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.
OUR CHARITY FOR the months of July-September is Holy Dormition Monastery in Rives Junction, MI.
OUR ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE to Holy Dormition Monastery takes place on Tues & Wed, July 30 & 31. Presently, the guest house of the monastery is filled. If more wish to join the pilgrimage, they are certainly most welcome; but, you will need to stay in a nearby hotel. There is a charming bed & breakfast near the monastery, that has a special relationship with the monastery, and offers discounted lodging to pilgrims of Holy Dormition—so Fr Paul has been given to understand. Monday (July 29 this year) is generally the travel day for getting there. Most of us leave to return home on Thursday morning (Aug 1 this year). Any pilgrims wishing to stay over on Thursday and not leave until Friday morning need to let Mother Abbess Gabriella know their plan (and make sure they have her permission and blessing).
IN CELEBRATION of the Jubilee of the OCA’s Autocephaly in 2020, the Dioceses of the OCA are offering cruises to Alaska. Go to our Diocesan website (domocaorg) for details.
FOCUS MINNESOTA FUND-RAISER will be held on August 15 (in honor of the Holy Dormition of the Mother of God), from 630 pm – 9 pm, at St Mary’s Greek. Come, learn about our new FOCUS Center, the “FOCUS House.” Find out how you can participate in our ongoing work of supporting those in need in the Twin Cities. Food, drinks, even dancing! Free and open to the public. If you would, RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Vera Proctor at 651-324-2705.
WE ARE PLEASED to announce that our parish liaison with FOCUS Minnesota now is Miriam Julian.
WE BEGIN PREPARING on Thursday, August 1, for the Feasts of the LORD’s Transfiguration on August 6, the repose of our patron, St Herman of Alaska, on Aug 9, and the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos on Aug 15. We prepare by taking up a fast and coming to the services to pray, and to listen to the Church teaching us the theology of the Feasts through her liturgical hymnography and prayers. On the Feast of the LORD’s Transfiguration, we bring fruits to the Church to be blessed. On the Feast of the Theotokos’ Holy Dormition, we bring flowers to the Church to be blessed.
TEEN NIGHT at the home of Fr Paul & Presbytera is next Sunday evening, July 21, from 6 – 9 pm. Teens, let Fr Paul & Presbytera know if you plan to come! Bring your bibles, both Old Testament and New.
From the Ascetic Experience. www.asceticexperience.com
Religion and church today: The Orthodox difference
By religion today is meant, primarily, a concrete theory which enables us to surpass the dividing wall between us and God and thus to expiate God. Also, we often refer to religion as man’s invention: God is man’s creation, since the latter feels isolated in the universe and weak. So, he needs a strong God to secure his weakness. Moreover, by religion it is considered that we ensure our future so as to be happy in the future life. Or, ﬁnally, religion is simply the satisfaction of our religious feelings.
However, none of these deﬁnitions apply to Orthodoxy: this is called and actually is the Church, that is, the real Body of Christ, whose Body, Christ Himself, is the head. The Church is the unity of all worlds, earthly and heavenly, of angels and men, of dead and alive. We obtain real communion with God, we participate in God’s uncreated energy. God is not isolated in heaven, governing history from there, but He rules the world with His uncreated energies, that is, with His uncreated governing energy.
We do not aim at appeasing God, but at healing ourselves, so that the vision of God becomes light for us and not ﬁre. Furthermore, in the Church we experience eternal life even now. We do not simply expect the life to come, but we enjoy it now. The Kingdom of God, according to the Fathers, is not life beyond death, but it is communion with God; the vision of uncreated Light.
Based on Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos of Nafpaktou
How to control and know yourself
He who has become aware of his sins has controlled his tongue, but a talkative person has not yet got to know himself as he should. The friend of silence draws near to God, and by secretly conversing with Him, is enlightened by God. The silence of Jesus put Pilate to shame, and by a man’s stillness vainglory is vanquished.
How to avoid the wandering of the mind
First of all you cannot stop the wandering of the mind. But you can fight to… control it and then God’s grace will grant the victory.
First, you must place at the gate of your heart strict and unsleeping guards. In fact one of the most essential things in this life is a vigilant heart. To achieve this, you need prayer and obedience.
Constantly wrestle with your thoughts, and whenever your mind wanders, bring it back to prayer. God does not require from those who are beginners under obedience prayer completely free of distractions. Do not despond when your thoughts wander, but remain calm, and unceasingly recall your mind. Unbroken recollection is proper only to an angel.
Based on St. John of the Ladder