1 Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Kids Living In Christ s Kingdom The Creed I believe in One God, Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten not created, of one essence with the Father, through Whom all things were made. Who for us and for our salvation, came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became Man. And he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and he suffered and was buried. And he rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. And he will come again, to judge the living and the dead... We believe in: One God. People used to believe in many gods. He is Our Father. Our Father, who art in Heaven He is Almighty. Nothing and no one is greater than Him. He has Created Heaven (the universe, angels, paradise) and Earth (people, animals, trees) We also believe in One Lord Jesus Christ who is the only-begotten Son of God who was with God the Father before heaven and earth existed. Jesus Christ is God, and because of his great love for his creation (you and me), he came down from heaven to save it from sin and death. He accomplished this by first being incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. As both Man and God, he lived in the world and talked to the people, teaching them about the Kingdom of Heaven. He was a real person who lived during the time when another real person, Pontius Pilate, lived. Jesus performed many miracles. The people who believed that he was God were the first Orthodox Christians. Jesus Christ came to save us from death and sin. He died on the cross but because he was God, he came back to life. Death had no power over him because he is God. After his resurrection from the dead, he appeared to his apostles and many people who also saw him ascend into heaven. Angels then appeared and told them that Jesus will come again in the same way. Today, we will talk about the next sentence in the Creed: And he will come again, to judge the living and the dead. Memorials (12/14) Panazis Vallianos, 8 years George John Lekas, 15 years Memorial Coffee Hour Sponsored by Cleo Lekas Resurrectional Apolytikion, Second Tone When you descended to the realm of death, you as life immortal rendered Hades a mortal blow by your all radiant divinity. And when you from infernal depths and the darkness below did raise the dead, all the hosts of heaven s powers did proclaim and cry out, O life-giving Christ and our God we give glory. Apolytikion, Second Tone You justified the forefathers in faith, and through them betrothed yourself, aforetime, to the Church taken from out of the Gentiles. The saints boast in glory. For from their seed, there exists a noble crop, who is she who without seed has given You birth. By their intercessions, O Christ our God, save our souls. Apolytikion of the Ascension, Tone 4. You ascended in glory, O Christ Our Lord and God. And Your disciples were filled with joy by the promise of the Holy Spirit unto them. And through this blessing You did proclaim and thus assure them: that You are truly the Son of God and the Redeemer of the World. Seasonal Kontakion, Third Tone On this day the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to God the Word ineffably, Who was before all the ages. Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing the gladsome tidings; with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him Who is willing to be gazed on as a young Child Who before the ages is God. WEEKLY BULLETIN 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland CA / FAX Fr. Thomas Zaferes Fr. Ninos Oshaana December 14, 2014: Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, Callinicus, Philemon, Apollonius, and Arian 11th Sunday of Luke Matins Gospel: Eothinon 5 Luke 24:13-35 Second Tone 40-Day Blessings Evan Zachary Brandt, son of Demitra and Rob Brandt Nikolas Haramoglis and Evi Haramoglis son & daughter of Nikki and Dimitris Haramoglis Ἀπολυτίκιον Ηχος β Ότε κατήλθες πρός τον θάνατον, η Ζωή η αθάνατος, τότε τον Άδην ενέκρωσας τη αστραπή της Θεότητος, ότε δε και τους τεθνεώτας εκ των καταχθονίων ανέστησας, πάσαι αι Δυνάμεις των επουρανίων εκραύγαζον: Ζωοδότα Χριστέ ο Θεός ημών, δόξα Σοι. Ἀπολυτίκιον Ηχος β Ἐν πίστει τοὺς Προπάτορας ἐδικαίωσας, τὴν ἐξ Ἐθνῶν δι' αὐτῶν προμνηστευσάμενος Ἐκκλησίαν. Καυχῶνται ἐν δόξῃ οἱ Ἅγιοι, ὄι ἐκ σπέρματος αὐτῶν, ὑπάρχει καρπός εὐκλεής, ἡ ἀσπόρως τεκοῦσά σε. Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἱκεσίαις, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, σῶσον τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν. Ἀπολυτίκιον του ναοὐ Ηχος δ Ἀνελήφθης ἐν δόξῃ, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, χαροποιήσας τοὺς Μαθητάς, τῇ ἐπαγγελίᾳ τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος βεβαιωθέντων αὐτῶν διὰ τῆς εὐλογίας, ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱός τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὁ λυτρωτὴς τοῦ κόσμου. Κοντάκιον, Ήχος δ Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον, τὸν Προαιώνιον Λόγον, ἐν Σπηλαίῳ ἔρχεται, ἀποτεκεῖν ἀπορρήτως. Χόρευε ἡ οἰκουμένη ἀκουτισθεῖσα, δόξασον μετὰ Ἀγγέλων καὶ τῶν Ποιμένων, βουληθέντα ἐποφθῆναι, παιδίον νέον, τὸν πρὸ αἰώνων Θεόν.
