Today’s Readings:

Epistle: 2 Timothy 4: 5-8

Gospel: Mark 1: 1-8

 

Schedule of Services: 

-Thursday, January 6th, Divine Liturgy at 10am (with the blessing of the waters for Theophany).

-Saturday, January 8th, Great Vespers at 4pm.

-Sunday, January 9th, Divine Liturgy at 10am.  Hours begin at 9:40am.

 

Announcements:

-Self-serve coffee will be available today.

-Sincere thanks to all who brought in snacks and treats for the Hunterdon Hills Project. Two large shopping bags, filled to the brim were delivered!

-To continue our work in fighting hunger into 2022, remember to bring either non-perishable items or supermarket gift cards for the food pantry. The blue box for the gift cards is upstairs by the candle stand.

-Sunday, January 23rd will be the Annual Parish Meeting.  The snow date is scheduled for Sunday, January 30th.

-In regards to the partaking of the Holy Eucharist, we will partake of the Eucharist in the long-established traditional manner.  In fact, His Eminence remarked at the recent diocesan assembly that sanitizing the spoon during the Eucharist is “unwarranted.”  Please know that our Lord knows more than anyone that his body and blood is not a source of illness but a source of healing.  Approach the chalice in the fear of God and in faith!

 

House Blessings: There will be a sign-up sheet in the back of the church for those who would like their houses blessed this year.  If you would like your house blessed, please understand, due to the current Covid climate, the visitation will be ONLY for house blessing and not prolonged visitation. For the blessing, have ready, on your dining room or kitchen table 1) a candle, 2) a bowl for holy water, and 3) an icon (if possible).   In regards to face coverings, if you choose to have your house blessed by the priest, when the priest arrives at your home, he will be wearing a face covering. If you answer the door without a face covering, the priest will assume that you are comfortable to withhold face coverings for the blessing, and he will take off his face covering.  

 

It is realized and understood that during this vexing time, as individuals, families, and even the church as a whole, differing opinions and views in 

regards of how to handle and respond to the current Covid crisis abound.  It is absolutely essential, as the body of Christ, to not let our opinions and views cause division in our parishes nor cause scandal.  We are to respect each other’s boundaries and respectfully be willing to meet one another “where we are at”, as true brothers and sisters in Christ.  One thing is for certain, God is with us and will never abandon us.  It is our job, as Christians, to remain faithful and loving in the face of much fear, confusion, and division, and to put our trust fully in God.  Conversation regarding the love of God is much more edifying than all other kinds of conversation.

 

Please pray for:  

Living: Stella, Melissa, Helen, John, Darlette,     Departed:

Steven, Janet, Teresa, Irina, Leonty, Alla, Paul      

 

Words for the Day

When anyone goes into sin, his thoughts are is it were enchained and his vision is changed for the worse through that by means of which the evil one, 

instigating and flattering, weakens and darkens us. But after the sin has been committed he sets before our eyes what we have done and cruelly reveals that to which he has drawn us with much guile and, condeming the severity of the deed, endeavours by the same to draw the sinner into despair.
(St. Photius the Great, Amphilochius, 14)

 

We have within us deeply rooted weaknesses, passions, and defects. This can not all be cut out with one sharp motion, but patience, persistence, care and attention. The path leading to perfection is long. Pray to God so that he will strengthen you. Patiently accept your falls and, having stood up, immediately run to God, not remaining in that place where you have fallen. Do not despair if you keep falling into your old sins. Many of them are strong because they have received the force of habit. Only with the passage of time and with fervor will they be conquered. Don't let anything deprive you of hope.
(St. Nectarios of Aegina, Path to Happiness, 3)

Do not seek earthly glory in any matter, for it is extinguished for him who loves it. In its time it blows on a man like a strong wind, and then quickly, taking from him the fruits of his good works, it goes away from him, laughing at his foolishness.
(St. Gennadius of Constantinople, The Golden Chain, 35)

 

Next Week’s Readings:

Epistle: Ephesians 4: 7-13. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[c] and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

Gospel: Matthew 4: 12-17. Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”