Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA PUBLISH DATE: September 26, 2013

 

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HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN ALEXIOS` MESSAGE ON CHURCH MUSICIAN SUNDAY September 25, 2013

Reverend Clergy and the Faithful of the Holy and God-protected Metropolis of Atlanta

My dearly beloved,

“Bless with Your heavenly blessing the Church Musicians who offer this ministry to You through these worship services.
Guide them to offer hymns of praise in a holy manner to You, the Master of all.”
Prayer for Church Musicians

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Sunday October 6 is designated as National Church Music Sunday, a day on which we honor the faithful service of our wonderful choir directors, chanters and choir members. I am proud of them, and the way they uphold the musical and liturgical traditions of our Greek Orthodox Church. Truly I give thanks to God that we have so many dedicated and talented individuals who serve our parish communities with commitment and dedication to the sacred art of music.

Church Musician Sunday is celebrated on or near the feast day of St. Romanos the Melodist, one of our Church's most celebrated hymnographers. He was born in Syria in the 5th century to Jewish parents, and later moved to Constantinople, where he became a sexton at Hagia Sophia. Tradition tells us that Romanos did not have a good singing voice nor was he a talented reader. In fact, on one Christmas Eve during services he read so badly that another reader had to take his place. The next day, ashamed and grief-stricken, he went before an icon of the Mother of God. He was then granted a vision, where the Virgin gave him a scroll which she commanded him to eat. He was given the gift of understanding, composition and hymnography, as well as a beautiful voice. That evening he sang his first hymn, which is the Kontakion of the Feast of the Nativity:
“On this day, the Virgin gives birth unto the Super-essential.
To the Unapproachable, earth is providing the grotto.
Angels sing and with the shepherds offer up glory.
Following a star the Magi are still proceeding.
He was born for our salvation, a newborn Child, the preeternal God.” (translation by Fr. Seraphim Dedes)

St. Romanos composed more than a thousand kontakia. He died while serving as a deacon of the Great Church in Constantinople in 530. This year, we are also commemorating St. Cosmas the Hymnographer, whose feast day is October 14. St. Cosmas was a Bishop and hymnographer, born in the 8th century in Jerusalem. When he was orphaned, he was adopted by the father of St. John of Damascus. He was elected Bishop of Maiuma in Palestine. His most well-known composition is “More honourable than the cherubim…” which is sung regularly at Matins, the Divine Liturgy and other services.

It is a great privilege to be a member of a choir or a church musician, and an awesome responsibility, because it is not only a talent, but more importantly, a gift of the Holy Spirit. The choir directors, chanters and choir members dedicate their time, energy and talent to assist our Clergy and inspire the Faithful through the hymnology of our Church.

I give thanks to Almighty God for all the selfless devotion of all the hard-working volunteers who have dedicated their lives to praising God with music and song. May God bless all our Church Musicians as you continue the work of your spiritual ministry through music! I remain,

With paternal blessings and with much love in Christ,


+ALEXIOS
Metropolitan of Atlanta



NATIONAL CLERGY RETREAT - NAPLES, FL "Look In. Lift Up. Reach Out!" National Clergy Retreat
The APC 2013 National Clergy Retreat will be held in Naples, Florida, from Tuesday, October 29 through Friday, November 1. Hotel reservations are available immediately. Registration is now open! Register on-line now by clicking here! Earlybird registration is only $295 through September 29th. Register early for your chance to win a free Nexus 7 tablet! Hotel Reservations now available! Reserve now for guaranteed 2011 prices in 2013! Choose the method that works best for you to book your room at the special group rate of $129/night (+taxes): Online Reservations: Visit the APC Retreat Room Reservations Site by clicking here. Toll-Free Telephone Reservations: Call 1-888-722-1270 and use the Group Code "APC13".
"Look In. Lift Up. Reach Out!" This year`s retreat will again open with a Welcome Reception personally hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios; will have three engaging speakers leading us on "Encounters" springing from the theme, "Look In. Lift Up. Reach Out."; there will be plenty of personal time and lots of exciting options for "Adventures" in Southwest Florida; and more!
See more at: http://apc.goarch.org/retreat


FEAST DAYS and NAME DAYS FOR THE COMING WEEK September 29
2nd Sunday of Luke

Cyriacus the Hermit of Palestine
Martyr Petronius
Theophanes the Merciful of Gaza
Dionysios I, Patriarch of Constantinople

