St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church Canton, Ohio. Celebrating Our Past Building Our Future

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1 St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church Canton, Ohio Celebrating Our Past Building Our Future March & April 2013

2 St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church Parish Administrators 2013 Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 am-3:00 pm Phone: Office: Fax: Website: Rev. DR. nicholas V. gamvas, PROTOPRESBYTER Phone: Cell: Parish Council OFFICERS Members President.. Dr. William Skendelas Vince Arrigo Sia Pope Vice President.. Ron A. Darrah Rena Cotopolis Anthony Ramphos Treasurer.. James Kellamis Michael Fakelis Nicholas Ramphos Asst. Treasurer. Steve Diamant Dr. Peter Michalos Chris H. Vallos Secretary.. Philip Stavrianou Peter Papadopulos Georgia Zenallis Asst. Secretary. Christopher Msnod Church Staff Secretary... Alexandra Tank Subdeacons. Project Manager.. Stephanie Withers Sextons. Custodian.. John Sakellariou Chanters.. Choir Director... Dr. Alex Christ Sunday School Director.. Greek School.. Ladies Philoptochos Soc. Men s Club Silver Liners... Icon, Gift & Bookstore. Funeral & Makaria.. Parish Organizations Mary Griveas Dennis Tzouloufis Mary Griveas Peter Papadopulos Kathy Dieringer Helenann Meder Fran Armatas Diane Foradas Paula Macris Ann Simatacolos Rena Cotopolis Bill Poulos, Jr. Labib El-Bardawil Dean Darrah Eustathios Fronimos Petros Gaitanos John C. Kellamis Thomas A. Cazantzes Michael A. Lazoran Labib El-Bardawil GOYA Advisors.... Carol Capocci JOY Advisors...Tiffany Manos, Despina Morgan Phaidra Sotiropoulos, Dr. Michelle Zoumberakis YAL Christina Armatas Hellenic Dancers. Eleni Paxos Agia Markella Chios Soc... Eleni Paxos Pan-Cretan Association. Maria Bourlas AHEPA. George Kalantzis Daughters of Penelope.. Katherine Glaros Maids of Athena.. Maria Paxos Sons of Pericles.. Bill Poulos, III

3 All Are Welcome! SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY 2013 AT ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH Canton, Ohio SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2013 Great Vespers 5:00 PM SUNDAY, MARCH 24, 2013 Orthros Divine Liturgy 9:00 AM 10:00 AM Procession of Icons with All Orthodox Youth Followed by a Lenten Coffee Reception in Cultural Center Our Guest Speaker Rev. Protopresbyter Nicholas C. Triantafilou, President Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA Sponsored by the Stark County Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood Koinonia March & April 13 3

4 Sunday of Orthodoxy MARCH 24 Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas The first Sunday of Great Lent has been designated as Sunday of Orthodoxy 843 by the Holy Church. since Specifically, we celebrate the restoration of Icons by the Empress Theodora. Generally, we commemorate: 1) The victory of Orthodoxy-right worship, over heresy-false worship 2) The victory of light over darkness 3) The victory of truth over falsehood The battle of truth over falsehood still rages. Orthodox Christians should be in the forefront of this battle. Falsehood, darkness and evil are not neutral, they are always at work, always attempting to destroy and distort the truth. The first step to winning this battle is to acknowledge that there is truth. To acknowledge that truth exists; that there is absolute right and wrong and not just "differing opinions." Relativism as is being taught in schools and Universities, as we read about in books and magazines is foolishness. Listen to Isaiah who says: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who call darkness light and light darkeners, and falsehood truth and truth falsehood." Beneath all this linguistic confusion, lies a serious moral problem. It is our inability to distinguish between good and evil. Our inability to determine truth from falsehood. This contributes to the state of moral insanity that exists today. The following story was told of President Lincoln: A committee of people were gathered to address a particular problem. Then there was an argument that they made based on supposes-suppose this, suppose that. Lincoln listened and after a little while he asked a question. "How many legs would a sheep have if you called his tail a leg? They answered: "Five." Lincoln answered: "No, Just because you call a tail a leg, doesn't make it a leg." So giving something a new name doesn't change it. Calling falsehood truth, doesn't make it right. Calling sin by another name doesn't make it less of a sin. Let's look at the way we are distorting definition today: Art, once meant to portray through human hands the beauty of life or the beauty of form. Anything can be called art today. The National Endowment for the Arts which is funded by our tax dollars, has on public display a crucifix submerged in the urine of the artist. This is not art but an attack on Christianity. At the same display a human being is in a trash can. This artist was asked to interpret this art. He stated that humans are nothing more than trash. We are created in the image of God. What is most sacred to us Orthodox Christian is the Holy Eucharist. The term is being used by many groups today. We get many definitions that are different than Jesus intended. Jesus said: "Take, eat this is my body". "Take drink this is my blood." He meant what He said. He was giving us Himself. He did not say this bread represents my body, this wine symbolized my blood. There are many falsehoods in the world masqueraded as truth. There is truth. Jesus is the incarnation of Truth. The Church is here to define truth and protect it. According to Isaiah: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who call darkness light and light darkness, and falsehood truth and truth falsehood." Let us make Sunday of Orthodoxy a Sunday for truth. 4 Koinonia March & April 13

5 MARCH 2012 SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT 1 2 6:30 Paraklesis St. Haralambos Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 St. Haralambos Church 6:00 JOY Meeting 3 9:00 Prodigal Son Memorial Kantzos 1:00 Deb s Photo 4 5:30 Greek School 5:30 Phil. Bd. Mtg. 6:45 Phil. Mtg. 5 7:00 Deb s Meeting 6 6:30 Senior Choir Rehearsal 6:30 Parish Council Meeting 7 4:20 Hellenic Dancers Dance-a-Thon 8 6:30 Paraklesis St. Haralambos 9 9:00 1st Saturday of Souls 10 9:00 Judgement Sunday 12:00 Sacrament 11 5:30 Greek School 6:00 Daughters of Penelope Meeting 12 6:30 Summerfest Committee Meeting 13 6:30 Senior Choir Rehearsal 14 11:00 am Krassas Catering Event No Dance Practice 6:30 Bible Study 7:00 Deb s Rehearsal :00 2nd Saturday of Souls 7:30 Debutante s Ball 17 9:00 Forgiveness Memorials: Karinos, Pirovolos 6:00 Goya Meeting 18 LENT BEGINS 6:00 Compline 5:30 Greek School 19 12:00 Silver Liners 6:30 Parish Council Meeting 20 6:30 Presanctified Liturgy at St. George, Mass. 21 4:20 Dance Practice 6:30 Senior Choir Rehearsal 22 6:30 First Salutations to the Virgin Mary 23 9:00 3rd Saturday of Souls 5:00 Pan Orthodox Great Vespers 24 9:00 Sunday of Orthodoxy 31 9:00 St.Gregory 3:00 Greek School Program 25 9:00 Annunciation of the Theotokos 6:30 Compline No Greek School 26 3:30 Bible Study 6:30 5K Walk/Run Meeting 7:00 Deb s Wrapup Meeting 27 6:30 Presanctified Liturgy at St. Haralambos 28 4:20 Dance Practice 7:00 Dancers Meeting 29 6:30 Second Salutations to the Virgin Mary 30 APRIL :30 Compline 5:30 Greek School 5:30 Phil. Bd. Mtg. 6:30 Phil. Mtg. 2 6:30 Parish Council Meeting 3 6:30 Presanctified Liturgy at Holy Trinity 4 4:20 Dance Practice 5 6:30 Third Salutations to the Virgin Mary 6 7 9:00 Veneration of the Holy Cross Hellenic Dancers Luncheon 8 6:30 Compline 5:30 Greek School 9 Robert J. Catering Event in Krassas Ctr., and Gym 10 6:30 Presanctified Liturgy at St. George, Romanian Koinonia Deadline 11 4:20 Dance Practice 6:30 Bible Study 12 6:30 Fourth Salutations to the Virgin Mary :00 St. John Climacus 21 9:00 Mary of Egypt 6:00 Goya Meeting 28 PALM SUNDAY 9:00 Palm Sunday Palm Sunday Lunch 7:00 Bridegroom 15 6:30 Compline 7:30 a.m. S Fest Koulouria Baking 5:30 Greek School 22 6:30 Compline 5:30 Greek School 29 HOLY MONDAY 7:00 Bridegroom 16 6:30 Parish Council Meeting 23 3:30 Bible Study 6:30 Men s Club 6:30 5K Walk/Run Meeting 30 HOLY TUESDAY 7:00 Bridegroom 17 6:30 Presanctified Liturgy at St. George Antioc. 6:30 Senior Choir 24 6:30 Presanctified Liturgy at Assumption OCA 6:30 Senior Choir 18 6:30 Great Canon St. Andrew Crete 4:20 Dance Practice 7:00 Dancers Mtg. 25 No Dance Practice 19 6:30 Akathist Hymn RUMMAGE SALE 20 RUMMAGE SALE :00 Saturday of Lazarus Making Palm Crosses Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:12 Koinonia March & April

6 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH March Liturgical Calendar MARCH 3 SUNDAY SUNDAY OF THE PRODIGAL SON - 9:00 a.m. - Orthros. 10:00 a.m. - Divine Liturgy. MARCH 8 FRIDAY PARAKLESIS TO OUR PATRON SAINT HARALAMBOS 6:30 p.m. MARCH 9 SATURDAY 1ST SATURDAY OF SOULS - 9:00 a.m. - Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy. A Memorial Service for the departed will be chanted near the end of the Liturgy. It is important that we commemorate our loved ones. MARCH 10 SUNDAY JUDGEMENT SUNDAY - MEATFARE - 9:00 a.m. - Orthros. 10:00 a.m. - Divine Liturgy. MARCH 16 SATURDAY SECOND SATURDAY OF SOULS - 9:00 a.m. - Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy. MARCH 17 SUNDAY FORGIVENESS SUNDAY, CHEESEFARE - 9:00 a.m. - Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy. MARCH 18 MONDAY CLEAN MONDAY - 6:30 p.m. - Compline Service MARCH 20 WEDNESDAY PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY at ST. GEORGE CHURCH, MASSILLON U 6:30 p.m. A reception will follow. Everyone is invited. MARCH 22 FRIDAY FIRST SALUTATIONS TO THE THEOTOKOS - S 6:30 p.m. MARCH 23 SATURDAY THIRD SATURDAY OF SOULS - 9:00 am - Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy SATURDAY EVE. PAN ORTHODOX VESPERS at ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH 5:00 p.m. MARCH 24 SUNDAY SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY - at ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH 9:00 a.m. - Orthros. 10:00 a.m. - Divine Liturgy. Chief celebrant and speaker is the Rev. Protopresbyter Nicholas C. Triantafiliou, Pres. of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA. Youth procession of icons from area Orthodox Churches. All Sunday School children, please bring your icons for the Procession of Icons. Coffee Hour hosted by Stark Co. Orthodox Churches in the St. Haralambos Cultural Center. SUNDAY EVE. ANNUNCIATION GREAT VESPERS OF THE THEOTOKOS at ANNUNCIATION CHURCH, AKRON 7:00 p.m. MARCH 25 MONDAY ANNUNCIATION OF THE THEOTOKOS - 9:00 am - Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy MONDAY EVE. GREAT COMPLINE SERVICE 6:30 p.m. MARCH 27 WEDNESDAY PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY - U at ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH 6:30 p.m. A reception will follow. Everyone is invited. MARCH 29 FRIDAY SECOND SALUTATIONS TO THE THEOTOKOS - 6:30 p.m. MARCH 31 SUNDAY ST. GREGORY OF PALAMAS - 9:00 a.m. - Orthros. 10:00 a.m. - Divine Liturgy. 6 Koinonia March & April 2013

