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Life Chain to Commemorate Lives of Unborn Children

Life Chain Sunday will be held Sunday, October 2, 2016, in State College, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Attendees are asked to gather at 1:45 p.m. at 900 West College Ave. to receive the proper signs and instructions on where to stand on West College Avenue.

This is the only public event that Citizens Concerned for Human Life (CCHL) of Centre County does every year to commemorate the lives of the millions of unborn that have been lost to abortion. Holy Trinity has partnered with CCHL for several years now in participating in this silent witness in the community.

For more information, please contact Susan Rogacs of CCHL. Please pray that no other abortion centers open in the Centre Region.

Updates on our Rector, Father John Reeves

September 8, 2016
Nativity of the Theotokos

A day after being surrounded by the love and prayers of his beloved brother clergy and members of his parish family, Father John received test results from his oncologist and learned his prognosis.

All signs show the effectual operation of the Holy Spirit through your prayers—there is no evidence that the cancer has spread beyond his neck. This is the best possible news Father John could have received today. Since the cancer did not metastasize, Father John will begin a year of adjuvant (preventative) therapy using interferon to suppress the formation of any new tumors.

Father gives glory to God and thanks everyone who attended the unction service and who have been praying for him. He continues to covet your prayers for strength and healing as he recovers from the neck surgery and begins chemotherapy.

As communicated in prior announcements, the parish’s clergy and supply priests will maintain the liturgical schedule at both Holy Trinity and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Father will take this month to rest and monitor his response to treatment with the goal of serving and maintaining a limited schedule in October.

August 29, 2016
Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

The entire parish is invited to attend the Mystery of Holy Unction for Fr. John on Wednesday, September 7 at 12:30 p.m. For those coming from work and other commitments, budget approximately 90 minutes for the service. This is an opportunity for many of us to pray alongside Father as we ask our Lord to heal Father’s body and soul.

Please keep the Archpriest John in your prayers this week as he undergoes tests to determine if the melanoma was fully removed by the surgeon or if it has spread beyond his neck. For those wishing to pray at home the Akathist to St. Nektarios of Pentapolis, Patron Saint of Cancer Sufferers, a link is provided here. The same akathist will be prayed corporately after each 5:30 p.m. Wednesday Vespers for those able to stay.

August 27, 2016

Diagnostic tests have been scheduled to take place Tuesday, August 30 and Wednesday, August 31 to determine if the melanoma was fully removed by the surgeon or if it has spread beyond his neck.

Fr. David Smith and supply clergy will celebrate the Sunday Divine Liturgy through the month of September to give Fr. John an opportunity to both heal from the surgery and begin whatever course of treatment is prescribed. Confessions will be heard at Holy Trinity on alternating Saturdays beginning today, August 27 and by appointment.

Please check or subscribe to the parish’s online calendar to see the latest service schedule (updated daily).

August 24, 2016

As you may of heard, Fr. John Reeves had neck surgery performed at Mount Nittany Medical Center last Friday. During the procedure a growth was discovered and removed. Diagnostic tests are still pending to determine the prognosis, but initial results have confirmed the presence of melanoma. Father and his family ask for your fervent prayers as he recovers from the surgery and awaits news of the disease’s extent and recommended course of treatment.

Holy Trinity’s TLC ministry is coordinating 30 days of meals to support Father’s family as they administer care. If you would like to participate, please click here or email tlc@holytrinity-oca.org for more information. Food may be delivered to the house (a drop off area has been established in the Reeves’ garage) but please do not ring the bell so Father can rest.

In the interim, pastoral emergencies will be handed by Fr. David Smith; Dn. Alexander Cadman will coordinate parish administration. Please send requests through the Parish Office (office@holytrinity-oca.org or 814-231-2855). Thank you.

August 21, 2016

Father John is recovering from minor neck surgery that was performed at Mount Nittany Medical Center on Friday, August 19. While he has agreed to receive meals, he has also requested that we respect his need for time to recover as he is quite fatigued and would prefer to limit visitations at this time. If you wish to participate, please select a date and indicate the type of meal you plan to bring, so we can coordinate our efforts.

