St. George Weekly Update
Schedule for July 10th-July 18th
Saturday, July 10th:
5pm Great Vespers
Sunday, July 11th:
8:30am Orthros & Divine Liturgy
Monday, July 12th:
8am Divine Liturgy for St. Paisios the Athonite
Wednesday, July 14th:
Friday, July 16th:
6pm Akathist to Sts. Peter and Paul
Saturday, July 17th:
5pm Great Vespers, confessions heard following
Sunday, July 18th:
8:30am Orthros & Divine Liturgy
Commemorations This Week
On Sunday, July 11th
the Great Martyr Euphemia
In 451, during the reign of the Sovereigns Marcian and Pulcheria, the Fourth Ecumenical Council was convoked in Chalcedon against Eutyches and those of like mind with him. After much debate, the Fathers who were the defenders of Orthodoxy, being 630 in number, agreed among themselves and with those who were of contrary mind, to write their respective definitions of faith in separate books, and to ask God to confirm the truth in this matter. When they had prepared these texts, they placed the two tomes in the case that held Saint Euphemia's relics, sealed it, and departed. After three days of night-long supplications, they opened the reliquary in the presence of the Emperor, and found the tome of the heretics under the feet of the Martyr, and that of the Orthodox in her right hand. (For her life, see Sept. 16.)
Apolytikion for the Great Martyr Euphemia
O Euphemia, Christ's comely virgin, thou didst fill the Orthodox with gladness and didst cover with shame all the heretics; for at the holy Fourth Council in Chalcedon, thou didst confirm what the Fathers decreed aright. O all glorious Great Martyr, do thou entreat Christ God that His great mercy may be granted unto us.
On Monday, July 12th we commemorate St. Paisios the Athonite
On July 12 we commemorate one of the newer saints of the Church, Saint Paisios the Athonite. Saint Paisios was born in July 25, 1924 in the humble village of Farasa in Cappadocia, Asia Minor – modern day Turkey. He was baptized at the age of three weeks by the village priest, Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian, who foretold his life as a monk. A week following Saint Paisios’ baptism the Turks drove out all of the Greeks from Asia Minor, sending them on a 400-mile exodus to Greece, where his family settled in Epiros.
Early in his life Saint Paisios gravitated towards the spiritual life, spending hours daily in prayer. During World War II he served in the military as a radio operator. In 1950 he went to Mount Athos, where he remained for most of the rest of his life, growing in spiritual stature through prayer, fasting, and many ascetical practices. In 1979 he moved to his final home, Panagouda Hermitage. Here he received tens of thousands of pilgrims, granting them, by God’s grace, healing, advice, wisdom, and solace. He reposed in the Lord on July 12, 1994.
Saint Paisios is one of the most beloved modern saints in the Orthodox world because he was able to speak to us in contemporary language, using simple analogies that communicated deep spiritual wisdom. Central to Elder Paisios’ spiritual life were the virtues of love, humility, and sacrifice. Depicted in his icon is a scroll in his hand which contains one of his well-known sayings, “Love and humility are the frequency in which God works” – meaning that we should turn the dial of our heart to the frequency of love and humility, so that God can work in us. He often described how our ego and selfishness push away God and those whom we love.
Saint Paisios also talked about the importance of sacrifice and struggle. Through these we are able to break down our ego and draw closer to God. “The soft life makes people useless. Without toil and struggle sanctification doesn’t come.” He warned about the dangers of modern life with its conveniences and comforts. Though these comforts appear to help us, they instead make us more distracted, busier, and anxious – external noise contributing to internal discord. This thoughtful and relevant statement by Saint Paisios is especially poignant, as he observed this even before the internet, smart phones, and social media!
The increasing materialism of the modern world caused Saint Paisios great anguish. He warned that when we focus on material possessions we only become worried, anxious, and deadened to the spiritual life.
“The person who is possessed by material things is always subjugated to unhappiness and anxiety: he trembles for fear that his things will be taken away from him.”
The Elder likened the materialistic person to a young bird in the shell who never comes out to “the heavenly flight in the life of Paradise,” but just stays in the shell and dies. He warned,
“Fly from your material possessions to the fold of the poor. Simplify your life so as to be freed from worldly anxiety, so that your life might have meaning.”
Saint Paisios had great love and compassion for people living in the modern world. He prayed continually and used his God-given gifts of discernment and foresight to guide those who would visit him. He never berated people, but always encouraged them, giving hope in place of desperation.
“My heart rejoices when I see souls who take heed and struggle in a world that has become full of little devils.”
May Saint Paisios continue to intercede for all of us!
Rev. Fr. Gerasimos (Jerry) Markopoulos
, Monthly Meditations,
Epistle and Gospel Readings for Sunday, July 11th
Matins Gospel: The Gospel according to Mark 16:9-20
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.
St. Paul's Second Letter to the
Brethren, working together with him, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in any one's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
The Gospel According to
The Lord said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."
Click below to access recent homilies
from Father Jeffrey
St. George Sisterhood Kickoff Meeting & Luncheon
Saturday July 24th, 12pm-2pm
Church Fellowship Hall
Upon arrival: A "Meet & Greet", new visitor(s) introduction and welcome, followed by a wonderful buffet lunch.
After lunch is a brief but important meeting to discuss the agenda items (which will be sent in a separate Flocknote email).
We have so much to catch up on, please make every effort to join us!
Please RSVP to Ellen Winn by Thursday July 22nd
It's Evangelism Season!
During the Evangelism Season (June 20th to November 15th) we ask our parishioners to consider how they might engage in evangelism. Each week will be providing some quotes to consider on what the church teaches about evangelism as well as a challenge. The challenge is meant to encourage you to take chances and step out of your comfort zone a bit as well as prepare for an encounter with someone who asks you about your faith.
