Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Baton Rouge, Louisiana
NEWS AND EVENTS
Happy and Beautiful Name Day Metropolitan Alexios!!! (March 17)
Message from His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios March 12th, 2021
To the Reverend Clergy of the Metropolis of Atlanta: My dear Brothers and in Christ,
I greet you with love and joy in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! As we prepare to begin Great Lent, I pray that the abiding peace of our Lord strengthens you and your loved ones for the coming journey.
At the same time, we are also blessed to be able to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821. In recognition of this historic event, our Metropolis has created many programs which will take place through the course of the year 2021-2022, including the gatherings at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Tarpon Springs (on March 25th) & at the Annunciation Cathedral (on March 28th).
However, in recognition of the fact that many of our communities will not be able to offer a weekday service on Thursday the 25th, the Metropolis asks that you observe the Feast of the Annunciation & the Bicentennial on Sunday the 28th.
Prot. No. 200 CATECHETICAL HOMILY AT THE OPENING OF HOLY AND GREAT LENT + BARTHOLOMEW BY GOD’S MERCY ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE-NEW ROME AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH TO THE PLENITUDE OF THE CHURCH, MAY THE GRACE AND PEACE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, TOGETHER WITH OUR PRAYER, BLESSING AND FORGIVENESS BE WITH YOU ALL * * * Most honorable brothers and blessed children in the Lord, With the good-will and grace of God, the giver of all good things, we are entering Holy and Great Lent, the arena of ascetic struggles. The Church knows the labyrinths of the human soul and the thread of Ariadne, the way out of all impasse – humility, repentance, the power of prayer and the sacred services of contrition, fasting that eliminates the passions, patience, obedience to the rule of piety. And so the Church invites us once again this year to a divinely inspired journey, whose measure is the Cross and whose horizon is the Resurrection of Christ. The veneration of the Cross in the middle of Holy and Great Lent reveals the meaning of this whole period. The word of our Lord echoes strikingly: “Whoever desires to follow me … let them lift their cross each day and follow me” (Lk 9.23). We are called to lift our own cross, following the Lord and beholding His life-giving Cross, with the awareness that the Lord is the one that saves and not the lifting of our cross. The Cross of the Lord is “the judgment of our criteria,” “the judgment of the world,” and at the same time the promise that evil in all its forms does not have the final word in history. In looking to Christ and under His protection, as the One who permits our struggle, while blessing and strengthening our effort, we fight the good fight, “afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor 4.8–9). This is the experiential quintessence also during the present period of the Cross and the Resurrection. We are on a journey to the Resurrection through the Cross, through which “joy has come to the whole world.” Some of you may wonder why the Church, in the midst of the current pandemic, would add to the already existing health restrictions yet another “quarantine,” namely Great Lent. Indeed, Great Lent is also a “quarantine,” a period that lasts forty days. Nevertheless, the Church does not aim to weaken us further with 2 additional obligations and prohibitions. On the contrary, it calls us to give meaning to the quarantine that we are living as a result of the coronavirus, through Great Lent, as liberation from enslavement to “the things of our world.” Today’s Gospel reading establishes the conditions of this liberation. The first condition is fasting, not in the sense of abstaining only from specific foods, but also from those habits that keep us attached to the world. Such abstinence does not comprise an expression of contempt of the world, but a necessary precondition for reorienting our relationship with the world and for experiencing the unique joy of discovering the world as the domain of Christian witness. This is why, even during this stage of fasting, the approach and experience of the life of the faithful have a paschal dimension, the taste of the Resurrection. The “Lenten atmosphere” is not depressing, but joyous. It is the “great joy” that was proclaimed as good news by the angel “to all people” at the birth of the Savior (Lk 2.10). This is the unwavering “fulness of joy” (1 Jn 1.4) of life in Christ. Christ is always present in our life – He is closer to us than we are to ourselves – all the days of our life, “unto