THE ORTHODOX WAY
November/December 2019

Dear St. Nicholas Family,

We continue to stay busy with lots of activities and celebrations over the next two months. Please read below for information. We hope to see you there!
Quick Links:

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

Pre-Order Your Baklava for the Christmas Holiday!  See flyer here .

Pastries for the Feast of St. Nicholas
St. Irene’s Philoptochos is, once again, hosting the receptions following the St. Nicholas Vespers and Feastday – December 5 and 6. As is customary, we are requesting pastry donations and ask you to sign  the roster in the hall listing your pastry donation. Drop-off is Monday, December 2; Wednesday, December 4; Thursday, December 5 – all between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

St. Irene’s Philoptochos Annual Christmas Bake Sale - Sunday,  December 22 
This event will require a “boat load” of pastry (NO baklava). Please sign up for your donations. 
Deliver by Saturday December 21 – 10:00 a.m. We will be prepping and boxing the pastry at that time and will need helping hands. Please consider helping!  Thank you.
UPCOMING EVENTS
Read our weekly online bulletin for events and activities: Click here

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Orthodox Marketplace: a great resource for Orthodox educational material and gifts

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 Message

Philoptochos

Church School

GOYA

Stewardship

Book of the Month
FR. DEMETRI'S MESSAGE

Dear Parish Family Members,

Happy Thanksgiving! I wanted to take this opportunity to write this note to all parish family members during this wonderful season of Thanksgiving.

I’m of the firm belief that we are to be a people filled with thanks to God who has blessed us in so many ways. The following verse from Scripture even tells us that if we are seeking to know the will of God for our lives, “giving thanks” is definitely one of the areas He is pleased with!
 
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

This verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:18, is sharing the thought that the joy we experience in God, should not fluctuate and change based on the circumstances we are going through at the moment. We should realize our dependence upon God, and realize His presence within us, and then do our best to determine to obey Him as He directs and leads us.

Perhaps we don’t struggle so much with the encouragement to be thankful, however, when we read in Scripture that we are to be thankful in “everything,” perhaps the line has been crossed from reasonable to unreasonable. 

At times, we may feel like we are going through a very trying and difficult situation so to be thankful for that is to almost be hypocritical. When we have experienced the loss of a loved one, it is very difficult to find a way to give thanks during a time of grief and pain. Yet, as we walk through that storm of sorrow, we can, - if we allow ourselves - to find the blessings God has given us…including most importantly, His presence, as He comforts us in the midst of tears and pain! 

Instead of our focus being on the “why” it happened, we can, through the grace of God begin to focus on the “what” should we do now, or “how” can we trust God more than we ever have before!

Perhaps this Thanksgiving is a challenging time for you or someone you know. Yet, I would encourage you to find something to thank God for and begin to focus on the good things He has blessed you with!
I trust your Thanksgiving is one of tremendous appreciation to God for His bountiful blessings in your life.

With love in the Lord,
PC PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Dear St. Nicholas Family & Friends,

Our Fall General Assembly takes place on Sunday, November 17, and it’s exciting to see how much activity is taking place by our ministries as all the reports are being pulled together!

The Church School is sending pen pal letters to kids through Project Mexico; the Orthodox Life Series is buzzing as participants keep sharing how much they’re learning from the sessions; Family Nights have been a hit with new themes being presented, e.g. November was based on it being National Jersey Day and how our MVP’s are our saints (thank you, Christina Constantine!) and the 50 Year Vision and Strategic Planning Leadership committee is meeting twice-monthly to realize a plan for the future of our church.

The Nativity Fast is almost here, a harbinger of sorts that the holidays and predictable craziness are also near…so keep calm and remember that St. Nicholas is always here for you! We will be celebrating the Feast Day of St. Nicholas on December 5 and 6; Vesperal Divine Liturgy, followed by a Christmas story pageant on December 24; and the Feast of the Nativity on December 25. See our website for more details.

