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St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Publish Date: 2021-12-12
Bulletin Contents
Spyridon
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St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral

General Information

  • Phone:
  • (727) 937-3540
  • Fax:
  • (727) 937-1739
  • Street Address:

  • 36 North Pinellas Avenue

  • Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
  • Mailing Address:

  • 17 East Tarpon Avenue

  • Tarpon Springs, FL 34689


Contact Information




Services Schedule

Sundays / Κυριακή
7:45am - Matins / Όρθρος
9:00am - Divine Liturgy (Greek) / Θεία Λειτουργία / (English) / Θεία Λειτουργία

Monday through Saturday

6:00 pm Small Compline


Past Bulletins


Dean's Message

Frathanasios-3

God Expects Nothing Short of a Full Church

In the Gospel we hear the Parable of the Great Feast (Luke 14.16-24) in which Christ calls us to fill His Church. The reality of poor church attendance is not a new phenomenon in the Church. For decades our national Church has struggled with the trend where half-full Churches have become the norm rather than the exception. In fact, just as in this parable, we have heard year’s worth of excuses from our brothers and sisters as to why they are not in Church. Excuses have ranged from language difficulties to lack of sleep and from work requirements to personal disagreements with fellow members. And we have politely listened to our brothers and sisters with pain and frustration.

We have pain in our hearts because despite our best efforts, many have chosen to stray away from the Church. We have frustration because despite our best attempts to address various concerns over the years, it seems some are just not ready to attend the Church of Christ on Sunday or any other day.

But we should not be surprised or frustrated because our Lord in this parable taught us to expect such difficulties as He said, “But they all with one accord began to make excuses.” (Luke 14.18) After multiple attempts to call those who had been invited the Lord’s servants were ordered, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind…that My house may be filled.” (Luke 14.21-23)

Notice the Lord does not tell His servants to force, guilt, and drag or by other means carry people into the Church who do not desire to be present at the banquet. For those who do not desire to be present in God’s Church, we are called by Christ to allow them freely and without guilt to go their way.

Nonetheless, Christ desires that His Church is filled with those who desire to attend – whether born in the Church or not, whether of Greek ancestry or not, whether wealthy or poor – He desires and commands that we must fill His Church.

 

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Fr Theofanis

Frtheofani3g

In the gospel this week, we hear a story of a man who prepared a huge banquet and invited many people to his house.  One by one, each person made excuses why they could not attend.  So the man invited everyone else in the town so his house would be full.  We see this man open his home to everyone just as God has opened his home to us all.

 

The excuses in the gospel were… “I bought land”, “I must feed my oxen”, and “I just got married.”  Our excuses today are... We are working, cooking, cleaning, shopping, or even just sleeping because it’s our day off.  It is too easy to make excuses not to come to church.  This time of year we are all busier than normal trying to get ready for our perfect Christmas banquet.  Let us try not to focus just on the Christmas party, but more importantly, we need to focus on the meaning of Christmas.  

 

Being with family is especially important this time of year.  But we must remember that we are all the family of God.  Instead of making excuses why we cannot come, let us help each other to all come to church.  We must all gather together as the family of God into his house and receive communion.  Celebrate the Divine Liturgy together and then continue the celebration at home with our loved ones.

 

We do everything possible to get together around the table on Christmas and exchange the perfect gifts with our families.  We should make the same effort to come to church together with our families and fill the house of God.  May this Christmas be more than just a season, but a way of life.

 

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Saints and Feasts

Spyridon
December 12

Spyridon the Wonderworker of Trymithous

Spyridon, the God-bearing Father of the Church, the great defender of Corfu and the boast of all the Orthodox, had Cyprus as his homeland. He was simple in manner and humble of heart, and was a shepherd of sheep. When he was joined to a wife, he begat of her a daughter whom they named Irene. After his wife's departure from this life, he was appointed Bishop of Trimythus, and thus he became also a shepherd of rational sheep. When the First Ecumenical Council was assembled in Nicaea, he also was present, and by means of his most simple words stopped the mouths of the Arians who were wise in their own conceit. By the divine grace which dwelt in him, he wrought such great wonders that he received the surname 'Wonderworker." So it is that, having tended his flock piously and in a manner pleasing to God, he reposed in the Lord about the year 350, leaving to his country his sacred relics as a consolation and source of healing for the faithful.

