Every Saturday we have Great Vespers (unless otherwise noted) at 6:00 p.m. Every Sunday - Orthros at 8:50 a.m., Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m. Weekday Services are as listed on the Calendar and Community News.
Every Sunday we have Orthros beginning at 8:50 a.m. and Divine Liturgy beginning at 10:00 a.m. Saturday evenings we have Great Vespers at 6:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Weekday services are listed below and begin at 9:00 a.m. with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy. Unless otherwise stated service will be at St. George.
(Note: All services are at 9:00 a.m. and at St. George unless otherwise noted)
29th, Saturday - Beheading of St. John the Baptist @ 9 a.m.
1st, Tuesday - Ecclesiastical New Year
8th, Tuesday - Nativity of the Theotokos
14th, Monday - Exultation of the Precious & Life-Giving Cross
26th, Saturday - St. John the Theologian & Evangelist
The Church is now open to the public. We will continue to stream on YouTube. To view online go to our website www.saintgeorgeokc.org, FaceBook page and click on the link or click on the link below.
Community is one of the most essential elements for the Christian life
Our Christian faith is communal in nature, and requires us to be actively involved with others. We come together in worship, and the Divine Liturgy itself is a corporate act, one that necessitates interaction with others. We are not “saved” in a vacuum, but as part of the corporal life of the Church.
Your salvation must be as much a concern to me as is my own salvation, for my relationship with Christ is not about me, but about us. My sins are not just against God, but against you, for we are all part of the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
Our love of God cannot be salvific if we do not love others, for just as the Lord said, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20)”.
When we isolate ourselves from others, the essential nature of what it means to be human is lost. It is thus imperative that we guard against the temptation of spending too much time in front of the computer and/or the television, and too little time with others. Mobile phones, text messaging, ipods, communication through email, and countless hours on facebook, leads to the furtherance of an isolation that is murdering the soul.
As humans, we are meant to be together, for it is in our lives together that we grow in mind and spirit. It is in community that we learn to love God. For friendships to be limited to on-line chat rooms is a tragedy of major proportions, one that will ultimately be the ruin of society.
With love in Christ,
When we experience the “dark side” of the Church
For those who have experienced what has been called the “dark side” of the Church, the struggle to remain faithful to the Orthodox Faith can seem daunting. The dark side is the result of the sinful, fallen nature of all of us who make up the Body of Christ. It is that part of each of us that is yet to have been transformed, and made whole. This is especially difficult for pious believers when that dark side rears its ugly head through those who serve the Church as her clergy. But if we see this dark side for what it is, and know that it is not actually coming from the Life of the Church, but from the great Enemy of our souls, we realize that our common fallen nature is vulnerable to the attacks of Satan, who as the enemy of God, attacks those who serve the Church with an especially hardened hatred. When priests and bishops are seen as operating in a shameful way, and we see no love in them, we can find ourselves wondering if there is anything to the Church. When the Church fails us, be it her clergy, or fellow members of a parish, we can feel especially betrayed, and wonder why we remain at all.
Like all human institutions, the Church can fall short of her calling, and her special vocation as hospital of the soul, can appear no different than any other human institution. Rather than receiving the needed love, and the resulting healing of the soul, the parishioner may feel as though they’ve been abused. Parish intrigue can turn the hospital into an insane asylum, and we come away feeling hurt and disrespected. We look at political organizations, businesses, institutions of higher education, and other human based institutions, and see this dark side of the human condition, and we can see that this dark side is really not about the divinely instituted Church, nor her clergy, but about the Evil One.
When we look at our common enemy, we see that this dark side is really not about the Church, but about ourselves, and our own common failure to submit our whole selves, and all our life, into the hands of Our Saviour. It is in this submission to Christ, that healing will take place, and we will be made whole. That is the point in which we can stop blaming our clergy, or our bishops, and take the blame upon ourselves. The dark side is coming from within our own fallen nature, and it is we who are in need of acting according to the gospel message. We are the enemy of Christ, and it is our sin that is responsible for the dark side that resides within the life of Christ’s Church.
