21st Sunday after Pentecost

 

On November 10, on the 21st Sunday after Pentecost, St. George parish family gathered for a nice celebration. The Divine Liturgy was served by our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov who returned from his vacation.

Following the Gospel lesson Fr. Igor preached a homily in Russian interpreting the appointed readings from the Sacred Scripture.

The choir prayerfully performed the hymns in honor of the Most Holy Mother of God during preparation for Holy Communion.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector thanked the faithful for their prayers for his successful trip and safe return and expressed some suggestions regarding the new tasks in the building maintenance after renovations. He also congratulated Maria Malyshev and her past birthday. The traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) was proclaimed.

Following the service the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals and a nice company during the coffee hour. The toasts in honor of Maria Malyshev and Olga Roussanow who recently celebrated their birthdays were raised and the “Mnogaia leta!” sung.

20th Sunday after Pentecost

 

On November 3, on the 20th Sunday after Pentecost the Divine Liturgy at St. George Church was headed by Priest Demetrius Sukhorukov who substituted for our Rector. He preached a homily following the Gospel lesson.

Since we had no services on the previous day which was the St. Demetrius Memorial Saturday, the Fr. Demetrius proclaimed the Litany of commemoration of the deceased which is not usually taken in our parish on Sundays.

19th Sunday after Pentecost

On October 27, on the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the six Ecumenical Councils, we had a nice celebration at St. George Church. The Divine Liturgy was served by Priest Demetrius Sukhorukov, a substitute for our Rector.

Following the Gospel lesson Fr. Demetrius preached a homily.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy he greeted Paraskeva Kosmidis on the occasion of her name day. Traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!“) was proclaimed.

Rector of St. George Church visited the Pochaev Lavra in Ukraine

Rector of St. George Church, Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Archpriest Igor Tarasov being in Ukraine visited the famous holy place of the Orthodox Christianity, the Holy Dormition Lavra of Pochaev. 
On Saturday, October 19, Fr. Igor arrived in the town of Pochaev and paid a visit to His Eminence, Archbishop Job of Shumsk, former Temporary Administrator of our Patriarchal Parishes (2009-2010). Presently Archbishop Job is the Rector of the Pochaev Theological Seminary, one of the largest theological schools in Ukraine. Fr. Igor had a meeting with His Eminence and greeted him on behalf of the parishes in America, as well as on behalf of our parish.
On Saturday evening Fr. Igor prayed and co-served at the All-night Vigil at Holy Dormition Cathedral of the Lavra. The service was headed by His Eminence, Metropolitan Vladimir, Vicar of the Pochaev Lavra. Fr. Igor had an opportunity to take a look at the beautiful temple and to venerate the miraculous Icon of Our Lady of Pochaev, as well as numerous relics of the Saints.
On Sunday, October 20, Archpriest Igor Tarasov prayed at the Divine Liturgy at St. Job and Amphilochius of Pochaev Church of the Pochaev Seminary. The Liturgy was served by His Eminence, Archbishop Job, Rector of the Seminary. 

18th Sunday after Pentecost

On October 20, on the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, we had a nice celebration at St. George Church. In the Rector’s absence the Divine Liturgy was served by Priest Demetrius Sukhorukov, cleric of St. Nicholas Church in Bayonne, NJ.
Following the Gospel lesson Fr. Demetrius preached a homily.

17th Sunday after Pentecost. Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God

On October 13, on the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, our Parish also celebrated Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God. Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy,
Following the readings from the Sacred Scripture he preached a homily in Russian interpreting the Gospel lesson assigned for that Sunday and also addressing the theme of the celebrated feast of the Theotokos.
After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector congratulated Maria Malyshev on her past name day and proclaimed the traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”).
Following the service Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals and a nice company during the trapeza prepared by our grear cooks.

