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)
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.
The spiritual life requires patience and struggle
Americans are not a particularly patient people, as demonstrated by the fact that the fast food industry began with us. We don’t tolerate slow service, thus much of the food we consume is prepared before we order it. We drive our car to a window, order our food, and expect it to be ready, without delay, at the next window. If we are church goers, we expect the service to end within one hour, on the dot. Our gardens are filled with flowers that come fully grown, are dropped into the soil, and look good from the very first watering. No waiting around for the germination of seeds, we want instant beauty.
If an appliance breaks down, we buy a new one, rather than wait a week for repairs. We throw ourselves into the latest fad diet promising fast weight loss, only to see the weight come back after we’ve tired of the menu. We don’t apprentice for a career, but walk out of a university with the expectation our career will begin on day one. Many of our children are allowed to dress in adult pop fashion, resulting in the loss of innocence, and the precious sweetness of childhood is transformed into a sort of miniature adult.
Since we have grown accustomed to having everything happen quickly, and without delay, we also expect our spiritual lives to be on the same quick timeline. We don’t have the patience to build upon the knowledge of the holy fathers, so we don’t practice regular spiritual reading. Our church attendance is limited to the essential Sunday Liturgy, and even then we arrive late and perhaps leave before the Thanksgiving Prayers have been concluded. If fasting is difficult for us, we don’t fast at all. If keeping a Prayer Rule is tedious, we don’t try at all to develop a set time for our prayers. If our mind wanders during prayer, we let it, avoiding even the least amount of struggle.
If we hope to make progress in the spiritual life, it is good to remember the words of Saint Isaac the Syrian, “For anything that is quickly obtained is also easily lost, whereas everything found with toil is also kept with careful watching.”
With love in Christ,
The Church’s Holy Tradition guides Her in the interpretation of Holy Scripture
The Bible can only be understood through the Church, for the Holy Scriptures came forth from the Church. The reformers dumped the papacy only to replace that institution with themselves as the ultimate authority. Since reason and logic ruled, there was no room for the intuitive, noetic nature of the heart. Thus, the interpretation of the Bible became a debatable subject between believers, ending in new denominations proliferating like rabbits.
The Bible is the written account of the first Christians experience with God, and was a living, oral tradition inspired by the Holy Spirit, and put down in written form. To think that it is therefore open to personal interpretation, apart from the Church from which it sprang, is the cause of over forty thousand different denominations today!
The Orthodox Church has kept the early teachings and liturgical traditions precisely because she has refused to interpret Scripture apart from that which was always taught. Her Divine services connect us to the early Church precisely because they are the same liturgical services used by the early Church.
Orthodoxy is increasingly becoming known in the West, and more and more people are being drawn to Her. But we don’t convert people to Orthodoxy by words and debate, but by the example of our lives. Judging others can not be a part of our witness to the truth of Orthodoxy. Giving witness to the transformational power of the Church is what convicts others of the truth of our faith.
We must pray for friends and loved ones who do not know the truth of Orthodoxy, yet we should also give thanks for those who know Jesus Christ. For we Orthodox, it is a joy to have God as our Father, while an extra benefit to have the Church as our Mother. But lest we forget, it is of no value whatsoever to be Orthodox if we do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and if we do not truly love our neighbor.
With love in Christ,
We think nothing of depriving another human being of life
We are living in a period of history that has seen the cause of human rights take the forefront as never before. We champion the cause of equality under the law for minorities, and continue the struggle for equal rights and equal pay for women, but ignore the rights of the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. We’d rather kill the child in the womb than deprive ourselves of a lifestyle that would be hampered by a baby. Sexual gratification takes priority over the right to life of the unwanted child that is the result of our unchecked lust.
We deny the humanity of the unborn, dismissing the reality of a life by deciding the child is not a real person until the moment they are born. We dispose of that which God has created, through the gift of our sexuality, preferring lustful gratification to chastity. The idea of saving oneself for the marriage bed has become as outdated as a Victrola.
We explain away the infanticide that is abortion, while our legal system can find a man guilty of murder should his attack on a pregnant woman result in the death of her unborn child. We think nothing of depriving another human being of life, while we pursue a life of unbridled pleasure for ourselves.
Saint Basil the Great said, “The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. The hair-splitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us.”
If we are to be a friend of God, we must keep the laws of God. An unborn child has been given the gift of life, even if under circumstances that are the result of our sin. That the child should forfeit her life for the convenience of selfish parents is unconscionable. The sin of sexual intercourse outside the marriage bed is compounded ten thousand times by the sin of abortion. The woman who would abort her child to avoid poverty will have placed her soul in a state of absolute poverty.
In an age when many question the morality of state sanctioned executions of criminals, or question the justification of war, it is beyond the pale that we would think we have the right to kill an unborn child.
