November 19, 2017
HIS BEATITUDE, OUR METROPOLITAN TIKHON, together with the bishops of the Holy Synod, asks each parish to take a second collection this morning to support the work of the ministries and departments of the OCA. “Your Stewardship in Action” is a series posted on the OCA website to highlight the work of the OCA’s ministries. It will show what our donations are supporting.
THE FEAST OF THE THEOTOKOS’ ENTRY into the Temple is this Tuesday, Nov 21. We serve the Vigil with Litya for the feast tomorrow, Monday, at 6 pm, and the Divine Liturgy for the Feast on Tuesday at 6 am.
THANKSGIVING is this Thursday! MEOCCA keeps a long-standing tradition, serving the Divine Liturgy together on Wednesday evening, at 6 pm, at St George Greek Orthodox Church. A Lenten supper is offered afterwards. Those attending are invited to help host the meal (serve, set-up, cook, clean-up). Contact Fr Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE FEAST OF ST NICHOLAS is Wednesday, Dec 6. Vigil with Litya will be served at 6 pm on the Eve of: Tues, Dec 5; and Divine Liturgy on the morning of at 6 am, Dec 6.
OUR ST NICHOLAS CELEBRATION for the children and those young in heart who love St Nicholas will be on Sunday, Dec 10. But we need someone to organize it! Talk to Fr Paul!
THE FEAST FOR THE REPOSE OF ST HERMAN OF ALASKA, our beloved parish patron, is on Wed, Dec 13. Again, Vigil with Litya on the evening of at 6 pm and Divine Liturgy on the morning of at 6 am.
Mark your calendars and resolve now to keep the Feasts, even if it means rearranging your schedules!! The Fire of God burns on the altar of the Church. It is especially brilliant on the Feasts. Come to the Feasts, come to the Light and get warm. Put on Christ! Clothe yourselves in the WORD of God who is the Light and Resurrection, and in whom is the Life of men!
A MITTEN TREE, which also scarves and stocking caps and gloves and other things to keep the body warm, has been set up in the nave. Faithful may bring such items and pin them onto the tree. They will be gathered up and taken to FOCUS to give to the needy.
OUR CHARITY for the months of Nov and Dec is FOCUS MN.
FOCUS MINNESOTA SERVES THANKSGIVING DINNER this afternoon (Sunday, Nov 19).
WANTING TO PAINT THE TOWN but got no paint? Igor to the rescue! He has brought to the Church lots of paint he no longer needs. It’s for anyone who wants it. You can paint your town lots of different colors!
SIGNS OF CHRISTMAS do not, of course, include scaffolding – but they do at St Herman’s for this year only! To save time and cost, WCB has erected the scaffolding in anticipation for repair of the bell tower, which will commence in the Spring. The scaffolding will be with us till then! Enjoy it while it lasts! A great land-mark to note to first-time visitors to help them find us! No point in climbing it; best view of the Divine Liturgy is still had inside!
FR PAUL’S LECTURES for Adult Education on Sunday mornings, entitled “So, Where’s Eden”, can be viewed online in one of the following three ways:
Back of the Bulletin
Forty Shopping (and Fasting) Days Until Christmas
On Wednesday last, November 15, we began the 40-day Nativity/Advent Fast, meant to prepare us for the advent of the Son of God in the flesh. With the Fast comes an intensification of the “battle of the calendars” that every Orthodox Christian is engaged in consciously or unconsciously. The two calendars – the ecclesial and the secular – represent the Church and “the world” respectively. Often, there is an underlying tension between these two spheres. Because of that tension, I believe that we find ourselves in the peculiar situation of being ascetical and consumerist simultaneously. To fast, pray and be charitable is to lead a simplified life that is based around restraint, a certain discipline and a primary choice to live according to the principles of the Gospel in a highly secularized and increasingly hedonistic world. That is what it means to be ascetical. It further means to focus upon Christ amidst an ever-increasing amount of distractions and diversions. Even with the best of intentions and a firm resolve, that is not easy! From our historical perspective of being alive in the twenty-first century, and leading the “good life” where everything is readily available, practicing any form of voluntary self-restraint may be tantamount to bearing a cross. Perhaps fulfilling some modest goals based on the Gospel in today’s world, such as it is, amounts to a Christian witness, unspectacular as those goals may be.
We must admit that we also are prone (or just waiting) to unleash the “consumer within” always alert to the joys of shopping, spending and accumulating. When you add in the unending “entertainment” that is designed to create a holiday season atmosphere, it can all get rather overwhelming. Certainly, these are some of the joys of family life, and we feel a deep satisfaction when we surround our children with the warmth and security that the sharing of gifts brings to our domestic lives. Perhaps, though, we can be vigilant about knowing when “enough is enough;” or, even better, that “enough is a feast.” An awareness of, combined with sharing with those who have next to nothing is also a way of overcoming our own self-absorption and expanding our notion of the “neighbor.”
To be both an ascetic and a consumer is indicative of the challenges facing us as Christians in a world that clearly favors and “caters” to our consumerist tendencies. To speak honestly, this is a difficult and uneasy balance to maintain. How can it possibly be otherwise, when to live ascetically is to restrain those very consumerist tendencies? I believe that what we are essentially trying to maintain is our identity as Orthodox Christians within the confines of a culture either indifferent or hostile to Christianity. If the Church remains an essential part of the build-up toward Christmas, then we can go a long way in maintaining that balance. Although I do not particularly like putting it this way, I would contend that if the church is a place of choice that at least “competes” with the mall, then that again may be one of the modest victories in the underlying battle for our ultimate loyalty that a consumerist Christmas season awakens us to. The Church directs us to fast before we feast. Does that make any sense? Do we understand the theological/spiritual principles that is behind such an approach? Can we develop some domestic strategies that will give us the opportunity to put that into practice to at least some extent? Do we care enough?
The final question returns us to the question that Jesus asked of his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” If we confess together with St. Peter that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, then we know where we stand as the “battle of the calendars” intensifies for the next forty days.
A Meditation by Fr Steven Kostoff, Christ the Savior Orthodox Church , Norwoood, Ohio
St Herman's Orthodox Church
5355 38th Ave So; Minneapolis, MN 55417
|Friday, November 24th|
|Saturday, November 25th|
430 pm Confessions
5 pm Vigil (Vespers & Matins)
|Sunday, November 26th|
2nd Sunday of Advent
850 am Church School Opening
9 am Church School & Bible Study (with Fr Paul)
940 am First and Third Hours
10 am Divine Liturgy
12 NOON Coffee Hour
|Wednesday, November 29th|
7 pm Daily Vespers & Small Compline
|Monthly Calendar >|