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St. George's Orthodox Church
Diocese of the South
Edenton, NC

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Archived Newsletters

Written By John Morehead


02/11/2018
  1. Sunday 12:30 at St. John’s
  2. the deed is recorded!
  3. the St. John’s buildings
  4. thanks to many
  5. weekly announcements

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  1. SUNDAY 12:30 at ST. JOHN’S:

            This weekend at 12:30 on Sunday the 11th, we will hold in the old St. John’s Church a short service of thanksgiving, for the gift of that historic property to St. George’s Mission in Edenton.

            The public is invited, and refreshments will be served there after the half­‑hour thanksgiving service.

            Although we got electricity there connected this week, and the furnace is now running in the church (while not yet the parish hall), we found the pipes had frozen during the property’s eight months of vacancy; and so our GUESTS SUNDAY should TAKE NOTICE that there will be NO WATER on the premises, until some pipes are replaced later next week.

            (Our regular Sunday services will first take place as usual at 9:40 and 10:00 a.m. at our existing depot church on the corner of East King & Oakum.)

            Following this weekend, we will proceed to commencing the construction work in preparation for moving into the old St. John’s property at some point this spring.

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  1. DEED is RECORDED:

            God has worked yet another miracle, the most astonishing one in the history of the Orthodox mission at Edenton.

            We have received, as a gift, the historic Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, and its adjoining historic Parish Hall, on East Church Street a block from the center of Edenton.

            Discussions had been underway, as our past newsletters alluded, since having begun suddenly on July 21st, with the Diocese of East Carolina, the property’s owner since its original 1879 purchase.

            Through the next 6¼ months, the proposition was considered & discussed thoroughly & deliberately by the Episcopal Diocese’s trustees, bishop, staff, and chancellor, besides by the vestry of Edenton’s St. Paul’s Parish, along with the past vestrymen of the former St. John’s Mission, besides by the Edenton Historical Commission and the Town’s leadership, as well as the St. George’s rector & congregation of course along with our Orthodox Diocesan bishop and chancellor and dean.

            The final decision by the Episcopal Trustees is summarized by one of the paragraphs recited in the deed of gift to St. George’s:  “the Trustees of the Diocese accordingly have concluded that the best resolution for the property and its restorative repair and preservation would be its ownership and occupancy by a liturgical Christian Church’s local congregation that has a demonstrated record of advocacy, funding, capability, and achievement in the repair, restoration, and preservation of historic architecture for church use.”

            The Trustees thereupon noted, as likewise recited in the deed of gift, that “St. George’s Orthodox Mission in Edenton, being established 2002–03 and having since 2007 occupied and restored for church use the Suffolk & Carolina Railway’s 1902 passenger depot, has been therein recognized by the Edenton Historical Commission through inviting and opening the restored depot church for the Commission’s Historic District Christmas tours in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016.”

            And so the Trustees concluded that “accordingly and pursuant to its Canons its Trustees have adjudged that it is for the best interest of the Diocese of East Carolina that the said property be given, with the recording of the historic preservation covenants, to the said St. George’s Mission Church of Edenton.”

            Thus there was recorded along with the deed a Historic Preservation Agreement with the Edenton Historical Commission, in the same form developed by the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina and recorded for many historic properties in Edenton and across the State.

            Thus as we could not even have hoped otherwise, St. George’s has become the debt­‑free owner of a beautiful property in the middle of Edenton; and the Episcopal Diocese is assured that the exterior & interior architecture of this important historic site is preserved, and that the distinguished 130­‑year history of the former St. John’s Mission will be honored and remembered.

            The deed was executed by the bishop as the final trustee on remarkably February 2nd, being precisely the 15th anniversary of the Edenton Orthodox Mission Station’s first worship service on February 2, 2003; the deed was then received here and recorded this Monday.

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III.   INTRODUCTION to the ST. JOHN’S BUILDINGS:

            The founding of St. John’s Mission is summarized by a recital in the November 1879 deed for the initial lot purchased by the Episcopal Diocese:  “it being the building lot upon which said Trustees propose to erect a Church for the use of the Colored People connected with St. Paul’s Parish in the County of Chowan.”

            The church then was built as a gift from Herbert Henry Page (the owner of Dorsey’s Hill, now known as Pembroke Hall, and of a lumber mill nearby), to whose family had belonged ante bellum several of the leading members of the St. John’s congregation, including notably John R. Page and John Tyler Page.

            The church was consecrated in April of 1881 and, following damage from a violent windstorm in 1884, was rebuilt within the same framework between July 1885, when a cornerstone was laid, and May 1887, when it was again consecrated.

            Our local architectural inventory, Thomas Butchko’s 1992 book “Edenton—An Architectural Portrait,” introduces the St. John’s buildings as follows:

            “This Gothic Revival structure exemplifies the partnership of church and school in Edenton’s black community during the late nineteenth century.

            “The interior is among the finest in a nineteenth century black church in eastern North Carolina.  Spanned by trusses that have been modified to mimic a hammerbeam ceiling, the sanctuary focuses on the exquisite chancel and rood screen.

            “To the east of the church, connected by the sacristy, is the former school.  It is the only survivor of the three black sectarian schools that operated in Edenton during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” 

            This St. John’s Episcopal School, adjoining the church, was built in 1902, although the school was first organized in 1892, without yet a dedicated building, by the lay reader William J. Herritage, who then was ordained in 1899 and became priest in charge of the Mission congregation in 1901.

            The school, opened as an elementary & industrial school, operated until early 1932, when the Edenton Colored High School (a notably large Rosenwald school, which later was named the D. F. Walker High School) was completed and opened, after which the St. John’s building continued as the Mission’s parish hall.

            The 1880’s church included, besides its Gothic nave & choir & eastern sanctuary apse, also the adjacent sacristy or vestry, as well as a tower & spire centered at the nave’s west end; at some point between 1910 and 1920, the nave was augmented with the erection of the two Gothic nave­‑aisles, and the western tower & spire was replaced by the present Gothic bell tower at the northwest corner, complementing the school’s contrasting bell tower near the church’s northeast corner.

            The Episcopal Mission Church of St. John the Evangelist, its congregation & resources diminished, held its final worship service on January 21, 2009, and the Mission’s dissolution was confirmed at the Diocesan Convention in February of 2012.  The property was let by the Diocese to a Protestant congregation for several years, which withdrew from the site at the end of May 2017.

            Although the church tower’s bell was donated in 2015 to St. Alban’s Episcopal Mission Church at Crochu, Haiti, happily the St. John’s school tower’s bell remains in place for our use.

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  1. THANKS to MANY:

            It is astonishing that an Orthodox mission in such a small & remote Southern town has been established now with the ownership of a beautiful historic church & hall in the middle of town and debt­‑free in only fifteen years’ time.

            But it is due to the Lord’s blessing to us of so many supportive friends, our wonderful parishioners, and our priest, Fr. Benedict that have been indispensable to our having reached this point.

            Fr. Benedict Churchill settled in Edenton on August 5, 2014, to serve as our first resident priest, consistently offering services three or more days per week and strengthening the congregation sufficiently to aspire to property ownership. We feel he

            was sent by God to become the Head of the Orthodox Church in Edenton.

            Tommy Kehayes offered on Feb. 12, 2002, and on March 18–19–20–21 he presented at the Barker House, a four­‑night public program on Orthodox Christianity, from which the initial local interest group was assembled.

            Archbishop Dmitri on December 15, 2002, in Raleigh blessed the undertaking for a mission station at Edenton.

            Fr. Edward Rommen, with Mo. Ainee & other family members, provided biweekly Sunday evening vespers & classes in Edenton from February 2, 2003, through March 7, 2004.

            Fr. Andrew Davis, Mo. Katrina, and their daughter Jennifer drove to Edenton, initially on Sunday evenings and then on Sunday mornings, semi­‑monthly from March 21, 2004, through June 18, 2006; and, after we began weekly lay services on July 23, 2006, Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina came monthly for Saturday evening & Sunday morning services (staying sometimes for Monday­‑morning prison ministry with Tom), through July 14, 2014.

            St. Anne’s Catholic Church invited us, beginning July 23, 2006, to borrow their parish hall by storing our furnishings there and by holding Sunday services there weekly, and at no charge, all of which enabled us to grow sufficiently to be prepared to rent our first building—the former Suffolk & Carolina Railway 1902 passenger depot.

            Tom & Peggy Di Martino and Edenton’s zoning board and leaders along with neighbors and friends, besides a number of financial patrons in Edenton and Yeopim and elsewhere, enabled us to rent this first building on October 1, 2007—which Archbishop Dmitri came and blessed in Edenton on October 28th while bestowing on the Mission Station the name St. George’s.

            Mike Hartwell’s work from October 2007 through October 2008, first rebuilding the south porch and then restoring the building’s largest room (the depot’s “colored waiting room”) to its stunning 1902 appearance for our temple, resulted in the invitations for the Historical Commission’s Christmas Tours, which turned out to be the critical evidence in our favor as the Episcopal Diocese’s donee for the property.

            Penny Jo & Harvey Binns and Byron & Barbara Kehayes have contributed to our financial support every single month notably for nearly eleven years now and, along with other initial or more recent benefactors, as well as our own members’ pledges, so enabled us to survive the financially daunting times we have traversed.

            One of our members started our building fund with $5,000 in June of 2016, and an anonymous household multiplied it with $52,000 in June of 2017, without which sum—the very month in advance—we would not have been able to undertake the responsibility for this property and its needed repairs, when in July it appeared as a possibility for us.

            Sambo Dixon and Hood Ellis generously & effectively advocated the proposal with the Episcopal Diocese until consummation, along with the Revd. Malone Gilliam of St. Paul’s and the Rt. Revd. Robert Skirving, the Diocesan Bishop.

            Absent the support of even one of this sequence of friends, it is difficult to imagine how St. George’s could have reached this point of ownership now of a church property, not to mention one so amazingly excellent in so many ways.

            And besides these most primarily named, there have been and remain numerous additional friends, generously encouraging & supporting our Mission in a wide range of channels, who have likewise brought us to the miracle wrought this week.

            To the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, the All-Holy Trinity, we give thanks beyond measure for the incomparable blessings bestowed on us through this multitude of benefactors, those named above and the many more to whom we are likewise eternally grateful.

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  1. WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments.

            Most Sundays (but not Feb. 11th) we also have at 7:45 a.m. the service of Matins, although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

            Most Wednesdays we have Daily Vespers at 5:45 p.m., concluding before 6:45 p.m.; again one interested in attending may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the date.

            All of our services (except the special 12:30 Feb. 11th thanksgiving) are held for now in our church building at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There was no newsletter last week, the most recent having been thus the issue of January 25th/27th.

            Our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for David & Katherine, for Virginia, for David, for Daniel, for Joseph, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, and for Harvey, and for their health; for the servants­‑of-God Michael and Ellen, newly crowned in Holy Matrimony; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

 

 


01/20/2018

I.          weekly announcements

II.         building aspirations

III.       2018 wall calendars

IV.       calendars’ marginal notes

V.        calendar pages Jan.–July

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I.   WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments.

            Most Sundays (but not Jan. 21st) we also have at 7:45 a.m. the service of Matins, although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

            Most Wednesdays we have Daily Vespers at 5:45 p.m., concluding before 6:45 p.m.; again one interested in attending may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the date.

            All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There was no newsletter the last two weeks, the most recent having been thus the issue of December 28th/30th.

            Our prayers are asked for our Mission’s friends the servants­‑of-God Michael and Ellen, who were crowned in Holy Matrimony on January 14th in Maryland.

            And our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Anne, for Virginia, for David, for Daniel, for Joseph, for Marion & Pendleton, for Maxine, for James & his family, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, for 

           Harvey, and for Christoph, and for their health; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

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II.   BUILDING ASPIRATIONS:

            We remain guardedly hopeful, as addressed in more detail in our six newsletters from July through November, for a successful conclusion to the acquisition of the property as proposed toward permanence in the Orthodox Christian witness 

            here, for which prospect and for all His blessings on us we thank God always; and so we continue to ask our friends’ further prayers that He may grant wisdom to all involved—including additional parties now helping—and that all things

           may be done in accord with His will.

            Our building fund has reached $60,500 now, thanks to several recent contributions, including one of $1,200 anonymously.

            We are deeply grateful to our donors and patrons, and to the households & families they represent, for their most generous help in readying us for whatever God may have in store for us in building the permanence of the Mission here

            in His time.

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III.   WALL CALENDARS for 2018:

            Our St. George’s wall calendars for 2018, again published in full color by St. Tikhon’s Monastery, are available at eight dollars for purchase at the church after services, as announced in the prior newsletter of December 28th/30th.

            (For interested subscribers at a distance from Edenton, these wall calendars can be ordered easily from St. Tikhon’s directly.)

            Besides daily Bible readings, feasts commemorating the life of Jesus and His Saints, and fast days, each month’s page this year features interior or exterior photographs of historically or architecturally notable American Orthodox churches,

           from Alaska to Chicago to Quebec to South Carolina to Oklahoma, along with quotations of Athonite patristic teaching this year edited by Archbishop Alexander of our own Diocese of the South.

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IV.   CALENDARS’ MARGINAL NOTES:

            The marginal notes this year, featured on each page of our wall calendars, are quotations from the 1995 book, edited and largely translated by our own Archbishop Alexander, “The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain:  Contemporary     

           Voices from Mount Athos.”

            While working toward his 1980 doctorate in theology from Oxford, our future bishop spent two years in Greece, including one year on Mt. Athos at the 13th­‑century Monastery of Simonos Petra (Simon’s Rock), where later he received in 

            1986 his own monastic tonsure.

            Besides writing the book’s own thorough & acclaimed introduction, Fr. Alexander compiled, translated, and edited the book’s content to serve primarily itself as an introduction for American Christians to the origin & purposes & value of

           Orthodox monasticism, both on the Holy Mountain itself, particularly in recent decades, and in the newer Orthodox monasteries taking root in our Western world.

            Our calendars’ publisher, St. Tikhon’s Monastery, founded in 1905 at South Canaan, Pennsylvania, is America’s oldest Orthodox monastery; St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary, adjoining it there, was founded subsequently in 1938.

            The new wall calendars include, as usual, for the more important observances throughout the year, their dates arranged & placed also according to the Old Calendar—an addition helpful to all while we await the day when there will come a

            resolution by the Church of the calendar question.

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V.   JAN.–JULY CALENDAR PAGES:

            The 2018 calendar’s January page features the interior of the Church of Christ the Savior in Chicago, particularly the apse with its murals and icon­‑screen.  The brick & stone Gothic Revival edifice with timbered interior, erected in 1901 at 927 North LaSalle, was designed by Chicago’s noted architect J. E. O. Pridmore for the local parish of the Catholic Apostolic Church, an also charismatic & Adventist denomination formed in the 1830’s by prominent churchmen in England & Scotland and which thrived for many decades primarily in England & Germany & Denmark and secondarily in Scotland & the United States.  After the denomination’s apostles’ deaths, without the Second Coming, and eventually all the priests’ deaths, many American parishes ultimately donated their properties to local Episcopalian congregations, as the most recently related historically; but the Chicago parish finally, in 1996, donated its property to the Orthodox Church in America for its new Mission of Christ the Savior.  The church’s permanent icon­‑screen pictured on our calendars was completed in 2007.

            The February page shows, in our own Carolinas Deanery, the interior of Charleston’s new Church of the Holy Ascension, featuring the nave, the icon­‑screen, the traditionally open wide chandelier, and the initial frescos completed.  After English readers’ services had in 1996 begun in homes, with Archbishop Dmitri’s 2000 blessing the Mission in 2001 was organized; and in 2003 Fr. John Parker, theretofore a young Episcopal priest locally, became the Mission’s initial full­‑time priest, and space was rented for a bookstore, convertible to a Sunday chapel, in the Duany–Plater-Zyberk Neo-Traditional or New Urbanist community of I’On, across the Cooper River in Mount Pleasant.  Soon a corner church lot was purchased in I’On, and a stunning domed Russo-Byzantine church was designed and in 2008 was completed for occupancy.  During their Christmas vacation in 2013, Fr. John, with his wife and their sons, conducted our Christmastide Liturgy at St. George’s in Edenton.

