REV. FR. JON MAGOULIAS
PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Friday, January 3rd
Royal Hours of Epiphany 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, January 4th
Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 5th
Epistle 2 Tim. 4:5-8
Gospel Mark 1:1-8
Divine Services 9:00 a.m.
Blessing of the Waters
Monday, January 6th
Epistle Tit. 2:11-14, 3:4-7
Gospel Matt. 3:13-17
Divine Services 8:30 a.m.
BLESSING OF THE WATERS
Tuesday, January 7th
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
Epistle Acts 19:1-8
Gospel John 1:29-34
Divine Services 8:30 a.m.
Saturday, January 11th
Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 12th
SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
Epistle Eph. 4:7-13
Gospel Matt. 4:12-17
Sunday Divine Services 9:00 a.m.
Divine Services at our Church of the -Annunciation may now be viewed live on the Internet! In addition, Divine Services may also be viewed using an iPhone or iPad. Visit our Parish Website: www.goannunciation.org and go to the "Live" link to follow directions. Please be sure to connect to the proper device.
The purpose for this ministry is to provide shut-ins that have internet capability, college students that may not be able to get to an Orthodox Church, or people interested in our precious Christian Orthodox Faith, the :opportunity to view our church services. This is not a substitute for attending Church!
PC AFFIRMATION OF OFFICE
The Affirmation of Office was administered last Sunday to the duly elected members of the Parish Council:
Jordan Aivaz; Jeff Brown; Nick Faklis; Jaylen French; Mary Gavrilis; Tony Gavrilis; Michael Kordazakis; Kevin Moore; Nick Pallios; Steve Pallios; Manuel Rodarakis; George Simvoulakis; Nick Stavrianoudakis; Stamatis Tsatsaronis; Eleni Venierakis; and Mitcheal Word.
Following the Affirmation of Office the Parish Council convened under the chairmanship of F. Jon. During that meeting the Parish Council officers for 2014 were elected. They are:
Mitcheal Word, President
Jeff Brown, Vice-President
Manoli Rodarakis, Treasurer
Nick Stavrianoudakis, Secretary
We pray our Lord guide our Parish Council to serve the Lord and His Church with faith and love.
We would like to remind you to please make a Christmas offering this year and return it in the Christmas offering envelope before the end of the year so that you may use your donation for tax purposes.
VISIT OUR WEBSITE
In an effort to continue improving our Parish Ministry, we are pleased to announce the new version of our Parish Website: www.goannunciation.org
The new format is much more pleasing to the eye and user friendly. In addition to this new look, there are many features that have been improved and updated.
The use of today’s technology to improve our ability to serve you, the faithful stewards of the Annunciation Church, is of paramount importance. Whether it is through our website or the broadcasting of Divine Services, it is the responsibility of good stewardship that we strengthen our ability to communicate Christ’s message of love, peace and salvation to all.
A new feature on the website now enables donations and Stewardship offerings to be made online. After researching a number of programs to provide a means by which online contributions may be made we have chosen to use “Paypal” which is a well tested and secure method.
Please accept this improvement to our Parish Ministry as an offering from your Parish Council. We are grateful to the stewards and friends of our Parish that support our ministry and we pledge to continue to provide the highest quality of service to you, the people of God.
Sunday, January 5 - Team 1: George Simvoulakis, Tony Gavrilis, Steve Pallios & Eleni Venierakis
Sunday, January 12 - Team 2: Jeff Brown, Jordan Aivaz, Kevin Moore & Stamati Tsatsaronis
ALL ALTAR BOYS ARE EXPECTED TO:
* Dress properly, wearing light
colored shirt, tie, and dress shoes.
* The Sunday Church School Program now enables an Altar Boy to serve on Sundays when he may not be scheduled. If you wish to put in extra service on days when it is not your group day, you may do so, but following Holy Communion, you must attend Sunday Church School.
* If unable to participate at your scheduled time, please contact your team captain. Please be on time for all services.
