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First Children’s Choir Practice to take place Sunday

The Children’s Choir (grades 3-8) will practice on Sunday, January 16 at 9:30 a.m. in Trinity House. Students will be accompanied to the rehearsal and then to the church.  All students in these grades are invited to be a part of this ministry.
Parents are encouraged to spend some time with your child(ren) discussing the importance of music in the Church: music is not an ornamentation to the liturgical services but is an essential element of the services, the medium by which the Church instructs the faithful. Prayerfully consider taking advantage of this readily available means for your child(ren)’s spiritual growth and education.
It is understood that not all children may want to be part of the choir, but perhaps they can attend a few practices first to get a “feel” for it (students not rehearsing this Sunday will be dismissed to you).

Sunday School Moves to Trinity House this Sunday

IMG_9906 (1)Trinity House Ministry Center officially opens on Sunday, January 10. For students in the Sunday School and their parents, here is some important information regarding classroom changes:

  • Parents, teachers, and students will assemble in the Parish Hall at 9:00 a.m. sharp! for our opening prayer and then proceed immediately to our classes with the the Sunday School teachers:
    • Students in the Pre-K and Kindergarden class will  meet in the Holy Trinity Nursery (i.e., Father John’s former office in the Parish Hall);
    • Students in grades 1-5 will meet in the Trinity House Lower Level entering via the rear  entry door;
    • Students in the middle school (Conference Room) and high school (Atty Lounge, Second Floor) classes will enter Trinity House Main Floor using the Sparks Street (front door) entrance.
  • The driveway between Holy Trinity and Trinity House will be closed for the safety of students traveling to and from class. Motorists will be asked to enter the parking areas from Calder Way and Lark Alley only.
  • At the conclusion of the classes (9:45 AM) students in grades Pre-K to 5 will return to the Parish Hall to meet up with parents so that you may go together to the Liturgy.
  • Older students will be dismissed directly from class to return to the church for the Liturgy.

Next Sunday (January 17) during the Parents Session (we will meet in Trinity House Lower Level) Deacon Mark will lead parents in a discussion on these new procedures and make adjustments as necessary using your feedback.

Children to Prepare Blankets for Charity

In conjunction with rehearsing for Holy Trinity’s annual Christmas play, children will also have an opportunity to participate in a charitable project this Saturday.  While the children practice the songs, students will “finish” a few winter blankets for the less fortunate of our community. This will be a simple activity of tying knots on the fringe of the blankets. The blankets will then be given to the residents of the House of Care, a group home just a few blocks from our church on Beaver Avenue, which serves people with mental/physical illness who don’t have any family to support them.

Teens and parents who wish to participate should arrive early at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 19 to complete the final preparatory steps.  This will include the cutting of some material to precise measurements.

For more information, please contact Dn. Mark Oleynik, Director of Christian Education, at dnmark@holytrinity-oca.org.

Join the Sunday School in Caroling this Friday

Holy Trinity’s Sunday School will Christmas carol this Friday evening (December 4) beginning at 5:30 PM. The evening begins with dinner (pizza/fruits/refreshments) and concludes with some cookie decorating (after caroling).   The good news is that the weather outlook looks perfect—not too cold and dry. 
Participation is free and open to all area youth and their families. If you would like to join us, please note the following: 
  • each family is asked to bring 2-4 dozen sugar cookies ready to decorate(various cut-out Christmas shapes) and one (1) container of frosting (vanilla).  Food colors for the frosting will be provided.
  • sprinkles and embellishments for decorating are needed.
  • we hope to share some extra cookies with our community organizations (fire/police/etc.)
  • lots of adult hands are needed and appreciated during the dinner serving, cookie decoration, and clean-up
  • we will be caroling in the Holmes-Foster neighborhood for ~1 hour. 
  • have your child wear a bright colored coat/sweater for easier visibility.
  • bring a small battery-operated candle if available or a small flashlight – singers will carry as we walk the sidewalks and can be used to read from the song sheets (attached).
  • if you have (a) bell(s), bring it and we can ring it while we are walking between houses.
  • practice a bit with your children this week the traditional carols (Silent Night, O Come O Ye Faithful, Joy to the World, etc.)
  • The WHOLE family is invited so make it a family affair. 

Take the Parish Library Survey

The Holy Trinity Library is expanding and preparing to move to its own dedicated space in Trinity House. In order to serve you better, librarian Anna Stickles has created a survey to get your input as to what types of books you would like made available, and what you have found helpful in your own journey of faith. 

Click here to access it online; a printed version of the survey will be available in the Parish Hall.

Chapel of the Holy Spirit Opens in Beavertown

by Dn. David Smith

After nearly seven years of praying, worshipping, catechizing, planning, envisioning, and dreaming, a new Temple has been raised to the glory of God! And above it, a golden Cross has taken its place amidst the skyline of Beavertown.

The Chapel of the Holy Spirit was packed full of worshippers and well-wishers on the weekend of October 31-November 1. Sixty souls crammed into the 24-foot by 24-foot nave on Saturday evening to experience that which can only be experienced once in the life of a parish community—a service for the Opening of the Doors (Thyranoixia). Presiding were Fr. Mark Meholick, Dean of the Eastern Deanery, along with Fr. John and the Deacons of Holy Trinity.

Related: Coverage of the Chapel’s grand opening on oca.org.

The service of Great Vespers followed immediately thereafter with the evening being capped off by a fellowship hour. On Sunday morning, the first Divine Liturgy was served in the new Temple by Fr. John, along with Fr. James Chuta, a member o our extended parish family who has served and continues to serve both the Chapel and Holy Trinity from time to time.

Great support was once more abundantly evident by the attendance of parishioners from Holy Trinity! We here at the Chapel have been and are certainly blessed by all the love and support we have received over these years and know we will continue to receive from our mother church.

