“As you therefore received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and confirmed in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in giving thanks. Be wary lest there shall be anyone who leads you captive through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ."
Are We Christians?
St. John Kronstadt
So were rivers of blood shed for the preservation of the Orthodox Faith by apostles, prophets, and martyrs; much suffering was endured be reverend fathers and other champions of the faith.
What about us, children of the Orthodox Church? Do we preserve this most precious heritage, the Orthodox Faith? Do we follow its teachings, commandments, rules, statutes, advice? Do we love to offer this service to God, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Heb. 13:15)? Are we renewed by it? Do we sanctify ourselves every day, do we correct ourselves, do we attain the perfection the saints attained? Do we perfect ourselves in our love for God and neighbor, do we cherish our faith, do we consider it the greatest mercy of God, the very first and greatest benefit of life the fact that we are fortunate to belong to the Orthodox Church, which is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?
What is our answer to these questions, if we desire to answer honestly? To our shame we must confess that many, many Orthodox Christians not only do not have the Orthodox faith in their hearts and lives, but also do not have it even in their tongues, and faith has either completely disappeared from their lives or they have become completely indifferent toward any faith: Catholicism, Lutheranism, Judaism, Islam, even paganism. We hear from many people that you can please God in every faith, that is, as if every faith is pleasing to God, and as if God is indifferent to truth and falsehood, right and wrong. Look at the consequences of ignoring one's faith, of the ignorance of the spirit and history of their Church, alienation from its life and divine services, the consequences of ignoring concepts of Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and other faiths!
A Christian as a member of the Church, must know his faith and try to live according to it, be saved by his faith, because the enemies of our salvation do not sleep, and seek our destruction at every hour; a Christian must not abandon his faith … No other religion except Orthodoxy can bring man to moral perfection or holiness and perfect agreeableness to God, as evidenced by the history of the church and the incorrupt and wonder-working remains of the holy saints of God, and by the wonderful feats of the saints of the Orthodox Church … so it should be, according to common sense, only a perfect faith can bring one to perfection, with all divine powers, all the spiritual armor of God against the passions of the flesh, the world, and the devil.
If nowadays many Orthodox Christians live worse than Muslims and pagans … this truly impious life of the Christian must not in the least, of course, be blamed on the Orthodox Faith, which is unwavering in its principles of truth and holiness, according to the promise of the Savior Himself and the testimony of history. Such people, even though they came from us, were never one of us in essence, but only in name.
Yes, my brethren, only the Orthodox Faith purifies and sanctifies human nature stained by sin; it renews the corrupted, especially through the mysteries of baptism, repentance, and communion. It illumines those who are darkened and heals those who are wounded by sins … Would you like to be convinced of this? Read the lives of the saints, the history of the Church, and you will see firsthand all of these miracles in the lives of the saints.
Why does it not also effect such saving changes within us? Because of our lack of faith, or unbelief, because of our frivolity, corruption, and the impenitence in our hearts; because of the passions that grow stronger within us and have complete control over us, because of our falling away from the Church, and because many of us do not in the least instill within ourselves the spirit of the Church, and many others insincerely, weakly, and only slightly more formally belong to it.
For us to be true Orthodox Christians, we must first of all have a living, constant communion with the Orthodox Church; that is, we must partake in its prayers, teachings, and mysteries; we must diligently study our faith and be instilled with and live its spirit; we must be guided by its rules, commandments, statutes, and more important, we must restore within ourselves the image of true and deep repentance of a true Orthodox Christian according to the image of the saints, old and new, or better according to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who said: For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you (Jn. 13:15), so that the Lord may say of us, as once he said of Nathaniel: Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit (Jn. 1:47). Amen.
Set Service Schedule:
- Every Saturday, Great Vespers 5:30 pm.
- Every Sunday, Hours at 9:10 am & Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am.
+ An Akathist is served at 6:30 am every Tuesday.
+ Matins is served at 6 am, every Wednesday & Friday.
Bible Study / Orthodox Education: Every Wednesday at 6:30 pm. Not meeting on the 27th.
Upcoming Major & Great Feasts: 116th Parish Feast Day: Friday the 8th. Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, Thursday the 21st.
Women's group: Saturday the 23rd.
“If now we will be timid in righteousness and faith, then in the coming age we will be eternally ashamed of our timidness and ignominy”
Met. Luke of Zaporozhye
The All Parish Meeting will take place on Sunday the 12th following coffee hour. All those who consider St. Michael's their home church should be there. It is important that every member take an active responsibility for the continued upkeep of the church here in Pueblo.
Sign-up for the blessing of your home! Sign-up sheet in fellowship hall.
Orthodox Education / Bible Study resumes on Wednesdays the 15th at 6:30 pm. The topic will be the Seven Churches of Revelation
Blessing of the Waters on Monarch Pass, Monday the 2oth. Service begins at 11 am on top of the Pass. A meal will follow the service in Salida.
A church cleaning list is now in the Narthex, please consider signing up to clean the Church nave for a month.
Confession is an integral part of true Christian living. An Orthodox Christian who is regularly partaking of Holy Communion needs, for the health of their soul, to be partaking of Holy Confession at least on a monthly basis. This practice of true Christian living should be respected and practiced by all responsible members of the Church who are approaching the Chalice frequently.
Library note: if you have had a library book for awhile please remember to return it. Remember the library is a honor system.
A note on Prosphora bread: Prosphora is blessed bread partaken of after Holy Communion and at the conclusion of the Div. Liturgy. Please be mindful of crumbs, it is important to instruct children to eat it with reverence. If you share with a member of the congregation who has not partaken of Holy Communion, please only give one or two pieces. If you notice a number of crumbs on the floor please pick them up and deposit them outside. Prosphora should never be thrown in the trash.
Parents: please make sure that your children do not go to the restroom unattended. This is for the greater safety of our community and children.
Another reminder: Generally speaking there should be no unnecessary moving about during the Div. Liturgy; specifically during the reading of the Gospel, the Anaphora, and the Our Father all moving about should cease, unless it is an emergency. Parents are encouraged to help their children focus during these times.
Diapers and wipes: we are partnering with a Caring Pregnancy Center through supplying diapers and wipes. Please bring donations to the church. This is an ongoing ministry. A Caring Pregnancy Center helps woman make an informed choice for life. Protecting life at every stage is the job of every Christian.
Coffee Hour: Please be mindful which group you belong to and please be diligent in bringing food. This is in fact a ministry. It is the listed group's responsibility to make sure the coffee is made, please communicate with your group members as to who will do this. Thank you for all your hard work!