1 Page 1 January April 2014 Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church 2200 Church Road Toms River, NJ Phone (732) Fax (732) Website: From Your Priest s Desk Rev. Fr. Economos Paul Pappas Sunday Services Orthros 8:15 a.m. Divine Liturgy 9:45 a.m. Office Hours Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Evelyn D Antoni, Office Administrator Heather Melone, Finance Administrator Editor: Evelyn D Antoni Internet Broadcasting is available every week to view Liturgy by logging onto the church website and clicking on Live Broadcast Jan. 5 Jan. 19 Jan. 31 Feb. 9 Feb. 15 Mar. 1 Mar. 9 Mar. 23 Apr. 13 Apr. 20 Upcoming Events Vasilopita Sunday Fr. Dean Martin 20-Year Memorial Three Hierarchs Celebration Godparent Sunday PTO Glendi Sights & Sounds General Assembly Greek Independence Day Program Palm Sunday Fish Dinner PASCHA My Beloved in Christ, Pictures frequently communicate in the ways words cannot. For example, a photo or painting may bring emotions that words can t describe. In the same way, baptism is a powerful picture of our salvation experience. When we enter the waters of baptism, we re proclaiming the gospel message. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and lives again. By proclaiming His message, we re identifying ourselves with Him. Romans (Continued on page 2)
2 Page 2 From Your Priest s Desk Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey 6:4 says we have been buried with Him through baptism into death. We re now dead to the power of sin. Being raised up out of the water expresses our new life in Christ and our union with Him. Our heavenly Father physically raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him life. And He s done the same for us spiritually. Our unbelieving family and friends need to see this message in our life. Baptism is also a public declaration of our faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in our own future resurrection. After appearing on earth, Jesus ascended into Heaven to take His rightful place at His Father s side. Someday, we who have been baptized into Christ will live forever with Him. The image of baptism serves as a reminder of what the Savior has done for us. It points to the truth that there s life beyond the grave. Everlasting life in the presence of the Lord is waiting for every person who chooses to trust in Christ. Baptism is a commandment, not an option. As such, it s both an obligation and an awesome privilege. Have you publicly identified yourself with Jesus through the act of baptism? I wish all of you and your families a healthy and happy 2014! In His service, +
3 Page 3 Parish Council President s Message Fellow Parishioners: I would like to congratulate new Board members Dimitrios Lambrou and Lambros Lambrou. I would also like to thank outgoing Board members Savvas Kyriacou, Nick Mackres and Al Peters for their dedication and service to Saint Barbara. As the New Year begins, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year! From September 27-29, 2013, Saint Barbara held its annual festival. It was a big success. Saint Barbara set a record for total revenue. There were many volunteers, great publicity and marketing, the festival journal did very well, the weather was great and the crowds were very large. Thank you to the Saint Barbara community who worked at the festival, the festival committee and its Chairman Sotiris Sergiou, the sponsors of the festival and area diners and restaurants who donated all the delicious food. We showcased our religion, heritage, Greek dancing, Greek pastries and food, and the Greek spirit. Saint Barbara celebrated a milestone. The Church celebrated its 40 th anniversary at the Ramada Versailles Room in Toms River on October 27, There were 170 guests. The guests included clergy and friends from other Churches and Saint Barbara s first priest, the Rev. Dr. Demetrios Constantelos. The Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey put on a great show, the band was fantastic and there was a commemorative directory/ad journal. Many thanks to the dinner dance committee and its Chairwoman, Sophia Nichols Karakoglou. On December 15, 2013, we were all in the Christmas spirit because there was a wonderful Christmas pageant. There were forty-two children who participated in the pageant and the pageant orchestra had fifteen of our children who performed Christmas songs for us. All of us also enjoyed the Christmas brunch that followed the pageant. Many thanks to the PTO, the organizers of the pageant, and to all of our children who practiced many hours and to all the parents. The Parish Athletic Center is getting a lot use and not just by the Church s tenants. The GOYA basketball team, the youth basketball team and the GOYA volleyball team are practicing and hosting many games at the PAC. The PAC is also being used for community outreach. In November, the PAC was the venue for the Philippine American Basketball Association who held a benefit basketball tournament for the Philippine people who were devastated by a massive typhoon. The GOYA operated the concession stand and all proceeds were turned over to the Philippine American Basketball Association. Teams from all over the State participated in the tournament that was held all day at the PAC. I am looking forward to another productive and successful year at Saint Barbara with all of the Saint Barbara community working together to glorify our Lord. Lou Karagias Parish Council President
4 Page 4 ~PARISH NEWS~ PHILOPTOCHOS Love in Action Let All That You Do Be Done With Love In November the Ladies of Philoptochos were very thankful at Thanksgiving for the love of their family and the love of our Saint Barbara family. Among our blessings was a very successful Gift Auction which was enjoyed by everyone attending and which was successful because of the generous donations of many of our parishioners and outside contributors and because of the time put in by co-chairs Cindy Lobman and Presbytera Donna and all of the ladies who wrapped the presents, baked the pastries, decorated the tables and gifts and those who came to help that night. We are grateful to all of you because with the proceeds from this event, we are able to help meet our Parish s needs and the needs of those who come to us for help continuously during the year and all our outreach programs outside of our Community. We are also constantly visiting the shut-ins and assisting the aged and those who are ill or suffering. If anyone can give their assistance to this endeavor, we will welcome any time or help that you can offer. December brought us the celebration of the Vesper Services of Saint Barbara on Dec. 3 rd with His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos officiating along with many priests from surrounding churches and followed by our beautiful Vesper Reception in her Honor which is known to be exceptional. On Saint Barbara s Nameday, we also had a wonderful luncheon reception after the Liturgy. We hope you all had a Blessed, Healthy and Merry Christmas. We also brought from Ayia Skepi Monastery in January the delicious vasilopites which we sold from December 22 nd through New Year s. On January 5 th, we hold our annual Vasilopita Reception preceded by the cutting of a piece of the big Vasilopita by Father Paul for each of the ministry heads and special organizations and one lucky recipient will receive the Lucky coin. In January we also send out our membership drive mailing to all our parishioners. Please consider joining us in any way you can. February 9th we host the Saint Haralambos Vesper Reception and on February 10 th we host the Saint Haralambos Luncheon. Saint Haralambos is a very special Saint to all of us and we are always happy to be able to host this. March brings us to the period of Lent and preparation for Easter with our Epitaphio and special collection and preparation for Holy Week with the decoration of the church, the Epitaphio, the Crucifixion and Anastasi wreaths, and the Friday salutations icons, as well as the dyeing and wrapping of the red Easter eggs for Anastasi and Agape Services. There are so many beautiful and emotional spiritual events coming up that we all look forward to with much anticipation to share with all of you. Yours in Christ, Dee Linardakis Philoptochos President GREEK LANGUAGE & CULTURE SCHOOL NEWS HAPPY NEW YEAR! HRONIA POLLA! Greek School year has started off well. 62 children enrolled and they seem to be very excited to learn the Greek language, culture and traditions. The teachers, kiria Melanie, kiria Meropi and myself, are working very hard and conscientiously to achieve the best results. We had our first program on October 27 th for OXI Day celebration. The children did an outstanding job. Our next program will be on January 31 st at 6:00 p.m. for the Three Hierarchs and Greek Letters Day celebration. We will host the Greek School of Saint George. The program will begin with a vesper service by Fr. Paul and Fr. Andrew. Poems and songs will follow by the students of both schools. Everyone is invited. The next program will be on Sunday, March 23 rd, for the celebration of Greek Independence Day. Mid-January the students will have their test and at the end of the month will receive their Report Cards, Achievement Awards and Attendance Awards. Congratulations to all students for receiving awards. Keep up the good work! We emphasize the importance of regular attendance for the children s progress, as well as the help and interest shown by the parents for their children s homework. We thank all the parents for taking the time to bring their children to Greek school and all the people for helping and supporting our school. Stavroula Panas Greek School Supervisor