            The March page features the interior of the initial 2007 St. Matthew’s Chapel at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Bixby, an originally 1895 Muskogee Indian town on the Arkansas River although now a bedroom community, in Tulsa County, Oklahoma.  After numerous members from Tulsa’s long established Greek and Syrian Orthodox parishes had begun visiting the Dallas cathedral of our Diocese of the South, in 2003 our Archbishop Dmitri blessed the organizing of the Holy Apostles’ mission.  After the purchase of eleven acres began in 2004, there was completed in 2007 & enlarged in 2015 the initial chapel and a parish hall, to serve until the construction ultimately of the Holy Apostles’ main temple.  Outside & inside, the style of the buildings, congruent to the surrounding northeast rural Oklahoma, is rustic timber & stone construction, reflecting elements also of Russian country wooden church architecture.

            The April page features the Church of St. Peter & St. Paul in Manville, New Jersey, a small borough formed in 1929 and named for the Johns–Manville Co., which had begun manufacturing there in 1912 on the Raritan River.  The local Russian families in 1915 organized a mission, in 1916 began buying the church’s site of twelve lots and built an initial chapel, and in 1936 erected the present temple.  Thriving with all amenities including a gymnasium and a nearby cemetery, the parish had reached a membership of 450 adults & 130 children before the regional industrial decline.  The calendar’s wide photograph of the nave, ceiling, and sanctuary illustrates the augmentations in design & furnishings through the generations that accompanied the community’s prosperity.

            The May page shows the beauty of the church sanctuary of Cleveland’s long established & thriving parish of St. Michael the Archangel, now in the Broadview Heights suburb.  After a 1922 supreme court decision that the 1913 church of the 1898 St. John the Baptist parish belonged to the Ruthenian Catholics rather than to the Russian Orthodox, the majority of its congregation formed the Orthodox parish of St. Michael’s, purchased land, and completed a new church in 1927.  Reaching a membership beyond 1,200 before starting a daughter mission in 1963, the parish had become one of the three largest Russian Orthodox parishes in America, with amenities including even a bowling alley and a concert hall.  Its neighborhood in decline a decade later, the parish bought property in Broadview Heights and completed the present church in 1977, followed by an adjacent parish house with a 6,500 square­‑foot parish hall and an 8,000 square­‑foot gymnasium.

            The June page features the Russian landscape at Rawdon, Quebec, a town in the forests & lakes of the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal.  After the leading Russian families fled the 1917 Revolution to settle notably in Paris, many members proceeded on to America and in the 1930’s & 1940’s established summer cottages at Rawdon and in 1955 an initial domestic chapel.  Today the town has three Russian Orthodox chapels, built between 1963 and 1978, a Russian cemetery founded in 1962, and a skete, or small monastery, established in 1978.  The calendar photograph portrays the dramatically Russian cemetery and behind it the parish chapel or temple, in traditional rural Laurentian wooden design with Russian features.

            The July page’s photograph looks up the walls into the dome of the national Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas, on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington.  After the 1917 Revolution, a small community of exiled Tsarist officers & Russian nobility settled in northwest Washington in the 1920’s, found suitable employment, gathered in homes for prayer and ultimately for services, organized in 1930 St. Nicholas’ Russian Orthodox Church, in 1936 bought & adapted a building for use as a chapel and a parish hall, and secured a priest.  At the close of World War II a larger number of Russian intellectuals left the Soviet Union to work in Washington for the American government; and in 1951 the parish purchased the present property, facing the Naval Observatory at the end of Embassy Row, and the first Orthodox Bishop of Washington was consecrated.  In 1955 the ediface’s ground level was finished and occupied for services during the construction of the cathedral church above, completed in 1962 and modeled after the 12th­‑century St. Demetrius’ Cathedral in Russia’s mediæval capital city Vladimir, and followed finally in 1988 by the adjacent bell tower on Massachusetts Avenue.

            It is hoped that a future newsletter issue may provide research and a summary similarly for the remaining seven of the calendar’s fourteen photographs, illustrating the August through December pages besides the calendar’s front cover and its concluding page.

 


12/17/2017 

 

  1. Forefeast, chrismation & Christmas
  2. weekly announcements

III.       Fr. Jonathan & Mo. Marsha

  

  1. FOREFEAST, CHRISMATION & CHRISTMAS:

            Beginning on TUESDAY evening December 19th (when the Forefeast of the Nativity commences) and continuing through WEDNESDAY the 20th, THURSDAY the 21st, and FRIDAY the 22nd, Fr. Benedict will offer services every evening until Christmas, for the first time this year.

            These four services will begin at 5:45 p.m. and will run either about 40 minutes or about 70 minutes, depending on whether an evening’s service is Vespers alone or is Vespers with Compline.  (We’ll address that question at lunch this Sunday the 17th; and others not present may inquire by e­‑mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006 or the rector at 325–4505.)

            Also on FRIDAY the 22nd, that morning Fr. Benedict will offer, this year beginning at 9:30 a.m., the service of the Royal Hours (or Great Hours) of the Nativity, concluding about 11:00 a.m.  (This service combines the prayers from the day’s four watches—nominally at the day’s First Hour, Third Hour, Sixth Hour, and Ninth Hour—with psalms and Scripture readings anticipating the Nativity.)

            On SATURDAY morning the 23rd at 9:00 a.m., preceding the Divine Liturgy, one of our catechumens is to be received at St. George’s, by the mystery (or sacrament) of Chrismation, into the Orthodox Church.

            And SATURDAY the 23rd next at 9:30 a.m. the Divine Liturgy of St. John will begin, for the Saturday before the Nativity, concluding around 11:00 a.m.

            Then SATURDAY evening the 23rd at 5:00 p.m. as usual our weekly Great Vespers will begin, for the eve of the Sunday of the Holy Fathers before Christ.

            On SUNDAY morning the 24th as usual at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers will begin and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, although somewhat condensed and with, appended to it, a similarly condensed Great Vespers of the Nativity (including the Old Testament prophecies), and followed then by lunch or refreshments.

            On SUNDAY NIGHT the 24th at 10:30 p.m. will begin the Nativity Vigil (of Grand Compline and Matins) and Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, concluding after midnight around 1:30 a.m., for the Great Feast of the Nativity, according to the Flesh, of our Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

            On Monday the 25th NO further service is planned, as the day’s appointed Divine Liturgy will have concluded around 1:30 a.m. already.  (In future years, after some further growth in our congregation, we will aspire to hold an afternoon or midday vespers on December 25th.  And in the event a need develops, that could be annexed to the schedule this year as well.)

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  1. WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            We remain guardedly hopeful, as addressed in detail through our last six newsletters, for a successful conclusion to the acquisition of the property as proposed toward permanence in the Orthodox Christian witness here, for which prospect and for all His blessings on us we thank God always; and so we continue to ask our friends’ further prayers that He may grant wisdom to all involved, and that all things may be done in accord with His will.

            Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments.

            Most Sundays (but not Dec. 31st) we also have at 7:45 a.m. the service of Matins, although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

            There will be NO midweek vespers the two weeks following Christmas, thus neither on Wednesday Dec. 27th nor Wednesday Jan. 3rd—although there will be extra services January 5th & January 6th for the Epiphany or Theophany.

            Normally on Saturdays we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m. (concluding before 6:00 p.m.), but there might be NO vespers on Saturday Dec. 30th after Christmas; one interested in attending that weekend may inquire by e­‑mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006.

            All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There was no newsletter last week, the most recent having been thus the issue of Nov. 30th/Dec. 2nd.

            Our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Anne, for David, for Daniel, for Joseph, for John & Patsy, for Marion & Pendleton, for Maxine, for James & his family, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, for Harvey, and for Christoph, and for their health; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

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III.   FR. JONATHAN TOBIAS:

            We are pleased to report the retirement to Edenton earlier this month of Fr. Jonathan Tobias and Mo. Marsha Tobias, his wife.  Having family residing near Raleigh, they liked East Carolina and chose Edenton because of our Orthodox church here!

            Fr. Jonathan grew up as Ned Tobias in Kingwood, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, a pastor’s son in the Churches of God General Conference.

            (Founded in 1830 during the Second Great Awakening, this is the original “Church of God” denomination, established primarily in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, & Illinois; although it arose out of the German Reformed Church, its theology is instead Evangelical & Arminian, and from the Radical or Anabaptist Reformation but with Presbyterian polity; and it is generally not related, neither historically nor theologically, to the various later “Church of God” denominations found instead in the South.)

            After graduation in 1977 from Rockwood High School, nearby in Somerset County, he earned his A.B. in English & history in 1981 from Malone College in Ohio, and later that year married Marsha, from Warren, Ohio, who studied English literature at Malone and subsequently medical transcription.

            Next he earned in 1985 magna cum laude his Master’s of Divinity, with emphasis in pastoral theology, from the Winebrenner Theological Seminary at his denomination’s Findlay College in Ohio.  Thereupon Pastor Tobias served a Church of God mission in Cranberry Township, Butler Co., Pennsylvania, from 1985 to 1991.

            Ultimately, on Orthodoxy Sunday in 1991, he was received into the Orthodox Church, in Marsha’s family’s parish.  Next, earning in 1992 summa cum laude a Master’s in Education in counseling psychology from Youngstown State University, the future Fr. Jonathan worked from 1991 until 1998 as a child & adolescent psychotherapist and consultant, with Marsha as his secretary.  While simultaneously growing & maturing in Orthodox Christianity, he was ordained in 1994 to the diaconate and in 1998 to the priesthood, by Bishop Nicholas of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese, in which Mo. Marsha had grown up.

            Then from 1998 to 2004 Fr. Jonathan served as rector of St. Nicholas’ Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and from 2004 through November 2017 as rector of the Church of St. John the Baptist in East Pittsburgh.  Simultaneously he has served since 1997 as Lecturer in Pastoral Theology, and since 2003 as Professor of Theology (teaching dogmatic theology, ethics, church history, and pastoral counseling), at his diocese’s Christ the Saviour Seminary.

            Finally, Fr. Jonathan has appeared as a speaker at many Orthodox conferences & retreats, from Alaska to Saskatchewan to Kentucky to Washington D.C., and since 2005 he has authored the web­‑log “The Second Terrace,” where he lists his varied interests as “Dante, the Cappadocian Fathers, Mythopoeia, the Inklings, the Napoleonic and Civil Wars, T. S. Eliot and other English writers, and the Southern Agrarians.”

            Mo. Marsha & Fr. Jonathan have two daughters, Marisa & her husband Zachary (an Orthodox sub­‑deacon) and their daughter Evelina, who live in Fuquay–Varina and attend St. Raphael’s Mission there, and Alexis & her husband Jared, in Providence, Rhode Island.

            They are enjoying now their home on Country Club Drive which they bought two years ago in anticipation of their retirement here, and we are appreciating Fr. Jonathan’s assistance to Fr. Benedict in our worship services and likewise Mo. Marsha’s participation in our congregation, besides seeing here Marisa & her family on occasion as well.

            We are profoundly grateful to God for using the mission work at St. George’s to attract such eminent additions to Edenton as Fr. Jonathan & Mo. Marsha Tobias and our rector Fr. Benedict Churchill.

 

 


November 19, 2017

 I. Monday 5:45 p.m., Tuesday 6:40 a.m.

II.  Building aspirations

III.  Weekly announcements

IV Feast of the Entry into the Temple

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1.  MONDAY & TUESDAY:

            For the November 21st Great Feast next week, as usual we will have Great Vespers on its eve and the Divine Liturgy on its morning.

            So Monday evening November 20th at 5:45 p.m. (concluding by 6:45 p.m.) there will begin the Vespers of the Great Feast of the Entry into the Temple.

            And Tuesday morning November 21st at respectively 6:40 & 6:50 a.m. there will begin the Hour’s Prayers and the Divine Liturgy (concluding at 8:00 a.m.), for the same Great Feast, of the Entrance into the Temple.

            One of the twelve Great Feasts of the Church, it is described at the end of this newsletter.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1.  BUILDING ASPIRATIONS:

            As addressed in our four newsletters from August & September & October, this summer there became available in our vicinity a property which unexpectedly is appearing to be a seemingly promising opportunity that would be both affordable to us and suitable to the impending needs of St. George’s Mission for a larger nave and related space.

            Proposals & arrangements that might allow us to acquire the property have been studied & discussed during these months by the numerous parties and advisors who are connected with the situation & the circumstances & the process; and the various meetings involved are nearing completion now.

            Because the proposed acquisition is in not a typically structured form, and because our communication with some of the principal parties who are not local is through intermediaries by necessity, our information on the issues remaining and the decisions pending is not as clear as it might be under more usual circumstances; but with guarded optimism our hope continues that there may come a successful conclusion.

            Thus for now we remain, as through the months of 2007 likewise, in prayer for those representing and promoting St. George’s, and for those otherwise who are deciding the outcome of the proposed transaction, that our conduct may be Christ­‑like and that God may grant wisdom to all.

            We thank God for this prospect for permanence in the Orthodox Christian witness here, and for all His blessings on us always, and we ask our friends’ continued prayers that all things may be done in accord with His will.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III.   WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments.

            Most Sundays we also have at 7:45 a.m. the service of Matins, although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

            Most Wednesdays (but not Nov. 22nd) we have Daily Vespers at 5:45 p.m., concluding before 6:45 p.m.; again one interested in attending may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the date.

            All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There were no newsletters the last three weeks, the most recent having been thus the issue of October 19th/21st.

            Our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for David, for Daniel, for Joseph, for John & Patsy, for Marion & Pendleton, for Maxine, for James & his family, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, for Harvey, and for Christoph, and for their health; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1. FEAST of the ENTRY into the TEMPLE:

            Next subordinate to Easter (or the Pasch, as the “Feast of Feasts”), Orthodoxy counts twelve Great Feasts in the church year.  On November 21st is celebrated one of these, the Entry of the Theotocos (i.e. the Virgin Mary) into the Temple.

            (The title Theotocos, or Theotokos, often rendered as “the God­‑bearer,” is more precisely translated the “Birth­‑giver of God” or “Birth­‑giver to God”—viz., to God the Son.  This Greek term was made obligatory, or dogmatic, by the Fourth Ecumenical Council, at Chalcedon in 451, to define and guard against the heresies of the Nestorians and Arians—who contended that the child borne by the Virgin Mary was merely the Christ, or Messiah, and that he was not God the Son, a Person of the Trinity.)

            The Feast of the Entrance of the Theotocos into the Temple (or the Presentation of the Theotocos in the Temple) celebrates the consecration by her parents, the elderly Joachim and Anna of Nazareth, of the child Mary to God in the Temple in Jerusalem, before the priest Zacharias (who later would be the father of John the Baptist).

            There between the ages of three and fourteen, Mary was reared in the Temple quarters by its community of pious virgins, devoting herself to prayer and the Scriptures, until the age of marriage when, under the guardianship of the Archangel Gabriel, she was betrothed to the widower St. Joseph of Nazareth, under whose care she would become the motherly “Temple” through which would be born the Saviour.

            The First Temple, or Temple of Solomon, had been built to house in its Most Holy Place the Ark of the Covenant, as God’s dwelling­‑place; but in 586 b.c. the Ark was lost when the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem.  Then in the reconstructed “Second Temple,” or Temple of Herod that stood until a.d. 70, its Holy of Holies was thus devoid of the Ark.  The Orthodox Church understands Mary accordingly as the “new Ark of the Covenant” similarly again containing, in her womb, the uncontainable God.

            From the Jews’ Talmudic Mishnah & Tosefta and Midrash, we learn that there were always a pair of curtains or veils of the Temple used in rotation, one or the other repeatedly being washed in the pool and dried when blood splashed onto it; that they were also exchanged annually on the Day of Atonement; and that two new ones were woven every year.  And the rabbinic & other Jewish sources likewise attest to the community of virgins dwelling in the Temple quarters and to their responsibility for spinning and weaving these curtains or veils for the Temple.

            Thus in Orthodox iconography, for the related Annunciation Feast when she is greeted by the Archangel (Luke 1: 26–38; see also 2: 34–35), Mary is typically shown holding a spindle of yarn, so reflecting her years of Temple experience in spinning and weaving, and calling to mind that thirty­‑three years thence at the earthquake of the Crucifixion (Matthew 27: 50–53), the very veil of that Temple would be rent in twain.

