Wednesday, April 08 2020

Community News

 

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COMMUNITY NEWS

 

METROPOLITAN ALEXIOS

My Beloved Ones,

As we continue through the remainder of our Lenten journey, the Church, in its infinite love and mercy, has compassion for our struggles. Pascha is weeks away, and it can become easy to allow our weariness to become, at first a distraction, and then a temptation. It is for this very reason that the Church has chosen to dedicate this Sunday of Lent to a saint who gave us a guide to help us overcome our weaknesses. I am of course referring to St. John Climacus, and his Ladder of Divine Ascent.

What little we know St. John’s life is that he was an ascetic whose time in the Sinai Desert brought him great respect. Eventually, St. John compiled his many years of struggles into a book for the benefit of the Brotherhood of the Raithu Monastery.

The Ladder of Divine Ascent takes the form of thirty “steps” toward theosis, or human unification with our Creator. These steps on the ladder begin with a renunciation of the world, continue with discussions on sins like slander & greed, before nearing the top of the ladder and learning how to acquire, ἡσυχία, or peace of the soul.

While the book began as a guide for those living in asceticism, there is much that we can learn from it, even simply by examining the icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent. The activity of the monks against the demons is frightening, but perhaps strengthening. I say it is strengthening, for we realize that even these men and women who have chosen to set themselves apart from the world (which is the meaning of agios, or holy), are still subject to the weapons of the demons—even to the point that one of the monks is seen being swallowed by the Evil One.

In the face of such challenges ourselves, we might wonder as the Disciples did, after Jesus told them it would be easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle than for a Rich Man to see Heaven, “Who then can be saved?” (Luke 18:26) Of course, if we, like the Rich Man, rely only on our belief in ourselves, we are destined to fall from the Ladder too. However, if we cling to God, to His Commandments, and to prayer and fasting, we too can continue our way up the Heavenly Ladder.

brothers and sisters, though we may be weary with cares, and with the burden of our own sinfulness, let us not fall into the sin of despair, let us instead rest in the spirit of prayer and fasting, so that we might gather strength to complete the course of the Fast with God’s grace and love.

+ALEXIOS

Metropolitan of Atlanta

 

FROM THE DESK OF FATHER JOSEPH

Beloved parishioners of St. Demetrios,

As we get closer to the Holy Week celebrations, we are longing more for the dear services that we experienced every year in the past and participated in with much desire and enthusiasm.

This year’s situation however, has put us in unfamiliar territory and unprecedented times.

At this point and in adherence to directives from local, state, and federal authorities, we are going to have to rely more on participating in the services of Holy Week from home through livestreaming.

As of now there does not seem to be a definite answer on how you are going to get the holy unction for example. However, you will be able to follow the service remotely, and the holy oil might be something that you will receive in person at a later point when it becomes possible.

Please keep in mind that our year-round healing service of the Paraklesis every Wednesday is a permanent window that is available to you to be anointed with the holy unction. If nothing changes in the foreseeable future, and once some of the current restrictions are lifted, you can always receive the holy unction during this service.

We are preparing for the holy Friday service of the Epitaphio to be streamed live. This will allow you to from home. In adherence to the current directives, it will have to happen behind closed doors inside the church with a small number of Parish Council members and altar help only.

The liturgical schedule of the Holy Week that had been publicized in the past (Saturday of Lazarus through Pascha) will be adjusted slightly to accommodate some of the current restrictions and anticipated curfew times if they are extended to include the holy week.

Anastasis service details have not been finalized yet since there is still some margin for change due to new directives that might happen in the following two or three weeks.

As of now, the plan is to stream a service in the evening of Saturday, but the Divine Liturgy along with the Agape service will take place on the morning of Sunday at the regular time of Sunday Divine Liturgy.

Please remember that even from home, you are still going to be able to light your candles or send names to be commemorated during the prayer services. Please communicate with the church office at (386) 252-6012, with any of the Parish Council members, or with me for further assistance.

Your list of names will be read during the preparations of the holy gifts, and your candles can be lit by one of the Parish Council members on duty.

Thank you for staying connected, and please let the ministry chairs and volunteers know if they can be of any assistance.

Lovingly at your service,

Father Joseph

 

LIVE STREAMING VIA YOUTUBE

Father Joseph needs your help to reach 1000 subscribers on his YouTube channel in order to Live-Stream the church services on You Tube. You may subscribe several times through all of your different email addresses; as each email address can be counted as one subscription.

Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIInuxfV8SZ1a54LOhCp1Zw

Please encourage your friends to do the same as well.

 

FATHER JOSEPH VIRTUAL OFFICE

Preparations for setting up Father Joseph Virtual office are close to completion. Father Joseph will be able to, very soon, meet with you one-on-one remotely, do his usual classes, pray with you, send in his frequent written messages, and/or publish his video messages.

Please do not hesitate to email him at FatherJosephSamaan@Gmail.com, text or church campus is not open for regular business, Father Joseph is working as usual and available when needed.

It is noteworthy, that the leadership of Saint Demetrios is working as usual on church affairs, even though remotely, and is standing by ready to serve your needs as well… all of your leadership support is one click away from you.

 

HOW TO SETUP THE CHURCH@HOME IN YOUR HOUSE

I came across this post by Father Thaddaeus Hardenbrook that reminded us with an interesting historical events. “In the 11th century, the Muslim Caliph Al-Hakim decreed the closure of all Churches in Egypt for nine years. It was a time of great distress for all Christians. One day, the Caliph was walking through the streets where Christians resided and he heard their voices praising and praying in each house. Then he said, “Open their churches again and let them pray as they please. I wished to close a Church in every street. But today I discovered that when I made this decree, a church was opened in every home.” The Church@Home is as ancient as the church itself, and it was how the church started in the first place. This global crisis has caused us to remember some of the essential elements of our church life. This is a very positive unintended consequence.

Daily church services are being live-streamed for your benefit. You may follow the live streaming, or review the recording afterward. Designate an area in your house as a dedicated place for your icons. That should be the place of your regular personal and family prayer. Follow the safety instruction as you light your handheld incensor. Read/Sing along the service text as you follow the live streaming, or the recording while holding the service booklet in your hand. If the church service is longer than what is in your ability to follow; pray for as long as you can, and train yourself to gradually increase your endurance. Each person has a certain ability, either less or more; that is quite normal.

The attached picture is from our home church, it is offered as an example, you may adjust your settings according to the configuration of your house.

Should you have any question, please send in your inquiry to Father Joseph at FatherjosephSamaan@Gmail.com or to Phyllis at the church office phyllis.hawkins@stdemetriosdaytona.org

 

HOLY WEEK AND PASCHA DIVINE SERVICES

At this point of time, it is uncertain if Christian congregations around the country this year, 2020, are going to be able to celebrate the Paschal season as usual. The Holy Week and Pascha celebrations might happen on time with a limited number of people as it has been the case up until this point. They might happen with closed churches, without any presence of laity. The date might be pushed further; or some other option could present itself at the last minute. The bottom line is that we are hoping to celebrate this holy season as it is customary, and we are going to be ready, even though we do not know how it is going to happen. We will keep you informed, and adjust the plans based upon the directive of the Archdiocese and other official channels, as they are shared with us. In the meantime, should you want to contribute toward the holy week needs or the church budget in general, please do so. With the drop of Bike Week proceeds, the suspension of offering trays and drop in the candles offerings: the parish cash flow has seen a sizable decrease.

Understandably, these are tough times for most of the people in our country and city. St. Demetrios parishioners, as well, are feeling the impact. It is important to state that the parish leadership has no demands or expectations other than for each parishioner to assess what they can do, and to do whatever is in their hearts or within their means. We all share the firm belief that God is the provider and the sustainer of our lives, and he will take care of his church, as well as of all his creation. “Do not be afraid… I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1) Should you want to send in your donation/stewardship offering by mail; the church office will process it as usual. For those who would like to use the online giving, please use the PayPal account of the St. Demetrios. The PayPal account is “office@stdemetriosdaytona.org”. The word “SAINT” is abbreviatedly spelled as “ST” in that name or the email. Divine services continue to happen daily. Prayers for health and rest of the souls of the departed are being offered without interruption. Should you want to make a virtual candle donation or make an electronic offer. The PC members in attendance of the services, or those who come to check on the church building periodically, will light your candles for you.

 

THE DAY AFTER – THE CHURCH IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

This is a crisis-era of public concern, for global health issues that we are currently experiencing, will not leave the church ministry unchanged.

We have already entered a phase where the way we conducted our church ministries, even up to a few weeks ago, has become obsolete.

