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The Promise

June - august 2012


WIsdom:
A mAn who Asserts thAt
he hAs the true fAith is like A mAn without eyes. And yet continues to sin,

And the mAn who hAs no fAith


but who does good is like someone who drAws wAter And then pours it into A bArrel with holes.

ST. JOHN CLIMACUS

dates to RemembeR
NatioNal Clergy -laity CoNfereNCe Metropolis of Detroit
southerN CaMp

InsIde thIs Issue


Pastoral Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 the New aMericaN religioN . . . . . . . . . 5 exPloriNg Matthew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 iNside the aNNuNciatioN . . . . . . . . . . . 10 haPPy Birthday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 healiNg society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 uPcoMiNg Feast day services . . . . . . . 18 Pascha sceNes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 our stewards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 ceNteNNial uPdate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 suNday school graduatioN . . . . . . . . 32 caleNdars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
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July 1st - 6th

July 9th - 14th august 6th

feast of the traNsfiguratioN


DiviNe liturgy, 9:30aM

feast of the DorMitioN


DiviNe liturgy, 9:30aM

august 15th

septembeR 16th
parish asseMbly

THE PROMISE

pastoRal message
of Jesus Christ. He invites us to partake of life in Him by bearing a cross that makes every breath we take a Christian moment. Case in point, recently two employees of British Airways in Great Britain were ordered by their superiors to remove the cross from around their neck and to stop wearing it altogether in the workplace. The two Christian women refused to lay down the crucifix for their employer and were promptly sent home and had their pay docked for their refusal to comply (they now face the potential of being fired from their job altogether). Now in the midst of a lawsuit, the British government recently announced that it is set to argue before the European Court of Human Rights that Christians do not have the right to wear a crucifix around their neck at work! Like it or not, this is the real milieu in which we choose to bear the cross. It has never been, and will never be easy for anyone to be a Christian; but we either choose the cross and live for Christ or we can acquiesce and lose eternity. By our actions, great and small, we show the Lord our God exactly how proud we are to be Christians. The good news is that no matter the challenges of being cross bearers in a fallen world, we do not rely on our own abilities or strengths alone. Because it is indeed very hard to be a Christian and the responsibility to lift up the cross is serious, the Lord our God graciously provides us with the Annunciation. His Holy Church is the reservoir of His Grace, the repository of His Wisdom and the revelation of His actual Presence. Now there is no doubt that sometimes people confuse it for a vehicle to advance particular ideas or establish particular relationships but that is not the Churchs (Continued on page 4)

very so often than not, it is good for us to search our heart and ask our self the following: are we truly proud to be cross bearers? And by proud, we do not mean a feeling of superiority or a chest thumping perspective that is filled with disdain for others. Being proud to be a Christian instead means a sense of confidence in Jesus Christ that is firmly grounded in a faithful love that encompasses our entire life, and is never hidden. Being proud to bear the cross is a willingness to do everything in our power to follow the way of the Lord and to embrace every opportunity to glorify Christ our God no matter the consequence or price. For as the Lord Himself makes clear in the Gospel according to Mark 8:34-38, much is expected of us as Orthodox Christian cross bearers: The Lord said: If

Great

anyone wIshes to come after me, let hIm deny hImself and take up hIs cross and follow me.

is your Faith

For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospels will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. The Word of God leaves no room for doubt that Jesus is looking at Christians to openly reject secular trends, renounce immoral mandates, contest injustice, and endure the relentless mocking of popular culture, all for the sake of bearing the cross of love and faith in Him.

It also becomes abundantly clear that true cross bearing is not a commitment we make to concept of our own creation. The incarnation of the living God and His Holy Cross means that Christian cross bearers humbly lift up His Love, His Truth and His Life. We neither create the meaning of the cross, the extent of its application nor give it breadth we cling to the cross
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June - augusT 2012

save the date


Parish Assembly

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Make your legacy of love for your parish eternal, remember the Annunciation in your Will.

ouR CondolenCes
It is with sorrow that the Annunciation family notes that our brother in Christ, Dr. TimoThy roses, the beloved son of very own Bill Roses and stepson of Oksana Roses, fell asleep in the Lord.

It is with sorrow that the Annunciation family notes that our brother in Christ, harry GinG, Jr., the beloved brother of very own Ray Ging, fell asleep in the Lord. Let us all keep the departed in our prayers and beseech our loving Lord to extend His comfort and strength to the bereaved family and friends.

I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. J eremiah 31:13

May their memories be eternal.

Remember

Fathers Day
Sunday, June 17th

Happiness in married life is granted only to those who fulfill the Divine Commandments and treat marriage as a Mystery of the Christian Church. - St. Nektary
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THE PROMISE

the pastoRal message


(Continued from page 2)

someone or making a donation to a worthy cause here and there, is unequivocally false.

reason for being. This Church is the body of Christ and thereby the very means by which God sees fit to helps us to proudly follow and bear the cross. The Orthodox Church is Gods way of helping us to hold on to the cross when the world around us is either trying to snatch it away from us, or is encouraging us to sheepishly let go of it altogether. Neither the cross that we bear nor His Church is a private possession open for individual interpretation and or application. Instead, the cross and His Church are the Divine implements by which we draw nearer to the Lord and do His will on earth. Interestingly, this does not easily fit into the increasingly popular concept which says that people can have a personal relationship with Christ completely independent of the Church or cross bearing. Such thinking appeals to the horribly flawed and heretical notion that all men and women individually know God best and that He exists sole to serve the wishes of mortals. Self-imposed isolation from the Holy Church encourages people to create God in their own image, conveniently lay down the cross and haphazardly interpret the Good News according to personal wants, needs and aspirations. But let us be absolutely clear, Christ did not suffer on the Cross and rise on the third day in order for us to consider cross bearing casually and His Church a quaint relic of the past. The Lord does not provide us the Church in order for us to ignore it. Christian cross bearing is a necessity that will never be easy in this sinful and adulterous generation and therefore the Church is an essential vehicle through which we are not only empowered, but assures spiritual success. The notion that somehow or another, one can be a Christian and never lift up the cross or happily live week after week, month after month and year after year completely outside the body of His Church not only defies common sense, but is neither Scripturally, spiritually nor historically accurate. The implication that the Lord our God is somehow or another only expecting people to not lie, steal or murder while occasionally helping
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Apart from the Church, people ultimately lay down the cross, and convince themselves that God does not care about honesty, morality or the salvation of others. Apart from the Church, people ultimately lay down the cross and forego the Divine wisdom to recognize both sin and injustice. Apart from the Church, people ultimately lay down the cross and lose sight of the need to love others, serve causes greater than themselves and proclaim the Good News. Apart from the Church, people ultimately lay down the cross and loose the impetus to address their own sins and imperfections, let alone patiently endure the failures of others. Apart from the Church, people ultimately lay down the cross and begin to conclude that God is personal reflection of ones self - essentially indistinct, haphazard and distant. Apart from the Church, people ultimately lay down the cross and become ashamed of Christ, His words and the work of His Hands that is the Church. Apart from the Church, men and women cannot find the way to bear the cross. Beloved, let us reverently lift up the cross in acknowledgement of the fact that we not only celebrate Christmas and Easter, but we know that it is our personal and collective duty to uphold, defend and promote Jesus Christ at all times and in all places. (Continued on page 7)

did not suffer on the Cross and rise on the third day in order for us to consider cross bearing casually and His Church a quaint relic of the past.

Christ

June - augusT 2012

moRalIstIC theRapeutIC deIsm - the neW ameRICan RelIgIon


by Albert Mohler When Christian Smith and his fellow researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took a close look at the religious beliefs held by American teenagers, they found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as Moralistic therapeutic DeisM. As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these: 1. A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth. 2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions. 3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself. 4. God does not need to be particularly involved in ones life except when God is needed to resolve a problem. 5. Good people go to heaven when they die. That, in sum, is the creed to which much adolescent faith can be reduced. After conducting more than 3,000 interviews with American adolescents, the researchers reported that, when it came to the most crucial questions of faith and beliefs, many adolescents responded with a shrug and whatever. As a matter of fact, the researchers, whose report is summarized in soul searching: the religious anD spiritual eyes of aMerican teenagers by Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton, found that American teenagers are incredibly inarticulate about their religious beliefs, and most are virtually unable to (Continued on page 11)

pICtuRIng ouR last 100 yeaRs


Part of our plans to herald the Annunciations 100th Anniversary include showcasing the people and life of our parish through the years. for this to happen, we neeD our church faMilys Direct help. If you have pictures of Weddings, Baptisms, Sunday School programs, Family moments and/or Festival endeavors at the Annunciation, we desperately want to make copies of your best pictures to include in a Commemorative Album and/or DVD.

here Is how you can help:


1) Select some of the best pictures in your collection of family moments at the Annunciation. (For example, a wedding portrait taken in a studio is not applicable, a picture of the wedding service or reception in the Church is perfect!) Remember scenes from a Baptism, your baby graduating Sunday School, working at the Festival or having fun at a Church dinner are great windows into parish life. please Include the date, or at least the year of the pIcture. 2) Place your pictures in an envelope with: a. your name b. your e-mail & phone number. c. The number of photos submitted (This information is critical if we are going to be able to return the photos.) d. The date, or at least the year, of the scene captured in your photo. 3) There will be a bin on the church office creDenza labeled Incoming Pictures - place your envelope in it. The parish will make copies of the pictures and will, within a few weeks, contact you when they are ready to be picked up from the bin on the church office creDenza labeled Outgoing Pictures. For a complete picture of life at the Annunciation in Little Rock over the last 100 years, we need images of your life at the Annunciation. please, help us toDay!!!
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THE PROMISE

CongRatulatIons!
The Annunciation family joyously congratulates andrew & amanda GeorGe, who were joined in blessed matrimony at the Church on Sat., May 12th. Keith & Allison Freeman served as their sponsor.

