Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John The Theologian Volume 14: No. 2 FR. PANAGIOTIS’ MESSAGE Let God be part of our summer! It is true that during the summer months many of us are busy planning our vacations and enjoying our time off from school, work, and afternoon activities and forget our spiritual life. Church becomes a secondary thought and tends to be left out from our daily lives, especially on Sundays. This is the summer challenge. The hot weather and the whole summer environment, tends to cause us to grow lazy in our church attendance and participation in the various services. The question is how can we continue our journey with Christ during the summer months? We have to remember that God never goes on vacation and we should never find excuses to take a vacation from Church. The following story reveals that God never goes on vacation. I think by reading the story you can find some inspirational ideas that you may implement, so you can keep your family close to church and Christ. This article is adapted from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s Center for Family Care and you can read more at www.goarch.org/archdiocese/de partments/family. July 31st , 2013 Where does God go for summer vacation? A little girl I know pondered that same question not too long ago. Sarah loved Sunday school; she went every Sunday. She liked being in church with her parents… but when summer came- it would all end! Why wasn't there church? Why wasn't there any Sunday school? Where did her friends go? She really was concerned. She wondered why the choir stopped singing on Sundays. Even worse, she wondered why there wasn't church in the summer… when in actuality, her parents would just stop going to church in the summer! The summer was their "time off". It was time to lounge in the sun, time to plan family vacations and weekends away. It was time to concentrate on rest and relaxation. But for Sarah, it was strange not to go to church, see her friends, or be with God. On the day that her family piled into the station wagon to visit their grandmother, Sarah asked her mother, "Mom, where does God go for summer vacation?” Her mother chuckled at the question, and told her God doesn’t go on vacation. Sarah wondered, "Why don't we go to church then? Why isn't there any Sunday school? Why don't I get to see my church friends?" Her parents weren't really prepared to deal with questions like this! What could they say? After all, God wasn't on vacation… they were! Imagine her parents' surprise when they realized their little daughter had "stumped them." They just didn’t know how to answer her question. But what was really great was that they were worried enough about it to look for an answer! Until now, her parents thought: Church was only a 2hour responsibility on Sunday mornings. For Sarah though, it was a different story. She lived what she learned. Church wasn't just an obligation for her. No way! In fact, it was a way of living… a way of being! Where Does God Go for Summer Vacation? So, is God part of your family’s summer plans? Will you take Him with you on vacation, or a break from work, school and others responsibilities mean a break from God? This summer we should take the challenge and let God be with us everywhere we go. Summer should not be the time that we rest from our spiritual life; in fact it could be the best time for our family to grow closer to God. We can achieve that if we become creative, committed and seek for Christ’s presence. Here are some tips to get you started: 1) Go to the Church! And worship God with your family. When you are away, visit different Greek Orthodox Churches. 2) Send your children to Camp Good Shepherd! Camp Good Shepherd is under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of NJ and is a great place for our children to experience the faith and Christian friendships. 