560 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
News and Notes for St. Anne
The Sunday of Orthodoxy:
When the Icons Came Home

In 726 AD, Emperor Leo III initiated what became known as the Iconoclast Controversy. He was troubled by military losses to Islamic armies, and their fierce opposition to images. Apparently thinking that the images were giving offense to God, he ordered their destruction. This imperial policy continued, off and on, until the middle of the 9th century, when the Church gathered for the 7th Ecumenical Council and definitively defended the making and veneration of icons.

On the first Sunday of Lent in 843, in a solemn procession, icons were officially restored in the Orthodox Churches. This event continues to be celebrated to this day.

More than an argument about art, the Iconoclast Controversy required a very complete understanding of the faith. God became man, the Word became flesh, and in so doing changed and transformed our understanding of the material world. St. John of Damascus wrote wonderfully of this complete understanding:

I make an image of the God whom I see. I do not worship matter, I worship the God of matter, who became matter for my sake, and deigned to inhabit matter, who worked out my salvation through matter. I will not cease from honoring that matter which works my salvation. I venerate it, though not as God....

I honor all matter, and venerate it. Through it, filled, as it were, with a divine power and grace, my salvation has come to me. Was the three-times happy and blessed wood of the Cross not matter? Was the sacred and holy mountain of Calvary not matter? What of the life-giving rock, the Holy Tomb, the source of our resurrection — was it not matter? Is the holy book of the Gospels not matter? Is the blessed table which gives us the Bread of Life not matter? Are the gold and silver, out of which crosses and altar-plate and chalices are made not matter? And before all these things, is not the body and blood of our Lord matter? Either stop venerating all these things, or submit to the tradition of the Church in the venerating of images, honoring God and his friends, and following in this the grace of the Holy Spirit. Do not despise matter, for it is not despicable. Nothing that God has made is. Only that which does not come from God is despicable — our own invention, the spontaneous decision to disregard the law of human nature, i.e., sin.

On this Sunday, we bring icons to Church with us and join in a procession of joy that marks the truth of our salvation. The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us!
Service Schedule
Wednesday- March 13
Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts 6:30 pm
Soup and Bread following
with Lenten Teaching Series by Fr. Daniel

Friday - March 15
Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts 8 am

Saturday - March 16
Great Vespers for Sunday of Orthodoxy - 5 pm
area Orthodox invited
Reception follows in Parish Hall

Sunday - March 17
Divine Liturgy 9:30 am

A Note on This Week's Sunday of Orthodox y

Every year, for quite some time, the three area Orthodox Churches, St. George Greek Orthodox, St. Anne (OCA), and St. Nektarios (ROCOR), have come together for a united service in observance of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. This is a common practice across the country. There is a difference this year.

At present, the Patriarchate of Moscow has broken communion with the Patriachate of Constantinople until the intervention in Ukraine by Constantinople is resolved. At present, no patriarch across the Orthodox Church has expressed support for Constantinople's actions. The OCA, together with many other autocephalous Churches have called for a Council of all the Patriarchs to resolve the matter. That is where things rest at the moment.

In the meantime, the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate (which includes ROCOR), are prevented from participating in services with the Greek Orthodox Church.

Fr. Anthony, Fr. Job and myself have all discussed these matters and are of a common mind in praying for a godly resolution to the problem. We continue to hold one another in love and long for communion to be restored. This year, St. Anne is the host of the Sunday of Orthodoxy. Fr. Anthony is scheduled to preach. St. Nektarios will not be participating. We urge the faithful to understand the present situation and to be reassured of the good relations between our parishes. This is not a local matter - it is between the patriarchs. We should pray for God to give them the grace to resolve this matter through the love which is God's gift to the Church.

Orthodoxy sometimes seems fragile. This is true when our love for one another is weak. Pray for an increase of love. May Christ's Pascha consume us in His love!
Keeping the Lenten Fast

This pdf file offers some guidance for fasting in accordance with the Orthodox tradition. Different circumstances require different approaches.

Lenten Fasting: Click here.

 Coffee Hour Plan for This Sunday

Our new plan for managing Coffee Hour continues this week. With this as week 1, those with last names L-P will be responsible for bringing food and cleaning up afterwards. Many thanks to all who have made this new plan such a success!
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