5 Page 5 SUNDAY SCHOOL NEWS Our Christmas pageant was magnificent! Once again, I d like to say thank you; this pageant lets our children act out the Christmas nativity with music, song, and bible based narrative. Committee members, thank you very much! The first quarter of Sunday school has come to a close; our teachers have been extra busy, not only with preparing their lessons but preparing themselves spiritually. In October, some of the teachers attended a religious seminar prepared by the Metropolis of New Jersey, Experiencing Orthodoxy through the Senses. It was hosted by Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Asbury Park. Many teachers throughout the Metropolis attended the seminar. It was a great afternoon. At this seminar the Orthodox Archdiocese of America announced a new Teacher Education and Certification for Church School Teachers. This program will be open for anyone who wishes to become a Certified Church School Teacher. We are very excited and will announce more about the program in the near future. Best wishes and a speedy recovery go out to Mrs. Peters. We miss you Elaine, and can t wait for your return. New to our team are two new substitute teachers, Christine and Deana; welcome ladies, we are very blessed to have you join our team. Here s an update of what s happening in our classrooms: Our 1 st and 2 nd grades have learned how to identify God s love and what we see, smell, touch and hear in God s house, the Church: what s inside, and how we show respect. Recently the children had a lesson about icons; they were asked to identify the icon and describe what they saw. The 3 rd and 4 th grades have a theme this year: all about the family. They made prayer boxes and are learning about the importance of prayer. They are learning the Nicene Creed, the first of many prayers for their boxes. If you have a minute be sure to come downstairs and see the beautiful family tree the children made. It is very impressive; each lesson they have they will continue to build this tree. Our 5 th and 6 th grade classes are transitional; they begin to learn how to use the Orthodox Study Bible, and participate in open round table discussions. They also learn about the saints and the major feast days of our Orthodox Faith. There is also time for arts and crafts; always a favorite! The 7 th and 8 th grade students have been very busy. They have an outline and will cover the following topics: the Orthodox Study Bible, Old and New Testament, the Sacraments of the Orthodox Church, and the 10 commandments. Mrs. Kelley has captured their attention; sometimes I have to remind them that Sunday school is over and it s time to go home. As you can see, we have been very busy learning about our Orthodox Faith. I welcome any questions you may have regarding our lessons plans and equally welcome any parents who are interested in joining our team. God s Love, Barbra Chryssanthakopoulos Sunday School Supervisor P.T.O. I wish all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year! It is hard to believe that another year is gone by, but we were blessed with a great and successful 2013! I would like to thank all of our parishioners and members for supporting all our functions and making a difference in our ministry. We concluded our year with our Christmas Pageant and Brunch, which like always was amazing with our children glorifying the Birth of Christ. Continuing on the tradition, we are hosting the Three Hierarchs Celebration on January 31 st with Saint George (Ocean) Church, where all the children will perform their poems and a dinner reception will follow in our hall sponsored by our PTO. Let's not forget our largest PTO fundraiser of the year on February 15 th : our GLENDI! This is the time that all members come together to organize and execute a fun but profitable evening for the entire family. However, in order to achieve our goal, we are going to need your help and support in any way possible. Donations are greatly welcomed as we prepare our baskets for the auction. Our theme is LOVE IS IN THE AIR, so wear your red, bring your Cupid and feel the LOVE! March marks Greek Independence Day where we have the Greek School celebration program and the raising of the flag outside our church. As Holy Week approaches in April, we will be busy preparing for our Lenten brunch and other many fun activities for the children on Saturday of Lazarus. With so much to plan and accomplish, I am looking forward to a new and prosperous year, and I encourage you to become a PTO member and make a difference in your child's life. Thank you all for your continued love and support! Best Wishes Always, Marina Papanikolas PTO President
6 Page 6 GOYA Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Christmas! The last few months have been a very busy time for our GOYA. The lemonade stand at the Festival was a huge success. Thank you to all the GOYANS and parents who worked so hard for the Festival. Although it was long days and a lot of work, once again the GOYANS, through their dedication and love for Saint Barbara, came together and worked hard to help out our church. Along with the hard work, we had a lot of fun! Congratulations to all of the dancers who performed with pride and with the guidance of our teachers, Terri and Mihalis, did an awesome job! Our busy schedule over these past few months included the Mr. & Miss GOYA Pageant at the Pines Manor, the Harvest Dance in Westfield, bowling tournament in Fairview and our Thanksgiving bake sale. Thank you to all the parents who contributed to again make our bake sale successful. Once again our Christmas caroling was a very successful fundraiser! Thank you to all of the diners and families that welcomed us into their homes and places of business. We very gratefully enjoyed all the baked goods that were offered to us! Our GOYANS were invited to our sister church in Trenton on Friday, December 20th to help with Bridges preparations. On Saturday, December 21st some of our Senior GOYANS were able to deliver warmth and comfort to children and families in need. This year we resurrected one of our most beloved holiday fundraisers, the sale of our homemade cookie trays. In the weeks before Christmas we took special orders to assist parishioners in their holiday entertaining. To end our year, our GOYA travelled to Union to enjoy our annual Christmas Dance. We will be starting off the New Year right, with a GOYA meeting on Friday, January 10th. Also beginning in January are the practices for all of our Sights and Sounds events. In February, there will be another GOYA meeting on Friday the 9th. The next week, on Friday the 14th, we will be attending the annual Valentine s Dance. Each year the GOYAS in our Metropolis gather to celebrate Valentine s Day with the love we have for each other as fellow GOYANS and the love we have for our faith. That same weekend is our Spanakopita and Tyropita sale on Sunday, February 16th. In March, comes the event every GOYAN anxiously awaits: Sights and Sounds. This year Sights and Sounds will be held on Saturday the 1st at the Westfield parish. We practice for months leading up to this event in our singing groups, plays, and Greek dance. The next morning, March 2nd, will be the annual GOYA Sights and Sounds Luncheon. We host this luncheon after liturgy to showcase all of the performances of the day before. Two weeks later, we will be having our monthly GOYA meeting on Sunday, the 14th. During this meeting our GOYA coffee hour and our Lenten bake sale to benefit St. Basil s Orphanage, being held on Sunday the 30th, will be discussed. Natalie Lobman, GOYA President KALI PAREA This year Kali Parea will be celebrating our 30th anniversary. Can you believe the years have passed to quickly? In the next few months we are planning Valentine s Day, St. Patrick s Day and Lenten luncheons. We are hoping to have a pot luck luncheon to celebrate our 30 years some time during the year. This will give all of our members a chance to bring something large or small from home. All we need are volunteers to chair these events. Trips to Hunterdon Hills Playhouse, Atlantic City and Sight & Sound Millennium Theatre could happen during this coming year if we get enough people to sign up for these events. Our board at Kali Parea will stay the same until the end of Once again we welcome and look forward to meeting new members at Kali Parea every Wednesday in our fellowship hall. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year. Dear Parishioners, God Bless, Arthur Duke Chaconis, Kali Parea President A.H.E.P.A. Ocean County Chapter #467 Our message this time is as follows: AHEPA thanks you all for your generous help, either financially or through volunteer work, towards our church and community. We will have several events this new year of 2014; we will like you as always to participate, because all events taking place are done for a good cause. We will be giving out scholarships, giving to the needy for medical and other needs, and to our
7 Page 7 church and community. As always, we distribute the funds that you help us collect from these events. The 2014 New Year s Eve party will take place at our Church Hall. The band has being reserved and the party is scheduled, so save the day. Children, of course, are welcome. We have room enough for them. We will try to provide drivers to accommodate our beloved seniors who are unable to drive at night so that they can join us as well. We will be a big family. The Hall will be ready for this and many of other events thru the year. Please, promote the Hall rentals; it is for our church. Again, I am asking for new AHEPA members. We have already started the season with new members; we are in the process of trying to recruit at least two per month. This is my goal. We must promote AHEPA for the reasons indicated in the AHEPA website, AHEPA and the Greek community was one of the biggest fundraisers during the Second World War for the USA. Our sacrifices then and now will help with education, religious and civil causes and the many other needs of the United States of America. We look forward in seeing you all at our events, new members. Thank you for your support. Savvas M. Kyriacou, Chapter President DAUGHTERS OF PENELOPE Aphrodite Chapter #374 We hope you all had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and we wish you all a HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR The Daughters of Penelope held a bake sale on November 17th after Liturgy in the Community Center and it was a success thanks to all the members who baked and everyone s support. We also sponsored a bus trip to Sight & Sound Millennium Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, and saw The Miracle of Christmas. It was enjoyed by all. We also attended a Combined Christmas Luncheon with our brother AHEPANs on December 8th at Artisan s Brewery & Italian Grill in Toms River. It was nice to get together with our brother AHEPANs and we enjoyed a fabulous buffet luncheon and gift exchange. We purchased some gift cards from Shop Rite and gave them to Father Paul to pass on to anyone in need. Above are a few things that we did. Anyone wishing to be a member of our chapter can contact me at for more information and an application to join us. We look forward to a successful year. Penelope Capetan, Chapter President Anyway A poem by Mother Theresa (engraved on the wall of her home for children in Calcutta) People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you have anyway. You see in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It never was between you and them anyway.