WelCome
The Annunciation Church family has had the great privilege to warmly welcome into its warm and loving embrace, the Hurst family. On Saturday, May 12th, their son, Garland GeorGe hurst, was baptized, with Brock & Christina Martin serving as godparents. Then on Sunday, May 13th, it was with great joy that edmond chrIstopher hurst & melIssa aGnes hurst, along with their daughter, emIly elIzabeth hurst, were formally received into the Orthodox Church through Chrismation. Their entrance into the Holy Church was sponsored by Brock & Christina Martin. Having now become beloved members of our Church family, we can all together look forward to the journey of life and faith that lies before us at the Annunciation. With our newly enlisted Orthodox Christians, let us continue to pray that our Lord and Savior shows us His Holy Way.

May God grant you many years of love & happiness!

We need youR help & suppoRt!


Just a reminder that in the midst of the summer season, the Annunciation still needs its members help - especially with regards to the Fellowship Hour & Epistle Reading ministries. As a part of our Christian commitment to contribute to the worship of the Church as well as to embrace one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, please consider hosting an upcoming fellowship hour (light refreshments are needed, not a banquet). And if God has blessed you with the gift of public speaking (Great Lent & Holy Week always proves that our Church family has many members with such talent), please sign up to serve as a sunDay epistle reaDer. When we are not out of town, let us all please continue to make sure that the Annunciation in Little Rock shines to the glory of God.

a good poInt Marriage is ... in its origin, a contract of natural law... It is the parent, and not the child of society; the source of civility and a sort of seminary of the republic. - Justice Joseph Story

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June - augusT 2012

the pastoRal message


(Continued from page 4)

hoW old aRe you?


Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get older is when were kids? If youre less than ten years old, youre so excited about aging that you think in fractions. How old are you? Im four and a half! Youre never 36 and a half ....Youre four and a half going on 5. You get into your teens; now they cant hold you back. You jump to the next number. How old are you? Im gonna be 16. You could be 12, but youre gonna be 16. Eventually. Then the great day of your life; you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. You become 21....Yes!! Then you turn 30. What happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He turned; we had to throw him out. Whats wrong? What changed? You become 21; you turn 30. Then youre pushing 40....stay over there. You reach 50; then you make it to 60.. By then youve built up so much speed, you hit 70. After that, its a day-by-day thing. You hit Wednesday... You get into your 80s; you hit lunch, you hit 4:30. My Grandmother wont even buy green bananas. Well, its an investment, you know, and maybe a bad one. And it doesnt end there.... Into the 90s, you start going backwards. I was just 92. Then a strange thing happens; if you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. Im 100 and a half.
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Let us venerate the cross, because we recognize the fact that the Holy Cross is neither a beautiful ornament nor a trendy piece of jewelry, but instead represents an allencompassing Christian way of life. Let us renew our commitment hold up the cross of our Risen Lord with faith and let us manifest our love for the Annunciation, because now and forever.we intend to follow and serve Jesus Christ.

Rev Dr. Nicholas J. Verdaris

deep thought:
The Church in which the earthly heaven is an God dwells and super-celestial walks about. ion, burial, nts the crucifix It represe of Christ: d resurrection an ore than the it is glorified m ess of Moses, acle of the witn tabern nd e mercy-seat a in which are th is prefigured oly of Holies. It the H ld by the triarchs, foreto in the pa prophets, apostles, founded in the hierarchs, adorned by the the martyrs. and fulfilled in
f Constanti St. Germanus o nople

THE PROMISE

2012
With faith and love in the Lord once again our parish placed the outcome of its single greatest fund raiser into his hands. And we can safely say that God responded to our humble prayers with abundant blessings. In His Good Will, He not only granted us beautiful weather, but more importantly, endowed this parish with people who faithfully chose to embrace the Christian strength necessary to persevere in ways that were often not short of miraculous. Media and visitors alike frequently noted with respect and awe the dedication of the parishioners tireless spirit of service to the Lord and this Holy Church. There can be no doubt, that such a manifestation of love, commitment and grace is not typical to our modern day society - it only comes from a passionate spirit of love for Christ and a burning desire to serve the parish - and was evident at this years Festival! As we all slowly recover from this years monumental task for the sake of the Annunciation, we must above all thank the Lord our God for providing us with another splendid opportunity to work together as a Church family and glorify Him with our labor at the Festival. With Gods grace, we truly put forth our best for the sake of the Annunciation and the charities that we sponsored this year. By every measure, this years Festival built on the successes of all the previous Festivals and emerged triumphantly to the glory of God. To Raouf Kassissieh & Wayne Alley, our festival co-chairs, along with every member of our Church family who offered vast portions of time and talent by working long and HOT hours at
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the Festival - THANK YOU! Everyone who worked at this years Festival not only pleased the Lord and brought honor to the Annunciation in Little Rock, but served as inspiring example of the Orthodox Christian faith in action. Finally, let us at this time also offer up special prayers of thanks for those very special men and women in our parish who have been working in the name of our Festival for many months. We dare not try to list them all lest we overlook even one dedicated soul (thankfully, the Lord knows each by name). But our parish has been profoundly blessed by a small dedicated group of parishioners who have been tirelessly cooking, cleaning, coordinating, calling, ordering, and preparing for this Festival for nearly a year!!! Without this kind of faithful commitment to the Annunciation, our Festival would be utterly impossible - well done good & faithful servants! With this tremendous endeavor fulfilled to the best of our abilities and to the glory of God, we can look ahead with grateful faith.

Thank You Lord!

Praise the Lord! WeLL done, FaithFuL Parishioners oF the annunciation!

abIde In me
Our personal commitment to the Annunciation determines what kind of parish we will personally maintain and grow to the glory of God in 2012. As the Lords cheerful and faithful givers let us all actively contribute to Gods work in the world through our parish with our 2012 Stewardship Commitment. Visit our website, orthoDoxchurch.coM, and find our 2012 Presentation, Stewardship booklet & card. One can complete a Stewardship commitment online or contribute directly to the parish via PayPal. We ask everyone who loves the Annunciation to please complete a 2012 Stewardship card and all together help to ensure that our parish is able to operate and minister to the glory of God, through our individual commitment of faith, love and stewardship.

June - augusT 2012

exploRIng mattheW 5:4


by Jarrod Russell
(Our Seminarian at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology)
(Please note that due to space constraints within The Promise, citations & references have been deleted.)

culture of plenty. When we speak of mourning in our society, we usually refer to those who have suffered a death in the family or who have suffered an economic loss. We, unfortunately, dont always view the word as applying to those who are genuinely sad for their sins. There are other types of mourning contemplated by St. Gregory of Nyssa, and other saints for that matter, but for our purposes today, these two types are sufficient to make a very important point: Mourning is not necessarily a negative experience, and in some cases, it is a type of feeling or experience that should be desired. Think about it: if we truly are seeking union with God, if we are truly seeking to live the Orthodox way of life, we should mourn each and every one of our sins which separate us from God and from each other. This is the type of mourning that leads to confession which leads to reconciliation with God and true healing. Thus, when we contemplate this beatitude, all of us, as Orthodox Christians who have fallen short of the glory of God, should seek to join the ranks of the ones mourning their sins. That point is not readily apparent when we apply the conventional view of this Beatitude with the modern understanding of mourning. This point leads to the next question, what is the extent of comfort that we will receive as blessed ones mourning. Will that comfort be sufficient for our mourning? To appreciate the extent of the comfort promised by Christ, we must turn to the original Greek of the text. The word translated as comforted in the text is the Greek word . St. Matthew references a past tense version of this word in the second chapter of his Gospel (Matt. 2:18). This past tense version of this same word occurs during the description of the murder of the Holy Innocents. As you may recall, following the birth of Christ, King Herod ordered the murder of every male child, two years and under, in the district of Bethlehem. This occurred after the Magi tricked King Herod and did not bring Christ to him. (Matt. 2:7-16). (Continued on page 24)
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We have heard the second beatitude, Blessed are the ones mourning, for they shall be comforted, (Matt. 5:4), so many times that it almost seems mundane to our Orthodox ears. When we hear it, we may even respond in a pedestrian fashion thinking, Yes, those mourning in this life will be comforted in the life to come. But, is that really what Jesus Christ, through St. Matthew, is telling us? Is this a simple exhortation that for those mourning, their comfort will be in the life to come? Or, are there deeper meanings contained in the words received from St. Matthew? Let us consider today who are the ones mourning and what is the extent of their comfort. Initially, we will contemplate the ones mourning. St. Gregory of Nyssa delivered an incredible homily, which I highly recommend you read in its entirety, where he contemplated several different types of ones mourning. Put another way, the Saint did not limit the words of our Lord and Savior to the meaning of mourning as we understand it in the present time or his time. Today, we shall consider two types of mourning contemplated by St. Gregory. The first type of mourning acknowledged by St. Gregory was the mourning an Orthodox person should experience after he or she sins. In the Saints own words, [o]ne may readily understand as blessed that sorrow which occurs over misdemeanors and sins. Here, he spoke of those brave men and women genuinely seeking to live the Orthodox way of life to such an extent that they mourn when they fail to meet the mark. This is not mourning in our modern usage of the term. The second type of mourning we will consider is closer to our modern understanding. St. Gregory described it as a painful sense of the loss of things that give happiness. This is the more obvious type of mourning for our