When we confront our own fallen nature, and blame only ourselves for the debilitating dark side, we usher in the Light of Christ, and all is made whole. When we’ve done that, we are no longer able to see the sin of others, and we look upon everyone that seems to have failed us, in a new light. We look at them as Christ. Be it Christ crucified, or Christ glorified, we see only Christ. It is then that we emerge out of the long, dark tunnel, having been purified by the action of the Holy Spirit. We are made whole (holy), and the failures of others are no longer noticed by us, and we see only the love of Christ in the faces of our brothers and sisters. The dark side is transformed, and we are made stronger for having suffered as we did, and we will have experienced the truth in the saying that God allows difficulties, humiliations, and hardships, as the way to draw us closer to Him, and make us stronger.
When this happens, we will know that God is Our Father, and He desires His children to grow in wisdom and strength. Because of His great love for us, He allows us to experience pain and rejection, knowing it will make us stronger. Just as an earthly father knows an overprotected child does not grow in wisdom and strength, God, as the good father, changes us into loving, compassionate, and giving persons, and the darkness shall be no more.
With love in Christ,
In our moments of loneliness and despondency, we are together
As we struggle in this life, it is good to remember that we Christians are all together. We find our place of silence, where we encounter God, but even in this place set apart, we are together.
In our journey to God, our common goal is the acquisition of a humble and contrite heart, and our common homeland is found in the Divine Liturgy, wherein we enter Paradise, and participate in the Heavenly Banquet, together.
In our moments of loneliness and despondency, we are together. We are together in our celebration of life, and even in our death. We are together in our joy AND our sadness. Even when we seem so alone, we are together, for in Christ we are One Body.
Glory to God for His loving kindness. Glory to Him Who has shown us the light.
With love in Christ,
Sunday School - Make the Connection
We are planning on having Sunday School for our chiildren this fall via Zoom. Please watch for updates.
Our BUZZED with BLESSINGS fundraiser continues in a time of social distancing. The Bees might be a nice alternative! $50, includes 30 Bees, occasion card & honey. Thank you! Take care & prayers for our community. Contact the Church office or a Philoptochos member to schedule any upcomming BUZZED with BLESSINGS date.
Until further notice, we will not be having Fellowship Hour.
2nd - Catherine Chrysant
6th - Catherine Chrysant (Holy Transfiguration)
9th - Vana Economopoulos
15th - Fofo Bargeliotis (Dormition of the Theotokos)
16th - Fofo Bargeliotis
23rd - Tasia Smirlis
29th - Litza Angelidis (Beheading of St. John the Baptist)
30th - Litza Angelidis
1st - Catherine Chrysant (Ecclesiastical New Year)
6th - Fofo Bargeliotis
8th - Fofo Bargeliotis (Nativity of the Theotokos)
13th - Catherine Chrysant
14th - Catherine Chrysant (Exultation of the Precious & Lifegiving Cross)
20th - Tasia Vrentas
26th - Tasia Vrentas (St. John the Evangelist & Theologian)
27th - Katarina Stavrakis
St. Paul writes, "The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body which is for you. Do this in rememberance of me.'" (1 Cor. 11:24).
We are in need of Prosfora bakers. Our ladies and gentlemen have diminished over the years. The greatest part of this is everyone qualifies! Anyone young and old can make Prosfora. We would only ask a few times per year to prepare bread for a Divine Liturgy. What better way for a family to give of themselves and their love for the Church.
Prosfora can be kneaded in a bread machine, with a mixer that has dough hooks, or by hand. It can easily bge an individual's or an offering made by the whole family. Children love to knead bread or be able to put the seal on and for the children it is a learning experience. It is a great offering of life and love to God.
Please call the Church office if you would like to offer this gift.
First Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Matthew 28:16-20
At that time, the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. Amen."
Prokeimenon. Third Mode. Psalm 46.6,1.
Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
Verse: Clap your hands, all you nations.
The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 15:1-11.
Brethren, I would remind you in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast -- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
12th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 19:16-26
At that time, a young man came up to Jesus, kneeling and saying, "Good Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you call me good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." He said to him, "Which?" And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.
