Category Archives: Sunday Bulletin

DECEMBER 21ST, 2014 THE SUNDAY BEFORE THE FEAST OF OUR LORD’S NATIVITY

December 21, 2014 Sun Before Nativity

HYMNS AFTER THE LITTLE ENTRANCE

Troparion for the Resurrection, in the Third Tone: Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad, for the Lord hath done a mighty act with His own arm. He hath trampled down death by death, and became the first-born from the dead. He hath delivered us from the depths of Hades, granting the world the Great Mercy.

Troparion of the Forefeast in the Fourth Tone: Make ready, O Bethlehem; for Eden hath been opened for all.  Prepare, O Ephratha; for the Tree of life hath blossomed forth in the cave from the Virgin; for her belly did appear as a supersensual paradise in which is planted the divine Plant, whereof eating we shall live and not die as Adam.  Verily, Christ shall be born, raising the likeness that fell of old.

Troparion of the Sunday before Christmas in the Second Tone: Great are the accomplishments of faith; for the three holy youths rejoiced in the fountain of flames as though at waters of rest.  And the Prophet Daniel appeared a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep.   Wherefore, by their pleadings, O Christ God, have mercy upon us.

Troparion to St. Mark in the Fourth Tone: From thy childhood the light of truth enlightened thee, O Mark, and thou didst love the labor of Christ the Savior. Wherefore thou didst follow Peter with zeal and didst serve Paul as a fellow laborer and didst enlighten the world with thy holy Gospel.

Kontakion of Preparation for the Nativity of Christ in the Third Tone: On this day the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to God the Word ineffably, Who was before all the ages. Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing the gladsome tidings; with the Angels and shepherds now glorify Him Who is willing to be gazed on as a young Child Who before the ages is God.

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Prokeimenon Tone 4 (Daniel 3.26, 27) Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our Fathers.  For you are just in all you have done.

The reading from Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews (11:9-10, 32-40) 

Brethren, by faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets —  who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated — of whom the world was not worthy — wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Alleluia Verses Tone 4 (Psalms 43.1; 33.17) O God, we have heard with our ears.  The righteous cried and the Lord heard them.

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew (1:1-25) 

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,  and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram,  and Aram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,  and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,  and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,  and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa,  and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,  and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,  and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah,  and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,  and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor,  and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud,  and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.

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Holy Oblations are offered today by Lydia, Ibrahim, Michael & Chris Wakileh for Charlie on his birthday 12/17, by Jacob, Andy, Randy, Jake Bahbah, and Adele Kennan and her family for Vera on her birthday 12/19, by Helena Kassir & family for her Aunt Souad Nohra passed away in Duma, Lebanon last week, by Michael, Charlotte, Mellissa, Grace & Amanda Khoury for Melody and George on the occasion of their birthdays, and by Georgette, Ramzi, Ronda Salameh and family for Manuel and Nour on the occasion of their birthdays and for the health and salvation of  Nabeel, Dina, Joe, Ned, Yepp, Muna, Nazih, Samer and Samar.

 

Instead of our usual Coffee Hour, our Ladies Guild holds its Annual pre-Christmas Bake Sale and Boutique today.

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Please remember in your prayers: Odette Chade, Maha Kureh, Darlyne Dibs, Eleanor Wackeen, Vanda Billeh, Michael Asaly and the suffering people of West Africa, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Ukraine and everywhere afflicted with disease and violence.

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Ushers serving this week: Nelson Mamey and Jimmy Goson

Ushers serving next week: Nader Qoborsi & Maurice Karkar

Altar boys serving Today: James Bahbah, Peter Williams, Nicholas Bahou, Youssef Youssef.

Altar boys serving Next Week: James Dabbah, Paul Youssef, Nour Youssef, Matthew Dabbah

Church Etiquette

 

  • Please be on time for services; those arriving late should not approach the Chalice for Communion.
  • To receive Communion, one must be a baptized/chrismated Orthodox Christian who has prepared by prayer, fasting, alms giving, and regular confession.
  • Confessions are heard on Sunday mornings and during the week by appointment.
  • Men, women, and children: please dress modestly for services.
  • Please remove lip balm or lipstick before receiving Communion or kissing the holy icons, Chalice, or Gospel.
  • If you wish to stand for the entire service, please do so in the back or the aisle so as not to block the view of others who may need to sit. When seated, we should refrain from a posture of relaxation (e.g., crossing legs or arms).
  • Pledges, Tithes, Donations: Giving 10% of one’s income is God-pleasing, as are all gifts offered by a pious and cheerful giver with a humble heart. Membership forms, renewed annually, are located in the Hall.
  • Children are welcome! Yet, if they interfere with the prayers of the faithful, we all may need a break.