If you live long enough to tell memories to your grandchildren about the life of the church of this generation; your stories will sound like strange tales to them. Your children might vaguely remember how the church ministries functioned up until a few weeks ago, but the new style that has already started will be their main point of reference.

Church ministries that were enjoyed up until today; the comfort of large or exquisite buildings will gradually lose its commodity. Beautiful and functional church buildings have already become vacant and prohibited from being occupied under the social distancing remedy.

What does it mean to the future of the Church that buildings of worship were considered safer to the public health if closed rather than open?

It would be hard to argue against the answer that the church ministries have managed over the past decades to convince the public that the Church was something similar in nature to the rest of other public, educational, entertainment and theme parks’ buildings.

Christians have forgotten that the Lord said to his disciples that they are in the world but they are not of the world (John 17:14)! Are we not waking up to realize that modern Christianity is in the world and has made herself or came to be considered as part of the world?

Is it not thought-provoking that many Christians themselves felt the need to keep a certain list of categories of buildings open and operational, but church buildings did not make it to the list? The list included food and grocery supplies, warehouses of other types of supplies, utilities and other providers. Is not it even more interesting that some churches beat the public health officials and the public opinion in general to this suggestion?

This unfolding new reality makes the mission of today’s Christians as monumental as it was on the day of Pentecost. The consequences of this global health crisis have given the Christians across the world the ultimate challenge for the sake of their fellow citizens.The new duty of today’s Christians is to help their fellow brethren of humanity to understand the simultaneous dual nature of the church as divine and human.

The church today has more urgent need to work harder even than the apostles themselves in order to demonstrate to the rest of the world the dire need for all people to embrace Jesus Christ as their savior.

What went wrong that buildings or services that provided the public with pizza, bread and pasta won priority, according to some Christians, over buildings that were intended to introduce Jesus Christ, the bread of life, to people?

Today’s Christians have some real hard questions to ask themselves. Do we want to be faithful to the message of Jesus Christ? Do we want to carry out the Christian mission to the rest of the world in a good conscious, and to reflect to people what was desired by the Lord himself?

If the answer is positive, then now is the time to act and to restructure the church ministries in a way that is going to mirror the presence of Jesus Christ himself in them, and Through them!

Any Christian that comprehends the deep meaning of the church being placed on the list of the dispensable services at this time of global crisis has an obligation to act with urgency to correct this grave failure on the part of the Christians and the church ministries.

Where do we start?

All actions and plans ought to be tossed out immediately if their purpose or character does not mirror Jesus Christ or if they are a compromise of the character and the Christian message.

It is quite probable that this global crisis will cause a decrease in the Christian population in the future, and it will not consist of the high six or seven digits anymore.

As a result, the future of Christianity will have less grandiose church buildings and significantly fewer church buildings in general.

This newer reality will not matter at all as far as the effectiveness of the Christian message. However, it will greatly matter if tomorrow’s Christians are not dedicated to Jesus Christ with their whole heart, soul, strength, and mind, and if they will or not love their neighbor as themselves. (Luke 10:27)

 

SUNDAY SCHOOL BIBLE SUMMER CAMP – PENDING

6/15/20 – 6/19/20

Registration and more details to come soon

 

IONIAN VILLAGE 2020 SUMMER SESSION REGISTRATION OPENS

Ionian Village is not just another summer camp; it is like nothing you have ever experienced.

The goal of Ionian Village is simple: to bring the young people of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America into a close understanding and love for both the Orthodox faith and Hellenic heritage. A strong Spiritual Life is at the center of everything at Ionian Village. By starting and ending every day with services at our St. Iakovos Chapel, as well as our innovative and inclusive Orthodox Life program, Ionian Village focuses on bringing its campers closer to Jesus Christ. Ionian Village allows campers to experience life in a fully Orthodox environment as they travel to historic churches and religious sites across Greece. When not traveling, campers take part in activities on the campgrounds. Daily life at Ionian Village includes many traditional summer camp activities that emphasize fun, fellowship, and learning. Time is also spent at either the world class pool or our private beach every day while at camp. IV2020 registration is open and will proceed as usual. Parents should sign up with the link posted on our website www.ionianvillage.org. In light of the coronavirus, the unpredictability of the situation, and what it will be like in June, we are suspending the “non-refund policy” of the $500 deposit upon registration. In the coming weeks, our office will announce a date on which the non-refund policy will go back into effect, but for now, parents can register and hold a spot with the reassurance of a full refund if they decide to drop out in the future before the policy is reinstated. https://ionianvillage.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/ App https://vimeo.com/352846489

 

UPDATE ON THE VISITING CHANTER FROM THESSALONIKI

Panagiotis, from Thessaloniki, is arriving this upcoming week to help with the musical programs of Saint Demetrios until the week after Pascha. Please, take advantage of his presence to enjoy the extra, but rare, services that offered during Great Lent season.

