St. James' Newsletter
September 21 - 27, 2020     Issue no. 843
Upcoming Services

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

Thursday, September 24

8:00 am         Matins

9:30 am         Divine Liturgy

Sunday, September 27

16th 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 outdoor 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 https://reopen.church/r/SQncek8D

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!

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 gisied@gmail.com

Fasting Schedule

Wednesday 9/23 - Strict fast

Friday 9/25 - Oil allowed

Sunday 9/27 - Oil allowed

Quote of the Week

“Troubles are usually the brooms and shovels that smooth the road to a good man’s fortune; and many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.”

+ St. Basil the Great

Lunch Schedule

Lunch to go this sunday will be provided Elias and Maha Shehadeh, please support our church by purchasing a delicious meal!

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

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.

Phone Messaging System

If you would like to receive phone messages of upcoming events and news, please email your phone number to Dcn. Joseph at ​dcn.joseph@earthlink.net

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

Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, 9/21

The Feast of the Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 21 each year. The Feast commemorates the birth of the Mother of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The birth and early life of the Virgin Mary is not recorded in the Gospels or other books of the New Testament, however this information can be found in a work dating from the second century known as the Book of James or Protevangelion.

According to the story found in this book, Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, were childless for many years. They remained faithful to God, but their prayers for a child were unanswered. One day, when Joachim came to the temple to make an offering, he was turned away by the High Priest who chastised him for his lack of children. To hide his shame, Joachim retreated to the hill country to live among the shepherds and their flocks.

As Joachim was praying, his wife Anna was praying at the same time at their house in Jerusalem. An angel appeared to both of them and announced that Anna would have a child whose name would be known throughout the world. Anna promised to offer her child as a gift to the Lord. Joachim returned home, and in due time Anna bore a daughter, Mary.

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

1-408-934-1794

info@sjorthodox.org

195 North Main Street

Milpitas, CA 95035

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