8 Page 8 Ο ΑΓ.ΚΟΣΜΑΣ Ο ΑΙΤΩΛΟΣ ΜΙΛΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΟ ΓΑΜΟ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΝ ΟΙΚΟΓΕΝΕΙΑ Ισότητα άνδρα καί γυναίκας. «Οταν έκαμεν ό Θεός τον άνδρα, γυναίκα εις τον κόσμον δεν ήτον. Εκβαλεν ό πανάγαθος Θεός μίαν πλευράν από τον άνδρα καί έκαμε μίαν γυναίκα «Ισια την έκαμεν ό Θεός την γυναίκα με τον άνδρα, όχι κατωτέραν. (Α2, 1η 131, 5η 67). «Ετσι καί εσύ, Χριστιανέ, πρέπει να την χαίρεσαι την γυναίκα σου καί να την αγαπάς ωσάν σύντροφόν σου καί να μην ιήν στοχάζεσαι ωσάν σκλάβαν σου. Διατί καί αυτή πλάσμα Θεού είναι ωσάν καί εσύ. Τον Θεόν Πατέρα τον λέγεις καί εσύ, Πατέρα τον Λέγει καί αυτή. Μίαν Πίστιν έχετε καί οί δύο, ένα Βάπτισμα, ένα Εύαγγέλιον, μίαν άγίαν Κοινωνίαν, έναν Παράδεισον έχετε να απολαύσετε. Δεν την έχει ό Θεός κατώτερην από εσένα, δια τοΰτο δεν την έκαμεν από τα ποδάρια, δια να μη την καταφρονά ό άνδρας, άλλ ούτε πάλιν την έκαμεν από το κεφάλι, δια να μην καταφρονά αυτή τον άνδρα, αλλά την έκαμεν από την πλευράν, ήγουν από την μέσην, δια να την έχη σύντροφόν του καί της εμφύσησε καί ιδίαν ψυχήν, ωσάν καί του ανδρός, καί υστέρα ώνόμασε του άνδρα Αδάμ καί την γυναίκα Εύα. (Α2, 1η 164, 5η 100).. Ό ευλογημένος γάμος. Να χαίρεστε καί να εύφραίνεσθε χιλιάδες φορές οί παντρεμένες τίμια. Εις τα πολλά καλά, οπού σας έχάρισεν ό πανάγαθος Θεός, σας έχάρισε καί ευλογημένου γάμον. Να κλαίετε δια τους άσεβεΐς καί απίστους- ανάμεσα είς τα πολλά κακά οπού έχουν, έχουν καί καταφρονεμένον γάμον. (Β1, 1η 194, 5η 130). «Ακουσε, παιδί μου, όταν θέλης να ύπανδρευθής, να ζήτησης πρώτον γυναίκα να μην είναι από συγγένεια σου, οπού το εμποδίζει ό Νόμος της Εκκλησίας δεύτερον να έχη τον φόβον του Θεού εις την ψυχήν της- καί τρίτον να είναι στολισμένη με την έντροπήν. Επήρες γυναίκα πτωχή; Επήρες σκλάβα. Επήρες γυναίκα πλούσια; «Εγινες εσύ σκλάβος, επήρες ραβδί της κεφαλής σου. Πρώτον να έξομολογάστε καί να στεφανώνεστε εις την Έκκλησίαν. (Β1, 1η 195,5η 131). Καί έρωτα ό παπάς τον γαμπρόν: Θέλεις, Ιωάννη, την Μαρία δια γυναίκα σου; Άνίσως καί ειπή: Την θέλω, του δίνει την λαμπάδα. Όμοίως ρωτά καί την νύμφη: Θέλεις εσύ, Μαρία, τον Ίωάννην δια άνδρα; Άνίσως καί τον θέλη, δεν ομιλεί, μόνον σκύφτει την κεφαλήν της. Είδε καί δεν τον θέλει καί είναι χωρίς το θέλημα της, φωνάζει: Δεν τον θέλω. Καί ωσάν εΐπή πώς δεν τον θέλει, ό παπάς να μη βάλη χέρι να τους στεφάνωση, διατί κολάζονται. «Αν είναι με το θέλημα καί των δύο, έτότες να τους στεφάνωση, καί έπειτα από το στεφάνωμα να τους μεταλαμβάνη τα «Αχραντα Μυστήρια, καί άνίσως καί έχουν κανένα εμποδίον, ας τους κοινωνήση το κοινόν ποτήριον. «Υστερα τους παίρνουν ψάλλοντας καί πηγαίνοντας εις το σπίτι κάνει δέησιν ό παπάς, ευλογεί την τράπεζαν καί φεύγει. Καί ωσάν άπεράσουν τρεις ήμερες, έτότες να σμίγετε το ανδρόγυνο καί να φυλάγεστε τές Κυριακές, Εορτές, με εύγένειαν ωσάν Χριστιανοί. Δεν εδωσεν ό Θεός την γυναίκα δια πορνείαν, αλλά δια παιδία. Καί εσύ ό άνδρας να φεύγης την ξένην γυναίκα, καθώς φεύγεις το φίδι. Καί όχι μόνον την ξένην γυναίκα, αλλά είναι καιρός να φεύγης καί την έδικήν σου. «Ετυχε ή γυναίκα σου καί έχει συνήθεια ή έγγαστρώθη, πρέπει να φυλάγεσαι. «Η έγέννησε καί δεν έσαράντισε, δεν έκαθαρίστηκε. Καί εάν θέλης να σμίξης με την γυναίκα σου, πάρε παράδειγμα- ρώτησε του γεωργόν να ίδής πόσες φορές σπέρνει το χωράφι: τον χρόνον μίαν φοράν καί το αφήνει ως οπού γίνεται καί τότες το θερίζει καί υστέρα πάλιν ωσάν θέλη το ματασπέρνει. Όμοίως καί εσύ, αδελφέ μου, έσμιξες με την γυναίκα σου, έγγαστρώθηκε; Αναχώρησε έως οπού να γέννηση, να σαραντίση, να καθαριστή καί τότες σπέρνεις καί άλλο. Καί κάμε σαράντα, πενήντα παιδιά. «Ηθελα να σας ειπώ έναν λόγον, μα είναι αισχρός κομμάτι καί θέλετε να με κατηγορήσετε. Δεν βλέπετε τα ζώα οπού σμίγουν έως να έγγαστρώθη το θηλυκόν καί ωσάν γέννηση έτότες ματασμίγουν; Καί εμείς οί άνθρωποι δεν το ντρεπόμαστε να είμαστε χειρότεροι καί από τα ζώα; Μα πάλιν δεν ήμπορείς να το κάμνης αυτό, σου πέφτει βαρύ; Κάμε άλλο, ταπεινώσου καί είπε πώς είσαι ανάξιος, αμαρτωλός καί χειρότερος από τα ζώα, κατηγόρησε του Λόγου σου καί έτσι ημπορεί να σε σπλαγχνισθή ό Θεός, να σε σώση. Άμή να κόμης την άμαρτίαν, να καυχάσαι, να λέγης πώς είσαι καί άγιος, γίνεται τούτο να είναι; Τότε εύλογεί ό Θεός τον άνδρα καί την γυναίκα καί τα παιδιά σας καί δεν σας κολλά κανένα πράγμα μήτε μποδέματα, μήτε γητεύματα, μήτε κανένα κακόν. Έτσι άπερνάτε καί εδώ καλά καί πηγαίνετε καί εις τον Παράδεισον να χαίρεστε πάντοτε. Καί πλέον έξουσίαν δεν έχετε να χωρίζεσθε καί μόνον ό θάνατος καί ή πορνεία σας χωρίζει (Β1, 1η 198, 5η 134). Για το ανδρόγυνο: «αλλήλων τα βάρη βαστάζετε» (Γαλάτ. 6, 2). «Αλλο καλύτερον δεν είναι εις την γυναίκα ωσάν οπού να έχη ϋπομονήν καί ταπείνωσιν. Καί, αν τύχη καί έχη κακόν άνδρα, να ύπομένη καί να ευχαριστά τον Θεόν περισσότερον από τές άλλες, διατί έχει μισθόν πολύν εις την ψυχήν της καί πάντα με γλυκά λόγια να τον παρήγορη καί να στοχάζεται πώς καί αυτός αγανακτεί καί κινδυνεύει την ζωήν ήμέραν καί νύκτα, δια να την φύλαξη. Καί αν έχη καί ό άνδρας κανένα ελάττωμα, να τον ύποφέρη καί να μην τον πικραίνη, άνθρωπος είναι καί αυτός, δεν είναι άγγελος. Καί να ένθυμαται πάντα τές καλωσύνες του καί να συλλογίζεται (Α2, 1η 169, 5η 105) καί τές εδικές της κακωσύνες. Όμοίως καί εσύ ό άνδρας, όταν σου τύχη κακή γυναίκα, πρέπει να ύπομένης καί να ευχάριστος τον Θεόν, διατί έχεις μισθόν μεγάλον εϊς την ψυχήν σου καί, αν σου πταίση καμμίαν φοράν, μη την συνερίζεσαι καί στοχάσου καί τές καλωσύνες της. Ακόμη συλλογίσου καί τα εδικά σου τα ελαττώματα. Πάλιν εσύ, γυναίκα, έχεις περισσότερον χρέος από τον άνδρα να άνατρέφης τα παιδιά σου καί να τα νουθετάς εις τα καλά έργα. (Α2, 1η 170, 5η 106). (Continued on page 17)
9 Page 9 Time to Go to Church: A Time to Fear and Dread? January 30, 2013 It s Sunday morning. The Church bulletin says that Church starts at 10:00am. It s now 10:30am. You re walking to the car to take yourself and the kids to Church. You re arriving at communion. You re embarrassed to come in that late, but you re less embarrassed (after all, half the parish comes to Church late) than you would be by your children s behavior if you stayed for the whole service. You walk in during the Lord s Prayer. A few minutes later, thank God, communion. Now you can go. Lunchtime! Whining, crying, screaming, playing, talking, jumping, falling, bumping heads, chattering, running (or trying to) I don t know about you, but these are all things I m afraid my two and a half year old son, John, is going to do in Church. But every week, multiple people in the Church tell me how well behaved he is. And with the exception of a cry here and a bump there, he is, by God s grace, really well behaved in Church. Not only is he well behaved, he pays attention and participates! And no, we don t arrive at communion. We arrive at or around the Doxology and we stay through coffee hour. Our Divine Liturgy begins at 9:30am and ends around 11:30am. He spends a solid two hours in Church without leaving. To add a little more perspective to this great miracle, I m a presbytera, so for all intents and purposes, I m a single parent on Sundays. And John is extremely active, even for a two year old. So how do I do it, you ask? No, there is no magic that comes upon a priest s child that makes them better behaved. In fact, I ve known lots of PKs that are quite badly behaved Here s my take on bringing children to Church: How is a child ever going to learn to behave in Church if they aren t in Church? How can we expect our children to prioritize Church if we don t? What does it say to our children that we are on time for everything- school, work, movies, soccer practice, baseball games, concerts, luncheons- but we are NEVER on time for Church (except for Pascha- gotta get a good seat!)