About the middle of the seventh century, because of the incursions made by the barbarians at that time, his sacred relics were taken to Constantinople, where they remained, being honoured by the emperors themselves. But before the fall of Constantinople, which took place on May 29, 1453, a certain priest named George Kalokhairetes, the parish priest of the church where the Saint's sacred relics, as well as those of Saint Theodora the Empress, were kept, took them away on account of the impending peril. Travelling by way of Serbia, he came as far as Arta in Epirus, a region in Western Greece opposite to the isle of Corfu. From there, while the misfortunes of the Christian people were increasing with every day, he passed over to Corfu about the year 1460. The relics of Saint Theodora were given to the people of Corfu; but those of Saint Spyridon remain to this day, according to the rights of inheritance, the most precious treasure of the priest's own descendants, and they continue to be a staff for the faithful in Orthodoxy, and a supernatural wonder for those that behold him; for even after the passage of 1,500 years, they have remained incorrupt, and even the flexibility of his flesh has been preserved. Truly wondrous is God in His Saints! (Ps. 67:3 5)


Forefathers
December 12

11th Sunday of Luke

On the Sunday that occurs on or immediately after the eleventh of this month, we commemorate Christ's forefathers according to the flesh, both those that came before the Law, and those that lived after the giving of the Law.

Special commemoration is made of the Patriarch Abraham, to whom the promise was first given, when God said to him, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 22:18). This promise was given some two thousand years before Christ, when Abraham was seventy-five years of age. God called him and commanded him to forsake his country, parents, and kinsmen, and to depart to the land of the Canaanites. When he arrived there, God told him, "I will give this land to thy seed" (Gen. 12:7); for this cause, that land was called the "Promised Land," which later became the country of the Hebrew people, and which is also called Palestine by the historians. There, after the passage of twenty-four years, Abraham received God's law concerning circumcision. In the one hundredth year of his life, when Sarah was in her ninetieth year, they became the parents of Isaac. Having lived 175 years altogether, he reposed in peace, a venerable elder full of days.


Allsaint
December 12

John (or Joachim), Bishop of Zichni


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Cathedral Listings

  *THE DEADLINE IS MONDAY 5PM FOR ALL BULLETIN INFORMATION*

MEMORIALS 

Vasili Himonetos - 40 days 

Kiriaki Loparnos - 6 months

Dimitra Polyzos - 6 months

Leoni Peperis Nelsen - 1 year

Evangeline Rigas - 1 year

Michael Psilakis - 1 year

Mary Ellen Koumandaria - 1 year

Despina Zacharatos - 2 years

Constantina Makris - 5 years

 

 All ministries wishing to sign up and host the Coffee Hour please contact Chris Palaidis at 727-808-3895.

 

                      Memorial & Artoklasia Service Planning 

If you are in need of a Memorial or are contemplating having an Artoklasia Service, call    our Parish Office at (727) 937-3540 to make arrangements.

Kollyva (μνημόσυνα) for memorials can be ordered through:

Antonia Korfias (727) 937-8785

Evangelia Stavropoulos (727) 937-5649

Contact info for these preparers is provided as a service to parishioners and does not imply endorsement.

40 Day Prayer List

Edwin, Tom, Maria, Nicholas, Alexa, Panayiota, Julia, Amelia, John, Nick, Yianni, John, Mary, Alexandra, Panayiotis

 

*To add a loved one to this list, or to keep one from being taken off after 40 days, please contact our Administrative  Assistant on Mondays by 5:00pm: denise@stnicholastarpon.org  (727) 937-3540 ext 102)

 

A Prayer for Healing

"Heavenly Father, physician of our souls and bodies, who have sent Your only-begotten Son and our Lord Jesus Christ to heal every sickness and infirmity, visit and heal me, Your servant, from all physical and spiritual ailments through the grace of Your Christ.  Grant me patience in this sickness, strength of body and spirit, and recovery of health.  Lord, You have taught us through Your word to pray for each other that we may be healed.  I pray that You heal me as Your servant and grant me the gift of complete health.  For You are the source of healing and to You I give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen."

