Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

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1 \\\\\ \Issue 1213 December 2012 The angels offer You a hymn; the heavens a star; The Magi, gifts; the shepherds, their wonder; The earth, its cave; the wilderness, a manger; And we off You a Virgin mother! Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

2 PARISH MINISTRIES Parish Council President Vice President Secretary Treasurer Asst. Treasurer Stephen Bellos Dino Dart Shawn Hathaway Dean Macris Church Office Jeanne Fakis Sunday School Elsa Galetsa Director Paula Dart Yannoula Ballassi John Fakis Dean Antipas JoAnn Ballassi Penny Maistros Tim Matsas Karen Stearns Demetrius Tasoulas Choir John Fakis - Director Dora Georgeady - Asst. Director Cantor George Papadopoulos Alexander Filip Altar Boys Kostas Lanis Dimitri Sferrazza Philoptochos Jeanne Fakis - President Bible Study Fr. Dean Greek School Dora Georgeady - Teacher Hellenic Dancers Nancy Bellos Sophia Karabelas Christina Anastasiou Senior Citizens Myrtle Johnston President Youth G.O.Y.A. Bookstore Penny Maistros Web Page Julianne Swanson Order of AHEPA Demetrius E. Tasoulas - President Foundation Fund (Endowment) James Colonis Paedeia Society Stephan Nousiopoulos - President St. Sophia Hellenic Orthodox Church 200 Hempstead St., New London, CT (860) FAX (860) Fr. Dean: (860) Web Page: Facebook: Saint Sophia Church Fr. Dean A. Panagos - Pastor Weekly Please call the office to be placed on the parish weekly list for the most up-to-date parish news. Also, please let us know if you d like to receive the monthly bulletin via instead of having it mailed to your home. Sponsors of this issue of the Orthodox Life Mrs. Olga Manavas Loewer, Mrs. Despina Manavas Tyropolis and Mr. John Paul Manavas, a Christmas memory for their beloved father and mother, Paul and Kleoniki Manavas. Thank you to all who sponsored the Orthodox Life this year. Your donations help defray the cost of printing and mailing the bulletin each month. BULLETIN SPONSORSHIP FORM Yes, I would like to sponsor an issue of the Orthodox Life Name In memory of In honor of Other (circle) Donation: $50 Please make checks payable to: St. Sophia Church Thank you!

3 December Liturgical Life APPOINTED BY GOD DECEMBER CHURCH SERVICES Matins 9:00 am - Sunday Schedule Divine Liturgy 10:00 am Weekday/Saturday Services Matins/Divine Liturgy - 8:30 am (C) Evangelismos Chapel PEACE In the night when Christ was born in Bethlehem, the angels sang Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased! (Luke 2:14) Christ came to bring peace in the world, and we are all called to acquire this peace. St. Basil said, He who seeks after peace, seeks Christ, because He Himself is our peace. We must not only acquire peace within ourselves but also bring it to those around us, as we are chosen and appointed by God to live as His children. Christ Himself said, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9). PATIENCE We are called to be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Heb. 6:10-12). Without patience, we might fail to allow God to work through us. God has placed the seed of His Word in us, which we must water and let grow. As we hear in the Parable of the Sower, we must be careful and allow the seed to bear fruit. So we must become the good soil, hear the word of God, keep it an bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:15). Sunday, 12/2: Tuesday, 12/4: Thursday, 12/6: Saturday, 12/8: Sunday, 12/9: Myrope, Martyr Great Martyr Barbara (C) St. Nicholas, Wonderworker (C) Totolis Baptism 10:00 am Conception of St. Anna Chrismation Service for Gerald Michael Beaudoin 40 day memorial service for Alexander Rand Wednesday, 12/12: St. Spyridon (C) Holy Unction - 6:00 pm Saturday, 12/15 Sunday, 12/16: Sunday, 12/23: St. Eleftherios (C) Empress Theophana Stewardship Sunday 10 Martyrs of Crete FEAST OF THE NATIVITY Monday, December 24 Royal Hours at 9:00 am Vesperal Liturgy - 6:30-8:00 pm Including singing Christmas Carols Tuesday, December 25 Matins 9:00 am & Divine Liturgy 10:00 am Thursday, 12/27: Sunday, 12/30: Tuesday, 1/1/13: St. Stephen (C) Gideon the Younger Monthly Memorial Marriage Ceremony of Gerald Beaudoin and Barbara Petrides St. Basil the Great

