Archive for September, 2007

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Redeeming the Time

St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Dallas TX

Fr. Seraphim Holland

seraphim@orthodox.net

972-529-2754

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

October 2007

Redeeming the Time

10 years ago, in October 1997, the very first issue of Redeeming the Time opened with these words:

Time is a precious gift, of limited duration, given by God to the Christian to work out his salvation. The Apostle Paul, expressing the entire voice and mind of the church, exhorts us to: “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” The purpose of this journal is simply to facilitate our struggles to this end. The life in the church is rich, and full of beneficial places where we can be “redeeming the time”, and struggle towards moral purity and the knowledge of God, which are gained only through the assiduous use of time. Some of these “places” are the community Christian life; immersion in the liturgical cycle, seasons and fasts; reading the lives of the Saints and commemorating them on the day of their memorial; the God-inspired services; and reading the weekly scripture readings and commentaries of the Holy Fathers who accurately express the mind of the church. This journal hopes to emphasize these things, as well as provide local news about and for the St. Nicholas family in Dallas.

After a hiatus of several years, we hope to resume production of Redeeming the Time on a monthly basis. May this journal once again help us all in our Christian life.

News and Announcements

Visit by His Grace, Bishop Peter

On the weekend of November 18th, Bishop Peter will be visiting our parish. He will serve with us that weekend, will a round-table discussion about our plans for the future, and will – God willing – visit and bless our land in McKinney.

Name Days this month

  • Saturday, October 6th – Raisa
  • Monday, October 8th – Sergey
  • Monday, October 15th – Justina (Tracy), Anna (Park)
  • Saturday, October 20th – Patronal feast of our sister parish in Houston, St. Jonah’s.

Prayer Requests

“I was sick and you visited me.” Please continue to pray for Dimitry, Olga and Vladimir Maximov, who will be returning to Dallas this fall for Dima’s surgery.

Homily for the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos

By Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky)

As the great Abba of Russia Abroad, His Blessedness Metropolitan Anthony, once pointed out, the festive celebration of the feast of the Protection of the Theotokos by the whole Russian Church testifies that spiritual roots stood above all else for the Russian people. For the feast of the Protection of the Theotokos reminds us of an event that took place long ago, and an event in which our ancestors suffered defeat against the Greeks, who were under the Protection of the Theotokos. It turned out, however, that the Greek Church celebrates this feast very little, hardly marking it at all, while the Russian Church and the Russian celebrate the Protection of the Theotokos so festively, that it reminds us of the celebration of the twelve feasts, the greatest feats in our church year. Of course, the reason for this is the calming and encouraging character of the feast. The Theotokos protects the people praying in church. We know this from the great saint and witness of spiritual mysteries, Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ, who testified that the Queen of the heavens did not separate the bad people from the good and the pious: She covered all those standing in the church with Her goodness. That is what the Russian people believed, that She, the All-good Mother, covers all with Her Protection.

Life is now difficult. It was never easy, but now it is especially confusing and it has in many ways lost its Christian roots. Everywhere man is suffocating in today’s atmosphere. Sometimes it may even seem to him that he is alone, that there is no help, and that spiritual demise inevitably awaits him. But the Church sings in one of its best chants: “To the Theotokos let us run now most earnestly, we sinners all and wretched ones, and fall down in repentance calling from the depths of our souls: O Lady, come unto our aid, have compassion upon us.” Help us, showing compassion unto us!

That is Who stands guarding people from misfortune and from sorrow–She, Who lived through suffering and sorrow more than anyone else. For when She, having already suffered greatly, stood at the Cross of Her Son, then the foretelling of the righteous Simeon the God-Receiver on the day of the Meeting of the Lord rightly came true in reality: Her purest and holiest of souls was pierced through by a weapon. We cannot even imagine what Such a Mother went through seeing the incredible and superhuman sufferings of Such a Son. Her powerful and patient heart would not have withstood this suffering; it would have been torn apart, if the Lord Himself had not strengthened Her with His grace during Her torment at the Cross, which was greater than any other suffering of any mother. So She, who suffered thus Herself, understands human troubles and especially a mother’s sorrow, along with whom She suffers. That is why She is considered the defender of every suffering mother. But She cares for everyone and raises Her hands to the Lord of Glory and to Her Son on everyone’s behalf, and She covers everyone with Her All-Powerful Girdle. When one mother, who had many children, was asked which of them she loves the most and which of them she would grieve over most if she were to lose one, the mother answered: “Whichever finger you cut off, it will hurt.” The Most Pure Virgin could have answered thus, because when the Lord Jesus Christ left Her as the Mother of Saint John the Theologian, She adopted all of mankind, and She is considered the Mother of the Christian race.

