St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2023-12-17
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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:
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.



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.

Fifth Sunday of Advent
Candle: purple (repentance)
Review the meaning of the first four candles.
Symbolism: This candle reminds us of our need to repent before we can meet the coming of Christ. “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Scripture: Mark 1:1-8, 14-15.
Theme: Discuss repentance and then prepare oneself with a thorough self-examination followed by confession and communion.

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


Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations


Many Years! to: SDn Joseph Brubaker, Roderick Seurattan and Malcolm Littlefield on the occasion of their birthdays, and to Annastasia Littlefiled, Stasia PenkoffLedbeck and Nancy Davis on the occasion of their Names' Day.

Memory Eternal to Archbishop Job and Luke Hosking on the anniversary of their repose in the Lord.

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

Sunday of the Forefathers. Holy Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths: Ananias, Azarias and Misael (600 B.C.). Ven. Daniel the Confessor, in schema Stephen, of Spain and Egypt (10th c.).


Parish Calendar

  • Schedule of Services and Events

    December 17 to December 25, 2023

    Sunday, December 17

    🍇 11th Sunday of Luke

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, December 18

    ☦️ Sebastian the Martyr & his Companions

    Tuesday, December 19

    ☦️ Martyrs Boniface, Probus, Ares, Timothy, Polyeuktos, Eutychios and Thessaloniki

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    6:00PM Council Meeting

    Wednesday, December 20

    🍇 Ignatius the God-Bearer, Bishop of Antioch

    8:30AM Akathist to St John Kronstadt

    4:30PM Open Doors

    Thursday, December 21

    ☦️ Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    Friday, December 22

    ☦️ Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

    Greatmartyr Anastasia

    8:00AM Akathist of St Anastasia

    8:30AM Royal Hours

    6:00PM Akathist of the Nativity

    Saturday, December 23

    🍇 Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

    William Brubaker

    5:30PM Vigil of the Nativity

    Sunday, December 24

    Roderick Seurattan

    🍇 Sunday before Nativity

    Nativity Eve

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    1:00PM Vespers

    Monday, December 25

    The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

    Malcolm Littlefield

    Nativity of Our Lord


Saints and Feasts

December 17

11th Sunday of Luke

On the Sunday that occurs on or immediately after the eleventh of this month, we commemorate Christ's forefathers according to the flesh, both those that came before the Law, and those that lived after the giving of the Law.

Special commemoration is made of the Patriarch Abraham, to whom the promise was first given, when God said to him, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 22:18). This promise was given some two thousand years before Christ, when Abraham was seventy-five years of age. God called him and commanded him to forsake his country, parents, and kinsmen, and to depart to the land of the Canaanites. When he arrived there, God told him, "I will give this land to thy seed" (Gen. 12:7); for this cause, that land was called the "Promised Land," which later became the country of the Hebrew people, and which is also called Palestine by the historians. There, after the passage of twenty-four years, Abraham received God's law concerning circumcision. In the one hundredth year of his life, when Sarah was in her ninetieth year, they became the parents of Isaac. Having lived 175 years altogether, he reposed in peace, a venerable elder full of days.

December 17

Daniel the Prophet & Ananias, Azarias, & Misail, the Three Holy Youths

The Prophet Daniel and the Three Children were all descended from the royal tribe of Judah. In the year 599 before Christ, in the reign of Joachim, who was also called Jechonias (I Chron. 3:16, and II Chron. 36:8), while yet children, these righteous ones were led away as captives into Babylon together with the other Jews by Nabuchodonosor. He singled them out from among the other captives to serve him, and renamed them thus: Daniel was named Baltazar; Ananias, Sedrach: Misail, Misach; and Azarias, Abednago. They were reared in the royal court, and taught the wisdom of the Chaldeans; and after the passage of three years, they surpassed all the Chaldean sages (Dan. 1).