Panagiotis is going to help with the chanting during holy week services. Please, mark your calendar to attend as many services as possible during the holy week. They are inspiring and uplifting services.

The visit of Panagiotis is going to be beneficial to some of the programs of our Saint Demetrios parish. Your support and attendance will be crucial to make this period successful. There will be time to break bread together, participate in different activities, and attend the lent services right after. All parishioners that would like to sing along during the evening service of Holy Friday, are encouraged to join the rehearsals that will take place in preparation for this important service.

Children activities will be focused around music and Greek language, but will include art activities as well as preparing for 25th of March celebrations.

There are several presenters that will give brief talks about matters related to the great lent, fasting, and Q&A to connect us to our faith. Often, we discuss in our ministry’s leadership meetings the drop in attendance after festivals. We also discuss other issues, such as ways that parents can help to make Sunday school or youth programs run even better.

These upcoming gatherings will give us an opportunity, not only to enjoy the beautiful extra lent services, but also to increase the level of communications among ourselves within the St. Demetrios parish.

Please, plan to help out or sponsor one of these evenings. Encourage your friends and family to participate. Furthermore, bring the children to participate in the various upcoming activities.

Let us create more opportunities to interact with each other, and learn about the areas where help is needed within St. Demetrios.

The Church Hall will be open on the following dates at 4:00p.m., to gather and serve food. We will either break off into different groups or participate in the various functions. The appointed church service will start afterwards. Paraklesis Wed 3/18 Akathist Friday 3/20 Compline Monday 3/23 Akathist Friday 3/27 Compline Monday 3/30 Paraklesis Wed 4/1 Akathist Friday 4/3 Compline Monday 4/6 Paraklesis Wed 4/8

 

AHEPA SCHOLARSHIP

The AHEPA Speedway Chapter 410 is accepting applicants for this year’s scholarship awards. The deadline for application is May 15th and applications can be downloaded from the website at www.ahepa410.org or picked up from the church office. If you know a student who can benefit from a scholarship, please encourage them to apply. Also a district 2 scholarship is available and the link to that application can be found on the AHEPA 410 website.

ST BARBARA’S PHILOPTOCHOS BLESSING BAG DONATIONS NEEDED

On Saturday of Lazarus, the youth will be preparing Blessing Bags that will be distributed to those less fortunate than us at our Easter community meal. Your donations are needed to help us reach as many people in need as we can. Please contact Penny Cruz if you are able to help and she will let you know what is still needed.

Items should be small, personal size so everything can fit in the bags. We will make as many bags as we have supplies for, with a goal of 200 bags.

Items needed: Large Freezer Ziplock bags, mini hand sanitizers, lip balm, bar soaps, small packs of wet wipes, small packs of tissues, ban-aides, non-aerosol deodorant, toothpastes, tooth brushes, hair combs, white socks, sandpaper emery boards, small snacks, notes of encouragement

Thank you to those who already donated: hair combs, toothpastes,toothbrushes, granola bars

 

ST BARBARA’S PHILOPTOCHOS FEEDING THE NEEDY

Saint Barbara’s Philoptohos ladies, on Monday February 24th, provided delicious hot meals to the needy in the area of New Smyrna in cooperation with local facilities. Should you want to be part of the cooking and serving when it is St. Barbara’s turn next month, please contact Barbara Kosmanopoulos at Bkosmanopoulos@aim.com

 

ST JOHN THE DIVINE GOYA LENTEN LOCK-IN

March 13-14 , 2020

St. John the Divine

3850 Atlantic Blvd.

Jacksonville, FL 32207

Join us as we focus on the importance of helping others. Featuring speakers from the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, active missionaries, and local non-profits.

Open to Teens in 7th – 12th grade

Please contact Alyssa Kyritsis at pastoral.assistant@stjohnthedivine.com or 904-396-5383 x 12 for more information or to register!

