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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October 18 - October 24, 2021     Issue no. 873
Upcoming Services

Sunday, October 24

17th Sunday after Pentecost

9:30 am           Divine Liturgy

Fasting Schedule

Wednesday, 10/20 - Food with oil

Friday, 10/22 - Food with oil

Lunch Schedule
Subscribe to our Email List

If you would like to subscribe to our email list to receive our weekly newsletter and information on event, please scroll to the bottom of this page and fill out your information in the subscribe form. Thank you and God Bless!

Bible Study tonight at 7pm via zoom

Join Bible study tonight over zoom. For more information, see flyer below. Thank you and God Bless!

Sunday School is Starting Soon

If you are interested in signing up your children for Sunday school, please fill out the following form. It is important for us to get an accurate count, this way we can plan accordingly. If you are interested in teaching, please contact Carol Kafeety or Luma Theodossy.

Sunday School Form

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. 

Festival Plans

With the current Covid situation and the delta variance that has impacted some areas of our country, our board voted to postpone the festival for one more year. God willing our goal is to get back on track and continue riding the momentum and success for many more years. If you are able, we will be collecting special festival donations to help compensate for the loss revenue that we highly rely on each year. We thank you for understanding and your continued support.

Lunch this Sunday will be provided by the Walter Alexin. May God bless him and his family.

If you would like to sponsor a lunch, please contact Georgette at 408-406-3546

Looking Ahead

Youth & Young Adult Bible Study on October 18th at 7pm. See youth section for details.

Youth & Young Adult, feeding the Homeless event. 10/23/21 at 8:30am, See youth section for details.

Visit to St. John Maximovitch on Nov. 13, more details to come.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Youth & Young Adult Corner
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Spiritual Corner
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Saint Pelagia the Righteous - 10/21

The Lord loves sinners with an abiding love, we are told, and it is easy to imagine that He must have loved the Venerable Pelagia   with a special fervor – because this egregious sinner not only sought repentance for her misdeeds, but then went on to become a pious and ascetic saint.

Born in Antioch to parents who were intensely observant pagans, this Third-Century saint frittered away her youth.  Blessed with beautiful features and graceful limbs, she soon became a popular dancer and an accomplished actress.  So wanton and reckless were her ways, however, that she fell at last into the abyss of outright prostitution, which brought her great wealth – even as it deadened and degraded her soul to any awareness of God or spiritual beauty.

Pelagia seemed doomed to a life of moral collapse . . . but the Almighty took mercy on her and inspired her to confront the iniquity into which her existence had descended.  The miracle of her awakening took

 

place one morning around 250 A.D. as she was passing the Church of the Holy Martyr Julian, where the famed Bishop St. Nonnus was delivering a powerful sermon that had his listeners entranced.

Each Sunday, the luxuriously wealthy and remarkably beautiful courtesan was accustomed to riding about the city in a gorgeous carriage pulled by a team of mighty Arabian horses.  But on this particular Sabbath, Providence was clearly at work.  As Pelagia neared the church, her progress was slowed by a crowd of pedestrians, and she began listening to the eloquent words of the Bishop that were ringing from the pulpit inside the Basilica of St. Julian in Antioch.

All at once, Pelagia felt a burst of light illuminating her weary soul.  Stricken by something in the prelate’s voice, she also experienced a sudden wave of overwhelming remorse for her wasted life – and vowed to return later to learn more from this holy Bishop, St. Nonnus.

When she visited him later for instruction, the Bishop vividly described the Dread Judgment of God and the grim rigors of perpetual Hell.  Deeply moved, Pelagia listened in rapt horror to St. Nonnus’ stark catalogue of punishments reserved for those souls that have fallen into everlasting perdition.  Devoured by quenchless fire, the condemned souls shriek and bellow in anguish, while the roaring demons goad them without mercy!

As the Bishop described these endless torments, Pelagia sat motionless and afraid.  Was it too late for her to change her life and save her precious soul?  No!  Within a matter of minutes, the scales had fallen from her eyes and she began to understand that her entire life was being lived as a mistake.  She was in danger of spending all eternity in the howling depths of Hell!

Filled with contempt for her former life of promiscuous pleasure and expensive luxury, the shaken courtesan fell to her knees before the bishop, while imploring him with words like these: “Have mercy on me, a sinner, holy father!  Baptize me and teach me repentance.  I am a sea of iniquity, an abyss of destruction, a net and weapon of the devil.”

The good Bishop responded without hesitation and promised to give the penitent the baptism for which she now yearned.  Nor did he fail to keep his promise.  When the time came for the sacrament to be administered, Pelagia was thrilled to see that the deaconess of the church – Blessed Romana  – would be her godmother.

Tutored later by Romana in the essentials of good Christian living, the now-reformed Pelagia reflected long and hard on the grotesque errors of her earlier, deeply tarnished life.  Soon she became a model of piety and rectitude . . . and whenever she was tempted by the devil, she quickly sent him on his way.

St. Pelagia wasn’t finished yet, however.  Soon she decided to gather up all her valuables and turn them over to the Bishop for distribution to the poor.  He was only too happy to receive the glittering jewels and coins, while declaring loudly, according to Church historians of the period: “Let this be widely dispersed, so that these riches gained by sin may become a wealth of righteousness!”

Within a few days, the entire treasure that had been gained through rank prostitution and deception was turned over to the hungry and the poor, whose lives were made better through this blessing.

Intent on completely rebuilding her spirituality, St. Pelagia then journeyed to Jerusalem in a hair shirt and there began an entirely different existence, while disguised as the pious monk Pelagius.  She took up abode in a cave near the Mount of Olives, where she wore men’s garments and lived a simple life of austerity and devotion.  Throughout the region, she became known as “the beardless monk,” and her true sex was not revealed until the end of her life.

Bishop Nonnus did not forget Pelagia, however. More than three years after her departure, he sent James the Deacon to Jerusalem to visit his friend “Brother Pelagius.”  James found her cell and she came to the door.  He conveyed the Bishop’s best wishes to the woman he thought was a monk, and she did not reveal her true identity . . . but simply thanked him politely and asked him to revisit her soon.

Returning to the cell a few days later, however, James found that the “monk” had expired.  It was only while they were anointing “his” body that they discovered that “Brother Pelagius” had actually been a female!

Pelagia died around 284, according to Church historians, and her tomb on the Mount of Olives has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.

St. Pelagia’s life serves as a remarkable testimony to God’s willingness to forgive all sinners, no matter how deep or long-lasting their transgressions. Her story shows us God’s love and acceptance of all people, regardless of what their lives might have been like prior to their conversion.  God’s forgiveness is not reserved for a few, but freely offered to all!

Sponsors
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St. James

Orthodox Church

1-408-934-1794

info@sjorthodox.org

195 North Main Street

Milpitas, CA 95035

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