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OF T EORGE
FA L L 2 0 1 0
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North & South American
3025 Denver Street • San Diego, CA 92117 telephone: (619)276-5827 web: http://saintgeorgeinsd.com
Church Officers & Staff
V. Rev. Protopresbyter Bratislav Krsic email: email@example.com
Rev. Deacon Paul Germain
1st VICE PRESIDENT
2nd VICE PRESIDENT & 3rd VICE PRESIDENT
Dobrila Unheim & Simona Trifunovic
Deacon Paul Germain
Wrapping it up. Yes, we are spiraling down to the end of the first decade of the 2000s. And what a decade it has been! In 2001, we all sat horrified as we watched nearly 3,000 people perish before our eyes, followed by our own paranoia and super patriotism as our president started two terrible avenging wars. Now nine years later, we are still at war, and travel by air has forever been changed as the government legally shakes down, xrays, and scans us, without exception, before we even approach an airplane. In addition, the world has become a less hospitable place. Temperatures are rising. The glaciers are melting. Summers have been either too hot or too cold. We either have too much rain or not enough. Earthquakes and tsunami seem common place. But, we all should know very well by now—this world is NOT our home, we are just passing through... That said, we know you will be uplifted by the articles in this Fall 2010 issue. Father Bratso inspires us to think about new beginnings and hope with perseverance, even as we are reminded of how quickly life passes and we are called to meet Our Lord in Heaven. We are reminded of the importance of attending church and teaching and bringing our children to church. We are asked to become more Christlike by sharing with our neighbors in need by helping serve meals to the homeless. Then there is stewardship and our church restoration program, with examples of both young and old giving to keep the Lord’s work going. And last, you will be encouraged when you read the next chapter of Milanka Vlasovich’s life story of bravery and tenacity. Look up everyone. It is Fall, and today is the day the Lord has made. Be happy and rejoice in it. You know you can! —Marsha Jovanovic
Vera Giles, Dejan Jovanovic, Jack Milasinovic
Lydia Petric Rhoads, Chair
Life in Christ with Perseverance and Hope Protection of the Environment Role of the Priest in the Parish and in a Secularized Society Reflection from Prologue of Ohrid by St. Nikolai Velimirovic Reflections on youth, true happiness, poverty and wealth Five Very Good Reasons to Attend Church Weekly The Saints Some Orthodox Terms Children In The Church To Those with Children Gods Extended Hand—Feeding the Homeless in San Diego IOCC Responds to Historic Russian Heat Wave and Wildfires Church Family News Kolo Sisters SNF Lodge #89 St. George Milanka’s story, Part 3: From Europe to the US via South America Stole Report for Jan. 1 – August 16, 2010 Notes From Lydia Continuing Our Legacy St. George Stewardship List Fr. Bratso encourages you Voice of St George Advertising Rates 3 4 5 7 8 9 13 13 14 16 16 17 18 21 21 22 25 26 27 28 30 30
Miro Copic, President; Sean Wright, Zeljko Milasinovic
Mico Lukic, Ladislav Tapavcevic, Pete Dopudja, Jeffrey Wilgus, Alex Sekanovic, George Skaljac, Vojkan Popovich, Miro Copic, Milan Miljkovic, Dejan Jovanovic
S.S.S. ST. GEORGE CHOIR
Velimir Jovanovic, President
CIRCLE OF SERBIAN SISTERS (KOLO)
Sylvia Ivanovic, President
CHURCH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
MORAVA FOLKLORE ENSEMBLE
Maria (Draskovic) Milasinovic, Director
ADULT ORTHODOX FELLOWSHIP
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE
Marsha Jovanovic, Editor (619)988-0650 • FAX (619)588-5767 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Father Bratso, Cover art
Life in Christ with Perseverance and Hope
With summer behind us, we can think about new beginnings on many levels. Those of us entrusted with raising our children in an Orthodox way of life think about a new school year, new Sunday school educational opportunities, and perhaps changing gears from vacation mode back to work and “busy life.” In other words, a new and fresh beginning is presented to us in September of each year. Similarly, our Holy Orthodox Church with her calendar offers us this very same shift. The Ecclesiastical New Year or the Beginning of the Indiction is an awesome opportunity to begin our life, as we should every day, by renewing our hope in the promises of our Lord in our salvation and eternal life with Him. The beginning of the Church Year is celebrated on September 14th (September 1st on Julian calendar). How many of us would like to have a new beginning? Imagine the possibility of erasing your sins and starting anew. As we approach January 1st of each New Year, we tend to think about making changes to better our life and relationships with God and others. It is all too common to give up on resolute changes, thinking that they in reality cannot happen. Is that really so? Our Lord Jesus Christ entered the synagogue on September 1st and read prophet Isaiah’s words:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn. (Isaiah 61:1-2)
begin anew. By our participation in the sacramental life of the Church (i.e., confession), we can erase our sins and continuously be renewed. The Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans links this hope for the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18) to another quality that should be characteristic of our Christian lives—hope with perseverance. He states, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Rom 8:25)
tion, and certainly the reorganization of the dioceses in North America are just a few highlights accomplished during the Metropolitan’s presidency of the Episcopal Council and his Archpastoral leadership of the Midwestern diocese. He spoke eloquently and lovingly to the youth, recognizing in them the future leaders of our Serbian Orthodox Church. His words were both inspiring and encouraging. He went on to say that each one us is entrusted with many gifts and that it is up to us to recognize that and utilize them in the proper way. Stewardship, a faithful management of our life and possessions, is something that we are called to exercise prayerfully and cheerfully. Metropolitan Christopher’s earthly life has ended. We pray that his new life, a life in God’s everlasting Kingdom, has begun. The future generation will look upon his life and talk about the legacy that he left —a strong emphasis on Christian education, the rediscovery of Christian Stewardship as a total commitment to the good management of God’s gifts, the reorganization of the dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America, and an emphasis on maintaining good order in the Church, the frescoes in St. Sava monastery, and the St. Nicholai of Zicha annual pilgrimage at St. Sava monastery, to name just a few. In short, he lived a life in Christ with perseverance and hope, and that life bore much fruit for all of us. So, what does the Beginning of the Church Year offer to us? It offers a new beginning with hope in transformation into a new person whose sustenance and life is Jesus Christ. It presents us with the opportunity to claim the Church calendar as a main rudder for our life where activities are centered on Feast Days rather then holidays. Finally, life centered on Christ is only possible through perseverance, hope, and trust in God’s providence, knowing that apart from Him we can do nothing.
The message of hope with perseverance is what Metropolitan Christopher of blessed memory communicated to our youth in the summer of 2007. I was assisting with the Youth Conference of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America held that year at New Gracanica Monastery in Grayslake. Among other activities that week was a visit to St. Sava monastery and a reception by His Eminence Metropolitan Christopher. As we arrived at the monastery, the Metropolitan himself greeted us with great joy. It was apparent that he enjoyed the presence of the young people of our church. In his inspiring talk, he pointed out the many ministry opportunities in our Church, the need for trusting in God’s plan for our life and salvation, and, ultimately, the necessity for hope with perseverance. The Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America persevered as with God’s help she saw unity firmly planted in her life. The new Constitution that enshrines administrative unity and provides for the Church’s better organizaVOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 3
These prophetic words were fulfilled that day in Christ, Who is our salvation and our hope. Each day He calls us to
Protopresbyter Bratso Krsic
Message for the Day of the Protection of the Environment
+B A R T H O L O ME W By the mercy of God Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch Grace and peace unto the Plenitude of the Church From the Fashioner of All Creation Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ
Beloved Children in Lord, Our ever-memorable predecessor, the late Patriarch Demetrios, who possessed a deep awareness of the gravity of the environmental crisis, as well as of the responsibility of the Church to directly and effectively confront the crisis, issued the first official encyclical dealing with the protection of the natural environment more than two decades ago. Through this encyclical, the Mother Church officially established the date of September 1st, the beginning of the ecclesiastical year as a day of prayer for the protection of the environment, declaring it to the plenitude of the Church throughout the length and breadth of the world. At that time, our Church insightfully emphasized the significance of the eucharistic and ascetic ethos of our tradition, that manifests our most important and most crucial unique contribution toward the proper and universal struggle for the protection of the natural environment as a Divine Creation and shared inheritance. Today, in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis, humanity is facing many and diverse trials. But this trial is related not only to our individual hardships; this trial affects every aspect of human society, especially our behavior and perception of the surrounding world and the way we rank our values and priorities. It is important to note that the current grievous financial crisis may spark the much-reported and absolutely essential shift to environmentally viable development; i.e., to a standard of economic and social policy whose priority will be the environment, and not unbridled financial
gain. Let us all consider as an example what may happen to countries that are suffering today on account of the financial crisis and poverty, such as Greece, which at the same time have exceptional natural riches: unique ecosystems, rare fauna and flora and natural resources, exquisite landscapes, abundant sunlight and wind. If ecosystems deteriorate and disappear, natural sources become depleted, and landscapes suffer destruction, and climate change produces unpredictable weather conditions, on what basis will the financial future of these countries and the planet as a whole depend? We hold, therefore, that there is a dire need in our day for a combination of societal sanctions and political initiatives, such that there is a powerful change in direction, to a path of viable and sustainable environmental development. For our Orthodox Church, the protection of the environment, as a divine and very good creation, embodies a great responsibility for every human person, regardless of material or financial benefits. The direct correlation of the God-given duty and mandate, to work and preserve, with every aspect of contemporary life constitutes the only way to a harmonious coexistence with each and every element of creation, and the entirety of the natural world in general.
Therefore, we call upon all of you, beloved brethren and children in the Lord, to take part in the titanic and righteous battle to alleviate the environmental crisis, and to prevent the even worse results that derive from its consequences. Let us motivate ourselves to harmonize our personal and collective life and attitudes with the needs of nature’s ecosystems, so that every kind of fauna and flora in the world and in the universe may live and thrive and be preserved.
