24TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
HOLY MARTYR PLATO OF ANCYRA
Choir Director: Veronika
We welcome you to the Orthodox Church. Please feel at ease and free to participate in the singing. As a visitor you are welcome to come forward at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy and venerate the Cross offered by the priest. Additionally you may receive the blessed bread (Antidoron) that is offered at that time. If you have questions or would like further information, the priest or one of the members of the parish will be pleased to help.
A word to our visitors on Holy Communion
The Orthodox Church does not practice open Communion. Therefore, only members of Canonical Orthodox Churches exercising jurisdiction in America may approach the Chalice for Holy Communion. The Orthodox do not regard Holy Communion solely as an act of personal piety, but also as an expression of union with the Orthodox Church’s faith, doctrine, and discipline. Orthodox visitors wishing to receive Holy Communion should make their intention known to the priest in advance — ask any member of the parish for help in relaying your intention to the priest. Orthodox Christians should prepare themselves to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion through recent Confession, prayers of preparation for Holy Communion, and fasting (at minimum, from midnight before receiving).
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.” – I Corinthians 11:27
TROPARIA AND KONTAKIA
Troparion to the Martyrs – Tone 4
In their sufferings, O Lord, Thy martyrs received imperishable crowns from Thee, our God; for, possessed of Thy might, they set at nought the tormenters and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons. Through their supplications, save Thou our souls.
Kontakion to the Martyrs – Tone 3
Thy holy memory doth gladden the whole world, summoning all the faithful to thine all honorable temple, where, assembled now with joy, we chant in hymns amid splendor. Wherefore, O Plato, we cry out to thee: Deliver thy city from the invasion of the heathen, O holy one.
Opportunities to give:
➢ Food donations to the Ashland Food Project
- Please sign up for coffee fellowship/kitchen cleanup.
- Choir practice on Saturday, 5.00 pm.
- Please hand in your Pledge Forms if you have not already done so.
- Parish Council Meeting after Liturgy today.
- No Adult Education Class this week
- Next Sunday, at 8.30 am, we will have the Akathist to the Mother of God Nurturer of Children.
- The Nativity Fast is going on. For your own spiritual benefit, and for the glory of God, please observe it to the best of your ability!
Service Schedule this Week:
Tuesday – 5.30 pm, Vigil (Entrance of the Theotokos in the Temple)
Wednesday – 6.40 am, Hours, Divine Liturgy (Entrance)
Thursday – 9.00 am, Akathist of Thanksgiving
Saturday – 6.00 pm, Great Vespers
Sunday – 8.30 am, Akathist to the Mother of God, Hours, Divine Liturgy
Confession after Vespers or by appointment!
Other Activities Next Week:
- Saturday, 4.30 PM – Choir practice
The Orthodox Church and Missions
By Archbishop Anastasios of Albania
It is not a question of “can we?” but of an imperative command “we must.” “Go ye therefore and teach all nations.” “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” There is no “consider if you can,” there is only a definite, clear cut command of Our Lord… If we let ourselves rest peacefully in this habitual inertia in the matter of missions, we are not simply keeping the pure light of the Faith “under the bushel,” but we are betraying one of the basic elements of our Orthodox tradition. For missionary work has always been a tradition within the Orthodox Church… Missionary activity is not simply something “useful” or just “nice,” but something imperative, a foremost duty, if we really want to be consequent to our Orthodox Faith.
Church without mission is a contradiction in terms. If the Church is indifferent to the apostolic work with which she has been entrusted, she denies herself, contradicts herself and her essence, and is a traitor in the warfare in which she is engaged. A static Church which lacks vision and a constant endeavor to proclaim the Gospel to the oikoumene [“whole inhabited world”] could hardly be recognized as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church to whom the Lord entrusted the continuation of His work.
Inertia in the field of mission means, in the last analysis, a negation of Orthodoxy, a backslide into the practical heresy of localism… It is unthinkable for us to speak of “Orthodox spirituality,” of “a life in Christ,” of emulating the Apostle Paul, founder of the Church, while we stay inert as to mission; that it is unintelligible to write about intense liturgical and spiritual living of the Lord’s Resurrection by us, while we abide slothful and indifferent to the call of missions, with which the message of the Resurrection is interwoven.
Only when it is realized that worldwide mission is an initial and prime implication in a fundamental article of the Creed*, elemental for the Orthodox comprehension of what the Church is, and that what is termed “mission” is not an external matter but an inner need, a call to repentance and aligning ourselves with the spirit of the Gospel and the tradition of our Church, only then shall we have the proper and hope-bearing theological start for what comes next.
The Gospel is addressed to all peoples, and therefore the work of the Church remains incomplete as long as it is restricted to certain geographical areas or social classes. Its field of action is universal and is active in both sectors that welcome the good tidings and those which at first may reject them. Mission was not the duty of only the first generation of Christians. It is the duty of Christians of all ages… Witness is the expression of the vitality of the Church as well as a source of renewal and renewed vigor… Everyone should contribute to and participate in it, whether it be directly or indirectly. It is an essential expression of the Orthodox ethos.
It is not simply obedience, duty or altruism. It is an inner necessity. “Necessity is laid upon me,” said St. Paul, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (I Cor. 9:16). All other motives are aspects of this need, derivative motives. Mission is an inner necessity (i) for the faithful and (ii) for the Church. If they refuse it, they do not merely omit a duty, they deny themselves. The Christian who is incorporated into Christ and who really lives in Him cannot think, feel, will, act or see the world in a different way from Christ.
Let us not deceive ourselves. Our spiritual life [both the Church and eveyr believer] will not acquire the fervor, the broadness, the genuineness that it should, if we continue to regard and live Christianity limited within the narrow boundaries of the community to which we belong, forgetting its universal destiny.
– Excerpts taken from the book: “Monks, Missionaries and Martyrs: Making Disciples of All Nations”
* When Orthodox Christians confess, “I believe in one… apostolic church,” apostolic does not refer only to apostolic succession. More importantly, it implies having an “apostolic fire and zeal to preach the gospel ‘to every creature’ (Mk 16:15), because it nurtures its members so that they may become ‘witnesses n Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).