3-17-23 Bulletin



  • Friday, March 17th, 6:00pm, Saluations to the Theotokos – 3rd Friday.
  • Saturday, March 18th, 5:30pm: Great Vespers with Confessions following.
  • Sunday, March 19th, 8:30am: Matins; 9:30am, Divine. Liturgy followed by Church School and Coffee Fellowship.
  • Sunday, March 19th, 6:00pm: Lenten Deanery Vespers at St. Nicholas Church in Joliet.
  • Wednesday, March 22nd, 6:00pm, Presanctified Liturgy at St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Palos Heights.
  • Friday, March 24th, 6:00pm: Salutations to the Theotokos – 4th Friday.

In the Orthodox Church, we are taught that the quality of our faith is vitally linked to the practice of prayer. Simply put, our relationship with the Holy Trinity is dependent upon the authenticity of prayer. One of the great axioms of the Holy Fathers is that “the theologian is the one who prays and the one who prays is the theologian.”

Accordingly, those who grow in faith do so because their prayer is genuine, while those who eventually lose their souls do so only because they fail to give themselves over to a life of prayer. As St. Theophan the Recluse says, “Prayer is the test of everything, the source of everything and the director of everything; for if our prayer is right, then everything else will be right also.”

So what must we do in order to recover the kind of prayer that makes a difference in our daily lives?

First, we must make time for prayer on a regular, daily basis—in the morning and evening. The saints call this the “Rule of Prayer.” No one makes progress in the spiritual life without being obedient to this simple rule. Why is this important? Because prayer needs its own time so that we can devote body, mind, and soul wholly to God. This is what Christ means in the gospels when He says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father Who is in secret.” (Mat. 6.6)

Second, we must seek God continually by praying to Him without ceasing. This is the teaching of the scriptures in that we must be mindful of God in everything we do. “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall always be in my heart.” (Ps. 34:1) “Seek God and your soul shall live.” (Ps 69:1) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Mat. 5:6). Whether we are at work, or at home with the children, or driving in the car, we pray by being mindful of the Lord continually.

Third, we must commit ourselves to the Liturgical and Sacramental life of the Church. The testimony of Orthodoxy is that our personal prayer will never be true unless we gather together as the Body of Christ. Our corporate prayer, the prayer of Christ’s Body, and our personal prayer, go hand-in-hand. These two types of prayers are truly symbiotic in that they cannot live—one without the other.

Fourth, we must cleanse our hearts of ill will towards others. We must remove from our souls the presence of any malice towards our brother or sister. For as we pray in the prayer of St. Ephrem the Great, “O Lord, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother…” Here we learn that God accepts our prayer only as long as we forgive others the wrongs they have committed against us.

Fifth, we must be faithful to the fast days and the fasting seasons of the Church. Why is this so important? Because the Church knows that as human beings we are psychosomatic creatures: how we treat our bodies has a great effect upon the life of the soul. The deep meaning of the fast is simply to teach us about the necessity of moderation—we eat in order to live and not the other way around. Conversely, those people who have become slaves of their stomach and who “string together breakfast with dinner,” (eat all day long) as St. John Chrysostom says, will never be capable of prayer. Carnality and contemplation are diametrically opposed.

Lastly, we must surrender our lives in humble obedience to a spiritual father. For we will never progress in prayer without having somebody to help us along the way. In America today, it is a sad fact that most Christians are really “lone-ranger” Christians. They think they can do it on their own. “Me and Jesus, that’s all that I will ever need.” But this is a dangerous assumption. The Holy Fathers love to say that the person who has chosen himself as his own spiritual guide has chosen a fool.

Let us never forget this one thing: that the greatest treasure of our Christian Orthodoxy is its teaching on prayer. May God help us to see how valuable this treasure truly is! More importantly, may God help us to pray sincerely, faithfully, and unceasingly.

Fr. Paul Jannakos


IOCC KENTUCKY TRIP:  Special prayers for all those who are leaving this week to go on our first 2023 MISSION TRIP! May God bless your work and grant you a safe trip.

MARCH MONTHLY CHARITY: Our St. Luke monthly charity for the month of March will be the ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN MISSION CENTER. Please be generous!