 

DIAKONIA RETREAT CENTER: WINTER PILGRIMAGE FROM ST DEMETRIOS

Through the grace of God and the help of many parishioners and donors; parishioners from Saint Demetrios and various surrounding parishioners traveled to Diakonia Retreat Center for a weekend retreat.

The program included various activities that made the entire weekend very special time for all participants. His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta shifted his schedule to be present during this retreat. He dedicated much of his time to be with the participants and share with them many valuable reflections and lessons.

Paula Marchman from the family life ministry of the Metropolis of Atlanta offered the main presentation about the theme of the retreat. It was focused on the theme of desiring and finding the true love in our lives.

The winter retreat group had parishioners from four parishes that got to know each other and built bond of love and friendship.

Here are some of the comments and the feedback that participants shared with the organizing committee after their return.

“Thank you so much for a wonderful, edifying weekend! We were well-taken care of and the food was amazing.” “We really need this love and warmth in our everyday life and we need to free ourselves from the care and worries of the world and live a simple, humble, and peaceful life. This retreat allowed us to do so.”

“We enjoyed meeting and getting to know everyone and looking forward for more retreats.”

 

SATURDAY OF SOULS ANNOUNCEMENT

Beloved Parishioners,

Please mark your calendar to attend at least one of the Saturday of Souls service coming up on February 22nd, 29th, and March 7th.

This particular tradition used to be very popular and widely attended at St. Demetrios. Starting a few years ago; this tradition has declined sharply and very quickly.

It is important for all families and parishioners to help reserve and teach this tradition to the upcoming generations.

Below, please find a brief reading adapted from the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for your information. It contains a quick explanation about the origin and value of this tradition.

Should you need any further information; please respond to this email with your questions.

Reading about the Saturdays of Souls

The Church of Christ has received through the Apostolic Constitutions (Book VIII, ch. 42), the custom to make commemorations for the departed on the third, ninth, and fortieth days after their repose.

Since many people throughout the ages, suffered an untimely death in a faraway place, or because of other adverse circumstances, have died without receiving the appointed memorial services, the holy Fathers of the Church have decreed that a common memorial be made. This is referred to as the Saturday of Souls.

Therefore, out of love for mankind, the Saturday of Souls has been designated as a day of prayers for all pious Orthodox Christians who have reposed since the beginning of time.

Also, in addition to the prayers; the Church of Christ teaches us that alms should be given as a memorial to the poor by the relatives of the departed.

Besides this, since we make commemoration of the Second Coming of Christ before the start of great lent, and since the departed have neither been judged, nor have received their complete reward (Acts 17:31; II Peter 2:9; Heb. 11:39-40), the Church has arranged to commemorate the souls on the day before Sunday of judgment.

This commemoration is intended to bring repose to all the departed, it reminds each of us of his own death, and arouses us to repentance, and to remind us with the boundless mercy of God toward sinners.

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY – SAVE THE DATE

Feb 23rd the general assembly materials have been mailed out. Please look for it in your mail box. If your mailing does not arrive at the anticipated time, please call the church office.

 

BIKE WEEK – SAVE THE DATE

Bike Week 2020 start on Friday, March 6 and ends on Sunday, March 15. Please plan on volunteering a few hours; please contact either BillGahagan wmgahagan@gmail.com or George Karamitos george.karamitos@mauinix.com

 

ORATORICAL FESTIVAL

Saint Demetrios Oratorical Festival will take place on Sunday March 8th, 2020. It is going to be the first Sunday of great lent, and the Sunday of Orthodoxy celebration.

Your help will be needed to supply the items for the coffee hour on that day as well as the setup to make the church hall look beautiful. Food brought for the oratorical festival day ought to be fasting, so please try to check out some nice vegan menus.

Already several parishioners have started working hard on this important event that is widely loved by the St. Demetrios parish. Please contact any of the following committee members to offer your help; Voula Koulouris voulagianni@aol.com, Charity Sauskojus at csauskojus@yahoo.com, Stavros Cruz at stavroscruz@gmail.com, and Ted Sofianos at theodore.sofianos@daytonastate.edu

THANK YOU!

 

PAINTING WITH A TWIST
Saint Barbara’s Philoptochos Ladies organized a successful membership event and at the same time discovered their artistic abilities. Thank you to the organizing committee that put together a wonderful membership night event. Please reach out to Philoptochos ladies for your membership. Your donation is crucial in carrying out many philanthropic needs, and can help in responding to various requests of help to cover rent, bills, needs, and more.

