This month Food For The Christian Soul visited Sushi City.
Our chefs hard at work.
Example of the sushi being served.
Once again we had great food and fellowship.
Each year on Stewardship Sunday, Estimate of Giving cards are sent out which encourage tithing. They are collected at thanksgiving and presented to Our Lord for a blessing. Fr. Andrew, as his last official act at St. Luke before retiring, blessed the cards with Holy Water after the faithful recited a prayer about thanksgiving.
Mission News From Guatemala
Today we blessed 18 homes in Amatitlan. Really got a chance to meet these people seeking the Orthodox Church. The actual number of committed is 46 with a potential of 800.
We are walking between houses. This is an average street in the town.
This is a ministry for elderly people. They expect to have 25 elderly people housed here.
We are in the court yard of the facility with the social worker. She is part of the congregation.\
Today we had a discussion group about various differences we have with Catholics and protestants using the pamphlet Orthodoxy: Catholicism without additions and Protestantism without subtractions.
Today we visited a children's camp run by the congregation. The children are on break in Guatemala. They were singing Christian songs.
After singing Fr. Andrew told them the story about the presentation of Mary to the temple. They learned about Jesus' grandparents.
We enjoyed lunch with the children which was prepared by the women of the church.
Eating again. This dinner took place in a local Guatemalan fast food restaurant. Lee is eating a meal of pig and cow while Fr. Andrew is having chocolate molay with fried banana. Seated at the table with Fr. Andrew and Lee are pastor Gorge, our translator Hugo and driver Gorge.
Group photo with pastor Gorge, wife and baby daughter at McDonald's.
On our last day before returning to Chicago we visited Hogar Raphael orphanage. Lee was able to meet and speak with Mother Ines.
Here are some of the books published in Spanish for missionaries. Mother Ines mentioned the need for funds for publications. She gave Fr. Andrew permission to use them for the people we visited.
Ingred is the owner of the hotel where we stayed. She treated us to a Ukrainian dinner which she cooked. If there was an Orthodox Church in Amatitlan she is likely to support it since it is her heritage.
Bishop Paul Visits St. Luke Parish
Bishop Paul made his first official visit to St. Lukes. He wanted to visit before Fr. Andrew retired. He attended Communal confession which is held four times at year before fasting seasons .
After reading long sections of scripture about sin and repentance the faithful receive absolution after confessing their sins.
Bishop Paul is welcomed with traditional bread and salt by Steve, the lay chairperson, and Fr. Andrew with the cross.
Fr. Andrew received the blessing as deacons Andrew and John begin the vesting prayers.
Subdeacon Peter with his son Justin vest the bishop while the choir under the direction of Paulette sing the vesting hymns.
The bishop gives the blessing to begin the reading of the third and Sixth hours.
The bishop fully vested begins the Divine Liturgy. Blessed is the kingdom.
At several points during the Liturgy Bishop Paul gave the traditional blessing with the dikity (two candle) and the trikity (three candle) see Fr. Andrews children's sermon.
Bishop Paul reads the prayers of the consecration "this is My Body, this is My Blood...." while the deacons and priest bow their heads in prayer.
Bishop Paul presented Fr. Andrew with a Gramota award for his service and missionary activities as rector of St. Lukes.
Fr Andrew presented Bishop Paul with a reproduction of the Narthex icon of St luke surrounded by small icons of American saints. Click Here - To View The Icons Of The Saints Of America.
Bishop Paul honored Stea for her two published church school teaching manuals on the Gospel of Acts.
All adults and children gathered for a group photo. Bishop Paul commented on the number of children.
After the liturgy Bishop Paul visited the Church school classrooms. Each class had a special demonstration of learning activities.
Bishop Paul gave his blessings to Maria our former Choir director while the children were watching.
Bishop Paul enters the Fellowship hall for a luncheon served by Lynn, community development minister, and her staff.
Bishop Paul, Fr. Andrew, Proto Deacon Andrew, Deacon John, Sub Deacon Peter enjoying listening to Bishop Paul tell about his travels and the activities in the diocese of the Midwest.
Journey Hub is a new charity St. Luke parishioners are supporting. This organization cares for young unwed mothers and their children and women in abusive relationships. This event is the the first fund raising dinner sponsored by them.
Children's Sermon For November
Fr. Andrew gave his last Children's sermon as Rector of St. Luke. This was a special teaching preparing for the visit of Bishop Paul. He explained the meaning of the Greek text seen as meaning "Many years O Master". The phrase in Greek is used to greet the bishop and is sung many times during the Liturgy.
On the stand under the greeting was a cutout of a bishop. Fr. Andrew explained each vestment that will be placed on the bishop and placed it on the cutout. He emphasized that dressing the bishop means that his power as bishop comes from the people who are the body of Christ.Children's Sermon On The Vesting Of The Bishop
Garden Center Visit For November
Fr. Andrew started our visit with a story about Samson. An angel appeared to an Israelite couple who had been childless, and told them they would have a son who will win great victory over the Philistines, but they must never cut his hair. The child Samson grew up strong and married a beautiful woman named Delilah who betrayed him. After he told her the secret of his strength was his hair, she cut it off and had him arrested. Blinded and put to stand between two pillars, Samson prayed to God to give him strength once more. Samson pushed with all his might and the temple, roof and walls crashed to the ground killing everyone inside, including Samson. In dying, Samson won a final victory over the Philistines.
Fr. Andrew talked about how the church teaches about Jesus.
Janet, joyfully reciting her Thanksgiving Poem. We enjoyed it so much, we asked her to recite it twice!
Ending our visit, as always, with snacks and lively conversation.