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THE PROMISE

SEPTEMBER 2009
“In the Church are found all our blessings,
our hopes and expectations, our peace,
our joy, together with cleansing and
sanctification. It is there that the truth of
the future resurrection, of the victory over
death is so often announced. Who that
lives a blessed life would not love the
Church with all his heart! Everything that
is best, most exalted, most precious, holy,
wise, and blessed is found in the Church.”

ST. JOHN OF KRONSTADT

DATES TO REMEMBER: INSIDE THIS ISSUE:


SEPTEMBER 8 A Message from our Pastor.....................2
NATIVITY OF THE THEOTOKOS
DIVINE LITURGY 9:30AM News & Notes..........................................5
SEPTEMBER 11 Stewardship: A Way of Life....................6
JOY RETREAT
Lunch Discussion.....................................7
SEPTEMBER 12
GOYA & JR. GOYA CHRIST ENCOUNTER Scenes From The Summer....................10
SATURDAY
9:00 AM Love & Worship....................................14
SEPTEMBER 14 Sunday School .......................................17
ELEVATION OF THE CROSS
DIVINE LITURGY 9:30AM Thank You.............................................21
SEPTEMBER 23 2010 Parish Directory............................24
ORTHODOX STUDY CLASS 6:30PM
Ministry Opportunity.............................25
SEPTEMBER 24
LUNCHEON DISCUSSION WITH FR. NICHOLAS September Calendar..............................28
PAGE 1
THE PROMISE
PASTORAL MESSAGE
The summer has come to an end, but regardless of and meaning in life also does not change. Life is given
the season the ups and downs of life continue. meaning, threats are abated and happiness is found
Sometimes things are quiet for a while and then there only in an active faith in Jesus Christ. In other words, if
are those days where the storms of life rage, the winds we look at our life through the prism of our Orthodox
blow fiercely, a host of troubles come, and we are Christian faith, we are not made immune to problems
tempted to wonder to ourselves if life is worth living. but no matter what circumstance we face, the Lord our
No matter the time of year, it is not at all uncommon God not only sustains us but He indeed makes life
for people to despair when someone hurts their feelings, worth living.
things do not seem to be going as planned or we
become overwhelmed by an uncertain and perilous We are not implying that the trials and tribulations of
future. While most people associate the summer with life are frivolous or do not take a bitter toll. That could
fun in the sun and the fall with not be further from the truth.
the return of the daily grind, What the Church does teach us
the reality is some of us may is that God always cares for us
very well find ourselves in a and our plight. We may not
situation where a loved one is always see or understand His

A LIFE
ill and or has passed away; let answer to our prayers, but the
alone the possibility that our Lord hears the voice of our
own health might be in precar- prayers. Evidence of this Truth
ious state. Some people may can be found throughout the history
have lost their job, are afraid of
losing their job or feel trapped
in a job that is unrewarding,
WORTH of the human race and specifically
recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
The Bible is filled with examples
unsatisfactory, even unacceptable. of people who are in crisis or
Many may see in the new
month nothing more than the
tide of bills rising and options
LIVING afraid that sincerely wonder if life
their life is worth living. But
rather than succumb to despair,
becoming fewer. On top of all they turn themselves over to the
of this, there is the on going Lord and in the midst of turmoil,
debate on healthcare, concern come to the realization that come
over the national debt, the treat what may God is with them.
of tax increases, the threat of Time after time, case after case,
terrorism and evil despots threatening the world with Jesus Christ alone makes life worth living. Sick or
weapons of mass destruction. Life in the modern age healthy, wealthy or poor, happy or sad, only when we
is complicated. reach out to the Lord do we discover Who it is that
really makes our life worth living.
Such things and more, can easily generate within us a
feeling of fear and frustration that cripples our love As someone once said: “a man may go to Heaven:
and poisons our faith. Sadly such conditions are not without health, without wealth, without fame, without a
new. The troubles and concerns of mortal life do not great name, without learning, without big earning,
essentially change dramatically down through the without culture, without beauty, without friends.
ages. Circumstances evolve, problems develop new Without 10,000 other things. But no one truly lives and
names and causes, but the very basic threats to life goes to heaven without Christ.”
and the quality of life, (let alone fear and sin) are
remain from one generation to the other. Fortunately, Problem and needs may differ from person to person,
the fact of the matter is that at the same time the value
(Continued on page 4)
PAGE 2
THE PROMISE
THANK YOU
TYLER ALLEY, LEE BAILEY,
ANDREW HARB &
CHRISTOPHER MOUTOS!
The Annunciation Church family thanks and honors
four extremely dedicated servants of the Lord who
throughout the last few years embraced the great
responsibility as one of our Acolyte Leaders in order to
help ensure that we all are able worship the Lord
according to the good order and principles of the Holy
Orthodox Church. The time has come for these four
outstanding young men to head off to college and
thereby conclude their faithful service as Annunciation
Acolyte Leaders. As such, it was only fitting that our
Church family pause to honor them for their many
years of steadfast service. While this by no means sug-
gests that we will not see these fine gentlemen again or
that they will waver in their steadfast commitment to
serve Christ at the Annunciation, it is merely an oppor-
tunity to thank them for a job well done. On SUNDAY,
AUGUST 16TH, it was with great joy that our Church
family presented Tyler Alley, Lee Bailey, Andrew Harb
and Christopher Moutos with a plaque in appreciation
for their exemplary service. This occasion marked the
end of one chapter their life of service at the
Annunciation and in due time, we look forward to the
new and inspired paths of faithful service theses gentle-
men will embrace in the name of the Lord at this their
spiritual home in Little Rock. It was therefore with
bittersweet joy that we honor our four Acolyte Leaders
- we will be sorry to see them go off to school but at the
same time we look forward with eager anticipation to
the new ways that they will honor Christ and His
Church at the Annunciation in the years ahead.THANK
YOU TYLER, LEE, ANDREW & CHRISTOPHER!

