Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the Name of the Lord.
This coming weekend is the annual Rally for Life, and we are blessed to have two options for those who wish to participate.
Some folks can’t make it to the Rally due to physical limitations, and some folks can’t handle it due to emotional considerations. However, this coming Saturday, at noon, our mother parish, St Elias, will serve The Akathist for the Victims of Abortion. Those victims include not only the unborn, but anyone else who has been impacted by abortion. The service is very dignified and beautiful, and it only lasts about 45 minutes. (And, Yes, that service was originally scheduled for Friday evening, but the folks at St Elias think it will be easier to find parking on Saturday morning.)
Then, of course, there is the gig we’ve been doing for the last 15 years: On that same day, 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.
Abortion is, without a doubt the biggest social issue of our times, so please plan on joining us for one of these two important events.
Wednesday, January 23, and Friday, January 25
Monday, January 21-Friday, January 25
(Also, don’t forget that since life in our parish community can be pretty busy, sometimes the starting times for the daily services has to be shifted. So, if you know ahead of time that you will be attending a particular service, it’s always a good idea to send Father Aidan a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm when the service will actually begin.)
Tuesday, January 22
Parish Council Meeting 7pm Everyone is welcome to attend, but, if you wish to address the council, you need to get in touch with our president, Chris Lewis, ahead of time
Thursday, January 24
Choir Practice 7pm
Saturday, January 26
Akathist for the Victims of Abortion Noon at St Elias
Rally for Life 12:30pm
St Thomas School 4pm Rebekah Galloway will lead the discussion on Chapter 28 The Second Coming of Christ
Great Vespers 6pm
Sunday, January 27
Fifteenth Sunday of St. Luke
The Holy New Martyrs of Russia
Divine Liturgy 10am
Fellowship Hour Noon
Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children Noon
We will wrap up this lovely festal season with The Feast of the Presentation of our Lord and Master in the Temple at Jerusalem. The day before the feast, Friday, February 1, we will serve Great Vespers at 7pm, and, on Saturday, February 2, the morning of the feast, we will offer Orthros at 7am and Divine Liturgy at 9am. Plan on joining us as we finish up these forty days of feasting.
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.
This year, our candidates for the parish council are Erica Wood, Vera Poe, Demetry Zozulya, and Jerry Juliano. All of these folks have served on the council previously, and you cannot go wrong with any of them. Our constitution also allows for nominations from the floor at the Annual Community Meeting. Each of these people have served on the council before, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. Our constitution also allows for nominations from the floor during the meeting itself; nevertheless, since our constitution also requires that everyone nominated be 1) over 18 years of age 2) a member of our parish for at least 12 months, 3) a regular participant in the Holy Mysteries of Confession and the Eucharist, and 4) a consistent financial contributor to our community, it’s always important to A) check with the person you wish to nominate and B) check with Father Aidan before making the actual nomination during the Annual Meeting. That way, we can avoid any awkward and embarrassing moments.
The Triodion, the three week period of preparation leading up to Great Lent, will begin on Sunday, February 17. That means it’s time to start thinking about how we are going to fast, when we will make our confession, how often we will participate in the weekday Lenten services, and which of the Saturdays of Souls we will be attending. During Great Lent, we will also be reading a short book together in preparation for the Pascha Book Study; the book is called Laughing at the Devil; it’s by Laura Hall, and it will soon be available at Christ the Lightgiver Bookstore.
Once again, this year, The Order of St Ignatius has given our parish (and all others in the archdiocese) $700 to be distributed between no more than seven children or young people for scholarships to Camp St Raphael. If your child or young person would like to go to camp this summer, and you would like to take advantage of that scholarship money, the first thing you need to do is register for Camp St Raphael, and the second thing you need to do is notify our priest no later than Sunday, February 17. Each year, we divide up the money on a first come, first serve basis, so please don’t delay with either your registration or your notification.
Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy
On Saturday evening, we offer the Mystery of Holy Confession. While folks are waiting to participate in the mystery, we play a recording of the Pre-Communion Prayers in the narthex. So, if you wish to visit with friends or introduce yourself to visitors during this time, please do so out on the porch. This will allow the people who are going to make their confession to prepare properly.
We had to postpone the installation of the new altar table due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, but we will be doing that soon, so, if you haven’t already, please read through the letter attached to this edition of The Happy Priest which explains that process.
I hope to see a whole lot of you at the Akathist for the Victims of Abortion and the Rally for Life this coming weekend.
An unworthy priest,