4 The Shepherds and the Wise Men Have you ever imagined what it might have been like to be present at and to have borne witness to the Nativity of Christ? Can you imagine what it might have been like to be one of the shepherds sitting outside on a cold night watching over the sheep, hoping that no wolves would come and attack them, shivering and waiting for the light of the sun to come and warm you? You would have been a social outcast, away in the fields, far from the busyness of Bethlehem, unnoticed, probably not even being counted in the census being taken. That is how unimportant the shepherds were on the social level. All of a sudden, the sky brightens brilliantly and is filled with angels singing and announcing the birth of a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. In the midst of your fear and awe, you wonder, What on earth are they talking about? I am just a shepherd. Do I dare go to Bethlehem and see what I am hearing about? Will I be welcome there? Does this Savior want to have anything to do with me, a simple shepherd? Can you imagine being one of the three wise men? You are a king, a member of the ruling class, well educated, looked up to and adored, revered, perhaps even feared by others. Looking up in the sky one night you see an exceptionally bright star among the multitude of stars and are moved to leave everything you have and know to follow it to a far and distant land. Can you imagine the moments of doubt. Of all the stars in heaven, am I following the right one? Am I meant to be a part of this journey, and for what purpose? After a long and arduous journey, is there any bit of disappointment that the prize is an infant rather than a new kingdom? Is it not ironic that three men, to whom people bow down to, now bow themselves down to worship an infant in a manger? The Christian life is very much like the experiences of the shepherds and the wise men at Christ s Nativity. Just as the wise men perhaps wondered, Am I following the right star? many times we as Christian s wonder, Am I really following the right faith? As the shepherds wondered over the meaning of the angel s message, how many of us have wondered, What does this all mean the Church, the Divine Liturgy, Holy Communion? What trust the wise men must have had to follow the star, almost blindly, for they did not know where the journey would end, but only trusted that they would be rewarded at its completion. Of all the people to reveal the message of Christ s birth, the shepherds were the blessed hearers of the Good News precisely because they were the only ones who were ready to listen. It would have been impossible to hear the hymns of the angels above the din of the rush of people on the streets of Bethlehem. In the same manner, it is impossible for us to sing God s praises or to feel the warmth of His love when we are constantly bombarded and over-stimulated by the many distractions and technological intrusions of our modern society. Being a Christian is a lot like being a shepherd or a wise man. God came for everyone; from the mighty ruler to the social outcast, from the one praised by many to the one scorned by all. God came for each and every one of us. That is why at the Great Entrance, when the Gifts are being processed around the church, it is with prayer that God remembers all of us in His Kingdom. God s message to us is one of hope, that anyone can find salvation in God, that He is the God of everyone. The shepherds and the wise men give us lessons on how to find God. From the shepherds, we learn the virtues of stillness and vigilance. Likewise, the Church celebrates the service of the Royal Hours at Christmas, a time for quiet and peaceful reflection. Prayer, when done in a peaceful and darkened place like the church at night or a quiet corner of the home, brings one to the same stillness as the shepherds at the Nativity. Prayer is much easier when you remove distractions and temptations, when you seek to truly be alone with God. It is then that prayer is beautiful, timeless, comforting, and reassuring. It is said that it is the darkest just before the dawn; so the light of Christ is the brightest when it is dark and still. From the wise men we learn patience and trust. The Christian journey is much like the journey of the Magi. There are many mountains and valleys to be crossed, deserts to be survived, and doubts to be conquered. The journey is much easier if we keep our eyes on the prize. We ought to keep our eyes on the Lord as they kept their eyes on the star. When the star came to rest over the place where the child was with His mother Mary, the Magi fell down and worshipped Him. They were exceedingly joyful. No longer did they see themselves as the high and mighty rulers, but as true servants of God who fell at His feet and said, God, I am nothing without You. When we come to the point where church is more than a place to go once in a while, where Communion is not simply a ritual we do out of habit rather than an encounter with God, and when we fall down before God and confess, I am nothing without You, then we will know how it feels not only to be a servant of God, but a child of God. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is the gift of peace. Peace is an important part of our worship in the Orthodox Church. We ask God that our prayers be in peace, we pray for peace in the world, peace in the churches, for peaceful times, and we bless ourselves with the words, Peace be with you all. The message of the angels to the shepherds was Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace towards men of goodwill. (Luke 2:14). This is a more correct translation of the original Greek phrase because God s message through the angels was not peace on earth and goodwill to all people, but rather peace to those people of goodwill. True peace is found in God. Peace is the absence of conflict whether that conflict is war with another country, hostility towards your neighbor, or inner conflict within yourself. Peace comes only to the one who seeks to be a person of goodwill. Indeed, peace in the world begins with peace within ourselves, with lives that are under control, with lives that desire to bring out the best in ourselves and in others. If we want peace in the world, we must seek at all times to make life peaceful for others. Peace in the world begins with peace within yourself and those around you. Patience, trust, stillness, vigilance, peace; if you want to find God this is where you will find Him. The Christian journey is not one of immediate gratification. The Christian journey is the long journey of the Magi and the cold night of the shepherds. The reward for the shepherds was the witnessing the glory of God in the hymns of the angels. For the Magi, it was to behold the Lord with their own eyes. It is not easy being a Christian and the modern world makes it increasingly difficult every day. Our Church, founded by the Lord, is a piece of heaven on earth. Because human beings run the Church, it sometimes does not feel much like heaven. To those of you who struggle with your faith, offer a gift to God this Christmas, the gift of the shepherds. Offer God some of your time every day to spend in stillness and silence. Ask God to help you be still and silent, to block out distractions and help you experience the warmth that the shepherds felt when the light of the angels illumined them. Offer the gift of the wise men. Come worship and bow down to God and confess to the Lord, I am nothing without You. Ask God to bring peace into your life and in turn help bring peace to others. When the last present is opened and when we take down the lights and the tree, do not pack up your Christmas joy into a box until next year. Let your joy be something that becomes a part of your everyday life. The joy of the wise men and the shepherds is something we can find every day of the year, but only when we are silent, patient, faithful, trusting, and peaceful. I hope and pray that all of you have a joyous and wondrous Christmas Season, and may the blessings and love of the Incarnate Christ be with you all. Rev. Dr. Emanuel S. Chris, M.D., M. Div.

5 PARISH COUNCIL ST. SOPHIA FINANCIAL REPORT 10/1/12 to 10/31/12 Income Stewardship $ 15, Candles 1, Trays Festival 2, Hall rental Greek School Memorial Donations 1, Bulletin Bookstore Coffee Hour Total Income $ 23, Expense Salaries/Benefits $ 12, Utilities 1, Maintenance 1, Rel. Programs/Choir/books Office Expense Sunday School Greek School Candles 1, Archdiocese Commitment 4, Auto Expenses Toshiba Lease Fund Raisers General Expense Postage Total Expenses $ 23, Overall Total (- $ 43.42) Operating Funds of the Parish as of 10/31/12 Checking Account Balance $ 11, Money Market Balance - $ 7, Restricted Funds/Loan Balances as of 10/31/12 Foundation Fund Assets - $ 375, St. Sophia F.F Loan Balance $ 71, Kavarnos Trust - $ 49, (after icon ceiling project is completed & paid for) Development Fund Acct. - $ Chelsea Bank Loan Balance - $326, Maintenance Account - $ 4, Ring in 2013 here at St. Sophia New Years Eve Dance Monday, December 31 9:00 pm Music by the Elliniki Leventia Champagne Toast B.Y.O.B B.Y.O.F. (food) Tickets: $25 Reserve your table of 10 today!! Tickets will be available in the Community Center and the Church Office.