THE PROMISE

InsIde the annunCIatIon

(Excerpts from the forthcoming annunciation tour Book)

from the catacombs where the persecuted Christians celebrated the Eucharist over the tombs of the martyrs. The Altar Table is covered with two cloths. The first cover is a white cloth that is not visible, but is placed directly on the Table and is called the Katasarkion. This article is reminiscent of the shroud placed on the Lord in the tomb upon His burial. This Altar cloth is placed on the table upon its consecration by the bishop, and remains there permanently. The visible second and often richly ornate cloth on the Altar Table, which is changed according to the liturgical season, stems from a gesture of the Emperor Constantine in the Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople. As an offering of reverence and love, Constantine brought forth a beautiful cloth gold threaded and adorned with precious stones in order to cover the Altar Table which houses the relics of the martyrs and upon which is placed the precious gifts of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To this very day, it is the practice of the Church to cover the Altar Table with a beautiful cloth of a specific color according to the season. Because the Orthodox Church is at all times and in all places intrinsically rooted to, as well as being the proclaimer and protector of the Holy Scriptures, The Book of the Gospels always rests on the Altar Table. As noted in The Bible and Church History and The Message of the Bible, The Book of the four Gospels is permanently enthroned upon the altar table in the Sanctuary. This is a testimony to the fact that the life of the Church is centered in Christ, the living fulfillment of the law and prophets, who abides perpetually in the midst of His people, the Church, through the presence and grace of the Holy Spirit. The liturgical life of the Orthodox Church is grounded in and expressive of Scripture. In the Divine Liturgy alone, without counting the readings from the epistles and gospels or the recitation of the Lords Prayer, there are 98 quotations from the Old Testament and 114 from the New. And, in all (Continued on page 12)

v the altar v
Centered within the Sanctuary is the Holy Altar Table. It represents the tomb from which Christ resurrected and the throne upon which Christ is enthroned. It is here that the bloodless sacrifice of the Lords Body and Blood is prepared for Holy Communion. In Orthodox Christian liturgical practice the bishop, priest or deacon will face east leading the worship of the people, that is towards the Altar Table during services. An extremely profound sense of reverence and awe for the Altar Table and Sanctuary is maintained in a variety of ways at all times. Only those who have been specifically blessed may enter the Sanctuary and only the ordained clergy may stand before the Altar Table, and then only within the context of leading a worship service. These traditions help maintain a constant sense of respect before the heavenly throne of the living God. On the front of the Altar Table is an engraved depiction of the Lords Supper, with the inscription (translated from the Greek), Do this in remembrance of me, a further reminder that Holy Communion prepared on the Table is not a human creation, but the command of the Lord (see Matthew 26:26-28). The inscription is surrounded by grapes and wheat, representing the elements of wine and bread that are used in the preparation of the Eucharist. In accordance with Church Tradition, when the white marble Altar Table and parish were consecrated by Archbishop Iakovos in 1963 at the churchs original downtown Little Rock location (1500 Center Street), a small box with a relic (bone fragment) of St. Euphemia was placed within it. The custom of placing the relic of a saint in the Altar Table originated
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June - augusT 2012

the neW ameRICan RelIgIon


(Continued from page 5) offer any serious theological understanding. As Smith reports, To the extent that the teens we interviewed did manage to articulate what they understood and believed religiously, it became clear that most religious teenagers either do not really comprehend what their own religious traditions say they are supposed to believe, or they do understand it and simply do not care to believe it. Either way, it is apparent that most religiously affiliated U.S. teens are not particularly interested in espousing and upholding the beliefs of their faith traditions, or that their communities of faith are failing in attempts to educate their youth, or both. As the researchers explained, For most teens, nobody has to do anything in life, including anything to do with religion. Whatever is just fine, if thats what a person wants. The casual whatever that marks so much of the American moral and theological landscapes adolescent and otherwiseis a substitute for serious and responsible thinking. More importantly, it is a verbal cover for an embrace of relativism. Accordingly, most religious teenagers opinions and views - one can hardly call them world views - are vague, limited, and often quite at variance with the actual teachings of their own religion. The kind of responses found among many teenagers indicates a vast emptiness at the heart of their understanding. When a teenager says, I believe there is a God and stuff, this hardly represents a profound theological commitment. Amazingly, teenagers are not inarticulate in general. As the researchers found, Many teenagers know abundant details about the lives of favorite musicians and television stars or about what it takes to get into a good college, but most are not very clear on who Moses and Jesus were. The obvious conclusion: This suggests that a strong, visible, salient, or intentional faith is not operating in the foreground of most teenagers lives. One other aspect of this study deserves attention at this point. The researchers, who conducted thousands of

hours of interviews with a carefully identified spectrum of teenagers, discovered that for many of these teens, the interview itself was the first time they had ever discussed a theological question with an adult. What does this say about our churches? What does this say about this generation of parents? In the end, this study indicates that American teenagers are heavily influenced by the ideology of individualism that has so profoundly shaped the larger culture. This bleeds over into a reflexive non-judgmentalism and a reluctance to suggest that anyone might actually be wrong in matters of faith and belief. Yet, these teenagers are unable to live with a full-blown relativism. The researchers note that many responses fall along very moralistic linesbut they reserve their most non-judgmental attitudes for matters of theological conviction and belief. Some go so far as to suggest that there are no right answers in matters of doctrine and theological conviction. The Moralistic Therapeutic Deism that these researchers identify as the most fundamental faith posture and belief system of American teenagers appears, in a larger sense, to reflect the culture as a whole. Clearly, this generalized conception of a belief system is what appears to characterize the beliefs of vast millions of Americans, both young and old. This is an important missiological observation - a point of analysis that goes far beyond sociology. As Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton explained, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is about inculcating a moralistic approach to life. It teaches that central to living a good and happy life is being a good, moral person. That means being nice, kind, pleasant, respectful, responsible, at work on self-improvement, taking care of ones health, and doing ones best to be successful. In a very real sense, that appears to be true of the faith commitment, insofar as this can be described as a faith commitment, held by a large percentage of Americans. These individuals, whatever their age, believe that religion should be centered in being nice - a posture that many believe is directly (Continued on page 13)
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THE PROMISE

InsIde the annunCIatIon


(Continued from page 10)

Orthodox services throughout the liturgical year, the Bible is read constantly. (If one were to follow the daily readings of the Church, an individual could complete both the Old and New Testament in a years time.) It follows that ones understanding of and participation in the liturgies and services of the Church will be both deepened and intensified to the extent that one makes him/herself familiar with the contents of Gods written word. At the Annunciation, the Gospel Book on the Altar Table is covered with gold and sterling silver covers with an icon of the Crucifixion on the one side (which faces up during the week) and an icon of the Resurrection on the other side (which faces up on Sundays). This particular Gospel Book cover was custom made in Athens, Greece, by the renowned artisan Kostas Konstandinou in 2011. The cover design is an homage to an ancient Gospel cover from Mount Athos and is one of only three. The Gospel Book is ornately covered because it represents Christ Himself, Who reveals Himself in the words of the four Gospels that make known His life and His teachings. On the Altar Table next to the Gospel Book is a Blessing Cross which is used by the celebrant at certain moments within worship services. Directly beneath the Gospel Book rests a small folded linen cloth upon which the Divine Liturgy is celebrated called the Antimension. During the Liturgy, the cloth is unfolded and the vessels containing the bread and wine to be consecrated are placed on it. In the Tradition of the Church, every Antimension shares three basic characteristics: on the cloth there is an icon of Christ having been removed from the cross and being laid in the tomb; secondly, a relic of a martyr is sewn within the cloth itself, and lastly, the cloth bears the seal and signature of the bishop under whom the priest and the parish function. All of this together is evidence of the fact that the Divine Liturgy celebrated on it does not take place in a vacuum nor is it a uniquely local phenomenon; it demonstrates the fact that the Liturgy is one with the Body of the Church that is
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Christ throughout the ages. In other words, this specific liturgical article connects the worshiping church with, and continues the 2,000 year tradition of serving the Liturgy on the tombs of the martyrs. With the seal and signature of the bishop, there is a clear manifestation of Apostolic Succession whereby every Orthodox bishop, and every priest who has been ordained by the bishop, can trace his authority back to the Apostles who first received their authority from Christ Himself. The large silver and gold object on the Altar Table is called the Tabernacle. This magnificently sculpted structure was made in Greece and appears like a church itself. It contains within it the sanctified Body and Blood of Christ from Holy Communion. This allows the priest to offer the Holy Sacrament to the sick as needed. But above all, it reverently contains the physical presence of Christ, in the form of the Eucharist, within the parish at all times. The use of the word, Tabernacle, is a direct reference to the physical Presence of God in the Tabernacle of Moses. Just in front of the Tabernacle is a red vigil lamp. This is a reminder that Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is present. Hence, at no time is the Church ever completely enveloped in darkness. The light of Christ and His Resurrection continuously illumines His Church. On both sides of the Tabernacle are sevenbranched candelabras which hearken to the sevenbranched candelabra of the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple in Jerusalem. Behind the Altar Table stands a silver and gold crucifix flanked by two round silver fans on poles with icons of the Cherubim and Seraphim. These elements signify the angels who constantly worship God on His heavenly throne. They also recall the ancient Jerusalem Temple where a sculpted Cherubim was depicted on the top of the Ark of the Covenant that spanned the entire width of the Holy of Holies. In the Orthodox Church liturgical practice, acolytes may carry these fans along with candles and at times, the crucifix, in solemn and reverent processions within the sacred services of Church. At the back of the Altar is a large, elevated black wooden cross with an icon of the crucified Christ, a (Continued on page 15)

