4-7-23 Bulletin

 “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!


  • Friday, April 7th, 6:00pm, Vespers for the Feast of the Raising of Lazarus
  • Saturday, March 8th, 9:30am, Divine Liturgy for the Raising of Lazarus followed by Spring Cleanup.
  • Saturday, April 8th, 5:30pm: Great Vespers with Confessions following.
  • Sunday, April 9th, 8:30am: Matins; 9:30am, Divine. Liturgy for Palm Sunday followed by Church School and Coffee Fellowship.
  • Sunday, April 9th, 6:00pm, BRIDEGROOM MATINS at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago.
Great & Holy Week

  • Monday, April 10th, 7:00pm: Bridegroom Matins with Holy Confessions.
  • Tuesday, April 11th, 7:00pm: Bridegroom Matins with Holy Confessions.
  • Wednesday, April 12th, 7:00pm: Holy Unction.
  • Thursday, April 13th, 9:30am: Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great.
  • Thursday, April 13th, 7:00pm: 12 Passion Gospels (Matins of Great & Holy Friday.)
  • Friday, April 14th, 3:00pm: Vespers of Great & Holy Friday (Placing of the Shroud).
  • Friday April 14th, 7:00pm: Matins of Great & Holy Saturday (Lamentations.)
  • Saturday, April15th, 9:00am: Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great – Great & Holy Saturday.
  • Saturday, April 15th, 10:30pm: THE PASCHA OF OUR LORD & SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, Nocturns, Matins, Liturgy, Blessing of Baskets/Fellowship Meal/
  • Sunday, April 16th, 12:30pm: Agape Vespers with children’s Easter Egg Hunt.


Orthodox Christians strive for nothing less than to overcome death—to conquer it, to obliterate it— the same way our Lord Himself did when He rose on the 3rd day. But conquering death means two things:  The first is to defeat the presence of the inner death during this “age,” which is the death of the heart or “spiritual death”; the second is to become a “new creation” by reversing the effects of “biological” death when our Lord comes in glory at the end of time. For here death, at last, dies once and for all, and the righteous achieve an eternal life that is not so much an unending “ linearity” (time without end) but a participation in God’s eternal Being through the gift of grace. “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:25).

Life in the Church is therefore all about defeating the death that has taken hold of us on account of original (“primordial”) sin. The Lord created the human race to live forever, so that we might be continually growing in grace “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18). Yet because sin has infected our lives, death holds us in its grip. Death, then, gives birth to sin—that is, to its incentive and inception; and once sin has fully grown, sin gives birth to even more death.

Thus, we are all caught in a vicious cycle of “sin, death, more sin, and more death…” that we are unable to overcome. As a matter of fact, many are so deep down “into the hole” that they no longer even know that anything other than the darkness surrounding them. This was the point, even before the coming of Christ, of Plato’s story about humans stuck in their “cave.” What remains is the darkness of boredom, banality, and absurdity:  the empty husks that are the remnants of human beings who have chased after their passions for the whole of their existence. This is the “living death,” the death of the inner man, the demise of the human heart, and a foretaste of the self-enclosed hell that will be for eternity.

Spiritual death happens not in an instant. It is a downward sliding, a creeping deterioration of the human person. Bit by bit, unbelief grows. The heart grows calloused and dull; it writhes and withers, and the breath of God’s Holy Spirit is extinguished. But since  “nature abhors a vacuum,” and in the absence of the Holy Spirit, other spirits come to dwell. But these spirits are maligning and abusive. Blow after blow, they bruise the mind and heart to such a point that one is left semi-conscious, “half dead” like the man beaten by thieves on the side of the road in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The passions of the flesh—lust, greed, gluttony, lethargy, and listlessness (godless despair)—numb the soul.The presence of prolonged anger and resentment poisons the heart. Over time, these things add up to what St Paul calls “life in the flesh” and “the carnal man”—a living death, or more accurately, a lifeless life.

Every Christian begins his journey of faith at the point of such absolute carnality. But with God’s help, the experience of inner death caused by the passions begins to be undone. A miraculous extrication begins. Day by day, the believer learns how to encounter temptation with prayer, and through prayer to pass through temptations’ fire. Tripping and stumbling are inevitable. But with repeated repentance, and with frequent confession and Holy Communion, believers mortify their sins:  they “put to death” their deeply rooted passions. The more they die to sin, the more they live in Christ – the true beginning of the resurrection. The mind “sees and understands” because it is no longer stuck in the mud, deluded into thinking that the bodily pleasures are all one should be living for. The heart is re-enlivened by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Like “new wineskins” that expand as the fruit turns to wine, so the soul is enlarged and begins to embrace all things into its Christ-like love. The eternal life of God’s Being is shared by grace and begins to manifest itself in little, miraculous ways: acts of mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and charitable works.

Holy Week and Pascha for Orthodox Christians is the time set aside to know and experience this death and resurrection in Christ. Everything that happens to Jesus will happen to us:  the trial, the condemnation, the scourging and mocking, the nails and the spear, the death and burial, and finally the mystery the resurrection.

Are we ready to conquer death?

Fr. Paul Jannakos


HOLY WEEK SERVICES: Please note that the services for Holy Week, beginning with Bridegroom Matins on Holy Monday, will all begin at 7:00pm. Please do you best to schedule work and other necessary activities around these services. Also, unless you work in the health care industry, it is not proper for Orthodox Christians to work on Great & Holy Friday. Those who need help with their employers on this point may contact Fr. Paul at 810 845 9015.

ST. LUKE SPRING CLEAN-UP: This coming Saturday, May 8th, following the Divine Liturgy (9:30am) our parish will hold its annual Spring Clean Up. The Church will also be decorated with Palms and flowers. Bring your cleaning supplies!

HOLY WEEK 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.

EXPANDING ELIJAH’S CHARIOT MINISTRY:  It has come to the attention of the parish council that there are some families and elderly in our Church who are no longer able to drive to Church on a regular basis because of  high gas prices. We are looking, therefore, to expand our Elijah’s Chariot Ministry so that it will include the gift of gas cards for those who need help. (Please consider donating?) Also, 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.

ST. LUKE STRATEGIC PLAN: Our St. Luke Strategic Plan report is ready to be viewed and the tally sheets for our Action Items are now available. If you have NOT filled out a tally sheet please take the time to do so.

APRIL MONTHLY CHARITY: Our St. Luke monthly charity for the month of April will be the HOLY RESURRECTION MONASTERY in southern Missouri. Please be generous!

NATIONAL ORTHODOX BABY SHOWER –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 through the end of this week. 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

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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