This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:
“This is our festival, this we celebrate: God coming to man that man might go back to God our Father. Off with the old man, on with the new! Once dead in Adam, now alive in Christ, born with Christ, crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, risen with Christ.” - St. Gregory Nazianzus
DATES TO REMEMBER:
GREAT LENT BEGINS GREAT COMPLINE 6:30PM
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
A Message from our Pastor.....................2 A Rebelution ...........................................3 Knocking Human Beings ........................7 Covenant With Christ .............................8 Lenten Services .......................................9 Our Lenten Alms Project ......................11 Basketball Scenes ..................................12 Styles of Parenting .................................14 My Soul Magnifies the Lord .................16 Balancing Great Lent ............................17 Kids Page ...............................................23 February Calendar .................................24
FEBRUARY 17 & 24 / MARCH 3 & 10
PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY 6:30PM
FEBRUARY 19 & 26 / MARCH 5 & 12
SALUTATION SERVICE 6:30PM
Luncheon Discussion With Father
2010 Festival Meeting
As we enter the Lenten season it is only fitting that we all pause to reconsider the Lord proclamation: “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” This profound calling should not only be considered in terms of our personal relationship with Christ but it must also inform our thinking about eternity. Though there are some who would equate any talk of eternity with a debate over the existence of unicorns; for those of us who closely follow the Lord, read the Scriptures and listen to the teachings of the Fathers - eternity is nothing less than a sober discussion of the realities of heaven and hell. The fact is that though the specific details of each reality are a mystery, there is in all truth an eternity of heaven for some AND an eternity of hell for others. But beyond the (false) debate on the existence of heaven and hell, one of the biggest misconceptions in the world has to be the notion that eternity is purely a ‘future matter’. That some how or another, heaven and hell are faraway places that we will go to when we die. It is the delusion that there is the here and now, and that somewhere down the road in the future, lies an eternity of heaven or hell. of Jesus Christ on earth and His Resurrection on the Third day has irrefutably launched the dawn of these two realities. The Lord's Kingdom, as well as the blatant rejection of it are NOT waiting to happen! They have begun, they are a contemporary way of living. The fullness of eternity will indeed come with His Second Coming, but in the meantime, the Lord our God has indeed come! Jesus has revealed Himself as the Christ! The Son of God, the fulfillment of the Lord's Covenant with Abraham, and He has established His Holy Church. Heaven does not only lay ahead, it has begun; it is in the here and now. When we speak of the Divine Liturgy as a glimpse and taste of heaven - this is NOT wishful thinking OR some kind of esoteric metaphor - it is a point of fact. The Liturgy serves as undeniable proof of heaven, and a sacred opportunity to experience a measure of it in a fallen world… in the here and now.
LIVING IN ETERNITY NOW!
For as much as heaven and hell are in the future, at the very same time, in a very real sense they are both also very present realities. The words of the Lord as recorded in Matthew 4: 12-17 serve as clear notice that living in eternity does NOT begin when we die, but that it has already begun. We here and now are in the continual process of choosing the part of eternity we intend to live in, today and forever. When Lord says to us: “Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” He is NOT speaking of a distant future, but the initiation of a new and very PRESENT reality. The words themselves are neither in the future tense or open to speculation. The kingdom of heaven is at hand! While the eternal fullness of heaven and hell have not yet come to pass, the presence
For heaven by definition is the state whereby men and women united in Christ glorify God and commune with Him. Hence, every time we gather together in prayer in the Church, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, Heaven unfolds. While our daily life may be far from perfect, that should not lead us to conclude that somehow or another, the reign of God has not yet begun. A host of things in the world, and in our life may indeed be anything but heavenly, but that does not mean that heaven is far off. It simply means that we are not looking in the right direction or really trying to get there. For after the Lord announces that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, the Gospel according to Matthew goes on to recount how the Lord immediately thereafter invites people to follow Him and proceeds to speak in greater detail about living in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is in a section
(Continued on page 4)
There is a "rebelution" going on right now- a revolution of rebellion led by young adults for young adults. The movement was started by two brothers- Alex and Brett Harris (younger brothers to Josh Harris of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" fame). Their website states "The official definition of the 'rebelution' is "a teenage rebellion against low expectations. When you look around today, our culture does not expect much of us young people. We are not only expected to do very little that is wise or good, but we're expected to do the opposite. Our media-saturated youth culture is constantly reinforcing lower and lower standards and expectations." The Harris brothers argue that these low expectations help no one, least of all the teenager himself. The title of their book is “DO HARD THINGS A
4. 5. 6.
Seek godly counsel Be humble, loving, and bold. Be part of the solution.
Here is a list of examples of "hard things" from their website: > Share the gospel with a friend. > Write a song and perform it. > Increase your GPA this year. > Start a Christian club at school. > Volunteer. > Hold a bake sale to fight human trafficking. > Babysit for a single mom at your church. > Do a chore that you weren't asked to do. > Honor your parents even though you disagree with them. It's a really interesting book and blog. Although a mostly Protestant movement, the Youth Department of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese was alerted to it after receiving an email from a Greek Orthodox teen who was deeply moved and inspired by the movement.
TEENAGE REBELLION AGAINST LOW EXPECTATIONS”.
They also have a hugely popular blog called The Rebelution (http://www.therebelution.com/index.php) The back cover reads "Most people don't expect you to understand what we're going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last. WE DO." Their battle cry is really simple, just DO HARD THINGS. On their blog, the verse they have chosen as their motto or mission statement is 1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." They feel that their generation has fallen short of that calling. The book offers a lot of great ideas and insights- it's an easy read because it's written specifically for teens. In the chapter called "Taking a Stand" they offer six principles to help guide "rebelutionaries" in choosing to take a stand: 1. Start with the Bible 2. Examine yourself 3. Listen to your conscience
THE ANNUNCIATION RESPONSE TO HAITIAN NEEDS
While the disaster in Haiti is difficult to comprehend, we as a Church family continue to respond with faith and love. On top of first and foremost praying for the people of Haiti and the aid workers who are trying to offer some kind of relief, to our daily prayers, we are pleased to note that our parish alone has raised over $6,500. for Haitian Relief Efforts. We thank God that our Church family was able to responded with such generosity and kindness in the name of the Lord. In addition, we also expect to be able to produce a minimum of 100 Hygiene Packs! May the prayers and contributions of the Annunciation Church family continue to help alleviate some of the suffering in Haiti in His Holy Name.