Thereafter, Daniel, being still a lad, interpreted that mysterious image seen by Nabuchodonosor in a dream, an image that was composed of different metals, but was shattered and ground to dust by a certain stone which had been hewn out of a mountain without the hand of man. This vision clearly portrayed through the mountain the height of the Virgin's holiness and the power of the Holy Spirit which overshadowed her. Through the image of the Stone, Christ was portrayed, Who was seedlessly born of her, and Who by His coming as the Godman would shatter and destroy all the kingdoms of the world, which were portrayed through the image; and He would raise them that believe in Him into His Heavenly Kingdom, which is eternal and everlasting (ibid. 2:31-45). Thereupon, he signified in prophecy the time of His appearance in the Jordan, the beginning of His preaching of the Gospel, the time of His saving Passion, and the cessation of the worship according to the Mosaic Law, (ibid. 9:14-27). He portrayed most excellently the majestic and dread image of His second coming, presenting by means of words, as with living colours, the fiery throne which shall be set, the Eternal Judge Who shall sit thereon, the river of fire that shall flow forth before Him, the calling to account before the impartial judgment seat, the opened books of each ones deeds, the thousands upon thousands of them that minister to Him, and the ten thousands of them that stand in His presence (ibid. 7: 9-10). Daniel (whose name means "God is judge") was called "man of desires" by the Angels that appeared (ibid. 9:23), because he courageously disdained every desire of the body, even the very bread that is necessary for nourishment. Furthermore, he received this name because, in his longing for the freedom of those of his tribe, and his desire to know their future condition, he ceased not supplicating God, fasting and bending the knee three times a day. Because of this prayer he was cast into the den of lions, after he had been accused by his enemies as a transgressor of the decree issued through the proclamation of the king, that no one should worship or ask for anything from God or from men for thirty days, but only from the king. But having stopped the mouths of the lions by divine might, and appearing among them as though he were a shepherd of sheep, Daniel showed the impious the might of godliness (ibid. 6:1-23).

As for the Three Children, Ananias ("Yah is gracious"), Misail ("Who is what God is?), and Azarias ("Yah is keeper"), since they refused to offer adoration to Nabuchodonosor's image, they were cast into the furnace of fire. They were preserved unharmed amidst the flames - even their hair was untouched - by the descent of the Angel of the Lord, that is, the Son of God. Walking about in the furnace, as though in the midst of dew, they sang the universal hymn of praise to God, which is found in the Seventh and Eighth Odes of the Holy Psalter. And coming forth therefrom, without even the smell of the fire on their clothes (Dan. 3), they prefigured in themselves the Virgin's incorrupt giving of birth; for she, on receiving the Fire of the Godhead within her womb, was not burned, but remained virgin, even as she was before giving birth.

Therefore the Church celebrates the Three Children and Daniel on this day, on the Sunday of the Forefathers, and on the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ, since they prefigured and proclaimed His Incarnation. Furthermore, they were of the tribe of Judah, wherefrom, Christ sprang forth according to the flesh. The holy Three Children completed their lives full of days; as for the Prophet Daniel, he lived until the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia, whom he also petitioned that his nation be allowed to return to Jerusalem and that the Temple be raised up again, and his request was granted. He reposed in Peace, having lived about eighty-eight years. His prophetical book, which is divided into twelve chapters, is ranked fourth among the greater Prophets.

December 20

Ignatius the God-Bearer, Bishop of Antioch

Saint Ignatius was a disciple of Saint John the Theologian, and a successor of the Apostles, and he became the second Bishop of Antioch, after Evodus. He wrote many epistles to the faithful, strengthening them in their confession, and preserving for us the teachings of the holy Apostles. Brought to Rome under Trajan, he was surrendered to lions to be eaten, and so finished the course of martyrdom about the year 107. The remnants of his bones were carefully gathered by the faithful and brought to Antioch. He is called God-bearer, as one who bare God within himself and was aflame in heart with love for Him. Therefore, in his Epistle to the Romans (ch. 4), imploring their love not to attempt to deliver him from his longed-for martyrdom, he said, "I am the wheat of God, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found to be the pure bread of God."