 

HIS EMINENCE’S VISIT
Thank you is expressed to His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta for coming to be with us this past Sunday. It was not a planned visit; rather it was decided only the day before. His Eminence had wanted for a while to be with us, but his loaded schedule prevented him. Being at the St. Photios Shrine celebrations gave him the opportunity he had desired to come and bless us. Thank you to all of the ministries that had to get some last minute preparations ready in place for His Eminence’s visit and to all the teams whose help was needed to ensure proper order and adequate support. After the visit ended, I learned about a cute story that came from one of the Sunday school teachers. She shared with us that she has had all of this years’ Sunday School Lessons planned out since August. On the day that His Eminence happened to come to St. Demetrios church for a visit; the lesson of that day included an older picture of His Eminence.

 

CONGRATULATIONS DENISE BROWN & CHRISTY XYNIDIS

Congratulations to Denise Brown and Christy Xynidis for being the honorees of the foundation of Saint Photios National Shrine for the year 2019. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America awarded two parishioners from St. Demetrios this past Sunday during the annual celebrations of St. Photios with the award of the volunteer of the year.

Denise and Christy have led the efforts and the organization of Greek Landing Day as well as other related projects. They worked hard to mobilize the Philoptochos ladies as well as many more volunteers for the service of St. Photios Shrine. Saint Photios National Shrine of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is located in St. Augustine. It was established by the efforts of many parishioners in St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, and Jacksonville.

Saint Photios shrine keeps the remembrance of all immigrants, especially the first Greek Orthodox pioneer immigrants into America in 1768 that arrived as indentured servants. They were instrumental in building the city of New Smyrna.

 

BLESSING OF THE WESTON COASTING SITE WORK IN PORT LUCIE

A Blessing Service was held at the construction site of the New York Mets Stadium in Port Lucie on Tuesday, February 4th. The invitation was extended by Weston Coatings of Daytona Beach Florida. The prayer service was a great opportunity to meet many wonderful people from the general contractor company Barton Malow

 

38TH ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE BANQUET

Keynote Address: His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Casa Monica Hotel Grand Ballroom with an AMAZING WINE AUCTION

(Call the Shrine (904) 829-8205 for details, advanced ticket purchase required)

 

THANK YOU!!

Thank you to all the members of the winter luncheon team; donors as well as workers. Through everyone’s selfless effort, last Sunday’s luncheon went well. Thank you to all supporters as well, your presence was a huge source of joy

 

BAPTISMS

This past Saturday, the community of Saint Demetrios was blessed with the privilege of holding the baptism of three children. Joanna Maria, daughter of Brian and Catherine Aleman, Elias, son of Anthony and Christina Schimenti, and Evelyn Maria, daughter of John and Allison Varvarikos.

These three little cuties are cousins, and were blessed with the sacrament of the holy baptism all on the same day. The Schimenti and Varvarikos families have recently relocated to Daytona Beach and have become a part of the Saint Demetrios parish. Please congratulate our new families for the baptism of their children, and welcome them warmly into Saint Demetrios family.

 

PARISHIONERS FROM ST DEMETRIOS ARE HONORED BY ST PHOTIOS SHRINE FOUNDATION IN ST AUGUSTINE ON FEB 9TH, 2020

The St. Photios Foundation will host the 38th anniversary of the Dedication of the Greek Orthodox National Shrine of St. Photios at the Casa Monica Hotel.

This year, the Trustees recognize Denise Brown and Christy Xynidis of Daytona Beach, Florida as the Volunteers of the Year for their exemplary service throughout the year.

This recognition is going to take place during the first visit of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros to St. Augustine. He will be joined by His Eminence, Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos and Hierarchal Proistamenos of St. Photios, Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos.

Should you like to be part of this award ceremony; tickets can be reserved at $75.00 per person by calling Gina Bingman at 904 829 8205.

Congratulations Denise Brown and Christy Xynidis!

When and Where:

Casa Monica Hotel

95 Cordova St., St. Augustine, FL 32084

On February 9, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.

 

SAINT DEMETRIOS NEWLY RATIFIED PARISH COUNCIL

Congratulations to the newly ratified parish council, and to the newly reelected members. The affirmation of the new parish council took place this past Sunday after the approval of the elections by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta.

Thanks are due to God and Jesus Christ for inspiring and energizing our God-loving parishioners to dedicate themselves to his service and by serving his people in the capacity of parish council members.

