Normally, we do not celebrate birthdays in these pages. But this was a special month!
On Sunday, March 10th, both Father Constantine and our dear Olga celebrated their birthdays. Olga suprised Father with her delicious Napoleon pastry and a huge bouquet of red roses. We all joined in to wish them 'Many Years' and Happy Birthday.
On Sunday, March 17th, our dear Nayda celebrated her 93rd birthday! Wow! Nayda is a life-long communicant at St. John, having been baptized here as a baby, and worked hard through our community's lean years. She continues to drive herself to church for just about all our services, sings in the choir, and is one of the first and last people, working in the kitchen each week. We wished her 'Many Years' in both English and Russian (and that brought a tear to her eye.) Many Years to the Matriarch of St. John the Divine!
And, on Sunday, March 24th, it was Panayiotis' birthday!
It was a great joy for Father Constantine to give the blessing to Katie and Roman as they entered the church for the first time after Roman's birth. (The ever-happy and proud grandfather had great difficulty limiting the pictures to these three!)
Forty days after the birth of her son, Joseph, Cveta returned to the church. Father gave her the blessing. Infant Joseph also received his blessing and was carried into the altar by Father. God gave Joseph to Cveta and Dani; Cveta returned her son to God in the blessing, and Joseph was returned to his family to grow and service the Lord. Many Years!
On Saturday, February 16th, catechumen Tyler was baptized and chrismated, taking the name Cuthbert. Sunday morning, he was the first to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, completing his entrance into the Orthodox faith.
Tyler Cuthbert has been faithful in his attendance at all services, since he first entered the doors of St. John the Divine, about a year ago.
We welcome him into our church family!
On Sunday, January 6, 2019, we celebrated the Feast of Theophany. After Divine Liturgy, Father celebrated the Blessing of the Waters and the faithful were able to partake of the Blessed Water and take some to their homes.
Our choir improves as we sang the Stichera, Troparion, and Kontakion of the feast in conjunction with the service.
On our first Sunday in January, 2019, we celebrated St. Basil, with Vasilopita, in the Church Hall, after celebrating the Feast of the Theophany upstairs.
Eleni & Lorraine each made a Vasilopita -- one with almonds, one with citrus.
We sang the Troparion and Kontakion of St. Basil. Father cut a cross into each loaf. The loaves were then cut up into pieces, sufficient so that each person present got a piece. Ron got the 'lucky' piece with a coin inside.
It was a wonderful and playful time together.