December Message From Father Peter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Christ is in our Midst!

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. In his Encyclical for the Nativity Fast, His Grace has asked us to increase our efforts in church attendance, in prayer, in fasting, in scriptural reading, in almsgiving, in repentance and confession, and in receiving the Holy Eucharist.

Given the worrisome state of affairs in the world, and the difficulties so many of us face at work, school and even in our home lives, His Grace has asked us to join him in increased prayer for peace this Nativity Fast Season.

To this end, he has offered a challenge to all of the faithful of the Diocese and especially our youth to offer a special prayer for peace each night of the forty day fast during evening prayers. During each Divine Liturgy of Advent, we will also offer a special petition for peace in the Litany of Fervent Supplication. This past Sunday I distributed prayer cards with this special prayer printed on it. Each household should have sufficient copies so that each young person that can read has one by their bed to use nightly and those who are too young to read may say this prayer together with their parents before they go to bed. Of course all adults should join the challenge as well so that all together our prayers will reach our Lord’s ears.

With the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere in the world, it is more clear than ever that something needs to be done to stop the terrible violence and bring comfort those who are suffering. There is nothing so powerful than prayer, especially when an entire parish and Diocese is united in one mind and heart.

Thank you for taking up this challenge, and may the Lord Bless us with much peace and increased love this Nativity Season. Happy Fasting and a Blessed Journey!

With Love In Christ,

Fr. Peter