Please Remember in Your Prayers

Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Priest Gregory and    Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Tatiana; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey & Lidia Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis; Andrei, Marina, Valentina and Vladimir; Archpriest Cezar, Mat. Christina, Cezara–Maria, Darius, Justina, Christian; Victoria Lardiero; Richard Wright; Valentina Shultieva; Shanna, Stephen, Trent-Michael, Grant-Alexander, Adalynn Lisowsky; Julie Smith; Tayisia Solvieva; Lubov Pavuk; Leonid and Zoya; James McAteer; Jayne Sudol; Rita and Richard Herber; Svetlana, Mary Orzolek, Shane-Michael Sierakowski; George Matassov; Janice DesLauriers; John DesLauriers.

 

 

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Bulletin

1st Sunday of the Great Fast

Triumph of Orthodoxy

Tone 1

March 4/17, 2019 

 

Venerable Gerasimus of the Jordan (475); Venerable Gerasimus of Vologda (1178); Right-Believing Daniel, Prince of Moscow (1303); Martyrs Paul, his sister Juliana (273); Venerable James the Faster (6th c.); Translation of the relicts (938) of Martyr Wenceslaus, Prince of the Czechs (935); Right-Believing Basil (Basilko), Prince of Rostov (1238); Venerable-martyr Joasaph of Snetogorsk Monastery (1299); Holy Hierarch Gregory, Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus; Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1938).

 

 

 

Today’s Scriptural Readings:     

Hebrews 11: 24-26, 32 – 12:2   /   John 1: 43-51

Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

Fr. John’s Sermons (Video): Click here  

 

This Week’s Liturgical Calendar

Saturday, March 23rd

No services scheduled

Sunday, March 24th – 10:00 AM 

Confessions at 9:15 – 10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church 

St. Gregory Palamas

 

 

 

Divine Services at Holy Trinity are live-streamed at 

https://www.youtube.com/user/HolyTrinitySermons

 

 

Special Petitions for the Unity of the Orthodox Church

Again we pray to the Lord and our Savior to preserve the Orthodox Church abiding in the whole world in unity and right belief, and to grant her peace and tranquility, love and consent, let us all say, Lord, hearken and have mercy.

 

Again we pray to look upon the Holy Orthodox Church with the goodness of heart and with mercy, and to preserve her from divisions and schisms, from hostility and disorder, so her unity will not be diminished or shaken, but Thine Thrice-Holy name be glorified in her, let us all say, Lord, hearken and have mercy.

 

 

Please join us for coffee hour today after services

Sponsors for today: Valentina Bosaya's family in memory of her father +Boris and brother +Aleksandr

 

Welcome Fr. Christopher

Today, Fr. Christopher Johnson will celebrate Divine Liturgy while Fr. John is on pilgrimage. We warmly welcome Fr. Christopher who serves with his father, Archpriest George, at Holy Apostles Church in Beltsville. We sincerely appreciate his help and support. Next week Fr. Damian Dantinne will serve at Holy Trinity.

 

Fr. John will be away on pilgrimage to the Holy Land March 17-27

During Fr. John’s absence, if you need the emergency services of an Orthodox priest please contact the following local clergy: Fr. Theodore Boback: (St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church) 443-831-6870 or 410-276-3422 or Fr. Joshua Burnett: (Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church) 410-850-5090.

 

Blini Luncheon – Thank you

We offer our sincere thanks to everyone who made last Sunday’s Blini Luncheon a success. More than 100 people attended. Special thanks to Anna-Zumrat Shkurba for coordinating the event and to everyone who made such delicious blini and desserts. There was a great variety of blini, salads and desserts. Thank you!

 

Challenge Grant – Matching Donations

Three families in our parish have pledged to match all donations for the flooring and altar icons on a 1:1 ratio. For every dollar you donate, they will match one dollar, up to $30,000, towards the Church Restoration Fund.  Double the value of your donation:  $20 becomes $40, $50 becomes $100, and $100 becomes $200! Special donation forms are on the candle stand in the vestibule of the church.

