September 24, 2017
JOE AND DOUG have performed yeoman’s work negotiating a contract with WCB for the renovation of our building, being careful to observe the parameters set by the parish at the special Parish meeting. The contract is almost ready to sign. It may happen this week. WCB still expects to begin work the first week or so of October.
WE ARE PLEASED TO LEARN that Hope is returning to the Twin Cities! While she looks for housing, she will need a place to stay. If you have a spare bedroom you’d be willing to let her stay in while she looks for housing, please call her at 763-301-1996, or talk to Barb.
WHEN, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, one enters into prayer, one’s body becomes very still, the mind awake, alert and focused. This is why we work to stand quietly and reverently in worship: to prepare ourselves for prayer. Prayer won’t happen if we are moving around and talking irreverently. I encourage parents to be firm, appropriately, with their children. Children can learn to be still, quiet and reverent in Church; but they need to be taught, they need to be disciplined, appropriately of course. Let’s teach our children to be quiet and still, and to stand as much as they are able, throughout the service. Encourage them to come sing with the choir! But, let’s especially be attentive, all of us, to stand prayerfully at the entrances, the reading of the epistle and the Holy Gospel, and during the censing. Throughout the time faithful are receiving from the Chalice, everyone should remain standing quietly and prayerfully. I.e., after you have received, refrain from talking, and remain standing prayerfully. If you need to sit, please do so, but refrain from talking. In this way, we help shape our children and ourselves in the ethos of the Church’s inner life.
SECURITY MEASURES are announced by the Parish Council. During the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, and all services during the week, the south door will be locked. Entry may be gained only through the front doors. After the Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings, the front doors will be locked and only the south door will be unlocked. Please do not leave valuables unattended at any time.
PLEASE NOTE THAT the opening for Church School on Sunday mornings is 850 am. We offer three Church School classes. Maureen works with pre-school children, age 3 (or so) and up; Presbytera works with elementary school age children; and, Brad works with the teens.
FR PAUL leads a bible study for adults from high school upper classmen and older on Sunday mornings before the Divine Liturgy. Parents can bring their children to Church School, then come to the Bible Study. Currently, the bible study is contemplating the OT or the history of Israel as the template for the inner life of the Christian. This will lead us to reflect more deeply on the Genesis account of the ancestral sin and the biblical teaching concerning the heart, or the inner man.
OUR CHARITY for the months of Sept and Oct is dedicated to ZOE, an Orthodox Christian Ministry for unwed mothers. Nov and Dec will be dedicated to FOCUS MN.
SEPTEMBER has been designated by our Diocese for donations to Support Our Seminarians (SOS). Donations for this may be given to John or dropped in the Offerings and Donations box at the entrance of the nave.
USHERS ARE WANTED! You will take turns Sunday to Sunday monitoring traffic in and out of the Church, but also to assist anyone needing assistance. Please talk to Joe.
MITTEL EUROPEAN DINNER is Nov 4. Mark your calendars!
THOSE WHO GET IT will understand how it is that we have a Facebook page, even though we intentionally did not sign up for one. Talk to Emanuel or Christina about accessing our Facebook page in order to play the self-promoting game of “liking” it, especially so that news of our upcoming Mittel-European Dinner (Nov 4) will get widespread and free publicity!
HIS BEATITUDE, the Most Reverend Tikhon, has sent a letter to all the faithful promoting FOCA. The letter is on the bulletin board downstairs.
MEOCCA FAMILY CAMP is Friday through Sunday, October 6-8, at Camp Courage in Annandale, MN. Dr Philip Mamalakis, author of “Parenting Toward the Kingdom”, will be the retreat master, speaking on that topic. Registration is now open for Family Camp at www.stmaryscamp.com.