September 30
Monday of the 3rd Week

Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop of Armenia
Mardonios & Stratonikos the Martyrs

October 1
Tuesday of the 3rd Week

The Holy Protection of the Theotokos
Ananias, Apostle of the 70
Romanos the Melodist

October 2
Wednesday of the 3rd Week

The Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian and the Virgin Martyr Justina
Eleutherios and Roustikos, the Athenian Martyrs
Theophilus the Confessor

October 3
Thursday of the 3rd Week

Dionysios the Areopagite
John the Chozebite, Bishop of Caesaria

October 4
Friday of the 3rd Week

Hierotheus, Bishop of Athens
Domnina the Martyr and her daughters
John the Hermit

October 5
Saturday of the 3rd Week

Charitina the Martyr
Methodia the Righteous of Kimolos
Eudokimos the Unknown of Mount Athos
Peter, Alexis, Jonah, Hermogenes & Tikhon, Metropolitans of Moscow































PARISH NEWS AND NOTES Congratulations to Lea Kokenes , ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC, for being named a semi-finalist in this year’s National Merit Scholarship program.

On Sept. 19th, Fr. Steve Dalber, John Nichols, Patrick Taylor and Tim Klund, ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC, departed for Nairobi, Kenya to work with the Coptic Orthodox Hospital and the Seminary there. Please keep them in your prayers.

HOLY TRINITY, Orlando, FL donations for The Ephraim Project during August 2013, helped out 43 families in the Orlando community. The Ephraim Project assists the homeless and families in need. They also collecting clothes for the homeless.

HOLY TRINITY, Raleigh, NC ST. JOHN THE MERCIFUL Ministry now has a web site; www.stjohnmerciful.org

ANNUNCIATION, Atlanta, GA “Teaching” Divine Liturgy Sunday, Sept. 29, 9:30 am, Learn step by step all the parts of the Divine Liturgy

METROPOLIS YOUTH ADVENT RETREAT, Nov. 15-17, Online registration for the Advent Retreat is now open. To register go to
Adults: https://thriva.activenetwork.com/Reg4/Form.aspx?IDTD=3107661&RF=3009666&mode=0
Youth:
https://thriva.activenetwork.com/Reg4/Form.aspx?IDTD=3107661&RF=3009667&mode=0

STS. MARKELLA & DEMEMTRIOS, Ft. Walton, FL is collecting pantry items and school supplies for Okaloosa Children in Crisis.
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HOLY TRINITY, Orlando, FL Philoptochos Pink and White Bake sale supporting the American Cancer Society Oct. 6

OCF Work Daze, Oct. 18-20, Diakonia Retreat Center, Salem, SC

ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC “Pray for the Cure for Cancer,” Oct. 17, 4-7pm, donations accepted for Comfort Bags for cancer patients (soft toothbrush, travel-sized sensitive toothpaste, small packs of tissues, fuzzy socks, diaries/journals).

ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC “Be the Match” bone marrow donor registry, Oct. 17, 4-7pm


SEPTEMBER EVENTS
HOLY TRINITY/HOLY CROSS, Birmingham, AL GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL, Sept. 26-28

ST. JOHN, Myrtle Beach, SC Greek Festival, Sept. 26-29

TRANSFIGURATION, Florence, SC Community Movie Night, Sept. 27, 6pm, Pizza & "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" $10/family ($5/single adult)

HOLY TRINITY, Asheville, NC 27th Annual Asheville Greek Festival Sept. 27- 29

HOLY CROSS/STS. CONSTANTINE & HELEN, Huntsville, AL Parish Rummage Sale Fri. Sept. 27 & Sat. Sept. 28 7AM-2PM

ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC Jr. GOYA Mountain Retreat, Sept. 27-29

ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC Sept. 28 Philoptochos Bake Sale - UNCC

ST. NICHOLAS, Wilmington, NC GOYA DIVE FOR THE CROSS, Saturday, Sept. 28

ST. JOHN, Jacksonville, FL Name Day Dinner dance Saturday, Sept. 28

HOLY TRANSFIGURATION, Marietta, GA GOYA Braves Game Saturday, Sept. 28, 7pm

ST. JOHN, Tampa, FL JOY workshop “Choices: How to Make Godly Decisions” for all pre-teens & parents, discussion, activities and prayer, Sunday, Sept. 29, 12:30-3pm

ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC Sept. 29 Family fun Night

HOLY TRINITY, Charlotte, NC, Luncheon Fundraiser Sunday Sept. 29, to benefit the Caneclides Fund








SAVE THE DATE - OCTOBER ST. KATHERINE, Melbourne,FL Greektober Fest, Oct. 4-5

STS. MARKELLA & DEMEMTRIOS, Ft. Walton, FL Annual Church Rummage Sale on Saturday, Oct. 5, 7:30AM,Gyros, Greek pastries, & beverages

ST. BARBARA, Durham, NC Autumn Design Fashion Show & Luncheon, Sat., Oct. 5, 11:30 am-2:30pm. Hope Valley Country Club. Sponsored by the Outreach Committee

HOLY TRINITY, New Orleans, LA Philoptochos Garage Sale Oct. 5-6

HOLY TRINITY/HOLY CROSS, Birmingham, AL Sunday, Oct. 6 Fall Teacher Meeting

HOLY TRINITY, Orlando, FL Philoptochos Pink and White Bake sale for the American Cancer Society Oct. 6

HOLY TRANSFIGURATION, Marietta, GA Prime Timers Tellus Science Museum visit, Tuesday, Oct. 8,leave 10:30am, $15.50/person entrance fee

ST. NICHOLAS, Tarpon Springs, FL Informational Meeting, Men's Ministry Development, Thursday, Oct. 10 7pm,Spanos-Pappas Community Center Conference room

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, Tallahassee, FL Greek Food Festival Oct. 11-12

ANNUNCIATION, Pensacola, FL Greek Festival - Oct 11, 12 and 13

ST. JOHN, Tampa, FL YAL yard sale Sat, Oct. 12, proceeds to restore stained glass windows

ST. JOHN, Jacksonville, FL 6th Annual Fall Festival Saturday Oct. 12, 11am-2pm

HOLY TRINITY/HOLY CROSS, Birmingham, AL “Art at the Acropolis,” art show, Oct. 12-13

HOLY TRINITY, Raleigh, NC Saturday, Oct. 12, Hellenic Dancers flapjack breakfast fundraiser, Hillsborough Applebee`s 7:30-10am. Tickets $7

ST. DEMETRIOS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Philoptochos fall extravaganza Sat, Oct. 12, 7pm

ST. CATHERINE, W. Palm Beach, FL Family Outreach Sunday, Oct. 13

ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC Community Brunch, breakfast buffet, Oct. 13, adults $8, kids $4

STS. RAPHAEL, NICHOLAS & IRENE, Cumming, GA Greek Festival Oct. 18-20

HOLY CROSS, Macon, GA Central Georgia Greek Festival,Oct. 18-20

ST. CATHERINE, W. Palm Beach, FL 6TH ANNUAL AUTISM TEA, Sat, Oct. 19,2-4pm

ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC 15th Annual Church Celebration, A Night in Monte Carlo

Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Inaugural Toga Trot 5K Oct. 19, 9am www.fivestarntp.com/Toga_Trot.html

HOLY TRINITY/HOLY CROSS, Birmingham, AL Sunday, Oct. 20 Outdoor Liturgy, Camp Vakakes

ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC “A Taste of IOCC,” wine-tasting & hors d’oeuvres Fri. Oct. 25, 7-10pm benefits IOCC, $30/pp

HOLY CROSS/STS. CONSTANTINE & HELEN, Huntsville, AL Fall Youth Festival Sat, Oct. 26, 4-5:30pm

STS. MARKELLA & DEMEMTRIOS, Ft. Walton, FL St. Demetrios Feast Day Church Fundraiser Luncheon Sat, Oct. 26, Adult plates $20 (chicken, green beans, potatoes, Greek salad, bread, dessert & tea/coffee. Child plates (12 years and under) $7 (pasta, Greek salad, bread, & drink) RSVP by Sunday, Oct. 20

ST. KATHERINE, Melbourne, FL Sat. Oct. 26, OPA Annual Fall Glendi & Movie Dinner Night. 6 pm, “Courageous” . Donation $13 pp

ANNUNCIATION, Atlanta, GA Inaugural Chili Cook-Off, Sat. Oct. 26 5PM, Contact:suzylamas@bellsouth.net or eviskaplanis@aol.com

ST. DEMETRIOS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL St. Demetrios dinner dance Sat, Oct. 26, 7pm

