On the second Saturday of every month church volunteers serve 100+ families in our area who are in need of food assistance. Tom Kubik is the coordinator of the Food Pantry outreach and always grateful for volunteers.
Wednesday Night Study Group
On Wednesday evenings from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m, a hybrid in-person and virtual group meets for prayer and study, led by Fr. Stephen. Various books on Orthodox spiritual life are discussed. We are currentliy discussing Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick’s new book Arise O God. All are welcome. Contact Fr. Stephen [Smuse52@gmail.com] and include your email if you are interested in receiving emial updates about the group or would like to join virtually.
Catechumen is the name given by the early Church to persons in preparation for being baptized and united with Christ in his Church. After a time as “Inquirers”, persons become catechumens and begin a period of worshipping, prayer, fasting, and instruction in the faith, in preparation for baptism in the Church. In contemporary practice, those who have been previously baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity are received into the Orthodox Church by Chrismation and are not rebaptized.
In the early Church, during times of persecution and up to the time of St. John Chrysostom, the period of catechism lasted three years. During this time catechumens attended the first portion of the divine services which included Scripture readings and homily. They left the Church prior to reciting the Creed and prayers of preparation for Holy Communion. Even though some of the litanies still in use today call for catechumens to leave, they are now allowed to remain throughout the full Liturgy, only they do not partake in Holy Communion.
Catechumens, though not yet formally members of the Orthodox church, are understood to be Orthodox Christians by intention, and if they should die before being baptized and/or chrismated, they are traditionally given an Orthodox funeral.
Catechesis in America varies among Orthodox jurisdictions and local churches. but typically lasts from six months to a year, depending on the practice of the local bishop and the level of spiritual maturity and readiness of the catechumen. Local parish priests typically oversee the catechesis of those preparing to be received into the Church and have discretion to accommodate differing circumstances.
All interested persons are considered “inquirers” and free to attend Liturgy and other worship services, experience the community, read suggested introductory books on Orthodoxy and speak with the priest in order to discern if they wish to take the formal step of becoming. catechumens.
Once this decision has been made, a catechumen is received by a brief service and prayers at the end of Orthros on a Sunday morning prior to Divine Liturgy. Catechumens are then considered part of the Orthodox community by way of having made a formal public declaration of intention and by regularly attending Divine Liturgy and participating in other aspects of Orthodox life such as prayer, fasting, confession and other spiritual disciplines.
Anyone interested in becoming a catechumen please speak with Fr. Stephen. He will recommend some books for you based on your background. All are welcome to begin attending catechism classes to bring questions you have; to learn about Church etiquette and begin to discuss various topics. We meet in the Nave of the Temple on the first Saturday of each month from 9-11AM. Watch for ocassional changes in the Church calendar on the website.
Orthodoxy is a life-long journey and we are learning until the last moment of our lives – mostly through repentance, worship and life together. A new convert to Orthodoxy once said to St. Sophrony, “I am a convert to Orthodoxy!” The saint replied, “That’s wonderful. I have been converting to Orthodoxy all my life!”
Each one of us progresses at his or her own unique pace according to the Grace of God in community with all the rest. No one is expected to be able to understand everything before beginning. We are always beginners. There are a universe of topics and thousands of years of history to explore on the journey and infinite depths to the mystery of divine Grace illumining the heart. As the famous mathematician Blaise Paschal came to understand later in his life, ‘The heart has reasons reason does not know.”
Among the topics to be discussed are:
- The Church as the Body of Christ
- Salvation, Sanctity and Eternal Life
- Holy Tradition
- Establishing a prayer corner and prayer rule
- Orthodox phronema and approach to Scripture
- Church History
- The 7 Ecumenical Councils
- The Holy Theotokos
- Prayer, watchfulness and ascetical struggle
- Marriage and Monastic Life
There are thousands of books on Orthodoxy. Depending on your background in Christian faith, your priest may recommend specific books for you to read.
These books are recommended for all catechumens to read in preparation for their baptism/chrismation in addition to those recommended specifically for you by your priest.
- The Mountain of Silence – Kyriacos C. Markides,
- The Orthodox Way – Kallistos Ware
- The Orthodox Church – Kallistos Ware
- For the Life of the World – Fr. Alexander Schmemann
- Wounded By Love – St Porphyrios
- Thinking Orthodox – Prof. Eugenia Constantinou
In preparation for chrismation:
- Arrange with the Priest to make a life confession the day before your chrismation
- Talk with your priest about finding a godparent/sponsor [The priest typically finds someone for you or if you already have someone in mind, get the priest’s blessing before asking them.]
- Choose a Christian saint’s name for your baptismal name recognizing your new life in Christ. This is how you will be addressed when you approach for Holy Communion. If you already have a saint’s name you wish to keep, this can be blessed. The Priest’s blessing makes the final decision based on your request.
- Provide a baptismal certificate from your former Christian communion.
- Discuss with your priest a beginning prayer rule
Our Book Store, located just inside the Fellowship Hall, is open before and after services until 12:30PM, and upon request. We offer a lovely selection of books, icons, and items to support your Orthodox life. We are always open to suggestions. Carlie Frederick is our bookstore manager and glad to assist anyone with special requests.
We have a small but growing library, located in the church office. The collection has recently been digitally cataloged and the catalog can be accessed here. Please contact the librarian for instructions on how to place a hold on books.
Each One Care for One
“[Christians] have an obligation, whatever they do, to live with love and joy among themselves. The one working should say for the one praying: ‘The treasure my brother acquires through prayer is also mine, because it is a common treasure.’ And the one praying should say for the one reading: ‘Whatever benefit he derives from reading becomes my gain also.’ And the one working should say: ‘The service I render is for the common good…’ Neither should the one praying judge the one working for not praying, nor should the one working judge the one praying for being idle while I am working; nor again should anyone providing a service judge the others. Rather, everyone should do what they do for the glory of God… One thing is needful, for each person to have the treasure in his soul and life that is Christ present always in his mind. While working or praying or studying, one must have that possession that is not lost – the Holy Spirit.” —St. Makarios of Egypt
“Each One Care for One” is a way to bring St. Makarios’ wisdom to life by partnering together to offer care to our Church community in ways that bring you joy. Click on the hyperlink for a list of ways you can take part: https://docs.google.com/document/d/188Nl4OYNrPl6abcEPXK-IyaIoexZDIWH4T-KY3M3OmI/edit?usp=sharing