 

 

 

Centennial Mission Statement:  Giving thanks to God, we the faithful of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church, with sincere gratitude recognize the sacrifices and accomplishments of our founding Fathers and Mothers most especially at this time of our centennial celebration.  With faith and love we reach out to our community, giving witness to the Orthodox faith and traditions which have stood the test of time, and we prayerfully work to build upon the foundation for future generations.  To God belong Glory.  Amen.

 

 

Centennial Celebration – May 4, 2019

With the blessing of His Grace MATTHEW, Bishop of Sourozh, Interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, we announce the Annual Bright Saturday Hierarchal Divine Liturgy and 100th Anniversary Celebration of our parish to take place on Saturday, May 4, 2019. After the Divine Liturgy we will conduct a catered reception in the church hall. All tickets must be purchased online: https://holytrinity100.eventbrite.com. If you need assistance, please contact Tania Masiuk 443-742-7048 tania_masiuk@yahoo.com or Natalie Burbelo 443-567-6031 nbsf49@verizon.net. 

 

Centennial Commemorative Book

In commemoration of our Centennial, we will publish a special Commemorative Book that will feature an extensive history of the parish, current and historical photographs and congratulatory greetings from churches, parishioners, friends and businesses. Please help make the commemorative book complete by purchasing a page in the book to offer your congratulations. Contact Michael Mickel 410-666-2870 mcmickel@verizon.net. 

 

Sisterhood collecting sheets

The Sisterhood is collecting NEW twin bed sheet sets for the non-profit organization Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which builds beds for children who don’t have their own bed. Cotton sheets are preferred, because the children live in homes without air-conditioning. For more information contact Jill Marinich jillmarinich@comcast.net. 



Group Photo for Centennial:  March 31st   Whole Parish

 

Pan-Orthodox Services – Great Lent 2019

Orthodox faithful are warmly encouraged to attend special Pan-Orthodox services throughout Great Lent. Two churches will host Pan-Orthodox Passion Vespers Services on Sunday evenings during the Great Fast. 

 

  • Sunday, 5:00 PM, March 31st at our parish – Holy Trinity: Passion Vespers Service. After the service we will conduct a light Lenten reception. We will need volunteers to bring in Lenten dishes to share at the pot luck.  Please contact Anna-Zumrat Shkurba zumratshkurba@yahoo.com 

 

  • Sunday, 4:00 PM, April 14th  Passion Vespers Service at St. Andrew Orthodox Church, 2028 East Lombard Street, Baltimore, 410-276-3422  www.standrew-baltimore.org 

 

 

Church School Camping Trip – May 17-19, 2019

The 19th Annual Church School Camping Trip at Camp Running Bear (formerly Camp Alkor) in Monkton, MD for children ages 6-12 will take place May 17-19. Our theme this year is “The Path of the Holy Cross.” Registrations due by May 1st. Registration forms are on the bulletin table. For more information contact Dr. Pat Disharoon pdisharoon@aol.com  410-233-5337. *Important*, all adult chaperones/volunteers MUST register with Dr. Pat by May 1st to expedite background checks.

 

Submit your 2019 Pledge

The mission of our parish is to spread the Word of God, to grow, to expand, to improve and not just to preserve our traditions.  Our parish shouldn’t become stale, but pursue holiness. We strive to fulfill the mission of our parish, through prayer, work and sacrifice. Prayer – because we are called to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17); work – because we are taught to increase the talents given to us (Matt. 25: 14-30); and sacrifice – because "everyone to whom much is given, from him will much be required" (Luke 12:48). Please be generous as the Lord is generous to you. When completing your pledge for the new year, please consider raising your level of giving. Our church cannot operate without your financial contributions. Our parish will grow only through your prayers, work and generous sacrifice.

 

Lenten Discussion Group

During Great Lent after Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts each Wednesday evening, join us for a discussion on the book My Life in Christ, by St. John of Kronstadt. This is a classic book throughout the Orthodox world. It is a collection of St. John’s profound spiritual experiences and theological reflection. Please place your order (hard or soft cover) with Vlad Volkov vladvolkov@yahoo.com 410-262-3494.  

 

Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations:  March 17-23

We offer our best wishes and birthday congratulations to Anastasia Bakie (3/19). May God bless her

with health, prosperity and many years. To include your birthday/anniversary in the bulletin call Fr. John.

