Week of October 1

Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of the Lord.

Thanks to everyone who helped make our first Open House Weekend such a success. We had nineteen visitors between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. A special word of appreciation to our ushers, our choir and our chanters, our Fellowship Hour Team, and to everyone who made an effort to invite some folks and to make our visitors feel welcome.

Our Calendar

Fasting Days

Wednesday, October 3, and Friday, October 5

Daily Services

Monday, October 1-Friday, October 5

  • 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.)

Wednesday, October 3

  • Fall Theological Seminar 7pm at the parish and in Killeen. We will be discussing pgs 91-120 of Gilead.

Saturday, October 6

  • Orthodox Youth Chess Tournament 10am

  • St Thomas School 4pm Father Deacon Andrew will lead the discussion of Chapter 16 “The Passion and Death of the Savior: The Dogma of Redemption”

  • Great Vespers 6pm

Sunday, October 7

Third Sunday of St Luke

  • Orthros 8am

  • Church School 8:15am

  • Divine Liturgy 10am

  • Fellowship Hour Noon

  • Stewardship Visits: Zozula, Zozula, Wright, Wood, Wilson, Wilson, Wilcoxson, Wilcoxson, Treckman, Thurston, Thurner, Taylor, Taulau'i, Stolz, Speckhard, Snodgrass, Shynkar, Shaw, Sanchez, Ruse—for additional details, see the announcements below

This Week at St Thomas School

We will be discussing Chapter 16: The Passion and Death of the Savior. The Dogma of the Redemption

If Christ was not really divine and human at the same time, then would Christ’s suffering and death on the cross still be real and redemptive for us? That’s the question that Metr. Hilarion has asked in the opening of Chapter 16.

Previously, in Chapter 15, we covered the two wills and two energies, both human and divine, which are united in Christ. Now, we will discuss the connection between His passion, death, the dogma of redemption and the united wills and energies of Christ. These technical terms describe ideas that are crucial in understanding our salvation. To whom did Christ pay the ransom for mankind, what’s the meaning of Pascha, the mystery of redemption, and poems from Melito of Sardis are just several eye-opening subtopics found in this new chapter.

Coming Up

It’s time for our annual Stewardship Visits. This is when we review the budget for the coming year, get all our questions answered, and fill out our Commitment Cards. The budget is attached to this week’s edition of The Happy Priest, and you can ask any and all questions you need to ask about that plan during your Stewardship Visit; however, if you’d like to get those questions answered before your assigned visit, you can always speak directly with our Finance Chair, Nick Crown.

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. So, it’s essential that we get those cards filled out.

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.

If your assigned visit just doesn’t work for you, there will be three make-up Sundays on October 24th, November 4th, and November 11. However, we need all the Commitment Cards to be turned in by Sunday, November 18th.

The schedule for our Stewardship Visits is in the email for this newsletter.

St Sophia’s annual “Blessing of the Vineyard,” event will be held at Fall Creek Vineyard on the evening of Sunday, October 21st, from 5:30 to roughly 8:30 p.m. The folks at St Sophia would like us to remember that, as a small community, they rely on this fundraiser to meet their financial needs. Right now they’ve sold about one-third of our tickets, so they could use our help. This link will take you directly to their website’s fundraiser page where tickets can be purchased.

(www.stsophiaorthodoxchurch.org/blessingofthevineyard.html ).

Financial Update

Thanks to your generosity and faithfulness, and thanks to the grace and mercy of the Most Holy Trinity, we ended August with a surplus of over $1200. That means we have a surplus on the year of $480—and for an Orthodox parish to end the summer quarter with a surplus is just absolutely amazing! So, way to go, folks! But let’s continue to pay close attention to our commitments so we can maintain that track record on through the final quarter of 2018.

Our Moment of Grace and Courtesy

As we enter into a particularly intense election cycle, please remember that, while we encourage and enjoy friendly and respectful discussions of political and cultural issues, our parish also has a long-standing policy against the distribution of political literature, cartoons, or paraphernalia. In addition, while we have no control—and desire no control—over the messages that people affix to their vehicles, we ask that, while you are on parish property, you refrain from wearing buttons, stickers, or clothing which promote specific candidates, parties, political organizations, or causes.

If the folks that you invited to our Open House Weekend couldn’t make it, start praying about our next Open House Weekend, which will be on Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17.

An unworthy priest,