St. Haralambos The Wonder Worker

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1 St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church Canton, Ohio St. Haralambos The Wonder Worker February 10 Happy New Year! January & February 2014

2 St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church Parish Administrators 2014 Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 am-3:00 pm Phone: Office: Fax: Website: Rev. PROTOPRESBYTER DR. nicholas V. gamvas, PROISTAMENOS Phone: Cell: REV. DEACON DR. KYRIACOS D. SHIEPIS, D.C. Office: Cell: Vincent Arrigo Rena Cotopolis Steve Diamant Ron A. Darrah Michael Fakelis Christopher Manos Dr. Peter Michalos Peter Papadopulos Parish Council Michael Paxos Sia Pope Nicholas Ramphos Philip Stavrianou Dr. William Skendelas Chris H. Vallos Georgia Zenallis Dr. Erick Zoumberakis Church Staff Secretary... Alexandra Tank Subdeacons. Bill Poulos, Jr. Project Manager.. Stephanie Withers Sexton.. Labib El-Bardawil Dean Darrah Chanters Protopsalti Petros Gaitanos Custodian.. John Sakellariou John C. Kellamis Choir Director... Dr. Alex Christ Thomas A. Cazantzes Michael A. Lazoran Parish Organizations Sunday School Director.. Greek School.. Ladies Philoptochos Soc. Men s Club Silver Liners... Icon, Gift & Bookstore. Funeral & Makaria.. Mary Griveas Dennis Tzouloufis Mary Trifelos Peter Papadopulos Kathy Dieringer Helenann Meder Fran Armatas Diane Foradas Paula Macris Ann Simatacolos Rena Cotopolis GOYA Linda Natale JOY Tiffany Manos, Despina Morgan Phaidra Sotiropoulos, Dr. Michelle Zoumberakis YAL Bill Poulos, III 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.. Dawna Natale Sons of Pericles.. Anthony M. Antoniades

3 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH January Pastoral Message +Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas In our World today, worry has become part of our culture. We could write on countless gravestones the epitaph: HURRIED, WORRIED, BURIED. I first read those words 15 years ago, in the Boston Globe; but they seem uniquely suited to our current Age of Anxiety today as well. For some people 2014, could be the most frightening year in living memory. Look at what s happening all around us. The dawn of a New Year is usually a time of hope and ambition, of dreams for the future, and thoughts of a better life. But it is a long time since many of us looked forward to the New Year with such anxiety, even dread, and fear. We have trouble in the Middle East, China owning our debt, threat of a global recession, tension and fears of Islamic fundamentalism, major crime in our cities, poverty, corruption in governments, and drugs galore-illegal and prescription. Do we know anyone today, not on some form of medication? The lesson of history, is that tough times often reward the desperate and dangerous, from angry demagogues to anarchists and nationalists, from seething mobs to expansionist empires. Thus, we enter what may be the most important twelve months in the last 100 years. Pundits grow rich by offering predictions that amount to nothing more than educated guesses. No wonder the rest of us feel shaky and uncertain. Global warming and going Green continues to be a scamming scheme to many renown scientists. Even though the Bible says Do not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6), most of us are anxious about something. Against the prevailing uncertainty in these early days of 2014, we have a clear reminder from our Lord in Matthew 6:27, Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?.think about it. Can we add an hour to our life by your worry? No, but our worry may actually shorten our life by causing so much stress that our health breaks down. There are at least seven reasons why worry is counterproductive: 1.) It wastes time that could be spent in better ways. 2.) It focuses on the problem, not the solution. 3.) It causes us to assume responsibility that belongs only to God. 4.) It paralyzes us with fear. 5.) It saps our joy. 6.) It drains our energy, and 7.) It keeps us sidetracked when we could be doing God s work. If we want to get off to a good start this year, we need to begin in the right place. Philippians 3:12-14, Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect (v. 12a). There is a refreshing honesty about these words. If anyone had reason to brag about his or her accomplishments, you would think it would be the Apostle Paul. But he doesn t do that. Despite having met the Lord on the Damascus Road, despite having preached across the eastern Mediterranean region, despite being an apostle called by God, despite writing letters inspired by the Holy Spirit, despite all that he had endured, he does not brag about anything he has said or done. None of that matters to St. Paul. There is no perfection in this life. That fact is hard for some people to grasp. Several times lately I have had the chance to share a truth that is both simple and profound. Whenever we face a difficulty in life, we must begin by saying, It is what it is." That s not easy to do. Often we would rather play games, make excuses, cover up, pretend, ignore the obvious, and live in fantasy land. So it is with all the trials of life. First we begin by saying, It is what it is. And then by God s grace we move on from there. Here is a good thought to start the year... I m not as strong or as wise as I think I am, but God is stronger and wiser than I can imagine. But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians: v. 12b). The supreme purpose of my life is to discover His purpose for me! I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians v. 14). In the spiritual life, direction makes all the difference. True believers aren t in heaven yet, but they aim their steps in that direction. In St. Paul s case that involved both a sanctified forgetting and a resolute pushing forward. When we look at the world economy teetering on the brink of collapse, there are reasons for all of us to be concerned. But is it any worse for us than it was for the Apostle Paul in the first century? Living under a pagan Roman emperor whose values were far from Christian, Paul nevertheless found many reasons to press on for Jesus. So we launch out with great faith into the New Year We ll have our share of hard times, but overriding it all is the promise of God who said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Lift up our head. Be of good cheer. The Lord is with us. Fear not and Press on! Amen. WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR 2014! Koinonia January & February


5 9:00 a.m. - Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. 9:00 a.m. - Orthros 10:00 a.m.- Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom followed by Great Agiasmos service, and the Oath of Office for Parish Council members. 9:00 a.m. - Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great and Great Agiasmos service. THURSDAY 6:30 P.m. - Great Vespers with area clergy. Philoptochos will host a Vesper Tea following Great Vespers, everyone is welcome. 8:30 a.m. - Orthros 10::00 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy & Labib El-Bardawil Ordination. His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh officiating. Nameday Banquet to follow. 3

6 Άγιος Βασίλειος ο Μέγας Ο Μέγας ανάμεσα στους Αγίους Βασίλειος, γεννήθηκε περί το 329μ.Χ. από πλούσιους και ευγενείς, ευσεβείς και Ορθόδοξους γονείς. Ο πατέρας του ήταν καθηγητής ρητορικής και ονομαζόταν επίσης Βασίλειος, καταγόταν από τον Πόντο. Η μητέρα του Εμμελεία απόγονος οικογένειας Ρωμαίων αξιωματούχων, καταγόταν από την Καππαδοκία. Στην οικογένεια εκτός από το Βασίλειο υπήρχαν άλλα οκτώ παιδιά. Μεταξύ αυτών το Γρηγόριο, που έγινε Μητροπολίτης Νύσσης (Άγιος Γρηγόριος Νύσσης), το Ναυκράτιο που έγινε ασκητής και θαυματουργός Άγιος, τον Πέτρο που έγινε Αρχιεπίσκοπος Σεβαστείας και τη Μακρίνα (Οσία Μακρίνα) που το θαυμαστό της βίο τιμούμε στις 19 Ιουλίου. Τα πρώτα γράμματα, του τα δίδαξε ο πατέρας του. Ζήτησε να σπουδάσει και την αρχαία ελληνική παιδεία όταν μεγάλωσε, την οποία επαινεί ως βοήθημα χρήσιμο ο Άγιος Γρηγόριος Θεολόγος, γιατί δεν είναι η γνώση εκείνη που κάνει αιρετικό τον άνθρωπο, αλλά η προαίρεση (χάρη σ αυτή τη θέση των Αγίων Ιεραρχών, διασώθηκε όλη η αρχαία κληρονομιά μας και η ελληνική παιδεία και γλώσσα). Έτσι ο Άγιος πήγε στο Βυζάντιο (Κωνσταντινούπολη), γιατί εκεί ήταν τότε πολλοί σοφοί. Αναζητώντας κάτι περισσότερο ο Βασίλειος, έφτασε στην Αθήνα, όπου βρίσκονταν οι κορυφαίοι σοφοί. Σπούδασε γεωμετρία, αστρονομία, φιλοσοφία, ιατρική, ρητορική και γραμματική. Οι σπουδές του διήρκησαν τεσσεράμισι χρόνια. Η ασκητική του ζωή ξεκίνησε ήδη από τα χρόνια όπου φοιτούσε στην Αθήνα. Ο σοφός δάσκαλος του Εύβουλος εντυπωσιασμένος από την αυστηρή νηστεία, του Αγίου, και μετά την παραίνεση του, λέγεται ότι έγινε Χριστιανός. Συμφοιτητές του ήταν και δύο νέοι που έμελλε να διαδραματίσουν σπουδαίο ρόλο στην ιστορία. Ο ένας, φωτεινό ο Άγιος και Μέγας Πατέρας της Εκκλησίας ο Θεολόγος Γρηγόριος και ο άλλος μελανό στον αντίποδα, προδότης του Ιησού, ειδωλολάτρης και διώκτης των Χριστιανών, ο Ιουλιανός ο Παραβάτης. Κατά την διάρκεια αυτών των ετών, ο Άγιος Βασίλειος και ο Άγιος Γρηγόριος ο Θεολόγος ανέπτυξαν μεγάλη και ισχυρή φιλία. Ταυτόχρονα με τις σπουδές τους, είχαν ιεραποστολική δράση. Διοργάνωναν χριστιανικές συγκεντρώσεις, στις οποίες ανέλυαν θρησκευτικά ζητήματα. Ίδρυσαν επίσης και τον πρώτο φοιτητικό χριστιανικό σύλλογο. Επέστρεψε στην Καισαρεία το καλοκαίρι του 356μ.Χ. και συνεχίζοντας την παράδοση του πατέρα του, έγινε καθηγητής της ρητορικής. Το 358 μ.χ. επηρεασμένος από το θάνατο του αδερφού του μοναχού Ναυκρατίου, καθώς και με την παρότρυνση της αδερφής του Μακρίνας, βαπτίζεται Χριστιανός, και αποφασίζει να αφιερώσει τον εαυτό του στην ασκητική πολιτεία. Αποσύρθηκε λοιπόν σε ένα κτήμα της οικογενείας του στον Πόντο. Χαρακτηριστικό της μεγαλοψυχίας του είναι, ότι μετά την βάπτιση του δώρισε στους φτωχούς και στην εκκλησία το μεγαλύτερο μέρος της περιουσίας του. Το φθινόπωρο του ίδιου έτους ξεκινά ένα οδοιπορικό σε γνωστά κέντρα ασκητισμού της Ανατολής, Αίγυπτο, Παλαιστίνη, Συρία και Μεσοποταμία, επιθυμώντας να συναντήσει πολλούς ασκητές και μοναχούς για να γνωρίσει τον τρόπο ζωής τους. 4 Koinonia January & February 2014