PAGE 3
THE PROMISE
PASTORAL MESSAGE Regardless of whether we are financially secure or in a
tight circumstance, if we approach everyday of our life
(Continued from page 2)
as an opportunity to please the Lord in a meaningful
way according to His Will, make no mistake, He will
make our life worth living. Regardless of whether we are
in good health or our body is weak, if we set aside time
but the One who changes lives is not always the same. to pray to Him, worship Him and study His Holy
but His love for us is boundless. Problems will always Word, there is no doubt that He will make our life
be with us, but knowing God and making Him the worth living. And regardless of whether we are bubbling
center of our life is what always makes life worth living. over in joy or choking back a river of tears, if are willing
Coming into blessed contact with eternal and living to trust the Lord and participate in His Life through the
God through the services and sacraments of the Church, there is no question, He make our life worth
Church is what makes life worth living. Serving the living.
Lord through the generous offering of our personal
time talent and treasure to the Church is what helps Christ is the one who gives us life! Christ is the one who
get this Truth across and makes our own life, let gives our life meaning. Christ is the One who gives our
alone the life of others, worth living. life worth. While money cannot buy us a single extra
day of life, Christ provides us eternity. Whereas emo-
In good times or bad, every time we strive to know, tions change with circumstances, Christ is unchanging.
love, and serve the Lord our life is revealed in a new Where good health is fleeting, Christ is eternal.
light - the light of Christ. Only in the light of Jesus Popularity fades but God and His House perpetually
Christ can anyone know what it is to live. Only in the flourishes.
light of Christ can we appreciate the immeasurable
value of our Annunciation membership and our Ultimately, our life's worth depends on our perspective.
Orthodox Christian life. Proclaiming and believing If we hinge the hopes and dreams of life on what we
that “Christ is in our midst and shall always be”, is alone can accomplish…our life's worth is precarious at
what ultimately always makes all of the trials and best. If we value our life based on what we alone want
tribulations of life bearable. Reaching out to the Lord and or possess…our life's worth is subject to theft and
and clinging to His Church, changes who we are, decay. If we value our life based on our physical condi-
how we see the world and what we are capable of tion… then our life's worth is fleeting. If we value our life
doing or overcoming. People that trust in the Lord based on who we like and who likes us... then our life
and actively seek Him out inevitably recognize the will be disappointing. But if we truly appreciate what
power and presence of Christ; thereby discovering the Lord our God has done and IS doing for us and our
that He indeed makes life worth living. sake, there is nothing we need fear. Christ suffered,
died and rose on the third day, He knows and loves us,
No one that truly sees their life in the context of their HE makes our life worth living. Christ alone can guide
relationship with Christ and active membership in through every storm. He alone can deliver us from the
His Church are ever the same, or can ever be over- power of any enemy. God alone can breathe new life
come. Anyone who says that they are trying to lead a into every hopeless situation. He alone can heal when
Christian way of life but do not respond to His Word all other avenues of hope have disappeared. Our Lord
or come under the shelter of His House will find nei- and Savior alone, always makes our life worth living!
ther God’s will or means by which to effectively meet
the challenges and concerns of life. If we do not live As St. Paul wrote to the Romans 15: 13:
our life in accordance to His teachings and in relation
to Him and His flock, we are not willing or able to “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
reach out and touch “the fringe of God's garment”. in believing,, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit,,
Worshipping, loving, and serving the Lord in good you may abound in hope.”
times and bad is what makes life worth living and
assures us of eternal life in His Heavenly Kingdom. Rev. Dr. Nicholas J. Verdaris
PAGE 4
THE PROMISE
HOW TO PLEASE THE LORD
WELCOME IN THE NAME
OF THE LORD
Of the many ways we can show the Lord just how
important He is to us and our life, perhaps nothing is
as meaningful then when we meet at His Holy House to
worship Him at the appointed time. To do this regularly The Annunciation family congratulates Sawat &
is an expression of love that not only honors our Rommy Talbert on the
sacred obligation as Orthodox Christians, but it baptism of their son,
speaks volumes about the content of our heart and TRISTAN GEORGE, who was
the importance of Christ in our life. Just as when our baptized at the Annunciation
children do something we ask of them, not because on JUNE 13TH. George
they “have to” but because it will please us, so too will Khamis is Tristan’s proud
the Lord be moved by an ongoing commitment to godfather. May God bless
attend the services regularly and on time. our newest servant of the
Lord, together with all of
MATINS, 9:00AM / DIVINE LITURGY, 10:00AM his family and friends!

OUR CONDOLENCES
The Annunciation family notes with deep sadness the
passing of our brother in Christ, TONY CONGRATULATIONS!
HUCKABAY, the father of Christopher Huckabay,
who fell asleep in the Lord. The Annunciation family congratulates Raouf &
 Tamara Kassissieh on the baptism of their son
DANIEL. He was baptized at Church of the
The Annunciation family Presentation of the Lord on July 5th in Amman
notes with deep sadness Jordan. Issa Kassissieh & Muna Kassis served as
the passing of our sister proud godparents. May the Lord bless the newest
in Christ, MARTHA servant of the Lord together with all of family and
HOPPER, the mother of friends here and around the world!
Paul Cantrell, who fell
asleep in the Lord.


The Annunciation family notes with deep sadness
the passing of our sister in Christ, OLGA JULIE
KAISER, the mother of Bek Kaiser, who fell asleep
in the Lord.

Let us keep these families in our prayers and
beseech the Lord to offer them His comfort and
strength.

“May Their Memory Be Eternal.”

PAGE 5
THE PROMISE
ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN
STEWARDSHIP: BOOOO!!!!
A WAY OF LIFE The GOYA Sponsored HALLOWEEN PARTY
by Fr James W Kordaris is scheduled for
HOW MUCH DO I OWE? Friday, October 30th
It was Sunday and the parish council members were
counting the Sunday offering in the church office as
at 6:00pm
the offering trays were being brought in from Divine
Liturgy. One faithful parishioner found his way back It s fun for all ages - See
to the church office and politely inquired, "How
much do I owe?"
you there!

This well-intentioned parishioner was asking if he was


up-to-date on his pledge, but his question reveals
2009
something about our thought process in offering our GOYA CHRIST ENCOUNTER
gifts to the Church.
RETREAT:
No matter how generously we support the Church,
can we ever feel that we have given in proportion to
the blessings we have received?
SEPTEMBER 12TH
Many Greek Orthodox parishes have embraced the
All members of the Annunciation GOYA are reminded
process of stewardship, by which we offer our gifts to
that they need to be a part of the 2009 Christ Encounter
the church according to our blessings. Many continue
Retreat taking place all day on Saturday the 12th. IT
to operate in a dues system. And some operate under
WILL BEGIN AT 9:00AM AND CONCLUDE AT 11:00 PM - You
a hybrid Stewardship-with-a-minimum system.
won’t want to miss it!
Initially, when many of our parishes were established
The 2009 Christ Encounter Retreat promises to be
throughout the 20th Century, dues seemed to make
another time of spiritual renewal, fellowship, laughter
sense. Everyone would pay a designated amount to
and joy. We also pleased to announce that Ms. Eva
maintain their membership in the Church.
Kokinos, the Metropolis of Detroit Youth Director, will
again be leading this year’s retreat. Together we are
Many of our people were members in a number of
going to learn more about our faith, our selves and each
ethnic and fraternal organizations and the dues model
other. This is a must for all GOYAns!
seemed to make sense as a fair method of allocating
responsibility for the support of the church. Everyone CLEAR YOUR CALENDAR AND GET READY FOR ONE VERY
paid the same amount and in return received certain SATURDAY.
SPECIAL
rights as a "member in good standing" of the local parish.