December 20

John of Kronstadt

Saint John of Kronstadt was a married priest, who lived with his wife in virginity. Through his untiring labours in his priestly duties and love for the poor and sinners, he was granted by our Lord great gifts of clairvoyance and miracle - working, to such a degree that in the last years of his life miracles of healings - both of body and of soul - were performed countless times each day through his prayers, often for people who had only written to him asking his help. During his lifetime he was known throughout Russia, as well as in the Western world. He has left us his diary My Life in Christ as a spiritual treasure for Christians of every age; simple in language, it expounds the deepest mysteries of our Faith with that wisdom which is given only to a heart purified by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Foreseeing as a true prophet the Revolution Of 1917, he unsparingly rebuked the growing apostasy among the people; he foretold that the very name of Russia would be changed. As the darkness of unbelief grew thicker, he shone forth as a beacon of unquenchable piety, comforting the faithful through the many miracles that he worked and the fatherly love and simplicity with which he received all. Saint John reposed in peace in 1908.

December 21

Juliana of Nicomedia & her 630 Companion Martyrs

Saint Juliana, who was from Nicomedia, lived during the years of Maximian and was the daughter of wealthy parents. They were pagans, but she was secretly a Christian. Without consulting her, her parents betrothed her to an idolater named Eleusius, who was a member of the Senate. She, not wishing to marry him, told him that unless he became eparch, she would not marry him. When he had obtained this position, she told him that unless he renounced the religion of the idols and became a Christian, she would have nothing to do with him. Eleusius then told Juliana's father of this. He attempted to turn her from the Faith of Christ, but when he saw that she could not change her constancy, he gave her up to the Eparch, Eleusius her betrothed, to be tried according to the law. When he could not persuade her to do his will, he subjected her to the most inhuman tortures and after imprisoning her, cast her into a furnace. But by the grace of God, the furnace was marvellousy quenched. Seeing this, some five hundred men and one hundred and thirty women believed in Christ and were beheaded for His sake. After further torments, she was beheaded, in the year 299.

December 22

Anastasia the Great Martyr

This Saint, who was from Rome, was a most comely, wealthy, and virtuous maiden, the daughter of Praepextatus and Fausta. It was her mother who instructed her in the Faith of Christ. The Saint was joined to a man named Publius Patricius, who was prodigal in life and impious in disposition, but she was widowed after a short time. Henceforth, she went about secretly to the dwellings of the poor and the prisons where the Martyrs of Christ were, and brought them whatever was needed for their daily subsistence. She washed their wounds and loosed them from their fetters, and consoled them in their anguish. Also, because the Saint, through her intercessions, has healed many from the ill effects of spells, potions, poisons, and other harmful substances, she has received the name "Deliverer from Potions." Since the fame of her deeds had spread about, she was arrested by Diocletian's minions, and after enduring many torments she was put to death by fire in the year 290.


Hymns of the Day


Tone 3 Troparion (Resurrection)

Let the heavens rejoice!
Let the earth be glad!
For the Lord has shown strength with His arm.
He has trampled down death by death.
He has become the first born of the dead.
He has delivered us from the depths of hell,
and has granted to the world//
great mercy.

Tone 2 Troparion (Forefathers)

Through faith You justified the Forefathers,
betrothing through them the Church of the gentiles.
These saints exult in glory,
for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit:
she who bore You without seed.//
So by their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us!

Tone 6 Kontakion (Forefathers)

You did not worship the graven image,
O thrice-blessed ones,
but armed with the immaterial Essence of God,
you were glorified in a trial by fire.
From the midst of unbearable flames you called on God, crying:
“Hasten, O compassionate One!
Speedily come to our aid,//
for You are merciful and able to do as You will!”

Communion Hymn

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


Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

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

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians 3:4-11.

Brethren, when Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

Gospel Reading

11th Sunday of Luke
The Reading is from Luke 14:16-24

The Lord said this parable: "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time of the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for all is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.' And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and there is still room.' And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet. For many are called, but few are chosen.'"