7 Όταν γύρισε στο Πόντο από το ταξίδι αυτό, μοίρασε και την υπόλοιπη περιουσία του και αποσύρθηκε στο κτήμα του επιθυμώντας να ζήσει πλέον ως μοναχός. Εκεί έγραψε τους: «Κανονισμούς δια τον Μοναχικόν βίον», κανόνες που ρυθμίζουν την ζωή στα μοναστήρια μέχρι τις μέρες μας. Με την υψηλή του κατάρτιση στην Ορθόδοξη Πίστη και τον ασκητικό, θαυμαστό του βίο, η φήμη του Αγίου Βασιλείου εξαπλώθηκε με τον καιρό σε όλη την Καππαδοκία. Έτσι και ο Μητροπολίτης της Καισαρείας Ευσέβιος πραγματοποιώντας την Θεία Βούληση αλλά και αυτή των χριστιανών της περιοχής, χειροτόνησε το 364 μ.χ. τον Άγιο Βασίλειο πρεσβύτερο. Το 370 μ.χ., μετά τον θάνατο του Ευσεβίου και σε ηλικία 41 ετών, τον διαδέχθηκε ο Άγιος Βασίλειος στην επισκοπική έδρα, με τη συνδρομή τού Ευσεβίου επισκόπου Σαμοσάτων και του Γρηγορίου επισκόπου Ναζιανζού. Επίσκοπος πλέον, ο Άγιος Βασίλειος αντιμετώπισε την προσπάθεια του Αυτοκράτορα Ουάλη να επιβάλει τον Ομοιανισμό (ρεύμα του Αρειανισμού), επικοινωνώντας μέσω επιστολών με τον Μέγα Αθανάσιο, Πατριάρχη Αλεξανδρείας και τον Πάπα Ρώμης Δάμασο. Στον τόπο του,στην περιφέρεια της δικής του ποιμαντικής ευθύνης είχε να αντιμετωπίσει την έντονη παρουσία του αρειανικού στοιχείου και άλλων κακοδοξιών. Από τις επιστολές του φαίνονται οι προσπάθειες που κατέβαλε για την καταπολέμηση της σιμωνίας των επισκόπων, για την ανάδειξη άξιων κληρικών στο ιερατείο, καθώς και για την πιστή εφαρμογή των ιερών κανόνων από όλους τους πιστούς και φανερώνεται επίσης η ποιμαντική φροντίδα στα αποκομμένα και περιθωριοποιημένα μέλη της Εκκλησίας. Στην οικουμενική Εκκλησία ο Μέγας Βασίλειος ουσιαστικά αναλαμβάνει τα πνευματικά ηνία από το Μέγα Αθανάσιο, ο οποίος γηραιός πλέον, αποσύρεται από την ενεργό δράση. Εργάζεται συνεχώς για την επικράτηση των ορθόδοξων χριστιανικών αρχών και υπερασπίζεται με σθένος το δογματικό προσανατολισμό της Οικουμενικής Συνόδου της Νίκαιας. Σε μεγάλες επιδημίες που ταλαιπωρούσαν τον λαό, ήταν παρών και βοηθούσε σωματικά και ψυχικά διδάσκοντας την πίστη του Χριστού. Συμπλήρωσε με ευχές την Θεία Λειτουργία που ακούμε αυτές τις ημέρες στην εκκλησία και φέρει το όνομά του (Λειτουργία Αγίου Βασιλείου). Έγραψε πολλά βιβλία. Το πιο σπουδαίο του έργο όμως ήταν η οργάνωση της ελεημοσύνης και φιλανθρωπίας στην επαρχία του. Ο Άγιος Βασίλειος, βοηθούσε πάντοτε τους αδικημένους και κουρασμένους, τους πεινασμένους και τους αρρώστους, ανεξάρτητα από το γένος, τη φυλή και το θρήσκευμα. Έφτιαξε κοντά στην Καισάρεια ένα ίδρυμα που λειτουργούσε νοσοκομείο, ορφανοτροφείο, γηροκομείο και ξενώνας για την φροντίδα και ιατρική περίθαλψη των φτωχών, αρρώστων και ξένων. Τις υπηρεσίες του τις πρόσφερε το ίδρυμα δωρεάν σε όποιον τις είχε ανάγκη. Το προσωπικό του ιδρύματος αυτού ήταν εθελοντές που προσφέρανε την εργασία για το καλό του κοινωνικού συνόλου. Η πόλη αυτή ονομάσθηκε Βασιλειάδα. Η Καισάρεια είχε γίνει μια μεγάλη οικογένεια με πατέρα τον Άγιο Βασίλειο τον αγαπημένο τους επίσκοπο. Ο Άγιος Βασίλειος ο Μέγας παραδίδει το πνεύμα στο Θεό την 1η Ιανουαρίου του 379 μ.χ. σε ηλικία 49 ετών. Η μνήμη του τιμάται από την Ορθόδοξη Καθολική Εκκλησία την 1η Ιανουαρίου. Από το 1081μ.Χ. ο Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινουπόλεως - Νέας Ρώμης Ιωάννης Μαυρόπους θέσπισε ένα κοινό εορτασμό των Τριών Ιεραρχών, Βασιλείου του Μεγάλου, Ιωάννη του Χρυσοστόμου και Γρηγορίου του Θεολόγου, στις 30 Ιανουαρίου, ως προστατών των γραμμάτων και της παιδείας. Η Θεία Λειτουργία του Μεγάλου Βασιλείου τελείται 10 φορές το χρόνο: την 1η Ιανουαρίου (όπου γιορτάζεται και η μνήμη του) τις πρώτες πέντε Κυριακές της Μ. Τεσσαρακοστής τις παραμονές των Χριστουγέννων και των Θεοφανείων την Μ. Πέμπτη και το Μ. Σάββατο. Koinonia January & February

8 Blessing Your Home Dear Parishioners: On January 6th, we celebrate a Great Feast within the Orthodox Church- Epiphany, the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the season of the blessing of the Holy Waters, when our parish priest, through this very rich custom brings the Blessed Holy Water to the faithful in their homes and business establishments. This enables everyone to receive the Great Blessings of our Lord for the New Year of This is a beautiful custom; bringing the Blessed Holy Water of Epiphany to you, the parishioners, allows our priest to remain close to you and your family. We request that you fill out the form below or call Father Nick directly to set up a convenient time. We hope that each family will take advantage of this traditional and important blessing for Many Blessing and Best Wishes for the New Year! BLESSING OF YOUR HOME and/or BUSINESS NAME: PHONE: ADDRESS: Preferred time of visit: Morning Afternoon Evening (Please check one) Please complete this form and return to the church office or call Father Nick to schedule an appointment, , #1. Thank you. 6 Koinonia January & February 2014

9 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 January & February

10 FEBRUARY 10, 2014 ~ WE ARE NOW 101 YEARS OLD A Pastoral Reflection on our 100 th Anniversary over the past year 2013 By: Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! (Matthew 25:23) A Special Congratulations to Dr. William J. Skendelas, Parish Council President (2012 & 2013) Dr. Peter G. Michalos, Chairman, John Kellamis, Co-Chair, to all of his Committee Chairs, to the entire Committee, and to all of our parishioners and friends, for their dedication and efforts and support during our 100 th Anniversary Celebration in 2013! How magnificently towering is our Saint Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church in Canton, Ohio; set high upon a hill on 25 th and Harvard Streets, since 1958-moved from our original location on Walnut Street. The cross upon our central dome touching the heavens and our prayers rising above the clouds. They built it brick by brick, through hard work and unending labors; of love and with heartfelt desire, for that which was good and great. They wanted their children to be more fortunate than themselves and they left their beloved homelands for their children to be proud of their still unrealized accomplishments. And still they wanted their dreams to rise high towards the heavens, to be perpetuated and manifested by the hard working hands and hearts of their children and grandchildren. Upon this heavenly holy church of St. Haralambos, most lofty and revered, we reflect back on 2013, a year, a hundred years, a century gone by, and we to offer to our forefathers and foremothers a humble tribute, of our love, of our honor, of our appreciation, and of our prayers; for what we owe to these great pioneers of our community. With our eyes sometimes clouded with tears and at other times radiant with awe, we perceive the awesomeness of their achievements, of our beloved pioneers. And at the end of their courageous journey, we are, as our patron Saint Haralambos is depicted as a pillar unshaken of Christ s Holy Church. We are the living pillars that have inherited a respected shining holy landmark. And we move our emotions into a wreath of tribute and thanksgiving; from our souls to theirs before us. With trembling and grateful hands of praise to God, we raise this spiritual wreath of tribute of ours, to them, that went before us, and we dedicate it, to their memory, to their epic journey through life, to their ascent to heavenly places, and sanctified by our tears and blessed by God. This we desire to be our simple and our humble tribute to our beloved St. Haralambos pioneers. May their Memory be Eternal. Now, it belongs to us and we accept this awesome responsibility with our love and respect. Let us truly honor them by Celebrating our Past As we build our Future. MAY THEIR MEMORIES LIVE FOREVER, OUR BLESSED AND AND EVER MEMORABLE BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST. Amen. 8 Koinonia January & February 2014