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June - augusT 2012

the neW ameRICan RelIgIon


(Continued from page 11) violated by assertions of strong theological conviction. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is also about providing therapeutic benefits to its adherents. As the researchers explained, This is not a religion of repentance from sin, of keeping the Sabbath, of living as a servant of sovereign divinity, of steadfastly saying ones prayers, of faithfully observing high holy days, of building character through suffering, of basking in Gods love and grace, of spending oneself in gratitude and love for the cause of social justice, et cetera. Rather, what appears to be the actual dominant religion among U.S. teenagers is centrally about feeling good, happy, secure, at peace. It is about attaining subjective wellbeing, being able to resolve problems, and getting along amiably with other people. In addition, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism presents a unique understanding of God. As Smith explains, this amorphous faith is about belief in a particular kind of God: one who exists, created the world, and defines our general moral order, but not one who is particularly personally involved in ones affairsespecially affairs in which one would prefer not to have God involved. Most of the time, the God of this faith keeps a safe distance. Smith and his colleagues recognize that the deity behind Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is very much like the deistic God of the 18th-century philosophers. This is not the God who thunders from the mountain, nor a God who will serve as judge. This undemanding deity is more interested in solving our problems and in making people happy. In short, God is something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist: he is always on call, takes care of any problems that arise, professionally helps his people to feel better about themselves, and does not become too personally involved in the process. Obviously, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is not an organized faith. This belief system has no denominational headquarters and no mailing address. Nevertheless,

The faith once delivered to the saints is no longer even known, not only by American teenagers, but by most of their parents. Millions of Americans believe they are Christians, simply because they have some historic tie to a Christian denomination or identity.
it has millions and millions of devotees across the United States and other advanced cultures, where subtle cultural shifts have produced a context in which belief in such an undemanding deity makes sense. Furthermore, this deity does not challenge the most basic self-centered assumptions of our postmodern age. Particularly when it comes to socalled lifestyle issues, this God is exceedingly tolerant and this religion is radically undemanding. As sociologists, Smith and his team suggest that this Moralistic therapeutic DeisM may now constitute something like a dominant civil religion that constitutes the belief system for the culture at large. Thus, this basic conception may be analogous to what other researchers have identified as lived religion as experienced by the mainstream culture. Moving to even deeper issues, these researches claim that Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is colonizing Christianity itself, as this new civil religion seduces converts who never have to leave their congregations and Christian identification as they embrace this new faith and all of its undemanding dimensions. Consider this remarkable assessment: Other more accomplished scholars in these areas will have to examine and evaluate these possibilities in greater depth. But we (Continued on page 16)
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13

THE PROMISE to our parishioners celebrating during the upcoming months!

Happy BirtHday
June

July 12th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Harb July 13th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Amanda Zraick July 14th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amy Bailey July 15th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yiannis Paslidis July 16th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amber Alley Rami Alley Chris Alley John Khoury July 17th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Samuel Wilcox July 22nd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Star Akel Lisa Gianulis Phoebe Kutait Sundi Scott July 23rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ayman Matta Marinna Tadros July 25th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Bailey July 26th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alex Pappas July 27th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lea Ging July 31st . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alex Kassissieh Abby Paslidis August 3rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alice Pappas August 4th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lara Alley August 5th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gunnar Burks August 6th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lesya Melnyk August 7th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephanie Alley August 8th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grace Alley August 11th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Edward Onisei George Tadros August 12th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marena Farah August 14th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eva Sargent August 15th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Anastasiya Brice Sammy Harb August 16th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hayden Huckabay August 17th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wayne Alley August 19th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Anaissie Ibrahim Fahdi Liam Petropoulakos Continued on page 32)

June 4th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tina Alley June 6th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Claire Cotros Fr . Pierre Delfos Alex Miron June 8th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Adrianna Alley Luke Alley June 9th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kristina Vasquez June 11th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Haitham Fanek Pamela Speed June 12th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Megan Alley Nick Paslidis June 13th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Layne Kaiser David Sargent June 15th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ray Ging June 16th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Simon Ramser June 17th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bethany Townsend June 19th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gus Vratsinas June 21st . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Spencer June 22nd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Keith Freeman June 23rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gracie Cotros Ben Diggins Alexander Hronas June 27th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Harb June 30th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Samantha Townsend

august

July
July 1st . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Erica Akel Narjis Meti July 6th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexander Haddad Harry Hronas July 10th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dennis Campbell Zee Fanek Matthew Harb July 11th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stefan Tudoreanu
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June - augusT 2012

InsIde the annunCIatIon


(Continued from page 12)

CentennIal update
At the end of May there will only be until the Centennial Anniversary of the Annunciation in Little Rock!

constant reminder of the immeasurable love of God for mankind. Early on in Orthodox Church history, the Holy Gifts were prepared and the liturgical items of the Church were kept in a separate building, called the Skevophylakion, meaning the place for guarding the vessels. It was from this place that the Gospel Book and the Offerings were brought into the Church at the appropriate time in the service by the clergy. (Processions in the Divine Liturgy to this very day are reminiscent of this practice.) This subsequently evolved into two structures within the Sanctuary that are not immediately visible from the Royal Gate but stand to the left and right of the Altar Table. To the left side of the Sanctuary is a structure called the Prothesis or the Place of Preparation, where the Eucharistic Gifts are prepared by the priest during the Morning Matins Service prior to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. This is the place where the Eucharistic items, i.e., the Holy Chalice, the Holy Paten, the communion cloths, etc., are stored. On the back wall of the Prothesis is an icon of the Nativity, a reminder that Christ is the sacrificial lamb who is offered in behalf of all and for all. On the right side of the Sanctuary is a structure called, in the original Greek, the Diakonikon. This edifice is the place where all other liturgical items used in the services and sacraments of the Church are stored by the priest. It also is here that icons which the faithful desire to be blessed for use in their homes are placed for 40 days.

213 days

phIloptoC

hos

The Annu nciation L adies Phil Society inv optochos ites the wo men of ou to join th r Church is beautifu l ministry. that ladies We hope will choose to be a pa wonderful rt of this program so that we can get to kno not only w each oth er better, contribute but also towards exp anding its e vision in th fforts and e L All together, ittle Rock area and b eyond. the women of the Annu can do grea nciation t things for the glory of House and God, His His people . See raeD or Joyc e harB a alle for more in joining. Be o for mation a y n the lo bout ok-ou web-page o n our websi t for a brand new te coming will be dedic soon that ated to new s and infor m the Annunc ation for iation Philo ptochos!

oooo

God did not tell us to follow Him because He needed our Help, but because He knew tHat lovinG Him would make us wHole. - St. Irenaeus
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THE PROMISE

the neW ameRICan RelIgIon


(Continued from page 13) altar of individualism and a relativistic understanding of truth. They have learned from their elders that self-improvement is the one great moral imperative to which all are accountable, and they have observed the fact that the highest aspiration of those who shape this culture is to find happiness, security, and meaning in life. This research project demands the attention of every thinking Christian. Those who are prone to dismiss sociological analysis as irrelevant will miss the point. we must now look at the unIted states of amerIca
as mIssIoloGIsts once vIewed natIons that had

can say here that we have come with some confidence to believe that a significant part of Christianity in the United States is actually [only] tenuously Christian in any sense that is seriously connected to the actual historical Christian tradition, but is rather substantially morphed into Christianitys misbegotten step-cousin, Christian Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. They argue that this distortion of Christianity has taken root not only in the minds of individuals, but also within the structures of at least some Christian organizations and institutions. How can you tell? The language, and therefore experience, of Trinity, holiness, sin, grace, justification, sanctification, church, . . . and heaven and hell appear, among most Christian teenagers in the United States at the very least, to be supplanted by the language of happiness, niceness, and an earned heavenly reward. Does this mean that America is becoming more secularized? Not necessarily. These researchers assert that Christianity is either degenerating into a pathetic version of itself or, more significantly, Christianity is actively being colonized and displaced by a quite different religious faith. This radical transformation of Christian theology and Christian belief replaces the sovereignty of God with the sovereignty of the self. In this therapeutic age, human problems are reduced to pathologies in need of a treatment plan. Sin is simply excluded from the picture, and doctrines as central as the wrath and justice of God are discarded as out of step with the times and unhelpful to the project of self-actualization. All this means is that teenagers have been listening carefully. They have been observing their parents in the larger culture with diligence and insight. They understand just how little their parents really believe and just how much many of their churches and Christian institutions have accommodated themselves to the dominant culture. They sense the degree to which theological conviction has been sacrificed on the
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Indeed, our missiological challenge may be even greater than the confrontation with paganism, for we face a succession of generations who have transformed Christianity into something that bears no resemblance to the faith revealed in the Bible. The faith once delivered to the saints is no longer even known, not only by American teenagers, but by most of their parents. Millions of Americans believe they are Christians, simply because they have some historic tie to a Christian denomination or identity. We now face the challenge of evangelizing a nation that largely considers itself Christian, overwhelmingly believes in some deity, considers itself fervently religious, but has virtually no connection to historic Christianity. Christian Smith and his colleagues have performed an enormous service for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ in identifying Moralistic Therapeutic Deism as the dominant religion of this American age. Our responsibility is to prepare the church to respond to this new religion, understanding that it represents the greatest competitor to biblical Christianity. More urgently, this study should warn us all that our failure to teach this generation of teenagers the realities and convictions of biblical Christianity will mean that their children will know even less and will be even more readily seduced by this new form of paganism. This study offers irrefutable evidence of the challenge we now face. As the motto reminds us, knowleDge is power.

never heard the Gospel.