7 APRIL 1 MONDAY GREAT COMPLINE SERVICE 6:30 p.m. ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH APRIL Liturgical Calendar APRIL 3 WEDNESDAY PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY - at HOLY TRINITY CHURCH 6:30 p.m. Combined service with area churches. A reception will follow. Everyone is invited. APRIL 5 FRIDAY THIRD SALUTATIONS TO THE VIRGIN MARY - 6:30 P.M. APRIL 7 SUNDAY VENERATION OF THE HOLY CROSS - 9:00 a.m. - Orthros. 10:00 a.m. - Divine Liturgy. APRIL 8 MONDAY GREAT COMPLINE SERVICE 6:30 p.m. APRIL 10 WEDNESDAY PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY - at ST. GEORGE ROMANIAN. 6:30 p.m. Combined service with area churches. A reception will follow. Everyone is invited. APRIL 12 FRIDAY FOURTH SALUTATIONS TO THE VIRGIN MARY - 6:30 p.m. APRIL 14 SUNDAY ST. JOHN OF CLIMACUS - 9:00 a.m. - Orthros. 10:00 a.m. - Divine Liturgy. APRIL 15 MONDAY GREAT COMPLINE SERVICE 6:30 p.m. APRIL 17 WEDNESDAY PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY - U at ST. GEORGE ANTIOCHIAN 6:30 p.m. Combined service with area churches. A reception will follow. Everyone is invited. APRIL 18 THURSDAY GREAT CANON OF ST. ANDREW OF CRETE - 6:30 p.m. APRIL 19 FRIDAY AKATHIST HYMN - 7:00 p.m. APRIL 21 SUNDAY ST. MARY OF EGYPT 9:00 a.m. - Orthros. 10:00 a.m. - Divine Liturgy. APRIL 22 MONDAY GREAT COMPLINE SERVICE 6:30 p.m. APRIL 24 WEDNESDAY PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY - at HOLY ASSUMPTION 6:30 p.m. Combined service with area churches. A reception will follow. Everyone is invited. APRIL 27 SATURDAY SATURDAY OF LAZARUS - 9:00 am - Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy. After service, palm crosses will be made. Everyone is welcome to stay. APRIL 28 SUNDAY PALM SUNDAY - 9:00 a.m. - Orthros. 10:00 a.m. - Divine Liturgy. SUNDAY EVE. BRIDEGROOM SERVICE - 7:00 p.m. APRIL 29 MONDAY BRIDEGROOM SERVICE - 7:00 p.m. APRIL 30 TUESDAY BRIDEGROOM SERVICE - TROPARION OF ST. KASSIANE - 7:00 p.m. Koinonia March & April

8 ΤΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ Η ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΤΕΣΣΑΡΑΚΟΣΤΗ Μεγάλη Σαρακοστή, ονομάζεται η νηστεία που προηγείται του Πάσχα. Την λέμε Μεγάλη για να την ξεχωρίζουμε από την νηστεία που προηγείται των Χριστουγέννων, η οποία χαρακτηρίζεται «Μικρή» επειδή είναι ελαφρότερη. Σαρακοστή ονομάζεται επειδή γίνεται εις ανάμνηση της σαρανταήμερης νηστείας του Χριστού στην έρημο. Η Μεγάλη Σαρακοστή καθιερώθηκε τον 4ο αιώνα. Η αρχική της διάρκεια ήταν έξι εβδομάδες, ενώ αργότερα προστέθηκε και μία έβδομη. Έτσι στην εποχή μας η Μεγάλη Σαρακοστή ξεκινά την Καθαρά Δευτέρα και τελειώνει το Μεγάλο Σάββατο. Σε όλη την διάρκεια της Σαρακοστής, κάθε Τετάρτη, τελείται στην εκκλησία μας η Προηγιασμένη Ακολουθία. Σε αυτήν οι πιστοί μπορούν να λάβουν Θεία Κοινωνία, η οποία όμως έχει προαγιασθεί την προηγουμένη Κυριακή. Γι αυτό τον λόγο ονομάζεται η Ακολουθία αυτή Προηγιασμένη. Τα πρώτα Χριστιανικά χρόνια η ακολουθία αυτή ετελούντο σχεδόν καθημερινά, καθ όλη την διάρκεια της Σαρακοστής. Στις μέρες μας, όπως είπαμε, έχει περιορισθεί η τέλεση της κάθε Τετάρτη και Παρασκευή της Μεγάλης Σαρακοστής. Κάποιες ημέρες της Μεγάλης Σαρακοστής έχουν ξεχωριστή σημασία και δική τους σημειολογία. Ας τις δούμε μία - μία: Σάββατο της πρώτης εβδομάδας της νηστείας είναι αφιερωμένο στο θαύμα των κόλλυβων του μεγαλομάρτυρα Θεοδώρου του Τήρωνος. Θαύμα που βοήθησε τους Χριστιανούς της Κωνσταντινούπολης, να τηρήσουν την νηστεία, που προσπάθησε με δόλια μέσα να μολύνει ο αυτοκράτορας του Βυζαντίου, Ιουλιανός ο Παραβάτης. Ο αρχιεπίσκοπος Κωνσταντινούπολης είδε σε όνειρο τον μεγαλομάρτυρα Θεόδωρο, ο οποίος του φανέρωσε τις προθέσεις του Ιουλιανού και τον συμβούλεψε αντί των αρτύσιμων φαγητών να φτιάξουν και να φάνε ως τροφή, οι χριστιανοί, κόλλυβα. Έτσι φτιάχνοντας και μοιράζοντας κόλλυβα, θυμόμαστε και τιμούμε κάθε χρόνο το θαύμα του μεγαλομάρτυρα Θεοδώρου. Η Α' Κυριακή των νηστειών, είναι η Κυριακή της Ορθοδοξίας. Γιορτάζουμε την αναστύλωση των αγίων και σεπτών εικόνων από την αυτοκράτειρα του Βυζαντίου Θεοδώρα το 843μ.Χ. Η Β' Κυριακή των νηστειών είναι αφιερωμένη στην μνήμη του Αγίου Γρηγορίου του Παλαμά, Αρχιεπισκόπου Θεσσαλονίκης (14ος αιώνας). Ο Άγιος Γρηγόριος υπήρξε κορυφαίος διδάσκαλος των ορθοδόξων δογμάτων και πολέμιος των αιρέσεων. Η Γ' Κυριακή των νηστειών, είναι η Κυριακή της Σταυροπροσκυνήσεως. Αυτή η ημέρα είναι αφιερωμένη στον Τίμιο και Ζωοποιό Σταυρό, το σύμβολο της πίστης μας. Ημέρα που οι πιστοί παίρνουν δύναμη να συνεχίσουν την πορεία τους, την νηστεία, που θα τους οδηγήσει στην Ανάσταση του Κυρίου. Η Δ' Κυριακή των νηστειών, είναι ημέρα που τιμάται η μνήμη του Αγίου Ιωάννη, συγγραφέα της Κλίμακας. Η κλίμακα είναι ένα βιβλίο με ομιλίες του Αγίου Ιωάννη. Αντικείμενο των ομιλιών αυτών είναι τα σκαλοπάτια της πνευματικής ανάβασης των Μοναχών, μέσα από την προσωπική τους άσκηση. Η ημέρα Τετάρτη της 5ης εβδομάδας της Μεγάλης Σαρακοστής είναι η Τετάρτη του Μεγάλου Κανόνος. Συγγραφέας και συνθέτης του Μεγάλου Κανόνα είναι ο Άγιος Πατέρας μας Ανδρέας, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Κρήτης. Μέσα στα 250 τροπάρια που τον απαρτίζουν, έχει συγκεντρώσει τις ιστορίες από τον Αδάμ έως και την Ανάληψη του Κυρίου. Καλεί δε κάθε έναν από εμάς, να παραδειγματιζόμαστε από αυτές, να μιμούμαστε τα καλά και να αποφεύγουμε τα άσχημα που έπραξαν οι πρόγονοι μας. Την Παρασκευή της ίδιας εβδομάδας είναι ο Ακάθιστος Ύμνος. Ημέρα αφιερωμένη στην Παναγία που στέκει πάντα βοηθός των Χριστιανών σε περιόδους ειρήνης ή πολέμου. Εορτάζουμε τα θαύματα που έκανε η Παναγία προστατεύοντας την Βασιλεύουσα από λαούς που ήθελαν να την κυριεύσουν. Μετά από μια τέτοια νίκη ο λαός της Κωνσταντινούπολης, όρθιος (ακάθιστος) ευχαρίστησε την Θεομήτορα ψάλλοντας. Θυμούμενοι αυτό το γεγονός, ευχαριστούμε κι εμείς με την σειρά μας την Παναγία ψάλλοντας όρθιοι. Η Ε' Κυριακή των νηστειών, είναι αφιερωμένη στην μνήμη της Οσίας Μαρίας της Αιγυπτίας. Η Οσία, από ηλικία 12 ετών ακολουθούσε έναν ιδιαίτερα έκλυτο βίο. Σε ηλικία 30 ετών, ήρθε σε επαφή με τον Χριστιανισμό, μετανόησε και προσκύνησε. Την υπόλοιπη ζωή της, 47 έτη, ασκήτεψε στην έρημο. Την ημέρα αυτή καλούνται όλοι να μιμηθούν το παράδειγμα της και να έρθουν πιο κοντά στον Χριστό μετανοώντας για τις αμαρτίες τους. Το Σάββατο πριν την Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα είναι το Σάββατο του Λαζάρου. Ημέρα αφιερωμένη στο θαύμα της ανάστασης του Λαζάρου από τον Χριστό. Τελευταία Κυριακή της Μεγάλης Σαρακοστής, είναι η Κυριακή των Βαΐων. Είναι ημέρα αφιερωμένη στην θριαμβευτική είσοδο του Χριστού στα Ιεροσόλυμα από την Βηθανία. Τότε ο λαός υποδέχθηκε το Χριστό με επευφημίες και με «βάϊα φοινίκων», από τα οποία πήρε και το όνομα της αυτή η ημέρα. Στη διάρκεια της Σαρακοστής, δεν επιτρέπεται η κατανάλωση κανενός ζωικού προϊόντος. Εξαίρεση αποτελούν η ημέρα του Ευαγγελισμού στις 25 Μαρτίου και η Κυριακή των Βαΐων όπου επιτρέπεται η βρώση ψαριών. 8 Koinonia March & April 13

9 Great Lent Great Lent is the 40-day season of spiritual preparation that comes before the most important Feast of the Christian year, Holy Pascha (which means Passover and is commonly called Easter,). It is the central part of a larger time of preparation called the Triodion season. The Triodion begins ten weeks before Easter and is divided into three main parts: three Pre-Lenten weeks of preparing our hearts, the six weeks of Lent, and Holy Week. The main theme of the Triodion is repentance mankind's return to God, our loving Father. This annual season of repentance is a spiritual journey with our Savior. Our goal is to meet the risen Lord Jesus, Who reunites us with God the Father. The Father is always waiting to greet us with outstretched hands. We must ask ourselves the question, Are we willing to turn to Him? During Great Lent, the Church teaches us how to receive Him by using the two great means of repentance prayer and fasting. The word fast means not eating all or certain foods. As Orthodox Faithful, we can fast completely at certain times of great importance, and especially each time before receiv-ing Holy Communion. Usually, fasting means limiting the number of meals and/or the type of food eaten. The purpose of fasting is to remind us of the Scriptural teaching, Man does not live by bread alone. The needs of the body are nothing compared to the needs of the soul. Above all else, we need God, Who provides everything for both the body and the soul. Fasting teaches us to depend on God more fully. The first sin of our parents, Adam and Eve, was eating from the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:1-19). We fast from food, or a food item, as a reminder that we are to fast from sin-ning and doing evil. There are several benefits of fasting. Fasting helps us pray more easily. Our spirit is lighter when we are not weighed down by too much food or food that is too rich. Through fasting, we also learn to feel compassion for the poor and hungry and to save our own resources so that we can help those in need. Fasting is more than not eating food. Saint John Chrysostom teaches that it is more important to fast from sin. For example, besides controlling what goes into our mouths, we must control what comes out of our mouths as well. Are our words pleasing to God, or do we curse God or our brother? The other members of the body also need to fast: our eyes from seeing evil, our ears from hearing evil, our limbs from participating in anything that is not of God. Most important of all, we need to control our thoughts, for thoughts are the source of our actions, whether good or evil. Fasting is not an end in itself. Our goal is an inner change of heart. The Lenten Fast is called ascetic. This refers to a ctions of self-denial and spiritual training which are central to fasting. Fasting is a spiritual exercise. It is not imposed or forced upon us. In the same way that true repentance cannot be forced upon anyone, each of us makes the choice to turn away from our sinful ways and go toward our loving, for giving Father in Heaven. Koinonia March & April 13 9

