St. James' Newsletter
February 15 - February 21, 2021     Issue no. 855
Upcoming Services
Looking Ahead
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.

Youth & Young Adult Corner
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Spiritual Corner
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He wrote to Timothy: “You have followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, and patience” (2 Tim. 3:10-11). The Apostle Paul appointed Saint Timothy as Bishop of Ephesus, where the saint remained for fifteen years. Finally, when Saint Paul was in prison and awaiting martyrdom, he summoned his faithful friend, Saint Timothy, for a last farewell (2 Tim. 4:9).

Saint Timothy ended his life as a martyr. The pagans of Ephesus celebrated a festival in honor of their idols, and used to carry them through the city, accompanied by impious ceremonies and songs. Saint Timothy, zealous for the glory of God, attempted to halt the procession and reason with the spiritually blind idol-worshipping people, by preaching the true faith in Christ.

The pagans angrily fell upon the holy apostle, they beat him, dragged him along the ground, and finally, they stoned him. Saint Timothy’s martyrdom occurred in the year 93.

In the fourth century the holy relics of Saint Timothy were transferred to Constantinople and placed in the church of the Holy Apostles near the tombs of Saint Andrew and Saint Luke. The Church honors Saint Timothy as one of the Apostles of the Seventy.

In Russian practice, the back of a priest’s cross is often inscribed with Saint Paul’s words to Saint Timothy: “Be an example to the believers in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).

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May 10 - May 16, 2021     Issue no. 864
Upcoming Services

Sunday, May 16

The Myrrh Bearing Women

9:30 am           Divine Liturgy

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Fasting Schedule
Christ is Risen...Truly He is Risen!

Wed. 5/12 - Fish allowed

Friday 5/14 - Fish allowed

Lunch Schedule
Social Distancing

As we continue working on a path towards normalcy, we will continue keeping practice social distancing protocols. Tracking of attendees, temperature check, masks, and 6 ft distance. Once the church is full, we ask you to watch the Divine Liturgy on a large screen tv from the hall.

A meal of mercy will be provided this Sunday by the Shaheen and Nijmeh families. May the memory of the Handmaiden of God Terese Shaheen and Mary Boules all be eternal.

If you would like to sponsor a lunch, please contact Georgette at gisied@gmail.com

Memorial Services this Sunday

God willing, this Sunday we will have the 40th day memorial service of the Handmaiden of God Terese Shaheen and Fadwa Priftis. We will also have the 3 year memorial service for the Handmaiden of God Mary Boules. A meal of mercy will be provided by the Shaheen and Nijmeh families. May their memories be eternal.

Youth & Young Adult Events

For the latest news on events, please see information below. As a reminder, the Youth & Young Adult group is open to people between the ages of 13 and 35. May God bless the group!

Looking Ahead

Board of Trustee Meeting

5/12/2021 at 7:30pm

Youth Prayer over Zoon

5/17/2021 at 7pm

Youth & Young Adult Liturgy 

5/28/2021at 6pm

Confessing

The gift of God's forgiveness is received through private prayer, corporate worship, the disciplines of prayer and fasting, penitential services and above all through the sacrament of Holy Confession. If you have not confessed in a while, you may call Fr. Jeries and schedule a time for confession. Once in person services start again, confessions will be conducted between 8:45am to 9:20am.

Receive Text Messages

If you would like to receive service times, announcements and general information about events, please request from any board member or Dcn. Joseph to be added to the system and then text "Alert" to 22300. 

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.

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Benefits of Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile is a great way to shop and help your preferred nonprofit organization. By selecting St. James Orthodox Church of Jerusalem as your preferred non-profit organization, our church will receive .05% of your total purchases. Below you will find instructions on how to connect St. James Orthodox Church to your Amazon account. In addition, below here is an example of how much St. James has received from just one account.

Youth & Young Adult Corner
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Amazon Smile
Select St. James as Your Preferred Nonprofit
Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to a charity of your choice.
Follow these simple steps to link your Amazon Smile account to St. James Orthodox Church

1. Visit smile.amazon.com

2. Sign to your Amazon account

3. Choose St. James Orthodox Church of Jerusalem

4. Select your charity

Activating Amazon Smile on your phone/App

1. Open the app and find “Settings” in the main menu (☰)

2. Tap on “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile in the app.

Spiritual Corner
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About the Myrrh-Bearing Woman - 5/16

This Sunday is the third Sunday of Pascha, and the day on which we commemorate the holy myrrh-bearing women.  These pious women served our Lord during His public ministry, providing for Him out of their own financial resources and tending to His needs.  Amongst the myrrh-bearers were the following women: Our Lady, Mary the Theotokos;  Mary Magdalene; Joanna; Salome; Mary the wife of Cleopas; Susanna; Mary of Bethany; and Martha of Bethany – sisters of Lazarus.  It was these women who came to our Lord’s tomb on the morning of that first Holy Pascha in order to anoint His sacred body.  To these pious women the announcement of the Resurrection was first made.  They witnessed the angelic testimony and saw the Risen Lord Himself.  They bore witness to the Apostles of the Resurrection. 

