All are invited to participate in a parish potluck after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 1 to celebrate the official beginning of summer and the end of the Apostles’ Fast, which ends this week. Bring your favorite summer dish to share with our guests! Drinks will be provided by the parish.
Holy Trinity’sVacation Bible
As part of our commission from Christ to minister to least of His brethren, Matthew 25 is sponsoring a special drive to help those affected by suicide. Please support your fellow parishioners who are walking on Sunday, April 29, 2018 to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, whose goal is to reduce the suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. Join our team today!
On Christmas Eve beginning at 4:30 p.m., the parish will sponsor a traditional Holy Supper and everyone is invited.
(The custom of the “holy supper” comes from central Europe and parts of Russia and provided the family a time to gather and share the last meal of the Fast prior to attending the evening liturgical services.)
There are traditionally twelve Lenten foods served (representing the twelve Apostles) such as barley, honey, stewed prunes, pierogi, sauerkraut, potatoes, garlic, Lenten bread, and mushroom soup.
Please consider preserving (or starting) this family tradition by attending and sharing with your parish family a favorite Lenten food.
Several of Holy Trinity’s ministry groups will spend the weekend of December 16-17 engaging in activities together in preparation for the Feast of the Nativity.
On Saturday morning, the men of the parish will have breakfast; in the afternoon, the Altar Society will decorate the church, and the Choir and the Church School will conduct rehearsals.
On Sunday, after the Church School Christmas Play, the women of the parish will exchange cookies and recipes in Trinity House. For a full schedule of events, see the parish calendar.
The Women’s Ministry will conduct an informational session after liturgy on Sunday September 17 at noon. Grab a coffee and a bite to eat, and come to the conference room in Trinity House. In addition to previewing this year’s study, we will brainstorm potent-ial activities that might be of spiritual benefit to us and the parish. Especially, what can we do to provide help and comfort to particular sub-groups of women: older women, young mothers, single parents, etc.? The goal is to not only leave the meeting having determined the best meeting times and dates for the study but also have a set of action plans for the new ideas and events.
As for the study, we plan to spend the year examining The Theology of Illness by Jean-Claude Larchet, a small but dense text exploring how Orthodox Christians find healing despite living in a fallen and broken world, subject to all of the suffering and evil that comes upon us as a result of sin. The goal of the study is not to seek a single cure for what ails us but to learn to live with what besets us. Moreover, we want to do it in a way that opens ourselves to all types of healing, impacting not only our lives but also the lives of those around us.
To allow as many women as possible to participate, we plan to meet in the daytime of one week, and then in the evening of the next week; with both sessions covering the same material. Finding the times that accommodate the most people is part of the September 17 meeting agenda.
In addition to the biweekly study, a dedicated section of the parish website will be established where we can post supplemental materials and links. There will also be a forum where we can further discuss the text. Sessions will continue into the Spring and will conclude with a Saturday day retreat similar to last year.
by Dn. Mark Oleynik
Do you make a checklist of all the things you want accomplish each day? Have you ever noticed that by the end of the day the list seems to be longer than when you started? You’re not alone—overdoing is a social epidemic from which people of all ages can suffer. It seems to me that “do not overdo” may be a healthy commandment which could be added to deal with our modern lifestyle.
Because we want to do so many things so quickly, much of our worry is due to our mistaken view of things. We look too far ahead. The magnitude of life daunts us. We add tomorrow’s task to today’s and then of course the burden becomes too heavy. If we think about it, we truly never have anything to do on any given day but just the bit of God’s will for that day. But what part of daily lives do we dedicate to do God’s will?
Starting with the understanding that we must take care of our families, perform the work that our employer expects, eat, take care of our home, and so forth, we are reminded that the “heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matthew 6:32). These take up the abundance of the day and fill it with activity. But we also must consider the sin of omission in our daily lives. In Matthew 25, we read that at the Judgement Seat of Christ we will need to account for those things which we did not do. It is not the big things we may have done (and for which we have sought forgiveness) but rather the little things we did not do that leads to our peril.
