Monthly Newsletter - 1999-2001 Archive

St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church - Bulletin
November 1999 - Volume 5, Number 11


[St. Anthony's Logo]


A Message From Your Pastor

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" -Colossians 3:17 (NRSV)

Each year in November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a day put aside for family reunions and for thanksgiving to God, our Creator and Lord. It is a day of beautiful memories.

A young woman was cleaning her desk, when she came across a picture, which she had not seen for a long time. The picture depicted her grandfather giving the blessing at a Thanksgiving celebration many years ago. The woman noticed how all her little cousins had folded their hands just like Granddaddy. Her grandparents always had a wonderful family Thanksgiving at their home. Never in her life had she tasted such delicious food! She also remembered that there was more to Thanksgiving than abundant wonderful food. There was spiritual food as well. Before they ate, her grandfather always read from the Holy Bible and from the Fathers of the Church. He would discuss the passage of scripture or the saying of the Fathers with all the family at the table, and then he would fold his hands to pray. His prayer was very plain, "God, thank you for the food." Grandfather never said a long blessing, but somehow all those around the table felt the sincerity of his thankfulness.

Although Thanksgiving is a special day for expressing thanks and gratitude to God, there should be a time in our lives where we don't thank and praise God. Man is made in God's image.Bishop Kallistos Ware in his book, The Orthodox Way, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press: Crestwood, NY 1998, pp. 53-54, writes: Man only, "...is able to bless and praise God for the world. Man is best defined not as a 'logical' but as a 'eucharistic' animal. He does not merely live in the world, think about it and use it, but he is capable of seeing the world as God's gift, as a sacrament of God's presence and a means of communion with him. So he is able to offer the world back to God in thanksgiving: 'Thine own from thine own we offer to thee, in all and for all' (From the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom)".

The first national Thanksgiving was written by the "Father of the Revolution" at its turning point, thus transforming an ancient regional custom into America's most beloved tradition-sanctified by the sufferings of Washington's army outside Valley Forge. An Army surgeon near Valley Forge on the first national Thanksgiving Day said the following words: "Mankind is never truly thankful for the benefits of life until they have experienced the want of them."

Man, by using his intelligence is able to realize the necessity of the benefits of life, which are God's creation and His gifts to him. Man is not only logical, but eucharistic as well. However, besides blessing and praising God for the world, "man is also able to reshape and alter the world, and so to endue it with fresh meaning." See, Bishop Kallistos Ware, p. 54.)

God gave man unlimited horizons to shape and reshape His world. Every new discovery and every advancement is not only the result of man's divine gift to expand, but also the result of man's ability to appreciate God's creation and to thank and praise Him. Man's functions are beautifully described by St. Leontius of Cyprus: "Through heaven and earth and sea, through wood and stone, through all creation visible and invisible, I offer veneration to the Creator and Master and Maker of all things. For the creation does not venerate the maker directly and itself, but it is through me that the heavens declare the glory of God, through me the moon worships God, through me the stars glorify him, through me the waters and showers or rain, the dew and all creation, venerate God and give him glory." (See, Bishop Kallistos Ware, p. 54).

At the threshold of the new millennium, we offer prayers and thanksgiving to Almighty God and we put our hopes and our trust in Him. Let us look at the pictures of our cousins and our families as the young woman did. Let us look at them with their folded hands and heads bowed. Let us realize the importance of passing down a tradition of thankfulness to God expressed in simple ways, "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." -Colossians 3:17 (NRSV)

May your Thanksgiving be a Day of happiness, beautiful memories and abundant blessings.

Father Stathis


Stewardship

"Living is giving. We live life best as we give our strengths, gifts, and competencies in the service of God's mission. We are called to serve, not survive. Our giving makes a difference in our families, our work, our community, our world, and our church." (From the book, Giving and Stewardship in an Effective Church; A Guide for Every Member by Kennon Z. Callahan).

The Stewardship Program of our Church is the most vital support of her mission. It views the support of the Church as a matter of personal commitment. Giving is the expression of gratitude of a generous heart that is cognizant and appreciative of the gifts of God in our lives.

As we come to the end of another year, another century and another millennium, we ask you kindly to renew your commitment. Our Church should decisively enter decisively the new millennium. Your support is so important and we thank you for your consideration. "The faithful Christian Steward serves God unreservedly out of gratitude for God's bountiful giving."