10 THE CELEBRATION OF GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY MARCH 25th The celebration of Greek Independence Day on March 25th draws inspiration from one of the holiest days for Greek Orthodox Christians, the Annunciation of the Theotokos. This is the day that the Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would bear a child. Bishop Germanos of Patras seized the opportunity by raising the banner of revolution, in an act of defiance against the Turks and marked the beginning of the War of Independence. Cries of Zito H Ellas and Eleftheria H Thanatos can still be heard today. These freedom fighters, or klephts as they were called, of Greece sacrificed much for their country. Kolokotronis, Nikitara, Karaiskakis, Bouboulina, and Mpotsaris are some of the heroes of the revolution. The struggle for independence was supported abroad by intellectuals of the day. In addition to the Secret Society of Friends (Filiki Etaeria) and the Sacred Band (Ieros Lohos) prominent world figures including Lord Byron of England, Daniel Webster and Dr. Samuel Gridly Howe of the United States raised the interest level among Europeans and Americans. After centuries of unsuccessful uprisings and failure of the Ottoman Empire to assimilate and convert the Greeks, The War of Independence began in 1821 rising up against 400 years of occupation and oppression by the Ottoman Turks. The origin of the Turkish occupancy began in 1453 with the fall of Constantinople (currently referred to as Istanbul). All true and faithful Hellenes living in their occupied homeland reacted to the Turkish oppression and resisted the attempts to deprive the Greeks of their heritage, their freedom and their religion. During the dark years of the Ottoman occupation, thousands were killed and tortured for attending church or teaching their children culture, history and language. It was the Greek Orthodox Church that helped to retain their very identity by the institution of Crypha Scholia (Hidden Schools). For eight years the fighting ensued, until 1829, when the Sultan Mahmud II, facing Soviet troops at the gates of Constantinople, accepted Greek independence with the Treaty of Andrianople. The flag of Greece has not changed since the revolution against the Ottoman Empire in The white cross in the upper left hand corner covering one fourth of the flag signifies the important role of the Greek Orthodox Church in the formation of the Hellenic Nation. The blue and white alternating stripes represent the sea and the relentless waves of the Aegean. There are nine stripes representing each letter of the Greek word for freedom, Eleftheria- Freedom. 10 Koinonia March & April 13

11 The Feast of the Annunciation of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary MARCH 25 The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the earliest Christian feasts, and was already being celebrated in the fourth century. There is a painting of the Annunciation in the catacombs of Priscilla in Rome dating from the second century. The Council of Toledo in 656 mentions the Feast. In 692 the Council in Trullo celebrated the Annunciation during Great Lent. The Greek name for the Feast may be translated as good tidings. This, of course, refers to the Incarnation of the Son of God and the salvation He brings. The background of the Annunciation is found in the Gospel of St. Luke (1:26-38). The troparion describes this as the beginning of our salvation, and the revelation of the eternal mystery, for on this day the Son of God became the Son of Man. There are two main components to the Annunciation: the message itself, and the response of the Virgin. The message fulfills God s promise to send a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15): I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel. The Fathers of the Church understand her seed to refer to Christ. The prophets hinted at His coming, but the Archangel Gabriel proclaimed that the promise is about to be fulfilled. We see this echoed in the Liturgy of St. Basil, as well: When man disobeyed Thee, the only true God who had created him, and was deceived by the guile of the serpent, becoming subject to death by his own transgressions, Thou, O God, in Thy righteous judgment, didst send him forth from Paradise into this world, returning him to the earth from which he was taken, yet providing for him the salvation of regeneration in Thy Christ Himself. The Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth in Galilee. There he spoke to the undefiled Virgin who was betrothed to St. Joseph: Hail, thou who art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. In contrast to Eve, who was readily deceived by the serpent, the Virgin did not immediately accept the Angel s message. In her humility, she did not think she was deserving of such words, but was actually troubled by them. The fact that she asked for an explanation reveals her sobriety and prudence. She did not disbelieve the words of the angel, but could not understand how they would be fulfilled, for they spoke of something which was beyond nature. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (Luke 1:34). And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: therefore also that which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elizabeth hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her (Luke 1: 35-38). In his Sermon on the day of the Annunciation, St. Gregory Palamas boldly stated that the word of the creature brought the Creator down into the world. He explains that salvation is not merely an act of God s will, but also involves the Virgin s free will. She could have refused, but she accepted God s will and chose to cooperate without complaint or further questions. The icon of the Feast shows the Archangel with a staff in his left hand, indicating his role as a messenger. Sometimes one wing is upraised, as if to show his swift descent from heaven. His right hand is stretched toward the holy Virgin as he delivers his message. The Virgin is depicted either standing or sitting, usually holding yarn in her left hand. Sometimes she is shown holding a scroll. Her right hand may be raised to indicate her surprise at the message she is hearing. Her head is bowed, showing her consent and obedience. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon her is depicted by a ray of light issuing from a small sphere at the top of the icon, which symbolizes heaven. In a famous icon from Sinai, a white dove is shown in the ray of light. The Annunciation falls during Lent, but it is always celebrated with great joy. The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served, even on the weekdays of Lent. It is one of the two days of Great Lent on which the fast is relaxed and fish is permitted (Palm Sunday is the other). Koinonia March & April 13 11

12 O Ευαγγελισμό της Θεοτόκου Τρία σημαντικότατα γεγονότα στην ιστορία του κόσμου εορτάζει σήμερα η Εκκλησία μας. To πρώτο είναι ο Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου, τον οποίο εορτάζουμε σήμερα με χαρά και αγάπη, αλλά και με δέος ενώπιον του μεγαλείου του γεγο νότος αυτού, το οποίο ονομάζεται «κεφάλαιον» (δηλαδή αρχή) της σωτηρίας μας. Ημέρα εορτασμού της επανάστασης του 1821 αλλά και ημέρα του Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου. Οι λόγοι που «επέβαλλαν» τον κοινό εορτασμό τους είναι διάφοροι. Και βέβαια διαφορετικά είναι και τα έθιμα της ημέρας στη λαογραφική μας παράδοση. Η θεομητορική Εορτή του Ευαγγελισμού που περιλαμβάνεται στο δωδεκάορτο είναι η μόνη από τις πέντε μεγάλες θεομητορικές εορτές που βασίζεται στην Καινή Διαθήκη. Οι υπόλοιπες βασίζονται στην απόκρυφη γραμματεία. Πότε άρχισε να εορτάζεται ο Ευαγγελισμός δεν γνωρίζουμε. Εμφανίζεται η εορτή στη Συρία, την Μ. Ασία και την Κωνσταντινούπολη πριν το 431. Το 560 ο Ιουστιανιανός ο Α' πρόβαλε την 25η Μαρτίου ως την κατάλληλη ημέρα για τον εορτασμό του Ευαγγελισμού. Εννέα μήνες μετά τον Ευαγγελισμό πραγματο ποιήθηκε και το δεύτερο από τα σημαντικότερα γε γονότα, η κατά σάρκα Γέννηση του Κυρίου μας Ιη σού Χρίστου. Κορυφή και ολοκλήρωση της σωτηρί ας μας θα είναι η ανάσταση του Κυρίου Ιησού Χρί στου μετά από ένα φρικτό θάνατο πάνω στο Σταυρό. Όχι μόνο μια φορά αλλά πολλές φορές φανερώ θηκαν στους αγίους άγγελοι. Έξι μήνες πριν τον Ευ αγγελισμό της Παναγίας Παρθένου Μαρίας στάλθη κε ο αρχάγγελος Γαβριήλ στον ιερέα Ζαχαρία, ο οποίος υπηρετούσε στο ναό, για να του αναγγείλει, ότι απ' αυτόν θα γεννηθεί ο μεγαλύτερος μεταξύ των αν θρώπων, ο Πρόδρομος του Κυρίου ο Ιωάννης. Και σήμερα ο ίδιος φέρνει το χαρμόσυνο άγγελμα στην Υπεραγία και άχραντο Παρθένο Μαρία, η οποία ζού σε στο ταπεινό φτωχόσπιτο του ξυλουργού Ιωσήφ. Ο διάλογος του με την Παναγία είναι τόσο άγι ος και μεγαλειώδης που δεν τολμώ να τον περιγράψω με δικά μου λόγια αλλά πρέπει να τον επαναλά βω με Ευαγγελικά λόγια. Όταν μπήκε ο αρχάγγελος στο υπερώο, είπε: «Χαίρε, κεχαριτωμένη ο Κύριος μετά σου ευλο γημένη συ εν γυναιξίν. Η δε ιδούσα διεταράχθη επί τω λόγω αυτού, και διελογίζετο ποταπός είη ο ασπασμός ούτος, και είπεν ο άγγελος αύτη μη φοβού, Μαριάμ- εύρες γαρ χάριν παρά τω Θεώ. και ιδού σύλληψη εν γαστρί και τέξη υιόν, και καλέσεις το άνομα αυτού Ιησούν. ούτος έσται μέγας και υιός υψίστου κληθήσεται, και δώσει αυτώ Κύριος ο Θεός τον θρόνον αυτού του πατρός αυτού, και βασιλεύσει επί τον οίκον Ιακώβ εις τους αιώνας, και της βασιλείας αυτού ουκ έσται τέλος. Είπε δε Μαριάμ προς τον άγγελον πώς έσται μοι τούτο, επεί άνδρα ου γινώσκω; και αποκριθείς ο άγ γελος είπεν αύτη Πνεύμα άγιον επελεύσεται επί σε και δύναμις υψίστου επισκιάσει σοι διό και το γεννώμενον άγιον κληθήσεται υιός Θεού... Είπε δε Μαριάμ ιδού η δούλη Κυρίου γένοιτο μοι κατά το ρήμα σου. και απήλθεν απ' αυτής ο άγγελος» (Λκ. 1, 28-38). Σας έχω πει πολλά τα προηγούμενα χρόνια γι' αυτόν το μοναδικό στην Ιστορία του κόσμου διάλογο. Αλλά τώρα θα σταθώ στα λόγια του Αρχαγγέλου: «Πνεύμα Άγιον επελεύσεται επί σε και δύναμις υψίστου επισκιάσει σοι διό και το γεννώμενον άγι ον κληθήσεται υιός Θεού». 12 Koinonia March & April 13