6 Parish Life STEWARDSHIP as of November 18, 2012 Total pledged: $ 142,450 Offerings received: $ 153,285 # of Stewards: 251 Highest pledge: $ 5,000 Did you know: It cost an average of $1, a day to keep our doors open in Our average income was $24,238/month. Pledges Yearly Amt. Range Weekly Amt. Range 5 $3,000 + $ $2,000 $2,999 $38.46-$ $1,000 $1,999 $19.23-$ $500 $999 $9.61-$ Less than $500 $9.60 and under 123 No commitment received Our 2012 Stewardship Goal is for Stewardship is $469,200, the entire income budget. We are aiming for 100% participation in the Stewardship Program from our parishioners. As of November 18, we have 251 stewards. $153,285 has been received in Stewardship contributions which is 33% of our goal. Please help us reach our goal by making a Stewardship Commitment today. Thank you to those who have submitted their commitment for STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit Soon you will receive your 2013 Commitment Card. We ask you to fill it out and bring it with you to church on Sunday, December 16. At the conclusion of the Liturgy they will be collected and placed on the Altar and an offertory Prayer will be read as we commit our gifts to the Ministry of the Church. DECEMBER MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES Saturday, 12/1: Sunday, 12/2: Monday, 12/3: Wednesday, 12/5: Friday, 12/7: Saturday, 12/8: Wednesday, 12/12: Thursday, 12/13: Saturday, 12/15: Friday, 12/21: Sunday, 12/23: Sunday, 12/30: Monday, 12/31: Greek School 9:30 am Philoptochos Evening at the Garde Theater Parish Council Elections Parish Council Meeting 6:00 pm Bible Study 10:00 am & 7:00 pm Men s Support Group 7:00 pm Greek School 9:30 am Christmas Tea at the Florence Griswold Museum 3:00 pm Bible Study 10:00 am & 7:00 pm Senior Citizens 12:30 pm Greek School 9:30 am Men s Support Group 7:00 pm No Sunday School classes No Sunday School classes New Year s Eve Dance 9:00 pm PLEASE CONSIDER SPONSORING A SUNDAY FELLOWSHIP HOUR Fellowship Hours may be sponsored in memory of a loved one, to celebrate a birthday, name day, etc. The Parish Council will make the coffee and assist the hosts as needed. Thank you to the sponsors for November Enosis Philoptochos Society The Family of George and Panagiota Spanos, in their memory. The Poulos Family, In memory of Anastasios Poulos, The Yacovou Family, in honor of Teena s Chrismation and in loving memory of their son, Matthew. The following dates are available December 2, 23, 30 Call the Church Office to secure a date.

7 PARISH REGISTER Chrismation Parish Life Teena Yacovou was confirmed into the Orthodox Faith on Sunday, November 11, 1012, and given the Orthodox name Katina. Sacramental sponsor was Ernie Pool. We welcome Teena into our Orthodox Family Repose PARISH OUTREACH PROJECT On the second Friday of each month our parish serves at the New London Community Meal Center. We need 6 to 8 volunteers each month to do prep work, serve, do dishes and clean up. We start at 4:00 pm and finish about 6:30 pm. Please see or call Eleni Mosher at or Irene Synodi at , or call the Church Office at to volunteer your time. Upcoming Date: December 14 Alexander Rand, beloved son of Lea Mitchell Rand and Albert Rand and beloved grandson of Terry and Esther Mitchell, reposed in the Lord on Friday, November 2, and was laid to rest on Tuesday, November 6, MAY HIS MEMORY BE ETERNAL ST. SOPHIA BOOKSTORE Give a lasting gift to everyone on your Christmas list!!! Stop in at our St. Sophia Bookstore For a closer look at our large selection of books about Orthodoxy, spiritually, history, Greek cuisine, poetry, and history. Items in stock are books for children, stocking stuffers for the whole family, dozens of new gift items, special Christmas items and wine for communion. COMMUNION WINE DONATION Angie Provatas donated a case of communion wine in loving memory of her beloved mother, Zafiria Karademetriou and in memory of Eleni Ballis. The St. John Commandarie wine is sold in our bookstore CHRISTMAS FLOWERS Each year St. Sophia adorns the church with beautiful poinsettia plants and arrangements for the Christmas season. Parishioners may make donations for the flowers in memory of a loved one or to help defray the cost by calling the Church Office or by using the Christmas Flower offering envelope mailed to your homes. Other flowers donations requested are: Floor Arrangements $50.00 ea Icon Arrangement Poinsettias $12.00 ea Please call the Church Office if you would like to donate one of these items. EPIPHANY BLESSINGS Request for Blessing forms will be sent to each parishioner together with the Christmas schedule of services and the new 2013 calendars. Please use these forms or call the Church Office to have your home blessed for Epiphany. DISCRETIONARY FUND We have a Discretionary Fund to assist parishioners in times of financial need. If you would like to contribute to this Ministry of our Parish please send your contributions to the Church office payable to: St. Sophia Discretionary Fund