See More: View pictures of the event on the Chapel’s Facebook page.

We thank all who supported this great undertaking and all who have continually bolstered this missionary endeavor in a multitude of ways.

The work before us has just begun, to be sure, and at times seems daunting, but with your continued prayers and love and by the great mercies of God Who has called us to these efforts the seed of the Kingdom of Heaven will be planted and the sheaves of the harvest will be reaped.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord henceforth and forevermore!

Annual Meeting to be held Sunday, November 8

Holy Trinity will hold its Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 8 following the Divine Liturgy. Nominations are open for Council positions of Secretary, Treasurer, and Facilities Chair. All agenda items must be submitted in writing to the Parish Council for review. Nothing will be considered from the floor.

Parishioners in good standing who were registered with the parish as members at the end of the previous calendar year and who have fulfilled their Lenten obligations of Confession and Communion may and should attend.

Agenda

  1. Opening Prayer: “O Heavenly King…”
  2. Establishment of Quorum
  3. Minutes of the 2014 Meeting
  4. Priest’s Report
  5. Treasurer’s Report
  6. Review and Approval of the 2016 Budget
  7. Election of Officers
  8. Closing Prayer: “It is truly meet…”

 

Chapel to Host Grand Opening this Weekend 

Chapel Grand Opening BannerYou are invited to join members of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit for their official grand opening this upcoming weekend.

On Saturday, October 31 at 4 p.m., there will be a brief door opening ceremony and Great Vespers. An informal time for refreshments and fellowship will follow the services. (To allow as many as possible to participate, Great Vespers will be canceled at Holy Trinity that evening.)

Then on Sunday, November 1 at 10 a.m., the new chapel’s first Divine Liturgy will be celebrated. Plan to be a part of history and to stay for the time of food and fellowship that follows.

Holy Trinity is organizing rides for those who wish to carpool to either event. To request transportation, email info@holytrinity-oca.org.

Holy Trinity Announces Fall Study Groups

Beginning in Fall 2015, adults in Centre County will have additional opportunities to learn more about the Orthodox Christian Faith. To better serve you, Holy Trinity has scheduled a variety of study groups for you to choose from.

For a full calendar of Holy Trinity services and events, click here.

Inquirer’s Class
This bimonthy class led by Fr. John Reeves is intended for anyone who wishes to learn more about the Orthodox Faith.  It begins Sunday, September 20 and meets in the Parish Hall (119 S. Sparks St., lower level) on the first and third Sundays thereafter for six sessions. For more information, please email info@holytrinity-oca.org. Topics covered include the history of salvation, the doctrine of the early Church, Christian worship in the First Century, and spirituality (“What must I do to be saved?”).

Adult Study Group
The Adult Study Group is also led by Fr. John and meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. throughout Fall 2015. The 14-week series begins September 8 and concludes December 8 (there will be no class on Election Day, November 3). The study is open to all adults. For more information, email info@holytrinity-oca.org.

Women’s Book Study
The Women’s Book Study kicks off on Thursday, September 10, at the rectory (562 Lanceshire Ln., in Park Forest) at 10 a.m. The group will study the life of Mother Maria Skobtsova and read Pearl of Great Price by Sergei Hackel. The books can be purchased in the bookstore for $12. Matushka Linda Reeves will lead a discussion on Chapters 1 and 2 at the first meeting. For more information, email women@holytrnity-oca.org.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship Dinner and Discussion
Penn State students are invited to attend the weekly Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) meeting on campus, which features a complimentary dinner and student-led spiritual reflection moderated by its spiritual advisor or chaplain. These informal meals and time for fellowship are open to all Penn State students, faculty, and staff, especially those interested in learning more about the ancient Christian Faith as practiced and believed by the apostles. To learn more, contact us at orthodox@psu.edu. To RSVP for dinner, visit our Facebook event page.

Synod Accepts Holy Trinity’s Resolution;
Delegates Pass Reform Measures

by Fr. John Reeves

Deacon Alexander and I represented Holy IMG_8164 IMG_8163 IMG_8149Trinity at the 18th All-American Council in Atlanta, July 19-24. Several actions of note were taken, each affecting the life of the parishes in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

The first was the revision of the Normal Statute, which is the chief constitutional document governing our national church. Although amended since its adoption in 1971, the Statute had not undergone a thorough revision in the intervening years.

Besides edits for clarity and style, primary changes included the addition of several articles that better reflect the life of an autocephelous Church—monastism and stavropegial institutions such as seminaries, for example—and the replacement of religious language (in to make the Church understandable to civil governments and courts).

Several changes will have to be made in our parish bylaws to bring Holy Trinity into conformity with this revision.

Additionally, deacons have now been granted representation at future Councils. Prior, they had to be elected as members of the laity in order to participate. The vote was 97% in favor for the revised Statute.

Second was the adoption of proportional giving as the means for supporting the central administration, effectively abolishing the per capita assessment. Vote was by a similar margin in favor.

Finally, Dr. Jennifer McClure spoke before the delegates to introduce our parish’s resolution to the Holy Synod on spiritual abuse and give reasons as to the need of its passage. It was accepted by the Synod without a vote.

A full report on the AAC will be presented at the Parish Council meeting on August 20. More information can also be found on the OCA’s website.

AAC Resolution Voting

  • On the motion to adopt the revised OCA Statue: Passed—473 in favor; 15 against.
  • On the motion to fund the work of the Synodal Chancery for the next triennium using a varying proportion of each territorial diocese’s income: Passed—451 in favor; 14 against; 17 abstentions.
  • On the motion to express solidarity and support for Christians suffering in the Middle East: Passed unanimously by acclamation.