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

Fasting Schedule

Wednesday, 2/117 - Fish Allowed

Friday, 2/19 - Fish Allowed

Lunch Schedule
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.
Drive-By Crab Feed - 2/27/2021

To continue on with our annual crab feed, the board decided on having a drive by crab feed on Saturday, February 27 between the hours of 4:30 and 7:30 pm. See flyer below for more information!

Youth & Young Adult Program
For the latest new and events about the Youth & Young Adult program, please see the flyer below. 
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
February 22 - 28, 2021     Issue no. 856
Upcoming Services

All services listed below will be available live on Facebook

Friday, February 26

9:30 am         Divine Liturgy

Sunday, February 28

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

8:00 am         Matins

9:30 am         Divine Liturgy

Fasting Schedule
COVID-19 Update

Even though the Supreme Court ruled in favor of churches in California, the county is pushing back, causing the 9th District court to put a pause the ruling. For this reason, we have begun outdoor services. If you have any symptoms, please stay home. Also, once at the church, please follow all social distancing guidelines.

Please register to attend in person. Online Reservation

Drive-By Crab Feed, Order by Tuesday, 2/23

To continue on with our annual crab feed, the board decided on having a drive by crab feed on Saturday, February 27 between the hours of 4:30 and 7:30 pm. See flyer below for more information!

Youth & Young Adult Program
For the latest new and events about the Youth & Young Adult program, please see the flyer below. 

Fast free week

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.
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 Yousef & Iqbal Yacoub and family. 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

2020 Tax Letters

Tax letters are on their way out for 2020. You should receive either in person or by mail. If you have any questions, please contact Samer Aboujudom at saboujudom@aol.com Thank you for your support!

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

Last Day to Order Crab

2/23/21
 

Youth Game Night via Zoom

2/26/21 at 7:00pm

Drive by CRAB FEED

2/27/2021 at 3:00 till 7:00 pm

Board of Trustee Meeting:

3/10/2021 at 7:30 pm

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.

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
Upcoming Events
Spiritual Corner

Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 2/28/2021

The name for this Sunday is taken from the parable of our Lord Jesus Christ found in Luke 15:11-32. The parable is the story of a man and his two sons. The youngest of the sons asks his father to give him his inheritance. The father does this, and soon after the son leaves and journeys to a distant country (vv. 11-13).

After the younger son arrives, he squanders all of his possessions with “prodigal” living. Within a short period of time, he wastes everything. A severe famine comes, but he has nothing and falls into great need (vv. 13-14).

He is able to find work feeding swine, but this does not improve his situation. The Scriptures say, “He would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, but no one gave him anything” (vv. 15-16).

The parable says that in the midst of his dire conditions, he came to himself. He realized that his father’s hired servants have enough to eat and food to spare, while he perishes with hunger. He says, “I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants’” (vv. 17-19).

He arose and returned to his father. But as he approached, his father saw him at a great distance. The father had compassion on his son, ran to meet him, embraced him, and kissed him. The son admitted his sinfulness and his unworthiness to be called a son, but in his joy at the return of his son, the father called his servants to bring the best robe, a ring for his son’s finger, and sandals for his feet. He also called for the fatted calf to be killed for a feast. He exclaimed, “For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (vv. 20-24).

While they were feasting and celebrating the return of the prodigal son, the older son comes and inquires about what is happening. He is told that his brother had returned and that his father has received him with a feast. The older brother becomes angry and will not go in to the feast. The father comes out and pleads with him, but the older son answers by saying he has been faithful to his father for many years and yet the father never gave him the opportunity for such feasting. He expresses his anger and jealousy over his brother who was received in such a manner after he squandered his inheritance (vv. 25-30).

The father responds by telling his oldest son, “You are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found” (vv. 31-32).

The parable of the Prodigal Son forms an exact icon of repentance at its different stages. Sin is exile, enslavement to strangers, hunger. Repentance is the return from exile to our true home; it is to receive back our inheritance and freedom in the Father’s house. But repentance implies action: “I will rise up and go…” (v. 18). To repent is not just to feel dissatisfied, but to make a decision and to act upon it.

In the words of our Lord, we also learn of three things through this parable: the condition of the sinner, the rule of repentance, and the greatness of God’s compassion. The reading of this parable follows the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee so that, seeing in the person of the Prodigal Son our own sinful condition, we might come to our senses and return to God through repentance. For those who have fallen into great despair over their sins thinking that there is no forgiveness, this parable offers hope. The Heavenly Father is patiently and lovingly waiting for our return. There is no sin that can overcome His love for us.

Finally, this parable offers us insight into the world in which we live. It is a world where the activities of people are disconnected and not ordered toward the fulfillment of God’s divine purpose for life. It is a world of incoherent pursuits, of illusory strivings, of craving for foods and drinks that do not satisfy, a world where nothing ultimately makes sense, and a world engulfed in untruth, deceit and sin. It is the exact opposite of the world as created by God and potentially recreated by his Son and Spirit. There is no cure for the evils of our age unless we return to God. The world in which we live is not a normal world, but a wasteland. This is why in the Slavic tradition of the Orthodox Church the reading of Psalm 137 is added to the Matins service for this and the following two Sundays. This nostalgic lament of the Hebrew exiles states: "By the streams of Babylon we sat and wept as we remembered Zion. On the willows we hung our harps, for how could we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land” (Psalm 137).

Here we can see the challenge of life in this world and the alienation from God that can happen when sin reigns in our lives. As a result of sin in our lives, we lose the joy of communion with God, we defile and lose our spiritual beauty, and we find ourselves far away from our real home, our real life. In true repentance, we realize this, and we express a deep desire to return, to recover what has been lost. On this day the Church reminds us of what we have abandoned and lost, and beckons us to find the desire and power to return. Our Heavenly Father is waiting and ready to receive us with His loving forgiveness and His saving embrace.

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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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