8 A message from Metropolitan Methodios Sadly, Sunday has lost its significance in our society, becoming less of a day of worship of almighty God and more like any ordinary work day. This especially affects our young people who are obligated to attend sports events on Sunday mornings rather than attend the Divine Liturgy. At my request, this sad reality and its ramifications were discussed at the recent meeting o the Orthodox-Roman Catholic Consultation. After lengthy discussion, the following joint statement was issued. I ask you to read it carefully and approach civic, business and school authorities in your community to schedule sports events after 12 noon so that our young people may worship together with their families on Sunday mornings. The Importance of Sunday The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Saint Paul s College, Washington, DC October 27, 2012 Recovering the theological significance of Sunday is fundamental to rebalancing our lives. As Orthodox and Catholics, we share a theological view of Sunday and so our purpose in this statement is four-fold: to offer a caring response to what is not just a human, but also a theological question; to add a little more volume to the growing chorus of Christian voices trying to be heard in the din of our non-stop work life; to offer brief reflections in hopes of drawing attention to the fuller expositions elsewhere; and to reinforce the ecumenical consensus by speaking as Orthodox and Catholics with one voice. For Christians, Sunday, the Lord s Day, is a special day consecrated to the service and worship of God. It is a unique Christian festival. It is the day the Lord has made (Ps. 117 (118):24). Its nature is holy and joyful. Sunday is the day on which we believe God acted decisively to liberate the world from the tyranny of sin, death, and corruption through the Holy Resurrection of Jesus. The primacy of Sunday is affirmed by the liturgical practice of the early church. St. Justin the Martyr writing around 150 AD notes that it is on Sunday that we assemble because Sunday is the first day, the day on which God transformed darkness and matter and created the world and the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead (First Apology, 67). Sunday has always had a privileged position in the life of the church as a day of worship and celebration. On Sunday the Church assembles to realize her eschatological fullness in the Eucharist by which the Kingdom and the endless Day of the Lord are revealed in time. It is the perpetual first day of the new creation, a day of rejoicing. It is a day for community, feasting and family gatherings. As we look at our fellow Christians and our society, we observe that everyone is short of time and stressed. One reason is that many of us have forgotten the meaning of Sunday, and with it the practices that regularly renewed our relationships and lives. More and more Christian leaders see the effects of a 24/7 worklife and ask Where is the time of rest? As members of the North American Orthodox- Catholic Theological Consultation, gathered October 25-27, 2012, we add our combined voice to their call. Our purpose here is not to replace or replicate their message; it is to underscore and point to it. Anyone who looks at the 1998 Apostolic Letter Dies Domini (The Lord s Day) of Pope John Paul II and its cascade of patristic quotations will see there is already a feast of food for thought on the meaning of Sunday. Anyone who reads the recent book Sunday, Sabbath, and the Weekend (2010, Edward O Flaherty, ed.) will see there is also strong ecumenical consensus on the need to recover the meaning of Sunday-- not just for our souls, but for our bodies, our hearts, and our minds as well. Sadly Sunday has become less of a day of worship and family and more like an ordinary work day. Shopping, sports, and work squeeze out the chance for a day of worship or rest in the Christian sense. By abandoning Sunday worship we lose out on the regenerative powers that flow out of the liturgical assembly. And when Sunday becomes detached from its theological significance, it becomes just part of a weekend and people can lose the chance to see transcendent meaning for themselves and their lives (The Lord s Day, 4). Sunday is more than just the first day of the week. In our faith we see how it is the ultimate day of new beginnings: It is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death, the fulfillment in him of the first creation and the dawn of "the new creation" (cf. 2 Cor 5:17). It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world's first day and looks forward in active hope to "the last day", when Christ will come in glory (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Th 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (cf. Rev 21:5. The Lord s Day, 1).

9 Concerning Sunday Worship Sunday even unlocks the mystery of time itself, for in commemorating the day of Christ's Resurrection not just once a year but every Sunday, the Church seeks to indicate to every generation the true fulcrum of history, to which the mystery of the world's origin and its final destiny leads (The Lord s Day, 2). The Lord s Day is the day after the last day of the week and so it symbolizes eternity as well: what St. Augustine calls a peace with no evening (Confessions 13:50). St. Basil the Great in his Treatise on the Holy Spirit writes, Sunday seems to be an image of the age to come This day foreshadows the state which is to follow the present age: a day without sunset, nightfall or successor, an age which does not grow old or come to an end (On the Holy Spirit 26:77). The apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II calls it a day of joy, rest, and solidarity. Joy there is, because the disciples are always glad to see the Master. God scripturally established a day of rest as a gift to us, and rest there must be for every human person. Rest is built into our nature and also withdraws us from the sometimes excessively demanding cycle of earthly tasks in order to renew [our] awareness that everything is the work of God. There is a risk that the prodigious power over creation which God gives to man can lead him to forget that God is the Creator upon whom everything depends. It is all the more urgent to recognize this dependence in our own time, when science and technology have so incredibly increased the power which man exercises through his work. Finally, it should not be forgotten that even in our own day work is very oppressive for many people, either because of miserable working conditions and long hours especially in the poorer regions of the world or because of the persistence in economically more developed societies of too many cases of injustice and exploitation of man by man (The Lord s Day, 65,66). As members of the Consultation, we strongly urge both clergy and laity to work cooperatively within their communities to stress the importance of Sunday for worship and family. Foremost we call for all to render thanks to God and render love towards one another and be willing to reserve time to do both -- and avail ourselves of the riches of the Lord s Day. Appropriate authorities can be approached to schedule sports activities after 12 noon in order to give young athletes and their family the opportunity to worship on Sunday morning. We call for our children to live in a timescape that respects the God-given rhythm of the week. Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that he may cast light upon it and give it direction. He is the One who knows the secret of time and the secret of eternity, and he gives us "his day" as an ever new gift of his love. The rediscovery of this day is a grace which we must implore, not only so that we may live the demands of faith to the full, but also so that we may respond concretely to the deepest human yearnings. Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human (The Lord s Day, 7). PREPARING FOR THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY Sacrament of Holy Confession Wednesday December 5-6:00-7:00 pm or you may call Fr. Dean at the Church Sacrament of Holy Unction Service of Healing Wednesday, December 12 6:00 pm FEAST OF THE NATIVITY Monday, December 24 Royal Hours at 9:00 am Vesperal Liturgy - 6:30-8:00 pm Including singing Christmas Carols Tuesday, December 25 Matins 9:00 am Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

