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Family Ministry Director's Weekly Message - December 4

Greetings in Christ,


On Thanksgiving day, our Soup Kitchen ministry ran their annual Thanksgiving Meal for those in need within our Tarpon Springs Community. It is a blessed thing that we can do as Orthodox Christians, I am proud and thankful for our Soup Kitchen, and all those who help make our outreach programs succeed.


Our Greek Dance ministry was invited again to the Advent Health Hospital’s 36th Annual Lights of Love and Tree Lighting Ceremony, where they performed a set of dances that they have been practicing diligently for weeks to perform. It is no secret that our Tarpon Springs Community is steeped in Hellenic Culture, even still I believe it is a beautiful thing that we are able to share a part of our lives with the greater community.


This coming week we are blessed to return as a community to the feast day of our St. Nicholas Cathedral. Starting with Great Vespers on Monday with a Lenten Reception afterwards, followed by Orthros and Divine Liturgy and a Luncheon. I am personally very excited to celebrate this feast with all of you for the first time in my service to this parish.


This coming Wednesday the 7th of December we will return for our monthly Parish Ministry Night. Remember, this is a whole community event for all ages, and all ministries! We are blessed to have a group of wonderful volunteers who are preparing for this event so that we can offer nourishment in the form of food, fellowship, thoughtful discussion, and faith learning.


Next Sunday our Dance ministry will have their Annual Christmas Bazaar after Divine Liturgy to fundraise for their ministry events.


My challenge for us this week is to consider Christmas. In our American culture this season puts such an emphasis on Christmas trees, presents, Santa Claus and more. All in the name of holiday spirit. By emphasizing these things we often subvert the Nativity of Christ our God by prioritizing these other things. The clearest example of this is a choice that many of us have to make every year on Christmas morning. Option one is to wake up in the morning and open Christmas presents with our families. Option two is going to the Church to celebrate the Great feast of our Lord. Our Orthodox Christian families across the States are being pulled in those two directions every year. My Challenge for us is to consider how you can keep the reverence for the Miraculous birth of Christ our God, and still have fun with your family and friends. Maybe the Christmas gift opening can be moved after Liturgy, The Nativity scriptures can be read as a family leading up to the feast day. These are just a couple of suggestions to consider.


Did you know? Santa Claus is German for St. Nicholas. The ‘legend’ started from St. Nicholas’ philanthropy through feeding and clothing the poor. Over time the Saint stopped being recognised, and turned into the fantastical character that we know today.

Posted by Vikentios Livanos at 06:00
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