 

Our Priests are Here for You

If you, or a loved one, would like to request a priestly visit due to illness or extenuating circumstances, please call Father Athanasios (727) 741-0139 or Father Theofanis (727) 244-6842.

If you are in spiritual need, Father Athanasios wants to make himself available to you, and asks you to please call/text or email him directly, rather than through social media.
 
 

2021 St. Nicholas Parish Council Pangari Rotation Sunday Schedule September 5, 2021 – January 16, 2022


PC Teams for rotation begin Sunday, 9/05/2021 with Team 2 on Duty


*Both PC Teams on duty on Sunday evening Vespers, Dec. 5 and Monday, Dec. 6 for St. Nicholas Feastday services


September 12, 26; October 10, 24; November 7, 21; December 5, 19; January 2, 16


Team 1:
Anna Billiris
Nikitas Manias
Johnny Billiris
Themis Fountotos Tezza
Karen Koulias
Costas Sisois
Tony Zaronias


September 5, 19; October 3, 17, 31; November 14, 28; December 12, 26; January 9


Team 2:
John Stamas
Irene Karavokiros
Rena Faklis
Emmanuel Gombos
Michael Kouremetis
George Stamas
Solon Tsaoussis

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Hymns of the Day

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal 4th Mode

From on high You descended, Most Merciful; for us You condescended to a threeday burial to set us free from the passions. O Lord, our Resurrection and our Life, glory to You!
Ἐξ ὕψους κατῆλθες ὁ εὔσπλαγχνος, ταφὴν καταδέξω τριήμερον, ἵνα ἡμᾶς ἐλευθερώσῃς τῶν παθῶν. Ἡ ζωὴ καὶ ἡ Ἀνάστασις ἡμῶν, Κύριε δόξα σοι.

Apolytikion for 11th Sun. of Luke in the 2nd Mode

By faith didst Thou justify the Forefathers, when through them Thou didst betroth Thyself aforetime to the Church from among the nations. The Saints boast in glory that from their seed there is a glorious fruit, even she that bare Thee seedlessly. By their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls.
Ἐν πίστει τοὺς Προπάτορας ἐδικαίωσας, τὴν ἐξ Ἐθνῶν δι' αὐτῶν προμνηστευσάμενος Ἐκκλησίαν. Καυχῶνται ἐν δόξῃ οἱ Ἅγιοι, ὄι ἐκ σπέρματος αὐτῶν, ὑπάρχει καρπός εὐκλεής, ἡ ἀσπόρως τεκοῦσά σε. Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἱκεσίαις, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, σῶσον τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.

Apolytikion for Spyridon the Wonderworker in the 1st Mode

Thou wast shown forth as a champion of the First Council and a wonderworker, O Spyridon, our God-bearing Father. Wherefore, thou didst speak unto one dead in the grave, and didst change a serpent to gold. And while chanting thy holy prayers, thou hadst Angels serving with thee, O most sacred one. Glory to Him that hath glorified thee. Glory to Him that hath crowned thee. Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.
Τῆς Συνόδου τῆς πρώτης ἀνεδείχθης ὑπέρμαχος, καὶ θαυματουργὸς θεοφόρε, Σπυρίδων Πατὴρ ἠιμῶν, διὸ νεκρὰ σὺ ἐν τάφῳ προσφωνεῖς, καὶ ὄφιν εἷς χρυσοῦν μετέβαλες, καὶ ἐν τῷ μέλπειν τὰς ἁγίας σου εὐχάς, Ἀγγέλους ἔσχες συλλειτουργούντάς σοὶ Ἱερώτατε, Δόξα τῶ σὲ δοξάσαντι, δόξα τῶ σὲ στεφανώσαντι, δόξα τῶ ἐνεργοῦντι διὰ σοῦ πάσιν ἰάματα.

