CHRIST IS RISEN!
On Mother’s Day, light a virtual Lambada candle and honor your Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, Sister, Daughter or special loved one in your family. Help us fill our candle stands as we light candles in thanksgiving for all our “Mothers” who nurture and encourage us. For all they do or once did, for all they give or once gave and for all they mean and will always mean to us. The cost of the candle is $5 and donations can be made through the Church’s website at this link: https://st-george-greek-orthodox-churchand-the-shrine-of-st-nectarios.square.site. Sunday’s Divine Liturgy is streamed live on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Stgeorgeclifton.org/, YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJEO_34m3S9yKpiFfzZQo5A or by following the link at Stgeorgeclifton.org. You can also view special recorded messages from Fr. Peter on these sites.
The Power of a Mother’s Prayer
Carrie Frederick Frost, PhD
As someone who studies motherhood and theology and who has five children myself, fellow Orthodox mothers often ask me if I can point them to prayers for mothers for their children, since few of our prayer books include prayers on this subject. While I do have a few prayers I pass on, I also recommend that they read Saint John Chrysostom’s thoughts on prayer and motherhood.
Saint John of the fourth century is a frequent source for reflection on family life in the twenty-first. His reverence for family rings clear across the centuries, and this is true especially in his appreciation for motherhood. Saint John elevated motherhood to something beyond the mundane, daily care of children and into the realm of spiritual significance. Directing his remarks at mothers, he said, “I mean, the children being born, provided they receive proper care and are brought up to virtue by your attention, prove a basis and occasion of complete salvation for you; and in addition to your own virtuous acts you will receive a great reward for your care of them” (Homily on Hannah, Old Testament Homilies by Robert Hill). Thus Chrysostom saw motherhood as a salvific opportunity, as a vocation that can lead to the heavenly reward.
Saint John was particularly moved by the vision of motherhood he saw in Hannah, the mother of Prophet Samuel in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 1-2). He admired the power of Hannah’s spontaneous prayer when she visited the temple eager to have a child. He wrote of the intensity of the prayer she prayed in her quest for motherhood and in her later dedication of her child to the Lord.
In praising Hannah’s spontaneous prayer, Saint John contrasted it with more typical, less mindful prayer: “I mean, while we all pray, we do not all do it before the Lord: when the body is lying on the ground and the mouth is babbling on, and the mind wandering through all parts of the house and the market place, how will such people be in a position to claim that they prayed before the Lord?” (Homily on Hannah, Old Testament Homilies by Robert Hill)
In short, Hannah provides the model for all types of prayer, not just a mother’s prayer. Most prayer is half-hearted, barely present, whereas Hannah’s prayer is fully present, felt in her body and her soul. Yet, Saint John also saw a special role for prayer by mothers. His specific instruction to mothers is that they should consecrate their children through prayer. As a mother and a theologian, I find this to be an important reminder of the importance of my prayers for my own children.
Though the Orthodox Church lacks many composed prayers for mothers, and though the addition of such prayers would be welcome, Hannah’s tale shows that mothers have taken prayers for their children into their own hands for millennia—and that the Church has celebrated this initiative. This is why I point mothers to Saint John: he reminds us that our spontaneous prayers as mothers are powerful on their own. Whatever words we choose, it is our sacred responsibility as mothers to bless and consecrate our children by praying for them.
Carrie Frederick Frost, PhD is a lifelong Orthodox Christian of Belarusian descent and a scholar of Orthodox theology, with an eye for theological matters of family. She lives in Washington State with her husband and their five children.
Saint George Greek Orthodox Church
Festival Fund Appeal
Dear Fellow Parishioners and Friends of St. George:
I pray this message finds everyone in our community safe and healthy during this unprecedented and difficult time in our history. The effects of the “stay-at-home” order have taken a dramatic toll on all of us and our community. There are so many activities which have been postponed or cancelled for our members. From social gatherings, Sunday school, Greek School and Youth Ministry gatherings, our opportunity for fellowship has been greatly reduced. The greatest frustration for us as Orthodox Christians has been our inability to attend our church services. Father Peter continues to keep everyone in his prayers and is always available to minister to you or attend to your spiritual concerns.
Unfortunately, two major fundraisers have been cancelled this year, our Greek Festival and 50/50 Raffle sales. These two events are the ones which allow the church to meet its operating expenses through the summer and into early fall.
Our Parish Council is sensitive to these challenging times and has taken extreme cost cutting measures and has looked into the government loan programs. However, we are in need of revenue to continue to operate our church on a weekly basis. To counter the adverse effects of the loss in Festival and Raffle income, our goal is to raise $75,000 over the next two months. We are asking 250 families to contribute $300 per family to our “Festival Fund” to help us reach our goal.
Other donation amounts are always welcomed and donations can be made online at www.stgeorgeclifton.org.
We thank you for your continued support of our Saint George Church.
Yours in Christ,
Dr. George C. Scordilis
Parish Council President
Αγαπητοί ενορίτες και φίλοι του Αγίου Γεωργίου,
Προσεύχομαι το μήνυμα μου, να βρει όλους στην κοινότητά μας ασφαλή και υγιή κατά τη διάρκεια αυτής της άνευ προηγουμένου και δύσκολης περιόδου στην ιστορία μας. Τα αποτελέσματα της κρατικής αποφάσεως «Μένουμε σπίτι», είχαν επιπτώσεις σε όλους μας προσωπικά αλλά και στην κοινότητά μας. Υπάρχουν τόσες πολλές δραστηριότητες που έχουν αναβληθεί ή ακυρωθεί για τα μέλη μας. Από τις κοινωνικές συγκεντρώσεις την Κυριακή, το Ελληνικό Σχολείο και τις συναντήσεις της Νεολαίας, η δυνατότητά μας για αλληλεγγύη και συντροφικότητα έχει μειωθεί σημαντικά.