Can a mother not hear her children? All the children have to do is not abandon their Mother! One spiritual father told his spiritual daughter, who was sorrowing: Pray to the Theotokos, but pray so that She can hear you! And what Mother will not hear her child and try and help?

Let us remember this. Joyous is the day of the Protection of the Theotokos. It reminds us that we sinners, upon whom the righteous anger of the Lord should come crashing down, are covered by Her saving Protection. And when the Lord, angered by our sins, turns His holiest of eyes, He sees the Girdle of His Mother. She has covered us. Let us never despair, regardless of our sorrows and trials, but always call on the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of the Christian race, that She not take away Her Motherly care. Amen.

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???, ??? ????? ?? ?????? ????????????? ????????? ? ????????????? ???? – ??, ??????? ???????? ????????? ? ?????? ??????, ??? ??? ?? ?? ?? ????. ???, ????? ???, ??? ???? ??????????????, ?????? ? ?????? ???? ??????, ?? ????? ???????? ????????? ??????????? ?????????? ??????? ??????????? ? ???? ????????: ?? ????????? ? ????????? ???? ?????? ????????? ????????. ?? ???? ? ??????????? ?? ?????, ??? ?????????? ????? ??????, ???? ???????????, ????????????????? ????????? ?????? ????. ?? ????????? ?? ?? ??????? ? ?????????? ?????? ? ??????????? ??, ???? ?? ??? ??????? ??????????? ????? ?? ???????? ?? ? ???? ?? ???? ???????????? ??????????? ???? ? ??????. ? ??? ???, ??? ????? ??????????????, ???????? ???????????? ????, ? ??????????? ??????????? ??????, ? ?????????? ??. ?????? ? ????????? ??? ? ??????????? ???????????????? ?????? ????????? ??????. ?? ? ? ???? ??? ?????????, ? ???? ????????? ???? ???? ?? ??????? ????? ? ???? ??????, ? ???? ????????? ????????? ???????? ?????. ????? ???????? ???? ????, ? ??????? ???? ????? ?????, ???? ?? ??? ??? ?????? ?????, ? ??? ?? ?????? ????? ????????, ???? ?? ??? ???????? – ??? ???? ????????? ????? – “????? ????? ?? ??????, ??? ????? ??????.” ??? ????? ?? ??????? ????????? ????, ??? ?? ??????? ????? ??????? ? ???? ???????? ?????? ????????? ???????? ???? ??? ????????????, ? ??? ????????? ??????? ???? ?????????????.

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The Principles of the Orthodox Faith

Bishop Alexander (Mileant)

Edited by Donald Shufran

What is the Creed?

The word creed comes from the Latin credo, which means “I believe.” In the Orthodox Church the Creed is usually called the Symbol of Faith, which means the “expression” or “confession” of the faith.

A person without faith is like a blind man. Faith gives man spiritual vision by which he can see and understand the essence of all that surrounds him: how and why everything was created, what is the goal of life, what is right and what is not, and ultimately what one must strive towards.

From earliest times, the Apostolic-period Christians have used the Creed to remind themselves of the principles of the Orthodox Faith. In the ancient church there existed various short creeds. But in the 4th century there appeared false teachings about the Son of God and the Holy Spirit. Thus it became necessary to complete these short creeds and more accurately define the Church’s teaching.

A Historical Survey

The Nicean Creed was composed by the Fathers of the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical Councils. The first seven articles of the Creed were drawn up at the 1st Ecumenical Council, and the last five were drawn up at the 2nd Ecumenical Council. The 1st Council met in Nicea in 325 A.D. to confirm the true teachings about the Son of God and to oppose the false teachings of Arius. Arius believed that the Son of God was created by God the Father. The 2nd Council met in Constantinople in 381 A.D. to confirm the true teaching on the Holy Spirit and to oppose the false teachings of Macedonius. He rejected the divine origin of the Holy Spirit. The Creed is named the “Nicean-Constantinopolitan” after the two cities in which the Fathers gathered for the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical Councils. The Creed consists of twelve articles. In the 1st article we speak of God the Father; from the 2nd though 7th articles we speak of God the Son; in the 8th article about God the Holy Spirit; in the 9th about the Church; in the 10th about Baptism; and in the 11th and 12th about the resurrection of the dead and eternal life.

The Creed

I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light: true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made: Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried; And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures; And ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life; Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the prophets. In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, And the life of the age to come. Amen.