As always, If you have any questions or concerns or interested in getting more involved at St. Nicholas, I look forward to hearing from you.

God bless,
Maria Decoulos
Cell: 617-645-1684
PHILOPTOCHOS

Upcoming events:
Nov 10:  Baklava Pre-Orders for Christmas (Dec 22) Begin
Nov 18:  Philoptochos Meeting @ 6:30pm
Dec 15:  Baklava Pre-Orders for Christmas (Dec 22) End
Dec 22:  Philoptpchos Bake Sale and Baklava Pre-Order Pick-up
CHURCH SCHOOL

The Church School is doing some exciting things this year. In addition to our Sunday school curriculum, we are also doing outreach projects this year. We are excited to share that we have started a pen pal program with project Mexico. Each class is writing letters to a boy in Mexico. We just finished our first set of letters, complete with drawings from our youngest students.

In addition, the children are donating money in the classroom piggy banks each week. The money collected will go to buying materials to assemble IOCC school kits. In addition, we have tasked the high school students with setting a “kit” goal and thinking through marketing activities to reach that goal. They of course will have support from their teachers and the church school directors. 
GOYA

We hope many GOYANS will join us for our upcoming events:
Mid Nov:  GOYA potluck
Dec 6:  Gingerbread Parish Night @6:00
STEWARDSHIP: Q3 REPORT

All things are possible to the one who believes in Christ

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  9 As it is written:  “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”[Psalm 112:9]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  
2 Corinthians 9:6-11 New International Version (NIV)

Exciting news, we exceeded our Pledge goal of $180,000 by $1,588!  We also exceeded last year’s pledged amount by $3,653.  Thank you to all those stewards who have pledged.  We still have some work to do.  We have approximately $26,000 remaining to collect.  This is a great time to fulfill your pledge before the end of the year and tax advantage of the tax benefits.  The additional good news is that the amount pledged per family is up $100 compared to last quarter, however, the average paid per family is down $100 compared to last quarter.  We continue to look for ways to encourage both participation and contributions.
Upcoming events:
  • Movie night (January 24, 2020) Movie TBD
  • Honoring our elders party (November 14, 2020)
  • Researching the possibility of inviting Bill Marianes to speak with area churches on the topic of Stewardship. Time and Place TBD.  (Meli Papayannis)
  • Future talks about legacy giving. TBD.  (Meli Papayannis)

Progress:
With the love of Christ,
 
Ghada Massabni
Stewardship Director
BOOK of the MONTH: Liturgy & Life by Fr. Alexander Schemann

Nov 21:  Zoom meeting
Dec 5:  Zoom meeting
Dec 12:  Zoom meeting
Dec 19:  Zoom meeting

All meetings are from 8:30-9:15pm. To sign up, order a book from the St. Nicholas bookstore, or for more information contact Alexa Vafiades: alexa.vafiades@gmail.com .
BOOKSTORE

Here is our bookstore schedule for November and December:

Nov 10:  Bookstore Open
Nov 17:   Bookstore Open
Dec 1:  Bookstore Open
Dec 8:  Bookstore Open
Dec 15:  Bookstore Open
Dec 22:  Bookstore Open
FELLOWSHIP HOUR

Please consider hosting a Sunday Fellowship Hour. It’s very simple – all you need to bring is milk and pastries and the we will supply the rest.  

To all those who have sponsored the Fellowship Hour this past year and beyond, we here at St. Nicholas thank you. It’s something we have come to expect and enjoy each Sunday following Divine Liturgy.
Announcements
On October 5, the funeral service for  George Wouralis  was celebrated at St. Nicholas Church.  He was the husband of Toula Wouralis and father of Maria Wouralis, Daniel Wouralis and Christos Wouralis.
Reminders
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 Receiving Church Materials?:
If you have not been receiving church material/mailing or emails, please contact the church office at 781-862-6453 or email  office@stnicholaslex.org  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  office@stnicholaslex.org