THE ORTHODOX WAY
May 2017
 Dear St. Nicholas Family,

Christ is Risen! We hope you can join us for the Parish Family Picnic on May 21st, following Church and Greek School Graduation!
Archdiocese and Metropolis News












Register for MBC Summer Camp

An Ecumenical Commemoration of the Holy Saints and Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide Remembrance, Witness, and Resurrection


See Photos from Great and Holy Week at St. Nicholas

PARISH SPRING GENERAL ASSEMBLY LAST SUNDAY - We wish to thank the 58 Parishioners in Good Standing who attended, participated and stayed for our Spring General Assembly. We followed the timeline of our agenda, going just 2 minutes over, and then we stayed another 45 minutes from items originally not on the agenda that were brought from the floor of the assembly.

 
2017 ST. NICHOLAS METROPOLIS AWARD RECIPIENT:  
We are pleased to announce this year's recipients are Lariza and Leo Panagiotou. Congratulations to them for their many years of service to our church.

The awards banquet will be on Sunday, June 11 at Lombardo's, Randolph, MA.  Reception is at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets:  $75 pp.  If you would like to purchase tickets, please contact the church office at 718-862-6453.


Graduation Sunday, May 21st
We will recognize students in both our Church and Greek Schools on this day. Following the certificates, all will be invited to enjoy a Parish Family Cookout which will take place at Lincoln Park - 122 Lincoln Street, Lexington. Parents of the Church School and Greek School Programs have been asked to provide sandwiches for the picnic.

GRADUATES:  WE WANT TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE! ***WE HAVE NO ONE YET!

This is a call to ALL who are High School and College Seniors! We need to have your names, a short write up about yourself (a recent picture, your plans for the future, going on for further education, and your involvement here at St. Nicholas) in order to have these names appear in the Weekly Bulletin on Graduation Sunday, May 21. If we do not have your name and this information, you will not be able to be acknowledged as a graduate.  Please take the time and give our office a call or better yet, send and e-mail with all the information we are asking!
In This Issue
Quick Links
Parish Council
Contact Info
Sunday Worship
Orthros 8:15am
Divine Liturgy 9:30am
Did you know EFT and credit card payments can be made online to 
St. Nicholas?
Support Lou's PMC Ride

Be the Bee
Lives of the Saints


Sunday of the Paralytic
 May 7

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
  
Sunday of the Blind Man

Apodosis of Pascha

Holy Ascension
May 25
Fathers of the 1st Council
Father Demetri's Message
THANKS TO ALL
CHRIST IS RISEN!

As we have finished Great Lent, Holy Week and Great and Holy Pascha, I would like to thank all of the faithful who contributed in one way or another to all of the Divine Services. Names will not be mentioned, lest we forget to mention someone and offend them! You know who you are, but most of all, GOD KNOWS:
*The officers and members of the Parish Council for their dedication and love.
*Those who donated, in order to decorate the Icon of Mother of God and Christ Child during the Salutations.
*Those who helped with the meals on the Saturday of Lazarus, Great and Holy Friday, Pascha Reception and Godparent Sunday Breakfast.
*Those who helped make Palm Crosses and cleaned the church on Saturday of Lazarus.
*Those who helped at the chanter stand with the hymns and readings during the Divine Services.
*Those who donated towards the flowers of the Kouvouklion.
 *The Philoptochos for collecting those funds and ALL who decorated - adults and youth!
*Those who brought the flour and oil for the Holy Unction service.
*Those who donated the Communion Wine used at The Divine Liturgy.
*Those who led the retreat on Great and Holy Friday for the youth of our parish!
*Those who donated the icons during Great and Holy Week, the wreath for the Crucifix, and the Resurrection banner.
*Many thanks also to those who donated the Pascha eggs, and the ladies who helped prepare them and wrapped them in the tulle and tied them with the red ribbons.
*Thank you to all who donated your annual Pascha offering!
*Those who proclaimed the Gospel at the Vespers of Love in different languages (12 were proclaimed this year).
*Those who were able to install the video and audio components allowing Services to be livestreamed on YouTube.

