Dear Friends in Christ,
We are sad to inform you of the passing of the servant of God, John Pagonis— husband, father, grandfather and friend. We offer our deepest sympathies to Ruth, Christina, Jimmy, Timothy and Michael and all who know and love John
The Viewing will be on Monday, January 6 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm with Trisagion prayers at 6:00 pm
The Funeral will be Tuesday at 11:00 am at St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church followed by a Makaria meal.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Philothea GOC Capital Campaign.
May his memory be eternal!
Divine Liturgy and Other Services
Divine Liturgy 10:00am
Fellowship Hour 11:30am
Week Day Liturgies:
Regular Vespers/Paracleseis Wednesday at 6:00pm unless otherwise noted on the calendar.
Feast Days for the Month:
January 5 6:00 pm Liturgy of Epiphany followed by Blessing of the Waters
January 6 9:00 am Liturgy of Epiphany followed by Blessing of the Waters
January 7 9:00 am Liturgy for St. John the Baptist
January 8 5:45 pm Liturgy for St. Eustratios the Wonderworker
January 17 9:00 am Liturgy for St. Anthony the Great
January 25 8:00 am Liturgy for St. Gregory the Theologian, followed by Lenten Retreat
January 29 5:45 pm Liturgy for Three Hierarchs
Ephiphany Service and Blessing of the Waters
The feast of Epiphany is one of the major holy days of the Orthodox Church, because on that day Christ descended into the Jordan to fulfill "all righteousness", and in turn sanctified the waters to renew all of creation. It was then for the first time that we understand God as Trinity, 'Three Persons in one essence', which transformed our understanding of the Old Testament. By honoring this day we participate in the renewal of the earth thru the Blessing of the Waters.
During the day on Sunday, January 5th is a strict fast day in preparation for this feast, no meat, dairy, wine or oil as we leave the feast of Christmas and prepare to receive the “Blessing of the Waters”.
Grief Support Group: Come and join this small group two Mondays a month.
Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 at 7:00pm (Note day change for January)
Fr. Anthony will be doing house blessings on Saturday Jan. 11th, 18th and Feb. 1st.
If you have not already signed up at church to have your house blessed, please fill out the form below and turn in to Fr. Anthony. You may also sign up at church. Please submit requests by Epiphany.
Once requests are in, you will be contacted with an exact time and date.
Name ________________ Date _____________ am/pm _________ Phone____________
Cutting of the Vassilopita
Will this be your lucky year? The tradition of cutting the Vasilopita will take place Sunday, Jan. 12th.
Also, Philoptochos will take a 2nd collection to support St. Basil Academy.
Shared from St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago. The tradition of baking and cutting a special "pita" (which can mean a loaf of bread, a cake, or even a pie) each year on January 1st is observed in honor of our Holy Father Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia-hence its name Vasilopita. This tradition is observed in both parish churches and in the homes of the Orthodox Christian faithful. What is the meaning or this tradition and how did it begin? For centuries upon centuries parents, grandparents and godparents have related the following pious story to Orthodox children about Saint Basil and the Vasilopita.
One year, during a time of terrible famine, the Emperor levied a sinfully excessive tax upon the people of Caesarea. The tax was such a heavy burden upon the already impoverished people that to avoid debtor's prison each family had to relinquish its few remaining coins as well as pieces of jewelry, including precious family heirlooms. Learning of this injustice against his flock, Saint Basil the Great, the Archbishop of Ceasarea, took up his bishop's staff and the book of the Holy Gospels and came to his people's defense by fearlessly calling the Emperor to repentance. By God's grace, the Emperor did repent! He cancelled the tax and instructed his tax collectors to turn over to Saint Basil all of the chests containing the gold coins and jewelry which had been paid as taxes by the people of Caesarea.
But now Saint Basil was faced with the daunting and impossible task of returning these gold coins and pieces of jewelry to their rightful owners. After praying for a long time before the icons of our Lord Jesus Christ and His All-Holy Mother (Theotokos), Saint Basil had all the treasures baked into one huge "pita" or "bread." He then called all the townspeople to prayer at the cathedral and after Divine Liturgy he blessed and cut the "pita", giving a piece to each person. Miraculously each owner received in his piece of Vasilopita his own valuable. They all joyfully returned home, giving thanks to God who had delivered them from abject poverty and to their good and holy bishop, Saint Basil the Great.
In remembrance of that miracle wrought by God as a result of Saint Basil's prayers, love and defense of his people, Orthodox Christians have observed the tradition of the Vasilopita each year on January 1st-the date on which Saint Basil reposed in the Lord in the year 379 A.D.