Electronic Giving Now Available

The work of Holy Trinity and the Chapel is entirely supported by sacrificial gifts from members of its parish family. Thank you.

Now, at no cost to you—and at a minimal cost to the parish (on average, less than the price of offering envelopes)—your donations can be withdrawn directly from your checking account, savings account, or debit card. This convenient payment portal is made possible through our partnership with Fulton Bank and Jack Henry and Associates.

With just a few clicks, you can set up a one-time or recurring payment, ideal for busy families and travelers.

Donate Now

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Let us know your feedback at online.giving@holytrinity-oca.org.

 

Sunday School to Enjoy Day at Amusement Park

DelgrossosAumusementPark-forweb-120The Sunday School will enjoy a day at Delgrosso’s Amusement Park in Tipton (about 25 mins from State College) for a Sunday School Fun Day on Thursday, June 30!

All Sunday School student admission tickets to the park will be paid for from our Gertrude Hawk Candy Sale conducted earlier this year. All students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and are responsible for their children at all times.

The park is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Our group will meet at the entrance at 12:30 p.m. and enter the park together.

There are variety of rides and a water park. For more info you may visit the DelGrosso website or contact Deacon Mark Oleynik, Director of Christian Education.

VBS 2016 Daily News: Friday

VBS Friday 1VBS Kids Now Fully Staffed
“I Just Wanna be a Sheep” Now Latest Craze

STATE COLLEGE, PA — It was pizza day and as the VBS kids met for the last time this year, they gathered with our Archbishop Melchisedek to hear his words on being the shepherd of  a flock.  It was stated that his flock is different from flocks of sheep that the kids had the chance watch yesterday (see article below).

As part of their discussion, the students learned that just as a shepherd carries a staff to direct his flock for protection of his herd in case of danger a bishop carries a staff as a symbol of being our shepherd.  Additionally, the students found that the top of a bishop’s staff (crozier) is made to resemble two serpents’ heads, recalling the Saviors’ words: “Be ye wise as serpents”. As a serpent each year forces its way through thorny plants to shed its old skin, so also must the bishop lead others and follow himself along the thorny path which leads of the renewal of our souls.  (Ed. Note: Students made staffs this to help them remember Psalm 23.)

VBS Friday 2As the week began with the students uttering the first words of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd” today the VBS concluded with the affirmation, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The sheep are content and “at home” with the shepherd—and want to stay with Him forever.

Sheep Farm Tour Shows VBS Kids Life as a Sheep

On Thursday, the Holy Trinity VBS took it first ever field trip to a sheep farm in Sunbury, PA.  After a 1.5 hour bus trip, the students were greeted by an array of farm animals but mostly by a whole lot of sheep.

VBS Friday 3During the tour the students were able to pet the sheep, walk through the pastures, and learn about a sheep’s necessities (water & salt) and some of the dangers (copper, falling over). It was particularly fun to see the shepherd Caroline and her dog gather the sheep and run them back and forth – and how well the  sheep followed the shepherds commands.

At the end of the tour each student was given a piece of wool from one of the sheep as a keepsake.  All the “sheep” returned home safely and happily.

FPO — For Parents Only

VBS Friday 4It was once again a great joy and pleasure to be with your children this week.  It was a bit hectic but it was fun and they are going to be amazing sheep.  As much as possible include Psalm 23 in your daily prayers and with your children.  Knowing the meaning behind the words will give them great comfort and peace.  Thanks!

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2016 Vacation Bible School homepage.

VBS 2016 Daily News: Thursday

Students Take a Trip to a Sheep Farm
VBS Kids See First-hand What Sheep Are Like!

STATE COLLEGE, PA — Today there was no issue of the VBS Daily News because our reporters were in the field—literally. Here are some pictures from the remote location.

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FPO — For Parents Only

  • On Friday, there will be Vespers at 5:00 p.m. Please try to bring your children early so that we can pray together. Dinner and VBS will follow immediately. Additionally, our bishop will be visiting and will share some “shepherding” stories with the kids.