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June - augusT 2012

healIng soCIety: RevIsItIng WItnessIng ChRIst In a seCulaR age


by Fr. George Morelli And whenever thou art praying, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, in order that they might be made manifest to men. Verily I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou whenever thou art praying, enter into thy chamber, and after thou shuttest thy door, pray to thy Father Who is in secret; and thy Father Who seeth in secret, shall render what is due to thee openly. (Mt 6: 5-6) From the times of my earliest memory these words of Christ were implanted on my mind. A simple practical example of putting this into practice was the proper way of saying the Prayers at the Table, popularly known as grace before and after meals, while in public. It meant making a silent and mental Sign of the Cross and saying the appropriate prayer mentally as well. Any public display of ones commitment to Christ, would, at that time and locale, have been considered hypocrisy. However, the world of my early years was spiritually and culturally very different from the world that has ushered us into the second decade of the 21st Century. Practically everyone in my hometown was a practicing Christian. There was one devout Jewish family that had a small grocery store and a travel truck to service remote areas. On any given Sunday morning most people went to the church of their choice. It might be said that there was a shared culture of the value of religion in daily life. If someone ostentatiously displayed some overt religiosity, in all likelihood such a display would have been considered hypocritical. In thinking about this today, I can see a parallel to religious life during Christs time. Although surrounded by pagan Romans, the Jewish people shared a common commitment to their Abrahamic and Mosaic heritage. Thus, singling oneself out by ostentatious display of ones Jewishness would certainly cry out for considering

such showy behavior hypocrisy. This would have been especially true when ones inner disposition, that is to say ones heart and mind, contained and was motivated by just the opposite. Jesus pointed out that it was not eating with unwashed hands that defiles us, but what comes out of our mouths, from the heart: evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. (cf. Mt 15: 16-20). Jesus is unrelenting in His excoriation of hypocrisy: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but within they are full of plunder and incontinence. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like tombs, which have been whitewashed, which on one hand appear beautiful outwardly, but on the other hand are full of the bones of the dead and of all uncleanness within. Thus ye also on the one hand appear righteous to men outwardly, but on the other hand ye are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness within. (Mt 23: 25, 27-28) In fact, in this regard the teaching of Christ is clear: And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee. And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard. Be not you therefore like to them, for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask him. (Mt 6: 5-8)

the church in the age of persecution


The first three centuries of the Church have come to be known as the Age of Persecution. Christ Himself foretold this would happen when He said to His Apostles: Keep on remembering the word which I said to you, A slave is not greater than his lord, If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. . . . (Jn 16: 20). The Age of Persecution began in Rome in 64 AD with the arrests, torture and executions of Christians by the Emperor Nero, and ended in 313 AD when the soon to be sainted Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan. The type of persecution undergone by the Christians of the first few centuries has been described, in a term used by Fr. Alexander Schmemann, as permeated by the BlooD (Continued on page 22)
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THE PROMISE

holy seRvICes CommemoRatIng the doRmItIon of the theotokos & the tRansfIguRatIon
Wednesday, august 1st
Supplication Service - 6:30pm

tuesday, august 14th


gReat vespeRs foR the doRmItIon 6:30pm

Wednesday, august 15th the feast of the annunCIatIon


Matins - 9:00am Divine Liturgy - 10:00am

c felloWshIp houR d
If you or your family would like to commemorate a special event, honor the memory of a loved one or would simply like to after a gift to the Annunciation family... you too can sponsor a Fellowship Hour! Please check the Bulletin Board and sign up today!

fRIday, august 3Rd


Supplication Service - 6:30pm

sunday, august 5th


gReat vespeRs foR the tRansfIguRatIon 6:30pm

monday, august 6th feast of the tRansfIguRatIon


Divine Liturgy - 9:30am

Thought Provok in

g...

Wednesday, august 8th


Supplication Service - 6:30pm

A little girl noticed th at after the collectio n was taken in a cert ain church, the ush ers brought it up to the altar. She whispered to h er mother, Momm y, how do they get the money up to heaven ? The mother replied , The church doesn t send money to h eaven, but uses it to bring heaven down to us.

fRIday, august 10th


Supplication Service - 6:30pm

monday, august 13th


Supplication Service - 6:30pm
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June - augusT 2012

CheCk us out
Dont forget our website, orthodoxchurch.com! It has an up to date monthly calendar, the latest edition of the proMise, serMons and all sorts of information; you can even contribute to the Church online! Find us on faceBook at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church and Like us! If you know someone who might be interested in being a vendor at our Festival, have them visit greekfooDfest.coM: application forms and information are available online!

Well done!
The Annunciation family congratulates all of our Sunday School students on the completion of their 2011-2012 journey. Furthermore, we thank all of our Sunday School teachers and staff for their tireless dedication to this vital ministry; most especially Mrs. Dysle Butts, our dedicated Director. Without the contributions of time, talent and love of all of our wonderful teachers and staff, the timeless lessons of the Orthodox Church and beauty of our Orthodox Christian faith would not be able to as effectively take root in a new generation. This year we salute these graduating Seniors: Amber Alley, recipient of the issa anD sultaneh kassissieh scholarship Jonathan Alley, recipient of the chronis/plastiras scholarship Rami Alley, recipient of the kaMis anD naiMeh alley scholarship Alex Harb, recipient of the Dr. steven anD anna clift scholarship Yaroslav Melnyk, recipient of the pappas/wilcox faMily scholarship Kerri Moutos, recipient of the Dr. Doris Moutos scholarship James Rutter, recipient of the katherine kuMpuris scholarship We all can derive much joy from our outstanding group of graduates. We also express our profound thanks to our scholarship founDation BoarD and all of their helpers for hosting yet another beautiful and enjoyable Graduation Luncheon!
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many thanks!
It is with the profound joy that the entire Annunciation Church expresses its thanks to all those who made extras special contributions in order to herald the glorious Resurrection of our Lord: essa & Grace alley cIndy GeorGe andrew & alexandra GladdIn amal & fayez, samer & ramez shamIeh in memory of Naimeh Alley Gordon & martha tyer Faithful kindness is a blessing to all!

2012 Covenant WIth ChRIst


Congratulations to those youth in our GOYA & Jr. GOYA ministries who choose to embrace the challenge of the 2012 Covenant with Christ. Christopher Akel / Kaitlyn Akel / Benjamin Alley Bianca Bishara / Gabriel Bishara Gunnar Burks / Harley Burks / Kerri Moutos Oksana Pavliv / Grace Rutter Katherine Verdaris / Stephanie Verdaris

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THE PROMISE

Year! f the on o brati Cele

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June - augusT 2012


Thanks to Stephanie Wilcox for the pictures!

