Tuesday, December 22, 2015
I great you with much joy as we begin our celebration of the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ! During the time of the Nativity Fast, we labored to prepare ourselves for this beautiful and holy feast, through increased prayer, fasting and the performance of acts of kindness and generosity. This year, as an additional spiritual discipline, we were encouraged by Bishop Gregory to add a special intention to our prayers – world peace. Through His Grace’s Nativity Fast Prayer Challenge, we were united with our fellow parishioners, the members of our Diocesan Family and hundreds of other Orthodox Christians and friends in praying, each day for peace – for the world, and our own families.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
The month of December is upon us. The Church at this time of year invites us to take a spiritual journey with the Most-Holy Mother of God and the Righteous Joseph to the cave in Bethlehem where our Savior is to be born. This year, during the Nativity Fast, we have been challenged by our Father in Christ, Bishop Gregory, to be spiritually active Orthodox Christians.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ! Christ is in our Midst! During the month of November we honor the memory of one of the most beloved saints of the twentieth century, St. Nectarios of Aegina. We have had a devotion in this parish and the Diocese to St. Nectarios for nearly a quarter of a century. Since assuming the pastorate at St. John’s in 1994, I have celebrated the Moleben to St. Nectarios on a monthly basis which has been a blessing for our parish. Throughout the Diocese, many miraculous healings have been attributed to St. Nectarios, especially those suffering from cancer. St. Nectarios stands as a beacon of light, manifesting the power of love and holiness.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Christ Is In Our Midst! This month we celebrate the incredibly beautiful and hope-filled feast of the Protection of the Mother of God. On this feast, we remember a miracle that took place in the 10th century in the city of Constantinople. In the middle of the night, as the faithful were praying, during a time of attack on the city, the Mother of God appeared in the Church and held her veil over the city in protection. As a result the enemy attackers fled and the city was spared. Fast forwarding to the 21st century, we also celebrate an incredible miracle associated with the Mother of God. This year, on the eve of the Feast of The Protection, we mark the fourth anniversary of another miracle… the myrrh streaming icon of the Mother of God Kardiotessa of Taylor, PA.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Glory Be To Jesus Christ! It is hard to believe that the Summer is nearly complete and our youth and young adults have returned to school for another academic year. I am looking forward to a return to a more active parish life as we begin the new Church Year. As we begin the 2015-2016 Church School Program later this month, I ask all parents to do everything in their power to make the religious education of their children a priority. Regular attendance at Church School and Divine Liturgy and frequent participation in the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Communion is essential in the spiritual formation of serious, active Orthodox Christians, who will be equipped to carry their crosses in this spiritually difficult generation.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Dear Parishioners and Friends, Glory To Jesus Christ! Glory Forever! Each year, I look forward to summer. I enjoy spending time with my family on vacation, and taking in the beauty of God’s creation, which is so abundant during this season. It is very important for our physical, emotional and spiritual well being that we take time away from our hectic daily work and school schedules and rest. Summer is the perfect time for this! Unfortunately, for many, this taking a break from the normal daily routine involves taking a break from the spiritual life: i.e. attending Church less frequently and reducing or eliminating entirely one’s daily rule of prayer and spiritual disciplines. It is precisely during this time of rest from the stresses of daily life that we have a golden opportunity to grow closer to our Lord, and to pray more fervently. We also have more time to read the Bible and other books of a spiritual nature. I highly recommend reading in addition to the daily scripture readings about the lives of the saints. If you have not already read the Book Everyday Saints please get a copy, it is excellent!.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
It is hard to believe that our fifty day Paschal Season has come to a close and that the Great Feast of Pentecost is here! I love how we celebrate this feast in our parish. Following the tradition of our ancestors as faithfully preserved by our ever-memorable sacristan, Helen Rowland, our church is abundantly laden with greenery from birch trees. Karen Ivers’ sister Deb, does an amazing job of preparing swags of greenery which are placed everywhere. This, along with beautiful red roses which symbolize the fire of the Holy Spirit, lets us know in no uncertain terms that on this feast day we celebrate new life in the Church which comes from the Most Holy Spirit. It is my prayer that we will all be strengthened in body and soul and spirit, as we re-experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church on this Great Feast. On this day, may we invite the Holy Spirit, to come and dwell within us, so that we may receive anew its life-giving fruits:
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, what a blessing it is that we are now in the midst of the forty day celebration of the Saving Passion and Glorious Resurrection of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our celebration of the Feast of Feasts, here at St. John’s was incredible! No words can possibly describe the joy we experienced as we proclaimed for the first time this season the Truth of our Faith, that Christ is Risen From The Dead and By His Death He Conquered Death! Our celebration, gives us hope and the strength to push away the darkness of despair, grief, sadness and pain that all of us in this fallen earthly life have experienced to one degree or another. Together, by our reception of the Holy Eucharist, we have in the words of the Paschal Canon, “partaken of a new drink..” a spring of immortality, welling up from the tomb of Christ from which we draw strength.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
It is hard to believe that the Holy Season of Great Lent is nearly complete and Holy Week and Pascha are just around the corner. What a drastic transformation has taken place in our natural environment during these weeks of the Holy Fast! When we began, there were several feet of snow on the ground with even more falling on the Sunday of Orthodoxy as we prepared to celebrate Vespers at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. And now, as I sit in front of the computer writing this message, the snow is gone and I see the crocuses and daffodil shoots coming out of the ground! Hopefully, we can truthfully say the same is true in our spiritual lives
Friday, February 27, 2015
Brothers and Sisters, Isn’t it interesting that the Church uses the adjective “Great” when it refers to the fasting season in preparation for the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord? As we know this season is referred to as either Great Lent or the Great Fast. From a human standpoint, we might legitimately ask what is so great about Lent? After all it is a time of deprivation and negative. What is so great about giving up some of the things we love so much: meat, dairy, sweets, and other pleasures and entertainments? What is so great about having to fit our busy weekday schedules attendance at the Wednesday and Friday Presanctified Liturgy and Paraklis Services?
Friday, January 30, 2015
On Saturday, February 21, 2015, at 5:30 pm our parish will be hosting our annual Pre-Lenten Theme Dinner: A Night in the Old Country featuring your favorite Slavic foods - Stuffed Cabbage, Kielbassi & Kraut, Pierogies and more! Cost is $15.00 per person. $5.00 ages 5-13 and 4 and under: free. Please make your reservations by email to Fr. Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 14
Friday, January 30, 2015
Having just completed a more than five hundred 500 mile journey around the parish blessing homes this past weekend, I was amazed to discover that for the first time in 21 years as a priest, that I forgot last Sunday was the unofficial start of the Pre-Lenten Season. Concentrating as I was on extending the blessing of the Jordan to your homes and spreading the joy of the Theophany Feast, Last Sunday I neglected to read the Gospel Reading of Zacchaeus, in addition to the appointed readings for the Sunday after Theophany.
Friday, December 05, 2014
Our Annual St. Nicholas festal celebration will take place on Sunday December 21, 2014. The festivities will begin with Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am. A catered brunch will follow Liturgy and will include a visit from St. Nicholas. The cost of the brunch is $10.00 per adult; children 5 and up: $4.00; children under 5: free. All parents are kindly asked to bring a wrapped present
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