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Good News from Matthew 25

by Melody Thompson

Thank you to everyone at Holy Trinity who made our Matthew 25 ministry news appeals so successful this Lent. As a parish we collected fifteen bags of clothing for the St. Vincent de Paul Society; approximately ten boxes of food for the Food Bank of the State College Area; and 22 Wal-Mart and Target gift cards so residents of Centre House (an emergency shelter operated by Housing Transitions ministry news) can buy necessities. In addition, an amazing 500 quarters (a total of $125) were donated for the residents’ laundry needs. If you missed an opportunity to give, Matthew 25 accepts cash donations year round to fund our parish’s community social outreach.

Coffee Hour Ministry Seeking Volunteer Coordinator

If you have a knack for organization, prayerfully consider serving as Coffee Hour Coordinator. This ministry head is responsible for creating and maintaining a schedule of volunteers who take turns hosting our fellowship time in the Parish Hall on Sundays following the Divine Liturgy. New and returning hosts are also being sought for the next rotation that begins in July. Volunteers assist this valuable ministry by complementing bagels provided by the parish with light snacks and refreshments, as well as cleaning up afterwards. If you are interested, please complete this form.

Seven New Parishioners Welcomed at Pascha

On Holy Saturday, April 23, Holy Trinity officially welcomed into our community seven new parishioners through Holy Baptism and Chrismation. May God grant many years to the newly-illuminated servants of God, Benjamin, Dimitri, Joelle, Julia, Laura, Mary, and Virginia!

In the Orthodox tradition, baptism is the participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For this reason, baptisms are commonly held in connection with Pascha (Easter). Imitating their Lord and Savior, the baptized person dies to this world and is born again in the resurrection of Christ into eternal life. In the service that follows–Chrismation–the candidate receives “the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 81 Cor. 62 Cor. 1:21-22). This is the “new birth by water and the Holy Spirit” into the Kingdom of God as described in the Gospel of St. John (3:5).

Sunday School to Hold Easter Egg Hunt

This Sunday, May 1 (Thomas Sunday), the Holy Trinity Church School will sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt! This fun hunt is planned for kids fifth grade and younger, although older children are welcome and will also receive some sweet nourishment. For more information, please contact Dn. Mark.

Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ανέστη! Христос Воскресе! Al-Masih-Qam! In celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection, see the attached the Hours of Pascha, which may be festively sung in place of Morning and Evening Prayers this Bright Week.

Church School Children Present Charity Fundraiser Proceeds to Housing Transitions

On Tuesday, April 19, a team of children met with Ron Quinn, Executive Director of Housing Transitions ministry news, a State College nonprofit corporation offering housing services to Centre County residents in need. The children, members of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church School, personally delivered funds they raised through their own charity community luncheon.

Their luncheon, aptly entitled “SOUPer Sunday,” was held March 27 and featured a variety of homemade soups prepared by the children. The Church school students were also responsible for serving and hosting the meal, at which a free-will offering was accepted. All proceeds from thefundraiser (which raised just shy of $700) were allotted to Housing Transitions and the Food Bank of the State College Area. Both recipient organizations were specifically selected by the children.

The church school students, aged 4-14, came up with the idea of serving our area charities after studying the Orthodox Christian observance of Great Lent. The 40-day period of preparation for Holy Week and Easter, which ended for Orthodox Christians last Friday, is a time for increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It begins with a reflection of Jesus Christ’s words recorded in the gospel of Matthew (chapter 25, verses 31-46) exhorting Christians to offer compassion and service to those in need:

“…for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in…”

Final Leg to the Journey to Pascha Commences

This week we invite you to be transformed into eyewitnesses and direct participants in the awesome events of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. For a daily guide of the various services that will be celebrated at Holy Trinity this week, see Journey to Pascha, courtesy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

New Arrival at Holy Trinity

We are pleased to announce the arrival of George Thomas Biberdorf, newborn son of Fr. Basil and Mat. Dea.  He was born Monday, April 11 weighing 8 lbs. 11 oz. Many years!

Matthew 25 Collections Due This Sunday

This Sunday is the last day of collection for our Matthew 25 Lenten outreaches: Donations are being solicited for a Clothing Drive, with donations to go to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of State College, a Food Drive, with donations to go to the Food Bank of the State College Area, and a Gift Card Drive (e.g., Wal-Mart, Target) so temporarily homeless residents at Housing Transitions can purchase necessities. Thank you for your generosity.

Yesterday’s Mission Vespers a Huge Success

Thank you to everyone who provided service and hospitality at yesterday’s Mission Vespers. Several generous volunteers baked desserts, prepared the meal, bought drinks, set up our Parish Hall, served our guests, and stayed to clean-up afterwards. Because we have several leftovers, Wednesday’s post-Presanctifed Liturgy dinner will not be “potluck” but instead will feature the leftover soup, coleslaw, drinks, and bread. If you wish to bring an item, please bring a small complementary side dish or dessert.