Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL PUBLISH DATE: February 16, 2014


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Welcome Father Stamatis Sfikas: Our Parish of Panagia welcomes Father Stamatis Sfikas this morning. Fr. Stamatis is the assistant priest at the Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago, and is filling in for Father Timothy while he is out of town. Father’s Presbytera is the grand daughter of our chanter, Mr. Nick Georgiafentis and his wife Katherine. We welcome Fr. Sfikas to our beloved Panagia Community.

Memorials: 40 Days ~ Penelope Vlahos, Right Rows 1 – 2
40 Days ~ Presbytera Christina Blathra, Right Rows 3 – 4
1 Year ~ Martha Sellas, Left Rows 1 - 2
1 Year ~ Theodore S. Panoplos, Left Rows 3 – 4
2 Years ~ Evangelos Glotsos, Right Rows 5 - 6
5 Years ~ Nick (Nicholaos) Bastounes, Left Rows 1 - 2
35 Years ~ Albert (Athanasios) Uher, Left Rows 1 - 2

Coffee Fellowship: Today’s Coffee Fellowship is hosted by the Assumption Community. Please join us in Plato Hall to enjoy fellowship.

Please Note: We want to inform all stewards of this Parish that effective February 1st, 2014, checks that you submit to the Church for stewardship, donations, or payment of any kind, will no longer be returned to you. With the new procedure set up in the office, upon processing the transaction with the bank, all checks will be shredded and destroyed. You will, of course, continue to receive a receipt and statement that will include all payments/donations made to the Church. If you have any questions, please call the Church Office (773.626.3114).

Stewardship Message: You Are The Carpenter Green Book
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house, he handed the front door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you." The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we’d do it much differently. But we cannot go back.

You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Life is a do-it-yourself project. Your attitudes and the choices you make today, build the "house" you live in tomorrow. Build wisely!

2014 Stewardship: We thank and are appreciative to all stewards who have pledged to our beloved Parish of Panagia. Through your continued and loving support, the Parish Council has been able to serve as caretakers and deal with the needs and priorities that face our Church. We ask that you complete your 2014 pledge card for the New Year and return it to the church office at your convenience. If you have a balance on your 2013 commitment, you may submit that as well.

Thinking of Converting to Orthodoxy? If you, a family member, or friend, who may not be of the Orthodox Faith, and is considering conversion to Orthodoxy, please contact the Church Office (773.626.3114) or speak with Fr. Timothy. A Confirmation Class is being formed to prepare those who have expressed interest to convert. This includes couples who are planning to be married in the Orthodox Church in the near future, and where one of the couple is contemplating converting to the Orthodox Faith.

Second Tray: Collections from the second tray each Sunday benefit various specific ministries, as determined by the Clergy and Parish Council. The Parish Council has determined that the second tray will be earmarked for the Restoration Fund.

Dates to Remember: Thursday, February 20th
10:30 am – Philoptochos General Meeting, St. Catherine’s Meeting Room

Friday, February 21st
7:00 pm – GOYA Meeting

Saturday, February 22nd
1st Saturday of the Souls
8:30 am – Orthros
9:30 am – Divine Liturgy

Saturday, February 22nd
3pm - 5pm – Sledding/Tubing in Bartlett

Sunday, February 23rd
4:30 pm – Apokreatiko Glendi, at the Diplomat West Banquets in Elmhurst, IL.

Monday, February 24th
7:00 pm – Bible Study in St.Catherine’s
Meeting Room

Friday, February 28th
7:00 pm – JOY Meeting

Our Assumption Church Among Six “Houses of Worship” to be on Display: Suzanne Morgan, founder of Sacred Space International, and Sacred Space Ambassador for the Council for a Parliament of the World`s Religions is proud to invite you to join us at Fourth Presbyterian Church to see our Assumption Church and five other houses of worship being featured in our growing architectural model collection of greater Chicago`s unique sacred spaces.

The exhibit is being held at the Loggia Space from now until March 3, 2014.

Fourth Presbyterian Church Hours:
Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

126 E. Chestnut Street
(just west of Michigan Avenue)
Chicago, IL 60611.2014

Featured congregations are:
The Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
Unity Temple
St. Benedict the African
Perlman Sanctuary at North Shore
Congregation Israel
First Saint Paul`s Evangelical Lutheran Holy Family Church

Additionally, taking place on February 14th, 2014, Fourth Presbyterian Church will be hosting Suzanne Morgan to give a talk detailing both the collection and the culture and history behind each of the featured congregations.