Andoni Kocolas ~ Seri Mitri ~ Manoli Rodarakis
SENIOR ALTAR BOYS:
Michael Hillas ~ Christopher Letson ~ Sammer Mitri ~ Alex Stavrianoudakis
Sunday, January 5 - Team C: Captain, Andreas Alexander, Jacob Gavrilis, James Haskin & PJ Zanotto
Sunday, January 12 - Team D: Captain, Panos Constantinou, Jonathan Word & Frankie Zanotto
When attending services, please be prompt! In order to partake of the Holy Eucharist please remember proper preparation is required to receive Holy Communion.
When receiving the Holy Eucharist come forward reverently, give your baptismal name, hold the red cloth under your chin and after receiving, wipe your lips.
As we celebrate this glorious season of the Lord's Resurrection we hope you will consider a donation for Pascha. Please use the Pascal envelope that has been mailed to you in making contributions and send them to the Church Office.
Please remember that the “Cry Room” is intended only when an infant child may seem to be disrupting a divine service. It is wonderful to see so many families with young children and for this reason, we ask that only one parent and child be in the “Cry Room” at any given time. Once the child has settled down they should return to the pews for the service.
Christian Stewardship is the very essence of living our precious Faith that teaches each of us to return to the Lord a portion of our earnings so that the Church may continue to grow. Every person baptized and/or chrismated into the Orthodox Christian Faith may be a parishioner but a steward is something more! A steward is a baptized and/or chrismated person who understands his responsibility to God and His Church. This understanding directs him to live his life according to the teachings of our Faith and at the same time, offers Time, Talents and Treasure to the sacred work of the Church. It is important to understand that our Stewardship obligations determine a family (husband, wife, & children) or an individual as stewards of our Parish. Young adults (18 years and older) that have completed their schooling and/or find themselves in the workplace are expected to become stewards of the Parish. These individuals are not included in one’s “Family Stewardship” obligation.
Our Holy Church emphasizes the truth found in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition that we must give cheerfully and without reluctance to the sacred work of God’s Holy Church. We thank all our parishioners that have participated in this year’s Stewardship ministry by having submitted their Stewardship obligation for 2013. We pray that you will complete your Stewardship for 2013 before the December 31st. In this way, we are able to complete our records and your Stewardship contributions may be reported on the 2013 IRS forms. Your support is necessary to continue the growth and development of our Parish Ministries.
The 2014 Stewardship Directory and Calendar have been mailed to your home. We ask that you prayerfully study the Directory regarding one’s Stewardship obligations to Christ and His Church. We ask that you consider adding to your 2014 Stewardship offering by: 1.) increasing the TIME you spend in Church; 2.) by the TALENT you offer through various ministries of our Parish and; 3.) by increasing the financial offering from your TREASURE that will enable us to fully fund the operating costs of our Parish through YOUR stewardship commitment!
On our newly designed website Stewardship contributions (and other donations) may be made through “PayPal”. This is a secure means to make online donations and it provides a means for contributions to be made in a timely manner. In addition, it enables the steward to make regular contributions to support the sacred ministry of our Church.
Our Holy Church emphasizes the truth found in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition that we must give cheerfully and without reluctance to the sacred work of God’s Holy Church. When offering your 2014 Stewardship Ministry to our Parish, prayerfully evaluate your budget when making your commitment in recognizing that you are a member of the Body of Christ, the Church. The example of the Wise Men that traveled from afar are an excellent example for us to follow.
If you have any questions regarding your offering please contact Fr. Jon. Christian Stewardship is the very essence of living our precious Faith that teaches each of us to return to the Lord a portion of our earnings so that the Church may continue to grow.
Each year we are blessed that a number of our stewards increase their commitment to the Church. In recent years, we have had a number of stewards increase their offering above the 10% we hoped for with some increasing their previous year offering by as much as 25%! Approximately $175.00 from every Stewardship offering is contributed for National Ministries.
We have an attainable goal of 350 Stewardship families/individuals for 2014…Please support our efforts! Please remember: "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
We wish to thank the Ladies Philoptochos for their outreach to the shut-ins during this past holiday season of our Lord’s Nativity. We are also grateful for all the donations received during the Christmas season. In particular, we wish to thank Anna Petrulakis & Irene Jaureguy for their efforts in coordinating the donations towards Christmas flowers.