            The commemoration of the Entrance (or Entry) of the Theotocos, following that of the Nativity of the Theotocos celebrated on September 8th, thus is chronologically the second of the Church’s twelve Great Feasts (the third being the Annunciation to her by the Archangel Gabriel of Christ’s conception, and the fourth being the Nativity of Christ himself), which recall to our minds the events leading ultimately to our Salvation—through the Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord.

            Of this Feast, of the Entry into God’s Temple by the maiden chosen to be the motherly “Temple” of Christ’s birth, its prominence was established when the Emperor Justinian I the Great dedicated in Jerusalem, on this date November 21st in the year 543, near the site where the Temple had stood, a completed basilica which, by the contemporary historian Procopius, was described as “beyond comparison,” inspired by King Solomon’s former Temple itself, and even containing (recovered from the Visigoths) the Temple’s original candelabrum.

            The basilica’s construction had been started thirty years before by Patriarch Elias I of Jerusalem (an Arab himself) to succeed a small church that local Palestinian Christian history records was built two centuries previous by the Empress St. Helena, on the Temple Mount itself, in dedication likewise to the Entry of the Theotocos.  (Although plundered by the Persians in 614, with its clergy slain, use of the new basilica resumed until 746 at least, when there was further damage from an earthquake; by the tenth century however it was in ruins.)

            Called the “New Church of St. Mary the Theotocos,” the basilica was built on Mount Zion, just southwest of the Temple site, and immediately inside the old Zion Gate (of the present “Old City” Wall).  At 360 feet by 170 feet inside, it exceeded the older Church of the Resurrection or Holy Sepulchre and was twice the size of the Temple.  It faced the east side of the Cardo Maximus (the “HaKardo” today), Byzantine Jerusalem’s colonnaded principal avenue that ran from the northern Damascus Gate, passing the Church of the Resurrection or Holy Sepulchre to the west, and on to the southern old Zion Gate.

            As Orthodox Christianity understands the entire Old Testament to foretell Jesus Christ and the New Covenant, the Church recognizes much of Psalm 44/45, including the following verses, as prefiguring this Great Feast of the Entrance; its iconography reflects many further verses in the same Psalm.

            “Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thine ear;
            “Forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house.  ....
            “Even the rich among the people shall entreat thy countenance.
            “The King’s daughter is all glorious within ....
            “With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought;
            “They shall enter into the King’s temple.  ....
            “I shall remember thy name from generation to generation:
            “Therefore shall the peoples praise thee for ever and ever.”

            Falling on the seventh day of the Orthodox Church’s forty­‑day Advent fast, this Great Feast is well summarized in this stanza from its hymnody at Little Vespers and at Lauds:

            “Let the gate of the Temple, wherein dwelleth God, be opened:  for Joachim bringeth within, today in glory, the Temple and Throne of the King of all; and he consecrateth, as an offering to God, her whom the Lord hath chosen to be His Mother.”

 

  •  

 

 

 

 

October 22, 2017

  1. baptismal font
  2. building aspirations
  3. prayer for our church this season
  4. weekly announcements

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1. BAPTISMAL FONT:

            We are delighted now to have for the first time an Orthodox baptismal font, received last week as a gift to St. George’s Church.

            Because immersion (three times, in the name of the Holy Trinity) has remained the mode of Orthodox baptism since New Testament times, it of course requires accommodations more sizable than the usual Western font designed instead for simply affusion (pouring) or aspersion (sprinkling).

            So for adult baptisms at St. George’s, we have used a large farm tub (covered with white sheeting) for the time being, which we store in the garage between uses—although we aspire to hold summer baptisms in Edenton Bay, at the mouth of Queen Anne’s Creek down the block from our church.

            And for infant baptism, where of course likewise the baby needs to be fully immersed, we have previously borrowed and transported an Orthodox sized font from Raleigh.

            Thus we are delighted to have, at least for infant baptisms, now the proper furnishings at hand here in Edenton.

            Orthodox fonts normally are shaped to resemble a chalice and so are fashioned of various metals.  Ours is a typical copper font, lined with tin, and handsomely finished in brass with ringed handles, a cross, and triple candlesticks.

            For many decades ours has been in regular use as an Orthodox baptismal font, likely since a year soon after 1955, until it was superseded by newer furnishings; modestly the kind donor has asked for no further publicity.

            We are deeply grateful to the donor and for the thoughtfulness and generosity to our mission at Edenton, particularly in offering this gift so much needed and appreciated.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1. BUILDING ASPIRATIONS:

            As related in our three August and September newsletters, this summer there became rather suddenly available in our vicinity a property which appears quite unexpectedly to be an opportunity both affordable to us and suitable to the impending needs of St. George’s Mission for a larger nave and related space.

            We believe we have now accomplished on our part the assorted prerequisites to our eligibility to acquire the property, and we are now awaiting final meetings and decisions by the remaining principal parties whose approvals and consents are necessary to consummate the transaction.

            Thus we continue, as through the months of 2007 likewise, in prayer for those representing and promoting St. George’s, and for those otherwise who will decide the outcome of this proposed transaction, that our conduct may be Christ­‑like and that God may grant wisdom to all.

            We thank God for this prospect for permanence in the Orthodox Christian witness here, and for all His blessings on us always, and we ask our friends’ continued prayers that all things may be done in accord with His will.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III.   PRAYER for our MISSION this season:

            Below is copied from our 2007 newsletters the prayer used throughout that year’s summer in our remarkably similar situation in hope for a church building.

            It was composed by our prior priest Fr. Andrew Davis actually in 2005 for an equally weighty need then, and it is adapted here with the name of our current priest Fr. Benedict.

 

O ALMIGHTY GOD, Who, for the salvation of mankind,
            hast established Thy Holy Church upon earth and
Who, through the divine action of the Holy Spirit,
            hast founded this Mission for the advancement of Thy Kingdom,
grant mercy and guidance to us
            that we may build Thy Church here for Thy honor and glory.
Have mercy upon our priest, Fr. Benedict,
            and guide him and give him the vision that is Thy will.
Through the intercessions of the Holy Theotocos and all the Saints,
            help us to live as befits our high calling as Orthodox Christians.
Cause Thy Church to increase here
            and ever proclaim Thy love for all mankind.
For Thou art the strength of Thy People
            and to Thee we give all power, glory and praise,
to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, One God;
            now and ever and unto ages of ages.  AMEN.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

  1. WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments.

            Most Sundays (but not Oct. 22nd) we also have at 7:45 a.m. the service of Matins, although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

            Most Wednesdays we have Daily Vespers at 5:45 p.m., concluding before 6:45 p.m.; again one interested in attending may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the date.

            All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There were no newsletters the last five weeks, the most recent having been thus the issue of September 7th/9th.

            Our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Daniel, for Joseph, for John & Patsy, for Marion & Pendleton, for Maxine, for James & his family, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, for Harvey, and for Christoph, and for their health; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

September 10th - 16th

 

 

 

 

 September 3rd - 9th 2017

 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 14th - 20th 2017

 

I.          Monday 14th & Tuesday 15th

II.         Feast of the Dormition

III.       Saturday 19th “Edenton United”

IV.       building aspirations

V.        prayer for our church this month

VI.       weekly announcements

VII.      herbs & flowers at Dormition

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

I.   MONDAY the 14th & TUESDAY the 15th:

            For the August 15th Great Feast next week, as usual we will have Great Vespers on its eve and the Divine Liturgy on its morning.
            So Monday evening August 14th at 5:45 p.m. (concluding by 6:45 p.m.) there will begin the Vespers of the Great Feast of the Dormition.
            And Tuesday morning August 15th at respectively 6:40 & 6:50 a.m. there will begin the Hour’s Prayers and the Divine Liturgy (concluding by 8:00 a.m.), for
            the same Great Feast, of the Dormition of the Theotocos.
            One of the twelve Great Feasts of the Church, it is described in § II and § VII below.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

II.   FEAST of the DORMITION:

            “Theotocos” (or “Theotokos”) is the Greek theological term meaning the “Birth­‑giver of God,” or “Birth­‑giver to God”—viz., to God the Son, Jesus Christ.  This term for our Lord’s mother, the Virgin Mary, is also rendered in

             English, more succinctly although imprecisely, often as the  “God­‑bearer.”

            “Dormition” (an English noun since the 15th century, from the French and Latin) translates the Biblical Greek noun that is equivalently rendered “falling asleep” in New Testament translations typically.

            Thus this Feast, of the Dormition (or “Falling Asleep”) of the Theotocos (or “God-Bearer”), commemorates the extraordinary circumstances of that event, in Jerusalem and in the Garden of Gethsemane, near

            her residence by the Mount of Olives at the house of the parents of the  Apostle John the Evangelist & Theologian, into whose care Christ Jesus had commended her upon His departure.

            (The Feast is defined more specifically on the Roman Catholic calendar and known as the Assumption, while being defined less specifically on the Anglican calendar and known as the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, or as Marymas.)

            One of the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, it has been celebrated always on August 15th since the 5th or 6th century.

            At the conclusion of the Monday evening Vespers, Fr. Benedict will offer the Blessing of Fragrant Herbs, which has always been part of the services for the Dormition Feast.

            Those attending are invited to bring herbs to be blessed for their household use accordingly, or spices or flowers as well, as discussed at the conclusion of this newsletter.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III.   SATURDAY 19th “EDENTON UNITED”

            After focusing our initial years on attaining some stability, St. George’s later has been aspiring to more opportunities to serve the community.

            On Saturday August 19th is scheduled the first annual “Edenton United” Back-to-School Community Event, in town on the high school’s front lawn, organized & sponsored by about sixteen Edenton & Chowan

            churches, including St. George’s. The event’s purpose is to bring together our local citizens “to bless our community, and especially the school children,” in respect and humility by manifesting and offering God’s

            love to all our people here.  The event’s focus is Jesus’ words in Luke 14: 12–14:  “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; but when

            thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:  And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee.”

            In concurrence with those words, a seated supper will be served by us as a gift to six hundred in our community to whom the various churches’ members have offered tickets beforehand.

            Music will be offered by Edenton church choirs throughout the event, games for children and families will be offered, hot dogs & chips & drinks will be provided to all visitors, the churches will display information on

           their various ministries to the community’s children & families & individuals, and six hundred book bags complete with school supplies will be provided to any student who needs one.

            (Although some medical issues in some families simultaneously have diverted our own choir’s appearance this time, we look forward to performing next year.)

            But most of the members of St. George’s will be serving otherwise at this event, held “to glorify Christ by ministering to the citizens of Chowan County,” which runs from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Edenton’s high­‑school

           campus (indoors, if it rains) on Broad Street, next Saturday the 19th.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

IV.   BUILDING ASPIRATIONS:

            Diligent work has been underway daily this month in pursuit of a sudden possibility of an unexpected property in our vicinity, which incredibly would be affordable for us to acquire, besides meeting our impending needs for a larger nave and

           related space. Our congregation examined and discussed this possibility after services on Sunday July 30th and immediately concluded that this is a far better opportunity than anything we could have realistically imagined in our foreseeable

           future. This possibility is contingent however upon its approval and endorsement by numerous individuals and entities, with their respective decisions scheduled to be made on various days beginning next Tuesday the 15th.

            These contingencies are thus remarkably similar to our situation in 2007 when we were aspiring to rent our first & present building, which required approval practically unanimously by the surrounding residential neighborhood and similarly

           unanimously by the Town’s board, besides requiring favorable interpretation of various restrictive ordinances.  Consequently we are on our knees again as daily in the summer of 2007, in prayer for those negotiating on behalf of St. George’s

           and for all those otherwise who are studying and approaching decisions on this potential transaction, that our conduct may be Christ­‑like and that God may grant wisdom to all.  We thank God for this new prospect for permanence in the

           Orthodox Christian witness here, and for all God’s blessings on us always, and we ask our friends’ prayers that all things may be done in accord with His will.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

V.   PRAYER for our MISSION this month:

            Below is copied from our 2007 newsletters the prayer used throughout that year’s summer in our remarkably similar situation in hope for a church building. It was composed by our prior priest Fr. Andrew Davis actually in 2005 for an equally weighty need

           then, and it is adapted  here with the name of our current priest Fr. Benedict.

 

O ALMIGHTY GOD, Who, for the salvation of mankind,
            hast established Thy Holy Church upon earth and
Who, through the divine action of the Holy Spirit,
            hast founded this Mission for the advancement of Thy Kingdom,
grant mercy and guidance to us
            that we may build Thy Church here for Thy honor and glory.
Have mercy upon our priest, Fr. Benedict,
            and guide him and give him the vision that is Thy will.
Through the intercessions of the Holy Theotocos and all the Saints,
            help us to live as befits our high calling as Orthodox Christians.
Cause Thy Church to increase here
            and ever proclaim Thy love for all mankind.
For Thou art the strength of Thy People
            and to Thee we give all power, glory and praise,
to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, One God;
            now and ever and unto ages of ages.  AMEN.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

VI.   WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            Except on August 19th, each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            Saturday vespers on August 19th will be held earlier because of the local Edenton United event that evening; those able to attend may call Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to ascertain the hour.

            On Monday the 14th and Tuesday the 15th, we have evening 5:45 p.m. and morning 6:40 a.m. services for the Great Feast of the Dormition, as described at the beginning of this newsletter.

            Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments. Most Sundays we also have at 7:45 a.m. the service of Matins,

            although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

            Most Wednesdays we have Daily Vespers at 5:45 p.m., concluding before 6:45 p.m.; again one interested in attending may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the date.

            All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There was no newsletter last week, the most recent having been thus the issue of July 27th/29th. Our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Tom, for Daniel, for Joseph, for

            Patsy & John, for Pendleton, for Maxine, for James & his family, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, for Harvey, for Alex, and for Christoph, and for their health; and for those many further friends for whom we

            pray at each of our services. Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

VII.   HERBS & FLOWERS at DORMITION:

            The Dormition is one of the three days yearly when all attending are invited to bring flowers; they may be brought, perhaps with a sprig of greenery, either in a small bud vase or without; and our regular participants

            may also bring extras for use by visitors. Typically worshipers at the morning Liturgy hold their flowers particularly during the Gospel reading and the concluding Blessing. Besides flowers, at the Dormition herbs

            may be brought, whether fresh or packaged.  At the conclusion of the services—in Edenton, the eve’s Vespers—the worshipers hold their herbs (and may hold spices with them) for the priest’s annual Blessing of Fragrant Herbs, after which

            the herbs (and spices) are taken back to bless the table fare at home throughout the year. (For any who are unable to attend the Dormition vespers, Fr. Benedict will make the herbs blessing available also the following Sunday.)

            (The other two occasions when all are encouraged to bring flowers are the Feast of Pentecost, seven weeks after Easter, and the Exaltation of the Cross, always on September 14th.  For the Veneration of the Cross in mid Lent we bring, by

            contrast, basil or other greenery simply.) At the Dormition the flowers remind us of those from the Virgin’s tomb on the visit of St. Thomas, and the herbs symbolize the fragrance likewise found there.

 

 

July 30 - August 2, 2017

 

I.          Transfiguration Aug. 6th

II.         the un-created light

III.       building fund

IV.       weekly announcements

V.        new catechumen

VI.       the Dormition Fast

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

I.   TRANSFIGURATION next weekend:

            Falling on a Sunday this year, the August 6th Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord, God & Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be celebrated thus at the usual 5:00 p.m. Saturday Great Vespers on its eve (concluding by 6:00 p.m.) and the usual 9:40 Hours’ Prayers and 10:00 Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.

            The Transfiguration, of Jesus on Mt. Tabor between Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets, is recounted in all three synoptic Gospels:  in Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9.

            One of the seven Great Feasts of our Lord, among the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, it is celebrated always on August 6th on the calendars of both the Eastern Church and the Western Church.

            Near the end of the Sunday morning services, Fr. Benedict will offer the Blessing of the First­‑fruits, which has always been part of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration.

            Those attending are invited thus to bring grapes, or apples or other such produce, to be blessed for their household use accordingly.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

II.   UN-CREATED LIGHT:

            At the Transfiguration, the Eastern Church takes particular note of the light that Peter & James & John saw on Mt. Tabor, when Jesus “was transfigured before them; and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light”; and “the disciples ... fell on their face, and were sore afraid” (Matthew 17: 1–2, 5–6).