Suzanne Morgan Presents:
Congregations Seen Through Their Sacred Spaces: A Collection of
Chicagoland`s Religious Architecture

Located at:
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Gratz Center, Room 4G

February 14, 2014
6:00 - 6:30 Attendee Check-In
6:30 - 7:30 Suzanne Morgan
7:30 - 8:30 Social Hour

This program has a registration fee of $10 required in advance. To register, contact Anne Ellis (312.573.3369). Registration will not be available at the door.

Assumption Dance Troupe: The Greek Dance lessons are held from 12:30 pm to 1:15 pm. Please meet in Plato Hall following the Divine Liturgy.

Sunday Church School: The Sunday Church School Divine Liturgy begins promptly at 9:45 am. SCS Classes will take place immediately following the Divine Liturgy in Plato School. If you have not, as yet, registered your child for the 2013-14 school year, please do so by contacting the Church Office, securing a registration form online at our Church’s Website (, or by speaking with our SCS Director, Mrs. Christina Arvanites. A special request to parents; that you please BRING YOUR CHILDREN promptly at 9:45 am, the BEGINNING of the Divine Liturgy.

Next Orthodox Adult Bible Study Class, Monday, February 24, 2014: The next Adult Bible Class will be, Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm, in Saint Catherine’s Meeting Room. We will continue our course of study with the New Testament and begin a new Book, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. This class is open to all, and it is hoped that you will avail yourself to the opportunity to study the Bible in-depth. All you need to bring along with you is your Bible. For further information and/or questions, please see Father Timothy.

Panagia’s Monthly Book Club: The next gathering of the Monthly Book Club will take place on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at the Pan Arcadian House, 880 North York Road, Elmhurst, IL. The discussion will center on the book Fr. Arseny: Cloud of Witnesses. The Monthly Book Club will meet the 2nd Thursday of each month. If you would like to join the group or want further information, please contact Father Athanasios.

Apokreatiko Glendi: Our Philoptochos Sisterhood invites everyone to join them for their ‘Sail the Aegean”. This fun-filled Glendi will take place on Sunday, February 23, 2014, at the Diplomat West Banquets in Elmhurst, IL. Reception is at 4:30pm and dinner promptly at 5:30pm. Guests are encouraged to wear nautical attire, sailor outfits or your favorite Greek fisherman’s hat. There will be a delicious dinner, dancing and entertainment for everyone to enjoy. Reservations and payment can be made every Sunday in Plato Hall, or by calling Nancy Pilafas at 708-246-7833, or Tina Sarantos at 708-955-6957. Adults $35, Teens 13-18, $25, and Children 3-12, $20. All reservations with payment must be received by Sunday, February 16th. Looking forward to seeing you on the February 23rd!

College Students -- Check Out OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship): To our young people who are going away to college for the first time, or to those returning to school to continue their studies, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is the organization which keeps you connected to your Church and your Orthodox Faith. OCF has 300 chapters in colleges and universities throughout North America. So be sure to check out their web site to locate and find out about your chapter -- WWW.OCF.NET.

We also encourage our college young people to share their e-mail addresses with our Church so that we may keep them informed of their “Spiritual Home” while they are away. And always remember, your Assumption Church’s weekly Divine Liturgy Services are just a click away on your computer each Sunday as we now broadcast live each Sunday. Just access it by going to our website at:

13th District AHEPA Scholarship Foundation Inc: Applications are being accepted for the Order of AHEPA’s 13th District Scholarships for the year 2014. Eligible students must be a high school senior, have a minimum four year cumulative grade point average of B, and be either of Greek heritage or have a parent that is an active member of the AHEPA family. For further information or to receive an application, please contact the Church office. All Scholarship applications must be received on or before March 15, 2014.

Bookstore: Do you need gifts for your family or relatives? Then please visit the Bookstore in Plato Hall after the Divine Liturgy on Sundays. There you will find unique gifts for everyone, such as books for children and adults, icons of your or your children’s patron saints, crosses, key chains and other beautiful items which will make much appreciated gifts this year. Please stop in and browse, you’ll be glad you did.

