St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2023-12-10
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Allsaint
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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- Council Member at Large
Carolyn Neiss - President                                              Sharon Hanson - Council Elect
Marlene Melesko - Council Member at Large                    Luba Martins - Council Elect
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) 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

First Sunday of Advent

Candle: green (faith)
Symbolism: The first candle reminds us of faith, the faith we have in God that He will keep His promise to send His Son.
Scripture: Isaiah 9:2, 6-7; 40:3-5; 52:7
Theme: God’s promise to send the Messiah.

Second Sunday of Advent
Candle: blue (hope)
Symbolism: The second candle reminds us of the hope we have that Christ will come again this year to bring new joy into our lives.
Scripture: Luke 1:5-31
Theme: Ways in which Christ brings joy to our hearts today and why should a Christian be joyful.

Third Sunday of Advent
Candle: gold (love)
Symbolism: Remember the words of St. John, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.”
Scripture: St. Luke 1:26-38.
Theme: The life of St. Nicholas who was known for his great generosity in distributing gifts and money to the poor. He preferred to deliver his gifts after dark and in disguise so that no one would know who left them. How can we follow his example by giving gifts to the needy?

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Candle: white (peace)
Symbolism: This candle reminds us of the Angel’s message to the shepherds, “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.”
Scripture: Luke 2:1-18
Theme: Reflect on whether there is someone who has something against us, or if we have something against anyone. Are there relationships that need repairing or people we need to forgive? Forgive and be forgiven.

The Outreach Ministry would like to thank all who donated gifts, toys, clothing and gift cards to Safe Futures of New London for their Christmas drive. We were able to donate 10 full shopping bags along with $100 in gift cards for the adults and children being helped by Safe Futures as a result of domestic abuse. The Director of Community Resources, Susan Noyes, was amazed by the amount of gifts we donated and very appreciative of our parishioners’ generosity.

A new brunch schedule has been posted on the downstairs’ bulletin board. Please sign up to bring brunch items in for our fellowship after Sunday Liturgy. Also note that we are presently in the Advent fasting period and will have a special Christmas Eve potluck at a time to be determined.

Service Schedule for the Nativity

The calendar has been updated. Please note that all Friday services are online only. Services for Sunday and Monday are hybrid.

Friday Dec 22nd
Akathist for St Anastasia 8am
Royal Hours 8:30a
Akathist for Nativity 6pm

Saturday Dec 23rd
Vigil 5:30p - I will have some of the Canon for reading

Sunday Dec 24th
Divine Liturgy of St John 9:30a followed by coffee-hour (fasting)
Vespers 1pm

Monday Dec 25
Divine Liturgy of St Basil 8:30a

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Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations

Christ_forgiveness

Please pray for Evelyn Leake and Victor Hoehnebart who are in need of God's mercy and healing.

  • 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: Fr Anthony, Mat Elizabeth, Kenneth, Fr Michael
  • Clergy and their families: Mat. Ann, Fr Sergei, and Mat Nancy
  • ​Catechumen: Robert, Abbie, Matthew, Joseph, Mary and Lynn
  • Individuals and Families: Susan, Luba, Suzanne, Gail Galina Evelyn, Rosemary, John, Lucille, Karen, Oleg, Lucia, Victor, Melissa, Christine, Sebastian, Olga, Daniel & Dayna, Branislava, Alton, Richard, Kristen
  • Birthdays and Name’s Days this Month: Dori Kuziak, Bill Brubaker, Malcolm Littlefield, Anastasia Littlefield (ND), Stasia PenkoffLedbeck (ND), Nancy Davis (ND), James Ifkovic (ND)
  • Anniversaries this Month: 
  • ​Expecting and Newborn: Megan and her unborn child
  • ​Traveling: 
  • ​Sick and those in distress: Maria, Brian, Fr Vasily

Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus, of Alexandria (ca. 313). St. Joasaph, Bishop of Belgorod (1754). Martyr Gemellus of Paphlagonia (ca. 361). Ven. Thomas of Bithynia (10th c.). Bl. Jovan (John), King of Serbia (1503) and his parents, Stephen (1446) and Angelina Brancovich.