This made practical sense at the time as we were (Remember: You must be a member of GOYA in good
beginning to establish local parishes. But when you standing to qualify for the Annunciation Scholarship and
think about it, the idea of dues is just bad theology. attend the 2010 Basketball Tournament. Participation in this
(Continued on page 9) retreat,, maintains one’s good standing in GOYA A.)
PAGE 6
THE PROMISE
A LUNCHEON DISCUSSION TIME FOR OUR YOUTH
MINISTRIES TO SHINE!
On SEPTEMBER 27TH
we are going to try It is that time of year to sign-up for the Annunciation’s
something new to youth ministries. Please take the time to register fill out
hopefully build the the forms during Fellowship Hour! By registering each
bonds of fellowship of your children you help the Church update its contact
within our Church information as well as maintain current vital medical and
family as well as expand our understanding of our permission forms!
Orthodox Christian faith.
GET INVOLVED IN JOY,
From September 13th until the 20th A QUESTION BOX JR. GOYA & GOYA TODAY!!!
will be set up for people to anonymously write down
question(s) about any aspect of our faith, morality, etc. JOY (JUNIOR ORTHODOX YOUTH): our youth ministry
that they have always wanted to ask and never could find for the youngest members of our Church family up to
an opportunity to ask. Then on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER age 9.
27TH after the Divine Liturgy we will share a lunch together,
and Fr. Nicholas will start to answer the anonymous JUNIOR GOYA: our youth ministry program geared for
questions that were submitted as well as any off the those youth to old for JOY and too young for GOYA!
floor. This will hopefully be an enjoyable opportunity
for our Church family get to know each other a little bet- GOYA (GREEK ORTHODOX YOUTH OF AMERICA):
ter by breaking bread together, as well as discover a our youth ministry geared towards those young people
little bit more about the Church and faith that is so very in our Church family ages 12-18.
dear to us and our life. Please make plans to join us.
These three vital ministries strive to instill Orthodox
Christian principles and enhance our young people’s
Luncheon Discussion With relationship with Christ through their experiences at
Fr. Nicholas the Annunciation. These
ministries are guided by the
principles of: Faith,
When: Sunday, September 27th Service, Fellowship & Fun.
THE MORE OUR YOUTH
Where: Annunciation Ballroom PARTICIPATE, AND THE
MORE THEIR PARENTS
VOLUNTEER - THE BETTER
Food: Will be provided! THESE MINISTRIES FUNCTION.

Cost: $0. Parents please continue to


make the Church’s youth
ministries a priority within
Discussion your home and remain steadfast in enabling your
& Fellowship: Priceless! children to be active members of either JOY, JR.
GOYA and/or GOYA. Furthermore, never forget the
fact that these vital ministries can ALWAYS use your
YOU and your questions, time and talents for the upcoming calendar of events!!!
are the only ingredients needed to make this a Contact an advisor today, and together let us continue
success! to make these ministries soar to the glory of God!
PAGE 7
THE PROMISE
CONGRATULATIONS!
STEVE AND LIBBIE VADEN are please to announce the
engagement of their daughter, Diane Marie, to David
Montgomery III of Boisser City, Louisiana.

Diane has recently moved


to Shreveport, Louisiana,
July 27, 2009
where she is employed as
Editorial Consultant for
the Department of
Neurosurgery at LSU
Dear Annunciation Greek Orthodox
Health Sciences Center -
Church,
Shreveport. Davis is a sec-
On behalf of International Orthodox
ond-year medical student
Christian Charities and our partners at
at LSU Health Sciences
Church World Service, I would like to
Center School of
thank you for your donation of school
Medicine - Shreveport.
kits.
Diane and David’s wedding will be blessed here at the
Your Generous gifts of time in assem- Annunciation in Little Rock on December 12, 2009.
bling these kits as well as the materials
enclosed are invaluable. With these kits
you become directly involved in IOCC’s THE ORTHODOX OBSERVER
IS GOING GREEN!
efforts to help those suffering in impover-
ished, disaster-stricken and war-torn
areas throughout the world. You also
have established a personal link to these In its efforts to be “environmentally responsible,” the
people, and brought to them the love of Orthodox Observer, like many publications that have
Christ. already done so, will offer its online version to our
readers, in lieu of a hard copy mailed to your home,
Thank you again for your generosity beginning with the September 2009 issue.
and for your shared commitment to pro-
vide help and hope to those in need. We In doing so, less newsprint, and therefore fewer trees,
hope that you continue to support the will be used. There is no cost to subscribe online. Just
efforts of IOCC in the future. e-mail your name, address and customer number that
appears on the mailing label to: observer@goarch.org
Yours in Christ,
Once we receive your information, the print version
will no longer be mailed to your home, and the online
edition will be sent to you via e-mail.
Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director and CEO In addition to reducing the amount of newsprint used
to produce the Observer, you will also receive the pub-
lication sooner than by regular mail.

PAGE 8
THE PROMISE
STEWARDSHIP: A WAY OF LIFE position. The system of dues however, gives us the false
idea that we are "all paid up" for this year if we just pay
(Continued from page 6)
this specified amount.

IMPLICATIONS OF A DUES SYSTEM


STEWARDSHIP WITH A MINIMUM
The idea that as a parish we are able to set an amount
Many parishes attempt a sort of hybrid system of
that is fair for all the faithful, the payment of which
Stewardship with a minimum. This sends the contradictory
makes them members in good standing with rights and
message to parishioners that we trust you to give as you
privileges, is flawed for a number of reasons.
have been blessed, but are not willing to take that leap
of faith.
Is it fair to think that the elderly widow living on Social
Security, the successful real estate developer, the banker,
We need to be reminded that God never gives to us in
the young tradesman with a growing family, the teacher
minimums and our giving should never be guided by a
and the lawyer each have received the same material
minimum. Orthodox Christianity is not about mini-
blessings and have the same ability to give?
mums, it is about maximums. Jesus gave the maximum
for us. We now carry on His ministry with maximum
To set a specific required dues amount places an undue
giving. And from a practical point of view, minimums
burden on some, but most often it underestimates the
have a funny way of becoming maximums.
ability of our parishioners to support the church.
When we deal with minimums, we also have to realize
that there is always a number of faithful who will be
JUST ANOTHER BILL
excluded when we have minimums and dues. What
The dues system also diminishes the joy of giving and
message are we sending to these individuals who may
turns it into just another bill to be paid. It's important
have fallen on hard times and may be unable to pay the
to give with joy from our heart. As St. Paul writes to
specified minimum? Don't they need the Church even
the Corinthians, "So let each one give as he intends in
more in their difficult times?
his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves
a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7).
If there are people in your community who are only
able to give $50 in a given year, wouldn't it be better to
Gregory the Theologian writes, "You will never over-
have these Orthodox Christians think of your parish
come God's generosity, even if you give away all that
their spiritual home, offering their time and talent, and
you have…. And however much you bring to him,
striving to increase their financial support over time?
always more remains. Nor will you give anything that
is your own; for all things flow from God (Or 14.22)."
STEWARDSHIP
Stewardship is our response to God's grace and moves
RIGHTS AND ENTITLEMENTS
us from grace to gratitude. Just as we love because God
When we set a dues amount, whatever it may be, it
first loved us (I John 4:14), we give because God first
implies that if we pay this amount, then we have fulfilled
gave to us.
our obligation to the Church. "I paid my dues, now I
get to vote, receive sacraments, and express my opinion of
The question of the Psalmist "What shall I give to the
how the parish should be run."
Lord in return for all His benefits towards me?" (Ps
116:2), is answered in every liturgy when the celebrant
We often hear economists talk about the balance of
calls us to "offer ourselves and one another and our
payments. This concept applies to our offering to the
whole life to Christ our God."
Church. We can never give enough to God for the
(Continued on page 20)
blessings He has given us. We are always in a deficit
PAGE 9
THE PROMISE

Summer Work

PAGE 10
THE PROMISE

Is
Fr. Nicholas
available for
lessons????

