Today’s Readings:

Epistle: Hebrews 1:10-2:3

Gospel: Mark 2:1-12

 

Schedule of Services: 

-Wednesday, March 23, Pre-sanctified Liturgy at 5pm

-Saturday, March 26th, Great Vespers at 5pm.

-Sunday, March 27th, Divine Liturgy at 10am.  Hours begin at 9:40am.

 

Announcements:

-Thank you, Nellie, for hosting coffee hour today. 

-If you would like to host a coffee hour in the future, the sign-up sheet is posted on the freezer.

-We will have a collection for the next few weeks for Ukrainian Relief. Place your donations in one of the two canisters on the candle tables. If you are donating by check, write them to St. Gregory Palamas Orthodox Church and designate, "Ukrainian Relief" in the memo line.  As a parish, we are donating $1,000 for Ukrainian Relief.  Your contributions will help cover this donation.  What is not collected through contributions will be covered by the parish regardless, so please kindly offer a donation. 

-The treasurer reported an income of $6,026, expenditures of $4,390 and a surplus of $1,636 for Feb. For more details, see the minutes from the Feb. council meeting which are posted on the bulletin boards.

- A pierogi workshop will take place on Friday, April 8th and Saturday, April 9th. Please make an effort to attend. A sign-up  sheet is posted downstairs. Please, enter on it what time slot you will be available to work.

-Please remember the needs of others and bring a donation for the food pantry.

-Also note that Saturday Great Vespers will be held at 5pm.

-Next Sunday, Sunday, March 27th (The Lenten Sunday of the Cross), there will be a deanery mission service at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church in Trenton, NJ at 5pm.  This is the only deanery mission service planned for this year.  If you can, please plan to attend. The address: St. Vladimir Orthodx Church, 812 Grand St. Trenton, NJ 08610

A Word on Church Attendance (The Current Hard Data):

Alexei Krindach conducted a study in regards to the nature of Orthodox parishes during the Coronavirus crisis.  Since St. Gregory’s is a parish that hopes to grow in numbers in time, it is worth sharing the following findings from Krindach’s study. To quote from the study’s findings, “The study looked at distinctive characteristics of the parishes with strong growth in vitality.  Compared to all other parishes, these 12% of churches: 1. Placed great emphasis on keeping their worship services and other practices as unchanged as possible throughout the pandemic including in‐person services, in‐person religious education classes, and continuing the traditional way of administering Holy Communion (with one spoon from a common chalice) 2. Pay more attention to collective decision‐making, in which entire parish community participates 3. Are reluctant to offer their services online, consistent with the negative attitude of their clergy towards virtual Orthodox worship as undermining the nature of the Orthodox liturgical tradition.”  Furthermore, “The online modality has an especially strong negative influence on parishioners’ participation in Sunday Liturgy, the involvement of children and teenagers in religious education, and youth activities and programs.”  In this light, we will cease to offer online streaming of services starting in April. Our parish is in a place where parishioners are willing and can attend services, and we have normalized coffee hour and pot-lucks. Also in light of Krindach’s studay, we will continue to consider, however, how to make better use of online services as a part of our parish’s outreach program because there are, indeed, potential benefits of using the internet (and the streaming of services, as our council has begun discussion about this in the Fall) as a medium to attract potential converts to the Orthodox Faith. Nevertheless, live-streaming of Sunday services will stop in April.  Here is the online link to the study:

https://orthodoxreality.org/coronavirus-and-american-orthodox-parishes

 

Please pray for:  

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

Steven, Janet, Teresa, Irina, Alla,                                       

Ira, the suffering people of Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, and Palestine.      

Words for the Day

Consistently pray in all things, so that you might not do anything without the help of God ... Whoever does or busies himself with anything without 

prayer does not succeed in the end. Concerning this, the Lord said: "Without Me you can't do anything". (John 15:5)

(St. Mark the Ascetic, Homilies, 2.94,166)

 

Next Week’s Readings:

Epistle: Hebrews 4:14-5:6. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; as he says also in another place,“You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1. And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has  come with power.”