St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2017-04-01
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St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • (770) 725-5035
  • Fax:
  • (866) 646-8396
  • Street Address:

  • 3761 Mars Hill Road

  • Watkinsville, GA 30677

Contact Information

Services Schedule


Orthros/Matins 9 a.m.

Divine Liturgy 10 a.m.



Vespers 6 p.m.


See our website calendar for a full list of services.

Past Bulletins

Message from Father Anthony

Pascha Everyday


The meaning of the Resurrection informs every moment of our lives.  From the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed at night, the Resurrection shapes our attitudes, our feelings, even our courage.  It is because of the Resurrection of Christ from the dead that we are able to be “fully alive” now, in every circumstance whether in pain, sorrow or suffering, we can experience the joy of the Resurrection.  Because it is in pain, sorrow, and suffering that the rubber meets the road as they say.  In times of joy and ease we are happy and thankful to be alive.  Our faith doesn’t need to be strong when life is good.  But the real challenge comes when we have doubts, temptations, setbacks, or trials.  It is in these moments we can call upon the name of the Lord and find a ready help’ in times or trouble.  If you want to be inspired by ‘practical theology’ read the Psalms on a daily basis.  They are written not from the point of ease and recreation but from the pit in the middle of the storm.  As Orthodox Christians, we are ‘Incarnational’, that means that we work out our salvation in fear and trembling in this life.  Our Ivory Tower of Faith is tested in real circumstances, and we are called upon to have ‘practical wisdom’.  That requires discernment in every situation so as not to let the ‘ideal’, derail the real.  Equal measure perseverance and equal measure wisdom are necessary to stay on the narrow path of Orthodoxy.

Faith that can stand strong in the little temptations or challenges that we face every day, will be ready when bigger trials come along.  Through the ascetical practices that the church offers us we are able to strengthen our resolve to take up our cross and follow Christ, whatever that cross may be.  Christ tells us that His burden is easy and His yoke is light.  I believe that means that living in Christ is the most natural and unaffected way to live.  When life is heavy and burdensome we need to lay down those loads and let Christ carry them and rest in His hands.  This is different for each of us of course, but as we grow to know the Lord and conform our life to His, this process becomes more clear.

Suffice it to say that each year that we come to Holy Week and Pascha we have a new opportunity to deepen our experience and understanding of the brilliance of our Orthodox faith and what treasures of beauty, and mystery it offers us.  Resolve to set aside the time to participate on a deeper level than you have in years past and experience in a deep and profound way the glory of the Resurrection.


Fr. Anthony


Parish News

Holy Week Schedule

Schedule of Lenten & Paschal Services
April 8 - April 16, 2017
Date Day Time Worship Service
April 8th Saturday 9:00am Lazarus Saturday Liturgy followed by Lenten Breakfast,
      Confessions, Palm Folding, and Church Cleaning
April 9th Sunday 8:45am Orthros/Matins
    10:00am Palm Sunday Liturgy
      Theme: Christ's Entry into Jerusalem
    7:00pm 1st Bridegroom Service - Start of Holy Week
      Theme: Wise Joseph and the Fig Tree
April 10th Monday 7:00pm 2nd Bridegroom Service
      Theme: Parable of the Ten Virgins
April 11th Tuesday 7:00am Pre-Sanctified Liturgy
    9:00am Egg Dying at the Church
    7:00pm 3rd Bridegoom Service
      Theme: Deeds of Mary Magdalene contrasted with deeds of Judas
April 12th Wednesday 5:30pm Sacrament of Holy Unction - through 8:00pm
April 13th Thursday 7:00am  Divine Liturgy of St. Basil
    6:00pm Reading of the Twelve Gospels
      Themes: The Last Supper, the Betrayal, the Crucifixion
April 14th Friday 8:30am Great Hours, being vigilant at the Cross
    10am-2pm Decorate the Bier of Christ
    3:00pm Apokathelosis, the Taking Down of Christ from the Cross
    7:00pm Lamentations
      Followed by an All-Night Vigil by the Tomb of Christ
April 15th Saturday 9:00am Vesperal Divine Liturgy
    11:15pm Holy Pascha Orthros & Divine Liturgy
April 16th Sunday 2:00pm Agape Vespers and Paschal Feast & Easter Egg Hunt

Holy Week Youth Events

Lazarus Saturday Liturgy (April 8) and youth confessions followed by Lenten breakfast and palm folding.  There is also a choir meeting. 

