St. James' Newsletter
October 19 - 25, 2020     Issue no. 845
Upcoming Services

All services listed below will only be available live on Facebook or in-person for those who have signed up

Tuesday, October 20

8:00 am         Matins

9:00 am         Divine Liturgy

Thursday, October 22

8:00 am         Matins

9:00 am         Divine Liturgy

Sunday, October 25

20th Sunday after Pentecost

8:00 am         Matins

9:30 am         Divine Liturgy

Sign up for In-Person Services

Per the guidelines from the county of Santa Clara, we are allowed to have indoor gatherings of up to 60 people total. We kindly ask you that you only sign-up if you are sure that you will attend. This is to allow opportunity for other people to sign up. To sign up, please visit

If you do not have access to the online sign up page, please contact Georgette Isied at (408) 406-3546. Don't forget your face mask!

Trisagion Service

The 3rd & 9th day Trisagion service for the Handmaid of God, Fawaz Keilo will be this Sunday, October 25th. May God have mercy on her soul and may his memory be eternal.

Festival Package Donation!

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, we have cancelled this year's Annual Food Festival. The Festival is our largest fundraiser of the year and is essential in keeping our doors open. In order to make up some of the lost revenue, we are asking families to consider donating towards the Festival VIP package for $1,000. If you are not able to sponsor a package, any donation amount is greatly appreciated. You can make a donation on our donation page or contact Georgette Isied at

Fasting Schedule

Wednesday 10/21 - Strict fast

Friday 10/23 - Oil allowed

Quote of the Week

“Never confuse the person, formed in the image of God, with the evil that is in him: because evil is but a chance misfortune, an illness, a devilish reverie. But the very essence of the person is the image of God, and this remains in him despite every disfigurement.”

+ St. John of Kronstadt

Lunch Schedule

Meal of Mercy this Sunday will be provided in memory of Fawaz Keilo. May his memory be eternal.

If you would like to sponsor a lunch, please contact Georgette at

Looking Ahead

Update coming soon...

Fun Fact

The degrees of Orthodox monasticism. The process of becoming a monk or nun is intentionally slow, as the monastic vows taken are considered to entail a lifelong commitment to God, and are not to be entered into lightly. After a person completes the novitiate, three degrees or steps must be completed in the process of preparation before one may gain the monastic habit.

See below for information about the three degrees.

Virtual Sunday School with Carol Kafeety

Virtual Sunday school for children between the ages of 5 to 9 is now available. Many thanks to our Sunday School teacher Carol Kafeety, she will be hosting the sessions online over Zoom. Carol will send the parents all the needed information to get Zoom app installed on your computer or phone and she will send you any passwords needed to login.

Scrip Gift Card Program

A large variety of scrip (gift) cards are available at the church hall following the liturgy. We have Amazon, Gas, Visa cards, your favorite restaurants and much more! By purchasing scrip cards, our church will receive a percentage or kick-back from the company.

Spiritual Corner

Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas - 10/19

The Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas was born in the Galilean city of Pansada and was a fisherman. Hearing the good tidings of Jesus Christ, he left all and followed after Him. The Apostle Thomas is included in the number of the holy Twelve Apostles of the Savior.

According to Holy Scripture, the holy Apostle Thomas did not believe the reports of the other disciples about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).

On the eighth day after the Resurrection, the Lord appeared to the Apostle Thomas and showed him His wounds. “My Lord and my God,” the Apostle cried out (John 20:28). “Thomas, being once weaker in faith than the other apostles,” says Saint John Chrysostom, “toiled through the grace of God more bravely, more zealously and tirelessly than them all, so that he went preaching over nearly all the earth, not fearing to proclaim the Word of God.

Some icons depicting this event are inscribed “The Doubting Thomas.” This is incorrect. In Greek, the inscription reads, “The Touching of Thomas.” In Slavonic, it says, “The Belief of Thomas.” When Saint Thomas touched the Life-giving side of the Lord, he no longer had any doubts.

According to Church Tradition, the holy Apostle Thomas founded Christian churches in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Parthia, Ethiopia and India. Preaching the Gospel earned him a martyr’s death. For having converted the wife and son of the prefect of the Indian city of Meliapur [Melipur], the holy apostle was locked up in prison, suffered torture, and finally, pierced with five spears, he departed to the Lord. Part of the relics of the holy Apostle Thomas are in India, in Hungary and on Mt. Athos. The name of the Apostle Thomas is associated with the Arabian (or Arapet) Icon of the Mother of God.

The Degrees of Orthodox Monasticism

The degrees of Orthodox monasticism are the stages an Orthodox monk or nun passes through in their religious vocation.

In the Orthodox Church, the process of becoming a monk or nun is intentionally slow, as the monastic vows taken are considered to entail a lifelong commitment to God, and are not to be entered into lightly. After a person completes the novitiate, three degrees or steps must be completed in the process of preparation before one may gain the monastic habit.

The monastic habit is the same throughout the Orthodox Church, and it is the same for both monks and nuns. Each successive grade is given a portion of the habit, the full habit being worn only by those in the highest grade, known for that reason as the "Great Schema", or "Great Habit". A person may enter any monastery of one's choice; but after being accepted by the abbot (or abbess) and making vows.

Novice "one under obedience"—Those wishing to join a monastery begin their lives as novices. After the candidate comes to the monastery and lives as a guest for not less than three days, the abbot or abbess may bless the candidate to become a novice. There is no formal ceremony for the clothing of a novice; he or she simply receives permission to wear the clothing of a novice. In the Eastern monastic tradition, novices may or may not dress in the black inner cassock
Rassophore "Robe-bearer"—If the novice continues to become a monk, he is clothed in the first degree of monasticism at a service at which he receives the tonsure. Although there are no formal vows made at this point, the candidate is normally required to affirm his commitment to persevere in the monastic life. The abbot performs the tonsure, cutting a small amount of hair from four spots on the head, forming a cross. The novice is given the outer cassock which the name of Rassophore is derived.
Stavrophore "Cross-bearer"—The next level for Eastern monastics takes place some years after the first tonsure, when the abbot feels the monk has reached an appropriate level of discipline, dedication, and humility. This degree is also known as the Little Schema, and is thought of as a "betrothal" to the Great Schema. At this stage, the monk makes formal vows of stability of place, chastity, obedience and poverty.
Great Schema Monks whose abbots feel they have reached a high level of spiritual excellence reach the final stage, called the Great Schema. The tonsure of a Schemamonk or Schemanun follows the same format as the Stavrophore, and he makes the same vows and is tonsured in the same manner. But in addition to all the garments worn by the Stavrophore, he is given the analavos, which is the article of monastic vesture emblematic of the Great Schema. The analavos itself is sometimes called the "Great Schema". It drapes over the shoulders and hangs down in front and in back, with the front portion somewhat longer, and is embroidered with the instruments of the Passion and the Trisagion.
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St. James

Orthodox Church


195 North Main Street

Milpitas, CA 95035

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