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.
WE WELCOME GABRIEL ROMAN into the world. He made his entrance on Thurs, Feb 20, 2020 at 651 pm. Congratulations to Emanuel and Christina and to big sisters, Olympia and Lucia, and big brother, Damian. We’ll baptize him and bring him into the Kingdom of Heaven on Saturday morning April 25
TODAY IS CALLED MEATFARE Sunday because this is the last day we may eat meat before Great Lent begins. This week, we begin fasting from meat, but we may continue to eat dairy. Next Sunday is Cheesefare, the last day we may eat dairy. Forgiveness Vespers, which is next Sunday, March 1, following the coffee hour, marks the beginning of Great Lent.. The ascetic disciplines of Great Lent are the “flower that blossoms from the wood of the Cross, giving joy to all the world.” That is to say, the Fast is the concrete form of the Cross Our LORD commands us to take up in order to follow Him in self-denial, losing our life or putting to death what’s earthly in us for His sake, that we may gain our life, that is, that we may gain Christ, for He is our Life.
The CATECHUMENATE AND INQUIRERS CLASS continues now for the next three Saturdays. The next break is on Saturday, Mar 21. The last two classes for this Spring ‘semester’ (classes 7 & 8) will be held on Saturday, Mar 28 and Apr 4. This will take us to Lazarus Saturday on Apr 11, when we’ll receive those who are ready at the Divine Liturgy that morning. All are welcome to the catechumenate classes.
PARISH COUNCIL meets Mon, Feb 24, 7 – 9 pm.
IOCC is our charity appeal for the first quarter of 2020.
FOCUS Minnesota is partnering with The Mother Maria of Paris Charitable Ministry of the Diocese of the Midwest to raise $3,000 for a freezer, used for storing food for their weekly meal and their sandwich program to low-income and homeless school children, as well as for their food shelf. So far, $1,600 has been raised. $1,400 is still needed to reach the goal. You can donate online by going to charity.domoca.org, and clicking on the “Campaign” link.
WE HOST THE FOCUS Community Meal on Sunday, March 15th. This entails preparing a meal off-site, bringing it to FOCUS, and serving the meal. We need volunteers to prepare and/or serve the meal. Please speak to Miriam Julian at coffee hour or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY of the Tomos that established the OCA as an autocephalous Church is this April 10, 2020. A Deanery celebration of that Jubilee will be held at St Mary’s Cathedral on the evening and morning of Fri-Sat, May 8-9. Save the date. More details forthcoming. Check the bulletin board downstairs (and the Diocesan website: domoca.org) for postings of reflections on the Autocephaly, written by clergy and lay of the Diocese. Each month will feature a new reflection. January’s reflection was by Fr Ted Wojcik. February’s is by Fr William Rettig, pastor of Holy Resurrection in Fargo.
ST HERMAN’S BOOK CLUB meets next Saturday, Feb 29, 9 -11 am.
15TH ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE to Holy Dormition Monastery in Rives Junction, MI will take place this summer from Mon, July 27 (travel day) to Thurs, July 30 (travel day. Tue and Wed, July 28-29 are our work days at the monastery.
CONFESSIONS AND LENTEN SERVICE Schedule will be dependent on Fr Paul’s knee. Until he can bend it sufficiently, he can’t drive. That makes his going out dependent on his wife’s schedule. Fr Paull will strive to work around those restrictions so that we can all give our confession before Lazarus Saturday. To encourage an even distribution of confessions throughout Great Lent, a ‘sign-up’ sheet has been posted on the bulletin board downstairs.
PARKING! Please do not park in front of the Church. Leave that space for Fr Paul. With his convalescing knee, he needs that space to get in and out of his car. Also, our neighbors are asking that we be mindful to park such that our vehicles do not block their walkways/sidewalks that go out to the street.
¸DAYLIGHT SAVINGS time returns in time for Sunday, March 8. Set your clocks ahead one hour to be to Church on time!
But if the bird gathers in its wings,
Thus denying the extended symbol of the Cross,
Then the air, too, will deny the bird:
The air will not carry the bird
Unless its wings confess the Cross.
St Ephrem of Syria (4th Cent.), Hymns on Faith 18.6
The "Great Fast" consists of abstaining from meat and dairy throughout Great Lent. The Fast of the Church is not a requirement. It is the goal. We come as close to it as we can, according to our strength and circumstances. In the Scripture readings assigned for the Saturdays and Sundays before the Fast, St Paul is reminding us that it isn't about fasting from food; it's about fasting from all that separates us from God. The fasting from food isn't the end, it's the means towards the end, which is to open my heart to God in order to receive His judgment of me, which cleanses me and heals me and prepares me to become one with Him. Moreover, the Great Fast isn't just fasting; it's prayer and fasting. We look for the balance between prayer and fasting that is right for each one of us. We fast to facilitate prayer. It's through prayer, not through fasting, that we descend into our heart and into the presence of God. But, fasting does help the body to grow still. And stillness of the body helps the mind and soul to grow still, and this stillness of all our faculties -- physical, mental, emotional -- facilitates prayer's work of getting down into the heart and into the presence of God to let down our hair, like Mary Magdalene, and anoint His head with the fragrant tears of our repentance.