the end of the ages” (Mt 28.20). The life of the Church is an unshakeable witness to the grace that has come and to the hope of the Kingdom, to the fullness of revelation of the mystery of the Divine Economy. Faith is the response to God’s loving condescension to us; it is the “Yes” of our whole existence to Him, who “bowed the heavens and descended” in order to redeem the human race “from the slavery of the enemy” and in order to open for us the way toward deification through grace. The sacrificial love for the neighbor and the “care” for the whole creation spring from and are nurtured by this gift of grace. If this charitable love for others and the god-pleasing concern for creation are absent, then my neighbor becomes “my hell” and creation is abandoned to irrational forces, which transform it into an object of exploitation and into a hostile environment for humankind. The second condition of the liberation promised by Great Lent is forgiveness. Oblivion of divine mercy and God’s ineffable beneficence, breach of the Lord’s commandment that we should become “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Mt 5.13-14), and a false transformation of the Christian way of life: to all of these attitudes leads a “closed spirituality” that thrives on the denial and rejection of the “other” and of the world, wipes out love, forgiveness and the acceptance of the different. Yet, this barren and arrogant attitude of life is denounced emphatically by the word of the Gospel on the first three Sundays of the Triodion. It is known that such extremes are especially prevalent during periods when the Church invites its faithful to spiritual discipline and vigilance. However, the authentic spiritual life is a way of internal renewal, an exodus from our selves, a loving movement toward our neighbor. It is not based on syndromes of purity and exclusion, but on forgiveness and discernment, doxology and thanksgiving, according to the experiential wisdom of the ascetic tradition: “It is not food, but gluttony that is evil … not speaking, but idle speech … not the world, but the passions.” 3 With this attitude and these sentiments, we join our prayers with all of you, beloved brothers and children, that we may definitively overcome the lethal pandemic and swiftly respond to its social and economic consequences. And we ask for your beseeching supplications, too, for the reopening of the Sacred Theological School of Halki, after a long period of fifty years that has passed since its silence was imposed externally and fully unjustly, as we welcome Holy and Great Lent in the Church, singing and chanting together “God is with us,” to Whom belongs the glory and might to the endless ages. Amen! Holy and Great Lent 2021 BARTHOLOMEW of Constantinople Fervent supplicant for all before God ------------------- To be read in churches on Cheesefare Sunday, March 14, 2021, immediately after the Holy Gospel
TIME FOR CHURCH SERVICES: Every Sunday our community celebrates Orthros Divine Liturgy Please be safe!
PROSFORA: If you would like to offer a Prosfora in memory of a loved one, living or dead. Please, call Fr. for more information. SACRAMENTS: Also, is available the Sacrament of Confession; Memorials; Shut-in, Sick Visitations and House Blessings. CHANTERS AND CHOIR: This is an open invitation – to all!!! Come and join us! STUDY GROUP: Further information will be provided at Sunday Divine Liturgy.
Archbishop Elpidoforos, New York June 2020
An Important Letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios
June 5, 2020
To all the faithful of the Metropolis of Atlanta:
My beloved children in the Lord, I greet you with love in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Like so many of my fellow citizens, and indeed, others around the world, I also join them in expressing the extreme pain and outrage for the senseless death of George Floyd. In the week that has followed, our country has seen a time of great unrest, discussion, and serious contemplation about the future. I echo the words of our venerable Archbishop of America, His Eminence Elpidophoros, who stated, "“The unjust slaying of George Floyd cannot be where America stands. Violence only breeds violence, but when such violence is perpetrated by those in authority, we must all stand up and say: ‘Not on our watch!’ We must stand against racism and stand for equality for all."
As Christians, it is our goal to live in peace with all our neighbors, in imitation of Christ Who is our Peace. Unfortunately, the brokenness of our human existence means that such a goal is often very difficult. Even so, in the face of evil and wrongdoings, we must continue to pray, as we do in the beginning of every Divine Liturgy, "For the peace from above and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord."
