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.
GOYA ZOOM DISCUSSION: GOYA members and young people, ages 12 – 18 are invited to join the discussion on December 20th at 4:00 pm, “WILL YOU RECOGNIZE CHRIST THIS CHRISTMAS?” Join us as we discuss how we can get ready and recognize Christ this Christmas. The discussion will be run by Fr. Larry Legakis (Holy Trinity, Toledo), Fr. Nick Kotsis (St. Nick’s Ann Arbor), Fr. Anthony Cook (St. George Southgate), and Fr. Teodor Petrutiu. The event will feature large and small break-out group discussions, a short video presentation, and plenty of opportunities for questions and lively conversation. Zoom link will be sent out a few days before the event.
CHRISTMAS SERVICES SCHEDULE:
Thursday, December 24
CHRISTMAS EVE VESPERAL DIVINE LITURGY, 5:30pm (Communion available)
Friday, December 25
CHRISTMAS DAY, DIVINE LITURGY FOR THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD - Orthros 9:00, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
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
NAMES FOR PARAKLESIS SERVICE: There will be a Paraklesis service held Friday, December 18 at 6:30 pm. Please submit the names of the living that you would like remembered in prayer for health, forgiveness, and salvation to the church office at email@example.com or complete the prayer sheet available at the Pangari.
SHARING OUR WARMTH: We are still accepting donations of 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: We are working with the Archdiocese to resolve email issues, and believe that most of the problems have been resolved. Please contact the church office if you continue to have a problem receiving bulletins or notices from the church at 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!
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
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? THE CHRISTMAS STAR
You may have heard on the news about The Christmas Star appearing this year on December 21st. This event is called a "great conjunction." The Great Conjunction of 2020 will brighten the darkest day of the year as the two giant planets of our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, draw closer together in the night sky than they have been in centuries.
The double planet view is also known by some astronomers as the "Christmas Star" because of a belief that the biblical tale of the Star of Bethlehem could have been a planetary conjunction. The last time the two planets were so close was 1623, but stargazing conditions at the time meant the astronomical event likely was not seen by earthlings.
On the evenings of December 15 through 18, stargazers can easily find Jupiter and Saturn moving in conjunction by looking toward the waxing crescent moon in the western sky 45 minutes after sunset, according to NASA’s Night Sky Network.
In the year when Jesus was born, there was violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It was dark. The Magi found him by way of the star, which was the "meeting" of 3 stars: Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. They followed the star until it rested on where he was and they began to worship him. In a time where it was dark, Light was brought into our world. Jesus stepped in to the chaos and brought peace.
Fast forward to this year, 2020. It's a time of violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It is dark. Winter Solstice, December 21st, being a time where the day is the shortest and night is the longest...it's literally the "darkest day" and is the beginning of what most would say the cold, dark winter season. But on the darkest day this year, Jupiter and Saturn meet, giving us the Christmas Star! How fitting...that in the moment of time during the Christmas season that we get to see this beautiful reminder...that even in the darkest of times...Light will, and has, stepped in. In our chaos He is there. In our darkest time, He is there. He brings Light, and makes all things new.
So as you look out on December 21st for the Christmas Star, may we be reminded of His power, and His Light that He brings for all mankind. He is perfect at stepping into chaos and bringing it into peace.
SERVICES AND SACRAMENTS
12/9/20 – IRENE MELLOS
12/10/20 – ANGELA (TERZES) SCOTT
May their 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.