? What message does this send? Children pick up on these things. It is this quiet, childlike observance and understanding that I rely on to help me keep him calm and engaged during Church services. John and I talk about Church a lot. At most, we go to Church three times a week (that s during special seasons or occasions), but usually just on Sunday mornings like everyone else. Compare this with daycare or school every day, and kids can easily forget from one Sunday to the next. So that s tip number one. Talk to your child about Church as often as you can. Liken things to Church. Make Church sound fun and exciting. For kids, it can be fun and exciting. John loves Church because there is SO MUCH to look at, listen to, and do. Keep Church in the forefront of their minds. Don t just talk about Church outside of Church, however, talk about Church INSIDE Church (quietly, of course). Explain what s going on to your child as it happens. Give them the ol play by play. If you don t know what s going on, educate yourself ahead of time. Most Divine Liturgy books have some sort of explanation in them about the service, borrow one from the parish and read it. Or look it up online (Here s a good place to start: One of the biggest weapons I have in my arsenal of good-behavior-inducing techniques is where we sit in Church. We sit up front. In the front row. For every service. This is for two reasons. Imagine being a child about three or four feet tall. How boring would Church be if all you could see was the rear end of the papou sitting in front of you? Granted, he s a nice papou who likes to make you laugh, but seriously. You may as well be listening to a cd! When we sit in the front row, John can see everything! And the nice papous and yiayias are reason number two that we sit in the front row. Sitting up front minimizes the distractions. He s not distracted by people coming and going. He s not distracted by people to whom he d like to go say hello. He s not distracted by 500 people trying to make him laugh. As long as he faces the front of the Church, all there is for him to see is what he should be paying attention to- the service. The Divine Liturgy, in Greek, is known as I Theia Litourgia, which means the work of the people pertaining to God. Work of the people. Does that we should be doing something? Indeed, we should. And so this is the primary way that I keep John behaving well- by engaging and involving him in the service. When the priest blesses us, censes us, or bows to us, we bow. When we hear the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we do our cross. When we commemorate the Theotokos, we do our cross. When the small and great entrances happen, we do our cross as they walk by and name the chalice, patten, censor, cross, and fans (and even name the alter boys and priests if we can). When the priest tells us what to pray for in the (Continued on page 16)
10 Page 10 Canonization of Two New Saints by the Ecumenical Patriarchate On Tuesday, November 27, 2013, the Sacred and Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided the formal inclusion in the List of Saints of the Orthodox Church of elder Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia and of venerable Meletios of Lardos. Feast Day of Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia: December 2nd. Feast Day of Saint Meletios of Lardos: February 12th. Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia His family Elder Porphyrios was born on the 7th of February 1906, in the village of St. John Karystia, near Aliveri, in the province of Evia. His parents were poor but pious farmers. His father s name was Leonidas Bairaktaris and his mother s was Eleni, the daughter of Antonios Lambrou. At baptism he was given the name Evangelos. He was the fourth of five children, and the third child of the four that survived. His oldest sister, Vassiliki, passed away when she was a year old. Today, only his youngest sister, who is a nun is still alive. His father had a monastic calling but obviously did not become a monk. He was, however, the village cantor, and St. Nectarios called upon his services during his journeys through the area, but poverty forced him to emigrate to America to work on the construction of the Panama canal. His childhood years The Elder attended the school in his village for only two years. The teacher was sick most of the time and the children didn t learn much. Seeing the way things were, Evangelos left school, worked on the family farm and tended the few animals that they owned. He started working from the age of eight. Even though he was still very young, in order to make more money, he went to work in a coal mine. He later worked in a grocer s store in Halkhida and in Piraeus. His father had taught him the Supplicatory Canon (Paraklisis) to the Mother of God (Panagia), and whatever else of our faith he could. As a child he developed quickly. He himself told us that he was eight years old when he first started shaving. He looked much older than he actually was. From his childhood he was very serious, industrious and diligent. Monastic calling While he was looking after the sheep, and even when working in the grocer s store, he slowly read the life story of St. John the Hut-dweller. He wanted to follow the example of the saint. So he set off for Mt. Athos many times, but for various reasons he never made it and returned home. Finally, when he was about fourteen or fifteen years of age, he again left for Mt. Athos. This time he was determined to make it and this time he did. The Lord, who watches over the destinies of us all, brought about things in such a way that Evangelos met his future spiritual father, the hieromonk Panteleimon, while he was on the ferry boat between Thessaloniki and the Holy Mountain [Mt. Athos] Father Panteleimon immediately took the young boy under his wing. Evangelos was not yet an adult, and so should not have been allowed on the Holy mountain. Fr. Panteleimon said he was his nephew and his entrance was assured. The monastic life His elder, Fr. Panteleimon, took him to Kavsokalyvia to the Hut of St. George. Fr. Panteleimon lived there with his brother Fr. Ioannikios. The well-known monk, the blessed Hatzigeorgios had once lived there too. In this way, Elder Porphyrios acquired two spiritual fathers at the same time. He gladly gave absolute obedience to both of them. He embraced the monastic life with great zeal. His only complaint was that his elders didn t demand enough of him. He told us very little about his ascetic struggles and we have few details. From what he very rarely said to his spiritual children about it, we can conclude that he happily and continuously struggled hard. He would walk barefoot among the rocky and snowy paths of the Holy Mountain. He slept very little, and then with only one blanket and on the floor of the hut, even keeping the window open when it was snowing. During the night he would make many prostrations, stripping himself to the waist so that sleep would not overcome him. He worked; wood-carving or outside cutting down trees, gathering snails or carrying sacks of earth on his back for long distances, so that a garden could be created on the rocky terrain near the Hut of St. George. He also immersed himself in the prayers, services and hymns of the Church, learning them by heart while working with his hands. Eventually from the continual repetition of the Gospel and from learning it by heart the same way, he was unable to have thoughts that were not good or that were idle. He characterized himself, in those years, as being forever on the move. The change wrought by the Holy Spirit. Following the visitation of the Holy Spirit, a fundamental change took place in the psychosomatic makeup of young Monk Nikitas. It was the change that comes directly from the right hand of God. He acquired supernatural gifts and was vested with