13 Κανείς ποτέ, από τη δημιουργία του κόσμου και μέχρι τη συντέλεια του, δεν γεννήθηκε και δεν θα γεννηθεί κατά τον τρόπο, κατά τον οποίο γεννήθη κε ο Θεάνθρωπος Ιησούς Χριστός. Κανείς ποτέ δε γεννήθηκε χωρίς άνδρα. Κανείς δε γεννήθηκε και δε θα γεννηθεί με την επέλευση του Αγίου Πνεύματος. Σε κανέναν ποτέ δεν κατοίκησε το Άγιο Πνεύ μα με τέτοια ολοκληρωμένη πληρότητα, με την ο ποία εγκατοίκησε στην Παναγία Παρθένο Μαρία. Κανέναν δεν επισκίασε η δύναμη του Υψίστου και τα μητρικά σπλάγχνα καμμίας γυναίκας δεν αγίασε, με τέτοια πληρότητα και δύναμη, όπως τα σπλάγχνα της Υπεραγίας Παρθένου Μαρίας. Κρατήστε βαθειά στην καρδιά σας, αυτό που σας λέω για την πλήρη ενότητα του Πνεύματος του Θε ού και της ανθρώπινης ουσίας της Μαρίας. Η ψυχή και το πνεύμα του άνθρωπου έχουν την αρχή τους στο Πνεύμα του Θεού. To δεύτερο κεφά λαιο της Παλαιάς Διαθήκης λέει, ότι έπλασε ο Θε ός τον πρώτο άνθρωπο, τον Αδάμ, «χουν από της γης και ενεφύσησεν εις το πρόσωπον αυτού πνοήν ζωής» (Γέν. 2, 7). Με το Πνεύμα του Θεού μόνο το πνεύμα του άν θρωπου είναι δυνατόν να κοινωνεί, εφόσον από Ε κείνον προέρχεται, όπως συμβαίνει και στην φύση, συγγενή δηλαδή μεταξύ τους πράγματα να έχουν πραγματική επικοινωνία. Την δυνατότητα της αληθινής κοινωνίας με τον Θεό την διδαχθήκαμε από τον ίδιο τον Κύριο μας Ιησού Χριστό, ο οποίος λέει: «Εάν τις αγαπά με, τον λόγον μου τηρήσει, και ο πατήρ μου αγαπήσει αυτόν, και προς αυτόν ελευσόμεθα και μονήν παρ' αύτω ποιήσομεν» (Ιω. 14, 23). Αλλά και ο απόστολος Παύλος με κάποια έκ πληξη ρωτάει τους χριστιανούς της Κορίνθου: «Ουκ οίδατε ότι ναός Θεού έστε και το Πνεύμα του Θεού οικεί εν υμίν;» (Α' Κορ. 3, 16). Από τους βίους των αγίων γνωρίζουμε για μιά πραγματική κοινωνία με τον Θεό, που είχαν στη ζωή τους οι άγιοι του Θεού. Γνωρίζουμε ότι αυτοί υπήρξαν κατοικοιτήρια του Πνεύματος του Θεού. Αλλά ακόμα και αυτή η βαθειά κοινωνία τους με το Θεό δεν μπο ρεί να συγκριθεί μ' εκείνη την ευλογημένη κατάσταση, η οποία υπερβαίνει ακόμα και την κατάσταση των αγγέλων και των αρχαγγέλων, στην όποια βρέθη κε η Υπεραγία Παρθένος Μαρία μετά την επέλευση του Αγίου Πνεύματος. Αυτό δεν μπόρεσε, η καλύτερα, δεν ήθελε να α ντιληφθεί ο κακότυχος εκείνος αιρετικός Νεστόριος, ο οποίος ισχυριζόταν ότι η Υπεραγία Θεοτόκος γέννησε έναν κοινό άνθρωπο Ιησού Χριστό, με τον οποίο αργότερα ενώθηκε ο Θεός, γι' αυτό και την Υπεραγία Παρθένο Μαρία την ονόμαζε Χριστοτόκο και όχι Θεοτόκο. Αν, έστω και ελάχιστο, δίκαιο είχε ο Νεστόριος, τότε ο Κύριος μας Ιησούς Χριστός θα ήταν όχι ο Υιός του Θεού και Θεάνθρωπος αλλά ένας από τους πολλούς μεγάλους αγίους, οι οποίοι ονομάζο νται αληθινοί ναοί και μονές του Πατρός και του Υιού για την απέραντη αγάπη τους στον Θεό και την τέλεια εφαρμογή στη ζωή τους των εντολών του Χριστού. Όπως βλέπετε ο Νεστόριος δικαίως ανα θεματίστηκε από την Τρίτη Οικουμενική Σύνοδο. Σ' αυτό το σημείο θα μπορούσα να τελειώσω τον εγκωμιαστικό μου λόγο προς τιμήν της μεγάλης αυτής εορτής του Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου. Όμως δεν θέ λω να προσπεράσω τα λόγια εκείνα του Αρχαγγέλου Γαβριήλ, τα όποια μπαίνουν σε κάθε καθαρή καρδιά: «Χαίρε, κεχαριτωμένη ο Κύριος μετά σου». Όλοι εσείς, που είστε ομόψυχοι με μένα, πέστε μου, μπορεί να υπάρχει ανώτερη και καθαρότερη χαρά από αυτή, που δίνει η αίσθηση ότι μαζί μας εί ναι ο Κύριος! Ότι μας αγαπά, επειδή φυλάσσουμε τις εντολές Του και ότι θα έλθει μαζί με τον Άναρ χο Πατέρα Του και θα κατοικήσει μαζί μας! Της ανώτατης αυτής ευτυχίας και χαράς να μας αξιώσει ο Κύριος και Θεός μας Ιησούς Χριστός διά πρεσβειών της Υπεραγίας και Αχράντου Παρθένου Μαρίας! Αμήν. Koinonia March & April 13 13

14 Η μνήμη της Οσίας Μαρίαs ηs Αιγυπτίαs γιορτάζεται την 1 ην Απριλίου Η Οσία Μαρία η Αιγυπτία καταγόταν από την Αίγυπτο και έζησε τον 6 ον αιώνα, την εποχή του αυτοκράτορα Ιουστινιανού. Στα νεανικά της χρόνια ζούσε μέσα στην ακολασία και παρέσυρε πολλούς ανθρώπους στην ηθική καταστροφή. Όταν ήταν 12 χρονών ξέφυγε από την προσοχή των γονιών της και πήγε στην Αλεξάνδρεια, όπου επί 17 χρόνια ζούσε άσωτη ζωή. Μετά, από περιέργεια πήγε, με πολλούς άλλους προσκυνητές, στα Ιεροσόλυμα, για να παρεβρεθεί στην ύψωση του Τίμιου Σταυρού. Όταν θέλησε να μπει στο ναό της Ανάστασης, τη μέρα που υψωνόταν ο Τίμιος Σταυρός, ένοιωσε 3 έως 4 φορές κάποιαν αόρατη δύναμη μέσα της, που την εμπόδιζε να μπει, ενώ το πλήθος έμπαινε ανεμπόδιστα. Αφού πληγώθηκε η καρδιά της απ' αυτό, αποφάσισε ν' αλλάξει ζωή και να εξιλεώσει το Θεό με τη μετάνοια. Έτσι βάζοντας σαν εγγυήτριά της την Παναγία, υποσχέθηκε ότι εάν αφήσει να μπει κα να δει τον Σταυρό του Κυρίου, θα ήταν συνετή και φρόνιμη στο μέλλον και δεν θα μόλυνε πια το σώμα της με πονηρές επιθυμίες και ηδονές. Όταν γύρισε μετά στην εκκλησία, αυτή τη φορά μπόρεσε να μπει χωρίς καμιά δυσκολία. Τότε προσκύνησε το Τίμιο ξύλο και χωρίς να λησμονήσει την υπόσχεση που έδωσε, αναχώρησε την ίδια μέρα από τα Ιεροσόλυμα κι' αφού πέρασε τον Ιορδάνη μπήκε στα ενδότερα μέρη της ερήμου, όπου έζησε επί 47 χρόνια μια ζωή πολύ σκληρή και ασυνήθιστη, χωρίς να δει άνθρωπο, αλλά, έχοντας μοναδικό της θεατή τον Θεό, προσευχόταν μόνη σ' Αυτόν. Τόσο δε αγωνίστηκε, ώστε πέρασε την ανθρώπινη φύση και απόκτησε ζωή πάνω στη γη αγγελική και υπεράνθρωπη. Τόσο δε υψώθηκε δια μέσου της απάθειας, ώστε περπατούσε πάνω στα νερά του ποταμού, χωρίς να βυθίζεται. Όταν δε προσευχόταν, σηκωνόταν από τη γη ψηλά και στεκόταν μετέωρη στον αέρα. Περί το τέλος της ζωής της έτυχε να συναντήσει κάποιον ερημίτη, που λεγόταν Ζωσιμάς, που αφού του διηγήθηκε όλη της τη ζωή, τον παρακάλεσε να της φέρει τα άχραντα Μυστήρια για να κοινωνήσει. Εκείνος το έκανε την επομένη χρονιά, την Μεγάλη Πέμπτη. Αλλά τον άλλο χρόνο, ξαναγυρνώντας ο Ζωσιμάς την βρήκε νεκρή, ξαπλωμένη στη γη και κοντά της ένα σημείωμα, που έγραφε: «Αββά Ζωσιμά, Θάψον ώδε το σώμα της Αθλίας Μαρίας. Απέθανον την αυτήν ημέραν, καθ' ην εκοινώνησα των αχράντων Μυστηρίων. Εύχου υπέρ εμού». 14 Koinonia March & April 13

15 St. Mary of Egypt APRIL 21 Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas Who was she and what is her significance today? Born in Alexandria in Egypt in the middle of the fifth century, as a young girl Mary fell into the vice of prostitution. For seventeen years, from the age of 12 until the age of 29, she lived the life of a harlot. However, once finding herself in Jerusalem, out of curiosity, she went to see the Precious Cross of Christ. She found that she was unable to enter the church where St Helen had placed the Cross, for some invisible force prevented her from entering in. So frightened was she at this that she asked the Mother of God through an icon at the entrance to the church, why this was. The Mother of God replied to her that Mary first needed to repent and obey her. Only after promising to do this was Mary allowed to enter the church in Jerusalem. After then entering and venerating the Cross, Mary heard the Mother of God telling her: 'If you cross the Jordan, you will find true peace'. So shaken was Mary by these events that she did indeed forsake all her old life and, having taken communion, she crossed the Jordan, and went to live there in the desert. We do not know the exact details of her day-to-day life, but we do know that she dwelt there as a hermitess, eating plants, living in torments and struggle with passionate thoughts, and eventually obtaining the grace to work miracles, crossing the Jordan as if on dry land. She lived naked and became withered and emaciated, as we can see in the icon of her, but nevertheless she survived there for some forty-eight years. Then she was discovered by a pious monk, Zosimas, who is portrayed in the icon together with her. It was to him that she related her life which we have today. The Life of St Mary teaches us many things. Perhaps the first and most obvious lesson we can learn from her is that we should never judge, never pre-judge. Who will be saved? It is impossible to answer this question, for it is never too late to repent, even for us. Humanly speaking, when we consider the life of Mary until her twenty-ninth year, we might think that salvation had become impossible for her. And yet the service to her calls her 'the greatest of saints'. Humanly speaking, we are condemned; but by the grace of God everything, including the height of repentance, is possible. No man has the right to judge another. The Life of St Mary of Egypt also teaches us something about human nature. In each of us there is the desire for worldly pleasures, for amusement and entertainment, for food and drink, for the pleasures of the senses. But there is also the desire for pleasures of a higher sort, pleasures that are lasting, which we may call joys. Those joys are so much higher than the fleeting pleasures of the senses that they alone constitute the path to lasting happiness. Societies which are devoted only to the satisfaction of the pleasures of the senses, pleasure-seeking societies, are societies without lasting joys, they are full of sad faces. The Life of St Mary teaches us that the values of the Church are quite different from those of the world. She went out into the desert and had nothing, no friends, no home, no possessions, no clothes and hardly any food and drink. The world looked for pleasure, the satisfaction of the senses, money and power, but St Mary was moneyless and powerless in the world. Today's Gospel confirms the choice of St Mary, for it says that those who wish to be great must be servants. This is upside down from all the ways of this world. But our Lord preached this and like Him St Mary lived this. As the last week of Great Lent begins, let us also ponder on the words of the Mother of God, which led St. Mary of Egypt to her salvation through repentance and her greatness: 'If you cross the Jordan, you will find true peace'. These mysterious words are today also addressed to each of us; the interpretation of their mystery is open to the souls of each of us, but only if we ask the Mother of God and St Mary to guide us. And then we shall find our own 'entry into Jerusalem'. Koinonia March & April 13 15