Seasonal Kontakion in the 3rd Mode

On this day the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to * God the Word ineffably, * Who was before all the ages. * Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing * the gladsome tidings; * with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him * Who is willing to be gazed on * as a young Child Who * before the ages is God.
Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον, τὸν Προαιώνιον Λόγον, ἐν Σπηλαίῳ ἔρχεται, ἀποτεκεῖν ἀπορρήτως. Χόρευε ἡ οἰκουμένη ἀκουτισθεῖσα, δόξασον μετὰ Ἀγγέλων καὶ τῶν Ποιμένων, βουληθέντα ἐποφθῆναι, παιδίον νέον, τὸν πρὸ αἰώνων Θεόν.
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Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Spyridon the Wonderworker of Trymithous
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.

Spyridon the Wonderworker of Trymithous
Πρὸς Ἐφεσίους 5:8-19

Ἀδελφοί, ὡς τέκνα φωτὸς περιπατεῖτε - ὁ γὰρ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματος ἐν πάσῃ ἀγαθωσύνῃ καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ - δοκιμάζοντες τί ἐστιν εὐάρεστον τῷ κυρίῳ· καὶ μὴ συγκοινωνεῖτε τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς ἀκάρποις τοῦ σκότους, μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἐλέγχετε· τὰ γὰρ κρυφῆ γινόμενα ὑπʼ αὐτῶν αἰσχρόν ἐστιν καὶ λέγειν. Τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐλεγχόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτὸς φανεροῦται· πᾶν γὰρ τὸ φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστίν. Διὸ λέγει, Ἔγειρε ὁ καθεύδων καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός. Βλέπετε οὖν πῶς ἀκριβῶς περιπατεῖτε, μὴ ὡς ἄσοφοι, ἀλλʼ ὡς σοφοί, ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιρόν, ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσιν. Διὰ τοῦτο μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες, ἀλλὰ συνιέντες τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου. Καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστὶν ἀσωτία, ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, λαλοῦντες ἑαυτοῖς ψαλμοῖς καὶ ὕμνοις καὶ ᾠδαῖς πνευματικαῖς, ᾄδοντες καὶ ψάλλοντες ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν τῷ κυρίῳ.


Gospel Reading

11th Sunday of Luke
The Reading is from Luke 14:16-24

The Lord said this parable: "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time of the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for all is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.' And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and there is still room.' And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet. For many are called, but few are chosen.'"

11th Sunday of Luke
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 14:16-24

Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος τήν παραβολὴν ταύτην· Ἄνθρωπός τις ἐποίησε δεῖπνον μέγα καὶ ἐκάλεσε πολλούς· καὶ ἀπέστειλε τὸν δοῦλον αὐτοῦ τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ δείπνου εἰπεῖν τοῖς κεκλημένοις· ἔρχεσθε, ὅτι ἤδη ἕτοιμά ἐστι πάντα. καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀπὸ μιᾶς παραιτεῖσθαι πάντες. ὁ πρῶτος εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ἀγρὸν ἠγόρασα, καὶ ἔχω ἀνάγκην ἐξελθεῖν καὶ ἰδεῖν αὐτόν· ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον. καὶ ἕτερος εἶπε· ζεύγη βοῶν ἠγόρασα πέντε, καὶ πορεύομαι δοκιμάσαι αὐτά· ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον. καὶ ἕτερος εἶπε· γυναῖκα ἔγημα, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οὐ δύναμαι ἐλθεῖν. καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ἀπήγγειλε τῷ κυρίῳ αὐτοῦ ταῦτα. τότε ὀργισθεὶς ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης εἶπε τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ· ἔξελθε ταχέως εἰς τὰς πλατείας καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως, καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς καὶ ἀναπήρους καὶ χωλοὺς καὶ τυφλοὺς εἰσάγαγε ὧδε. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ δοῦλος· κύριε, γέγονεν ὡς ἐπέταξας, καὶ ἔτι τόπος ἐστί. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ κύριος πρὸς τὸν δοῦλον· ἔξελθε εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς καὶ φραγμοὺς καὶ ἀνάγκασον εἰσελθεῖν, ἵνα γεμισθῇ ὁ οἶκος μου. λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων τῶν κεκλημένων γεύσεταί μου τοῦ δείπνου. Πολλοί γὰρ εἰσιν κλητοί, ὀλίγοι δέ ἐκλεκτοί.


