The Holy Fire from the Lord's Tomb in Jerusalem was brought to St Herman's and burns on our altar and on our "Golgotha" Table.
CONGRATULATIONS AND MANY BLESSINGS to Sonia and Graham, to Jack and Eve, to the godparents and all the family and friends, on the baptism—the raising from death to life—of Anna Cyprus this morning.
THIS MORNING is the FOURTH SUNDAY of the Nativity Fast (or Advent). We light the first three of six candles on our advent wreath this morning. Oh my! We’re already half way to Christmas!
REMEMBER TO USE Amazon.smile whenever you purchase items (such as Christmas gifts), designating St Herman’s as your charity of choice.
SNOWY WINTER AHEAD? Boy, we could use some help shoveling the Church sidewalks and steps! Please talk to Doug! A big thank you to the many who shoveled the six inches of snow covering our sidewalks last Sunday!
THANK YOU to Susanna and those who helped her with our St Nicholas party on Friday evening. A wonderful turn-out, delicious pot-luck, story circle, singing, crafts, a service project and a visit from St Nicholas (who remained hidden!) made for a very, very nice celebration honoring St Nicholas.
THE FEAST OF ST HERMAN OF ALASKA, our patron saint is this Friday, December 13. We’ll serve Vigil (with Litya) on Thurs at 6 pm, Divine Liturgy on Fri at 6 am. (Vigil with Litya is an especially beautiful service; it’s really a sacred concert, with bread and wine! The theology of the feast is given in the vigil, and the children (as well any non-Orthodox guests) get to enjoy bread and wine.)
CATECHUMEN/INQUIRER CLASS is now on Christmas Break. We may not resume until February because of Theophany and home blessings that take place on the Saturdays of January. We will plan to receive catechumens who feel ready into the Church on Lazarus Saturday, Apr 11.
IN ASSOCIATION with our charity appeal for FOCUS MN the last quarter of the year, we have a St. Nicholas Giving Tree. We may help support Focus Minnesota and those in need in the Twin Cities by donating to the St. Nicholas Giving Tree! In the months of November & December, we might each one consider donating: new or gently used winter apparel (coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots); brand new intimates (underwear & socks for men, women & children); personal hygiene items (shampoo, razor/shaving cream, deodorant, soap, nail clippers, lotion, feminine hygiene products, etc.). Place donations on or under the St.Nicholas Giving Tree downstairs by Sunday, December 22.
NOT ON OUR ST HERMAN’S email-list or directory? Wanna be? Fr Paul also would like to know everyone’s street address, so he and Presbytera can send you a Christmas card! Please give your contact information to Fr Paul or Nicholas Wesche.
LIKE TO SING? WANT TO OFFER YOUR VOICE IN SONG as a way of expressing your love for Our Savior and His Holy Mother? ST HERMAN’S CHOIR is a ministry, a diaconia. Its purpose is to lead all the faithful—those who want to—in singing the prayers and hymns of our worship beautifully and with confidence. For that, we need a strong choir. Fr Paul would like to see a minimum of one to two voices on each part, who will commit to being part of a ‘core’ choir that would be committed to faithful attendance at all rehearsals. Please let our new choir director, Peter, know if you’d like to be part of this core choir! Otherwise, all voices are welcome to come and go at choir rehearsals as they wish or can.
ST HERMAN’S CHRISTMAS EVE HOLY SUPPER. Sign up is on the bulletin board downstairs. We need twelve Lenten dishes to represent the twelve apostles. (Dishes on the sign-up are suggestions only!)
FOCUS MN wants to distribute turkeys for Christmas. Flyer with details on bulletin board downstairs.
ORTHODOX ETHNIC DANCE Party, Feb 1, St Mary’s Greek. Flyer on bulletin board downstairs.
OUR MIDWEST DIOCESE has a website on ORTHODOX FAMILY LIFE. It addresses challenges of our society facing families seeking to raise their children in the Church. Go to the Family Life link on our Diocesan website: domoca.org.
FR PAUL TRAVELS to Chicago this Mon & Tues for Bishop’s and Diocesan Council meetings.
“We, by remaining good, through likeness attain union with God; whereas by becoming evil, through unlikeness, we are separated from God. By living virtuously [free of passions], we cleave to God, but by becoming wicked, we make God our enemy not as being angered at us, but in that our sinful acts do not let God shine within us, but join us with malicious demons.
The pious soul knows God, the Creator of all things. For piety is nothing else but doing the will of God, which is knowledge of God by being free of envy, chaste, meek, agreeable so far as possible, sociable, not fond of strife, and everything else that is pleasing to the will of God.
Knowledge of God and fear of Him are a cure of materialistic passions. For, when ignorance is present in the soul, the passions remain incurable and the soul decays from wickedness as from a chronic ulcer. God is not the cause of this, for He sent down upon man understanding and knowledge.” (Cf. Jn 16:7 & 13).
St Anthony the Great (late 3rd, early 4th cent.), On the Character of Man and the Virtuous Life, Philokalia, p. 96.