St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2024-01-07
Bulletin Contents
Organization Icon
St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • 860-664-9434
  • Street Address:

  • PO Box 134, 108 E Main St

  • Clinton, CT 06413-0134

Contact Information

Services Schedule

Please see our online calendar for dates and times of Feast Day services.

Past Bulletins



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
Sharon Hanson - Council Elect
 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.



Blessing of Homes

Having gone through COVID (which is currently on the upswing yet again) and other trying events, it makes spiritual sense to have your homes blessed. Please let me know when it is best. 

Mercy by the Sea

Dear Friend,

I’m delighted to tell you about a new Mercy by the Sea retreat designed specifically for men. “A Men’s Lenten Retreat: A Friendship Like No Other” is scheduled for February 16-18, 2024. It will be co-facilitated by Father Joseph Donnelly, a senior priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford, and Bob Saraceni, a retreat director, facilitator and spiritual director. This Mercy by the Sea weekend offering is meant to create opportunities for men to discuss and reflect upon the role of friendship with God as part of religious faith and lived experience.

Here is a link to program details and Mercy by the Sea’s registration site Please consider sharing this information with men who might be interested in participating. Through our Mercy for All Fund, partial scholarships are available to provide support for those experiencing financial challenges.

Blessings for a New Year that is bright with hope and mercy,


Karin A. Nobile
Program Director
Mercy by the Sea
167 Neck Road
Madison, CT 06443
203.245.0401, Ext. 115


Prayers, Intercessions and Commemorations


Please pray for Sarah, 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, Kevin 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: Aaron Hosking, Natalie Kurcharski (ND), Gail Kuziak, Dn Timothy (ND), 
  • Anniversaries this Month: 
  • ​Expecting and Newborn: Anastasia and her unborn child
  • ​Traveling: 
  • ​Sick and those in distress: Maria, Brian, Fr Vasily

Afterfeast of the Theophany Synaxis of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist JohnSunday after Theophany.

Again we pray for those who have lost their lives because of the wars in Ukraine and in the Middle East: that the Lord our God may look upon them with mercy, and give them rest where there is neither sickness, or sorrow, but life everlasting.
Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, for those who are suffering, wounded, grieving, or displaced because of the wars in Ukraine and in the Middle East.
Again we pray for a cessation of the hostilities against Ukraine and the Middle East, and that reconciliation and peace will flourish there, we pray thee, hearken and have mercy.


Parish Calendar

  • Schedule of Services and Events

    January 7 to January 15, 2024

    Sunday, January 7

    Synaxis of John the Holy Glorious Prophet, Baptist, & Forerunner

    Liberty Page - B

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, January 8

    Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Tuesday, January 9

    Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    7:00PM Catechumens

    Wednesday, January 10

    ☦️ Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    8:30AM Akathist to St Theophan

    4:30PM Open Doors

    Thursday, January 11

    Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    8:30AM Daily Matins

    Friday, January 12

    St. Tatiana

    ☦️ Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Saturday, January 13

    Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Ellen Page - B

    5:30PM Great Vespers

    Sunday, January 14

    Leavetaking of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Gail Kuziak

    Stephen Wexell

    9:30AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, January 15

    Paul of Thebes


Saints and Feasts

January 07

Synaxis of John the Holy Glorious Prophet, Baptist, & Forerunner

Today we celebrate the Synaxis in honour of the most sacred Forerunner, since he ministered at the Mystery of the Divine Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rest from labour. Fish allowed.

January 08

George the Chozebite

Saint George lived about the beginning of the ninth century in Palestine, in a certain monastery called Hozeva, which lies in a great ravine between Jerusalem and Jericho.

January 09

Polyeuctos the Martyr of Meletine in Armenia

Saint Polyeuctus, a soldier in rank, contested during the reign of Valerian, in the year 255. He was from Melitene, a city in Armenia.

January 09

Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow

Our Father among the Saints Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow, was born in 1507 of noble family, and served for a time in the royal court. While still a young man, he secretly left Moscow and entered Solovki Monastery in the north, about the year 1538, a little over a hundred years after its founding. Because of his spiritual stature he was chosen against his will to succeed Abbot Alexis in 1548. As abbot, Philip was a great builder and beautifier of Solovki Monastery. He laid the foundations for the Cathedral of the Transfiguration, constructed cells, hermitages, and a hospital for the monks and for pilgrims, established a cattle yard on one of the islands, drained swamps and connected waterways by a series of canals and damns, built a mill and various workshops, and even invented ingenious machines and implements to help the monks in their work. His fame spread, and in 1566, by the will of Tsar Ivan IV, he was raised to the rank of Metropolitan of Moscow.