Good Friday – School excuse forms will be available in the Narthex.  Children are encouraged to attend morning and afternoon services.

Good Friday Vigil—the all-night reading of the Psalter in the church as we await the Resurrection of our Savior.  Volunteers are needed for organizing the light snacks and readers’ schedule.  Please see Rose, Lynn, or Barbara to sign up.

Easter Egg Hunt—after the Agape Meal on Easter Sunday.  Empty plastic eggs are available to take home and fill with candy, toys, coins, etc. We ask that no chocolate because they will melt in the sun. Thank you to Bobby and Sarah Jones for helping to organize.


Easter Donations Needed

Easter Lilies in honor of your loved ones

Pascha Flowers to decorate the Kouvouklion for Good Friday

Agape Meal- for the meat that is cooked for our community meal

All donations can be given to Fr. Anthony, or Dean Kimbaris.  Prayerfully consider your offering at this holy time.

Grief Support


Grief Support will meet Monday, April 3rd at 7:00 pm at Fr Anthony's home to watch the movie Collateral Beauty.  Grief is difficult, but with support and prayer there is help.  If you find yourself or know someone who is having a difficult time dealing with a loss one, please invite them to attend.


Adult Religious Education (ARE)


Tuesday, April 4th  Women's Bible Study will take place at 6:30 pm at the home of Presbytera Christine.  Bring your Bible.  Light snacks will be served and feel free to bring a snack to share.




Area Churches Together Serving

Our next scheduled volunteer day is Tuesday, April 4th at 9:00am.

Pre-Sanctified Liturgies


There is only one Pre-Sanctified Liturgy remaining

It will be held on Wednesday, April 5 at 5:45pm.  s

A Lenten meal will be served afterwards followed by a discussion on the book Prayer in Unseen Warefare by Jack Sparks. We still have a few copies left in our bookstore for $12, please see Steve. 

Meal host the McClains


Spaghetti Dinners


All spaghetti suppers are from 6 pm - 7:30 pm.  Dinner is $8.00 and includes spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, dessert and drink.  We appreciate any assistance in helping serving this ministry even if it's once a month, twice a month,  or once every two months.  It's great fun and you get a chance to meet our outside community, some who are regulars.  Only requirement is a great smile.  If you like to assist, please speak to Barbara or Kurt.

Thursday, April 6th - Morton Chapel Men's Gospel Choir 

Thursday, April 20th- Athens Big Band 

Pascha Agape Meal


The Pascha Agape Meal will be on Easter Sunday April 16, following the Agape Vespers which begins at 2:00 pm.  We will gather for our Church Family Agape Meal to celebrate the Holy and Glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus.  The main meat dishes will be provided and everyone is asked to bring side dishes, desserts, and beverages to fill out our feast. You can bring your own wine and beer.  Volunteers are needed for set up and decorating, for cooking all the meat and for clean up afterwards.  Please visit the sign-up genius link on St. Philothea's website or click here:

AHEPA Meeting


AHEPA will meet on Monday, April 17th at 6:00 pm.

OCF News


April 18th   7:00pm  Place TBA

May 2nd     7:00pm  Fr. Anthony's house - Final Meeting of the year

- We will share a meal and elect new officers for next year at the May 2nd meeting.


Mother's Day Out


Our next meeting will be April 18th, from 10:00 am-1:00 pm. 

Mothers will be able to have time to talk to other mothers as well as enjoy a discussion led by Father Anthony and Pres. Christine.

