St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2021-10-17
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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)

Members of our Parish Council are:
Joseph Barbera - Council Member at Large
Dori Kuziak - Council Secretary
Carolyn Neiss - Vice President
Marlene Melesko - Council Member at Large
Kyle Hollis - President
Roderick Seurattan - Treasurer


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.



Weekend of October 23 and 24

I will be taking some time off and Deacon Timothy has graciously agreed to cover Vespers on Saturday and Typika on Sunday. Services will be streamed as well.

Diocean Assembly, October 29 and 30

There will be no Vespers, Saturday the 30th. 

Annual Meeting

This year's Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, November 14th, after Liturgy; it will be both in person and via Zoom (although this may be subject to change). Members of the Nominations adhoc Committee will be floating around asking for your willingness to be nominated for the Parish Council (2 positions), delegate to the Diocesan Assembly (1), and deligate to the All-American Council (1). Please prayerfully consider becoming involved the parish administration ministries.

If anyone has any resolutions or such that you wish to be presented at the Annual Meeting, they should be presented to the parish council no later than Sunday, Nov 7th.

Stewardship form will be distributed over the next few weeks. The council is asking that members be prepared to return these forms at the Annual Meeting.

Parish Council Meeting

This month's meeting will be dedicated to preparing and approving the agenda for the upcoing Annual Meeting.

Expanded Joint Meeting of the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council to Convene in Cleveland, OH
Live event on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

20th aac
The Holy Synod of Bishops and Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America will be convening in Cleveland, OH for their regular Fall Sessions in person, respectively on October 21-22 and October 18-19. On Wednesday and Thursday, October 20-21, the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council will meet in an expanded joint meeting which will also include Diocesan Chancellors, representatives from the three OCA Seminaries, and four Monastic Superiors.

This joint meeting will be an opportunity for the participants to come together in fellowship after a long hiatus due to the pandemic. Although the Holy Synod met in person in May 2021, the Metropolitan Council has not been able to have an in-person meeting for almost two years.

Along with fellowship, this joint meeting is intended to be a platform for the leadership of the Church to discuss and prepare for the upcoming 20th All-American Council which will take place in Baltimore, MD on July 18-22, 2022.

The work of the joint meeting will follow a workshop format in which the participants will be divided into 8 groups. Each group will be assigned a topic to discuss over three sessions. The topics and related questions will be considered and discussed within the framework of vocation and, particularly, along the theme of the upcoming 20th All-American Council, “Becoming Vessels of Grace.”

Although not unprecedented, an expanded joint meeting comprising of various leadership bodies in the Church has not taken place in decades. To know more about this meeting and the conciliar work and process inherent to the very structure of the Orthodox Church in America, all the faithful are invited to join His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon on Tuesday, October 19 at 9 PM for a live-conversation with Archpriest Thomas Soroka. Father Thomas will host His Beatitude and other participants of the expanded joint meeting at his weekly Ancient Faith Live show to discuss “The Church Working in Council.”

Among the items on the proposed agenda for this session, both the Metropolitan Council and the Holy Synod will receive reports at their regular sessions from His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, OCA Primate; Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Chancellor; Priest Alessandro Margheritino, Secretary; and Mr. Andrew Smith, Treasurer. In addition there will be updates on the OCA Departments, the All-American Council, Property Committee, Communication, and Pension Plan, amongst others.


Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations


Archpriest Dennis, Archpriest Michael, Deacon Timothy, Evelyn, Katheryn, Anne, Aaron, Veronica, Richard, Nancy, Susanne, Carol, Alexander, Gail, Kelley, Nina, Ellen, Maureen, Elizabeth, Christopher, Joshua, Jennifer, Petra, Olivia, Jessica, Sean, Sarah, Justin, Dayna, Daniel, Gregory and David.

Many Years to Susan Hayes and Victor Hoehnebart on the occasion of their birthdays; and John and Joan Skrobat on the occasion of their anniversary; and Jim Pepitone on the occasion of his Name's Day.


  • 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.


Martyr Susanna, Princess of Georgia (5th c.). Prophet Hosea (820 B.C.). Monastic Martyr Andrew of Crete (767). Ven. Anthony, Abbot of Leokhnovsk (Novgorod—1611). Martyrs and Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian in Cilicia, and their brothers, Leontius, Anthimus, and Eutropius (287 or 303). Translation of the Relics of St. Lazarus “of the four days” (in the tomb), Bishop of Kition on Cyprus (898).