I especially would like to thank all of you, the parish family members of St. Nicholas for your love, participation and attendance during Great Lent and Great & Holy Week. May our Risen Lord bless each of you abundantly!

The attendance this year for Great and Holy week Services surpassed all other years. It was most gratifying to have such great participation of the faithful! Palm Sunday was so full that faithful were standing in the narthex during the service. It was also great to see such a large number of faithful stay until the end of the services on both Friday and Saturday night. I'm sure that we all left the Church on both of those nights, renewed in our resolve that it was the greatest experience we could have hoped for!
Orthodoxy in the News
Mid-Pentecost as a Great Feast of the Church
Children's Word
Written by Presbytera Alexandra Houck
He told me all that I ever did!
PC President's Letter

Christ is Risen! On March 12th, the Parish Council and ministry representatives met for a three-hour brainstorming session to set the church's goals for 2017. Led by Don Khouri, we reviewed the ideas for a Statement of Need that was drafted last year; came up with new ideas and concerns; scrutinized all the information and voted on the following six goals:

GOAL #1: Develop a "Master Plan" for all grounds by Sept 1, 2017 to address needs of Parish. Leader: Tom Tsaros
 
This is already off the ground with the first master planning committee meeting that took place on April 4, (as advertised in the weekly bulletin). A similar brainstorming session occurred, where all agreed that we want to maintain a small parish feel at St. Nicholas and discussed the choices. After weighing all the options, listing their pros and cons and voting, they were whittled down to three. Sub-committees were formed to vet each of the three options:
 
Option1: Rehab existing facilities: maintain existing structure, renovate and expand. Sub-committee: George Psyhoyos (lead), Lou Saledas, David Vafiades 
   
Option 2: Rebuild the facilities: tear down one/both properties; merge with adjacent property. Sub-committee: Tom Tsaros (lead), Nicholas Zervoglos, Maria Decoulos

Option 3: Build on a new property: sell, buy land and build a new facility. Sub- committee: Jim Decoulos (lead), Bob DeVasto, Melanie Tanionos

If you are interested in joining one of the sub-committees, please contact Tom Tsaros. *Father Demetri will serve on all sub-committees.

GOAL #2: Establish a Project Manager for progress and continuity of projects between Parish Councils. Leader: Nicholas Zervoglos

GOAL #3: Improve outreach with "Orthodoxy in Action" to increase participation in church's mission by existing and new parishioners. Leaders: Ghada Massabni, Meli Papayannis

GOAL #4: Grow revenue to achieve a balanced 2017 budget by end of year. Leader: Elie Tamer

GOAL #5: Identify and document baseline procedures for key operational processes by end of 2017. Leader: George Papayannis

GOAL #6: Increase annual stewardship revenue in December 2018 by 15 % more than 2017 target. Leader: Tony Gray

In April, we met with the Lexington Town Assessor to discuss the Town's procedure for taxing the Parish House. We were informed to expect a tax bill at the end of this fiscal year (July.) This becomes a significant (@$12,000 to $13,000/year) and unexpected expense if we keep renting the house.

To date, we have not gotten any more news from the Lexington police on the burglary that took place last September. We have installed a camera in the church for the purpose of live streaming and security; changed the keys to all doors; added an alarm system and improved the outside lighting, all in the interest of keeping the premises secure.

We're at a point that lot of important decisions are being made so that St. Nicholas continues to thrive as the special parish community that it is for all of us! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
Maria

Ministry News
CHURCH SCHOOL 
Please join us for Graduation Sunday and a Parish Family Picnic on May 21st! A sign up sheet for donating food items for the picnic has been emailed to all parents - please sign up if you are able. Thank you for a great year!  

Lariza Panagiotou: larizap@earthlink.net
Amantha Tsaros: amanthatsaros@gmail.com 
GREEK SCHOOL 
Χριστός Ανέστη. We hope all of you had a great Easter with family and friends. May is a very busy time of the year.  Greek School classes will continue for another three weeks. Our two older students, Sofi Khoury and Ellie Pantekidou, will take the language certification exams. We wish them lots of luck. Και σ'ανώτερα!

On April 28, Ellie Pantekidou read an essay for Greek Independence Day at the State House. On Sunday April 30, we  marched in the parade in Boston - thank you to those who were able to join us.

On Sunday, May 21, our Greek School students will graduate along with the Church School children. They will receive their certificates after Liturgy. Afterwards there will be a community cookout for all to enjoy. 
PHILOPTOCHOS  
Christos Anesti! I hope Saracosti was a fulfilling time, and Pascha a joyous celebration for all. Special thanks to Fr. Demetri for the wonderful services during this season. Thank you all for your help with Palm Sunday Fellowship, for bringing and wrapping the eggs on Holy Thursday, and decorating the Kouvouklion on Holy Friday. Thank you for your generous donations towards the flowers for this most important holiday season of our faith. 

For our National Commitments in May, we will send $100 to the 75th Anniversary Fund and $100 to OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship). 

Ten more bags of groceries were delivered to the Lexington Food Pantry in April and monetary donations will be given this month to the Lexington Eat Together. Pam Brown, Stephanie DeVasto, and all of you for your generosity deserve our sincere thanks. We will hold a basket on May 7 for our Metropolis Commitment for the Philoxenia House.  

Friday May 5 there were services for St. Irene, our Patron Saint. Also on May 7, we had the Artoklasia for St. Irene, our Patron Saint.  

Congratulations to  Leo  and Lariza Panagiotou for representing our Parish and for their nomination to receive the Ministry Award from the Metropolis of Boston.  Well deserved!

I hope you have submitted your stewardship dues by now.  If not, please do so soon, as the names of members must be sent to the National Office soon. Our next meeting will be May 16 at 6:30. Please join us!

Lela Digenis, President 
GOYA
We had a great start to 2017, here is what we have done.
Over lent, we gathered for a tour of the Russian Icon Museum, coincidentally, we were there on the feast day of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, and were witness to a beautiful exhibit the museum had put together.  
 
Along with the JOY kids, we made Lazarakia for Lazarus Saturday, we hope you enjoyed them! We would like to thank everyone who bought one; we are that much closer to a future mission trip! On Lazarus Saturday, GOYAn's participated in preparing candles, making palm crosses and cleaning the church for the upcoming Holy Week and Pascha services.  
 
On Holy Thursday, 14 GOYAn's attended the lenten lock-in, and many came for the 12 Gospels service that evening.  GOYAn's, families and Father Demetri enjoyed a potluck dinner together, then the GOYAn's along with Fr. had a great discussion before sleeping in the church. Everyone was up and participating in Holy Friday Services the following morning, as well as the decorating of the Kouvouklion (wasn't it pretty!). The youth all enjoyed engaging in discussions covering current issues like "The bombing in Egypt", as well as "What does it mean to be stewards of the church and how they are stewards in the church" and "Why do they believe in the Orthodox faith".  Many GOYAn's were present in worship for the Holy Friday evening service, as well as the Anastasi service Saturday night.   
 
Stay tuned for: A GOYA end of the year gathering, possible GOYA camping trip, reflections of the year and a plan for next year!

PRAYER LIST
Pondering on the words of St. Paul, "Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's wellbeing. (I Cor. 10:24). Give rest to the weary, visit the sick, support the poor, for this is also worship. Aphahat       
         
For any prayer concern (salvation, health, employment, stress and anxieties, etc.) please send baptismal names only to:   st.nicholas.lex@verizon.net  
 
We may not be able to help others materially or medically, but God does hear our prayers and always asks us to pray for each other and so build up the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-16).
Messages 
 
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. 

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St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church | (781) 862-6453 | st.nicholas.lex@verizon.net | http://stnicholaslex.org/
17 Meriam Street, Lexington, MA 02420