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2016 Vacation Bible School homepage.

VBS 2016 Daily News: Wednesday

Students Take a Walk Through a Dark … 
VBS Kids say they had no fear of evil!

VBS Wed 2STATE COLLEGE, PA — Today the VBS students reached the midway point of their week long study adventure of Psalm 23.  To start the day the “sheep” attended vespers which was followed by another great day of learning, singing, games, and fun.

Today the students discussed how shepherds lead their sheep to different pastures depending on the time of year. To get to the mountaintops in the summer takes the sheep through the valleys.  The valleys can be a dangerous and dark place for sheep.

The students also spent class time learning about how God prepares and takes care of us. Before sheep head to the high country, the shepherd goes ahead—checking out the pastures, pulling out the poisonous weeds, removing any dangerous objects.  He brings salt and minerals to set out in the pasture.  Only after the table is prepared are the sheep brought in.

Just like the shepherd, we know that Christ goes before us in every situation.  Because of all Christ has done—he was tempted as we are, he suffered, he grieved, we are confident that he understands us through and through.  Christ has gone before and prepared a table for us—in plain view of our enemies.

VBS Wed 3What’s the Big Idea?

Today’s verses teach us that no matter what God is always with us, He has all the right tools to help us, and He is a just God.

Can You Repeat That Please?

Here are the verses studied today and the children are expected to memorize:

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”

FPO — For Parents Only

  • VBS Wed 1On Thursday we will visit a sheep farm. Please arrive at the church by 4:15 so that we may leave promptly @ 4:30.
    • Please pack a dinner for your child.
    • The farm team is expecting a drizzle so you may want to pack a jacket.
    • Students are to wear shoes or boots (NO flip flops/open toes) as we will be in the fields and barns.
    • We should arrive back at the church ~9:30 p.m.
  • On Friday, there will be Vespers at 5:00 p.m..  Please try to bring your children early so that we can pray together.  Dinner and VBS will follow immediately.  Additionally, our bishop will be visiting and will share some “shepherding” stories with the kids.

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2016 Vacation Bible School homepage.

VBS 2016 Daily News: Tuesday

Students Step it Up!
The Path of Righteousness is Now to be Followed

VBS Tue 1STATE COLLEGE, PA — Today the VBS kids found that being a sheep can be a hard life.  Each day a sheep is faced with danger, hunger, and fear of the unknown.  The students learned that it a sheep’s life is not different from their own life in that respect.

Sheep are mentioned over 500 times in the Bible.  A shepherd cares for the sheep, providing safety, nourishment and love to his flock.  In Psalm 23 David describes God as the shepherd and we humans as His sheep. The prophets and New Testament writers continued with this imagery. Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep.  To be called sheep was affirming our worth and importance to God.

The students also learned how sheep are creatures of habit.  Left alone, they would happily follow the same trails, quickly turning paths into deep ruts and ravines.  A wise shepherd keeps his sheep on the move, shifting from pasture to pasture and working out a pattern of grazing that allows the pastures to thrive.

VBS Tue 2We as humans also prefer to do our “own thing.”  We are creatures of habit as well, even self-destructive ones.  We don’t want to be led, we don’t want to follow – we want to do it our way!  But Christ calls us to follow Him, to be willing to deny ourselves and to put others first.

He calls us to be willing to go against the flow and to set aside our desire to be the boss.  He calls us to always have an attitude of gratitude and to be obedient to the Shepherd’s will for us.

Can You Repeat that Please?

VBS Tue 3Below are the verses we studied today and the children are to memorize: “He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”

FPO — For Parents Only

  • Question for you to discuss with your child before VBS tomorrow: What is the difference between justice and revenge?
  • On Wednesday, there will be Vespers at 5:00 p.m.  Please try to bring your children early so that we can pray together.  Dinner and VBS will follow immediately.
  • VBS Tue 4On Thursday we will visit a sheep farm.  Please arrive at the church by 4:15 p.m. so that we may leave promptly.
    • Please pack a dinner for your child.
    • The farm team is expecting a drizzle so you may want to pack a jacket.
    • Students are to wear shoes or boots (NO flip flops/open toes) as we will be in the fields and barns.
    • We should arrive back at the church ~9:30 p.m.