2 The Reading is from St. Paul s Letter to the Colossians 3:4-11 BRETHREN, when Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away; anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. Prayer List Please pray for the servants of God: Georgia, Katherine, Sofia Tselentis, Baby Zacchaio Thiel, Jacob Oshana, Anna Consos, Tom Spiropoulos, Elizabeth Jarratt, Claudia Pilutik, Georgia & Dimitri & Baby Katerina, Mary Ann Zagorites, Dolores Karahalios, Dorotheos, the Christians of the Middle East and throughout the world, and all people suffering under oppression. To add a name to our prayer list, please it to the church office at Πρὸς Κολοσσαεῖς 3:4-11 Ἀδελφοί, ὅταν ὁ Χριστὸς φανερωθῇ, ἡ ζωὴ ἡμῶν, τότε καὶ ὑμεῖς σὺν αὐτῷ φανερωθήσεσθε ἐν δόξῃ. Νεκρώσατε οὖν τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, πορνείαν, ἀκαθαρσίαν, πάθος, ἐπιθυμίαν κακήν, καὶ τὴν πλεονεξίαν, ἥτις ἐστὶν εἰδωλολατρεία, διʼ ἃ ἔρχεται ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείας Ἐν οἷς καὶ ὑμεῖς περιεπατήσατέ ποτε, ὅτε ἐζῆτε ἐν αὐτοῖς. Νυνὶ δὲ ἀπόθεσθε καὶ ὑμεῖς τὰ πάντα, ὀργήν, θυμόν, κακίαν, βλασφημίαν, αἰσχρολογίαν ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν μὴ ψεύδεσθε εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἀπεκδυσάμενοι τὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον σὺν ταῖς πράξεσιν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν νέον, τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν κατʼ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν ὅπου οὐκ ἔνι Ἕλλην καὶ Ἰουδαῖος, περιτομὴ καὶ ἀκροβυστία, βάρβαρος, Σκύθης, δοῦλος, ἐλεύθερος ἀλλὰ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν Χριστός. The Reading is from the Gospel of Luke 14:16-24 The Lord said this parable: "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time of the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for all is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.' And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and there is still room.' And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet. For many are called, but few are chosen.'" (turn page for more) PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS TODAY We will be holding Parish Council elections today, in accordance with our By-laws. Date: TODAY Sunday, December 14 Time: after the Divine Liturgy, about 11:30am to 1:30pm Place: Richmond Room It is the requirement of the parish Regulations of the Archdiocese of America to hold elections, no matter the number of candidates and openings for the Parish Council. We have 10 openings, with 7 people on the ballot as follows: Thank you, Geoffrey Gowan Elizabeth Katsouras Georgia Triantafyllou John Petropoulos Dean Valavanis Brad Taylor Tasos Konstantin The Elections Committee: Dena Valavanis Susan Haikalis George Banis
3 ADULT EDUCATION Tuesday, December 16, 7:30am Morning Bible Study in Walnut Creek at the Hick ry Pit Restaurant, every 1st & 3rd Tuesdays. Tuesday, December 16, 10:00am Morning Bible Study Every Tuesday in the Ascension Community Center conference room Season of Thanks and Giving During the holiday season, we are reminded of how abundantly God has blessed us and feel moved to give our thanks to Him. One excellent way to show our gratitude is to share our bounty with others. We encourage you to donate grocery store gift cards (just drop them into the Food Card box), or canned goods and other non-perishable food items (place into the Alameda County Food Bank barrel). Both he Food Card box and the Food Bank barrel are located in the Narthex. An additional Food Bank barrel is located in the Community Center. May God bless you! PART-TIME ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT POSITION AVAILABLE In the Ascension Cathedral Church Office Must have computer experience in Microsoft Office Must have excellent phone skills hours per week Salary commensurate with experience Please contact the church office for an appointment PARISH OFFICE HOLIDAY SCHEDULE Day Date Parish Office hours Wednesday December 24 Closing at 12 noon Thursday December 25 CLOSED Friday December 26 CLOSED Wednesday December 31 Closing at 12 noon Thursday January 1 CLOSED Friday January 2 OPEN normal hours (9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm) Welcome to the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral! If you