Welcome to Saint George’s today. We are glad to have you! If you are here for the first time, please stay for the coffee social in the parish hall after liturgy so we can get acquainted.
SCRIPTURE READINGS THIS WEEK
Dec 9th Righteous Anna’s Conception of the Most-holy Theotokos
2 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Mark 8:11-21
Dec 10th Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, & Eugraphus of Alexandria
2 Thessalonians 1:10-2:2 Mark 8:22-26
Dec 11th Venerable Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople; Martyr Mirax of Egypt
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 Mark 8:30-34
Dec 12th St. Spyridon the Wonderworker, Bishop of Trymithous
2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:18 Mark: 9:10-16, 33-41
Dec 13th Repose of St. Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America
Galatians 5:22-6:2 Luke 6:17-23
Dec 14th Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucis & Callinicus of Apollonia
Galatians 1:3-10 Luke 14:1-11
Greeter: Judy Mechlowitz Reader: Alex Beleny
Activities/Services this Week:
Council Meeting: Tuesday, December 10th, 6:30 PM, at the church
Akathist to St. Herman of Alaska: Wednesday, December 11th, 6:30 PM at the church
10th Annual Cookie Walk: Saturday, December 14th, 10 AM, at the church; Volunteers needed!
Great Vespers: Saturday, December 14th, 5 PM, at the church
Last Sunday Dec 1st, 47 Adults and 20 Youth attended Divine Liturgy.
The Sanctuary Lamp is burning this week for the health of Corey Pappas & Adam Murphy. Our condolences to Fr. Aristotle Damaskos, whose mother Alexia fell asleep in the Lord on December 2nd, and to Mitchell Galbraith, whose brother Donald passed away on the 2nd as well. May their memories be eternal!
Last week $121 was collected for gas cards. Four cards were purchased and sent to students who are in college. Thanks to all who donated. Also wanted to mention that in late November, Tanya Thompson hosted one of the coffee hours in memory of her daughter, Debra Thompson.
At next Sunday's Liturgy on December 15th, His Grace Bishop Alexander will be tonsure James Allen, Dan Serdar, David Beleny, and Alex Beleny as readers just before Divine Liturgy begins.
Heartbeat of Toledo could use diapers in sizes 3, 4, 5, and 6 and Similac and Isomil formulas. Also need gently used strollers, high chairs, bathtubs, bouncers, pack and plays, etc. Those go so quickly--really almost as soon as they come in. Baby bath, baby shampoo, and diaper rash ointment too. Particularly need 0-6 months onesies, sleepers, and outfits. We are also having a giving tree so we need toys--mostly for 0-2 year olds, but could use some for older children as well, perhaps up to age 6. Our East Toledo office will be opening in January so we will need items for there as well. Bring your donations to the church and place in the bin behind the Bishop’s throne.
Mikel Hill will be offering to anyone interested a group class on the basics of singing. The half-hour lessons will cover: how to read music, how to improve your range/volume, and how to follow conducting cues. The lessons will be offered every Sunday at 12:30 (unless trumped by a parish activity). Any age/ability welcome!
If you didn’t receive a stewardship letter and stewardship card for 2014, and would like to submit a pledge, speak with Dave Beleny or Jim Allen and they will make sure you get a card to submit. Please remember turning in a pledge card for the 2014 year is one of the requirements one needs to fulfill to vote at all parish meetings held during the 2014 year.
Confession during the Advent Fast
General Confession has been scheduled for Sunday December 8th at 9:30 AM, and December 22nd, right after Divine Liturgy. Father Paul is available to hear Individual Confessions before or after any weekday services or by appointment. It is important for people to come to Confession. To be a voting member for 2014 meetings one needs come to Confession at least once during the 2013 year (or General Confession for those 70 and older). To be eligible to run for Parish Council one needs to receive Individual Confession (not General Confession) at least once during the 2013 year.
Some of you may have noticed but we are in the process of having red altar server robes made for the Advent Season. Thanks to Tom Haulund who has been who has been doing a lot of sewing the last few months. We hope to have close to all of them done by the Nativity Feast.
Adam Murphy and Corey Pappas will be performing, December 13 at 7 p.m. at Wildwood Manor House, 5100 W Central Ave, Toledo, OH 43615. For further questions, please call Corey at (419) 693-7712. If you are able to go, please do so; Corey and Adam did a marvelous job at Otterbein this past week.
On December 9th the Church celebrates an icon of the Mother of God called "Unexpected Joy." It shows the Theotokos holding the child Jesus Christ, and one other figure.
The third figure is a young man kneeling in prayer and turned pleadingly toward the Theotokos. His story is told in the writings of Saint Dimitri of Rostov, and in some versions of the icon part of that story appears in words below the figures of the Theotokos and Christ.
This man prayed every day to the icon of the Virgin, and often repeated the memorable words of Gabriel at the time of the Annunciation: "Rejoice, O Virgin Full of Grace!" But despite having the habit of praying regularly, the young man didn't keep himself from sin. It might often happen that after offering his prayer, he would go out and do something that wasn't at all in keeping with the life of a faithful Christian.
One day the young man had a startling experience. As he was planning to go out, he glanced toward the icon and was stunned to see the Theotokos standing in person before him. She was holding her Son, whose body showed the same wounds He had suffered on the cross: His hands and feet were pierced, and blood was flowing from a wound in His side.
The young man fell to his knees, at first so horrified that he was unable to speak. Finally he managed to ask the Theotokos, "O Lady, who has done this terrible thing?" Her answer came in a soft but firm voice: "You have done it—you and all the others who sin, over and over again. Each time you sin, you crucify Him again."
Realizing the truth of her words, the young man begged forgiveness. But she answered that though he showed her the respect of daily prayer before her icon, he continued to hurt her by continuing to sin. He cried out, "O holy Lady, may my wrong deeds never outweigh your merciful kindness! Please pray to your Son on my behalf."
The Mother of God, seeing his real repentance, did intercede for the young man, and for the sake of His Mother, Christ forgave him. Having received the unexpected joy of divine forgiveness, he was able to live a God-pleasing life for the rest of his days. On this same day, the Church remembers two mothers: Hannah, the mother of Samuel the Prophet, and Anna the mother of the Theotokos. Both of them wanted children; both suffered through long years of childlessness before conceiving and giving birth.
These two women experienced a different kind of "unexpected joy" when they finally became mothers after waiting so long. But, like the young man in the icon, the thing they wanted most came to them as God's mercy and love. Whether we hope to be forgiven, hope to have children, or hope for something else that will change our lives, we can be sure that God knows about it, and will respond to our hope in some way—perhaps with unexpected joy. Taken from: http://dce.oca.org/page/bulletins/