In times like these, we must remember that we are all brothers and sisters created in the Image and Likeness of our God, and we need to live in peace and harmony. As my Brother Hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco wrote: "When we bring harm to another person, it is as if we are bringing harm directly to God. The tragic death of George Floyd and the deaths that have occurred as a result of the protests have transgressed this fundamental truth."
This is the spirit that exists in the Orthodox faith, and as we await the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, we pray that the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth, will bring justice to the world, and protect those who cannot defend themselves, so that we may live in brotherly love which emanates from our Creator Himself. With this, I remain,
Yours with paternal love and blessings in the Lord,
+ A L E X I O S Metropolitan of Atlanta ************************* An Invitation from GOA Center for Family Care (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)
FacebookTwitterLinkedInMicrosoft (Outlook) Topic Explaining Racism to Our Children Description In the aftermath of George Floyd’s horrific death at the hands of police officers, protests have erupted across the nation. With everyone at home due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, parents now have an opportune moment to talk about racism with their children. But how do parents begin that tough conversation?
Fr. Paul Abernathy is an Orthodox Christian priest and the founding CEO of the Neighborhood Resilience Project, an Orthodox Christian non-profit focused on Trauma Informed Community Development located in Pittsburgh PA. Fr. Paul is and has been a member of multiple community boards and committees that include the PA State Parole Citizens Advisory Committee, Neighborhood Allies Grassroots Grant Making Committee, Allegheny County Health Department’s Violence Prevention Community Advisory Board, and is a Foundation of HOPE, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy & Practice board member. Fr. Paul is a combat veteran of the Iraq War and has received community awards to include the rank of Eagle Scout, the New Pittsburgh Courier’s Fab 40 award, Larry Richert’s Hometown Hero Award, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40, and Wheeling Jesuit University’s Fr. Pedro Arrupe Distinguished Alumni Award. Fr. Paul is the pastor of St. Moses Orthodox Christian Mission. He is also a husband and father of two children. Time Jun 9, 2020 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada) Please take the time to participate in this timely and important webinar this coming Tuesday at 1PM EST! To register visit: https://bit.ly/explaining-racism-webinar.
Ancient Faith Event Registration is now available in the Ancient Faith Store! www.ancientfaifth.com
We're delighted to announce that registration for all Ancient Faith events scheduled for 2020 and onward will be run through our store! Find all things Ancient Faith in one convenient location. Check out our upcoming events! Facing Forward: An Ancient Faith Conference for the Second Half of Life (May 28-31, 2020) The middle season of life marks itself in our experiences as an ending and a beginning. It is a season of change and realization and can be a time of great joy and great suffering. There are many questions to ask as we seek to reinvent ourselves, to stay connected with grown children, to care for aging parents, and to think practically about the end of natural life. We invite you to a weekend of thought-provoking conversation, worship, and good fellowship as we study the joys and trials that come to us as God grants us many years. Fighting the Good Fight: A Conference for Orthodox Men (August 20-23, 2020) Led by Fr. Evan Armatas, Fr. Andrew Damick, Fr. Stephen Freeman, and Fr. Barnabas Powell, this first-ever conference will invite Orthodox men to reflect on the battle to tame the passions and run the race that is set before us. The conference will include daily worship, sessions, panel discussions, a live-audience radio event, fellowship, and good food. *************************
THANKS AND APPRECIATION: Many thanks with appreciation to all for your gifts; but the most and more important and beautiful gift is your presence in the church, offering yourself to God; praying in thanksgiving and partaking in the Mystery of the Holy Communion.
News and Current Events PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE SPACE FOR LITTLE MEMBERS: We are pleased to announce that we will have a new space arranged for our animated and active little members of our Church. We hope that you and they will enjoy it! "For every humble person is gentle, and every gentle person is invariably humble. A person is humble when he knows that his very being is on loan to him". St. Maximos the Confessor
Note Journey of Marriage (Pre-Marital Seminar) All couples marrying in the Metropolis must attend a Metropolis-sponsored Journey of Marriage seminar prior to their wedding. The couple will present their certificate of completion to their parish priest after the seminar.