There will be activities and baby sitters for the children. 

This group is for all mothers with infants, homeschooled children, and children in school. 

Please bring a covered dish to share with the group for lunch. 

Contact Laura Stiles if you have questions or would like more information (

Parish Council


The Parish Council will meet on Wednesday, April 19th at 7:30pm.  Please read Chapters 5 and 6 of When the Church was Young.

Community Luncheon


Covered dish luncheons are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month.  Open to all senior citizens.  Please bring a covered dish to share with your fellow Christians. Time is Noon - 1 pm.

April 20 Watkinsville Memorial Baptist Church 706-769-7101
  19 Barnett Shoals Rd, Watkinsville  

Musical Concert featuring Pedro Alliprandi and Greg Hankins


On Friday, April 21 at 5:00 pm Pedro Alliprandi clarinet and Greg Hankins, pianist perform with Maria von Weber.  Also, on Friday, May 5 at 7:00 pm Rachel Eve Holmes, soprano, will be performing along with Greg Hankins.  Performances will be at First Christian Church in Athens.  For further information please see Lucian Horescu. 


Pascha Picnic at Diakonia Center


Pascha Picnic at the Diakonia Center, Sat April 22, Agape Service at 11:00 a.m. followed by picnic and panegyri. We are encouraging everyone to go as a St. Philothea outing to see all the new and beautiful things that are happening at the Diakonia Center, tour the new church, and spend a spring day by the lake in celebration.  Beautiful Paschal lunch is free and open to everyone.

Athens Youth Symphony Concert (AYS)


This free concert will take place at UGA's Hodgson Concert Hall on Sunday, April 30th from 4-5:30pm.  Michael White, Tim and Christina son is one of the orchestra's violist.  AYS is comprised of talented high school musicians from local and surrounding counties.   The concert will feature works of Bernstein, Gould, Verdi, and Weber.  It is a wonderful family fun concert. 

Reasons to Celebrate

April Birthdays

April 13th - Christina and her son, Michael White.  Chronia Polla and may God grant you both many more years.

If you have an upcoming birthday, anniversary or any other reason to celebrate, please send the date and information to Stephanie Gavrielides at


Council of Ministry Group Meetings

Do not forget to schedule and or participate in your ministry group meeting this spring.



Nursery Room Schedule

We thank all our nursery room volunteers. Please see PR Christine if you like to be added. Our Nursery Room is constantly growing!

Available from 10:30 until the end of the Liturgy

April 2, 2017   Charlotte Chromiak Zachary Chromiak
April 9, 2017   Tracey O'Malley Christina White
April 16, 2017        PASCHA
April 28, 2017   Ruth Fuzum Tina Paninos
April 30, 2017   Stephanie Knisely Christina White
May 1, 2017   Pam Demos Nina Lamson
May 7, 2017   Charlotte Chromiak Harriette Gavrielides
May 14, 2017   Tracey O'Malley Genet Kibreab Tseggai
May 21, 2017   Pam Demos Lambrini Cain
May 28, 2017   Ruth Fuzum Stephanie Gavrielides
June 4, 2017   Stephanie Knisely Anna & Max

Coffee Hour Hosting

Coffee Coffee Coffee -- We have a great fellowship after Liturgy on Sundays and always appreciate individuals or families to share in helping.  Please prayfully consider signing up one or two times a year. You can split the work with someone or another family. Currently the following dates are listed!

April 2       Available

April 9       Ruth Fuzum

April 16     Great and Holy Pascha

April 23     Available

April 30     Available

If you would like to host coffee Hour please go so Sign up Genus

National Day of Prayer


Thursday, May 4, 6:15 am to -7:45 am.  Again our church is hosting this event for Oconee County.  We would like to see more of our community be there welcome our Christian friends that attend from all the surrounding churches. Free breakfast and prayers for everyone

Quarterly Clean-up Day at Church


All are invited for some Indoor Spruce up Saturday June 3, from 9-12 at St. Philothea.  We will touch up paint, clean up rooms, change out and all those other adjectives that will make us proud of the great gift God has placed in our hands.  Come join the fellowship.