And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Saint Alexander was sent to the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea as the delegate of Saint Metrophanes, Bishop of Constantinople (see June 4), to whose throne he succeeded in the year 325. When Arius had deceitfully professed allegiance to the Council of Nicaea, Saint Alexander, knowing his guile, refused to receive him into communion; Arius' powerful partisans threatened that they would use force to bring Arius into the communion of the Church the following day. Saint Alexander prayed fervently that God might spare the Church; and as Arius was in a privy place relieving nature, his bowels gushed forth with an effusion of blood, and the arch-heresiarch died the death of Judas. Saint Alexander was Bishop from 325 until 337, when he was succeeded by Saint Paul the Confessor, who died a martyr's death at the hands of the Arians (see Nov. 6). The Saint John commemorated here appears to be the one who was Patriarch during the years 562-577, surnamed Scholasticus, who is also commemorated on February 21. He was from Antioch, where he had been a lawyer (scholasticus); he was made presbyter, then was sent to Constantinople as representative (apocrisiarius) of the Patriarch of Antioch, and was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople by the Emperor Justinian. Saint Paul was Bishop of Constantinople during the years 687 - 693, in the reign of Emperor Justinian II, and presided over the Quinisext Council in 692.
The Synaxis of the Holy Hierarchs of Serbia: The Saints commemorated on this day are: Sabbas, First Archbishop and enlightener of Serbia (see Jan. 14); Arsenius, his successor, a great hierarch and wonderworker; Sabbas II, son of Saint Stephen, the first-crowned King of Serbia; Nicodemus, About of Hilandar, later Archbishop of Serbia; Joannicius, Archbishop, later Patriarch from 1346 to 1349; Patriarch Ephraim, an ascetic, who crowned Prince Lazarus, and later left the patriarchate to live in solitude; Spyridon, Ephraim's successor, who reposed in 1388; Macarius, who printed many church books in Serbia and abroad, was very zealous in renovating and adoring churches, and reposed in 1574; Gabriel, Archbishop, who took part in the Church Council of Moscow during the patriarchate of Nicon, for which the Turks accused him of treason and hanged him in Prusa in the year 1656. Also commemorated are Eustathius, James, Daniel, Sabbas III, Gregory, Cyril (Patriarch), John, Maximus, and Nicon. Many of them labored in asceticism on the Holy Mountain, and all were "good and faithful servants, good labourers in the vineyard of the Lord".
Although the historical accounts differ somewhat, the Deposition that is celebrated today took place most likely during the reign of Emperor Arcadius (395-408), when the precious Cincture of the Mother of God was brought from Zela of Cappadocia to Constantinople, and placed in the Church of the Theotokos in the section of Chalcopratia.
Saint Cyprian was born of pagan parents in Carthage of Roman Africa about the year 190. An eloquent teacher of rhetoric, he was converted and baptized late in life, and his conversion from a proud man of learning to a humble servant of Christ was complete; he sold his great possessions and gave them to the poor, and because of his zeal and virtue, was ordained presbyter in 247, then Bishop of Carthage in 248. He was especially steadfast in defending the sanctity and uniqueness of the Baptism of the Church of Christ against the confusion of those who would allow some validity to the ministrations of heretics; his writings continue to guide the Church even in our own day. Having survived the persecution of Decius about the year 250, he was beheaded in confession of the Faith during the persecution of Valerian in 258, on September 14; that day being the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, his feast is kept today.
For the maintenance of their armed forces, the Roman emperors decreed that their subjects in every district should be taxed every year. This same decree was reissued every fifteen years, since the Roman soldiers were obliged to serve for fifteen years. At the end of each fifteen-year period, an assessment was made of what economic changes had taken place, and a new tax was decreed, which was to be paid over the span of the fifteen years. This imperial decree, which was issued before the season of winter, was named Indictio, that is, Definiton, or Order. This name was adopted by the emperors in Constantinople also. At other times, the latter also used the term Epinemisis, that is, Distribution (Dianome). It is commonly held that Saint Constantine the Great introduced the Indiction decrees in A.D. 312, after he beheld the sign of the Cross in heaven and vanquished Maxentius and was proclaimed Emperor in the West. Some, however (and this seems more likely), ascribe the institution of the Indiction to Augustus Caesar, three years before the birth of Christ. Those who hold this view offer as proof the papal bull issued in A.D. 781 which is dated thus: Anno IV, Indictionis LIII -that is, the fourth year of the fifty-third Indiction. From this, we can deduce the aforementioned year (3 B.C.) by multiplying the fifty-two complete Indictions by the number of years in each (15), and adding the three years of the fifty-third Indiction. There are three types of Indictions: 1) That which was introduced in the West, and which is called Imperial, or Caesarean, or Constantinian, and which begins on the 24th of September; 2) The so-called Papal Indiction, which begins on the 1st of January; and 3) The Constantinopolitan, which was adopted by the Patriarchs of that city after the fall of the Eastern Empire in 1453. This Indiction is indicated in their own hand on the decrees they issue, without the numeration of the fifteen years. This Indiction begins on the 1st of September and is observed with special ceremony in the Church. Since the completion of each year takes place, as it were, with the harvest and gathering of the crops into storehouses, and we begin anew from henceforth the sowing of seed in the earth for the production of future crops, September is considered the beginning of the New Year. The Church also keeps festival this day, beseeching God for fair weather, seasonable rains, and an abundance of the fruits of the earth. The Holy Scriptures (Lev. 23:24-5 and Num. 29:1-2) also testify that the people of Israel celebrated the feast of the Blowing of the Trumpets on this day, offering hymns of thanksgiving. In addition to all the aforesaid, on this feast we also commemorate our Saviour's entry into the synagogue in Nazareth, where He was given the book of the Prophet Esaias to read, and He opened it and found the place where it is written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for which cause He hath anointed Me..." (Luke 4:16-30).