Please, reach out to your parish leadership to thank them for their effort to maintain an orderly parish life. It is positive to share with the pc members your concerns about certain affairs when things do not go well. It is also important to share with them your gratitude for their efforts for throughout the year.

Your encouraging words can create a tremendously positive effect in boosting their enthusiasm to continue to carry out their godly duties. Please, encourage your parish council leadership by expressing your gratitude so that they would feel the zest to dedicate even more energy toward the service of God’s people and his church.

The newly elected officers are: Kyriakos Drymonis; President [not pictured], Dino Paspalakis; Vice President, George Karamitos; Treasurer, Irene Koutouzis; Assistant Treasurer, Gary Koliopoulos; Assistant Treasurer, Johnny “Hollywood” Louizes; Recording secretary, member are Bill Gahagan [not pictured], Jim Mahairas, , Karl Sauskojus, Nick Trastelis [not pictured], and Sini Vlahopoulos.

Fervent thank you goes to the outgoing member, Marilynn Formicola, who has finished her term. This spot has become vacant. The parish council will elect a parishioner in good standing in one of its upcoming meeting to fill in this vacancy. Please direct your suggestions in this regard to any of the pc members.

 

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS

Thank you for volunteering to help with Lady of Lourdes Italian Festival Feb 6 till Feb 9, 2020

Saint Demetrios parish council and festival committee are grateful for your support. Billy Gahagan & George Karamitos have reported that the Italia Festival volunteer list is complete. Saint Demetrios parish takes on the responsibility of the Calamari booth at the Italian Festival. This is in recognition and as a thank you to the help with the additional parking spaces given through the courtesy of the Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church during our Annual Greek Festival.

 

WATCH “ST DEMETRIOS 2020 EPIPHANY CELEBRATION AT DE LEON SPRINGS” ON YOUTUBE

Dear Parishioners,

Please enjoy this short video from the 2020 Epiphany Service. The video was edited for you by our Saint Demetrios youth.

The tradition of the outdoor Divine Liturgy and diving for the cross at De Leon Springs, started back in the mid-seventies through the efforts of Saint Demetrios parishioners. Even though it was interrupted for some time; it continues to be a dear event.

Saint Demetrios parishioners look forward every year to attend this outdoor service. Even when the weather conditions are not ideal, courageous divers and families will show up to prepare for the church service.

It is time, for all the divers and those who have retrieved the cross in the past, to become more involved in this annual function.

This is an ideal opportunity for the youngsters to be given church responsibilities, and to realize that they have an important role to carry out.

It is also important for us to convey and emphasize to our youngsters that their role is important and indispensable.

I want to encourage our youth that have been connected with the event to communicate with the epiphany committee to offer their help.

Please reach out to any of the parish council members, and to Jim Mahairas or Billy Gahagan to offer your help and get connected.

Please view this link below to watch the video.

ST DEMETRIOS 2020 EPIPHANY CELEBRATION AT DE LEON SPRINGS – Click Here to View

 

PHILOPTOCHOS MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

MEMBERSHIP

 

CONGRATULATIONS CHRISTOFORAKIS FAMILY

Congratulations to Dino and Ashley on the baptism of their children; Constantine, Atlas John, and Alina.

Congratulations also to the families that have taken the role of the nonoi (sponsors); Kotsonis, Koulouris, and Paspalakis, Axioi (worthy).

May God protect and look over the newly baptized children. the baptism was beautiful, and deeply inspiring.

 

WINTER LUNCHEON BENEFITING ST DEMETRIOS

Sponsors: Peter Karamitos/Christopher Tsiongas/Stavros Petropouleas/Angelo Tompros

January 26th, 2020

Church Hall at 12:00 pm

½ roast chicken, Roast potatoes, Salad and Bread

Tickets $12 (Tickets sold during coffee hour and at the door)

Kids Under 12-pizza free

 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO HELP WITH OUR LADY OF LOURDES ITALIAN FESTIVAL

Help is needed starting on Feb 6 till Feb 9, 2020:

Thursday, Feb 6, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Friday, Feb 7, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Saturday, Feb 8, Noon – 10 p.m.

Sunday, Feb 9, Noon – 6 p.m.

(Midway Open Until 8 p.m.)

