Friday, September 23, 2016


Dear friends in Christ,

This Update is going out to the members and friends of Holy Cross parish. Please pass it on to anyone who may be interested in it. It is a bit of a long one, but it is filled with important in formation so please read it carefully.

SUMMER CHURCH PICNIC - Sunday, September 25

This coming Sunday is our annual Summer Church Picnic which will immediately follow the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist. Once again we have reserved a covered pavilion at Halleck Park, 816 E. Halleck Street in Papillion. Halleck Park is a beautiful setting for our Summer Church Picnic and is only minutes from the church.

This Sunday only, Matins will be at 9:00 AM, followed by he Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist at 9:30 AM. These Services have been moved up to give us more time at Halleck Park as we could only reserve the pavilion until 2:00 PM. There will be no Christian Education this Sunday. Classes will resume next week.

The picnic is absolutely free, so be sure to invite family and friends. Our parish Women’s Group, the Sisters of Holy Cross, will be providing hamburgers and hotdogs that will be grilled at the picnic. 

Members of our church family are asked to bring a main dish, OR a side dish and a desert or drink. Visitors are our guests and do not have to bring a thing. 

FALL HAYRACK RIDE, BONFIRE AND POTLUCK - Saturday evening, October 29

Our annual Fall Hayrack Ride, Bonfire and Potluck at Santa’s Woods will be held on Saturday evening, October 29th. The Hayrack Ride begins promptly at 6:00 PM, so please arrive early.

Santa’s Woods is located between Omaha and Blair on Blair High Road. There is a large sign that you cannot miss. Santa’s Woods is a working farm and a popular place to buy a Christmas trees. The hayrack ride will take us through newly harvested fields and then take us to a private setting where we will be welcomed by a roaring bonfire. There will be picnic tables with electrical outlets for coffee and crock pots; and hotdogs, marshmallows, and smores can be roasted in the fire.

This is not a parish fundraiser and the church will only be charging what Santa’s Woods charges the church. I will get the the cost (which is nominal) out to you as soon as I have it. Our annual Fall Hayrack Ride, Bonfire and Potluck is always a highlight of our parish life and everyone always has a wonderful time, so begin telling your family and friends about it. Everyone is invited!


The 21st century is proving to be a New Springtime for the Orthodox Church, with rapid growth being experienced everywhere. The revival and resurgence in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is unprecedented in Church history, and growth around the world is nothing short of amazing. In America alone, 23% (nearly one in four) of Orthodox Christians are converts, as are 30% of clergy and 43% of seminarians. At Holy Cross Orthodox Church we are a parish of converts, and we received five more into the Orthodox Church and into our parish on the Feast of Dormition (Assumption), and five into the Catechumenate last Sunday.

Converts to Orthodox Christianity come from every Christian tradition and from none; and from Christian backgrounds as diverse as Evangelical Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, with the largest single group of converts coming from Anglicanism. They come from everywhere and find their spiritual home in the Orthodox Church.

I am attaching for you a link to the testimony of Hal Freeman, another Southern Baptist who, with his family, has found his way home to the Orthodox Church. Hal and I are Facebook friends and I enjoy reading his blog. He is the son of a Southern Baptist minister who grew up in a devout Southern Baptist home, went to a Southern Baptist seminary and became a teacher in a Southern Baptist University. I think you will find his testimony a blessing. Here is the link:


Have you visited our parish Facebook page lately? This week I posted a video of Assyrian Orthodox Christians chanting the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic. Aramaic is the language that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Family, the twelve Apostles and the earliest Christians spoke. These Assyrian Orthodox Christians did not take a class to learn this ancient language. It is their native language, an ancient language still spoken by them!

The Orthodox Church is the oldest Church in the world. It is the original Church. Aramaic and Greek are still the living languages of Orthodox Christians. You can go to the Holy Land and experience the Eucharistic Liturgy in Hebrew. The Middle East is still the heartland of Orthodox Christianity. The Orthodox Church is Catholic, universal, for all peoples of all races and nations, for all time. It is Eastern and Western in rites, it is Aramaic, Greek, Arabic, African, Slavonic, Latin, Celtic, and English (and more) in traditions, and it speaks every language known to man. An ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse Church with Christ alone as head, and united in an unchangeable Deposit of Faith.

The Orthodox Church is for everyone. The door is open and everyone is welcome. Don’t settle for anything less. Insist on the original. I hope that you will visit our parish Facebook page and hear the Lord’s Prayer sung in our Lord’s own language. If you haven’t yet “Liked” our Facebook page, please do so today. It will help us to spread our message. Check back often as the Facebook page is regularly updated. Here is the link:


Remember, this week only, Sunday Matins will be at 9:00 AM, followed by the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist at 9:30 AM, with our annual Summer Church Picnic at Halleck Park in Papillion immediately after the Liturgy. Next week we will return to our normal schedule.

Holy Cross is a faithful, friendly and vibrant parish, and we have a place for you. Do be sure to invite your family and friends to church and to the Summer Church Picnic this Sunday. I hope to see you Sunday morning at 9:00 AM.

Wishing you every grace and blessing,


Fr. Victor Novak
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558