Parish Calendar

  • Schedule of Services and Events

    October 17 to October 25, 2021

    Sunday, October 17

    John & Joan Skobrat - A

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, October 18

    Luke the Evangelist

    8:30AM Akathist to St Luke Evangelist

    Tuesday, October 19

    Joel the Prophet

    Susan Hayes - B

    6:30PM Parish Council Meeting

    Wednesday, October 20

    Artemius the Great Martyr of Antioch

    Victor Hoehnebart

    4:30PM Open Doors

    Thursday, October 21

    Hilarion the Great

    7:00PM Book Study

    Friday, October 22

    Averkios, Equal-to-the-Apostles and Wonderworker, Bishop of Hierapolis

    Saturday, October 23

    James (Iakovos) the Apostle, brother of Our Lord

    5:30PM Great Vespers

    Sunday, October 24

    5th Sunday of Luke

    Greg Jankura -B

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, October 25

    The Holy Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius the Notaries

    Victor & Gail Kuziak - A


Saints and Feasts

October 17

Andrew the Righteous Monk-martyr of Crete

Saint Andrew was from the island of Crete, where he lived the monastic life. During the reign of Constantine Copronymus, he came to Constantinople and suffered many things in defence of the veneration of the holy icons. Finally, he was dragged through the market, bound by the feet, one of which was severed by a fishmonger wielding a cleaver, and thus the Saint surrendered his spirit unto God in the year 761. His sacred relics were buried at a certain place called "The Judgment."

October 18

Luke the Evangelist

This Apostle was an Antiochean, a physician by trade, and a disciple and companion of Paul. He wrote his Gospel in Greek after Matthew and Mark, after which he wrote the Acts of the Apostles, and dedicated both works to Theophilus, who, according to some, was Governor of Achaia. He lived some eighty-six years and died in Achaia, perhaps in Patras, the capital of this district. His emblem is the calf, the third symbolical beast mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), which is a symbol of Christ's sacrificial and priestly office, as Saint Irenaeus says.

October 19

Joel the Prophet

The Prophet Joel, whose name means "Yah is God," was of the tribe of Reuben, the son of Bathuel, and lived from 810 to 750 B.C. (but some say in the 7th century B.C.). His book is divided into three chapters, and is the second in order of the minor Prophets. He foretold the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Joel 2:28, and quoted by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:17), and the saving power of the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Joel 2:32).

October 21

Hilarion the Great

This Saint was born at Tabatha, near Gaza in Palestine, of pagan parents. Sent as a young man to Alexandria to be educated, he learned the Christian Faith and was baptized. While in Egypt he heard the fame of Saint Anthony the Great, and upon meeting that truly great man, the Father of monks, Saint Hilarion determined to devote himself also to the ascetical life. He returned to Gaza, when, he gave himself over to extreme fasting and unceasing prayer. Because of the miracles which he soon began to work, he found himself compelled by his growing renown to leave Gaza, to escape from the throngs of people coming to ask his prayers. In his journeys he visited Egypt, and came again with longing to the place where Saint Anthony had lived; but he was not able to remain in any one place for long, since despite all his attempts to conceal himself, the light of the grace that was in him could not be hid. After passing through Egypt and Libya, and sailing to Sicily, he came at last to Cyprus, where he ended the course of his life at the age of eighty, in the year 372.

October 22

Seven Holy Martyred 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.

October 23

James (Iakovos) the Apostle, brother of Our Lord

According to some, this Saint was a son of Joseph the Betrothed, born of the wife that the latter had before he was betrothed to the Ever-virgin. Hence he was the brother of the Lord, Who was also thought to be the son of Joseph (Matt. 13: 55). But some say that he was a nephew of Joseph, and the son of his brother Cleopas, who was also called Alphaeus and Mary his wife, who was the first cousin of the Theotokos. But even according to this genealogy, he was still called, according to the idiom of the Scriptures, the Lord's brother because of their kinship.

This Iakovos is called the Less (Mark 15:40) by the Evangelists to distinguish him from Iakovos, the son of Zebedee, who was called the Great. He became the first Bishop of Jerusalem, elevated to this episcopal rank by the Apostles, according to Eusebius (Eccl. Hist., Book II: 23), and was called Obliah, that is, the Just, because of his great holiness and righteousness. Having ascended the crest of the Temple on the day of the Passover at the prompting of all, he bore testimony from there concerning his belief in Jesus, and he proclaimed with a great voice that Jesus sits at the right hand of the great power of God and shall come again upon the clouds of heaven. On hearing this testimony, many of those present cried, "Hosanna to the Son of David." But the Scribes and Pharisees cried, "So, even the just one hath been led astray," and at the command of Ananias the high priest, the Apostle was cast down headlong from thence, then was stoned, and while he prayed for his slayers, his head was crushed by the wooden club wielded by a certain scribe. The first of the Catholic (General) Epistles written to the Jews in the Diaspora who believed in Christ was written by this Iakovos.