Wisdom of the Fathers

What was the nature of the invitation? God the Father has prepared in Christ for the inhabitants of earth those gifts which are bestowed upon the world through Him, even the forgiveness of sins, the cleansing away of all defilement, the communion of the Holy Spirit, the glorious adoption of sons, and the kingdom of the heavens.
St. Cyril of Alexandria
Translation courtesy of "The Orthodox New Testament" Volume 1, 4th Century

Come, O faithful, Let us enjoy the Master's hospitality, The banquet of immortality. In the upper chamber with uplifted minds Let us receive the exalted words of the Word Whom we magnify.
Last Ode of the Compline Canon


Receive the Light


One Body In Christ
Lesson 6: Dead in Adam, Alive in Christ


Romans 5 & 6

St. Paul, in Chapter 5 of Romans, continued with his encouragement of peace with God, despite the turmoil in the Roman Christian community, especially from those who said the Gentile Christians’ faith in Jesus Christ was not enough, but that
they must also follow the Mosaic Law.

St. Paul wrote that peace came through our faith in Jesus Christ and not through the Mosaic Law. Our faith in Christ can even transform our tribulations into hope and ultimately the glory of God. He urged the Gentile Christians to perseverance and hope in the face of tribulation because the love of God has been poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:1-5)

St. Paul writes one of the most beautiful passages about God’s love in all of scripture, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ” (Romans 5:8) While we were unbelievers and enemies of God (Paul claiming to be the greatest of these), Christ reconciled us with God through His death on the Cross. (Romans 5:6-11)

Through the disobedience of one man (Adam), sin came into the world and all of us became inheritors of the consequence of sin. The consequence of sin is death. Conversely, through Christ’s obedience we are accounted righteous, justified with God and receivers of eternal life. (Romans 5:12-21) When we were baptized, we shared in Christ’s death on the Cross. But coming up from the water, we shared in His resurrection becoming new persons. (Romans 6:1-14)

Therefore, St. Paul writes, we are no longer slaves of sin but slaves to righteousness. We are free men and women. Freed from sin and the law. We are now under God’s grace, and we serve Him as instruments of righteousness and holiness. The gift of God iseternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:15-23)

Discussion & Reflection

Q1: St. Paul wrote, “we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ” (Romans 5:3-5) Do you believe we can rejoice in our tribulations?

A1: St. Paul wrote that in our suffering, we can draw closer to God’s love which is so great that it can transform even our tribulation to hope and to the Glory of God, much like Christ’s suffering on the cross became our hope.

Q2: St. Paul said that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. What does that mean? Why is this an important point?

A2: God’s love towards us is immutable and constant. We are the ones who turn away from Him. Even though we have turned away from God and His love, God was working toward our reconciliation. His reconciliation was for all mankind and for all generations. That is why in the icon of Christ’s Descent into Hades we see Christ lifting Adam from the grave, freed from shackles and chains representing the bonds of sin and death.

Q3: Why is Jesus Christ known as the New Adam?

A3: Through one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience to God, sin and death came into the world. So also, through one Man, Jesus Christ, the New Adam, the gift of righteousness and eternal life will overcome sin because of Jesus Christ’s obedience.

Q4: What is the sacrament of initiation into the Christian faith? Why does St. Paul use the analogy of "slavery" in illustrating our being under sin and death? St. Paul also compares baptism to death and resurrection. Why?

A4: The sacrament of initiation into the Christian faith is Baptism. The majority of the Roman population were slaves. Many of them became early Christians. The life of a slave in Rome was well understood. Freedom, for slaves, was a lifelong goal. Baptism has literally drowned our sins and death to our sinful selves, our old lives.
Coming out of the water of Baptism is the resurrection of new life in Christ.


  • The Orthodox Study Bible, The Epistle to the Romans
  • Christ’s Descent into Hades icon (Orthodox Road blog, Fr. Jeremy McKemy),
  • Podcast: "The Whole Counsel of God" Romans, Chapter 5, Romans, Chapter 5
  • Cont. & Romans, Chapter 6 by Fr. Stephen De Young (

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.

Meditation & Activity

Meditate on, or study together with family, the Christ’s Descent into Hades icon. Search out the symbols: the resurrected Christ lifting Adam and Eve from the grave, locks and chains littering the ground below the surface symbolizing the bonds of sin and death. Discuss or journal about Romans 5 and 6 as it pertains to the icon.


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Bulletin Inserts