Summer Fun

PAGE 11
THE PROMISE
COLLEGE BOUND? CONGRATULATIONS!
ATTENTION COLLEGE STUDENTS AND OR PARENTS
OF COLLEGE STUDENTS, the Church wants to stay The Annunciation family
in contact! Please provide the Church Office with joyously congratulates
a mailing and email address in order for the ELIAS ALLEY & AMANDA
Annunciation and the Office of Campus Ministry GRAY who were joined in
to keep the lines of communication going while far blessed matrimony at the
away from home. Annunciation on Saturday,
June 6th. Christopher
Alley served as their
NAME: ______________________________ sponsor.


EMAIL:_ _____________________________
The Annunciation family joyously congratu-
lates GREGORY ARMAN & MANAL KASSEES who
Cell: ________________________________ were joined in blessed matrimony at the
Annunciation on Saturday, June 14th. Jawan
Kassees served as their sponsor.
ADDRESS:____________________________
CITY :____________________S TATE :______ 
ZIP:________ MAY GOD GRANT YOU ALL MANY YEARS
OF LOVE & HAPPINESS !

EXPLORE THE
ORTHODOX CONGRATULATIONS
CHRISTIAN & WELCOME!
FAITH!
The Orthodox Study Class will be The Annunciation Church
meeting once again this month in order to further family joyously congratulates
explore our Orthodox Christian Faith in light of the Mr. & Mrs. Jeries & Rasha
Gospel according to Matthew - COME JOIN US! Horani who married in
We will use the Gospel as the cornerstone of our Amman, Jordan, on July
study, but questions and discussions will not be limit- 9th. We are also most
ed, they will be as broad as YOU want. Anyone & pleased to welcome Rasha
Everyone are invited to attend - no previous experi- into our Church family!!!
ence or expertise is necessary!
Congratulations
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23RD AT 6:30PM &
Through study and discussion,
Welcome to the Annunciation
we can expand our faith together! Rasha!

PAGE 12
THE PROMISE

PAGE 13
THE PROMISE
LOVE AND WORSHIP IN THE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
DOMESTIC CHURCH – I have no doubt that many of those who call themselves
Christians will affirm that the Lord is God, and we are
OF GOD OR IDOLS? to worship and love Him alone, as quoted in the opening
of this essay. At the same time I do not doubt that, for
by Fr. George Morelli many, words alone mean nothing. These words merely
echo what St. Paul said of those without love: “If I speak
in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,
I am the Lord your God … You shall have no other
I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1).
gods before me (Exodus 20:2–3).
Now why do I say this? Is it mean-spirited on my part to
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and
claim that some Christians agree with the affirmation
you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
without putting it into practice? If my conclusion comes
and with all your soul, and with all your might. And
from a judgmental spirit, then yes, I have failed to live
these words which I command you this day shall be
up to Our Lord’s own command: "Judge not, that you
upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently
be not judged.” (Mt 7:1) But the statement is not a
to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit
judgment, rather an observation, based on what modern
in your house … (Deuteronomy 6:4–7).
scientists might call empirical evidence.

Jeremiah the prophet (4 Kings 19:19) reminds us:


JESUS AS SCIENTIST
“…Thou, O Lord, art God alone.” How many who
call themselves Christians, let alone Orthodox- St. Luke (12: 34) records these words of Jesus: “For
Catholic Christians, live their lives according to where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Jeremiah’s insight that the Lord God is God alone, Similarly, earlier in the Gospel (Lk 6:45): “The good
and according to the commandment that we are not to man out of the good treasure of his heart produces
have any other gods before the Lord God? good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces
evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth
speaks.” How do we know what a person’s treasure is?
THE DOMESTIC CHURCH OR “LITTLE CHURCH” According to behavioral research, the activities we
IN THE HOME observe people most involved or engaged in tell us what
they value. A formal theory has been developed to
The existence of home churches dates from apostolic
describe this, called the Premack Principle, named after
times. In his instruction to the Romans (16:3:5) St.
the researcher, David Premack. This theory states that
Paul says: “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in
an activity that a person is seen to be frequently engaged
Christ Jesus … greet also the church in their house.”
in, that is to say, what a person likes to do — comparing
To the Corinthians (16:19) he says: “The churches of
to the words of Jesus, a treasured activity — can be used
Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with
as a reward to increase an activity less frequently
the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in
engaged in or less desirable — a less treasured activity.
the Lord.” It is just such a similar domestic church, or
little church in the home, that couples in blessed mar-
riages are ‘ordained’ to establish (Morelli, 2008b). The
GOD OR IDOLS?
building of a home church can only take place if each
spouse loves God, loves Him alone, and has no other What we treasure comes from our hearts and directs
gods before Him, making the aim of the blessed, what we do. What we do reflects what we value.
Godly marriage to form a Christian way of life and Speaking about false prophets, Our Lord said: “Thus
teach that way of life diligently to children. you will know them by their fruits. Not every one who
says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of
PAGE 14
THE PROMISE
heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is home, with icons of Our Lord, the Theotokos
in heaven” (Mt 7: 21). When conducting field investi- and the family patron saints; teaching the reverence
gations, behavioral scientists — anthropologists, psy- of sacred icons by holding family prayer at the
chologists and sociologists — live among those whom icon corner; reading the daily troparia and
they are studying and make detailed observations and kontakia, epistle and Gospel readings; using
records of their activities. What activities would these candles and incense.
behavioral scientists observe and record if they visited •Praying with children before bedtime and after
our homes? Referring to the word of Jesus, what fruits awakening in the morning; teaching children to
would they see? If they studied us objectively, what would make the sign of the cross and how to memorize
behavioral scientists infer to be the value system at basic prayers, such as the Trisagion, Our Father,
work in our families? Creed, and Psalm 51(50); praying before and
after meals (inside the home and when eating out).
Consider St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “But if
one loves God, one is known by him … we know that •Referencing the ‘Presence of God’ around us
‘an idol has no real existence,’ and that ‘there is no at all times
God but one.’ For although there may be so-called •Following the church fasts
gods in heaven or on earth — as indeed there are - Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year
many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’ — yet for us there is one - Christmas (Advent) Fast
God, the Father, from whom are all things and for - Lenten Fast and Holy Week
whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through - Apostles’ Fast
whom are all things and through whom we exist. - Dormition Fast
However, not all possess this knowledge. But some,
through being hitherto accustomed to idols, eat food •Teaching children that the purpose of fasting,
as really offered to an idol; and their conscience, prayer, and almsgiving as building spiritual
being weak, is defiled” (1 Cor 8:3–7). Again, the strength and giving back to God love through
words of Jesus as recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel love of one another in need.
(7:16): “You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes •Keeping a program of spiritual reading and
gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?” learning
- Holy Scripture
- Church Fathers
THE GRAPES OF THE DOMESTIC CHURCH - Lives of the saints
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, - Adult catechism materials
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” - Church school lessons (reinforced by parents
(Gal 5:22–23). If this fruit guided the values of the reviewing each week with children)
domestic church, allow me to suggest what a behav- - For families with young children, movies and
ioral scientist might see and record in the Godly videos of Bible stories and other wholesome
home: topics
•Attending liturgy as a family on Sundays and •Teaching the reverence of the sacred icons
feast days; dressing in clean, modest clothing; •Teaching the structure & layout of the church
being reverent during the services and praying
the Liturgy; avoiding chit-chatting in church. •Refusing to participate in activities that conflict
with worship or are scheduled during the Divine
•Observing Saturday evenings and evenings
Liturgy on Sundays and feast-days; protesting to
before reception of the Holy Eucharist as a
the proper community authorities and teaching
time of prayer and spiritual recollection, not
children that God comes first.
for partying or entertaining.
•Maintaining an icon corner in the family (Continued on page 18)
PAGE 15
THE PROMISE

