Monday, December 14, 2009

We Need Your Help

The Mor Gregorios Community Center and St. Mary the Protectress Syriac Orthodox Church is always guided by the faith and belief that we can make a difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors.  We know that all are called by God to do so.  Volunteer help and volunteer donations support the Center. The only financial support we receive is from your kind donations.  We need you help to continue the public programs at the center.
 
Some of these programs are:
  • Employment Program:  Help from trained volunteers to file unemployment claims and weekly unemployment reports.  Help with online job searches, preparing resumes, learning and practicing interview skills, and other employment related activities.
  • Recovery Program:  12-Step classes and small groups for those with addictions, hurts, hang-ups, and other problems.  Individual pastoral and spiritual guidance.
  • Reentry Program:  Working with recently released inmates from jail and/or prison, helping they become productive citizens.
  • Information & Referral:  Case management, Provide information and referral for emergency assistance and to other agencies and programs.
  • Community Development” Help with community outreach, mentoring, and community development.

Early Christians, because of their faith and experience of God’s love, were able to perceive one another as brethren.  In their view, those on the margins of society – the widows, the orphans, and the stranger – were the scale by which the justice of the whole society was weighted.
 
Our unity and communion with God is primarily as act of faith realized by the work of God’s Spirit. This communion is sustained, nourished and actualized in history by three distinct but equally important and inseparable sacramental ways; hearing and proclaiming God’s Word; the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; and a life of active compassion and care towards our friends and neighbors. These three ways of being in communion with shape the life of the Orthodox Church.  Whenever one of these constitutive aspects of the life of the Church is not adequately acknowledged and emphasized in its importance, the life and the witness of the Christian Church suffers.
 
God calls each of us to act with greater sensitivity to our suffering friends and neighbors. Through support of the Mor Gregorios Community Center, we can demonstrate, in a meaningful and active way, our concern for the needy thus fulfilling the biblical and patristic call.
 
Donations and your prayers fund and support the Mor Gregorios Community Center.  Your donations are not only welcome, they are needed to keep the doors open and the lights on.  Can you help?  And please keep us and those we serve in your prayers.
 
You, Lord, are the helper of the helpless, the hope of the hopeless, the savior of the afflicted, the haven of the voyager, and the physician of the sick.  Be all things to all, You who know each person, his requests, his household, and his need. (From the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil)

I behold a new and wondrous mystery! My ears resound to the shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but loudly chanting a heavenly hymn! The angels sing! The archangels blend their voices in harmony! The cherubim resound their joyful praise! The seraphim exalt His glory! All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead herein on earth and Man in heaven. He, Who is above now, for our salvation, dwells here below, and we, who were lowly, are exalted by divine mercy!  St. John Chrysostom

Christ, the Son, now Man, comes to us in the deepest poverty, the greatest humility to be our Redeemer, our King.  Christ is King, not only as God, but also as Man.  He is King, not only by reason of perfection of His humanity, not only because He has purchased us as His people by redeeming us; He is King because His is the Word incarnate.
 
Orthodox Christians place great importance to the celebration of the Birth of Christ.  It is a day of rejoicing because on this day we receive the opportunity for Eternal Salvation with God in Heaven.  We invite you to join our community here at the Mor Gregorios Community Center and St. Mary the Protectress Orthodox Church in this celebration.
 
  • Open Mike – Friday, December 18th starting at 7:00 PM, with music, poetry, entertainment, and great fun for all.
  • Weekend Retreat of Preparation – Saturday, December 19th, Morning Prayers 9:30 AM, with time for reflection and spiritual guidance and direction following. Lunch will be served.
  • Divine Liturgy – Sunday before Christmas, December 20th, 10:30 AM
  • Divine Liturgy – Thursday 10:00 PM December 24th, celebrating His Birth
  • Divine Liturgy – Sunday after Christmas, December 27, commemorating the Slaughter of the Holy Infants, 10:30 AM

May our hearts be pure in our celebration of our Lord’s Divine Birth as was the Father’s gift to all of mankind.  And may God’s blessings be upon you this Nativity Feast season.


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