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What on earth is the Orthodox Church?
A message from our priest, Fr Vladimir (Tobin). “...Come and visit us at worship.”
Wednesday: 6:00pm Readers Vespers
Saturday: 6:00pm Vespers
Sunday: 10:00am Hours and Divine Liturgy, followed by coffee hour
See special service times, feasts, and parish events in our online Calendar
August 20, 2014
Sat Aug 23: Readers Vespers 6:00 pm
Sun Aug 24: Hours and Liturgy followed by coffee hour 10:00 am
A Vigil and Liturgy for the Dormition of the Mother of God will held Wed Aug 27 at 4:00 pm. The Liturgy will begin around 6:30 pm. This is one of the great feasts of the church, please make every effort to attend. We understand many of you will only be able to join us for Liturgy.
After the Dormition Service we will be having a potluck coffee/dinner.
A message from Fr. Vladimir:
Over the past weeks, acts of incredible brutality have been committed against the Christians an other non-Muslim peoples if Iraq. Even Muslims who differ from the terrorists who call themselves ISIS have been subject to the same brutality. People are being slaughtered by the hundreds, and the killing is accompanied by the joyful laughter and mockery of their murderers. Even children have been beheaded and there severed heads displayed publicly. The Christian community in Iraq was one of the world's most ancient Christian traditions. Now it is virtually nonexistent, as Christians have been slaughtered or forced to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. Most of the refugees now realize that they never again will return to their homes. We are not taking about a few hundred refugees, buth rather thousands and tens of thousands. The ISIS terrorists seemed determined not to stop until every religious minority in Iraq is destroyed and all the people have accepted their brand of Islam with its harsh and cruel laws.
"There are over 100,000 displaced Christians who have fled with nothing but their clothes, some of them on foot, to find asylum in the Kurdistan region," a Chaldean Patriarch explained. However, those who make it to Kurdistan often find themselves without shelter or even water in the blistering heat. Thousands of other minority groups have also been targeted by IS, including ethnic Yazidis.
Since their offensive attacks began in June, IS has ordered followers of Christianity residing in captured towns to either convert to Islam, pay a tax to remain in these communities as Christians, leave, or ultimately be put to death, usually by beheading. Christian believers apprehended by ISIS have been ruthlessly attacked or killed. Christians who are permitted to leave are ordered to leave all of their property behind.
We may feel that this does not concern us, but indeed it does concern us deeply. Christians are all members of the body of Christ, and Christ stands for the salvation and redemption of the world and the eventual transforming of the Creation into the Kingdom of God. In the light of this, the Christian must show compassion with all suffering human beings throughout the world. There is, of course, suffering, war, persecution and chaos in so many places, far more than we can ever hope to cure. But nevertheless we must try. We should not have to be told to have compassion; compassion should be a natural reaction for every Christian.
In the light of this, I strongly urge and beg people: Please open your hearts to those who are enduring such horror and chaos. There are different ways in which we can give to aid the victims in Iraq, but the organization known as The Voice of the Martyrs seems to be very effective. You can donate to this by making a contribution through the parish, and receipts for income tax purposes will be issued at the appropriate time. I truly believe that whatever people donate in love and compassion will, by God's love and grace be multiplied like the loaves and fishes.
Please, give generously, and your gift will be more than amply rewarded.