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

All services listed below will be available live on Facebook

Friday, February 19

9:30 am         Divine Liturgy

Sunday, February 21

Sunday of the Publican

8:00 am         Matins

9:30 am         Divine Liturgy

COVID-19 Update

Per the ruling from the Supreme Court, we are now allowed to have indoor services at 25% capacity. Please register before attending any Sunday services. If you have any symptoms, please stay home. Also, once at the church, please follow all social distancing guidelines. Link to the online reservation.

3rd & 9th Day Trisagion Service
The parish of St. James Orthodox Church extends its warmest condolences to our brother and sister in Christ Elias & Maha Shehadeh and family, for the passing into eternal life of Elias’ uncle,  the servant of God, Yacub Yousef Shehadeh Musallam. May his memory be eternal.
Fasting Schedule

Wednesday, 2/117 - Fish Allowed

Friday, 2/19 - Fish Allowed

Lunch Schedule
Receive Text Messages

If you would like to receive service times, announcements and general information about events, please text "Alert" to 22300. 

Lunch this Sunday will be provided by the Mazen and Ola Kafeety. If you would like sponsor a lunch, please email or call Georgette. Thank you and God Bless

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

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.

Looking Ahead
Sponsoring Sunday Lunches

Due to covid, the church has cancelled all of its fundraising events this year. Our Sunday lunches are now technically our only form of generating income outside of donations. Please support our church by purchasing a to-go lunch. In addition, you can also sponsor a lunch for $200. If interested, please email Georgette at gisied@gmail.com

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.

Youth & Young Adult Corner
Spiritual Corner

Venerable Xenia of Rome - 2/6/21

St. Xenia of Rome, in the world Eusebia, was the only daughter of an eminent Roman senator. From her youth she loved God, and wished to avoid a marriage that had been arranged for her. She secretly left her parent’s home with two servants, and set sail upon a ship. Through the Providence of God, she met the head of the monastery of the holy Apostle Andrew in Milassa, a town of Caria (Asia Minor). She asked him to take her and her companions to Milassa. She also changed her name, calling herself Xenia (which means “stranger” or foreigner” in Greek).

At Milassa, she bought land, built a church dedicated to St. Stephen, and founded a woman’s monastery. Soon after this, Bishop Paul of Milassa made Xenia a deaconess because of her virtuous life. She helped everyone – for the destitute, she was a benefactress; for the grief-stricken, a comforter; for sinners, a guide to repentance. She possessed a deep humility, accounting herself the worst and most sinful of all.

She was guided in her ascetic deeds by the counsels of the Palestinian ascetic, St. Euthymius. The sublime life of St. Xenia drew many souls to Christ. The holy virgin died in 450 while she was praying. During her funeral, a luminous wreath of stars surrounding a radiant cross appeared over the monastery in the heavens. This sign accompanied the body of the saint when it was carried into the city, and remained there until her burial. Many of the sick received healing after touching St. Xenia’s relics.

Timothy the Apostle - 2/4/21

The Holy Apostle Timothy was from the Lycaonian city of Lystra in Asia Minor. Saint Timothy was converted to Christ in the year 52 by the holy Apostle Paul (June 29). When the Apostles Paul and Barnabas first visited the cities of Lycaonia, Saint Paul healed one crippled from birth. Many of the inhabitants of Lystra then believed in Christ, and among them was the future Saint Timothy, his mother Eunice and grandmother Loida (Lois) (Acts 14:6-12; 2 Tim. 1:5).

The seed of faith, planted in Saint Timothy’s soul by the Apostle Paul, brought forth abundant fruit. He became Saint Paul’s disciple, and later his constant companion and co-worker in the preaching of the Gospel. The Apostle Paul loved Saint Timothy and in his Epistles called him his beloved son, remembering his devotion and fidelity with gratitude.

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).

Sponsors
April 12 -18, 2021     Issue no. 860
Upcoming Services

All services listed below will be available live on Facebook

Wednesday, April 14

10:30 am         Presanctified Liturgy

7:00 pm           Great Compline

Friday, April 16

10:30 am         Presanctified Liturgy

7:00 pm           Great Compline

Sunday, April 18

5th Sunday of Great Lent

8:00 am         Matins

9:30 am         Divine Liturgy

Fasting Schedule

4/11 - 4/18: Strict fasting

COVID-19 Update

In person services are now permitted in Santa Clara County at a capacity of 50%. Due to the the limit in capacity, please register to attend in person. Online Reservation are required. Visit here to register.

Order your Palms for Palm Sunday!