Father Stathis


We acknowledge the generosity and support of the following people: Maryam Attalla for generously donating to St. Anthony's Youth Fund in memory of her beloved husband Philip; Peter Katsenis for donating the icon of St.Demetrios in memory of his beloved wife Ardath Mary; Anastasia Souliotis for donating the icon of St. Prophet Elias, the Vayos and Mobayen families for donating the icon of the Entrance of Christ Into Jerusalem in memory of their deceased loved ones; Gus and Judie Christopoulos and family for donating the icon of St. Paraskevi in memory of sister Paraskevi and the faithful people of Duf, Gostivar; Theodore, Litsa, Peter, William and Jane Stavropoulos for donating the icon of St. Theodore Tyron; The Vagenas family: Alex, Tashia, George, Peter, Theoni and Dino for donating the icon of the Baptism of Christ; the faithful people of St. Anthony's for donating through our Ladies Philoptochos Society (Social Hour and Fellowship) the icons of The Last Supper and Epitaphios Threnos; Eudoxia Kitridou and Dr. Rodanthi Kitridou for donating the beautiful three veils, which cover the paten (diskos) and the chalice during or after the Holy Eucharist. We express also gratitude to the following ladies who prepared the prosphoro: Helen Bonorris, Yiota Poulos and Arhontoula Economou. We also give Special thanks and deep appreciation to a thoughtful and generous family for their donation of $3,000 toward the replacement of the present sound system of our Church.

There are so many people who support our Church with a generous heart. There are our stewards, those anonymous generous donors who are known to God, those who help and donate to our Greek Festival, those who donate to the Memorial Fund, to our Youth Fund, to our special charity funds and to our other programs. It is impossible to list all of their names. We thank them all.


St. Anthony's Choir Director, Dr. Dimitrios Antsos recently resigned because of relocation. To him and to his wife Judith Din, Philoptochos Corresponding Secretary, we wish God's blessings and success in their new endeavors. Dr. Antsos, with great patience, dedication, hard work and with his talent, was able to reshape and reorganize our Church choir. He not only increased the number of Choir members, but was also able to improve the quality of our Choir. Judith faithfully served our Ladies Philoptochos and our Church. We will miss them. May God be with them.

The new Choir Director is Terry McClain, a faithful member of our Church. Elaine Ono our talented and dedicated organist resigned last August 1999 for personal reasons. Ken Marcus is our new very talented organist. Please continue to support our Church Choir.


The 2000 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 17 - 24, 2000 Join the Southern California Ecumenical Council and the entire Christian Community of Los Angeles County for a special Service on Sunday, January 23, 2000 at 4:00 p.m. at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2270 So. Harvard Boulevard, Los Angeles (just south of Santa Monica Freeway at Western) the service will include celebration of the major steps toward unity taken by the churches in our time. His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will preach the sermon. We urge all our parishioners to attend.


Our Youth

Those among our youth, juniors and seniors in High School who contemplate to participate in St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival in the year of our Lord 2000, please contact Nick Zarkantzas. Nick is our psalti (cantor). You can see him on Sundays following the Divine Liturgy.

The Orthodox Basketball League's Board members met on October 6, 1999 at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral to decide the future of the Basketball League's Program for the year 2000. Father Stathis and Anthia Lucas, former treasurer of the Basketball League participated in the meeting. Although many of our young people and their coaches have shown sportsmanship, discipline and responsibility, we need people who are also committed to the Church. At St. Anthony's Church, we have two exceptional young persons, who will be in charge of St. Anthony's Basketball teams and their games, Noula Moutzouridis and Mary Albeck. We need coaches and all the support of the parents. Basketball players should regularly attend Church Services and should be GOYA members in good standing.


Project Mexico

Project Mexico needs our help! The rainy season will soon be upon those poor people, which the project helps. It needs to be prepared. Innocent Orphanage is asking all of us to help gather items, canned goods, and kitchen/bathroom, miscellaneous items. For more information and details please call our Church Office at 626/449-6943. Project Mexico is building hope for people who are in great need and are very poor.

Los Angeles Mission

The Great Day of Thanksgiving Gratitude is Hospitality, especially when we offer it to a "stranger'" to a poor person or a homeless family. "When you are depending upon the kindness of strangers, you are pretty much stuck with what their idea of hospitality is. Here's a new definition: Hospitality is "little moves against destructiveness"...against the destructive loneliness of human beings. Hospitality offers the encouragement of community where there is none." (From the newsletter of Los Angeles Mission, A Newsletter for Donors and Friends October 99). Your donation or your involvement in helping the lonely and hungry, needy and marginalized will make a great difference in the lives of many of our suffering fellowmen. Call 213/629 1227 or write: Los Angeles Mission, P. O. Box 55900, Los Angeles, CA 90055-0630.

