Greetings in Christ,
Two weeks ago we shared in a beautiful expression of our communal Orthodox faith. Sunday the thirteenth, we came together for the Orthros and Divine Liturgy, fulfilling our sacramental commitment to Christ in His Church, following which the Angels Day camp was run beautifully, offering our youth an opportunity to grow in their faith, and knowledge of their faith in a thoughtfully produced environment. Among what they explored through crafts, lessons, and activities was the Orthodox teachings concerning the Angelic Hosts and their Orders. The Cherubic Hymn of the Angels, The Prayer to their Guardian Angel, and a great deal more of complementary offerings. After which, in the early evening, our whole community gathered appropriately in thanksgiving for the annual Friendsgiving event. Between the delicious food, the beat of the music, dancing, games, laughter and smiles, there was no room for anything but joyful celebration. I thank everyone who attended for turning these events into joyous occasions, and I thank those who gave of their time and talents to put these events into motion and run them as they require monumental effort, of which I saw an abundant wealth from those who bore that joyful burden through the day.
Our Boy Scouts are having an absolute blast in the Everglades. From the pictures they have sent me, I can see that the whole group is still in one piece, giving me some confidence in my desire to join them next time around
Upcoming, This Saturday our Philadelphia Men’s Ministry is meeting for their monthly breakfast. As there is Divine Liturgy in the morning, we will join together first for Liturgy, then we will go across to the usual meeting place for our breakfast.
The Choir is decorating the Christmas tree after Divine Liturgy this Sunday, so we can expect to enjoy its presence for the remainder of the Christmas season!
Please remember to bring your Children to Sunday School after Divine Liturgy, and to collect them at 12pm as it ends. Our dedicated Sunday School teachers continue to put great effort into their lessons for the sake of your childrens’ spiritual growth and knowledge!
On Friday the 9th of December from 1-3pm, the opportunity for the Sacrament of Confession is available without appointment in the Chapel.
My challenge for us this week is to consider your family Patron Saint. In our faith tradition, we are often named after those saints who have come before us and of whom have earned crowns of glory. Oftentimes we choose our family patron saint after the patron saint of our father. Though there are other iterations of this. A while ago the challenge I gave was to learn the Hymns related to your patron saint, and to incorporate them into your daily prayers. My Challenge this week is to learn the apolytikion of your family patron saint so that you can incorporate it into your daily prayers alongside your own.