 

New Cleaning Group – Group #5 /  Join a Group – Help your brothers and sisters

Group #5 will clean this week March 17-23: Natasha and Vlad Volkov, Yelena and Vadim Radchenko

and Nadiya Aleksandrovych. Please join a group. We always need more members. Thank you!

 

Sunday School – April 14th

On Sunday, April 14th, after coffee hour, Fr. John will lead a discussion in church on Confession.

All teens and young adults are invited to attend. We will focus on issues that concern them the most.



 

Vigil Candles: On the Altar and near St. Barbara

March 17-23: Candles offered by Ally Gordon for the health/salvation of the servants of God: Salome, Tamara and Alla. A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Elena Loyko   443-537-8978; elenaakinina71@gmail.com. 

 

When you are generous, you are not bestowing a gift, but repaying a debt. Everything you possess materially comes from God, who created all things. And every spiritual and moral virtue you possess is through divine grace. Thus you owe everything to God. More than that, God has given you his Son, to show you how to live: how to use your material possessions, and how to grow in moral and spiritual virtue. St. John Chrysostom 

 

Please Remember in Your Prayers…

Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Priest Gregory and    Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Tatiana; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey & Lidia Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis; Andrei, Marina, Valentina and Vladimir; Archpriest Cezar, Mat. Christina, Cezara–Maria, Darius, Justina, Christian; Victoria Lardiero; Richard Wright; Valentina Shultieva; Shanna, Stephen, Trent-Michael, Grant-Alexander, Adalynn Lisowsky; Julie Smith; Tayisia Solvieva; Lubov Pavuk; Leonid and Zoya; James McAteer; Jayne Sudol; Rita and Richard Herber; Svetlana, Mary Orzolek, Shane-Michael Sierakowski; George Matassov; Janice DesLauriers; John DesLauriers.

 

Next Council Meeting: Tuesday, April 2nd – 7:00 PM in the Church Hall

 

 

Fr. John Vass, Rector    443-527-7067

Fr. Deacon Michael Bishop:                              410-563-0472

Victor Marinich, Council President:                         443-512-0985

Vadim Radchenko, Vice President:                     410-465-6172

Andrei Burbelo,  Recording Secretary:                  443-567-6031

Albert Blaszak, Treasurer:                                   410-799-3226

Oxana Chumak-Strianese, Stewardship Chair:      831-673-1937

Anna-Zumrat Shkurba Member-At-Large:            443-857-8541

Natallia Makarava Sisterhood President:                443-625-8470

Michael Mickel, Cemetery Manager:                    410-666-2870

 

 

The Triumph of Orthodoxy

From the Synodikon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787 AD)

As the Prophets beheld, as the Apostles taught, as the Church received, as the Teachers have declared, as the world agreed, as Grace illumined, as the Truth revealed, as falsehood has been dispelled, as Wisdom has become manifest, as Christ awarded, thus we declare, thus we affirm, thus we proclaim Christ our true God and honor His saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in holy icons – on the one hand, worshipping and reverencing Christ as God and Lord, and on the other hand, honoring and venerating His Saints as true servants of the same Lord of all. This is the Faith of the Apostles. This is the Faith of the Fathers. This is the Faith of the Orthodox. This is the Faith on which the world is established. Amen.

 

 