11 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH February Pastoral Message +Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas On February 10 th we honor one of the most beloved Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. His name is Haralambos. Saint Haralambos lived in the 2 nd century in a small town called Magnesia in Asia Minor. He became a Priest at a very early age and served his community with great zeal. What has prompted the Orthodox Christians throughout the world to display such love and affection for Saint Haralambos? Why has he been so very close to the hearts of all of us for over 1700 years? Perhaps it is because of the fact that no other Priest in the history of Christianity suffered so much in one lifetime for his religious convictions. In the city of Magnesia, the governor of the province, Loukianos, inflicted great pain upon Saint Haralambos because he refused to worship the idols of the Empire. The saintly Priest was first tied to a post in the public square and ridiculed by the pagans. Soldiers of the governor slashed the body of St. Haralambos with heavy cutting irons. Saint Haralambos in spite of the terrible agony refused to deny Christ and accept their pagan gods. After being tortured, Haralambos was dragged by his beard through the streets of Magnesia by soldiers on horseback. Many additional forms of torture were used to force Haralambos to give up his faith, yet he would not. During the ensuing months, Saint Haralambos miraculously survived all forms of torture. Eventually the people called him "the man they cannot kill". People spoke of many miracles attributed to Saint Haralambos during his imprisonment. In the city of Antioch, Haralambos was led about the city with a horse bridle in his mouth. This was done to ridicule both him and the Christian faith, which he continued to uphold. The soldiers of the Emperor nailed Haralambos to a cross with over 100 large spikes that pierced the skin of the pious Saint. Other forms of torture were administered, and yet Haralambos did not relent or die. In his great anger, the Emperor ordered Haralambos beheaded! As the two executioners raised their swords to kill the Saint, suddenly a voice was heard from heaven saying, "Well done, My faithful servant, enter into the kingdom of Heaven." At that very moment, Saint Haralambos passed away without a single blow being struck. The executioners were dumbfounded. They knelt before the body of the Saint and asked God for forgiveness. The Emperor became even more enraged, and ordered the two would-be executioners of Haralambos beheaded. Their names were Porphirios and Baptos, whose feastdays are celebrated, also on February 10 th. Thus the beloved Saint Haralambos truly had become "the man they couldn't kill," for he was taken by God Himself into the Kingdom of Heaven. This holy Priest of the Orthodox Faith was horribly tortured, yet through it all, he continued to do the work of the Lord with zeal. From his jail cell, he healed people. Saint Haralambos fought the same fight we fight today. His battle was a more fierce and bloody one than we fight. He suffered from spikes and chains, we suffer from temptations and mental cruelty. One thing was certain the Lord was looking down from heaven upon the suffering of His holy Priest and servant, Saint Haralambos, and acknowledged Saint Haralambos with His Holy Voice from Heaven before his persecutors. The Lord spared Saint Haralambos from death at the hands of his captors, and at the same time declared that every life is in God's Hands by taking him to heaven before his captors could kill him. Our suffering is only temporary and our pain will vanish! While it seems that we cannot go on another minute, another hour, or another day, we must never forget that our soul belongs to the Lord, and nothing that any mortal man can do to us can destroy our soul. By holding this truth in our hearts, we can gain the immortal strength that Saint Haralambos possessed. No matter what I am made to suffer, if I lose everything I own, if I lose my mortal life, then I have lost nothing, but I have gained everything! For as long as I have Jesus Christ, I have eternal life, and no weapon can ever prevail against me! (Saint Haralambos) Amen. Koinonia January & February

12 Ο Άγιος Χαράλαμπος, O Ιερομάρτυρας, O Θαυματουργός εορτάζει στις 10 Φεβρουαρίου Ο ιερεύς της Μαγνησίας Ο Άγιος Χαράλαμπος ο Ιερομάρτυρας και θαυματουργός, γεννήθηκε στην Μαγνησία το 90 μ.χ. περίπου και μαρτύρησε στα χρόνια των μεγάλων διωγμών της Χριστιανοσύνης. Είχε το ευτύχημα να γεννηθεί από γονείς ευσεβείς χριστιανούς που κρατούσανε την πίστη τους στο Χριστό με κίνδυνο της ζωής τους στους δύσκολους, αλλά ηρωικούς εκείνους χρόνους των διωγμών. Στη Μαγνησία έζησε όλη του την ζωή ο Άγιος Χαράλαμπος. Αφιερώθηκε, εις την υπηρεσία του Χριστού. Έγινε ιερέας το 130 μ.χ. Από την θέση του τώρα αυτή, από το Θείο αυτό αξίωμα της ιεροσύνης, ανέλαβε τον μεγάλο αγώνα, αφ ενός να ανοίξει τα μάτια του κόσμου και να δουν τον κίνδυνο από την ειδωλολατρική πλάνη και αφ έτερου ν αγιάζει με τα μυστήρια τους πιστούς και να τους οδηγεί στην τελειότητα. Μπροστά σε Χριστιανούς και ειδωλολάτρες, άρχισε τα φλογερά χριστιανικά κηρύγματά του. Καίτοι σ όλη του τη μακρά ζωή έζησε 113 χρόνια έγιναν πολλοί διωγμοί των Χριστιανών και αυτός ποθούσ το μαρτύριο, και δεν ελάμβανε κανένα μέτρο, εν τούτοις επέζησε, διότι ο Θεός τον φύλαξε για αργότερα. Μαρτύρησε το 202 μ.χ. Τα άγια λείψανα του θαυματουργούν Το Άγιο του λείψανο το παρέλαβε κατόπιν η μακαρία Γαλήνη και το ενταφίασε μέσα σε χρυσή θήκη, αφού του έβαλε πολύτιμα μύρα και αρώματα. Κατόπιν το Άγιο και πανσεβάσμιο λείψανο του ενδόξου Ιερομάρτυρος Χαραλάμπους, μοιράστηκε χάριν ευλαβείας στους απανταχού Ορθοδόξους Χριστιανούς. Διώχνει δε το Άγιο λείψανο τα βάσανα και κάθε ασθένεια, από όσους τον παρακαλούν. Υπάρχουνε και σήμερα σε πολλούς Ναούς και Μοναστήρια τεμάχια λειψάνων του Αγίου Χαραλάμπους. Η Αγία και πάντιμος Κάρα του βρίσκεται επάνω στα Μετέωρα της Θεσσαλίας, εις το Μοναστήρι του Αγίου Πρωτομάρτυρος Στεφάνου. Κάμνει δε συχνά παράδοξα κι εκπληκτικά θαύματα. Υπάρχει εκεί και φυλλάδα, που περιέχει τα θαύματα του Αγίου. Ιδίως φυλάττει τους ανθρώπους από την φοβερή νόσο της πανώλους. Γι αυτό όσες φορές ενέσκηπτε η φοβερή αυτή αρρώστια, κατεβάζανε οι Πατέρες την Αγία Κάρα του κάτω στις πόλεις και το κακό σταματούσε αμέσως. Το 1812 η τρομερή αρρώστια της πανώλους θέριζε όλη την Ήπειρο. Τότε κάποιος, Μολοσσός ονόματι, πατέρας του Ζώτου Μολοσσού που έγραψε το λεξικό των Αγίων Πάντων, επήγε στα Μετέωρα κι έφερε στην Ήπειρο την Τιμία Κάρα του Αγίου Χαραλάμπους και σταμάτησε το θανατικό. Επίσης πολλοί πιστοί την καλούν στα σπίτια τους, την κατασπάζονται με ευλάβεια και κάνουν Αγιασμό. Και έτσι απαλλάσσονται από κάθε κακό. Το 1897 έγινε ο Ελληνοτουρκικός πόλεμος. Τότε οι Τούρκοι πήρανε την Αγία Κάρα και την κτύπησαν με χίλιους δυο τρόπους για να ανοίξει και να πάρουν μόνον το άργυρο κουτί της. Δεν μπόρεσαν όμως να το ανοίξουνε. Ο Θεός τους έδωσε την τιμωρία, γιατί κάνανε οι Τούρκοι και άλλες ιεροσυλίες. Αρρώστησαν δε όλοι βαριά. Πεθάναν τότε Τούρκοι στην Θεσσαλία από τύφο δια θαύματος του Αγίου. Όταν έμαθε ο Σουλτάνος, ότι χάθηκε τόσος πολύς στρατός στην Θεσσαλία, έγραψε στον Διοικητή του τουρκικού στρατού, Εδέμ, επίσημο γράμμα και τον ρωτούσε: -Πως χάθηκε αυτός ο στρατός, αφού δεν έγινε καμιά μάχη με τους Έλληνες; Και ο Εδέμ απάντησε τότε ως εξής: -Όσοι Τούρκοι χάλασαν Εκκλησίες και Μοναστήρια πεθάναν από τύφο. Εγώ το χέρι του Θεού δεν μπόρεσα να Το εμποδίσω. Όλοι οι κακοί Τούρκοι κακώς απέθαναν! Στίχος - Καταξιώθης, Χαράλαμπες, ἐκ ξίφους καί λαμπρότητος καί χαρᾶς τῶν Μαρτύρων τή δεκάτη χαράλαμπες ἐτμήθη ἀπό λαιμόν. Ἀπολυτίκιον Ἦχος δ. Ταχύ προκατάλαβε - Ὡς στύλος ἀκλόνητός της Ἐκκλησίας Χριστοῦ, καί Λύχνος ἀείφωτος, τῆς οἰκουμένης σοφέ, ἐδείχθης Χαράλαμπες. Ἐλαμψας ἐν τῷ κόσμω, διά τοῦ Μαρτυρίου, ἐλυσας τῶν εἰδώλων τήν σκοτόμαιναν μάκαρ. Διό ἐν παρρησία Χριστῷ πρέσβευε σωθῆναι ἠμᾶς. Κοντάκιον Ἦχος δ. Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον - ς φωστήρ ἀνέτειλας, ἐκ τῆς ἐώας, καί πιστούς ἐφώτισας, ταῖς τῶν θαυμάτων σου βολαῖς, Ἱερομάρτυς Χαράλαμπες. Ὅθεν τιμῶμεν, τήν θείαν σου ἄθλησιν 10 Koinonia January & February 2014