16th Sunday after Pentecost

 

On October 6, on the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, St. George Parish family held a beautiful celebration. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov headed the Divine Liturgy at our temple. Following the Gospel reading Fr. Igor preached the following homily in Russian:

“Дорогие братия и сестры! Сегодня св. Евангелие рассказывает нам о том, как Господь наш Иисус Христос призвал Своих первых учеников, святых апостолов Петра, Иакова и Иоанна. Иное Евангелие могло бы нам еще сказать о том, что с Петром, самым первым из учеников, Спаситель призвал и его брата, св. ап. Андрея, которого мы в честь этого называем Первозванным. Подобное сегоднешнему было евангельское чтение во 2-ю Неделю по Пятидесятнице. Оно было из Евангелия от Матфея и также повествовало о призвании первых апостолов Христовых. Сегоднешнее же чтение из благовествования св. Луки отличается тем, что раскрывает перед нами огромное различие, которое существует между Богом и человеком.”
“Господь наш Иисус Христос является Богом, хотя Он и пришел в мiр как Сын Человеческий. Как Бог Он пришел в мiр спасти человека. В сегодняшнем евангельском рассказе Он проповедовал людям с лодки, принадлежавшей Симону Петру. Потом Господь повелел Петру отплыть на глубину и закинуть сети для лова. Св. Отцы говорят, что это повеление означало коренной перелом в жизни св. Петра. Но для Симона Петра того времени, времени описанного в сегоднешнем евангельском чтении, это казалось странной и бесплодной затеей. Как опытный рыбак, он знал и был уверен в том, что делать это бессмысленно. И он высказал Иисусу свои мысли, сказав: «Наставник! Мы трудились всю ночь и ничего не поймали» (Лк. 5, 5). Св. Петр оценивал ситуацию по-человечески, и как человек был прав. Еще раз пробовать ловить рыбу после бесплодных попыток на протяженни целой ночи казалось напрасным. Но у Господа нашего Иисуса Христа было иное понимание, иное видение. И мы знаем, что чудесный богатый улов рыбы, который последовал за попыткой Петра, доказал, что Иисус был прав, а Петр – нет. Бог может видеть вещи по-иному.”
“Но как человек, св. Петр проявил послушание Богу. Почитая Христа как своего Наставника, он выполнил Его повеление. Даже будучи несгласен с Иисусом, он сказал: «Но по Твоему слову закину сеть» (Лк. 5, 5). Хотя Петр не верил в успех, он все-таки подчинился воле Христа. И когда он увидел, что Иисус – не только Учитель или Наставник, но Кто-то высший этого, он назвал Его «Господом». Петр припал к коленям Иисуса и сказал: «Выйди от меня, Господи! Потому что я человек грешный» (Лк. 5, 8). В этом восклицании мы слышим страх человека предстоящего перед Богом. Петр выражает человеческий страх перед Божественным, невозможность объять своим умом величие Бога, осознание различия между человеком и Богом. Петр также признает свое собственное недостоинство и греховность.”
“Сегодняшнее евангельское чтение, дорогие братия и сестры, учит и нас понимать нашу собственную греховность и проявлять смирение перед Богом. Но оно учит нас также видеть как порой различным бывает наше понимание вещей от видения этих вещей Богом. И если мы увидим это различие, то будем еще больше ощущать свое несовершенство перед Божиим величием, свою недальновидность перед Божиим всевидением и мудростью.”
“Такое может случаться в нашей жизни, когда мы считаем что-либо странным и невозможным, но позже, по воле Божией, оно вдруг становится вполне возможным и совершается. Например, сегодня мы вспоминаем Зачатие святого пророка, Предтечи и Крестителя Иоанна. Его родители, священник Захария и его супруга, Елисавета, были уже в пожилом возрасте и не ожидали иметь детей. Но вот, архангел Гавриил явился Захарии во время служения во Храме и благовестил рождение сына – Предтечи Христа. Захария не поверил и засомневался, за что был поражен немотой до времени рождения и наречения сына. У Бога Свои замыслы, отличные от нашего понимания.”
“Подобным же образом многие верующие здесь, в эмиграции еще 20-25 лет назад думали, что существование наших приходов здесь будет недолгим, так как старые эмигранты уходили в иной мiр, а их дети и внуки не оставались в Православной Церкви. Но вот, приехали новые эмигранты и наши приходы вновь полны верующих.”
“Поэтому, дорогие во Христе братия и сестры, доверимся Господу Богу и Его совершенному видению вещей! Давайте стремиться к возрастанию в духовной жизни, несмотря на нашу неуверенность в собственных силах. Послушаем, что велит нам Господь наш Иисус Христос и выполним Его волю, осознавая свое несовершенство перед Ним. При этом, пусть не забываются нами и обнадеживающие слова Спасителя, сказанные Петру: «Не бойся» (Лк. 5, 10). Нам не нужно бояться, если мы творим добро, делаем что-либо благое в жизни с помощью Божественной благодати Господа нашого Иисуса Христа, единого Источника помощи и чудес. Он – единый, Кто может осуществить вещи, которые мы считаем невозможными. Через Его Божественную силу и мы можем быть удостоены принять участие в Его чудесных свершениях, увидеть великие дела Божии на себе и насладиться их последствиями вместе с Ним. И дай Бог нам достойно последовать за Христом, слушаться Его повелений и быть благословенными Его Божественными делами навеки.”

