FIVE WAYS TO PREPARE FOR GREAT AND HOLY LENT
Shine within my heart, loving Master, the pure light of Your divine knowledge, and open the eyes of my mind that I may understand Your teachings. Instill in me also reverence for Your blessed commandments, so that having conquered sinful desires I may pursue a spiritual way of life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You.
For You, Christ my God, are my light, and to You I give glory, together with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. (Prayer for Enlightenment)
This year, Great and Holy Lent begins on Monday, March 18th. Great Lent is one of the most important parts of our liturgical calendar. Of course, we are supposed to prepare ourselves daily to receive Christ through prayer, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines. However, Lent is a special time of year the where we make a more focused effort in these spiritual disciplines… in anticipation of the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We live in a busy world. We don’t have time to prepare meals, so we grab some fast food. We don’t have time to read books, so we listed to e-books or audio books in the car or on a plane. We don’t even have time for a phone call, so we send out a quick text message.
Unfortunately, our busy schedules also affect our spiritual lives. Even with the Triodion period before Lent, we still can find ourselves surprised that Clean Monday is here… leaving us unprepared for the Lenten journey.
So let’s BE PREPARED this Great and Holy Lent. Here are five simple ways that to prepare our lives for Lent. It is important to prepare yourself for your individual Lenten journey. But also consider preparing as a family or youth group, remembering that we are not alone on the path to salvation.
1) Understand what Great and Holy Lent is all about!
It is hard to truly be transformed by the services, Holy Scriptures, and traditions if you have no idea what any of it means. So, talk to your parish priest. Learning about Great Lent will make it a more meaningful and beneficial spiritual journey. There are so many beautiful traditions that we are used to seeing, but do not quite understand.
BE PREPARED: Spend just 10 minutes a day reading about different parts of Great Lent and their significance. We suggest the following to learn more about Great Lent:
Journey through Great Lent “Zine”: http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/religioused/zines/lentzine
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese – Resources about Great Lent and Pascha: http://lent.goarch.org/
2) Check your parish calendar for the Lenten services
We are good at keeping track of our next doctor’s appointment, football practice, or important birthdays. Are we keeping track of our Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar? Most parishes post a special schedule for the Lenten services well in advance. So there is no reason to miss out on any of the incredible services during the Lenten season.
BE PREPARED: Make sure to get a copy of the calendar from your Church office. Post it somewhere in your home or room where you will see it every day. You could even add the dates/services to your smartphone.
Did you know that the Archdiocese has an Orthodox Calendar where you can read/learn about the feast of the day and much more? http://www.goarch.org/chapel/calendar
3) Add “Prayer” and/or “Scripture Reading” to your daily schedule
Prayer and studying the Holy Scriptures are essential parts of Orthodox Christian living. Lenten is the perfect time to work on these disciplines. It is hard to focus or take a moment to unwind. Prayer and reading Holy Scripture can help refocus our hearts and minds on Christ, rather than the white noise around us.
BE PREPARED: Seriously! Actually write it down those words on your calendar or make a reminder on your smartphone. Also, make sure you have a prayer book handy (you can pick one up at your local parish bookstore) and a Holy Bible (also available at your parish bookstore).
Did you know they also have a pocket YOUTH Bible? (http://www.orthodoxmarketplace.com/bibles/orthodox-youth-new-testament-and-psalms-rsv.html)
Did you know you can get the daily Scripture readings right on your smartphone?
4) Pick a book to read for Lent
Our lives have been taken over by gaming systems, smartphones, television, computers, etc. This Lent, make it a point to read this book instead of watching too much T.V. or playing video games. Not only will it help you “unplug” from the world, but you will probably learn something new about your faith!
BE PREPARED: Talk to your parish priest about the books he might recommend for your Lenten reading. Visit your parish bookstore… You can also go to online bookstores like the following:
Orthodox Marketplace: www.orthodoxmarketplace.com
Holy Cross Bookstore: http://store.holycrossbookstore.com/
Light & Life Publishing; http://www.light-n-life.com/
5) Plan to fast
Fasting is not punishment… it is a discipline. So learn why fasting is such an important spiritual discipline of the Orthodox Christian Church. Talk to your priest about what is appropriate and how to prepare. Also, there are many articles and resources that discuss the importance of fasting.
