All posts by Fr. Michael Laffoon




Troparion of St. Demetrius the Myrrh-streaming in the Third Tone: Verily, the inhabited world found thee a great help in tribulations and a vanquisher of nations, O fight-bearing one. Wherefore, as thou didst demolish the arrogance of Lahosh, and on the battlefield didst hearten Nestor, beseech, O Saint Demetrios, Christ God to grant us the Great Mercy.

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 the Theotokos in the Second Tone: O protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the Creator most constant, O despise not the suppliant voices of those who have sinned; but be thou quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession, and speed thou to make supplication, thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.

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Prokeimenon: The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord. O God, hear my prayer.

The Reading is from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy. (2:1-10)

Timothy, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him.  An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.  It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.  Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.  Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal.  But the word of God is not fettered.  Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.

Alleluia Verses (Psalm 19:1, 9):  May the Lord hear you in the day of trouble.  O Lord, save the king, and hear us when we call upon you.

The reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke (8:26-39) 

At that time, Jesus arrived at the country of the Gad’arenes, which is opposite Galilee. And as he stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons; for a long time he had worn no clothes, and he lived not in a house but among the tombs.  When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  I beseech you, do not torment me.”For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.  (For many a time it had seized him; he was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters but the he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.)  Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him.  And they begged Jesus not to command them to depart into the abyss.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged Jesus to let them enter these.  So he gave them leave.  Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country.  Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.  And those who had seen it told them how he who had been possessed with demons was healed.  Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gad’-arenes asked Jesus to depart from them; for they were seized with great fear; so he got into a boat and returned.  The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with Jesus; but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare all that God has done for you.”  And he went away, proclaiming through the whole city all that Jesus had done for him.

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Holy Oblations are offered today by Paul & Tania Habeeb for the health and salvation of their children Christina, Nicholas and Paul, by Jamie, Jeries & Zaina Hanna and the Turk family for Ehab on the occasion of his birthday, and by Norman & Wetcka Haffty for the soul of Norman’s father Joseph departed this life ten years and for his mother’s soul Joyce departed this life one year. Memory Eternal!!

Coffee Hour today is given by the Teen SOYO and was donated by Paul & Tania Habeeb and family. Thank you!

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Please remember in your prayers: Odette Chade, Maha Kureh, Darlyne Dibs, Eleanor Wackeen, Suleiman Aldada and the suffering people of Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and all the Middle East.

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October is Youth Month!

October each year in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America is celebrated as Youth Month.  During this month teens help in the Church by singing in the choir, chanting, reading the epistles, taking the collections, hosting the coffee hours, etc.

To learn more about Antiochian Teen SOYO please visit

Teen ushers serving Today: Alex Munayyer, Matthew Dabbah, Alex Turk and Diana Aldada, & Nicole Fakhouri.

Epistle Reader: Peter William

Ushers serving next week: Sleiman Aldada & Elyas Khury

Altar boys serving Today: Samir Khamis, Joseph Attalla, 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 Saturday evenings after Great Vespers 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.  Food and drink (and toys) are not allowed in the Temple.

Quote from the Saints

During prayer, it is not beneficial to strive for exalted feelings. One should only discern the meaning of the words, pronounced, pray attentively, and then, with time, the Lord will grant spiritual insight and heartfelt contrition.

St. Nikon of Optina

Canned Food Drive

As we all know, unemployment is still high. 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.


Thanks to Foaud and Rima Tarazi for donating the Pizza to the Ladies Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon that was held last Sunday in Memory of Rima’s mother Genie Saba who passed away six months ago. Memory Eternal!!

Father Michael will bless the new Elected Officers of the Men’s Club after Church and they are:

Men’s Club newly elected Officers for 2014-2015

President – Austin Turk; Vice President – Jacob Bahbah; Secretary – Don Skaff

Treasurer – Protodeacon George Moubayed

SOYO will also be having a fundraiser starting this Sunday for the next few weeks.  They will be selling pies for the holiday season.  Apple, Pecan and Pumpkin – Yum! Please see form included in this bulletin.

 “No Debt Building Campaign”

Our sanctuary remodel and expansion is progressing and we hope to move into the new sanctuary by the end of November. In order to complete this work with little or no debt, we have embarked on a “No Debt” Campaign. So far we have pledges and donations totaling $75,880 Thanks to those who have made these pledges. Please consider your “No Debt” contribution today!

This Week

Wednesday October 29th, 6:30 p.m. Daily Vespers

Saturday November 1st, St. Mark Annual Dinner & Wine Tasting. Presented by Fr. John Finley, please see flyer included in this bulletin and reserve your ticket today.

Next week

Sunday November 2nd, Hall Renovation Bake Sale

Sunday November 2nd, Daylight saving time ends

Wednesday November 5, No Vespers

Upcoming Services & Events

Sunday November 9th, Ladies Guild Pre Thanksgiving Luncheon. Please see Flyer included for more information.

Monday November 10th, 6:30 p.m. Parish Council Meeting

Wednesday November 12th, 6:30 p.m. Daily Vespers

Friday November 14th, Vespers, Ask Abouna Teen Session, Dinner and Movie
sign up with Jay Skaff for something to bring for dinner

Saturday November 15th, Advent Begins

Upcoming Humanitarian Events ‏

Dec 7th FOCUS OC Valencia Inn St. Nicholas Day, hosted by Sunday School

Jan 4th Red Cross Blood Drive


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.

The Holy Great-martyr Demetrios (October 26)

Saint Demetrius was a Thessalonian, a most pious son of pious and noble parents, and a teacher of the Faith of Christ. When Maximian first came to Thessalonica in 290, he raised the Saint to the rank of Duke of Thessaly. But when it was discovered that the Saint was a Christian, he was arrested and kept bound in a bath-house. While the games were under way in the city, Maximian was a spectator there. A certain friend of his, a barbarian who was a notable wrestler, Lyaeus by name, waxing haughty because of the height and strength of his body, boasted in the stadium and challenged the citizens to a contest with him. All that fought with him were defeated. Seeing this, a certain youth named Nestor, aquaintance of Demetrius’, came to the Saint in the bath-house and asked his blessing to fight Lyaeus single-handed. Receiving this blessing and sealing himself with the sign of the precious Cross, he presented himself in the stadium, and said, “O God of Demetrius, help me!” and straightway he engaged Lyaeus in combat and smote him with a mortal blow to the heart, leaving the former boaster lifeless upon the earth. Maximian was sorely grieved over this, and when he learned who was the cause of this defeat, he commanded straightway and Demetrius was pierced with lances while he was yet in the bath-house, As for Nestor, Maximian commanded that he be slain with his own sword.

pre-thanksgiving 2014 flyer St. mark