Coffee Fellowship Hosts Needed: Have you considered selecting a day to host the Weekly Fellowship Hour following Worship Services on a specific Sunday in 2014? You might want to celebrate a family event, a memorial, or just want to share time with the Church family. The following dates for the first part of 2014 are available:

February 16
February 23
March 9
March 30
April 6
May 11
June 8
June 15
June 29
July 6
July 13
August 3
August 10
August 17
August 24
August 31
September 7
September 14
September 21
September 28

Please call the Church Office (773.626.3114) to book a date and for more information.

Prosfora Bakers Needed: One of the blessings of Stewardship that we are given is the ability to serve our Church in a number of ways. Our Church is in need of individuals who can offer the weekly Prosforo (Bread) for the Divine Liturgy. Should you be able to offer your service, please inform the Church office or see either Fr. Timothy or Mrs. Demetra Spyropoulos. With the help of each steward/member, we come together as a Church family to better offer our thanks to our Lord.

Cemetery Graves: Periodically, we place a reminder in our Weekly Bulletin about the availability of cemetery plots (graves) for purchase from our Church in the Panagia sections at Elmwood Cemetery. For further information, please call the Church office and speak with Gail (773.626.3114).

Proper Church Etiquette: Worship Services are vital instruments and components to our prayer development. In order to help us achieve this, we need to be cognizant of our fellow parishioners and all those around us. Therefore, please make sure that cell phones are completely turned off during Services. In addition, while we most welcome children to participate in the liturgical life of the Church, it remains the responsibility of parents to make sure that children do not become a distraction to those around them. Therefore, if a child is crying, or in some way in need of attention, please feel free to take him/her to the Narthex or Cry Room. You are most welcome to enter and exit the Church proper as many times as necessary. By doing this, all who are in attendance will be afforded the opportunity to worship and pray together. (Please keep in mind that we are also privileged to have a complete Sunday School Liturgy celebrated in Saint Catherine’s Chapel each week for your use as well). We ask for your cooperation. Ushers will be available to help you, if needed.

Holy Communion Announcement: While we pray and work for the reconciliation and unity of all the world's Christians, the reality remains that there is still no intercommunion between our Orthodox Churches and the Churches of the West. This means that only baptized, chrismated, and observant Orthodox faithful are allowed to receive Holy Communion in our churches. At the same time, we warmly welcome all non-Orthodox to join us in prayer and celebration, and humbly offer to all present the Antidoro bread of fellowship at the end of the worship service. We offer this important symbol 'instead of the Gifts', in the words of the Apostle Paul, 'Till we all come to the unity of the Faith' (Eph. 4.13).

We Need Your E-mail Address: Are you receiving the weekly bulletin online in your e-mail mailbox each week? How about our Assumption Church’s Newsletter and the Saint Catherine’s Newsletter? If not, please give the Church Office your e-mail address so that you can stay informed about the schedule of religious services, events, and news of our Community.

Website News: We are excited to announce that many additions/changes have been made to our Church’s Website. In addition to upcoming events in our Parish and throughout our Metropolis of Chicago, we are constantly updating information as well regarding our faith. You can find articles and resources for the Orthodox Church on our web site. They include the history of Orthodoxy, special Services and Blessings, Spirituality, Teachings of the Orthodox Church, how to become a member of the Orthodox Church, the meaning and celebration of The Holy Eucharist, the form and characteristics of Orthodox worship, the Sacrament of Confession, Holy Week Meditation and Study Guide, Fasting, and many others. We have up loaded the current editions of the Assumption Newsletter and the St. Catherine Newsletter, and are available for reading online. Through the help of Mr. Chris Panos, we have also uploaded all previous newsletters dating back to 2008. They are now available online. Just log on to our website, and see the many changes we have made.

Our Sunday Church Services are broadcast live on the Internet each week: A reminder to all, in April of last year, our Parish of Panagia began broadcasting live to the internet each Sunday. This is of particular benefit to our shut-ins, elderly, college students, and vacationers who are away from home, yet need to receive the benefit and blessing of the weekly Divine Liturgy experience. All you need to do is log on to our website, and click the link to begin watching the Worship Service live. We have also archived our Services allowing anyone to click and watch the Service/sermon at their leisure. We encourage you to give it a try.

Ushers: Dean Bastounes, Nick Mansour, Joann Stavropoulos, Bill J. Vranas

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