring of the future state of the righteous, whose splendor the Lord spoke of, saying: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun" (Matt. 13:43). It is because of this that the Kontakion of this Feast is said daily (when there is not a great feast) in the Service of the Typica in perpetual commemoration of the glory that will be the lot of the Saints. According to tradition, the Lord's Transfiguration came to pass forty days before His Crucifixion; this is why the Transfiguration is celebrated forty days before the Exaltation of the Cross.


Hymns of the Day


Tone 7 Troparion (Resurrection)

By Thy Cross Thou didst destroy death.
To the thief Thou didst open Paradise.
For the Myrrhbearers Thou didst change weeping into joy, and Thou didst command Thy disciples, O Christ God,
to proclaim that Thou art risen,//
granting the world great mercy.

Tone 4 Troparion (Protomartyr Stephen)

Thy relics have risen from the depths of the earth,
like a treasury for the immortal life of all creation.
The Church, rejoicing in the grace that she receives from them, duteously honors you, O Protomartyr Stephen.//
Preserve us from error and heresy by your intercession!

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit

Tone 7 Kontakion (Resurrection)
The dominion of death can no longer hold men captive, for Christ descended, shattering and destroying its powers. Hell is bound, while the Prophets rejoice and cry:
“The Savior has come to those in faith;//
enter, you faithful, into the Resurrection!”

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen

Tone 6 Kontakion (Protomartyr Stephen)

You were the first to be sown on the earth by the Heavenly Husbandman, O all-praised one,
and were the first to shed your blood on the earth for Christ, O blessed one. You were the first to receive the crown of victory from Him in heaven,//
O Stephen, first of the suffering God-crowned martyrs.


Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 7th Tone. Psalm 28.11,1.
The Lord will give strength to his people.
Verse: Bring to the Lord, O sons of God, bring to the Lord honor and glory.

The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 1:10-17.

Brethren, I appeal to you by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispos and Gaius; lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any one else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Gospel Reading

8th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 14:14-22

At that time, Jesus saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves." Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish." And he said, "Bring them here to me." Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.


Wisdom of the Fathers

And another thing too we learn, the self-restraint of the disciples which they practised in necessary things, and how little they accounted of food.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 49 on Matthew 14, 4th Century

For being twelve, they had five loaves only and two fishes; so secondary to them were the things of the body: so did they cling to the things spiritual only. And not even that little did they hold fast, but gave up even it when asked.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 49 on Matthew 14, 4th Century

The miracle of the bread revealed the One through Whom the soil, when planted with seed, multiplies. What was done invisibly, once brought to light, proclaimed Who it is that always works invisibly. It was not only at that time that Jesus with five loaves does many great things. In the world He was not idle or inactive but was always at work feeding everyone and taking nothing for Himself. Because He was unknown, therefore, He came feeding, eating and feeding, so that through those things that are seen, He Who was unseen might appear.
Eusebius of Emesa
Homily 8.12. Taken from: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Vol: Matthew 14-28. Intervarsity Press, 2002, p. 9.


Beyond the Sermon


How to Pray When You’re Feeling Anxious or Depressed

Five Helpful Words

Prayer is hard at the best of times, but it’s hardest during anxious or depressed times. During such seasons, most of us find it hard to concentrate, we feel God is far away, and we despair of God hearing or helping us. All of this makes prayer so difficult and discouraging.

How can we make prayer easier and more encouraging to us in such dark and disturbing spells? Here are five words I give to people to help them with the how of prayer when they are anxious or depressed:

Short: Better one minute of real, concentrated prayer than fifteen minutes of distracted, wandering prayer.
Frequent: Try to pray these short prayers throughout the day to keep you in contact with God. Perhaps set an hourly timer on your phone.
Simple: Pray like a hurting child to a loving father. You don’t need complex theological compositions.
Scriptural: When you can’t find any words of your own, use the words God has provided in the psalms, in the Lord’s Prayer, or in Paul’s prayers.
Together: Ask someone to pray with you when you can’t pray for yourself. Perhaps they can pray over the phone with you and you can piggy-back to the throne of grace on their words.
If these five words help us with the how of prayer, let me give you five phrases to guide you in the what of prayer.

You Are

You are sovereign, Lord. You are good, wise, strong, gracious, and faithful. You are my rock, my shepherd, my peace.

