SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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

Aug 24, 2020
September News from St. John's.......

“For Thou dost not wish, O Master, that the work of Thy hands should perish, neither doest Thou take pleasure in the destruction of men; but Thou desirest that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” (Prayer of St. Basil) A prayer of St. Basil with hope that the word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is preached to everyone who aspires to know the truth. And this hope is fulfilled when all those who hear are inspired by the words of our Archbishop Michael.  He will be joining us for Divine Liturgy at St. John’s on Saturday “The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.”

 

Archbishop Michael’s philosophy of life is taken from St. Paul the Apostle: to do his best to fight the good fight, and to run the race of salvation, by working as hard as he can, as fast as he can, for as long as he can, until the Lord calls him to pass the baton on to someone else (II Timothy 4). We are pleased and honored to have His Eminence join us for this important service at St. John’s. Coincidentally, that day will be a milestone in the life of the Archbishop as he will be reaching a momentous birthday and we at St. John’s lovingly wish him good health and God’s blessings and Many Years!

 


 

September 1st marks the beginning of the Church year. A prayer for the Church New Year follows: “We give thanks to You in all circumstances and for all things. Grant that this liturgical year be for all of us a year of grace. Make us worthy with purity of heart always to praise you Lord, glory to You! " As 2020 progresses towards the last quarter of the civil year, we can start again with our own year now with praise to the Creator Who is awesome as the Holy Lord and who richly sustains the earth with His abundant goodness.

 

Although many of us are burdened with the harsh realities of living under severe circumstances at this time, how many of us have joined others in church to thank God for all the good things we enjoyed?   Come pray with us and ask for His mercy and grace.  “Bless, O Lord, the crown (that is, the beginning) of the year with Your goodness!" The goodness of the Lord is His love, mercy and grace. The Church's prayer is that the coming year will be a year of grace, a year blessed by God.   Each year can be a year of grace, a year blessed by God but you must acknowledge Him and His love and give thanks.

 

We have many opportunities to attend church services to express our gratitude and to pray for God’s help at this trying time. Remember when Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt 18:19-20)

 

Sept 8 is the Feast of the Nativity of The Most Holy Theotokos. “Today the faithful celebrate the feast with joy illumined by your coming, O Mother of God. Beholding your pure image we fervently cry to you: “Encompass us beneath the precious veil of your protection; deliver us from every form of evil by entreating Christ, your Son and our God that He may save our souls.” (Troparion Tone 4)  The Theotokos was of the royal lineage of David, through her father Joachim. Her mother, Anna, was of the priestly lineage of Aaron, brother of Moses. Her parents were childless into old age, as was also the case with other holy births like John the Baptist and Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah.

 

Sept 14 Elevation of the Holy Cross. The Cross is the greatest of all Christian symbols. It is a constant reminder of God’s love for us, for Christ’s death upon it brought redemption and, ultimately, salvation to mankind. On the Feast Day of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, a cross is placed before us in our churches in a prominent place, reminding us of our obligation to venerate, love and give glory to this “instrument of our salvation.”    “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor 1:18-19)

 


 

Happy Birthday to all those celebrating their birthday in September: Betty Czech, September 1; Fr. Maryan Chaykivsky, September 19; Irina Chaykivsky on September 24; Jennifer Bzik, September 28; and Janice Pecoraro and Joanne Bzik, both on September 30. May God grant them all Many Years!

 

In closing this month, may we always be mindful of the pain and misfortune others may be feeling at this time. This prayer by Eusebius in the Second Century is very fitting at any time.

 

"May I be no one’s enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me; and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I never devise evil against any one; if any devise evil against me, may I escape uninjured and without the need of hurting them. May I love, seek, and attain that which is good. May I wish for all people’s happiness and envy none.   May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said that is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms me or my opponent. May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. May I, to the extent of my power, give all merciful help to my friends and to all those who are in want. May I never fail a friend in danger. When visiting those in grief, may I be able by my gentle and healing words, to soften their pain. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. -Eusebius: Second Century

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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.