Η μεγαλύτερη απογοήτευση για εμάς τους Ορθόδοξους Χριστιανούς, ήταν η αδυναμία μας να παρακολουθήσουμε τη Θεία Λειτουργία . Ο πατέρας Πέτρος συνεχίζει να κρατά όλους εμάς στις προσευχές του και είναι πάντα διαθέσιμος να μας εξυπηρετήσει φροντίζοντας τις πνευματικές μας ανησυχίες.
Δυστυχώς, δύο από τις πιο σημαντικές εκδηλώσεις μας ακυρώθηκαν φέτος, το Ελληνικό μας Φεστιβάλ και η Λαχειοφόρος 50/50 Raffle. Οι δύο εκδηλώσεις, είναι αυτές που δίνουν την δυνατότητα στην εκκλησία μας, να καλύψει τα λειτουργικά της έξοδα το καλοκαίρι και έως τις αρχές του φθινοπώρου.
Το Διοικητικό Συμβούλιο της εκκλησίας μας, έχει ευαισθητοποιηθεί σε αυτές τις δύσκολες στιγμές και έχει λάβει εξαιρετικά μέτρα μείωσης των εξόδων, εξετάζοντας επίσης και τα προγράμματα κρατικών δανείων. Ωστόσο, χρειαζόμαστε κάποια μορφή εσόδων, για να συνεχίσουμε να λειτουργούμε την εκκλησία μας σε εβδομαδιαία βάση. Για την αντιμετώπιση των αρνητικών επιπτώσεων της απώλειας εισοδήματος στο Φεστιβάλ και στη Λαχειοφόρο, στόχος μας είναι να συγκεντρώσουμε $75,000 για τους επόμενους δύο μήνες. Ζητάμε από 250 οικογένειες να συνεισφέρουν το ποσό των $300 ανά οικογένεια στο "Ταμείο του Φεστιβάλ’’, ένα ποσό που θα βοηθήσει στην επιτυχία των στόχων μας.
Άλλα ποσά δωρεάς είναι πάντα ευπρόσδεκτα και οι δωρεές μπορούν να γίνουν ηλεκτρονικά στο www.stgeorgeclifton.org.
Σας ευχαριστούμε για τη συνεχή υποστήριξή στην εκκλησία μας.
CHURCH PROTOCOLS AS WE FACE COVID-19:
We ask that everyone please follow the directives sent to us by His Eminence, Metroplitan Evangelos, per the directives issued by the Ecumenical Patriarch through Archbishp Elpidophoros: Effective immediately, Divine Services and Liturgy will take place in our parishes with only the parish priest and a chanter. The church doors will remain closed to the faithful who are instructed to participate in the services through online streaming services. Please visit the church's website at www.stgeorgeclifton.org for online streaming links or visit the church's Facebook page or YouTube channel. To find the prayers for each service and to follow along, go to agesinitiatives.com. To light a candle or make a donation follow this link https://st-george-greek-orthodox-churchand-the-shrine-of-st-nectarios.square.site/.
All Ministry and non-worship events are STILL CANCELLED until further notice. Thank you for your cooperation and we pray that God keeps everyone resilient and strong through these unsettling times.
The mission of our beloved parish of St. George is to put into practice our Orthodox faith for our spiritual growth while creating fellowship and ministries for all the faithful. It should be our mission to spread the word of the Gospel and build harmony and love within the community and be the example of our Orthodox faith for our youth.
Liturgical Schedule via Online Streaming Only:
Sunday, May 10th - Sunday of the Paralytic.............Divine Liturgy 9:00AM
Tuesday, May 12th - Paraklesis Service........................................6:00PM
For all matters, please make sure to call the office directly or email directly rather than using texts or various forms of social media. Office hours are limited so please leave a message and we will respond as soon as possible. DO NOT COME TO THE CHURCH. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Sponsor A Day Program:
For 2020 our ambitious goal is to meet our operating budget through Stewardship. It is estimated that the operating expenses of our church average to be $1,400 per steward/family. If this average were to be reached, then the Church would be able to pay all its bills only with Stewardship donations. All other funds collected from candles, trays, raffles, fundraisers, etc. could be used towards capital improvements. One way to bridge the gap is through our “Sponsor a Day” program. We encourage our parishioners to select a day that has special meaning to them like a birthday, feast day, anniversary or a memorial and make a $250 donation. All donors will be recognized on a calendar located in our atrium. We would like to thank Kalliope & Konstandina Papadakos for sponsoring Holy Saturday, and Nick & Lisa Marcopulos for sponsoring May 14th in honor of their 25th wedding anniversary. For more information about the program, speak to one of our Parish Council members, Ministry Leaders or call the church office.
St. George Endowment Fund Scholarship Deadline Extension:
The Endowment Committee has elected to extend this year's application deadline for the scholarship to October 15, 2020. Since applicants are experienceing difficulties in retrieving high school transcripts and other necessary documents as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions, we hope the extension gives them sufficeint time to complete their application. Scholarhsip awards are tentatively scheduled to be presented on November 29, 2020. For more information about the memorial scholarship, please inquire at the church office or read our online bulletin.
The Hellenic Musical Society Scholarship:
HMS awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors entering a college, university or trade school, who demonstrate musical talent and academic achievement. Applications are tentatively due on May 22, 2020. For questions or an application please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Paraskevi Philoptochos Cancer Awareness:
May is Melanoma & Skin Cancer, Brain Cancer and Bladder Cancer Month. Continuing with the Philoptochos' year-long cancer project, please see the online bulletin for a brief overview of these cancers.