Quote from the Saints

“Fasting is an admirable thing, but it is more admirable to forgive insults. Through fasting a man is preparing for charity, but by forgiving insults, a man shows charity. Fasting precedes forgiveness, but fasting alone does not save without forgiveness.” — St. Nicholai of Zica 

 

Canned Food Drive

The economic recovery since the Great Recession has been sluggish. All relief agencies are seeing more needs and at the same time donations are down. In light of this, the ongoing canned food collection of our parish is a small but important way to help. Please try to bring something to go in the collection barrel every week.

Good Samaritan Fund

Several years ago, St. Mark Church established a fund for assisting those in need, both within our parish and in the general community. From time to time we ask for contributions to the Good Samaritan Fund, and this is one of those times. If you are in need of assistance or you are aware of someone in our parish that needs financial assistance, please speak with Fr. Michael.

Today

 

We are in the last days of the Christmas Fast.  In the next few days we should not forget prayer, alms and scripture reading. We are now in the strictest time of the Fast, (abstention from all meat, poultry, dairy & egg products, alcohol and olive oil). The only way to celebrate the Birth of the Savior is to prepare for a Holy Feast Day by participating in meaningful ways in the Fast! This includes the Sacrament of Confession (see schedule below).

Book store

There are several Christmas items available for sale on the table outside the bookstore.

A 10% discount is being given on any items purchased today.   Your support is appreciated.

Thanks to Jamal & Hiam Sayegh for donating the Poinsettias to decorate our church for Christmas.

Thanks to all the Ladies who came and helped in baking the Spinach pies and Manaeesh on Friday December 19th.

 

Teen SOYO Community Christmas Card stuffing, sealing and stamping party today after Church School.

 

The 2015 Calendars are here. Please pick up one Calendar per family from the table at the hall by the bulletin board.

Christmas week Services

 

Sunday December 21st, 7:00 p.m. Pre- Feast Vespers

Monday December 22nd, 7:00 p.m. Pre- Feast Vespers

Tuesday December 23rd, 7:00 p.m. Pre- Feast Vespers

Wednesday December 24th. 9:30 a.m. Royal Hours;

Wednesday Evening 6:30 p.m. Vesperal Divine Liturgy and Church School Musical Program!

Thursday December 25th, Nativity of Christ Orthros 9:00 p.m. and Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.

Next week

Sunday December 28th, Teen SOYO Christmas party at the Church Hall from 6:00 to 10:30 p.m. Please see flyer included in this bulletin for more information.

Wednesday December 31, 6:30 p.m. Evening Liturgy for the Circumcision of the Lord and St. Basil’s Day. (Orthros 5:30 pm)

Men’s Club New Years Eve Party on Wednesday December 31st, at 8: p.m. Please see flyers included in this bulletin and reserve your tickets today.

Upcoming Services & Events

Sunday January 4th, Ladies Guild Zalabieh Luncheon, see flyer included for more details.

 

Sunday January 4th, Red Cross Blood Drive at our church, please see flyer included for more information.

 

Saturday January 10th, St. Mark Ladies Guild Christmas Luncheon at the Church Hall. Please see flyers included for more information.

 

Sunday January 25, Metropolitan Joseph will be with us for Orthros and Divine Liturgy.

 

DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR ENTHRONEMENT GALA PROGRAM BOOK – only 8 days left! Do not miss participating in the program book for the West Coast Celebration of the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, which will take place on Saturday, January 31, 2015. This is a historic, once-in-a-lifetime celebration and you will want to have your family and loved ones included. For those of you attending the event, it will be a wonderful commemorative item. But especially for those who can’t attend the event, make sure you and your family are included in this historic celebration in the life of our Diocese. The deadline for the program book has been extended to Monday, December 29. Program Book Order Form is included in your bulletin. For further information please visit: http://antiochianladiocese.org/enthronementgala.html

 

 

Mark your Calendar for Valentine party on Saturday February 14th at 7:00 p.m.

