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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 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

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

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 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.

“What God Has Joined Together…”
Orthodox Affirmations of Marriage

Photo credit: A.E.Landes Photography ©2014On Friday, June 26, news came that the Supreme Court had narrowly ruled in favor of so called “same-sex marriage.” I say “so called” because no court can redefine what God has instituted, namely that marriage is a sacrament, a mystery, a lifelong union of husband and wife representing the mystical union between Christ and His Church. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man put asunder (Matt. 19:6; Mark 10:9).

I commend to your reading the statement on marriage and sexuality that was issued by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in 2013. (The assembly is made up of all the active Orthodox bishops in this country, of every jurisdiction.) Below you can also find specific declarations made by our diocesan hierarch, Archbishop Melchisedek, and those made by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of America.

— Fr. John Reeves

Statements on Marriage and Human Sexuality

2013 Assembly Statement on Marriage and Sexuality

Article I

We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, representing millions of Orthodox Christians in the United States of America, Canada and Central America, express our deep concern over recent actions on the part of our respective governments and certain societal trends concerning the status of marriage in our countries, in particular the legalization of same-sex unions.

Article II

The Orthodox Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality, firmly grounded in Holy Scripture, two millennia of Church Tradition, and Canon Law, holds that the sacrament of marriage consists in the union of a man and a woman, and that authentic marriage reflects the sacred unity that exists between Christ and His Bride, the Church.

Article III

Persons with homosexual orientation are to be cared for with the same mercy and love that is bestowed on all of humanity by our Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, the Church is a spiritual hospital, where we all are called to find the healing of our fallen humanity through Jesus Christ, who assumed human nature in order to restore it. All of us struggle with various passions, and it is only within the Church that we find the means of overcoming these passions with the assistance of God’s grace. Acting upon any sexual attraction outside of sacramental marriage, whether the attraction is heterosexual or homosexual, alien-ates us from God.

Article IV

We exhort the clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Church to bear witness to the timeless teachings of Christ by striving for purity and holiness in their own lives, by instructing their families and communities in the precepts of the Holy Gospel, and by placing their trust in our Lord, who “has overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Article V

Finally, we encourage our faithful to approach their parish priest or spiritual father with any questions or concerns about this statement and its practical repercussions in their daily lives.

To the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania:

It is by now common knowledge that the Supreme Court of the United States rendered a decision on Friday, June 26. which declared that marriage between members of the same sex is a constitutional right. This ruling effectively overturned laws in several states which declared such unions to be illegal, and ruled that such unions can be legally performed in all states.

While this ruling marks a significant change in the way that homosexuality is regarded according to the civil statutes, it in no way affects the teaching and practice of the Orthodox Christian Church either in this country or anywhere else in the world. In the interests of clarity, it should be understood that Orthodox Parish Churches are not “Wedding Chapels.” Our Churches do not function as places where the sacrament of Holy Matrimony is offered to the public at large on a non-sectarian basis for a fee. Nobody can be married in an Orthodox Church who is not a member in good standing. The qualifications to be a “Member in good standing” have not changed. A member in good standing must be someone who has been properly received into the Church, a faithful believer in the teachings of the Church, a regular participant in the sacraments of Confession and Communion, and gives regular financial and material support to the parish. Persons who do not meet these criteria do not have a blessing to be married in the Church, and no clergy have a blessing to ignore or in any way set aside these criteria.

The Church, following the direct teaching of Jesus Christ, allows for no other form of marriage:

which made them at the beginning made them male and female. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain. but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:4-6).

Thus anyone who contracts or who has, in the past, contracted such a relationship and does not repent of that relationship, in addition to those who live together in a conjugal relationship without being married, are not to be communed.

I encourage our clergy and faithful to refresh their knowledge of Church teaching on these matters by reading the Synodal Affirmation on the Mystery of Marriage (see next tab) and and the Statement of the Assembly of Bishops of the United States (see first tab).

Any further questions may be addressed through my office.

Sincerely in Christ,

Archbishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania

Encyclical Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on Marriage

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We find it imperative to address you on an issue of crucial importance for the Christian life. An increasingly secularized world tends more and more to neglect the traditional biblical understanding of marriage and family. Misunderstanding freedom and proclaiming the progress of a humanity supposedly too mature, sophisticated and scientific to follow Christ’s Gospel, many have abandoned its moral demands. The consequences are plain for all to see: the family is disintegrating, legalized abortion is killing millions of unborn children, corrupt sexual behavior is rampant. The moral foundations of society are collapsing.