BE PREPARED: Consider going grocery shopping with your parents and encourage them to purchase foods that are appropriate for the Fast. This way, you will be prepared to follow the fast to the best of your ability. Talk to your parish priest about how to handle various social situations where fasting might not be as easy, like at parties or dinner at a friend’s house.
Father John’s Speech at the 50th Anniversary Gala on Dec. 28, 2012
Now is the Christmas Holiday season when we celebrate the birth of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that Behold the virgin shall be with child and bear a son and they shall call his name Emanuel which is translated God with us. God has been with from the time of our formation as a community he has blessed the community of Saint Andrew and its members through it.
We feel especially grateful as we consider all of our blessings at this important juncture in the life of our community. However, the word to be grateful is not a feeling it is a verb and requires a response from us. In other words, the fact that we are grateful means that we should not just respond to our Lord’s blessings with good feelings towards Him but rather we should show our gratitude to him.
But how do we show our gratitude to him? If God is with us where do we see him? Christ is with us when we see him in the faces of our brothers and sisters who are in need. We see him in the face of the single mother. We see him in the face of the person who is sick. We see him in the faces of the couple who is struggling to save their marriage. We see him wherever there is human suffering or pain.
When he is born into the world for us and he is lying in a manger we see him as öéëÜíèñùðïò, (philanthropos) or a lover of mankind.
When we show mercy and compassion on those who have need or are suffering we become philanthropists or öéëÜíèñùðïé and we continue the work that he started. Our community becomes the presence of God in a hurting and broken world in other words we become the Emanuel for a world that is in need. Think about how many came through GOYA here and JOY and HOPE Sunday School and YAL. How many Weddings Baptisms Funerals Hospital visits and shut in visits were conducted. Think about how many Blankets were made and how many people attended the divine services of the church. How much money has been raised for the education of our children by the PTA and the needy helped by the philoptochos and scholarships given by the Ahepa and Daughters of Penelope?
The story of Christ coming into the world at Christmas is a Love Story. A story of God Loving us so much that he was willing to give up his place in heaven and come here to earth to change our life and bring us salvation, and this is what the name Emanuel means, to have God with us.
And now we are and will continue to be as a church and as its members the Emanuel the presence of God to be the changing force that leads people to salvation
Tonight we not only celebrate this life saving work which has gone on in the past, but we also celebrate this life saving which is to come in the next 50 years and beyond. God Bless the Community of Saint Andrew and God Bless all of us
St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church
WHEREAS, this community of believers, with their first priest, Fr. Konstantine Tsigas, which included approximately 50 families, came together for St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church’s First Divine Liturgy on December 23, 1962 in Dover, NJ; and
WHEREAS, on December 16, 1973, the ground breaking ceremony for a new church facility in Randolph took place with the Blessing of Holy Water and Celebration; and
WHEREAS, on December 16, 1975, the Divine Liturgy was officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America followed by the Door Opening Ceremony and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Sedereas being named Godparents of St. Andrews; and
WHEREAS, in December of 1991, St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church was consecrated as an eternal Holy House of Worship; and
WHEREAS, in 1998, plans for a new community center were approved by the Parish Council and Development Committee; and
WHEREAS, on April 4, 1999, His Grace, Bishop George officiated the Community Center Groundbreaking ceremony; and
WHEREAS, the new Community Center, under the spiritual leadership of Fr. John Theodosion, is now complete and is celebrating its grand opening with a blessing of Holy Water by His Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos, of New Jersey.
NOW , THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED that on this day, May 1, 2011, I, Trina Ruane Mitsch, Mayor of Randolph Township, Morris County, New Jersey, on behalf of the Randolph Township Council and the residents of Randolph, congratulate St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church on the dedication of their gymnasium.
May 1st 2011 Trina Ruane Mitsch, Mayor
SAINT ANDREW STRATEGIC PLAN
- Orthodox Worship Goal: Learning to live the Divine Liturgy every day.
