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The Messenger   ~ December 2019

“Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed for Himself in Himself, in regard to a dispensation of the fullness of the times, to recapitulate all things in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things on the earth"
Eph. 1:9-10

The Church and the World

Hiero-Martyr Damascene (Tsedrik)

“The purpose of the Church is constant battle; this is why it is called the 'militant Church', battling with the prince of this world – that is, with all those who by all possible means and ways press the spirit of man, bind it, as it were mix it with matter, gradually suppress and in it the call from heaven, deprive it of the opportunity even to feel its own true nature, the true purpose of its life in this world, and even harden it against the eternal light. For the spirit that has become attached to earth, this Light even now becomes painfully tormenting, which is why there is occurring a rebellion against the light, an effort to put out its remaining rays in this world. All this is contained in a single word: evil. As long as there is occurring a conscious battle with evil, so long will the 'day' of Christ's Church endure …. 

It is joyful to realize that only this Light possesses the life-giving quality of constantly creating, igniting noble lamps of the light in the midst of the darkness which to all appearances has already covered everything. Therefore, let it be that darkness has temporarily covered the earth (form the sixth to the ninth hour), let it be that the lamps of certain Churches are hidden under bushels so as not to be put out by the satanic whirlwind (as has occurred with the majority). After a short time of rest from the Lord (perhaps even the time when darkness will imagine that its work has already been completed), the lamps will be revealed, will come together, will ignite a multitude of others which had been put out, will pour together into a great flame of faith which, when efforts are made to put it out, will burn yet brighter; for many which have been put out and have felt the torment of the darkness and the cold of Tartarus will prefer to burn upon the bonfire of the flame of faith than again to be immersed in darkness ….

No matter how few we might be, the whole power of Christ's promises concerning the invincibility of the Church remain with us. With us is Christ, the Conqueror of death and hell. The history of Christianity shows us that in all the periods when temptations and heresies have agitated the Church, the bearers of church truth and the expressors of it were few, but these few with the fire of their faith and their zealous standing in the Truth have gradually ignited everyone … The same thing will happen now if we few will fulfill our duty before Christ and His Church to the end.

Why is it that the seal of the Antichrist, as St. John the Theologian affirms, will be placed not upon the forehead and the hand simultaneously, but upon the forehead or the hand? Likewise, St. Andrew, Archbishop of Caesarea, writes: 'He will strive so that the mark might be placed on everyone' … In some it will be on the right hand, so as to instruct those who have been deceived to be bold in their deception and darkness. This will occur because at that time there will be people who will affirm that it is possible and permissible to recognize the God-fighting authority of Antichrist if only one remains a Christian in one's soul. 

From such ones the Antichrist will not demand that they share his way of thinking; in other words, upon all such ones he will not place the seal on their forehead, but will demand of them only recognition of his authority, which is, according to St. Hippolytus, the seal on the hand, since through recognition of the human authority which will be God-fighting and against God, lawless and filled with every impiety, a Christian by this very fact will cut off from himself every possibility of doing good and righteous deeds, for in his faith there will be missing the chief sign of uprightness – the confession of God as God and the recognition of Him as Being that stands above all. All such ones, even though they might bear the name of Christian, in very deed will be, according to the works of their hands, true servants of Antichrist, who has deceived them by the worship of his image, which is the mark of the beast. Repentance is impossible for such ones, according to the teaching of the Holy Church; and it is impossible only because the seal of Christ and the seal of the Antichrist are incompatible with each other, and the reception of one banishes the presence of the other. 

The banishing of the grace of the Holy Spirit through the mark of the beast fills the heart of all such ones with the first sign – fearfulness – which will bring them to an easy destruction. St. Hippolytus writes: 'On the contrary, if anyone will be deprived of the Holy Spirit, that is, if one will not have upon himself or has lost the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit which was given in Holy Chrismation, he will fight with fear in a cowardly manner, will hide, will be afraid of the present temporal death, will conceal himself from the sword, will not endure chastisement, since he is constantly thinking about this world.'”

From: Russia's Catacomb Saints, pp. 227-228, 222-223.

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 at 6:30 am every Tuesday.
+ Matins is served at 6 am, every Wednesday & Friday.

Coffee fellowship:  
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

Parish notes

Orthodox Education / Bible Study is meeting on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. Last class on Wednesday the 18th! The topic is Christology.

St. Nicholas Party!! Sunday, Dec. 8th.

Fabulous Christmas Spectacle! Sunday Dec. 22nd, during coffee hour.

All Parish Meeting will be on Sunday January the 12th. Please make plans to be there. It is important that every member of the church to take an active responsibility for the continued upkeep of the church here in Pueblo. 

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!


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!