On Sunday June 6th we celebrated the “new birth by water and the Holy Spirit” into the Kingdom of God (Jn 3.5) with the baptism of Vivian Katherine, daughter of Jason and Athena Lavoie along with godparents Mikayla Collins and Mark Yaschak. The family and our church was graced with the visit of family friend and priest Joseph Collins who serves Holy Apostles Orthodox Church of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The Raising of Lazarus (Lazarus Saturday)
By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion,
Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, 0 Christ God!
Like the children with the palms of victory,
we cry out to Thee, 0 Vanquisher of Death:
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!
(Troparion of the Feast, sung on both Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday)
Dear Fr Moses,
We pray this finds you well.
On April 14, just six days from today, we will finally deploy to Albania!
Years of prayer and preparation have culminated in this moment! In less than a week we will board our plane and arrive in a totally new country in which to live and work. Predictably, we are really excited. We also feel a bit nervous as you can probably imagine. Most of all, we have a strong sense of reassurance that we are where we are meant to be: following our Lord’s call to serve His people in the mission field, to open a new chapter with all the joys and struggles it will bring.
“If I rise on the wings of the morning, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me.” Psalm 139:9-10
Not only are we travelling with the Lord, but we know we have each of you with us in spirit and in our hearts; we couldn’t feel more taken care of! Each step we take as individuals is really a collective step since we represent all of you in Albania. And after all, you have made our work possible with your support.
For communication, we will continue to use email and Zoom to connect with you all; we look forward to remaining in contact while abroad. Please stay tuned for our next update after Pascha.
Further, we encourage you to follow us on social media if you haven’t already:
Website: withlovesarigianis. com
Please know we have each of you in our prayers, and we are continually grateful for your support and love. We ask for prayers for our safe travel, and a smooth transition into our new apartment and roles.
Blessed journey through the end of Great Lent and through Holy Week!
With love and gratitude in Jesus Christ,
- Steve & Theophani
On July 7th, 2019, we celebrated the transition of Pastoral Authority from Fr. Vladimir Aleandro (pastor for 24 years) to Fr. Moses Locke. After the reading of the Akathist “Glory to God for All Things”, Fr. Moses was presented with the parish metrical book (a record of church activities) and a Shepherd’s Crook (which Fr. Vladimir had received during his mission to Turkana). Joining the parish were many visiting clergy (both Orthodox and non-Orthodox) and guests who came to wish Fr. Vladimir well on his retirement and Fr. Moses well on his appointment. Close to 200 people were in attendance, showing the love that is felt for not only both men, but our parish as well.
On June 30th, we celebrated Divine Liturgy. It was an especially meaningful service as it was the last liturgy with Fr. Vladimir as Pastor of Christ the Savior. Fr. Vladimir did a special homily, using the time to help educate us on the preparation of the Gifts. Anne Wilkinson, representing the stewards and parishioners, presented Batushka and Matushka with their official retirement Hawaiian shirts and a gift for their dedicated and tireless service. Fr. Claudio Petrescu, visiting from Romania, also served.
On Sunday, June 9th, we celebrated 20 years of our parish Scholarship Program. This program recognizes our the education of our youth, both in and outside of our teaching ministry. Thank you to Matushka Suzanne, Father Sergius Halvorsen, Sarah Cole, and Don Cole for their tireless work in support of the future of Orthodoxy! And, congratulations to those young members of our parish who have achieved so much in their studies!
The celebration of His Resurrection continues. Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!
The placing of the epitaphios (plashchanitsa) on the tomb of Christ.
The washing of the feet of the Apostles by Christ, performed by Fr. Vladimir on the feet of men of our parish.
Pictures from our celebration of the Raising of Lazarus from the Dead. (April 20, 2019). Included is our children’s choir and Great Entrance procession.
“A Christian must be courteous to all. His words and deeds should breath with the grace of the Holy Spirit, which abides in his soul, so that in this way he might glorify the name of God. He who regulates all of his speech also regulates all of his actions. He who keeps watch over the words he is about say also keeps watch over the deeds he intends to do, and he never goes out of the bounds good and benevolent conduct. The graceful speech of a Christian is characterized by delicateness and politeness. This fact, born of love, produces peace and joy. On the other hand, boorishness gives birth to hatred, enmity, affliction, competitiveness, disorder and wars.”
“How mistaken are those people who seek happiness outside of themselves, in foreign lands and journeys, in riches and glory, in great possessions and pleasures, in diversions and vain things, which have a bitter end! In the same thing to construct the tower of happiness outside of ourselves as it is to build a house in a place that is consistently shaken by earthquakes. Happiness is found within ourselves, and blessed is the man who has understood this. Happiness is a pure heart, for such a heart becomes the throne of God. Thus says Christ of those who have pure hearts: “I will visit them, and will walk in them, and I will be a God to them, and they will be my people.” (II Cor. 6:16) What can be lacking to them? Nothing, nothing at all! For they have the greatest good in their hearts: God Himself!” - St. Nektarios of Aegina, The Path to Happiness