SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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

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

An excerpt from Father Igor’s message for December follows:

 

Every child that is born into this world has a significant impact on its family, but how often do we pause and consider how the birth of God, in the flesh, has impacted not just one family, but all of creation? As the Kontakion of the Pre-Feast exclaims, “Hear the glad tidings and rejoice, O universe! Glorify with the angels and the shepherds the Eternal God, who is willing to appear as a little child!”

 

If we truly understand the significance of Christ’s birth, then during the weeks approaching Christmas, our anxiety and excitement levels will rise, knowing that His arrival will impact our lives forever. The Church in her infinite wisdom encourages us to prepare for the birth of our Savior by participating in daily activities such as fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.

 

Fasting: By denying ourselves of worldly indulgences fasting brings us closer to God. It also serves as a daily reminder that God will soon give us the greatest expression of His love: His Son. Prayer: We may choose to pray for any reason whether out of need, thanksgiving, doubt, fear, gratitude, anxiety or love. Standing in silence and opening our hearts to God is important year around, but our prayer life must intensify during the Nativity Fast……we must also fervently pray to receive the newborn King. Almsgiving: If we truly wish to celebrate Christmas, then God must not just be born in Bethlehem, but in our hearts as well. Giving of our time, talents, and treasure to charity and philanthropic causes allows for the love of God to dwell in us, and the joy of Christ’s birth to permeate our entire being.

 

Through fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, dear brothers and sisters, we as Orthodox Christians can properly prepare to receive the Christ Child. These disciplines help us join all of creation to rejoice in jubilation, knowing that God has sent His Son into the world to save it and us. As St. John Chrysostom exclaims, “I too with the angels, sing: Glory to God in the Highest!” But this overwhelming euphoria can never accurately be put into words. It is something not fit to be described, but only to be experienced. Yours in Christ, Fr. Igor

 

Please Note: A Healing Service will be held on Saturday, December 16. An Akathist to the Mother of God in front of her icon, “Queen of All,” will start at 2:00 p.m. and is open for everyone and for the healing of any disease. This icon of the Mother of God is especially known for the healings that occurred of those who suffered with cancer.

 

Parish confessions will be on Saturday, December 16 after the Akathist Service to the Mother of God in front of her icon, “Queen of All.” Confessions will follow the service. Confessions can also be heard after any Vesper Service or a half hour before Sunday Divine Liturgy. (However, call Father and let him know several days before Sunday so he will have time to prepare properly for the Divine Liturgy.)

 

Parish News:

Congratulations to Peter and Kerri Czech on the birth of their son, Jonas James, on November 16. He joins sister, Helena. God grant them all Many Years!

Sincere Sympathy to Mary Ann Dolak on the October 3 death of her aunt, Helen Szach. May her Memory be Eternal!

 

Food Pantry coordinator, Helen Baron, thanks everyone for their generous contributions of food and funds to the food pantry collection for the past Thanksgiving holiday. Your constant donations and assistance is sincerely appreciated by our neighbors who need help. However, as Father Igor states above in his message for December, “Giving of our time, talents, and treasure to charity and philanthropic causes allows for the love of God to dwell in us, and the joy of Christ’s birth to permeate our entire being.” Please keep those in need in your thoughts and prayers, and help them this joyous season.

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Healing Service - 2:00 p.m.

“O Christ, who alone is our defender, visit and heal Your suffering servants delivering them from sickness and grievous pains. Raise them up that they may sing to You and praise You without ceasing; through the prayers of the Theotokos, O You who alone loves mankind.”