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THE PROMISE

healIng soCIety
(Continued from page 17)

the sweDish exaMple


A recent Zenit Catholic international news agency article, considers what a society that pushes the envelope of atheistic secularism would be like. Sweden points the way. The article lists some disturbing consequences. Since 1975, for example, abortion has been free on demand. In 2009 it had the highest rate of abortion in Europe for girls between the ages of 15 and 19 (22.5 per 1,000). I want to reassert strongly, as I have written previously, that I eschew politics. My only concern is the morality of any issue or policy. With this proviso, let me point out that Sweden has a policy regarding healthcare providers, that is totally immoral, very similar to the policy proposed by the Obama administration healthcare plan. It should be noted that some consider even the compromise that followed this plan to be immoral. The compromise exempts religious institutions from paying for, or providing, unconscionable healthcare procedures, but requires insurance companies to cover the cost of such procedures. The moral objection is that conscientious objectors are forced to become involved, albeit indirectly, by the payment of their insurance premiums. In terms of abortion, for example, Swedish law does not allow for consideration of conscience informed by morality in the healing care given to their patients. What the Zenit article termed Conscientious objection. In 2011, the Swedish parliament, with almost no opposition, issued a decree obligating the Swedish delegation to the Council of Europe to fight against the rights of doctors to refuse to participate in abortion. I am not de facto against Sex Education in the schools as long as it is scientifically factual and age appropriate. I also have the expectation that a sex education instructor would point out that there are ethical factors to be considered and practiced in sex activity for humans. Furthermore, the students should discuss these moral issues with their parents. In this regard, my hope would be that in any discussion about sexual practice Christian parents would conform their minds to the Mind of Christ and His Church. However, this is not the way it is done in Sweden. The Zenit articles states: . . .sex education is graphic and compulsory, and children are taught that (Continued on page 25)

of Martyrs. While similar bodily persecution is undergone by Christians today in some places in the world, today in the West we are undergoing another type of persecution.

cultural persecution
Interestingly, Schmemann alludes to another type of persecution undergone by the early Christians. He termed as a type of persecution the . . . contact with the ideas and beliefs of surrounding Hellenism, pointing out that even in St. Pauls (1Cor 1: 23) comment in this regard the full text reads: . . .but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks. In the late 20th and early 21st Centuries Godless secularism has replaced Hellenism in the cultural and political persecution of Christians in the West. Consider the New York Times account of a high school girl, Jessica Ahlquist, whom the newspaper described as an outspoken atheist, who won a lawsuit in early 2012 to get a prayer taken down that had hung from the wall of her high school auditorium for 49 years. It was originally written by a student in 1963 to serve as a moral guide to other students. A facsimile of the prayer, originally written on paper had been stenciled onto T Shirts:

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June - augusT 2012

annunCIatIon mIssIonaRy to albanIa


Through the Grace of God, we are pleased to announce that one of our graduates from the Annunciation GOYA & Sunday School, lee Bailey, has applied and been selected to participate in a OCMC (Orthodox Christian Mission Center) Missions Team to Shen Vlash, Albania. In the 20th century, Albania fell under dark veil of communism and suffered the most severe religious persecution in the world; all forms of religion were constitutionally prohibited and by 1991, more than 1600 Orthodox churches and monasteries had been destroyed, and only 22 elderly clergy remained. Today, under the guidance of His Beatitude Anastasios, Archbishop of Tirana, Durres and All Albania, along with the help of Orthodox missionaries from the OCMC, the once-decimated Orthodox Church in Albania has been resurrected and is beginning to flourish. This June our very own lee Bailey is going to personally contribute to the renewal of faith in Albania and the resurrection of the Church after decades of persecution. Lee will be part of a Missions team that will assist the Church in Albania at the Childrens Home of Hope in Albania. At present, the Home cares for more than 40 children in a foster care environment. The team will be

working with the children (ages 3-13) and providing a visible witness of the Orthodox Christian Faith in a country where Christianity was ravaged and 60% of the population is now Muslim. Having made special collections to help our local missionary go forth and manifest the light and love of Jesus Christ, let us make sure to keep Lee in our prayers! By praying for Lee and his Missions Team, our Church family can help spread the Good News of Christ across the Atlantic.

May God abundantly bless Lee Bailey & the Missions Team to Albania!!!

honoRIng the 4th of July


those who expect to reap the blessInGs of freedom, must, lIke men,
underGo the fatIGues of supportInG It.

- Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)

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THE PROMISE

exploRIng mattheW
(Continued from page 9) St. Matthew explains that the murder of the Holy Innocents occurred to fulfill the prophecy of Jeremiah that: A voice in Ramah was heard, weeping and mourning great; Rachel was weeping [for] the children of her, and she would not be comforted because they are not. (Matt. 2:17-18). This prophecy of Jeremiah, as quoted in the Gospel of St. Matthew, uses the same Greek word for comfort that was used in the Beatitude. The use of the same word for comfort so close together in the text should not be quickly dismissed or treated as fortuitous or coincidence. The first time the word is used in verse 2:18; it is in the context of a quote from a prophecy of the Old Testament. The second time the word is used, less than three verses later in verse 5:4, it is Jesus Christ himself, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies, speaking. Thus, it is fair to conclude that the comfort promised to those who mourn, whether it is the ones mourning their sins or the ones mourning the loss of things that give happiness, will receive the comfort declined by Rachel. This is comfort so great it would have been efficacious to a grieving mother who had lost her children. To state the matter differently, our Lord promises us the extent of comfort necessary to comfort our mourning. If it is the mourning over sins, this comfort can follow immediately after the sacrament of confession. In that case, the comfort would be received presently. For the mourning of the sources of happiness, you may have to await the coming comfort in the time to come. But, as this comfort is promised by Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we know it will be overflowing and sufficient for all the ones mourning.
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WIsdom of the fatheRs


A rich man is not one who has much, but one who gives much. For what he gives away... remains his forever. - st John Chrysostom

Once again, our parish was able to rise to the occasion and manifest the beauty of faith and love in action through the 2012 taste of the MeDiterranean & greek fooD fest golf classic. Knowing that these two endeavors are dedicated to strengthening the work of the Annunciation and supporting the children of Central Arkansas through the wonderful efforts of Easter Seals & Community Connections, the Lord once again graciously blessed these two events with a great spirit of generosity as well as a healthy dose of good weather & fun.

The wonderful Taste of the Mediterranean on Thursday, May 10th led to another successful Golf Tournament on Monday, May 14th. We are most grateful to our parishioners that worked to ensure the success of these projects - most especially haithaM alley & wayne alley. These two fundraisers enabled us to lift up the light of our Orthodox Christian faith as well as serve to remind our friends and neighbors in Arkansas that our parishioners drive to serve the Risen Lord and support all of His people is boundless.

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healIng soCIety
(Continued from page 22) whatever feels good sexually is OK. The age of consent is 15. I maintain that, in this case, the Swedish state has overstepped its moral bounds; actually, the statement indicates that the Swedish state has no moral bounds in this regard.

a Nature and three Persons; man is a nature and innumerable persons; God is consubstantial and in three Hypostases, man is consubstantial [nature] and in innumerable hypostases [persons].

the ultiMate goal of personhooD is Being like goD


The Holy Father St. John of Damaskos summarizes in very practical terms the meaning of personhood in mankind: a reflection of the Divine personhood: First, every man is said to be made in the image of God as regards the dignity of his intellect and soul ... is immortal and endowed with free will, and in virtue of which he rules, begets and constructs. Second, every man is said to be made in the likeness of God as regards his possession of the principle of virtue and god-like actions... having deep sympathy for ones fellow men, in mercy, pity and love ... and in showing heartfelt concern and compassion. (Philokalia II). St. John is emphatic in pointing out that because of our being made in Gods image it is the likeness of God that we must attain. The image is but a stepping stone, so to say, to achieve our ultimate worth: being like God. But only a few - those who are virtuous and holy, and have imitated the goodness of God to the limit of human powers - possess that which is according to the likeness of God. Furthermore, St. John distinguishes sin and its opposite virtue in terms of body and soul, with the soul being on a higher level than the body, as he says, more excellent and precious. St. John notes that this is especially true of those virtues which imitate God and bear His name. This leads him to the conclusion that the vices of the soul are much worse than the passions of the body. His down-to-earth discourse on this distinction is very insightful both psychologically and spiritually: I dont know why, but people overlook this fact. They treat drunkenness, unchastity, adultery, theft and all such vices with great concern, avoiding them or punishing them as something whose very appearance is loathsome to most men. But the passions of the soul are much worse and more serious then bodily passions [emphasis mine]. For they degrade men to the level of demons ... These passions of the soul are envy, rancour, malice, insensitivity, avarice - which according to the apostle [Paul] is the root of all evil. (cf. 1Tim 6: 10) - and all vices of a similar nature. It is clear that St. John of Damascus is not downgrading the sins of the body, but rather astutely indicating that (Continued on page 27)
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the personhooD of MankinD is BaseD on Being createD in goDs iMage


The Holy Spirit-inspired writer of the first book of the Old Testament gives us the foundation of the value of the personhood that constitutes the unique nature of Man. And He [God] said: Let Us make man to Our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to His own image: to the image of God He created him: male and female He created them. (Gn 1: 26-27) The understanding that God breathed into his face the breath of life (Gn 2: 27) can be taken that it is by the action of the Holy Spirit that, right at the moment of creation, mankind partakes of the Divine Nature even though in limited form. This Divine action makes mankind above all the materially created world. Mankinds obligation and responsibility to care for creation can be understood from Gods instruction, described by the writer of Genesis: And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth (Gn 1: 28). There is a spiritual and psychological similarity but simultaneously a uniqueness in the make up mankind. Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev reflects on the alternate use of the singular and the plural in Sacred Scripture,vi a seeming antinomy, in its referencing both God and mankind. From two human beings the third, their child, is to be born: the fully realized family - husband, wife and child - which is a reflection of the Divine love of in three Hypostases [persons of the Holy Trinity]. . .This interchange emphasizes the unity of the nature of [mankind] even though each individual person is unique.God is

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THE PROMISE

Thank You to these annunCIatIon famIlIes foR CompletIng a 2012 steWaRdshIp CaRd:
ranDy & nisreen akel richarD & star akel essa & grace alley haithaM & tina alley Mike & raeDa alley wayne & clair alley katherine apostle Mike & aMy Bailey Mark & nicole Bell DaviD & tetyana Brice Daniela Buhayevska Jesse & catherine Burks paul & Mary cantrell anna ciMino saM & giovana ciMino steve & anna clift BraD & anna coBB Mihaela coMan JaMes & eleanora Daly pat Diggins iBrahiM & naDine fahDi keith & allison freeMan cinDy george peter & Jennifer gess aDaM & lisa gianulis cathryn gillaspy ray & lea ging lyle & Josie glass leila harB Michael & Darla harB ron & Joyce harB John & carole hawkins ken & linDa haycook helen hronas
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christopher huckaBay Mark & Jana hunter sharon Johnson roBin Jones Mary karrant raouf & taMara kassissieh phoeBe kutait sarah lee Brock & christina Martin k.v. & aMMini Mathen terry & crystal Mccoy lynn & susan McDowell art & MagiDah Mnatzaganian Dean & toni Moutos Mark & christina Myers Michael & DeBra napoli JaMes & eva pappas pat & alice pappas angelo & Dena parker nick & sarah pasliDis Mike & kaye rutter haythaM safi DaviD & eva sargent gorDon & Martha tyer steve & liBBie vaDen fr. nicholas & presv. Maria verDaris John & Marlene verDaris gus & irene vratsinas pete vratsinas Jack & Jill weatherly kevin & stephanie wilcox richarD & aManDa zraick

As of May 18th, we have received Pledge Commitments from 66 families for a total of $158,996 towards the goal of $300,000.