St Gregory Palamas:  On the Holy Icons

'You shall not make an image of anything in the heavens above, or in the earth below, or in the sea' (cf. Ex 20.4), in such a way that you worship these things and glorify them as gods. For all are the creations of the one God, created by Him in the Holy Spirit through His Son and Logos, who as Logos of God in these latter times took flesh from a virgin's womb, appeared on earth and associated with men, and who for the salvation of men suffered, died and rose again, ascended with His body into the heavens, and 'sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High' (Heb 1.3), and who will come again with His body to judge the living and the dead. Out of love for Him you should make, therefore, an icon of Him who became man for our sakes, and through His icon you should bring Him to mind and worship Him, elevating your intellect through it to the venerable body of the Savior, that is set on the right hand of the Father in heaven. In like manner you should also make icons of the saints and venerate them, not as gods --for this is forbidden-- but because of the attachment, inner affection and sense of surpassing honor that you feel for the saints when by means of their icons the intellect is raised up to them. It was in this spirit that Moses made icons of the Cherubim within the Holy of Holies (cf. Ex 25.18). The Holy of Holies itself was an image of things supercelestial (cf. Ex 25.40; Heb 8.5), while the Holy Place was an image of the entire world. Moses called these things holy, not glorifying what is created, but through it glorifying God the Creator of the world. You must not, then, deify the icons of Christ and of the saints, but through them you should venerate Him who originally created us in His own image, and who subsequently consented in His ineffable compassion to assume the human image and to be circumscribed by it. You should venerate not only the icon of Christ, but also the similitude of His cross. For the cross is Christ's great sign and trophy of victory over the devil and all his hostile hosts; for this reason they tremble and flee when they see the figuration of the cross. This figure, even prior to the crucifixion, was greatly glorified by the prophets and wrought great wonders; and when He who was hung upon it, our Lord Jesus Christ, comes again to judge the living and the dead, this His great and terrible sign will precede Him, full of power and glory (cf. Mt 24.30). So glorify the cross now, so that you may boldly look upon it then and be glorified with it. And you should venerate icons of the saints, for the saints have been crucified with the Lord; and you should make the sign of the cross upon your person before doing so, bringing to mind their communion in the sufferings of Christ. In the same way you should venerate their holy shrines and any relic of their bones; for God's grace is not sundered from these things, even as the divinity was not sundered from Christ's venerable body at the time of His life-quickening death. By doing this and by glorifying those who glorified God --for through their actions they showed themselves to be perfect in their love for God-- you too will be glorified together with them by God, and with David you will chant: 'I have held Thy friends in high honor, O Lord' (Ps 139.17 LXX).

 

 

Since the invisible One became visible by taking on flesh, you can fashion the image of Him whom you saw. Since He who has neither body, nor form, nor quantity, nor quality, who goes beyond all grandeur by the excellence of His nature, He, being of divine nature, took on the condition of a slave and reduced Himself to quantity and to quality by clothing Himself in human features. Therefore, paint on wood and present for contemplation Him who desired to become visible.   St. John of Damascus, On the Divine Images 

 

 

St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow

Homily on the Triumph of Orthodoxy

Saint Tikhon, the holy New-Confessor, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America, began his episcopal service as bishop of the Aleutian Islands and North America from 1898-1907. His missionary zeal was nothing short of extraordinary, not only in its obvious presence in his own life and actions, and those of the clergy under his guidance and pastoral care, but also in the important place he desired it to hold in the life of the laity over whom he presided. The following sermon, delivered in 1903 on the Sunday of Orthodoxy (first Sunday of Great Lent) at the Cathedral Church in San Francisco, presents the missionary call to which all are exhorted, which itself is part-and-parcel with the gift of the Church that all Orthodox have received. It is an especially relevant text today, in a time when many Orthodox have lost sight of the great missionary commission imparted by the Triumph of Orthodoxy to all the Church's faithful. Let us ponder this message as we try to build up our own parish...Let us strive to preserve peace and love in our hearts as we explore ways by which we as a parish can heed the call of not just preserving our traditions but of spreading Orthodoxy to those looking for the truth...

 

...Keeping the day of Orthodoxy, Orthodox people ought to remember it is their sacred duty to stand firm in their Orthodox faith and carefully to keep it. 

 

For us it is a precious treasure: in it we were born and raised; all the important events of our life are related to it, and it is ever ready to give us its help and blessing in all our needs and good undertakings, however unimportant they may seem. It supplies us with strength, good cheer and consolation, it heals, purifies and saves us. 

 

The Orthodox faith is also dear to us because it is the Faith of our Fathers. For its sake the Apostles bore pain and labored; martyrs and preachers suffered for it; champions, who were like unto the saints, shed their tears and their blood; pastors and teachers fought for it; and our ancestors stood for it, whose legacy it was that to us it should be dearer than the pupil of our eyes. 

