2023 Metropolis of Denver Christmas Open House
Save The Date! 2024 Front Range Lenten Retreat
Ponderosa Retreat Center
15235 S. Furrow Rd
Larkspur, CO. 80118
9 AM Orthros Prayer Service &
10 AM Divine Liturgy Communion Service
10 AM Typica Service
The 10 AM Sunday services are followed by Coffee Hour and Fellowship.
10:00 am - Divine Liturgy
Sunday, December 10 - Tenth Sunday of Matthew
Saturday, December 16
10:00 am - Divine Liturgy
Sunday, December 17 - Eleventh Sunday of Matthew
Saturday, December 23 - Saturday before Holy Nativity
10:00 am - Divine Liturgy
Sunday, December 31 - Sunday before Epiphany
10:00 am - Divine Liturgy
This is a prayerful encouragement to support our parish with a donation.
You can give as your regular stewardship or as a special donation either at church in the offering or online through our website at https://orthodoxsanangelo.org/about/ways-to-give
God continues to bless our Assumption Church and the witness of our Orthodox Christian faith, and your regular stewardship and special gifts help to support the growth of our Church and our fulfilling of the Great Commission through our worship and ministry.
NEW PARISH EMAIL
Our new parish email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please use this to communicate with Fr. Nektarios.
If you have not visited our new website, please do so at http://orthodoxsanangelo.org
RESOURCES FOR INQUIRERS
If you are inquiring about the Orthodox Christian faith, please reach out to Fr. Nektarios for resources.Our faith is focused on our worship and participation in the Church, the Body of Christ, and in cultivating our communion with God.
We can provide you with a prayer book to guide you in daily prayers, as well as a book and online resources that explain the Orthodox Christian faith and life.
Fr. Nektarios is also available to meet with you by phone, Zoom or in person to offer guidance as you follow God's guidance and seek your spiritual home in the Orthodox Church.
ONLINE CATECHISM CLASS
Our next class will be on Thursday, December 7, at 7 PM.
New Catechism Series - Preparing to Meet the Lord: Join us during the weeks of the Nativity Fast (November 16 and 30, and December 7) as Fr. Nektarios will offer a 3-part series that connects the Incarnation of Christ, the first coming of Christ at His Nativity, to His second coming and the fulfillment of all things.
Hymns and prayers of the Church refer to the "two comings" of Christ, and this series will focus on how the two are connected theologically, liturgically, and in how we understand this in our spiritual lives.
Email Fr. Nektarios at email@example.com for the Zoom link if you are not on the parish email list.
Previous classes are archived at https://firstname.lastname@example.org/streams
CARING MEALS MINISTRY
If you know someone who needs meals due to illness, birth, etc., please see Kathy Baughman or Noelle Bartl. Thank you to everyone who volunteers for this ministry. You are being the hands of Christ!
HELP FOR THE GARCIA FAMILY
We have open slots on the sign up sheet for Coffee Hour, which can be found on the refrigerator in the church kitchen. Can you help host? It's okay to bring something simple, or even just one dish. Encourage others to sign up with you as co-hosts. "Many hands make the burden light." Thank you for your help!
Check out the rest of the bulletin! See below for news from the world of Orthodoxy, online concerts and lecture series, and more.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS FOR DECEMBER
Presbytera Suzanne Lichtenstein
12/15 - David Garza
12/18 - Noah Perkins
12/17 - Judy Perkins (Sunday of the Forefathers) (Sunday before Christmas)
12/22 - Susan Manjai
12/27 - Stephen Mouad & Steve Tefas, Jr. (St. Stephen the Apostle, Archdeacon, and First Martyr for Christ)
12/31 - Joe Garcia (Saint Joseph the Betrothed) (Sunday after Nativity)
Anniversaries: Anthony & Noelle Bartl, John and Hilary Choate
Memorials: Johnny Kalaitzes (2017; relation to Joann Kalaitzes)
Please join us for refreshments in the Social Hall.
** As always, see the parish website for any changes and updates. **
Fourth Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from Luke 24:1-12
On the first day of the week at early dawn, the women went to the tomb, taking spices, which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise." And they remembered His words and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the Apostles; but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened.
Prokeimenon. 1st Tone. Psalm 32.22,1.
Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 5:8-19.
Brethren, walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.
14th Sunday of Luke
The Reading is from Luke 18:35-43
At that time, as Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." And he cried, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, let me receive my sight." And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
In giving birth you remained a virgin.
And in your dormition, you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos.
For as the Mother of Life, you have yourself passed into life.
And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.
This Prophet, who is ninth in order among the minor Prophets, was the son of Chusi (Cushi), from the tribe of Levi, or according to some, the great-grandson of King Hezekias. He prophesied in the years of Josias, who reigned in the years 641-610 before Christ. His book of prophecy is divided into three chapters. His name means "Yah has concealed."
Saint Barbara was from Heliopolis of Phoenicia and lived during the reign of Maximian.