 Having placed our minds upon the Resurrection of Christ, let us keep them there during these holy days by the means the Church has proscribed:  frequent attendance at the services, chanting the

Paschal troparion every day,  greeting one another with ‘Christ Is Risen’, replacing our prostrations with metanias, forgoing kneeling, reading the Acts of the Holy Apostles, forgiving everyone, and considering even those who hate us our brothers by virtue of the Resurrection.  In so doing we will find ourselves shining, exulting, and being radiant.

 

Thank God for the righteous Nicodemos and Joseph of Arimathea, and for the holy Myrrh-bearing women.  Their love for our Sweet Savior did not lapse at His death.  Not in one bit.  Their love, rather, was launched into greater expression.  What boldness and courage did the noble Joseph demonstrate when he approached Pilate for our Lord’s body.  For that he was severely punished by the Jewish leaders.  He was no longer a “respected member of the council” (St. Mk. 15:43), but an exile from the synagogue.  The piety of the righteous Nicodemos and noble Joseph is demonstrated in their sublime love for Christ after His death.  What fearlessness to be identified with Christ did these show forth!  And that, while Christ was dead.  How much more ought we to fearlessly identify ourselves with the Lord Christ, knowing as we do that He Is Risen, ascended, and is ruling the world!

While Christ was still alive they followed Him, but secretly for fear of the Jews.  Once Christ was dead they threw off this concern, and with great boldness identified with their Master.  This is sublime love.  It is one thing to love a living person.  Often this love brings with it a return of love.  But it is another and deeper thing altogether to love someone deceased.  This is selfless love, and love offered with no expectation of return.  This is the love demonstrated by Ss. Joseph, Nicodemos, and the Myrrh-bearing women.  This is the love demonstrated by their bold request for the Lord’s body, by their tender care in bringing Him down from the Cross, washing His wounds, cleaning Him, anointing Him with spices, wrapping Him in pure linen, and burying Him. 

 

We have liturgical practices in the Church which call to mind the devotion of the Myrrh-bearers.  Every Lord’s Day we commemorate the Resurrection of our Savior.  Each Sunday being a mini-Pascha itself, and during Sunday Orthros we always read one of eleven texts from the Holy Gospels, all of which describe Resurrection appearances. 

 

Let us complete our thoughts about love for the dead by remembering that no one loves the dead more, or cares for them more intensely than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  We love because He first loved us.  We love the dead, because He first loved the dead.  Our Savior died and was buried so that He Himself could go to His dead children in Hades and raise them up!  By His death He visited the dead.  His grave was a passage to the graves of all His children, and a message for all of His children yet to be born.  There is no place where our Savior has not gone before us.  There is no place that death can take us that our Savior has not already invaded with His presence, and filled with His never-waning light.  When we kneel before an open grave and commit our loved ones to the ground we do so knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ has already been below the earth and has killed death.  He has turned death and the grave into paradisaical doors. 

 

It is in this knowledge that we Christians can calmly prepare for our deaths and think often upon them.  If the righteous Joseph could have the spiritual care and forethought to have prepared his own tomb (which he offered to Christ) even before the Resurrection of our Savior, how much more ought we, living in the light of the Resurrection, not calmly and studiously think of our own deaths often, and have our graves prepared.  May we be numbered amongst the righteous Nicodemos and Joseph and with the Myrrh-bearing women, and all obtain to the reward of the Resurrection of the just in the eternal kingdom of our great God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

الأسبوع الثالث للفصح - أحد حاملات الطيب

في الأحد الثالث للفصح. نُعيِّد للنسوة القديسات اللواتي أتينَ القبرَ سَحَرَ القيامة. يدفعهنَّ الحبُّ ليحنطنَ بالطيوب جسد ربنا وإلهنا ومخلِّصنا يسوع المسيح. فاستنرن عوض ذلك بالقيامة المجيدة. ونقلن بشائرالفرح للتلاميذ كما أوصاهُنّ الملاك.
حاملاتُ الطّيب هنّ مثالُ رسالة المرأة في الكنيسة. ومثالُ المحبة المتدفِّقة بسخاءٍ وقوّةٍ وحنانٍ في خدمة الرب. كثيرٌ من الجمعيات النسائيّة التي تهتمّ بالكنائس والفقراء والمرضى. تعتبرُ هذا العيد خاصًا بها.