We begin the Creed with “I believe.” This is because the essence of our religious convictions depends not on external experiences but on our acceptance of God-given truths. Surely one cannot prove truths of the spiritual world by any laboratory experiments. These truths belong to the sphere of personal religious experience. The more a person grows in the spiritual life – the more one prays, thinks about God, does good – the more his inner spiritual experience develops, the clearer the religious truths become to him. In this fashion, faith becomes for him a subject of personal experience.

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?????? ????, ??????? ?? ????? ????? ?????????, ????????? ?????? ??????? ? ??????? ?????????? ???????. ?? ?????? ?????????? ?????? ???? ???????? ?????? ???? ?????? ???????, ?? ?????? — ????????? ????. ?????? ?????????? ????? ????????? ? ?????? ????? ? 325 ?. ?? ????????? ????????? ??? ??????????? ????????????? ?????? ? ???? ?????? ?????? ????????????? ?????? ????, ??????????, ??? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ????? ? ??????? ?? ???????? ???????? ?????. ?????? ?????????? ????? ????????? ? ??????????????? ? 381 ?. ??? ??????????? ????????????? ?????? ? ?????? ???? ?????? ????????? ?????????, ???????????? ???????????? ??????????? ???? ???????. ?? ???? ???????, ? ??????? ?????????? ??? ?????????? ??????, ?????? ???? ????? ???????? ?????–?????????????.

?????? ???? ??????? ?? 12-?? ??????. 1-?? ???? ??????? ? ???? ????, 2-?? ?? 7-?? ????? ??????? ? ???? ????, 8-?? — ? ???? ???? ??????, 9-?? — ? ??????, 10-?? — ? ????????, 11-?? ? 12-?? — ? ??????????? ??????? ? ? ?????? ?????.

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? ?? ??????? ??????? ?????? ??????, ???? ?????, ????????????, ??? ?? ???? ?????????? ?????? ???? ???: ????? ?? ?????, ???? ??????? ?? ???? ???????, ????????, ?? ??????????, ?????????? ????, ???? ??? ????. ??? ???? ??????? ? ?????? ???? ???????? ???????? ? ????? ? ?????????????? ?? ???? ????? ? ????? ????, ? ?????????????. ????????? ?? ?? ?? ??? ?????????? ??????, ? ?????????, ? ?????????. ? ??????????? ? ?????? ????, ?? ????????. ? ?????????? ?? ??????, ? ?????? ??????? ????.? ???? ????????? ?? ?????? ?????? ????? ? ???????, ????? ???????? ?? ????? ?????.

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? ? ??????? ??????? ?????? ??????, ???? ?????, ?????–???????, ?????????? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ?????: ????? ?? ?????, ???? ????????? ?? ???? ?????????, ??????????, ?? ????????????, ?????? ???????? ? ?????, ?? ?? ??? ?????????. ???? ??? ????? ? ???? ?????? ???????? ????????? ? ?????, ? ?????????? ????? ?? ???? ??????? ? ????? ????, ? ???????? ?????????. ????????? ?? ?? ??? ??? ?????????? ??????, ? ???????????, ? ????????????, ? ??????????? ? ?????? ????, ???????? ???????. ? ?????????? ?? ??????, ? ???????? ?? ?????? ??????? ????. ? ????? ????????? ?? ??????, ????? ?????? ????? ? ???????, ??? ?? ??????? ?? ????? ?????.

? ? ???? ???????, ???????, ??????? ?????, ?? ???? ??????????, ? ????? ? ????? ??–???????????? ? ??????????????, ??????????? ????? ????????. ? ??????, ??????, ???????? ? ???????????? ???????. ??????? ???? ???????? ??? ???????? ??????. ?????? ??????????? ???????, ? ????? ???????? ????. ????? (??????? ???).

(to be continued in the November edition)

Regular Service Schedule

  • Saturday 4:00 pm – Confession
  • Saturday 5:00 pm – Vigil
  • Sunday 10:00 am – Divine Liturgy, Trapeza and Church School

Regular Announcements

  • Please use our bookstore. We have books, icons, CD’s, Pascha and Nativity cards, souveniers and other items. To make a purchase, please put the following into the donation box, together with the payment: the item name and the dollar ($) amount of the payment. There are pads for your use for this purpose in the bookstore.
  • We also have a library of books and CDs for your use. When you borrow from the library, please write the name of the book or CD on the clipboard, and return the items within four weeks. If you have materials to donate to the library, please speak to Natalia Hawthorne.
  • The sisterhood is always open to new members! To join, please speak to Raisa Dudar.
  • We welcome new choir members! To join, please speak to Genevieve (Jenny) Park.
  • Please remember to support the parish financially.
  • Our building fund is our means of financing our land in McKinney as well as our future building plans. This fund is growing slowly. To make a contribution, make out a check to St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, and write in the memo line, “Building Fund.”

