“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field”
On the Spiritual Contest of Salvation
St. Dimitry of Rostov
“Be zealous, O man, and always be ablaze in your soul; flee despondency and coldness so that you will not hear: since“you were neither cold nor hot … I will vomit you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15, 16). Strive to be watchful and do not waste the time of your life in vanity, for time has been given to you for the correction of the soul and the acquiring of eternal good. Look to it that not one day would pass in vanity – for if you lose the day to vanity, then you will never have it again. If a day has passed, it has passed; it is not within your power to return it. Therefore, do not waste your day on emptiness; instead use the given flow of time to perfect yourself. True life is not given to you for vanity, but for this: that you would use each day for profit and be accomplishing the contest for the virtues; never be idle.
True life is not relaxation, but battle and war, a time for enterprise, a school, a navigation across the sea. There can be no tranquility during a war, nor rest in commerce, no leisure in school, nor ease when sailing upon the sea. Who sails on the sea without fear and sobriety? Who is in the midst of war without dread? Who goes to market or school for rest? No one. Be not slothful in the things of God, nor despondent, but resolutely ready yourself and labor. For you the harvest is now; now is the time for trading, now is the time for buying. Reap and buy now so that you will not be found with empty hands, a stranger to God's grace, and turned over to severe judgment. The Lord rebuked the lazy servant not for receiving and preserving the talent, but for failing to multiply it, “You wicked and lazy servant … you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at My coming I would have received back my own with interest” (Mat. 25:26-7). Not only have you not multiplied your talents, but through sloth and carelessness have lost everything. What will you say on the Fearful Day of Judgment when every detail of your life will be tested? Therefore, be watchful.
Do not bury the talent given to you in the earth through sloth and carelessness; instead strive, be vigilant, ceaselessly adding warmth to warmth and fire to fire, so that you may multiply the good given to you. Then you may daringly say to the Lord on that Day, “Here, Lord, I have gained five talents,” and you will hear the Lord's sweet voice, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Mat. 25: 20-21). If you fail to multiply your God-given talent, but instead waste it and diminish it; if you do not flourish in good deeds, but sink to the depths; if you allow the flame of zeal within you to go out, then, the result will be your fall, which will truly be full of lamenting and weeping. Therefore, it is better to work good rather than evil, and it is better to be vigilant and watchful. For evil a person receives everlasting death, but for goodness an eternal reward; for watchfulness – praise, and for slothfulness – judgment and punishment. Therefore always be vigilant and watch, “Be Faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). The devil is watchful, and he never rests, for he goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour among those who resist him. But you, always be watchful; do not sleep, that you may escape the snares which the enemy has laid for you.
And so, O man, neither take ease nor be careless. Always be watchful and heedful; always be thoughtful and vigilant. You will achieve only one thing – either victory over the enemy or your defeat, you will either be abiding in God or cut off from Him. You will be saved, or you will perish. There are no other choices. You will never find peace and rest in this present life, nor receive from it stillness and calm. Therefore, as long as you have breath always be ready for battle. This world is not a place for rest and relaxation, but diligence and action; so ready yourself, labor while you have time. For even though you may greatly desire to recapture the time which you have spent on uselessness, you will not be able – an appointed time is allotted and another will not be given to you in this age. Now of your own free will labor just a little, so that afterward you will be delivered from the many undesired everlasting miseries; labor zealously for a sort time, so thereafter you will receive a multitude of grace from the Lord and be counted worthy of life eternal.
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 every Tuesday at 6:30am.
+ Matins is served at 6am, every Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.
+ Vespers is served at 5:30pm every Wednesday.
Bible Study / Orthodox Education: Resumes on Wednesday the 19th; the topic will be the book of Hebrew
Upcoming Major & Great Feasts: Nativity of the Theotokos, Saturday the 8th. Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Friday the 14th. See the calendar for service times.
Women's group: Women's retreat, Saturday the 15th.
“Begin to fulfill the commandments relating to small things, and you will come to fulfill the commandments relating to great things: small things everywhere lead to great ones.”
St. John of Kronstadt
A women's day retreat at Holy Protection Monastery will take place on Saturday, September 15th. Make plans to attended. Look for a sign up sheet in the fellowship hall .
Orthodox Education/Bible study resumes on Wednesday the 19th at 6:30 pm. The topic is the book of Hebrews.
Would you be interested in learning to read notes and developing your singing skills? We are considering providing such a class, please speak with Father or the choir director Elena if you are interested.
Church grounds Fall clean-up: Saturday Oct. 6th. Please make plans to come and help tend your church grounds!
A Men's retreat will take place in October on Thursday the 18th, through Saturday the 20th at Archangel Michael's Monastery in New Mexico. A Sign up sheet is forth coming. These were the only dates available.
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!