10 Scenes From Parish Life

11 Philoptochos News On Thursday, November 15, members and guests of Enosis Philoptochos Society met for their monthly meeting. Hostesses for the evening were Debbie Tasoulas, Nina Vallombroso, Marcia Wenzel and Penny Maistros. Guest speaker was JoAnn Flynn, who gave a very informative and touching presentation on her Prison Ministry at the York Correctional Facility for Women. Holiday Fundraisers Parishioners are reminded of two holiday fundraisers: the annual Community Christmas Card, which is currently underway, and the Holiday Pastry Sale. The sign-up deadline for the Christmas card is December 2nd. The holiday pastry baking and packaging will be done December 1st through December 8th. All orders were due in by November 25, Please support these two fundraisers which benefit the Memorial Scholarship Awards and other charities and commitments. Christmas Angel Tree The Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut and a family from our parish will be the recipients of this year s Angel Tree gifts. Each tag on the tree specifies what is needed. Please wrap gifts and place the Angel tag on the gift. Thank you for your support and generosity. The Angel Tree is in the Narthex of the Church. Boxes are available in the Narthex for your gift purchases. Vasilopeta Celebration This annual family affair will take place on Sunday, January 6th. Baking and set-up will take place on January 5th. Please plan to attend this wonderful fundraiser which benefits St Basil Academy and other charities. UPCOMING EVENTS MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!!!!! Saturday, December 1 Menopause the Musical at the Garde Sunday, December 2 Deadline for submitting names for Community Christmas Card Saturday, December 8 Christmas Tea at the Griswold Museum 3:00 pm Sunday, January 6 Vasilopeta The officers and members of Enosis Philoptochos Society wish a gift of faith, the blessing of hope and the peace of His love at Christmas and always and a New Year rich with blessing. We thank you for your continued support throughout the year. Submitted by Jeanne Fakis, President 2012 COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS CARD ORDER FORM Name As you want it to appear on the card PLEASE PRINT Telephone Number I would like to donate $ for the Annual Community Christmas Card. (minimum donation $20.00, please) check (made out to Enosis Philoptochos Society) cash Deadline is Sunday, December 2, Philoptochos thanks you for your support!

12 PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS Parish Life Election of Parish Council members will take place Sunday, December 2. Since there are 7 positions to be filled and 7 nominees, a unanimous ballot will be cast electing the nominees to the Parish Council, therefore voting will not be necessary. Slate of Nominees JoAnn Ballassi Yannoula Ballassi Ann Marie Buonocore John Fakis Michael Podeszwa Richard Se mon Karen Stearns YOUNG AT HEART CLUB The St. Sophia Senior Citizens met on Thursday, November 15 for their annual Thanksgiving Luncheon. Roast turkey with all the trimmings prepared by Chef Angelo Simos was enjoyed by the 43 members present. Desserts, wine, appetizers and turkey were donated by members. SAVE MONEY AND SUPPORT A WORTHY CAUSE EVERY MONTH St. Sophia is holding a fundraising drive but we re not selling anything you don t need. We will help you save on electricity or gas by switching your service to Ambit Energy, our partner in this fundraising effort. Why switch? Ambit s rates are among the most competitive and there s no cost to switch. Their green plans are 100% renewable wind energy and are Green-e Energy Certified. Enjoy two nights of hotel accommodations at one of more then 25 destinations as a welcome gift. Accumulate points for Travel Rewards based on the energy you use each month. Web site address: Fr. Dean opened the meeting with a Thanksgiving prayer and a moment of silence for departed members. Sunshine chairman, Helen Stratos, had members sign a get well card for Bessie Mc Cary and November birthdays were acknowledged. Those celebrating were Tillie Zingus, Bessie Mc Cary, Bessie Mountzoures and Mary Falvey. Anniversary wishes were given to Tom and Annie Constantine who recently celebrated 69 years of marriage. A group picture was taken for the club s archives, which was the first is many years. The members will meet on Thursday, December 13, for a Christmas Luncheon. Members wishing to participate in a gift swap may bring in a gift no to exceed $10. Submitted by Phyllis Pappadopoulas Secretary Stop & Shop and ShopRite CA$H for CAUSES This is a great fundraising opportunity, because we all purchase groceries all year long! You can now simply do your weekly grocery shopping with gift cards! Purchase gift cards from the Church and the church keeps a profit from each card purchased!! We will begin to sell the cards in $50 and $100 increments

13 My Life in Christ Living Orthodoxy in Everyday Life Worship We attend the services of the Church with faith, fear of God, and attention. As much as possible we should pray without distraction and with feeling of heart. Most importantly we should attend regularly. Prior to attending the service we seek to be reconciled with each other and to ask forgiveness of anyone we may have hurt. We should offer some gift to the Lord according to our ability, even if it is very small, as a sacrifice from the work of the hands. We should give the names of our loved ones who have passed on and those who are amongst us to be commemorated during the service. We need to learn to arrive at the start of the Liturgy and dress in modest fashion. Idle talk is unnecessary as we are in the Presence of the King of Kings! Parents should bring children, even infants, to church regularly, taking care that they receive Holy. During the service we participate with attention was we listen to the prayers, the Epistle and Gospel readings, and the sermon. Those who have prepared for Holy Communion should read the appropriate prayers found in the Liturgy book prior to receiving and should approach the Chalice with respect and love. After the Liturgy we should all spend the day in spiritual joy and fellowship. We have the obligation to share what we heard and learned in church from the readings and the sermon with those who could not attend the service. Bishop Kallistos on the Divine Liturgy "Let us go forth in peace" is the last commandment of the Liturgy. What does it mean? It means, surely, that the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy is not an end but a beginning. Those words, "Let us go forth in peace," are not merely a comforting epilogue. They are a call to serve and bear witness. In effect, those words, "Let us go forth in peace," mean the Liturgy is over, the liturgy after the Liturgy is about to begin. This, then, is the aim of the Liturgy: that we should return to the world with the doors of our perceptions cleansed. We should return to the world after the Liturgy, seeing Christ in every human person, especially in those who suffer. In the words of Father Alexander Schmemann, the Christian is the one who wherever he or she looks, everywhere sees Christ and rejoices in him. We are to go out, then, from the Liturgy and see Christ everywhere." WEDNESDAY STUDIES IN THE FAITH To know God is to study the Word of God The Book of Exodus Morning Study - Evening Study 10:00 am - 7:00 pm December Topics December 5 Freedom & Its Cost Chapter 12:29 13:16 December 12 From Crisis to Triumph Chapter 13:17 14:31 MEN S SUPPORT GROUP This support group deals with issues related to marriage, separation and divorce. The group will meet on Friday, December 7 & 21, at 7:00 pm. For more information, please contact support group facilitator, David Arpie at (860) or the Church office at PRAYER REQUESTS Please remember in prayer the servants of God Mimi, Mary, Helen, Mari, Peter, Athena, Barbara, Alexandra, Jacquelyn, Efrosine, John, Helen, Jeffrey, Peter, Tom, Catherine, Mary, Angeliki, Despina, Dodi, Joseph, George, Richard, Sophia, Karl, Antigone, Donna, Caryn, Dottie, Ernest, Tia, Helen, Nita, Alexandria, Constantine, Calianthe, Paraskevi, Christos, Effie, Peter, Annie, Steve, Niko, Christian, Katherine