11 Page 11 power from on high. The first sign of these gifts was when his elders were returning from a far-away journey, he was able to see them at a great distance. He saw them there, where they were, even though they were not within human sight. He confessed this to Fr. Panteleimon who advised him to be very cautious about his gift and to tell no-one. Advice which he followed very carefully until he was told to do otherwise. More followed. His sensitivity to things around him became very acute and his human capacities developed to their fullest. He listened to and recognized bird and animal voices to the extent that he knew not just where they came from, but what they were saying. His sense of smell was developed to such a degree that he could recognize fragrances at a great distance. He knew the different types of aroma and their makeup. After humble prayer he was able to see the depths of the earth and the far reaches of space. He could see through water and through rock formations. He could see petroleum deposits, radioactivity, ancient and buried monuments, hidden graves, crevices in the depths of the earth, subterranean springs, lost icons, scenes of events that had taken place centuries before, prayers that had been lifted up in the past, good and evil spirits, the human soul itself, just about everything. He tasted the quality of water in the depths of the earth. He would question the rocks and they would tell him about the spiritual struggles of ascetics who went before him. He looked at people and was able to heal. He touched people and he made them well. He prayed and his prayer became reality. However, he never knowingly tried to use these gifts from God to benefit himself. He never asked for his own ailments to be healed. He never tried to get personal gain from the knowledge extended to him by divine grace. Return to the world Even after being overshadowed by divine grace, this young disciple of the Lord continued in his ascetic struggles as before, with humility, godly zeal and unprecedented love of learning. The Lord now wanted to make him a teacher and shepherd of His rational sheep. He tried him out, measured him up, and found him adequate. Monk Nikitas never but never thought of leaving the Holy Mountain and returning to the world. His divine all-consuming love for our Savior drove him to wish and to dream of finding himself in the open desert and, except for his sweet Jesus, completely alone. However, severe pleurisy, finding him worn down from his superhuman ascetic struggles, caught hold of him while he was gathering snails on the rocky cliffs. This forced his elders to order him to take up residence in a monastery in the world, so that he could become well again. He obeyed and returned to the world, but as soon as he recovered he went back to the place of his repentance. He again fell ill; this time his elders, with a great deal of sadness, sent him back into the world for good. Thus, at nineteen years of age, we find him living as a monk at the Monastery Lefkon of St. Charalambos, close to his birthplace. Nevertheless he continued with the regime he had learnt on the Holy Mountain, his psalms and the like. He was, however, forced to scale down his fasting until his health got better. Ordination to the Priesthood It was in this monastery that he met the Archbishop of Sinai, Porphyrios III, a visiting guest there. From his conversation with Nikitas he noticed the virtue and the divine gifts that he possessed. He was so impressed that on the 26th of July 1927, the feast of St. Paraskevi, he ordained him a deacon. The very next day, the feast of St. Panteleimon, he promoted him to the priesthood as a member of the Sinaite Monastery. He was given the name Porphyrios. The ordination took place in the Chapel of the Holy Metropolis of Karystia, in the Diocese of Kymi. The Metropolitan of Karystia, Panteleimon Phostini also took part in the service. Elder Porphyrios was only twenty-one years old. Archimandrite In 1938 he was awarded the office of Archimandrite from the Metropolitan of Karystia, in honor of the service that you have given to the Church as a Spiritual Father until now, and for the virtuous hopes our Holy Church cherishes for you (protocol no. 92/ ) as written by the Metropolitan. The hopes of whom, by the grace of God, were realized. Priest, for a short time at the parish of Tsakayi, Evia and to the Monastery of St. Nicholas of Ano Vathia. He was assigned by the resident Metropolitan as a priest to the village of Tsakayi, Evia. Some of the older villagers cherish fond memories of his presence there to this day. He had left the Holy Monastery of St. Charalambos because it had been turned into a convent. So, around 1938 we find him living in the ruined and abandoned Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas, Ano Vathias, Evia, in the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan of Halkhida. In the desert of the city When the turmoil of the Second World War approached Greece, the Lord enlisted His obedient servant, Porphyrios, assigning him to a new post, closer to his embattled people. On the 12th of October 1940 he was given the duty of temporary priest to the Chapel of St. Gerasimos in the Athens Polyclinic, which can be found on the corner of Socrates and Pireaus Street, close to Omonia Square. He himself requested the position out of the compassionate love he had for his fellows who were suffering. He wanted to be near them during the most difficult times in their lives, when illness, pain and the shadow of death showed the hopelessness of all other hope except for hope in Christ. (Continued on page 14)
12 Page 12 PTO Christmas Trip to Red Bank, Nov.24th St. Nicholas Celebration, Dec. 6th
13 Page 13 FAITH/HOPE/JOY Not So Scary Monster Bash and Trunk & Treat, Oct. 26th a.b t S GOYA Sports at the PAC a Fe a r rb a a st D y, D 4 ec. th
14 Page 14 (Continued from page 11) There were other applicants with excellent credentials who were also interested in the post, but the Lord enlightened the director of the Polyclinic. Humble and charming, Porphyrios, who was uneducated according to the standards of the world but wise according to God, was chosen. The person who made this choice later expressed his amazement and joy in finding a true priest saying, I found a perfect father, just like Christ wants. He served the Polyclinic as its employed chaplain, for thirty whole years and then in order to be of service to his spiritual children who sought him there, voluntarily, for a further three years Departure from the Polyclinic On the 16th February 1970, having completed thirty-five years of service as a priest, he received a small pension from the Hellenic Clerical Insurance Fund and left his duties at the Polyclinic. In essence, however, he remained until his replacement arrived. Even after that he continued to visit the Polyclinic to meet his great number of spiritual children. Finally, around 1973, he minimized his visits to the Polyclinic and instead received his spiritual children at St. Nicholas in Kallisia, Pendeli, where he celebrated the liturgy and heard confession. My strength is made perfect in weakness Elder Porphyrios, in addition to the illness that forced him to leave Mt. Athos, and that kept his left side especially sensitive, suffered with many other ailments, at various times. Towards the end of his service at the Polyclinic he became ill with kidney trouble. However, he was operated on only when his sickness was in its advanced stages. This was because he worked tirelessly despite his illness. He had become used to being obedient unto death. He was obedient even to the director of the Polyclinic, who told him to put off the operation, so that he could celebrate the services for Holy Week. This delay resulted in him slipping into a coma. The doctors told his relatives to prepare for his funeral. However, by divine will, and despite all medical expectations, the Elder returned to earthly life to continue his service to the members of the Church. Some time before that, he had fractured his leg. Related to which is a miraculous instance of St. Gerasimos (whose Polyclinic