September 1, 2010, Your beloved brother in Christ and fervent supplicant before God, +BARTHOLOMEW of Constantinople
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 4
The Role of the Priest in the Parish and in a Secularized Society
The service of the priest is compared to a shepherd in the Holy Bible. In the story of the good shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ teaches what is the nature of the pastor’s service and what is the mission of the flock which the pastor serves. The shepherd who is concerned with and takes care of his flock is extolled. A good shepherd watches over his flock, he worries about finding grazing areas, he is not as an employee, he is also worried about the sheep from another flock, and he is ready to give his life for his flock. The shepherd’s life belongs totally to his flock, he knows his sheep by name, and they recognize him. Because of a close relationship between the shepherd and his flock, the shepherd doesn’t utilize force to drive his flock in front of him rather they follow him. When he releases his sheep, he goes before them and the sheep follow, because they recognize his voice. (John 10:10-18) To be able to carry out his mission, the priest is called, as the shepherd is concerned with his flock, to be concerned with the spiritual needs of his parishioners. He is called to be concerned with bringing every soul to God, that should be brought to God. That which brings harmony in a parish is love which should reign among the spiritual pastor and his flock, as exemplified by the love and sacrifice described in Christ’s story of the good shepherd. Of that love as a unifying tie, for harmony in a parish community, St. Paul the Apostle writes to the Thessalonians:
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each. (I Thessalonians 1:3)
be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Tim 2:4) The secularization of the world and life presents the greatest obstacle to the priest’s service and work for people’s salvation. The Holy Gospel mentions in many places selected from the holy apostles that the world exists as two extremes. In His forgiveness sermon, before His crucifixion, the Savior promised His disciples that He will send to help them “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.” (John 14:17) The spirit of God’s truth is contrary to the spirit of man’s truth. The beginning of fleeing from God and His truth began at the time of the first ancestral sin. Because of moral decline, God’s likeness in mankind became obscured and the conscience lost of his original and true identity. Life again received fullness of mind when through the Holy Incarnation, God became man so man could become godlike and take on his likeness. The world in the form of contemporary society is no longer opposed in some great and drastic way directly with God as one higher existentialism or power. The time of strict thought of atheistic societies is past. Today’s society which offers mankind its secularistic teachings under various names promising people fortunes (such as: humanism, materialism, technology, new world order) is contrary to the God-man Christ who is referred to as “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Within the mind of today’s man, it seems there is no room for God in the living Holy Trinity. Usually, people like to say, there is but one God, meaning some common Supreme Being, but they don't mention one Lord Christ and one Holy Spirit. For Orthodox Christians, only Christ as being true God-man, is a true measure of all things. However, earthly man has his vision of life. This meaning of man’s life is in my view, “the existence of one zero.” Man mainly leads his
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 5
life toward food and drink, entertainment, to consume goods, to stay in the race after life’s success ... In all this activity, man sets himself as the final value and this is why he acts like the Great Inquisitor from Dostoevski’s Brothers Karamazov who forbids the God-man to interfere in his affairs and life. Today’s man spends all his time balancing his “horizontals” without any ascent of the spirit up the steps and ladders of a higher life vertically toward God. For that type of person, Fr. Justin Popovich says that the world and life he “observes from his complaints, his love of sin and lowly perspective,” (from the Interpretation of John, p. 115). From the life of today’s person, it is seen that he still lives in the domain of the Old Testament, with its lost understanding, of the total awareness, of his two natures, soul and body. Man behaves in his life as though his body existed in parallel with his soul, but often, toward the contemporary philosophy of existentialism and without a soul. Continued on page 6
With respect to the evangelical story, the ideal role of the priest would consist of love, sacrifice, caring and concern for the salvation of all people, because it is necessary according to the words of St. Paul the Apostle, “who desires all men to
Continued from.page 5 Someone said that in whatever condition the world is, it permeates one's whole life. There is a lot of truth in this. Every person from birth until death lives and is surrounded by constant contact with people about himself. He influences others and they influence him. And an Orthodox believer represents a part of society in which he lives and stands in direct relationship with neighbors and people around him. While for the Orthodox Christian the vision of society represents a community of faithful in Christ as one body, the world has a community in which worth is measured by the interest of people. In relation to the faithful, secular society appears as an Old Testament monster, Leviathan. In the 17th century, Thomas Hobbs wrote a book about political philosophy entitled Leviathan. In it, a picture of society is portrayed that is totally created on the foundation of egotistical interest and struggle for dominance, where every person is an enemy to each other. A question can be asked, but how can man enter into some fortunate and enlightening future in the 21st century driven by the reality of society from Hobb’s time. Orthodox faithful are always tempted to succumb to the influence of the community and society in which they live. Confused with various influences of materialism, to a man of faith it seems that life is somehow divided by his prop-
erty and, in less of a degree, God’s property. For example, one place serves as a place for the life of the soul and the other for the life of the body. Because of diversified religions, quite often with Orthodox people they are confused with the intent and organization of the church hierarchy, from which it first begins: down from the faithful or up from the bishops? The concept of freedom in the Church is mixed up with the concept of certain national or political freedoms. It is very dangerous for the Orthodox youth who succumb to the temptation of imitating the community in which it lives. One could cry watching how in many ways young people harm their bodies. In the name of today's fashion, they rebel against life or of the mentioned freedom, they commit terrible acts on their bodies. For the Orthodox faithful, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians:
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (I Cor 6:19-20)
church wherever they may be: at home, at work, in the Holy Temple, and in the Church hall. St. Gregory Palamas says, “Man is not represented by just the soul or the body rather by both together, which God created in His likeness.” (Participants in God's Nature, K.C., p.26) What then is the role of the priest and how can he as good shepherd protect his flock from harm and negative influences of community and society? In the first place, the priest should not be afraid of the place and society in which he lives. He shouldn't say: I have a bad flock, so what can I do to change something? What farmer when he sows the field is afraid that the birds will eat the seed or that each seed won't sprout? Imagine how difficult was the time before the apostles than is our time! When before his death St. Seraphim of Sarov was asking forgiveness from his friend Fr. Timon, he told him:
Sow on good earth, sow on sand, sow on rocks, sow alongside the road, sow among the bushes. Maybe it will happen that the kernel will grow and bear fruit.(St. Seraphim of Sarov, p. 65)
Although quite often man’s life is reflected in his soul which represents God’s likeness in mankind, it is of great importance for the Orthodox faith to understand that he is called to live one undivided life everywhere and in every place. The faithful who are united in the Holy Body of Christ represent the living
St. Paul the Apostle in addition recommended how a priest can be successful in parish when he said, “... I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (I Cor 9:22) The same apostle gave advice to his most dear student and coworker Timothy with these words, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching.” (II Tim 4:2) Just as the shepherd opens the gate for the flock to enter, the priest needs to work on the heart of man, so it will open and allow Christ to enter. The Holy Gospel teaches that a good flock is a flock that has a good shepherd who isn't a mercenary. The fruits of one's work are not realized overnight. What is necessary is a lot of patience and work, sometimes as long as 20 years, so that a great harvest is realized in a parish. The parish, as a part of today’s society and a concrete reality, presents a challenge to every priest. In our American society, there are two important factors of crucial significance for organizing a parish community. The first factor is
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parish community, which is expressed in the material condition and progress of our parish. Prestige in our secular society is expressed by material well-being, which is expensive and large: a large car, a large house, a large parking lot, a large church building, and a large church hall. If in a large church and hall, there is a large faith, then there is nothing wrong with any of this. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself also had rich friends. Of course, it is easier for a priest to achieve the first factor, even though there are many difficulties, but in that we have all more or less contributed for the good. Paralleling building up the material well-being of the church, the priest is faced with a great many problems in building and elevating the spiritual side of life, that is the “living” Church. In this instance, the good example of the life and work of St. Sava can be of help to the Serbian priest, as can our other great spiritual architects, while erecting our churches and monasteries, at the same time were successful to build within them our greatest centers of Orthodox spirituality and living faith. In the story of the Good shepherd, the Holy Gospel points out that love is the main strength of the true shepherd. That is the driving force behind every spiritual shepherd. Based on experiences of priestly service the best manner is if he approaches people in a friendly manner. A child is easily led by the hand when trust is established. A man who becomes our friend is easier brought to Christ. Zaccheus felt great joy when the Lord said, “I must stay in your home today.” (Luk. 19:5) St. Augustine, who lived a very sinful life until 32 years of age, became a Christian only after he was influenced by his friend Pontitias. Christ approached his first apostles as a friend, when He helped them to catch fish from Lake Galilee. The priest’s role additionally not only brings him to lively preaching during worship services God’s word in the Holy Temple, but also on every occasion and gathering of people. A priest must minister to his flock in many ways: as a teacher, an educator, a family counselor. The task of the pastoral work is actually not a knowledge to be acquired, but a life
Reflection from the Prologue of Ohrid by St. Nikolai Velimirovic St. Dionysius the Areopagite writes of the immeasurable joy, the outer and inner radiance, and the indescribable fragrance that he sensed in the presence of the Holy Theotokos when he visited her in Jerusalem. In his zeal, he says that if he had not known the One True God, he would have recognized her, the Holy Virgin Mary, as God. The Holy Virgin made such a powerful and unique impression on men during her earthly life-and she received an incomparably greater power and glory after her physical death when, by the will of God, she was exalted above the heavenly hosts. Her power comes from her ceaseless prayer for the faithful, for all those who turn to her for help. When St. John of Novgorod and his people prayed to her for help against a hostile army, he understood that she was simultaneously praying to the Lord with tears in their behalf, and Novgorod was miraculously saved. As she was compassionate toward her crucified Son, so the Holy Most-pure One is also compassionate toward all those in need, to, where, after the priest prayed over him before the icon of the Holy Theotokos, he received his sight. The first monk at Pochaev saw a fiery pillar extending from earth to heaven, and in that flaming pillar he saw the Holy Theotokos. She was standing on a rock. On the spot where she stood, a spring of healing water sprang forth: even today, it heals many of the sick.