THANK YOU! 2009 JOY MINI RETREAT


Many thanks to all of the GOYAns, past GOYAns,
advisors, parents, and Annunciation family mem-
bers who helped with this enormous endeavor.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH
We could not have done it without everyone's
help, support, and donations. Special thanks go Attention all members of the JOY & Jr. GOYA
to Fofe Ging, Stephanie Alley, Lea Ging and ministries there will be a mini-Retreat for a few
Brian Alley for all of their extra help. At the end hours just for you on Friday, September 11th. Ms.
of the day, we raised some much-needed funds Eva Kokinos, the Metropolis of Detroit Youth
and were also able to donate a truckload of items Director will be leading the program and we hope
to a local charity. The youth are also planning on everyone will try to make the time to be a part of
using a portion of the proceeds from the Rummage this special event!
Sale to in purchase food and cook a meal that we
will deliver to a local charity this fall.
MOST HELPFUL GOYANS: WORDS OF WISDOM:
Benjamin Alley
Grant Alley
Jonathan Alley Interior crosses can found
Kristin Alley at all times, and more
Tyler Alley easily than exterior ones.
Lauren Bailey You have only to direct
Bianca Bishara your attention to yourself
Zain Fanek and examine yourself
Andrew Harb
with a sense of repen-
Christopher Moutos
Kerri Moutos tance, and a thousand
Alexandra Paslidis interior crosses will at once present them-
Grace Rutter selves to you. . . Interior crosses are some-
times so burdensome that the sufferer can
MOST HELPFUL ADVISORS, GOYA GRADS, find no consolation whatever in anything.
& PARENTS:
Forrest Abdo
Brian Alley All this can happen to you too! But in
Wayne & Clair Alley whatever position you may be, and
Grace Alley whatever sufferings of the soul you may
Haitham & Tina Alley feel, do not despair and do not think that the
Heather Alley Lord has abandoned you. NO! God will
Stephanie Alley always be with you and will invisibly
Tansa Bishara
strengthen you even when it seems to you
Majida Fanek
that you are on the very brink of perdition.
Fofe Ging
Lea Ging
Joyce Harb -St. Innocent of Alaska,
Randy Kassissieh The Lenten Spring, SVS Press, p. 148,
Maria Moutos 19th Century

PAGE 16
THE PROMISE
SUNDAY SCHOOL, 2009-2010 3. Visit the classroom and meet with the teacher to
see what lessons your child is learning so they can
by Medina Fugate be re-enforced at home; ask your child if they have
special handouts from the teacher.
In America today, we Orthodox are tempted to think
that we face brand-new problems. Many of us find it 4. Attend the Sunday School Open House, which is
hard to put the Church at the center of our lives, which scheduled for November 16th this year, immedi-
seem to us to be busier and more full of distractions ately following the Divine Liturgy. Each parent will
than the lives of our ancestors. Our children often feel be provided with an opportunity to speak with their
isolated as Orthodox in a largely secular and certainly child’s teacher and review the materials being used
non-Orthodox society. In reality these problems are in their child’s class.
not all new. We share them with our mothers and 5. See that your child comes to class prepared with
fathers in the faith. homework assignments, etc.
6. Practice the faith at home, observe fast days and
St. John Chrysostom wrote about the social isolation of schedule family prayer time. Children are imitators -
a child who is being raised as a Christian. He urged what they see you do, you will see them do.
parents to give such a child many special attentions, to 7. It is up to the parent, to guide, encourage and to
compensate for the feelings of separation from and direct your child into the arms of the Church. Of
even ostracism from the child’s peers. He also great importance is understanding that parents are
reminded parents not to become too busy to pray and the first and most predominant ROLE MODEL.
to take part in the celebrations of the Church. We can If your child sees you coming to church, then he/she
be comforted by the fact that our problems have been will understand that praying and going to Church
faced before. are things that you do together as a family. If you
fast properly, then so will your child. If you bring
We begin with a theme for each month of lessons that God into your home, then He will be more readily
will be covered. Students will have handouts of the known to your family.
feast days that were taught to bring home. This is
specifically designed for the parent to be able to follow-
GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS OF YOUNGER CHILDREN
up on particular Sunday School lessons.
For the safety of the children in Pre-School through
The truth about the success of our teaching in the Second Grade, it is necessary for a parent to go to the
Church Sunday School is the support and follow-up by class and pick up your child personally.
the parents. The aim is always to show students that
the Church sees the life of Christ and the great works GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS OF TODDLERS
of God as being the center of our human life. And the
Church does not just “proclaim” them in some intel- It is important for parents to attend Church often with
lectual way, but makes her proclamation visible, touch- their infant or toddler before they become of Sunday
able, “smellable” and “singable.” Such is the richness School age. This helps the child become more com-
of Orthodox worship and such is our privilege to teach fortable being in Church and participating in the wor-
and show to our students. ship service. There is no doubt that attending Church
regularly with an infant or toddler takes commitment.
WAYS PARENTS CAN HELP STRENGTHEN It is also fair to say that, as a parent, you may be dis-
THE FOUNDATION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION tracted during the worship service for the personal
attention to your child’s needs. It is very important to
1. Plan to be in Church at the beginning of the Divine have the little ones attend Church on a regular basis.
Liturgy - 10:00am. Attending the Divine Liturgy and receiving Holy
2. Be consistent. Attend Church regularly. Communion is a vital part of their young spiritual lives.