The Philoptochos Officers are: Gloria Vincent, President; Dena Brown, Vice-President; Maria Skordos-Moore, Treasurer; and Ella Velthoen, Secretary. We pray that our Lord may guide the stewards of the Philoptochos Ministry with faith and love in leading us to accomplish greater service to the glory of God!
As the New Year begins, we invite ALL the ladies of our Parish to join Philoptochos.
We would like to obtain the e-mail addresses of ALL the families in our Parish. We have begun to communicate much more frequently via the internet. Parents and students are asked to send their email addresses so that we may have them for our Parish records. We also ask that you please submit the names, addresses and e-mails for college students attending school away from home.
PARISH EDUCATION MINISTRY
Our regular Sunday Church School year has begun. We would like to express our appreciation to the Sunday Church School staff for their dedicated service to our Lord and His Church. We also thank the parents that support our efforts by bringing their children and recognizing the importance of religious education.
The young people are to sit in the front pews so that they may be able to receive the Holy Eucharist first; following the Holy Eucharist, the young people go into the Classroom Building for their lesson. Parents are encouraged to bring their children to church on time EVERY SUNDAY MORNING so that our young people may “Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
A.R.E. YOU READY?
Our Adult Religious Education ministry will resume this month. We ask if YOU A.R.E. ready to participate and join in the study of our precious Christian Orthodox Faith when we resume our class?
We will be studying: “Living the Changeless Faith in Changing Times”. This forum will study Holy Scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers. Please bring your Orthodox Study Bible and join us! Our next meeting will be Thursday, January 16th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Classroom Building.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE
It is the practice of our Faith that as we enter the House of God, an offering is made and we say a prayer as we light candles to symbolize that Christ is the Light of the world. Please remember that if a check is being written for this purpose or for a donation, in accordance with the non-profit status of our Parish, any check made out to the Annunciation Church must be for the exact amount. Thank you!
CHURCH MUSIC MINISTRY
The ministry of our choir members is to represent YOU and to serve as volunteers by using the gift of music to sing praises to our Lord is a true act of Christian Orthodox Stewardship.
Parishioners, who may be interested in of our Church, and especially our young people, are invited to join the choir. St. Augustine wrote: “What better thing can the people do than sing. I know of no better thing than this!” Please contact Markella Tsatsaronis or the Church Office, to find out more about our Church Choir.
ORTHODOX TOTS & TODDLERS (T.N.T)
Calling all Moms! Let’s get together and have a blast! Orthodox TNT invites you to be part of the Annunciation Mommy and Me Playgroup! Let’s learn, laugh and love together so moms and their children (ages 0-5) can get to know the other moms and children in our Parish. Our next play date will be this Wednesday, January 8th at 10:00 am at Gym Stars open gym 5170 Pentecost Drive, Modesto. (Cost $7.00)
GREEK SCHOOL NEWS
Our Greek Language class for Adults has begun! We will meet every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the classroom building. If you are interested in the Adult Greek Language class please contact the Church Office or Despina Rodarakis.
We strongly urge our parents to enroll their children in our Afternoon Greek School. Along with our Sunday Church School, our Afternoon Greek School teaches our children the Orthodox Christian Faith and our Hellenistic culture.
This ministry enables our young people children to develop spiritually and culturally. The total and complete person is one that not only possesses knowledge, but character. Knowledge we receive in schools, however character, is developed through Christian Orthodox education.
Classes are every Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. Registration for the new academic year is continuing but classes have already begun. You may also register for Greek School in our Church Office Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The success of this ministry rests with the parents as we strive to teach our young people to live our Faith through fellowship and service. We urge the parents of our young people to support this ministry with enthusiasm and love.