 

We have begun our 2015 Pledge Drive. In your bulletin you should find a Pledge Card for the New Year. Please fill in and place these cards in the White Box on the table by the bulletin board, so that we can fulfill the 2015 Budget as passed by the parish at our annual meeting last month.

 

St. Mark 2015 Stewardship Pledge Drive Progress Report

Thank you to all of you who have made their 2015 Pledge Commitment to St. Mark. As of December 13th, we have 48 pledges for a total of $88,910 pledged.

Saint of the Day

Sunday of the Holy Forefathers of Christ

On the Sunday that occurs between December 11 and 17, we commemorate the great Fathers and Mothers and Prophets of the Old Testament, starting with Adam, Abraham, the Righteous Sarah, Isaac and Jacob, including Holy Prophet Elias and Daniel, and concluding with Holy Prophet Zechariah (Zachary), Joachim and Anna, Holy Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist and The Theotokos. They lived before the Law and under the Law, especially the Patriarch Abraham, to whom God said, “In thy seed shall all of the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, 22:18).

BUY SCRIP

Our Ladies Guild buys scrip from many and various stores and Restaurants (see list included in this Bulletin) at a 3 to 10% discount. When you buy the scrip, which is accepted just like cash at the issuing store, the Parish benefits. You pay no more for these goods and services and are making a donation to our parish.  You can purchase this scrip from Saeda Turk at the coffee hour.


 

DECEMBER 14TH, 2014 HOLY FOREFATHERS

DECEMB ER 14TH FRONT

HYMNS AFTER THE LITTLE ENTRANCE

Troparion for the Resurrection, in the Second Tone: When Thou didst submit Thyself unto death, O Thou deathless and immortal one, then Thou didst destroy Hell with Thy Godly power, and when Thou didst raise the dead from beneath the earth, all the powers of heaven did cry aloud unto Thee, O Christ Thou giver of Life glory to Thee.

Troparion of the Forefathers in the Second Tone: Thou hast justified by faith the ancient forefathers and through them thou hast gone before and betrothed unto thyself the Church of the Gentiles.  Let the saints, therefore, take pride in glory; for from their seed sprouted forth a noble fruit, and she it was who gave birth to thee without seed.  Wherefore, by their pleadings, O Christ God, save our souls.

Troparion to St. Mark in the Fourth Tone: From thy childhood the light of truth enlightened thee, O Mark, and thou didst love the labor of Christ the Savior. Wherefore thou didst follow Peter with zeal and didst serve Paul as a fellow laborer and didst enlighten the world with thy holy Gospel.

Kontakion of Preparation for the Nativity of Christ in the Third Tone: On this day the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to God the Word ineffably, Who was before all the ages. Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing the gladsome tidings; with the Angels and shepherds now glorify Him Who is willing to be gazed on as a young Child Who before the ages is God.

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Prokeimenon (Daniel 3:26,27) Tone 8: Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our Fathers. For you are just in all you have done.

 

The reading from Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians (3:4-11) 

Brethren, when Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.   In these you once walked, when you lived in them.  But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

Alleluia Verses (Psalm 98.6, 33:17) Tone 4: Moses and Aaron are among his priests. The righteous cried and the Lord heard them.

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke (14:16-24) The Lord spoke this parable: “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, `Come; for all is now ready.’  But, one by one, they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, `I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.’  And another said, `I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.’ And another said, `I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’  So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, `Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’  And the servant said, `Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’  And the master said to the servant, `Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.  For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

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Holy Oblations are offered today by Michael, Charlotte Khoury and family in memory of Michael’s mom Souraya and Michael’s aunt Nadia who passed away last week, may their memory be eternal, and by Melad & Wafa Hanna and the Hajal family for the soul of Wafa’s mom, Jamileh Hajal departed this life last Monday in Syria, may her memory be Eternal, for the soul of Wafa’s dad Ibrahim Hajal, and for the souls of George Ozone and John Langer.

Luncheon is given today by Melad & Wafa Hanna and family for the memorial of Wafa’s mother Jamileh Hajal.

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Please remember in your prayers: Odette Chade, Maha Kureh, Darlyne Dibs, Eleanor Wackeen, Vanda Billeh and the suffering people of West Africa, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Ukraine and everywhere afflicted with disease and violence.