Hymns of the Day


Tone 8 Troparion (Resurrection)

You descended from on high, O Merciful One!
You accepted the three day burial to free us from our sufferings!//
O Lord, our Life and Resurrection, glory to You!

Tone 2 Troparion (Prophet Hosea)

We celebrate the memory
of Your prophet Hosea, O Lord;
through him we beseech You://
“Save our souls!”

Tone 4 Troparion (St. Andrew)

Trained in asceticism on the mountain,
with the weapon of the Cross you destroyed the spiritual assaults of the hostile powers, O all-blessed one.
Again you bravely prepared for combat
and slew Copronymus with the sword of faith;//
for both struggles you have been crowned by God, monk-martyr Andrew of eternal memory.

Tone 8 Kontakion (Resurrection)

By rising from the tomb, You raised the dead and resurrected Adam.
Eve exults in Your Resurrection,//
and the world celebrates Your rising from the dead, O greatly Merciful One!

Tone 4 Kontakion (Prophet Hosea)

Illumined by the Spirit, your heart was a vessel of illustrious prophecy,
seeing far-off things as though they were present.//
Therefore, we venerate your, glorious prophet Hosea.

Tone 3 Kontakion (St. Andrew)

Today the Queen of cities
celebrates the radiant feast of your light-bearing memory,
and invites every city and country to join her.
She rejoices for she has gained a great treasure://
your body which sustained many struggles, martyr Andrew, beacon of Orthodoxy.

Communion Hymn

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


Gospel and Epistle Readings

Gospel Reading

The Reading is from Luke 8:5-15

The Lord said this parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold." And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience." As he said these things, he cried out "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."


Wisdom of the Fathers

For by seed here He means His doctrine, and by land, the souls of men, and by the sower, Himself .... For as the sower makes no distinction in the land submitted to him, but simply and indifferently casts his seed; so He Himself too makes no distinction of rich and poor, of wise and unwise, of slothful or diligent, of brave or cowardly; but He discourses unto all, fulfilling His part, although foreknowing the results.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 44 on Matthew 12, 4th Century

When you see life's pleasures, beware that they might not distract you, for they conceal death's snares. Likewise a fisherman casts not his hook to no purpose. As bait for his hook, the enemy uses the delusion of sensuality to arouse desire, that he might thereby catch men's souls and subject them to himself. A soul which has been caught to serve the enemy's will then serves as a snare for other souls, for it conceals the grief of sin with its apparent delight.
St. Ephraim the Syrian
A Spiritual Psalter no 43, pg. 74, 4th century