13 Aρχή του νέου έτους (1 Ιανουαρίου 2014) «Δόξα τω Θεώ πάντων ένεκεν». Επαναλαμβάνουμε, αυτή τη σημαντική στιγμή, τη Χρυσοστόμεια ρήση για ευχαριστήσουμε τον Τριαδικό Θεό για όλα όσα μας χάρισε κατά το διαρρεύσαν σωτήριον έτος 2013, για όλα όσα αξιωθήκαμε να επιτελέσουμε προς δόξαν του Τριαδικού Θεού, με στόχο την πνευματική προαγωγή και πρόοδο του θεοφιλούς ποιμνίου που η άκρα συγκατάβαση του Θεού μας εμπιστεύθηκε και να εκζητήσουμε το έλεός του και την επιείκεια του για όσα δεν κατορθώσαμε να φέρουμε σε πέρας, εξαιτούμενοι συγχρόνως και τη δύναμη και τη βοήθειά του ώστε να μπορέσουμε να πολλαπλασιάσουμε τα τάλαντα που μας εμπιστεύθηκε η αγάπη του. Επίσης εξαιτούμεθα τη δύναμη και το φωτισμό για το μόλις αρξάμενο νέο έτος Γνωρίζουμε ότι, «Εάν μη Κύριος οικοδομήση οίκον, εις μάτην εκοπίασαν οι οικοδομούντες. Εάν μη Κύριος φυλάξη πόλιν είς μάτην ηγρύπνησεν ο φυλάσσων», και ότι, «παν δώρημα τέλειον άνωθεν εστι, καταβαίνον εξ Σου του Πατρός των φώτων». Έχοντας ενώπιον της δικής μας προοπτικής τις ρήσεις αυτές, μπορούμε να στρέψουμε το βλέμμα προς το χρόνο που μας πέρασε, όχι για να υπερηφανευτούμε, γιατί από εγωισμό κινδυνεύουμε να μετατραπούμε σε στήλη άλατος, αλλά για να ασκήσουμε αυτοκριτική για το πόσο καλώς έχουμε εξαγοράσει τον καιρό και για το πώς και με τι γεμίσαμε το χρόνο, ή να διαπιστώσουμε μήπως τον αφήσαμε κενό και κούφιο, με αποτέλεσμα να αντιλαλεί το κενό ως συνεχής έλεγχος και κριτική για τη μη εκπλήρωση της αποστολής που περιέχεται στην κλήση του Θεού προς εμάς. Επαναλαμβάνουμε το του αποστόλου Παύλου: «Ό οφείλομεν ποιήσαι πεποιήκαμεν». Όταν κάνουμε απολογισμό του χρόνου, περισσότερο παραμένουν ανεξίτηλα στη μνήμη του χρόνου, όχι η εναλλαγή της ημέρας με την νύκτα, όχι η διαδοχή των εβδομάδων και των μηνών, όχι η καταμέτρηση των ετών και των εκατονταετηρίδων ή των χιλιετηρίδων, αλλά τα γεγονότα με τα οποία γέμισε ο χρόνος της ζωής μας. Δεν πρέπει να λησμονούμε όμως ότι υπάρχει και η άλλη όψη του νομίσματος του χρόνου που δημιουργεί την ελπίδα. Στοιβαγμένα όλα τα γεγονότα, θεϊκά και ανθρώπινα, σμίγουν και ανακατεύουν τον ουρανό με τη γη, τους αγγέλους με τους ανθρώπους, τον Θεό να γίνεται άνθρωπος για να θεοποιήσει τον άνθρωπο. Ο άχρονος Θεός μπαίνει μέσα στο χρόνο για να γεμίσει με έννοια και ουσία ο χρόνος και να σταματήσει να ακούγεται ο κούφιος και άδειος αντίλαλος του χρόνου. Εκείνος που έθεσε υπό τη δική του εξουσία καιρούς και χρόνους, δέχεται να υποταχθεί στη νομοτέλεια του χρόνου. Έτσι, ο δέσμιος του χρόνου και των καιρών άνθρωπος έχει αποκτήσει διέξοδο από τα αδιέξοδα του κόσμου και του έχει παρασχεθεί διάβαση από το πεπερασμένο του χρόνου στην αιωνιότητα, στη βεβαίωση της ζωής και της υπάρξεώς του. Ευχαριστώ, επιπρόσθετα και όλους εσάς. Εύχομαι ο Θεός να ευλογήσει το νέο χρόνο του 2014, ώστε να είναι φορέας και της ελευθερίας. Εύχομαι το φωτισμό του Θεού και Η χάρη του Κυρίου ημών Ιησού Χριστού να χαρίζει σε όλους εσάς. χαρά, υγεία, παντός είδους πρόοδο και παν το ποθούμενο κατά το νέο έτος του Χρόνια πολλά και καλό Nέο Eτος 2014! Koinonia January & February

14 Ask Father Nick Q: Where are the relics of St. Basil the Great kept? ~ Subdeacon Billy Poulos A: The skull of St Basil the Great (d. 379, Caesarea) rests in the Monastery of Great Lavra, Mount Athos, Greece. Q: Why the difference in terminology between the Roman Catholic & Protestant Consubstansiation of the Holy Eucharist and the Orthodox terminology of Consecrate? ~ Karen Lazoran A: Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation in Latin, transsubstantiatio is the doctrine that the substance of the bread and the wine used in the sacrament of the Eucharist is changed, not merely as by a sign or a figure, but also in reality, into the substance of the Body and the Blood of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses (the outward appearances - speciesin Latin) remains unchanged. Footnote: Richard A. Nicholas, The Eucharist as the Center of Theology (Peter Lang 2005 ISBN ), p. 292 Protestant Reformation, the doctrine of transubstantiation became a matter of much controversy. Martin Luther held that "It is not the doctrine of transubstantiation which is to be believed, but simply that Christ really is present at the Eucharist". Footnote: by Martin Luther on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, 2:26 & 2:27. Protestant denominations, have not generally subscribed to belief in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. Luther explicitly rejected transubstantiation, believing that the bread and wine remained fully bread and fully wine while also being fully the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Luther instead emphasized the sacramental union (not exactly the consubstantiation, as it is often claimed). Methodists, believe in the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine (or grape juice) while, alike Anglicans and Lutherans, rejecting transubstantiation. Classical Presbyterianism- held the Calvinist view of "pneumatic presence" or "spiritual feeding."; a purely symbolic view. Footnote: MaGrath, This Holy Mystery: Part Two". The United Methodist Church GBOD. Retrieved 30 May In Eastern Orthodox Theology, rarely used the term "transubstantiation" (metousiosis); however, terms such as "divine mystery", "trans-elementation" (μεταστοιχείωσις metastoicheiosis), (μεταρρύθμισις metarrhythmisis), or simply "change" (μεταβολή) are more common among them and they consider the change from bread and wine into the actual flesh (Body) and actual blood (Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ) a "Mystery". The consecration being performed by the Holy Spirit during the Epiklisis at the Divine Liturgy. Footnotes: 1. Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. Myst., 5, 7 (Patrologia Graeca 33:1113): μεταβολή 2. Gregory of Nyssa, Oratio catechetica magna, 37 (PG 45:93): μεταστοιχειώσας. 3. John Chrysostom, Homily 1 on the betrayal of Judas, 6 (PG 49:380): μεταρρύθμησις. 4. Cyril of Alexandria, On Luke, 22, 19 (PG 72:911): μετίτησις. 5. John Damascene. 12 Koinonia January & February 2014

15 Ask Father Nick continued Q: How did God create the universe in six days? ~Tony Vaitsis A: The proposition Science has confirmed that the universe developed over billions of years. The Bible says God created everything in six days. The Bible s text does not require us to believe that creation was completed in six days. In fact, the words used in Genesis give room for God taking billions of years to create our universe. The Bible begins with this statement from God: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The next sentence in Genesis says the earth was without form and void, and darkness over it. The rest of the chapter goes on to describe God further developing his creation: the earth s atmosphere, positioning the sun and stars, separating the Earth s water from land, creating plant and animal and sea life, and finally, humanity. The question is, does the Bible say that God finished creating the universe in six days? Why the controversy? Genesis does read as though the heavens and the earth were finished on the sixth day: And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. It says sixth day. But you need to know that Genesis was written in Hebrew. The Hebrew language uses fewer words than English, bringing greater ambiguity. For example, in Hebrew, Earth can mean land, ground, region, or country. The word day (which is yom in Hebrew) can mean: a 24-hour day, daytime, today, forever, continually, or an undetermined amount of time. So, the sixth day is actually an unknown length of time. There is nothing that requires us to read it as six 24-hour days. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Doesn t that say 24 hours? No. Evening and morning is an idiomatic expression in Semitic languages. Like all idioms, its meaning is nonliteral like yom, denotes a long and indefinite period. Ambiguous reference to time is found throughout the Bible. For example, kings empires were often referred to in this way, In the days of King Josiah Certainly their reign lasted years, not just days. And, it is stated in the New Testament, But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Even that is meant figuratively, not literally 1,000 years = one day. The point is, God s sense of time is quite different from ours. Our definition of day is a full rotation of the earth in 24-hours, but during creation, who s to say? In the second chapter of Genesis, it says: These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. Yom is not meant to be defined specifically. If the Hebrew were specific, then certainly we would need to hold to whatever it says. However, the end of Genesis chapter one could just as accurately be translated, And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth time period. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished The text does not obligate us to conclude that God completed his creation in six, 24-hour time slots, nor does the book of Genesis necessarily conflict with scientific conclusions that formation of the earth and universe lasted billions of years. Again, the important point is that Scripture is very clear that in real history, God chose to create the earth, the sun and stars, all aspects of the universe, the oceans, the vegetation, the sea life, the animals, and humanity. God, unequivocally, is the Creator and Originator of it all. Q: Why does the Orthodox Church never cover the Altar Gospels in leather? ~ Dean Darrah A: Traditionally, the Orthodox Church will never cover the Gospel Book in leather the skin of a dead animal because the words of Christ are considered to be life-giving. Animal skins are also reminiscent of the Fall of Man, when God fashioned garments of skin for Adam and Eve after their disobedience(genesis 3:21). The Apostle Paul speaks of Christ being the "New Adam" (1st Corinthians 15:22,47-49), and the Orthodox understand Christ as coming to clothe mankind in the original "garments of light" which Adam and Eve lost in Paradise. Traditionally, the Gospel is covered in Gold, the earthly element which is best symbolizes the glory of Heaven. If gold in unavailable, the Gospel may be covered in elaborate cloth. The Gospel Book rests on the center of the altar table, as the Cross of Christ was planted in the center of the earth. This placement of the Gospel Book also represents the activity of Christ at the Creation (the square Altar representing the created world). The Gospel rests upon the antimension, (consecrated relic cloth) which remains on the Altar at all times, as Christ will remain with the Church until the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20). Koinonia January & February