(Continued from page 2)
smoldering as it reeked of death and decay. Hell was (and is) much more than a condition of sorrow, poverty, pain or overdue punishment. It was (and is) not simply a ‘concept’ that everyone fears, but few take very seriously. When our Lord spoke to the people in Jerusalem of gehenna, it was NOT a mythical faraway place, but a present reality with a number of awful and all too familiar connotations and vivid imagery. Thereby making it perfectly clear that hell is NOT a place for the damned to go someday, but is instead a contemporary reality. A state of being whereby men and women choose to live a way of life that rejects the Lord, His commandments and His ways. In so doing, preferring to wallow in the garbage, death and filth of Hell on earth. There simply can be no question that hell is a present state. People may escape it by joining themselves to Christ, but it is never far off. It may not be pleasant to think about or see, but let there be no doubt - hell is real! It is a contemporary way of living in a garbage dump. Simply put, people in the here and now, by their actions and or inactions, are continually deciding to either live their life on earth in heaven or in hell. This is never a matter sole focused on where we would like to spend our future, but a question about where are we choosing to currently live. If we decide to follow God, live according to His Commandments, and participate in the life of His Church, we can begin to live now an eternity in heaven. If on the other hand, should we opt to pursue the way of selfishness, faithlessness, laziness and greed, then we will indeed now and forever flounder in the garbage of Hell. Eternity is not determined by a single action or statement either good or bad. Instead, it is a life time of daily decisions and actions which are rooted in the present eternity of Heaven or Hell. Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ as the Lenten season proceeds to unfold, let us be mindful of the fact that eternity has begun! Let us choose to live in heaven starting NOW.
that we commonly refer to as the Sermon on the Mount. A seminal teaching covering a wide variety of issues, ALL of which is focused on helping those who will listen and believe, embrace the manner and means by which to begin to live in the Kingdom of Heaven in the present. The Lord our God does not simply instruct us in terms of preparing us for death and the afterlife. Instead, Christ gives us a roadmap for living here and now in the Kingdom that will soon be perfected, and continue for eternity. Our challenge as Orthodox Christian men and women is NOT to consume ourselves with looking for signs that the end is near, or dream of heaven in the distant future. Instead, we must commit ourselves to follow the words of the Lord and thereby begin to live in His Kingdom starting NOW! In appreciating the fact that heaven is not simply a future state, but communion with the living God, abiding by Him and serving Him; then no matter the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, we can, in a very real and meaningful way begin to live in heaven presently. Ultimately, the question is not whether heaven exists or when will we get there. The question is are we spiritually striving to live in it here and now! But such a query also brings up the uncomfortable matter of hell. For as God has made it perfectly clear, eternity does not only consist of heaven, but also of hell. And that too, in a very real sense is in the present tense. In fact, the word translated as ‘hell’ that Jesus used most often was the Aramaic term 'gehenna'. This was not a cryptic reference, but referred to an all too real Valley of Hinnom. Every Jew and non-Jew alike at that time knew the place, because it was the area dump outside the walls of Jerusalem. This spot was filled with garbage, and was constantly burning as the people in that era tried to get rid of their refuse and its associated smells. In addition it was also the place that the remains of diseased animals and forsaken human beings were discarded. It was a very real, vile and disturbing location that was continually
Have a blessed Lent!
Rev. Dr. Nicholas J. Verdaris
THE ANNUNCIATION BOOKSTORE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
The Parish bookstore is open during the Fellowship hour every Sunday after the Divine Liturgy or by special appointment. WE
STOP FOR YOUR WANT TO
EMBRACING THE BEAUTY OF THE ANNUNCIATION
Please remember that our parish will soon be hosting the services for one of the great holidays in Christianity and our very own feast day:
HELP AS A ONE SOURCE ANY OF CHURCH
The Feast of the Annunciation
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24TH AT 6:30PM
We can special order icons for specific saints, events, or feast days. We can help with finding assistance in preparing kolyva for Memorial services or in obtaining wedding crowns or baptismal items. We can also help to find and order specific books or Orthodox related gift items. Please refer any questions or needs to Christopher Huckabay at 501-563-8726 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25TH, AT 9:30AM
STARTING LENT RIGHT!
Do we find it difficult to attend the services of the Church faithfully and punctually?
2010 Great & Holy Lent BEGINS February 15th!!
With Great Lent upon us, we have a blessed opportunity to change! The choice for us is to either continue to follow the flawed routines of the past that have kept us from glorifying the Lord regularly and at the appointed hour OR to meaningfully change our ways and honor the Lord by attending the Divine Services faithfully and on time. Our spiritual life is in the balance - our life in Christ can be refreshed faith in action or we can choose to continue to struggle and keep His love at bay. This Lenten season, let us all redouble our efforts to gather at the Annunciation at 10:00am at the latest in order to worship our Lord and draw closer to Him and one another.
MEET & GREET SCHEDULE
to our parishioners celebrating during the month of February!
Feb. 1st . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teri Kaiser Bek Kaiser Feb. 4th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Luka Lelovic Laura Meti Feb. 5th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Essa Kassissieh Feb. 7th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gabriel Bishara Feb. 11th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tania Anaissie Bianca Bishara Pete Vratsinas Feb. 13th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Alley Feb. 14th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gordon Tyer Feb. 15th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Majida Kdeiss Libbie Vaden Feb. 16th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nicholas Cora Feb. 18th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Becka Masching Feb. 19th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Georgia Freeman Feb. 21st. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Philip Miron Feb. 22nd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kamis Alley Feb. 23rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kayla Reeves Feb. 24th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hannah Farah Mary Masching Feb. 26th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ashleigh Plastiras Feb. 28th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eva Pappas
February 7th . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeannie Newton February 14th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Newton February 21st . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jack Weatherly February 28th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Hunter March 7th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robin Jones March 14th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharon Johnson March 21st . . . . . . . . . Christopher Huckabay March 28th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carole Hawkins
DID YOU KNOW?
You can always read the current issue of The Promise online at the Annunciation’s website!
If you or your family would like to commemorate a special event, honor the memory of a loved one or would simply like to offer a gift to the Annunciation family. . . you too can sponsor a Fellowship Hour!
B O A R D A N D S I G N U P T O D A Y!
