Week of November 5

Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of the Lord.

There are just two more weeks to get those Commitment Cards in. We need them all back by Sunday, November 18, so if you have lost your card, please be sure and pick one up from Nick Crown, the chair of our Finance Committee. Then just fill out the card and give it to Nick or place it in the offering bowl.

Our Calendar

Fasting Days

Wednesday, November 7, and Friday, November 9

Daily Services

Monday, November 5-Friday, November 9

  • Orthros 5am

  • Vespers 5pm

(Because 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 fraidan@austin.rr.com to confirm when the service will actually begin.)

Saturday, November 10

  • St Thomas School 4pm We will be talking about Chpt 21 The Church as The Body of Christ

  • Great Vespers with The Jesus Prayer 6pm

Sunday, November11

Eighth Sunday of St Luke

  • Orthros 8am

  • Divine Liturgy 10am

  • Fellowship Hour Noon

  • Akathist to the Mother of God of the Inexhaustible Cup Noon

  • Community Meal Noon

  • Final Make-Up Stewardship Visit

This Week at St Thomas School

Chapter 21 The Unity of the Church

The unity of the Church may be a difficult concept to grasp when we observe so much disunity, and we may be encouraged by others around us to embrace it in various degrees.

In Part 5, Metropolitan Hilarion returns to the Eastern Church Fathers’ understanding of the Trinity that sets the foundation for Church unity because the Trinity isn’t separate from any part of our life, practical or theoretical.

Metropolitan Hilarion doesn’t shy away from the tough questions of divisions and whether people are saved outside the Church. He presents ancient Church customs on how to to deal with schismatic and heretical groups, and also highlights the signs of unity, the criteria, found in John Chrysostom, that we can all point to and say confidently together that we are in the true Church.

Coming Up

If you were not able to make it to your assigned Stewardship Visit, there is one make-up Sunday left—this coming Sunday, November 11. And we are going to need all the Commitment Cards to be turned in by Sunday, November 18th. Filling out the Commitment Cards is an important part of life in our parish, because that is how we officially become members of the parish. That membership makes it possible for us to receive the weekly newsletter and get the annual password for the member section of the website; it also gives us the privilege of voting each year at the Annual Community Meeting in February. The cards also provide our Finance Committee with crucial data in regards to our budgeting process, so we need to be sure and fill it out as accurately as possible.

The 2019 Parish Calendars are available in the bookstore. Please just take one until everyone in the parish has had the opportunity to get one. Also, please be sure and thank the Hardins and the Bays who, once again, sponsored our calendar.

The Nativity Fast begins on Thursday, November 15. That is just a week away, so we need to start planning now in order to take full advantage of all that the season will offer. This Fast is divided into two periods: The first is November 15th through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil) is observed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with a blessing for wine and olive oil (some also permit fish) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and for fish, wine, and olive oil on Saturdays and Sundays. The second is the period of the Forefeast, December 20th through 24th, when the traditional fasting discipline is observed Monday through Friday, with a blessing for wine and olive oil on Saturday and Sunday. If you need to modify the fast in any way, now is the time to make those arrangements with your spiritual father.

During the Nativity Fast, we will be offering the Nativity Paraclesis each Wednesday evening at 7pm. The service lasts about 45 minutes, so, by Orthodox standards, it’s really brief. Because of the way the Liturgical Calendar works out this year, we will only be offering the service four times during the fast, but there’s no reason why each of us cannot participate in at least one of those services before December 25. If we do, our celebration of Nativity and the Circumcision and the Presentation and Theophany will be that much more profound.

On Wednesday, November 21, we will celebrate the Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple. On Tuesday, November 20, we will offer Great Vespers at 7pm; on the day of the feast, Orthros will be served at 4:30am and Divine Liturgy at 6am. Please join when you can for this lovely feast of the Theotokos.

Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy

An important aspect of our stewardship is keeping our property looking as nice as possible. Parents and grandparents and godparents have a big role to play in that effort. For example, landscaping features often attract children, and we certainly want our children to enjoy their time at the parish, but when children play with the gravel and mulch and stones that are part of our landscaping, those children should also be taught the good stewardship of restoring those materials to their original appearance.

This coming Sunday we will be putting together our quarterly Prayer List at the Community Meal; please plan on joining us, both for the meal and so that you and your loved ones can be included in the prayers of our parish as we head into the new year.

An unworthy priest,