14 Sunday School News Classes are held every Sunday following Holy Communion Divine Liturgy begins at 10:00 am Seating for students and families is on the left hand side of the church. Fr. Dean speaks with the children following the consecration of the Holy Gifts. This year s theme: The sermon on the Mount Reminder: There are no classes on December 23 and December 30 Sunday School Attendance Incentive Program The Sunday School Department honors students in Grades 5 11 who have perfect attendance for a four week block with a special ceremony where they each receive a St. Sophia chocolate bar and their name is placed in a drawing for a gift card! The class with the highest percentage of perfect attendance receives a Dunkin Donuts bagel breakfast. In Grades PK 4 th, those with perfect attendance pick from the Treasure Box and the winning class gets a trophy. Pictures of all students with perfect attendance will appear on the Attendance Stars board in the foyer. There were 24 students this period with perfect attendance: 1st Grade - Zoe Antipas, Cooper Bellos and John Whittaker 2nd Grade - Marina Colonis and Nathan Lyster 3rd Grade - Sophia Hathaway and Peter Petropoulos 4th Grade - Alki Karabelas, Angela Colonis, Sprios Gialpis and Effie Petropoulos 5th Grade - Sam Bellos, Samantha Lyster and Stella Georgian 6th Grade - George Hathaway, Sam Whittaker and Olivia Billis 7th Grade - Stacey Tasoulas 9th Grade - Sarah Billis, Athena Mustakis, Arianna Tsikitas, Lillian Whittaker and Achilles Adams 10/11th Grade - Vasiliki Mustakis OUR GIFT TO JESUS This year our classes are collecting non-perishable foods for the Care and Share in East Lyme which is serving more people this year and the need is great. We are also collection money for the New London Meal Center. Each class is assigned the following food category for non-perishable food donations: Pre-K: Kindergarten: First: Second: Third: Fourth: Fifth: Sixth: Seventh: Ninth: Tenth/Eleventh: Juices (plastic bottles or juice boxes Canned fruit or ones plastic personal size containers Rice Products Stuffing Additional items Pasta are: Pasta Sauce Peanut butter, Potatoes or Instant Mashed Potatoes jelly, crackers. Canned or dried beans Please make sure Canned vegatables and soups all items are in Canned Stews (Dinty Moore for example) unbreakable Canned Meats (tuna, chicken, etc.) containers

15 Youth News Our Youth Presents Breakfast With Santa! HELLENIC DANCERS Thanks to children for the wonderful job they did dancing at our food festival. For the limited practice time we had they made me real proud and I hope they made you just as proud. Thank you also to Sophia Karabelas and Christina Anastasiou for their assistance. Nancy Bellos Sunday, December 16 After the Divine Liturgy Eggs, hash browns, sausage $5.00 presale $6.o0 at the door Children 3 and under free Proceeds will benefit our Youth Program The Youth of our Parish wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Summer Travel Camp (Session 1) June 23 - July 12, 2013 Byzantine Venutre (Session 2) July 20 - August 8, 2013 Both Sessions are open to campers who have completed grades 8 through 12 Spiritual Odyssey: Cyprus and Crete May 30 June 9, 2013 Spiritual Odyssey is open to young adults ages

