Sunday Orthros 9:00am Divine Liturgy 10:00am Fr. John Hays, Interim Priest
One of the most ancient cities of the Promised Land was Shechem, also called Sikima, located at the foot of Mount Gerazim. There the Israelites had heard the blessings in the days of Moses and Jesus of Navi. Near to this town, Jacob, who had come from Mesopotamia in the nineteenth century before Christ, bought a piece of land where there was a well. This well, preserved even until the time of Christ, was known as Jacob's Well. Later, before he died in Egypt, he left that piece of land as a special inheritance to his son Joseph (Gen. 49:22). This town, before it was taken into possession by Samaria, was also the leading city of the kingdom of the ten tribes. In the time of the Romans it was called Neapolis, and at present Nablus. It was the first city in Canaan visited by the Patriarch Abraham. Here also, Jesus of Navi (Joshua) addressed the tribes of Israel for the last time. Almost three hundred years later, all Israel assembled there to make Roboam (Rehoboam) king.
When our Lord Jesus Christ, then, came at midday to this city, which is also called Sychar (John 4:5), He was wearied from the journey and the heat, and He sat down at this well. After a little while the Samaritan woman mentioned in today's Gospel passage came to draw water. As she conversed at some length with the Lord and heard from Him secret things concerning herself, she believed in Him; through her many other Samaritans also believed.
Concerning the Samaritans we know the following: In the year 721 before Christ, Salmanasar (Shalmaneser), King of the Assyrians, took the ten tribes of the kingdom of Israel into captivity, and relocated all these people to Babylon and the land of the Medes. From there he gathered various nations and sent them to Samaria. These nations had been idolaters from before. Although they were later instructed in the Jewish faith and believed in the one God, they worshipped the idols also. Furthermore, they accepted only the Pentateuch of Moses, and rejected the other books of Holy Scripture. Nonetheless, they thought themselves to be descendants of Abraham and Jacob. Therefore, the pious Jews named these Judaizing and idolatrous peoples Samaritans, since they lived in Samaria, the former leading city of the Israelites, as well as in the other towns thereabout. The Jews rejected them as heathen and foreigners, and had no communion with them at all, as the Samaritan woman observed, "the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans" (John 4:9). Therefore, the name Samaritan is used derisively many times in the Gospel narrations. After the Ascension of the Lord, and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the woman of Samaria was baptized by the holy Apostles and became a great preacher and Martyr of Christ; she was called Photine, and her feast is kept on February 26.
Prokeimenon. 4th Tone. Psalm 103.24,1.
O Lord, how manifold are your works. You have made all things in wisdom.
Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul.
The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 11:19-30.
IN THOSE DAYS, those apostles who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians. Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabos stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world; and this took place in the days of Claudius. And the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brethren who lived in Judea, and they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
The Reading is from John 4:5-42
At that time, Jesus came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."
Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly." The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, "What do you wish?" or, "Why are you talking with her?" So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" They went out of the city and were coming to him.
Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." So the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought him food?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony. "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard ourselves, and we know that this is indeed Christ the Savior of the world."
Special Prayers: Please pray for the spiritual and physical health of the whole world, and especially Cynthia Markos Nichols who is recovering from surgery. In addition, we have ongoing prayer requests for Jane Anderson, Betty Day, Chresanthe Lemieux, Jim Manos, Faye Peterson, Steve Sarris, Despina Xynidis, the work of our parish, missionary families, and catechumens.
Upcoming Services and Events:
Holy Trinity Stewardship: At the Divine Liturgy, the priest offers the gifts on our behalf to God, he says: "Your own gifts, from Your own gifts we offer to you." As part of God's creation, man returns a portion of the gifts he has received from God to Him in thanksgiving and appreciation.The Bible says: "the Lord loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). Stewardship is Christian, biblical and equitable, for each is asked to give according to his or her love for God, conscience and means. By Stewardship we support Christ's work not as a duty, but as a privilege. The Christian way to give is because we have a desire to give; we give because we love the Lord.
Reminders about Approaching for Holy Communion: According to ancient practice going back to the very earliest experience and canons of Christianity, only Baptized/Chrismated Orthodox Christians who have prepared to receive Holy Communion are allowed to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Orthodox Church. Those partaking of Communion are asked to wait in their pews for the direction of the usher guiding Communicants row-by-row up the center aisle. Families with children are encouraged to Commune together. The usher will first guide from the back of the church those Newly Baptized/Illumined and Families with Infants, followed by the Sunday School Children processing with their teachers.
May 7, 2017 Offerings: Candles $119, Tray $91.75 Stewardship $2455
Do you have changes to your contact information? Please email any updates or changes to the church at email@example.com or leave a message at the church office, 904.829.0504.
Asterakia Dance Group: Practices have resumed for the Asterakia dancers. The children are practicing for the upcoming Greek Night on Saturday, June 10th. For more information please see Angela Lekos.
These are the upcoming dates for the practices:
Sunday, May 21st
Sunday, May 28th
Sunday, June 4th
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 (M-F 9am-1pm), 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.
St. Photios National Shrine
Facilities & Maintenance
June Festival/Spirit Fest
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.
Weekly Offering: Every week, at each celebration of the Divine Liturgy, members of our parish and those joining in the Eucharistic celebration are invited to support the ministry of our parish through a financial contribution. Your offering can be made at the collection basket as you exit the service.