16 Veneration of the Precious Cross Third Sunday of Lent Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas Mark 8:34, Jesus says: "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." According to accepted English dictionaries, "deny" means to refuse, reject, repudiate and/or to declare something untrue. If we limit ourselves to these definitions, we do an injustice to the deeper meaning of Christian self-denial. For a clearer picture of what Jesus means, we must return to the original Greek text. The Greek is "aparnisastho" and it has the meaning of renunciation and absolute rejection of whatever is incongruous with Jesus' planned salvation for us. There are those of us who have a narrow and limited understanding of self-denial. We pick and choose at random what we will give up and what we will do in the name of Christianity. We proceed to label them "Our little crosses we must bear." "I'll give up movies and/or TV during lent." Thus we conclude with a list of trivialities that have no bearing on the "self-denial" Jesus speaks about in our gospel lesson for today. Christ-like self-denial goes much deeper. It penetrates the facade which hides our hidden sins, our shortcomings and our faults. Utter denial does not mean depriving ourselves of the necessities of life, nor does it mean we must become paupers and live in rags. Neither does it mean we must lose our individuality, personality and identity. When Jesus speaks of total and utter denial of self, He means we must subordinate our clamoring ego that prohibits us from being the Children of God we were intended to be. Good intentions are not enough. This is why Jesus says, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." "Take up your cross and follow me" means to get started on our journey to salvation. If the road we are on does not have God's Eternal Kingdom as its destination, then we had better make a U-turn and find the right one! "Taking up our cross and following Jesus" means trying harder when those moments of calamity, tragedy, sorrow and loss and grief beset us. It means bringing under control our uncontrollable anger, our undue insensitivity, our impatience and impetuosity. It means subduing our temperament and disposition so that we can master them rather than their mastering us. There is another reason this gospel passage is read at the Divine Liturgy of the Third Sunday of Lent. The Synaxarion, that portion of the Orthros service book which both announces and describes the observed Feast Day for today, says the following: "On this the Third Sunday of Great Lent, we observe the Veneration of the Precious and Life-giving Cross and for this reason: Inasmuch as in the forty days of fasting we in a way crucify ourselves and become bitter, despondent and failing, the Life-giving Cross is presented to us for spiritual refreshment and assurance, for remembrance of our Lord's Passion and for comfort. Like those who are following a long and tedious path are tired, see a beautiful tree with many leaves, they would sit in its shade and rest for a while and then, as if rejuvenated, they will continue their journey. Likewise today, in the time of fasting and difficult journey and effort, the Life-giving Cross was planted in its midst by the Holy Fathers of the Church to give rest and spiritual refreshment, to make us light and courageous for the remaining task. Christ comforts us who are, as it were, in a desert until He will lead us up to the spiritual Jerusalem by His Resurrection. Just as the Precious Cross, which is also called the Tree of Life, was planted in the middle of Paradise, so our Holy Fathers planted the Cross in the middle of holy and Great Lent, as a sacred reminder of both Adam's bliss and how he was deprived of it. Remembering also that by partaking of this Tree of Life, the Precious and Life-giving Cross, we no longer die but are kept alive." St. John Chrysostom, a fourth century Patriarch of Constantinople describes the Cross this way: "The Cross is the proof of the love of God. The Cross is the unshaken wall, the unconquered weapon, the Kingdom of virtue. The Cross has torn asunder our mortgage and rendered useless the prison of death. The Cross has opened Paradise, it has admitted the thief and has guided the human race from impending disaster to the Kingdom of God." Jesus extends His invitation to us once again to "deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him." Our Church gives us this Third Sunday of Lent--Mid-point to Golgotha--to pause with Jesus, to refresh ourselves spiritually, to assess our Lenten journey and to continue with greater determination. But the initiative is still ours. There is no way into spring but that we endure the rigors of winter. There is no way we can arrive to Easter Sunday if we do not live the agonies of all our Good Fridays. There is no way we can achieve eternal life with God unless we deny ourselves utterly and totally in Christ. This we do when we endure and sustain our own personal crosses and follow Him. 16 Koinonia March & April 13

17 Ask Father Nick Q: What is the purpose of Great Lent? ~ John Sakellariou A: The purpose of Great Lent is to prepare the faithful to not only commemorate, but to enter into the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. The totality of the Orthodox life centers on the Resurrection of Christ. Great Lent is intended to be a "self discipline". Through spending more time than usual in prayer and fasting; and focusing on Holy Scripture and the Holy Traditions of the Church, the believer in Christ becomes through the grace of God more godlike= theosis. Q: Is the wine restriction only applicable to wine or does it hold for all beers and spirits? ~ Larry A: In Metropolitan Kallistos Ware s introduction to the Lenten Triodion, he specifically states that it refers to all alcoholic beverages. Q: Who wrote the book: The Theology of the Icon in 1960? ~ John Yatras A: L. A. Ouspensky. Q: It is my understanding that in certain Eastern Orthodox traditions, on Easter Sunday, either at, during, or after the Divine Liturgy, Easter Eggs are handed out or exchanged. In particular, in the Greek Orthodox Church, it is a hen s egg that has been hard boiled and dyed a particular color of red. What is the theological significance of the egg in this context? Is it a part of the Divine Liturgy of Easter Sunday? If so, when are they given and how? ~ Carol Capocci A: The distribution of colored eggs at the conclusion of Paschal services is a custom that is observed in some places. There is nothing in the service books of the Orthodox Church calling for the distribution of dyed eggs at the end of services. There is, however, a prayer for the blessing of eggs and cheese, as well as a prayer for the blessing of meat, on Holy Pascha. While there are a number of explanations for the blessing of eggs there is even a legend that St. Mary Magdalene, shortly after the resurrection, traveled to Rome and presented the Emperor with a red egg while exclaiming Christ is risen no doubt the association of eggs with Pascha is derived from the fact that during the Great Fast the faithful refrain from eating meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, wine, and oil. Hence, these foods are eaten on Pascha to break the Fast. As far as theological significance, there is, quite frankly, little. Explanations that eggs symbolize new life, or that the cracking of eggs symbolizes the shattering of Hades by the victorious Christ, are pious explanations, but are not theological statements or actions. Q: Do you have to confess your sins to a priest? ~ Stavroula A: No. You confess your sins to God in the presence of a priest who will help you overcome them and proclaim God's forgiveness, as promised in Holy Scripture. Jesus tells His disciples to hear the sins of the people and impart His forgiveness, just like at the Last Supper He tells them to perform what we know as the Eucharist and Holy Communion. Confession was a public part of Christian life in the early Church. In his epistle, James teaches his readers to "confess to one another" (James 5:16). In fact, in the early Christian Church, confession was public. Secret and private confession (at home by oneself) is a modern idea completely unknown in the Bible and throughout Christian history. A Confession which is not made before God, humanity and creation, is no confession at all. This is the Orthodox Faith. In the early Church, confession was made to the whole congregation. Afterwards the priest read a prayer over the person which manifested God's forgiveness. With time this practice became difficult to keep up because of growth in Church membership. Confession to the whole congregation ceased by the fourth century and the priest came to represent the whole congregation in Confession. The priest would hear the person's sins, offer guidance and encouragement and then pray over the person. This is how confession is still practised today. Confession is totally based on the Holy Bible and Holy Tradition. Q: I think it was originally St John Chrysostom, who first said that clapping hands is not the correct way of worshiping God. ~ Karen Lazoran A: Yes, you are correct. Referencing: John Chrysostom, Homily I. "If any admirable musician come amongst them, they leave all that they had in hand, which often is necessary and pressing business, and mount the steps (in the arena), and sit listening very attentively to the words and the accompaniments, and criticizing the agreement of the two. This is what the many do." Clapping of hands is approval or contempt for theatrical or musical performers: it is never an act of worship. Koinonia Marchh & April

18 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH CONFESSIONS Confession is a cleansing of the soul of troubling emotions, feelings, guilt, and sin. The sacrament of confession leads to forgiveness and a re-establishment of one s relationship with God. Excerpt from The Psychology of Confession and the Orthodox Church, by Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas Father Nicholas is now welcoming appointments for Confessions. To schedule your appointment, please call Father Nick at , #1. Thank you! GOOD FRIDAY - LAMENTATIONS Requested by: COMMEMORATION (First names only, Baptismal if known) Please submit this form to the church office. Thank you. Fallen Asleep Living in the Lord 18 Koinonia March & April 2013

19 SATURDAY OF SOULS Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone Only Creator who out of the depths of wisdom lovingly govern all things and upon all bestow what is accordingly best for them, give rest to the souls of Your servants, for they have placed their hope in You, our Author and Maker and God. Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone Give rest, O Christ, among the Saints to the souls of Your servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no grieving, but life everlasting. Through the Apostolic Constitutions (Book VIII, ch. 42), the Church of Christ has received the custom to make commemorations for the departed on the third, ninth, and fortieth days after their repose. Since many throughout the ages, because of an untimely death in a faraway place, or other adverse circumstances, have died without being deemed worthy of the appointed memorial services, the divine Fathers, being so moved in their love for man, have decreed that a common memorial be made this day for all pious Orthodox Christians who have reposed from all ages past, so that those who did not have particular memorial services may be included in this common one for all. Also, the Church of Christ teaches us that alms should be given to the poor by the departed one's kinsmen as a memorial for him. Besides this, since we make commemoration tomorrow of the Second Coming of Christ, and since the reposed have neither been judged, nor have received their complete recompense (Acts 17:31; II Peter 2:9; Heb. 11:39-40), the Church rightly commemorates the souls today, and trusting in the boundless mercy of God, she prays Him to have mercy on sinners. Furthermore, since the commemoration is for all the reposed together, it reminds each of us of his own death, and arouses us to repentance. Saturday of Souls IN MEMORY OF Please return this form to the church office. Designate which Saturdays you would like the names to be read. SATURDAY OF SOULS Koinonia March & April

20 ENVY & JEALOUSY A big challenge for all of us, especially during Great Lent Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas In the good, bad and ugliness of life, we are called to bless the Lord at all times. The word "jealously" in Webster's dictionary is defined as "zealous vigilance." Somehow this definition doesn't seem to carry the powerful force of emotion in jealousy. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:4, "Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?" That seems to give a little more meaning to the word. Whatever happened to the days when people were genuinely happy for one another? D o you remember those days when nobody ever wanted something that someone else had? Oh, wait! Those days never existed. Jealousy is probably one of the world's oldest emotions. It's been around since the beginning of time. Look at Cain and Abel. Now there's a prime example of jealousy run amok. It is the eyes of other people that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither a fine house nor fine furniture. (Benjamin Franklin) There is a fable of an eagle which could out fly another, and the other didn't like it. The latter saw a sportsman one day, and said to him: "I wish you would bring down that eagle." The sportsman replied that he would if he only had some feathers to put into the arrow. So the eagle pulled one out of his wing. The arrow was shot, but didn't quite reach the rival eagle; it was flying too high. The envious eagle pulled out more feathers, and kept pulling them out until he lost so many that he couldn't fly, and then the sportsman turned around and killed him. My friend, if you are jealous, the only person you can hurt is yourself. How to Overcome Jealousy? Stop comparing yourself to other people. You were created as a very unique and special person. God had a plan for you long before you took your first breath. Relish that thought. Love the fact that you're special. Your journey is just that yours. God has given us so many wonderful gifts that many other people don't have. Let s focus on using those gifts to help someone else. Amen. 20 Koinonia March & April 13

