Greetings in Christ!
On thursday the 15th of September we had the distinct pleasure of hosting a Pan-Orthodox event on the Feast of St. Nikitas. We came together for Orthros and Divine Liturgy as the Orthodox Community of the greater Tampa Bay area. Our dear Hierarch Bishop Sevastianos of Zelon presided over the service, and offered us all encouragement in our faith during his sermon. Following Divine Liturgy the clergy enjoyed fellowship and Lunch together hosted by our Parish Council President Mr. Nikitas Manias on the occasion of his Name Day. This was a beautiful way to bring our Orthodox family tree together. And as many said that day, it was the first time in recollection for a communal offering of this caliber to be held in the greater Tampa Bay area.
I would like to draw your attention to a couple of calendar events in this coming week. On Monday, our Orthodoxy 101 class will begin! This class is the perfect opportunity to increase your knowledge of our Historical Church, and the fountain of Theology within. Please join us on Monday nights, from 7:30 to 8:30 PM in the Spanos Pappas Community Center Conference Room.
On Saturday the first of October, our Greek Folk Dance Ministry is hosting their first event of the year! We welcome you to join us at the Kalimniko from 7-11 PM for their Taverna Night!
My weekly challenge for us this week is to read the lives of the saints. On each day, there is a list of the saints whom we remember. Each saint has a unique story, one that brought them the Crown of Glory, and one that connects all of them to Christ. You can find the saints of the day in a few different ways, but the easiest or most accessible is most likely through a phone application. Some of us may have a book of the lives of the saints which would come in handy. One app that may be useful to those who would benefit from having some Orthodox tools at their fingertips is the Daily Readings App. in this app you can find the scripture readings of the day, the commemoration of the saints, and feasts, our fasting schedule, and a list of common prayers!
So as a way to start or end your day with spiritual nourishment, I am inviting all of us to read the life of at least one saint being commemorated on each day of this week.
If you do not have this application on your smartphone, I highly recommend downloading it.