PAGE 17
THE PROMISE
THE DOMESTIC CHURCH •Ministering at the local parish church and in
(Continued from page 15) the community by participating in the parish
council, ladies’ society, youth organization,
church school, choir, adult ministry, and other
•Acknowledging everyday blessings by asking special ministries; parents encouraging and
Our Lord’s blessing before each activity; accompanying their children in parish activities
rather than saying ‘Good luck,’ saying ‘Thank such as church school, teen events, altar boys’
you Lord’ or ‘What a blessing’; asking the camp, and choir.
priest to bless home, cars, and other special •Dealing with non-C Christian values in news and
objects. media. Allowing only appropriate TV programs
•Participating in special church blessings: and music. Keeping the children’s computers in
- Water [Jan 6 — Theophany] an open space with a ‘net nanny’ or parental
- Candles [Feb 2 — Presentation] controls installed; engaging in what children are
- Flowers [Holy Cross Sunday & Great Friday] doing. When a program or ad appears in media
- Oil [Wednesday of Holy Week] or music which contradicts Our Lord’s teaching,
- Palms [Palm Sunday] immediately addressing it in a Godly manner
- Eggs [Pascha] Engaging children in discussing television programs
- Basil [Sept 14 — Holy Cross] and movies in terms of understanding God’s
love for us and the love we must have for each
•Bringing children into the spiritual family of other; when a newscast is viewed, parents engaging
the Church. Talking with the priest before the family in a discussion about the content in
the birth of the child and reflecting on the terms of Our Lord’s teachings regarding issues
mystery of co-creation. Having the priest bless such as:
the newborn in the hospital. Saying the - Abortion
prayers of naming a child on the eighth day - Capital punishment
after birth. Offering or “churching” (presenting) - Casual sex
the baby to God on or about the 40th day after - Criminal activity
birth. Conferring with the priest on the - Drugs and alcohol
meaning of baptism and preparing for it. - Environment
Choosing sponsors who are committed to - Euthanasia
Christ and His teaching and who will educate - Homelessness
the child in the faith and fear of God - Immodesty in dress, song, and speech
•Parents and older children practicing - Natural disasters
confessing sins privately on a daily basis and
sacramentally on a frequent basis; thanking According to the Premack Principle, the family that
God for His grace and gift of life; each person engages in the activities outlines above treasures Christ.
examining his or her conscience as to how he The members in such a family love God, having no
or she acted toward God and others and other gods before Him, and teach each other Godly
attributing to God any good done and any evil behavior with diligence.
to himself or herself; quickly resolving any
conflicts with others, forgiving all who have
offended and asking pardon of those have DISCLAIMER ON NARROWLY INTERPRETING CHRISTIAN
been offended. ACTIVITIES
•Availing of Holy Unction during illness or While the activities described above are exhibited by all
when it is offered at the parish (on Wednesday Godly families, we must remember that adhering to
of Holy Week and special unction services). external forms does not guarantee a relationship with

PAGE 18
THE PROMISE
God. Through synergy with God, we can engage in abortion, casual drug use, same sex marriage, sex
activities that build up the presence of God and avoid before marriage, and killing those in pain are either
those activities that divide us from His presence (such openly promoted or tolerated as non-issues. If pregnancy
as those discussed below). We can benefit from being is discussed at all, it is in the context of ‘don’t mess your
objective observers and asking for God’s mercy and life up you’re still young.’ The Godly love and care of
healing, while God alone is Judge. one’s spouse and children is completely absent.

As Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev tells us: “To proclaim man


THE THORNS AND THISTLES OF THE FAMILY as the measure of all things, to exclude God from the
THAT WORSHIPS IDOLS public domain, to expel religion from society and relegate
it exclusively to the private sphere — this is the… secularist’s
For the family that fails to worship the true God, program.” Even worse than relegating Christ to the private
weekends do not include sacred activities. For such a sphere, He and all things sacred are simply ignored.
family, weekends are taken up by parties, entertainment, The idols of modern, technological, hedonistic and self-
and travel. Saturday evenings especially can be a special centered society are worshiped by these families. The
time for hard partying, and either sports or sleeping in spirit is secular and sterile of life; it is not of Christ.
is the norm on Sunday. Christianity is absent. These objects then are the ‘gold-
en idols,’ of contemporary society. These new thorns
Parents and children in an ungodly family may not and thistles are the objects of a new paganism.
know what an icon corner is. No one is seen praying
at any time. No one in the household references the
presence of God or anything Godly. No fasting, spiritual SMART EDUCATION
reading or study takes place. The positive spirit of fasting PROVIDES DIRECTION AND MEANING
and the fasting rules are foreign concepts.
The word of God should be taught diligently to our
All the goods of life are taken for granted or attributed children. And of course, teaching the word of God pre-
to good luck. The only time for going to church is for supposes that the educators themselves know the word
a special event, or because it is expected. Church is for of God. And knowing the word of God also means living
baptism (viewed as becoming a member of a social it daily to fulfill the marital prayer by which the couple
club), weddings and funerals. If an occasional Church is ordained or commissioned by their blessed marriage.
service is attended, it is for a hollow reason, for example, As I state in a previous article: “In a blessed marriage in
to show off the children's' clothes on Palm Sunday, or the Orthodox Church, the couple is ordained as the
listen to Christmas Carols at Christmas. leaders of their domestic church, crowned to be the
king and queen of their domicile and granted grace for
Community service is pursed as long as it furthers personal the ‘fair education of children.’”
goals, for example, if it looks good on a college or
scholarship application. Self-concern is the only concern; Basically and simply, we were created to know, love and
the plight of others is not a consideration. serve God and be happy with Him in eternal life.
Meaningful education, then, must be directed towards this
Viewing R- and X-rated media is the norm. The same end. As Jesus Himself told us: “I came that they may have
words heard on television, in movies or over Internet life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). St. Peter has told us
streaming video — t he F-word, the S-word — are the that Jesus came that we may attain salvation and be granted
same words used in the home by parents and children alike. theosis, that is to say, that we may have eternal life by
Chat rooms and Internet websites are unmonitored. becoming “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pt 1:4). Jesus
told us: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one
The motto for the ungodly family is this: If it feels comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:14). This leads to
good, it is good; anything goes. Freedom to choose (Continued on page 22)

PAGE 19
THE PROMISE
STEWARDSHIP: A WAY OF LIFE LESSONS FROM AN OYSTER
(Continued from page 9) by: Author Unknown