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Parish Newsletter for the remainder of September

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Regular Service Schedule:

Saturday:

  • 4pm – Confessions
  • 5pm – Vigil

 Sunday:

  • 10am – Liturgy
  • 12pm – Trapeza (Lunch)
  • 12:30 – Church School

Other services and events for the remainder of September

There are two great Feasts of the Church in September:

Friday, September 21st – Nativity of the Theotokos: the Church's celebration of the birth of the Mother of God, which (in the words of the festal Troparion) "hath proclaimed joy to all the world, for from [her] hath shown forth the Son of Righteousness, Christ our God, annulling the curse and bestowing the blessing; abolishing death and granting unto us life everlasting!"

  • Thursday, 6:30 pm – Vigil
  • Friday, 8:00 am – Divine Liturgy

Thursday, September 27th – Exaltation of the Cross: the Church's celebration of the finding of the precious Cross of the Lord, three centuries after the Resurrection.

  • Thursday, 6:30 pm – Vigil
  • Friday, 8:00 am – Divine Liturgy

Name Days

  • Wednesday, September 19th – Mykael Enright
  • Sunday, September 30th – Nadezhda (Nadia) Newell, Sophia Park, Sophia T.

Announcements

  • Please continue to pray for Dimitry, Olga and Vladimir Maximov, who will be returning to Dallas this fall for Dima's surgery.
  • Our calendar of services is now available online at the following site: http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=keeahidiiec6pld7f5ut1jr2r0%40group.calendar.google.com .
  • We are trying to develop a bilingual monthly newsletter that will be distributed both in church and online at the start of each month. We will include a copy of the church calendar, announcements, and readings in both English and Russian. If anybody would like to assist with this project, please let us know.
  • Our Sunday school class for older children has resumed after summer break. We are meeting at 12:30 or so each Sunday, after we have had time to get something to eat. This year, we will be using the book The Incarnate God, which uses the cycle of the church's feast days to give a structured presentation of the essentials of our faith. Adults are welcome to participate. There is no homework for the class, but anybody who desires read the book may do so online, or purchase it, by using this link: http://tinyurl.com/2kg8q6.

Prayer Requests

"I was sick and you visited me." We have petitions for the sick, for travellers, and in general for those in need during the Liturgy; so, if you or someone you know needs prayer or would like a visit, please let Father Seraphim know.

Help with the Services

Helping with the services is an important ministry to God and to other members of the parish. We can always use help singing in the choir, reading the prayers and psalms, or assisting in the Altar during the Divine Liturgy. If you wish to help in the Altar, please speak to Father Seraphim. If you wish to help sing or read, please speak to Nicholas Park.

Our Bookstore

Please see and use our bookstore. We are currently having a 60% off sale on all items! We have books, icons, CD's, Pascha and Nativity cards, souveniers and other items. When you buy something, please put the following into the donation box, together with the payment: the item name and the dollar ($) amount of the payment. There are pads for your use for this purpose in the bookstore. If you wish to help maintain the bookstore, please speak to Nicholas Park.
       
Our Parish Library

Our parish library is an opportunity to pool our resources, given each of us access to spiritually profitable books, CD's and other items that we would not otherwise be able to afford. By borrowing from the library, you can have more resources to help you grow in the love of God, and by donating to the library, you can express your love for others by helping them to do the same. When you borrow from the library, please write the name of the book or CD on the clipboard, and return the items within four weeks. If you have materials to donate to the library, or if you wish to help maintain the collection, please speak to Nicholas Park

St. Juliana Sisterhood

All women are welcome to be members of our Sisterhood. To join, please contact Raisa Dudar.

Mary meets Martha! – Cleaning the Church

An excellent opportunity open to both men and women to help maintain the beauty, warmth and hospitable atmosphere of our parish is to help clean the church. In addition to participating in our periodic clean-up days, you may also sign-up to help with one of the tasks that must be done on a weekly basis. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the kitchen. You may see Matushka Marina for more information.

Financial Stewardship

All Orthodox Christians should make financial contributions to the parish of which they are a part. Doing so enables the parish to be sustained financially, puts one in the position of being a benefactor to the Church, and is an important way to put Christ first in our lives. Our Lord says, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Our parish needs a larger monthly income; currently we are just able to meet our expenses, despite having cut these back to the bare minimum. May the Lord help us as we prayerfully consider our pledge to our church. Tithing (giving 10%) from one's income is a good foundation for personal giving with ample precedent in the life of the Church.