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Ushers serving this week: Jamal Sayegh & Jamal Qutami

Ushers serving next week: Nelson Mamey and Jimmy Goson

Altar boys serving Today: Andrew Khamis, Alex Turk, Jay Skaff, Paul Rodriguez.

Altar boys serving Next Week: James Bahbah, Peter Williams, Nicholas Bahou, Youssef Youssef.

Church Etiquette

  • Please be on time for services; those arriving late should not approach the Chalice for Communion.
  • To receive Communion, one must be a baptized/chrismated Orthodox Christian who has prepared by prayer, fasting, alms giving, and regular confession.
  • Confessions are heard on Sunday mornings and during the week by appointment.
  • Men, women, and children: please dress modestly for services.
  • Please remove lip balm or lipstick before receiving Communion or kissing the holy icons, Chalice, or Gospel.
  • If you wish to stand for the entire service, please do so in the back or the aisle so as not to block the view of others who may need to sit. When seated, we should refrain from a posture of relaxation (e.g., crossing legs or arms).
  • Pledges, Tithes, Donations: Giving 10% of one’s income is God-pleasing, as are all gifts offered by a pious and cheerful giver with a humble heart. Membership forms, renewed annually, are located in the Hall.
  • Children are welcome! Yet, if they interfere with the prayers of the faithful, we all may need a break.

Quote from the Saints

“Fasting is an admirable thing, but it is more admirable to forgive insults. Through fasting a man is preparing for charity, but by forgiving insults, a man shows charity. Fasting precedes forgiveness, but fasting alone does not save without forgiveness.” — St. Nicholai of Zica 

 

Canned Food Drive

The economic recovery since the Great Recession has been sluggish. All relief agencies are seeing more needs and at the same time donations are down. In light of this, the ongoing canned food collection of our parish is a small but important way to help. Please try to bring something to go in the collection barrel every week.

Good Samaritan Fund

Several years ago, St. Mark Church established a fund for assisting those in need, both within our parish and in the general community. From time to time we ask for contributions to the Good Samaritan Fund, and this is one of those times. If you are in need of assistance or you are aware of someone in our parish that needs financial assistance, please speak with Fr. Michael.

Today

Church School Children singing after Liturgy at Atria Senior Home, 1 Witherspoon, Irvine. Please see Barbara Scholl for more information.

 

There will be a table at the hall during coffee hour to sell some Christmas items that are sponsored by the ladies Guild, please stop by to check it out! Thanks

FOCUS St. Nicholas Day Dinner

A big Thank You to our fabulous chairwomen Kh. Donna and Tammy Qutami.

Thank you to Austin Turk, Steve Scholl and all those of the parish who volunteered preparing the food, donated funds, toys and books…. Thank you to all who volunteered their time at the Valencia Inn – God Bless You!!

Eileen Waian-Ellis, the Church School Teachers and Students

 

December 1-31 Order of St. Ignatius Month of Service

 

Community Christmas Card Organized by our Teen SOYO. Please see Christmas Card form included in the bulletin. Deadline for collecting the forms is Today. Donation $15 per Sponsor/family.

 

Needy Families

St Mark’s has once again adopted few families for the Christmas Season. A small Christmas tree will be in the hall with small notes indicating items you may sponsor for this charitable effort. Bring the wrapped gifts to the Church by Sunday December 21th. Please see Gisele Aawyjan after Liturgy if you have any questions.  Please help make this Christmas a little brighter for those less fortunate than ourselves.  Any donation for food is gladly accepted.

 

Advent (the Christmas Fast) has begun. This fast, which lasts exactly 40 days, prepares us to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity (Birth) of Jesus Christ, commonly known as Christmas.  This Fast is divided into two periods: The first is November 15th through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil) is observed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with katalysis for wine and olive oil (some also permit fish) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and for fish, wine, and olive oil on Saturdays and Sundays. The second is the period of the Forefeast, December 20th through 24th, when the traditional fasting discipline is observed Monday through Friday, with katalysis for wine and olive oil on Saturday and Sunday. As part of our Advent effort Orthodox Christians should also participate in the Sacrament of Confession. The only way to combat the commercialization and vaguely sentimental observance of the Birth of the Savior is to prepare for a Holy Feast Day by participating in the Fast!