Pasadena Classical Singers

The Pasadena Classical Singers formerly known as The Cambridge Singers, will open their Fifteenth Anniversary Concert Season 1999 - 2000 with A World of Song International Folk Music Festival on Saturday, October 30, 1999 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 31, 1999 at 3:00 p.m. at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 East Colorado Boulevard (at Madison). Weinachten: Christmas in the German Lands on Sunday, December 5, 1999, at 3:00 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Pasadena, 464 East Walnut Street (at Los Robles). Johann Sebastian Bach Mass in B minor on Sunday, April 2, 2000, at 3:00 p.m. At the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 East Colorado Boulevard (at Madison). Sergei Rachmaninoff All Night Vigil on Saturday, June 10, 2000, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, June 11, 2000, at 3:00 p.m. at St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church, 778 S. Rosemead, Boulevard, Pasadena. Alexander Ruggieri, a former Choir Director at St. Anthony's Church, is the most talented Music Director of Pasadena Classical Singers. To Alex and his Pasadena Classical Singers, we wish a rewarding Concert Season.

Mount Athos Digital Library and Preservation Project

The manuscripts of Mount Athos hold the learning of the ages, the enlightenment of the saints, the aspiration of the creative. For 1,000 years the monks of Mount Athos, a peninsula of northern Greece, have guarded an important part of the world's cultural heritage. The libraries of the twenty Orthodox monasteries of Mount Athos hold 22,000 manuscripts dating from as early as the sixth century A.D. These manuscripts are essential sources for scholars of such diverse fields as classics, biblical studies, the history of Christianity, Byzantine history, art, music and Christian spirituality. Few scholars, however, have opportunity to visit Mount Athos. Traveling there can be arduous, and religious tradition prohibits women from visiting this ancient enclave of monasticism. The aim of The Mount Athos Digital Library and Preservation Project is to make these manuscripts easily accessible to students and scholars and to preserve the contents of the manuscripts for posterity.

The Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center (ABMC), a research center of the Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, California, has initiated The Mount Athos Digital Library and Preservation Project in collaboration with the Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies, Thessaloniki, Greece. The ABMC pioneered the use of digital technologies of manuscript research, particularly the Dead Sea Scrolls.


The Patriarchal Institute, founded in 1965 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, maintains an extensive film collection, which is the only comprehensive record of the manuscripts of Mount Athos. These fragile, deteriorating films cannot fulfill the dual requirements of long-term preservation and availability to researchers. Combining the strengths of these two international research institutions, the project will archive the film collection for long-term preservation and create a comprehensive and accessible digital image library of the manuscripts of Mount Athos. A global community of researchers will be able to explore the medieval monasteries of Mount Athos via their desktop computers and the World Wide Web.

For the past millennium the monks of Mount Athos have shepherded a precious cache of knowledge, art and spirituality. The Mount Athos Digital Library and Preservation Project will ensure that the manuscripts of Mount Athos are preserved and digitally accessible to interested parties around the world, today and in the future.

The successful implementation of this monumental project requires the cooperation of many individuals and organizations. Donation to ABMC for The Mount Athos Project are tax deductible. Please consider a one-time donation or an annual pledge to the project: The Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center for Preservation and Research, 1325 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711, phone: 909/621-6451, fax: 909/621-1481, email: tradents@abmc.org.

The Greek Orthodox Memorial Foundation of Southern California is an independent nonprofit Religious Corporation supporting The Greek Orthodox Diocese of San Francisco. If you contemplate as a family to make arrangements or to purchase a burial space for the future or for an immediate situation, please call 562/260-9671, voice mail: 562/692-1212 ext. 596 or fax: 562/923-3696 or write to: Maria McDaniels CES 7314, Greek Orthodox Memorial Foundation, Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary FD 970, P.O. Box 110, Whittier, CA 90608-9977.


Important information:
St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine, California, invites you to the 21st annual Poinsettia Ball on Saturday, Nov. 13, 1999. For information call 949/733-2366.

Greek Education & Cultural Seminar, Saturday Nov. 13, 1999, 10:30am-2:00pm at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Registration deadline Nov. 5. For information and registration call 310/373-0808.

St. Anthony's Parish general assembly on Sun., Nov. 14, 1999 following the Divine Liturgy.

Pan-Orthodox Youth Workers Conference, Nov. 19-21, 1999, Antiochian Village Conference Center, Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Orthodox Church in America, and the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese. For more information, call 212/570-3560 or e-mail youthoffice@goarch.org.


St. Anthony's Greek School Dinner Dance on Saturday, Nov. 20, 1999.

St. Anthony's Sunday School Turkey Raffle and Brunch following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Nov. 21, 1999.

St. Anthony's Lady's Philoptochos Society invites you to join in their honor roll of "Star Donors". Your generosity to this program will enable them to continue giving to charities. Deadline for your charitable donation is Nov. 15, 1999. For more information call Helen Koudanis at 323/721-8862. The Annual Christmas Benefit Luncheon and Fashion Show will be held on Sat., Dec. 4, at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. For reservations call Charlene Vayos at 626/794-2750 or Chrissa Mobayen at 626/797 4174.



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