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healIng soCIety
ouR lenten ChaRIty pRoJeCt:
Sharing
the good newS of the riSen ChriSt with Love & generoSity

(Continued from page 25)

Whoever receives one little child like this in My Name, receives Me Matthew 18:5 This year in our preparing heart and soul to herald the Re s u r r e c t i o n of our Savior, our Church family extended itself beyond earnestly maintaining the financial wellbeing of the Annunciation, by sharing our blessings with the hogar rafael orthoDox orphanage in guateMala with additional almsgiving. Despite a difficult economy, our Church family was able to raise $4300 with the second tray during Great Lent. This is beautiful evidence of how our love for Jesus Christ is able to move us to respond in tangible ways to His Glory. May the Orphanage in Guatemala be renewed by our Church familys simple offering of love in the name of our Risen Lord.

the sins of the soul are the source of these bodily sins and thus ultimately more primal. They indwell in the heart of the soul. As Christ Himself said But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man. For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man. (Mt 15: 18-20)

the Meaning of MartyrDoM


The word martyr means witness. Martyrs are described by St. Diadochos of Photiki as those who confess their faith despite all persecution. (Philokalia I) commenting on the witness (martyria) or public confession of Christ in the early Church, says that it was seen as inspired by the Holy Spirit. He notes the words of Jesus to His Apostles, Peter James John and Andrew: And it is needful for the Gospel first to be proclaimed to all the nations. But whenever they lead you away and deliver you up, cease taking thought before what ye should say, neither be meditating. But whatsoever shall be given to you in that hour, be speaking this; for ye are not the ones who speak, but the Holy Spirit. (Mk. 13:10-11). As I pointed our previously in this article, early Christians were subjected to physical torture and death in mimesis of the passion and death of Christ Himself.

spiritual preparation for Being a Martyr-witness in the MoDern worlD


Martyrdom may be laudable, but there can be grievous spiritual danger for Christians in public display of their commitment to Christ, as I noted in the introductory quote from St. Matthew (6: 5-6). It would do all of us well to reflect on Blessed Theophylacts commentary on Christs teaching: He also calls those men hypocrites who pretend they are looking to God when in fact they are only looking to men; and from men they have received the only reward they will receive. In contemporary terms we must be aware of cultivating purity of intention. St. Simeon the New Theologian writes: In brief, do everything as if you were in the presence of God, so that your conscience does not rebuke you. (Philokalia IV). We would want to purge ourselves of any witness that may be carnal, (Continued on page 28)
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THE PROMISE

healIng soCIety
(Continued from page 27) material-minded, profane or unspiritual. This would be the spiritual understanding of St. Pauls teaching to the Corinthians: But a material-minded man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he is not able to come to know it, because it is spiritually examined. (1 Cor. 2:14) In order to attain purity of heart or intention the virtue of humility must be cultivated. St. Isaac the Syrian (Holy Transfiguration Monastery) counsels: All these good things are born to a man from the recognition of his own weakness. For out of his craving for Gods help, he presses on toward God . . . and to the extent that he draws near to God in his intention, God also draws near to him through His gifts. . . .

soul is liable to sin in three ways: in actions, in words, and in thoughts. This suggests that if our hearts are imbued with the spirit of Christ, so, too, then will be our actions, words and thoughts. With this armor of God, we are now prepared to face our modern martyrdom, that is to say witnessing Christ. As St. Paul reminds the Ephesians (6: 11-13): Put on the full armor of God, for you to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil; because for us the wrestling is not against blood and flesh, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the cosmic rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of evil on account of the heavenly things. For this cause take up the full armor of God, in order that ye might be able to withstand in the day, and having counteracted all things, to stand. An important caveat is to recall that sin is not only what we do; it is also what we fail to do.

cultivating a heart enliveneD By christ


When we think of sin we think that it springs from what is in our hearts and into our thoughts, words and deeds. For out of the heart cometh forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.(Mt. 15:19). So, too, to witness Christ in the modern world we have to start with our hearts, that is to say our inner disposition, and be in conformity to the mind of Christ and his Church. As I have previously written: Secularism can be defined as the marginalization of God and the Church, and in place of God and His Church, a focus on earthly things (Php 3:19). That is to say, the values of contemporary western world, including: radical individualism; moral relativism; and religious and political correctness, which guide individual and social behavior and inform political/public policy. Thus we must start our witness of Christ, from the depths of our personhood, with our hearts focusing on Godly things. St. Hesychios the Priest is clear what must be done to bring this about: The heart which is constantly guarded, and is not allowed to receive the forms, images and fantasies of the dark and evil spirits [earthly things]... We should wage this spiritual warfare with a precise sequence; first, with attentiveness; then, when we perceive hostile thought attacking [worldly values], we should strike at it angrily in the heart, cursing it as we do so; thirdly, we should direct our prayer against it, concentrating our the heart through the invocation of Jesus Christ... (Philokalia I) So, then, what follows from our heart is either sinful or Godly. As St. Ilias the Presbyter succinctly put it: The
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witnessing in the MoDern secular worlD


examPle one: A Simple Personal Example For many years in the past, when dining outside of my home, say in a public eatery, in the spirit of Christs instruction to pray in secret (cf. Mt 6: 6) I would make the Sign of the Cross and Grace before Meals mentally. In todays world, which marginalizes God, Christ and His Church any public display of commitment to Christ it is likely to be considered worthy of castigation and surely not given honor. Thus, all the more reason for Christians to say such prayers in public and not limit themselves to private times. I now make a public confession of my commitment to Christ in this manner and strongly urge others dedicated to Christ to do likewise. examPle Two: A Public Sports Figure The sports news that captured the attention of the media in the United States in 2011, if not around the world, was the very public acknowledgement of God by National Football League (NFL) quarterback Jim Tebow. After making a favorable play, he would drop to his knee and bow his head. The act generated a new word in American English language; it came to be called teBowing.

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This act has been copied by others: marriage, and torture. These activities are a grave illness, infirmity, missing of the mark, that is to say sin, and are thus antithetical to Christian moral teaching; not worthy of sincere Christians, and should be against the conscience of those who claim to be Christians. What about the rest of us, however, who are not politicians, business executives or who, like me, actually eschew politics? Let us recall the ways of participating in sin. We are culpable by: counsel, command, consent, provocation, praise or flattery, concealment, partaking, silence or defense of the sin. Permit me another personal example. I was recently exiting a market when I was approached by a young lady. She asked me: Do you support civil rights for gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals? Without hesitation, very directly and firmly, but in charity, I answered: I certainly, do. . . equal pay for equal work, etc. . . (by Gods grace working on my intuition as she was asking the question, I discerned the motive behind her question and where it was leading, so I continued responding with no pause whatsoever). . . but not same-sex marriage, that is a moral issue, not one of civil rights; marriage can be only between a male and female, and blessed by God. Let me say, she was stopped in her tracks. I guess my Christ-centered response-witness was certainly unexpected. I had a genuine smile and said something like: Take care and God bless! Let us recall on the ways I have acted in a similar way when confronted by others supporting un-Christlike moral issues. Psychologically what I was doing was responding assertively. I might call such encounters assertiveness for Christ.