We, the bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, therefore proclaim anew to you, the flock entrusted to our care, the great and holy vision of marriage that is gloriously preserved and manifested in the doctrine, liturgy and canonical tradition of the Church. We do not make this proclamation in the name of an outdated conservatism or because we consider our present society intrinsically more corrupt than the past generations. We speak because we are concerned for the welfare and salvation both of you, the members of our flock, and of all men. We speak of “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes … concerning the word of life” (John 1:1). We speak because we know the Truth of the Gospel of Christ to be the eternal Truth, the one needful thing, the good portion (Luke 10:42) for all men, in all times and places.

Many Orthodox, non-Orthodox, and even non-Christians admire our beautiful Marriage Service. Our task is to show them the vision that this Service reveals, a vision of marriage as an icon of the Trinitarian life of God Himself, and to indicate the responsibility and commitment that this vision of marriage implies.

We therefore appeal to all of you who are responsible for the life of our parishes and for the future of our youth to make a common effort to provide appropriate guidance and help to all in matrimonial matters, both through your own personal examples of pure and upright lives and undefiled marriages and also through words of exhortation and explanation, “knowing how you ought to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6), and through programs of education.

From the Old Testament Scriptures we learn that God created man “in His own image,” “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27), and, since that beginning, “a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24), Man and woman are mutually complementary, and this complementarity, expressed in their union and common activity, reflects the very image and likeness of God. This spiritual basis of marriage clearly transcends, without suppressing, the fleshly union of the bodies. Fleshly relations when separated from spiritual ones are depraved; they must be woven into the pure and total love between a man and a woman united in marriage.

In the New Testament Scripture, from the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, we learn that marriage is a unique and unbreakable union of husband and wife joined by God Himself: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6). The Marriage Service likewise makes it clear that the bridegroom and the bride are united not by themselves, but by God: “For by Thee is the husband joined unto the wife” (Marriage Service). For this reason the Orthodox Marriage Service is devoid of any oaths or marriage vows on the part of the couple. Their desire and freely given consent are certainly necessary for the marriage, for sacraments are not acts of magic that eliminate the need for human cooperation. Yet no vow or oath can possibly join a man and a woman together in the gracious and absolute way called for in Christian marriage. The true Christian marriage is effected by God Himself. In such a union, described by St. Paul as “a great mystery” (Ephesians 5:32), human love and desire for companionship become a love pervaded and sanctified by divine grace: water is transformed into the good wine, as it was at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. In a Christian marriage husband and wife manifest in their own lives the union between God and His beloved people; between Christ, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Bride (Ephesians 5:32). God accompanies husband and wife, bringing them into a unity which will be revealed as perfect and eternal in His Kingdom, and filling their lives with the Holy Spirit so that selfishness and division may be overcome. He sanctifies and purifies their total relationship. According to the prayers of the Marriage Service, God communicates to those being joined in unity and love, faith and oneness of mind, holiness, purity and chastity, joy and glory, and the possibility for eternal life. He unites them in body and spirit, heart and mind.

Obviously, Christian marriage will never find its ultimate fulfillment and happiness in this world. Like all things in Christ, marriage too must pass through the cross, through temptation, suffering, trial and finally death, before coming to its ultimate consummation in the Resurrection and the Kingdom of God which will come in power at the end of the ages. All this Christian couples experience as they strive to realize in their own lives the great gift given to them by God in marriage: “Thou hast set upon their heads crowns of precious stones; they asked life of Thee, and Thou gavest it them” (Psalm 21, the Prokeimenon of the Marriage Service). For those who fight the good fight as good and faithful servants, the crowns become their eternal reward as witnesses to Christ and the wedding garments are transformed into robes of salvation and eternal glory.

Marriage is the most perfect realization of love between a man and a woman: two become one. Love unites in such a way that two lives become one life in perfect harmony. This love, sanctified by God, is the great source of the happiness which is sought in marriage, and in it lies a power that transforms both those who love and those who are loved. Because of this transforming power of love, all the difficulties and defects in family life can be overcome. True love never ceases, whether in this world or in the age to come. Faithfulness and confidence must reign in marriage, for there can be no deception in love. When husband and wife are united by love, they share a common life and help each other in everything they do, for their love for each other expresses itself in mutual help and support.

Such love implies a relationship in marriage which is total in character. Husband and wife must live not for purely individual gratification, but for each other, for such is the meaning of true love. Marriage must be offered to God continually and consciously, and it must always be rooted in the life and teachings of the Church. Husband and wife can achieve their final glorification in the age to come only by self-sacrifice for the sake of one another in this life unto the glory of God. Christian marriage is a specific application of one of Christ’s fundamental teachings: “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39).