I pray that you will take advantage of this time and look forward to hearing your stories about how you are sharing with others what was given to you.
Who is St Innocent?
Our icon for this year's evangelism season is St. Innocent of Alaska. Take some time to search online and learn about his life and ministry. You can also find some excellent videos about him on YouTube. Ask for his intercession in your prayers. After you are done praying for the people on your prayer card, pray, “O Holy St, Innocent, please intercede for the salvation of those on my prayer card and the evangelization of the Prescott area.” When you venerate the icon at our parish, pray the same prayer.
Metropolis & Archdiocese News
Reflection from His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos for Independence Day 2021
Are you ready to Exclaim your faith?
Then the Young Adult League (YAL) Conference over Labor Day Weekend 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona is where you need to be! This will be the third YAL Conference since 2019 hosted by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco and promises to bigger and better than ever!
Conference attendees will enjoy a weekend of events, workshops, worship and relaxation from September 2 – 6, 2021 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AZ, a luxury property with a therapeutic spa, five pools, a lazy river, two golf courses, 17 pickleball courts, and much more! There will be plenty of free time to enjoy these amenities with your new YAL friends, and explore the beauty of the Sonoran desert.
Highlights of the weekend include engaging workshops, daily worship, dances, a Grand Banquet, and a special western-themed event “YeeHaw YAL” on Sunday evening. Diakonia is also an important part of the YAL ministry and will include a Rise Against Hunger challenge to package meals for undernourished people throughout the world.
This year’s Keynote presenters are going to take you on a journey that promises to bring you spiritual, social and professional fulfillment. Friday afternoon’s presentation will be offered by Bill Marianes who will speak on “Why Love Light – Being a Disciple in Your Jerusalem and Beyond.” Bill will guide the participants on a discovery of their personal “Why” and how they, as agents of change, can impact their parish, the civic community, and our entire country as disciples and exclaimers of our faith. Bill lives in Gainesville, GA but he is a good friend to our Metropolis, and brings with him a wealth of experience as a sought-after guest speaker who engages his audiences, identifies practical ways for parish involvement, and provides important guidance and insight for emerging professionals as they chart their course through higher education and entering the job market.
On Saturday, the YAL Conference will welcome Rev. Dr. Nicholas and Presvytera Roxanne Louh, Ph.D., all the way from Jacksonville, FL. Participants will be inspired by their presentation on “Exclaiming By Renewing You, Your Relationship with Christ and Each Other”. The Louh’s are a power-couple who bring with them years of experience serving the church, as well as their professional backgrounds in ministry and counseling. They cohost “Healthy Minds Healthy Souls” on Ancient Faith Radio. The Louh’s are also the co-authors of Renewing You which combines principles of spiritual growth with psychological tools to help you become your best self, fully connected with God’s purpose for you. A special book signing will also be held at the YAL Conference.
Click here for more info and to register
Help Our Graduates Stay Connected to the Church
Thousands of our Orthodox youth graduate from High School and go away to schools across our country. While blessed with unprecedented educational opportunities, at the same time, many face difficult challenges in the environment of the college campus. The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco wants to help maintain their connection to the Church! Complete the
. The Metropolis will make sure that an Orthodox Priest and community near your student's college connects with your loved one.
Church Music Scholarships
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco Church Music Federation Ministry is pleased to once again offer eight (8) Frank Desby and Xenia Anton Desby Memorial Music Scholarships of up to $500 each for Metropolis church musicians in 2021. Funds can be used to obtain education and training in singing, chanting, and conducting. Applications and information can be found online at
. Deadline: August 15, 2021. For more information, please contact:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
From the Assembly of Bishops
Encyclical for Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday 2021
Prison Ministry Awareness 2021
“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name.”
To the Reverend Clergy, Monastics, and Pious Faithful of our Holy Orthodox Church in the United States:
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings and blessings to you all!
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States has blessed us to observe the Sunday before the feast of St. Silas, the patron saint of prison ministry, as Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday. This year we remember this sacred ministry on July 25, 2021.
After a year of isolation, we are experiencing the full joy of our freedom this summer. Many of us are making up for lost time: taking trips, seeing our friends, and most importantly, returning to our churches in person.
For our brothers and sisters in prison, it has been a hard year as well. Lockdowns meant many of the 2.3 million men and women incarcerated in the United States were in truly deep isolation without visitations from family, friends, and clergy. As restrictions now ease, we are called more than ever to exercise our own freedoms to serve those who have suffered emotionally, physically, and spiritually over these last months. Now is the moment to cherish our blessings by sharing them with those who our Lord has commanded us to see Himself in.
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
Along with those in prison right now, we can find the Lord in the faces of those who have been released from prison and are seeking to find community in our parishes and rebuild their lives through the Orthodox way of life. We can also visit the Lord in caring for the family members of prisoners. Indeed, the staggering rates of incarceration in the US make it is difficult to find an Orthodox parish in our country that does not have a parishioner deeply affected by the incarceration of an immediate family member.
As the Episcopal Moderator of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, I respectfully request you observe this day of awareness. The Holy Orthodox Church, through Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, brings the mercy, forgiveness, and love of Christ to those people who need hope and healing living in the darkness of prison.
We humbly ask that after passing a tray for the ongoing work of your parish, you please pass a second tray on Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday for the work of the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry.
As Saint Isaac the Syrian says, “A cruel and merciless heart is never purified. A merciful man is the doctor of his own soul because as a strong wind from his heart, he drives out the darkness of the passions.” Please show mercy to our brothers and sisters in jails and prisons across the United States on July 25th.
With much love and thanks in our risen Lord,
on Friday, July 9 at 11:03AM