Sunday Orthros 9:00am Divine Liturgy 10:00am Fr. John Hays, Interim Priest
This holy man, a prophet of God from childhood, was the last judge of the Israelite people, and he anointed the first two kings of Israel. He was born in the twelfth century before Christ, of the tribe of Levi, the son of Elkanah and Hannah (Anna). He was the fruit of prayer – for his mother, being barren, conceived him only after she had supplicated the Lord with many tears; thus, she called him Samuel, that is, "heard by God." As soon as Hannah had weaned him, she brought him to the city of Shiloh, where the Ark was kept, and she consecrated him to the service of God. Her song, “My heart exults in the Lord,” is the Third Ode of the Old Testament and is found in I Samuel 2:1-10.
Samuel was raised in service to the Temple of the Lord, under the care of Eli the priest. While yet a child, sleeping in the tabernacle near the Ark of God, he heard the voice of God calling his name.
Eventually, Samuel was chosen to be the protector of the people, and he judged them with holiness and righteousness. He became for them an example of all goodness, and their compassionate intercessor before God: "Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; yea, I will serve the Lord, and show you the good and the right way" (I Samuel 12:23). When Samuel was old, the people asked him for a king, but he was displeased with this, knowing that God Himself was their King. But when they persisted, the Lord commanded him to anoint them a king, saying, "They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from reigning over them" (I Samuel 8:7); and so, the prophet Samuel anointed Saul.
After later denouncing Saul for his disobedience to God, Samuel anointed David as king. The story of how the prophet Samuel anointed the future king David is found in I Samuel 16 – this is a truly classic Old Testament text that is worth reading and re-reading often.
The LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as a man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (From I Samuel 16)
Having lived blamelessly some ninety-eight years, and become an example to all of a God-pleasing life, he reposed in the eleventh century before Christ.
(Kontakion Plagal 4th) Thy hallowed mother dedicated thee unto the Lord even before she had conceived thee; and when thou wast born thou didst serve Him from thine infancy like an Angel. And, O Prophet of the Most High, for thy fervent faith, thou wast granted to foretell things that should come to pass. Hence, we cry to thee: Rejoice, O ven'rable Samuel.
Also commemorated this day:
Stephen, First King of Hungary
Hierotheos, Bishop of Hungary
Prokeimenon. 2nd Tone. Psalm 117.14,18.
The Lord is my strength and my song.
Verse: The Lord has chastened me sorely.
The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 9:2-12.
Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a sister as wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
11th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 18:23-35
The Lord said this parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, 'Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord delivered him to the torturers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."
A Word from Fr. John:
I can’t resist a favorite Old Testament verse, from I Samuel 15: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
Also, from St. John Chrysostom: “What then do I ask of you? That each of you take in hand that part of the Gospel which is to be read in your presence on the first day of the week or even on the Sabbath; and before that day comes, sit down at home and read it through. Consider often and carefully its content, and examine all its parts well, noting what is clear, what is confusing, what seems to assist the position of the adversaries [i.e., heretics and non-Orthodox Christian teaching] but really does not. And, in a word, when you have sounded every point, then go to hear it read. From such zeal as this there will be no small benefit both to you and to me.” (And from Fr. John – “Ditto St. John Chrysostom’s words also for the Epistle reading!”)
New Church Hours for Fr. John: Schedule for Fr. John’s Church/”In St. Augustine” hours for remainder of the summer:
Special Prayers: With continued prayers for the newly reposed Elizabeth “Dolly” Welling (8/11) and for God's protection, strength, healing, and guidance, we continue hoping that He fulfil the ongoing and daily needs of Fred Allen, Jane Anderson, Betty Day, Chresanthe Lemieux, Nicola Lykam, Jim Manos, Steve Sarris, Despina Xynidis, Nicola & Michael Lykam’s friend’s young child, Kaden Hammellour, parish and missionary families, and catechumens preparing for Illumination
Holy Trinity Master Calendar: A Master Calendar is maintained and, with submitted updates to the office, is kept up-to-date on the website. This calendar can be printed or downloaded. This will help coordinate all efforts and events. Dates will yet be included in the weekly bulletinand help involve others in the work of our Parish. Actively and enthusiastically participating in a parish’s ministries and functions grow the possibility of a culture that is overflowing with joy, peace and love—a true reflection and presence of The Kingdom of Heaven.