16 Ask Father Nick continued Q: Can you give us a brief history of and what happened to the relics of the Three Hierarchs? ~ Subdeacon Labib Michael El-Bawdawil A: The Three Hierarchs ( Greek: Οἱ Τρεῖς Ἱεράρχαι, Greek: Οι Τρεις Ιεράρχες) of Eastern Christianity refers to St. Basil the Great (also known as St. Basil of Caesarea), St. Gregory the Theologian (also known as St. Gregory of Nazianzus) and St. John Chrysostom. They were highly influential bishops of the early church who played pivotal roles in shaping Christian theology. In Eastern Christianity they are also known as the Three Great Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers. St. Gregory the Theologian s most significant theological contributions arose from his defense of the doctrine of the Trinity. He is especially noted for his contributions to the field of pneumatology that is, theology concerning the nature of the Holy Spirit. He emphasized that Jesus did not cease to be God when he became a man, nor did he lose any of his divine attributes when he took on human nature. Additionally, the Liturgy of St Gregory the Theologian is used by the Coptic Church is named after him. Following his death, Saint Gregory was buried at Nazianzus. His relics were transferred to Constantinople in 950, into the Church of the Holy Apostles. Part of the relics were taken from Constantinople by Crusaders during the Fourth Crusade, in 1204, and ended up in Rome. On November 27, 2004, those relics, along with those of St. John Chrysostom, were returned to (Constantinople) by Pope John Paul II, with the Vatican retaining a small portion of both. The relics are now enshrined in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George in the Fanar. St. Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great, (329 or 330 January 1, 379) (Greek: Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας) was the Greek bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was an influential theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early Christian church, fighting against both Arianism and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea. In addition to his work as a theologian, Basil was known for his care of the poor and underprivileged. Basil established guidelines for monastic life which focus on community life, liturgical prayer, and manual labour. Together with Pachomius he is remembered as a father of communal monasticism in Eastern Christianity. Though it is difficult at this time to know exactly which parts of the Divine Liturgies which bear his name are actually his work, a vast corpus of prayers attributed to him has survived in the various Eastern Christian churches. Tradition also credits Basil with the elevation of the iconostasis to its present height. One liturgy that can be attributed to him is The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, a liturgy that is somewhat longer than the more commonly used Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The difference between the two is primarily in the silent prayers said by the priest, and in the use of the hymn to the Theotokos, All of Creation, instead of the Axion Estin of Saint John Chrysostom's Liturgy. Chrysostom's Liturgy has come to replace Saint Basil's on most days in the Eastern Orthodox. There are numerous relics of Saint Basil throughout the world. One of the most important is his head, which is preserved to this day at the monastery of the Great Lavra on Mount Athos in Greece. St. John Chrysostom: ( , Greek: Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσόστομος), Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. Beyond his preaching, the lasting legacy of St. John is his influence on the Divine Liturgy. Also his many writings are particularly notable. He harmonized the liturgical life of the Church by revising the prayers and rubrics of the Divine Liturgy, and celebration of the Holy Eucharist. To this day, Eastern Orthodox typically celebrates the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom as the normal Eucharistic liturgy, most of the year. St. John Chrysostom died in the city of Comana in the year 407 on his way to his place of exile because of his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders. 14 Koinonia January & February 2014

17 Ask Father Nick continued OUR CHURCH MINISTRIES PLEASE VOLUNTEER! Q: What ministries do we have at our Church? ~ John Yatras A: 1. Liturgical, Sacramental, Pastoral - Fr. Gamvas 2. Deaconate Ministry & Prison Ministry - Deacon Shiepis 3. Altar Servers - Priest & Deacon 4. Youth: JOY - Tiffany Manos, GOYA - Linda Natale, YAL - Billy Poulos III 5. St. Haralambos Hellenic Dancers - Eleni Paxos, Director 6. Clergy Brotherhood - Campus Ministry at Malone, Walsh, & Mt. Union 7. Music Ministry - Jr. Choir & Sr. Choir - Dr. Alex Christ 8. Chanting & Readers - Protopsalti Petros Guitanos 9. Administrative - Parish Council 10. Men s Club - Pete Papadopulos, President 11. Ladies Philoptochos - Mary Trifelos, President 12. Silver Liners - Kathy Dieringer, President 13. Bookstore Ministry 14. Sunday School Ministry & Religious Education Ministry - Mary Griveas, Director 15. Greek School, Language & Culture Ministry - Dennis Tzouloufis, Principal & Instructor 16. Adult Greek School - Dena Apostolou, Instructor 17. Vacation Bible School - Sponsored by Clergy Brotherhood 18. Adult Bible Study - Fr. Gamvas 19. Adult & Youth Bible Study - Deacon Shiepis 20. Pan-Orthodox Events - Sponsored by Clergy Brotherhood 21. Thanksgiving, Christmas, & Pascha Food Outreach - Mary Griveas, Sunday School 22. Shut in Outreach - Priest & Philoptochos 23. Community Outreach, Agape for Education (Cedar & Madge Youtz Schools, Salvation Army, Battered Woman s Shelter, & YWCA) - Karen Lazoran, Coordinator 24. The Repository Giving Tree - Philoptochos, Mary Griveas 25. Habitat for Humanity - Mike & Karen Lazoran, Coordinators 26. AHEPA Outreach - Ahepa Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles, Maids of Athena 27. Funeral & Makaria Outreach - Ladies Philoptochos 28. Chios Society 29. Pan-Cretan Knossos Chapter 30. St. John s Soup Kitchen - Paula Macris, Coordinator and Clergy Brotherhood participation 31. On-line Ministry 32. Koinonia & Sunday Bulletins 33. St. Nicholas Gift Project - Sunday School, Mary Griveas, Director 34. Stewardship 35. St. Nicholas Uganda Shoes Project for Children - Sunday School & Parish Community 36. Athletic Youth Ministries 37. Good of The Church Ministry 38. Summerfest Orthodox Church & Cultural Ministry - Greater Canton Community Outreach 39. Metropolis Ministries - Camp & Retreats & Missions to New Mexico-Navaho & Montana-Blackfeet 40. OCMC Orthodox Missions 41. Archdiocesan Ministries & International Missions Koinonia January & February

18 16 Koinonia January & February 2014

19 Father Gamvas welcomes Deacon Keric to Saint Haralambos Church On November 1, 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh assigned the Rev. Dr. Deacon Kyriakos Shiepis, officially to serve as a Deacon at Saint Haralambos. I am personally honored to welcome Deacon Keric, his wife Melissa (Papadopulos), and their daughter Kerissa, to our parish in this ministry. Deacon Keric will assist in the distribution of the Holy Sacraments at Liturgical Services, he will continue to offer a monthly Bible Study, and he will also begin a new ministry, as Chaplain to the Stark County Sherriff s Department. Rev. Dn. Dr. Keric, is the son of a very distinguished Priest and Presbytera, Fr. Constantine & Presbytera Panagiota Shiepis, from the Stark County Area, Metropolis of Pittsburgh, and of our Archdiocese of America for over 60 years. Members of their families have been acquainted with St. Haralambos Church for at least eighty years. Our own, Mrs. Esther Vagotis is Deacon Keric s Godmother. To our new Deacon, Axios, and to his family welcome. We are very blessed and most fortunate to have this spiritual and most talented Deacon and Chiropractor and his family as new members of our church family. We pray that their service, ministry, and tenure here, will be most spiritually enriching and rewarding. Please join me in embracing Deacon Keric, his wife Melissa, and their daughter Kerissa with Christian love and hospitality and philoxenia. Koinonia January & February

20 ST. HARALAMBOS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH ELECTION COMMITTEE Parish Council Members Election Results Report from December 1, 2013 TERM FROM: Chair Election Committee - Angela Vagotis Shankel Committee Members - Kay Colon, John Kellamis, Michael Lazoran, Roger Shook On December 1, 2013, the Parish Council election was held. There were 7 vacancies and the election committee received 7 applications which were submitted by the October 31, 1013 deadline. An uncontested election was held, with 46 ballots cast and the following individuals were elected to the Parish Council: RON A. DARRAH PETER PAPADOPULOS MICHAEL PAXOS SIA POPE DR. WILLIAM SKENDELAS GEORGIA ZENALLIS DR. ERICK ZOUMBERAKIS Respectfully submitted in His Name, Angela Vagotis Shankel, Chair Election Committee A very gracious thank you to outgoing Parish Council Members, JAMES KELLAMIS and ANTHONY RAMPHOS Your many, many years of dedicated service are appreciated by all of your church family! CONGRATULATIONS! To Fr. Yanni & Presbytera Mindy Virginis and their Children, Our Congratulations & Best Wishes on your new Ministry at St. Nicholas Church in Youngstown, Ohio To Fr. Eugene and Presbytera Dr. Gabriella Ruso & their daughter Anna Maria, Our Congratulations & Best Wishes on your new Ministry at St. George Church in Massillon, Ohio GOD S BLESSINGS & BEST WISHES! 18 Koinonia January & February 2014