to be lived according to God’s will. Once when a person becomes a participant and member, other Holy Body of Christ and begins a liturgical life, he will be selected from the world by the Holy Spirit to enter the heavenly kingdom. Of that community with the God-man Christ, who is the one true measure in the world for everyone and all, St. John Chrysostom says, “For as the bread consisting of many grains is made one... so are we conjoined both with each other and with Christ” (Homily 24, verse 17, p.140) Being a part of contemporary and secular society, a parish is a challenge to every priest. The priest must be aware of the danger to succumb to the influence of the community. It may happen, instead the priest to lead people in his parish, that they might lead him. The stoics teach that one can achieve happiness if one flows with the river, or in other words, by identifying one’s will with the “world will.” Orthodoxy does not follow the will of the world. God’s will must be always above man’s will. Priest must be like the salt, said Christ. “You are like salt for all mankind. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again.” (Mat.5:13)
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Someone once said in a discussion that Orthodoxy should protect itself from the community of godless people with destructive souls as did the Amish group who by their way of life isolated themselves from every civilization. Orthodoxy’s nature is not to run away from the world, rather a way of life, constant and without fear to wrestle with the world. Archbishop Anthony Bloom said:
Neither the desert father nor ascetics, separated themselves from the world with the thought of running away from it, in order for man to find a better place of peace and tranquillity, rather it is just a better strategy among many others in worldly battles. (God and Man A. Bloom, p.73)
In closing, let us remember Christ's words to His disciples, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
June 18, 1997, day of St. Petar of Koris, San Gabriel, CA
C E L E B R AT I O N * D E D I C AT I O N * P RO G R E S S * V I S I O N
Reflections on youth, true happiness, and poverty and wealth Youth, the time of life that follows childhood, is a time of vitality and freshness; a time when one feels invincible before this fallen world. No one can deny the tendency of a young person to dive into the world to “experience” what it has to offer. Those of us who have gone through this tumultuous period only wish we knew then what we know now. Consequently, older people typically advise young people to slow down and not rush ahead and want everything immediately. The Church recognizes these dynamics of life and patiently points out the necessity to have a close relationship with God through the sacramental life of the Church. The lives of saints, our Faith heroes, are great role models for those who seek true love and authentic happiness. In addition to youthful exuberance, the notion of acceptance or rejection is also often on the minds of young people. It perhaps comes from their insecurity because of their inexperience and lack of knowledge. But we know true knowledge comes from God, and our security is in God. How reassuring it is to know that our loving Lord, His saints, and our loving Church family are always there waiting for any of us to start a new Goddesired relationship. All we have to do is to seek our sustenance in Jesus Christ, live profoundly in Him, and of course, be patient with the youthful tendency to demand immediate gratification (editor: many older people have this same problem!). Summer camps of the Serbian Orthodox Church throughout North and South America offer our young people the opportunity for growth in their relationships with Christ and fellowship with His Church members (clergy, youth workers, peers, et al.). This year the Standing Committee for Christian Education of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America chose the theme Through the eye of a needle: poverty and wealth in the Orthodox Church. The comments that camp goers provided on this theme and overall camp ministry are encouragement for further development of this very important ministry to the children of our Church. The following are some of their comments:
Poverty and wealth has to do with the amount of live and support I have in my life. Those who keep others away from Christ and His Church are poor, while those who practice their faith and are kind and loving are wealthy. At camp this year I learned that wealth isn’t about money, rather it is about what you do with it. The role that faith plays in my life is the center and the guideline that I live by. The only way to gain eternal life is to follow our Lord each day of our lives. Sometimes we think that we are good, moral persons, but God always wants us to try harder and to seek perfection in order to gain eternal life. Poverty and wealth are one of those topics that we need to talk about more, but what’s even more important is to practice what our Orthodox Church teaches us, that is, to share what God has entrusted us with. It is important not to judge others if they don’t share their gifts, rather say a prayer for them so that they realize what God gave them and that it belongs to Him after all. Especially during these times people seem to be preoccupied with worries about their wealth and money, but we should realize that the most important thing is our relationship with God. I learned this year that being rich and having money does not bring you happiness, it actually prevents you from being open to God. That’s why I practice my Faith, go to church and participate in events as much as I can. I understand that as many wealthy people there are in the world, there are even poorer and less fortunate. The ones that are more fortunate could probably help even more to reduce poverty.
Father Bratso Krsic
2010 Campers in Jackson
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Five Very Good Reasons to Attend Church Weekly
It is not easy to accept reality; especially if the facts, attitudes, and so many silent negatives to our desires, happen around us. We all need an open door in someone’s life, in order to observe the situations and understand what we call “lack of participation.” Often we become slaves of habitual patterns, comfortable easy conditions, scheduled obligations, necessary duties or impossible circumstances that keep us away from private social involvement that serves God and our fellow men, women, and children. Let us face some details. Let us come closer to certain real examples. Let us be truthful, evaluating the present, in order to assist the future, because the past is only a bridge that takes us for a walk into history. Church Attendance. Those two words must concern all Christians - especially those who come to worship frequently. How can we remain aloof to the terrible statistic that 80-90 percent of all the souls who are baptized in the Orthodox Church do not worship on Sunday morning! The sociologists estimate an average of four persons in each household. If a parish has 200 homes registered, then it has 800-1000 souls to feed spiritually. How many of these souls attend Liturgy on Sunday morning, and how often? The numbers become smaller, percentagewise, as the number of households increases. A house of worship with a seating capacity of 500 is not filled every Sunday of the year. Furthermore, one wonders how many are not parish members and are considered “unchurched” by their own volition… Is it because of habit? Is it because the wish to relax, sleep, golf, read the paper, go boating, work? Is it because they truly feel they do not need God or man to stay happy and healthy? All the above have been real situation that turn into second natures and strictly
Vidovdan Fellowship 2010 speaking, press so many to say: “Hey, that’s my business! Leave me alone! I'm very happy the way I live! I don’t have to go to Church to be a good Christian! I don’t want to be a hypocrite!” Obviously, priests want people to go to Church. If they do, more money will come in, the better business the parish will have, the higher salaries will be give, etc. Some, who attend once in awhile, listening to the above rationale, begin to slowly join their forces. The easy way is the best way out. In all the above debates, one may easily get lost. For it is repeatedly written that people get lost without God. People become lonely without others to share, to serve, to smile together, to work together, to build together to even… suffer together! Who then can debate the benefits of the energy created when we get together with God in Church? Here are some answers that our togetherness declares every Sunday morning in Church:
1. It is great to love life. Accept life a precious gift and strive to make the most of it. Do not forget the Lord under any circumstances. 2. It is great to serve life. The most important thing in life is not what people can do for you, but what you can do for people. Lose yourself in a cause bigger than yourself. Serve God and humanity to the best of your ability. 3. It is great to be alive to the best in life. To be alive only to material possessions and goals is to live in the shallows. Launch out into the deep of each human soul in Church where the treasures are! Enter God’s palace. 4. It is great to stand for something. Men of principle are the principal men. Character is the bedrock of true greatness. Do not allow the winds to bend you. Stand and be counted! 5. It is great to seek excellence. Aspire to excel in your chosen work. Adopt the creed of the make of the immortal Stradivarius violins: “Perfection consists not of doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” Church is the most extraordinary place on earth.
Come to Church next Sunday! We need you! Christ's powerful silence says: Everyone counts!
Fr. Demetrios Kavadas (Reprinted from Orthodox Observer, July 1994)
From the Holy Fathers The best inheritance you can leave your sons, the richest dowries you can prepare for your daughters, is a truly Christian upbringing. —Bishop Irenaius
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The Nativity of the Most-holy Theotokos, September 21
This feast day is our parish Kolo Slava
The Holy Virgin Mary was born of aged parents, Joachim and Anna. Her father was of the lineage of David, and her mother of the lineage of Aaron. Thus, she was of royal birth by her father, and of priestly birth by her mother. In this, she foreshadowed Him Who would be born of her as King and High Priest. Her parents were quite old and had no children. Because of this they were ashamed before men and humble before God. In their humility they prayed to God with tears, to bring them joy in their old age by giving them a child, as He had once given joy to the aged Abraham and his wife Sarah by giving them Isaac. The Almighty and All-seeing God rewarded them with a joy that surpassed all their expectations and all their most beautiful dreams. For He gave them not just a daughter, but the Mother of God. He illumined them not only with temporal joy, but with eternal joy as well. God gave them just one daughter, and she would later give them just one grandson-but what a daughter and what a Grandson! Mary, Full of grace, Blessed among women, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Altar of the Living God, the Table of the Heavenly Bread, the Ark of God's Holiness, the Tree of the Sweetest Fruit, the Glory of the race of man, the Praise of womanhood, the Fount of virginity and purity-this was the daughter given by God to Joachim and Anna. She was born in Nazareth, and at the age of three, was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem. In
her young womanhood she returned again to Nazareth, and shortly thereafter heard the Annunciation of the Holy Archangel Gabriel concerning the birth of the Son of God, the Savior of the world, from her most-pure virgin body. Рождество Пресвете Богородице, 21. септембар Света Дева Марија роди се од старих родитеља својих, Јоакима и Ане. Отац
скрушености својој мољаху се Богу с плачем, да обрадује старост њихову даровањем једнога чеда, као што је некад обрадовао старца Аврама и старицу Сару даровавши им сина Исака. И Бог свемогући и свевидећи обрадова их радошћу, која је превазилазила далеко сва њихова очекивања и све најлепше снове. Јер им дарова не само ћерку но и Богомајку; озари их не само радошћу временом него и вечном. Даде им Бог само једну ћерку, која им доцније роди само једног унука, – али какву ћерку и каквог унука! Благодатна Марија, благословена међу женама, храм Духа Светога. олтар Бога Живога, трапеза хлеба небеснога, кивот светиње Божје, дрво најслађега плода, слава рода људског, похвала рода женског, источник девства и чистоте – то беше Богом дарована ћерка Јоакима и Ане. Рођена у Назарету, а после 3 године одведена у храм Јерусалимски, одакле се вратила опет у Назарет, да ускоро чује благовест св. архангела Гаврила о рођењу Сина Божјег, Спаситеља света, из њенога пречистога и девичанскога тела.
јој беше из племена Давидова, а матер од рода Аронова. И тако она беше по оцу од рода царска, а по мајци од рода архијерејска, и тиме већ предображаваше Онога, који ће се из ње родити, као Цара и Првосвештеника. Њени родитељи беху већ остарели, а немаху деце. И зато беху постидни пред људима и скрушени пред Богом. И у
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The Exaltation of the Honorable Cross, September 27
Two events in connection with the Honorable Cross of Christ are commemorated on this day: first, the finding of the Honorable Cross on Golgotha and second, the return of the Honorable Cross from Persia to Jerusalem. Visiting the Holy Land, the holy Empress Helena decided to find the Honorable Cross of Christ. An old Jewish man named Judah was the only one who knew where the Cross was located, and, constrained by the empress, he revealed that the Cross was buried under the temple of Venus that Emperor Hadrian had built on Golgotha. The empress ordered that this idolatrous temple be razed and, having dug deep below it, found three crosses. While the empress pondered on how to recognize which of these was the Cross of Christ, a funeral procession passed by. Patriarch Macarius told them to place the crosses, one by one, on the dead man. When they placed the first and second cross on the dead man, the dead man lay unchanged. When they placed the third cross on him, the dead man came back to life. By this they knew that this was the Precious and Life-giving Cross of Christ. They then placed the Cross on a sick woman, and she became well. The patriarch elevated the Cross for all the people to see, and the people sang with tears: “Lord, have mercy!” Empress Helena had a silver case made and set the Honorable Cross in it. Later, the Persian Emperor Chozroes conquered Jerusalem, enslaved many people, and took the Lord's Cross to Persia. The Cross remained in Persia for fourteen years. In the year 628 the Greek Emperor Heraclius defeated Chozroes and, with much ceremony, returned the Cross to Jerusalem.
As he entered the city Emperor Heraclius carried the Cross on his back, but suddenly was unable to take another step. Patriarch Zacharias saw an angel preventing the emperor from bearing the Cross on the same path that the Lord had walked barefoot and humiliated. The patriarch communicated this vision to the emperor. The emperor removed his raiment and, in ragged attire and barefoot, took up the Cross, carried it to Golgotha, and placed it in the Church of the Resurrection, to the joy and consolation of the whole Christian world.
