Welcome to the Orthodox Church of St. Stephen the Protomartyr!
On the Sunday of Last Judgment the Divine Liturgy was followed by a Banquet to honor Protodeacon Michael. Deacon Michael and his wife, Gloria, have been serving at St. Stephens for almost the entire 25 years since Deacon Michael was ordained.
We were pleased to honor them and all the service they have offered the parish over the years on last on the Sunday before lent. To make the occasion even more festive we were received a visit from His Grace, Bishop Mark and we were able to celebrate a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.
- This Friday the teens will have an all-nighter at the Church beginning at 6:30. We will watch and discuss the film “Pay it Forward.” On Saturday morning we will go to Ss. Cosmas and Damian to help with some yard work.
- Anastasia Meinhardt will be baptized this Sunday before the Divine Liturgy. The baptism will start at 8:30.
- Forgiveness Vespers with the rite of forgiveness will be served immediately following the Divine Liturgy this Sunday and the annual meeting will follow the Vespers service.
- Vespers and “The Way” is this Wednesday at 6:30. This will be the final week of this class until after Great Lent.
- This week we prepare for Great Lent by fasting from meat. Dairy products are allowed on all day this week including Wednesday and Friday. The Great Fast begins on Monday. We will have services at 6:30PM Monday-Friday of next week.
- Protodeacon Michael’s anniversary was a wonderful event. His Grace Bishop Mark sent us a nice thank you note which is attached above.
- We have started a reading group on Goodreads.com. Its like a facebook for people who just want to talk about books. Our first book will be “Unseen Warfare” by St. Theophan the Recluse.
From Fr. Daniel's Email List
“What then is meant by the worship of God? It means that we have nothing extraneous in our intellect when we are praying to Him: neither sensual pleasure as we bless Him, nor malice as we sing His praise, nor hatred as we exalt Him, nor jealousy to hinder us as we speak to Him and call Him to mind. For all these things are full of darkness; they are a wall imprisoning our wretched soul, and if the soul has them in itself it cannot worship God with purity.” –St. Isaiah the Solitary
This week we celebrate the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple. This feast is celebrated 40 days after Christmas and brings the Nativity season to a close. Christ’s life shows us the way of our salvation. He is born in the darkness of the cave, and moves on toward baptism and the light of the Temple. The Temple is the icon of the Kingdom of Heaven and represents our salvation. We notice the same movement in the Paschal cycle of services. Just as Christ goes from the cave, to baptism, to the temple; during the Paschal cycle he goes from the cross to the resurrection to the His Ascension into the Heavenly Temple. His life journey is always moving toward the Temple. It is in the Temple that we receive the blessing and mercy of God for our salvation. This is why we love to be in God’s House and orient our lives around what we see in Church. We have icons in Church so we set up icons in our homes. We pray in Church. We ought to pray in our homes. We conduct ourselves with dignity and humility in Church. We ought to model these virtues in our homes as well. Here is a short homily on the Feast from St Sophronius of Jerusalem.
-From Fr. Daniel's Weekly Email
We have a number of events comming up including
- The Super Bowl Party will be Feb. 5th. We'll have hamburgers and hot dogs at coffee hour followed by a game of flag football. Then we will all get together to watch the game. There will be games and prizes.
- Our annual parish meeting will be on Feb 12 this year. You can find the agenda and reports attached to this email. If you have any questions about the reports or financial records, please give me a call. The only thing missing should be the audit report. The books have been audited, and the report will be provided at the meeting.
- James Hargrave, our missionary to Tanzania, will be worshiping with us this Sunday and next.
- Fr. Alexander Atty, the Dean of St. Tikhon Seminary, will be speaking in Inverness, FL at St. Raphael Orthodox Chruch on Saturday February 11.
-From Fr. Daniel's Weekly Email
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