3-24-23 Bulletin

St. Luke Orthodox Church E Bulletin

The Annunciation of the Theotokos: “Rejoice, You who are full of grace!”


  • Friday, March 24th, 6:00pm, Great Vespers for Annunciation of the Theotokos.
  • Saturday, March 25th, 9:30am, Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Theotokos.
  • Saturday, March 25th, 5:30pm, Great Vespers with Confessions following.
  • Sunday, March 26th, 8:30am, Matins; 9:30am, Divine Liturgy followed by Church School & Coffee Fellowship.
  • Sunday, March 26th, 6:00pm, Deanery Vespers at St. George Cathedral, Chicago (Wood St.)
  • Wednesday, March 29th, 6:00pm, Presanctified Liturgy here at St. Luke.
  • Friday, March 31st 6:00pm, Akathistos to the Theotokos.at Sts. Peter & Paul in Burr Ridge.
  • Saturday, April 1st, Akathistos Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Chicago.

“Break on through, to the other Side…”

To live fully as a human being necessitates transcending biology. One must “break on through the to other side,” (The Doors) as the old song goes . For as human beings we have a deep longing for eternal realities, for things that are timeless and unchanging. This is evidenced in any number of ways, such as our ability to think outside the confines of the so-called “time-space continuum”, in our dreams (sleeping), but most especially in our capacity to love in a manner that refuses to limit itself to present earthly realities. Despite death, which is the cessation of all temporal experiences, we go on loving those whom God has given to us, whom we continue to esteem and cherish in our lives—family, friends, etc. “Love never ends” (1 Cor. 13:8). This is truly profound.

Some, quite sadly, chalk this all up as religious wish-thinking. Modern atheists, who in today’s western world have wrestled  themselves into a place of a new cutlural ascendancy, dismiss this longing for the eternal as a feature of humanity’s primitive past. Ancient hominoids invented the gods out of ignorance, fear, and insecurity, or so they say. All the forces we now call “nature” (sun, moon, stars, sky, earth, air, ocean, rivers, wind, storms, lightning, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.,) were “divinized” and given human features (e.g., the Greek gods of Mt. Olympus).

Even the appearance in history of belief in a single god, monotheism, is no different than the polytheism, in that it is a sum total of our human hopes and dreams projected outward from ourselves and upwards into the skies. Freud’s main point in his book The Future of an Illusion is that “god” is an invention of human beings, the grandest “illusion” of them all, created by primitive man’s need to help deal with the harsh realities of life. Though written in 1927, this book has become canonical in today’s academic circles, i.e., it is taken as a literal truth.

Despite the prevalence of this new atheism and the materialism that follows it, people today yet show themselves to be starving for something more than the temporal. They experience the “glass ceiling” of strict materialism (“only matter exists”) as a truly dehumanizing force. Thus, even in this post-modern world, many still strive to break out beyond our biological limitations so that our hearts can be reborn and fully live. Maybe this is why our young people today, though wholly irreligious, remain fascinated by the dark “spiritualism” of the many expressions of negative science fiction, not to mention the occult, witchcraft, etc.

So, once again, to affirm that human beings are innately spiritual is to say that we are continually seeking to transcend the limitations of our physiological realities. Sadly, the world views that disallow eternal realities (faith and spirituality) create pathological conditions in human life that are caused by nothing else but the absence of these timeless values. The famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who was a student of Sigmund Freud, repudiated Freud’s atheism by saying that as human beings we have a deep, innate hunger for eternity, and that the root cause of alcoholism and addiction is the denial of the transcendent in the human experience.

But what exactly do we mean when we speak of the eternal? Is it possible that we are talking about something that is so ethereal, so airy and fuzzy, that it is impossible to move beyond the categories of speculation? For unbelievers, actually, this is their point: that religious doctrines cannot be accepted by any “reasonable and sane” person because they cannot be grounded in empirical facts (like science, math, history, etc.)  This is a very old question that goes back millenia. Even so, from the beginning we human beings have had a definite sense of the eternal as belonging to a realm that lies beyond time, where all is perfectly and completely beautiful, where the shifting sands of injustice, evil, and suffering are no longer found.

Ultimately, Orthodox Christianity flips the whole problem upside down by declaring that it is not so much that we humans need to break through from the material to the eternal, but that the eternal has broken through into the material world in which we live.

And all of this happens, once and for all, when Jesus Christ, the Son of God made flesh, is resurrected from the dead.

Fr. Paul Jannakos

5th Week of Lent
Theme: Discernment vs. Delusion.

Memorization Text:

“The wise of heart is a man of discernment.” (Prov. 16:21)

Family Reflection (Read all together).

Discernment is the virtue of being able to distinguish between good and evil, of knowing the difference between what is harmful and what is destructive. Believers strive for this gift of discernment for the whole of their lifetime. Those who fail to practice discernment easily fall into delusion.

The first step towards discernment is to keep God’s commandments. God’s commandments are given to us as the beginning of moral understanding so that our hearts might become more sensitized to knowing and doing His will. The commandments were given so that we might be kept from hurting ourselves and others through immoral behaviors.

Even so, there may be times in our lives when knowing the right thing is not so clear or simple. In these cases, we are told, especially in Proverbs, to seek the good “counsel” of a mother or father or another wise person we trust. Sometimes discernment in making hard decisions will include prolonged prayer and great patience. In this way the Lord tests us in order to deepen our faith.

 Questions (Discuss these together). 

What would happen in our world if there were no commandments?

What situations have you been in where it was difficult to discern God’s will?

In what way have you chosen wrongly and learned a painful life lesson about the need for discernment?


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.

Lazarus Saturday, April 8th: Annual Church Spring Clean Up and Palm Sunday Preparation immediately following the 9:30 am Divine Liturgy. Help make St Luke “squeaky clean”. Learn how to make palm crosses and help decorate the church. Questions: Cleaning: Nick Lisowski (nliskowski60@gmail.com) and Palms: Esther Poulos (estherpoulos21@gmail.com or Aristea (steazeke@gmail.com).

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! https://www.facebook.com/ancientfaithkids?mibextid=ZbWKwLhttps://instagram.com/ancientfaithkids?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

YOCAMA 2023! Mission Trip Dates for this summer: New Mexico – Navajo: July 22-28th, 2023; Montana – Blackfeet: July 29th – August 4th, 2023. For more information and to register, contact  michaelynsloan@gmail.com.

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. 

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!

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.

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