It should be noted that to the present day, the Church has always celebrated the beginning of the New Year on September 1. This was the custom in Constantinople until its fall in 1453 and in Russia until the reign of Peter I. September 1 is still festively celebrated as the New Year at the Patriarchate of Constantinople; among the Jews also the New Year, although reckoned according to a moveable calendar, usually falls in September. The service of the Menaion for January 1 is for our Lord's Circumcision and for the memorial of Saint Basil the Great, without any mention of its being the beginning of a new year.
Our righteous Father Symeon was born about the year 390 in a certain village named Sis, in the mountain region of Cilicia and Syria. Having first been a shepherd, he entered the monastic discipline at a young age. After trying various kinds of ascetical practices, both in the monastery and then in the wilderness, he began standing on pillars of progressively greater height, and heroically persevered in this for more than forty years; the greater part of this time he spent standing upright, even when one of his feet became gangrenous, and other parts of his body gave way under the strain. He did not adopt this strange way of life out of vainglory, a charge that some of his contemporaries made against him at the first: because he was already famous for his asceticism and holiness before ascending his first pillar (in Greek, style, whence he is called "Stylite"), many pious people came to him wishing to touch his garments, either for healing or for a blessing; to escape the continual vexation they caused, he made a pillar about ten feet high, and then higher and higher, until the fourth and last was about fifty feet high. The Church historian Theodoret of Cyrrhus, an eyewitness of his exploits who wrote of him while Symeon was yet alive, called him "the great wonder of the world." God gave him the grace to persevere in such an astonishing form of asceticism that multitudes came to see him from Persia, Armenia, South Arabia, Georgia, Thrace, Spain, Italy, Gaul, and the British Isles. Theodoret says that he became so famous in Rome that the Nomadic Arabs by the thousands believed in Christ and were baptized because of him; the King of Persia sent envoys to inquire into his way of life, and the Queen asked to be sent oil that he had blessed. He also was a great defender of sound doctrine, and confirmed the Orthodoxy of the Holy Council of Chalcedon for many who had been beguiled by the teachings of the Monophysites, including the Empress Eudocia, widow of Theodosius the Younger. After a life of unheard-of achievements and struggles, he reposed in peace at the age of sixty-nine, in the year 459.
Jesus (Joshua) of Navi was born of the tribe of Ephraim in Egypt, in the seventeenth century before Christ. When he was eighty-five years of age, he became Moses' successor. He restrained the River Jordan's flow and allowed the Israelites to cross on foot. He caused the sun to stop in its course when he was waging war against the Amorites. He divided the Promised Land among the Twelve Tribes of Israel and governed them for twenty-five years. He wrote the Old Testament book that bears his name, and having lived 110 years in all, he reposed in the sixteenth century before Christ. His name means "God saves."
Saint Mammas was from Gangra of Paphlagonia. He was born in prison, where his parents were suffering for Christ's sake and ended their lives. He was named Mammas because, after he had long remained without speaking, he addressed his foster mother Ammia as "mamma." He contested for Christ about the year 275.