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Wisdom of the Fathers

This parable ... proclaims beforehand both the casting out of the Jews, and the calling of the Gentiles; and it indicates together with this also the strictness of the life required, and how great the punishment appointed for the careless ....
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 69 on Matthew 22, 4th Century

And when were they bidden? By all the prophets; by John again; for unto Christ he would pass all on, saying, "He must increase, I must decrease;" by the Son Himself again, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you;" and again, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 69 on Matthew 22, 4th Century

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Important Updates From Our Ministries

St Nicholas Kitchen

Saint Nicholas Kitchen is an outreach ministry of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral that provides hot meals, helping hands and meaningful relationships to the impoverished in our community. The heart for this ministry is illustrated in the book of Matthew 25:35-36:

 “….For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me….”

St. Nicholas Kitchen will continue preparing the Monday meals from 7:30 – 11:00 am. The meals will be delivered Monday's to the new Hope Center at the Sheppard center where the meals will be given to those in need by their, and our volunteers. We still need volunteers, food and monetary donations. Meals will be served from 11:00 – 12:00 pm. For further information, please call Chris Palaidis at (727) 808-3895.

 


St Nicholas Welcome Ministry

Are you ready to make a difference in our church this New Year?


Are you short of time, but big on wanting to serve God in a meaningful way?


Do you enjoy and care about people and are committed to your Orthodox faith?

Come and be part of the Welcome Ministry as a Greeter or an Usher. All you need is a few Sunday mornings a month, a ready smile and a servant’s heart.

If you would like to know more about volunteering at St Nicholas Cathedral please contact Lexa Shontz at lexashontz@gmail.com or cell (727) 418-4811.


Philoptochos (A Friend of the Poor) Ministry

Philoptochos Circle Logo

 

ST NICHOLAS PHILOPTOCHOS

 Hours of Operation
Mon: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Tues-Thurs: 10:00 AM -12:00 Noon
18 Hibiscus Street (located directly behind St Nicholas Cathedral) 

National Philoptochos Mission Statement
To aid the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, the unemployed, the orphaned, the imprisoned, the widowed, the handicapped, the victims of disasters, to undertake the burial of impoverished persons and to offer assistance to anyone who may need the help of the Church through fund-raising efforts. 

 

If you would like to make a difference, learn from others and create relationships that will last a lifetime please send your name, e-mail. phone number and address to:

St Nicholas Philoptochos
PO Box 2043
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Annual Membership Fee of $35.00 assists Philoptochos to continue serving the poor.


St Nicholas Community Center Event Hosting

St. Nicholas Community Center & Conference Hall's 18,000 sq. ft. commercial kitchens; full-service bar area; professional stage & audio/visual equipment; and comfortable seating all make it a perfect venue for hosting your next event. 

For booking information, or to arrange a venue tour, please visit our new venue website or call the Parish Offices at (727) 937-3540. 


Stewardship Ministry

04/18/2021

What Stewardship Means to Me

Dr Michael Pikos is a member of the St Nicholas Cathedral Stewardship Committee 

When I think of the word stewardship in connection with our church, I think of this as being our ultimate calling as followers of Christ. We only have to look at Genesis 1:28 where God gave His first directive to Adam and Eve – that they have “dominion over every living thing that moves on earth”. And I am reminded that in reality God owns everything on earth including all that each of us own – Psalm 24:1 (“the earth is the Lord’s, and all it’s fullness. The world and those who dwell therein”)

 So if our Lord is the owner then I am not. Instead, I am His steward or manager. And that to me means being a steward of my time, talents, family, work, etc. I see this as both an awesome honor and responsibility for all aspects of my life. As a result, I feel most blessed to know that a true understanding of biblical stewardship has allowed me to have a spiritual base as to my perspective with regard to my family, my work, all relationships and especially with my church. It has given me the understanding to realize that a huge level of commitment is necessary with all of my relationships, especially that with our Lord. That said, I am most grateful for everything that I have including all of my material items.

