May 23, 2021
Christ is Risen!
Thank you to those who responded to the need for prosforo, our bread for Communion and anditheron. Volunteer bakers are always needed and appreciated. See Fr. Mark for the recipe.
Wine donations for the altar would be appreciated too. Sweet red wines, dessert wines, of low alcohol content, are best. No white wines, no fortified wines. If in your travels this summer you can find a bottle or case of Nama Byzantino or St. John Komandaria and bring it back as a donation to the church, I will certainly call you blessed!
Alternatively, if you have a source that would send it to us, please let me know.
Mavrodaphne is acceptable if nothing else is available, but it is not as good as it was 30 years ago, and I'd like to use the best we can find and afford. The Llano Sweet Red is good too; that is what we are using currently. Kosher concord grape can also be used, although the Metropolitan would prefer we use something better.
If you travel this summer, bring back pictures of the monasteries and parishes you visit, and bulletins or other fliers you find interesting, so we can share these with the parish community in the social hall or on the website. It is good for you to be inspired by someone else's preaching and the beauty of other parishes and the monasteries in this country. www.assemblyofbishops.org has a directories tab and search functions to help you locate places of interest along your path.
What are you reading for spiritual edification? Currently, I'm reading the book, Thinking Orthodox. Many people would find this book a blessing, both those baptized into the church as infants and those of us who came to the faith later on. All of us are influenced by the American culture and could use a reminder of how Orthodox thinking is sometimes different from the culture surrounding us.
Have you ever tried to explain some aspect of the faith and felt like you didn't quite connect with the other person, like you were using the same words but with different meanings? Or, had someone tell you about something in their church that didn't seem quite right to you, but you couldn't explain why? This book addresses those situations and may help us bridge those gaps in communication caused by very different thinking.
Admittedly, this not a typical "beach book," but it is very worth reading and the beach won't mind if you read it there. I'm enthusiastic about the book for the good it could do for all of us, and you don't need to be a priest to appreciate it. Copies are available from Ancient Faith Media online. https://store.ancientfaith.com.
At the last parish council meeting it was decided to resume as much as we could normal operations for the parish, while trying to protect people who feel vulnerable. We still think it is wise and merciful to others for you to stay home when you are sick: none of us need your cold, flu, or COVID-19 viruses. You will notice that the pews are returned to more or less the spacing they had and some books are back in the pew book holders.
Similarly, we'd like to restore the more normal operation of coffee hour where we take turns providing things to eat for the benefit of the community. This is intended to be a snack since presumably we've been fasting prior to receiving communion. It is not intended to be a substitute for a meal, just something to make it pleasurable to sit and visit for a while.
This time of fellowship with our fellow Christians and people considering joining us in the body of Christ has sometimes been called the liturgy after the liturgy. It is a time to encourage each other, share needs for prayers, discuss challenges or things we've been reading or learned and a time for our children to play together. It should be a highlight of the week.
In order that we might do this in good order, a sign up sheet will be posted on the refrigerator in the kitchen in the parish hall. Thank you for taking on this diakonia (service) for the parish.
- Ascension will be on Thursday, June 10. We will have 9am Orthros and 10am Divine Liturgy on that Thursday.
- Pentecost Sunday will be on Sunday, June 20. We will have the regular Orthros and Divine Liturgy, followed by the traditional kneeling prayers.
- The Apostles Fast will begin on Monday, June 28, and will last for only one day this year. We will have Orthros and Liturgy the next morning at the usual times, 9am and 10am.
Special Occasions This Week
Saints for the Week: We have many saints with interesting write-ups in this week's bulletin. Be sure to check out the rest of this bulletin, online on the church's website, OrthodoxSanAngelo.org.
- We need more chanters and readers. If you are interested in chanting or reading for the Church — or in learning how — please see Fr. Mark.
- Calling all bakers! We need more people to bake prosforo, which is the fresh altar bread. And a big THANK YOU to everyone who helps with this ministry. Taking time to knead and bake it while praying is a special act that we can do for God, a gift we can make for Him. The ingredients are simple and inexpensive. What God does with it is amazing.
- Please contact Fr. Mark if you'd like to get the recipe or learn how to make it.
- Also, if you need a seal, Fr. Mark has one to loan to a prospective baker until they can purchase their own.
- Send your prayer requests to Fr. Mark. Also your requests for visits to the sick and the hospitalized.
- Reminder: Whenever we cannot attend church services, we should still find a way to worship God. You can pray these Morning Prayers during that time. The morning prayers are also good way to start every day. Here are some Evening Prayers for you too. "A day hemmed in prayer rarely comes unravelled."
** As always, see the parish website for any changes and updates. **