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March 2018 Message From Fr. Peter
Monday, March 05, 2018

We are now two weeks into the Great Fast! We have begun to stretch our spiritual muscles and hopefully we are starting to reap the benefits of this joyful season.

To someone outside the household of the faith, it seems incomprehensible that we could describe this time of increased spiritual effort and fasting as being joyful. Only one who walks the walk of the Lenten Disciplines of the Church can possibly understand this miraculous reality, that in our deprivation of food and earthly pleasures, we are filled with spiritual riches that warms our heart and nourishes our soul.

February 2018 Message From Fr. Peter
Thursday, February 01, 2018

It is hard to believe that so soon after celebrating the beautiful feasts of The Nativity of Our Lord and Theophany, we have now begun our journey to another spiritually amazing season: that of Great Lent.

As the above hymn which is sung as the Season of the Great Fast begins teaches us, Great Lent is a wonderful gift from the Church. While it is true that Lent is spiritually challenging, its purpose is not to punish us, but rather help us. There is so much spiritual fruit for us to feast on, with the beautiful Divine services and the many opportunities for quiet time and reflection.

January 2018 Message From Fr. Peter
Monday, January 01, 2018

II greet you with great spiritual joy as we conclude the beautiful and saving days of the Nativity Fast. I look forward to celebrating the deeply moving and spiritually uplifting services of Christmas with all of you. I especially enjoy the Vigil Service for the Nativity, when in the wee hours of the morning we sing the beautiful Christmas Canon that was composed by St. Cosmas of Maiuma.

In the ninth Ode of the Canon, which we repeat as the Hymn to the Virgin at the Christmas Liturgy, we proclaim the great mystery of the birth of our Saviour.

2017 Christmas Giving Tree
Saturday, November 18, 2017

This year our Annual Christmas Outreach Project will assist the needy of Stratford. It involves the following:

1. Providing personal care items for the needy of Stratford.
2. Preparing a Festive Christmas Dinner at the Lord's Kitchen on Wednesday Dec 20th.
3. Assisting a needy family in the Greater Stratford Community.

To participate, please select one or more items you would like to donate from the Online Giving Tree (Link is Found on Parish Website Home Page) With the exception of certain items of prepared food we are asking for cash donations of varying amounts to cover the personal care items which the Church has already bought in bulk at an incredible savings, the meal ingredients, and the family assistance.

Please make payment on Sundays at Church or mail checks payable to St. John The Baptist Orthodox Church, 1240 Broadbridge Avenue, Stratford, CT 06615. Attention: Christmas Outreach.

Please be generous. Contact Fr. Peter with any questions at or 203-260-0423

November 2017 Message From Fr. Peter
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

It is hard to believe that Autumn has arrived and later this month, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with our families around our tables.

This month (November 21) we celebrate the feast of the Archangel Michael and the Bodiless Powers of Heaven. It is a beautiful feast that reminds us of the ministry of angels within the life of the Church.

We live in what some may pessimistically describe as dark days. Yes we are faced with unprecedented conflict in the world, with the threat of nuclear war and a looming health care crisis

We are organizing a parish outing to a UCONN Women's Basketball Game on Sunday Dec 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm at the XL Center in Hartford. The Lady Huskies are playing Notre Dame, so it should be an exciting game!

We need to get a minimum group of 12 people to get a special group rate of approx $27 with fees. Please add your name to the online sign-up sheet below indicating the number of tickets you would like to reserve by Nov 14, 2017.

October 2017 Message From Fr. Peter
Thursday, September 28, 2017

It is good to see parish life returning to a more active pace as we begin the New Church Year. Thankfully Church attendance has picked up I am thrilled that we had a nice group of people taking part in the weekday holy days of the Nativity of the Theotokos and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Having a core group of people honoring these feasts is good for the spiritual health of our parish. These feasts give us an opportunity to thank God for his many blessings, and strengthen us in our resolve to grow spiritually.

September 2017 Message From Fr. Peter
Thursday, August 31, 2017

I greet you with much joy as begin the New Church Year.
With Summer vacation over and our children and young adults back to school, parish life now shifts to high gear. Later this month our Church School program begins and we resume our Orthodox Boot Camp” adult education series. We also celebrate the Great Feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God and the Exaltation of the Precious Cross, which set the tone for parish life in this new Church Year.

Summer 2017 Message From Fr. Peter
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It was such a joy to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost with all of you! The services were spiritually uplifting and the Church, thanks to Karen Ivers was beautifully decorated with greenery. We were blessed to have a wonderful new addition to our Church temple for this feast, the beautiful icon of the Mother of God of the Sign, which was donated in memory of Helen Rowland.

It is hard to believe that we are now in the final days of Holy Week!

I have been very pleased this year to observe the seriousness with which you, the faithful of this community, are walking on the path way of the Great Fast. Not only has attendance been greater at the various Lenten services, I see in the calm demeanor of so many of you the fruits of the three pillars of Lent at work in your lives, that of Prayer, Fasting and Good Works.

I have enjoyed our discussion of our Lenten reading book The Way of The Pilgrim. The Pilgrim’s quest for intimate communion with God in unceasing prayer has inspired us to become more zealous in our own prayer life.

Parishioner Tim Paproski, along with seven other Diocesan College Students is in the midst of an 8 day service learning trip to Thessaloniki, Greece. Thanks to the generosity of a grant from the Kulis Foundation and assistance from parishioners, Tim is able to take part in the Orthodox Christian Fellowship Real Break Program which offers Orthodox College students an alternate Spring Break Travel opportunity.

Tim and his Diocesan colleagues are part of a 30 person Team who will tour the Orthodox Holy Places in Thessaloniki and assist with outreach projects of the Orthodox Church of Thessaloniki. Learn More and view the Team's daily travel blog.

On Thursday, March 2, 2017, Fr. Peter and Pani Carol with parishioners, Eve, Karen, Hailey and Charles traveled to Three Holy Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Chapel in Storrs, CT to celebrate the Great Canon of St.

March 2017 Message From Fr. Peter
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We are now at the threshold of the Great and Holy Fast in preparation for the Feast of Feasts, The Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.

During the first week of the Fast, although fasting from food, extraneous conversation, and sinful activity, we feast on the rich spiritual food offered to us in the daily services of the Lenten Hours, Compline and the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, the Presanctified Liturgy and the Service of Supplication (Paraklis) to the Most-Holy Mother of God. These services with their penitential and somber character, often served in a candlelit Church, are a source of consolation and assistance to us as we labor to repent – to change our mind and our hearts, so that we can foster a deeper relationship with our Lord.

February 2017 Message From Fr. Peter
Thursday, February 02, 2017

What an incredible few weeks it has been since the Great Feast of Theophany! I have very much enjoyed travelling to nearly every home in the parish. The custom of blessing homes is a very beautiful opportunity for me to extend the blessing of the Jordan River to your home, and spend some quality time in fellowship with you. During our visits we have shared our hopes and dreams for a happy, holy and blessed New Year and have prayed that God grant us many more years together, serving God as he gives us the ability and strength.

January 2017 Message From Fr. Peter
Thursday, December 29, 2016

I great you with much joy as we enter into the final days of preparation before the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.

During the time of Advent we began a beautiful adult education class on a new book on the Orthodox Faith, Welcome To the Orthodox Church – An Introduction to Eastern Orthodoxy. Written by a convert to the faith, it discusses in great detail the Orthodox Christian theological understanding of Salvation, as opposed to that espoused by other Christian Confessions. This book very beautifully describes the coming into the world of our Savior as a rescue operation. He came to redeem, or rather, rescue us from the darkness of sin, which tarnished the image of God within us as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve.

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