21 ST. HARALAMBOS PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT S REPORT Dear Parishioners, On February 8, 9, and 10, 2013, we celebrated the 100 th anniversary of the founding of St. Haralambos church. It was an honor to serve as president during this special occasion. We were blessed to have his Eminence, Metropolitan Savas join us for the event. Also joining us for the weekend was Father James Dokos, Presvytera Theophilos and Calliopi Makridis Behr. I would like to thank Father Nicholas Gamvas for his direction, Peter Michalos and John Kellamis, the two co-chairs for this 100 th anniversary celebration and all the heads of the 100 th anniversary committees and their members for all their hard work in putting together this successful yearlong celebration. They have done an outstanding job. The reason we can celebrate our 100 th year anniversary is because we have outstanding individuals, both past and present who time after time continue to donate their time, talent and money to their church. On behalf of the Parish Council and congregation Father Nicholas Gamvas was presented with a Byzantine pectoral cross in appreciation of his spiritual guidance here at St. Haralambos and in commemoration of his 30 year anniversary of ordination. I would like to congratulate the award winners of the St. Paul medals selected by Father Nick. They were Sophie Effantis, Stella Vallos, Nick Ramphos, and Xen Griveas. The service award winners, selected by the Parish council were Mike Lazoran, Nick Loukas, Carolyn Michalos, Mike and Maria Paxos, Steve Paxos, and Judge John Poulos. Signed photos of the patriarch were given to our most generous donors, Greg Kalikas, Aris Kaplanis, Alex D. Krassas, and Harry Thomas posthumously. Additional award winners given out by Father Nick were Mary Griveas, Nick Kouris, John Loukas, Aris Kaplanis, Ron R Darrah, Peter Michalos, and William Skendelas. A 5k run chaired by Alex Tank is planned for July 13, 2013 and work is continuing on the 100 th Anniversary album chaired by Ron A. Darrah and Stephanie Withers. The deadline for the 100 th Anniversary album has been extended to May 31, Please consider purchasing an ad for yourself, business or family. Anyone interested in helping with these two projects, please contact Alex, Ron, or Stephanie. I hope all of you will plan on volunteering for and attending these projects. A big thank you to Eleni Paxos and the St. Haralambos Hellenic Dancers who donated $10,000 to St. Haralambos from the Holiday Ball held on Saturday, November 24, The dates for our 2013 th Summerfest will be June 5, 6, 7 and 8, It is not too soon to volunteer. Please contact the church office or the two co-chairmen, Peter Papadopulos or Mike Fakelis. We have a lot of smart and talented members in our congregation and it is time for everyone to get involved. Thank you and God Bless, William Skendelas Parish Council President Koinonia March & April

22 St. Haralambos Church Parish Council Meeting Minutes Summary JANUARY 9, 2013 TREASURER S REPORT Current balances are General Account $55,070.60, Renovation Fund $712.19, Krassas Event Center $21,478.28, Preservation Fund $179,435.46, 100th Anniversary Fund $29,960.80, Theotokos Fund $28, Ron Darrah made motion to accept report and Pete Papadopulos seconded motion. The motion passed. GOYA Tournament in 2 weeks. Jan 18 th, 19 th, 20 th. Ron Darrah rescinded previous motion for hotel and instead motioned for 2 vans at $125 ea. for weekend. Chris Vallos seconded motion and also mentioned getting MVR reports for drivers and to get appropriate insurance. JANUARY 23, 2013 TREASURER S REPORT Our General Account currently has a balance of $45, and we are up to date on our financial obligations. Anthony Ramphos made a motion to accept the Treasurer s Report as presented and Peter Papadopulos second the motion. Motion approved by Parish Council. ENDOWMENT Annual distributions were made from Endowment Fund I to St. Haralambos for $7, Endowment Fund II distributions were as follows: St. Haralambos Church $6, Ladies Philoptochos Society 6, Sunday School 3, GOYA Hellenic Dancers Greek School JOY The Harry Thomas Scholarship Fund will give the scholarships out later this Spring. PRIEST S REPORT Father Gamvas met with Metropolitan Savas and Chancellor Fr. George Callas to discuss our upcoming St. Haralambos 100 th Anniversary events. All local clergy and Orthodox Churches have been invited to the Saturday and Sunday events. Father will be attending meetings in Pittsburgh on Feb. 5th & 6 th. Sunday of Orthodoxy will be held on March 24 th at St. Haralambos. Pan Orthodox Pre Sanctified Liturgy on March 27 th will be hosted by St. Haralambos Church. St. George Romanian Orthodox church will host Bible School and the December Youth sing-along. FEBRUARY 6, 2013 TREASURER S REPORT Currently balances are General Account $56,714.95, Renovation Fund $808.41, Krassas Event Center $21,108, Preservation Fund $182,752, 100th Anniversary has $49,806. Bills Due this week total $17, with $0 past due. 22 Koinonia March & April 2013

23 Pascha Flowers St. Haralambos Church has a beautiful tradition during Easter (Pascha) of decorating our Sanctuary and the Epitaphion (the Tomb of Christ) with fresh spring flowers and Easter Lilies, Anyone wishing to donate any of these lovely flowers, please contact the church office, at , #0. PLEASE CALL SOON - REQUESTS WILL BE HONORED IN THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY ARE RECEIVED. PASCHA FLOWERS AND ITEMS NEEDED: Lily Plants Solea Holy Thursday Azalea Plants Solea 4 th Salutations Floral Wreath Holy Friday Annunciation Floral Wreath Holy Friday Akathist Hymn Floral Wreath Holy Friday Palm Sunday Palms Holy Saturday Palm Sunday Eve Floral Wreath Holy Saturday Holy Monday Floral Wreath Epitaphion Holy Thursday 12 Red Candles Pascha Sunday Basket of Trumpet Lilies (at foot of Cross) White Carnations Rose Petals & Lemon Leaves 6 Altar Candles Communion Wine Resurrection Banner Flowers 80 Dozen Easter Eggs Thank you for your love and continued generosity! PALM SUNDAY DINNER SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2013 Immediately after church service. Adults - $15 Children - $8 Tickets will be available soon in the Church Office. Join us in fellowship! Koinonia March & April

24 SPONSORED BY THE ST. HARALAMBOS LADIES PHILOPTOCHOS SOCIETY FRIDAY & SATURDAY APRIL 19 & 20, :00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. DROP OFF TIMES: MONDAYS through THURSDAYS ONLY! Please mark boxes RUMMAGE SALE and place them ON THE STAGE IN THE GYM. Due to an upcoming event, please DO NOT deliver your items APRIL 19-21, LARGE ITEMS - Will be picked up ONLY the week of the Rummage Sale. PLEASE call one of the Chairpersons listed below to schedule your pick-up. ITEMS NEEDED: We need all of your CLEAN, USABLE, WORKABLE items such as: Bed Sheets, Linens, Blankets Kitchen Items Children s Clothes Toys PLEASE DO NOT bring adult clothes, EXCEPT sweaters, sweat shirts and jeans. VOLUNTEERS: MONDAY, APRIL 15 through THURSDAY, APRIL 18 It takes many of us to sort, price and get things ready for this huge project! PLEASE consider giving some of your time to help set-up, Just show up to help. Tools Christmas Items Furniture Jewelry Antiques Books Records and More! BAKE SALE: St. Haralambos Ladies, we appreciate your baked goods! PLEASE call our Bake Sale Chairman, Rena Cotopolis, RUMMAGE SALE CHAIRPERSONS: Paula Macris, or Ann Simatacolos, Philoptochos Mother s Day Dinner! MONDAY, MAY 6 at 5:30 p.m. St. Haralambos Cultural Center PRIME RIB DINNER Members-$6.00 Guests-$12.00 RESERVATIONS REQUIRED, NO TICKETS WILL BE SOLD AT THE DOOR! Please bring your daughters, daughter-in-laws, and Goddaughters as your guests for a wonderful evening of fellowship. Reservations are a must! IMPORTANT! Members, please have your 2013 dues of $28.00 PAID BEFORE YOU ATTEND THE DINNER. No dues will be taken the night of the dinner! For further information please contact chairman, Mary Trifelos at Reservations will be taken after church beginning MARCH 31st. DEADLINE - TUESDAY, APRIL 30, Koinonia March & April 2013

25 St. Haralambos Church HILOPTOCHOS As we look forward to spring, our Lenten journey and Easter, we wish to wrap up our January-February activities with some much-deserved thank yous to the following: To Helen Apostalides, Kathy Dieringer and board members for beautiful Vasilopeta Celebration on January 6 th. To Katerina Manuselis for baking the Vasilopeta loaves, including the large one that Father Nick cut for parish. To our parishioners who donated generously toward Saint Basil s Academy when tray was passed. We sent over $300. To Ann Niarchos for her generous Christmas donation to Philoptochos. To the Endowment Fund II for the most generous monetary gift once again this year. This money is allocated to offer financial assistance to persons within our own church community who have a need and is already being put to good use. On February 8 th, 9 th, and 10 th we celebrated the 100 th Anniversary of our beloved church and Patron Saint, Haralambos. Congratulations to the entire committee for a beautiful, most memorable weekend celebration. We will cherish the many memories made for many years to come! BRAVO! Thank you to all board members who assisted with the Youth Brunch and Conversation with his Eminence Metropolitan Savas that Saturday morning. I am grateful for all your help and support that day! We were truly honored and blessed to have His Eminence in our midst and interacting with our youth. Thank you, also, to Georgia Zenallis, Nancy Armatas and Dina Fakelis for donating food items for the buffet. Congratulations to our own Sophia Effantis and Stella Vallos for receiving the prestigious Saint Paul Medal during our Nameday weekend. These ladies continue to work very hard on behalf of Philoptochos and we all appreciate their efforts! Congratulations, also, to our own Philoptochos member, Carolyn Michalos, for being one of the Faithful Service Award recipients. Carolyn continues to work very hard for our beloved church, mostly behind the scenes, and is also very deserving of this honor and recognition. Our next meeting will be held on Monday, March 4 th, beginning at 6:30 PM, followed by a program: The Connection Demo Team, demonstrating women s safety tips. Hope to see you there! Our April meeting will take place on Monday, April 1 st, beginning 6:30 PM, followed by a Lenten program. Please join us for both meetings! Sunday, March 24 th, Sunday of Orthodoxy, a Pan-Orthodox Divine Liturgy will take place at Saint Haralambos followed by a reception. Please plan to attend. The second Pan-Orthodox Pre-Sanctified Divine Liturgy will be held at Saint Haralambos on Wednesday, March 27 th, with a tea reception to follow sponsored by Philoptochos. Many thanks to co-chairs Dina Fakelis, Mary Manos, assisted by board members and all those who are donating items for our buffet! Please plan to join us in fellowship with our sister Orthodox churches in the area. There s still plenty of time to contribute items to our Rummage Sale, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, April We do ask that items you donate are in working order and clean. Don t forget, also, our bake sale, which is held on those two days. We will need many baked goods in order to insure its success. You may contact co-chairs Paula Macris and Ann Simatacolos (Rummage Sale) or Rena Cotopolis (Bake Sale) if you have any questions or wish to help in any way. Thanks! In late April/early May a number of Easter-related activities will take place. Barb Lambrou & Company will visit shut-ins. Our church will bustle with activity as we make palm crosses, color eggs, decorate the Epitaphion, etc. Please consider helping in some way! Our Mother s Day Dinner will be held on Monday, May 6 th. Mary Trifelos is chairperson of this event. She and her committee are working diligently to make it a very special evening for all of us. More details can be found in this issue of the Koinonia. Be sure to pay your $28 dues as soon as possible to be up-to-date and plan to attend. Thank you. On behalf of the Ladies Philoptochos Society, we wish each and every one of you a Blessed Lenten Season and Kali Anastasi. Respectfully in His Name, Mary Griveas, President Koinonia March & April