16 ΔΕΚΕΜΒΡΙΟΥ 2012 Ακολουθίες δία τές Κυριακές Ορθρος 9:00 π.μ. - Θεία Λειτουργία 10:00 π.μ. Καθημερινές Ακολουθίες Όρθρος/ Θεία Λειτουργία 8:30 π.μ. (Π) στό Παρεκκλήσιον μας Σάββατον, 1 Δεκεμβρίου Κυριακή, 2 Δεκεμβρίου Δευτέρα, 3 Δεκεμβρίου Τρίτη. 4 Δεκεμβρίου Τέταρτη, 5 Δεκεμβρίου Πέμπτη, 6 Δεκεμβρίου Σάββατον, 8 Δεκεμβρίου Κυριακή, 9 Δεκεμβρίου Τέταρτη, 12 Δεκεμβρίου Πέμπτη, 13 Δεκεμβρίου Ελληνικό Σχολειόν 9:30 π.μ. ΜΥΡΟΠΗΣ ΜΑΡΤΥΡΟΣ Συμβούλιον 6:00 μ.μ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΒΑΡΒΑΡΑΣ - (Π) Κύκλος τής προσευχής 10:00 π.μ. & 7:00 μ.μ. Μυστήριον της Θείας Έξομολογήσεως 6:00 7:00 μ.μ. ΑΓΙΟΥ ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΥ - (Π) Ελληνικό Σχολειόν 9:30 π.μ. ΣΥΛΛΗΨΙΣ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΑΝΝΗΣ Τεσσερακοθήμερον μνημόσυνον - Άλέξανδρος Ράνδ ΑΓΡΙΟΥ ΣΠΥΡΙΔΩΝ - (Π) Κύκλος τής προσευχής 10:00 π.μ. & 7:00 μ.μ. Έυχέλαιον 7:00 μ.μ. Σύλλογος τών ηλικιωμένων 12:30 μ.μ. Σάββατον, 15 Δεκεμβρίου ΑΓΙΟΥ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΟΥ (Π) Ελληνικό Σχολειόν 9:30 π.μ. Κυριακή, 16 Δεκεμβρίου Κυριακή, 23 Δεκεμβρίου ΘΕΟΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ 10 ΜΑΡΤΥΡΩΝ ΕΝ ΚΡΗΤΗ Δευτέρα, 24 Δεκεμβρίου ΠΑΡΑΜΟΝΗ ΤΩΝ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥΓΕΝΝΩΝ/ΤΗΣ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΕΥΓΕΝΕΙΑΣ Βασιλικαί Όρες τών Χριστουγέννων 9:00 π.μ. Εσπερινός/Λειτουργία 6:30-8:00 μ.μ. Τρίτη, 25 Δεκεμβρίου ΓΕΝΝΗΣΙΣ ΤΟΥ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ Ορθρος 9:00 π.μ., Θεία Λειτουργία 10:00 π.μ. Πέμπτη, 27 Δεκεμβρίου Κυριακή, 30 Δεκεμβρίου Δευτέρα, 31 Δεκεμβρίοu Τρίτη, 1 Ιανουαρίου ΑΓΙΟΥ ΣΤΕΦΑΝΟΥ - (Π) ΑΝΥΣΙΑΣ ΓΕΔΕΩΝ Γλέντι Νεού Ετος 9:00 μ.μ. ΑΓΙΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΟΥ ΠΩΣ ΘΑ ΠΡΟΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΠΑΡΙΣΤΑΜΑΙ ΣΤΙΣ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ? Παρακολουθούμε τις λειτουργίες της Εκκλησίας μας με πίστη, φόβο Θεού και προσοχή. Όσο πιο συχνά μπορούμε θα πρέπει να προσευχομαστε με συγκέντρωση και μέσα απο την καρδιά μας. Το πιο σημαντικό είναι ότι θα πρέπει να εκκλησιαζόμαστε τακτικά. Πριν τον εκκλησιασμό μας θα πρέπει να έχουμε καλές σχέσεις με όλους και να έχουμε ζητήσει συγχώρεση από όσους έχουμε στεναχώρησει. Θα πρέπει να προσφέρουμε ένα δώρο στον Κύριο σύμφωνο με τις δυνατότητες μας, ακόμη και αν είναι πολύ μικρό, ως προσφορά. Θα πρέπει να δίνουμε τα ονόματα όσων έχουν αποβιώσει καθώς και των ζώντων για την αναφορά τους κατά την διάρκεια της λειτουργίας. Θα πρέπει να ερχόμαστε στην αρχή της λειτουργίας και να φοράνε αξιοπρεπή ρούχα. Μάταιες συζητήσεις είναι περιττές καθώς βρισκόμαστε στην παρουσία του Βασιλέα των Βασιλέων. Οι γονείς θα πρέπει να φέρνουν τα παιδιά τους, ακόμη και τα μωρά στην εκκλησία τακτικά, και να τα κοινωνούν. Κατά την διάρκεια της Θείας Λειτουργίας θα πρέπει να παρακολουθούμε με προσοχή τους ψαλμούς, τον Απόστολο, το Ευαγγέλιο, και το κήρυγμα. Όσοι έχουν προετοιμαστεί για την Θεία Κοινωνία θα πρέπει να διαβάσουν τις προσευχές που βρίσκονται στο βιβλίο της Θείας Λειτουργίας πριν και να πλησιάσουν το Δισκοπότηρο με σεβασμό και αγάπη. Μετά την Θεία Λειτουργία, θα πρέπει όλοι να περάσουν την ημέρα τους με χαρά και με τους ανθρώπους τους γύρω τους. Έχουμε την υποχρέωση να μοιραστούμε όλα όσα ακούσαμε και μάθαμε στην Εκκλησία από τα αναγνώσματα και από το κήρυγμα με όσους δεν μπορούσαν να παρακολουθήσουν την Θεία Λειτουργία. Ο επίσκοπος Κάλλιστος της Διόκλειας για την Θεία Λειτουργία. "Ας προχωρήσουμε ειρηνικά" είναι η τελευταία εντολή της Θείας Λειτουργίας. Τι σημαίνει? Βεβαίως σημαίνει ότι η λήξη της Θείας Λειτουργίας δεν είναι το τέλος αλλά μια αρχή. Η φράση, "ας προχωρήσουμε ειρηνικά", δεν είναι διόλου ένας εφησυχαστικος επίλογος. Είναι μια προσταγή να Τον υπηρετήσουμε και να γινουμε μάρτυρες του λόγου του. Ουσιαστικά, η φράση, "ας προχωρήσουμε ειρηνικά", σήμαινει ότι αυτή η Λειτουργία έχει τελειώσει, η Λειτουργία όμως μετά την Λειτουργία είναι έτοιμη να ξεκινήσει. Αυτός λοιπόν είναι ο σκοπός της Θείας Λειτουργίας: θα πρέπει να επιστρέφουμε στην κοινωνια μας με τις πόρτες της αντίληψης μας εξαγνισμένες. Θα πρέπει να επιστρέφουμε στην Κοινωνία μετά την Θεία Λειτουργία, βλέποντας τον Κύριο σε κάθε άνθρωπο, ειδικά σε αυτούς που υποφέρουν. Με τα λόγια του Πατέρα Αλέξανδρου Schmemann, ο Χριστιανός είναι αυτός που όπου και αν κοιτάζει παντού βλέπει τον Κύριο και τον υμνεί. Άρα, όταν βγαίνουμε από την Θεία Λειτουργία, βλέπουμε τον Κύριο παντού.