по имену Јуда, једини знаде место где се Крст нахођаше, па присиљен од царице изјави, да је Крст закопан под храмом Венериним, кога подиже на Голготи цар Адријан. Царица нареди, те порушише тај идолски храм, па копајући у дубину нађоше три крста. Док царица беше у недоумици, како да распозна Крст Христов, пролажаше мимо тога места пратња са мртвацем. Тада патријарх Макарије рече, да мећу на мртваца редом један по један крст. Када метнуше први и други крст, мртвац лежаше непромењено. А када ставише на њ трећи крст, мртвац оживе. По томе познаше, да је то часни и животворни Крст Христов. Метнуше га по том и на једну болесну жену, и жена оздрави. Тада патријарх уздиже крст, да га сав народ види, а народ са сузама певаше: Господе помилуј! Царица Јелена направи ковчег од сребра и положи у њ часни Крст. Доцније цар Хозрој освојивши Јерусалим, одведе многи народ у ропство и однесе Крст Господњи у Персију. У Персији Крст је лежао 14 година. 628. год. цар грчки Ираклије победи Хозроја и са славом поврати Крст у Јерусалим. Ушавши у град цар Ираклије ношаше Крст на својим леђима. Но на једанпут стаде цар и не могаше ни корака крочити. Патријарх Захарија виде ангела, који спречаваше цару да у раскошном царском оделу иде под Крстом и то по оном путу по коме је Господ, бос и понижен, ходио. То виђење објави патријарх цару. Тада се цар свуче, па у бедној одећи и босоног узе Крст, изнесе га на Голготу, и положи у храм Васкрсења, на радост и утеху целог хришћанског света.
Крстовдан, 27. септембра Овога дана празнују се два догађаја у вези са часним Крстом Христовим: прво проналазак часног Крста на Голготи, и друго повратак часног Крста из Персије опет у Јерусалим. Обилазећи Свету Земљу св. царица Јелена намисли да потражи часни Крст Христов. Неки старац Јеврејин,
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The Venerable Parasceva [Petka], October 27 This glorious saint of Serbian descent was born in the town of Epivat between Selymbria and Constantinople. St. Parasceva’s parents were wealthy, devout Christians. They also had a son, Euthymius, who was tonsured a monk during his parents’ lifetime, and later he became the famous Bishop of Madytos. The virgin Parasceva always yearned for the ascetic life for the sake of Christ. After her parents’ repose, she left her home and went first to Constantinople, then to the wilderness of Jordan, where she lived the ascetic life until old age. Who can express all the labors, sufferings and demonic temptations that St. Parasceva endured in the course of her many years? In her old age, an angel of God once appeared to her and said: “Leave the wilderness and return to your homeland; it is necessary that you render your body to the earth there, and your soul to the habitation of the Lord.” St. Parasceva obeyed, and returned to Epivat. There she lived for two years in ceaseless fasting and prayer, then gave up her soul to God and took up her abode in Paradise. St. Parasceva entered into rest in the eleventh century. Over the course of time her relics were translated to Constantinople, to Trnovo, again to Constantinople, and then to Belgrade. Her relics now repose in Romania, in the town of Iasi. In Belgrade, the well of St. Petka miraculously heals the sick who draw near with faith in God and love for this saint.
Преп. Петка — Параскева, 27. октобар Ова славна светитељка беше српскога порекла, рођена у граду Епивату (Пиват, по турски Бојадос, између Силимврије и Цариграда. Родитељи св. Петке беху имућни и побожни хришћани, и осим Петке имађаху и једнога сина, Јевтимија, који се за живота родитеља замонаши, и доцније поста знаменити епископ
земљи, а душом да се преселиш Господу". Св. Петка послуша глас с неба, остави омиљену јој пустињу, и врати се у Епиват. Ту она, проживе још две године, опет у непрестаном посту и молитви, и онда предаде дух свој Богу и пресели се у рајска насеља. Упокојила се у XI столећу. Мошти њене чудотворне у току времена беху преношене: у Цариград, у Трново, па опет у Цариград, па у Београд. Сада се налазе у Румунији, у граду Јашу. У београдском граду налази се вода (агиазма) св. Петке, која чудотворно лечи све оне болеснике, који с вером у Бога и љубави према овој светитељки к њој притичу.
Information about the Saints from the Prologue of Ohrid, St. Nikolai Velimirovich
Мадитски. По смрти родитеља девица Петка, вазда жељна живота подвижничког Христа ради, напусти дом родитељски и оде најпре у Цариград, а потом у пустињу Јорданску, где се подвизавала до старости своје. Ко би могао исказати све трудове, и патње, и искушења демонска, која претрпе св. Петка у току многих година? Под старост јави јој се једном ангел Божји и рече јој: „остави пустињу, и врати се у твоје отечество: потребно је да тамо предаш своје тело
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Serbian Slava On the day of a family’s Slava, the home becomes "a church in miniature, and the family becomes the congregation, reminding us that the Church is a family magnified". Usually, all members of the family gather at the home of the eldest living member of the family to commemorate the patron Saint, to glorify God, and to pray for all members of the family, both the living and the reposed. This is perhaps the most beautiful aspect of the Slava: it celebrates the unity of Christ's Church both on earth and in heaven. The Slava is a sort of spiritual family reunion. Those who are not present in fact are present in spirit; not only living family members who are unable to be present, but also the forefathers of the family who have fallen asleep in Christ, faithful to His Holy Church. The grave does not separate Orthodox Christians one from another. Taken from the Hermitage of the Holy Cross website
The doctrine of the Church comes alive in the lives of the true believers, the saints. The saints are those who literally share the holiness of God. “Be holy, for I your God am holy.” (Lev 11:44; 1 Pet 1:16) The lives of the saints bear witness to the authenticity and truth of the Christian gospel, the sure gift of God’s holiness to men. In the Church there are different classifications of saints. In addition to the holy fathers who are quite specifically glorified for their teaching, there are a number of classifications of the various types of holy people according to the particular aspects of their holiness. Thus, there are the apostles who are sent to proclaim the Christian faith, the evangelists who specifically announce and even write down the gospels, the prophets who are directly inspired to speak God’s word to men. There are the confessors who suffer for the faith and the martyrs who die for it. There are the socalled holy ones, the saints from among the monks and nuns; and the righteous are those from among the lay people. In addition, the church service books have a special title for saints from among the ordained clergy and another special title for the holy rulers and statesmen. Also there is the strange classification of the fools for Christ’s sake. These are they who through their total disregard for the things that people consider so necessary — clothes, food, money, houses, security, public reputation, etc. — have been able to witness without compromise to the Christian Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. They take their name from the sentence Of the Apostle Paul: “We are fools for Christ’s sake.” (1 Cor 4:10; 3:18) There are volumes on the lives of the saints in the Orthodox tradition. They may be used very fruitfully for the discovery of the meaning of the Christian faith and life. In these lives, the Christian vision of God, man, and the world stands out very clearly. Because these volumes
were written in times quite different from our own, it is necessary to read them carefully to distinguish the essential points from the artificial and sometimes even fanciful embellishments that are often contained in them. In the Middle Ages, for instance, it was customary to pattern the lives of saints after literary works of previous times and even to dress up the lives of the lesser known saints after the manner of earlier saints of the same type. It also was the custom to add many elements, particularly supernatural and miraculous events of the most extraordinary sort, to confirm the true holiness of the saint, to gain strength for his spiritual goodness and truth, and to foster imitation of his virtues in the lives of the hearers and readers. In many cases, the miraculous is added to stress the ethical righteousness and innocence of the saint in the face of his detractors. Generally speaking, it does not take much effort to distinguish the sound kernel of truth in the lives of the saints from the additions made in the spirit of piety and enthusiasm of the later periods; and the effort should be made to see the essential truth that the lives contain. Also, the fact that elements of a miraculous nature were added to the lives of saints during medieval times for the purposes of edification, entertainment, and even amusement should not lead to the conclusion that all things miraculous in the lives of the saints are invented for literary or moralizing purposes. Again, a careful reading of the lives of the saints will almost always reveal what is authentic and true in the realm of the miraculous. Also, the point has been rightly made that men can learn almost as much about the real meaning of Christianity from the legends of the saints produced within the tradition of the Church as from the authentic lives themselves.
Some Orthodox Terms Alms. Works of mercy or monetary gifts given to help the poor. Throughout the Scriptures, God’s people are called to help those less fortunate than themselves. (see Matt. 25:31-46) Alpha and Omega. The letters that begin and end the Greek alphabet and symbolize the beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega is also used as a title of Christ. (Rev. 1:8) Creation (Gr. ktisis). Everything made by God. The term creation is applied to the cosmos in general and to mankind in particular. Our regeneration in Christ and the resurrection of the dead are both often called the “new creation.” Creation has no existence apart from God, but is nevertheless distinct from God. (That which is not created, such as divine grace, the divine energies, belongs to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) Creed. A statement of belief. Creeds in their earlier forms were used by the apostles, and many are recorded in the New Testament. (Eph. 5:14; 1 Tim. 3:16; 2 Tim. 2:11-13) The creed used throughout the Church was adopted at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 and expanded at the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381. The Nicene Creed is used at baptisms, the Divine Liturgy, and in personal daily prayers.