26 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH Silver Liners We welcome all Orthodox Christians and their spouses ages 55 and over to join us! Come and enjoy an afternoon of lunch and fellowship! Reminder Dues for 2013 of $10 are currently being collected by Dolly Sousaris and Mary Stavrakis. Members of any Orthodox church age 55 and over are welcome to join us. Congratulations! Congratulations to members Ron Darrah, Stella Vallos, Xen and Mary Griveas, Petros Gaitanos, Sophie Effantis, Carolyn Michalos, and Alex Krassas who were recently honored at our 100th Anniversary Nameday Banquet. Day Trip Upcoming day trip on Friday, March 29, 2013 We will be heading to Wilmot, Ohio for a family style lunch at the Amish Door restaurant, followed by a lively musical performance "Sock Hops and Soda Pops." We will leave the church parking lot at 10:30 a.m. and be back by 5:00 p.m. Cost: $60 Contact Kathy Dieringer ( ) for reservation. Open to all. MARCH 19, 2013 TUESDAY APRIL Please Join Us For Our Next Meeting! 12:00 Noon St. Haralambos Cultural Center Speaker: Bonnie Baughman, singer and songwriter NO MEETING Mark Your Calendars Now! 26 Koinonia March & April 2013

27 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH SUNDAY SCHOOL PARENTS, please continue bringing your children to Sunday School every week. Each Sunday of Lent has special significance and it is important for the children to learn about every aspect of our Lenten journey as it leads us to the Resurrection of our Lord. Great Lent begins on Monday, March 18, Thank you. MARCH & APRIL ACTIVITIES MARCH 24, 2013 SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY Divine Liturgy and procession at Saint Haralambos. Please send a favorite Icon with your child to carry in the procession. Thank you. APRIL 27, 2013 SATURDAY OF LAZARUS Palm crosses will be made following Divine Liturgy. Please join us! APRIL 28, 2013 PALM SUNDAY Classes will be held. MAY 3, 2013 MYRRH BEARERS Once again this year, 4 th and 5 th grade girls will participate as Myrrh Bearers during the Good Friday evening service. More information will be distributed directly to the parents of the girls involved. Please see us in the Sunday School office if you have any questions. HOLY WEEK Please bring your children to the beautiful and meaningful Holy Week services. Attendance sheets will be posted on all classroom doors. Be sure to have your children sign in when attending these services. MAY 5, 2013 EASTER SUNDAY Christos Anesti! Please join us as we worship the Agape Service together. At the conclusion of the service a special visitor will provide special treats for the children! Congratulations to students Alexander DiDonato and George Tsenekos, who received the lucky coins during our annual Sunday School Vasilopita celebration in January. We wish to thank the family of the late Angeline Poulos, especially Elaine Poulos and Paula Macris, for the beautiful donation in January of individual-sized Vasilopita breads for each of our students, complete with coin inside, in loving memory of their mother. Each was individually wrapped with a very meaningful explanation of The Legend of the Vasilopita attached. On behalf of all our students, thank you so very much for your kindness and generosity. May her memory be eternal. Sincere thanks to the Endowment Fund II for the most generous monetary gift to our Sunday School once again this year. It is through this generosity that we are able to purchase many educational items to benefit all our students that are otherwise not affordable. Thank you so much! Our heartfelt gratitude to David and Joanna Sirgo for their recent very generous monetary donation to our Sunday School. We plan to use those funds as a one-time purchase in each classroom to enhance and benefit weekly instruction as well as serve as a visual aid for all. Thank you so very much and God bless! Thanks to all youth who attended the Brunch and Conversation with his Eminence, Metropolitan Savas during our 100 th anniversary weekend. The event was very well received and enjoyed by all who attended. We would especially like to thank our beautiful, talented artist, Nicole Tank, of the high school class for the beautiful sketch she drew of our Lord tenderly cradling two children in his arms, a depiction of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. Mrs. Lazoran lovingly matted and framed two prints, one as a gift to his Eminence and the other to Father Nick. Nicole s family plans to send twenty-six of these sketch reproductions, one each to every family who lost a loved one in that tragedy. Bless you, Nicole! We thank, also, Mrs. Karen Lazoran and her high school class for their continued outreach projects, which benefit many children of the Canton City Schools. Thanks, also, to all who support these projects through your donations. Congratulations to our own Stella Vallos for being one of the recipients of the prestigious Saint Paul Medal during our 100 th Anniversary weekend. Stella s dedication and continued service to our program is a blessing and we thank her. Your overwhelming support of our Thanksgiving/Christmas Food Drive has helped us continue this worthwhile outreach project to the Paschal Season. We welcome non-perishable food items as well as monetary donations to distribute in time for Easter. If you wish to contribute, please drop them off in our office between now and Palm Sunday. Thank you and God bless! On behalf of our Sunday School family, we wish all of you a most blessed Lenten Season and Kali Anastasi! Respectfully in His Name, Mary Griveas, Director Koinonia March & April

28 On Thursday, March 7, 2013 the dancers will be hosting a Dance-A-Thon! Alumni and family members are welcome to join us. There will be refreshments and lots of fun! Thank you in advance for your support! Many dancers enjoyed a brunch with his Eminence Metropolitan Savas on Saturday, February 9 at the youth luncheon. All of the children enjoyed getting to know the Metropolitan and asked a lot of questions!!! At the banquet on Sunday, February 10 the dance group, represented by Savas Bournelis, presented his Eminence with a monetary donation for a Camp Nazareth Scholarship. It was an honor to have his Eminence at St. Haralambos for the weekend festivities. The dance group would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the recipients of the many service awards that were announced at the 100 year Anniversary banquet. We are truly inspired by all of your hard work! Congratulations! And congratulations to our church for a beautiful weekend! On Wednesday, February 20 the senior group performed for the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities. It was a very fulfilling experience for our young adults, who were able to brighten the day of so many individuals and to teach them about the Greek culture through the art of Greek folk dance! PRACTICE SCHEDULE FOR MARCH & APRIL Dates: March 7, 21 & 28; April 4, 11 & 18 Place: St. Haralambos Cultural Center Time: Beginners 4:20 5:00 Intermediate 5:00 6:00 Training Seniors 5:30 6:30 Seniors 6:00 7:30 For up-to-date information of the dance group please visit our website at: Also, if you are a member or a parent of the dance group, please join our Facebook group: St. Haralambos Hellenic Dancers. 27 Koinonia March & April 13

29 2013 GOYA BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT FUN! 2013 GIRLS TEAM Sofia Stamaton Anastasia Vonortas Katherine Hill Erin Dolph Eleni Volas Allie Tsenekos Casey Likouris Maria Vonortas 2013 BOYS TEAM Coach Lew Tsenekos Christian Kellamis Alexander Christ Michael Pirovolos Alexander Bahas Peter Palmer Donnie Natale John Vallos Jorge Tsenekos Coach Ron Darrah Adam Varlamos Michael Stamaton Koinonia March & April

30 Junior Orthodox Youth OUR BOWLING EVENT Game Winners Lane 26 - Juliana Kreareas Lane 27 - Minas Paxos Lane 28 - Emmanuel Colon Lane 29 - Ariana Vallos Lane 30 - Gia Sotiropoulos Strikes were made by: Emmanuel Colon Thad Fakelis Juliana Kreareas Anthony Morgan Alexa Nastoff Minas Paxos George Sotiropoulos Gia Sotiropoulos Yanni Volas Squeaky s Notes: Kosta Volas almost lost his tooth eating pizza! Squeaky the mouse 30 Koinonia March & April 2013

31 OUR FEBRUARY LUNCHEON Junior Orthodox Youth SQUEAKY S NOTES: His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh has many favorites just like us; they are Food Pizza Saint St. Savas and St. Anthony Color Blue Sport He wrestled in high school Alexa Nastoff presented His Eminence with a gift basket from JOY Squeaky the mouse March event for JOY MOVIE & GAME NIGHT at the church Friday, March 1 6pm - 10pm Come hungry! We will 6:15 For the movie bring: Sleeping bag & pillow Activities: Kickball Corn hole Twister Monopoly We will have popcorn with the movie! Please RSVP by Feb 25th to a JOY advisor Koinonia March & April

32 Community News St. Haralambos Church Congratulations to all of the following Families on your blessed events! May God grant you all good health. BIRTH SPYRIDON JOHN YATRAS was born on February, 12, Proud parents are John & Lydia Yatras, and sisters, Zoe & Maria. Congratulations! BAPTISM GEORGE DIONISIOS TZOULOUFIS, Son of Dennis & Aristea (Trikkas) Tzouloufis, was baptized on December 22, Godparents are Effy & Pete Sartes. Na Sas Zhsi! WEDDING LAURA MARIA IMELY & MICHAEL J. DOVER were married on December 29, Their Koumbara is Katie Ungashick. Our best wishes and congratulations! CONGRATULATIONS! JERRY FORTUNE, was recently named AHEPAN of the Year of AHEPA Chapter #59. On behalf of all of us at St. Haralambos, we congratulate you on this high and most deserved honor! May God grant you many blessings of good health Jerry! FISH DINNERS HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH Fridays, March 1 & 15, April 5 & :30-7:30 p.m. Baked Fish and Plaki Dinners, & more $11.00 Adults, $6 Children 12 and under For more information, ST. GEORGE ROMANIAN BYZANTINE CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL, th St. N.E., Canton Fridays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, :30-7:30 p.m. Baked & Beer Battered Fish, Shrimp, Mac-N- Cheese Dinners, & more. For more information, Starting at $6 - $10.50 DEATHS & UPCOMING MEMORIALS Our deepest condolences to the families of the passing of their loved ones. We are very grateful for their many years of dedication to our beloved St. Haralambos Church. May all of their beautiful memories be eternal! DEATHS DECEMBER 20, 2012 GEORGIA KARIPIDES DECEMBER 28, 2012 CLARA MANOS JANUARY 12, 2013 HARRY LAGGERIS JANUARY 29, 2013 ANDRIANA KANTZOS (Makrina Monachi) FEBRUARY 4, 2013 ANNA PIROVOLOS FEBRUARY 6, 2013 HELEN NEKETIS UPCOMING MEMORIAL SERVICES MARCH 3, 2013 ANDRIANA KANTZOS, 40 days MARCH 17, 2013 ANNA PIROVOLOS, 40 days FAY KARINOS, 1 year CONGRATULATIONS 100TH NAMEDAY RECIPIENTS! Much deserved congratulations to the following honorees: 30 Year Priesthood Service Cross REV. FR. NICHOLAS G. GAMVAS Archdiocesan St. Paul Medal Awards SOPHIA EFFANTIS, XENOPHON GRIVEAS, NICHOLAS RAMPHOS, STELLA VALLOS Ecumenical Patriarchal Appreciation Recipients GREGORY KALIKAS, ARIS KAPLANIS, ALEX D. KRASSAS, HARRY THOMAS (Posthumous) The Archbishop Iakovos Distinguished Service Award PETROS GAITANOS, Protopsalti Faithful Service Awards MICHAEL LAZORAN, NICHOLAS LOUKAS, CAROLYN MICHALOS, MICHAEL & MARIA PAXOS, STEVE PAXOS, JUDGE JOHN POULOS Appreciation Awards DR. WILLIAM SKENDELAS, DR. PETER MICHALOS, MARIA GRIVEAS, JOHN LOUKAS, ARIS KAPLANIS, RON R. DARRAH, NICK KOURIS 100th NAMEDAY FESTIVITIES UPDATE Thank you to everyone who participated in our beautiful events for our St. Haralambos Nameday weekend! We will have all the pictures, thank you notes, etc. in our next issue of the Koinonia. If anyone has pictures to share with us, we would like to include them! Please forward them to Stephanie Withers in the church office a.s.a.p. or them to: Thank you! 32 Koinonia March & April 2013

