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The Messenger   ~ June 2018
“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God”
Luke 12: 8-9

Setting the mind on God

St. John Cassian

It is impossible for the mind to escape disturbing thoughts, but it is possible, for any who take sufficient care, either to admit them or reject them. If it is true that their first beginnings do not lie in our power, it is equally true that their acceptance or rejection does lie with us. Nor, from what we said just now about it being impossible for the mind not to be approached by thoughts, are we entitled to conclude that the whole blame rests with assault, or with those spirits who are eager to press these thoughts upon us. If that were so, there would be no free will in man, nor should we be possessed of means for the correction of our own characters. But it is, to a great extent, in our own power to alter the kind of thoughts we think, and to ensure that either holy and spiritual thoughts arise in us of those that are earthly and carnal. For this reason we use frequent reading and constant meditation in the Scriptures that thereby we may acquire a memory stocked with spiritual things; for this reason, again, is our oft repeated chanting of the Psalms, that we may thereby win a constant sense of compunction. This is the reason also of our careful watchings and fasts and prayers, so that the mind, weaned fro the things of this world, may not savor what is earthly but may behold the things of heaven. On the other hand, if these practices should cease and negligence prevail, it needs must be that the mind should soon become encased with the filth of sin, and turn to fleshly desires, and perish.

This exercise of the heart is not ineptly to be compared to the likeness of a mill which is turned round and round by a headlong flow of rushing water. It can never cease from its task so long as it it driven round by the water's onrush; but the miller in whose charge it is has it in his power to grind whatever he wishes, be it barley or tares. For that is inevitably in the mill which is put into it by the man in charge thereof. In like manner the mind, attacked on all sides by the torrents of temptations of this present life, cannot indeed be free and clear from the surges of evil thoughts, but what kind of thoughts it should cast out will be be determined by its own earnest care and diligence. For if we constantly fall back upon meditation upon Holy Scripture, and make our memory rise up to the recollection of spiritual things and longing for perfection and hope of the future blessedness, it will follow of necessity that the spiritual thoughts which come to us in consequence will cause the mind to linger in those things whereon we meditate. But if, overcome by sloth and negligence, we employ ourselves in sinful and idle gossip, or become enmeshed in worldly and unnecessary cares, it will come to pass that a certain tare will spring up and spread its evil in our hearts, and in accord with that saying of our Lord and Savior, where the treasure of our work or purpose lies, there our hearts also will of necessity be fixed.

The contemplation of God is attained in many different ways. For God is known not only when we marvel at His incomprehensible substance, - that which is still hidden in the hope of promise, - but we can see Him also in the greatness of His creation, or by pondering upon His justice, or helped by the thought of His daily providence, or when we run over in sincerity of mind the things He has done for His saints generation after generation, when with trembling hearts we marvel at the power whereby He governs, orders, and rules all things that are, or at His immeasurable knowledge, or the Eye of His before which no secrets of the heart or mind can be hid, when we think how the sand of the sea and the number of the waves are measured and known to Him. Or we contemplate the drops of the rain, the days and hours of the centuries standing clear before His knowledge, - there amazed, we find all things whatsoever, past or future. 

Set Service Schedule: 
     Weekend schedule
- Every Saturday, Great Vespers 5:30 pm.
- Every Sunday, Hours at 9:10 am & Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am.
     Weekday schedule 
+ An Akathist is served every Tuesday at 6:30am.
+ Matins is served at 6am, every Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.
+ Verspers is served at 5:30pm every Wednesday.

Coffee fellowship:  
Bible Study / Orthodox Education: Summer break
Upcoming Major & Great Feasts: Ss. Peter and Paul:  Friday the 29th. See the Calendar for service times.
Women's group: Saturday the 30th at 9:30 am.

“The preaching of the Gospel is simple, foreign to the delusion of purely external, flowery beauty of speech and the external wisdom of pagan philosophers. Instead, it is strong only because of the truth contained within it” 

Archbp. Averky (Taushev) of Jordanville

Parish notes

Ss. Peter & Paul fast begins on Monday, June 4th and ends on the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. It has become common practice to eat fish, wine, and oil on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday. You are welcome to follow this practice.

Please note: a close circuit video camera system now monitors the church grounds.  

Work Policy for Church Grounds: effective immediately, the Church Calendar regulations regarding work on Holy Days will be observed on the Church grounds. No work, other than what is clearly necessary for Feast Day preparations, will or should be done on the Church grounds. This includes all 12 Great Feasts and Holy Week together with Pascha. Thank you!

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!


Archangel Michael Orthodox Church Newsletter and Calendar
Set Weekend Service Schedule: 
Every Sat/ Great Vespers 5:30pm 
Sun/ Hours 9:10 & Divine Liturgy 9:30am
For other service times please see the calendar

See the calendar below to view our monthly calendar; it includes weekday services, Bible studies, fellowships and more!