She was the daughter of a certain idolater named Dioscorus. When Barbara came of age, she was enlightened in her pure heart and secretly believed in the Holy Trinity. About this time Dioscorus began building a bath-house; before it was finished he was required to go away to attend to certain matters, and in his absence Barbara directed the workmen to build a third window in addition to the two her Father had commanded. She also inscribed the sign of the Cross with her finger upon the marble of the bath-house, leaving the saving sign cut as deeply into the marble as if it had been done with an iron tool. (When the Synaxarion of Saint Barbara was written, the marble of the bath-house and the cross inscribed by Saint Barbara were still preserved, and many healings were worked there.) When Dioscorus returned, he asked why the third window had been added; Barbara began to declare to him the mystery of the Trinity. Because she refused to renounce her faith, Dioscorus tortured Barbara inhumanely, and after subjecting her to many sufferings he beheaded her with his own hands, in the year 290.
Saint John was born in Damascus about the year 675, the son of wealthy and pious parents, of the family of Mansur. He was reared together with Saint Cosmas (see Oct. 14), who had been adopted by John's father Sergius, a man of high rank in the service of the Caliph of Damascus. Both of these young men were instructed by a certain monk, also named Cosmas, who had been taken captive in Italy by the Arabs and later ransomed by John's Father. Saint John became a great philosopher and enlightener of the age in which he lived, and was honoured by the Caliph with the dignity of counsellor.
When Emperor Leo the Isaurian (reigned 717-741) began his war on the holy icons, John wrote epistles defending their veneration. Since the Saint, being under the Caliph of Damascus, was beyond Leo's power, the Iconoclast Emperor had a letter forged in John's handwriting which invited Leo to attack Damascus, saying the city guard was then weak; Leo then sent this letter to the Caliph, who in his fury punished John's supposed treason with the severing of his right hand. The Saint obtained the Caliph's Permission to have his severed hand again, and that night prayed fervently to the most holy Theotokos before her icon. She appeared to him in a dream and healed his hand, which, when he awoke, he found to be healed in truth. This Miracle convinced the Caliph of his innocence, and he restored John to his office as counsellor. The Saint, however, with many pleadings obtained his permission to withdraw from the world to become a monk. He assumed the monastic habit in the Monastery of Saint Sabbas. Then he had as elder a very simple and austere monk who commanded him neither to write to anyone, nor to speak of the worldly knowledge he had acquired, and John faithfully obeyed. A monk grieving over his brother's death, however, after insisting vehemently, prevailed upon John to write a funeral hymn to console him for his brother's death. When John's elder learned of his transgression of the rule he had given him, he cast him out of his cell, and would only accept him back after John had humbly, with much self-condemnation and without murmuring consented to clean all the latrines in the lavra. After his elder had received him back, our Lady appeared to the elder and sternly charged him not to hinder John any longer from his writings and composition of hymns.
In his writings he fought courageously against the Iconoclasts Leo the Isaurian and his son Constantine Copronymus. He was also the first to write a refutation of Islam. The time he had spent as a counsellor in the courts of the Moslems of Damascus had given him opportunity to learn their teachings at first hand, and he wrote against their errors with a sound understanding of their essence. Saint John was surnamed Chrysorroas ("Golden-stream") because of the eloquence of his rhetorical style and the great abundance of his writings; this name - Chrysorroas was also the name of the river that flows by Damascus. In his writings he set forth the Orthodox Faith with exactness and order. In his old age, after his foster-brother Cosmas had been made Bishop of Maiuma, John also was ordained presbyter by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Having lived eighty-four years, he reposed in peace in 760. In addition to his theological writings, he adorned the Church of Christ with metrical and prose hymns and composed many of the prosomia used as the models for the melodies of the Church's liturgical chant; he also composed many of the sacred hymns for the feasts of the Lord Saviour and the Theotokos. The life of Saint John of Damascus was written by John, Patriarch of Jerusalem. See also June 28.
This Saint was born in 439 in Moutalaska, a small village of Cappadocia. He entered the arena of the monastic life from childhood and was under that master trainer of monastics, Euthymius, the Great, the teacher of the desert. He became the spiritual Father of many monks and an instructor for the monasteries in Palestine, and was appointed leader (archimandrite) of the desert-dwellers of Palestine by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. In his old age he went to Constantinople, to the Emperors Anastasius and Saint Justinian the Great, in behalf of the Orthodox Faith and the dogmas of the Council of Chalcedon. Having lived ninety-four years, he reposed in 533. The Typicon for the ecclesiastical services had its beginning in the monastery established by this righteous one.
