All posts by Fr. Michael Laffoon


AUGUST 24TH, 2014



Troparion of 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.

All: 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.

Priest: Kontakion of the Nativity of the Theotokos in the Fourth Tone:  By thy holy nativity, O immaculate one, Joachim and Anna were delivered from the reproach of barrenness, and Adam and Eve from the corruption of death; thy people celebrate it, having been saved from the penalty of their transgressions, crying unto thee: The barren doth give birth to the Theotokos, the nourisher of life.

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Prokeimenon (Psalm 117:14,18) The Lord is my strength and my song. The Lord has chastened me sorely.


Section from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (9:2-12)

Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same?  For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

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

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew (18:23-35)       The Lord spoke this parable: “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.  Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.

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Holy Oblations are offered today by for Don Skaff and his entire Golf Tournament Committee. Thanks and Blessings on a job well done!

Coffee Hour is given today by the Coffee Hour Committee.

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

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Ushers serving Today: Jamal Sayegh & Jamal Qutami

Ushers serving Next week: Nelson Mamey & Jimmy Goson

Altar boys serving Today: Sammy Khamis, Andrew Azzam, George Bahbah

Altar boys serving Next Week: Noah Fortuna, Daniel Attalah, Connor Wilde.

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

“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

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.


“No Debt Building Campaign”

Our sanctuary remodel and expansion is progressing and we hope to move into the new sanctuary by the end of August. 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 $72,700 Thanks to those who have made these pledges. Please consider your “No Debt” contribution today!

New Church Photo Directory still available, please see Lydia at the coffee hour to get yours.

This Week

Tuesday August 26th, 6:30 p.m.Parish Council Meeting

Thursday August 28th, 6:30 p.m. Evening Liturgy, Feast of Beheading of St. John the Baptist (Orthros at 5:30 p.m.)

Next week

Sunday August 31, 4:00 p.m. Meeting of Friends of St. Barbara Monastery. Fr. Michael will be the guest speaker. Car pool will leave Church at 1:45 p.m. Estimated time of return to Church, 8:00 p.m.

Upcoming Services & Events

Sunday September 21st, Ladies Guild Annual Friendship Tea and the home of Dr. Samir and Mayssa Azzam. More details to follow.

Note: The September 7th, Red Cross Blood drive is cancelled. We will reschedule at a date to be announced.

Upcoming Humanitarian Events ‏

Sep 21st Orthodox Religious Awards to St. Mark Scouts and Sunday School Students

Sep 28th Next FOCUS OC Valencia Feeding, hosted by Ladies Guild

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

Jan 4th Red Cross Blood Drive

Hieromartyr Eutychos, August 24

Saint Eutychos was a disciple of Saint John the Theologian and a fellow laborer of the holy Apostle Paul. He preached the Gospel in many places, pulled down the idols’ temples, and suffered imprisonments and many torments at the hands of the idolaters. He finally reposed in peace in deep old age in his native city of Sebastia, near Tarsus.


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.

August 24th 2014, 11th Sun after Pentecost