Wed, 30 Sep 2009
Message from Saint Stefanos Outreach Ministry
Dear friend of Saint Stefanos,
We pray this communication finds you and your family well.
This Sunday is an important day at St. Stefanos as we will be hosting Walgreens from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm providing flu shots to protect our health. The Outreach Ministry has worked hard to schedule this event for the benefit our stewards. It is important to protect our health and care for our bodies. Cost is only $25 per shot, or bring your insurance information.
Also - The "Taste of Greece" is less than two weeks away. Please spread the word to your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and make sure you personally invite them to attend. This is a great Outreach opportunity to share our faith with others. There will be regular Church Tours during the two-day event. Contact Mike Firilis or Billy Pedroff if you would like to volunteer and help serve at the event.
Father John's sermon from this past Sunday is attached. You will find the pertaining Gospel reading below. Feel free to share with others. Click here for the reading.
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
UPCOMING EVENTS AT SAINT STEFANOS:
- Sunday Services - 8:15AM Orthros, 9:30AM Divine Liturgy
- Ongoing on Wednesdays – 5:30 PM - Small Paraklesis, 6:30 Bible Study
- 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
If we are taking Holy Communion on Sunday during a typical week (not a Holy period), when should we fast? All week? Wednesday and Friday? Saturday?
In our Church fasting is clearly prescribe in the Orthodox calendar and every Orthodox Christian should follow the fasting days of the calendar; regardless receiving or not the Holy Communion. With very few exceptions Wednesday and Friday through out the entire year are fasting days; Wednesday because Christ was betrayed on the Wednesday of the Holy Week and Friday for the reason that Christ was crucified on the Friday of the Holy Week.
Communion is a very special, sacred act in our lives. Wednesday and Friday fasting is dogmatically required as well as the other fasting days of the calendar.
Fasting on Saturday does not have a theological ground other than the respect for the Holy Communion. It is mostly a local tradition in various parts of the Orthodox countries where people receive the Holy Communion two or three times a year. In these conditions they feel the need to add some more fasting, a little "extra" effort. [ It just happens that sometime the people that fast on Saturday in the Old Country, they fast only that week when receiving Communion and don't care too much about the other fasting days ] If you grew up with fasting on Saturdays before receiving Holy Communion, keep your habit since it is a pious act and you respect your mother and your Yiayia that taught you so. If fasting on Saturdays becomes a burden difficult for you to carry, know that you don't sin if you don't fast on Saturdays. Anyways as a Greek Orthodox in America you receive communion in one year as one in the Old Country receives in a life time.
MINISTRY SPOTLIGHT: H.O.P.E.(Holy Orthodox Primary Education)
Please support HOPE this Sunday after Church by purchasing home-made cookies...Remember, our Youth Ministries are not funded by our Church budget...They thrive by your support.
The mission of H.O.P.E. is to strengthen the relationship of young Orthodox Christians with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our goal is getting kids involved with their church at a young age, encouraging them to become active sacramental participants in the life of the Body of Christ.
This ministry serves children from babies up to 1st grade, leading them into the experience of our Holy Orthodox Christian Faith. H.O.P.E. emphasizes the four circles of our faith: wisdom, fellowship, service and witness. It is our hope that these dimensions will provide all the tools needed for this journey.
Our group meets in the Kingdom Kids room for one hour every other Tuesday, where we have circle time and arts and crafts. We start off with a prayer, read bible stories, sing songs and play games. Then the older children go out into the hall and do arts and crafts; while the babies and toddlers stay in the room and play.
We also do charity work during the year, fundraisers and have fun family outings. Please don’t miss out on this lifetime opportunity.
The reading is from Luke 5:1-11
At that time, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he was astonished, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men." And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed 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