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Parish Calendar

  • Schedule of Services and Events

    December 10 to December 18, 2023

    Sunday, December 10

    🐟 10th Sunday of Luke

    Dori Kuziak - B

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, December 11

    🐟 Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople

    Tuesday, December 12

    🍇 Spyridon the Wonderworker of Trymithous

    Saint Mardarije (Uskokovic) of Libertyville

    8:00AM Akathist of St Mardarije

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    Wednesday, December 13

    ☦️ Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes of Greater Armenia

    Repose of St. Herman of Alaska

    8:30AM Akathist to St Herman

    4:30PM Open Doors

    Thursday, December 14

    ☦️ Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus of Asia Minor, and Philemon, Apollonius, and Arian of Alexandria

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    6:00PM Deanery Meeting

    Friday, December 15

    🍇 Eleutherios the Hieromartyr, Bishop of Illyricum, and his mother Anthia

    Righteous Aaron

    Saturday, December 16

    🍇 The Holy Prophet Aggaeus (Haggai)

    5:00PM Memorial for Luke Hosking

    5:30PM Great Vespers

    Sunday, December 17

    🍇 11th Sunday of Luke

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, December 18

    ☦️ Sebastian the Martyr & his Companions

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Saints and Feasts

Allsaint
December 10

Menas, Hermogenes, & Eugraphos, Martyrs of Alexandria

Saint Menas, according to the Synaxaristes, had Athens as his homeland. He was a military officer, an educated man and skilled in speech, wherefore he was surnamed Kallikelados ("most eloquent"); Eugraphus was his scribe. Both had Christian parents. The Emperor Maximinus (he was the successor of Alexander Severus, and reigned from 235 to 238) sent Saint Menas to Alexandria to employ his eloquence to end a certain strife among the citizens. Saint Menas, having accomplished this, also employed his eloquence to strengthen the Christians in their faith, which when Maximinus heard, he sent Hermogenes, who was an eparch born to unbelievers to turn Menas away from Christ. But Hermogenes rather came to the Faith of Christ because of the miracles wrought by Saint Menas. Saints Menas, Eugraphus, and Hermogenes received the crown of martyrdom in the year 235.


Allsaint
December 11

Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople

This Saint was from the village of Marutha in the region of Samosata in Mesopotamia. He became a monk at the age of twelve. After visiting Saint Symeon the Stylite (see Sept. 1) and receiving his blessing, he was moved with zeal to follow his marvellous way of life. At the age of forty-two, guided by providence, he came to Anaplus in the environs of Constantinople, in the days of the holy Patriarch Anatolius (see July 3), who was also healed by Saint Daniel of very grave malady and sought to have him live near him. Upon coming to Anaplus, Saint Daniel first lived in the church of the Archangel Michael, but after some nine years, Saint Symeon the Stylite appeared to him in a vision, commanding him to imitate his own ascetical struggle upon a pillar. The remaining thirty-three years of his life he stood for varying periods on three pillars, one after another. He stood immovable in all weather, and once his disciples found him covered with ice after a winter storm. He was a counsellor of emperors; the pious emperor Leo the Great fervently loved him and brought his royal guests to meet him. It was at Saint Daniel's word that the holy relics of Saint Symeon the Stylite were brought to Constantinople from Antioch, and it was in his days that the Emperor Leo had the relics of the Three Holy Children brought from Babylon. Saint Daniel also defended the Church against the error of the Eutychians. Having lived through the reigns of the Emperors Leo, Zeno, and Basiliscus, he reposed in 490, at the age of eighty-four.


Spyridon
December 12

Spyridon the Wonderworker of Trymithous

Spyridon, the God-bearing Father of the Church, the great defender of Corfu and the boast of all the Orthodox, had Cyprus as his homeland. He was simple in manner and humble of heart, and was a shepherd of sheep. When he was joined to a wife, he begat of her a daughter whom they named Irene. After his wife's departure from this life, he was appointed Bishop of Trimythus, and thus he became also a shepherd of rational sheep. When the First Ecumenical Council was assembled in Nicaea, he also was present, and by means of his most simple words stopped the mouths of the Arians who were wise in their own conceit. By the divine grace which dwelt in him, he wrought such great wonders that he received the surname 'Wonderworker." So it is that, having tended his flock piously and in a manner pleasing to God, he reposed in the Lord about the year 350, leaving to his country his sacred relics as a consolation and source of healing for the faithful.

About the middle of the seventh century, because of the incursions made by the barbarians at that time, his sacred relics were taken to Constantinople, where they remained, being honoured by the emperors themselves. But before the fall of Constantinople, which took place on May 29, 1453, a certain priest named George Kalokhairetes, the parish priest of the church where the Saint's sacred relics, as well as those of Saint Theodora the Empress, were kept, took them away on account of the impending peril. Travelling by way of Serbia, he came as far as Arta in Epirus, a region in Western Greece opposite to the isle of Corfu. From there, while the misfortunes of the Christian people were increasing with every day, he passed over to Corfu about the year 1460. The relics of Saint Theodora were given to the people of Corfu; but those of Saint Spyridon remain to this day, according to the rights of inheritance, the most precious treasure of the priest's own descendants, and they continue to be a staff for the faithful in Orthodoxy, and a supernatural wonder for those that behold him; for even after the passage of 1,500 years, they have remained incorrupt, and even the flexibility of his flesh has been preserved. Truly wondrous is God in His Saints! (Ps. 67:3 5)


