Newsletter: Announcements, Gleanings-Almsgiving, Prayer Requests, Commemorations, Schedule, Fasting, Pledge Form 2011


St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
Electronic Newsletter, November 8/21, 2010

Synaxis of Holy Archangel Michael and all the Heavenly Hosts

Archangel Michael


Father Seraphim and Matushka Marina are traveling to Chicago for the funeral of his mother, Patricia Holland, and willbe back in town Tuesday. Please pray for the repose of her soul (she was Roman Catholic) and for Father Seraphim and Matuskha Marina as they travel.

In Father's absence, we will have reader's services this weekend at 5PM on Saturday and 10AM on Sunday. Church School classes will not be held.

In addition, Sunday evening Vespers, sung by Chantus Maximus, will be held as planned, with Fr. Justin serving. We are the first stop on their "tour" of performances. All donations will go to the St. Maximus Orthodox Church Building Fund.

From Fr Seraphim: In my absence, I am depending on my flock to come to this service and offer hospitality to our guests. some are in the Nativity Fast (we are not, yet), therefore, all food should be fasting (with wine and oil allowed).

We are in the midst of our fall stewardship campaign. Please remember to fill out your pledge form (a copy is included at the end of this newsletter) and return it to Dn. Nicholas or place it in the donation box.

Gleanings from the Fathers – about Almsgiving

"I have need of one hundred grams of bread a day, and God blesses it. He blesses those hundred grams, but not one gram more. So if I take 110 grams, I have stolen 10 grams from the poor." St Cosmas Aitilos, a great martyr and preacher in Asia Minor

"If you change from inhumanity to almsgiving, you have stretched forth the hand that was withered. If you withdraw from theaters and go to church, you have cured the lame foot. If you draw back your eyes from a harlot … you have opened them when they were blind … These are the greatest miracles." St. John Chrysostom

One day, the all-wise (John the Almsgiver, patriarch of Alexandria, 610-619) heard of a generous giver and so he sent for him privately and said jokingly, "How is it that you became so generous? Was it natural to you, or did you put constraint upon yourself?" Some to whom he put this same question stood shamefacedly before him and would not answer, whilst others would tell him their story.

One man whom the Saint questioned answered as follows: "As a fact, master, I neither give anything nor do any good; but the little I do give and do from that which comes to me through Christ and your prayers I came to do in this way.

Formerly I was very hardhearted and unsympathetic and one day I lost money and was reduced to poverty. Then my reason began to say to me: "Truly, if you had been charitable, God would not have forsaken you."

And thereupon I decided to give five coppers [pholleis] a day to the poor. But when I started giving them Satan immediately checked me by saying: "Those coppers would really have been enough to buy a bath-ticket or vegetables for your family." Then I felt at once as if I were taking the money out of my children's mouth and so I gave nothing."

"But I noticed I was being mastered by this vice, so said to my slave: "I want you to steal five coppers daily without my noticing it, and give them in charity." For I am a moneychanger, master."


"My slave, worthy fellow, began by stealing ten coppers, and occasionally even a shilling [keratin]. As he noticed that we were being blessed, he began to steal gold crowns, [trimisia] too, and give them away. One day I was expressing my astonishment at God's blessings to us, I said to him: "Those five coppers, boy, have greatly benefited us. So now I want you to give ten." At that the slave said to me with a smile: "Yes, be thankful for my thefts, since but for them we should not even have bread to eat today. However if there can be a just thief, I am he!" And then he told me that he had given shillings and even crowns. So it was through his faith, master, that I grew accustomed to giving with all my heart."


The holy Patriarch was much edified by this story and said: "Truly I have read many stories in the lives of the fathers, but I have never heard anything like this !" Leontius, Life of John the Almsgiver, 38

Our new facility brings with it many new maintenance and upkeep tasks. Matushka Marina and Reader David Hawthorne need volunteers to help get all the work done.If you can give a few hours of our time to help care for God's house, please contact Matushka Marina, Reader David or Deacon Nicholas and we'll tell you how you can help.

We have a list of things our parish needs. If you or somebody you know wish to supply one of these items, please contact us.

Prayer Requests

For the Health and Salvation.

  • Priest Seraphim and Marina Holland (traveling)
  • Kateryna (Kayla) Bayda.
  • Yuliya Guzman
  • David and Elizabeth Ash.
  • Priests Jean and Grégoire and all the faithful and suffering of Haiti

For the Repose. Please pray for the repose of the recently departed servants of God, who have reposed within the last forty days:

  • Nikolay (Natalia Quillin's Father)
  • Patricia Holland (not Orthodox)

For a more complete listing, please see our parish prayer list.


Many years today to Michael Daum

Schedule of Divine Services in the Coming week

Saturday, 11/20/10.

  • Vigil, 5pm.

Sunday, 11/21/10.

  • Hours and Typica, 10am.
  • Vespers sung by Chantus Maximus Men's Choir, 7pm

Wednesday, 11/24/10

  • Vespers, 7:30pm
Thursday, 11/25/10
  • Divine Liturgy, 9am.
  • Did you know that the Divine Liturgy is preeminently a service of Thanksgiving?
  • "Eucharist" means 'Thanksgiving".
Saturday, 11/27/10.

  • Confessions, 4:30pm.
  • Vigil, 5pm.

Sunday, 11/28/10.

  • Divine Liturgy, 10am.
  • Church School (elementary and adult), 12:45pm

Our ongoing calendar of services is posted here:

Our "Redeeming the Time" blog usually has at least several posts a week –

Fasting in the Coming week

Wednesday and Friday of this week are fast days as usual. Please note: this is the last week before the beginning of the Nativity Fast!

Pledge Form 2011 

Name: ______________________________________________


We would like to pledge the following amount toward St. Nicholas' general operating expenses for 2011:


Amount: _____________         weekly         monthly             (circle one)

                                                            fixed          estimate             (circle one)


(If monthly) We will usually pay our pledge on or about the ____________ Sunday of each month.


Please return this form to the treasurer, Dn. Nicholas, or place in the donation box at church.


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