There once was an oyster


One January day, nearly 20 years ago, a young parish
Whose story I tell,
council president was just getting accustomed to his
Who found that some sand
new duties when someone placed a stack of checks in
front of him to be signed. As he quickly signed each Had got into his shell.
check, his pen was suddenly stopped by the sight of a It was only a grain,
check that had been placed before him for his signature. but it gave him great pain.
It was the salary check for his priest - the priest who For oysters have feelings
had baptized him, for whom he served as an altar boy,
Although they're so plain.
to whom he had gone for confession and whom he
loved and respected as his spiritual father. Now, did he berate
the harsh workings of fate
It was one of the most humbling experiences of his That had brought him
life. And the amount of the check seemed ridiculously To such a deplorable state?
small in consideration of the effect that this priest had
on the lives his parishioners. Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
This is the same feeling we should have when we And claim that the sea should
make our stewardship offering to the Church - humility, Have given him protection?
appreciation, thanksgiving, joy, respect, and love.
'No,' he said to himself
As he lay on a shell,
THE EARLY CHURCH Since I cannot remove it,
In his book on the Eucharist, Fr Alexander I shall try to improve it.
Schmemann explains that in the early church, the
Eucharistic sacrifice was offered by all the members of Now the years have rolled around,
the church. Each person coming to the gathering of As the years always do,
the Church brought with them everything they could And he came to his ultimate
spare for the needs of the Church. This meant for the Destiny stew.
sustenance of the clergy, widows and orphans, for
And the small grain of sand
helping the poor, and for all the good works of the
Church. This is the Church that we as Orthodox That had bothered him so
Christians claim to be. Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.
We also learn about the early Church in Acts 2 (43- Now the tale has a moral,
47): "Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many
for isn't it grand
wonders and signs were taking place through the apos-
tles. And all those who had believed were together
What an oyster can do
and had all things in common; and they began selling With a morsel of sand?
their property and possessions and were sharing them What couldn't we do
with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day If we'd only begin
continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking
With some of the things
bread from house to house, they were taking their
That get under our skin.
(Continued on page 23)
PAGE 20
THE PROMISE

PAGE 21
THE PROMISE
THE DOMESTIC CHURCH Confirm any explanations by asking the child
to repeat back what they have understood.
(Continued from page 19)
•Demonstrate a concept by use of visual aids.
•Collaborate by letting students help students.
the conclusion that there is no true education which is
With teacher guidance, students can work on a
not education in Christ. Those who are to be educa-
project as a team. It is learning by teaching.
tors must base their teaching on the true meaning of
the existence of man, that is to say, they must know •Use role play (experiential learning). Students
why we were created. can play different roles in Scripture, the life of
Jesus or His parables, making use of age appropriate
The art — and science, I might add — of Christian edu- scripts.
cation was perhaps best articulated by an early and
•Apply Christ’s teaching to specific situations
esteemed Church Father, St. John Chrysostom, who
by stimulating discussion of how they should be
said: “And yet than this art there is not another
handled; for each situation, discuss what should
greater. For what is equal to training the soul, and
be said or done.
forming the mind of one that is young? For he that has
this art, ought to be more exactly observant than any •Catch the good answers. Use social reinforcement
painter and any sculptor” (Homily 59 on the Gospel to reward good, appropriate and correct
of St. Matthew). responses.
•Teach according to the child’s learning style.
A FEW PRACTICAL, PSYCHO-S
SPIRITUAL PRECEPTS Both children and adults learn best when they
can solve problems according to their distinctive
•Kindliness is next to Godliness. thinking style. For example, some individuals
represent problems in a verbal-propositional
•“He who is slow to anger has great manner, with others (such as me) think visually.
understanding, but he who has a hasty temper
exalts folly” (Prv 14:29). •Teach children to think about their own thinking
(metacognition). Every encounter with the
•Be prepared, know God’s teachings oneself. world is a choice, leading to the worship of God
•Live Christ, model Christ in all things. and following His Will or the worship of idols
and “pop” values and culture.
•Focus on motivation as the energy that fuels
learning and then points to its goal (Christ, and •Have children repeat back in their own words
why God made us). what they have learned and how it can be
applied in their lives.
•Keep it simple and short.
•Teach by asking. This is often called the
Socratic Method, named after the classical FULFILLING THE COMMISSION OF A BLESSED
Greek philosopher Socrates (470–399 BC). MARRIAGE
Simply put, it is asking a question to elicit an Teaching Christ is not merely important for the domes-
answer and then asking further questions tic church, the little church in the home, but extends to
regarding the implications of the answers each individual, in fact to all of society, and to all
already given. mankind. God is Beauty, Goodness and Truth.
Although, as divinely manifested, these characteristics
•Explain a specific topic — after finding out
of God are incomprehensible, we can nevertheless, with
what the child understands and using words
and concepts the child can understand. (Continued on page 25)
PAGE 22
THE PROMISE
STEWARDSHIP: A WAY OF LIFE gift - actually the greatest gift we could ever receive - the
(Continued from page 20) body and blood of Christ.

meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, PROPER STEWARDSHIP OF OUR GIFTS HAS
praising God and having favor with all the people. And THE ABILITY TO REVITALIZE OUR CHURCH.
the Lord was adding to their number day by day those
who were being saved." If our stewardship is not grounded in the Eucharist,
then it is only about paying the bills of the Church, with
everyone recruited to do their fair share. But when we
I DON'T GET ANYTHING OUT OF LITURGY understand the true meaning of the Holy Eucharist, we
How many times have you heard people say, "I don't bridge the gap between liturgy and life, between the love
get anything out of liturgy"? of Jesus on cross and our daily lives, between our beau-
tiful theology and spirituality and the practical steward-
The truth is that we don't come to church to get, but ship to which we are called.
rather to give - our whole being to God. We have to
give ourselves as an offering to God and what we get in As Orthodox Christians, we see the world as God's gift,
return is the presence of Jesus Christ within us. We as a sacrament of God's presence and a means of com-
become Christ-bearers - "Christophoroi" - bringing munion with Him. And so we are able to offer the
Him to others. world back to God in thanksgiving as we say in every
Divine Liturgy "Thine own of Thine own we offer to
thee…"
STEWARDSHIP - THE NEXT LEVEL
A young man had taken his girlfriend to a high-priced Fr Jim Kordaris serves the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of
America as Director of Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism
restaurant. As the young couple looked over the menu
(FrJimK@goarch.org).
the young woman scanned the prices of the entrees,
and then turning to the young man she asked, "How
much do you love me?" Continuing to scan the menu,
the young man replied, "Probably more than the WORDS OF WISDOM
corned beef, but not as much as the broiled lobster."

Stewardship is not about calculations or portions or


percentages. It can't be reduced to a number of hours
of service or dollars offered. Stewardship is a way of "Let us love the
life. Church
As Orthodox Christians, we are called to a new way of
seeing things - a new way of life. Our stewardship is
and be devoted to it.
obedience to the greatest commandment to "love the It is our joy and
Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength." You comfort
are called to bring others to commit their lives to Jesus
Christ in such a way that leads to the joy of knowing
both in sorrows and in
Him personally and profoundly. joys.
As we come to know Jesus in this way, we are drawn -St. Hilarion of
into the Communion of the Body of Christ - the Optina
Church. When we receive the Holy Eucharist - Holy
Communion - as stewards, we are recipients of a great
PAGE 23
THE PROMISE
A NEW ANNUNCIATION PARISH CONTACT INFORMATION FOR
DIRECTORY FOR 2010!!! THE 2010 ANNUNCIATION
PARISH DIRECTORY
One of the ways to build upon the bonds of love
rooted to Christ and His Church, is for all of us to be
able to literally and figuratively recognize each other as 1) INDIVIDUAL NAMES:____________________
brothers and sisters of the Annunciation Church fami- (including children)
ly. It is therefore necessary for our parish to produce _____________________________________
an all new Parish Directory. Starting this month we will _____________________________________
begin the process of taking family photos and con-
firming everyone’s contact information in order to 
produce an all new ANNUNCIATION PARISH
DIRECTORY. With our Church family’s help and sup- 2) HOME ADDRESS:_______________________
port we will be able have up-to-date family portraits, _____________________________________
thereby better able to recognize one another during _____________________________________
the Fellowship Hour, in addition to making sure that _____________________________________
everyone’s contact information (address, email, _____________________________________
phone#) is current so that we can easily keep in
contact with each other. 