Our Building Fund

Every Orthodox community should build a temple to God’s glory. Given the condition of our current facility, it is important for us to move forward with our building plans. To make a contribution to the Building Fund, you can make out a check to St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, and write in the memo line, "Building Fund."

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16th week after Pentecost

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Services and Events this week (16th week after Pentecost)

Monday, September 10th:

  •  6:30 pm Vigil for the Beheading of St. John the Baptist
 
Tuesday, September 11th: Beheading of St. John the Baptist
  • This is a fast day, in remembrance of the event described in Matthew 14:1-12, and whose character is depicted beautifully in the kontakion of the feast: "The glorious beheading of the forerunner is a certain divine dispensation, that the coming of the saviour might also be preached to those in hades. Lament, then, Herodias, for thou has demanded a wicked murder; for thou didst love neither the law of God nor eternal life, but one false and fleeting." Thus we see how this world, sunk in evil, treats the righteous, and how God brings forth good even from the evil deeds.
 Saturday, September 15th:
  • 3pm – Church Council Meeting
  • 4pm – Confessions
  • 5pm – Vigil

 Sunday, September 16th:

  • 10am – Liturgy
  • 12pm – Trapeza (Lunch)
  • 12:30 – Church School

Announcements

  • Please continue to pray for Dimitry, Olga and Vladimir Maximov, who will be returning to Dallas this fall for Dima's surgery.
  • Our calendar of services is now available online at the following site: http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=keeahidiiec6pld7f5ut1jr2r0%40group.calendar.google.com .
  • Beginning soon, we will be discontinuing this weekly newsletter. Instead, we will have a bilingual monthly newsletter that will be distributed both in church and online at the start of each month. We will include a copy of the church calendar, announcements, and readings in both English and Russian. If anybody would like to assist with this project, please let us know.
  • Our sunday school class for older children has resumed after summer break. We are meeting at 12:30 or so each Sunday, after we have had time to get something to eat. This year, we will be using the book The Incarnate God, which uses the cycle of the church's feast days to give a structured presentation of the essentials of our faith. Adults are welcome to participate. There is no homework for the class, but anybody who desires read the book may do so online, or purchase it, by using this link: http://tinyurl.com/2kg8q6.
  • Please remember to support the parish. Financial contributions are very important, as is assitance maintaining the cleaning the church. If you would like to help but aren't sure what to do, just ask!
 Upcoming Feasts
  • The Nativity of the Mother of God is on Friday, September 21st. We will serve Vigil and Liturgy.
  • The Exaltation of the Precious Cross is on Thursday, September 27th. This is a fast day. We will serve Vigil and Liturgy.
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15th Week after Pentecost

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

Services and Events this week (15th week after Pentecost)

Saturday, September 8th:

  • 4pm – Confessions
  • 5pm – Vigil

Sunday, September 9th:

  • 10am – Liturgy
  • 12pm – Trapeza (Lunch)
  • 12:30 – Church School

Announcements

  • A big thank you to everybody who donate olive oil!
  • On Saturday, we celebrate Sts. Adrian and Natalia. Many years to all those celebrating their name day!
  • Please continue to pray for Dimitry, Olga and Vladimir Maximov, who will be returning to Dallas this fall for Dima's surgery.
  • Our sunday school for younger children continues to meet during the homily every Sunday. Many thanks to Raisa Dudar for organizing the curriculum for this class!
  • Our calendar of services is now available online at the following site: http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=keeahidiiec6pld7f5ut1jr2r0%40group.calendar.google.com
  • Our sunday school class for older children will resume after summer break this Sunday. We will meet at 12:30 or so each Sunday, after we have had time to get something to eat. This year, we will be using the book The Incarnate God, which uses the cycle of the church's feast days to give a structured presentation of the essentials of our faith. Adults are welcome to participate. There is no homework for the class, but anybody who desires read the book may do so online, or purchase it, by using this link: http://tinyurl.com/2kg8q6.

Upcoming Feasts

  • The beheading of St. John the Baptist is on Tuesday, September 11th. This is a fast day. We will serve Vigil on the 10th.
  • The Nativity of the Mother of God is on Friday, September 21st. We will serve Vigil and Liturgy.
  • The Exaltation of the Precious Cross is on Thursday, September 27th. This is a fast day. We will serve Vigil and Liturgy.

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