Back of the Bulletin
We celebrated the Leavetaking of the Elevation of the Cross on Wednesday evening. At the conclusion of the Daily Vespers service, the priest took up the Cross and processed it back into the altar, then closed the doors. The Cross is the instrument – the weapon, the trophy of peace – by which the LORD Jesus Christ made His love for the Father concrete, through His self-emptying, taking the form of a servant by which He became like us, and becoming obedient to the Father even to the point of death on the Cross, by which He became one with us in the likeness of our death.
This word, becoming, by the way, appears in all its ordinariness to be theologically very significant. It is the word that denotes the response of creation in obedience to the WORD of God who said: “Let there be!” and the creation “came to be”. This word is in the “middle” voice. That means that the action denoted by the verb affects both the object and the subject of the verb. And so it came to be; that in the fullness of time, God the WORD, the Creator of all things visible and invisible, Himself came to be flesh and He “pitched the tabernacle of His tent” among us (Jn 1:14). The grammatical character of the verb tells us that God creating the world affected Him as well! It affected Him by His own will, for He made the world for the purpose of Himself coming to be one with us through His Cross – all of which is possible through the Most Blessed and Most Holy Virgin Theotokos – so that we could come to be one with Him by taking up our Cross.
In this light, the liturgical movement of bringing the Cross out from the sanctuary to place it on the analoi in the middle of the nave on the Feast of the Cross, then returning it into the sanctuary at the Leave-taking of the Feast looks like the casting of a fishing net into the world, into the nave – the boat – of our body. The Cross, then, is the “net of the Holy Spirit”. The Cross is the substance of the holy apostle’s preaching, for it is by the Cross that Christ destroyed our death by His death. The Cross is net of the holy disciples by which they perform their work as the LORD’s fishers of men and draw the whole world into the boat of the Church.
The liturgical movement of returning the Cross into the sanctuary is a liturgical icon mirroring the movement in the soul of the faithful, the movement of taking up their Cross. We do this by practicing the ascetic disciplines of the Church – prayer, fasting, practicing mercy, worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth (i.e., in His Holy Church) – in order to follow Christ “into the deep” of their inner man, the old man in whom the law of sin dwells bodily still (Rom 7), all the way into the “tomb of their heart”, the sanctuary of the heart filled, tragically, with idols, making our body a pagan temple and not the Temple of God. Taking up the Cross in the ascetic disciplines of the Church, the Cross becomes “incarnate” in us; its power becomes active in us. By the life-creating death of the Cross, we destroy those idols and put to death what is earthly in us, our self-loving disobedience and idolatry.
Celebrating the conception of John the Baptist (yesterday) immediately following the Leave-taking of the Elevation of the Cross, puts us in the wilderness with St John the Baptist. It orients our mind to his prophetic preaching: “Prepare the way of the LORD!” And so, we take up the Cross – we do the disciplines of the Church: we pray, we fast, we center our daily life on the rhythm of the Church’s liturgical worship – to prepare the Way of the LORD within us: the Way that leads us to the Cave of Bethlehem, to the Jordan where we receive the Robe of Glory and are united to Christ in the spiritual marriage of the Church, and to the Cave of the LORD’s Sabbath Rest, His Tomb, where we, having put to death what is earthy in us, are united to Christ in the likeness of His Resurrection, and so we become, in union with Christ, “Gods, children of the Most High” (Ps 82:6) for we have been born of the Holy Spirit from above (Jn 1:12-13 & 3:3).
St Herman's Orthodox Church
5355 38th Ave So; Minneapolis, MN 55417
|Saturday, September 30th|
NO Services (Fr & Presbytera returning from family visit in Boise)
|Sunday, October 1st|
Protection of the Theotokos
850 am Opening
9 am Church School & Bible Study (with Fr Paul)
940 am First & Third Hours
10 am Divine Liturgy
12 Noon Coffee Hour
|Wednesday, October 4th|
7 pm Daily Vespers
745 pm Parish Council
|Friday, October 6th|
7 pm Small Compline with Akathist for Departed
|Monthly Calendar >|