Category Archives: UPDATES




Troparion for the Resurrection, in the Sixth Tone: When Mary stood at Thy grave looking for Thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above thy revered tomb, and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led hades captive and wast not tempted thereby.  Thou didst meet the virgin and didst give life to the world, O Thou who art risen from the dead, O Lord glory to Thee.

Troparion of Saint Matthew in the Third Tone:  When thou didst hear the divine voice of the Word, thou didst receive the light of faith and didst then abandon the office of publican.  Wherefore, thou didst proclaim the good tidings of Christ God’s ineffable kenosis, O Apostle Matthew.  Intercede now, that they who honor thee may be granted forgiveness of offenses and 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 Presentation of the Theotokos, in the Fourth Tone: The most pure temple of the Savior, the very precious chamber and Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is presented today in the house of the Lord. She bringeth with her the grace of the Spirit, which the angels of God do praise. She is the heavenly tabernacle.

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Prokeimenon (Psalm 32:22, 1) Let your mercy be upon us. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous.

Reading from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. (Chapter 4:9-16)

Brethren, I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off scouring of all things.

I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

Alleluia Verses (Psalm 17:47, 50) It is God magnifies the salvlation of his king, a deals mercifully with his anointed.

The Reading from the Gospel according to St. Matthew (9:9 -13)

At that time, as Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

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Holy Oblations are offered today by Emilie Laffoon and family for the soul of her unlce, Simon (Cy) Simon, departed this life 15 years, by Paul & June Anter for their daughter Paula and son-in-law Tony Rodriquez on the occasion of their 22nd wedding anniversary and for their granddaughter Leila for her 19th birthday, by Tony, Paula and Paul Rodriquez for their daughter and sister Leila on the occasion of her birthday, and by Habib Saad and family for the soul of his son Habib Saad Jr. departed this life 10 years and for the souls of Michael, Evan and Ibrahim Saad. Memory Eternal!!

Today’s Coffee Hour is sponsored by Habib Saad and Family. Thank you!!

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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: Don Skaff & Melad Hanna

Ushers serving next week: Sami Farraj & Austin Turk

Altar boys serving Today: James Dabbah, Paul Youssef, Nour Youssef, Matthew Dabbah

Altar boys serving Next Week: Sammy Khamis, Andrew Azzam, George Bahbah, Richard Tierney.

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

Abide in perpetual repentance then and be prepared for departure at all times and in every place.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

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.


This next Sunday (November 23) we will, with God’s help, celebrate the first Divine Liturgy in our remodeled and enlarged sanctuary. Much will remain undone in terms of furnishings, icons, etc, but we will be done worshipping in the Hall. Glory to God!

Advent (the Christmas Fast) began yesterday. 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!

Ladies Guild Meeting after Church.

Thanks and blessings on all the Ladies of our Church who baked, donated, set up, served and cleaned up for the Luncheon last Sunday, God bless you all!!


Congratulations to all the Teen Officers for their installment today with love from their Teen Advisors Auntie Paula Rodriquez and Auntie Dana Chade

President: Grace Bahbah

Vice president: Alex Turk

Secretary: Jay Skaff

Treasurer: George Bahbah

Historians: Paul Rodriguez-Anter and Christiana Tarazi

8th grade representative: Youssef Youssef

7th grade representative: Marianne Hannouneh


SOYO Fundraiser: Pies will be delivered by Thanksgiving.   Apple, Pecan and Pumpkin – Yum! Please see form included in this bulletin to order your pies today.


SAVE THE DATE! By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are prayerfully

anticipating the upcoming Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. Since many will not be able to attend the event in New York, we are blessed to announce an official West Coast Diocese event celebrating the Enthronement on Saturday, January 31, 2015 in Los Angeles, California, with the proceeds to benefit Camp St. Nicholas and Youth Education Programs. We are praying for enthusiastic participation by all churches in the Diocese to honor our beloved Metropolitan Joseph. This is the only celebration taking place on the West Coast – do not miss this historic celebration in the life of our Archdiocese. Please note that there will be a Commemorative Program Book that will include memorable images from the actual enthronement. Ticket and program book information will be available shortly. For further information, contact co-chairs: Rose Samore: or Jasminka Gabrie:


 “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 $80,300 Thanks to those who have made these pledges. Please consider your “No Debt” contribution today!

This Week

Wednesday November 19th, 6:30 p.m. Advent Paraklesis

Thursday November 20th, 6:30 p.m. Evening Liturgy for the Entrance of the Theotokos. Orthros 5:30 p.m.

Next week

Wednesday November 26th, 6:30 p.m. Advent Paraklesis


Thursday November 27th, Thanksgiving Day. The Church Office will be closed Thursday and Friday.


Upcoming Services & Events

Upcoming Humanitarian Events ‏

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

Jan 4th Red Cross Blood Drive

Mark your Calendar for the Ladies Guild Christmas Bake Sale on Sunday December 21st. Please find the Order Form included in this bulletin to place your order today!

Saint of the Day

Holy Apostle Matthew the Evangelist (November 16)

This Apostle, who was also called Levi, was the son of Alphaeus and had Galilee as his homeland. A publican before being called by Christ, he became one of the Twelve Apostles, and an Evangelist. While still in Palestine, he wrote his Gospel first in Hebrew, being also the first of all to write the Gospel. When he is depicted in icons, there is portrayed next to him the likeness of a man, one of the symbolic living creatures mentioned by Ezekiel (1.10), which, as Saint Irenaeus writes, is a symbol of our Saviour’s Incarnation.


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.