17 ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΟΝ ΤΗΣ ΧΡΥΣΕΩΣ Ή Κατίνα Ιακώβου εχρίσθη μέλος τής Ορθοδόξου Έκκλησίας τήν Κυριακήν, τήν 11ην Νοεμβρίου. Ό ανάδοχος της ήτο ο Αναστάσιος Πούλ. ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ ΤΑ ΑΓΙΑ ΘΕΟΦΑΝΕΙΑ Ό ιερεύς θά ευλογήση τά σπίτια τών μιστών διά τά Άγια Θεοφάνεια. Παρακαλείσθε νά επιστρέψατε τήν κάρταν πού θά λάβητε μέ τά ημερολόγια τής Εκκλησίας. Νά σημειώσατε Στές κάρτες αυτές τήν επιθυμίαν σας νά περάση ό ιερεύς διά τόν αγιασμόν. ΑΝΘΗ ΔΙΑ ΤΑ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥΓΕΝΝΑ Ο αείμνηστος Αλέξανδρος Ράνδ, ύιός τής Έύαγγελίας Ράνδ, έγγονος τού Έλευθερίου καί τής Ασπασίας Μιχαηλίδη, έκοιμήθη έν Κυρίω τήν 2ην Νοεμβρίου, καί εκηδεύθη τήν 6ην Νοεμβρίου, Κάθε χρόνον στολίζομεν τόν ναόν μας μέ άνθη πρός τιμήν τής Γεννήσεως τού Χριστού. Παρακαλείσθα νά κάμνετε δωρεές δία τά άνθη αυτά. Εσωκλείομεν φάκελλα μαζύ μέ τό πρόγραμμο τών Χριστουγέννων καί τό ημερολόγιον τής έκκλησίας νά κάνητε δωρεές δία τά άνθη. ΣΥΝΔΡΟΜΗΤΕΣ Μέχρι τήν 18 Νοεμβρίου έχομεν είσπράξει από τές υποσχέσεις αυτές $153,285. Ό καθένας από μας έχει ιεράν υποχρέωσιν νά δώση τήν υποστήριξιν αναλόγως μέ τές οικομενικές του δυνάμεις. Ο ΚΑΤΑΛΟΓΟΣ ΤΩΝ ΟΝΟΜΑΤΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΑΠΟΘΑΝΟΝΤΩΝ ΔΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΕΚΕΜΒΡΙΟΥ ΕΥΡΙΣΚΕΤΑΙ ΣΤΟ ΑΓΓΛΙΚΟ ΚΕΙΜΕΝΟΝ Προσεύχεσθε ύπέρ ύγείας τών δούλων τού Θεου... Μιμή, Μαρία, Έλένη, Μαρή, Πέτρο, Άθηνά, Βαρβάρα, Άλεξάνδρα, Δήμητρα, Εύροσύνη, Ίωάννη, Έλένη, Παναγιότη, Θωμά, Άννα, Αίκατερίνη, Μαρία, Άγγελική, Δέσποινα, Ίωσήφ, Γεώργιο, Ρικάρδο, Σοφία, Κάρλ, Άντιγώνη, Ντάνα, Κάρην, Δοροθέα, Αναστάσιος, Τιά, Έλένη, Νίτα, Κωνσταντίνο, Καλιάνθη, Παρασκευή, Χρήστος, Έφη, Σταύρος, Νίκόλαο, Αίκατερίνη ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΗΡΙΟΝ Ευχαριστούμεν όλους τούς ενορίτας μας πού εβοήθησαν ή έδωσαν δωρεάς διά τό ετήσιον φέστιβαλ τής Αγίας Σοφίας. Ευχαριστούμεν μεγάλους καί μικρούς διά τήν βοήθειάν τους. ΕΠΙΣΚΕΨΕΙΣ ΣΤΟ NOΣΟΚΟΜΕΙΟ Παρακαλούμε έπικοινωνήστε μέ τόν Πάτερ Κωνσταντίνο άν έσείς ή κάποιος δικό σας είναι στό vοσοκομείο. ΕΥΧΕΣ ΤΩΝ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥΓΕΝΝΩΝ ΧΡΙΣΤΌΣ ΕΓΕΝΝΗΘΗ--ΔΟΞΑΣΟΝ ΑΥΤΟΝ! Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΡΧΕΤΑΙ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥΣ ΟΥΡΑΝΟΥΣ ΑΝΤΙΚΡΙΣΕΤΕ ΑΥΤΟΝ. ΓΛΕΝΤΙ ΝΕΟΥ ΕΤΟΥΣ Δευτέρα, 31 Δεκεμβρίου 9:00 μ.μ. Ή μουσική θά είναι Η ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΛΕΒΕΝΤΙΑ από τη Νέα Υόρκη Εισιτήρια $ 25

18 December 2012 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat MARTYR MYROPE CONCEPTION OF ST. ANNA 40 day memorial for Alexander Rand Chrismation Gerald Beaudoin EMPRESS THEOPHANA Stewardship Sunday Breakfast with Santa CHRISTMAS EVE MARTYRS OF CRETE GIDEON THE YOUNGER Beaudoin/Petrides Wedding Sunday Services Matins 9:00 am Divine Liturgy 10:00 am Parish Council Meeting 6:00 pm Royal Hours 9:00 am Vesperal Liturgy 6:30 pm New Year s Eve Dance 9:00 pm GREAT MARTYR BARBARA Matins/Divine Liturgy 8:30 am CHRISTMAS Matins/ 9:00 am Divine Liturgy 10:00 am Bible Study 10:00 am and 7:00 pm ST. SPYRIDON Matins/Divine Liturgy 8:30 am Holy Unction 6:00 pm Bible Study 10:00 am & 7:00 pm St. Sophia Web Site St. Sophia Facebook Site - St. Sophia Church ST. NICHOLAS Matins/Divine Liturgy 8:30 am Senior Citizens 12:30 pm ST. STEPHEN Matins/Divine Liturgy 8:30 am Men s Support Group 7:00 pm Men s Support Group 7:00 pm 1 Greek School 9:30 am Philoptochos Night at the Garde 8:00 pm Greek School 9:30 am Totolis Baptism 10 am Christmas Tea at Griswold Museum 3:00 pm ST. ELEFTHERIOS Matins/Divine Liturgy 8:30 am Greek School 9:30 am

19 St. Sophia Hellenic Orthodox Church 200 Hempstead Street, New London, Connecticut ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID New London, CT Permit No. 272 PLEASE DELIVER PROMPTLY TIME VALUED MATERIAL IN APPRECIATION The Parish Council wish to thank each and every person who helped and/or contributed towards making the Festival the great success! A big thank you to the cooks, kitchen crew and women bakers for the delicious food and scrumptious pastry, the raffle crew who manned the booth, those who helped set up and clean up, those who bused the tables, worked the food line and the bar and especially all who supported this year s festival. We would also like to thank our Hellenic Dancers and their directors for their wonderful performances. We couldn t have done it without all of you! THANK YOU! ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΟ!