THE ORTHODOX WAY
December 2017

Dear St. Nicholas Family,
 
It’s hard to believe the year is coming to an end. Our St. Nicholas feast day celebrations included vespers on Dec 5th, and matins and Liturgy on the 6th. See below for information on our Christmas Pageant, schedule of services, and other exciting events!
Quick Links:

Sunday Worship:
Orthros: 8:15am
Divine Liturgy: 9:30am

VASILOPITA & STEWARDSHIP APPRECIATION SUNDAY!

JANUARY 7, 2018
Following Divine Liturgy

SAVE THE DATE:

3rd Annual New Year's Eve Party

December 31, 2017
St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center, Contoocook, NH

Lives of the Saints - click on icons for more info
Orthodoxy in the News
Children's Word - Written by Presbytera Alexandra Houck
Ministry News
Ministry News:

Fr. Demetri's Message

PC President's Letter

Philoptochos

Stewardship

Greek School

GOYA

AGAPE
A Message from Father Demetri

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s almost time! Yes, it’s almost time for our Annual Children’s Christmas Program here at St Nicholas. The program will be held this year on Christmas Eve, December 24, following the Divine Services in the morning!

What a wonderful time it is for the Children as they share the various words and songs that celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Some of you might remember “way back” when you were part of the program and how much it meant to look out and see the place packed with people. Then, the extra thrill when you “said your piece” and applause and appreciation echoed through the Sanctuary. Even if you don’t remember, rest assured, that these who are preparing will appreciate your attendance!
Even though it’s important to be here to support our children, let’s not forget the meaning of this very special season… the birth of Jesus Christ!

In December 1903, after many attempts, the Wright brothers were successful in getting their “flying machine” off the ground. Thrilled, they telegraphed this message to their sister Katherine: “We have actually flown 120 feet. Will be home for Christmas.” Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message. He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas.” He totally missed the big news—man had flown!

That little story illustrates the possibility for all of us to be so caught up in the season that somehow we forget the reason for the season. It’s up to us as “big people” or adults to always keep Christ at the forefront of all we say and do during this time of year. See you here!

With love in the Lord,
PC President's Letter

THANK YOU
Father Demetri for being our shepherd.

The many active ministries, visible and not so visible, that keep St. Nicholas alive and vibrant, a place that is a home!

The extraordinary 2017 Parish Council that went into overtime this year with extra meetings for planning goals for the year, vetting our long term planning, discussing stewardship at length and mopping the flooded basement floors. And thanks to those leaving: Nicholas, Rick, Elie, Tony and Joan.

2017 GOALS
Earlier in the year the Parish Council decided on six goals to help guide us and give direction in fulfilling our church’s mission and its growth. Below is the status of each goal:

GOAL #1: ‘Master Plan’ for church grounds to address the needs of the parish.
STATUS: The Master Planning Committee (MPC) came up with the three best options: 1) Rehabilitate the facilities, 2) Rebuild the church and hall, and 3) Relocate our church – sell the Lexington properties and buy land to build elsewhere. A special general assembly will be held early 2018 to discuss these ideas further.

GOAL #2: Project Manager to oversee continuity of projects.
STATUS: Nicholas Zervoglos and Maria Decoulos exploring options to share information online to manage progress.

GOAL #3: Improve outreach and increase participation of existing and new parishioners through ‘Orthodoxy in Action.’
STATUS: The Orthodoxy in Action committee is planning activities and working with the Stewardship Committee to bridge time and talent opportunities. A welcoming committee has also branched out from this goal.

GOAL #4: Achieve a balanced 2017 budget by end of year.
STATUS: Work in progress.

GOAL #5: Identify and document baseline procedures for key operational processes by end of 2017.
STATUS: Work in progress.

GOAL #6: Increase annual stewardship revenue in December 2018 by 15% more than 2017 target.
STATUS: Work in progress. (Proposed budget has close to 8% increase in 2018 Stewardship goal)

TREASURE
A new set of eyes has been a great benefit to our treasury department from tidying up many loose ends to profitable discoveries – more to come in Treasurer’s report.

The finance committee is proposing a balanced budget for 2018. The key sources of income? Festivals, which we count on carrying us for two years (since they’re biennial); and increased Stewardship commitments.

MAINTENANCE
This year there have been three occasions so far where there was flooding in the basement and not all incidents were from the same source. We are keeping a close eye on the boilers, aging HVAC system, roof, structure of church, stairs and pavement sinkholes outside of the church.

LET’S BE PROACTIVE AND NOT ALLOW ONLY OUR MAINTENANCE ISSUES BE THE DRIVING FORCE TO TAKE ACTION FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR CHURCH AND COMMUNITY.

With love & respectfully,
Maria Decoulos
2017 PC President
Philoptochos

Thank you to all the ladies who were able to attend our last Philoptochos meeting. Our next meeting will be in January (date TBD). Below is a list of exciting upcoming events and projects that we hope you will participate along with our parish family. 

Dec 1 - St. Nicholas Gingerbread House Night (6:30pm)
Dec 5- Great Vespers (6pm)
Dec 6- Feast day of St. Nicholas (Divine Liturgy)
Dec 10- Eat at Bertucci's to support GOYA Mission Trip Fundraiser
Dec 11- Last day to drop off toys for Annual Toy Drive 
Dec 12-  Philoptochos Christmas Party at Redstone 6:30pm (+Men's Club dinner)
Dec 13- Baklava Workshop at 9am
Dec 16- Need help for setup and packaging pastry and on the day of the event for selling and assisting our customers.
Dec 31- New Year's Eve Gathering at MBC!  (If you haven't gone before and have questions, please ask me - it is so much fun)!
Jan 13- IOCC Kits will be assembled (in case you haven't heard - our GOYAns will be putting together  1000 emergency hygiene kits and could use our parish family's help. No, that was not a typo-  1,000 KITS for IOCC! :)

God Bless, 

Eleni Saledas    
esaledas@gmail.com / 803.514.8696 
Stewardship

Dear St. Nicholas Parish Family, 

The calendar year is coming to a close, and again we will soon have the opportunity to experience the excitement we read in Luke 2:9-14. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Such a joyous time of the year!

