St. George Weekly Update
Schedule for Saturday, July 24th through Sunday, August 1st
Saturday, July 24th:
5pm Great Vespers, confessions heard following
Sunday, July 25th:
8:30am Orthros & Divine Liturgy
Monday, July 26th:
6pm Great Vespers for St. Panteleimon
Tuesday, July 27th:
8am Divine Liturgy for St. Panteleimon
Wednesday, July 28th:
Saturday, July 31st:
5pm Great Vespers, confessions heard following, Fr. Jeffrey serving morning Divine Liturgy at Lake Havasu Church
Sunday, August 1st:
8:30am Orthros & Divine Liturgy
The Fast for the Dormition of the Theotokos begins Sunday, August 1st!
St. Symeon of Thessalonica writes that, “The [Dormition fast] was established in honor of the Mother of God the Word; Who, foreknowing Her repose, ascetically labored and fasted for us as always, although She was holy and immaculate, and had no need for fasting. Thus, She especially prayed for us in preparation for being transported from this life to the future life, when Her blessed soul would be united through the Divine spirit with Her Son. Therefore, we also should fast and praise Her, emulating Her life, urging Her thereby to pray for us. Some, by the way, say that this fast was instituted on the occasion of two feasts—the Transfiguration and the Dormition. I also consider it necessary to remember these two feasts—one which gives us light, and the other which is merciful to us and intercedes for us."
Dear brothers and sisters,
After a hiatus of services during July, we are ready to enter into the Dormition Fast, hopefully rested and refreshed, to enter into the two Great Feasts in the coming week, "one which gives us light, and the other which is merciful and intercedes for us."
It is a custom to serve the Paraklesis Service many times during the next couple of weeks, seeking comfort in the intercessions of the Mother of God on our behalf. I look forward to seeing you join us in prayer! You can find a very nice recording of this service here as well:
Small Paraklesis as sung by Eikona
As a reminder, also please remember to bring fruit, and especially grapes to be blessed on the Feast of Transfiguration next week.
I also want to encourage everyone to make time for confession during the next couple of weeks, as it is traditional to make time for confession during Fast of The Dormition. You may find this guide helpful:
Preparation for Confession
Please see the schedule of upcoming events below.
May the Lord bless us and have mercy on us in the fast!
Monday, August 2nd:
Wednesday, August 4th:
Thursday, August 5th:
6pm Great Vespers for Transfiguration
Friday, August 6th, Feast of Transfiguration (please bring grapes/fruit to be blessed):
8am Orthros & Divine Liturgy for the Transfiguration of our Lord
Saturday, August 7th:
5pm Great Vespers, confessions heard following
Sunday, August 8th:
8:30am Orthros & Divine Liturgy
Monday, August 9th:
Wednesday, August 11th:
Thursday, August 12th:
Friday, August 13th:
Saturday, August 14th:
5pm Great Vespers, confessions heard following
Sunday, August 15th, Feast of Dormition of The Theotokos:
8:30am Orthros & Divine Liturgy
Commemorations This Week
On Sunday, July 25th, the 5th Sunday of Matthew, we commemorate the Dormition of St. Anna, mother of the Theotokos
According to tradition, Anna, the ancestor of God, lived for sixty-nine years, and her spouse Joachim, for eighty; according to one account, Saint Joachim died two years before Saint Anna. The Theotokos had been orphaned of both her parents already when she was eleven years of age, when she was living in the Temple. Saint Anna is invoked for conceiving children, and for help in difficult childbirth.
Apolytikion for the Dormition of St. Anna
O godly minded Anna, thou didst give birth unto God's pure Mother who conceived Him Who is our Life. Wherefore, thou hast now passed with joy to thy heavenly rest, wherein is the abode of them that rejoice in glory; and thou askest forgiveness of sins for them that honour thee with love, O ever-blessed one.
On Tuesday, July 27th we commemorate St. Panteleimon,
the Great Healer and Martyr
This Saint, who had Nicomedia as his homeland, was the son of Eustorgius and Eubula. His father was an idolater, but his mother was a Christian from her ancestors. It was through her that he was instructed in piety, and still later, he was catechized in the Faith of Christ by Saint Hermolaus (see July 26) and baptized by him. Being proficient in the physician's vocation, he practiced it in a philanthropic manner, healing every illness more by the grace of Christ than by medicines. Thus, although his parents had named him Pantoleon ("in all things a lion"), because of the compassion he showed for the souls and bodies of all, he was worthily renamed Panteleimon, meaning "all-merciful." On one occasion, when he restored the sight of a certain blind man by calling on the Divine Name, he enlightened also the eyes of this man's soul to the knowledge of the truth. This also became the cause for the martyrdom of him who had been blind, since when he was asked by whom and in what manner his eyes had been opened, in imitation of that blind man of the Gospel he confessed with boldness both who the physician was and the manner of his healing. For this he was put to death immediately. Panteleimon was arrested also, and having endured many wounds, he was finally beheaded in the year 305, during the reign of Maximian. Saint Panteleimon is one of the Holy Unmercenaries, and is held in special honor among them, even as Saint George is among the Martyrs.
Apolytikion for St. Panteleimon
O holy prizewinner and healer Panteleimon, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.
Click here to read more about St. Panteleimon
Epistle and Gospel Readings for Sunday, July 25th
Matins Gospel: The Gospel according to Luke 24:13-35
At that time, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see." And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?" And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
St. Paul's Letter to the Galations 4:22-27
Brethren, Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise. Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written, "Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married."
The Gospel According to
Matthew 8:28-34; 9:1
At that time, when Jesus came to the country of the Gergesenes, two demoniacs met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one would pass that way. And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, "If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine." And he said to them, "Go." So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood. And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city.
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.
What is the Gospel?
If someone asked you what the Gospel message was, what would you say? Do you know what the Gospel message is? Would you be able to explain it in a way that could be understood that wasn't bogged down by external stuff and rabbit trails?
Block out an hour of uninterrupted time this week and write down what the Gospel message is as if you were talking to a friend. Try to make it short, like an elevator speech, something you could say in three to five minutes.
When you are done, share it. If you are part of our Facebook group, share it there so we can all read your story. If you are not part of the group, share it with someone at church. Even better, memorize it, so it is something that easily comes off your lips when asked.
Metropolis & Archdiocese News
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 23 at 12:56PM