ST. CHRISTOPHER, Peachtree City, GA 10th Anniversary Commemoration of Parish Founding Potluck Luncheon, Oct. 27

ST. GEORGE, Knoxville, TN Sunday, Oct 27 GOYA "Thank You' Community Lunch

ST. GEORGE, Knoxville, TN Sunday, Oct 27 7pm GOYA w/ HOPE & JOY All Saints Party

ST. JOHN, Tampa, FL Sunday, Oct. 27 JOY/HOPE Fall Festival

HOLY CROSS/STS. CONSTANTINE & HELEN, Huntsville, AL GOYA Spaghetti Luncheon Sun. Oct. 27, 12N

ST. JOHN, Myrtle Beach, SC HOPE/JOY/GOYA FALL FESTIVAL, Sunday Oct. 27, 4-7PM, pizza, games, crafts & fellowship.


ST. JOHN, Jacksonville, FL HONORS FR. MILTON MAGOS ST. JOHN, Jacksonville, FL Annual Dinner Dance honoring Rev. Dr. Milton A. Magos’
20th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood

Saturday, Sept. 28
Hierarchical Great Vespers ~ 5:00 p.m.
Cocktails ~ 6:30 p.m.
Dinner ~ 7:00 p.m.

Deerwood Country Club
10239 Golf Club Drive, Jacksonville 32256
Adults $50.00 ~ Children 12 and under $15.00


ST. PHOTIOS SHRINE ESSAY CONTEST St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine Eighth Annual Essay Contest
The 2013 Essay Contest is underwritten by Mrs. Kathie Dakis D`Anna in memory of her beloved husband of blessed memory, Carmen V. D`Anna, Sr. Mrs. D`Anna resides in Jacksonville, Fl and is a member at St John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church. She and her husband were born and raised in Baltimore, MD, where they raised their family in the Essex area, instilling in them love of family, church and heritage.
Mrs. D`Anna offers an opportunity to our high school students to explore the experience of their forefathers and to articulate that experience to others. May God continue to bless all the D`Anna family with abundance and may He give rest to the soul of Carmen.
May his memory be eternal.
Eligibility: Open to high school students
Entry Fee: Free
Type: 1,000 word Essay
Deadline: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Essay Theme
Most Americans appreciate an immigrant story - perhaps that is because the United States is known as `a melting pot` of many cultures.
The immigrant`s story is held as a precious thread of the family legacy. It is unique to each family`s history in America with recurring themes of why the immigrant left, what was met in the new land and how their life manifested itself through its course.
In your essay, compare and contrast the immigrant story of one of the Greek colonists who came to America in 1768 and a person you know - either a family member or parishioner, a friend of the family. How are the stories similar, what was unique to the individual - how were you touched - what have you learned from writing this essay?
Please note that all essays will be independently judged and ranked. Certificates of participation will be sent to all participants and the top three ranked essayists will receive APPLE products:
First Prize IPAD2
Second Prize IPOD
Third Prize IPOD Nano
The 2013 Essay Contest Committee consists of Chair, Katherine Bacalis of St John the Divine (Jacksonville, FL), Renee Gahagan of St Demetrios (Daytona Beach, FL) and Kathy Mendez of Holy Trinity (St Augustine, FL) Dr Constantine Santas serves as professional consult.
Please note that previously submitted essays will not be considered.
Students who have participated in the contest in years past must choose a different person to interview for development of topic.
All essays become property of St Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine.
We ask that the essays are submitted by email to info@stphotios.com with a cover page which includes:
author`s name, name of his or her home parish, address, phone number and email address.
Essays may also be sent via postal service to: 41 St George Street., St. Augustine, FL 32084
Recommended but not mandatory, please send a one paragraph autobiographical statement and
photo that may be used for possible publication.
Deadline is October 31, 2013.
The St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine is one of the five institutions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. It is a living memorial to the 500 Greeks who came to America in 1768. Its mission is to witness the Orthodox Christian faith and share the Hellenic culture.



BLESSING OF THE WATERS & CROSS-DIVE, ST. NICHOLAS, Wilmington, NC ST. NICHOLAS, Wilmington, NC “Blessing of the Waters & Cross Dive” Saturday, Sept. 28 11AM, at the Blockade Runner on Wrightsville Beach. Panygiri to follow at Wrightsville Beach Park. Diver registration fee $20 includes registration, T-shirt, bag, lunch & park activities; observers and all others $10 includes lunch & park activities. Event T-shirts $10 and must be pre-ordered by Sept. 15.