The greatest miracle of this divinely sanctified love of marriage is the procreation of good, fair and holy children. In the image of God who brings forth life in love, the Christian marriage, a unity in love established by God, brings forth holy and good life (1 Cor. 7:14).

The perfect marriage can only be one, single and unique. The prototype of marriage, the unity between Christ and His Church, excludes multiple marriages: Christ has only one Church; the Church has no other Christ. Even death cannot break the bond of perfect love. Therefore, the Church does not advocate second or third marriages, even for widows or widowers; rather, they are tolerated as condescension to human frailty and weakness, while fourth marriages are totally forbidden.

The crowning which takes place in the Marriage Service reveals the bridegroom and the bride to be a new community in Christ. The husband is the head of this community, as God is the head of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3) and as Christ “is the head of the Church” (Ephesians 5:23). His headship is not a power over his wife and family, but a divinely-given responsibility, to be discharged after the image of Christ, the perfect man. “. . . a man approved of God among you” (Acts 2:22). His headship is a service of love and sacrifice. He is to nourish and cherish his wife and family “as Christ does the Church” (Ephesians 5:29). The wife is the helpmate of her husband, his beloved companion for life, his source of joy and wellbeing. In Eve, the mother of life, the fullness of life was revealed, for without her Adam was alone and had no companion fit for him (Genesis 2:18). As the bearer of life in the conception of children, the wife has an immediate concern for life and its quality. It is she who gives content to the life of her husband and family: purity, kindness, peace, gentleness and the concern for others. Her true adornment is “the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4).

To live up to its high calling, the Christian family must be firmly established in the Faith. Husband and wife must strive to learn more about the Faith and to accept its teachings as the law of their life. It must become for them the authority, against which all else that they read, hear or see is tested and evaluated. It is especially important that the Christian family participate in the life of the Church; by praying at home, by coming to the church services, by participating in the sacraments, by observing the Church’s fasts and feasts and by keeping her traditions. It is also important that the Christian family participate in the general life of their parish and have as friends those distinguished by a firm personal faith and purity of life.

Each Christian must seek the advice and guidance of the pastors of the Church. Especially before entering into marriage, Orthodox men and women must contact their pastor, so that he might explain the true nature of marriage in the Church and help them better to understand all the demands of a truly spiritual and moral family life. Each family likewise must continue to live under the guidance and with the help of the Church and her pastors.

With the help of God all the difficulties and misfortunes which are inevitable in life will be overcome, because what is impossible for man is possible for God. With faith in God, the husband will be truly capable of leading the family in the way of salvation toward the Kingdom of God, loving his wife and his children more than himself. With the help of God, the wife will be capable of being a source of purity, holiness and love for the entire family. And the children born for God in such a family from the beginning will be brought up as Christians. Such a family will be a beautiful model and source of faith, goodness and kindness for all those around it.

The Christian ideal of marriage and family, manhood and womanhood, is incomparably more exalted, balanced and fulfilling than those broken, one-sided or totally erroneous ideologies of today’s world which reduce the meaning of human life to the satisfaction of sexual appetites, material security, or to other such limited functions and desires. In Christ man is revealed as son and friend of God. He is able to become a member of Christ in soul and body. In the Christian marriage, he is able to achieve an eternal, unique and total union in love.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: be true men and women. Be faithful to the Christian ideal of marriage and family. Let our Christian families be united in mutual love and concern. Husbands and wives: love each other; love your children. Children: respect your parents. “Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21). “Mortify immorality, impurity, evil desire … on account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5-6).

Archbishop of New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Archbishop of Montreal and Canada
Temporary Administrator of the Church

Archbishop of Chicago and Minneapolis

Archbishop of San Francisco and Western United States

Archbishop of Brooklyn

Archbishop of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania
Secretary of the Holy Synod

Archbishop of Detroit and Michigan

Bishop of Pittsburgh and West Virginia

Bishop of Hartford and New England

Bishop of Sitka and Alaska

Bishop of Edmonton

Bishop of Wilkes-Barre

VBS 2015 Daily News: Friday

Dressed and Ready for Spiritual Wars!
VBS concludes but the battle continues—Families urged to fight together.

State College, PA — Holy Trinity’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) wrapped up today for year 2015 with a “sweet” ending in which each student gave it their best shot against evil and to “win against sin”.