Outreach: Help! Last year there were 895 homeless students recorded in St. Johns County, and the St. Johns County School’s ASSIST program needs all the help they can get! They have a critical need for the following:
We are currently collecting items in the yellow bin located on the counter adjacent to where coffee is served. To leave larger items or for more information, please contact Dick Billeter or Susan Stone.
Upcoming Services and Events:
ü August 20th– Joan Manias, Angela Lekos –Philoptochos Name Day Luncheon
ü September 20th – 23rd Family Ministry Conference in Pittsburgh, PA –“The Orthodox Family in a Changing World”
ü September 16th – 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Workshop for couples, “Preparing for the Journey of Marriage”
ü November 18th – Parish Council Training Seminar (Parish Council will host)
Greek Festival – Volunteers Needed:
ü Food Prep (Pasta Dish) Sept 8th – 2-10 p.m. Sept 9th–10 a.m. - ?
ü Food Prep (Rolling Grape Leaves) Sept 22nd – 2-10 p.m. Sept 23rd –10 a.m. - ?
ü Food Prep (Egg Plant Dish) Sept 29th – 2-10 p.m. Sept 30th – 10 a.m. - ?
ü Food Prep (Pork & Chicken) Oct 6th – 2-10 p.m. Oct 7th – 10 a.m. - ?
Volunteers needed at festival, members and non-members welcome on October 13th, 14th, and 15th. Contact Theo Bersu at 904 377-0638 or Chris Bersu at 904 377-2319 to help.
August 6, 2017 Offerings: Candles $124.10 Tray $105; Stewardship $1731
August 13, 2017 Offerings: Candles $121.37 Tray $172; Stewardship $1587
Visiting the Church Outside of Office Hours: Though at this time we do not have volunteers coordinated to assist in receiving visitors to the Church outside of Office Hours, we hope to always welcome parishioners and the many visiting out-of-towners to the best of our ability. Please call the office to arrange a visit. If there is no answer, call the emergency number on the voicemail, (602) 617-2467, to discuss options that may exist.
Ministries & Committees: All are welcome and encouraged to apply common interests, skill sets, and life experience to the many areas of service in the life of the Church.
Sunday School News:We welcome all youth - preschool to high school - to join us as we continue to “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..." (2 Peter 3:18) beginning September 10th. Classes begin immediately following Communion and are released soon after the parish is dismissed from Church. This year we are kicking off the first day of Sunday School with a “Blessing of the Backpacks” on September 10. All students are encouraged to bring their backpacks (empty or filled) to church for this special event.
Contact the Church office: To add your e-mail address and phone number to the ministry/committee contact list(s), or even to seek Father John’s blessing to begin a new ministry beneficial to church members involved or in need, please contact Church office.
Saint Phanourios: The holy, glorious and right-victorious Great-martyr Phanourios is commemorated on August 27. He is honored by the faithful through a symbolic cake, called the "Phanouropita" which can be brought to the church, at any time, for a blessing. All are invited to offer a Phanouropita on the feast of St. Phanourios, Sunday, August 27.
Asterakia Dance Practices: Asterakia dance practices will resume on Sunday, August 27th, and will continue until “show time” (Greek Festival). New dancers are welcome to join. For more information please contact the following teachers:..PreK - 3rd grade- Angela Lekos (firstname.lastname@example.org); 4th - 8th grades - Staci Lagoutaris (StaciLag@gmail.com)
Holy Trinity Stewardship:The Bible speaks of offering back to God the "first fruits" of our possessions, thus recognizing Him as the provider of all we are and all we have. Stewardship is making Christ the first priority in the use of the time, talents and treasures He has given to us. Thank you for Holy Trinity Church Stewardship commitment.
Weekly Offering: You can decide how much you might contribute to support the church’s ministry. Your gift goes to ensuring that our church is open and accessible to all who seek her comfort. These donations are very important to the vitality of our parish. Your offering can be made at the collection basket as you exit the service.
Weekly Bulletin Submission: Please submit announcements, with dates and times to the Church office via email email@example.com with “Bulletin Article” in the subject line, no later than Wednesday/Thursday weekly. Please grant patience, sometimes articles or parts of articles are edited or deleted during final process.