Tsar Ivan the Terrible revered Philip, even as Herod had revered Saint John the Baptist, and he had been a generous benefactor of Solovki Monastery. But because the Tsar had established the oprichnina, a state within a state, giving power to the oprichniki, who used it to oppress and rob the innocent, Philip told him the he could not be Metropolitan if the Tsar suffered the oprichniki to continue in power. This angered the Tsar, he told Philip that it was not for him to interfere in matters of state, and many hierarchs prevailed upon Philip to accept the Metropolitan's throne. But as the horrors committed by the oprichniki grew worse-thefts, false accusations, murders, and all manner of injustice and rapacity, with the knowledge of the Sovereign- Saint Philip could not remain silent. He rebuked the Tsar once and again for the reign of terror that he had brought upon his own people. The Tsar warned him to hold his peace and bless him to do as he wished. The Metropolitan answered that his silence brought sin upon the Sovereign. The Tsar threatened him with his wrath, and told him to resign his throne if he were not willing to comply. Saint Philip answered that he had not sought the Metropolitan's throne, and it was the Tsar who had deprived him of his hermitage on Solovki; but now the pastoral burden was upon him, he would not remain silent when the canons of the Church were broken.

The more the Tsar threatened Philip with his wrath, the more the holy hierarch stood fast and threatened the Tsar with judgment of God; Philip alone had the courage to rebuke the Tsar openly and oppose his iniquity. Finally the Tsar, finding false witnesses against Philip in his own monastery on Solovki, held a council against him in early November, 1568; the Saint had to endure the persecution of the Tsar who had torn him from his beloved monastery, the betrayal of his fellow hierarchs, and the slanders of his own spiritual children. He was imprisoned in Moscow, but because of the love of the people for him the Tsar feared him even in prison, and he was transferred to a monastery in Tver, where he spent a year in great hardships and continual prayer. On December 23, 1569, a royal messenger came, asking the Metropolitan's blessing for the Tsar's expedition to Novgorod. Saint Philip told him to do that which he came to do, then raised his hands in prayer to God. The Tsar's messenger fell upon him and suffocated the holy hierarch with a pillow. In 1591 his relics were transferred to Solovki, and in 1652 to the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow; many miracles were wrought through his holy relics (See also Oct. 5 and July 3).

January 10

Gregory of Nyssa

Saint Gregory, the younger brother of Basil the Great, illustrious in speech and a zealot for the Orthodox Faith, was born in 331. His brother Basil was encouraged by their elder sister Macrina to prefer the service of God to a secular career (see July 19); Saint Gregory was moved in a similar way by his godly mother Emily, who, when Gregory was still a young man, implored him to attend a service in honor of the holy Forty Martyrs at her retreat at Annesi on the River Iris. Saint Gregory came at his mother's bidding, but being wearied with the journey, and feeling little zeal, he fell asleep during the service. The Forty Martyrs then appeared to him in a dream, threatening him and reproaching him for his slothfulness. After this he repented and became very diligent in the service of God.

Gregory became bishop in 372, and because of his Orthodoxy he was exiled in 374 by Valens, who was of one mind with the Arians. After the death of Valens in 378, Gregory was recalled to his throne by the Emperor Gratian. He attended the Local Council of Antioch, which sent him to visit the churches of Arabia and Palestine, which had been defiled and ravaged by Arianism. He attended the Second Ecumenical Council, which was assembled in Constantinople in 381. Having lived some sixty years and left behind many remarkable writings, he reposed about the year 395. The acts of the Seventh Ecumenical Council call him 'Father of Fathers."

January 12

Tatiana the Martyr of Rome

Saint Tatiana was the daughter of a most distinguished consul of Rome. She became a deaconess of the Church, and for her confession of the Faith of Christ, she endured many torments. As she was suffering, angels punished her tormentors with the same torments they inflicted on her, until they cried out that they could no longer endure the scourges invisibly brought upon them. She was beheaded during the reign of Alexander Severus (111-135).