Today, the students focused on studying the meaning of Ephesians 6:17 which reveals to us the last details of preparing for the good fight in which the Christian has to be ready to struggle against all temptations from the evil one: covering the head with “the helmet of Salvation” and arming with “the Sword of the Spirit”.

IMG_7300 IMG_7302As a recap, this week the kids learned how to be warriors for God. Paul tells us that we are caught in the middle of a spiritual war. He doesn’t tell us this to scare us, but to prepare us for life’s everyday battles. The VBS staff has led the preparation for their spiritual wars by showing them how to use the tools God has given us to fight a spiritual battle. All of these tools are laid out in Ephesians 6:11-18.

Now that the VBS students have learned to “put on the full armor of God” parents are expected to continue to train them (eg., put on the armor) each day to get them to be closer and closer to our Lord Jesus.

Family Time

Discuss the following questions as a family.

  • Discuss the nature of salvation. Belief in Jesus Christ and commitment to Him is vital to a happy, healthy family.
  • Ask your child to go through all the pieces of armor that they made and explain what they represent.
  • Why is salvation a helmet? Can this helmet ever come off?
  • Why is the Word of God called a sword?
  • Practice “putting on the armor of God” every day.
  • Take time everyday to pray and read the Bible with your children.

Don’t forget to pray as a family.

What’s the Big Idea?

IMG_7250The Helmet of Salvation protects us from thinking ungodly thoughts and the Sword of the Spirit guides us into a Godly way of thinking and living. It helps us be proactive in fighting Satan.

FPO —For Parents Only

  • Thank you for sharing your children with the VBS staff this week. Each day we were welcomed with enthusiasm and wonder and it was a joy to be with each of them.
  • Many thanks to the adult staff and especially for the terrific High School and Middle School helpers.

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2015 Vacation Bible School homepage.

VBS 2015 Daily News: Thursday

imagejpeg_0-3Shields Up!
VBS kids say that Faith protects all from the fiery darts of the wicked!

State College, PA — The VBS students began the day worshipping together at Vespers before continuing their preparation for going into spiritual battle. Today was a day to accessorize their armor by putting on the shoes of the Gospel of Peace.

Today we discussed the Shield of Faith and its ability to move and cover weaknesses we have in our lives. Faith is the “substance” and the “evidence” of truth (Hebrews 1:11). It is not to believe that there is a God. It is to know God

Faith is not “what if…” It is who. As in every relationship, there are times when “fiery darts” of fear and doubt pierce us. To quench them, we need one shield: knowing our faith—what we believe about whom.

IMG_7201Our physical activity was a form of dodge ball. The children used shields to protect themselves as we through balls at them. The point was to show how a shield moves to protect weaknesses.

Family Time

Discuss the following questions as a family.

  • What is the common understanding of faith?
  • What makes the shield different from the other pieces of armor?
  • Why would faith be represented by a shield?
  • What are some fears and doubts you and your family face?
  • How can the Shield of Faith help you overcome that?

IMG_7221Don’t forget to pray as a family.

What’s the Big Idea?

We all have sins and weaknesses in our lives with which we struggle. Sometimes we just fall apart because Satan finds that little weakness in our armor and aims well. The Shield of Faith moves to cover those weaknesses when we don’t have the knowledge or strength to face a situation. Our shield will never fail because God is always faithful to us.

FPO—For Parents Only

  • TOMORROW is our last day of VBS.  There will be some extra sweet things in the park.
  • Don’t forget to memorize our Bible verse with your child.

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2015 Vacation Bible School homepage.

VBS 2015 Daily News: Wednesday

IMG_7119 Students Ready to Share the Good News
Kids put on the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace.

State College, PA — The VBS students began the day worshipping together at Vespers before continuing their preparation for going into spiritual battle. Today was a day to accessorize their armor by putting on the shoes of the Gospel of Peace.

This is a pretty big topic to cover in one day! In a nutshell, the day was all about evangelism. Gospel means good news. The good news is that Jesus came and lived a perfect life, then He was murdered for our wrongdoing. Three days later, He came back to life and ascended into Heaven. Because of these events, we can have eternal life in Heaven. This should fill us with an abounding sense of peace.

IMG_7121 IMG_7124Today we did a activity in which we all put a shoe in a pile, then we found someone else’s shoe and helped them put it on while we asked them questions about themselves. The purpose of the activity was to show that we must go to people and first listen to what they have to say before we speak.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according Your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Today the students had fun with squirt guns for some physical activity. This was to teach the students that it is important to protect your heart from being hit, because in the spiritual war we’re in, Satan likes to aim for the heart. Righteousness protects our heart and helps us stay pure from sin.