chapel he served) concern for him,. In addition to this his hernia, from which he suffered until his death, worsened., because of the heavy loads he used to carry to his home, in Turkovounia, where he lived for many years, On the 20th August 1978, while at St. Nicholas, Kallisia, he had a heart attack (myocardial stroke). He was rushed to the Hygeia hospital, where he remained for twenty days. When he left the infirmary he continued his convalescence in Athens in the homes of some of his spiritual children. This was for three reasons. Firstly, he couldn t go to St. Nicholas, Kallisia, as there was no road and he would have to walk a long way on foot. Furthermore, his house in Turkovounia did not even have the most basic comforts. Finally, he had to be near to doctors. From that time on, his physical health was terribly compromised. However, he continued, his ministry as a spiritual father as much as he could, all the time confessing for shorter periods and often suffering from various other health problems and in the most frightful pain. Indeed, he steadily lost his sight until in 1987 he became completely blind. He steadily decreased the words of advice he gave to people, and increased the prayers he said to God for them. He silently prayed with great love and humility for all those who sought his prayer and help from God. With spiritual joy he saw divine grace acting upon them. Thus, Elder Porphyrios became a clear example of St. Paul the Apostle words, My strength is made perfect in weakness. He builds a new convent It was a long held desire of the Elder s to found a holy convent of his own, to build a monastic foundation in which certain devout women, who were spiritual daughters of his, could live. He had vowed to God that he would not abandon these women when he left the world because they had been faithful helpers of his for many years. As time went on it would be possible for other women who wanted to devote themselves to the Lord to settle down there. His first thought was to build the Convent at the place in Kallisia, Pendeli, which he had leased in 1955 from the Holy Monastery of Pendeli. He tried to persuade the owners many times either to donate or sell him the land required. It was to no avail. It now seemed that the Lord, the wise regulator and provider of all, destined another place for this particular undertaking. So the Elder turned his sights to another area in his search for real estate. In the meantime, however, with the co-operation of his spiritual children, he put together the legal charter for the foundation of the Convent and submitted it to the proper church authorities. Since he had not yet chosen the specific place where his convent would be built, he identified Turkovounia in Athens as the place where it would be founded. Here he had a humble little stone house, which, without even the basic comforts, had been his impoverished abode since Early in 1980 he took up residence on this property at Milesi, which had been bought for the construction of a convent. For more than a year at the start he lived in a mobile home under very difficult conditions, especially in winter. Afterwards he settled into a small and shabby house in which he suffered all the hardship of three-months of continuous stomachhaemorraghing and where he also received numerous blood transfusions. The blood was donated with much love by his spiritual children.
15 Page 15 The construction work, which the Elder followed closely, also began in He paid for the work from savings that he, his friends and his relatives had made over the years with this aim in mind. He was also helped by various spiritual children. The building of the Church of the Transfiguration His great love for his fellow man was centered upon guiding them to the joy of transfiguration according to Christ. Together with St. Paul the Apostle, he implored us, his brothers and sisters, through God s compassion Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom.12:2). He wanted to guide us to the state in which he lived, according to which, We all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor.3:18) This is why he also called his Convent the Transfiguration and why he wanted the church to be dedicated to the Transfiguration. Finally, through his prayers, he influenced his fellow workers in this venture and succeeded in his aim. After much consultation and hard work on the part of the Elder, a simple, pleasing and perfect design was arrived at. The work of building the church out of re-enforced concrete began immediately. Accompanied by the Elder s prayers, it progressed without interruption. He was able to see with his spiritual eyes for he had lost his natural sight many years before -, the church reaching the final stages of that phase of its construction. That is to say, at the base of the central dome. It actually reached this point on the day of the Elder s final departure. He prepares his return to the Holy Mountain. Elder Porphyrios had never emotionally left Mt. Athos. There was no other subject that interested him more than the Holy Mountain, and especially Kavsokalyvia. For many years he had a hut there, in the name of a disciple of his who he visited on occasion. When he heard in 1984 that the last resident of St. George s hut had left for good and taken up residence in another monastery, he hastened to the Holy Great Lavra of St. Athanasios, to whom it belonged and asked that it be given to him. It was at St. George s that he had first taken his monastic vows. He had always wanted to return, to keep the vow made at his tonsure some sixty years earlier, to remain in his monastery until his last breath. He was now getting ready for his final journey. The hut was given to him according to the customs of Mt. Athos, with the monastery s sealed pledge, dated 21st September Elder Porphyrios settled different disciples of his there in succession. In the summer of 1991 there were five. This is the number, that he had mentioned to a spiritual child of his some three years before as the total that indicated the year of his death. Return to his Repentance During the last two years of his earthly life he would frequently talk about his preparation for his defense before the dread judgment seat of God. He gave strict orders that if he should die here, his body should be transported without fanfare and buried at Kavsokalyvia. In the end, he decided to go there whilst he was still alive. He spoke about a certain story in the Sayings of the Fathers: A certain elder, who had prepared his grave when he felt his end was near, said to his disciple, My son, the rocks are slippery and steep and you will endanger your life if you alone take me to my grave. Come, let us go now that I am alive. And surely his disciple took him by the hand and the elder lay down in the grave and gave up his soul in peace. On the eve of the Feast of the Holy Trinity, 1991, having gone to Athens to confess to his very old and sickly spiritual father, he received absolution and left for his hut on Mt. Athos. He settled in and waited for the end, prepared to give a good defense before God. Then, when they had dug a deep grave for him according to his instructions, he dictated a farewell letter of advice and forgiveness to all his spiritual children through a spiritual child of his. This letter, dated June 4 (Old Calendar) and June 17 (New Calendar), was found amongst the monastic clothes that were laid out for his funeral on the day of his death. It is published in full on pages of this book and is just one more proof of his boundless humility. Through my coming to you again Elder Porphyrios left Attica for Mt. Athos with the hidden intention of never returning here again. He had spoken to enough of his spiritual children in such a way that they knew they were seeing him for the last time. To others he just hinted. It was only after his death that they realized