ANCIENT FAITH VIDEOS FOR KIDS: Ancient Faith Radio is now producing videos for children that can be accessed on both Facebook and Instagram. Parents are encouraged to share them with their kids! ANCIENT FAITH FOR KIDS

SUNDAY EVENING, MARCH 5TH, 6:00PM: Deanery Vespers this week will take place at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Joliet.

LENTEN CONFESSIONS: Fr. Paul would like to remind everyone in the parish about taking the time to adequately prepare for a private confession at least once during the Lenten season. He is available both before and after all the services. Special times may also be scheduled by emailing pjannakos@gmail.com. 

NEW DIOCESAN APP: The Diocese of the Midwest has created a new APP for our “Smartphones.” Invitations were sent out to all members of the parish. This app can be only accessed through the “APP STORE” on I-Phones and the “PLAY STORE” on Androids. If you would still like to download the APP contact Fr. Paul at pjannakos@gmail.com.

NATIONAL ORTHODOX BABY SHOWER – March 25th!: This event is a nationally-coordinated diaper drive/baby item drive to support women in our communities and help them choose life by partnering with local pregnancy resource centers. The Baby Shower takes place during the month of March to coincide with the Feast of the Annunciation, with items being collected March 19-26. We are looking for: size 5 and 6 diapers baby essentials—wash, lotion, shampoo and diaper rash cream. Pregnancy Resource Centers are nonprofit organizations that exist all over the country to provide medical, educational, material, and support services to countless abortion-vulnerable women and men every year, helping them to choose life. For more information, contact MaryJo Werbianski.

LUBA’S KITCHEN ANNOUNCEMENT: This is a reminder of the duties of coffee hour hosting. Below are key bullet points pertaining to this ministry. HERE are the guide lines. Debbie has made a signup sheet. The food costs and time/energy of hosting are greatly decreased. The fellowship team is looking for weekly coverage for prepping coffee hour and cleaning up afterwards.For many, many months the bulk of coffee hour duties has fallen on Crys and Matthew, with some volunteers at times. The current process is efficient and as mentioned, less costly to serve as a host as the church bears the bulk of the food costs. Thank you for your participation in this weekly ministry. Matthew, Crys and Debbie

DRIVERS FOR ELIJAH’S CHARIOT: Elijah’s Chariot – if you would like to help us drive our elderly to Church for services please let Tammy Tsiones know. Click here to sign up: DRIVERS FOR ELIJAH’S CHARIOT SIGN UP.

BOOKSTORE SALE DOWNSTAIRS: Our bookstore sale will now offer the books downstairs in the parish hall for a free will donation. The proceeds from the free will offering for the rest of the books will go to Holy Resurrection monastery.

Week Four
Theme: Truthfulness vs. Dishonesty

Memorization Text:
“ Truthful lips endure for ever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”
(Proverbs 12:19).

Family Reflection (Read all together).

Proverbs is filled with sayings that help us learn to difference between speaking the truth and telling a lie. Here it is good to remember that the devil told the first lie when he spoke to Eve, saying, “You shall be like god…” (Gen 3:5). What he, the devil, meant was that Adam and Eve could be independent and live a full and happy life without God. But this was a lie, a falsehood, and instead of finding freedom and happiness Adam and Eve found death. This is why, Jesus, in the gospels speak of Satan as being “the Father of lies” “He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him” (John 8:44).

Telling the truth is extremely important because it helps us each to be open and honest about ourselves with others. Healthy relationships are built on trust, and at the heart of trust is not only love but truthfulness. Being truthful about the mistakes we make is sometimes difficult, and our first inclination is to “twist the truth” to our advantage, i.e. to lie. But lies are like spiders webs and as they grow larger we soon find ourselves trapped in falsehood. Telling the truth means overcoming our pride and the pride’s desire to hide from sin.

The greatest blessing of honest and truthfulness is that we can be honest with ourselves. Not lying to ourselves enables us to stand before God with a clean heart.
Questions (Discuss these together). 

Why are we tempted to lie about our mistakes?

In what ways have we been “less than honest” by not telling the “whole truth?” (White lies?)

Are our families safe places to share our mistakes?

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