This Week

Wednesday December 17th, 6:30 p.m. Advent Paraklesis

Friday December 19th, 10:00 a.m. Ladies Guild Baking day at the Church kitchen for Spinach pies

Friday December 19th, 7:00 p.m. Pre-Feast Vespers.

Saturday December 20, Orthros (9:00 a.m.) and Divine Liturgy (10:00 a.m.) for St. Ignatius of Antioch, joint service with our sister church of St. Luke of Garden Grove.

Next week

Sunday December 21st, St Mark Ladies Guild Annual Christmas Bake Sale and Boutique after Church. Bake sale forms included in this bulletin.

Christmas week Services

 

Sunday December 21st, 7:00 p.m. Pre- Feast Vespers

Monday December 22nd, 7:00 p.m. Pre- Feast Vespers

Tuesday December 23rd, 7:00 p.m. Pre- Feast Vespers

Wednesday December 24th. 9:30 a.m. Royal Hours;

Wednesday Evening 6:30 p.m. Vesperal Divine Liturgy and Church School Musical Program!

Thursday December 25th, Nativity of Christ Orthros 9:00 p.m. and Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.

Upcoming Services & Events

Mark your Calendar for Men’s Club New Years Eve Party on Wednesday December 31st. please see flyers included in this bulletin for more information.

 

HISTORIC ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME CELEBRATION! Do not miss participating in the West Coast Celebration of the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, which will take place on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles. All proceeds will benefit Camp St. Nicholas and Youth Education Programs. Even if you can’t attend the event, make sure you and your family are included in this historic, once in a lifetime celebration in the life of our Diocese by taking an ad in the program book. We are so blessed to have this opportunity to honor our beloved Metropolitan Joseph and at the same time contribute to Camp St. Nicholas which is near and dear to many of us. The deadline for the program book has been extended to Monday, December 29. For gala tickets, program book and hotel info, please visit: His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph’s Enthronement Gala Celebration

 

Sunday January 4th, Ladies Guild Zalabieh Luncheon, see flyer included for more details.

 

Sunday January 4th, Red Cross Blood Drive at our church, please see flyer included for more information.

 

Saturday January 10th, St. Mark Ladies Guild Christmas Luncheon at the Church Hall. Please see flyers included for more information.

 

Sunday January 25, Metropolitan Joseph will be with us for Orthros and Divine Liturgy.

 

Mark your Calendar for Valentine party on Saturday February 14th at 7:00 p.m

 

We have begun our 2015 Pledge Drive. In your bulletin you should find a Pledge Card for the New Year. Please fill in and place these cards in the White Box on the table by the bulletin board, so that we can fulfill the 2015 Budget as passed by the parish at our annual meeting last month.

 

St. Mark 2015 Stewardship Pledge Drive Progress Report

Thank you to all of you who have made their 2015 Pledge Commitment to St. Mark. As of December 13th, we have 39pledges for a total of $75,980 pledged.

 

Saint of the Day

Sunday of the Holy Forefathers of Christ

On the Sunday that occurs between December 11 and 17, we commemorate the great Fathers and Mothers and Prophets of the Old Testament, starting with Adam, Abraham, the Righteous Sarah, Isaac and Jacob, including Holy Prophet Elias and Daniel, and concluding with Holy Prophet Zechariah (Zachary), Joachim and Anna, Holy Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist and The Theotokos. They lived before the Law and under the Law, especially the Patriarch Abraham, to whom God said, “In thy seed shall all of the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, 22:18).

BUY SCRIP

Our Ladies Guild buys scrip from many and various stores and Restaurants (see list included in this Bulletin) at a 3 to 10% discount. When you buy the scrip, which is accepted just like cash at the issuing store, the Parish benefits. You pay no more for these goods and services and are making a donation to our parish.  You can purchase this scrip from Saeda Turk at the coffee hour.


December 7, 2014 26th Sun, 10th of Luke

DECEMB ER 7TH FRONT

Kontakion of Preparation for the Nativity of Christ in the Third Tone: Today the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth in an ineffable manner to the pre-eternal Word. Rejoice, therefore, O universe, when thou hearest, and glorify with the angels and shepherds him who shall appear by his own will as a new Child, the pre-eternal God.

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Prokeimenon (Psalm 33:22, 1) Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us.  Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous.

The reading from Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians (5:8-19) 

Brethren, walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.

