SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

December News from St. John's.........

Nov 22, 2020
December News from St. John's.........

Happy Birthday to all those celebrating their birthday in December: Greg Cahayla on December 6, Effie Stankovci and Georgiana Stankiewicz  both on December 7, and Elizabeth Hook on December 27. We wish all of you a very Happy Birthday and may God grant each of you Many Blessed Years!

 

Helen Baron would like to thank everyone who helped with the supplies for Thanksgiving. She reminds us all that Christmas, especially at this time when many families have lost jobs and income, will be here soon and food supplies will be sorely needed. Please help with groceries or financially, and let’s fill the basket in the vestibule. Thank you! And thank you Helen for your efforts in this matter.

 

The FOCA decided not to collect toys and gifts for the Seminarian Families this year. However, the district formed a collection to purchase gift cards to distribute to the families. Here at St. John’s, Betty Ann Fechisin organized and collected funds to buy gift cards for the Seminarian Families who were in need. Betty Ann would like to thank everyone who participated in this effort and thank you Betty Ann for a successful collection.

 

It is now the Nativity Fast and we are still in the sufferings of the coronavirus that plagues us. This year will be different for many of us and this may bring depression and sadness in our lives. But that does not need to be! We are blessed that our churches are open and there is room in many of them for those who will use this time of the year to focus on the true meaning of the season. You are welcome to join us. All the people who attend practice social distancing and wearing masks.

 

Governments change, laws change, countries change, nothing stays the same. But God does not change. We need only to read the passage in Hebrews: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for He has said, "I will never fail you nor forsake you." Hence we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?" Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:5-9) You can depend on that!

 

It is important to remember that He loves us more than we can imagine and this love will help us through this difficult time. Remember Him daily, visit His house of worship each Sunday, pray to Him always and the Nativity Season will be blessed and glorious for you and your family and for those you include in your prayers.

 

Saturday, November 21, was the Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos. It is one of the 12 important feast days of the year. There were 11 people in our church. May the Lord accept your excuse for missing this important feast day.

 

Prayers for Protection against a Pandemic

 

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon thy people gathered in thy name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the coronavirus. Send thine angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve thee in peace and glorify thy most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.  (Orthodox Church in America)

 

“Lord Jesus Christ our God, You Who created human beings with utter goodness, the healer of our souls and bodies, heed now the supplication of Your children, and save us from the impeding threat against the world. For this affliction has spread ferociously and the fear of death has surrounded us. Many have suffered and many have passed on to repose, and there is none to save us, except You, O Lord. We know, Merciful Lord, that all this will cultivate our faith, as we implore you, crying out in utter repentance. Undo, O Lord, the dangerous effects of the virus and heal all people, as a most Gracious Lord. For those, who repose in peace, give rest in Your heavenly abode. Grant peace to the world, so that all people know that You are the Only God, and your faithful are not bound by death, but live forever. For You are our hope and our whole life is in Your benevolent hands, and to You we give glory, as well as to the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”   (Greek Orthodox Didocese of America)

 

Most-Holy Theotokos, because of our sins our pastors forbid the kissing of Thy holy image. Forgive us for treating the holy icons with contempt, putting them on coffee cups and T-shirts, not showing due respect to what is holy.  Forgive us for treating the Liturgy with inattentive indifference, which has reduced us to watching it on a screen and to suffer sacramental starvation.  Forgive us for our pride and arrogance, that we now have to mask ourselves and visibly see our shame. Grant that this time of trial keep us not from the Grace to theoria. O Mother of God, help us, for we have no other help than thee!”  (Monastery of the Holy Archangel Michael - OCA)

 

Please pray for the children. Recently heard: “America is in a moral freefall. We murder babies in the womb and if they survive the womb, you try to seduce them into transgender sexual deviation, if they survive that you try to corrupt them in a Godless education, if they survive that and grow to be adults, you drown them in a sea of pornography.  This is a country so far into [sin and depravity]  that nothing surprises me.” ( John MaCarthur)    Please pray for our country and especially for the children!

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Great Vespers - 5:00 PM

Have your children send a Christmas greeting to someone you know who is without family, expressing the true meaning of Christmas. It may be nice to have a card made by the child.