SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

October Message from Father Igor......

Oct 4, 2016
October Message from Father Igor......

Father’s October message is posted here in its entirety.  It has a very important message and one that effects all of us especially if we are involved with the raising of truly happy, content children.    If you haven’t read it in this month’s Enlightener, please take the time to do so here.  

 

One often hears the complaint that our lives are too busy.  Trying to keep up with all the activities that seem to fill our lives, demands so much of our time that we often feel like we are living on the surface of life just skimming along.  What are the meaning and purpose of our activities, as families, as individuals, as a parish, and how do they fit in with Christ’s Invitation to us, through his Church, to a renewed sense of faith, ministry, and purpose?  

 

A key word in helping to answer these questions is STEWARDSHIP; the recognition of God’s gracious gifts to us of life, time, talent, and resources, and the use and sharing of those gifts for the work and ministry of his Church and the benefit of others.  How should we understand our stewardship of God’s gifts? 

 

The ministry and work of the Church take on many forms and expressions.  What are some of these?  There is, of course, the stewardship of our material resources, of our money.  The good use of our money is essential to a proper understanding of stewardship.  In conjunction with the offering of our material resources, there is also the offering of our time and talents

 

The sharing of our gifts for the benefit of others finds expression through worship, which strengthens our families and us as a parish, and our faith in and commitment to Christ. 

 

It also finds expression through education.  The culture in which we live is, to a great extent, youth-oriented, Generally speaking, whatever else parents may be or do, they love their children.    They want to give them the best possible education, to be healthy, materially secure, and to have every opportunity to live their lives to the fullest.  They love them, and this love directs exorbitant attention to them, sometimes to their detriment. 

 

Thoughtful parents also want to give their children something more.  They want to instill in them a deep sense of faith in God, and a set of values and a philosophy of life based on the teachings of Christ.  They want to develop in them a profound awareness of God and appreciation of the sanctity of life. 

 

There is no question that these things are needed today.  One glance at the problems of society in general, I believe, convinces us that what is needed most is a spiritual foundation.  The problems of our society are not primarily  social, economic, or political.  They are, above all, spiritual.  The alienation, confusion,  rebelliousness, and violence so characteristic of our society are fundamentally rooted in the absence of a vital Christian faith and the lack of a genuine Christian vision of life.

 

There are no quick, easy solutions to these problems and issues, just as there are no quick, easy ways to bring up children.  There is, however, a way toward a solution to these problems and issues, which is not easy, but which is in the long run the only true and effective way;  continuous conversion and renewal as Christians within the spiritual and sacramental life of the Church.  This way, too, is essential in the growth of our personal understand of the important of the good stewardship of God’s gifts to us.

 

The Church offers many ways and opportunities for spiritual growth:  participation in the sacraments, worship, prayer, fellowship, study of its rich tradition and sacred writings, and many activities.  It knows that it has a difficult task ahead.  But it also knows that dedicated work and persistent effort can with God’s grace bear much fruit.  Worship every Saturday night and Sunday morning together as a family.  Pray together at home before meals and special occasions.  Stress the value and importance of philanthropy, the giving and sharing of our blessings for the good and benefit of others.  Talk about the Church and parish to your children and others in a positive, faithful, and constructive manner.  Participate in the Sacrament of Confession and prepare as a family to receive Holy Communion on a regular basis.   

 

It is our task and privilege, as clergy, parents, or simply Christian men and women, to realize the ultimate importance and significance of our personal commitment to Christ, His Church, and our Orthodox Christian Faith.  May we always seek the strength and grace from our Lord to be faithful to our high calling. 

 

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Igor

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Great Vespers - 6:00 p.m.

Great Vespers for Sunday Divine Liturgy  -  O Lord, keep us this day without sin. Blessed are Thou, O Lord, God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name forever.