During preparation for Holy Communion the choir beautifully performed the hymns in honor of the Theotokos.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector preached a brief sermon in English conveying the main ideas of his Russian homily. He also thanked the parishioners for their labors to prepare for the Bishop’s visit a week before and for a nice welcoming of His Grace. Further Fr. Igor congratulated our Warden and Choir Director, Olga Roussanow for being elected a full member of the Bishop’s Council of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA.

Following the Rector’s sermon and speech our Sacristan Andrew Malyshew congratulated Fr. Igor on the occasion of his past name day. Traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) was proclaimed. Fr. Igor expressed his gratitude to the parishioners for their greetings.

Our celebration continued at the trapeza table where the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals and an interesting conversation.

The XIV General Convocation of the Patriarchal Parishes

 

On Monday, September 30, the XIV General Convocation of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA began its work under the chairmanship of Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, Interim Administrator of Patriarchal Parishes. This gathering took place at the Antiochian Village near Ligonier, PA, a spiritual center of the  Archdiocese of the Antiochian Patriarchate in North America.

Our parish of St. George the Great Martyr sent two delegates to the Convocation: our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov and our Warden and Choir Director, Olga Roussanow. Fr. Igor as the Chancellor of Patriarchal Parishes was primarily responsible for preparation of that gathering along with the members of Pre-Convocation Committee.

Convocation began on Monday evening with the Prayer service at St. Peter and Paul Chapel, headed by Bishop Matthew, co-served by Archpriest Igor Tarasov and Archpriest Alexander Golubov, cleric of the New York Cathedral.  A Litia to commemorate the deceased clergy and lay people of our Parishes was also performed.

After the service, Bishop Matthew greeted those present and wished everyone successful and productive work.  The delegates expressed a wish to ask for a blessing from His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’, and adopted the text of a telegram that was sent to His Holiness.
Bishop Matthew presented to the participants of the Convocation the candidates to serve as co-chairmen, recording secretaries and heads of the committees, which were approved by vote. Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA presented the schedule of the Convocation and the procedure for its holding.

The gathering was attended by over 50 clergy and laity, who represent 27 out of the 33 Patriarchal Parishes in the United States and Mexico. At the invitation of Bishop Matthew, the Convocation was attended by Priest Dimitry Nedostupenko, Secretary  of the Sourozh  Diocese and Priest John Kazadoev, cleric of that diocese.

The second day of the Convocation, October 1, began with the report of His Grace, Bishop Matthew.
In his speech, the Archpastor presented actual statistics on the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the United States, conducted a comparative analysis of the changes that have occurred since the last General Convocation of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA in 2014, and spoke about the most significant events in the church life. After his report, Bishop Matthew answered numerous questions from those present.

Treasurer of the Patriarchal Parishes, Panagiotis Billis reported on the financial affairs.  After discussion his report was approved by the delegates.

Then the delegates listened to the presentations prepared for the Convocation. The list of those presentations was as follows:
- Priest John Kazadoev, cleric of the Diocese of Sourozh: “Me, Myself and Christ – the Search Nowadays”.
- Archpriest Igor Tarasov, Rector of St. George Church in Bayside and Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes: “An Overview of the Rules on Receiving Holy Communion”.
- Priest Stephen Kaznica, Rector of St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Passaic, NJ: “Restoration of a Canonical Form of Parish Administration”.
- Joseph Trindal : “Developing Sustainable Preparedness to Active Assault Situations”.

Following the presentations Head of the Nominations Committee, Archpriest Timothy Barna, introduced to the participants the candidates to become members of the Bishop’s Council nominated by the parishes.  Following the discussion of the candidates, it was proposed to have a vote on them on the next day after the Liturgy.