 

And as to us, their descendants - do we preserve the Orthodox faith, do we keep to its Gospels? Of yore, the prophet Elijah, this great worker for the glory of God, complained that the Sons of Israel have abandoned the Testament of the Lord, leaning away from it towards the gods of the heathen. Yet the Lord revealed to His prophet, that amongst the Israelites there still were seven thousand people who have not knelt before Baal (3 Kings 19 LXX). Likewise, no doubt, in our days also there are some true followers of Christ. 'The Lord knoweth them that are His.' (2 Tim 2.19) 

 

We do occasionally meet sons of the Church, who are obedient to Her decrees, who honor their spiritual pastors, love the Church of God and the beauty of its exterior, who are eager to attend to its Divine Service and to lead a good life, who recognize their human failings and sincerely repent of their sins. 

 

But are there many such among us? Are there not more people, 'in whom the weeds of vanity and passion allow but little fruit to the influence of the Gospel, or even in whom it is altogether fruitless, who resist the truth of the Gospel, because of the increase of their sins, who renounce the gift of the Lord and repudiate the Grace of God'.

 

'I have given birth to sons and have glorified them, yet they deny Me,' said the Lord in the olden days concerning Israel. And today also there are many who were born, raised and glorified by the Lord in the Orthodox faith, yet who deny their faith, pay no attention to the teachings of the Church, do not keep its injunctions, do not listen to their spiritual pastors and remain cold towards the divine service and the Church of God. 

 

How speedily some of us lose the Orthodox faith in this country of many creeds and tribes! They begin their apostasy with things, which in their eyes have but little importance. They judge it as 'old fashioned' and 'not accepted amongst educated people' to observe all such customs as: praying before and after meals, or even morning and night, to wear a cross, to keep icons in their houses and to keep church holidays and fast days. They even do not stop at this but go further: they seldom go to church and sometimes not at all, as a man has to have some rest on a Sunday (...in a saloon); they do not go to confession, they dispense with church marriage and delay baptizing their children. 

 

And in this way their ties with Orthodox faith are broken! They remember the Church on their deathbed, and some don't even do that! To excuse their apostasy, they naively say: 'this is not the old country, this is America, and consequently it is impossible to observe all the demands of the Church.', as if the word of Christ is of use for the old country only and not for the whole world. As if the Orthodox faith is not the foundation of the world! 

 

'Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel into anger.' (Is 1.4). If you do not preserve the Orthodox faith and the commandments of God, the least you can do is not to humiliate your hearts by inventing false excuses for your sins! 

 

If you do not honor our customs, the least you can do is not to laugh at things you do not know or understand. If you do not accept the motherly care of the Holy Orthodox Church, the least you can do is to confess you act wrongly, that you are sinning against the Church and behave like children!  If you do, the Orthodox Church may forgive you, like a loving mother, your coldness and slights, and will receive you back into her embrace, as if you were erring children. 

 

Holding to the Orthodox faith, as to something holy, loving it with all their hearts and prizing it above all, Orthodox people ought, moreover, to endeavor to spread it amongst people of other creeds. Christ the Savior has said that 'neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candle stick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.' (Mt 5.15). The light of Orthodoxy was not lit to shine only on a small number of men. The Orthodox Church is universal; it remembers the words of its Founder: 'Go ye into the world and preach the gospel to every creature' (Lk 16.15), 'go ye therefore and teach all nations' (Mt 28.19). We ought to share our spiritual wealth, our truth, light and joy with others, who are deprived of these blessings, but often are seeking them and thirsting for them. 

 

Once 'a vision appeared to Paul in the night, there stood a man from Macedonia and prayed him, saying, come over into Macedonia, and help us,' (Acts 16.9) after which the apostle started for this country to preach Christ. We also hear a similar inviting voice. We live surrounded by people of alien creeds; in the sea of other religions, our Church is a small island of salvation, towards which swim some of the people, plunged in the sea of life. 'Come, hurry, help,' we sometimes hear from the heathen of far Alaska, and oftener from those who are our brothers in blood and once were our brothers in faith also, the Uniates. 'Receive us into your community, give us one of your good pastors, send us a Priest that we might have the Divine Service performed for us of a holy day, help us to build a church, to start a school for our children, so that they do not lose in America their faith and nationality,' those are the wails we often hear, especially of late. 

