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.
AXIOS! DANIEL LATTIER was ordained to the diaconate this last Thursday, Nov 8, on the Feast of the Holy Archangels and the Bodiless Powers of Heaven. Congratulations to Kelly and their five children: John, Phinehas, James, Alathea, AnnaLise Marie.
ADVENT BEGINS this Thursday, Novembr 15. This is a period of 40 days in which observe a fast—the Fast of St Philip it’s called—to prepare ourselves spiritually for the joy of Christ’s Nativity on Dec. 25. We will begin the Fast by serving Daily Vespers and Daily Matins on Wed, Nov 14, starting at 630 pm, and the Divine Liturgy on Thurs, Nov 15, at 615 am.
ENTRY OF THE THEOTOKOS into the Temple is on Wed, Nov 21; St Nicholas on Thurs, Dec 6, and St Herman of Alaska on Thurs, Dec 13. We will keep each of these feasts with our usual cycle of Vigil on the evening of, and Divine Liturgy early in the morning.
WE BAPTIZE Jessie and Albert Cooper next Saturday, Nov 17, at 10 am.
WE ENROLL Robert Youngblood and Matt Dooley into the catechumenate this Saturday, Nov 17, before the Vigil at around 450 pm.
OUR CHARITY OUTREACH for October and November is FOCUS MN – Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve. In December, our outreach will be to help St Panteleimon ROCOR with its capital campaign fund.
LIVING THE DISCIPLINED LIFE is the theme of St Mary’s GOC Advent retreat this year. Details are posted on the bulletin board downstairs.
FROM ST MARY’S GOC. “Days For Girls” is a project to help Ugandan girls and women. Orthodox girls and women are invited to the Terrace Room at St Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church to make kits containing washable, reusable feminine hygiene products that offer dignity, freedom and confidence. (Without supplies, girls often stay home from school when they have their period, missing 10-20% of their education and ultimately impacting their earning potential as adults.). Join us on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Bring (if you have): sharp fabric scissors, rotary cutter and cutting board, sewing machine and/or serger in good working order. There are many jobs that don’t involve sewing, so all skill levels are welcome! You may also donate (from your personal stash – don’t buy new): fabric, thread, trograin ribbon (½-¾”), embroidery floss, large check-in size suitcase (to stay in Uganda). For more information, visit DaysForGirls.org.
THE ST HERMAN’S BOOK CLUB will meet on Saturday, November 24th at 9:00 a.m. at the church. Our current book is Angels & Demons by Harry Boosalis. Please read the entire book and be prepared to discuss on the 24th. Books are available from the St. Herman's Book Store and all are welcome to join the discussion.
THREE YOUTH EVENTS coming up open to all Twin Cities Orthodox youth: 1. Pre-Advent Dance for young’uns grades 6-12, grades 6-12. This is a retreat with His Grace, Bishop Paul, Nov 16-17, 7 pm – 9 am. Our Life in Christ is the theme. The Lock-in is at St Mary’s Cathedral (1701 5th St NE). Youth will have a chance to chat with His Grace, Bishop Paul by way of teleconference. 3. St Mary’s Winter Camp for grades 6-12, at Camp St Croix, Jan 18-21. Theme: Sacrament of Marriage: Mystery, Monasticism, and Martyrdom. Flyers with details and registration links for all of these events are posted on the bulletin board downstairs.
CATECHUMENATE/INQUIRERS CLASS is off next Saturday (Nov 17). Class resumes on Saturday, Nov 24, at 1015 am.
MEOCCA THANKSGIVING EVE Divine Liturgy served at St George GOC at 6 pm, Wednesday, Nov 21.
The earliest monks fled to the desert not only to escape the temptations of society but to assault Satan on his home ground, for the wilderness is primarily the biblical symbol of death, the region where the Evil One reigns. Father Herman’s relocation to Spruce Island represents not only an exile from Kodiak with its dangers, but an invasion of “enemy-occupied territory—the “reclamation” of another tiny portion of the created universe in the Name of the Living God. St Herman’s monastic life-style there and his lifetime of loving service to the Aleuts confirmed and encouraged the newly baptized natives in their new faith, and continues to do so nearly two centuries later. St Seraphim of Sarov, a contemporary of Fr Herman and himself the spiritual son of the same elder, Igumen Nazarii, advised, “Save yourself and a thousand others around you will be saved.” …
Orthodox missionaries came to Alaska to announce and begin an eternal process of growth toward godlikeness, understood in Trinitarian terms. It was not therefore necessary or wise to inaugurate this infinite pilgrimage with lengthy condemnations of the insufficiency or corruption of “heathenism”. Nor would it have been consistent with Orthodox theology or missionary practice to threaten potential converts with hellfire and damnation should they have refused the invitation to accept baptism. Salvation as theosis, acquiring godlikeness, is a positive transformation, bringing mankind to its next and final level of development, with the crucial difference that unlike all previous developments, this final stage requires the free assent and cooperation of the participants. Coercion and intimidation had no place in evangelization. Baptism represents the temporal start of the eternal pilgrimage, a journey undertaken in this life only with struggle, pain, suffering—the cross—but in the Kingdom that is to come, the transformation from “glory to glory” will constitute the very joy of heaven.
Fr Michael Oleksa, Alaskan Missionary Spirituality, p. 31-32
How can we as families living in the world flee into the desert to escape the debilitating stress of worldly society and to assault Satan on his home turf? The desert is our own soul, which the Psalmist likens to a dry and weary land where no water is. There are many, many ways: Cut down the “screen” time, and incorporate “face” time: playing board games as a family, putting puzzles together, developing our artistic or literary or crafty skills: knitting, weaving, building, writing poems or stories, drawing, painting, coloring, etc. etc. Encourage your children to read the classics. Have your own family “story circle” in the evening, before going to bed. Read stories from the bible, memorize Psalms, read the story of your patron saint and get to know him/her, and begin talking with your patron saint. Learn to play a musical instrument, take voice lessons, learn another language. There are many, many creative ways to engage our children with God’s creation and to cultivate and develop their innate skills and so to assault Satan on his home turf. Above all, center your family and home life on the Church, the Mystery of Christ. Make the liturgical rhythm of the Church the rhythm of your home. (Fr Paul)