On Wednesday, October 2, on the final day of the Convocation, Bishop Matthew celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Peter and Paul Chapel of the Antiochian Village.  He was co-served by our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov, Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes, as well as priests who are members of the Bishop’s Council, Deans, and Priest Dimitry Nedostupenko, Secretary of the Sourozh Diocese. The deacon’s rank was headed by Protodeacon Igor Panachev, cleric of St.Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York.

During the Liturgy, Bishop Matthew ordained Reader Oleg Serebryanov to the rank of subdeacon to Our Lady of Kazan Church in Spokane, WA.  The altar server of the same church, Dionysius Butt, after being made a reader and a subdeacon, was ordained a deacon.

After Holy Communion the Archpastor, clergy and laymen venerated the Holy Cross.

His Grace cordially greeted the participants in the Liturgy, and congratulated Archpriest Igor Tarasov and Protodeacon Igor Panachev on the occasion of their name day, the memory of St. Igor of Chernigov.  The Archpastor awarded them with Bishop’s Recognition Certificates (Gramotas) for their diligent service to the Church.

Following a breakfast the delegates convened for the continuation of the Convocation work. They listened to the last presentation prepared by Hieromonk Tikhon (Pashkov), Rector of Our Lady of Kazan Church in Spokane, WA titled “The Monastery Renewal and Revival of Monastic Life in the Patriarchal Parishes”.

Then an interesting discussion followed regarding our plans to celebrate 50th Anniversary of Patriarchal Parishes in the year 2020. A Preparation Committee had been elected and certain ideas regarding that celebration were discussed.

After lunch the elections to the Bishop’s Council took place. While waiting for the results of the elections the delegates had an opportunity to listen to the additional report made by Abbot Nicodemus (Balyasnikov), Secretary of the Patriarchal Parishes regarding St. Nicholas Cathedral’s ministry among the youth and people addicted to alcohol and drugs.

Following that interesting presentation the election results were announced by Archpriest Timothy Barna, head of the Nomination Committee of the Convocation. The newly elected members were confirmed by the Bishop who expressed his wishes of God’s help in their future work. Our Parish should be proud that our Warden, Olga Roussanow was elected a full member of the Council while before she served as an alternate member.

At the end of the Convocation the participants headed by His Grace visited the grave of St. Raphael of Brooklyn located at the Antiochian Village. A short Prayer service to give thanks to the Lord for the completion of the gathering was held there. His Grace, Bishop Matthew expressed his gratitude to the participants and wished all of them a safe trip home.

Those who wished to stay at the hospitable Antiochian Village remained there until the next morning and had a chance to visit the Flight 93 National Memorial located not far from the spiritual center.

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

 

On Sunday, September 29 our Parish family held celebration of the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. The Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy in our temple.

After the Gospel lesson he preached a homily in Russian concerning the meaning of the Savior’s sacrifice on the Cross. It is not easy to comprehend by our limited human mind why we are venerating the Cross, a tool of execution and torture. St. Paul also wrote that the preaching of the Cross is a stumbling block for the Jews and foolishness for the Greeks (1 Cor. 1, 21) but for us it is God’s power and God’s wisdom.
God’s power is manifested in the Cross because through the Cross the Lord opened paradise for us. And God’s wisdom was shown through the Cross because the Lord did not command us from heavens what to do but descended to us, took upon Himself our sufferings and redeemed us.
Therefore, preaching of the Cross is our way to eternal life. And if we venerate the Cross of Christ, we answer to the highest love of God towards us.

The choir prayerfully performed hymns of the Exaltation of the Cross before Holy Communion.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector and the altar servers performed glorification of the feast and veneration of the Cross in the middle of the church. Then Fr. Igor preached a short sermon in English. He also greeted our parishioner, Lyudmila Galtseva on the occasion of her name day. Traditional Polychronion (Mnogaia leta!) was performed.

Bishop’s Visitation to our Parish

 

On Saturday, September 28, the eve of the observed feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, Interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA visited our St. George Church, where he led Great Vespers and Litia being co-served by our Rector and Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes, Archpriest Igor Tarasov.

At the end of the service Bishop Matthew was greeted by Fr. Igor, who on behalf of the parish thanked him for the visit and assured His Grace of fervent prayers of the faithful of the parish. Bishop Matthew then congratulated those gathered with the ongoing feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and in memory of the hierarchical service in St. George Church presented the parishioners with small icons of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God.

Following the service His Grace, the Rector and our parishioners enjoyed a delicious supper prepared by our wonderful cooks and a nice conversation.