Alleluia Verses (Psalm 17:47,50) It is God who avenges me. God magnifies the salvation of his king, and deals mercifully with his anointed.

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke (13:10-17)

At that time, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”  Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrite! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”  As Jesus said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

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Holy Oblations are offered today by Theresa Joubran for her husband Michael on his birthday wishing him health and happiness, and by Anton, Keitie, Austin, Osama, Anise, Jamie & Juliana Turk and their families for the soul of a Godfather and a long time dear friend, Fred Nimri who passed away in Jordan last Thursday. Memory Eternal!!

Today’s Coffee Hour is sponsored by the Coffee Hour Committee.

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Please remember in your prayers: Odette Chade, Maha Kureh, Darlyne Dibs, Eleanor Wackeen, Sleiman Aldada, Vanda Billeh and the suffering people of West Africa, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and everywhere afflicted with disease and violence.

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Ushers serving this week: Phillip Bahbah & Elias Nasrawi.

Ushers serving next week: Jamal Sayegh & Jamal Qutami

Altar boys serving Today: Samir Khamis, Joseph Attalah, Andrew Bahbah

Altar boys serving Next Week: Andrew Khamis, Alex Turk, Jay Skaff, Paul Rodriguez.

Church Etiquette

  • Please be on time for services; those arriving late should not approach the Chalice for Communion.
  • To receive Communion, one must be a baptized/chrismated Orthodox Christian who has prepared by prayer, fasting, alms giving, and regular confession.
  • Confessions are heard on Sunday mornings and during the week by appointment.
  • Men, women, and children: please dress modestly for services.
  • Please remove lip balm or lipstick before receiving Communion or kissing the holy icons, Chalice, or Gospel.
  • If you wish to stand for the entire service, please do so in the back or the aisle so as not to block the view of others who may need to sit. When seated, we should refrain from a posture of relaxation (e.g., crossing legs or arms).
  • Pledges, Tithes, Donations: Giving 10% of one’s income is God-pleasing, as are all gifts offered by a pious and cheerful giver with a humble heart. Membership forms, renewed annually, are located in the Hall.
  • Children are welcome! Yet, if they interfere with the prayers of the faithful, we all may need a break.

Quote from the Saints

Good-will also is wont to remove the sword of anger. It is also good-will that makes the wounds of a friend to be better than the willing kisses of an enemy. Goodwill again makes many to become one. For if many are friends, they become one; in whom there is but one spirit and one opinion. We note, too, that in friendship corrections are pleasing. They have their sting, but they cause no pain. We are pierced by the words of blame, but are delighted with the anxiety that good-will shows.

St. Ambrose of Milan  

Canned Food Drive

The economic recovery since the Great Recession has been sluggish. All relief agencies are seeing more needs and at the same time donations are down. In light of this, the ongoing canned food collection of our parish is a small but important way to help. Please try to bring something to go in the collection barrel every week.

Good Samaritan Fund

Several years ago, St. Mark Church established a fund for assisting those in need, both within our parish and in the general community. From time to time we ask for contributions to the Good Samaritan Fund, and this is one of those times. If you are in need of assistance or you are aware of someone in our parish that needs financial assistance, please speak with Fr. Michael.

Today

FOCUS OC Valencia Inn St. Nicholas Day, hosted by Church School

 

We have begun our 2015 Pledge Drive. In your bulletin you should find a Pledge Card for the New Year. Please fill in and place these cards in the White Box on the table by the bulletin board, so that we can fulfill the 2015 Budget as passed by the parish at our annual meeting last month.

 

Community Christmas Card Organized by our Teen SOYO. Please see Christmas Card form included in the bulletin. Deadline for collecting the forms is December 14th. Donation $15 per Sponsor/family.

 

Advent (the Christmas Fast) has begun. This fast, which lasts exactly 40 days, prepares us to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity (Birth) of Jesus Christ, commonly known as Christmas.  This Fast is divided into two periods: The first is November 15th through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil) is observed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with katalysis for wine and olive oil (some also permit fish) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and for fish, wine, and olive oil on Saturdays and Sundays. The second is the period of the Forefeast, December 20th through 24th, when the traditional fasting discipline is observed Monday through Friday, with katalysis for wine and olive oil on Saturday and Sunday. As part of our Advent effort Orthodox Christians should also participate in the Sacrament of Confession. The only way to combat the commercialization and vaguely sentimental observance of the Birth of the Savior is to prepare for a Holy Feast Day by participating in the Fast!