Can we not see this as drawing people to God and helping to re-establish the importance of God in society and our personal life? At a time in which Christ and his followers are being disparaged, deprived of fundamental rights, ignored and sidelined from public life and political policy, this display is a welcome witness. It should be noted that the witness that Tim Tebow gives is Christ-centered. While in college play he had the number Jn 3:16 on his sun protection eye black, a reference to the well-known Gospel verse: For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that everyone who believeth in Him should not perish, but may have everlasting life. The use of any number or text for under-eye sun protection is not allowed in the NFL. However Tebows Christian orientation was made known. In fact, he commented that: It just goes to show you the influence and the platform that you have as a student-athlete and as a quarterback at Florida. May I comment on how much influence any of us could have who are true witnesses to Christ in our lives? Consider Christs direction: What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what ye hear in the ear, proclaim upon the housetops. (Mt 10:27) The eyes of the world are around us and upon us. examPle Three: Engaging Moral Issues It goes without saying that if Christians are in political life or have societal leadership of any kind, they are to follow Christs moral teachings in what they legislate, propose, support, vote on, execute or adjudicate. To name but a few contemporary political-social issues that have moral implications: abortion, same-sex

a shaMe for christians Deny christ have no proBleM witnessing


It is well known that many who deny Christ as true God and true man have no problem publicly witnessing their view. In Europe, this view of a young lady is a common sight:

that

Many who

(Continued on page 30)


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THE PROMISE

healIng soCIety
(Continued from page 29) Public Schools Toronto Canada allow formal prayer services for Moslem students during the day in the schools:

I commanded you; and behold, I am with you all the days until the completion of the age. Amen. All those baptized into Christ, as we chant in the Baptismal Hymn: As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia, means that now all the baptized are of the royal priesthood. They themselves are called to make those of all nations become committed, baptized followers of Christ. Writing to the persecuted Churches in Asia Minor St. Peter told them, But ye are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a possession, that ye might tell forth the virtues of the One Who called you out of darkness into His wondrous light, who once were not a people, but now are a people of God. . . . (1Pt 2:9-10) Now, God has created us with different personalities and different gifts. As St. Paul told the people of Corinth: Now there are distributions of gifts of grace, but the same Spirit, there are distributions of ministrations, and the same Lord. But to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given to the profit of all. . . . (1Cor. 12: 4,5,7) One gift that we all share is the gift to witness-to martyr Christ. At the very least, we can all make the Sign of the Cross, say a prayer, and (with discernment) say that something we may encounter is contrary to the teaching of Christ. Let us remember Christs words to St. Paul, and his response: My grace is sufficient for thee; for My power is being made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of the Christ might dwell upon me. Wherefore I am well pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in necessities, in persecutions, in straits, for Christs sake; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12: 9-10)

In fact, among Moslems it is a duty to perform public worship. It is well known that in some Moslem countries any public display of commitment to Christ is prohibited and harshly dealt with. I saw a video a couple of years ago of a world known Orthodox bishop who had to wear a sport shirt and pants while in Turkey, because his clerical garb was not permitted. Unless under Church obedience, I have no intention of ever visiting a country that will not permit me to wear my appropriate clerical garb and possess my Sacred Scripture, readings of the Church Fathers and service books. I pray that God would give me the strength that if ever I were somehow forced into being in such a location, I would be a witness-martyr in this regard even unto death.

BlesseD are they who have Been persecuteD on account of righteousness, for theirs is the kingDoM of the heavens. BlesseD are ye whenever they reproach you anD persecute you, anD say every evil worD against you falsely on account of Me. Be reJoicing anD Be exceeDingly glaD, for your rewarD is great in the heavens. for
so they persecuteD the prophets who were Before you.

our BaptisMal vocation anD responsiBility: Being a Martyr for christ


The last words of Christ to His eleven Apostles as recorded by St. Matthew (Mt. 28:18-20) is this instruction: All authority is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever
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(Matthew 5: 10-12)

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ouR CentennIal
With little more than 200 days until our Centennial year, the committee has been meeting and is organizing some several endeavors in order for us to all commemorate our 100th Anniversary. If there is a way in which you can help us all honor the legacy of our parish, please step forward and or attend an upcoming Centennial Meetings.

g bratin Cele ars 100 Ye

1) puBlicity
We need a chairperson to help coordinate efforts to work with the press and community about this milestone. auctions, sponsorships & tickets) whereby we would split the proceeds with charities, and apply our portion towards offsetting the costs of the Parishs Centennial celebrations & Courtyard/Garden.

2) coMMeMorative alBuM & DvD


Having begun the process to collect pictures and material. We want to explore the potential of offsetting the cost of the Album with advertising. We need someone to explore and advance this aspect of the project.

9) parish centennial gala: septeMBer 21-22, 2013

3) icon show
Father, Peter Gess & Robin Jones are exploring a venue for such an event that would expand its outreach opportunities.

The Parish Council will heading up an evening for our Church family to formally celebrate our blessings. The visit of the Archbishop & Metropolitan to visit us September 21- 22, 2013 has been set. To highlight and commemorate the legacy of the parish we are exploring the construction of a Courtyard (in accordance with Church tradition) in addition to a Garden. The Lily Garden Club has developed some ideas for a potential Garden along Napa Valley Drive and our Landscape Architect will develop a design and prepare a schematic drawing of a Courtyard for all of us to see and consider.

10) courtyarD & garDen

4) orthoDox christian foruMs


Invite (2-3) clergy to make presentations on Orthodoxy one specific weekend for parishioners & general public to discover more about our legacy of Faith.

5) a Missions trip
In celebrating our 100 years, to help sow the seeds in order for others to one day celebrate a Centennial. Peter Gess is exploring this possibility.

6) parish picnic

Presv. Maria is looking at have a tasty fellowship picnic in the park after a Divine Liturgy. Haitham Alley is exploring an evening fellowship event featuring music, dancing, ethnic Hors d oeuvres or Pot luck.

7) cultural night

At the September 16th Parish Assembly, we will decide if we wish to proceed with this project and the manner by which we will raise funds and honor the memory of those who have gone before us. If it is accepted at the September Parish Assembly, we will then submit the project to the Metropolis of Detroit for approval.

8) charity funD-raising Banquet: May 9, 2013


Sam & Janet Alley / Steve & Anna Clift are heading up a very special Taste of the Mediterranean (with

NEXT Centennial Meeting: T.B.D. All are encouraged to participate & contribute!
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THE PROMISE

Happy BirtHday!
(Continued from page 14) August 21st . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Alley Jeffrey Chacko August 22nd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christine Lewis August 23rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nina Diggins Brock Martin August 27th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nicole Bell August 28th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Moutos Kaye Rutter August 29th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ashley Kassissieh August 31st . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ann Pappas

outReaCh CommIttee
meet & gReet sChedule
June 3rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robin Jones June 10th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan McDowell June 17th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sharon Johnson June 24th . . . . . . . . . . . . Christopher Huckabay

sCholaRshIp foundatIon RemIndeR!


attention current scholarship recipients anD parents: A reminder that the upcoming deadline for requesting Scholarship funds is may 30th to June 30th. Please submit current grades to Catherine Burks at: annunciation greek orthoDox church 1100 Napa Valley Drive Little Rock, AR 72211 OR email: agocscholarship@gmail.com When submitting current grades, please include the students email and cell phone.

July 1st . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jack Weatherly July 8th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Hunter July 15th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robin Jones July 22nd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan McDowell July 29th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sharon Johnson

August 5th . . . . . . . . . . . Christopher Huckabay August 12th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jack Weatherly August 19th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Hunter August 26th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robin Jones

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A Grand Graduation!

Thanks to Lyle Glass, for the pictures!


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THE PROMISE

annunCIaTIon GREEk oRThoDoX ChuRCh


1100 naPa VaLLEY DRIVE, LITTLE RoCk, aR 72211

rev. dr. niChoLaS J. verdariS, PaStor

J une 2012
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs 1 Fri 2 Sat

Pentecost Matins 9:00am Divine Liturgy 10:00am

Sunday of All Saints Matins 9:00am Divine Liturgy 10:00am

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2nd Sunday of Matthew Matins 9:00am Divine Liturgy 10:00am happy fathers Day!

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Nativity of the Baptist Matins 9:00am Divine Liturgy 10:00am

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annunCIaTIon GREEk oRThoDoX ChuRCh


1100 naPa VaLLEY DRIVE, LITTLE RoCk, aR 72211

rev. dr. niChoLaS J. verdariS, PaStor

J uly 2012
Sun 1 Mon 2 Tues 3 Wed 4 Thurs 5 Fri 6 Sat 7
4th Sunday of Matthew Matins 9:00am national clergy laity national clergy laity national clergy laity national clergy laity national clergy laity Divine Liturgy 10:00am conference conference conference conference conference in Phoenix, AZ in Phoenix, AZ in Phoenix, AZ in Phoenix, AZ in Phoenix, AZ God Bless the USA!

5th Sunday of Matthew Metropolis southern Matins 9:00am st. nicholas caMp Divine Liturgy 10:00am in Pleasantville, TN

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Metropolis southern Metropolis southern Metropolis southern Metropolis southern Metropolis southern st. nicholas caMp st. nicholas caMp st. nicholas caMp st. nicholas caMp st. nicholas caMp in Pleasantville, TN in Pleasantville, TN in Pleasantville, TN in Pleasantville, TN in Pleasantville, TN

Sunday of Holy Fathers Matins 9:00am Divine Liturgy 10:00am

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annunCIaTIon GREEk oRThoDoX ChuRCh


1100 naPa VaLLEY DRIVE, LITTLE RoCk, aR 72211

rev. dr. niChoLaS J. verdariS, PaStor

a ugust 2012
Sun Mon Tues 1 Wed Thurs 2 Fri 3 4 Sat

Supplication Service 6:30pm

Supplication Service 6:30pm

9th Sunday of Matthew Feast of the Transfiguration Matins 9:00am Divine Liturgy 10:00am Liturgy 9:30am Transfiguration Great Vespers Service 6:30pm

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12th Sunday of Matthew Matins 9:00am Divine Liturgy 10:00am

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Happy Memorial Day Church Offices Closed

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Sept. 1

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