are visiting us for the first time, we are honored to have you with us! The Divine Liturgy offers us communion with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through hymns and prayers, the hearing of the Scriptures, and the Holy Eucharist. It is a time of personal and corporate prayer, and in the words of our Lord: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them. Follow the service in the Divine Liturgy book in your pew. Please note that only those who are baptized and/or confirmed in an Eastern Orthodox Church and are in good standing in the Orthodox faith may participate in the Holy Sacraments of the Church, including receiving Holy Communion. At the end of the Liturgy, you are invited to come up and receive blessed holy bread, called "antidoron". If you have questions about this, please feel free to ask one of our priests! We invite you to join us after this morning's Liturgy for coffee hour. During coffee hour (and in the upcoming weeks) visit our bookstore for our new specially discounted book of the month. Please take the time to visit our website (Groca.org) for regular updates as well as interesting articles and links. May God bless you and, again, welcome. CATHEDRAL SERVICES THIS WEEK: Monday, December 15 Tuesday, December 16 Wednesday, December 17 5:30am Orthros 6:00am Divine Liturgy Thursday, December 18 Save the date Friday, December 19 5:30am Orthros 6:00am Divine Liturgy Saturday, December 20 St. John of Kronstadt 5:00pm Great Vespers Sunday, December 21 10:00am Divine Liturgy Preview Glendi of our fabulous Ascension Dance Groups! Saturday, January 24, 2015 More info to come!
4 Κατὰ Λουκᾶν (continued) Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος τήν παραβολὴν ταύτην Ἄνθρωπός τις ἐποίησε δεῖπνον μέγα καὶ ἐκάλεσε πολλούς καὶ ἀπέστειλε τὸν δοῦλον αὐτοῦ τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ δείπνου εἰπεῖν τοῖς κεκλημένοις ἔρχεσθε, ὅτι ἤδη ἕτοιμά ἐστι πάντα. καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀπὸ μιᾶς παραιτεῖσθαι πάντες. ὁ πρῶτος εἶπεν αὐτῷ ἀγρὸν ἠγόρασα, καὶ ἔχω ἀνάγκην ἐξελθεῖν καὶ ἰδεῖν αὐτόν ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον. καὶ ἕτερος εἶπε ζεύγη βοῶν ἠγόρασα πέντε, καὶ πορεύομαι δοκιμάσαι αὐτά ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον. καὶ ἕτερος εἶπε γυναῖκα ἔγημα, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οὐ δύναμαι ἐλθεῖν. καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ἀπήγγειλε τῷ κυρίῳ αὐτοῦ ταῦτα. τότε ὀργισθεὶς ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης εἶπε τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ ἔξελθε ταχέως εἰς τὰς πλατείας καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως, καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς καὶ ἀναπήρους καὶ χωλοὺς καὶ τυφλοὺς εἰσάγαγε ὧδε. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ δοῦλος κύριε, γέγονεν ὡς ἐπέταξας, καὶ ἔτι τόπος ἐστί. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ κύριος πρὸς τὸν δοῦλον ἔξελθε εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς καὶ φραγμοὺς καὶ ἀνάγκασον εἰσελθεῖν, ἵνα γεμισθῇ ὁ οἶκος μου. λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων τῶν κεκλημένων γεύσεταί μου τοῦ δείπνου. Πολλοί γὰρ εἰσιν κλητοί, ὀλίγοι δέ ἐκλεκτοί. The NEW ASCENSION CATHEDRAL BOOKSTORE We re excited that we now have a permanent space for the Ascension Cathedral Bookstore! The new bookstore is a ministry of the newly-formed Youth Council and all proceeds will go to fund our youth ministry programs! Our new bookstore focuses on offering resources that can help enrich your understanding of Orthodox worship and theology as well as a new selection of books on Orthodox marriage, family life, and many wonderful children s books. We also offer Orthodox greeting cards, icons, and devotional items for your home. In addition, you ll be able to purchase items for your sacramental events such as wedding crowns and baptism candles. Come visit the new bookstore and help support our youth ministry! TODAY! MEAL MINISTRY Join the Ascension Dance Groups and our Youth Council during the coffee hour today to make and pack sandwich lunches for the needy in the East Bay area. Our goal is to make 100 lunches which will be distributed directly to the needy this afternoon. We welcome our youth of all ages and parents to participate. Thank you for your support!