M
December 12

St Mardarje

https://www.ocf.net/theres-a-saint-for-that/st-mardarije/


Hermanalaska
December 13

Herman the Wonderworker of Alaska & First Saint of America

Saint Herman (his name is a variant of Germanus) was born near Moscow in 1756. In his youth he became a monk, first at the Saint Sergius Hermitage near Saint Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland; while he dwelt there, the most holy Mother of God appeared to him, healing him of a grave malady. Afterwards he entered Valaam Monastery on Valiant Island in Lake Ladoga; he often withdrew into the wilderness to pray for days at a time. In 1794, answering a call for missionaries to preach the Gospel to the Aleuts, he came to the New World with the first Orthodox mission to Alaska. He settled on Spruce Island, which he called New Valaam, and here he persevered, even in the face of many grievous afflictions mostly at the hands of his own countrymen in the loving service of God and of his neighbour. Besides his many toils for the sake of the Aleuts, he subdued his flesh with great asceticism, wearing chains, sleeping little, fasting and praying much. He brought many people to Christ by the example of his life, his teaching, and his kindness and sanctity, and was granted the grace of working miracles and of prophetic insight. Since he was not a priest, Angels descended at Theophany to bless the waters in the bay; Saint Herman used this holy water to heal the sick. Because of his unwearying missionary labours, which were crowned by God with the salvation of countless souls, he is called the Enlightener of the Aleuts, and has likewise been renowned as a wonderworker since his repose in 1837.


Allsaint

Elefther
December 15

Eleutherios the Holy Martyr, Bishop Illyria and his mother Anthia

This Saint had Rome as his homeland. Having been orphaned of his father from childhood, he was taken by his mother Anthia to Anicetus, the Bishop of Rome (some call him Anencletus, or Anacletus), by whom he was instructed in the sacred letters (that is, the divine Scriptures). Though still very young in years, he was made Bishop of Illyricum by reason of his surpassing virtue, and by his teachings he converted many unbelievers to Christ. However, during a most harsh persecution that was raised against the Christians under Hadrian (reigned 117-138), the Saint was arrested by the tyrants. Enduring many torments for Christ, he was finally put to death by two soldiers about the year 126. As for his Christ-loving mother Anthia, while embracing the remains of her son and kissing them with maternal affection, she was also beheaded.


Allsaint
December 16

Haggai the Prophet

The Prophet Aggaeus, whose name means "festive," was born in Babylon at the time of the captivity Of the Jews. He began to prophesy in Jerusalem after their return thereto, and to admonish the people to rebuild the Temple, in the days of Zorobabel, the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspes, King of Persia, about the year 520 before Christ. His prophecy, divided into two chapters, is ranked tenth among the minor Prophets.


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Hymns of the Day

Angel_design

Tone 2 Troparion (Resurrection)

When You descended to death, O Life Immortal,
You slew hell with the splendor of Your Godhead.
And when from the depths You raised the dead,
all the powers of heaven cried out://
“O Giver of life, Christ our God, glory to You!”

Tone 8 Troparion (Martyrs)

Having slain the fiery ragings and fierce movements of the passions through their ascetic labors,
the Martyrs of Christ, Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus,
received grace to dispel the afflictions of the infirm and to work wonders both while alive and after death.
It is a truly great wonder that naked bones pour forth healing.//
Glory to our only God and Creator!

Tone 2 Kontakion (Resurrection)

Hell became afraid, O almighty Savior,
seeing the miracle of Your Resurrection from the tomb!
The dead arose! Creation, with Adam, beheld this and rejoiced with You,//
and the world, my Savior, praises You forever.

Tone 1 1st Kontakion (Martyrs)

Let us sing praise in honor of the glorious Menas,
and of his companions, the holy Hermogenes and Eugraphus.
For they have honored the Lord and fought for His glory.
They are worthy of numbering with the Angels in ^heaven,//
and are bountiful in their miracles.

Tone 4 2nd Kontakion (Martyrs)

The Lord snatched you from the temporal army,
making you a fellow inheritor of the eternal, O Menas;
together with Hermogenes and Eugraphus
with whom you suffered,//
you are granted an incorruptible crown.

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. 2nd Tone. Psalm 117.14,18.
The Lord is my strength and my song.
Verse: The Lord has chastened me sorely.

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 6:10-17.

Brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


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Wisdom of the Fathers

The Savior Himself is He Whom we are asked to put on. It is one and the same thing to say, 'Put on the whole armor of God,' and 'Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.' Our belt is truth and our breastplate is righteousness. The Savior is also called both 'truth' and 'righteousness.' On this principle He is also to be understood as the 'Gospel of peace.' He is Himself the 'shield of faith' and the helmet of salvation. He is the 'sword of the Spirit,' because He is the Word of God, living and efficacious, the utterance of which is stronger than any helmet and sharp on both sides.
St. Jerome
Unknown, 5th century

So great an evil is envy. For not against strangers only, but even against our own, is it ever warring.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 40 on Matthew 12, 4th Century

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Receive the Light

Burnbush

One Body In Christ
St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans Lesson Series
Lesson 5: Justification by Faithfulness

Reading
Romans 3:21-23
Romans 3:24-26
Romans 4:1-4
Romans 4:5-25

The righteousness of God, expressed through the Law and the Prophets, shows us clearly that all of us have sinned. Because of the commonality of our sinfulness, all have fallen short, circumcised and uncircumcised, Gentile and Jew. (Romans 3:21- 23) Therefore, we are not justified by our works or by our obedience to the Mosaic Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:24-26)
Faith that through His sacrifice, our sins are covered, passed over. We all are offered God’s Grace freely: a gift of sacrifice, forgiveness, and eternal life which none of us deserve.
St. Paul cites the example of Abraham. Through his faith and belief in God, he was accounted righteous before he was circumcised and before God handed down the Law to Moses.
St. Paul writes that we are all heirs of Abraham because of our faith rather than through obedience to the law. (Romans 4:1-4) God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. Because of his faith, Abraham became the father of many nations even though he and Sarah were well beyond their child-bearing years at the time. Abraham never doubted God’s promise. He walked and lived by faith. Upon embracing this faith, we are all Abraham’s children and heirs. Abraham and David had faith in God, and it was reckoned to them for righteousness. We are heirs with them through our faith in Him who delivered us from all our offenses on the Cross and raised all from the dead for our justification. (Romans 4:5-25)

Discussion & Reflection

Q1: Who does St. Paul hold up as an example of faith? Why?
A1: Saint Paul uses Abraham as His example of faith. He used Abraham because he was accounted righteous by God before he was circumcised and before Moses received the Law. His faith was justification enough.


Q2: Using a dictionary look up the word “Grace. ” What is grace? What does St. Paul say about grace?
A2: St. Paul writes that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Through His death on the Cross, Christ has covered our sins thereby giving us forgiveness we do not deserve. This is God’s grace.

Q3: St. Paul says that we all guilty of sin. Were the Jews justified because they meticulously kept the ten commandments? Are we justified
because of our good works?
A3: St. Paul says the Law is only a measure of our shortcomings. It does not bring us into a relationship and communion with God. In addition, good works apart from faith in Christ does not create a loving relationship with God.

Resources

Orthodox Study Bible: Epistle to the Romans 
St. John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Romans (https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/romans/st-john-chrysostom-on-romans)
Podcast: "The Whole Counsel of God" Romans, Chapter 3 & Romans, Chapter 4 by Fr. Stephen De Young (www.antientfaith.org/podcasts/wholecounsel)

Church Wisdom


Apolytikion of St. Paul (Tone 4)
We venerate thee with gladness,
O preacher of the Gentiles and
thrice great star,
teacher of the Athenians and
splendor of the world.
We honor thy struggles and tortures
suffered on behalf of Christ,
and thy sacred martyrdom. O Holy
Apostle Paul,
intercede with Christ God that our
souls be saved.

Words of St. John Chrysostom
“Not only is He Himself living, He also makes the dead to live."

Romans 3:23
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Meditation & Activity

Find a picture of a grandparent, uncle or aunt who has departed this life and was known for their great faith in God. Journal about or discuss with your family examples of that person’s faith and how it influenced your own faith. Meditate ondiscuss the idea that we are all models of faith for future generations. Find an icon of a favorite saint. Show the icon to the rest of the family if applicable. Describe, or journal about, the faith of the saint and share how the saint influenced your own faith.

 

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The Back Page

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Parish Shared Folder (for all documents, bulletins etc) - http://bit.ly/St-Alexis

The QR Code here may be used as well.

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Parish Web Site - http://www.stalexischurch.org ; calendar (https://bit.ly/StA-Calendar)

Facebook - @stalexisorthodox

Youtube Channelhttps://bit.ly/StA_Youtube

Join Zoom Meeting - http://bit.ly/St_Alexis_Zoom

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Bulletin Inserts

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