            The Church understands this light of Christ’s Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor to be the same light which Moses had seen in the burning bush (Exodus 3) that was not consumed (“and Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God”), and which St. Paul later saw (“and he fell to the earth”) on the road to Damascus (Acts 9: 1–9, also 22: 4–9 and 26: 11–15).

            Orthodox theology understands these Biblical accounts as reporting the extraordinarily rare instances in which God has allowed a human being to see light that is “not created.”

            Thus the sun and its light, and fire and its light, for example, are part of the Creation, that God has made.

            But the light of the burning bush and of the Transfiguration and of the Damascus road, Orthodox Christianity understands, is not created but is an uncreated attribute of God Himself, which He has permitted mankind to encounter under such momentous circumstances as the Transfiguration of Our Lord, God & Saviour, Jesus Christ, which we will celebrate next weekend August 5th and 6th.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III.  BUILDING FUND:

            Daily we are increasingly recognizing our gratitude for, and the significance and effect of, the anonymous gift last month of $52,000.00 to our building fund and to the glory of God.

            And we continue to appreciate likewise the foresight of our other donor a year ago who, with his own initial $5,000.00 donation, enabled us even to have a building fund in place.

            Besides the potential courses of action recited in our last newsletter of June 29th/July 1st, in recent days still further alternatives have arisen as possible solutions to our need, within the next two years, for a nave that can accommodate more attendance than the present configuration of the small 1902 railway depot that we have been blessed to rent for a decade now.

            But it is only because of last month’s anonymous and wholly unexpected major gift, together with fortuitously its providentially opportune timing, that it has become realistic for us even to consider seriously some of the potential possibilities that have appeared now on the horizon.

            We give thanks to God for the unprecedented generosity of this gift, we are grateful beyond words for the kindness of the anonymous household from which the gift came, and in thanksgiving we pray God’s blessings upon this household and upon all who are associated with it.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

IV.   WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments.

            Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            Most Sundays (but not July 30th) we also have at 7:45 a.m. the service of Matins, although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

            Most Wednesdays we have Daily Vespers at 5:45 p.m., concluding before 6:45 p.m.; again one interested in attending may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the date.

            All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There were no newsletters the last three weeks, the most recent having been thus the issue of June 29th/July 1st.

            Our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Daniel, for Joseph, for Patsy & John, for Pendleton, for Maxine, for James & his family, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, for Harvey, for Alex, and for Christoph, and for their health; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

V.  NEW CATECHUMEN:

            We’re pleased to report that Kaare was enrolled into the catechumenate last month on the Great Feast of Pentecost.

            A catechumen is one who has made a decision to be received into the Orthodox Church; he remains in the catechumenate, nowadays for typically a year or less, while he attends the services and is instructed in the Faith.  Thereupon he is received into the Church, usually by either baptism or chrismation, depending on the circumstances.

            Kaare began attending St. George’s in January, has probably the best attendance of all of us, has added a needed bass voice to the choir, and has generously & skillfully repaired and refinished & repainted our pair of wooden votive candle stands that hold a prominent place visually in the nave, so that our temple’s appearance has been enhanced notably.

            We praise God that He has called into His Church each catechumen that we have had, and for the growth that each has represented at St. George’s.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

VI.   The DORMITION FAST:

            The Dormition Fast, one of the Church’s four seasons of fasting, begins as always on August 1st and so runs for the fourteen days preceding August 15th, the Feast of the Dormition (the Falling-Asleep) of the Theotocos (the God-Bearer, i.e., the Virgin Mary).

            (An inquirer or catechumen or one otherwise yet entering upon such a fast should not try to undertake this all at once, as such an attempt likely would be neither successful nor beneficial.  Adopting the discipline instead in increments, over a period of several seasons & years as necessary, avoids a sense of burden or being overwhelmed and allows rather a glad anticipation of each successive step.)

            The fasting principles for this season are the same as for Lent (and thus somewhat stricter than the rule for Advent and for the Apostles’ Fast in June).  Thus besides restricting the number of meals, we generally abstain from meat (including finfish), eggs & dairy products, and oil & wine (—i.e., alcoholic beverages); but on Saturdays and Sundays oil and wine are allowed, as the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day respectively.

            On August 6th, the Feast of the Transfiguration, finfish (i.e., fish with backbones) are allowed, as well as oil & wine; and in our jurisdiction, the Orthodox Church in America, this relaxation is provided likewise on Aug. 9th & Aug. 13th for the Feast Days respectively of St. Herman of Alaska and of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.

            (Shellfish, i.e., all invertebrates, have been traditionally allowed throughout the season, as being more primitive than the animals from which we abstain, and notably without recognizable blood generally—besides being historically disdained as mere scavengers.)

            The fasting discipline should be undertaken with the guidance, especially when questions arise, of one’s priest (or spiritual father, or mother), for several reasons, including those of ensuring a proper measure of prayer, compassion, & dependence on God, and of avoiding pride or irritability.  Reasons of health may mitigate the fast, as well as other personal circumstances, such as those of an individual in a non-Orthodox household.

            Most importantly, the Orthodox emphasize not a legalistic approach to fasting but one of joyful anticipation.

            The Biblical history of fasting, together with its spiritual benefits of self­‑discipline, to soul & body together, that are experienced by those who follow this example of Jesus Christ and the Fathers in growing closer to God, is well explained by Bishop Kallistos (Timothy Ware) in his booklet “When You Fast,” available from our tract cabinet.

 

 

 

Addendum to Normal Schedule for the Week of 16 - 22 July 2017

 

Sunday, 16 July 2017:

9:40 Third and Sixth Hours

10:00 Divine Liturgy, followed by fellowship "hour"

Matins will not be served in the church tomorrow.

 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

In preparation for the feast of the holy Prophet Elias (Elijah) on Thursday, Wednesday evening Great Vespers will be held to venerate the holy Prophet Elias.

The starting time remains the same, 5:45 PM, and the service should take less than an hour.

Come if you can!

July 1, 2017

I.          facilities study

II.         building fund

III.       God’s provision

IV.       weekly announcements

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

I.   FACILITIES STUDY:

            As mentioned in our May 18/20 newsletter, we are anticipating now a time when we may need ultimately to take ownership of property.

            Earlier this year we learned that we are being offered the opportunity within the next two years to purchase the property we have been renting since 2007, being the Suffolk & Carolina Railway’s 1902 passenger depot that we have partially restored as our church for the time being.

            Since we haven’t felt we had yet the resources to be ready for such a purchase in the near future, several members accordingly have volunteered to research various courses action that might be considered.

            And our members Keli and Alex over the previous three Saturdays have generously & capably facilitated a series of three helpful & fruitful congregational meetings to discuss fully the Edenton Mission’s aspirations and capabilities and our options subsequent to the ten or twelve years during which we will have rented our present building.

            Accordingly we have heard reports on the advantages & disadvantages, and possible financing methods for purchases, of several courses of action:  undertaking to purchase our present building, and subsequently enlarging its temple space; seeking another building to purchase that would allow a larger nave for future attendance growth; seeking vacant land suitable for construction in the future; and considering properties, with a larger capacity for attendance, to rent while seeking to develop a sufficient building fund.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

II.   BUILDING FUND:

            As also mentioned in our May 18/20 newsletter, through the generous foresight of one of our members, a building fund of $5,000 was first established in June of last year, which has grown to $5,446 this spring.

            Now on Monday of this week, June 26th, we have received a further gift of $52,000, anonymously and with the accompanying message that the gift is “to the glory of God” for our building fund.

            This unexpected beneficence, of $52,000 to St. George’s Mission for our building fund, and unprecedented for us in magnitude, enables us to view some aspirations as perhaps now within the realm of possibility if the Lord wills.

            And it affords us obviously a profoundly welcome and extraordinary encouragement at this juncture in our consideration of future plans.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III.   GOD’S PROVISION:

            In May of 2007 we were approached and offered the rental of the 1902 depot; it was an unnerving aspiration, but with kind friends’ monthly pledges and our own, we assembled enough in advance for the first twelve months’ expenses.

            The local public and leadership had expected that conversion of this residential corner to a church would be impossible under Town ordinances mandating a parking lot and then requiring a super­‑majority four­‑fifths approval after a public hearing of the neighborhood’s opinions; but the Board granted the permit amazingly and unanimously.

            And simultaneously the Lord provided in 2007 & 2008 retired carpentry volunteers who rebuilt the south porch, removed the west waiting room’s modern partitions & fixtures & sheetrock & dropped ceiling, and restored the building’s west quarter to its original 1902 grandeur as our present temple, in which services were held without fail weekly and on all great feasts for seven years then while we awaited a resident priest.

            In 2014 the esteemed Fr. Benedict Churchill offered to settle in Edenton, notwithstanding a typical Sunday attendance then of only two—and so the aspiration was as unnerving as in 2007:  but again the Lord provided enough pledges from kind friends to bank in advance the initial twelve months’ combined expenses of the church building and the rector’s housing.

            Thus without enough membership to warrant a mission station, let alone one with a building, the Lord miraculously provided us first a historic public building on a well visible and beautiful corner in view of the Bay and two blocks from the main street downtown, along with invitations for three years now to open on Historic Edenton’s Christmas tour.

            For an outpost with a weekly attendance of two, to be given both a resident priest and the use of a beautiful temple under such impossible circumstances, cannot be seen except as the Lord’s hand repeatedly working miracles to lead His mission station in Edenton—and to an average Sunday attendance now, over the past ten Sundays, of twelve.

            From a perspective of viewing as by the Lord’s hand the Mission’s past years’ advances under circumstances so consistently unlikely, trust in His continued provision now need not be any more daunting than the junctures we faced from 2002 to 2007 to 2014 repeatedly under His guidance.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

IV.   WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments.

            Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            Most Sundays we also have at 7:45 a.m. the service of Matins, although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

            Most Wednesdays we have Daily Vespers at 5:45 p.m., concluding before 6:45 p.m.; again one interested in attending may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the date.

            All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There were no newsletters the last two weeks, during our series of three Saturday congregational meetings, the most recent having been thus the issue of June 8th/10th.

            Our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Daniel, for Joseph, for Patsy & John, for Anne and Pen, for Maxine, for James & his family, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, for Harvey, for Alex, and for Christoph, and for their health; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.


June 11th Newsletter

 

I.          All Saints’ Day

II.         the Apostles’ Fast

III.       history of this Fast

IV.       theology of fasting

V.        weekly announcements

VI.       principles of this Fast

VII.      guidance for the Fast

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

I.   ALL SAINTS’ DAY:

            This next Sunday June 11th will be All Saints’ Day, celebrated on the Orthodox calendar always on the Sunday following Pentecost.

            The Day both honors the named Saints we know, but whose separate feast days we do not always commemorate, and also honors the equally holy Saints whose names we do not know.

            A Saint is one, departed this life, for whom we no longer pray (as the Church recognizes that he or she, having now come to the glory of the Lord, no longer has need for our prayers) but whose intercessions for ourselves we may now ask, both privately & publicly.

            The Sunday afterward, June 18th this year, always honors specifically the local country’s saints, so that here that day is called All Saints of North America.

            As is always the Orthodox practice, each of these two feast days will be celebrated first on its eve, with Vespers at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and second on its morning, at 9:40 & 10:00 a.m. Sunday.

            Visitors are invited and welcome at all of our services always.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

II.   The APOSTLES’ FAST:

            On the day after All Saints’ Day, thus on Monday June 12th this year, there begins always the Apostles’ Fast, one of the Church’s four seasons of fasting.

            It runs until the Feast of St. Peter & St. Paul, always on June 29th, when we remember the two whom we count as chief among the Apostles:  St. Peter, known for his missionary work among the Jews, and St. Paul, known as the Apostle to the Gentiles.

            This Fast, for our benefit appointed by the Church to precede that Feast, is an annual encouragement of our effort to learn to lead a Christ­‑like life in the example of the Apostles, so that like them we too might daily be worthy missionaries of the Gospel.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III.   HISTORY of this FAST:

            The Apostles’ Fast was already well established by the time of the Patriarch St. Leo the Great, who died in 461, as illustrated by these excerpts from his Sermons #75 and #78:

            “To­‑day’s festival, dearly­‑beloved, hallowed by the descent of the Holy Ghost, is followed, as you know, by a solemn fast ....”

            “And it is through His aid and teaching also that the purification of fasts and alms has been established among us.  For this venerable day is followed by a most wholesome practice, which all the saints have ever found most profitable to them, and to the diligent observance of which we exhort you with a shepherd’s care ....”

            “Therefore, after the days of holy gladness, which we have devoted to the honour of the Lord rising from the dead and then ascending into heaven, and after receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, a fast is ordained as a wholesome and needful practice ....”

            “For when the Apostles had been filled with the promised power, and the Spirit of Truth had entered their hearts, ... the chiefs of the infant Church were guarded by the whole Godhead of the Father and the Son through the presence of the Holy Ghost.

            “But against the threatened attacks of persecutors, against the terrifying shouts of the ungodly, they could not fight with bodily strength or pampered flesh, since that which delights the outer does most harm to the inner man, and the more one’s fleshly substance is kept in subjection, the more purified is the reasoning soul.

            “And so those teachers, who have instructed all the Church’s sons by their examples and their traditions, began the rudiments of the Christian warfare with holy fasts, that, having to fight against spiritual wickednesses, they might take the armour of abstinence, wherewith to slay the incentives to vice.

            “For invisible foes and incorporeal enemies will have no strength against us, if we be not entangled in any lusts of the flesh.”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

IV.   THEOLOGY of FASTING:

            Besides Jesus’ own instructions on fasting through the Gospels, and His Apostles’ examples in the Acts & the Epistles, and the repeated confirmation of fasting throughout the Old and New Testaments, the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor (Matt. 17, Mark 9, Luke 9), is notable as to the fasting by all three who were transfigured:

            Moses, representing the Law, fasted forty days (Exodus 34: 27–28, Deut. 9: 9–11) before receiving the Ten Commandments; Elijah, representing the Prophets, fasted likewise forty days (i Kings 19: 7–16) before meeting God; and Christ Himself fasted forty days (Matt. 4: 1–4, Luke 4: 1–4) before commencing His ministry.

            Accompanied by repentance, Scripture reading, prayer, and charitable ministry, the purpose of our own fasting is spiritual discipline:  to learn to control our passions or addictions, to offer our will to God, and to allow Him to purify our heart.

            As the Fall resulted (Gen. 2: 15–17, 3: 1–8) from Adam’s breaking the fast given by God, so we learn that keeping the fast helps open our hearts to a return to the Lord, and to His grace, and to His release from the bondage of our own desires.

            St. John of the Ladder summarizes:  “The fallen Lucifer is prince of the demons, and gluttony is prince of the passions”; and “A stuffed belly is the father of fornication, while a mortified stomach leadeth to purity.”  (Ladder, S. 14.)

            And St. Athanasius exhorts:  “Let us ... observe the purity of the fast by watchfulness in prayers, by study of the Scriptures, and by distributing to the poor; and let us be at peace with our enemies.  Let us bind up those who are scattered abroad, banish pride, and return to lowliness of mind, being at peace with all men, and urging the brethren unto love.”  (Letter XIV. 5.)

            We fast, as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6: 16–18) quietly; and not by inventing a rule with pride, but by following our received patristic rule with humility.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

V.   WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

            Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments.

            Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

            Most Sundays we also have at 8:00 a.m. the service of Matins, although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

            Most Wednesdays we have Daily Vespers at 5:45 p.m., concluding before 6:45 p.m.; again one interested in attending may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the date.

            All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.  Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

            There were no newsletters the last two weeks, the most recent having been thus the issue of May 18th/20th.

            Our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Daniel, for Joseph, for Maxine, for James & his family, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, for Harvey, for Alex, and for Christoph, and for their health; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

            Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

VI.   PRINCIPLES of this FAST:

            The rule for the Apostles’ Fast is like that for Advent, so that it is less strict than the rule for Lent and for the Dormition Fast in August.

            Thus during the Apostles’ Fast, first, we abstain from meat, eggs, and dairy products throughout the season.  Next, we remember that Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays generally are the strictest days, on which we abstain also from finfish, oil, and wine (i.e., alcoholic beverages).  On Tuesdays & Thursdays, oil & wine are taken; and on Saturdays & Sundays (as the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day respectively), oil & wine and finfish (i.e., fish with backbones) as well.