January 13

Hilary of Poitiers

The holy Hierarch Hilary was born of pagan parents in Gaul, and was trained in philosophy and rhetoric. At a time when paganism was still strong in Gaul, Saint Hilary understood the falsehood of polytheism, and became a Christian, and a great defender of his new Faith. About the year 350 he was ordained Bishop of Poitiers, when Arles and Milan were in the hands of the Arians and the Arian Constantius was sole Emperor. Like his contemporary Saint Athanasius, Saint Hilary's episcopate was one long struggle against the Arians. As bishop of Poitiers, Saint Hilary foresaw the future greatness of Martin (see Nov. 12), and attached him to himself. In 355, when required to agree to the condemnation of Saint Athanasius passed by the Council of Milan, Hilary wrote an epistle to Constantius convicting the wrongs done by the Arians and requesting, among other things, the restoration of the Orthodox bishops, including Athanasius. For this, Hilary was banished to Asia Minor, where he wrote his greatest work, On the Trinity. Saint Hilary returned to his see in 360, where Saint Martin sought him out again. It was this time that Saint Hilary blessed Martin to found a monastery near Poitiers, where Martin remained until being consecrated Bishop of Tours in 371. In his last years, Saint Hilary, strove for the deposition of Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, but by affecting an Orthodox confession Auxentius retained his see. Saint Hilary reposed in peace about the year 368. Auxentius died in 374 and was succeeded by Saint Ambrose, who continued Saint Hilary's battle against Arianism.


Hymns of the Day


Tone 6 Troparion (Resurrection)

The Angelic Powers were at Your tomb;
the guards became as dead men.
Mary stood by Your grave,
seeking Your most pure body.
You captured hell, not being tempted by it.
You came to the Virgin, granting life.
O Lord, Who rose from the dead,//
glory to You.

Tone 1 Troparion (Feast)

When You, O Lord, were baptized in the Jordan,
the worship of the Trinity was made manifest.
For the voice of the Father bore witness to You,
and called You His beloved Son;
and the Spirit in the form of a dove
confirmed the truthfulness of His word.
O Christ our God, You have revealed Yourself//
and hast enlightened the world, glory to You.

Tone 2 Troparion (Forerunner)

The memory of the righteous is celebrated with hymns of praise,
but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for you, O Forerunner.
You were shown in truth to be the most honorable of the Prophets,
for you were deemed worthy to baptize in the streams of the Jordan Him Whom they foretold.
Therefore, having suffered for the truth with joy,
you proclaimed to those in hell God Who appeared in the flesh,
Who takes away the sin of the world//
and grants us great mercy.

Tone 6 Kontakion (Forerunner)

The river Jordan trembled, and was driven back,
filled with fear at Your coming in the flesh,
while John drew back in awe
as he fulfilled the ministry of the Spirit.
The ranks of Angels stood amazed
when they beheld You baptized in the stream.
And we who were in darkness are filled with light.//
We praise You, O God made manifest, as You enlighten all.

Tone 4 Kontakion (Feast)

Today You have shone forth to the world, O Lord,
and the light of Your countenance has been marked on us.
Knowing You, we sing Your praises:
“You have come and revealed Yourself,//
O unapproachable Light.”

Tone 1 Prokeimenon (Sunday After)

Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us / as we have set our hope on You! (Ps. 32:22)

V. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the just! (Ps. 32:1)

Tone 7 Prokeimenon (Forerunner)

The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord / and shall hope in Him. (Ps. 63:11a)

(Instead of “It is truly meet…,” we sing:)

Magnify, O my soul, the most pure Virgin Theotokos,
more honorable than the heavenly hosts!

No tongue knows how to praise you worthily, O Theotokos;
even angels are overcome with awe praising you.
But since you are good, accept our faith;
for you know our love inspired by God!
You are the defender of Christians, and we magnify you.

Communion Hymn

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest! (Ps. 148:1)
The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance! He shall not fear evil
tidings! (Ps. 111:6)
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!


Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. 1st Tone. Psalm 32.22,1.
Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 4:7-13.

BRETHREN, grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." (in saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Gospel Reading

The Reading is from Matthew 4:12-17

At that time, when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."


Wisdom of the Fathers

He who has received a gift from God, and is ungrateful for it, is already on the way to losing it.
~ St. Peter of Damascus
Calendar Company, Orthodox. Wisdom of the Divine Philosophers-Volume Two (p. 40). Orthodox Calendar Company. Kindle Edition.

The mouth, which is continuously giving thanks, receives blessing from God. In the heart that always shows gratitude, grace abides.
~ St. Isaac the Syrian
Calendar Company, Orthodox. Wisdom of the Divine Philosophers-Volume Two (pp. 40-41). Orthodox Calendar Company. Kindle Edition.