CHOIR WORKSHOP - DAYTONA BEACH, FL “MAKING A JOYFUL NOISE UNTO THE LORD:Practical Things to Improve Your Choir,” Retreat Oct. 12
Led by Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis
At ST. DEMETRIOS, Daytona Beach, FL

8am Divine Liturgy
9:15am Coffee/refreshments
9:45am Session 1 – How being “technically right” can still be wrong; what are “style points”?
11:15am Session2 – building chemistry between your priest and choir by understanding the roles of each; common mistakes in the Liturgy and how to correct them
12:45pm Lunch
1:15pm Session 3 – wrap-up and questions; practical ways to embrace the liturgical celebrations of your parish
2:45pm Closing prayer

To register, contact Markella Balasis, markella.balasis@gmail.com


ST. BARBARA, Durham, NC Fashion Show Luncheon ST. BARBARA OUTREACH PROGRAM FUNDRAISER: “AUTUMN DESIGNS” FASHION SHOW LUNCHEON

Saturday, October 5, 2013
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Hope Valley Country Club in Durham

*Fashion Show Tickets are $45 each
*Raffle Tickets are $5 each
- First Prize - Black Mink Vest from Hertzberg Furs of Raleigh
- Second Prize - Fox Scarf from Hertzberg Furs of Raleigh
- Many other prizes included
- (Winner need not be present to win)

SILENT AUCTION: An ICON of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child will be on display at the Fashion Show. To make Silent Bids, please see the sign-up sheet at the ICON display.

ALL PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT:
The Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and St. Barbara Building Fund


THIS WEEK FROM THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK COME RECEIVE THE LIGHT - THE NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO PROGRAM OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY CHRISTIANITY Join us for another inspiring conversation about the spiritual journey to Orthodoxy. Fr. Brendan Pelphrey is with us to talk about his long and winding road to our historic Church and Faith. We also hear from Theodora Sexstone of St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC, who joins us to talk about an urgently needed bone marrow transplant for a 24-year-old man with cancer.
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THE SOUNDING SOUND OFF
As we continue to follow the tragic situation in Syria, Presvytera Vassi Haros reminds us that our history is repeating itself, in "This is Nothing New". Missionary Meg Photini Engelbach feels some sympathy for Abraham in "The Waiting Place". And Fr. Lawrence challenges the Pope and the Media in "A Church Obsessed?" Join us each day at www.soundingblog.com and on The Sounding Orthodox Blog Facebook page for these and other thought-provoking posts.
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SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Prayer Service for Syria Executive Director Fr. Chris Metropulos and a crew from OCN attended a special service in Miami dedicated to praying for those suffering in the Syrian conflict. Visit the OCN YouTube Channel - to watch the service and obtain information about how your parish can support Syria in prayer and let your voices be heard in this tragic situation.
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On Theologically Thinking, Terry Mattingly and Fr. Chris discuss St. Brenden and his significance to the Universal Church.
As we begin exploring October's theme, "Escaping the Monotony, in Orthodox Teen Talk Online, we hear Fr. Chris discuss the influence of the media with a group of teenagers.
On CRTL Greek, Dimitris Karavasilis contemplates our Lord's revolutionary commandment in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 6:31-36). By setting it as our daily purpose, we could find ourselves a little bit closer to the Kingdom of Heaven, not just for us but for all the people in the world.
On this episode of Vengan a Recibir la Luz/CRTL Spanish, hosts Fr. Aristidis Arizi and Fr. David Wooten talk again about the sacrament of matrimony, but this time, they speak about the tragedy of divorce: What does the Church teach about this? The Hymn of the Great Entrance in the Divine Liturgy, sung by the choir of St. George Cathedral in Mexico City, follows. Finally, Fr. Michael Marcantoni offers the episode's Epistle reading (Galatians 6.11-18) and Gospel reading (John 3.13-17), then gives a sermon called, "Christ saves us from the serpents we hold in our own hearts."
On OCN Now, hear the real story about the current situation in Syria from Dean Triantafilou, Executive Director of IOCC.
Join Roger Hunt for Daily Readings and Remembrances. Each day, we will read the Holy Scriptures and the lives of the Saints. This week, featured Saints will include Callistratus, Chariton, Gregory of Armenia, and others. Please join us on The Orthodox Christian Network, myocn.net.
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OCN AMAZON STORE
Visit http://www.myocn.net to check out the store, a wonderful collection of Orthodox books, music, worship supplies, and more!
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FACEBOOK AND TWITTER- Thank you to all of the thousands of you who visit and follow us daily on Facebook and Twitter. Find out more information about new events being planned. A great way to interact with our Executive Director, Fr. Christopher Metropulos, and ask your questions about life and our faith. Check out the "YouTube" buttons on the OCN Facebook Page and The Sounding Orthodox Blog Facebook Page. Watch the OCN YouTube Channel right from Facebook.
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ADVERTISING/SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sponsor a program or feature your company on the high-traffic MyOCN.net website this summer. Call 954-522-5567 or email us at adverts@myocn.net.