 

And are we to remain deaf and insensible? God save us from such a lack of sympathy. Otherwise woe unto us, 'for we have taken away the key of knowledge, we entered not in ourselves, and them that were entering in we hindered.' (Lk 11.52). But who is to work for the spread of the Orthodox faith, for the increase of the children of the Orthodox Church? Pastors and missionaries, you answer. You are right; but are they to be alone? 

 

St. Paul wisely compares the Church of Christ to a body, and the life of a body is shared by all the members. So it ought to be in the life of the Church also. 'The whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.' (Eph 4.16) 

 

At the beginning, not only pastors alone suffered for the faith of Christ, but lay people also, men, women and even children. Heresies were fought against by lay people as well. Likewise, the spread of Christ's faith ought to be near and precious to the heart of every Christian. In this work every member of the Church ought to take a lively and heart-felt interest. This interest may show itself in personal preaching of the Gospel of Christ. 

 

And to our great joy, we know of such examples amongst our lay brethren. In Sitka, members of the Indian brotherhood do missionary work amongst other inhabitants of their villages. And one zealous brother took a trip to a distant village (Kilisno), and helped the local Priest very much in shielding the simple and credulous children of the Orthodox Church against alien influences, by his own explanations and persuasions. Moreover, in many places of the United States, those who have left Uniatism to join Orthodoxy point out to their friends where the truth is to be found, and dispose them to enter the Orthodox Church. 

 

Needless to say, it is not everybody among us who has the opportunity or the faculty to preach the gospel personally. And in view of this I shall indicate to you, Brethren, what every man can do for the spread of Orthodoxy and what he ought to do. The Apostolic Epistles often disclose the fact, that when the Apostles went to distant places to preach, the faithful often helped them with their prayers and their offerings. Saint Paul sought this help of the Christians especially. 

 

Consequently we can express the interests we take in the cause of the Gospel in praying to the Lord, 

that He should take this holy cause under His protection,
that He should give its servants the strength to do their work worthily,
that He should help them to conquer difficulties and dangers, which are part of the work,
that He should not allow them to grow depressed or weaken in their zeal;
that He should open the hearts of the unbelieving for the hearing and acceptance of the Gospel of Christ,
that He should impart to them the word of truth,
that He should unite them to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;
that He should confirm, increase and pacify His Church, keeping it forever invincible, 

we pray for all this, but mostly with lips and but seldom with the heart. 

 

Don't we often hear such remarks as these: 'what is the use of these special prayers for the newly initiated? They do not exist in our time, except, perhaps, in the out of the way places of America and Asia; let them pray for such where there are any; as to our country such prayers only needlessly prolong the service which is not short by any means, as it is.' Woe to our lack of wisdom! Woe to our carelessness and idleness! 

 

Offering earnest prayers for the successful preaching of Christ, we can also show our interest by helping it materially. It was so in the primitive Church, and the Apostles lovingly accepted material help to the cause of the preaching, seeing in it an expression of Christian love and zeal. 

 

In our days, these offerings are especially needed, because for the lack of them the work often comes to a dead stop. For the lack of them preachers can not be sent out, or supported, churches can not be built or schools founded, the needy amongst the newly converted can not be helped. All this needs money and members of other religions always find a way of supplying it. 

 

Perhaps, you will say, that these people are richer than ourselves. This is true enough, but great means are accumulated by small, and if everybody amongst us gave what he could towards this purpose, we also could raise considerable means. Accordingly, do not be ashamed of the smallness of your offering. If you have much, offer all you can, but do offer, do not lose the chance of helping the cause of the conversion of your neighbors to Christ, because by so doing, in the words of St. James, 'you shall save your own soul from death and shall hide a multitude of sins' (James 5.19-20). 

 

Orthodox people! In celebrating the day of Orthodoxy, you must devote yourselves to the Orthodox faith not in word or tongue only, but in deed and in truth. Courtesy of www.Monachos.net 

 

 

O Most Holy Trinity, Our God, Glory to Thee!