Saint John became Patriarch during the reign of Tiberius, in the year 582, governed the Church for thirteen years and five months, and reposed in peace in 595. It was during this Patriarch's reign, in the year 586, that the title "Ecumenical Patriarch," not used before this, came to be instituted.
After the death of the 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia, their Bishop Anthimus fled to a certain village to care for his remaining flock. The Emperor Maximian sent men in search of him. When they found him, he promised to show Anthimus to them, but first took them in as guests, fed them, and only then made himself known to them. Amazed at his kindness, the soldiers promised him to tell Maximian that they had not found him. But Anthimus went willingly with them, and converting them by his admonitions, baptized them on the way. He boldly confessed his Faith before Maximian, and after frightful tortures was beheaded in the year 303 or 304.
Saint Theoctistus, a monk at the Palestinian lavra of Pharan, embraced a more severe life in the wilderness with his friend Saint Euthymius the Great. They founded a monastery, of which Theoctistus was the abbot. He reposed in deep old age in 451.
Saint Babylas was the twelfth Bishop of Antioch, being the successor of Zebinus (or Zebinas); he was beheaded during the reign of Decius, in the year 250, and at his own request was buried in the chains with which he was bound. The Emperor Gallus (reigned 351-354) built a church in his honour at Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, to put an end to the demonic oracles at the nearby temple of Apollo. When Julian the Apostate came in 362 to consult the oracle about his campaign against the Persians, the oracle (that is, the demon within it) remained dumb until at last, answering Julian's many sacrifices and supplications, it told him, "The dead prevent me from speaking." It told Julian to dig up the bones and move them. Julian, then, in the words of Saint John Chrysostom, "leaving all the other dead, moved only that Martyr." He commanded the Christians to take away Saint Babylas' bones, which they did with great solemnity and triumph. When this had been done, a thunderbolt fell from heaven destroying with fire the shrine of Apollo, which Julian did not dare rebuild. Saint John Chrysostom preached a sermon on this within a generation after.
The Prophet Moses-whose name means "one who draws forth," or "is drawn from," that is, from the water-was the pinnacle of the lovers of wisdom, the supremely wise lawgiver, the most ancient historian of all. He was of the tribe of Levi, the son of Amram and Jochabed (Num. 26:59). He was born in Egypt in the seventeenth century before Christ. While yet a babe of three months, he was placed in a basket made of papyrus and covered with pitch, and cast into the streams of the Nile for fear of Pharaoh's decree to the mid-wives of the Hebrews, that all the male children of the Hebrews be put to death. He was taken up from the river by Pharaoh's daughter, became her adopted son, and was reared and dwelt in the King's palace for forty years. Afterward, when he was some sixty years old, he fled to Madian, where, on Mount Horeb, he saw the vision of the burning bush. Thus he was ordained by God to lead Israel and bring it out of the land of Egypt. He led Israel through the Red Sea as it were dry land and governed the people for forty years. He wrought many signs and wonders, and wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, which are called the Pentateuch. When he reached the land of Moab, he ascended Mount Nabau, on the peak called Phasga, and there, by divine command, he reposed in the sixteenth century before Christ, having lived for some 120 years. The first two Odes of the Old Testament, "Let us sing to the Lord" and "Attend, O heaven, and I will speak," were written by him. Of these hymns, the first was chanted by the shore of the Red Sea as soon as the Israelites had crossed it; the second, in the land of Moab, a few days before his repose. The Holy High Priest Aaron was the elder brother of the Holy Prophet Moses. He was appointed by God to serve as the spokesman of Moses before the people, and also before Pharaoh, in Egypt. Afterwards, in the wilderness, he was called to the ministry of the high priesthood, as narrated in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers in the Old Testament. The name Aaron means "enlightened."
According to the opinion of many Fathers of the Church, based on an ancient tradition, this is the Zacharias whom, as our Lord said, the Jews slew between the temple and the altar (Matt. 23:35), first, because even after the Virgin Mary gave birth, he continued to refer to her as virgin and number her among the virgins; second, because Zacharias' son John was not found during the slaughter of the Innocents, since the elderly Elizabeth had taken him and carefully hid him while he was yet an infant, in an unnamed place somewhere in the desert, where, according to the Evangelist, "the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel" (Luke 1:80). When the child was not found, his father was slain by Herod's command.