what he meant. Naturally, to those who would not be able to stand the news of his departure, he told them that he would be coming back. He said so many things about his death, either clearly or in a cryptic way, so much so, that only the certainty of those around him that he would survive like all the other times (a hope born of desire), can possibly explain the suddenness of the announcement of his death. His spiritual children in Athens were constantly calling upon him and he was twice forced to return to the Convent against his will. Here, he gave consolation to all those who needed it. On each occasion he stayed only for a few days, that our rejoicing for him would be more abundant in Jesus Christ by his coming to us. (Paraphrasing the words of the Apostle, Phil. 1:26.) He would then hurry back to Mt. Athos as quickly as possible. He ardently desired to die there and to be quietly buried in the midst of prayer and repentance. Towards the end of his physical life he became uneasy over the possibility of his spiritual children s love affecting his wish to die alone. He was used to being obedient and submitting to others. Therefore he told one of his monks. If I tell you to take (Continued on page 17)
16 Page 16 (Continued from page 9) litanies, we say, Lord, have mercy, or Grant this, O Lord. We say the Nicene Creed and the Lord s prayer together. We sing along with the choir. There is plenty to do! If worse comes to worse, we point out all the icons and go to the proskinitaria off to the side of the solea and venerate the icon. Does this mean that John doesn t have bad days? Of course not! He s two! He has his moments, sometimes entire services, where he is not so easy to get along with and doesn t want to pay attention. That s where mommy s bag comes in to play (kind of like Mary Poppins carpet bag!). The most important thing in Mommy s bag- our look book. I bought a $3 photo book, in which I put pictures of our family, the priests, the bishop, and little laminated icons (the saints are our family, too!). I change the icons and pictures out every once in a while so that he stays interested. I also bring some snacks, like Cheerios. Now this may be controversial. Some people say that bringing snacks is not appropriate. But here s my feeling about it. If he were seven years old, then no, it wouldn t be appropriate. But toddler-hood is a critical time for children. They are learning about the world around them. Don t we want them to learn about the world through the Church? They are learning to speak. Don t we want them to learn the language of the Church (and no, I don t mean Greek- though learning Greek is all well and good too)? They are learning appropriate behavior. Don t we want them to learn appropriate Church behavior? I desperately want the Church to be part of his learning experience during this most important time. In which case, I m willing to compromise a little (like the Church does- oikonomia, right?) and bring a few Cheerios to avoid having to remove him from the service. I also have a few picture books or cars that he likes. And I ll let him play with them if I have to. But this does not mean that I stop engaging him. I ll give him a break to play for a few minutes, but then I attempt to get him to put it down and pay attention. One more thing. Don t be self-conscious about your child making noise. I have friends who don t come to Church for more than twenty minutes at a time because they are so afraid of offending someone with their kids little chirping and their noises. But those chirping and little noises are how the children talk to God. Those noises are their Divine Liturgy. Don t deny your child the experience of being in God s presence because someone doesn t like that they are trying to sing along with the choir! Of course your child wants to sing! The priest is singing, the chanter is singing, the choir is singing The children want to sing too! If someone chastises me for allowing him to make noise and not taking him out, I respond by apologizing for the fact that they were paying attention to John instead of the service. I do it lovingly and tactfully, of course, and then I ask them how he s supposed to learn to behave in Church from the baby room. I also take a moment to educate them about the fact that in many churches (especially in Greece), there is a lot of movement. People walk all around the Church to venerate the icons, venerate the relics, etc. It is a foreign concept to Holy Orthodoxy which is unique to America that we stand in one place like bumps on a log and don t make a sound. And before you say it, yes, I know that a lot of kids cry because they want to leave and when you take them back to the Church they start crying again. This is the other reason I don t take John out of Church. He doesn t even know that leaving is an option. If he knew that it were and cried because he wanted to leave Church, then taking him out would be rewarding bad behavior by giving him what he wants. Oh yes, he screams or cries out in Church every once in a while, to be sure. But I only take him out when it s clear that he won t stop and we re bordering on really distracting other people. He knows that if we have to leave because of bad behavior, it is not going to be a fun experience, and we re going to go right back in to the Church as soon as he s quiet. I know, I make it sound easy. Believe me, it s not. It is really hard work. It takes constant vigilance during Church to keep him engaged. And I m sure that for the first few weeks, even months, your child will hate it (though they ll hate it less if you sit in front where they can see!). But don t give up. They ll get used to it soon enough, and you will see them begin to love the Church and Her services. And then you will love every minute of worshipping with your child! Written by Pres. Mari I. Mars. Presbytera Mari I. Mars is a member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Atlanta, GA. She graduated valedictorian with a Baccalaureate degree in religious studies from Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Formerly the youth coordinator for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, she is currently a crisis/trauma/abuse/grief counselor-in-training, pursuing a Master's Degree in Mercer University's Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She is also a member of the International Counseling Academic and Professional Honors Society. Presbytera Mari is married to Rev. Fr. Christos Mars, Ephimerios of the Annunciation Cathedral in Atlanta. Together they have a precious son named John.
17 Page 17 (Continued from page 8) (Continued from page 15) me back to Athens, prevent me, it will be from temptation. Indeed many friends of his had made different plans to bring him back to Athens, since winter was approaching and his health was getting worse. He sleeps in the Lord God, who is all-good, and who fulfills the desires of those who feared him, fulfilled Elder Porphyrios wish. He made him worthy of having a blessed end in extreme humbleness and obscurity. He was surrounded only by his disciples on Mt. Athos who prayed with him. On the last night of his earthly life he went to confession and prayed noetically. His disciples read the Fiftieth and other psalms and the service for the dying. They said the short prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me, until they had completed the rule of a great schema monk. With great love his disciples offered him what he needed, a little bodily and lot of spiritual comfort. For a long time they could hear his holy lips whispering the last words that came from his venerable mouth. These were the same words Christ prayed on the eve of his crucifixion that we may be one. After this they heard him repeat only one word. The word that is found at the end of the New Testament, at the conclusion of the Divine Apocalypse (Revelation) of