Stewardship Cards

If you have not yet turned in a card, please do so soon as soon as possible to Stacey Cramer. 


Saints and Feasts

April 01

5th Saturday of Lent: The Akathist Hymn

About the year 626, the Persians, Avars, and Slavs came with a great host and besieged the imperial city of Constantinople while the Emperor Heraclius and the main body of the Byzantine army were absent in the East. Enemy ships filled the sea, especially the Golden Horn, and on land the adversaries were ready for attack with foot-soldiers, horses, and engines of war. Though the citizens courageously withstood them, yet they were few in number and would be unable to repulse the attack of such a great host. Hence, they could not count on any other means of salvation, except the protection of the Theotokos. And truly, suddenly a violent tempest broke up all the ships and submerged them, and the bodies of the invaders were cast out near the Blachernae quarter of the city where the famous Church of the Theotokos stood. Taking courage from this, the people went forth from the city and repulsed the remaining forces, who fled out of fear. In 673, the city was miraculously delivered yet again, this time from an invasion of the Arabs. Then in 717-718, led by the Saracen general Maslamah, the Arab fleet laid siege once more to the city. The numerical superiority of the enemy was so overwhelming that the fall of the Imperial City seemed imminent. But then the Mother of God, together with a multitude of the angelic hosts, appeared suddenly over the city walls. The enemy forces, struck with terror and thrown into a panic at this apparition, fled in disarray. Soon after this, the Arab fleet was utterly destroyed by a terrible storm in the Aegean Sea on the eve of the Annunciation, March 24, 718. Thenceforth, a special "feast of victory and of thanksgiving" was dedicated to celebrate and commemorate these benefactions. In this magnificent service, the Akathist Hymn is prominent and holds the place of honour. It appears that even before the occasion of the enemy assaults mentioned above, the Akathist Hymn was already in use as the prescribed Service for the Feast of the Annunciation, together with the kontakion, "When the bodiless one learned the secret command," which has the Annunciation as its theme. It was only on the occasion of the great miracle wrought for the Christian populace of the Imperial City on the eve of the Annunciation in 718 that the hymn "To thee, the Champion Leader" was composed, most likely by Saint Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople.

Historians have ascribed the Akathist Hymn to Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople (638), to Saint George the Confessor, Bishop of Pisidia (818), or even to Saint Photius the Great (891), all of whom lived either at the time of or after the above-mentioned sieges. However, it appears most likely from its language, content, and style that the true composer of the Akathist Hymn is Saint Romanus the Melodist (6th century).

April 01

Mary of Egypt

When Mary was only twelve years old, she left her parents and departed to Alexandria, where she lived a depraved life for seventeen years. Then, moved by curiosity, she went with many pilgrims to Jerusalem, that she might see the Exaltation of the venerable Cross. Even in the Holy City she gave herself over to every kind of licentiousness and drew many into the depth of perdition. Desiring to go into the church on the day of the Exaltation of the Cross, time and again she perceived a certain invisible power preventing her entrance, whereas the multitude of people about her entered unhindered. Therefore, wounded in heart by this, she decided to change her way of life and reconcile herself to God by means of repentance. Invoking our Lady the Theotokos as her protectress, she asked her to open the way for her to worship the Cross, and vowed that she would renounce the world. And thus, returning once again to the church, she entered easily. When she had worshipped the precious Wood, she departed that same day from Jerusalem and passed over the Jordan. She went into the inner wilderness and for forty-seven years lived a most harsh manner of life, surpassing human strength; alone, she prayed to God alone. Toward the end of her life, she met a certain hermit named Zosimas, and she related to him her life from the beginning. She requested of him to bring her the immaculate Mysteries that she might partake of them. According to her request, he did this the following year on Holy and Great Thursday. One year after this, Zosimas again went thither and found her dead, laid upon the ground, and letters written in the sand near her which said: "Abba Zosimas, bury here the body of wretched Mary. I died on the very day I partook of the immaculate Mysteries. Pray for me." Her death is reckoned by some to have taken place in 378, by some, in 437, and by others, in 522. She is commemorated also on the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent. Her life was recorded by Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem.