• Increase level of understanding and respectfulness in the Divine Liturgy
• Give college bound young adults ways to stay connected to our faith and community
• Ensure translations are always available in Greek and English
• Establish ways for lay people to take greater roles during services
- Christian Education Goal: Understanding the teachings of Jesus Christ and our Christian responsibility in the world.
• Develop more adult religious education venues based on various interests and comfort levels (for learners, non-Orthodox spouses, all adults, etc.)
• Increase youth involvement in choir and liturgy (weekly epistle reading, religious singing at an early age, etc.)
• Engage parish during liturgy to understand and sing hymns of the Church in Greek and English
• Long term — Create a curriculum for high school seniors addressing college years’ faith challenges
• Long term — Conduct parishioner led community outreach events involving all ages (e.g., a community Christmas play based on the life of a Saint)
3. Philanthropy Goal: Sacrificing for others as Jesus sacrificed for us.
• Short-term — Find a charity that will unite the church, involving all ministries (e.g., Habitat for Humanity)
• Long-term — Provide support groups for families in need (i.e., due to illness) such as shoveling snow, mowing lawns, visiting, “circle-the-wagons group”, etc.
• Long-term — Develop programs with trained leaders for our parishioners in need (divorce, bereavement, etc.)
4. Hellenic Culture Goal: Keeping the culture and language a part of the holistic Orthodox experience, as part of our community.
• Establish a Hellenic activity night
• Create a “Greek Corner” in the monthly magazine
• Create adult Greek dance class
• Expand Greek school to higher grade levels
• Establish a theatrical group which will perform in Greek
• Conduct Hellenic Culture Lessons 101
• Establish bilingual school
• Consider a Greek day care
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Our online calendar listing the major saints, feasts, and fasting periods in the Orthodox Church for this month
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email@example.com Rev. Fr. John Theodosion, Parish Priest firstname.lastname@example.org Vasiliki (Bessie) Petrakos, Office Manager email@example.com Cathy Barrett, Financial Administrator
Office Hours :
Monday - Friday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
1447 Sussex Turnpike
Randolph, NJ 07869
Sundays Orthros @ 8:45 AM & Divine Liturgy @ 10:00 AM
For other services please check our website or call the office
on Sundays all students will attend Divine Liturgy @10am. Following Holy Communion they will proceed to their Class / @11:15am -12:15pm Ages 3- HS Sr.
Hellenic Afternoon School
Gr. 6, 5, 4, 3 on Tuesdays @4:30-6:30pm
Gr. 2, 1, K, PK Thursdays @4:30-6:30pm
Junior - Pre-K Thursdays @4:30-6:00pm
MAZI me ti Mama Thursdays @10-11am
MAZI … Thaskala Thursdays @10-11am
Greek Dancing Thursdays
Group 1 (ages 5-7) 6:30-7:15 pm
Group 2 (ages 8-11) 7:15-8:00pm
GOYA (grades 7-HS Sr) 8-9:00pm
Tuesdays at 9am
Knitting & Crocheting
HOPE Play Group
Thursdays 11am -1pm
Hymn of the Apostle St. Andrew
As first of the Apostle to receive the call,
and very brother of the prince of them,
intercede O Andrew, with the Master of all of us,
peace to all the world to grant,
and to our souls His great mercy.
Directions to Church
From the East: Take Rt 80 West to 287 South to Rt 10 West. Pass the K-Mart Plaza and pass through two lights. At third light, you will make the jug-handle turn for Dover- Chester, keeping left. Turn left and continue straight across Rt 10. You are now on Dover-Chester Road heading towards Ironia/Chester. After about 1 mile, at second traffic light, turn right onto Sussex Turnpike. St. Andrew Church is just ahead at the top of the hill on the right.
From the South: Take 287 North to Route 10 West. Follow the above directions.
From the West: Take Route 80 East to Ledgewood Exit, to Route 46 East to Route 10 East. After 3 lights, make a right at the Gas Station onto Sussex Turnpike. You will see the Church around 1-1/2 miles on the left.
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