Dear friends in Christ,
The weather is turning colder. That means that many people will have to choose between paying for heat and buying food. The needs of the Open Door Mission greatly increase with the coming of winter. Let's do all that we can to help them to feed those most in need. If you have ever been cold and hungry or very short on money you know what it feels like. Please bring a donation of food with you on Sunday for our parish food bins. Let's fill them up so this much needed food can be taken to the Open Door Mission. Thank you!
In the Gospels, our Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly teaches the importance of feeding the hungry and visiting the prisoner. At Holy Cross parish we have long supported three area homeless shelters: the Open Door Mission, and the Francis and Siena House shelters, but we are now also in the process of launching a ministry to the incarcerated. We are working in conjunction with the national Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM). I am very excited about this new parish ministry. Please keep it in your prayers.
We often decry what is going on in our society, and rightly so as post-Christian America has embraced what has been aptly described as the culture of death. But cursing the darkness will not change anything. We must take the light of Christ to our society. How? America will only be changed when men's hearts change, and hearts can only be changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will not change our culture, our society, our country, by going to church. We will only change them by being the Church and doing the Work of the Church. Christ calls each of us to be pullers at the oars, not mere riders in the boat. Let us each roll up our sleeves and invest our time, talent and treasure in advancing the Great Commission that Christ has given His Church.
Next week we will celebrate the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist on Monday, November 16th and on Wednesday, November 18th.
The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 12:10 PM, on Monday, November 16th, for ALL SOULS DAY. Holy Mass will begin at 12:10 PM and will conclude about 12:50 PM. Please plan to attend this Liturgy if at all possible. On ALL SOULS DAY we remember family and friends who have entered eternity, express our faith that they are alive and our love for them, and pray for the repose of their souls. It is an act of faith, hope and charity to pray for the dead.
The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 12:10 PM, on Wednesday as usual.
Everyone has the opportunity participate in the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist and to receive the Blessed Sacrament of Holy Communion three times this coming week (Sunday, Monday and Wednesday). The Holy Eucharist is the centre and summit of our spirituality as Orthodox Catholics. As St. Augustine of Hippo said, "God in His omnipotence could not give more, in His wisdom He knew not how to give more, in His riches He had not more to give, than the Holy Eucharist." Jesus says to us, "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will refresh you." Let us go unto the altar of God. "O Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34:8).
Mark your calendars for Thursday evening, December 24th, the Thursday after the Second Sunday in Advent. At 7:00 PM we will have a beautiful Advent Service of Lessons and Carols. This will be the first time that we have kept this wonderful English Advent tradition. The Service consists of nine Scripture lessons and nine carols. Our Schola Cantorum will lead us in the caroling, but the entire congregation will join in the singing. There will be refreshments and fellowship after the Service. Please be sure to invite family and friends. Everyone will enjoy and be blessed by this beautiful English tradition, and will hear the Good News that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!
Sunday Christian Education is at 8:45 AM, followed by Matins at 9:15 AM, with the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist at 10:00 AM. Fellowship and refreshments will follow the Liturgy. The adult Christian Education class is studying the Gospel according to St. John the Divine.
We are an unchanging Church with an unchanging and unchangeable message to an ever changing world. Jesus Christ is the Truth Revealed and Orthodox Christianity is the Truth Lived. Holy Cross parish a faithful and friendly congregation, and we have a place for you. The Orthodox Church welcomes you. I hope to see you on Sunday!
V. Rev. Victor Novak
HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127