Family Time

Together, read the following passages.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

IMG_7142Discuss the following questions as a family.

  • What is the Gospel, and why does it bring us peace?
  • Why does preparation go on our feet?
  • What are we called to be prepared for?
  • How will your family prepare to share the Gospel with others?

Also work on memorizing Ephesians 6:11 and pray as a family.

What’s the Big Idea?

All warriors have to be prepared to run, because they never know when battle will hit. We always need to have on the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace so we can be prepared to share the Good News with anyone who needs to hear it.

FPO—For Parents Only

  • TOMORROW will be picture day! All students are asked to wear their VBS shirts and bring their smiles.

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2015 Vacation Bible School homepage.

VBS 2015 Daily News: Tuesday

IMG_7069Students Learn to Get Right with God
“The Breastplate of Righteousness” is studied.

State College, PA — What day it was at Holy Trinity’s VBS! After a delicious dinner the students were ready to return to their spiritual training and their next piece of armor: the Breastplate of Righteousness.

Righteousness is Christian lingo that often makes non-Christians feel excluded and uncomfortable. All righteousness really means is being right with God. Psalm 119:9-11 gives us an idea on how we can do that:


How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according Your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Today the students had fun with squirt guns for some physical activity. This was to teach the students that it is important to protect your heart from being hit, because in the spiritual war we’re in, Satan likes to aim for the heart. Righteousness protects our heart and helps us stay pure from sin.

IMG_7086Family Time

As a family, discuss this passage of Scripture and what it has to do with righteousness. Here are some guiding questions:

  • What is righteousness?
  • What do we do to stay in a right standing with God?
  • What does a breastplate protect?
  • Why would a breastplate be used to represent righteousness?
  • What are you going to do as a family to continue to strive for righteousness?

Also work on memorizing Ephesians 6:11 and pray as a family.

IMG_7095What’s the Big Idea?

Today’s big idea was that the Breastplate of Righteousness protects our hearts. Righteousness is the state of being “right with God.” It is striving to keep sins out of our hearts.

FPO—For Parents Only

  • TOMORROW 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.
  • The VBS will conclude each day with some fun activity at Holmes-Foster Park (unless it is raining). Please be prompt in picking up your child.

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2015 Vacation Bible School homepage.

VBS 2015 Daily News: Monday

Students Put on the Armor of God
“The Belt of Truth” is the first piece of armor studied.

IMG_7016State College, PA — It’s been almost exactly a year since the students last gathered for Vacation Bible School (VBS), and the students returned this year “ready for battle”. The 2015 VBS theme this year is based upon Ephesians 6:10-18—the Armor of God.

This week the students will learn how to be warriors for God. Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are caught in the middle of a spiritual war. He doesn’t tell us this to scare us, but to prepare us for life’s everyday battles.

Parents are responsible for leading children in this war by showing them how to use the tools God has given us to fight a spiritual battle. VBS will get the students starting in their training learning how to “put on the full armor of God” by participating in discussions, playing games, crafts, praying and reading their Bibles.

Family Time

As a family, read Ephesians 6:11-18 and discuss the following questions:

  • Why is it important to know and “wear” the armor of God?
  • Name all six pieces of armor.
  • What is truth?
  • How do the world and Christians view truth differently?
  • What do tool belts do?
  • Why is truth represented as a Roman soldier’s belt?
  • How can you as a family practice putting on the Belt of Truth?

IMG_7036Get it in Your Head

Each child is expected to have Ephesians 6:11 memorized by the end of the week. Parents can memorize it along with them:

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

What’s the Big Idea?

Today’s big idea was that Satan is known as the Great Deceiver. He is a master at lying to us, so we need to be trained in the Truth. The Belt of Truth helps us to defend against Satan’s lies.

FPO—For Parents Only

  • TOMORROW the VBS will have a water game so the kids may get a little wet. Please have your child bring a small towel to dry off.
  • 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.

Learn More

For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2015 Vacation Bible School homepage.

Chapel of the Holy Spirit to Break Ground this Month

Clergy and Chapel faithful gather in 2014 to plant a cross on the lot. Construction of the building will begin in June.

All are invited to join Fr. John and the faithful of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in breaking ground at their new temple’s location on N. Kern St. in Beavertown this Sunday, June 28 at 12:30 p.m.

The ceremony follows the 10 a.m. Divine Liturgy at the MACC (67 Elm St., Beaver Springs) and continues with a light lunch reception a block away at Dn. David Smith’s home (350 Old Orchard Dr.), which served for many years as the community’s original meeting location.

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