Order your Palms for Palm Sunday by April 20th. Large Palms are $35 and small/medium Palms are $25. If you would like to order, please text or call Amal Khoury at 408-646-9836

Donations for the Bier of Christ

If you would like to donate towards the purchase of flowers to cover the Bier of Christ for Good Friday, please feel free to make a donation online. You may also print the form below to provide the names to be commemorated during the Liturgy on Good Friday. Thank you and have a blessed lent.

Palm Sunday Registration is FULL
As expected, Palm Sunday registration is full. Due to Covid-19 guidelines and the for the respect of others, we ask all who did not get a chance to register to watch via FB. Also, if  you registered to sit in the Hall, please respect your fellow parishioners by sitting in your designated location. We thank you for your cooperation!
Lunch Schedule

Lunch this Sunday will be sponsored by Samira Twal. May God bless her and her family.  

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

Looking Ahead

Board of Trustee Meeting

4/14/2021 at 7:30 pm

Palm Sunday

4/25/2021

Easter Service

5/1/2021

Easter Bake Sale
Please support our Ladies Auxiliary group by placing your orders for some delicious baked goods. Place your order by April 11th for pickup on April 18th. For a menu and more information, please see order form below.
Receive Text Messages

If you would like to receive service times, announcements and general information about events, please text "Alert" to 22300. 

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.

Holy Week Schedule
Holy Monday – April 26, 2021

10:30 a.m.     Presanctified Liturgy

7:00 p.m.       Bridegroom Service

Holy Tuesday – April 27, 2021

3:00 p.m.     Presanctified Liturgy

7:00 p.m.      Bridegroom Service

 

Holy Wednesday – April 28, 2021

3:00 p.m.     Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

7:00 p.m.    Service of the Holy Unction

 

Holy Thursday – April 29, 2021

10:30 a.m.      Vespers and Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great 

7:00 p.m.        Holy Passion of Our Lord/Twelve Gospels 

 

Holy Friday – April 30, 2021

6:00 p.m.        Royal Hours

8:00 p.m.        Lamentations Service

10:30 p.m.      Liturgy of St. Basil Great for Holy Saturday morning

 

Holy Saturday – May 1, 2021

8:00 p.m.      Hajmeh and Paschal Liturgy

Sunday – May 2, 2021

No Services

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Youth & Young Adult Corner
Spiritual Corner

St. Mary of Egypt - 4/7/2021

Our holy mother Mary was born in Egypt. She had left her parents at the age of twelve to go to Alexandria, where she spent the next seventeen years in debauchery and the greatest profligacy. Living on charity and linen-weaving, she nevertheless offered her body to any man, not being forced to it by dire necessity as were so many poor women, but as though she were consumed by the fire of a desire that nothing was able to appease.

One day, seeing a crowd of Lybians and Egyptians moving towards the port, she followed them and set sail with them for Jerusalem, offering her body to pay her fare. When they arrived in the Holy City, she followed the crowd that was thronging towards the Church of the Resurrection, it being the day of the Exaltation of the Cross. But, when she reached the threshold of the church, an invisible force prevented her entering in spite of repeated efforts on her part, although the other pilgrims were able to go in without hindrance. Left alone in a corner of the narthex, she began to realize that it was the impurity of her life that was preventing her approaching the holy Wood. She burst into tears and smote her breast and,

seeing an icon of the Mother of God, made this prayer to her: "O Sovereign Lady, who didst bear God in the flesh, I know that I should not dare to look upon thine icon, thou who are pure in soul and body, because, debauched as I am, I must fill thee with disgust. But, as the God born of thee became man in order to call sinners to repentance, come to my aid! Allow me to go into the church and prostrate before His Cross. And, as soon as I have seen the Cross, I promise that I will renounce the world and all pleasures, and follow the path of salvation that thou willest to show me."

She felt herself suddenly freed from the power that had held her and was able to enter the church. There she fervently venerated the Holy Cross and then, returning to the icon of the Mother of God, declared herself ready to follow the path that the Virgin would show her. A voice replied to her from on high: "If you cross the Jordan, you will find rest."

Leaving the church, she bought three loaves with the alms a pilgrim had given her, discovered which road led to the Jordan and arrived one evening at the Church of Saint John the Baptist. After having washed in the river, she received Communion in the Holy Mysteries, ate half of one of the loaves and went to sleep on the riverbank. The next morning, she crossed the river and lived from that time on in the desert, remaining there for forty-seven years without ever encountering either another human being or any animal.

