UPCOMING EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:
TREE OF LIGHTS: Our 26th annual Mary Drakos Tree of Lights Ceremony will be held on Sunday, December 20th. If you would like to honor a loved one on the Christmas tree there are forms available in the narthex. Donations and forms can be mailed to the church office, or left in the collection box in the narthex. For more information, contact Diane Plungis at 734.462.1179.
NEW YEAR’S COMEDY EVENT: The AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope District 10 will present a live, virtual comedy event on Friday, January 1st at 7:00 pm. Comics Angelo Tsarouchas and Ellen Karis should bring some much-needed laughs while raising money to create an endowed fund at the University of Michigan to benefit students studying Modern Greek language; and other AHEPA charitable efforts. Donation is $30 per household. For more information, contact: AHEPAD10events@gmail.com
ADULT BIBLE STUDY: Our Adult Bible Study group will not meet during the month of December, but will restart after the first of the year.
NEWS AND NOTICES
SHARING OUR WARMTH: Sorry for the confusing communications! We are looking for donations of socks AND hats and gloves! During the month of December, we will be collecting new, warm, adult Men’s or Women’s socks to be donated to the Community Housing Network “Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness” (PATH) program. There are also bins in the Narthex to collect donations of new gloves, hats and scarves for all ages to be distributed to area families in need. Collections will be accepted through Christmas.
EMAIL PROBLEMS: The Archdiocese listserve has been experiencing problems recently, and some people who were receiving Bulletins and Notices by email are not receiving them now. If you have had a problem receiving emails from the listserve, please drop an email to Annette at the church office,firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work with the Archdiocese to resolve the problem.
CHRISTMAS MATCHING FUNDS: Once again, this Christmas season we have the opportunity to support the vibrant ministries of our parish by using the designated Christmas offering envelope for a Christmas donation. Pre-stamped envelopes were sent to parishioners’ homes, and envelopes are also available at the Pangari. Through God’s grace, a group of donors from our parish will match all your donations up to $20,000. Whether you can give a little or a lot, know that you are loved and an important part of our parish! You are always welcome at Sts. Constantine and Helen Church.
ICONOGRAPHY: We are expecting delivery on some of the iconostasis icons very soon! We have reached 88% of our fundraising goal for our Iconography project, but several icons are still available for sponsorship as of 12/4/20:
- EVANGELISTS: Matthew ($15,000 sponsorship)
- HIERARCHS: St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Iakovos (James) ($9,000 sponsorship each)
- GOLD BEAUTIFICATION MOTIF encircling the Pantokrator (Dome): $500/ft.
For those who are interested in sponsoring an icon, please talk to Father Teodor or contact the church office for more information. We are also still in need of general donations of any amount to complete our fundraising on Phase One: East and Dome.
HELLENIC CULTURAL CENTER REOPENING: At the current time, the State of Michigan is allowing banquet facilities to open for events with reduced capacity. Masks and social distance restrictions are still in place, along with increased precautions in the preparation and serving of food and drink. Although they are not yet keeping regular office hours, if would like to discuss future bookings or other issues with the HCC staff, please contact Victoria at 734.525.3550 or Kathy at 313.303.6350 or email@example.com
QUESTIONS FOR FATHER TEODOR: In this unusual year with no regular Sunday School classes, Father Teodor will take a few minutes on Sunday mornings to answer questions from our young people (or adults!) about our faith. Questions can be submitted online using this link: https://forms.gle/7ae8mqd6DNSghbQs6
VOLUNTEER USHERS NEEDED: With all the extra COVID procedures necessary for the church (taking temps, usher to seats, communion, bulletins, etc.) we need some extra support in the Narthex. We need men and women who are healthy, on the younger side, and able to get to church by 9:30 am. Please contact Annette at the church office, firstname.lastname@example.org or 734.525.6789 if you are able to volunteer for a Sunday service.
PARKING COURTESY: During these months of cold, snow and ice it can be tempting to park close to the church entrance. Please do not park along the curb or in any fire lanes. Only use handicapped parking spaces if you have a need. We suggest you drop people off at the church entrance, and then go and park your car. If you cannot do that, or if you come to church alone and need help with parking, ask an usher to assist you.
DID YOU KNOW? Who is St. Nicholas? The true story of “Santa Claus”
The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man.
Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships. Under the Roman Emperor, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. Many prisoners were converted to the Christian faith by his witness.
Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas' life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need. Saint Nicholas conveys a spirit of generosity and love, we remember him as part of our Christmas celebrations and we too give gifts.
Dr. Clement C. Moore, a professor of Greek and Biblical Studies at General Theological Seminary of New York, wrote "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (more commonly known as "Twas the Night Before Christmas") in 1822. His look has changed through the years. Originally, he was dressed in his traditional Bishop's robes. It wasn't until the 20th century that he began to be dressed in the red and white outfit in which he appears to us now in the character of Santa Claus.
Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is the most important person in the Christmas season. However, since Saint Nicholas conveys a spirit of generosity and love, we remember him and we too give gifts. Because Saint Nicholas gave us such a good example of helping the poor, Santa Claus may well be a healthy part of our celebrations.
If Santa Claus has become too commercial, too secularized, perhaps it is because we have forgotten his historical origin in the beloved Bishop of Myra who obeyed Christ's command that we help all those who are in need.
SERVICES AND SACRAMENTS
Funeral: 12/3/20 – STELLA KAOUNAS
May her memory be eternal!
Memorial Service Information
Please call the church office to schedule memorials in a timely manner so we can include the information in the bulletin. On the day of the service, please bring a list of family names you would like Father to remember in prayer. At this time, due to COVID restrictions, koliva that has been prepared for the memorial service cannot be distributed to parishioners, but will be returned to the family to take home. We are not currently allowed to have coffee hour, or distribute any cookies, paximadia or koulourakia.
Non-Orthodox Visitors Please Note: Holy Communion is offered to Orthodox Christians who have properly prepared themselves. Visitors are welcome to receive the Antidoron (Blessed Bread), which is distributed at the end of the Divine Liturgy.