This Week

Monday December 8th, 6:30 p.m. Parish Council.

Wednesday December 10th6:30 p.m. Advent Paraklesis

Thursday December 11th, 6:00 p.m. Ladies Guild meeting at the Church Hall.

Saturday December 13th, 7:00 P.M. St. Mark Men’s Club Annual Christmas Dinner at the home of Jacob and Vera Bahbah. Please check the flyer included for details.

Next week

Sunday December 14th, Children singing after Liturgy at Anita Senior Home, 1 Witherspoon, Irvine

Wednesday December 17th, 6:30 p.m. Advent Paraklesis

Friday December 19th, 10:00 a.m. Ladies Guild Baking day at the Church kitchen for Spinach pies

Upcoming Services & Events

Sunday December 21st, St Mark Ladies Guild Annual Christmas Bake Sale and Boutique after Church

Christmas week Services

Sunday December 21st, 7:00 p.m. Pre- Feast Vespers

Monday December 22nd, 7:00 p.m. Pre- Feast Vespers

Tuesday December 23rd, 7:00 p.m. Pre- Feast Vespers

Wednesday December 24th. 9:30 a.m. Royal Hours; 6:30 p.m. Vesperal Divine Liturgy and Church School Musical Program!

Thursday December 25th, Nativity of Christ Orthros 9:00 p.m. and Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.

Mark your Calendar for Men’s Club New Years Eve Party on Wednesday December 31st. please see flyers included in this bulletin for more information.

 

By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Official West Coast Celebration of the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph will take place on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles. All proceeds will benefit Camp St. Nicholas and Youth Education Programs. Do not miss this historic celebration in the life of our Diocese – this is the only celebration taking place on the West Coast. We are praying for enthusiastic participation by all churches in the Diocese to honor our beloved Metropolitan Joseph. The day will start with a youth brunch, followed by a reception for clergy and wives, then vespers, and the Gala Reception and Banquet featuring special musical offerings. A Hierarchal Divine Liturgy will be held the next day at St. Nicholas Cathedral. There will be a very special Commemorative Program Book that will include memorable images from the actual enthronement. For tickets, program book and hotel info, please visit: www.antiochianladiocese.org

 

Sunday January 4th, Ladies Guild Zalabieh Luncheon

 

Sunday January 4th, Red Cross Blood Drive at our church, please see flyer included for more information.

 

Saturday January 10th, St. Mark Ladies Guild Christmas Luncheon at the Church Hall. Please see flyers included for more information.

 

Sunday January 25, Metropolitan Joseph will be with us for Orthros and Divine Liturgy.

 

Mark your Calendar for Valentine party on Saturday February 14th at 7:00 p.m

 

St. Mark 2015 Stewardship Pledge Drive Progress Report

Thank you to all of you who have made their 2015 Pledge Commitment to St. Mark. As of December 5th, we have 21pledges for a total of $32,550 pledged.

Saint of the Day

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (December 7)

This Saint was born in Gaul in 340, and was a member of the Roman Senate. After the death of Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, a violent dispute arose among the Orthodox and Arians about who would succeed him. Ambrose, desiring as Governor of the province to restore the peace, attempted to mediate between them. As he spoke to the people, eloquently persuading them to elect a new bishop without tumult and disorder, a young child, inspired from on high, suddenly cried out “Ambrose, bishop!” To his astonishment and dismay, the people immediately took up this cry themselves, and over his many protests, he was raised to the Episcopal throne of Milan on December 7, 374. A great Father of the Church, he wrote many works in Latin, and was both an unwearying opponent of Arianism, and a fearless accuser of emperors when they transgressed the law of God. Having lived fifty-seven years, he reposed on April 4, on the eve of Pascha, in the year 397.

BUY SCRIP

Our Ladies Guild buys scrip from many and various stores and Restaurants (see list included in this Bulletin) at a 3 to 10% discount. When you buy the scrip, which is accepted just like cash at the issuing store, the Parish benefits. You pay no more for these goods and services and are making a donation to our parish.  You can purchase this scrip from Saeda Turk at the coffee hour.

December 7, 2014 26th Sun, 10th of Luke