We must ask ourselves, as did Saint John Chrysostom, “Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit? Where there are medicines for sterility? Where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderer as well. Indeed, it is something worse than murder and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gifts of God, and fight with His laws? What is a curse you seek as though it were a blessing. Do you make the anteroom of slaughter? Do you teach the women who are given to you for a procreation of offspring to perpetuate killing?”
Let us stand firm for the rights of all people, especially for the most vulnerable, defenseless of them all, the unborn children. The Sixth Commandment tells us that we must not kill, and makes no distinction between the killing of another person, the killing of oneself (suicide), or the killing of the unborn.
The Church has confessed from the beginning that each life is created by God, that human life is the supreme gift of the Creator. Human life is not given unconditionally, but is given under the condition that we will be responsible for preserving it. The testimony that God respects life above all else is contained in the words of the Gospel:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
In so far as God’s perfection is beyond our understanding, by His grace and mercy we are called to theosis, the process of becoming like God. Theosis (deification) begins from the moment of our conception and continues until the very hour of our death. No one has the right to interfere in this process that was begun when God created us.
In this age when our nation’s streets are filled with demonstrators demanding equal rights for all, we cannot ignore the rights of the unborn. If we are to work for the full equality of our black brothers and sisters, we must also back politicians who we know will stand for the rights of unborn children.
As Christians, we are duty bound to work for the rights of all citizens of this country, not just those of a different race or color. Our unborn children are not simply medical waste to be disposed of in the trash. Do we want to stand before God on Judgement Day, having been silent about the extermination of these innocent babies who did not live long enough to have a voice?
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.
1st - Catherine Chrysant (Ecclesiastical New Year)
6th - Fofo Bargeliotis
8th - Fofo Bargeliotis (Nativity of the Theotokos)
13th - Catherine Chrysant
14th - Kathy Calbos (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.
Second Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Mark 16:1-8
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back, for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.
Prokeimenon. Fourth Mode. Psalm 103.24,1.
O Lord, how manifold are your works. You have made all things in wisdom.
Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul.
The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 16:13-24.
Brethren, be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. Now, brethren, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; I urge you to be subject to such men and to every fellow worker and laborer. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicos, because they have made up for your absence; for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men. The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brethren send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If any one has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
13th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 21:33-42
The Lord said this parable, "There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to them, saying 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons." Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: 'The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?'"
The feast today in honour of the Archangel Michael commemorates the great miracle he wrought when he delivered from destruction a church and holy spring named for him. The pagans, moved by malice, sought to destroy the aforesaid church and holy spring by turning the course of two rivers against them. But the Archangel appeared and, by means of the Cross and a great earthquake that shook the entire area, diverted the waters into an underground course. Henceforth, the name of that place changed from Colossae to Chonae, which means "funnels" in Greek.
This holy Martyr was a shepherd in Lycaonia. Born a pagan, named Tarasius, he received holy Baptism and was renamed Sozon. Filled with zeal for the truth, he taught his countrymen to desist from the worship of idols. Once he entered the temple of Artemis in Pompeiopolis of Cilicia, cut off the golden hand of the idol, and breaking it in pieces, distributed it among the poor. When he saw that many were being unjustly punished for the theft, of his own accord he gave himself up to Maximian the Governor. He was beaten with rods until his bones were broken. According to some, he suffered martyrdom in 288; according to others, in 304.
According to the ancient tradition of the Church, the Theotokos was born of barren and aged parents, Joachim and Anna, about the year 16 or 17 before the birth of Christ. Joachim was descended from the royal line of David, of the tribe of Judah. Anna was of the priestly tribe of Levi, a daughter of the priest Matthan and Mary, his wife.
Today, the day following the Nativity of the most holy Theotokos, we celebrate the synaxis of Saints Joachim and Anna, honouring them as her parents.
Saint Severian, a senator from Sebastia, was both an illustrious man of wealth and a fearless Christian. Because he encouraged the holy Forty Martyrs of Sebastia to stand fast in their confession, he was given over to terrible torments, and received his own crown during the reign of Licinius and Lysius the Duke, about the year 315.
These Martyrs, sisters according to the flesh, were from Bithynia. They lived in virginity on a mountain near the Pythian hot springs of Bithynia, devoting themselves to asceticism and prayer. Betrayed to the local governor, Fronto, they were subjected to frightful tortures, and so gave up their holy souls into the hands of God. They contested for the Faith during the reign of Maximian, in the year 304.
This saint lived in the fifth century. Out of remorse for the adultery that she committed with another man, she fled from her husband's house, renamed herself Theodore, clothed herself as a man, and pretending to be a eunuch, entered a monastery of men. Her identity as a woman was discovered only after her death.
This saint was a bishop in Italy. Fleeing from the persecution of Diocletian in 298, he came to Bithynia, where he went from place to place converting many from the idols to the true God. Because of this, one day as he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Archangels, they who worshipped wood and stones fell upon him and beat him to death with staves and stones.