CHECK THE BULLETIN
KNOCKING HUMAN BEINGS OFF THE PEDESTAL OF EXCEPTIONALISM
by Wesley J. Smith
Personhood theory also threatens those who have lost capacities.Thus, people with profound cognitive impairments like Terri Schiavo are increasingly being looked upon as potential sources of organs even though they are clearly not dead. The animal rights movement goes even farther, fabricating an explicit moral equality between humans and animals based on the ability to suffer. Thus, animal rights philosopher Richard Ryder wrote in the Guardian: “Our concern for the pain and distress of others should be extended to any "painient" - pain-feeling - being regardless of his or her sex, class, race, religion, nationality or species. Painience is the only convincing basis for attributing rights or, indeed, interests to others.” Hence, since rats and guinea pigs feel pain, doing animal research is the moral equivalent of Mengele's atrocities in the Nazi death camps. This misanthropy is so fervently believed by animal liberationists, that some have taken to attacking medical researchers in the name of "saving the animals." Materialistic Darwinists also deny human exceptionalism based on their belief that since all life evolved randomly out of the same primordial ooze, species distinctions are morally irrelevant. This view has potentially deadly implications to the sanctity of human life, for as journalist John Darnton wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle, “[U]ltimately, if animals and plants are the result of impersonal, immutable forces…then the natural world has no moral validity or purpose. We are all of us, dogs and barnacles, pigeons and crabgrass, the same in the eyes of nature, equally remarkable and equally dispensable.” Radical environmentalism is even more alarming, taking human unexceptionalism to the next nihilistic level. Under this view, we are life’s villains whose pillaging threatens the earth. In order to “save the planet” our prosperity must be sacrificed and our population strictly controlled. Some radical environmentalists even look to China’s tyrannical one child policy as a model — even though it uses female infanticide and forced abortion as demographic weapons. Toward this end, the environmental writer Alex Renton recently wrote: “Some scientists…say that if the [population] cuts are not achieved, we will end up with a planet with a “carrying capacity” of just 1 billion humans. If so, we need to start cutting back population now with methods that (Continued on page 14)
Society’s belief in the unique moral value and importance of human life is under unprecedented assault. Most people still believe in human exceptionalism and are unaware that powerful social and cultural forces are working diligently to dismantle the sanctity of life ethic as the fundamental value of our social order. But the time has come to pay attention. If human life is knocked off the pedestal, universal human rights will be impossible to sustain. Take bioethics, the influential field that exerts tremendous influence over medical ethics and health care public policy. The bioethical mainstream disdains the sanctity of life ethic as irrational and based on religion. In its place, they promote “personhood theory,” that equates moral value with cognitive capacities such as being self aware over time. This “quality of life” ethic, as it is sometimes called, creates a two-tiered system in which some humans have greater value than human non persons. Who are these so called human non persons? All the unborn, to be sure, a presumption used to justify embryonic stem cell research, even fetal farming — growing fetuses to the later stage of gestation for use as organ sources, an odious idea already been promoted at the Huffington Post. Personhood theory also denies the equal value of newborn infants. Thus, Princeton University’s Peter Singer — the most famous bioethicist in the world — argues that infants can be killed if they don’t serve their family’s interests. He even compared the value of babies to that of fish, writing in RETHINKING LIFE AND DEATH, “Since neither a newborn infant nor a fish is a person, the wrongness of killing such beings is not as wrong as killing a person.” Infanticide isn’t just a theoretical. Baby euthanasia is commonplace in the Netherlands, where, the Lancet reports, 8% of all babies who die are killed by doctors based on quality of life judgmentalism.
OUR COVENANT WITH CHRIST
Great Lent BEGINS on February 15th and with it, the Holy Church offers a series of evening services to nourish our souls in anticipation of the Resurrection of Christ. Again this year, the Annunciation invites young and old alike to make a special commitment to our Lord and Savior this Great Lent through what we like to call the COVENANT WITH CHRIST. On the Sunday of Forgiveness, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH, we will all be invited to consider the great love of God and the manner and means by which we will choose to respond to Him. In order to help us focus on this blessed endeavor and put this spiritual journey in its proper perspective, everyone in our Church family will be invited to make a personal “covenant” with the Lord. Hopefully, this call to action will help those who choose to participate to grow in their relationship with Christ through the instructions and disciplines of the Holy Orthodox Church. This covenant is meant to be a source of motivation to greet each day of Great Lent with even greater determination than the day before. On the 14th of February, we will all receive a small reminder of this most blessed season in the hopes that it will help us put life’s demands and our spiritual quest into proper perspective. The call to fasting, prayer and almsgiving is open to all. Hopefully, the COVENANT WITH CHRIST will again motivate everyone in our Church family to embrace the services and work of Great Lent & Holy Week to the glory of God. For the younger members of the Annunciation, ages 12-18 (with a little help from their parents) we are establishing some important goals should they choose to participate in the COVENANT WITH CHRIST. As always, part of their commitment in this covenant is between them and God (prayer, almsgiving, fasting), but there is a part of this pledge that can be observed, and that is their attendance of Church services. So in addition to their faithful Sunday Divine Liturgy attendance and whatever other means they will personally employ to honor our Lord and Savior during this most sacred season, our young people are being asked to ATTEND AT LEAST ONE L ENTEN S ERVICE EVERY WEEK OF
GREAT LENT: Wednesdays Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm OR Fridays Salutation Service at 6:30pm. A MINIMUM OF FOUR SERVICES DURING GREAT LENT (there are 11 evening services in Lent and takes into account a possible absence for those going out of town for Spring Break). In addition, during Holy Week the youth are asked to commit themselves to ATTEND EVERY SINGLE EVENING SERVICE OF HOLY WEEK (this means seven evening services in addition to the two day services of Holy Friday which are a part of their responsibility in attending the Good Friday Retreat, for A GRAND TOTAL OF NINE SERVICES DURING HOLY WEEK.) Then in order to support and acknowledge such a faithful commitment, the Annunciation Church family will present those members of the GOYA that choose to complete this COVENANT WITH CHRIST at the conclusion of the Resurrection Service on Holy Saturday with a blessed symbol of love. PARENTS as you personally strive to fulfill your own “covenant” with the Lord, please help your child develop into a faithful Orthodox Christian by encouraging them to embrace this spiritual challenge. Nothing would be more beautiful as we herald the Resurrection of Our Lord during the wee hours of Pascah than to be able to gather together (young and old alike) as a people who are consciously walked together the journey that His Church has prescribed for centuries. Consider the spiritual joy we will experience in proclaiming His Glorious Resurrection and knowing that we have seriously sought to prepare our heart body and soul and that of our children for Him and Him alone.