Depression and anxiety turn us in upon ourselves so that we get self-centered and sometimes self-obsessed. We see all our lacks and hurts. Prayer helps us to put God at the center of our lives instead, which not only gives us something better to look at than ourselves but also helps us to see everything else better, including ourselves. That’s why we want to start prayer with worship, reminding ourselves of who God is and what God has done. We praise him using descriptions of his attributes and biblical images of his character. This changes what we see and how we see, giving us a God-centered view of our world and ourselves. That in itself is an encouraging and calming perspective.

I Am

I am the opposite of who you are, Lord. I am sad, anxious, and weak. I feel hopeless, helpless, and lonely. At times I don’t want to live. I know this is wrong, and I confess this to you. I am not who I want to be. I am not where I want to be.

Having begun with a God-centered worldview, we can then admit who and what we are and are not. Confession is simply telling God honestly who we are and where we’re at. God already knows, of course, without our telling him, but he still asks us to pour out our hearts to him. It honors God as the sympathizer with weakness and the forgiver of sins. It is therapeutic for us to hear ourselves describe ourselves in the presence of the God who understands our frailties and who forgives our transgressions. Depression and anxiety bring a ton of guilt upon us (both false and real guilt), an oppressive load that crushes our spirits and closes our lips. Being honest and transparent about it before God begins to shift that load off our shoulders and on to Christ’s.

I Trust

Faithful God, although I don’t feel much faith or confidence in you, I will not be guided by my feelings. I trust you, Lord. I trust your word, your character, your faithfulness. I believe all that the Bible says about you, and I will recall your past faithfulness. I trust you, therefore, that you have not changed, though I have; that you are still here, though I don’t sense you; that you are my God, though I don’t feel like I’m your child. I trust your plan for me, and I rest in you as you carry me through these dark and disturbing days.

As songs like Psalm 42, 43, 37, and 73 demonstrate, expressions of trust build trust. The more we articulate our confidence in God, the stronger that confidence grows. And when we can’t say it with 100% certainty, we can always say, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Perhaps you can recall past times of God’s faithfulness to make your faith fuller. God is honored and pleased with faith, especially when we are walking in darkness and have no light (Isa. 50:10). Some of my spiritual heroes are Christians who have battled serious mental illness and have held on to God and his word, even with the fingernail of their little finger. That’s far more difficult than trusting God when everything is going well for us, both internally and externally. It’s also more God-glorifying.

I Need

All-sufficient Provider, I am desperately needy. I need you above all. But I also need peace, joy, hope, patience, sanity, and so much more. I beg you to help me even just to get through this day. Will you help my family and friends as they struggle to understand me? Teach them how to love me. But help me also to love them, especially when I feel so flat. Help me to do my daily duties even when I find no joy in them. I pray for the needs of other depressed and anxious people, too.

God can supply all our needs in the blink of an eye without our asking (Matt. 6:8). However, he asks us to ask and to look to him for everything we need. We can bring to him our physical needs, emotional needs, mental needs, spiritual needs, social needs, and vocational needs. Nothing is too big, and nothing is too small.

I Thank

Giver of every good and perfect gift, I thank you for all you have done, are doing, and will do. I thank you for all you have given, are giving, and will give. I thank you that I am not even worse than I am. I thank you for moments of joy and peace. I thank you for pastors, for brothers and sisters in Christ, for counselors, for doctors, for psychologists, for psychiatrists, and for medications.

Depression and anxiety focus our attention on what we lack, so it’s important to take time to remember all God has given to us and has done for us, both in redemptive history and in our own personal history. Ask him to help you see what you often are blind to or just take for granted. Even just walk around your kitchen or yard and thank God for all you see and have there. Thanksgiving is life-giving.

Prayer is rarely easy. But I hope these five words and five phrases make it easier in times of depression and anxiety. Let me close with a prayer for you:

Lord, you are full of joy and peace. Many of my readers are not. They are sad and panicky. Help them to see who you are and to worship and praise you. Lead them to confess their sins and their faith. As you know their needs and you can easily supply them, give them supplications that honor your willingness and ability to give. Give them what they lack and give them thanksgiving as they see you more clearly in their lives. Above all, remind your people of Jesus Christ who suffered more and deeper for them, and fill them with gratitude for his grace in coming, your love in sending him, and the Holy Spirit’s fellowship that applies all this to the soul. AMEN.


Bulletin Inserts

    On Nominating Individuals

    On Nominating Individuals

    A letter by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon on the process for nominating individuals for the see of Bishop of the Diocese of New England.