            (Shellfish, i.e., all invertebrates, have been traditionally allowed throughout the season, as being more primitive than the animals from which we abstain, and notably without recognizable blood generally—besides being historically disdained as mere scavengers.)

            The fast is relaxed for certain Feasts falling on weekdays (as indicated on our wall calendars each year), most notably on June 24th when finfish, along with wine & oil, is allowed for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

VII.   GUIDANCE for the FAST:

            The fasting discipline should be undertaken with the guidance, especially when questions arise, of one’s priest (or spiritual father, or mother), for several reasons, including those of ensuring a proper measure of prayer, compassion, & dependence on God, and of avoiding pride or irritability.  Reasons of health may mitigate the fast, as well as other personal circumstances, such as those of an individual in a non-Orthodox household.

            An inquirer or catechumen or one otherwise yet entering upon such a fast should not try to undertake this all at once, as such an attempt likely would be neither successful nor beneficial.  Adopting the discipline instead in increments, over a period of several seasons & years as necessary, avoids a sense of burden or being overwhelmed and allows rather a glad anticipation of each successive step.

            Most importantly, the Orthodox emphasize not a legalistic approach to fasting but one of joyful anticipation.

            The Biblical history of fasting, together with its spiritual benefits of self-discipline, to soul & body together, that are experienced by those who follow this example of Christ and the Fathers in growing closer to God, are well explained by Bishop Kallistos (Timothy Ware) in his booklet “When You Fast,” available from our tract cabinet.

 


 May 21, 2017

“Christ is Risen!”

—“Indeed He is risen!”

 

I. next Wednesday & Thursday

II. The Ascension

III. manifold progress at St. George’s

IV. thanks to Chowan Herald

V. weekly announcements

VI. hymnography of the Ascension

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

I. ASCENSION next WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY:

For Ascension Day next week, as usual we will have Great Vespers on its eve and the Divine Liturgy on its morning.

So Wednesday evening May 24th at 5:45 p.m. (concluding by 6:45 p.m.) there will begin the Vespers, of the Feast of the Ascension into Heaven, of Our Lord, God & Saviour, Jesus Christ.

And Thursday morning May 25th at respectively 6:40 & 6:50 a.m. there will begin the First Prayers and the Divine Liturgy (concluding by 8:00 a.m.), for the same Great Feast, of Ascension Day.

One of the seven Great Feasts of our Lord, among the twelve Great Feasts of the Church, it is described below.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

II. THE ASCENSION:

Christ’s Ascension into Heaven, as recounted in chapter 1 of The Acts, as well as at the end of Mark’s and Luke’s Gospels, occurred on the fortieth day from the Pasch, or Easter, and so it falls always on a Thursday.

Orthodox Christianity understands salvation as involving Christ’s work through a series of events including his Incarnation, Nativity, Crucifixion, Descent, Resurrection, and Ascension, so that He as God became man and, after overthrowing the power of death, took man’s human nature & flesh into heaven, restoring & reconciling man to God.

As at Christmas the human shepherds were amazed in seeing God born as a child on earth, so at Ascension the angels were amazed in seeing a human being ascend into Heaven, and again at Pentecost the people were amazed in seeing the Holy Spirit descended upon the men of the Church.

The hymnography of Ascension Day, addressed in more detail below, repeats the bewildered amazement of the angels in seeing a human being ascend in the flesh into Heaven.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

III. MANIFOLD PROGRESS:

We feel blessed to report progress on many fronts at St. George’s Mission over the past twelve months.

As our subscribers will recall, last July we presented at Edenton’s library a program to the public about Mt. Athos & its monasteries, last August our beautiful new & expanded icon­‑screen was completed, the same month our new Bishop Alexander’s weekend here marked our first episcopal visit since our late Archbishop Dmitri’s in October of 2007, last October our Carolinas Deanery clergy had their semi­‑annual retreat at Wessington House here and gave a concert at the Edenton Coffee House with standing room only, and in December our church was invited & participated for the third year in the Edenton Historic District’s annual Christmas Candlelight Tour.

The spring’s chief focus of course was on the numerous services offered in Orthodox Christianity for Lent & Holy Week and into Paschaltide.

But through this spring the attendance at our regular Wednesday vespers and at the usual Sunday 8:00 a.m. matins has increased markedly & consistently.

And our singing has likewise improved considerably, so that we’re now regularly hearing our liturgical music at St. George’s in three vocal parts rather than only two as before.

Our temple’s appearance has been enhanced dramatically in recent weeks by Kaare’s generous & skillful work in repairing and in refinishing & repainting our pair of wooden votive candle stands that hold a prominent place in the nave.

Last month a committee was assembled from the congregation to identify & pursue ideas for more community participation, for increased publicity, and for other aspects of the growth to which St. George’s Mission aspires. An after­‑church Sunday picnic now is planned for Pentecost, and we’re aiming to begin offering some singing for local nursing­‑home residents.

Similarly this month Judy, with Moriah’s help, has agreed to give our Facebook page the regular activity to which we have aspired for years, and accordingly we are now appreciating the usually daily posts that they have been assembling from the Fathers and Saints and from current happenings in Orthodox Christianity.

And this month Tony has opened, for further publicity & information from the St. George’s congregation, a Twitter account for the first time.

Finally, through particularly the generous foresight of one of our members last June, St. George’s has a building fund, now $5,300.00 and growing, in anticipation of the time when ultimately we will need to undertake ownership of property.

To God we daily are in profound and humble gratitude for His innumerable blessings, upon us and upon St. George’s Mission—established for the encounter and worship here of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity who has created us and sustains us and saves us, and for our prayers at our services from Edenton for our Albemarle region and the people living here.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

IV. THANKS to CHOWAN HERALD:

We are quite grateful to the Chowan Herald for the generously comprehensive articles published on April 12th about our Good Friday and other Holy Week services, and on May 17th about our Ascension Day & Eve services next week, at St. George’s Church.

And our own editor apologizes that Holy Week, Bright Week, and his office work schedule have impeded our church newsletters the last five weeks, the most recent one having been thus the issue of April 6th.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

V. WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Every Sunday we have at 9:40 a.m. the Hours’ Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch or refreshments.

Each Saturday we have Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m., concluding before 6:00 p.m.

Most Sundays we also have at 8:00 a.m. the service of Matins, although without choir; one interested in attending this early service may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the schedule.

Most Wednesdays we have Daily Vespers at 5:45 p.m., concluding before 6:45 p.m.; again one interested in attending may check first with Fr. Benedict at 325–4505 to confirm the date.

And next Thursday morning the 25th we have the Ascension Day services described at the beginning of this newsletter.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome. Our office telephone number is 482–2006.

Our prayers are asked for Fr. Benedict, for Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina, for Daniel, for Joseph, for Maxine, for James & his family, for Nina & Mike, for Bill & Carol, for Rosa, for Harvey, for Alex, for Roland, and for Christoph, and for their health; and for those many further friends for whom we pray at each of our services.

Our mailing address is P. O. Box 38, Edenton, N. C., 27932.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

VI. HYMNOGRAPHY of the ASCENSION:

Orthodox Christianity’s understanding of Christ’s Ascension is expounded in, as for any Feast, the ancient hymns appointed for the day; thus the following examples are from the Matins of the Ascension.

“Thou didst go up to the Father, O Christ, Bestower of life; and didst uplift our nature in Thine ineffable compassion, O Thou Who lovest mankind.”

“Having sought out Adam, who had been deluded by the deceit of the serpent, O Christ: as Thou didst clothe Thyself in him, Thou didst ascend and sit on the right hand, as One equally enthroned with the Father, as the angels hymned Thee.

“Earth doth celebrate and dance, and heaven rejoiceth today, at the ascension of the Creator of creation, Who by His will hath manifestly united the disparate natures.”

“O Christ, Who didst come down from heaven to those on earth, Who didst lie below in death’s custody, and Who, as God, didst by Thine ascension lift Adam’s form up to heaven: as Thou art merciful and lovest mankind, Thou didst cause it to sit with Thee on the throne of the Father.”

“Assuming our nature, which hath been slain by sin, O Saviour, Thou didst bring it to Thine own Father.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



May 12, 2011 newsletter: Major gift of principal icon

"Christ is Risen!"
—"Indeed He is risen!"

We stand in awe of a stunning gift that was delivered to St. George's on Great & Holy Friday, April 22nd.

Our mission station had hosted last summer the wedding on July 26th of a young couple who wished to be married in a local Orthodox church during their families' vacation that week in Dare County.

The bride's father is the noted Orthodox iconographer Nicholas Papas, of Greensburg, Penna.; and to express his family's gratitude for our hospitality, he has painted and given to St. George's a monumental icon for our sanctuary.

It is standing temporarily on the table in the refectory, so that we may appreciate it at close range, before it is hung in its permanent place directly behind the altar.

On the icon it is Adam's & Eve's expressions, beyond description, that have drawn consistently the most comments.

Words cannot express our everlasting gratitude to Mr. Papas, along with his family, for their profound generosity in bestowing on St. George's Church such an unprecedented gift.
______ ______________

Heretofore, aside from the hand work on the small but beautiful Deësis icon of Christ's Mother in our nave, given anonymously and described in our newsletter of November 19, 2009, St. George's has not owned any original icons, but only the wood -mounted printed reproductions that we could afford.

An icon is, as understood in Orthodox Christianity, first not an artistic work but a liturgical work.

Thus an iconographer works only while fasting, in continual prayer, and through a life of humility and contrition. He is not creating mere art, and he neither signs his work nor fancies acclaim for himself. His aspiration is that his work will glorify God and will transmit accurately the Faith.

Engineered to last indefinitely, as to both structure and color, icons are created by an intricate process involving linden wood or birch; linen or cotton gauze, gypsum, & skin -glue; shellac; mineral pigments mixed with zinc -white, hemp oil, egg white, & egg yolk; gold leaf; and lacquer.

After consulting with Fr. Andrew, taking measurements behind our altar, and much prayer about our mission station here, Mr. Papas's decision was to paint an icon focusing on a particular element of the standard icon of Christ's Resurrection.

The Orthodox perspective on the Resurrection begins with St. Matthew's Gospel's account following Christ's death on the Cross:

"The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks split; and the graves were opened. And many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matthew 27: 51–53.)

Thus the Orthodox emphasize that, with His death on the Cross, Christ overthrows death and binds Satan; and with His Resurrection, Christ raises the faithful from the grave to eternal life, beginning with Adam and Eve.

This understanding is summarized, and repeated for forty days, in our principal Paschal hymn: "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!"

Accordingly our own new Paschal or Resurrectional icon depicts that very scene, from the "Harrowing of Hell" so called: Christ, having trampled down the Gates of Hades, reaches below for Adam and Eve, grasping them near the wrist, and raises them from the grave to life again with Him.

Orthodox icons, finally, are not painted by whim or passing fancy, but in conformity to the theological principles transmitted through the centuries—as to the icons' portrayed content, details, and colors; their subjects' postures, attire, and expressions; and thus the theological truths accordingly conveyed.

Faithfully transmitting Christian teaching as received by the Church two millennia ago, Orthodox icons maintain, as "windows to heaven," their purpose: to teach the faith, and to edify the faithful.
______ ______________

This year for our overnight Paschal services we were pleased to have twenty -four in attendance and particularly so many college students who drove up from the beach.

Besides those who otherwise helped prepare for the services and those who helped furnish the Paschal feast, we thank especially the following:

—Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina for spending three days in Edenton to facilitate the several services also on Friday and Saturday,

—Chris Berry for his hours of advance practice, and then for leading our group practices, that provided such a good foundation for all the special music,

—Catie & Claude for giving the flowers for the Paschal services,

—Liz Berry for the dozens of traditionally red -dyed hard -boiled eggs for the celebration afterwards, and

—Tom Di Martino for returning Sunday evening to finish cleaning the building after all the Paschal festivities.
______ ______________

There were no newsletters during Holy Week, Bright Week, or the week following.
Fr. Joseph Lucas, whose March visit to Edenton we so much appreciated, has accepted now a position at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, in Miami Lakes, Florida; and we wish him and his family accordingly the best in their move this summer into our Diocese of the South.
______ ______________

Our regular Sunday services continue each week at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e -mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006.

Our prayers are asked for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Peter, for Angie, for Tommy, and for their health; for Jessica, as she embarks on her new vocation; for our Metropolitan Jonah; for Bro. William, as he pursues the monastic novitiate; and for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family


April 14, 2011 newsletter: Lazarus Saturday through Bright Week

There are no changes to the schedule as given in the last newsletter, but the services are described below in more detail.

As there might be no newsletter next week, on account of the Holy Week services, readers are encouraged to remember particularly the service on Bright Tuesday the 26th for our patron St. George.
______ ______________

LAZARUS SATURDAY:
Lent in Orthodox Christianity, as noted in prior newsletters, comprises three seasons: Pre-Lent (abolished in Western Christianity in 1969/1979), Great Lent (of 40 days, concluding this Friday April 15th this year), and Holy Week (concluding at the eve of Pascha or Easter).

(The Great Fast itself, during which we abstain from meat and dairy products, continues after the 40 days through the end of Holy Week of course.)

Great & Holy Week thus is inaugurated by Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday, which are observed as a festal interlude between Great Lent and Holy Week. (One may permissibly consider Holy Week as beginning either on Lazarus Saturday, on Palm Sunday, or on Great Monday; the books do not seek to prescribe this point definitively.)

Christ's raising from the dead, after four days in the tomb, of his friend Lazarus of Bethany (John 11: 1–46) is a prefiguring both of Christ's own Resurrection, not many weeks later, and of the bodily resurrection of all the righteous on the Last Day.

As such Lazarus Saturday is celebrated by the Orthodox Church, on the day before Palm Sunday in that, some days after Lazarus' resurrection, Christ returned to Bethany and dined with him and his sisters Mary and Martha (John 12: 1–13) on the very day before Palm Sunday.

In the years following Pentecost when the Christians were scattered (Acts 8:1, 11: 19–20), including St. Lazarus (John 12: 10–11), he settled in Cyprus; and during St. Paul's and St. Barnabas' (a Cypriot, Acts 4:36) journey a.d. 46 by land across the island (Acts 13: 1–6, 13), they consecrated St. Lazarus the first bishop of the city of Kition (formerly Kittim, subsequently Larnaca), where he served until his death a.d. 60 and where his tomb remains.

In summary, between Great Lent's forty days of penitence, and Holy Week's six days of darkness and mourning, we celebrate this weekend two days of joy and triumph: Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday.
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PALM SUNDAY:

This Sunday April 17th, the Entrance into Jerusalem, or Palm Sunday, which is one of the twelve Great Feasts, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica with homily, but sung with the Festal antiphons, and followed by refreshments.

If any of our friends in town has palms and would like to contribute one frond (which is all we need) for our service on Palm Sunday (April 17th), we'd be quite grateful, and he or she may let us know by e -mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006.
______ ______________

CONFESSIONS:

Fr. Andrew will be available to hear confessions after either of the two services on Great & Holy Friday, April 22nd.

(If for someone it's not possible to be present on Friday, by appointment Fr. Andrew can hear such person's confession after the Saturday morning service. On weekdays he can be reached between 6:30 & 9:00 p.m. at 919–359–0242.)

In congregations small enough that confessions will not occur every week, it is always polite & considerate, that one desiring to make his confession after a service, should let the priest know that fact before that intervening service begins.
______ ______________

GOOD FRIDAY THROUGH PASCHA:

On Great & Holy Friday (Good Friday), April 22nd, again this year a State holiday, there will be two services:

At 3:00 p.m. Good Friday afternoon April 22nd, Fr. Andrew will lead us in that day's special Vespers (concluding about 4:10 p.m.), which contemplates Christ's body hanging on the Cross and being taken down and laid in the tomb. (Earlier services, which we will aspire to add in a later year, consider His betrayal, trial, and Crucifixion.)

At 7:00 p.m. Good Friday evening April 22nd, Fr. Andrew will lead us in the special Matins appointed (concluding about 9:10 p.m.), including the "Praises" (or "Lamentations"); this service contemplates Christ in the tomb, His descent to & harrowing of hell and His raising up of the righteous dead there to life, and the quaking of the created heavens & earth.

(During Holy Week, as is similarly the case preceding other foremost feasts, the preliminary services including Vespers and Matins are always sung conspicuously earlier than the times normally appointed for them; and so these strangely scheduled services impress the momentous import of the coming events being anticipated.)