St. John, Come ( Yes, come, Lord Jesus ) The Lord, his sweet Jesus came. The saintly soul of Elder Porphyrios left his body at 4:31 on the morning of the 2nd of December, 1991 and journeyed towards heaven. His venerable body, dressed in the monastic manner, was placed in the main church of Kavsokalyvia. According to custom, the fathers there read the Gospel all day, and during the night they held an all-night vigil. Everything was done in agreement with the detailed verbal instructions of Elder Porphyrios. They had been written down to avoid any mistake. At dawn, on the 3rd of December 1991, the earth covered the venerable remains of the holy Elder in the presence of the few monks of the holy skete of Kavsokalyvia. It was only then, in accordance with his wishes, that his repose was announced. It was that time of day when the sky becomes rosecolored, reflecting the brightness of the new day that is approaching. A symbol for many souls of the Elder s transition from death to light and life. Γονείς καί παιδιά. «Ενα δένδρο, ωσάν το κόψης, ευθύς ξεραίνονται τα κλαριά, άμή ωσάν ποτίζης την ρίζαν, στέκονται δροσερά τα κλωνάρια. Όμοίως εϊστενε καί οί γονείς ωσάν το δένδρο καί όταν ποτίζεται ό πατέρας καί ή μητέρα, οπού εϊστενε ή ρίζα των παιδιών, με νηστείες, προσευχές, ελεημοσύνες, με καλά έργα, φυλάγει ό Θεός τα παιδιά σας. Ωσάν ξεραίνεστε οί γονείς με τές αμαρτίες, θανατώνει ό Θεός τα παιδιά σας καί σάς βάνει εις την κόλασιν μαζί τους. Είναι μια μηλιά καί κάνει ξινά μήλα. Έμείς τώρα τί πρέπει να κατηγορήσωμε, τη μηλιά ή τα μήλα; Τη μηλιά. Λοιπόν κάμνετε καλά έσεϊς οί γονείς, οπού εϊστενε ή μηλιά, να γίνωνται καί τα μήλα γλυκά. Δεν είναι κατάρα ή ακουσία άτεκνία, ούτε λόγος διαζυγίου. Ακόμη να προσέχετε οί άνδρες να μη κοιτάζετε τές γυναίκες σας με άγριον μάτι δια πολλές αιτίες, μάλιστα πώς δεν κάνουν παιδιά καί λέγετε τάχα πώς έχετε κατάραν. Ακούσατε να σας ειπώ: τον πάλαιαν καιρόν ό Διάβολος έβαλε σκοπόν να χαλάση τον κόσμον καί έβανε μίσος εις τα ανδρόγυνα, για να μη κάνουν παιδιά να αύξηση ό κόσμος, καί έτσι οί άνθρωποι δεν έκαναν παιδιά, άλλ ούτε έφρόντιζαν δια να ύπανδρεύωνται καί έκινδύνευε να σωθή ό κόσμος. Τότε ό Θεός, θέτοντας να λείψη αυτό το διαβολικού κακόν, έπρόσταξεν ότι οποίος δεν κάμη παιδιά εϊναι κατηραμένος. Δια τούτο καί μόνον τον είπεν ό Θεός αυτόν τον λόγον, δια να χαλάση (Α2, 1η 156, 5η 92) τον σκοπόν του κατηραμένου Διαβόλου. Λοιπόν τώρα δεν έχετε κατάρα όσοι δεν κάνετε παιδιά καί μη λυπασθε, αλλά χαίρεσθε, όπου γίνεται το θέλημα του Θεοΰ καί όχι το έδικόν σας καί μάλιστα εκείνοι οπού έχουν παιδιά είναι σκλάβοι καί κατά την ψυχήν καί κατά το σώμα. Καί να φυλάγεσθε να μη κάμετε ωσάν κάποιοι ανόητοι καί τρελλοί, οπού δια να μην έγέννησαν παιδιά οί γυναίκες τους, τές έχώρισαν καί επήραν άλλες. Ό Διάβολος θέλει να χωρίζωνται τα ανδρόγυνα καί όχι ό Θεός. «Ετσι λέγει καί ό Νόμος: Κανένα άλλο αίτιον δεν τους χωρίζει έξω αν ξεπέσουν είς πορνείαν. Καί οποίος δια άλλο αίτιον χωρίζει την γυναίκα του καί πάρη άλλην έχει να κριθή ως μοιχός, χειρότερος από τον πόρνον, καί θέλει πηγαίνει είς την Κόλασιν. Οικογενειακό Εικονοστάσι καί αγωγή παιδιών. Να κάμης μίαν εικόνα του Χριστού, της Παναγίας, του Προδρόμου, να έχη καί τον «Αγιον του παιδιού σου καί όταν το παιδί σου σηκώνεται από τον ϋπνον να σου γυρεύη ψωμί, μην του δίνης, μόνο να πάρης το ψωμί, να το βάλής ομπρός εις την εικόνα του Χρίστου καί νά του εΐπής: Εγώ, παιδί μου, δεν έχω ψωμί, ό Χριστός έχει. Σήκω να κάμης το Σταυρό σου να παρακαλέσωμε τον «Αγιον σου να παρακάλεση τον Χριστόν να σου το δώση. Καί έτσι το παιδίον παρακινεϊται δια την άγάπην του ψωμιού καί ευθύς οπού ξυπνά, τον «Αγιόν του Βλέπει. Βλέποντας τότε ό Διάβολος το παιδίον πώς έχει την ελπίδα του είς τον Χριστόν καί εις τον «Αγιόν του, κατακαίεται καί φεύγει. Κι έτσι να συνηθίζετε τα παιδιά σας, να τα παιδεύετε από μικρά, δια να συνηθίζουν είς τον καλόν δρόμον. (Β1, 1η 187, 5η 123).
18 Page 18 Business Owners and Sponsors Parish Athletic Center Advertising Opportunity Support our Parish Athletic Center and promote your business by joining the many other successful businesses that have made the decision to take a spot on one of our gymnasium walls. Your donation may be eligible for a tax deduction. Sign Size: 3 x 6 or 4 x 8 frames with digital vinyl color banner Cost: $1,000 for a one year contract Contact the church office at to reserve your spot or send your logo for an advertisement proof. Memorial Garden Memorialize your loved ones with an engraving in Saint Barbara s Memorial Garden The cost of engraving is $200 per name. Forms are available in the Church Office or on our website, For your convenience, Saint Barbara s website (www.stbarbaranj.org) now accepts PayPal payments for Greek School and Greek Dance. To make payments, go to the About Us tab and click on either Stewardship or Ministries. The Parish Health Ministry will provide free blood pressure checks on the second Wednesday of each month beginning January 8, Watch the weekly bulletin for information on the following programs coming soon: Cancer Support Group Weight Church Free exercise classes We ll continue to add programs over time. If you are a health care professional and would like to donate your time and talents to this ministry, please contact Fr. Paul.
19 PTO Coffee Hour 7 Parish Council Coffee Hour Calendar Meeting: 7 pm 14 Synaxis of St. John the Baptist Youth Dance: Beginners 6:30 pm & Intermediate 7:30 pm GOYA Dance: 7 pm 27 NO Youth Dance GOYA Dance: 7 pm Martin Luther King Day AHEPA Meeting: 7 pm 28 Philoptochos Mtg: 6:30pm GOYA State Meeting 20 St. Euthymios the Great 21 Youth Dance: Beginners 6:30 pm & Intermediate 7:30 pm GOYA Dance: 7 pm PTO Meeting: 7 pm PC Executive Board Mtg: 7pm 13 Youth Dance: Beginners 6:30 pm & Intermediate 7:30 pm GOYA Dance: 7 pm Theophany of Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ Wed Parish Council Meeting: 7 pm 15 NEW YEAR S DAY *** Office Closed *** NO Kali Parea NO Greek School Circumcision of Our Lord Thu The Three Hierarchs Living the Life of An Orthodox Christian : 7-8pm 30 Living the Life of An Orthodox Christian : 7-8pm 23 St. Anthony Vespers: Vineland Fri Three Hierarchs Greek School Program Celebration (St. Barbara hosting) St. Athanasios Vespers: Paramus, 7 pm 17 St. Anthony the Great GOYA Meeting: 7 pm HOPE/JOY Meeting: 6 pm 10 3 St. Athanasios Sat Notes: St. Gregory the Theologian Orthros; 8:30 am Fr. Dean Martin 20-Year Memorial and Brunch Vasilopita Sunday Philoptochos Vasilopita Reception Philoptochos Tray for St. Basil s Orphanage Sunday School Resumes Philoptochos Coffee Hour Eve of Theophany 8 6 Tue 5 Mon 1 Sun Notes: ~ January 2014 ~ CALENDAR OF EVENTS Page 19
20 AHEPA Coffee Hour 5 Parish Council Coffee Hour Meat Fare Sunday St. Haralambos the Holy Martyr President s Day St. Theodore of Tyre Youth Dance: Beginners 6:30 pm & Intermediate 7:30 pm GOYA Dance: 7 pm 24 NO Youth Dance GOYA Dance: 7 pm GOYA State Meeting PC Executive Board Mtg: 7pm 17 Philoptochos Luncheon for St. Haralambos Youth Dance: Beginners 6:30 pm & Intermediate 7:30 pm GOYA Dance: 7 pm 10 Youth Dance: Beginners 6:30 pm & Intermediate 7:30 pm GOYA Dance: 7 pm PTO Meeting: 7 pm AHEPA Meeting: 7 pm 25 Philoptochos Mtg: 6:30pm Parish Council Meeting: 7 pm Living the Life of An Orthodox Christian : 7-8pm 27 Living the Life of An Orthodox Christian : 7-8pm 20 Living the Life of An Orthodox Christian : 7-8pm 13 Living the Life of An Orthodox Christian : 7-8pm St. Photios 7 Valentine s Day GOYA Valentine s Wyckoff 14 HOPE/JOY Meeting: 6 pm Fri PTO Glendi Notes: HOPE/JOY Field Trip 22 1st Saturday of Souls 15 St. Theodore the Commander Sat 23 GOYA Spanakopita Sale 16 Godparent Sunday NO Sunday School Philoptochos Vespers Reception GOYA Mtg. following Liturgy PTO Coffee Hour St. Haralambos Vespers: 7pm 9 GO RED SUNDAY Philoptochos Coffee Hour Savior into the Temple Thu 8 4 Wed 2 Presentation of Our Lord & 3 Tue 1 Mon Notes: Sun ~ February 2014 ~ CALENDAR OF EVENTS Page 20