THE UPCOMING SERVICES OF LENT:
SUNDAY, February 14th -
SUNDAY FORGIVENESS SUNDAY
SUNDAY, February 28th OF
ST. GREGORY PALAMAS
Matins: 9:00am / Divine Liturgy: 10:00am
Matins: 9:00am / Divine Liturgy: 10:00am
WEDNESDAY, March 3rd Presanctified Liturgy: 6:30pm FRIDAY, March 5th Salutation Service: 6:30pm
MONDAY, February 15th -
GREAT LENT BEGINS
Compline Service: 6:30pm
WEDNESDAY, February 17th Presanctified Liturgy: 6:30pm SUNDAY, March 7th -
Matins: 9:00am / Divine Liturgy: 10:00am FRIDAY, February 19th Salutation Service: 6:30pm
WEDNESDAY, March 10th Presanctified Liturgy: 6:30pm FRIDAY, March 12th -
SATURDAY, February 20th Third Saturday of Souls: 9:30am
SUNDAY, February 21st -
Salutation Service: 6:30pm
SUNDAY, March 14th -
Matins: 9:00am / Divine Liturgy: 10:00am Luncheon Discussion with Fr. Nicholas WEDNESDAY, February 24th Presanctified Liturgy: 6:30pm
ST. JOHN CLIMACUS
Matins: 9:00am / Divine Liturgy: 10:00am WEDNESDAY, March 17th Presanctified Liturgy: 6:30pm FRIDAY, March 19th The Akathist Hymn: 6:30pm
FRIDAY, February 26th Salutation Service: 6:30pm
HOLY FRIDAY YOUTH ENCOUNTER
Every member of the Annunciation GOYA AND JR. GOYA is reminded that on Holy Friday, April 2nd, we will be conducting our annual Holy Friday Youth Encounter. In addition, this year we will have a seminarian Sam Johnson joining us this year to make things interesting. The program begins at 9:00am sharp, with the service of the Royal Hours and the program will end at the conclusion of the Service of the Descent from the Cross in the afternoon. This annual tradition at our Church is a perfect way for us to serve Christ’s Church as well as remain in His holy presence as we commemorate the Lord’s Crucifixion and Burial. This gathering will give us the opportunity to spend some time with each other, work together and give glory to God. If you require a letter for school, please submit you name to the Church Office , ASAP. Please note that all GOYAns are expected to be present and participate in the Holy Friday Youth Encounter (attendance is part of our Scholarship Foundation requirements). JOY MEMBERS are also reminded that we have planned a very special Lenten program just for them on Holy Friday that will also begin at 9:00am with the service of the Royal Hours and conclude with the Service of the Descent from the Cross.
This holy day by every definition is a day of prayer and a time for people to gather together at the Church and serve the Lord in word, thought and deed.
As we move forward into Great and Holy Lent, let us continue to remember the Holy House the Lord has entrusted unto us - the Annunciation in Little Rock. Through our prayers, our presence, our generosity and our service to the Church, together we can lift up the Resurrected Light of Christ before the world. These are indeed challenging times, but inspired by the love that Lord shows us every day, let us generously contribute to the well-being of the Church that He has entrusted to us here in Little Rock through our Stewardship. We thank all those who faithfully submitted their 2010 Stewardship Card and hope that those who have not yet done so, will respond back soon. With everyone’s Stewardship commitment to the Annunciation we can truly help our corner of the world “COME & SEE” Christ in action at our parish. With every Church family member joyously sharing their time, talent and treasure with Christ at the Annunciation, we all can honor the Lord and keep the doors of His House open unto the world.
PARISH ASSEMBLY MEETING Sunday, March 7th
after the Divine Liturgy
OUR LENTEN CHARITY PROJECT - THE ORTHODOX ORPHANAGE IN GUATEMALA
After more than one year of general repairs and renovations of the eight dilapidated buildings of the Hogar, and spending half a million US dollars, from private donors only, the Hogar reopened its doors once again to welcome 115 children all together on October 13th of 1997! Today, the Hogar Rafael Ayau is the only Orthodox orphanage that welcomes orphans or lost, abandoned and battered children whose ages range from newly born infants to early teens. The orphanage continuously receives babies and children brought to its doors. But another chapter in the history of this precious refuge is being written. As a result of deteriorating circumstances in the neighborhood of its current location, the orphanage is constructing a brand new location on the site of an Orthodox Monastery - a 1.6 million project to provide a healthy and blessed space for over 200 children who have no other place to call home. During this Lenten season the Annunciation Church family is invited to make the Orphanage one of their almsgiving projects in their spiritual preparations for the Resurrection. Throughout Great Lent, we will be passing a second tray to collect funds in support of the Orphanage. As we fast and pray to prepare our souls let us make some extra contributions for the sake of our youngest brothers and sisters in Christ at the Orthodox Orphanage in Guatemala - Hogar Rafael Ayau.
In the year 1857, Don Rafael Ayau built the first orphanage in Guatemala City, known as "The Home of Mercy". This was in response to the number of poor children that could not be well taken care of by their parents because of broken homes, crime, war, unemployment, poverty, domestic violence, prostitution, alcohol and drug abuse. With so many homeless children struggling to survive in the streets, one man pursued a dream to help and his dream became a reality. Then, in the early 1970s, the Guatemalan government expropriated the orphanage and named it "HOGAR RAFAEL AYAU", in honor of its founder. In 1996, under the administration of President Álvaro Arzú HOGAR RAFAEL AYAU was given back to private stewardship, to the Orthodox Church, and a new chapter in it's history was written. On August 9th of 1996, the feast day of St. Herman of Alaska, his Eminence, Metropolitan Antonios entrusted to Mother Abbess Inés and the Nuns of the Orthodox Monastery Lavra Mambré the administration and financial responsibilities of the Hogar.
For the Five Sundays of Lent:
Please bring an EXTRA DONATION
to offer for the Second Tray in support of the Orphanage.
Let us as a Church family greet the Risen Lord having honored Him with our preparations of our body & soul that are in conjunction with our charitable deeds
Dreams DO come true!!!!
Only 6 more hours..