During the first seventeen years, her clothes soon having fallen into rags, burning with heat by day and shivering with cold by night, she fed on herbs and wild roots. But more than the physical trials, she had to face violent assaults from the passions and the memory of her sins and, throwing herself on the ground, she implored the Mother of God to come to her aid. Protected by God, who desires nothing but that the sinner should turn to Him and live, she uprooted all the passions from her heart by means of this extraordinary ascesis, and was able to turn the fire of carnal desire into a flame of divine love that made it possible for her to endure the implacable desert with joy, as though she were not in the flesh.

After all these years, a holy elder called Zosimas (April 4), who, following the tradition instituted by Saint Euthymios, had gone into the desert across the Jordan for the period of the Great Fast, saw one day a human form with a body blackened by the sun and with hair white as bleached linen to its shoulders. He ran after this apparition that fled before him, begging it to give him its blessing and some saving words. When he came within ear-shot, Mary, calling by name him whom she had never seen, revealed to him that she was a woman and asked him to throw her his cloak that she might cover her nakedness.

At the urging of the monk, who was transported at having at last met a God-bearing being who had attained the perfection of monastic life, the Saint recounted to him with tears the story of her life and conversion. Then, having finished her account, she begged him to come the following year to the bank of the Jordan with Holy Communion.

When the day arrived, Zosimas saw Mary appearing on the further bank of the river. She made the sign of the Cross and crossed the Jordan, walking on the water. Having received Holy Communion weeping, she said: "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation" (Luke 2:29). She then took leave of Zosimas, asking him to meet her the following year in the place where they had first met.

When the year was past, Zosimas, going to the agreed spot, found the Saint's body stretched on the ground, her arms crossed and her face turned towards the East. His tearful emotion prevented him from noticing at once an inscription traced on the ground by the Saint, which read: "Abba Zosimas, bury here the body of the humble Mary; give what is of dust to dust, after having prayed for me. I died on the first day of April, the very night of the Passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, after having partaken in the Holy Eucharist." Consoled in his grief by having learned the Saint's name, Zosimas was amazed to discover that she had, in several hours, covered a distance of more than twenty days' march.

After having vainly tried to break up the earth with a stick, he suddenly saw a lion approaching Mary's body and licking her feet. On the orders of the Elder, the beast dug a hole with its claws, in which Zosimas devoutly placed the Saint's body.

On his return to the monastery, he recounted the marvels that God had wrought for those who turn away from sin and move towards Him with all their hearts. From the hardened sinner that she had been, Mary has, for a great many souls crushed under the burden of sin, become a source of hope and a model of conversion. This is why the Holy Fathers have placed the celebration of her memory at the end of the Great Fast as an encouragement for all who have neglected their salvation, proclaiming that repentance can bring them back to God even at the eleventh hour.

Orthodox Great Lent

When people think of the word "Lent," the word "fasting" is one of the first things that comes to mind. The cornerstone of Lent is not fasting, but repentance and growing in our faith. Fasting is a tool that is used to assist in spiritual growth. Fasting is also mischarac­terized as a form of deprivation, rather than a spiritual discipline. Because fasting is so misun­derstood, it is many times done incorrectly.

In the Orthodox world, we use the word  "passions" to describe tendencies that each person has that lead us to sin. Each of us has a "passion" for anger, lust, power, greed, ego, etc. We do not get through life without wrestling with each of these, sometimes on a daily basis. The most basic "passion" is hunger. While we can go a day without a lustful thought or an angry thought, we can't go more than a few hours without a hungry thought. So, if we can or tame our passion for eating, we can hopefully tame our other passions. If we can discipline ourselves to go without

certain kinds of food, we can hopefully discipline ourselves so that we can go without certain kinds of behavior that are spiritually destructive. Thus, fasting is not about giving up something only to get it back. Fasting is about getting control of our passions, maintaining control over them, and ultimately giving control of ourselves to God.

It is the Orthodox Tradition to fast from food products that contain blood. So, we fast from meat, fish, dairy products, oil, and wine. We can eat shellfish because they do not contain blood. Christ shed His blood for us, so we do not consume any "blood" or "animal" products. It is the Tradition of the church to fast for the entirety of Great Lent and Holy Week. The week after the Publican and the Pharisee is fast free, as is the week after Pascha and Pentecost (and Christmas). The week before Great Lent, we are only required to fast from meat, not dairy products. Outside of Lent, it is Tradition to fast every Wednesday (in honor of the betrayal of Christ) and Friday (in honor of His Crucifixion). There is a forty day fast that precedes the Feast of the Nativity, a fourteen day fast that precedes the Feast of the Dormition, and the Holy Apostles Fast.

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Orthodox Church

1-408-934-1794

info@sjorthodox.org

195 North Main Street

Milpitas, CA 95035

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