SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

News from St. Johns for February.......

Feb 4, 2019
News from St. Johns for February.......

Saturday, February 2 we celebrate the feast of the Meeting of Christ in the Temple. According to the law of Moses, all Hebrew parents must bring their first born son on the fortieth day after birth to the Temple to be consecrated to God. It was the custom to bring a sacrifice in thanksgiving to God. Mary and Joseph presented two turtle doves, the gift of the poor. At this time in Jerusalem, there lived an old man by the name of Simeon. He was a righteous, pious man and he awaited the coming of the Messiah. It was foretold to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen Christ the Lord. Simeon waited for the fulfillment of the promise of God for a long time. Then, one day he went to the Temple. When Mary with Joseph brought the infant Jesus, Simeon met the Child, took Him in his arms and glorifying God said, "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Lord, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light of revelation for the gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel." This lovely and sentimental hymn can be heard at Vespers.

 

 

 The Pre-Lenten Sundays are introduced on February 10 by the Gospel reading of a small man so eager to see Jesus that he climbs a tree to see over the crowd. This eagerness is not overlooked by Jesus who tells him that He will have dinner with him. Zaccaheus was overcome with happiness and promised to repay all those he may have not dealt fairly with in the past. The eagerness displayed by Zaccaheus is a message to all to display this same eagerness to repent and be with Jesus.

 

 

On February 17 we hear the story of the Publican and the Pharisee as told by Jesus in the form of a parable. The two men went in to pray and one of them, the Pharisee, prays to God, "God I thank you that I'm not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast 2 times a week and I give tithes of all that I possess." The other man, a Publican who was a despised tax collector, did not even look up to heaven but, bowing his head cried softly, "God be merciful to me a sinner" Jesus asked. "which one was forgiven and who was condemned?" The Publican, confessing as a sinner, shows up in the temple to humbly pray. Another lesson to all of us.

 

 

The Prodigal Son is commemorated on Feb 24. This is also told as a parable and it describes the actions of two sons. One stayed with his father and the other asked for his inheritance, received it and left to live a wasteful life. When his inheritance was gone and he was in need, he was given a job feeding swine. When he remembered that his father's servants were treated well and with respect, he decided to go home. When he was still far off, his father was told that he was coming home. The father was so happy, he arranged for a welcoming feast and ran off to greet the son. The other son was saddened by the festivities since he had always obeyed his father. But the father, gently and with great love, told him that he would always be with him but that now his brother who was dead is alive again. Even if you have been away for a long time, you will be happily and warmly received when you return.

 

 

Join us all in church on these important days in February and be prepared to start the Great Lent on March 11 with enthusiasm, humbleness, forgiveness and love.

 

 

Happy Birthday to our beloved parishioner Helen Kurnewitz who celebrated her 100th birthday in January. Following a Molieben in her honor, she was presented with an icon of Saint Helena and a bouquet of roses. May God grant her Many Years!

 

 

Plans for our annual parish meeting are set for February 24. Please attend. A light lunch will be available.

 

 

Congratulations and Many Years to Fr. Igor on his 10th Anniversary in the Priesthood in January,.  Many Years also to Mat. Anna, Maxim and Sofia.,  St. John's happily celebrated Fr. Igor's anniversary with a delicious luncheon and beautiful cake.

 

 

Memory Eternal to the servant of God Margaret Lawler, who fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, December 30, 2018.  Our condolences and sincere sympathy are extended to David Kibitelsky and his daughters Stephanie, Daria, and Elena, on the death of Rose Vizzacchero, his mother-in-law and their grandmother on December 26, Memory Eternal!  Our condolences and sincere sympathy are extended to Genevieve Bobenko, on the death of her son, George Bobenko, on January 2, 2019.  Memory Eternal!   Our deepest sympathy is extended to Elena and Vladimir Nehrebecki on the falling asleep of Elena's mother, Angelina Afanasyeva, who fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, January 18, 2019 in Russia. Grant rest eternal with the Saints in blessed repose, O Lord, to the soul of Thy newly-departed handmaid, the ever-to-be-remembered +Angelina, who has fallen asleep, and make her memory to be eternal "Vechnaya pamyat!" Deepest sympathy also to John Dornik and family for the repose of Margaret Gill. May her Memory be Eternal!

 

 

This year's Memorial Saturdays are March 2, 23, 30, April 6, June 5, and October 19.  Please give Father the names of those you wish to be remembered by February 24. 

 

 

Many thanks from our Food Pantry Coordinator, Helen Baron, to all who helped our Food Pantry by your donations of food and funds during the Nativity season. Your help was deeply appreciated by all those who are in need. However, the need continues throughout the year and especially now in the cold season. Thank you.

 

 

Thank you to all who in any possible way participated in preparation, beautification and clean-up of the services and social events in our parish during this past Nativity season. May the blessing of the Lord be upon you for Many blessed Years!

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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.