Yes, that is a REAL Steer!!!
Dat’s Oour GOYA!
What we need is MORE basketball in our life!
Our MVP with NBA legend “Spud” Webb
KNOCKING HUMAN BEINGS OFF...
(Continued from page 7)
offer a humane choice – before it happens the hard way.” One wonders if that last bit is a threat — or a promise. These, and other, attacks on human exceptionalism are profoundly dangerous to human life and liberty. It is our unique moral status in the known universe that gives rise to both universal (human) rights. It is the sanctity of life ethic that compels us to care for the weak, vulnerable, and elderly among us. Either we all matter equally, simply and merely because we are human — or our value becomes relative, our rights, and indeed, our continued existence — determined by the reigning power structure of the day. After all, if we are merely another animal in the forest — or worse, the planet’s enemies — why should any of us be treated as if we have any special meaning at all?
STYLES OF PARENTING
by Fr. George Morelli
Jesus said, , “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder , them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 19:14).
In the Orthodox wedding ceremony, just before crowning the man and wife and uniting them in a blessed marriage, the priest prays that the servant and handmaiden will joined by God as one flesh and will be an instrument leading their children to the kingdom of Heaven: “Unite them in one mind and one flesh, and grant them fair children for education in thy faith and fear [viewing God as awesome and transcendent].” Parenting children is a wondrous, sublime and at the same time dreadful responsibility. Without coming to know, love and serve God both parents and children cannot respond to God’s grace and “… become partakers of the divine nature.”(2 Pt 1:4) The Church supports the new couple in their efforts to know, love and serve God so that He indwells in them and thereby the entire family attains salvation. For the Christian family, the foundation for modeling parenthood is Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ Himself. The married man and wife are called to “put on Christ.” The hymn from St. Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, which is sung during the services of the Paschal season, refers to all who are baptized: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal 3:27) While putting on Christ is required for all those who are baptized, it occupies a unique vocation for those called to the exalted vocation of marriage and parenting. In this essay I review the scientific behavioral research on four parenting styles and present evidence that identifies one of them—the Authoritative Style—as the most effective in shaping pro-social outcomes in children. That is to say behavior that is caring and empathic about the welfare and rights of others, as well as acting in a way that others benefit. I also critique the significant defects of
“WHEN YOU FAST AND ARE NOURISHED WITH ABSTINENCE,
DO NOT STORE THE LEFTOVERS FOR TOMORROW, BUT, AS THE
LORD BECAME ENRICHED US,
FEED SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT WANT TO BE HUNGRY, YOU WHO HUNGERS WILLINGLY.
THEN YOUR FAST WILL BE
DOVE WHO BRINGS AND JOYFULLY PROCLAIMS SALVATION TO YOUR SOUL FROM THE FLOOD.”
Saint Gregory Palamas
(Continued on page 19)
A WORD OF THANKS
With a wonderful visit of Metropolitan Nicholas and the historic celebration of Fr. Delfos’ 40 years of service still fresh in our minds (pictures of the event will be in the next edition of The Promise), it is only fitting that we pause to thank in words and in prayer, all those in our Church family who made the past weekend possible let alone so very memorable. Such occasions require enormous commitments of time, talent and resources to make happen and we are particularly blessed at the Annunciation to have many dedicated men and women all ages who without much fanfare roll up their sleeves and make things happen for everyone in our Church family to enjoy. Though to many people to list individually, rest assured every act of graciousness, generosity and ounce of sweat pleased the Lord our God and aptly reflected His generous love. Well done good and faithful servants of the Lord!!!
LUNCHEON DISCUSSIONS ON OUR FAITH
On FEBRUARY 21 ST (The Sunday of Orthodoxy) we are going to have another edition of our Luncheon Discussions on our Faith with Fr. Nicholas.
Sunday, February 7 & 14th A QUESTION BOX will be set , up for people to anonymously write down question(s) about any aspect of our faith, morality, etc. that they have always wanted to ask and never could find an opportunity to ask. Then on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST after the Divine Liturgy we will share a lunch together, and Father Nicholas will answer the anonymous questions that were submitted as well as any off the floor. This will hopefully be an enjoyable opportunity for our Church family get to know each other a little better by breaking bread together, as well as discover a little bit more about the Church and faith that is so very dear to us and our life. Please make plans to join us.
2010 FESTIVAL MEETING
The time has come for all of us to get involved in making the 2010 International Greek Food Festival another successful endeavor for our parish and the charities we are sponsoring. So please make plans to attend our FIRST FESTIVAL MEETING on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH after the Divine Liturgy!
Luncheon Discussion With FaTHEr. Nicholas
Sunday, February 21st
Where: Annunciation Ballroom Food: Cost:
Will be provided! $0.
Together we all can make the Festival shine to the glory of God.
Discussion & Fellowship: Priceless!
are the only ingredients needed to make this a success!
YOU and your questions,
MY SOUL MAGNIFIES THE LORD
by Fr. Thomas J. Paris
the message brought to her by the Archangel Gabriel. “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” The Archangel's reply was both comforting and yet overwhelming. “For, with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary's response was the culmination of humankind's long effort to accomplish. Mary on behalf of all humans gives the one response that is needed from all of us. Yes Lord, I want to serve you. I do accept your offer of love. Change me so that I can be a clean vessel carrying you within me. Let the miracle of your birth in time transform mortals into timelessness. Mary's song of bursting praise is the manifestation of a heart filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. As we learn from the Orthodox Study Bible Mary knew her Scripture. The Bible was her inspiration and guide. "My soul magnifies the Lord" was a hymn first offered by Hannah who in her advanced years uttered this inspired prayer (1 Samuel 2:1-10). It was prayed by expectant Jewish mothers for centuries.
Do You Want to Know a Secret? I have a secret that I would like to share with you. One might call it "an open" secret, but many people have stumbled because they ignored the truths in this secret. They have led sad, unfulfilled and many times wasted lives because they didn't implement the wisdom hidden in this secret. Here's the secret. Hush; bend your ear close so that you will hear clearly. The secret of a happy, joy-filled life is a grateful heart. Without a heart filled with gratitude there is never a possibility of a life of happiness. As we celebrate the Annunciation, we remember the earth-shaking news that God is taking on flesh. The Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, is going to enter the world as one of His creatures, to unite Himself with us, so that we can ultimately be united with God the Father. It is a day that stumps the imagination. How? Why? Could God really do something like this? Could He actually become man and still remain God? What does that do to us? How does it change our future, yours and mine?
