3-2-23 Bulletin



  • Friday, March 3rd, 6:00pm, Presanctified Liturgy followed by Lenten Potluck dinner in the hall. (Communicants should fast from at least 12:30pm on…). j
  • Saturday, March 4th, 5:30pm: Great Vespers with Confessions following.
  • Sunday, March 5th, 8:30am: Matins; 9:30am, Divine. Liturgy followed by Church School and Coffee Fellowship. Children bring your icons for a blessing! 
  • Sunday, March 5th, 6:30pm, SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY VESPERS at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago – Archbishop Daniel preaching.
  • Wednesday, March 8th, 6:00pm, Presanctified Liturgy. 
  • Friday, March 10th, 6:00pm: Akathistos to the Theotokos.

Prayer, it seems, can be many things for many people. But for us as Orthodox Christians, prayer is the means by which we become one with God. In this way, prayer demands from us a progression from something rudimentary to something perfect, specifically, from something vocal (words from the mouth), to something mindful (that we understand rationally), to something that is an experience of something perfectly heavenly—beyond any human description (communion with God). In the final sense, prayer is the Holy Spirit crying within each of us, “Abba, Father!” “When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:15).
For this reason, the Holy Fathers insist that the task of prayer be given the utmost regard, that it be designated as the highest and most supreme of all human activities. In summary, the saints bear witness that prayer should be for us as natural as breathing. For it is the mystery by which we are infused with the Spirit of God which gives life to the inner man. ”Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being”  (Gen. 2:7). From this, the Church sees the human person not so much as a body that “contains” a soul, but a soul that carries a body.

The tragedy of the fall, however, is that we have lost this natural capacity to pray deeply, to experience prayer as a type of spiritual “inhalation” of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is one of those essential things, both constitutional and innate to our humanity, that has been forgotten. As such, we as human beings live in this world with a profound existential emptiness that deprives us of a connection with the higher life of the Holy Spirit. So, left to ourselves and living in this world which is both an “Egypt” and “Babylon” of absolute God-forsakenness, we human beings cannot know prayer in the way we must. Instead of filling our aching emptiness with the Holy Spirit, we allow the soul-killing spirits of the world to wreak their havoc. Instead of living in a state of Holy Communion with God, we humans—in our fallen state—exist (not live) in a state of unholy communion with ourselves. And because of this, our experience of life is one of isolation, loneliness, boredom, confusion, frustration, misery, and emptiness.
The only way to re-enliven the soul, to revive it from its withered and shriveled state, is to take up, once again, the task of reinvigorating a life of prayer. Just as a patient who has undergone orthopedic surgery must surrender to the process of physical therapy, so must the believer make a sincere supplication to the Holy Spirit for assistance in prayer. ”Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). This includes a promise to God that a firm “rule” (discipline) of prayer will happen—that is, time for prayer in the morning and evening that is dedicated solely to the task, uninterrupted by any other activity. It also includes full participation in the services of the Church. Because both private prayer (prayer “in the closet”) and the corporate prayer of the Church (“liturgy as the sacred work of God’s people”) are wholly symbiotic: the one gives life to the other and vice versa. Those who attempt to pray at home apart from the Church’s liturgical life will eventually fail to pray at all, and those who come to Church without praying at home will eventually become bored-out-of-their-minds by the “rote” character of the services.
In the beginning, this first step towards prayer may seem, for Americans especially, too pedantic and constrained: for instance, reading fixed prayers from the Book of Psalms or an Orthodox prayer book, and standing through the Lenten services which are longer and more repetitive than usual. There will be times when it feels like these formal prayers (at home and in Church) are having no effect; our inner spirit will grow listless, and our minds will start to wander back to thoughts of the world again. These obstacles are sure to be met by those who sincerely make a good beginning in their prayer and who beg Christ to send them the Holy Spirit as a help. But the Lord gives us the promise that if we are faithful and if we persevere, then we will once again discover how the soul can be resurrected to a state that is raptured by the unspeakable love and grace of God.
Fr. Paul Jannakos

SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY – BLESSINGS OF ICONS! This coming Sunday we are asking all of our children to bring an icon from home (preferably an icon of their patron saint) so that they can process around the Church with it (weather permitting) at the end of the Liturgy and have the icons blessed. (Please no glass covered icons). May God bless all of our children on this beautiful feast!

SUNDAY EVENING, MARCH 5TH, 6:30PM: Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers will take place at 6:30pm at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago. Our Archbishop Daniel is preaching!

COMBINED PRESANCTIFIED LENTEN DINNER: On Wednesday, March 15th, our parish will host the Southwest Orthodox Parishes for the Presanctified Liturgy; we are asking that everyone in the parish bring a Lenten Dessert.  (We will will be feeding approximately 100 people…).

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.

IOCC KENTUCKY TRIP: Michaelyn Sloan will be leading a team from St. Luke to participate in the IOCC Kentucky mission trip on the week of March 20-25th. For more information, contact Michaelyn at michaelynsloan@gmail.com. See flier above.

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

DIOCESAN PARISH ENGAGEMENT SURVEY Our parish has been selected to participate in a Diocesan initiative to gauge the level of Laity Engagement. We are asking everyone to participate in this that is being managed through the Diocese of the Midwest via Survey Monkey. All responses are anonymous. Please be thoughtful, honest, and candid when you complete the survey The survey results will be used to identify ways to strengthen and grow engagement in our parish community. Thank you for devoting your time and providing candid input. Click HERE to take the survey.

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. 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.

Theme: Diligence vs. Slothfulness

Memorization Text:
“A slothful man will not catch his prey, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.”
(Proverbs 12:27).

Family Reflection (Read all together).

Diligence is the virtue of doing the work assigned to us by God, which means doing the right thing at the right time in the right way and for the right reason. Everyone must work. “Six days you shall work, and on the seventh you shall rest.” (Exodus 23:12).

There are many kinds of work. Fathers work at their occupation in order provide a means of livelihood (food, clothing, shelter) for their families. Mothers may also have an occupation, and they, too, help to keep a warm and loving home where their children might be safe to grow and thrive with God’s blessings. Children must do their schoolwork and the chores and tasks assigned to them by their parents.

But besides this kind of earthly work, there is also spiritual work, and it is this work which is much more rewarding than anything else we do on earth. “”This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29). We thus do the work of the “liturgy” which are the services of the Church, the work of fasting (so that we can sharpen our prayer life) and the work of giving alms to the poor. There are many other spiritual works that we must be diligent to do in order to be rewarded by our Father in Heaven. Sometimes we may not feel like working, but we learn how to be diligent in our tasks, knowing that God will bless us for all of it.

Jesus came down to earth in order to accomplish the work His Father gave to Him, to teach the gospel and to heal the sick. He was perfectly diligent in everything He did.

Questions (Discuss these together). 

How well do I accomplish the tasks given to me daily?

Do I ever fail by being disobedient?

How can we overcome the temptation to procrastinate our work?

Facebook Facebook