April 09

The Holy Martyr Eupsychius of Caesarea

This holy Martyr was from the parts of Cappadocia, and lived a blameless life with his wife. During the reign of Julian the Apostate, this blessed one was filled with divine zeal and, with other Christians, destroyed the pagan temple dedicated to Fortune. Because of this he received the crown of martyrdom by beheading in the year 362.

April 16

Agape, Chionia, and Irene, the Holy Martyrs

When the Emperor Diocletian was at Aquileia, he learned that these Saints were Christians, and had them brought before him. Because they would not deny Christ, he had them imprisoned, and when he went into Macedonia, he committed them to Dulcitius the Prefect, who, however, lost his understanding and became incapable of doing them any harm. Diocletian then gave Count Sisinius charge over them. He had Saints Agape and Chionia burned; he ordered that Saint Irene be put in a brothel, but by the providence of God this was not accomplished, and she was shot with an arrow. These holy sisters suffered martyrdom in Thessalonica in the year 295.

April 23

George the Great Martyr and Triumphant

George, this truly great and glorious Martyr of Christ, was born of a father from Cappadocia and a mother from Palestine. Being a military tribune, or chiliarch (that is, a commander of a thousand troops), he was illustrious in battle and highly honoured for his courage. When he learned that the Emperor Diocletian was preparing a persecution of the Christians, Saint George presented himself publicly before the Emperor and denounced him. When threats and promises could not move him from his steadfast confession, he was put to unheard-of tortures, which he endured with great bravery, overcoming them by his faith and love towards Christ. By the wondrous signs that took place in his contest, he guided many to the knowledge of the truth, including Queen Alexandra, wife of Diocletian, and was finally beheaded in 296 in Nicomedia.

His sacred remains were taken by his servant from Nicomedia to Palestine, to a town called Lydda, the homeland of his mother, and then were finally transferred to the church which was raised up in his name. (The translation of the Saint's holy relics to the church in Lydda is commemorated on November 3; Saint Alexandra the Queen, on April 21.)

If April 23 falls on or before Great and Holy Pascha, the Feast of St. George is translated to Bright Monday.

April 30

James the Apostle and brother of St. John the Theologian

James was one of the Twelve, like his brother John (celebrated on Sept. 26), whom the Lord called "Sons of Thunder," because they became great preachers and because of their profound theology. It was the Saint's boldness in preaching the Gospel that Herod Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus and grandson of Herod the Great, could not endure, and so he took him into custody during the days of the Passover, and slew him with the sword (Acts 12: 1-2); and thus he drank the cup of which the Saviour had spoken to him prophetically (Matt. 20:23). As for Herod, the following year he went down to Caesarea, and, as the Acts of the Apostles records: "Upon a set day, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration" to the elders of Tyre and Sidon; and the flatterers that surrounded him "gave a shout, saying, 'it is the voice of a god, and not of a man.' And immediately an Angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory; and like his grandfather (see Dec. 29) "he was eaten of worms and gave up the spirit" (Acts 12:21-23)


Assembly of Bishops News

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to Continue Successful Fellowships at the UN


The Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is inviting graduate and recent post-graduate students to apply for its fellowships at the United Nations.

Scout Sunday 2017


Scout Sunday is an annual event among all faiths which recognize the good work that is done by Scouts in our religious communities. The observance of Scout Sunday tradition was started years ago to make people in the church aware of Scouting, and to allow Scouts to live out of what is pledged each week.