Taken from The Orthodox Faith, Volume I, Doctrine, Fr. Thomas Hopko
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Children In The Church
Every Christian mother considers it one of her primary obligations to teach her child prayer as soon as his consciousness begins to awaken—prayer that is simple and easy for him to understand. His soul must be accustomed to the warm and fervent experience of prayer at home, by his cradle, for his neighbors, his family. The child’s evening prayer calms and softens his soul, he experiences the sweetness of prayer with his little heart and catches the first scent of sacred feelings. It is harder for a child to take in the atmosphere that prevails in church. At first he just observes. He sees people concentrating and rites he does not as yet understand and hears incomprehensible words. However, the very solemnity and festivity of the church have an uplifting effect on him. When a two-year-old child wants to take part in church, to sing, speak or make prostrations—in this we can see his uplifted state of soul, with which he is involuntarily infected. We see this from simple observation. But there is also something higher than our sense perceptions. Christ is invisibly present in church, and He sees the child, blesses him, and receives him into the atmosphere of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Grace envelopes him as a warm
wind wafts over a blade of grass in a field, helping it to grow up slowly and gradually, to put down roots and develop. And so the mother hastens to bring her child to Christ, to His grace, regardless even of whether he has any understanding at all of this contact with the gift of grace. This especially concerns the Eucharist, the very closest union with Christ. The mother brings her infant to this mystery while he is still a baby lying in her arms. Is the mother right? “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, for of such is the Kingdom of God.” Can you really say with certainty that there and then in the fields of Palestine these children had already understood Christ’s teaching, had been sitting at the Teacher’s feet and listening to His preaching? Do not say this, for the Evangelist himself remarks that they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them: but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them. In bringing their little ones, the mothers’ purpose was simply that His hands should touch the children, and not that He should teach them divine knowledge. Allowing children to have contact with spiritual grace is one of the first, basic concerns of a Christian who thinks about his children, and the task of Christian
St. George Church School for Children Every Sunday after Holy Communion 11:45 am to 12:30 pm
society, which is concerned about its youth. There is the door to a correct Orthodox Christian up bringing. Enlightenment, compunction, and joy, as they awaken in the infant’s growing consciousness, are an external indicator of the act that the little Christian is feeling warmth from the divine source in himself. And even if he does not feel it, the invisible action of God’s grace does not stop; only we do not see it, just as we do not see the effect of the sun on our own health instantly and at once. In Russian literature, we have such apt examples of the disposition of children’s souls during preparation for confession and communion, after confession, and after communion of the Holy Mysteries. Nevertheless, how often it is forgotten that herein lies the key to organizing religious education. How often, on seeing the inadequacy of religious education, we pick up the programs and re-work them, lay the blame on the textbooks and the teachers—and forget about the importance of the c h u r c h and the influence of the services; certainly we do not always ask ourselves the question: “But did the children go to church?” As the child grows up, he should enter more deeply into the life of the Church. The child’s mind, the youth’s mind must be enlightened by the church services, learn from them, become immersed in them; the church should give him knowledge of God. This matter is more complex. The task of religious education will be fulfilled only when we teach our children to love church.
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the matter of attending church, whether it be part of school regime or an expression of selfdiscipline on the part of youth organizations—both those that are connected with school and those that are not. But certainly, if this remains just compulsion, and to such an extent that it creates a psychological repulsion in young people—this will show that the aim has not been attained, that the method has proved to be inadequate and the compulsion in vain. Let the child brought by your will express a desire to remain there through his own will. Then you will have justified your action. And again we say: it is not only natural, psychological effects that take place in children’s souls in church, but the action of grace. Our whole concern should be that the soul of the baby, child, or youth should not be closed to holy impressions, but should be freely opened; and then it will no longer need effort, force or any other form of self-compulsion; it will be nourished free1y and easily and joyfully. There is one thing that must not be forgotten: human nature requires at least a minimal degree of active participation. In church this can take the form either of reading, or of singing, or of decorating and cleaning the church, or of some other activity, even if it is only indirectly connected with the services. The indisputable importance of the church and of communal church services for the religious upbringing of children constitutes one of the arguments in favor of the Orthodox understanding of the mystery of Baptism: that is to say, an argument in favor of baptizing children at a very young age, as we do in the Orthodox Church. Baptism is the door through which one enters the Church of Christ. One who is not baptized—which means he is not a member of Christ’s family—has no right to participate in the life of this family, in its spiritual gatherings and in its table—the Lord’s table.
Thus our children would be deprived of the right to be with us in church, to receive the blessing in the name of the Holy Trinity, to communicate the body and Blood of Christ. And however we may influence them in our family at home, how ever much we might teach them the Gospel, we would be depriving them of the direct action of heavenly grace, and at best we would arouse a thirst for faith in them—but we would still be keeping them far from the heavenly light and warmth, which comes down, regardless of our human efforts, in the Mysteries, in all the services, in holy prayers. How grossly mistaken are those religions which recognize only adult baptisms. The holy maidens Faith, Hope, and Love, and the holy young bride Perpetua, who became martyrs, are witnesses to the fact that adolescence is an age prepared even for the highest active participation in Christ’s Church. The baby in his mother’s arms in church who cried out, “Ambrose for bishop!” and by his exclamation determined the choice of the renowned Ambrose of Milan for the episcopal cathedra—this baby is a defender of children’s rights to an active participation in Christ’s Church. And so let us take some trouble over our children: first let us give them the chance to take more part in church—and in a wider and more elevated form than just giving the censer to the priest; and secondly, let us adapt ourselves somewhat to our children when praying together with them. Let the children be conscious that they are members of Christ’s family! Let the children come to love church!
When we, the adults, organize church services, make arrangements for them, shorten or lengthen the order of service and so on, we are accommodating ourselves to our own concepts and needs, or simply convenience, understood in adult terms. But in so far as the concepts, needs and spiritual strivings of children are not taken into account, the surroundings are often not conducive towards making children love church. This is nevertheless one of the most important means of religious education; let the children come to love the church, so that they may always attend church with a pleasant feeling and receive spiritual nourishment from it. And since parents often cannot help here, if only because not infrequently they are irreligious themselves, we are often compelled, when we think about our Orthodox children, to place this work into the hands of the Church. Just as we are not afraid of destroying a devotion to learning and books, or love for our national literature and history by making our children come running to class at the sound of a bell and sit at desks, and by immersing them in an atmosphere of strict discipline and compulsion; so also, one might think, we would have no reason to be afraid of using a certain amount of compulsion in
Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky http://holytrinity-la.org/engl/pages/ bltn800/artcl3.html
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 15
Gods Extended Hand—Feeding the Homeless in San Diego
To Those with Children
We’re happy to welcome you and your children to St. George church! Here are some guidelines to encourage you and to set you at ease: • Relax! The Lord put the “wiggle” in children, and Jesus showed us that He was both comfortable and pleased to be in the presence of children. • We do have a nursery available. Please ask an usher/tutor if you need assistance finding the appropriate area for your child (children’s chapel in the narthex). Or, if you prefer, your child is welcome to remain with you during the service. • We don’t mind traffic in and out of our worship if you need to come and go in order to tend to your children. • You might like to sit up front where your child can see more—you may also want to sit near the doors where you can reach the bathrooms more easily. • We love to see parents with an arm around their child, quietly explaining anything the child might not understand**. • Please, bring your child forward at Communion time! If your child is baptized, she or he is welcome to receive. If they are very small, please encourage them to stand to receive. • There are books and children’s bulletins available at the entrance (children’s chapel) for children to enjoy during worship. • We’re glad you’re here! Please let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help you feel more at home here. • Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and don’t stop them; for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.” (Luke 18.16)
**If you as the parent, grandparent or friend of a child are asked a question which you aren’t able to answer, please feel free to inquire of the priest by seeking him out after the service and asking or make an appointment with him. Sometimes the priest may help right then and there; he’s happy to speak with any child about any subject. (Sometimes parents and other adults learn lots from these small conversations, too!)
Love your neighbor as yourself. (Mat 22:39)
What does it mean to love one’s neighbor as we love ourselves? You can find an answer by visiting the shelter at God’s Extended Hand off 16th Street in downtown San Diego. You will see gathered there every Wednesday our Orthodox brothers and sisters serving meals to the homeless with love and joy. This isn’t an annual Lenten sacrifice or an occasional obligation, but a committed effort on a regular basis to provide for those who need help right here in our community. According to FOCUS (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve), a SCOBA-sanctioned charitable organization, there are 49 million Americans who lack adequate food. In 2009, the NY Times reported that hunger in the US was at a 14year high. We sometimes overlook the tragedy that is happening in our own back yard. When you visit the shelter, you see more young families who are unable to support themselves and are instead living on the streets. Homelessness is no longer a consequence of the drug addicted or mentally unstable. Hunger and homelessness truly is affecting regular families and people with many different backgrounds. God’s Extended Hand is one of the oldest shelters in San Diego, having begun its ministry in 1924. In 2008, they served more than 84,000 meals and sheltered hundreds of homeless. A typical evening meal can include 90 to 140 people. Because they are so experienced with helping the homeless and the hungry, the atmosphere is filled with love, understanding, and God’s grace. For some time, they have been able to provide breakfast and dinner every day except Wednesday. That all changed when FOCUS and a local team of faithful Orthodox decided to put a plan together to fill that gap and offer support every Wednesday night. On July 14, 2010, the first dinner was served by our local PanOrthodox faithful. Churches represented were St. Anthony Antiochian Orthodox parish, St. Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthodox parish, St. Helen and Constantine Greek Orthodox parish, St. John of Damascus OCA, St. George Serbian Orthodox parish, and St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox parish. There were more than 28 people, including the national directors of FOCUS, Fr. Justin Matthews and Bryan Dahms. A special guest was also present, Theodora Polamalu with her son Paisius. Troy Polamalu and his family are faithful Orthodox amidst Troy’s busy schedule as a two-time Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are also board members for FOCUS North America. Every Wednesday a different Orthodox parish sponsors the dinner meal. The activities start with a cooking crew at 2:00 PM who begins preparing the food in a small kitchen. Around 4:30 PM more help arrives to hand out tickets to the patrons and monitor the front door. At 6:00 PM there is a 30-minute devotional usually led by one of our Orthodox priests or anyone who can provide a message of hope and inspiration according to
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 16
God’s Word. At 6:30 PM, we begin serving the meals and conclude with cleaning up all of the trays and dishes by 8:00 PM. With teamwork and diligent care, all who participate go away with a feeling they participated in God’s work. If you are interested in participating, please let Fr. Bratso or me know.
Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. (St. Gregory the Great)
May our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ see this good work that is taking place at God’s Extended Hand. May He grant peace to those who are hungry and food to nourish their bodies. May He bless this ministry and bring us closer together. Amen.
Deacon Paul Germain
IOCC Responds to Historic Russian Heat Wave and Wildfires Experiencing the worst heat wave in Russia since recordkeeping began more than 130 years ago, the Russian people have been suffering from uninterrupted high temperatures for the past 50 days and deteriorating air quality as a result of more then 500 active fires burning nationwide. News agencies have reported that more than 50 people have died so far from the fires and an estimated 5,000 others have died as a result of the heat and poor air quality in Western Russia. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in consultation with the Orthodox Church in America, is working with its partners in the Russian Orthodox Church to formulate an appropriate IOCC response to this latest humanitarian crisis. Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director, expressed his concern at the situation, stating, “We pray for those who have died. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those mourning the loss of loved ones. We are also steadfast in our prayers for all who have been affected by the wildfires.” In addition to the immediate concern for the loss of life, it is estimated that approximately one third of Russia’s wheat crop has burned. One of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, Russia has suspended its wheat exports. You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the Russian Heat Wave and Wildfires, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund by visiting www.iocc.org.
Four years in the making, the mosaic adorning both sides of God's Extended Hand is now completed. Come see and admire what God can do with little broken pieces of pottery and the willing heart and hands of artist Jermey Wright with others.
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I Love to Live
Today, dear Lord, I’m 80, and there’s much I haven’t done. I hope, dear Lord, you’ll let me live until I’m 81. But, then, if I haven’t finished all I want to do, Would you please let me stay awhile, until I’m 82?