(Continued on page 21)
“My Soul Magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46,47) is a paean gushing forth from a heart filled to overflowing with gratitude. It is the opening lines of the Magnificat sung by The Panagia, the Mother of God after hearing the following words from her cousin Elizabeth: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, but why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:42)
The young teenage woman was truly overwhelmed by
BALANCING GREAT LENT
by George M. Tsongranis
THE PHYSICAL FAST
Fasting from food is an important facet of our Lenten discipline. Jesus Christ, Himself, prepared for the rigors of His ministry by fasting from food for forty days and resisting Satan's temptations. And after casting out a demon which inhabited a child, His disciples wondered why they were not able to perform the exorcism. After rebuking the disciples for their lack of faith, He said, "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and , fasting," (Matthew 17:21) thereby extolling the virtues of , proper fasting. Abstinence from rich and heavy foods-as well as monitoring our portions-is cathartic for the body and refocuses our hunger and desire for God. As nutritional requirements vary from one family member to another, the decision for a meal plan covering Great Lent should be discussed by parents and other heads of households with guidance from your parish priest or spiritual father. Medical or physical conditions may override strict adherence to a fasting diet.
Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the feet, and the hands and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful. Let the ears by not listening to evil talk and gossip. Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism. For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?
-ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM S Think for a moment, about the purpose of a tripod. By definition, it is a stand that provides three-legged support to steady an object placed on it. It might serve to secure a video camera for recording a granddaughter's graduation from preschool or perhaps to stabilize a telescope for an astronomer gazing into the wondrous night sky. But what would happen if one of the legs was shorter or if all three of the legs were different lengths? For a tripod to provide the necessary balance, each leg of the tripod must be of equal length. Like the tripod, our approach to Great Lent should include three equal supports that will to give us the balance we need in our spiritual climb-fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. From the earliest days of the church, the Great Fast was not solely about abstaining from food. The physical fast was always accompanied by increased prayer and almsgiving. As families, we should look at all three of these elements in order to put into practice a broader and more fulfilling approach to Great Lent. Regardless of varying ages and levels of spiritual maturity, your family can share the joys and struggles of the journey towards the Resurrection. Taking the time to create a Lenten family plan will help you properly prepare for Pascha. As you begin, make sure to check with your parish priest or spiritual father for guidance.
INCREASED LITURGICAL PARTICIPATION & PRAYER
Just as Jesus prayed during periods of great temptation and troubles, so are we to turn to God in prayer to guide us through the 40-day period. This Lenten period affords numerous services which help to strengthen the faithful in preparation for the Resurrection. Services such as the Saturday of Souls, Great Compline, Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, Salutations to the Theotokos, as well as the five special designations for each Sunday in Lent serve to strengthen our resolve. And while liturgical participation and prayer are year-round necessities of our lives as Orthodox Christians, these tools and weapons are to be especially honed during Great Lent-a time when the great deceiver, Satan, will tempt us endlessly with diversions to take our focus away from God. Private prayer, in addition to corporate prayer, should be increased. Families should gather together at the home iconostasis with more frequency. Focus on quality and concentration of your prayer and not necessarily duration. Speak with your parish priest or spiritual father for further guidance in developing a Lenten rule of prayer for your family.
(Continued on page 18)
BALANCING GREAT LENT
(Continued from page 17)
aware these sacraments are administered in love and bestow upon us God's ever-abundant grace. Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving-like the tripod, we need all three supports to keep us in balance during Lent. When in balance, we are able to fully experience the resplendence of the Resurrection and proclaim: Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
Almsgiving is often completely ignored during the Lenten season. Many times, it seems that Christian philanthropy is limited to a food drive at Thanksgiving or charitable gift-giving at Christmas. As wonderful as these generous acts are, how can we neglect our duty to assist others as we prepare to celebrate the Feast of Feasts and crux of our faith-the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? We know as Christians, there is no particular season for human need and suffering. How much more should we address the needs of humanity at this blessed time! Jesus Christ, Himself said, “I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you too Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me…Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:35-40 - Gospel , for Meatfare/Judgment Sunday) Here, as a family, you may become very creative in devising ways to be charitable during Great Lent. Gather up unused clothing that hangs in the closet to distribute to the needy. Grab a few canned goods from your pantry to give to a food bank. Go visit a sick member of the parish family in the hospital. Lend a sympathetic ear to a friend who has hit hard times. Include a Bright Week visit to a nursing home to sing "Christos Anesti/Christ is Risen" to share the joy of Jesus Christ's Resurrection with our Orthodox Christian brethren. Almsgiving goes far beyond the giving of tangible gifts. It is also the giving of our hearts and minds to the ailing, disheartened, and lonely. Above all, we should abide in love. As a family, choose your words wisely when addressing others. Be patient and considerate. Forgive past grudges and seek understanding. If you are not regularly going to the Sacrament of Confession, this is a most-blessed time to seek the Church's forgiveness and sanctification before receiving Holy Communion and Holy Unction. We should be
George Tsongranis is the assistant director of the catechism program at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
THE ANNUNCIATION 2010 PARISH DIRECTORY
The brand new 2010 Annunciation Parish Directory is here! With the dedicated efforts of Wayne Alley and others, every Church family will now have a resource to stay connected with one another, a guide to the basic operation of the parish and its ministries, as well as a general outline of some of the Holy Church’s fundamental teachings. It is hoped that this new Directory will help to strengthen our relationships within the Annunciation, aid all of us on how to become more involved in the work of the Church as well as provide a clear overview of some of the elemental matters of parish life. Every single household in our Church family should have one Parish Directory - if more are needed, as supplies dictate, extra copies will be available by request to a Parish Council Member during the Fellowship Hour on Sundays.