33 On behalf of everyone at St. Haralambos Church, we want to thank Mike and Maria Paxos for their generous donation of a brand new beautiful holy water urn, and the plating of the gold eagle on the podium for the church. Your continued generosity is most warmly appreciated by all of us. May God bless both of you and your family with the most abundance of blessings of good health! Community News St. Haralambos Church THANK YOU! ST. HARALAMBOS 100TH CELEBRATION - WHAT A GLORIOUS, EMOTIONAL AND SUPERB WEEKEND! To the Chairpersons, their committees, the honored guests, the many creative and dedicated contributors of their talents and to the attendees--thank YOU FOR AN EXTRAORDINARY CELEBRATION OF OUR BELOVED CHURCH! There was a spirit of pride, humility, celebration and nostalgia felt by all. It was indeed a weekend that we shall treasure and one which will inspire us to continue giving of our talents and treasure. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Gratefully, Evelyn W. Eustathios Your kind expression of sympathy is gratefully acknowledged and deeply appreciated. With our deepest gratitude, ~The Manikas & Washek families Dear William, Peter, and the 100th Anniversary Committee, Thank you so much for the sentimental celebration at our church s 100th Anniversary. Congratulations to all for the love that was felt at each event. Truly a tribute to our forefathers. Am anxiously awaiting the publication of the Anniversary Album -a permanent tribute to the founders of St. Haralambos Church. May God Bless You Always, Patti Demis Thank you to Regis Pollack for his donation of 6 beautiful poinsettia plants that adorned the sanctuary and the Cultural Center for our Vasilopeta celebration. It was very thoughtful and very much appreciated! Dear Parishioners of St. Haralambos Church, On behalf of the Board of Education and the staff and students of Canton City Schools, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for your generous donation. We are grateful for your donation of 10 Thanksgiving baskets, 8 hams, 4 Giant Eagle gift cards and 20 presents for Christmas at McGregor School. Your continued support of our children and the Canton City School District is valued and very much appreciated. Sincerely, Adrian E. Allison, Interim Superintendent I wish to thank Father Nick and my St. Haralambos family for their prayers and good wishes during my hospital and rehab stay. I appreciated all the cards, calls, and gifts. I m certainly looking forward to seeing all of you again. ~George Michalos We wish to thank Father Nick and everyone for their phone calls, cards, flowers, food, donations, visitation to the calling hours, and joined us for the funeral service of our father, William G. Withers, Jr. Thank you also to our Ladies Philoptochos and John Sakellariou for their endless specialty of time and talents for our makaria. We are very grateful to all for your outpouring of love. With warm appreciation, ~Bill, Stephanie, Nick and the Withers Family Koinonia March & April

34 Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! To Everyone Who Helped with the NIGHT IN CANTON! It wouldn t Have Been a Success Without You! Helen Apostalides Michael Apostalides Dena Apostolou Paris Apostolou Louie Calandros Maria Calandros Carol Capocci John Capocci Dean Darrah Ron A. Darrah Ron R. Darrah Vassa Delis Patti Demis Steve Diamant Joe DiStefano Evelyn Eustathios Clara Fakelis Dina Fakelis Gus Fakelis Mike Fakelis John Foradas Susie Foradas Mary Griveas Xen Griveas Carolyn Hill Mike Kazes Jim Kellamis Thea Kiminas Tasso Lambos Cynthia Loukas John Loukas Nick Loukas Stephanie Marinos Carolyn Michalos Peter Michalos Linda Miller Mike Nichols Frank Orlando Joe Orlando Maria Orlando Peter Papadopulos Elaine Poulos Francine Poulos Anthony Ramphos Eros Ramphos Nick Ramphos Bill Samonides Regine Samonides Acia Shaheen Joanna Sirgo Alex Tank Mary Trifelos Betty Tsangeos Lou Tsenekos Olga Tsenekos Stephanie Withers Georgia Zenallis GOYANS Savva Bournelis Alexander Christ Anna Darrah Erin Dolph Katherine Hill Casey Likouris Christian Kellamis Natalia Kellamis Donnie Natale Peter Palmer Michael Pirovolos Sofia Stamaton Michael Stamaton Allie Tsenekos Jorge Tsenekos Kylie Tsenekos Adam Varlamos Louie Varlamos Eleni Volas Kosta Volas Yanni Volas Anastasia Vonortas Maria Vonortas Fr. Nick Gamvas for your support. All those who provided donations, pictures and artifacts. There are others that may have slipped our minds when writing this, but please know that your help was truly appreciated!! Sincerely, John & Christine Kellamis 34 Koinonia March & April 2013

35 Saint Haralambos Icon, Gift and Bookstore Saint Haralambos Custom 100th Anniversary Keepsakes Make Great Gifts! DIPTYCHS Book-like Icons made of carved wood, listing our Church 100th Anniversary in Canton, Ohio on one side with Saint Haralambos beside. medium size - $4, medium-large - $5 BOOKMARKS Saint Haralambos with 100th Anniversary Canton, Ohio Beautifully colorful, in 2 styles: $3 ICONS OF SAINT HARALAMBOS Hand Painted by Orthodox Nuns Blessed by Father Nick Gamvas Two different Icons 3 1/2 x 4 1/4": $12 All custom made with Saint Haralambos! PRAYER CARDS - $2 ICON MAGNETIC CARDS - $3 ICON BUTTONS - $3 GREETING CARDS $2 - $3 ANTIQUE BRASS CANDLE CUPS WITH CANDLE Used in our church since 1913! - $3 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH HISTORY BOOKS - $9 And much more! Stop and browse for that special gift! 2013 SUNDAY BOOKSTORE VOLUNTEERS MARCH 3 Dolly Sousaris Mary Carpathios 10 Georgia Trikkas Flora Anderson 17 Goldie Manos Niove Fasoulas 24 Georgia Matthews Ann Simatacolas APRIL 7 Dolly Sousaris Mary Carpathios 14 Georgia Trikkas Flora Anderson 21 Helen Tsarwhas Chris Ann Stavrianou 28 Mike and Helen Apostalides Koinonia March & April 13 35

36 The Daughters of Penelope 45th Annual Debutantes Ball SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2013 Doors open 7:30 p.m. Presentation at 8:30 p.m. at St. Haralambos Cultural Center The Daughters of Penelope are proud to announce our Debutantes for 2013: Jordan Dolph Sophia Fugarino Natalia Kellamis Alyssa Konstantacos Arianna Likouris Alexia Paxos Nicole Rossetti Daisy Tsaftaridis Tickets - $25 Please call Georgia Paxos, , or Kelly Antoniades, Proceeds from this event will benefit our scholarship program. ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH MEN S CLUB MEETING TUESDAY, APRIL 23 6:00 p.m. Please mark your calendars! New members are always welcome! Palm Crosses All Ages are Welcome to Join Us! Saturday of Lazarus SATURDAY, APRIL 27 After church service. We will be making Palm Crosses in the Youth room. Adults and children always enjoy the beautiful activity of learning how to make these crosses! We always need more people to finish early, so please join us! You will truly enjoy the fellowship! Bring your whole family! 36 Koinonia March & April 2013

37 With Father Nick! TUESDAYS, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Parish Council Room MARCH 26 The Annunciation of the Theotokos APRIL 23 The Scriptures of Holy Week All are welcome! BIBLE STUDY With Deacon Keric! THURSDAYS, 6:30 P.M. Parish Council Room MARCH 14 & APRIL 11 SCHOLARSHIPS Scholarship applications from various organizations are now available in the church office. Greek Independence Day Program SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. St. Haralambos Cultural Center All are invited to join in the celebration! An Afternoon Coffee Hour will follow! We are very proud of our Greek School children and teachers for their dedication! If you have not been to a Greek School Program in awhile, you will be thoroughly entertained and extremely proud of our heritage! Koinonia March & April

38 th 30 Anniversary! GREEK SUMMERFEST PLEASE! WE NEED YOU! Please contact any of the chairpersons below and volunteer your services. Won t you please call us today?!! We need the help from ALL AGES to help make this OUR BEST SUMMERFEST EVER! Thank You! We Look Forward to Your Phone Call! 2013 SUMMERFEST CHAIRPERSONS Summerfest Chairmen Mike Fakelis, Co-Chair Pete Papadopulos, Co-Chair Album Stephanie Withers Baking Sophia Effantis Baklava Sundaes Cynthia & Pete Glasser Beer Jim Vallos Bookstore Helen Meder Diane Foradas Church Tours Carol Capocci & Helen Cotopolis Coffee Shop Peter Apostalides Dining Room Kathy Dieringer Gyros Michael Fakelis Christopher Manos Hellenic Dancers Eleni Paxos Hot Dogs Paula Macris Kitchen Ron A. Darrah John Kellamis Lemonade & Pepsi Carolyn Hill & GOYA Loukoumathes Penny McCullough Market Place & Advertising Paper Products Carol Capocci Pastries Goldie Manos Rena Cotopolis Saganaki Booth Catherine Blate Summerfest Cleanup Pete Papadopulos Taverna Eros Ramphos Koinonia March & April 2013

39 2013 Summerfest Wish List Once again, we are advertising our Summerfest Wish List to help keep our expenses down. THE ONLY WAY TO INCREASE OUR PROFIT IS TO CUT DOWN OUR EXPENSES. We all know how much food has gone up in price. If you are able to contribute any monetary funds for any of the products listed below, food or non-food, we would be most grateful! WE ARE EXTREMELY APPRECIATIVE FOR YOUR CONTINUED AND MOST GENEROUS SUPPORT! MEATS EACH QTY. EACH NEEDED Each or by the case CHICKEN $60 15 BEEF, GROUND $60 5 FISH $ GYRO MEAT $85 25 LAMB, LEGS $65 50 LAMB, SHANKS $200 8 PRODUCE/OTHER ONIONS $50 8 POTATOES $50 4 SALAD $10 50 OLIVES $80 3 GRAPELEAVES $30 5 BUTTER $ EGGS $20 10 MILK $4 15 SUGAR $25 20 ICE CREAM $15 10 HONEY $15 6 FETA $50 8 KEFALOTERI $17 50 LEMON BTL. $20 5 LEMONS $50 15 PITA BREAD $30 60 FILO DOUGH $35 10 ROLLS $40 20 RICE/MACARONI $25 20 ADDITIONAL EXPENSES: ADVERTISING & INSURANCE, MUSIC & PAPER PRODUCTS, RENTALS: TENTS, CHAIRS, TABLES, SECURITY, PORT-O-POTS, ETC. TOGETHER, WE CAN WORK TO MAKE THIS THE MOST PROFITABLE SUMMERFEST OF ALL! ST. HARALAMBOS NEEDS ALL OF US!!!!! PLEASE, CALL THE CHURCH OFFICE TO DONATE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! ~THE SUMMERFEST COMMITTEE Koinonia March & April

40 St. Haralambos Church 100th Anniversary Founders 5K Walk/Fun Run Net proceeds will benefit St. Haralambos Church and her ministries for the 100th Anniversary. Date: 07/13/2013 Time: 9:00 a.m. Registration begins 05/01/13 Prizes OVERALL MALE and FEMALE FINISHERS: First Prize Second Prize Third Prize T-shirts and entry packets provided to all participants! Giveaway Drawing! Entry fees: $15.00 Pre-registered participants. $10.00 Pre-registered children age $5.00 Pre-registered children under 8. $18.00 Same day registration. Children in strollers are free and do not register. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED! If you would like to be involved in the organization and fundraising efforts for this worthwhile event, please call: The St. Haralambos Church Office at , ext. 0. Join us as we commemorate the founding of Saint Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church in The church was located on the corner of 6th Street & Walnut S.E. in Canton, OH and was moved to 25th Street N.W. in Koinonia March & April 2013


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