كما نعيّد أيضًا للقدّيس الوجيه يوسف الرامي الذي كان في الخفاء تلميذًا للرب. وللقدّيس نيقوديموس التلميذ الليليّ وعضوِ المحفلِ. فهذان أنزلا الجسد الكريم عن الصليب وجهّزاه ووضعاه في قبر جديد.

 

فبشفاعة النسوةِ حاملاتِ الطيب والقديسين يوسف ونيقوديموس. أللّهم ارحمنا. آمين

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St. Athanasius the Great - 5/15

Saint Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria, was a great Father of the Church and a pillar of Orthodoxy. He was born around the year 297 in the city of Alexandria into a family of pious Christians. He received a fine secular education, but he acquired more knowledge by diligent study of the Holy Scripture. In his childhood, the future hierarch Athanasius became known to Saint Alexander the Patriarch of Alexandria (May 15). A group of children, which included Athanasius, were playing at the seashore. The Christian children decided to baptize their pagan playmates.

The young Athanasius, whom the children designated as “bishop”, performed the Baptism, precisely repeating the words he heard in church during this sacrament. Patriarch Alexander observed all this from a window. He then commanded that the children and their parents be brought to him. He conversed with them for a long while, and determined that the Baptism

performed by the children was done according to the Church order. He acknowledged the Baptism as real and sealed it with the sacrament of Chrismation. From this moment, the Patriarch looked after the spiritual upbringing of Athanasius and in time brought him into the clergy, at first as a reader, and then he ordained him as a deacon.

It was as a deacon that Saint Athanasius accompanied Patriarch Alexander to the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea in the year 325. At the Council, Saint Athanasius refuted of the heresy of Arius. His speech met with the approval of the Orthodox Fathers of the Council, but the Arians, those openly and those secretly so, came to hate Athanasius and persecuted him for the rest of his life.

After the death of holy Patriarch Alexander, Saint Athanasius was unanimously chosen as his successor in the See of Alexandria. He refused, accounting himself unworthy, but at the insistence of all the Orthodox populace that it was in agreement, he was consecrated bishop when he was twenty-eight, and installed as the archpastor of the Alexandrian Church. Saint Athanasius guided the Church for forty-seven years, and during this time he endured persecution and grief from his antagonists. Several times he was expelled from Alexandria and hid himself from the Arians in desolate places, since they repeatedly tried to kill him. Saint Athanasius spent more than twenty years in exile, returned to his flock, and then was banished again.

There was a time when he remained as the only Orthodox bishop in the area, a moment when all the other bishops had fallen into heresy. At the false councils of Arian bishops he was deposed as bishop. Despite being persecuted for many years, the saint continued to defend the purity of the Orthodox Faith, and he wrote countless letters and tracts against the Arian heresy.

When Julian the Apostate (361-363) began a persecution against Christians, his wrath first fell upon Saint Athanasius, whom he considered a great pillar of Orthodoxy. Julian intended to kill the saint in order to strike Christianity a grievous blow, but he soon perished himself. Mortally wounded by an arrow during a battle, he cried out with despair: “You have conquered, O Galilean.” After Julian’s death, Saint Athanasius guided the Alexandrian Church for seven years and died in 373, at the age of seventy-six.

Numerous works of Saint Athanasius have been preserved; four Orations against the Arian heresy; also an Epistle to Epictetus, bishop of the Church of Corinth, on the divine and human natures in Jesus Christ; four Epistles to Serapion, Bishop of Thmuis, about the Holy Spirit and His equality with the Father and the Son, directed against the heresy of Macedonius.

Other apologetic works of the Saint in defense of Orthodoxy have been preserved, among which is the Letter to the Emperor Constantius. Saint Athanasius wrote commentaries on Holy Scripture, and books of a moral and didactic character, as well as a biography of Saint Anthony the Great, with whom Saint Athanasius was very close. Saint John Chrysostom advised every Orthodox Christian to read this Life.

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