On Great & Holy Saturday morning, April 23rd, at 10:00 a.m. Fr. Andrew will serve the day's special Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil (concluding about 12:20 p.m.), which glorifies God for all His works from the Creation to the Exodus to the Crucifixion and the destroying of death.

Following that Liturgy, for sustenance until the conclusion of the night's Paschal services, in accord with the Typicon, in the refectory we will each be served six dates, along with some of the blessed bread and wine from the Vesperal Liturgy.

Saturday night, April 23rd, at 11:30 p.m. our Paschal services will begin, as is the Orthodox practice, rather than on Sunday morning as in other weeks. (These services, of course, briefly review the Crucifixion and Christ's raising of the righteous dead from hell, and then they recount the Biblical narratives & the theology & blessings of the Resurrection, including its prefiguring throughout the Old Testament.)
______ ______________

AT PASCHAL SERVICES:

It is customary on arrival at the Paschal services to bring a basket with items from which we've been fasting through Lent, that is, meat & eggs & dairy products; following the services, around 2:40 a.m. Sunday morning, Fr. Andrew will give the traditional blessing over the baskets, after which we'll all sit down together for the customary Paschal Feast.

To respect the neighborhood's requests, we're asked always to park NOT on the grass and NOT on the non-curbed section of King Street.
______ ______________

BRIGHT WEEK AND ANTIPASCHA:

On Bright Tuesday, April 26th, at 7:00 a.m. we will sing the Typica, commencing with the Hours' Prayers, for the Feast of St. George, our mission station's patron, and concluding at 8:00 a.m.

St. George's Day is in fact the 23rd always; but when it falls during Holy Week, as happens this year, the Typicon transfers its celebration: if April 23rd falls on Holy Monday through Thursday, St. George's service is sung instead on Palm Sunday; if it falls on Good Friday, Holy Saturday, or Easter Sunday, St. George's service is sung on Bright Monday or Bright Tuesday.

(Specifically, if April 23rd falls on Pascha (Easter Sunday) itself, St. George's service is sung the next day on Bright Monday; but if April 23rd falls on Good Friday or Holy Saturday, St. George's service is sung on Bright Tuesday, because Bright Monday will have the service of the higher -ranked Apostle & Evangelist St. Mark from April 25th.)

Our service Tuesday morning the 26th will be a somewhat rare experience for the average parishioner, in that when a service is celebrated during Bright Week (running through the Saturday after Pascha), many of its usual parts are replaced by special Paschal hymns.

Sunday May 1st, St. Thomas' Sunday, as usual the services will be, at 10:00 a.m., the Hours' Prayers and the Typica with homily, followed by refreshments.
______ ______________

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Except on Pascha (Easter, April 24th), our regular Sunday services continue weekly at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e -mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006. While Great Lent and Holy Week continue, we abstain from meat, eggs, dairy products, and—except on the Annunciation and on Palm Sunday—finfish.

Our prayers are asked for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Tommy, for Peter, and for their health; for our Metropolitan Jonah; for Barbara's grandnephew Bro. William, as he pursues the monastic novitiate; and for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family.

 


April 7, 2011 newsletter

THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT:

This Saturday morning, April 9th, at 9:00 a.m. we will sing the Acathist Hymn (concluding about 9:40 a.m.), as was described in the March 17th newsletter.

Sunday, April 10th, the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica with homily, followed by refreshments.

On Sunday April 17th, the Entrance into Jerusalem, or Palm Sunday, which is one of the twelve Great Feasts, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica with homily, but sung with the Festal antiphons, and followed by refreshments.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

GOOD FRIDAY THROUGH PASCHA:

On Great & Holy Friday (Good Friday), April 22nd, a State holiday this year, there will be two services:

At 3:00 p.m. Good Friday afternoon April 22nd, Fr. Andrew will lead us in that day's special Vespers (concluding about 4:10 p.m.), which contemplates Christ's body hanging on the Cross and being taken down and laid in the tomb. (Earlier services, which we will aspire to add in a later year, consider His betrayal, trial, and Crucifixion.)

At 7:00 p.m. Good Friday evening April 22nd, Fr. Andrew will lead us in the special Matins appointed (concluding about 9:10 p.m.), including the "Praises" (or "Lamentations"); this service contemplates Christ in the tomb, His descent to & harrowing of hell and His raising up of the righteous dead there to life, and the quaking of the created heavens & earth.

(During Holy Week, as is similarly the case preceding other foremost feasts, the preliminary services including Vespers and Matins are always sung conspicuously earlier than the times normally appointed for them, and so these strangely scheduled services impress the momentous import of the coming events being anticipated.)

On Great & Holy Saturday morning, April 23rd, at 10:00 a.m. Fr. Andrew will serve the day's special Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil (concluding about 12:20 p.m.), which glorifies God for all His works from the Creation to the Exodus to the Crucifixion and the destroying of death.

Saturday night, April 23rd, at 11:30 p.m. our Paschal services will begin, as is the Orthodox practice, rather than on Sunday morning as in other weeks. (These services, of course, briefly review the Crucifixion and Christ's raising of the righteous dead from hell, and then they recount the Biblical narratives & the theology & blessings of the Resurrection, including its prefiguring throughout the Old Testament.)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

BRIGHT WEEK AND ANTIPASCHA:

On Bright Tuesday, April 26th, at 7:00 a.m. we will sing the Typica, commencing with the Hours' Prayers, for the Feast of St. George, our mission station's patron, and concluding by 8:00 a.m.

Sunday May 1st, St. Thomas' Sunday, as usual the services will be, at 10:00 a.m., the Hours' Prayers and the Typica with homily, followed by refreshments.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Except on Pascha (Easter, April 24th), our regular Sunday services continue weekly at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by email reply or by calling our office at 482–2006. While Great Lent and Holy Week continue, we abstain from meat, eggs, dairy products, and—except on the Annunciation and on Palm Sunday—finfish. We thank Tom & Peggy for having served us so hospitably on April 3rd.

Our prayers are asked for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Peter, and for their health; for our Metropolitan Jonah; for the newly­departed Robert and for his family; for Barbara's grandnephew Bro. William, as he pursues the monastic novitiate; and for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family.

 


March 31, 2011 newsletter

This Saturday evening, April 2nd, at 5:00 p.m. Great Vespers will be led by our priest, Fr. Andrew Davis, who will be available afterwards to hear confessions.

On Sunday, April 3rd, the Sunday of St. John of the Ladder, at 9:40 the Hours' Prayers will begin and at 10:00 the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, during which (it being appointed for only five Sundays in the year) Fr. Andrew encourages us to listen for & appreciate the priest's additional and more ancient prayers that we don't hear at other times.

And on Sunday the 3rd following lunch at church, Fr. Andrew will lead a Lenten Vespers, which (not being on the eve of a Sunday) will be sung to the special Lenten musical settings that we don't otherwise hear.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The next Saturday morning, April 9th, at 9:00 a.m. we will sing the Acathist Hymn (about 40 minutes), as was described in the March 17th newsletter.

Sunday, April 10th, the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica with homily, followed by refreshments.

Sunday, April 17th, the Entrance into Jerusalem, or Palm Sunday, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica with homily, but sung with the Festal antiphons, and followed by refreshments.

The further services for Holy Week will be published in the next newsletter.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Several special contributions to St. George's during the winter (besides those in March acknowledged last week) we deeply appreciate, as follow.

Susan & Tom Kehayes, of Macon, Georgia, we thank for their very generous gift of two more large St. George's flags for outdoor use. This flag, which we fly always on the south entrance porch, is a beautiful enhancement to the church building, with its striking red Cross of St. George on the field of white.

Withstanding the winds from Edenton Bay, these flags have a lifetime about a year; and so these two new ones are the 4th & 5th given us by Susan & Tom now, so that whenever the existing flag needs replacement, we'll continue to have one always ready.

Peggy & Tom Di Martino we thank for their generous contribution of all new hardware (besides Tom's carpentry labor) for both the church doors, so as to provide the deadbolt locks now prescribed by the church's insurance carrier (for buildings not inhabited overnight) and to replace the existing locks accordingly (so that the same key will fit all four).

Tom we thank moreover for his skill in hanging in the temple the heavy framed St. Seraphim icon, presented to us at Christmas, which we are appreciating ever more.

Anne Edwards we thank for her purchase of new heating & cooling registers for the restored nave & sanctuary, and for her generous purchase moreover of new blinds for the building's four large southwest windows, to help with the cooling and the electric bills during the summers.

Jerry Lavoie we thank similarly for generously contributing his carpentry labor in installing all the new blinds and the registers.

Finally we thank those members of St. George's who made extra gifts in January to assist in the purchase by Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina of their new car, for their monthly trips so faithfully to minister to us in Edenton.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e­‑mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006. While Lent continues, we abstain from meat, eggs, dairy products, and—except on the Annunciation and on Palm Sunday—finfish. We thank Tom for having volunteered for April 3rd.

Our prayers are asked for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, and for their health; for our Metropolitan Jonah; for Barbara's grandnephew Bro. William, as he pursues the monastic novitiate; and for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family.

 


March 24, 2011 newsletter

This Friday morning, March 25th, at 7:00 a.m. there will be celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation. The service will consist of the singing of the Typica, preceded by the Prayers of the Hours, and it will conclude by 8:00 a.m.

One of the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, the Feast of the Annunciation of our Most-Holy Lady, the Birth-Giver of God and the Ever-Virgin Mary, is observed always on March 25th.

It commemorates, as recounted in Luke 1: 26–56, the Annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel, to the Theotocos (the Birth-Giver of God), of the Incarnation of Christ and of His Nativity nine months later.

The Orthodox Church's twelve Great Feasts, together with Good Friday (a fast rather than a feast) and Pascha or Easter (the greatest "Feast of Feasts"), generally speaking commemorate the principal historical events in God's plan of Salvation offered to mankind.

Although the Crucifixion and Resurrection indeed are its apex, this plan of Salvation is understood in Orthodox Christianity to involve the longer entire sequence of events, thus including this March 25th Annunciation of our Lord's Incarnation: that God in Christ is become man in the flesh, to be our Salvation.

The principal hymn of the Annunciation is sung, in Tone #4, as follows:

"Today is the beginning of our salvation
"and the revelation of the mystery from the ages.

"For the Son of God doth become the Son of the Virgin,
"as Gabriel proclaimeth the tidings of grace.

"So with him let us also cry to the Theotocos:
"Hail! thou who art full of grace; the Lord is with thee."
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

We are deeply grateful for the several generous contributions that made possible such an enjoyable visit March 10th through 12th with Fr. Joseph Lucas.

Carter Rowe we thank for his hospitality in making available Elizabeth Moore's home, for Fr. Joseph's lodging Thursday & Friday nights and for the reception & supper Friday evening.

Elizabeth Berry we thank for her time & generosity in preparing such an excellent Lenten supper there, for all of us on Friday.

We thank Christopher Simmons & John Morehead for furnishing the hors d'œuvres & drinks for the reception; Anne for the fresh flowers and for arranging the dining room so beautifully; John for straightening & cleaning the house beforehand, and for conducting Fr. Joseph around Edenton; and Elizabeth & Chris Berry and John for the cleaning & laundering afterwards.

Anne Edwards we particularly thank for her extraordinary generosity in having engaged two housekeepers to spend three days each, giving our entire church building—temple, vestry, refectory, parlor, classroom, bathroom, and kitchen—a completely thorough scouring & cleaning in preparation for Fr. Joseph's visit: washing the windows, scrubbing the floors, cleaning the rugs, laundering the curtains, tablecloths, and towels, washing every item in all the kitchen cabinets, and so on for the three days.

Moreover we thank Anne for her similar generosity in having engaged a landscaping crew for a day to bring the church grounds to a neat appearance likewise: weeding the beds, cutting the grass, edging the beds and the curbs, and general trimming.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

We deeply appreciate Fr. Joseph's interest in St. George's and Edenton, while he and his family, together with our congregation and our bishop, seek to discern God's will for a first resident priest here.

We're always grateful to our Dean of the Carolinas, Fr. Marcus Burch, for his attention to St. George's in sending, whenever the opportunity arises, priests and seminarians to visit Edenton, while we abide in faith until God's time for His provision for us.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This Sunday, March 27th, is the Veneration of the Precious & Life­‑Giving Cross, so reminding us, on this Third Sunday in Great Lent, of the instrument of our salvation.

It is the only occasion during the year when prostrations are made on a Sunday morning (except for the one year in seven when the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, September 14th, falls on a Sunday).

It's customary this Sunday thus to decorate, with whatever flowers may be available, the cross that will remain (until Friday afternoon) in the middle of the nave for veneration.

Anyone who would like to bring some flowers is invited to arrive a little early on Sunday, to decorate the cross accordingly before the services begin.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Our schedule as we continue through Great Lent this year (the same as published last week, except that April 9th is now confirmed) proceeds as follows.

This Friday morning, March 25th, at 7:00 a.m., we will sing the Typica for the Annunciation (finishing before 8:00 a.m.), which celebrates the events recounted in Luke 1: 26–56 and is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Church.

Sunday, March 27th, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica, with homily.

Saturday evening, April 2nd, at 5:00 p.m. Great Vespers will be led by our priest, Fr. Andrew Davis, who will be available afterwards to hear confessions.

Sunday, April 3rd, the Sunday of St. John of the Ladder, the Hours' Prayers will begin at 9:40 and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great at 10:00. Following lunch at church, Fr. Andrew will lead a Lenten Vespers, which (not being on the eve of a Sunday) will be sung to the special Lenten musical settings that we don't otherwise hear.

Saturday morning, April 9th, at 9:00 a.m. we will sing the Acathist Hymn (about 40 minutes), as was described in last week's newsletter.

Sunday, April 10th, the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica, with homily.

Sunday, April 17th, the Entrance into Jerusalem, or Palm Sunday, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica, with homily, but with the Festal antiphons.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Our regular Sunday services thus continue weekly at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by email reply or by calling our office at 482–2006. While Lent continues, we abstain from meat, eggs, dairy products, and—except on the Annunciation and on Palm Sunday—finfish. We thank Anne Edwards for having hosted us with the especially good luncheon on March 6th.

Our prayers are asked for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Peter, and for their health; for the people of Japan; for our Metropolitan Jonah; for the newly-departed Alex, and for his family; for Barbara's grandnephew Will, as he tests his monastic vocation; for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family.

 


March 17, 2011 newsletter

This Saturday morning, March 19th at 9:00 a.m., our Lenten schedule continues with the service (lasting about 40 minutes) of the Acathist Hymn.

This service or hymn was composed in the early 6th century by St. Romanos the Melodist, a monk at Constantinople who was born in the latter 5th century into a Jewish family in Syria. The main part of the hymn consists of 24 sections; in the original Greek, the sections begin respectively with the 24 letters in sequence of the Greek alphabet.

The hymn's contents review Christ's family's life's main events related to his Incarnation (beginning with the Annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel, and continuing through the family's Flight into Egypt and Christ's Presentation in the Temple) and the virtues of His Mother. The now 1,400-year custom of singing it during Lent arose from the fact that its initial subject, the Annunciation Feast (always March 25th), usually falls within Lent.

Although standing is the normal posture for liturgical services in the Orthodox Church, for extended hymnody those present typically sit. Thus when Psalms are read by a monk, his brethren sit while they listen; and so a section of the Psalter is called a cathisma (or kathisma), meaning a "seating." The Acathist (or Akathist) Hymn is an exception, however, in that the normal posture for its service is standing; and so "acathist" means "unseated" in Greek.

Following St. Romanos' original pattern, later similar Acathist Hymns have been written with a variety of themes—often a Scriptural or Church historical event, or one of the Saints, or a Person of the Holy Trinity.

(Those attending this Saturday morning should aim to ARRIVE a little EARLY, to allow time for PARKING before the 9:00 start of the Kiwanis 5-km. run through downtown & around the St. George's corner; we're thus asked to park either in our driveway, or on King west of Oakum, or on Oakum north of King.)
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Our schedule as we continue through Great Lent this year proceeds as follows.

This Saturday morning, March 19th, at 9:00 a.m. will be the service of the Acathist Hymn (about 40 minutes).

Sunday, March 20th, the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica, with homily.