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2016 Vacation Bible School homepage.

VBS 2016 Daily News: Monday

New Sheep Herd arrives at Holy Trinity:
The Good Shepherd is leading us forever

VBS Mon 1STATE COLLEGE, PA —  School’s out so what’s a kid supposed to do? For the children of Holy Trinity Church in State College it could only mean that it’s time to go to Vacation Bible School (VBS)!  This year’s VBS theme is “I Wanna be a Sheep” and will be based on Psalm 23.

Sources close to the VBS have stated that the theme this year was selected because although the scriptures were written so that that they made sense to the peoples of the times we no longer live in an agrarian society.  However, we know that the Scriptures are timeless and we need apply them for today’s world.

VBS Mon 2Parents, teachers, and leaders need to convey to children that in Our Savior and in His scriptures we can find calm and peace and hope for the world which awaits us.  The students need to learn that the words of scripture were written for them.

Say What?

The Shepherds ultimate concern for the sheep:   He is the Way, because He leads us through Himself. He is the Door who lets us in, the Shepherd who makes us dwell in green pastures, bringing us up by waters of rest and leading us there. He protects us from wild beasts, converts the erring, brings back what was lost and binds up what was. broken. He guards the strong and brings them together into the fold beyond with words of pastoral knowledge.

— Gregory of Nazianzus, On the Son

Can You Repeat that Please?

VBS Mon 3Below are the verses we studied today and the children are to memorize: “He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”

Family Time

To make the most of this week for you and your child you will need to also be prepared to discuss Psalm 23 and the many instructional points which can be found in it.

FPO — For Parents Only

  • VBS Mon 4Question for you to discuss with your child before VBS tomorrow: What has God done to restore your soul?
  • On Wednesday, there will be Vespers at 5 p.m.  Please try to bring your children early so that we can pray together. Dinner and VBS will follow immediately.
  • On Thursday we will visit a sheep farm. We will leave @ 4:15.  Pack a dinner for your child.

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2016 Vacation Bible School homepage.

Dn. David Smith to be Ordained a Priest on June 18

Deacon David and Matushka Brenda Smith.

Deacon David and Matushka Brenda Smith.

By the Grace of God, Dn. David Smith will be ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek the weekend of Pentecost—the patronal feast of both Holy Trinity and its mission outreach, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.

Providentially and fittingly, the event will take place at the Chapel (145 North Kern Street, in Beavertown) where Dn. David has faithfully served as co-founder and administrator for several years. It will occur during the Saturday, June 18 Memorial Lit-urgy at 9 a.m., with a celebratory reception to follow at the Beavertown Firehall on 222 South Sassafras Street.

Reservations are required for the meal only by calling (814) 231-2855 or emailing ordination@holyspirit-oca.org.

There is no charge to attend the formal reception, but a freewill offering is being collected in honor of Deacon David and Mka. Brenda for the Chapel of the Holy Spirit Fund. Your generous gifts memoed “Smith Ordination” will help the Chapel and their newly ordained priest continue their ministry to the people of the central Susquehanna Valley. Thank you.

Before being received into Orthodoxy, Dn. David served as a Lutheran pastor for 20 years. He helped to establish the Chapel in 2008, and hosted services in his home while the community prepared to build its new temple. To further the Chapel’s apostolic work, he was ordained to the diaconate on the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul (June 29) in 2013. Father’s first full liturgy as priest will be Pentecost at Holy Trinity (June 19, 10 a.m.). He will also serve the Holy Spirit Day (June 20, 9 a.m.) and Nativity of St. John liturgies (June 24, 8 a.m.) here at Holy Trinity before commencing weekly Sunday services at the Chapel.

Your prayers and presence are requested.