In some places the Vasilopita is prepared as a loaf of rich bread (like that used for Artoklasia), while in other places it takes the form of a spicy cake (without frosting). But no matter what form a Vasilopita may take, they all have one thing in common-each contains a single coin. After placing the bread dough or batter in the proper baking pan, the baker makes with the foil wrapped coin the sign of the Cross over it, closes his/her eyes, and then secretly places into the unbaked Vasilopita.
After the Vasilopita is baked and cooled, it is blessed and cut following Divine Liturgy for the feast of Saint Basil the Great. At churches it is blessed and cut in the parish church or community center by the bishop or priest and in homes it is blessed and cut by the head of the household, usually the father. The blessing of the Vasilopita usually begin with the Apolytikion (Dismissal hymn) of Saint Basil the Great, chanted in Tone 1:
"Thy sound hath gone forth into all the earth that received thy word. Thereby thou hast divinely taught the Faith; Thou has made manifest the nature of things that be; Thou hast adorned the ways of man. O namesake of the royal priesthood, O our righteous Father Basil, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Parish Council will be sworn in on Sunday, January 12th followed by election of executive officer.
First meeting will be on Wednesday, January 15th at 7 p.m.
Stewardship— If you have not yet turned in a Pledge Card for 2020 and need one, please see Stacey Cramer or Fr. Anthony.
Prayerfully consider your family’s contribution of time, talent and treasurer for your 2020 Pledge Card. It is a great help in planning our budget for 2020 and indicate which ministries you would like to participate in.
Greeters Meeting and Photograph
Calling all greeters! Please attend this important training meeting on Sunday January 13, for the spring schedule and stay for the group photograph.
Spaghetti Dinners and Live Entertainment 6-7:30 pm :
Thursday, January 16th with live entertainment
Dinner includes spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, dessert and drink. Marinara sauce is available once the fast begins.
Please join us and bring your friends. Adults $8.00/Children-$4.00
For more info visit http://stphilothea.org/events/festival-and-dinners
MoD Meeting: Sunday, January 19th following the Divine Liturgy
Mother's Day Out
Mothers Day Out
Tuesday,January 21 at 10:00 am. Bring a covered dish to share with everyone; child care will be provided. Bring a friend and meet other young mothers to talk about faith and life.
January 22 and 29 from 6:45 till 8:00 pm following church service.
Inquirer's Class is winding up. It's not only for those who becoming Orthodox but also for everyone to continue learning.
Mark your calendar, we will meet the noted Wednesdays!
Finance Comittee Meeting
Finance Committee Meeting will be Thursday, January 23rd from 7:00-8:00 pm
Pre-Lenten Retreat: Friday and Saturday January 24-25th with Fr. Paul Costopoulos, Emeritus Priest from Holy Trinity/Holy Cross GOC in Birmingham Alabama. It will be an inspiring time of worship, fellowship and learning with this inspired teacher and man of God. Please save the date and plan on attending. More information to come.
Bigger Vision... Be a Blessing
Dates in the New year Jan. 27, Feb. 24, Mar. 23, Apr. 27
Please consider lending a hand, a little or a lot, for providing dinners to the homeless.
A group of 6 people is needed to serve and volunteers to plan and cook a meal. Donations of protein, starch, vegetable and fruit/dessert are needed for the meals!
Please contact Kate and Mike McClain if you would like to join the team.
Planning Committee Meeting:
Thursday, January 30th at 7:00 pm to plan for the coming year.
Sunday Diakonia - Volunteer Schedule
Thank you to our Coffee Hour Host and as we are a little short-handed, a friendly reminder to for the hosts to come in a little earlier to help set up and stay a little afterwards to help clean up.
Store is open for business: Offering books, CD’s, prayer ropes, gift items, Orthodox Study Bibles and more. Stop by and shop every Sunday after church.
Kurt needs help picking up bread from Publix and delivering it to the Salvation Army every Sunday.
Please see Kurt if you would like to participate in this important ministry.
ACTS Food Bank
St. Philothea's next scheduled date to volunteer this next few months is:
Tuesday, February 4th, April 7th and June 2nd 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Let Fr. Anthony or Roy Stamey know if you are able to help out, a little or a lot. Any and All help is always appreciated!
Fall General Assembly Sunday, March 15th following the Divine Liturgy.
The agenda includes the follow:
- Vision for the coming Year
- Council of Miistry Update
- Report on Marswood Hall.
Please put it on your calendar and plan on attending.