All programs are available on Internet Radio, Podcast, and On Demand at www.myocn.net.


ADVANCING THE KINGDOM
I enjoy the game of football. Always have, even from an early age. I enjoy the competition. I enjoy playing football for the camaraderie and the fun. I enjoy watching football games on television although I don't seem to do it as much anymore. There is one thing, however, about football that I really don't like.

It's something called the "Prevent Defense." It is a particular style of defense designed to protect a lead and it is often employed late in the game. The thought behind it seems to be that if the defense can limit giving up big plays by willingly giving up small ones, it can control the game, protect the lead, and win. It is a form of risk management and statistically speaking the numbers probably support its use in certain situations. However, it often happens that the other team is able to take the small gains, combine them, and score enough points to win.
My problem with it is more psychological. It is a reactive, soft, and nonaggressive style of play. It gives the other team the chance to seize the initiative and win the game usually because it is played too early. Ironically, out of a fear of losing a game that appears to be won, teams often switch to the Prevent Defense before they need to and set-up the conditions for their defeat.
I believe a better approach is to be proactive not reactive. I think teams should stick longer with the offensive game plan that got them the lead in the first place. They should keep the emphasis on offense not defense. They should try to create positives not limit losses. They should advance the ball like the Church should advance the kingdom of God.
Advancing the kingdom of God requires time, money, and effort. It requires players, assistant coaches, coaches and game plans also known as volunteers, staff, clergy, and ministries. As members of Christ's body, the Church, we are all here to grow the lead not merely protect it. It is too early in the life of our parish to switch to the Prevent Defense and forfeit the initiative. The moment we let up, we give the momentum to the other side, to the forces of this world who oppose the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes teams go Prevent because they're tired. I get that. Our parish is about 15 years old. We're still very young, but those who have been active from the beginning, our starters, need to take a break and catch their breath. Now is the time for the rest of us, myself included, to step-up and carry the ball more. This means we need to volunteer more as ushers or Sunday school teachers or whatever ministry outreach appeals to you. If you simply want to help people park their cars, we'll find a way to help you do that. The point is to get involved and help. This also means we need to increase more our stewardship.
Let me ask you a question. Do you give more money each month to your cell phone provider that you do to the Church? No. What about to your cable TV or internet provider? You don't know. Well, find out. Do you show them more "love" than you show the Church? If so, what's up with that? And don't get mad at me. That anger you feel, if any, because I'm talking about money, is the Holy Spirit convicting you that you could and should do more for the Church.
Remember, we want to play offense and advance the kingdom of God, not just protect the lead we were given.
Fr. John Wallace, ST. NEKTARIOS, Charlotte, NC


"IF ANY MAN WOULD COME AFTER ME..." Last week we celebrated the Exaltation of the Precious and Lifegiving Cross. We continued this celebration with a special gospel message: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Now listen to these words: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffer the loss of his own soul” — This is written on the icon we see as we are leaving the church, below the choir balcony. “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Christianity is under siege. In some parts of the world churches are being destroyed and martyrs created. In other places the siege is more subtle, we are slowly being sidelined and our teachings subverted.

Join me in proclaiming our faith loudly and proudly. Come to the Divine Liturgy; listen to the gospel message and apply it in your life. Recharge your soul with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. I look forward to worshipping together and then greeting you in as we gather in fellowship as a church family.

May God Bless,

Fr. Andrew Magina, ST. CATHERINE, W. Palm Beach, FL


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