On a personal note, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to have served in the capacity of your Stewardship Chair on the Parish Council over the past two years and to witness the beautiful stewardship of time and talent of our parish family.

An update of treasure through 11/20/17:  
2017 Stewardship goal: $177,625 
Total pledged amount: $171,479
Number of families pledging: 175

In the past month, an additional 7 Stewardship pledge cards were returned which has resulted in an increase in Stewardship funds by $4,689!

For those who have returned pledge cards: thank you!

For those who have not yet been able to commit a Stewardship pledge form, please remember the words of Father Alexander G. Leonidis: “I ask that you prayerfully decide the portion of God's gifts to you that you will offer to His Church through the Christian Stewardship Program of our Parish.” From “ Thanksgiving and Stewardship

With love in Christ, 
Greek School

We hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. We wish to thank you for your generous donations to the Turkey Fundraiser. This is very helpful for the supplies and needs of the Greek School. Efi Papadopoulos and Manny Rempalakis each won a $50 gift certificate to Wilson’s Farms. Congratulations.

The month of December is already here. The students will be singing the Greek kalanda in addition to their studies. There will be no classes on December 23 and 30 for the holidays. Classes will resume on January 6.

Καλά Χριστούγεννα και Καλή Πρωτοχρονιά με υγεία και αγάπη!
GOYA

LexRAP Coat Drive: Thank you to all who contributed: 80 bags of winter coats were collected for LexRAP. On Nov 18th they were sorted and many will be distributed at the IINE office and with the amount collected, there are plenty for the next wave of refugees expected in February. GREAT JOB!

IOCC Emergency Hygiene Kits: We have reached our goal of supplies for 800 Hygiene Kits and have raised our goal to making 1000 kits! Please help us reach our new goal and send 1000 Hygiene kits to IOCC. We will also need many helping hands to make the kits, so save the date to join us in making them on Saturday, January 13th 10am at our Parish Hall. Please contact Eleni Saledas if you would like to donate towards the 1000 Kit goal. 

A big THANK YOU to the GOYA boys who stayed to decorate our parish hall, it looks beautiful! 

GOYA CHRISTMAS PARTY & Wish Upon A Star Program! Sonya Alam's family will be hosting our GOYA Christmas Potluck Party at their home on Saturday, December 9th at 6pm! This year we will be doing something a little different; instead of a Yankee Swap or having the GOYAns buy gifts for each other, we would like GOYA to sponsor a few kids from the Salvation Army's Wish Upon a Star Program! We spoke to those running the program and they are currently accepting applications from families in the area who are in need and putting together a list of the children and their ages. 

So far we have 2 GOYA families participating, the idea is that each GOYA family (whoever wishes to participate) can sponsor one child ('Star') this Christmas. The deadline is December 15th so we were hoping that everyone could drop off their gifts at the party (Dec 9th) and afterward we will take them to the Salvation Army in Waltham. Please let Eleni know soon if your family would like to sponsor a child so we can submit how many 'Stars' we will be supporting as a whole and their info can be sent to us! 

Mission Trip Fundraiser: The GOYA would like to go on a Mission trip to visit His Eminence Bishop Neophytos in Africa and his metropolis. We have been fundraising for the past year and will continue until we can fund every GOYAn to go which will on the high end cost about $2,400 per GOYAn for a 5-6 day trip, (details and logistics are still being worked out). 

Please support our mission trip by eating at Bertucci's on Dec 10th. Present the coupon when you pay, and 25% of you order will go to our mission trip! Flyers with the coupon are in your Sunday bulletin, on the counter at coffee hour and we will be sending the flyer through email as an electronic version for you to use.

Meli & Eleni
AGAPE Group

New Lecture Series:

The Agape group will be presenting a new lecture series on DVD “Changing Body Composition through Diet and Exercise” by professor Michael Ormsbee of Florida State University. There will be twelve lectures of one hour each, shown every Thursday at 11am, beginning on November 2nd. All are invited.
Reminders
Preparing for Christmas? G ifts and rushing around and as the carol,  Joy to the world  says-- "let every heart prepare Him room." We do that in part by our thoughtful discipline around food, Lent begins November 15. To help with quick family tested meals, be sure your copy of  Embracing Lent Through Prayer, Worship and Recipes (2.0)  is at hand. There are copies in our St Nicholas bookstore. Alexa Vafiades can help you to your very own copy.

Sunday Fellowship Hour:
A gentle reminder to all Fellowship hosts: Please keep in mind that families hosting coffee hour (children's table and main table) are responsible for clean up after completion. We appreciate your help with keeping our parish clean and treating it as your own home...because it is! Thank you.

Not Recieving Church Materials?:
If you have not been receiving church material/mailing or emails, please contact the church office at 781-862-6453 or email  st.nicholaslex@verizon.net  Thank you.

Monthly Bulletin Personal or Business Ad:
If you are interested in placing a personal or business ad, please contact the church office at 781-862-6453 or email  st.nicholaslex@verizon.net