 I had the good blessing of being raised in one household with both my parents and maternal grandparents for the first 10 years of my life in Campbell, Ohio. I watched my parents, grandparents and so many other parishioners who gave of their time and talents in building our church (Archangel Michael) and maintaining it. There was a true sense of stewardship among all of our parishioners. Whatever was needed was done, and with a strong sense of humility, servant mentality, and selfless attitude. This left a strong impression in my mind that has continued to this day. These folks were for the most part immigrants, just as was true for the founding of St. Nicholas.

 Indeed we have a rich heritage and I understand the importance of the word stewardship in every sense of the word. Only each of us can know what this means with respect to our church whether it’s giving of our talents, time and or money. Every one of us is going to give account to our Lord for our stewardship over our material resources. Everything the Lord entrusts in us is ultimately His and the highest and best use for it is to maximize its use for eternal glory.

 When I am at the awesome judgement seat and have to give an account of how I managed God’s resources (Matthew 25:21), I pray that He will say “well done good and faithful servant”.

  

What Stewardship Means to Me

Patty Pappas Tsaoussis is a member of the Philoptochos Board at St Nicholas

Stewardship to me means love.  Love of God, his church (people), ministries; the faith.  As a child, being a steward of the church meant being a "member".  What did a "member" mean to a young child, you ask?  My Mother was not Orthodox in faith before she met my father, but converted when she married.  It took time for my mother to embrace the faith but it took longer for many parishioners to embrace the "xeni" or foreigner.  I always seem to remember my Dad saying, ''we have to pay our stewardship first.''  For whatever reason the memory I have, or really felt,  was did we belong?.  Did I really belong?

As I have grown older and somewhat wiser, Stewardship means so much more.  Do I make the effort to make everyone feel like they belong?.   Being a good steward is leading by example, guiding those they may need help whether spiritually, financially, emotionally, etc.   As Stewards of the church, it is not just financially supporting our "home" but supporting those that dwell in it. It means embracing all the church has to offer and what we can provide her in return with our time and talents.  Just like in our individual homes, we must nurture our spiritual home as she nurtures us.  What we put in, we reap the rewards in multitudes.

Over the years I have personally been involved in Feeding the Hungry, involved with the Philoptochos (Friends of the Poor) both on a local level and through the Metropolis of Chicago Board.  Did you know that Philoptochos is the largest Christian Women's Charitable Organization in the country with 27,000+ members?  It's mission is to:

  • Aid the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, the unemployed, the orphaned, the imprisoned, the widowed, the handicapped, the victims of disasters, to undertake the burial of impoverished persons and to offer assistance to ANYONE who may need the help of the Church.  
  • To promote the charitable, benevolent, and philanthropic purposes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, through instructional programs, presentations, lectures etc.
  • To preserve and perpetuate Orthodox Christian concepts and the Orthodox Christian Family, and through them, to promote the Faith and traditions, with its doctrines, canons, discipline, divine worship and customs.

Our church has so much to offer us. What are we individually and collectively as a community, willing to offer our Church in return, with Faith, Hope and Love?.  It takes a village. 

What Stewardship Means to Me

Lexa Shontz is a steward of St Nicholas

When I was young, I didn’t know what stewardship was.  I thought you paid your dues and were a member of the church.  The church was there more to serve me, rather than me serve the church.    But being a steward is so much more than that…it is a way of life in which God is at the center, recognizing that everything we have comes from Him above.  As a steward, I have the opportunity to give back what God first gave me, and it extends beyond my treasure to encompass my talent and my time.  None of which I would have if not for the grace of God.  

