Wed, 16 Sep 2009

Message from Saint Stefanos Outreach Ministry

Dear friend of Saint Stefanos,

We pray this communication finds you and your family well. We are very fortunate to have a special message this week from Rev. Fr. John Bociu regarding the Sunday before the Elevation of the Cross. Typically we share Sunday's sermon from the Divine Liturgy. But through the grace of God, we are able to share this up-close-and-personal message regarding one of the most important Holy Days of the Orthodox faith.

You will find the pertaining Gospel reading below. Click here for the reading.

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
  • Ongoing on Wednesdays – 5:30 PM - Small Paraklesis, 6:30 Bible Study
  • 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 - "What should our goal be when lighting a candle when coming into Church?"

When we light a candle we fulfill a couple of things: We are reminded the words of the Lord,"As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (John 9:5). Using Christ symbolized by the light of the candle we pray for our loved ones - living (for health, salvation and other various needs) or for the departed ones (that the Lord will rest their soul in peace). Besides, that it is a form of an offering made to the house of the Lord. People bring gifts of bread and wine, flowers, money.

I see some people light one candle, two, sometimes three. Is there a special prayer?

It is nice if we can afford to buy a candle for each person that we mention in our prayers. Otherwise, there is no strict rule of how many we have to light. We can light one for the living and one for the departed if we cannot afford more than that. Keep in mind that we use candles not only in the Narthex or the Solea but also in the Altar (as well as olive oil candles). These also are offerings that people bring.

There is no special prayer. After you say the Lord's prayer, you formulate in your own words for who and what you are praying for.

Email your questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

MINISTRY SPOTLIGHT: G.O.Y.A - Greek Orthodox Youth of America

Greek Orthodox Christian raised in America often relish with fond memories of their days in GOYA. It's a great time for our youth to get out and have fun, socialize with other Orthodox Christians in the name of Christ. And most importantly, they (we) make relationships that last a lifetime with other kids, both near and far.

GOYA kicks off its 2009-2010 session this Sunday following Divine Liturgy with a short meeting and then a trip to the Trop for a game with the Rays.

Maria Balasis heads up this ministry that touches the lives of kids grade 7 through 12. Please be sure to spread the word to your friends and family with children in this age group. Encourage them to not short their children of this awesome opportunity. The more children, the more memories, and the stronger spiritual bonds our children will have in their future.

To learn more, see Maria Balasis, or email us at the Outreach Committee. You don't want to see any child miss this opportunity.

Gospel Reading from Sunday, September 13, 2009


The reading is from John 3:13-17

The Lord said, "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him."

(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