“The Annunciation in Little Rock, Where Faith and Action Come to Life in Christ”
STYLES OF PARENTING
(Continued from page 14)
three other parenting styles: the Authoritarian Style, the Permissive Style and the Neglectful Style. It is my hope that Christian parents will choose the parenting style that research evidence supports as the most effective. Spiritually there is only one parenting style that can be employed: Christ’s Style. Literally thousands of books and articles have been written interpreting the life of Christ. I have selectively drawn from key sources based on the life of Christ and His teachings, the Scriptures and the understanding of Christ among the Church Fathers that teach us the fundamentals of the Christ Parenting Style. As the starting point and anchor, I have selected a single theme taken from a contemporary spiritual father of the Church, Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain. That theme is Kindness. An atheist approached the young Arsenios (the future Elder Paisios) before he entered the monastic life, and said to him: “You don’t mean to say you believe in God? He does not exist. These religious stories are made up by some priests. We have evolved from the monkey. Christ was simply a man like all of us.” The elder describes his reaction as filled with “heavy black clouds” and “twisted thoughts.” He was “confused, desperate and extremely sad.” Then he had a thought. “Wasn’t Christ the kindest man ever on earth. No one has ever found anything evil in Him. So whether He is God or not, I don’t care. Based on the fact that He is the kindest man on earth and I haven’t known anyone better, I will try to become like Him and absolutely obey everything the Gospel says. I will even give my life for Him, if needed, since He is so kind.”
merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Add these other words of Jesus: “… learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart …” (Mt 11:29). As all Christians, parents are counseled to act as Christ taught in His Sermon on the Mount. As heard in the opening verses of that teaching (cf. Mt 5:3–11), we model the Redeemer by being poor in spirit, mourning, being meek, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, being merciful and pure in heart, making peace, being persecuted for righteousness sake, and being reviled and persecuted and having uttered all kinds of evil against us falsely on Christ’s account. But Jesus also taught us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Regard Our Lord’s words: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (Jn 14:6) Christ taught that the way to the Father is through His teachings, and he communicated the Way definitively: “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:19) St. Paul taught that the way Jesus carried out the commandments is with kindness: “And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness.” (2 Tim 2:24–25) The Christian Parenting Style encompasses all of the above and in the spirit of St. Paul: “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2:16)
PSYCHO-BEHAVIORAL PARENTING STYLES B
Based on the seminal work of Diane Baumrind, four parenting styles can be delineated: the Authoritarian Style, the Authoritative Style, the Permissive Style and the Neglectful Stylei. One of these styles not only is the best fit for the Christ Parenting Style, but also determined by behavioral research to be the most efficacious in bringing about emotionally and behaviorally healthy children. THE AUTHORITARIAN STYLE : This style has high expectations and demands rigid compliance and conformity to parental commands and household rules. Interaction with the child is frequently harsh in tone. Open dialogue between parent and child on household rules or parental demands is not allowed. Basically, Authoritarian Style
The Christ Parenting Style: Consider the words of Jesus Himself as recorded by St. Luke (6:35–37): “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is
(Continued on page 20)
STYLES OF PARENTING
(Continued from page 19)
parents are not responsive to the emotional or psychosocial wants of their children. Compliance without question to parental demands and commands is normative, as seen in this extreme family counseling situation: One father, a successful Wall Street analyst, set a house rule that his wife and children had to be at the dining room table exactly at 6:00 p.m. for dinner, standing at attention behind their chairs, appropriately dressed and ready for inspection. Frequently the parental rules, demands and commands are expressed authoritatively in an abrasive inflection. The reaction of children is evidenced by a lack of self esteem and an inability to express emotional warmth. Some children respond to this style by being compliant, others by being oppositional. Patterson notes the oppositional, non-compliant response results when authoritarian parents do not have the skill to enforce their rules. Such children are also likely to be unpopular and display aggression in social and school settings. Behavioral attributes can include leaving the household at an early age, using drugs and experimenting with sex. The Authoritative Style of parenting is far afield from the Christ who said: “… learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart …” (Mt 11:29). THE PERMISSIVE STYLE: This parenting style is distinguished by few behavioral expectations for the child. Often the parent wants to be the child's friend and is quite nurturing. In contrast to the Authoritarian Style, permissive parents are perceived as un-demanding, and do not set consequences for their children’s behavior. As discussed previously, pinpointing appropriate behavior and behavioral boundaries, and maintaining consequences for both compliance and lack of compliance, is critical for a child to learn appropriate pro-social behavior. Children raised by permissive parents do not learn ageappropriate behaviors and the consequences for performance or non-performance. Permissive parents often consult with their children in determining “family policy”. Such children quickly learn to blame others and manipulate their parents. Generally, achievement and maturity levels of children raised in a permissive style are lower than those of their peers. Such children
also display low impulse control and avoid accepting responsibility and exhibiting independent behavior. In adolescence, such children show a higher degree of delinquent behavior as well as of drug use and sexual experimentation. It should come as no surprise that the Permissive Style of parenting is incompatible with the Christ Parenting Style. THE NEGLECTFUL STYLE: This parenting style has almost no behavioral expectations. Parents are self-centered and display little emotional reaction. Neglectful parents pay little or no attention to the child's behavior, making the Neglectful Style the least effective and associating it with the highest levels of delinquency. Neglectful Style parents are often self-absorbed, only concentrating their attention on matters that are important to their own interests, needs and values. Such parents also do not set boundaries or limits but are disengaged from the child’s life. They are not knowledgeable about their child’s interests, feelings, and school and social activities. Children raised in the Neglectful Style appear emotionally and socially withdrawn. Such children have difficulty in peer bonding and are often isolated, withdrawn, impulsive and lack a high need to achieve. Just the opposite of Jesus’ words: "Let the children come to me …” (Mt 19:14), a father or mother who practices the Neglectful Parenting Style seems ready to apply to his or her own children Our Lord’s words to the evildoers: “I never knew you; depart from me …” (Mt 7:23). THE AUTHORITATIVE STYLE : This parenting style communicates and explains household rules to the child in a respectful and warm, but firm, tone. Often communicating the consequences of non-compliance is enough to influence behavior. Research shows this to be the most effective parenting style. Parents who use the Authoritative Style set boundaries and even high standards for their children. However, these parents are less concerned with having obedient children as an entitlement of their parenthood, as they are with shaping the behavior of their children for the child’s good and welfare. They are attentive to their child’s point of view, but will then explain the reason for the family rules which have been set. Within the boundaries of the family rules which have been explained to the child, they encourage the child to make their own decisions, be autonomous, individualistic
(Continued on page 22)
MY SOUL MAGNIFIES THE LORD
(Continued from page ??)
loving, God offering, and she whole-heartedly embraced the new reality and burst into a song of praise and thanksgiving. She found true happiness in a life filled with gratitude. Mary, the Theotokos, remains a model for all generations. She is the "Canon" the Rule or Measure by which all of us are to gauge our lives. She said YES to God's offer of love. She gratefully worshiped and thanked Him. May we be wise enough to do the same. Amen.