If you can personally assist with this critical endeavor, please EMAIL:__________________________________
see Fr. Nicholas. Otherwise, please double check and or (please be specific; ie husband may have different one for
submit your contact information as well as make sure to wife or child please label each)
have your picture taken! With everyone’s cooperation __________________________________________
and support, the Annunciation Church family will __________________________________________
continue to grow closer to each other in Christ in 2010! __________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
PARISH DIRECTORY PHOTOS
will be taken on the 
following dates:
HOME PHONE:__________________________


WORK PHONE:__________________________
(Please specify)
__________________________________________
__________________________________________
Sunday, September 13th 
Sunday September 20th
CELL PHONE:__________________________
Sunday September 27th (in case of Church closing, we may be able to send
Sunday, October 4th a text message)

PAGE 24
THE PROMISE
THE DOMESTIC CHURCH FELLOWSHIP HOUR AND YOU -
(Continued from page 22) PERFECT TOGETHER!
With the summer season coming to a close, the Church
still needs the help of its parishioners to extend our love
His grace, appreciate, emulate and teach these same
and hospitality through the Fellowship Hour. As a part of
divine qualities as far as is humanly possible.
our Christian commitment to welcome visitors and
embrace one another as brothers and sisters in Christ,
The domestic church builds up the kingdom of God
please consider hosting an upcoming Fellowship Hour
within. In the words of St. Isaac of Syria: “The sun
and thereby help maintain the bonds of love and serve
which shines within [the family] is the light of the Holy
the Outreach ministry of the Church. Hosting a
Trinity. The air which the inhabitants of that realm
Fellowship Hour does NOT mean putting together an
breathe is the strengthening and all Holy Spirit…
elaborate feast - just providing something light (cookies,
Christ, the light of the Father’s light, is their life, joy
snacks or fruit) so that people have the chance to greet
and happiness.” This is the fruit of diligent Christian
one another and have a little treat before heading home.
teaching. This fulfills the commission given by God to
Please help the Annunciation continue this loving tradition!
every male and female joined in one flesh to produce
flesh of their flesh by the mystery of Holy Marriage.
MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY
With the Fall season
underway, we are afforded
SAVE THE DATE: the opportunity to
expand the work of the
Lord through His
Church of the Annunciation.

2009 ANNUNCIATION And the more people


directly involved in the
JOY MINI- RETREAT work of the Lord, the
greater the outpouring of God’s love and grace.
S EPTEMBER 11 TH 2009 Therefore, we are looking for an individual to come
- in the evening forward and serve as a HOME MISSIONS LIAISON and
another individual to come forward and serve as a
FOREIGN MISSIONS LIAISON. These two positions will
 work with Fr. Nicholas to help put into motion
opportunities for our parish to be more involved in
2009 ANNUNCIATION spreading the Good News of Christ here at home, and
around the world. There are a host of wonderful ideas
GOYA & JR. GOYA and opportunities for our parish to serve others we
just need at least two people to come forward and
CHRIST ENCOUNTER RETREAT work directly with Father in order to help spearhead
such endeavors for our Church family to embrace. If
S EPTEMBER 12 TH 2009 someone is interested in expanding such ministries
- from morning till night!!! and would like to take a more active role in helping to
organize such projects, please contact Fr. Nicholas.
After all, the only “good ideas” that succeed are the
ones that people actually make happen.
PAGE 25
THE PROMISE
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS
OUTREACH COMMITTEE
We are truly blessed having such dedicated teachers
who have committed themselves toward the ministry of MEET & GREET SCHEDULE
religious education for the young people of our com-
munity. This year we welcome two new teachers to our September 6th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Newton
Sunday School staff: Amy Bailey and Sara Paslidis. September13th. . . . . . . . . . . . Jack Weatherly
September 20th. . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Hunter
Those who have agreed to accept the sacred servanthood September 27th . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robin Jones
and responsibility for teaching our children this year are:
October 4th . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharon Johnson
PRESCHOOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Presv. Maria Verdaris October 11th . . . . . . . . . . . . Carole Hawkins
Cherine Matta October 18th. . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeannie Newton
Jana Hunter October 25th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Newton

KINDERGARTEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Toni Moutos

FIRST/SECOND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nisreen Akel


 FELLOWSHIP HOUR 
THIRD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sara Paslidis
WE NEED SPONSORS FOR

FOURTH/FIFTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amy Bailey THE COMING MONTHS ! ! !

If you or your family would like to commemorate


SIXTH/SEVENTH/EIGHTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dysle Butts a special event, honor the memory of a loved one
or would simply like to offer a gift to the
HIGH SCHOOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jarrod Russell Annunciation family. . . you too can sponsor a
Fellowship Hour!
MUSIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Presv. Maria Verdaris
PLEASE CHECK THE BULLETIN
B O A R D A N D S I G N U P T O D A Y!

THE PROMISE : OCTOBER 2009


Please note that articles and information for
the October 2009 edition of
The Promise are due no later
than SEPTEMBER 10TH!

This bulletin is the primary


means of communication
within our Church family:

T OGETHER , WE
MAKE IT S H I N E ! ! !

PAGE 26
THE PROMISE
A PAGE FOR KIDS...

Page 27
THE PROMISE
ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
1100 NAPA VALLEY DRIVE, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72211
REV. DR. NICHOLAS J. VERDARIS, PASTOR

SEPTEMBER 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 2 4 5
Ecclesiastical
New Year

6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13th Sunday of Matthew Labor Day Nativity of Theotokos
Matins 9:00 am Offices Closed Liturgy 9:30am GOYA & JRGOYA
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am CHRIST
JOY Mini– Retreat ENCOUNTER
Youth Ministry Registration
6:00—8:00pm RETREAT 9:00AM

13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Sunday Before the Cross Elevation of Cross
Matins 9:00 am Liturgy 9:30am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Leave a Question for Lunch


Discussion w/Father

20 21 22 23 24 25 26
Sunday After the Cross
Matins 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

GOYA Meeting Orthodox Study


Class 6:30pm

27 28 29 30 Oct. 1 2 3
1st Sunday of Luke
Matins 9:00 am
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

LUNCH DISCUSSION WITH


FATHER

4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2nd Sunday of Luke Metropolis of Metropolis of Metropolis of
Matins 9:00 am Metropolis of Detroit Detroit Clergy- Detroit Clergy-Laity Detroit Clergy-
Divine Liturgy 10:00 am Clergy Meeting Laity Conference Conference Laity Conference
Westland, MI
Westland, MI Westland, MI Westland, MI

PAGE 28