SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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

May 6, 2017
News from St. John's...........

The following is Father Igor’s important message from the Enlightener.  If you haven’t yet received your copy of the Enlightener, the entire message is repeated below.  

 

Christ is Risen!  Indeed He is Risen!

 

Orthodox Christians often times are called to live in a way that is different than the lifestyles promoted or even accepted in our society.  We are called to lead moral lives as prescribed by the Gospel – a prospect that directly challenges the politically motivated moralities promoted in contemporary times, let alone dealing with the realities of peer pressure, indulgent desires, or our minority status in this great land.  It seems that as Orthodox Christians we almost don’t fit in.  It seems as if we are somewhat “set apart.”

 

A reading of the Bible, with a quick perusal of Church history will comfort us to know that we are not alone, and that being set apart keeps us right on track with the Christian path.  In the gospel account of John, Jesus teaches:  “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own.  Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”  (John 15:18, 19)

 

If we are to truly be Orthodox Christians, we must return to Scripture and commit ourselves to a life set apart rooted in one experience alone – love!  Before Jesus refers to the hatred that the world has for those committed to Him, He gave a commandment for those who are to follow Him:  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”  (John 15:12)

 

The true Orthodox Christian experience of sainthood is witnessing Jesus Christ manifest in one’s love offered to another.  Love is what sets us apart from the world. 

 

As Jesus Christ taught, we may be disliked or even hated for our Christian lifestyle!  There will be times when those attacks will hurt, and times when it seems so hard to maintain Christian resolve that we wish to give up.  Yet with trust in the Resurrection and mercy of our Lord we can endure anything – the example of the martyrs bear witness to that.  There will be times when we wish to lash out and fight back, and there are appropriate times to bear witness to Christ by standing up for Truth.  Yet we are always called to remember that witnessing the love of Jesus Christ in the way that we live our lives makes the greatest statement of that Truth.

 

As we now celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection, let us reaffirm our resolve as an Orthodox Christian who is set apart from the world around us.  This is not done by reexamining the clothes that we wear, make-up that we put on, or any other outer signs of our appearance.  As Orthodox Christians we set ourselves apart from the world by choosing to love one another!

 

As we chant the proclamation of our faith that Christ is Risen, let that chant resonate in our actions of loving someone better today than you did yesterday!  And as we pray in the Divine Liturgy, let us love one another so that with one mind we may confess.........

 

Christ is Risen!  Indeed He is Risen!

 

With love in Risen Christ,

Fr. Igor

 

Congratulations to Kathy and George Petrow on the birth of their first grandchild, Grayson Edward, on March 27.  Parents are Gregory and Jessica Petrow.  Many Years to all! 

 

Food Pantry coordinator, Helen Baron, thanks everyone for their generous donations of food and money.  The need exists all year long and your help is greatly appreciated at all times.  Thank you very much and Many Years!

 

The Passaic “O” Club thanks everyone for your generous donations on Palm Sunday for their annual “Gifts of Love” collection.  The funds this year will be sent to help repair the St. Nicholas Chapel in Kenai, Alaska.  The entire complex – church, chapel, rectory, and cemetery was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970, however, due to the rough  weather conditions and age of the Chapel, there are many repairs that need to be done.  Thank you again and God grant you all Many Years!

 

On St. Thomas Sunday, April 23, we gathered at East Ridgelawn Cemetery for a Panikhida and blessing of graves.  A Panikhida was held in the chapel on the grounds for all those who were remembered by their families and friends; and following the service, individual graves of those who had fallen asleep in the Lord were blessed.  "THAT THE LORD OUR GOD WILL ESTABLISH THEIR SOULS IN A PLACE OF BRIGHTNESS, A PLACE OF REFRESHMENT, A PLACE OF REST, WHERE ALL THE RIGHEOUS DWELL, LET US PRAY TO THE LORD."            Pictures are in the Photo Gallery. 

 

Printable calendar for May can be downloaded here.

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CALENDAR

October 2017
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St. Demetrius Memorial Saturday - Divine Liturgy - 9:00 a.m.

Demetrius Memorial Saturday - Divine Liturgy and General Panikhida -  "The saying is sure: If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him; if we endure, we shall also reign with Him;"   (2 Tim 2:11-12)