Protopresbyter Thomas J. Paris has served as Dean of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension for the past thirty-three years. He is founder and co-chair of the Metropolis Spiritual Renewal Ministry and author of a sixyear Bible Study on the Old and New Testaments. He organizes and conducts yearly Retreats for Teenagers and adults. He is a Graduate of Holy Cross Theological School and the Theological School of the University of Athens.
Her words echo thanksgiving and gratitude: “He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.” Now this was not the only response that Mary could have given to the announcement from the Archangel and the words of Elizabeth. She could have said, "Thanks, but no thanks. I really don't want to be a spectacle carrying a child under these strange circumstances. I don't need all that pressure on me to try to live up to some high standard that will curtail my activities, restrain my play, exercise program and entertainment. I don't have time to raise a child. I don't have the financial means, for I am so over my head in debt already. I didn't ask for this honor. Give it to someone else! Why is it always ME who is given the difficult problems? How come Miss 'so and so' gets off so easy and I am the one saddled with a child. I have so much more to experience in life before I need to take on the responsibilities of motherhood? Why poor me! " Yes Mary could have responded in this or some other negative way, but thankfully she didn't. She knew intuitively that a life of complaining, dissatisfaction, resentment, jealousy, grumbling and lament never brings happiness. Nor does resignation or indifference. Happiness comes not when we reluctantly accept a new situation, a burdensome challenge or difficult responsibility, but when we embrace it and thank God for the opportunity to grow. Mary did not simply resign herself to her fate. She saw God acting, God
A young man was at the end of his rope, seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer “Lord, I can't go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.” The Lord replied, “My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish.” The man was filled with relief and said, “Thank you Lord,” and he did as he was told. Upon entering the other room, he saw many crosses; some so large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. “I'd like that one, Lord,” he whispered. The Lord replied, “My son, that is the cross you just brought in.” When life's problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself far more fortunate than you imagined.
STYLES OF PARENTING
(Continued from page 20)
and independent. They are less likely to employ physical punishment, but are adept and skillful in applying rewards and punishments in a scientific (and spiritually sound) manner. Children raised by Authoritative parents tend to have high self-esteem, be compliant with parental requests but at the same time display independent and altruistic behavior. They score highly in academic achievement and in adolescence tend to score more highly in levels of moral reasoning than their peers. Educators tend to rate authoritatively raised children as taking initiative, being articulate and performing assertively in school and social settings. Is there any doubt that the Authoritative Parenting Style is the parenting method that best fits on the foundation of the Christ Parenting Style? We can use all the gifts that God gives us in parenting and guiding our children. As St. John Chrysostom teaches: “Concern for spiritual things will unite the family. Do you want your child to be obedient? Then from the beginning bring him up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” But parents can apply discipline and instruction by using the gift of their God-given intelligence, that is with the Holy Mysteries of the Church, by conforming to the Mind of Christ and the Church, and using the advances of behavioral science as well. Following the wisdom of St. Isaac of Syria: “Love is the offspring of knowledge, and knowledge is the offspring of the health of the soul ...” .
“[B]ut as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: , through great … kindness, the Holy Spirit, , genuine love …” (2 Cor 6:4–5).
A CHRISTIAN PARENTING PROSCRIPTION AND
Christ taught definitely and with authority. He spoke with the authority of His Father. “For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.” (Jn 12: 49) Parents who use the Permissive or Neglectful Style do not speak decisively or with authority about anything. They fall far short of being able to fulfill their marital, parenting calling to raise their children in “education in thy faith and fear [acknowledging the awesome, transcendent God].” Parents using the Authoritarian Style or Authoritative Style surely both speak with authority, but what separates these two styles is love, patience and kindness. Only Authoritative Style fits these criteria, accentuating St. Paul’s well known description of love, as told to the Corinthians: “Love is patient and kind …” (1 Cor 13:4). Only the Authoritative Style demonstrates the fruit of the Holy Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.” (Gal 5:22–23) Only the Authoritarian Style embodies the description of behavior and emotions to be avoided, as St. Paul told the Ephesians (4:31): “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice …”
We are pleased to report that our youth and the advisors had a wonderful adventure at the 2010 Basketball Tournament in Dallas TX - as the pictures in this months edition of The Promise show. We are also happy to announce that JOHN KHOURY was recognized by the Tournament and awarded MVP for his Christian Sportsmanship & Athleticism. In the end, we came “close to a trophy”, but with nearly 1000 Orthodox Christian young people in attendance, it was a great event no matter what! Once again, our GOYAns beautifully embodied the very best attributes of our Church family in all facets of the trip and Tournament. Everyone from Little Rock enjoyed much laughter and very little sleep. We must all make sure to give special thanks to the adults who along with Fr. Nicholas made this worthwhile excursion possible: HEATHER ALLEY, MIKE BAILEY, ALEX MIRON, JARROD RUSSELL & STEPHANIE WILCOX. Our Church is truly blessed to be able to provide our youth with such opportunities for fellowship, fun and memories that will last a life time. Without the commitment of our entire parish, the Christian integrity of our youth and the sacrifice of parents and advisors, such events would be impossible. Thanks be to God!
A PAGE FOR KIDS... Valentine’s Day Mazes
ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
1100 NAPA VALLEY DRIVE, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72211 REV. DR. NICHOLAS J. VERDARIS, PASTOR
Sun Mon 1 Tue 2 Wed 3 Thu 4 Fri 5 Sat 6
1st Saturday of Souls Liturgy 9:30am Scholarship Wine & Cheese Event
Matins 9:00 am Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
Parish Council Meeting 6:00pm
2ndSaturday of Souls Liturgy 9:30am
Matins 9:00 am Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
Dance Troop Meeting
Great Lent BEGINS Great Compline 6:30pm
Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
Salutation Service 6:30pm
3rd Saturday of Souls Liturgy 9:30am
Sunday of Orthodoxy Matins 9:00 am Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
Luncheon Discussion w/ Father
Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
Salutation Service 6:30pm
28 March 1
Sunday of St. Gregory
Matins 9:00 am Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
2010 Festival Meeting
Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
Salutation Service 6:30pm
Adoration of Cross
Matins 9:00 am Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
2010 Parish Assembly
Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
Salutation Service 6:30pm
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