Golden Wedding Anniversary. On September 4, 1960, at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Gary, Indiana, Radojka “Seka” Djujic and Alex Kinach were joined in marriage by the Very Rev. Velimir Petakovich. Their wedding was the first ceremony performed by Father Velimir. Alex and Seka have lived in San Diego County since 1968 and have attended St. George since they relocated here. Congratulations and may God grant you many more years together! Mnogaja ljeta Seki i Aleksandru! Congratulations to Vojkan and Maja Topalovic on the birth of their second son, Milan, on Aug. 3, 2010! Congratulations to Marko and Dijana Jovanovic on the birth of their first child, Luka. Congratulations to grandparents, Veljo and Mira Jovanovic. 80 is the new 60. “I Love to Live” is submitted by one of our long-time St George Stewards, Nada Pantovich, and is dedicated to our many parishoners who are in their 8th decade:
So many places I want to go, so very much to see, Do you think that You could manage to make it 83? The world is changing very fast, there is so much in store, I’d like it very much to live until I’m 84. And if by then I’m still alive, I’d like to stay till 85! More planes will be up in the air, so I’d really like to stick And see what happens to the world when I’m 86. I know, dear Lord, it’s much to ask (and it must be nice in heaven), But, I’d really like to stay until I’m 87. I know by then I won’t be fast, and sometimes will be late, But, it would be so pleasant to be around at 88. I will have seen so many things, and had a wonderful time, So, I’m sure that I’ll be willing to leave at the age of 89... Maybe. Just one more thing I’d like to say, dear Lord,
Service with smiles—Vera Rakic, Dobrila Undheim, Lydia Rhoads, Tina Marin, & Kiki Trifunovic
I thank you kindly, But if it’s okay with you, I’d love to live past 90.
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 18
Branko Vasic family and Mica Lukic visit Golubici for Hramovna Slava Branko Vasic with his wife Ruja and children, Vaso and Vesna, visited their birthplace Golubici in Krajina this summer. Their travel took them to other areas in Dalmacija and Serbia also. Many of our parishioners who are from Golubici and other Krajina regions continue to support the renovation of St. Stephen church in Golubici, which celebrates its feast day —hramovna slava—on August 15 of each year when we according to our Orthodox calendar celebrate the transfer of relics of the Archdeacon Stephen. Branko and his family were blessed to be there for the feast day together with Mico Lukic who also is from Golubici. The pictures below show the Vasic family in side the church and the Liturgy served by His Grace Bishop Fotije of Dalmacija and the clergy from his diocese outside. May our Lord through the prayers of St. Stephen bless them all grant them every good gift from above.
Ariana Pantovic, granddaughter of Snezna and Dole Pantovic, has won a modeling contract with Modeling Production Management to model in Mall Fashion Shows in the Greater San Diego area. Ariana is very active in the youth program at St. George where she participates in Sunday School, Junior Choir, the Morava Folklore group, and the Sveti Sava Children's program in January. This year she recited her “deklamacija” in Serbian. Her brother Sammy also participates in many St George programs. He is an energetic, enthusiastic helper as well as being a dedicated alter boy. Both brother and sister attend the Magnet School for selective students in Vista Unified School District. Ariana enjoys reading, and Sammy is the mathemetician. The entire Pantovic family is rooting for their success—Tetka Dusica and Techa Rasha Stanic, Tata Dusko and Mama Mary, and Strina Linda and Stric Rajko and all of the cousins give their support to Ariana and Sammy in all they do. Nada Pantovich
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 19
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 20
Dearest fellow parishioners of St George: I hope all of you had a wonderful summer and that God has continued to bless each and everyone of you as well as all those dear to your hearts. It is hard to believe how far into the year we are, and, with school starting up again, and with us getting back to our routines, we can reflect on the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. Now that our Church kitchen is nearly completed, and the restrooms soon to follow, we can once again enjoy our facilities and have the ability to plan more events. I thank everyone who has worked on this project and who continues to work on it. We are all benefiting from this, and the new generation will have many, many years of enjoyment. September is Kolos month to prepare lunches, so please come and join us in the preparation and enjoyment. We are also preparing for our Kolo Slava, The Nativity of the Most-holy Theotokos, September 21. We also hope you will join us as we celebrate this very special event. As in past issues of The Voice, I have tried to share some of my own thoughts, and what comes to my mind right now is, what is my purpose at this stage of my life? I have seemed to slipped into a different role. When I was “merely” a parent, it seemed that I was focused on making sure everything ran smoothly in the household, juggling, multitasking,
trying to keep all in order. Now as a grandparent, I desire to spend quality time with my family, my parents, and especially the grandchildren. Because our children are so busy trying to provide for their families, it is now my role to fill in the gap, helping out when needed. It is such an honor to have reached this stage in life.
Chen Huang of Bejing, China, helping Syvia Ivanovic at a Labor Day gettogether at the Ivanovic home, which is near San Diego State University. Because Sylvia suffered a back injury some time ago, this assistance is much appreciated. “Harry,” as he is called in the States, is studying hotel management and tourism at SDSU and lives with Sylvia & Mirko.
I 'm finding ways to celebrate the moment. I'm now a better listener. I 've learned the difference between concern and worry— Let go, let God. God wants us to trust Him totally in all matters, and it takes practice. Now that our children have moved out of the house, Mirko and I have opened the doors of our home to foreign exchange students. We currently have three—one from Korea and two from China. And what beautiful people they are. The amount of respect they have for others is incredible. We are truly blessed by having them join our family, and I thank God that He has entrusted us to care for these wonderful students. Your sister in Christ,
SNF Lodge #89 St. George—Join to keep this tradition alive in our parish
On Sunday, August 22, 2010, St. George parishioners held their regular quarterly stewardship meeting. In addition to pastoral and financial reports the stewards had the opportunity to hear a presentation from the Second Vice President of Serbian National Federation, Mr. John Lovrensky. Mr. Lovrensky, who drove from his Los Angeles residence that morning, spoke powerfully on the necessity to keep the local SNF lodges active as they provide many benefits to members and communities. Among those are insurance and investment services, preservation of Serbian culture, heritage, tradition and history and promotion of various culturally edifying events and sports activities. St. George lodge #89 is now accepting new members. To find out how to become a member please contact Mrs. Nada Pantovich at 858-451-3812.
Sylvia Ivanovic, Kolo President
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 21
Milanka’s story, Part 3: From Europe to the United States via South America
In Part 1 of Milanka’s story, published in the Voice (Spring 2009), Milanka Prica (Vlasovich) was 14 years old in 1941 when she and her family and countless other Serbs in Lika, Croatia, were terrorized and tens of thousands murdered as ethnic hatred possessed their former Croatian and Moslem friends and neighbors under Ustashe rule in the Axis-occupied Croatia. During these evil times, God miraculously protected the remains of the Prica family using the Italian occupying forces. In Part 2, published in the Voice (Summer 2010), the Prica family, along with 400 other Serbs, leave Korenica in a convoy to escape the encroaching Partisan forces and the relentlessly threatening Ustashe. After reaching the Adriatic coast, their protector, the Italian Colonel who had lived in Milanka’s uncle’s residence in Korenica, persuaded the Prica’s to accept asylum in Italy. They stayed in Italy until the end of the war and afterward, when they decided not to return to the now Communist Yugoslavia. For two years they worked menial jobs and floated among Italy’s displaced person camps, struggling to survive. During this time, Milanka’s sister, Bogdanka, miraculously made contact with a well-established Serbian-American family living in Chicago who shared the Prica surname. Even though they were not
related, Milan and Soka Prica sent Bogdanka money in the mail, which she used for fees and bribes. With no immediate hope of going to the United States because after the War the US did not accept refugees unless they had family already residing in the States, Milanka, Bogdanka, and Savo, the surviving youngest brother, decide to leave Europe.
Shopping for a country Milanka and her brother and sister really wanted to move to the United States. But they had no blood relatives to sponsor them. Milan and Soka Prica became like relatives to them, constantly helping them; but they were not blood relatives, so there was no way around the requirement. Consequently, they began to look at alternatives. In the post-war economic boom, various delegates from around the world came to the refugee camps to entice refugees to come their countries to work. Among these countries was Peru. While it wasn’t the United States, at least it was in the western hemisphere, far from bloody Europe. So after two years in Italy, the three Prica’s decided to leave Europe for Peru along with another 600 displaced persons, mostly Serbs. The Peruvian delegate promised them a good life in Peru with plenty of opportunities and guaranteed jobs. So filled with hope, the refugees were herded onto a decrepit old ship for the first leg of their journey to the new world. Next stop Germany
three weeks. Commissioned in November 1942, the General Black was one of the most active ships of its class during the war years, when it carried thousands of troops to and from the European theatre, and, after the war when it carried thousands of war-related refugees away from Europe to countries around the world. 522 feet in length with a capacity of nearly 4,000 people, the General Black provided safe passage and regular meals, but little else. Help for DPs UNRRA, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, ran the displaced person camp in Hanover. As the war ended, millions of people found themselves in unfamiliar places facing uncertain futures because they could not return to their prior homes. Allied military and civilian authorities faced considerable challenges in attempting to resolve their problems. Reasons for displacement varied widely—there were evacuees, political prisoners, forced or voluntary workers, former forces under German command, deportees, intruded persons, extruded persons, civilian internees, ex-prisoners of war, stateless persons, and, of course, war or political refugees like the Prica siblings. Like many others displaced from Yugoslavia, they could not return to their homes because nothing was left for them to return to—family, friends, home, resources, everything was gone, and now the country was Communist.1 On the General Black
Bagnoli refugee camp in Italy
The old ship gratefully only took the prospective immigrants to Peru as far as Hanover, Germany. There they had to wait two months in another DP camp until the US Army Transport (USAT) General W. M. Black was ready to take them to Peru, a rough transatlantic passage lasting
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 22
After two months of uneventful camp life in Germany, where no one had any money and there was nothing to do, the young Milanka was eager to begin the next chapter of her life and excited to be on an American ship, even though it
1.Although the family would not know at this time, many displaced persons who returned to the now Communist Yugoslavia would be “purged” as enemies of the revolution for various trumped up reasons. Many innocent people, crossing all ethnic groups, were killed during this time as Marshal Tito attempted to solidify the new Communist government. Information about these actions has only recently surfaced, and written documentation of it is difficult to find.
Broken promises It was land at last as the General Black moored in the Port of Callao, near Lima, Peru. Full of anticipation, the refugees disembarked. But instead of being hooked up with their new jobs, they were lead from the transport to another ship, a permanently moored ship that was to be temporary housing until they found jobs. There was something wrong with this picture. Weren’t employers and jobs supposed to be waiting for them? Weren’t they supposed to quickly meld into the vibrant South American culture and find happiness and success? After the terror of Lika, the escape to Italy, the seemingly endless transit through the refugee and DP camps of Italy, and the waiting for life to really take a turn for the better, what could the poor refugees do now but wait some more—wait until they found work. “Slave Ship” labor After the word was out that a new cheap and desperate labor pool was available and waiting in the port, people from Lima began to come to Callao to check out the “slave ship” cargo. These workers were not like the cheap native workers they were accustomed to, most of them were educated professionals, and all were white. Bogdanka and Milanka were prime candidates—multi-lingual, multi-talented, attractive, and eager, they soon found themselves working as servants in the palatial home of an Italian
merchant’s family. Savo was employed as a mechanic. Bogdanka was put in charge of preparing the meals and Milanka was her helper. The stingy Italian mistress dictated the menus in a caste-like hierarchy, with the family members getting the richest, finest food and the poorest indigenous workers getting only cabbage and rice. Bogdanka and Milanka were paid 150 soles per month, which was three times what the indigenous workers received. After two or three months of this, the outspoken Bogdanka argued with the mistress, and she and Milanka left. Bogdanka’s next job was for the Haitian Consulate, which was facilitated once again by her executive skill and ability with languages. Milanka lived with Bogdanka, but she found work in a store. Also working at the consulate as majordomos (butlers or houseboys) were two other refugee Serbs. One of these men, a handsome Montenegrin, dreamed of becoming an actor as famous as Frank Sinatra. In later years, Milanka would find out this man, Vlado Radulovic, became one of Peru’s most important film director-producers. But in those days for the Prica’s, life in Peru was a miserable struggle to make ends meet through menial and demanding work. Probably if they had stayed in Peru, the sisters and their brother would also have become as successful as most of the folks who stayed did. But they wanted to come to the United States. They had not lost that dream, and they had not lost contact with the Prica’s of Chicago. They contacted the United States Embassy in Lima to put their names on the waiting list for immigration to the US. They would have to wait two years. Coming to America! Thanks again to Milan and Soka Prica, the three siblings were sponsored and sent to New York City. The 18-day trip from Lima aboard the Santa Isabel, a Continued on page 24
Milanka Prica (Vlasovich) 1945 wasn’t taking her to America. Already having left a trail of broken-hearted young men in Italy, Milanka continued to attract the attention of potential suitors. But she was watched carefully by her older sister, and she, herself, knew she still had not found the love of her life. So even as the captivating Milanka was watching the star-filled skies with a youthful companion on the deck of the General Black, she knew she was not ready for love just yet.
US Army Transport General W.M. Black
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 23
Continued from page 23.
commercial ship with only 10 passenger cabins stopped in every port. It wasn’t a cruise ship, but it did have some of the same formalities—you had to dress for dinner. Poor Savo did not have a suit and tie, so he could not eat with the passengers, a sorry event that was impressed upon a family also on that trip who informed him years later after they saw his name in a San Francisco newspaper after he had become extremely successful in the United States. “Uncle Milan” Prica met the ship in New York, and like any good American, the first thing he did was take his newly arrived charges to a “hamburger joint” to eat, and as, Milanka remembers so well, they carried their own food on trays to the table. Oh, those first impressions! Chicago, Chicago Milan Prica (known as Mike Price in the States) immigrated from the old country in 1905, and he had been operating the Riverside Tap near the Chicago Loop, since 1908. He would later be recognized as one of the oldest taverns owners in the US. He and Soka (known as Sophie) had been married for almost 50 years. They were “old timers” as immigrants go and well-known among the Serb community in Chicago. And that community was waiting and excited to meet the new comers. There was a special interest in the two girls as they would make good marriage candidates for the many eligible bachelors. After their June 1950 arrival, their official coming-out was at the annual 4th of July picnic at the Libertyville Monastery. Wedding bells already Only a few months after moving in with “Aunt Sophie” Prica, Milanka would meet her future husband, Spasoje Vlaisavljevic (later shortened to Spas Vlasovich), a Serb from Slavonia. Ten years older than the 23-year-old Milanka, Spas had graduated from the Academy in Belgrade and had been capMilanka & Spas Vlasovich 1950 tured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war in Munich. After the war, he, too, decided not to return to Yugoslavia and also had ended up in Chicago. At the time Milanka met him, he was already gainfully employed as a mechanic and machinist at the Continental Can Co. So in November 1950, after only a onemonth courtship, 150 family and adopted family members and friends witnessed the marriage of Spas and Milanka. From the $600 in wedding gifts they received, Spas and Milanka began paying back all the money Milan and Soka Prica had sent to Milanka, Bogdanka, and Savo during the war and while they were displaced. The money was completely repaid in four years, even though the Prica’s never expected repayment. A kind, gentle, and wise man, Spas would make Milanka a perfect partner, and as a team they would build a successful life and family in the United States. The next chapter describes their journey to California and their life in San Diego. AMERICA
Far We've been traveling far Without a home But not without a star Free Only want to be free We huddle close Hang on to a dream On the boats and on the planes They're coming to America Never looking back again They're coming to America Home, don't it seem so far away Oh, we're traveling light today In the eye of the storm In the eye of the storm Home, to a new and a shiny place Make our bed, and we'll say our grace Freedom's light burning warm Freedom's light burning warm Everywhere around the world They're coming to America Every time that flag's unfurled They're coming to America Got a dream to take them there They're coming to America Got a dream they've come to share They're coming to America They're coming to America They're coming to America They're coming to America They're coming to America Today, today, today, today, today... —Neil Diamond
Marsha Jovanovic, editor
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 24
Stole Report for Jan. 1 – August 16, 2010
Baptisms-Chrismation Servant of God____is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit! God grant you many years!
• Isabella Marie Podesta • Meridee Faith Gaynor • Angelina Snezana Krstic • Anthony Tuniyants • Peter William Yancey • Devenee Jeanne Ilic • Marko Simjanovic • Madeleine Kaja Powell • Filip Jovanovic • Alex Jarebica Ross • James Nikolai Levitin • Tamara Maria Balac • Natasha Sophia Balac • Enzo Lucian Gaipa Church President Nemanja Selezan and First Vice President & MPC Chair Vladan Trifunovic showing Bishop Maxim the renovation to date on Vidovdan 2010.
Weddings O, Lord our God, crown them with glory and honor! – God grant you many years!
• Nikola Zigic and Rania Daoud Dallal • Robert Stevo Basic and Kathryn Lee Purviance • Marko Knezevic and Anne Margaret • Peter Jovanovic and Olivera Plamenac
Funerals Grant, O, Lord, Memory Eternal to:
• Nedelcho Ned Nedelchev-Nedel • Sonia Popovich Kennedy • Daniel Smolan • Dragoslav Drago Novakovic • Rajka Orlich • Stevan Medin The Brkic Triplets gave a concert at St. George Parish, Sunday, August 1, 2010, following the Divine Lituryg. Slobodan and Nada are blind and their sister Vera and father Dragisa became their eyes during their visit throughout Western American Diocese. Following their visits they had an appointment with the eye specialist in San Francisco who after thorough examination reported that surgery in which Nada and Slobodan will receive artificial retinas and some other medical procedures is promising. So God willing, we might see the Brkic Triplets again next years. Thank you to all of our parishioners and friends who came to the concert and participated in free will offering. Vera, Slobodan, and Nada were immersed from a young age into God’s mysterious ways; for He opened and tremendously developed all their other senses.They came to share their unique, spiritual, and artistic talents through singing, playing instruments, and giving beautiful renditions of the spiritual poems.
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 25
NOTES FROM LYDIA... ...And a little child shall lead them (Isaiah 11:6) When the Continuing Our Legacy campaign was launched in 2008, 90 people and families made three-year pledges to support the renovation of our social hall. A few came from young adults and children. One of these children was Katarina Trifunovich, or “Kiki” as we like to call her. Kiki is 12 years old and is the third of four children born to Robert and Simona Trifunovich. Robert and Simona have brought their children up in the Serbian Orthodox faith. They have created a spiritual foundation for them and guide them in the basic principles of stewardship: time, talent, and treasure. Kiki is a true steward of St. George. You may have seen her dancing with Junior Morava or working in the kitchen, side by side with her mother, wearing her apron, and always with a smile on her face. On the evening of our Legacy dinner, Kiki signed her three-year pledge and made her commitment to St. George. I was so happy to see that she understood what needed to be done at our Church and was willing to do her part in realizing our goal. A few months ago, I was in the kitchen at St. Petka helping Simona prepare the meal for our Church Slava banquet. Kiki came into the kitchen and told me that she had something for me. She was so excited, grinning from ear to ear. She handed me a small, very heavy gift bag. Kiki had filled out the gift card on the bag by writing her name, address, and “Continuing Our Legacy.” I looked in the bag and saw several rolls of coins and some dollar bills that had been folded up and put in a plastic bag. I immediately got a lump in my throat. Kiki was so happy to give St. George this gift, to fulfill more than half of her three-year pledge. But I was even happier to have received it on the Church’s behalf. I hope that we can each learn from Kiki to give back to our Church, especially at
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 26
Another generous gift Thomas “Tom” Dyke, a successful San Diego businessman and philanthropist, has once again made an extraordinary gift to the St. George parish—he has donated $50,000 toward the church restoration project. For old timers (those of us who have been around St George for 30 or 40 years), Tom is well known for the amazing and noble gesture he made in memory of his wife, Donna Rose, who passed away in 1974 at the age of 38. Because she was of Serbian ancestry and a member of St. George Church, he chose to retire the debt the parish incurred to build the current building. Over the years, Tom also donated additional thousands to help complete the mosaics that adorn the church interior. God has blessed Tom for his generosity to our church; but Tom should not stand alone in devotion to this work, nor should the friends and members of this parish hold back and depend on people like him to support this project. No, it is time for each of us to make our own extraordinary contributions in love for our beloved church. Many of you already have donated or pledged generously. But not enough of you have. Please prayerfully consider making a financial committment to the renewal project. Stewardship Pledge Drive is coming A reminder that the end of the year is approaching, and it is time to fulfill your 2010 stewardship pledge, if you have not done so as yet. Your church should not be the last thing you pay—in reality, it should be the first thing you pay. But Our Lord is a loving, patient God, and He understands your financial situation. Whatever you give to Him, you will receive back many times over. Jim and Melanie are also expecting another baby! Congratulations to your family. God bless you all.
this time. We are so close to completing the first phase of the renovation. Every donation of time, talent, and treasure we receive will help us to achieve this goal.
The youngest steward I'd like to welcome our newest and youngest steward, Marko Milicevic. Marko is one year old and is the son of Jim and Melanie Milicevic. Marko’s parents want to start the tradition of giving a small donation every year from Marko’s birthday money. They want to teach him a valuable lesson and teach him early about Stewardship and yearly giving. They want him to learn to give back to God!