Practicing stewardship has helped me grow in my Orthodox faith.  It is not only a reminder of gratitude for all the blessings God has given me in my life, but it keeps me grounded in the knowledge that my purpose on earth is to grow more in His image.  Christ came into this world not to be served, but to serve.  If our goal as Orthodox Christians is to become more “Christ-like” then we too are called to serve.  We can do this by being good stewards, taking care of God’s house and each other.  And when we give of ourselves, whether it be treasure, time, or talent, it’s important to remember the spirit in which we give.  As 2 Corinthians 9:7 states:  “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”   

Even still, it is easy to get caught up in the temptations of our material world, wanting to store our treasures like the rich fool who stored his grain.  Before sharing that parable, Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”  When I examine where I spend my money and my time, does it truly reflect the love that I say I have for God?  Not always.  And that is another blessing of stewardship—it calls us to tithe or give back to God so that we don’t let greed or selfishness become a stumbling block in our faith journey.   

During this Lenten Season, it is a perfect time to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice God made for us out of His infinite love.  He sent His Son for each and every one of us and through His glorious resurrection, He has destroyed death and given us the hope of eternal life with Him.  When considering the magnitude of God’s love, it seems natural that we would want to give back to Him.  And in this cheerful giving, we receive so  much more than we can imagine—a contentment and peace in knowing we are doing God’s will for our life. 

 

  “What does Stewardship mean to me?“

Part 1- Background, misconceptions, and what Stewardship is to me now.

Mr. Basil Moutsatsos is a steward of St Nicholas

I grew up in the Tarpon Springs community and like so many others I was an active member of the church. From altar boy, GOYA, Greek School, and volunteering, I knew I was a member of the church.  But when the word “Stewardship” came around, I admit I thought it was the same thing.  In fact, as the years have gone by, I never really understood what Stewardship really meant until recently. 

For a little background, I was the kind of person who was lumped in with my family when it came to being listed with the church, which continued as I went to college.  My parents paid my dues and kept me in good standing.  Eventually I needed something from the church when I was going to be a godfather, but I realized that I hadn’t been paid up to date on my dues with the church.  I was still active when I came home from college, came to church on holy days, and reveled in being a part of this community, but I was not a real member.  I paid my annual dues and started that tradition for my own life.  I was proud of myself for doing the right thing and I thought I was a good member of the church. 

Notice that I keep using words like “dues” and “member”, as though the church was a kind of social club.  Lately I have been coming to terms with the belief that I have been a “member” but not a true Steward of the church.  Stewardship to me means for each of us to take a responsibility to the church not as a member but as a way in having the church be a fundamental part of our lives.  The church is God’s house, but we as Stewards keep it for him as if it were our own.  Like with our own homes, we either do the upkeep ourselves or we need to pay to have something done.  To make sure we have money to pay for things we cannot do ourselves, we try to save money in case of emergencies.  When money is too tight in our lives, we look to do the work ourselves or get help from friends and we repay them some way we can help them.  For me, Stewardship works the same way, but to plan well as Stewards we need to make a specific commitment to the church to let everyone know what we are going to do for the church to help out. 

                                                                                                 3/27/2120

“What does Stewardship mean to me?“

Part 2: Issues that come with change and a plan I am going to try to follow 

 Last week I discussed how Stewardship is different than being just a member and ended with a call for letting our community know what we are going to do for the church to help out.  This is where I always ran into a problem.  I personally did not want credit for any of my good work because I wanted the work to get done, or money donated for good cause, but I did not want to be boastful of what I did.  I gave for God because it was right, and that did not need credit for my own advancement.  With different kinds of donations, I can still see where this mentality can work, but with Stewardship what I am giving, in either money or volunteering, is not a donation. 

For me now, Stewardship is not a gift, but it is my part of being a family committing to take care of each other in our joined love for our faith, our church, and our community.  When it comes to volunteering, we all need to know what we are all doing so we don’t all show up to do the same one thing as we need 1000 things throughout the course of a year.  When it comes to making a commitment of money, it is not a donation, but a pledge told to the church specifically, so the Church Board and Clergy know what to expect for the year as a budget.  The church can plan to fix what is needed in a responsible way and not have to cry out for an emergency fix. 