21 What it means to me to be a Deacon in the Orthodox Church It is only by the Grace of God that I am even a Deacon in the Orthodox Church. I by no means proclaim to be worthy of the position, but God s Grace perfects that which is lacking for the glory of His Church. It is with great joy that I am writing this for the Koinonia of St. Haralambos. Words cannot describe the joy that I experience serving the Divine services of the Orthodox Church, I truly feel as though I am in heaven. To be able to stand at the most Holiest place on earth, the altar of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to be able to have as a Proistamenos such a God-fearing and respected Priest as Fr. Nicholas fills my heart with joy and gladness beyond description., As a young child (4 yrs. old) my heart yearned to be in the altar at St. George in Massillon, Ohio with my father, Fr. Shiepis. I could not wait for Holy Week and especially Holy Saturday night. I would toss and turn in bed waiting for the time to get up to go to Church. I considered it such a privilege to be there serving in any capacity because this is Jesus house His throne. Having read in the Bible how many unworthy people were swallowed up by the earth for unauthorized sacrifices to the Lord gave me respect for Holy Altar. There was no doubt in my mind that the Lord dwells there. To be so close to Him felt so right to me. When I graduated from high school countless people would ask me if I was going to follow in my father s footsteps and go to the seminary and become a priest. My answer to them was always an emphatic no because I always wanted to become a physician. The Bible states that the Lord knows us before we are formed and He calls each and every one of us into His service in all sorts of capacities. It is our responsibility to heed His calling for us. We must remember that each and every one of us is going to have to give an account for our lives to our maker. One of the greatest gifts that our Lord gives us is the gift of our free will. Unfortunately sometimes we take that for granted, even though we will have to give an accounting for it. I was attending church after coming home from college graduation and I remember it was during the Good Friday evening the Lamentations service. Fr. Shiepis was in the altar along with the chanter Orestes Varonis (prior to his ordination) with no altar servers. Through out the service I felt the deep desire to go in there to help, after the service as I received the blessed flower. I asked for my father s blessing to once again enter into the Holy Altar to serve in whatever capacity he wanted me. It felt like I was back home after a six year leave of absence. The Lord opened my heart to want to learn more about Him and His Holy House and there began my spiritual thirst for theological studies. By the Grace of God I was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by Metropolitan Maximos at St. George on March 6, It has been one of the greatest fulfillments of my life to serve as a Deacon and to help lead the church in her worship of the blessed Trinity and to help administer the Holy Sacraments. I often wonder to myself how I am going to be able to live up to such a divine calling. In my thought process I always think of the scripture reading that says He has known us from our mother s womb and by His life-giving breath we are conceived and born. We become worthy by His Grace and when by our cooperation and works of faith we will make ourselves one with Him. Let us never forget that God the Holy Spirit is within each and every one of us always. He moves us to heed His call. My wife Diakonisa Melissa, our daughter Kerissa and I are very proud to be able to call St. Haralambos our home and we look forward to growing in Christ with all of you, our new family. Rev. Dn. Dr. Keric J. Shiepis Deacon Keric, Diakonisa Melissa & Kerissa Koinonia January & February

22 The ordination to holy deaconate of L a b i b M i c h a e l e l - b a r d aw i l SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2013 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH "Many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14 Dear Parishioners: Subdeacon Labib Michael El-Bardawil is scheduled to be ordained to the Holy Deaconate by His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church in Canton, Ohio, on the 101st Anniversary of our Church and Parish. Axios! On behalf of everyone at St. Haralambos parish, I take this opportunity to express our sincerest expressions of "Congratulations & Best Wishes" to our members Subdeacon Labib Michael, his wife Nina, and their two sons on the upcoming Holy Sacrament of Ordination to the Holy Diaconate of Labib Michael. According to His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, Labib Michael El-Bardawil will be assigned and attached to St. Haralambos Church. However, he will be on loan to Holy Trinity for an indefinite period of time. Fr. Dan Rogich and myself were informed by the Rev. Protopresbyter George S. Callos, Chancellor of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, that we are to share Labib Michael in a Ministry to the Elderly of both parishes for Nursing Home Visits and Shut-ins. May God grant health and strength to Labib Michael as he begins his new ministry as a Deacon of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh. Also be it known, that both Deacons Keric & Labib are subject to be called to serve His Eminence Metropolitan Savas whenever needed. We look forward to seeing everyone at this Holy Sacrament of Ordination. Not many people have an opportunity to witness, please join us. In Christ's love, Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas, Proistamenos ALL ARE WELCOME! PLEASE JOIN US AND WITNESS THIS VERY SPECIAL SACRAMENT OF ORDINATION! 20 Koinonia January & February 2014

23 Labib Michael el-bardawil My name is Labib Michael El-Bardawil. I was born and brought up in an Orthodox Christian home in Lebanon. Our house was a little church. My parents were very devoted believers. Holy icons were in every room in the house and the Bible had a special place in the living room to be seen and read by all of us. Besides my parents, I have one sister and one brother. I went to an Orthodox Christian School from day one until I finished high school where the principal was the present Patriarch, His Holiness Ignatius Hazim of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. Later, I went to Paris, France to Art and L Oreal schools to study cosmetology. Since then, I thank God that I have been working hard and have been successful all my life. I had a dream since I was seven years old to become a priest. I always have been very active in the church.. I started to chant at a very young age and I did my best to learn as much Byzantine music as I could at the high school. I was also a member of the high school choir. Later on I conducted a good choir of twenty-five people in my church and was the Superintendent of the Sunday School. For a long time my life revolved around the Church of Christ whom I love and follow His teaching. I was a member of the youth movement of the Orthodox Church in Lebanon. I speak five languages: Italian, French, Spanish, English, Arabic, and I have some knowledge of Greek. I am now taking private lessons in Greek by Professor John Stergiades who is a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. My family includes my wife Nina in which we have been married for 35 years. We have two sons who work in our local school system as football coaches. Where we currently live, in Canton, Ohio, I have my own business Chez Labib Studio for skin and hair. Thank God it s going well. In 2009 I graduated after taking the Saint Stephen s course of studies in Orthodox Theology. I learned that the word Deacon is derived from the Greek diakonos or diakonia meaning servant or one who serves. My family and I belong to Saint Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church in Canton, Ohio, and currently serving as Sub-Deacon and chanter. I feel and know that I have been called to be a servant in the church of the Lord. I pray to God to give me the opportunity to serve Him by helping the people of the church for the rest of my life so help me God. Labib, Nina, Walid & Badre El-Bardawil Labib Michael El-Bardawil Koinonia January & February

24 St. Haralambos Name Day BANQUET Sunday, February 16, 2013 Immediately following church services in the Alex D. Krassas Center CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR HONOREES! The Men s Club proudly presents the 2013 MAN OF THE YEAR STEVE PAXOS The Ladies Philoptochos Society proudly presents the 2013 WOMEN S HALL OF DISTINCTION HELEN DIAMANT SOPHIA EFFANTIS ANGELINE GENIATAKIS EFTICHIA LEMOS HARRIET MARINOS OLGA MICHALOS BETH SHOOK SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS will also be presented awards, honorees will be announced soon! Tickets available soon in the Church Office. More information TBA. 22 Koinonia January & February 2014


26 COMMUNITY NEWS St. Haralambos Church BIRTH EVA PARIS SMITH, daughter of Chad & Maria (Apostolou) Smith, was born on December 5, Proud grandparents are Paris & Dena Apostolou. Congratulations! BAPTISM GIA KIMIKO CARPENTER, daughter of George & Miya Carpenter. was baptized on November 9, Her Godmother is Elaine Poulos. Na Sas Zhsi! ANDREW DOUGLAS PANAGOP0ULOS son of Mark & Melissa Panagopoulos, was baptized on November 16, His Godfather is Christopher Vallos. Na Sas Zhsi! DEATH & UPCOMING MEMORIALS Our heartfelt condolences to the family of HARRY PAPATHEODOROU - November 22, Memorial Services will be held for ROSALIE FORINASH - 5 yrs. on January 12, ANNA PIROVOLOS - 1 yr. February 16, STEVE PIROVOLOS - 3 yrs. February 16, May their beautiful memory be eternal! VASILOPITA - IN MEMORY OF The 2014 Vasilopita reception is being sponsored by Peter Papadopulos, Paula Papadopulos, and Barb and Nick Lambrou in loving memory of their parents: SHERIFF GEORGE PAPADOPULOS - 33 yrs. BETTY PAPADOPULOS Betty - 6 yrs, May their memory be eternal! BLESSED ITEMS For your convenience, blessed items such as palms, Epitaphio flowers, basil, etc. may be delivered to the church office for incineration. Please bring these items in a bag for the church custodian. Any donation for the church are appreciated. Thank you! ADDRESS DIRECTORIES & CHANGES New parishioner address directories are ready for pick-up in the church office, please stop by during the week or on Sundays. Please update your new directories with the following address and/or phone number changes. Thank you! KELLAMIS, DAUNIA 22 Cliftwood Dr. Huntington, NY MANOS, MARY 1653 Southpointe Cir. N.E. Canton, OH PANAGOPOULOS, PAUL & DARLENE 1466 So. Main St. #102 No. Canton, OH POULOS, JOHN 4015 Logan Ave. N.W. Canton, OH SOTIROPOULOS, GEORGE & VOULA TSENEKOS, CHRIS & AMY 1935 Hunting Valley N.W. North, Canton, OH OFFERING ENVELOPES Offering envelopes are available in the church lobby for those who currently use them and those who would like to start using them (please inquire in the office). REMINDER - MEETINGS, PRACTICES, ETC. To avoid any conflicts please call the church office FIRST TO SCHEDULE OR CANCEL any meetings, practices, or cancellations due to weather as soon as possible. Thank you for your continued valuable communication! WASH AWAY! If you happen to use any kitchen towels, aprons, etc. while you are at church, please take them home to be laundered and returned. Every little bit helps so when it is needed... it s clean. Thank you for your assistance! WEBSITE Read the Koinonia in color! 24 Koinonia January & February 2014

