Week of December 24

Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of the Lord.

Just a few more hours until we begin one of the Church’s great festal seasons! Please read through this entire issue of The Happy Priest, because we want you to be aware of everything that is going to be happening during this wonderful time.

Our Calendar

Fasting Days

There is no fasting between December 25 and January 4. Wha-Hoo!

Monday, December 24

Christmas Eve

  • Orthros 5am

  • Royal Hours 9am

  • Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil the Great Noon

(please note: there will be no fellowship hour and the kitchen will be closed following this liturgy)

Tuesday, December 25

The Feast of Nativity

  • Orthros 8am

  • Divine Liturgy 10am

(please note: there will be no fellowship hour and the kitchen will be closed following this liturgy)

Wednesday, December 26-Friday, December 28

  • No Daily Services

Saturday, December 29

  • Great Vespers 6pm

Sunday, December 30

The Sunday After Nativity

  • Orthros 8am

  • Divine Liturgy 10am

  • Fellowship Hour Noon

Monday, December 31

  • Great Vespers for the Circumcision 7pm

Tuesday, January 1

The Feast of the Circumcision

  • Orthros 7am

  • Divine Liturgy 9am

Thursday, January 3

  • Choir Practice 7pm

Coming Up

Remember, the next celebration of the season will be just six days into January when we will observe the Great Feast of Theophany. We will follow the regular weekend schedule on Saturday, January 5, and Sunday, January 6, but, on that Sunday, Bishop Basil will be joining us. His Grace will serve a Hierarchial Divine Liturgy along with the Great Blessing of the Waters and the Ordination to the Holy Diaconate of Michael Coleman.

At the conclusion of this week’s newsletter, you’ll find the 2019 House Blessing Schedule. It may seem early, but if you will go ahead and write your assigned date on the calendar or enter it into your phone, we’ll have a much better chance of actually making it all happen. If you already know that your assigned date won’t work for you, send me an email right away at fraidan@austin.rr.com, so we can see about fitting you in at some other point in the schedule.

We’ve wrapped up the St Thomas School for 2018, and it’s been a great experience. We are almost finished with the second volume of Metropolitan Hilarion’s introduction to Holy Orthodoxy. The teaching and the discussion have been very, very good, so if you haven’t been participating, you really are missing out on an incredible opportunity. The school will resume on Saturday, January 19; Michael Brown will lead the discussion about what the Church teaches concerning death (that’s chapter 27 in the book), but we will be starting Volume III, Architecture, Icons, and Music, on Saturday, March 3, and that would be a great time to get back into (or start up with) this great school.

It's time to start planning for the 2019 Rally for Life. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, January 26. We will meet at the south gate of the state capitol building at 12:30pm, and we will sing hymns until all the marchers make it on to the grounds of the capitol. Our goal is to pray while others are shouting and to sing while others yelling and to enjoy being together on what is usually a lovely afternoon. However, if that sort of thing is beyond your physical endurance, or if you just don’t like being out in the public, this year, our mother parish, St Elias, will be offering the Service for the Victims of Abortion at 7pm on Friday evening, January 25. So, when it comes to the #1 most important cultural issue of our times, there are now opportunities for all of us to get involved.

Our 2019 Annual Community Meeting will be on Sunday, February 10, during Fellowship Hour. During that meeting, we will briefly review all the reports from the parish council, and we will elect two new members for the council. Attached to this edition of The Happy Priest are all the reports which will be used at the meeting, so please read those ahead of time, and, if you have any questions, check with our parish council president, Chris Lewis. Remember, to vote in the council elections, you will need to have filled out a 2019 Commitment Card, so, if you overlooked that important item, check with Nick Crown, the head of our Finance Committee.

Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy

Let’s be sure and pick up after ourselves when we are done with fellowship hour. Please make sure that all your plates and silver ware and coffee cups make it back to the kitchen in the Long Fellowship Hall, and please put all napkins and food scraps in the trash can. If you are sitting outside, be sure that you haven’t left anything on or under the picnic tables; if you are sitting inside, check the carpet and pick up any food or crumbs. If your children are not sitting with you, please make sure that they also clean up after themselves.

On behalf of myself, Khouria Cynthia, Katie, Kendi, Brendan, Alie, and Eden, Merry Christmas, and May the Most Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless each of you and all of those whom you love.

An unworthy priest,