The elected officers are to serve our Youth Ministry are:
Alexia Mason, President
Kylie Affholter, Vice-President
Demitri Stamos, Secretary
Ali Moraitis, President
Eleni Davis, Vice-President
Kosta Prepoutse, Treasurer
Elizabeth Davis, Secretary
Matoula Kakridas, Corresponding Secretary
Stefan Word, President
Panos Constantinou, Vice-President
John Hillas, Treasurer
Jonathan Word, Secretary
Adonia Alexander, Corresponding Secretary
Our next meetings will be this Monday, January 6th at 7:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!
Our Youth Ministry is comprised of young people in:
H.O.P.E. – Grade 3-5;
J.O.Y. – Grades 6-8;
G.O.Y.A. - High School;
Y.A.L. – College
It is important for our young people to participate in this ministry so that they may develop the skills necessary to live our Christian Orthodox teachings in today’s world.
It has been said: “The more you read…the more you know!” We have a great selection of books, icons, music and other items that every Orthodox Christian can use! Our bookstore is brimming with new arrivals that also make excellent gifts for every occasion.
We wish to thank Linda Fostinis for volunteering to coordinate the functioning of our Parish Bookstore. Her efforts, and the efforts of those who support this sacred ministry, provide us with the opportunity to purchase Orthodox Christian materials for our spiritual edification.
ANNUNCIATION GREEK DANCE GROUP NEWS
Our Annunciation Dancers would like to thank our Parish Family for their love and support throughout the year. An important aspect of our Greek Folk Dance Ministry is the Parents Support Group. This group has been organized to assist the directors in meeting the needs of this beautiful ministry.
The Dance Parent Support Group officers elected to serve for 2013-2014 are:
Aliki Alexander – President
Janelle Hatton – Vice-President
Anna Affholter – Treasurer
Kelly Lemons – Secretary
Registration for FDF2014 has been submitted! If a dancer registers late, the family is obligated to pay the difference in registration fees. Sunday practices are for ALL dancers. Special FDF practices are for dancers that will be participating in FDF2014.
As a ministry of our Parish, families must be stewards of the Parish for their children to participate.
Over the years families that have been involved in our Greek Folk Dance ministry have been gracious to loan their costumes for other young dancers and we thank them. We would like to remind the families that may have borrowed costumes in the past to please return them as quickly as possible. This includes all parts of the costume including jewelry and we ask that it be returned clean! Thank you!
The Parish Assembly, on Sunday, November 24th, unanimously passed that we would remodel at our Administrative and Classroom Building in 2014. In the coming months we will share the plans for this project and we hope you will support our efforts.
We have been successful in remodeling our Church; hall; kitchen; pavilion; landscaping and parking lot. It is time to remodel and upgrade the Administrative and Classroom Building which was built in 1971.
The ongoing responsibility to maintain the beauty and safety of our church complex is of utmost importance. In the last two years we have completed:
1. The replacement of the doors throughout our facility which was approximately $25,000.00.
2. The installation of new lighting around the complex perimeter that was completed at a cost of $3500.00.
3. The new lighting in front of the church (replacing the old MID poles) has finished. The cost of this project was $23,000.00.
4. Sealing and repairing the parking lot - cost $17,000.00
5. The addition of new curbing on back parking lot planters - cost $4,000.00.
6. New lighting in the Classroom Building - cost $10,000.00...DONATED!
7. New Heating/Air Conditioning for the back of the Church Hall - cost $12,000.00;
8. Upgrading of the main electrical panel of our Church complex - cost $3,000.00.
9. Painting of the outdoor pavilion. (Donated.)
10. Landscaping in the upgraded planters behind our complex.
11. Trimming of the cypress trees. (Donated.)
12. Upgrade to the Internet Broadcast equipment.
13. Painting of the Vestry and Sacristy. (Donated.)
14. Sound System for the Pavilion. (Donated).
Still to be accomplished:
1. New handicap ramp on side of the church;
2. Remodeling of the Classroom Building (planned for the summer of 2014).
We are grateful to the parishioners that have already made contributions towards these projects that equal $63,835.00.
If you would like to contribute towards any or all of these projects, please send your donation to the Church Office or contact Fr. Jon or a member of the Parish Council.