Beyond the Sermon


17th Sunday After Pentecost – Orthodox Homily on Parable of the Sower

“A sower went out to sow his seed…” Christ’s parable today challenges us to consider how we receive and act upon His Gospel of life. He compares us to the seeds sown here in this parable—some fell on the wayside, some on the rock, some among the thorns, and some on the good soil.
Like many priests, I like to garden—cultivating a garden is not so dissimilar to cultivating souls, so when I hear this parable it brings to mind the many joys and struggles of gardening. What you may not expect, however, is that there are many parallels to our own lives found in the garden as well. In fact, there’s something instinctual in us that draws many of us to garden: it was, after all, mankind’s first vocation, as we read in Gen. 2:15, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
The best part of gardening is getting to see the garden thriving and growing on its own, the plants growing into their fullness, the colors and shapes creating a beautiful patchwork, the fruiting plants producing their bounty, each in their own way. And then, you find yourself responding to the life, the growth, the beauty around you, expressing interior gratitude to the Author of all life: “Thank you, Lord, it is so beautiful how these plants have grown and matured together in their different shapes and colors, the birds and butterflies enjoying and finding refuge in this garden that I’ve stewarded and helped shape. It’s an exhilarating feeling when you see the fruit of your labors and have the opportunity to glorify God for the beauty of His creation, as you participate in this work so reminiscent of that of our first parents who saw the beauty of the creation as an ‘icon’ of God’s goodness and expressed their gratitude toward God in their worship of Him.
But every gardener knows, that the garden won’t produce good results unless it is properly and patiently tended. I can have the best seeds or the best starter plants, but if they fall on hard clay or the roots of a tree because I haven’t prepared the ground or if I don’t tend the plants they’ll fail to thrive. If the garden goes too many days without rain, I have to water it; if I haven’t enough time to weed enough, my usual problem, then the good plants are smothered.
So it is with the ‘garden of our souls:’ If we want to become mature and God glorifying children of God, then we have to work diligently to tend to the needs of our souls. They need to be nourished. God is always doing His part; we have to do ours in response. Just as in the garden, there is a synergy at work in us. We all start out as these little ‘seeds’ of faith. If we wish to grow and thrive, then we cannot be passive when it comes to the health and growth of our souls.
The same temptations that Christ laid bare in His parable of the Sower are true today: How easy it is to be the seed that fell among the rocks, that is, those who receive the Gospel and Orthodox Faith, but who in times of temptation fall away. How easy it is to be as those seeds that fall among the thorns and whose souls are smothered by the temporal cares and concerns and priorities of this present life, by our secular society, and who don’t bring forth fruit to maturity.
When we keep ourselves at a distance from Christ and His Church, as only a tangential priority, we are, in a sense, choosing to be the seed by the wayside; we’re easily trampled down and devoured by the culture—maybe not in such dramatic ways, maybe just in ‘safe,’ mundane ways: working all the time, not going to church to worship God the Holy Trinity, not making time for our daily prayers, neglecting the Sacraments or opportunities to learn and grow, not making Holy Confession a priority—and, the result of these mixed priorities is that our souls slowly wither.
St. Cyril of Alexandria says of those who are on the wayside that they are just like it, “hard and unyielding” (Sermon on the Parable of the Sower). Where stubbornness and pride are, there is a ‘wayside’ in the soul that prevents growth in the knowledge and love of God. If a ‘teachable spirit’ is lacking and one isn’t open to learning or doing the hard spade work necessary to be purified of the passions that cause us to sin, then we cannot grow and find salvation.
When we make sacramental Confession, for instance, we have the opportunity to remove from ourselves all those rocks—hardness of heart—all the weeds, those temporal preoccupations that take the place of prioritizing our life in Christ. In this way, we prepare the ‘soil’ of our souls for growth to bring forth a bountiful harvest. But Confession is something we need to make use of regularly. In the garden, you can’t weed or prepare the soil or remove the rocks just once; you have to be ever vigilant and patient in tending it on an ongoing basis.
Tito Coliander in his book, Way of the Ascetics, asks: “Can it be considered a virtuous act when a man who out of his own carelessness has been trapped deep down in a mine shaft, takes up pick and shovel and tries to work his way out? Is it not… quite natural for him to make use of the tools given him by a higher authority to make his way up out of the choking air and darkness? Would not the opposite be stupidity?” The tools, what he calls the “implements of salvation,” are the commands of the Gospel and the Sacraments of the Church.
He goes on to conclude, “We must, like the imprisoned victim, give up many opportunities for rest… enjoyment…” We don’t let the pick and shovel out of our hands: they are prayer, fasting, watching, and vigilance to observe all things that Christ has commanded us (paraphrased).
It’s all here for us—all the tools of the ‘garden of our souls’ that we need are found in the Church. Those who wish to be as the seed cast among the good soil, are vigilant to fight to not let themselves be redirected to other preoccupations apart from their life in Christ. If you and I wish to have Christ for eternal life, you and I have Christ as our main focus in this life. We bring Him into our daily lives—into all our stresses, anxieties, temptations, and our joys.
So that you and I may be like the seed that fell on the fertile soil, St. Cyril urges us to “drive away from our minds all worldly cares” (ibid). In this way, through repentance, taking each thought ‘captive’ to obey Christ (II Cor. 10:5), availing ourselves of the Sacraments Christ has entrusted to us and our daily prayers, we can become the seed that brings forth fruit from our lives, our families, in our church, and in our community where we witness to the truth of Christ that is within us and which liberates every man and woman who puts their trust in Him.
To become that fruit-bearing seed on the good soil, St. John Chrysostom admonishes we practice obedience. We submit ourselves to Christ and His Church, knowing that through the Church, God has given us all the tools we need to be deified, to be accountable, and to grow in our participation in the life of the Holy Trinity, the only Life there is. That life, as Christ teaches us here, always involves us producing spiritual fruit. Salvation is never just something between me and God alone; instead, it always involves you and I bringing forth fruit, coming out of our self-focus to love and to serve and give of the ‘fruit’ of our labors that is the bounty of our cooperation with the work of God in our lives. In other words, it always involves the Church. The degree to which we diligently and patiently tend our ‘garden’ will determine how much fruit we bear—some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
May we be open, obedient, and trusting as we patiently and diligently work to prepare the ‘garden of our souls,’ taking up “pick and shovel,” making use of all the tools Christ has entrusted to us. In this way, we will be filled to overflowing with the presence of Christ, giving a ‘first fruits’ back to Him from the blessings, of all that He’s entrusted to us in praise and thanksgiving. In doing so, we can be confident, “that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). We will be as those seed that have fallen on the good ground, who have heard the word of the Gospel and bear good fruit with patience.

Fr. Robert Miclean
Holy Archangels Orthodox Church
Sunday, 16 October 2016
Parable of the Seeds 4


Bulletin Inserts