Receive the Light


One Body In Christ
Lesson 9: Living a Life of Peace
St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans Lesson Series

Romans 12-14

In his usual pattern when writing to friends, St. Paul closed his etter to the Romans with some practical advice. He advised the Roman Christians to offer the whole of their being to God’s service. That meant in every aspect: mind, body, and spirit. He implored his Christian readers to transform their lives from conformance to the world to instead pleasing God. (Romans 12:1-2)

In a community that was divided between Gentile Christians and Mosaic (primarily Jewish Christians), St. Paul called for unity and peace in the Church. St. Paul explained that each member in the Roman Christian community was given a gift from God. He asked the community to act as one body of Christ, using their individual gifts for serving Christ and one another. (Romans 12:3-8) St. Paul asked that the Roman Christian
community have a code of conduct guided by love for one another. (Romans 12:9-21)

In Chapter 13, St. Paul urged obedience and respect for the civil authorities appointed by God. The Roman Church was recovering from issues stemming from previous conflict between Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians and the Jewish community, which had resulted in the expulsion of the Jews from Rome by the Emperor. At the time of St. Paul’s letter, Jews were just coming back to Rome after being granted permission to return. By following his advice to obey the law and be good citizens, the community would be respected by the rulers and authorities. (Romans 13:1-7)

St. Paul provided a higher law to obey, summing up the Law of God as “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ” Each day we are closer to the coming of the kingdom of God, so let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ and live like citizens of the Kingdom now. (Romans 13:8-14)

Finally, in Chapter 14, St. Paul asked the community to live in peace with each other and not cast judgement but leave that to God. He implored all Christians to live according to faith without causing their brother to stumble. He especially decried arguments over fasting and food, beseeching the Roman Christians, both Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians, to pursue peace and build up one another.

Discussion & Reflection

Q1: Perform a self-examination. St. Paul asked that we present our bodies to God. If our bodies are not our own but God’s, what unhealthy things should we eliminate from our daily lives?

A1: We should take care of our bodies physically and spiritually, eliminating those activities that damage our bodies and souls: bad dietary habits, smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, cursing, gossiping, etc. We should also discipline ourselves to engage in activities to strengthen our faith: prayer, reading scripture, attending church, and charitable acts of service.

Q2: At our baptism, God gives each of us a gift to serve Him. In your self- examination, what do you think your gift is? How can you use it for the glory of God?

A2: We often think of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as something unusual: gifted preaching, unusual knowledge of Scripture, the ability to teach Sunday school, etc. Gifts of the Spirit are diverse. A gift may be the ability to visit someone who is sick, to forgive someone with cheerfulness, offer encouragement to the downhearted, etc. All gifts work together to build up the Body of Christ. Think about your gifts and how they can be used in serving Christ.

Q3: St. Paul asked the Roman Church to obey the civil authorities. Where does his request apply to us in modern times? If we are to be good citizens, then what are our obligations to the State? Keep in mind that conflict in the Roman Church resulted in the expulsion of the Jews from Rome under the Emperor, just a few years before the writing of St. Paul’s letter.

A3: Every Liturgy we petition for “our civil authorities. ” We pray for our leaders. We live peaceably and obey the laws of the land. St. Paul urges us to pay our taxes in support of the government. Good government is an aid to the Church. We have an obligation to support it. addition, we serve the highest law - God’s law - which commands that we love our neighbor as ourselves.

Q4: One of the difficulties of living in the Roman Church was the myriad of dietary beliefs among the Christian faithful. What was St. Paul’s advice on the difference in practices?

A4: The Gentile Christians believed they could eat anything. The Jewish Christian obeyed the Mosaic dietary law found in Leviticus; some were vegetarians. St. Paul cautions that judgement regarding matters of food is God’s alone. Man is God’s servant, answering only to God. We should not judge or criticize each other over such things as the food eaten or the day honored.


  • Orthodox Study Bible: Epistle to the Romans
  • Podcast: "The Whole Counsel of God" Romans, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14 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
O Holy Apostle Paul, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Meditation & Activity

Family Activity

Ahead of time: Purchase small, inexpensive, but meaningful gifts for all family members who will participate in the activity. Wrap the gifts and attach a label on each one that lists a fruit of the Holy Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Gather as a family, with each member selecting a gift. Ask each person to share why they chose that particular Fruit of the Spirit. After the gifts are unwrapped, everyone should take a turn showing their gift and then explain how they can use their gift to serve the Body of Christ.
Consider the Fruits of the Spirit. Journal about how each can be better enacted in your own life.


The Back Page


Parish Shared Folder (for all documents, bulletins etc) -

The QR Code here may be used as well.


Parish Web Site - ; calendar (

Facebook - @stalexisorthodox

Youtube Channel

Join Zoom Meeting -