St. James' Newsletter
January 18 - January 24, 2021     Issue no. 852
Upcoming Services

All services listed below will only be available live on Facebook ONLY

Monday, January 18

Theophany of Our Lord

5:00 pm         Blessing of the water

Sunday, January 24

33rd Sunday after Pentecost

8:00 am         Matins

9:30 am         Divine Liturgy

Fasting Schedule

Monday, 1/18 - Strict Fast

Wednesday, 1/20 - Fish Allowed

Friday, 1/22 - Fish Allowed

COVID-19 Update

Per the guidelines from the county of Santa Clara, we are restricted from having in-person services. We kindly ask you not to attend church in person. Please enjoy the Divine Liturgy live on Facebook.

Blessed Theophany to you and your loved ones!

Due to Covid and to prevent putting anyone at risk, Fr. Jeries will not be doing house blessings this year. As announced previously, Holy Water can be picked up from the church on any Sunday at around 11:30am after the liturgy. We thank you for your coperation and patience during these tough times.

2021 Board of Trustees

The board of trustees for 2021 will be conducting their first meeting of 2021 to elect the officers and work out the details for our upcoming general parish meeting. The board will also be discussing challenges related to Covid and a path forward. Stay tuned for more information!

Youth & Young Adult Program
A few members of the St. James youth have come together and started organizing a new youth group called the Youth & Young Adult Program. In an effort to assist us, we kindly ask that you take the time to fill out the survey to help us better create a youth program we will all love and want to participate in. Link to Survey
Please see flyer below with more information!
Lunch Schedule
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.

Lunches will begin once again after our church has the clearance to have in person services. Thank you to all who support and work for the house of God.

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

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

Looking Ahead

Board of Trustee Meeting:

1/20/2021 at 7:30 pm

General Parish Meeting:

Tentative, 1/24/2021

Following the Divine Liturgy - possibly live streamed on FB

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

Feast of the Theophany of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Theophany is the Feast which reveals the Most Holy Trinity to the world through the Baptism of the Lord (Mt.3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). God the Father spoke from Heaven about the Son, the Son was baptized by Saint John the Forerunner, and the Holy Spirit descended upon the Son in the form of a dove. From ancient times this Feast was called the Day of Illumination and the Feast of Lights, since God is Light and has appeared to illumine “those who sat in darkness,” and “in the region of the shadow of death” (Mt.4:16), and to save the fallen race of mankind by grace.

In the ancient Church it was the custom to baptize catechumens at the Vespers of Theophany, so that Baptism also is revealed as the spiritual illumination of mankind.

The origin of the Feast of Theophany goes back to Apostolic times, and it is mentioned in The Apostolic Constitutions (Book V:13). From the second century we have the testimony of Saint Clement of Alexandria concerning the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, and the night vigil before this Feast.

............

There is a third century dialogue about the services for Theophany between the holy martyr Hippolytus and Saint Gregory the Wonderworker. In the following centuries, from the fourth to ninth century, all the great Fathers of the Church: Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostom, Ambrose of Milan, John of Damascus, commented on the Feast of Theophany.

The monks Joseph the Studite, Theophanes and Byzantios composed much liturgical music for this Feast, which is sung at Orthodox services even today. Saint John of Damascus said that the Lord was baptized, not because He Himself had need for cleansing, but “to bury human sin by water,” to fulfill the Law, to reveal the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and finally, to sanctify “the nature of water” and to offer us the form and example of Baptism.

On the Feast of the Baptism of Christ, the Holy Church proclaims our faith in the most sublime mystery, incomprehensible to human intellect, of one God in three Persons. It teaches us to confess and glorify the Holy Trinity, one in Essence and Undivided. It exposes and overthrows the errors of ancient teachings which attempted to explain the Creator of the world by reason, and in human terms.

The Church shows the necessity of Baptism for believers in Christ, and it inspires us with a sense of deep gratitude for the illumination and purification of our sinful nature. The Church teaches that our salvation and cleansing from sin is possible only by the power of the grace of the Holy Spirit, therefore it is necessary to preserve worthily these gifts of the grace of holy Baptism, keeping clean this priceless garb, for “As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27).

On the day of Theophany, all foods are permitted, even if the Feast falls on a Wednesday or Friday.

An Excerpt from "On the World and Family", by Elder Ephraim

May an angel of God, my child, follow you and show you the path of God and of your salvation. Amen; so be it. I pray that God gives you health of soul, for this is a special gift of sonship which is bestowed only upon those souls that have been completely devoted to the worship and love of God.

The world attracts the youth like a magnet; worldly things have great power over the newly enlightened soul that just started to find its bearings and see its purpose in life and the duty calling him. “Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” [1] God has stored up pleasures for eternity, for both He and our soul are eternal. There is no comparison between the pleasures of the world and the pure pleasures of God.

The pleasures of the world are obtained with toil and expenses, and after their momentary enjoyment, they are followed by various consequences, so that they are incorrectly called pleasures. The pleasures of God, .............

however, do not have such consequences, because spiritual pleasures down here on earth are the firstfruits of an eternal series of pleasures and delights in the kingdom of God. Whereas on the contrary, one who has been corrupted by the pleasures of the world is compelled to undergo eternal damnation along with the first instigator of corruption, the devil.

The time of our life, my child, has been given to us as a sum of money so that each of us may trade for his salvation, and depending on the trade we deal in, we shall become either rich or poor. If we take advantage of the “money” of time by trading to increase our spiritual wealth, then we shall truly be skilled traders, and we shall hear the blessed voice: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” 

At the end of our life, an exact account will be demanded of each one of us: how and where we spent the money of time, and woe to us if we have squandered it in movie theaters, in entertainments, in debauchery, in futile dreams, in carnal pleasures. Then what defense will our tied tongue be able to utter, and how will we be able to lift up our eyes and see our Christ, when He enumerates the countless benefactions which His boundless love profusely poured upon us?

 

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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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