We encourage you to visit our Parish Website: www.goannunciation.org. It is frequently updated and contains the Monthly and Weekly Bulletins, along with photographs and other information about our Parish.
We are very blessed to have a wonderful church complex. This has only been accomplished by the generosity of the stewards of our Parish that understand the importance of gathering for Christian Orthodox Fellowship. We are grateful to everyone that has contributed over the years and we commit ourselves to be responsible to maintain our facilities to the best of our abilities.
For this to happen, we need YOUR support too! This is why we must remind parishioners that church property is not to be removed from our complex. Please do not remove plates, pans or other utensils from our facilities for any reason unless approved by the Parish Priest and Parish Council. If you have any items from the Cultural Center please return them this week. In addition, we would like to remind parishioners that we rely on volunteers to serve the meals at our luncheons. During meals that are served in our Church Hall please do not enter the kitchen unless you are volunteering to help! We thank you for your understanding and support!
The demands on each individual and family are great. In an effort to understand this we would like to remind our parishioners that before anyone plans on selling items in our church complex or during Parish activities, they must have the approval of the Parish Priest. We also understand that organizations within our Community, as well as, organizations we may support, have a need to raise funds for their activities. We do not want times of fellowship to become a time when parishioners may be bombarded to purchase items.
We would also like to remind everyone that the placement of flyers on our cars is prohibited! Flyers that you
wish to have distributed may be brought by the Church Office for approval and then included in either our Monthly and/or Weekly bulletins.
IN TIMES OF ILLNESS
“Come, O blessed of my father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;…for I was sick and you visited me…” (Matt. 25:31-46). When a member of our Parish is ill and has been hospitalized or may be recuperating at home, the immediate family of the ill person should contact the Church Office, 522-7694. It is beneficial to both the body and the soul when our priest prays for us when we are healthy or ill. The local hospitals will not notify us when an Orthodox Christian has been admitted to the hospital, so it is imperative that the immediate family accept this responsibility.
Divine Services on Sunday morning begin at 9:00 a.m. There is no set time as to when the Divine Liturgy actually begins since the hymns of the Matins vary from week to week. According to actual Church Service procedures, each and every member of the congregation is required to be seated in the pews by the beginning of the Divine Liturgy. It is only through leniency that anyone is allowed to enter the Church once the Service has begun. Thus it behooves us not to take undue advantage of this leniency. Also, unnecessary noise is extremely distracting during worship, especially when it comes from the adults talking; in addition, our nursery is equipped with all the conveniences for young children and a parent to participate in the Liturgy. Please remember to prepare yourself properly to attend the Divine Liturgy; dress accordingly; do not chew gum; turn off your cell phone; and please do not create a disturbance. Please remember that the Parish Council members are required to see to the order during Church Services and everyone should follow their directions at all times.
“The Lord has given us many counsels and commandments to help us toward salvation. He has even given us a pattern of prayer, instructing us on how we are to pray. He has given us life, and with His accustomed generosity, He has also taught us how to pray. He has made it easy for us to be heard, as we pray to the Father in words taught us by the Son…Let us pray as God our Master has taught us. To ask the Father in words His Son has given us, to let Him hear the words of Christ ringing in our ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer.” St. Cyprian, martyred Bishop of Carthage (+258)
The Divine Liturgy begins with the offering of the faithful people of God. The gifts we bring forth are an expression of our faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Holy Communion makes us one with the Holy Trinity and is given for "remission of sins and life everlasting". The people are invited to bring forth their offering, i.e. "Prosforon", for the Divine Liturgy to be celebrated. We use 4 prosfora on a regular Sunday and they may be given through our Philoptochos for a donation. The Eucharist Bread may be offered in memory of a loved one or for someone's health and well-being. Anyone wishing to donate the Eucharist Bread ("Prosphoron") on a particular Sunday may contact Anna Petrulakis, 522-0298.
In addition to contributing the Eucharist Bread it is customary to bring a bottle of olive oil for the vigil lights and a bottle of wine for Holy Communion. The ONLY wine being used for Holy Communion is Coumantaria and will now be available for purchase from the Church Office.