Friday morning, March 25th, at 7:00 a.m., we will sing the Typica for the Annunciation (finishing before 8:00 a.m.), which celebrates the events recounted in Luke 1: 26–56 and is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Church.

Sunday, March 27th, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica, with homily.

Saturday evening, April 2nd, at 5:00 p.m. Great Vespers will be led by our priest, Fr. Andrew Davis, who will be available afterwards to hear confessions.

Sunday, April 3rd, the Sunday of St. John of the Ladder, the Hours' Prayers will begin at 9:40 and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great at 10:00. Following lunch at church, Fr. Andrew will lead a Lenten Vespers, which (not being on the eve of a Sunday) will be sung to the special Lenten musical settings that we don't otherwise hear.

(Saturday morning, April 9th, we might schedule a second singing of the Acathist Hymn, as on March 19th.)

Sunday, April 10th, the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica, with homily.

Sunday, April 17th, the Entrance into Jerusalem, or Palm Sunday, as usual the services will be, at 10:00, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica, with homily, but with the Festal antiphons.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Our regular Sunday services thus continue weekly at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e­‑mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006. While Lent continues, we abstain from meat, eggs, dairy products, and—except on the Annunciation and on Palm Sunday—finfish.

There was no newsletter last week, on account of the daily services and of Fr. Joseph Lucas's visit—on which we'll report in the next issue.

Our prayers are asked for the newly­‑departed Alex, that he may rest in peace, and for his family in their loss; for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Peter, and for their health; for Metropolitan Jonah; for Barbara's grandnephew Will, as he tests his monastic vocation; for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Similar to the Pre-Lenten Sundays' themes (described last year in the newsletter of January 21/23, 2010), the Sundays of Great Lent have commemorations respectively, assembled piously over the past centuries, to guide us vigilantly through the season toward Holy Week and Pascha, or Easter.

The 1st Sunday in Great Lent (March 13th this year) is the Sunday of Orthodoxy, when we give thanks for those who laid down their lives in defense of the Apostles' teachings. The annual procession of icons that day commemorates the Ecumenical Councils that upheld Orthodox Christianity against the innovations of heretics, and it provides the laity an annual review of basic Trinitarian & Christological doctrine.

The 2nd in Great Lent (March 20th this year) is the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, who teaches us the most intimate form of prayer. A 14th­‑century theologian & Archbishop of Thessalonica, he explains God's work shown in miraculous ways in the lives of those who love Him, and particularly through "prayer of the heart"—those occasions when we meet God in "quiet prayer" ("hesychasm" in Greek), or prayer without words.

The 3rd Sunday in Great Lent is the Veneration of the Precious & Life-Giving Cross, reminding us of the instrument of our salvation. It is the only occasion during the year when prostrations are made on a Sunday morning (except for the one year in seven when the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, September 14th, falls on a Sunday).

The 4th is the Sunday of St. John of the Ladder, or St. John Climacus, who teaches us spiritual discipline. A sixth­‑century monk of Sinai, from his ascetic experience he described the thirty steps toward conforming one's life to Christ's, in his renowned work "The Ladder of Divine Ascent."

The 5th & last in Great Lent is the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, who teaches us repentance. The incomparable story of her life in the sixth century is familiar & unforgettable to the Orthodox, as perhaps the most profound example of the worst of sinners being led by God to repentance from basest depravity, and then through many years to a complete & unsurpassed holiness.

Finally at the beginning of Holy Week is Palm Sunday (April 17th this year, and one of the twelve Great Feasts), celebrating the bittersweet Royal Entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into the Holy City of Jerusalem.
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The fourth­‑century Prayer of repentance of St. Ephraim the Syrian, which Fr. Andrew annually asks each of us to use each weekday during Lent, is said as follows.

"O Lord and Master of my life,
"deliver me from the spirit of sloth, faint­‑heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. (prostration.)

"But grant rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. (prostration.)

"Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own transgressions, and not to judge my brother:
"for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen." (prostration.)

 


March 3, 2011 newsletter

Daily services will be offered following Sunday evening's commencement of Orthodox Lent, as follows.

On Sunday, March 6, commonly known as Forgiveness Sunday and as Cheesefare Sunday, and formally named the Sunday of the Expulsion of Adam from Paradise, the Hours' Prayers and the Typica, with homily, will begin at 10:00 a.m. as usual.

Annexed to the Typica on March 6th will be the annual rite of mutual forgiveness, taken from the Forgiveness Vespers appointed for that Sunday evening—which profoundly memorable service marks the beginning of Great Lent.

(As "Meatfare Sunday" on February 27th was the last day for eating meat before Lent begins, so "Cheesefare Sunday" on March 6th is the last day for eating dairy products before Lent begins.)

On Pure Monday (or Clean Monday) at 5:30 p.m., March 7, the 1st of the 4 divisions of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete will be sung, lasting a bit less than an hour.

Pure Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., March 8, the 2nd division likewise will be sung.

Pure Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., March 9, the 3rd division likewise will be sung.

Pure Thursday at 5:30 p.m., March 10, the 4th division likewise will be sung.

Saturday, March 12, at 9:00 a.m. the Hours' Prayers will begin, and at 9:20 a.m. Fr. Joseph Lucas will serve the Divine Liturgy for St. Theodore's Saturday, which will be followed about 10:50 a.m. by light refreshments.

(Fr. Joseph & Mo. Irina, who hope to settle in North Carolina this summer, will be visiting in Edenton on Friday the 11th and Saturday morning, and likewise in Fayetteville on Saturday evening and Sunday.)

Sunday, March 13, the Sunday of Orthodoxy, being the First Sunday in Lent, as usual the services will be, at 10:00 a.m., the Hours' Prayers and the Typica, with homily.
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The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, which we will chant & sing next week, was written by him in the 7th century, in Jerusalem.

St. Andrew, a native of Damascus and always known for his virtuous life and his wisdom, went to Jerusalem at the age of fourteen to become a monk. By the year 680 having become secretary to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, he was sent to the Sixth Ecumenical Council, held in Constantinople, where he ably defended the Faith against heresy. Afterwards he was appointed archdeacon of the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) in Constantinople, and subsequently he became Bishop of Gortineia in Crete.

Besides being one of the leading hymnographers of the Church, St. Andrew of Crete originated the liturgical form known as the canon, which is a structured hymn composed of nine odes that are built respectively upon nine Biblical canticles.

His best known is the Great Penitential Canon, which is sung in four divisions on respectively the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings of the first week of Lent—called "Clean Week" or "Pure Week"—which this year begins March 7th.
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Our regular Sunday services continue weekly at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e­‑mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006. We're grateful to Anne for her offer to provide for Cheesefare Sunday on March 6th.

There was no newsletter the last two weeks, the editor apologizes, on account of his office schedule—the last issue having been sent February 11th.

Our prayers are asked for the newly­‑illumined servant­‑of­‑God Thomas; for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Peter, and for their health; for Metropolitan Jonah; for Barbara's grandnephew Will, as he tests his monastic vocation; for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family.
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The principles of the Lenten Fast, for the 40 days of Great Lent and the 8 days of Holy Week, are as follow.

(An inquirer or catechumen or one otherwise yet entering upon such a fast should not try to undertake this all at once, as such an attempt likely would be neither successful nor beneficial. Adopting the discipline instead in increments, over a period of several seasons & years as necessary, avoids a sense of burden or being overwhelmed and allows rather a glad anticipation of each successive step.)

The fundamental rule is that we abstain from meat (including finfish), dairy products (including eggs), oil, and wine (i.e., alcoholic beverages); but on Saturdays & Sundays (as the Sabbath and the Lord's Day respectively), oil & wine are allowed, as well as shellfish.

There are several exceptions (all noted on our 2011 wall calendars that we have still available); but notably on the Annunciation (always March 25th) and on Palm Sunday, both finfish (i.e., fish with backbones) & shellfish are allowed, as well as oil & wine.

During the initial five days of Lent (beginning on Sunday evening March 6th) the traditional practice is an absolute fast except for Wednesday supper & Friday supper; likewise there is an absolute fast on Great & Holy Friday (Good Friday). During the remaining weeks of Lent, on weekdays (Monday through Friday) traditionally a single meal is taken, at supper.

The fasting discipline should be undertaken with the guidance, especially when questions arise, of one's priest (or spiritual father, or mother), for several reasons, including those of ensuring a proper measure of prayer, compassion, & dependence on God, and of avoiding pride or irritability. Reasons of health may mitigate the fast, as well as other personal circumstances, such as those of an individual in a non-Orthodox household.

Most importantly, the Orthodox emphasize not a legalistic approach to fasting but one of joyful anticipation.

The Biblical history of fasting, together with its spiritual benefits of self-discipline, to soul & body together, that are experienced by those who follow this example of Christ and the Fathers in growing closer to God, are well explained by Bishop Kallistos (Timothy Ware) in his booklet "When You Fast," available from our tract cabinet.

 


February 10, 2011 newsletter: Chrismation, and budget

We congratulate and welcome Dr. Thomas Di Martino upon his reception Sunday into the Orthodox Church, by Baptism and Chrismation, February 6th at St. George's.

Since the early years of the mission station in Edenton, Tom has been exemplary in his dedicated support and promotion of its work and his faithful participation in its life.

Pursuant to Orthodox practice since the 1st & 2nd centuries, Tom was preparing during the recent months as a catechumen (i.e., a professed Christian being instructed) particularly, by attending services and by studying and growing in the Faith.
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For our services over the weekend we appreciated especially the visit of Susan and Tom Kehayes, who served as sponsors (or godparents) for the Baptism.

A native of Edenton, Dr. Kehayes enabled the organizing of our mission station here, the following winter, by his series of lectures on Orthodox Christianity that he generously offered at the Barker House on the evenings of March 18th through 21st of 2002.

He and Susan had been received into the Orthodox Church in April of 2000, following his retirement from 35 years of highly distinguished service as a priest in the Episcopal Church.

Susan and Tom reside in Macon, Georgia, where they are members of St. Innocent's Orthodox Church.
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If one or two of our newsletter's readers are interested in helping support the work of St. George's Mission Station financially, the circumstances are described at the end of this issue.

Our St. George's wall calendars for 2011, again published in full color by St. Tikhon's Seminary & Monastery, of South Canaan, Penna., remain available at eight dollars for purchase after services.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Our regular Sunday services continue each week at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e­‑mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006. We're very grateful to Elizabeth Berry for having hosted us so sumptuously this Sunday for Fr. Andrew's visit and the baptism.

Our prayers are requested for the newly­‑illumined servant­‑of­‑God Thomas; for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Jessica, for Chris's uncle Randall, and for their health; for Barbara's grandnephew Will, as he tests his monastic vocation; for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family; and for other households for whom our prayers are asked.
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The Baptismal service on Sunday began, as always, at the outer door of the church with the priest's exorcisms of the devil and with the spitting on him, liturgically toward the west, by the catechumen.

Inside the church at the baptistry, there followed the priest's exorcism of its water and then his sanctifying of it, and next his anointing of the catechumen with the oil of gladness, on the brow, breast, back, both ears, both hands, and both feet.

Then the Baptism itself took place, by immersion three times in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, followed by the clothing of the newly­‑baptized in the garment of righteousness.

The Baptism was followed as always by the Chrismation—the anointing of the newly­‑illumined with holy chrism, on the forehead, both eyes, the nostrils, the lips, both ears, the breast, both hands, both feet, and the back.

Finally there was the ablution, or liturgical washing of him with the sponge; the tonsure, or cutting of his hair in the sign of the cross; the procession with the newly­‑baptized; and, at the ensuing Divine Liturgy, his first Communion.
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If one or two of our newsletter's readers are interested in helping support the work of St. George's financially for a time, here is our situation.

Our mission station in Edenton receives no financial support from the Diocese (nor the national Church) but is funded entirely locally.

The mission policy of our Diocese, developed after experimenting with various ventures, is to focus its church­‑planting funding on new missions targeted for the largest metropolitan areas that have yet no English Orthodox parish (versus a Greek parish with Greek liturgies); and so the Diocese has been establishing congregations accordingly in High Point and Wilmington most recently.

Our Diocese moreover offers financial assistance to a mission when it's ready for its first full­‑time priest—the Diocese having found from experience that this policy also is consistently fruitful.

But Edenton at present doesn't fall into either one of these two categories; and so it's been understood from the beginning that the mission here will need to be funded entirely locally, until it's ready for its first full­‑time priest. And while of course we're ready, and looking, for our first resident priest, we're certainly not in a position yet to commit to a full­‑time employment.

For the past two years our regular pledge income was enough to fund the necessary budget, but in recent months economic factors have affected, in terms of their income, also some in our congregation, besides the situation of some members with large student loans remaining to be paid, and the fact that most of those who attend are not established Orthodox adults—but are inquirers or visitors, or are children, or are still college students.

Moreover the heating & cooling cost, especially with the increased number of days on which services are scheduled, has been substantially higher this cold winter than previously budgeted.

Our regular expenses include the priest's stipend, his travel allowance and lodging here, the rent on the building, the utilities and insurance, the telephone listing and the website hosting, musical & sacramental & other liturgical supplies, kitchen supplies, postage & box rent, yard­‑care expenses, and miscellaneous items.

Thus, until we have a chance to grow some more in terms of adult members who have finished college & graduate school and have made some progress on student loans, we'd be very grateful if there might be one or two or three households reading our newsletters who might feel led for a while to make a monthly, or quarterly, contribution to the mission work of St. George's here.

Any such regular contributions, for a year or so perhaps, will help us avoid reducing our schedule of vespers & mid­‑week services, during the heating & cooling seasons of winter & summer, or our schedule of visits from our priest.

If we can know of the intention of a couple of our readers to assist in that way for a year or two, the repeating of this announcement can be concluded.

Our mailing address is P.O. Box 38, Edenton, 27932; and all such contributions to St. George's Orthodox Church are tax­‑deductible of course. Copies of each month's detailed treasurer's report are always available on the table in the parlor, or on request by postal mail.

We in the congregation are laboring toward establishing a parish that will be pleasing to the Lord, and it's our hope that any friends of the mission station who wish to help will find their participation a blessing as we find ours to be.

 


February 3, 2011 newsletter: The Baptism & Chrismation of our catechumen

The Baptism & Chrismation of our catechumen will take place on Sunday the 6th, early at 9:00 a.m., followed at 9:40 a.m. by the Hours' Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. by the Divine Liturgy, and then about 11:30 a.m. by lunch.

And this Saturday the 5th at 5:00 p.m., Fr. Andrew will serve our semi­‑monthly Great Vespers, concluding about 5:50 p.m. and followed by confessions.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

If one or two of our newsletter's readers are interested in helping support the work of St. George's Mission Station financially, the circumstances are described at the end of this issue.

Our St. George's wall calendars for 2011, again published in full color by St. Tikhon's Seminary & Monastery, of South Canaan, Penna., remain available at eight dollars for purchase after services.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Our regular weekly services continue otherwise at 10:00 a.m. each Sunday, followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e­‑mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006.

Our prayers are requested for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Jessica, for Chris's uncle Randall, and for their health; for the newly­‑departed Betty, that she may rest in peace, and for the newly­‑departed Joseph, that he may rest in peace; for Barbara's grandnephew Will, as he tests his monastic vocation; for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family; and for other households for whom our prayers are asked.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

We thank our generous friend Steve Avent for having agreed and begun work to reconstruct our website; we hope shortly to announce its reopening and simultaneously the hanging of some new posters publicizing St. George's.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

If one or two of our newsletter's readers are interested in helping support the work of St. George's financially for a time, here is our situation.

Our mission station in Edenton receives no financial support from the Diocese (nor the national Church) but is funded entirely locally.

The mission policy of our Diocese, developed after experimenting with various ventures, is to focus its church­‑planting funding on new missions targeted for the largest metropolitan areas that have yet no English Orthodox parish (versus a Greek parish with Greek liturgies); and so the Diocese has been establishing congregations accordingly in High Point and Wilmington most recently.

Our Diocese moreover offers financial assistance to a mission when it's ready for its first full­‑time priest—the Diocese having found from experience that this policy also is consistently fruitful.

But Edenton at present doesn't fall into either one of these two categories; and so it's been understood from the beginning that the mission here will need to be funded entirely locally, until it's ready for its first full­‑time priest. And while of course we're ready, and looking, for our first resident priest, we're certainly not in a position yet to commit to a full­‑time employment.