Message from His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios

DYNAMIS: A Dialogue for Strengthening Our Parishes and Parishioners


February 3, 2017

My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Where there is no vision, the people will perish - Proverbs 29:18

I greet you with love and joy, praying that God will bless you and your families always, bestowing upon you good health, wisdom, peace and abundant joy! I humbly ask you to join me at DYNAMIS: A Dialogue for Strengthening Our Parishes and Parishioners.

As your Metropolitan, I am always thinking of questions that we face as a Metropolis. What are the most critical needs of our parish families? How can we help our parish leaders with their critical work? For this reason, your Metropolis has been focused on better serving the faithful in the Lord’s vineyard.

Therefore, we would like to share our vision with you in an upcoming program we are bringing to you, called: DYNAMIS: A Dialogue for Strengthening Our Parishes and Parishioners.When the clergyman says DYNAMIS at every Divine Liturgy, he is asking for the congregation to sing with more strength. The Metropolis wants to bring you and your parishes dynamis through our efforts during these programs. As we prepare to enter the Triodion, I think of how, often, many Spiritual Fathers go on pilgrimages to prepare them for Great Lent. In this same spirit, throughout the month of March, I, and some of my co-workers, will embark on our own pilgrimage—visiting every region of our Metropolis to open a dialogue with you, the clergy, parish leaders and parishioners. The dates and locations of this program are described here.

"DYNAMIS" will present to you our exciting vision in our Strategic Plan, as well as the many other life-changing ministries that will help you better meet both the practical and spiritual needs of your faithful. This is our gift to help provide you dynamis.

It will be a blessing to see and hear from all Parish leaders, Parish Council and Philoptochos Members, Clergy, Parish Champions, and any other interested parishioners at a "DYNAMIS" dialogue event near you. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend, and I hope to see as many of you there as possible.

I pray that, guided by the Holy Spirit, this unique dialogue will prove a spiritually uplifting beginning to 2017 for our Holy and God-Protected Metropolis of Atlanta. I remain,

Paternally yours with love in the Lord,
+ A L E X I O S
Metropolitan of Atlanta



Copyright © 2016 Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, All rights reserved.



Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. Third Mode. Luke 1: 46-48.
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
Verse: For he has regarded the humility of his servant.

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 9:1-7.

BRETHREN, the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tent was prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence; it is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain stood a tent called the Holy of Holies, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. These preparations having thus been made, the priests go continually into the outer tent, performing their ritual duties; but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood which he offers for himself and for the errors of the people.

Gospel Reading

5th Saturday of Lent: The Akathist Hymn
The Reading is from Luke 1:39-49, 56

In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name." And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.


Hymns of the Day

Apolytikion for 5th Sat. of Lent: The Akathist Hymn in the Plagal Fourth Mode

When the bodiless one learned the secret command, in haste he came and stood before Joseph's dwelling, and spake unto the Maiden who knew not wedlock: The One Who hath bowed the Heavens by His descent is held and contained unchanging wholly in thee. Seeing Him receiving the form of a servant in thy womb, I stand in awe and cry to thee: Rejoice, thou Bride unwedded.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal Fourth Mode

To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I, your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: "Hail, unwedded bride!"

Wisdom of the Fathers

He has gone to dwell in a Virgin's womb that was sanctified beforehand by the Spirit. O marvel! God is come among men; He who cannot be contained is contained in a womb; the Timeless enters time; and, strange wonder!
John the Monk
Great Compline. Festal Menaion.

His conception is without seed, His emptying is past telling: so great is this mystery! For God empties Himself, takes flesh, and is fashioned as a creature, when the angel tells the pure Virgin of her conception.
John the Monk
Great Compline. Festal Menaion.


Greek Orthodox Archdiocese News


First Step for New Youth Protection System


Twenty-two youth and camp workers from across the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America gathered, yesterday Mon., Jan. 23, 2017, to begin three days of intensive youth protection and abuse prevention certification.

