SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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

Jan 31, 2018
News from St. John's......

Fr. Igor’s message in the Enlightener this month consists of the following: Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever! Although it is difficult to believe, Great Lent is upon us. As Clean Monday falls on February 19th, we should begin preparing ourselves mentally, emotionally and spiritually for Great and Holy Lent. The Church prescribes fasting and increased services for the Lenten period. However, the best way that we can properly prepare for Great Lent is not through abstaining from a food …….. but to practice forgiveness.

 

The Church designates the day before Lent as the Sunday of Forgiveness. The Church in Her infinite wisdom expresses to us that no one can experience any form of spiritual renewal or increased relationship with God without first forgiving one another. As Father Alexander Schmemann beautifully exhorts on our preparation for the Lenten journey, “let us mutually support one another in our weaknesses, let us mutually forgive one another by forgetting our differences, let us mutually protect one another to reach our destination. Essentially we should live to what God calls us, as a unique unity with the forgiveness that we offer to others.”

 

But if we are to be honest with ourselves, forgiveness is no easy task. …… But let us not forget the words of our Savior when He says, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…” (Mt. 6:14-15). To emphasize the critical role that forgiveness plays in our preparation for Great Lent, our church will have Forgiveness Vespers on Sunday, February 18th, after the Maslenitsa.

 

As we prepare for Great Lent, I pray that we are all able to reflect upon our spiritual lives and our relationship with God. May we all look into the depths of our own hearts for love, compassion and forgiveness towards our family, relatives and friends. May this Great Lent truly be a time for a strengthened faith, always realizing God’s infinite love and mercy in our lives. Have a blessed Lent! With love in Christ, Fr. Igor.

 

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 11, 2018 immediately following the 9 a.m. Divine Liturgy. Parishioners should be members in good standing, according to the Church Canons and OCA, Diocesan, and Parish by-laws.

 

During Lent, Father will be visiting our home-bound parishioners who are on his list to receive the Sacraments. If you (or someone you know) have not been visited in the past and need to receive the Sacraments at home/residence, please call the Rectory to make arrangements. Parishioner confessions can be arranged after any Vesper Service and before Divine Liturgy, from 8:30 to 8:50. However, if you plan to come before Divine Liturgy, please call the rectory to let Father know the day before.

 

Memory Eternal to the Servant of God, Ann Velebir who fell asleep in the Lord on January 5. Happy Birthday to Fr. Igor who will celebrate his birthday on February 24. Many Years! Memorial Saturdays will start on February 10 so be sure to give Father an updated list of names of your departed loved ones. The next Trustees’ Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 25, after coffee hour.

 

Through the generosity of many parishes in the OCA, including our own, who participated in the St. Nicholas “wish lists” of married seminarian students and their families, the FOCA was able to fill the wish lists for 31 families at St. Tikhon’s and St. Vladimir’s Seminaries. Seventy-four children’s Nativity was brighter because of your love. Many thanks to all of you, here at St. John’s and other parishes, who contributed to our seminary family “wish list.” In addition to the wish lists at the two seminaries, over $1,000 was sent to St. Herman’s Seminary in Alaska by the FOCA for distribution among their married seminarians and families. Thanks also to all who donated to our “Gifts of Love” appeal to help in the preservation of the St. Nicholas Chapel in Kenai, Alaska. The FOCA collected a total of $12,500. St. John’s has been a part of the St. Nicholas wish lists appeal and the Gifts of Love donations for many years, and we are truly grateful for your help in these worthy causes.

 

It is also important to note that our Food Pantry coordinator, Helen Baron, who also directed the St. Nicholas wish list appeal, would like to express gratitude and thankfulness to all of you who donate regularly to our food pantry. Your donations are gratefully appreciated.

 

A picture album of a Review of 2017 at St. John's is in the Photo Gallery.  Enjoy. 

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