This Saint lived during the reign of Saint Constantine the Great, and reposed in 330, As a young man, he desired to espouse the solitary life. He made a pilgrimage to the holy city Jerusalem, where he found a place to withdraw to devote himself to prayer. It was made known to him, however, that this was not the will of God for him, but that he should return to his homeland to be a cause of salvation for many. He returned to Myra, and was ordained bishop. He became known for his abundant mercy, providing for the poor and needy, and delivering those who had been unjustly accused. No less was he known for his zeal for the truth. He was present at the First Ecumenical Council of the 318 Fathers at Nicaea in 325; upon hearing the blasphemies that Arius brazenly uttered against the Son of God, Saint Nicholas struck him on the face. Since the canons of the Church forbid the clergy to strike any man at all, his fellow bishops were in perplexity what disciplinary action was to be taken against this hierarch whom all revered. In the night our Lord Jesus Christ and our Lady Theotokos appeared to certain of the bishops, informing them that no action was to be taken against him, since he had acted not out of passion, but extreme love and piety. The Dismissal Hymn for holy hierarchs, The truth of things hath revealed thee to thy flock ... was written originally for Saint Nicholas. He is the patron of all travellers, and of sea-farers in particular; he is one of the best known and best loved Saints of all time.
This Saint was born in Gaul in 340, and was a member of the Roman Senate. After the death of Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, a violent dispute arose among the Orthodox and Arians about who would succeed him. Ambrose, desiring as Governor of the province to restore the peace, attempted to mediate between them. As he spoke to the people, eloquently persuading them to elect a new bishop without tumult and disorder, a young child, inspired from on high, suddenly cried out "Ambrose, bishop!" To his astonishment and dismay, the people immediately took up this cry themselves, and over his many protests, he was raised to the episcopal throne of Milan on December 7, 374. A great Father of the Church, he wrote many works in Latin, and was both an unwearying opponent of Arianism, and a fearless accuser of emperors when they transgressed the law of God. Having lived fifty-seven years, he reposed on April 4, on the eve of Pascha, in the year 397.
This Saint was from the Thebaid of Egypt and struggled many years in the wilderness. He departed for Constantinople, and having performed many miracles and healings, he reposed in peace in a mountain cave on the Gulf of Corinth, where his holy relics are found incorrupt to the present day.
According to the ancient tradition of the Church, since Saint Anna, the Ancestor of God, was barren, she and her husband Joachim remained without children until old age. Therefore, sorrowing over their childlessness, they besought God with a promise that, if He were to grant them the fruit of the womb, they would offer their offspring to Him as a gift. And God, hearkening to their supplication, informed them through an Angel concerning the birth of the Virgin. And thus, through God's promise, Anna conceived according to the laws of nature, and was deemed worthy to become the mother of the Mother of our Lord (see also Sept. 8).
Saint Menas, according to the Synaxaristes, had Athens as his homeland. He was a military officer, an educated man and skilled in speech, wherefore he was surnamed Kallikelados ("most eloquent"); Eugraphus was his scribe. Both had Christian parents. The Emperor Maximinus (he was the successor of Alexander Severus, and reigned from 235 to 238) sent Saint Menas to Alexandria to employ his eloquence to end a certain strife among the citizens. Saint Menas, having accomplished this, also employed his eloquence to strengthen the Christians in their faith, which when Maximinus heard, he sent Hermogenes, who was an eparch born to unbelievers to turn Menas away from Christ. But Hermogenes rather came to the Faith of Christ because of the miracles wrought by Saint Menas. Saints Menas, Eugraphus, and Hermogenes received the crown of martyrdom in the year 235.
Ponderosa Retreat Center
15235 S. Furrow Rd
Larkspur, CO. 80118
Just in time for the new year! The Ecclesiastical Wall Calendar is an annual resource published by the Department of Communications of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The Calendar features full-color icons, the names of Saints in Greek and English, a fasting guide, and daily Scripture readings with commemorations following the liturgical protocol of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Order while supplies last!
This week, find insights about the upcoming Gospel reading, where we learn about a blind man who asked Jesus for mercy. What was the difference between his eyes and his heart? And how did the Lord respond? Also, how can we see spiritually?
In the ongoing commitment to enhance the proficiency of educators teaching the Greek Language, the Office of Education within the Holy Archdiocese of America is set to host its 3rd Webinar focused on Innovative Teaching Techniques and Teaching Forms. This insightful session will particularly emphasize the Greek Language and the revered Three Hierarchs.
This event will feature Elizabeth Prodromou, the author of a new policy brief commissioned by the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion & Diplomacy (TPNRD). Berkley Center Senior Research Fellow and TPNRD Project Director Judd Birdsall will moderate the discussion.
The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is pleased to announce the release of the 2024 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Topic Tips & Resources.
On Monday, December 4, 2023 at 1pm EST, join the Center for Family Care’s webinar “Caregiver, Love Thyself: The Importance of Self-Care through the Holiday Season.”
To stand with you today in prayer – especially in the aftermath of our National Feast of Thanksgiving – and to celebrate this Eucharist with you is a profound joy for me. For it is in the worship of the Church that we find our essential union with God and our unity with one another.