Lydia Petric Rhoads, Stewardship & Continuing Our Legacy chair
Continuing Our Legacy, August 22, 2010
• Andolsek, Tonska • Barron, Zorka • Batinica, Boris • Batricevich, Slobodan and Branka • Belcevich, Milos • +Benesh, Kathryn • Bosnak, Mara and Les Lambert • Bozinovska, Jadranka • Copic, Miro and Laura • Cucuk, Nick • Cronemeyer, Jamie and Zorica • DeGranda, Boris and Danila • Denton, Natalie • Djujic, Donna • Drakulich, Persida • Draskovich, Proto Bozidar and Protinica Bozana • Driscoll, Josephine • Dyke, Tom • Economy Restaurant Supply • Emery, John • Frank, Nick • Gavrilov, Gleb and Svetlana • Germain, Deacon Paul and Natalija • Germain, Ann • Goich, Mike and Mara • Gregovich, Ljubica • Hartwell, John • Hess, Daniela Radovic • Ilic, Petar and Rosa • Irick, Olga • Jedrysik, Ben and Kimberlie • Jorling, Joe and Nina • Jovanovic, Dragoslav • Jovanovic, Drasko and Ranica • Jovanovic-Vuskovic, Natasa • Jovanovic, Nenad • Jovanovic, Marsha and Misha • Jovanovich, Martha • Jovanovich, Ratko • Kennedy, Ken and Sonia • Kinach, Alex and Seka • Krsic, Proto Bratso and Protinica Lisa • Koruga, Milenko and Jelena • Kukich, Branislav • Kukulj, Dragan and Lillian • Kunac, Dusan and Maria • Kurkjian, Betty • Lazic, Sava and Dobrinka • Leff, Craig • Masic, Milenko • Markovic, Predrag • McKenzie, Sally • Miladinovich, Miroslav • Milanovich, Jennifer • Milasinovic, Zeljko and Marija • Milicevic, Nikola and Nada • Milicevic, Jim and Melanie • Miller, Stephanie • Milosevich, Alexsandra Babic • Medigovich, Milica • Miladinovich, Ljubisav and Radmila • Miljkovic, Miodrag and Vecki • Morava Youth Group – San Diego • Nedic, Ivana • Nedic, Sava and Spomenka • Nedic, Milosh and Karen • Nikolic, Dragan and Gordana • Pavlovich, Maria • Petakovich, Proto Velimir and Protinica Petakovich • Plavsic, Mara?Seja and D.Dee • Plavsic, Rade and Jelena • Popovich, Ella • Popa, Cornelia • Purlia, Sam and Gloria • Radich, Jovan • Radojevic, Dan and Vesna • Radojevic, Protinica Nada • Radovanovic, Dragoslav and Ljiljana • Rakic, Marko and Vera • Rhoads, Howard and Lydia • Ruzic, Stevan and Marija • Savchuk, Nikolai and Olga • Selezan, Nemanja and Lindsay • Serebryanova, Elena • Sigmreanu, Valentin and Mariana • Simikich, R and Cheryl • Srbich, Dr. Alexander and Mrs. • Starr, Tatyana • St. Angelina • St. George – San Diego Choir • St. George – San Diego Kolo • St. George – San Diego Sunday School • St. Paul. Syriac Orthodox Church • Sutter, Cameron • Thickstun, Kathryn • Trifunovic, Jelena • Trifunovic, Katarina • Trifunovic, Robert and Simona • Trifunovic, Stefan • Trifunovic, Vladan and Milica • Undheim, Natasha • Undheim, Robert and Dobrila • Urosevic, Branko • Vallin, Becky • Vasic, Branko and Ruja • Vasich, Milan and Milica • Vasilia, Laurentiv and Daniela • Villa, Brian • Vlasovich, Milanka • Vukotich, Danica • Vukotich, John and Jean • Vukotich, Stefan and May • Vunduk, Ilija and Joann • Vuskovic, Ivo • Vuskovic, Natasha Jovanovic • Zivkovic, Jovan and Tina
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 27
St. George Stewardship List As of August 22, 2010
• Alemany, Lazar and Linda • Andolsek, Tonska • Arandjelovic, Bojan • Aud, Matthew and Laurie • Basic, Stevo and Stana • Batinica, Boris • Begovich, Michael and Samantha • Belanich, David and Jasna • Belcevich, Milos • Cle, Mira • Connor, Thomas and Evelyn • Copic, Miro and Laura • Cronemeyer, Jamie and Zorica • Denton, Natalie • Drakulich, Persida • Draskovich, Proto Bozidar and Protinica Bozana • Driscoll, Josephine • Dukich, Mitch • Dyke, Tom • Elez, Sladjana • Freeman, Lillian • Fulton, Jeff and Radmila • Germain, Deacon Paul and Natalija • Giles, Vera • Grba, Svetozar and Christine • Gregovich, Ljubica • Grjakovic, Vladimir • Ilic, Petar and Rosa • Irick, Olga • Ivanovic, Mirko and Sylvia • Jojic, Dobrinka • Jojic, Vesko and Julijana • Jovanovic, Dejan and Lana • Jovanovic, Misha and Marsha • Jovanovic, Tomas and Vesna • Jovanovic, Vel and Mira • Jovanovic, Ratko • Jovanovich, Martha • Jovanovich, Slavko and Tatijana • Jovanovich, Svetlana • Kinach, Alex and Seka • Kostic, Tordis • Krsic, Proto Bratso and Protinica Lisa • Kunac, Dusan and Maria • Lazic, Sava and Dobrinka • Lukic, Milos • Lukich, Ljuban James and Petka • Marin, Michael and Christina • Markley, Scott and Nada • Melnick, Stanley and Pauline • Mikler, Zora • Milasinovic, Zjelko and Marija • Milicevic, Jimmie and Melanie • Milicevic, Marko • Miljkovic, Milan and Diane • Milovancev, Miroslav and Mira • Mitrovich, Desanka • Mitrovich, Jelena • Mitrovich, Predrag • Mrja, Millie • Nedic, Milosh • Nedic, Sava and Spomenka • Pantich, Tom and Jelena • Pantovich, Nada • Pantovich, Mirjana Sally • Papac, Wayne and Sandie • Petakovich, Proto Velimir and Protinica Ljubinka • Petric, Alex • Petric, Milovan and Jelena • Plavsic, Mara-Seja • Plavsic, Milan and Ljubica • Popa, Cornelia • Popovich, Dolly • Popovich, Ella • Potkonjak, Michael and Sheila • Pugh, Zachary and Milica • Purlia, Sam and Gloria • Radjenovic, Milica • Radojevic, Dan and Dr. Vesna • Radojevic, Protinica Nedezda • Radomirovic, Vladimir and Sanja • Radovanovic, Dragoslav and Ljiljana • Raicevic, Vladimir and Silvana • Rakic, Marko and Vera • Rhoads, Howard and Lydia • Rhoads, Michael • Savchuk, Olga • Selezan, Nemanja and Lindsay • Serdar, Sophie • Skaljac, George and Bernadette • Smith, Justin and Zorana • Smolan, Daniel • Srbich, Dr. Alexander and Mrs. • Stojadinovic, Djordje • Thickstun, Kathryn • Topalovic, Vojkan and Maja • Trifunovic, Dr. Robert and Simona • Trifunovic, Vladan and Milica • Undheim, Robert and Dobrila • Vasic, Milica • Vasich, Branko and Ruja • Vasiliu, Daniela • Vlasovich, Milanka • Vucelic, Michael and Dr. Inge • Vukotich, Dorothy • Vukotich, John and Jean • Vuksanovic, Dusan • Wright, Sean and Svenja • Yancey, Petar • Zigich, Baron • Zivkovic, Jovan and Tina
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 28
Why we want you to sign Stewardship & Continuing Our Legacy Cards Our Church Executive Board has established two programs for which we ask you to sign a committment card: 1) St George Stewardship and 2) the Continuing Our Legacy Capital Campaign. Here are reasons this is important:
• When we sign the stewardship card and bring it to the church on Stewardship Sunday, the act itself becomes a spiritual endeavor. It is no longer just another thing we do; but rather it is an act of worship and I would even say a liturgical act of offering ourselves to God. This is one of the beautiful realities of our Faith— looking at our life and everything we do as as a way of sanctifying our life and the life of those around us. • And on a practical level, if a parishioner signs a card, it makes tracking/recording donations easier for the church treasurer and it makes keeping track of committments easier for the stewardship chair.
Also, please earmark your donations—tell us how you want the donation to be allocated. On an envelope or check (in the memo area), for example, mark stewardship, candles, bookstore, memorial, Legacy fund, etc. If necessary, we can contact parishioners to clarify a particular donation, but that makes extra work for our already busy volunteers. Thank you all very much and God bless you as you prayerfully pledge yourself as a St George Steward and/or pledge support to the Continuing Our Legacy campaign. Father Bratso Krsic
MORAVA Folkfest 2010 VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 29
Fr. Bratso encourages you to:
Family is why we do it all.
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• Send your e-mail address to: email@example.com if you would like to be placed on a church information email list so that you get updated announcements of important changes or events during the month between monthly and quarterly mailings. • Let him know when people are sick so that he can call or visit them if they want him to do so, and add their names to the weekly prayer list. • Call him at any time; with questions, with concerns, with suggestions. If it’s important to you, it’s important to him!
We all feel the same commitment to care for our families. Helping you meet your insurance needs is part of my commitment to you. Like a good neighbor, ® State Farm is there. CALL ME TODAY .
Our Bookstore has many items on sale! Don’t forget to shop in our church bookstore. We have many items: gold crosses, gold chains, prayer books, books on various topics, tapes, video tapes, DVDs, icons, prayer ropes, etc. Stewardship Pledges Did you forget to submit your stewardship card or perhaps misplaced it somewhere, or do you simply need some more offering envelopes? Call our church office 619-276-5827 and we will immediately send you a stewardship cards and envelopes. Thank you, everyone! Fr. Bratso would like to thank all of our stewards, Executive Church Board members, and supporters for the many ways you bring Gospel values into your homes, workplaces, and civic communities. “Well done good and faithful servant…” God bless you all! We appreciate you all!
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Voice of St George Advertising Rates Full page color $200 per issue Full page B&W 1/2 page B&W 1/4 page B&W $100 per issue $50 per issue $25 per issue
All stewards receive one free ad when placing in four consecutive issues. Send your copy or information to the Voice Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Father Bratso.
Mark Your Calendars!
Voice Production Anyone interested in learning how to write/edit/publish the Voice of St George, please contact either Father Bratso or the Voice Editor. The current software used is Adobe Framemaker, Photo Elements, and other assorted programs.
November 6, 2010 Anyone brave enough to be a challenger, email Dobrila@cox.net
VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 30
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VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • FALL 2010 31