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Message from the Rector

The Myrrh Bearers are our example of service.  Would that we all could see to our work with the same humility and diligence shown by Sts. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus and the holy women.  They had all loved, lived with and heard the Lord, but the work they did was the reverent and dutiful following of custom.  They saw to His taking down and provision for His burial.  They did not anticipate the Resurrection.

The women showed the least fear and hesitancy in their attendance to these duties.  They did not know what the soldiers and guards would do, neither did they know how they were going to open the tomb.  The women were rewarded for their diligence by being the first to know of the Resurrection and being the first to encounter the risen Lord.  We do not know what exactly will be the result of our own humility and diligence.  But unlike those myrrh bearers, we know of the Resurrection in advance.  We do know that we strive for salvation and we need that striving and the greater knowledge of the goal into every department of life.  God give us the ability to clear our eyes to see the goal and press toward it, no matter the obstacles.


The Fifth Sunday of Great Lent – The Forefeast of the Annunciation – April 6th, 2014

Rosalie Belida reposed in the Lord a week ago this past Friday, March 28th. Father Christopher went to Riderwood and was able to take her Holy Communion a few days before. May there be eternal memory of the newly translated handmaiden of God, Rosalie.

Today’s Agape Meal will be graced once again by a sample offering of home roasted coffee at the tables. This coffee is available for $8 a half pound, with the revenue going to the parish. Our meal will be foreshortened somewhat by the visitation of the wonder working Icon, so everyone please help in the pick up and clean up in time for the Icon’s coming.

The Holy Icon of the Mother of God, Softener of Evil Hearts visits us today in anticipation of her Great Feast, right after our agape meal, as close to 1:30 as is it possible to get it. We will have a prayer service and sing the akathist to the Mother of God before the icon. In this manifestation, she is a special help in the building of churches. We all have our own special needs too, so this is a chance to get extra help in seeing to them. We are seeking a person who can take the Icon back to St. John’s after our service. Please speak to Matushka Deborah if you are willing to do this.

The Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Host Holy Theotokos is celebrated, beginning tonight at 6:30 AM for the Evening Vigil and tomorrow morning for the Hours and Divine Liturgy at 8:40 AM. One of the 12 Great Feasts of the Church, the hymnody describes it as the “Fountainhead of our Salvation.” Especially in our Russian tradition is this feast festively celebrated. Contributions to a potluck meal are sought. It is a day for eating fish. Please talk to Matushka Deborah.

The Parish Council will meet this Tuesday at 7 PM instead of Monday as originally announced.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship meets Tuesday at 5:30 PM at the West Garden Chapel in College Park for a Lenten service and Bible Study. Keep Father Cosmas and Father Christopher and the students and other attendees in your prayers.

The Mystery of Holy Unction will be done for our parish this Wednesday evening starting at 6:30 PM. Fasting beforehand is not required. This is the Orthodox healing service. As the service prescribes, everyone will be anointed seven times with the healing oil. As a Sacrament of the Church, it is only for baptized Orthodox Christians for general healing and to cleanse forgotten sins. It is not a substitute for confession.

Preparing the Palms and General Church Cleaning for Palm Sunday, which is next Sunday, and for Holy Week happens after the Lazarus Saturday Divine Liturgy this coming weekend. Please, all that can participate come to help. Talk to Olga Postnikova, our head Sister, about this.

Chapel News – Thanks to our friend, Constantine Zalalas, one of his friends is providing us with the front money to support the $76,000+ grant. God willing, both of them will visit us on the Sunday of All Saints, June 15th. As soon as possible, we will begin the work on the chapel that this grant supports.

Please take time, any time, especially when the weather is sunny, to visit the chapel property and bask in the beauty of the place.

Vigils are Vital – Central to our Russian tradition is the Vigil service the evening before every celebration of the Divine Liturgy. It is the main source of education in Faith and Tradition. It is the important time for assembling for corporate prayer, second only to the Divine Liturgy. The Vigil is also the standard time for confession in preparation for Holy Communion. It is the prayerful analogy to the “pillar of fire” to guide us through the night of this life. While attendance requires planning and may entail inconvenience, it will do you and all of us good.

Our Riderwood people – With the passing of Rosalie, we now have three people in our connection in the Arbor Ridge facility, just inside the gate to Riderwood across from Calverton Shopping Center. Betty Chisholm and her husband Don are both there. She is on the third floor. Don is two floors down in a connected building at the other end.

Through the good offices of her children, Father Deacon John and Joannikia Dean, Dorothy is still in her apartment and is still able to be with us here on a regular basis.

Service Opportunities
Meal Signups – Add your name to the list to offer a meal in the upcoming weeks.
Holy Apostles Chariots is our “ride-to-church” service. See Reader Kyrill Shillen.
The St. Juliana of Lazarevo Sisterhood sees to various needs of the parish. See Olga Postnikova.
The ChoirRehearsals are from 7-9 PM on Thursdays. New members are always welcome. See Nicholas Baumann.
Nick’s Place – We give non-perishable goods to this halfway house for young men recovering from substance abuse. See Monica Pelt or Thomas Hurlock.

Items for Purchase to Support Holy Apostles

A Commemorative Tile fashioned by our warden, John Hume of Sligo Creek Tile, contains our name, the psalm verse, “I was glad when they said unto me: Let us go into the house of the Lord,” and a lovely view of our new-old church. These are for sale for $45. Lit can remind us to pray for each other and help us tell our story.

2014 Wall Calendars are available for a donation of $7.00 per calendar. This will help keep up with the feasts and fasts, and daily Scripture readings.

Other Ways to Support the Parish – We accept credit cards! We have a card reader that works with smart phones, so, outside of services, get together with the treasurer or her designee, to make any donations or purchases.

 We have an on-line mall service from the eScrip program. The Building Fund page of our web site has a link and instructions for use. For a purchase made through eScrip, the merchant donates a small referral bonus to our building fund. Please use this method for your on-line shopping. Please see our treasurer, Mariya Petrenko for more information.

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