Tue, 8 Sep 2009

Message from Saint Stefanos Outreach Ministry

Dear friend of Saint Stefanos,

We pray this communication finds you and your family well. In this week's edition, you will notice two new additions: "Ask Father John" and "Ministry Spotlight". The goal of "Ask Father John” is to share answers to questions you have, and likely shared by others, as well dispel myths, etc. We will post questions anonymously. So please, don't hold back.

Attached is an audio file of Rev. Fr. John Bociu’s Sunday sermon. Please enjoy. You will find the pertaining Gospel reading below. Click here for the sermon.

We would like to welcome the many newcomers whom we've added to our distribution list. Thanks to those who have shared this communication with others. Anyone interested in being added to our email list, or having loved ones included, please send a request to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Lastly, if you have any news you would like to share with the St. Stefanos community, or ideas and opportunities for the Outreach Ministry to improve, we welcome your suggestions. Thanks and have a wonderful week.

We hope to see you this coming Sunday,

Saint Stefanos Outreach Ministry


  • Sunday Services - 8:15AM Orthros, 9:30AM Divine Liturgy
  • Wednesday, September 2nd – Adult Bible Study resumes
  • Sunday, September 13th – Sunday School/Youth Ministries registration
  • Sunday, September 20th – Sunday School begins & JOY and GOYA Afternoon at the Trop
  • Sunday, October 4th – Flu Shots provided by Walgreen’s after Divine Liturgy in Doncedy Hall
  • Friday and Saturday, October 9th and 10th - The Taste of Greece Food Festival
  • Saturday, November 7th – St. Stefanos’ Fall Dance/Silent Auction
  • Sunday, November 8th- Godparent's Sunday

For specific information on the above events, contact the Church directly or reply back to us via email information request.

ASK FATHER JOHN - Is it O.K. to put a little "mati" blue eye next to your cross on your necklace to protect you from the "Evil Eye"?

I have seen people wearing on the necklace the cross, the crescent, David's star, a little Buddha, and yin-yang signs.

When we add something else besides the Cross, it means that the Cross is not enough or is ineffective in solving the issues that we may have - in this case, the evil eye. In fact the only effective "weapon" that we have against the evil forces is the Cross. The devil cannot stand the sign of the Cross since it is the sign of God's love and his bitter defeat.

There is a prayer for the "mati" or the evil eye in a book called "Evhologion", written for the use of priests. In our relations with people, undoubtedly there is an exchange of energies determined by our feelings and emotions. I think we can place this in the realm of what is called "paranormal" or unexplained. The Church recommends that the priest in these cases should offer a prayer.

The blue eye or the red string around a baby's hand would not provide any protection. It is a superstition that unfortunately by now is wide spread and for many people it seems just natural to have the "mati" next to the cross. The evil one would do anything to diminish the power of the Cross in our minds. He is happy when we place the Cross on the same level with the other religious symbols or superstitious symbols. For a genuine Orthodox, the Cross is an unbeatable stronghold. Let's stick with the Cross, and only with it.


Maria Gregory is leading this vital ministry. She is looking to not only grow the group, but also do so with good times as a high priority.

"Our goal is to have as many kids between 2nd and 6th grade come and join us so we can have Orthodox fellowship and fun!" Said Mrs. Gregory "We're kicking it off with a trip to the Rays, and also plan a trip to the movies, bowling, putt-putt golfing, and things like that."

If you know of any friends, family or children in grades 2 - 6, do not let them miss out on a lifetime of memories and Christian fellowship. Please have them contact Maria Gregory for more information.

The first meeting is September 20th, immediately following the Divine Liturgy, and concluding with a trip to the Trop to see the Rays play the Blue Jays. Tickets are only $9.

Gospel Reading from Sunday, September 6, 2009


The reading is from Matthew 21:33-42

The Lord said this parable,

There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to them, saying 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' And they took him and cast him outof the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: 'The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it was marvelous in our eyes?

(C) 2009 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Outreach Ministry - Saint Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church
Rev. Fr. John Bociu, Presbyter

3600 76th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Phone: 727-345-8235
Fax: 727-345-8286

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Web: www.ststefanos.org