Articles Worth Reading

The Prayer of St. Ephrem of Syrian


Lord and Master of my life, cast way from me a spirit of laziness, idle curiosity, love of power, and vain talk. But grant me your servant a spirit of moderation, humility, patience, and love. Yes Lord and King grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brothers and sisters for you are holy now and forever onto the ages of Ages of amen.

A Compassionate People


A Compassionate People

We must become a more compassionate people

“In this way will the inequalities of earthly states be leveled out at God’s judgment (Saint Theophan the Recluse).”



Guarding our Attitude


Guarding Our Attitude

Negativity does damage to the soul

“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me (Job 3:25).”


Faculties of the Human Soul


The rational faculty and the noetic faculty The human soul has two faculties, the rational faculty and the noetic faculty. Through the rational faculty we relate to the world with our physical senses, but through the noetic faculty we have communion with God. Faith is found in one's heart, not in one's mind. Those who depend […]

Read more of this post


Bulletin Inserts


Family Life Ministry

One Good Thought: Hope in Times of Sorrow

March 28, 2017 | Filed under: What's New!

“O Lord of Hosts, be with us for we have none other hope in times of sorrow but Thee….” Great Compline Service  

I love the Lenten Great Compline service (which includes the scriptures quoted in this post), because it reminds me that even when I feel deep sorrow-when I might feel there is no hope- I’m not alone in feeling that way (obviously lots of others needed this service too through the centuries) and I’m not actually without hope.

Sometimes we solve problems by asking a friend, calling mom, or hiring a plumber, but then there are those other problems-the ones that aren’t fixable, when no one can comfort us much, and no one can make our sorrow go away. The ones you’re thinking about right now that you might not even want to think about, that cause others to feel sad for you, or that make you feel so alone. These problems show us how much we need God and give us a glimpse of how fragile and broken this life is.

“For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath humbled my life down to the earth. He hath sat me in darkness as those that have been long dead, and my spirit within me is become despondent; within me my heart is troubled.” Psalm 142

True, there is no magic wand that’ll make problems go away. Some of my sorrows will accompany me for life. I may not get the answer I want to my prayers, in fact I’m not sure I ever do, but this hope transcends problems.

“O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto Thee. Turn not Thy face away from me; in the day when I am afflicted, incline Thine ear unto me.” Psalm 101

God hears all our petitions, even when we think He’s not listening. God is with us in the hard times and in our commonplace problems- even when the solution comes from asking mom. Faith grows out of perseverance, not out of easily answered prayers. It can be hard to perceive His presence, but He is with us. Sorrow is universal, but so is God’s faithfulness and mercy.

“Therefore hast Thou heard the voice of my supplication when I cried unto Thee. O love ye the Lord, all ye His saints, for the Lord requireth truth; and unto them that act with exceeding pride, He rendereth them their due. Be ye courageous, and let your heart be strengthened, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Psalm 30

We have Hope in times of sorrow because God is merciful and He is near the broken hearted. He comforts those who mourn and His mercy and lovingkindness last forever. His comfort comes in surprising and often subtle ways, but it is there when we turn to Him.

We have hope: God is with us. In His mercy, God blesses us in times of joy and comforts us in times of sorrow. His love endures beyond the problems of this life and in eternity we’ll be delivered from grief and sorrow. Our challenge is to have faith despite our current circumstances, to notice and repent when we’re off the path, to remember others who have been faithful and be like them, to trust in His loving mercy, to endure, and sometimes to creatively thrive in times of sorrow.

He that dwelleth in the help of the Most High shall abide in the shelter of the God of Heaven. He shall say unto the Lord: Thou art my helper and my refuge. He is my God, and I will hope in Him. For He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunters and from every troubling word. With His shoulders will He overshadow thee, and under His wings shalt thou have hope. With a shield will His truth encompass thee; thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day, nor for the thing that walketh in darkness, nor for the mishap and demon of noonday.” Psalm 90

Lord, help me to have hope under Your wing.