So, what does someone pledge to the church?  I have started to think about how I pledge to take care of my own home and immediate family.  I used to pay rent and now a mortgage, and I am ashamed to admit that I never gave more to the church for my yearly monetary donation as I did in paying my rent/mortgage for one month of that year.  At times I just couldn’t, other times when I could afford to give more, I kept giving the same.  But I always saw it as a donation.  Now, I am starting to see it differently and by pledging to the church what I plan to do, I feel more connected to the church. I also don’t want to let the church down, so I am going to start slowly and build into a more connected life with the church by trying to be a good Steward.  I still may not have it right, but I think I am on a better path.  It will take time and I know we are all here to help each other like a true community.

Mr. Basil Moutsatsos is a Steward of St Nicholas


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Master Calendar

  • St Nicholas Cathedral Master Calendar

    December 12 to December 27, 2021

    Sunday, December 12

    Fr Athanasios on Call - 727-741-0139

    11th Sunday of Luke

    7:45AM Othros/Matins

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    10:30AM Sunday school

    12:00PM Greek Folk Dance Bazaar

    6:00PM Carols in the Cathedral

    Monday, December 13

    Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes of Greater Armenia

    8:00AM Soup Kitchen Meal

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    4:00PM Greek Folk Dance

    6:00PM Small Compline

    6:30PM Orthodoxy 101

    Tuesday, December 14

    Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus of Asia Minor, and Philemon, Apollonius, and Arian of Alexandria

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    4:30PM Greek School

    6:00PM Philoptochos mailing

    6:00PM Daily Vespers

    Wednesday, December 15

    Eleutherios the Hieromartyr, Bishop of Illyricum, and his mother Anthia

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    10:00AM Little Lambs

    6:00PM Paraklesis to the Theotokos

    7:00PM GOYA Night

    Thursday, December 16

    The Holy Prophet Aggaeus (Haggai)

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    9:30AM Women's Book Club

    4:30PM Greek School

    6:00PM Daily Vespers

    7:00PM Choir Rehearsal

    Friday, December 17

    Daniel the Prophet & Ananias, Azarias, & Misail, the Three Holy Youths

    8:00AM Orthros/Matins

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    6:00PM Daily Vespers

    Saturday, December 18

    Sebastian the Martyr & his Companions

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    12:00PM Epiphany Diver Meeting

    6:00PM Great Vespers

    Sunday, December 19

    Fr Theofanis on Call - 727-244-6842

    Sunday before Nativity

    7:45AM Othros/Matins

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    10:30AM Sunday school

    2:00PM Visitation: Ikonomou

    3:00PM Funeral: Ikonomou

    6:00PM Parish Christmas Party

    Monday, December 20

    Ignatius the God-Bearer, Bishop of Antioch

    8:00AM Soup Kitchen Meal

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    4:00PM Greek Folk Dance

    6:00PM Small Compline

    Tuesday, December 21

    Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    4:30PM Greek School

    6:00PM Daily Vespers

    Wednesday, December 22

    Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    6:00PM Paraklesis to the Theotokos

    7:00PM GOYA Night

    Thursday, December 23

    Forefeast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

    8:00AM Orthros/Matins

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    4:30PM Greek School

    6:00PM Daily Vespers

    7:00PM Epiphany Meeting

    Friday, December 24

    OFFICE CLOSED - Christmas Day

    Eve of the Nativity of Christ

    8:00AM Royal Hours of Christmas

    10:00AM Vesperal Liturgy

    6:00PM Orthros/Matins

    7:00PM Divine Liturgy

    Saturday, December 25

    The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

    8:00AM Orthros/Matins

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    Sunday, December 26

    Fr Athanasios on Call - 727-741-0139

    Sunday after Nativity

    7:45AM Othros/Matins

    9:00AM Divine Liturgy

    Monday, December 27

    Winter Youth Rally

    Stephen, Archdeacon & First Martyr

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Parish Bulletin Board

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