27 . COMMUNITY NEWS St. Haralambos Church On behalf of our St. Haralambos Family, we would like to sincerely thank Helen Christ who donated a beautiful candelabra in memory of her daughter, René Christ Miller and husband, Anthony Christ. May their memory be eternal. The candelabra adorns the table for the Artoclasia services. Your gift to the church is much appreciated. We sincerely thank the Rossi Family Funeral Home for continuing their very generous donation of our church calendars. We are very grateful for your valuable support to our church! All of us here at the Canton YWCA Early Childhood Learning Center would like to say thank you for the hugables, hats, gloves and scarves. Our children loved them! Merry Christmas! THANK YOU! Dear St. Haralambos Church Parishioners, On behalf of the Board of Education and the staff and students of Canton City School District, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for you generous donation of 10 Thanksgiving meals for families at McGregor Elementary School. Once again, thank you for your continued support of our children and the Canton City School District. Sincerely, Adrian E. Allison Superintendent Dear Karen (Lazoran) & Parishioners, Thank you so much for all of the school supplies and books! You are such a blessing! Sincerely, Madge Youtz School Students & Staff Another Year Is Dawning Another year is dawning, Dear Master, let it be, In working, or in waiting, Another year with Thee. Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace; Another year of gladness In the shining of Thy face. Another year of progress, Another year of praise, Another year of proving Thy presence all the days. Another year of service, Of witness of Thy love, Another year of training For holier work above. Another year is dawning, Dear Master, let it be On earth, or else in Heaven Another year for Thee. --Francis Ridley Havergal (1874) Dear Parishioners, Thank you so much for the wonderful stuffed animals! Our students were so happy to receive them! We cherish your partnership with Canton City Schools! Thank you! Merry Christmas from all of the students and staff from Madge Youtz Elementary! Dear St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church, Your generous donation to the students of Cedar Elementary is greatly appreciated. Our community is truly fortunate to be blessed with the support you provide. Because of your thoughtfulness, students are eequipped with pants, socks, and pencils to work with. Thank you for your assistance. The students, staff, and parents are grateful for your kidness. Your contribution will ensure a successful eyar of learning. Sincere, Deborah Fontes Student, Family and Support Cedar Elementary School Thank you for your donations of hats & gloves. The students and staff appreciate all you do. May God Bless and keep you in your new season. Mrs. Fontes School Community Worker Cedar Elementary School Koinonia January & February

28 St. Haralambos Church PHILOPTOCHOS As we enter the New Year, Philoptochos would like to express our gratitude to Father Nick for his support and guidance; to our Parish Council; to our office staff, Alexandra Tank and Stephanie Withers, for all their assistance in the office. Thank you to John Sakellariou, Ron Darrah, the kitchen crew, and Vince Arrigo for all their help. Thanks to all the families who donate to the memorial coffee hours and makarias in memory of their loved ones. Thanks to the parishioners of St. Haralambos for their support and generous donations to our projects and fundraisers that help the mission of Philoptochos to lend a hand to those in need. We continue to donate to the needy for food, utility bills, medical expenses, charities to the Metropolis of Pittsburgh Philoptochos and National Philoptochos. In December, we also donated to the Sunday School Christmas Food Drive, Sunday School Shoes for Children in Uganda, GOYA and JOY. NEW MEMBERS WE NEED YOU! Membership Drive - January 2014 Philoptochos has been the strength to the poor, and to the needy. We are the women of St. Haralambos who will continue the work of past generations! Together we can continue to build on their foundation of good works advancing the goals of Philoptochos. We have many talented women at St. Haralambos. TOGETHER, PLEASE JOIN US HAND IN HAND IN OUR MISSION and make St. Haralambos Philoptochos even better. Our Annual Christmas Party was lovely at LaPizzaria. Thanks to our Chairmen Sophie Unser and Dolly Sousaris who always plan a delightful party. It was wonderful spending time with our friends in fellowship during this Christmas Season. Visits in December - Barb Lambrou, Paula Papadopulos, and Goldie Manos assisted me in visiting our parishioners who are residing in area nursing homes and who are unable to leave their homes. Thank you ladies! Giving Tree All 100 names were taken off the tree. A special thanks to Mary Griveas, chairman, and to everyone that made sure someone less fortunate in our community had a better Christmas this year. Christmas Decorations Special thanks to the talents of Goldie Manos, Niove Fasoulas, Anna Paxos, Rita Trikkas, Tula Pirovolos, Ann Simatacolos, Flora Anderson, Rena Cotopolis, Mary Manos, Kathy Dieringer, Georgia Matthews and (I helped too) for beautifying our church for Christmas. Thanks to John Sakellariou and Dean Darrah for assisting us with all the heavy tasks of decorating. November & December Coffee Hour To our Coffee Chairmen Rena Cotopolis and Paula Macris a big thank you for coordinating the coffee hours. Thanks to Nancy Xides, Thea Kiminas, Goldie Manos, Ann Simatacolos, Mary Trifelos, Flora Anderson, Diane Foradas, Betty Tsangeos, Helen & Mike Apostalides, Stephanie Withers and Tina Wey for providing the refreshments for the coffee hour to our St. Haralambos members following the Sunday Liturgy. TO ALL PARISHIONERS: We would kindly ask you to participate and bring cookies or finger pastries on any Sunday morning and drop them off in the Tri Room Kitchen. Philoptochos Chapter Challenge In October, Mary Griveas, Kathy Dieringer and I delivered 50 buckets of cleaning supplies to the YWCA. Our goal is to donate 150 buckets. These items are needed when women and children move to apartments from homeless shelters. We will continue our project so when you see buckets in the lobby bring a cleaning product (or products) to FILL THE BUCKETS! Our heartfelt THANKS to all of you! 26 Koinonia January & February 2014

29 PHILOPTOCHOS Vasilopeta Sunday: Thank you to Nick and Barb Lambrou, Paula Papadopulos and Peter Papadopulos, for sponsoring the Vasilopeta in memory their father Sheriff George and their mother Betty Papadopulos. Thank you to our Chairmen Helen Apostalides and Kathy Dieringer and the Philoptochos Board for coordinating the Vasilopeta Sunday for our parish. Thanks to Katherine Manuselis who baked all the Vasilopetas. St. Haralambos Nameday Activities - Philoptochos will host the St. Haralambos Nameday Luncheon on Monday, February. 10. after Divine Liturgy. Also, Philoptochos will be serving the Vesper Tea Reception on Saturday evening, February 15. Thanks to our Chairperson, Mary Griveas and our members for coordinating these receptions. Our next meeting will be Monday, February 3, 2014 held in the Tri-Room at 6:30 PM. It will be a night of fellowship and games. Hope to see you at the meeting! Refreshments will be provided by Georgia Trikkas, Rita Trikkas and Linda Paxos thank you, ladies. NEW MEMBERS WELCOMED! WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS! Respectfully in His Name, Mary Trifelos President, St. Haralambos Ladies Philoptochos Society CHAPTER CHALLENGE We delivered 50 buckets to the YWCA! Thank you for your support! Our goal: 100 more! HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE ST. HARALAMBOS LADIES PHILOPTOCHOS SOCIETY! Koinonia January & February

30 St. Haralambos Church A PHILOPTOCHOS COUNTRY MEETING! November 4, 2013 Ladies of Philoptochos enjoyed a patriotic country performance from singer Jon King! Carol Capocci, Jon King & Mary Trifelos Linda Paxos & Sophia Effantis Rita Trikkas, Linda Paxos & Georgia Trikkas Sophia Usner, Mary Trifelos, Diane Foster, Stella Vallos & Mary Griveas Goldie Manos, Theana Koutras, Helen Tsarwhas, Kevin Oblisk, Betty Tsangeos & Phanoula Kreareas Helen Apostalides, Kathy Dieringer, Mary Manos & Katie Darrah Georgia Matthews, Anna Paxos, Helen Meder & Thea Kiminas Mary Trifelos, Sophia Effantis & Harriet Marinos 28 And the youngin s also joined in! Anna Darrah & Arianna Vallos Kickin it are Mary Trifelos, Betty Tsangeos & Diane Foster Koinonia January & February 2014

31 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH Silver Liners HAPPY NEW YEAR! New members are always welcome! Orthodox Christians age 55 and over! Dues are only $10.00 for 2014! MEETINGS TUESDAYS 12:00 Noon in the Cultural Center Mark your calendars today! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Our group ended 2013 with an overnight trip to the lovely, historic Greenbrier in West Virginia. We had deluxe accommodations in beautiful surroundings, which included over fifty uniquely decorated Christmas trees; 3000 poinsettias; and outdoor light displays that took our breath away. We were pampered and treated like royalty with our own private banquet room. We hope to return in 2014! Congratulations to Dolly Sousaris and Mary Stavrakis, who once again headed up our annual Community Christmas card project. These women collected the names; selected the card; addressed and mailed them to all of our parishioners. Thank you, thank you ladies! Well done! We begin our new year of luncheons on Tuesday, January 21 with a program by Mandy Pool of the Massillon Museum. Her topic is Entertainment of the Early Years. See you on the third Tuesday of each month at noon for an afternoon of delicious food (prepared by Chef Ron and his kitchen crew), fellowship, and an informative program. ~ Kathy Dieringer GREENBRIER TRIP Silver Liners & Friends at Greenbrier in West Virginia Koinonia January & February