For the past two years our regular pledge income was enough to fund the necessary budget, but in recent months economic factors have affected, in terms of their income, also some in our congregation, besides the situation of some members with large student loans remaining to be paid, and the fact that most of those who attend are not established Orthodox adults—but are inquirers or visitors, or are children, or are still college students.

Moreover the heating & cooling cost, especially with the increased number of days on which services are scheduled, has been substantially higher this cold winter than previously budgeted.

Our regular expenses include the priest's stipend, his travel allowance and lodging here, the rent on the building, the utilities and insurance, the telephone listing and the website hosting, musical & sacramental & other liturgical supplies, kitchen supplies, postage & box rent, yard­‑care expenses, and miscellaneous items.

Thus, until we have a chance to grow some more in terms of adult members who have finished college & graduate school and have made some progress on student loans, we'd be very grateful if there might be one or two or three households reading our newsletters who might feel led for a while to make a monthly, or quarterly, contribution to the mission work of St. George's here.

Any such regular contributions, for a year or so perhaps, will help us avoid reducing our schedule of vespers & mid­‑week services, during the heating & cooling seasons of winter & summer, or our schedule of visits from our priest.

Our mailing address is P.O. Box 38, Edenton, 27932; and all such contributions to St. George's Orthodox Church are tax­‑deductible of course. Copies of each month's detailed treasurer's report are always available on the table in the parlor, or on request by postal mail.

We in the congregation are laboring toward establishing a parish that will be pleasing to the Lord, and it's our hope that any friends of the mission station who wish to help will find their participation a blessing as we find ours to be.

 


January 27, 2011 newsletter: The Great Feast of the Meeting

Next Wednesday the 2nd, at 7:00 a.m. we will celebrate the Great Feast of the Meeting or Presentation, as described immediately below.

On Saturday the 5th, at 5:00 p.m. Fr. Andrew will serve our semi­‑monthly Great Vespers, concluding about 5:50 p.m. and followed by confessions.

On Sunday the 6th, early at 9:00 a.m. the Baptism & Chrismation of our catechumen will take place, followed at 9:40 a.m. by the Hours' Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. by the Divine Liturgy, and then about 11:30 a.m. by lunch.

Our St. George's wall calendars for 2011, again published in full color by St. Tikhon's Seminary & Monastery, of South Canaan, Penna., remain available at eight dollars for purchase after services.
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On Wednesday morning, February 2nd, at 7:00 a.m. there will be celebrated the Feast of the Meeting (or Presentation) of Christ in the Temple. The service will consist of the singing of the Typica, preceded by the Prayers of the Hours, and it will conclude by 8:00 a.m.

One of the twelve Great Feasts on the Orthodox calendar, it commemorates the presentation of the Christ child in the Temple at Jerusalem, on the 40th day from his birth, as ordained by Jewish law. Accordingly the Church has always celebrated it on the 40th day from Christmas, being thus February 2nd.

The events of the day are recounted in Luke 2: 22–39, including the testimony of the holy prophetess St. Anna and the aged elder St. Simeon (St. Symeon), and particularly his sublime hymn known as the Nunc Dimittis, which subsequently the Church has sung always at Vespers:

"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy Salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."

On this day is appointed, where a priest is present, the annual blessing in the church of candles for the parishioners' household use, so that the Feast is commonly known also as Candlemas. It is moreover the final day on which the last of the Christmas decorations remain in or about the temple.

Strictly its Orthodox name is the Feast of the Meeting of Our Lord (God & Saviour) Jesus Christ, though it is also commonly known among the Orthodox as the Feast of the Presentation of (Our Lord God & Saviour Jesus) Christ in the Temple. Its traditional Western name has been the Feast of the Purification of the Most-Holy Virgin, so emphasizing its Levitical aspect.

The title "Meeting" (or "Encounter") indicates that for the Orthodox, not only the Levitical Purification but also the related Presentation of the Child is transcended in this event by this inaugural "Meeting" by the Messiah or Christ with His "people Israel," as represented by Sts. Simeon & Anna formally in the Temple at Jerusalem.

Although St. John the Baptist is called the last prophet of the Old Covenant in the sense that he is the one whose life and preaching of the coming Messiah took place during New Covenant times and thus last of all, Sts. Simeon & Anna can be considered the last Old Covenant prophets in the sense that they were the last whose lives and ministry took place essentially during Old Covenant times. For St. Simeon & St. Anna their Synaxis is, as usual, observed on the day following the related Great Feast, thus on February 3rd.

The liturgical reception of a new child and his mother in the temple, on the 40th day from his birth, was established by God in Leviticus and so was followed by Mary and Joseph, as recounted in Luke 2:22, for Christ. (During those first forty days, the new mother is excused from attendance at services, so that she may give due attention to her child.)

Known as the "Churching" of a new mother with her child, after forty days, that liturgy from Christianity's Jewish foundation is still preserved faithfully by the Orthodox Church, and has taken place accordingly here at St. George's.
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Our regular Sunday services continue each week at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e­‑mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006.

There was no newsletter last week.

Our prayers are requested for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Jessica, for Chris's uncle Randall, and for their health; for Barbara's grandnephew Will, as he tests his monastic vocation; for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family; and for other households for whom our prayers are asked.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The service February 2nd will mark the eighth anniversary of the Orthodox Mission Station in Edenton.

Our first service here was held on February 2, 2003, a Sunday­‑evening vespers in the borrowed Chowan Life Center, conducted by Fr. Edward Rommen, rector of the Church of the Holy Transfiguration in Raleigh.

Mo. Ainee, his wife, led the music, and Fr. Edward carried down in his truck most of the liturgical furnishings that we continue to use at St. George's to this day.

A few weeks earlier on a visit to Raleigh, our Archbishop Dmitri on December 15, 2002, had given his blessing to Fr. Edward to drive down biweekly at the request of several here, so far from any Orthodox church, who wanted to experience Orthodox Christianity in Edenton.

For God's miraculous and innumerable blessings on the work being done here, we all are most grateful to Him daily, and likewise to Fr. Edward Rommen and to Fr. Andrew Davis, our present priest, for their years of sacrificial labor in the Lord's service in establishing in this place now an Orthodox Church, for the worship of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity who has created us and sustains us and saves us.

 


January 13, 2011 newsletter: Russian icons & St. Seraphim of Sarov

Fr. Andrew's next visit has been postponed one week, to February 5th & 6th, to accommodate better a Baptism & Chrismation and out­-of­-town visitors attending; the Baptism will begin early, at 9:00 a.m.

As we're often asked about our attendance at services, we're pleased to mention that at our Liturgy on Christmas morning, Saturday the 25th of last month, we had fourteen worshipers present.
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Our services for the next four weeks thus are scheduled now as follows:

SATURDAY, Jan. 15th, at 5:00 p.m. our semi­-monthly Great Vespers, concluding about 5:40 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 16th, the usual 10:00 a.m. Hours' Prayers & Typica & homily, followed about 11:20 a.m. by refreshments.

Sunday, Jan. 23rd, the usual 10:00 a.m. Hours' Prayers & Typica & homily, followed about 11:20 a.m. by refreshments.

Sunday, Jan. 30th, the usual 10:00 a.m. Hours' Prayers & Typica & homily, followed about 11:20 a.m. by refreshments.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2nd, at 7:00 a.m., the Hours' Prayers & Typica, for the Great Feast of the Presentation (or Meeting) in the Temple (Candlemas), concluding by 8:00 a.m.

SATURDAY, Feb. 5th, at 5:00 p.m. our semi­-monthly Great Vespers, concluding about 5:50 p.m. and followed by confessions.

SUNDAY, Feb. 6th, at 9:00 a.m. the Baptism & Chrismation of our catechumen, followed at 9:40 a.m. by the Hours' Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. by the Divine Liturgy, and then about 11:30 a.m. by lunch.
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Our St. George's wall calendars for 2011, again published in full color by St. Tikhon's Seminary & Monastery, of South Canaan, Penna., are available at eight dollars for purchase after services.

Besides daily scriptural readings, saints commemorated, and fast days, each month features, appropriate to the season, a full­-color print of a historic icon along with descriptive notes related to it.

This year's calendar features a variety, from the late 17th century until 1917, of prominently notable icons in the Russian style, which was popular during that time from Peter the Great to the Revolution.

These are markedly different from the icons in the Byzantine style that preceded Tsar Peter and which has been, by the late 20th century, restored as the Orthodox ideal & standard. Nevertheless, as the representation of the piety of Holy Russia in the last centuries until the Revolution, these renowned examples continue to inspire awe beyond their elaborate design and historical importance.

The descriptive notes this year for each month's page and icon are taken primarily from the classic 20th­-century work "These Truths We Hold," by an anonymous monk of St. Tikhon's Monastery; secondarily from St. Nikolai of Ochrid, a 20th­-century Serbian bishop; and tertiarily from the book "Russian Icons in Precious Frameworks (Late 17th to Early 20th Centuries)," published in 2005 in Russia.

This year for the first time our St. Tikhon's wall calendars include, for the more important observances throughout the year, their dates arranged & placed also according to the Old Calendar—an addition that should prove convenient to all while we await the day when there will come a resolution by the Church of the calendar question.

We thank Jennifer Davis Hamilton (Fr. Andrew's daughter), for the sixth year now, for imprinting the calendars specially for St. George's Mission Station here.
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Our regular Sunday services continue each week at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e­-mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006.

There was no newsletter last week, on account of the mid­-week Theophany service.

Our prayers are requested for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Jessica, for Chris's uncle Randall, and for their health; for Barbara's grandnephew Will, as he tests his monastic vocation; for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family; and for other households for whom our prayers are asked.
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Our mission station was presented, at Fr. Andrew's Christmas visit, a large and elaborately framed copy of a pre-Revolutionary Russian icon, in the style of those featured on this year's wall calendar, of St. Seraphim of Sarov, one of the Russians' most beloved saints.

He was born in 1759, on July 19th (July 30th N.S.), in the city of Kursk, in southwestern Russia near the Ukrainian border. At the age of 19, in 1778, he entered the monastery, at Sarov, a wilderness town about 230 miles east­-southeast of Moscow; and afterwards he took the name (after the 16th­-century Greek saint) of Seraphim—the Hebrew name of the angelic order that means "fiery" or "burning," a reference to the fervency of his own prayers.

His ascetic labor and his desire to serve God were such that he was granted many of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit as are listed by St. Paul in i Cor. 12: 8–10: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, and discernment of spirits.

About the age of 35, he retreated in 1794 to a log cabin 3½ miles into the adjoining forest, where he attained to a life so Christ­-like that, as in Eden before the Fall, the wild animals attended & obeyed him, including particularly a bear who is thus depicted in some of his icons.

He began receiving monks in 1815 and other visitors in 1825, after which pilgrims from throughout the Russian Empire, hundreds a day, would travel to receive counsel and healing of body and spirit from the saint, who knew their questions and needs before they were spoken.

His best known quotation teaches the value of living in the Holy Spirit as he did: "Acquire the spirit of peace; and around you, thousands will be saved."

He was glorified as a saint by the Church of Russia in 1903, eighty years after his repose in the Lord at the age of 74, in 1833 on (Jan. 14th N.S.) January 2nd, which remains his feast day. As this date fell on a Sunday this year, we observed his feast, earlier this month, with the hymns composed in his memory.

Our icon of the saint shows him on his knees on a rock, praying before an icon hanging in the forest; our copy includes in facsimile a bejeweled & embossed gold frame surrounding it; and ours has a handsome glassed wooden frame encasing the whole.

It was built, during the Soviet era, in the Patriarchal Workshops of the Church of Russia in Moscow, and was designed & intended for domestic residential use.

In the late 1980's it was purchased in the Soviet Union by a Russian couple from Raleigh who were on a visit home to Moscow, and who then presented it to Fr. Andrew for use in Orthodox mission work in North Carolina.

Our icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov now hangs, opposite the presence of our other Russian saint here, St. John of Kronstadt, in the nave of St. George's Church in Edenton.

 


December 31, 2010 newsletter: Theophany

"Christ is born!"

—"Glorify ye Him!"

On the Epiphany or Theophany, January 6th, at 7:00 a.m. we will sing the service of the Typica, with the Hours' Prayers and the Festal Antiphons, and concluding before 8:00 a.m.

Falling on a Thursday this year, this is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Church.

A descriptive note on the Feast is given at the end of this article.
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Our services for the next five weeks thus are scheduled as follows:

Sunday, Jan. 2nd, the usual 10:00 a.m. Hours' Prayers & Typica & homily, followed about 11:20 a.m. by refreshments.

THURSDAY, Jan. 6th, at 7:00 a.m., the Hours' Prayers & Typica, with the festal antiphons, for the Great Feast of the Theophany (the Epiphany), concluding before 8:00 a.m.

Sunday, Jan. 9th, the usual 10:00 a.m. Hours' Prayers & Typica & homily, followed about 11:20 a.m. by refreshments.

SATURDAY, Jan. 15th, at 5:00 p.m. our semi­-monthly Great Vespers, concluding about 5:40 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 16th, the usual 10:00 a.m. Hours' Prayers & Typica & homily, followed about 11:20 a.m. by refreshments.

Sunday, Jan. 23rd, the usual 10:00 a.m. Hours' Prayers & Typica & homily, followed about 11:20 a.m. by refreshments.

SATURDAY, Jan. 29th, at 5:00 p.m. our semi­-monthly Great Vespers, concluding about 5:50 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 30th, at 9:40 a.m. the Hours' Prayers and at 10:00 a.m. the Divine Liturgy, followed about 11:30 a.m. by lunch.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2nd, at 7:00 a.m., the Hours' Prayers & Typica, for the Great Feast of the Presentation (or Meeting) in the Temple (Candlemas), concluding by 8:00 a.m.
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Jessica & Christopher Simmons we thank for their time & work in studying & practicing the music (especially the Matins canon for the Nativity) for our two evening services last weekend, in the absence of our main music leaders, and we thank Chris Berry for his time likewise in leading those rehearsals.

Fr. Andrew & Mo. Katrina we thank for their willingness to spend Christmas in Edenton and to enable us to have four Nativity services, from Christmas Eve through Sunday morning.
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Our St. George's wall calendars for 2011, again published in full color by St. Tikhon's Seminary & Monastery, of South Canaan, Penna., are available for purchase after services.

Besides daily scriptural readings, saints commemorated, and fast days, each month features a full­-color print of a seasonal icon together with descriptive notes.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Our Sunday services continue each week at 10:00 a.m., followed by refreshments.

All of our services are held in our church building, at 300 East King Street, on the corner of Oakum Street, in Edenton; and visitors are always invited and welcome.

A household willing to furnish a particular Sunday's refreshments or lunch may volunteer by e­-mail reply or by calling our office at 482–2006.

There was no newsletter last week, at Christmas, and there might be none next week, on account of the mid­-week Theophany service.

Our prayers are requested for Fr. Edward, for Mo. Katrina, for Jessica, for Chris's uncle Randall, and for their health; for Barbara's grandnephew Will, as he tests his monastic vocation; for Marcia, for James & Kate, for Joshua & his family, and for Kelly & her family; and for other households for whom our prayers are asked.
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The Feast of the Holy Theophany of Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ (known as the Epiphany, in the West) will be celebrated on January 6th as always, at 7:00 a.m. at St. George's Church, falling this year on a Thursday.

In accord with the Church's ancient practice, this Feast, immediately following the Twelve Days of Christmas, annually commemorates the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan by St. John the Baptist & Forerunner, son of the high priest Zacharias.

(Both names for the Feast are based on the Greek verb "phaínein," meaning "to show," or "to appear." Thus the Western term Epiphany [with the "epi-" prefix] means literally the "showing forth," or the "manifestation." And the Eastern term Theophany [with "Theós," or "God"] means literally the "appearing of God," or "revelation of God.")

The significance of the name Theophany, or "appearance of God," is that all three persons of the Trinity are manifested simultaneously: above God the Son, standing in the river, there is heard the voice of God the Father speaking, and there is seen the Holy Spirit descending as a dove.

Its observance on January 6th being attested since the second century at Alexandria, the Theophany is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, it being one of the few events recorded in all four Gospels: in Matthew 3: 13–17, in Mark 1: 9–11, in Luke 3: 21–22, and in John 1: 28–37.