5 Donations for the Altar and Cathedral and Social Services Throughout the year we need specific liturgical items that are used in the Cathedral and Altar. Please consider making special donations for these items : Incense typically from the Nuns of Life-Giving Monastery in Dunlap, CA. $75.00 per pound and needed throughout the year Altar Wine $ per case, Commandaria St John, (...an ancient wine style documented in Cyprus back to 800 BC and has the distinction of being the world's oldest named wine still in production, with the name Commandaria dating back to the crusades in the 12th century and by law is aged for at least four years in Oak Barrels). Beeswax Candles, 20 inches long hand dipped by the Nuns in Dunlap. Suggested donation $ Also, the candles used by the Metropolitan during Hierarchical Liturgy. Five beeswax candles $ Ecclesiastical Books $100/book. Liturgical items that need to be replaced, please talk Fr. Tom he now as photos and prices. We also need the donation of food cards, especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. The Cathedral has a social services fund administered by Fr. Tom to assist anyone in need. You may make donations to this fund through the Cathedral office, making note that this is for Social Services. The support from Social Services fund is anonymous. Live From Bethlehem! Christmas Pageant Sunday, December 21 Please plan to join our Sunday School children for this year's Christmas pageant immediately following the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral. Directed by Ascension s own talented performers Chris Constanturos, Dr. Chris Vitakes and Laura Kakis Serper, Live From Bethlehem! will feature student speakers Tommy Cumbelich, William Cumbelich, Eva Eletheriadis, Zoe Eletheriadis, Emily Gowan, Theodore Gowan, Abel Ketama, Baby Jesus George Landis, Marcos Lagios, Alexia Polyzos and Anastasia Woods. Also performing will be our Preschool "Barnyard Animals," Kindergarten "Angel Choir" and the Sunday School Chorus. You won't want to miss this heartwarming and inspiring performance! The Sunday of the Holy Forefathers - by Fr. Thomas Hopko Two Sundays before the celebration of Christmas, the Orthodox Church rejoices in the festival of the Holy Forefathers of the Old Covenant, including those who came before the giving of the Law. The foretold the coming of the Messiah and are redeemed by his saving Pascha. Together with the Canon of the Nativity of Christ, the following hymns are sung at the services of the day. Let us offer praise to the fathers Who shone forth before and during the Law; With righteous minds they served the Lord and Master Who shone forth from the Virgin, And now they delight in the unending Light. Let us honor Adam, the first-formed man and forefather of us all, Who was honored by the hands of the creator. He rests in the heavenly mansions with all the elect. Let us hear the divine words of those who cry aloud, Telling of the coming of Christ. For behold, He is born in a cave of an unwedded Maiden, And his awesome birth is foretold to the Wise Men By the suddenly appearing star. There is a great difference between existing and living. Many people exist. Very few really live. Only those who seek God have life. Only those who delight in His commandments and rejoice in accomplishing His will pass beyond mere existence and actually find life. "Seek God, and your soul shall live" (Ps 69:32, LXX). This is the cry of the psalmist David who is especially hymned on this Sunday and on the Sunday after Christmas. His exhortation is in perfect harmony with the words of God given to Moses in His revelation of the divine Law. "See I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice, and cleaving to Him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." (Deut 30:15-20) The holy forefathers and mothers, together with all their descendants, have chosen life. They find it in God's Messiah, Jesus Christ, who is Life itself, God's incarnate Word. The celebration of the Winter Pascha is a celebration of Life in God's Word. For "Christ who is our life" has already appeared (Col 3:4). We have "beheld His glory" (Jn 1:14). Now that glory is hidden in the "form of a slave" (Phil 2:7), but it will be revealed at the end of the ages in power for those who "have loved His appearing" and "live in Him" (2 Tim 4:8; Col 2:6). You shone as heaven's lights upon the earth, Enkindling the light of piety. You called forth the choir of all creation As you sang to the Master who saves all from temptation, "Bless Him, O children! Exalt Him, O priests! Praise Christ, all people, throughout all the ages!"
6 Remember Your Loved Ones and Help the Ascension Philoptochos to Bring the Spirit of the Holidays to our Cathedral with the Beautiful Poinsettia Christmas Tree Decorated by the Philoptochos Society You can participate by making a donation in any amount. The funds you donate help cover the cost of the tree and enable the Philoptochos to help the poor of our community. On the lines below, please write the first names of your loved ones so they can be remembered by our priests at all of the Christmas and Epiphany Liturgies. First Name of Living First Name of Deceased Please make checks payable to Ascension Philoptochos and mail to: Ascension Philoptochos, 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, CA Thank you for your support!