These could be the calls or visits of help we did not make, the words of cheer we did not speak, the letters we did not write, or the hungry we did not feed—all lost opportunities to do His will due to our inactivity.
Why do we leave so many things undone in our lives? Partly through sheer thoughtlessness, no doubt. Many omit the good deed not through want of heart but through want of thought. And yet it is just that very thoughtlessness which God calls for us to account. However, even more critical may be the emphasis we put on this life. We magnify the insignificants, pour out our energy on things which perish, and ignore the realities that alone count in the eternal scale. We spend our days “working our list” but not working God’s will—the things which call for our most constant care and deepest thought.
As we begin this ecclesiastical New Year, let’s make our resolution to “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Put the emphasis in your daily life on His service and glory and leave nothing undone which the Lord commanded.
Happy New Year!
- New School Year. Sunday School begins on September 10. We look forward to sharing the teachings and Tradition of the Church to build a firm foundation for our students to lead a life in God’s image. Sunday School supplements and reinforces the work of our parents in the Christian formation of their children. Many thanks to our staff of dedicated teachers for their ministry each week throughout the year. (NOTE: Registration will be conducted online this year. You are asked to enroll your child early for planning purposes.)
- Sunday School Picnic. Our annual picnic is planned for September 17,
4:30 p.m., at Circleville Park. All families are encouraged to join in fellowship (and s’mores!).
- “Youth Equipped to Serve” Mission Trip. For the middle/high school students, there is a YES (Youth Equipped to Serve) mission trip planned in Pittsburgh this September 29-October 1. Please mark your calendars, as the number of participants may be limited. More details will be provided via the bulletin and website once registration opens.
EXTRA! BREAKING NEWS! EXTRA!
We Can All Live in an Orthodox World!
STATE COLLEGE, PA — Today, the VBS students continued their exploration of what it means to live in an Orthodox world by focusing on the necessity of building a strong prayer life. This was emphasized with the introduction of the Hours services that are celebrated throughout each day.
Spokespersons for the VBS stated that each day throughout the week the students discussed and learned about what it means to live in an Orthodox world. The focus was not on the fact that the whole world is not Orthodox but rather that through the wisdom of the Church we have be given a discipline to conduct our lives as much as God has provided and made us capable of doing so.
To be sure, none of what started to happen this week can be accomplished overnight. There is no “instant” formula for teaching children about God. Patience and, above all, consistency are essential in attaining the desired results.
True Orthodoxy is reflected in a way of life which is practiced in the home on a regular basis. To have children live one way at home and then suddenly to expect them to act differently in the church is an unrealistic approach.
There is no reason to be afraid to set high standards for our children. When we have high expectations, children not only gain self-esteem by meeting those expectations, but they come to love and respect those who set them.
Just as we must breathe to live, and we breathe all the time, we should pray all the
time. Every time we breathe we can remember God. The Matins service says, “Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.” Let it be so for us and our children.
To Be Like Mary
Today the students learned that we are strive to be like the Virgin Mary—the Theotokos —and ask her to pray for us. She “held heaven” in her body and in her soul. She loved God and kept His commandments. We can be like her if we put only good things into our hearts and souls. We should put all the good things of the Church into our “cup”, our minds and hearts. (Ask you favorite VBS kid about the today’s “cup” lesson.)
The Christian Difference
The Christian is dlfferent because he is “in Christ”. He walks with Christ every day. St. Peter wrote about the Christians saying,
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous life.”
FPO — For Parents Only
Many thanks to the parents who encouraged their children’s participation in this year’s VBS. Our prayer for you is that you may guide your children through prayer and lead them by your example each moment of your daily life. Special thanks to the teachers. kitchen helpers. teens, and all the helping hands. Have a great summer!
For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2017 Vacation Bible School homepage.