Saint Demetrios parish runs the Calamari booth at the Italian Festival in recognition and as a thank you to the help with the additional parking spaces given through the courtesy of the Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church during our Annual Greek Festival. Please contact Billy Gahagan; wmgahagan@gmail.com or George Karamitos; george.karamitos@mauinix.com

 

HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH

Invites all to Please Join Us for Our 2020 Annual Dinner Dance Friday, February 7th At St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church

Riverfront Center

129 N. Halifax Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32118

6:00-7:00 Reception

7:00-8:00 Dinner

8:00—10:30 Great Music will be provided for dancing and reminiscing.

Cash Bar, Silent Auction & Red Ticket Raffle Throughout the evening.

 

JOIN US ON OUR ANNUAL DRC RETREAT FEBRUARY 14-17, 2020

We have an exciting weekend planned with arts and crafts, sessions, food, and relaxation, so join us on our Journey to the Diakonia Retreat Center!

This weekend is the perfect time to relax and get away from the distractions of everyday life. Staying at the DRC is an opportunity that you do not want to miss out on.

PRICE: Bungalow – $219 | Lodges – $189 | Children 16 and under – $89

• Covers all meals, bus expenses, activities, and room and board

• Housing capacity is limited, so make your reservation today!

• $100 Security Deposit (Nonrefundable)

Bungalow: Fully furnished private cabin (1bed/1 bath)

Lodge: Private room in a fully furnished lodge with a shared common area. All under 18 must be accompanied by an adult

 

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK IN ST AUGUSTINE

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK

 

EPIPHANY

The outdoor liturgy and diving for the cross at De Leon Springs started in the mid-seventies and even though it was interrupted for some time; it continues to be a dear event. Saint Demetrios parishioners look forward every year to attend this outdoor service.

Even when the weather conditions are not ideal, courageous divers and families will show up to prepare for the church service. Generous donors provided for the various needs, in order to make this day joyful and extra special.

The diving for the cross event has long been practiced and has became dear to the hearts of many families and many youngsters. It is time for all the divers and those who caught the cross in the past to become more involved in this annual function.

It is a great opportunity for the youngsters to be given church responsibilities and to know that they have an important role to carry out. Their role is indispensable. I want to encourage our youth that were connected with the event to communicate with the epiphany committee.

Please offer your help by getting connected with your church and your faith’s traditions. Please reach out to any of the parish council members, Jim Mahairas flbruin@bellsouth.net or Billy Gahagan wmgahagan@gmail.com and offer your help.

Thank you all for being attentive faithful parishioners.

2020 Divers and Cross Retriever

On January 4th, 2020; six divers participated in the outdoor service of retrieving the holy cross; Michael Bramblett, Theophany Cruz, Demetrios Hill (Orlando), Lambros Paspalakis, Demetrios Perviziotis, and Mark Sauskojus.

Congratulations to Mark Sauskojus and his family on receiving the honor of retrieving the holy cross. This happened to be Mark’s third time diving.

 

ANNUAL VASILOPITA EVENT BY LADIES OF ST BARBARA’S PHILOPTOCHOS

Gratitude is expressed to all of the ladies of Saint Barbara’s Philoptochos. Thank you for the wonderful Vasilopita cutting event they organized on the first Sunday of the year.

In addition to the customary parts of the program, a few additions were augmented into the program and made it a richer experience.

 

 

ST PHOTIOS GREEK ORTHODOX NATIONAL SHRINE VASILOPITA CELEBRATION

Saint Augustine, FL: The Saint Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine invites one and all to the Inaugural Vasilopita Celebration of the Saint Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine here in Saint Augustine, Florida, to be held on Sunday, January 12. 2020 at 6:30 p.m. 41 St. George Street

 

FIRST ANNUAL VASILOPITA-A-THON

VASILOPITA-A-THON

 

DECORATING GOYAN VASILOPITA

Saint Demetrios Goyans enjoyed a wonderful evening after the New Year through the hospitality of Mike and Stacy Striegel.

It was a wonderful evening with Goyans gathered around bonfire, which was meticulously prepared by Michael Striegel. Goyans enjoyed decorating the Goya Vasilopita. The Goya Vasilopita was successfully auctioned on the previous Sunday for the benefit of Saint Basil Academy.

 

PHILOPTOCHOS WELCOMES YOU TO ATTEND THE CUTTING OF THE VASILOPITA

CUTTING OF VASILOPITA

 

COMMUNITY NEWS HISTORY

 

2019 Community News

2018 Community News

2017 Community News

2016 Community News

2015 Community News

Community History

 

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