32 No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. All Sunday School outreach programs continue to be a community effort and we are most grateful for everyone s support. Thank you, thank you!! ST. HARALAMBOS SUNDAY SCHOOL THANKSGIVING Our goal was to help 36 families. We were able to provide food baskets to a total of 49! Special thanks to Giant Eagle of Washington Square for providing gift cards, cases and cases of food products, as well as to our entire Saint Haralambos family, whose donations helped us surpass that goal. This Christmas through your continued monetary support we will again provide hams and grocery gift cards to families in need. Heartfelt thanks to our SS teachers, students, our JOY children, who brought food items, helped assemble Thanksgiving baskets and also adopted a family for Thanksgiving, our Hellenic Dancers, who collected items at their dance practices to fill them, our GOYANS, who did a lot of heavy lifting and helping wherever needed as well as adopting a family at Christmas, and to all the Saint Haralambos community for joining hands to help those less fortunate in the community and now, through our Saint Nicholas Gift Project, reaching half way around the world. SAINT NICHOLAS GIFT PROJECT Speaking of our Saint Nicholas Gift Project, we went in a different direction this year by asking students to provide money toward a pair of school shoes to the students of the Saint Nicholas School in Uganda. Our goal was to provide 80 pairs of shoes. By opening it up to our community we surpassed that goal by almost 115 additional pairs! We ve prepared a wall of shoes in the Sunday School hallway. Please stop and take a look at how many pairs of shoes were donated by our Saint Haralambos Community. This is in addition to those donated by our Sunday School students! Amazing! In January the Saint Nicholas School in Uganda begins their new school term. We are humbled and excited to announce that to date close to 200 of the 270 students at the school will be sporting a brand new pair of shiny black leather shoes when they begin instruction thanks to all of you. SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS A very special note of thanks to the families of Michael and Debbie Morgan and Matt and Jaime Rocco, who once again this year put together large, beautiful gift bags, complete with grocery gift cards to use at our discretion for families in need at Christmas. What a wonderful act of charity, kindness, and generosity of spirit! A beautiful lesson, also, for their children as to the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of sharing our blessings with those less fortunate. God bless your families always and thank you again! OUR HIGH SCHOOL CLASS We are grateful, also, to Mrs. Karen Lazoran and her high school students for their continued dedication to two successful projects, Hugables for Christ and hats, mittens, scarves collections. We wish to also thank everyone who continues to support these wonderful outreach projects through your many donations. HO, HO, HO! Sunday, December 22 nd a special guest visited all the classrooms! We wish to thank "Santa" for visiting us and look forward to his annual visit with much anticipation! Ho-ho-ho! UPCOMING VASILOPETA CELEBRATION On Sunday, January 12 th, our annual Sunday School Vasilopeta celebration will take place. Special thanks once again to Kathy Hardesty and Stephanie Likouris who make delicious Vasilopeta breads annually for all the children to enjoy. It is always exciting to see who will receive the lucky coin embedded in each of the breads. Please take time to ask your children about this annual event as well as its significance. In closing, and most importantly, our children are learning and thriving in Sunday School, thanks to the love, devotion, and dedication of our wonderful teachers. Please take a moment to thank them for all they continue to do for YOUR children each and every week and make a new year s resolution to bring them regularly so they may continue to learn about and grow in our beautiful Orthodox faith. Thank you. God bless our entire Saint Haralambos family with a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year! Respectfully in His Name, Mary Griveas 30 Koinonia January & February 2014

33 ST. HARALAMBOS SUNDAY SCHOOL ST. NICHOLAS GIFT PROJECT 2013 Thank you to photographer Karen Lazoran! Koinonia January & February

34 HEARTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD OUR COMPASSION In Ephesians 2:10, St. Paul writes We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. What compassion our Church has for our Community! The High School Class bagged and tagged 325 stuffed animals for our Hugables for Christ and bagged and tagged over 142 complete sets of hat/mittens/scarves for St. Nicholas Day. You knew the need was great and you put your Love and Compassion into action by your generous donations. This has always been God s Outreach and His Ministry, to God be the glory for the good works He has allowed us to accomplish in HIS NAME! We ARE touching the people in our community one heart at a time. The Hugables for Christ and the Hats/mittens/scarf sets will be distributed to Madge Youtz and Cedar Schools, the YWCA, The Battered Woman s Shelter, and the Salvation Army. STILL COLLECTING We will continue to collect hats, mittens, and scarves through January 20 th, At the same time please start to collect boxes of Valentine s Cards, Valentine s Candy, and etc. so that we may distribute them the week before Valentine s Day in February BOOKS NEEDED Our LAST phase of our Community Outreach will be the collection of NEW and GENTLY USED BOOKS to expand libraries and existing Birthday Clubs of our local grade schools. The continuous introduction of good books can open the heart and imagination of a child to experience the world of wonder, beauty, delight, and adventure. PLEASE help us to continue to Change the World One Heart at a Time. MOUNT UNION DONATION On Friday, December 13, 2013, we received an enormous donation of stuffed animals from Mount Union College s Raider Relief Students organization. (We also thank Mr. Harry Padis for informing Mount Union of our Outreach). Then on Sunday, December 15 th, we combined the Junior High and the High School Sunday Classes, our Youth is fantastic, in 3 hours they tagged over 600 stuffed animals for our Hugables for Christ, bagged them for delivery, and cleaned my classroom when they were done!!! Our Outreach was able to gift every student at Madge Youtz School (332+) with a Hugable for Christ for Christmas! Over 250 were delivered to the Salvation Army and over 130 were delivered to the YWCA Preschool Program. When praying for God to bless the Hugables for Christ Outreach, I was not prepared for God s loving response, not only did He supply an abundance of Hugables for Christ for our Community, but He also supplied the manpower in our Youth to get the job done quickly, isn t that just like God: He is the Ultimate Gift Giver... Praise be to God for Blessing Hugables for Christ abundantly! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To God be the Glory! Karen Lazoran, Coordinator An enormous THANK YOU to our St. Haralambos Family for all of your donations! Your continued support throughout the year has been truly amazing! As we worked together with the University of Mount Union showed how much more we were effective with reaching out into the Canton Community. MAY GOD GRANT YOU ABUNDANT BLESSINGS IN 2014! 36 Koinonia January & February 2014

35 HEARTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD THANK YOU ST. HARALAMBOS YOUTH! YOU ARE SO VERY MUCH APPRECIATED BY ALL! Karen Lazoran & Abby Honaker, Asst. Director for Public Service and Civic Engagements at University of Mount Union. BOXES, BAGS, BAGS AND MORE BAGS OF DONATIONS WERE CLEANED, SORTED, TAGGED AND DISTRIBUTED! GOD IS GOOD! ~Karen Mrs. Susan Deem, Community Worker for Madge Youtz Elementary and students were delighted to receive their gifts! Koinonia January & February

36 GOYANS clean up the AGAPE Garden St. Haralambos GOYA Hosts Holy Trinity for an evening of fun, fellowship, and PIZZA! Even Mr. Stameton joined in the fun!!! Louie Varlamos assembles our new Ping Pong Table! Just being silly!! Pre game warm up High Scorer: Dominic Falcon 34 Koinonia January & February 2014

37 ST. HARALAMBOS CHURCH 2014 GOYA TOURNAMENT The St. Haralambos GOYA is proud to host a Metropolis Basketball Tournament JANUARY 31 - FEBRUARY 2, 2014 We are asking for volunteers to help make this event a huge success. This is a major event for both our church and GOYA and we need your help. Many teams and their families will be visiting St. Haralambos from churches across the Metropolis of Pittsburgh. We are hoping for both monetary and food donations to help defray expenses. If you, your family or any company would be willing to donate items needed or sponsor a gym, concessions, Saturday Dance, Sunday Brunch, etc. to help offset the cost, please call or Linda Natale, , Margo Dolph, , FUN, FUN, FUN - JOIN US! Help needed in the following areas: Team Registration Gyms Concession Stands Friday Night Festivities Saturday Night Dinner Saturday Night Dance Sunday Brunch Set-up & Clean-up GOYA-GRAM Only $5 each! Place a GOYA-GRAM of best wishes in the Goya Tournament Booklet! Please return this form along with donation to church office, no later than: SUNDAY, JANUARY 19 Your name: Phone: Message: Please print Koinonia January & February

38 Icon, Gift & Bookstore Happy New Year! New Volunteers Always Welcome! VOLUNTEER SCHEDULE JANUARY 5 Mary Carpathios, Dolly Sousaris 12 Flora Anderson, Helen Tsarwhas 19 Jan & Tony Koutras 26 Ann Simatacolos, Georgia Trikkas FEBRUARY 2 Mary Carpathios, Dolly Sousaris 9 Flora Anderson, Helen Tsarwhas 16 Jan & Tony Koutras 23 Ann Simatacolos, Georgia Trikkas Come in and shop! We will be happy to help you! OPEN HOURS MONDAYS & THURSDAYS 4:30-6:30 p.m. WEDNESDAYS 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. All Proceeds Benefit St. Haralambos Church 36 Koinonia January & February 2014

39 St. Haralambos Hellenic Dancers January-February 2014 a special message Dear St. Haralambos Community: The St. Haralambos Hellenic Dancers continue to be a hard working and dedicated group of our church. The dancers enjoy learning about their culture and heritage through the expression of Greek folk dance. We want to thank all the parishioners for continuously supporting the numerous events that we host and attend. Thanks to all of you, the dance group has been able to donate close to $30,000 directly back to our church s funds!!! THANK YOU!! I look forward to your continued support, which truly benefits our entire community!! The Holiday Ball we hosted during Thanksgiving weekend was a lot of fun! Thank you to everyone who provided monetary donations and who worked tirelessly to make this event possible. I want to personally thank all the dancers and parents for their hard work and dedication in I also want to extend a special thank you to Father Nick, the Parish Council and the Community of St. Haralambos for all of your support. I look forward to the coming year. We ve had a very busy year Performances 2013 Dance-A-Thon Fundraiser: St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church Northwest Elementary International Day:Canal Fulton, OH Pan-Orthodox Competition:Akron, OH St. Haralambos Greek Summerfest: Canton, OH Panagyri Erie: Assumption Church, Erie PA Warren Summer Festival: St. Demetrios Church, Warren, OH Berea Oktoberfest: Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, OH 100 Year Anniversary 5K: St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church St. George Oktoberfest: Massillon, OH Metropolis Dance Festival: Assumption Church Erie, PA 2 nd Annual Holiday Ball: St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church Eleni Paxos, Director St. Haralambos Dancers officers: President, Dawna Natale Vice-President, Alex Spyrou Secretary, Stefanos Spyrou Treasurer, Billy Poulos Visit our website: Mark your calendars: January Thursday, January 2: Senior Performance-Cleveland Cavaliers Pregame Show Thursday, January 9: Practice resumes for all groups Thursday, January 16 Dancer s meeting for all groups 6:30 pm February Thursday, February 13 Dancer s meeting for all 6:30 pm Thursday, February 20 No Practice- all church rooms booked for Heart Ball

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