3) Explore the Orthodox Faith in any possible way! Decide on something that you like to learn about Christ and His Church by: a) Reading the bible b) The hymns or perhaps you want to learn how to chant. c) There is a great book for the children “Where does God Go for Summer Vacation”? This will help your children in their summer’s spiritual journey. d) Attend a vesper service and try to reflect on the beautiful hymnology of our Tradition. 4) Help out! During the summer there are many projects that you can help others in your parish, neighborhood, globally ext. 5) Listen to spiritual programs from the radio or TV! There is so much noise in our lives daily. The Orthodox Christian Network has great music, interviews that enlighten the mind and the soul. That is the only way brothers and sisters that God will be part of our summer vacations and He will help us to continue our spiritual journey. Have a Blessed and Joyful Summer! With God! Fr. P.L. Οί Δωρεές του Θεού Πλούτος τού Άνθρώπου. – ΄Ο Στίς μέρες μας πολύς θόρυβος γίνεται γιά τά κεκτημένα καί ΄εντυπωσιακές προτάσεις προσφέρονται πώς μπορούμε ΄ενώ διανύουμε δύσκολες ΄οικονομικές περιόδους νά ΄αποκτήσουμε περισσότερα ΄αγαθά περισσότερο πλούτο! ΄Ακούγοντας και διαβάζοντας όλες αυτές τις πραγματείες ΄εμείς ως ΄Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί έχουμε επωμιστεί τεράστιο πλούτο ΄από τον πανάγαθο Πατέρα μας. Ποιὸς εἶναι ὁ πλοῦτος αὐτός; Εἶναι ἡ χάρις τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ πλοῦτος τοῦ ἐλέους Του, ἡ ἀπέραντη εὐσπλαχνία Του, ἡ ἀνοχὴ καὶ ἡ συγχωρητικότητά Του, ἡ σοφία καὶ ἀλήθεια Του, ποὺ χαρίζει σ΄ ὅλο τὸν κόσμο. Εἶναι ἡ ἄπειρη καὶ ἀνερμήνευτη ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ποιὸς μπορεῖ νὰ τὰ καταλάβει αὐτά; Ποιὸς μπορεῖ νὰ μετρήσει τὸ ἄμετρο μέγεθος τῆς θείας ἀγάπης καὶ νὰ ἐξιχνιάσει τοὺς τρόπους, μὲ τοὺς ὁποίους ἐκδηλώνεται καὶ προσφέρει τὰ ἀτίμητα δῶρα της στοὺς ἀνθρώπους; Ποιὸς μπορεῖ νὰ πεῖ ὅτι τὴν κατανόησε, τὴ μέτρησε, εἶδε ὅλες τὶς ἐκδηλώσεις της στὸν κόσμο καὶ ἔφθασε μέχρι τὰ ἔσχατα βάθη της; Ποιὸς μπορεῖ νὰ ἐξαντλήσει τὸν πλοῦτο αὐτῆς τῆς ἀγάπης; Ἑκατομμύρια καὶ δισεκατομμύρια ἀνθρώπων κατέφυγαν στὴν ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ πῆραν αὐτὸ ποὺ ζητοῦσαν: τὴ λύση τῶν προβλημάτων τους, τὴ θαυμαστὴ διάσωση ἀπὸ φοβεροὺς κινδύνους, τὴ θεραπεία ἀπὸ ἀνίατες ἀσθένειες, τὴν ἄφεση τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν, τὴν εἰρήνη τῆς ψυχῆς, τὴν αἰώνια λύτρωση καὶ σωτηρία. Καὶ ὁ πλοῦτος τοῦ Θεοῦ δὲν ἐξαντλεῖται οὔτε κἂν μειώνεται. Ὁ ἥλιος δισεκατομμύρια χρόνια λάμπει στὸν οὐρανὸ καὶ φωτίζει τὴ γῆ μας, τὴ θερμαίνει καὶ τὴ ζωογονεῖ. Ὅμως ὁ ἥλιος σταδιακὰ ἐξαντλεῖται, τὰ καύσιμά του μειώνονται, καὶ κάποτε – ἔστω σὲ πολὺ μεγάλο βάθος χρόνου – θὰ ἐξαντληθεῖ τελείως, θα συρρικνωθεῖ καὶ θὰ σβήσει. Ὁ ἥλιος ὅμως τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Θεοῦ δὲν θὰ σβήσει πότε! Θὰ λάμπει πάντοτε καὶ θὰ λάμπει ὁλοένα περισσότερο ὅσο ὁ χρόνος θὰ περνᾶ, διότι νέες ἐκδηλώσεις της θὰ φανερώνονται στὸν κόσμο καὶ περισσότεροι ἄνθρωποι θὰ ἀπολαμβάνουν τὶς ζωογόνες ἀκτίνες της, χωρὶς αὐτὲς νὰ ἐξασθενοῦν, χωρὶς ποτὲ νὰ μειώνονται. Ὅσοι ἄνθρωποι καὶ ἂν ζητήσουν νὰ πλησιάσουν τὸν Κύριο, Ἐκεῖνος θὰ τοὺς γνωρίζει ὅλους «κατ’ ὄνομα», τὸν καθένα χωριστὰ σὰν νὰ μὴν ὑπῆρχε ἄλλος. Ὅσοι ἁμαρτωλοὶ καὶ ἂν ζητοῦν ἄφεση, Αὐτὸς ποτὲ δὲν θὰ κουρασθεῖ νὰ δίνει. Καὶ ἂν ὅλοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι ποὺ πέρασαν, περνοῦν καὶ θὰ περάσουν ἀπὸ τὴ γῆ, θελήσουν νὰ συμμετάσχουν στὸ δεῖπνο τῆς Βασιλείας Του, γιὰ ὅλους θὰ ὑπάρχει θέση καὶ θὰ μένει ἀκόμη τόπος γιὰ ἄλλους, «καὶ ἔτι τόπος ἐστί» (Λουκ. ιδ΄ 22). Ὁ πλοῦτος τοῦ Χριστοῦ! Φάνηκε τόσο καθαρὰ ὅταν μὲ πέντε ψωμιὰ καὶ δύο ψάρια χόρτασε πέντε χιλιάδες ἄνδρες καὶ ἐπιπλέον τὶς γυναῖκες καὶ τὰ παιδιά. Ἔκοβε καὶ μοίραζε, ἔδινε, ἔδινε σ’ὅλους, χωρὶς νὰ Τὸν ἀπασχολεῖ πόσοι εἶναι ἀκόμη αὐτοὶ ποὺ δὲν πῆραν καὶ χωρὶς νὰ ἀνησυχεῖ μήπως στὸ τέλος κάποιοι δὲν πάρουν. Στὸ τέλος περίσσεψαν πολὺ περισσότερα ἀγαθὰ ἀπ’ ὅσα ὑπῆρχαν στὴν ἀρχή! Δώδεκα κοφίνια γεμάτα! Ποιὸς ἄλλος μπορεῖ ἔτσι ἁπλόχερα καὶ ἀνεξάντλητα νὰ δίνει; Ποιὸς ἄλλος μπορεῖ ὄχι μόνο νὰ τρέφει τὰ σώματα, ἀλλὰ νὰ χορταίνει τὶς ἀνήσυχες καὶ ἀπαιτητικὲς ψυχὲς τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ νὰ ἱκανοποιεῖ ὅλους τοὺς βαθύτατους καὶ ἀσίγαστους πόθους τους γιὰ φῶς, γιὰ χαρά, γιὰ εἰρήνη, γιὰ ἀλήθεια, γιὰ ζωή; Μόνο Αὐτὸς ποὺ εἶναι ὁ Ἴδιος τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινό, ἡ ἀναφαίρετη χαρά, ἡ ἀδιατάρακτη εἰρήνη, ἡ ἀπόλυτη ἀλήθεια, ἡ αἰώνια ζωή. Ὅσοι σὲ κάποιο βαθμὸ ζοῦν τὸ μεγαλεῖο τῶν δωρεῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ποὺ ὑπερβαίνουν «πάντα νοῦν» καὶ εἶναι ἀνεξιχνίαστες, θεωροῦν πὼς ὅλα τὰ ἄλλα, τὰ ἀνθρώπινα, τὰ γήινα, τὰ ἐφήμερα, εἶναι μικρὰ καὶ ἀσήμαντα. Γι’ αὐτὸ καὶ τὰ πωλοῦν, γιὰ νὰ ἀγοράσουν τὸν πολύτιμο μαργαρίτη, τὸν δωρεοδότη Κύριο Ἰησοῦ Χριστό. Γιὰ τὸν Χριστό, γράφει ὁ ἀπόστολος Παῦλος, «τὰ πάντα ἐζημιώθην, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα εἶναι ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδήσω», ὅλα τὰ στερήθηκα καὶ τὰ θεωρῶ τιποτένια καὶ ἄχρηστα, προκειμένου νὰ κερδίσω τὸν Χριστό (Φιλιπ. γ΄ 8). Ὁ Χριστὸς εἶναι ὁ μέγας πλοῦτος τῶν πιστῶν, καὶ ὅποιος ἔχει τὸν Χριστό, ἔχει τὸ πᾶν. Θα ήθελα να ΄εκφρασω τίς θερμές μου ΄ευχαριστίες σ’ όλους τούς ΄ενορίτες πού βοήθησαν στην ΄επιτυχία του φετινού φεστιβάλ. ΄Ιδιαιτέρως όλους τους έπιχειρηματίες και επωνύμους ένορίτες πού γιά άκόμα μία φορά ύποστήριξαν την Μητροπολιτική ένορία γενναιόδωρα. Εύχομαι ό πανάγαθος Θεός να χαρίζει σε όλους σας ένα έυλογημένο και ξεκούραστο καλοκαίρι. π. Π.Λ. President’s Message: My Fellow Parishionhers We have just finished a productive and exciting second six months since my Christmas message. As many of you have seen, our renovations to the Narthex are complete and have made the Narthex an even more beautiful space. And just last month, we all celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord in a beautiful and moving Easter service. I know that many of us emerged from our Lenten Journey spiritually cleansed and energized and this energy was on display shortly after Easter when we had our annual church festival. The festival was once again a success thanks in large part to our community’s hard work and dedication, and for that we should all feel very proud and thankful. As we enter the summer months, we have much to look forward to, beginning with the consecration of our chapel on October 27, 2013. This will be a once in a lifetime event that should not be missed so please mark your calendars. And, of course, as part of the chapel consecration, many donors have come together to fund renovations to the chapel, the chapel lobby and the offices so that we may consecrate our Chapel in beautiful, new surroundings. Construction for this project is underway and will be complete in time for the consecration. Please consider making a donation to this important project. καλο καλοκαίρι. Have a Great Summer! Yours in Christ, George Tsougarakis PTO – Mothers’ Club: These past few months have been very busy for the PTO Mothers Club. Our cultural event, Art Through the Ages, portrayed our children's beautiful interpretations of Greek art. We should be proud of our Greek school and our children. Thanks to Mrs. Megaris and the teachers for their hard work and dedication. Congratulations to the graduates of the 2013 class and best of luck to them in their future endeavors. The program was surely a memorable one. Next, we had the end-of-the-year party, Kids Rule, in Hackensack. The kids had a blast and it was a great way to both celebrate the end of Greek school and kick off the summer. We celebrated the Teacher Appreciation Dinner at Bacari Grill in Washington Township, New Jersey. We had wine, music, fine dining, and dancing. The event celebrated the hard work and importance of our teachers throughout the year. We are looking forward to Saturday Greek school classes to increase the Greek school enrollment. Lastly, we, the PTO Mothers Club, would like to congratulate Ceres Ruzich and Rania Stratis, our new co-presidents, and wish them the best of luck in the coming year. Have a safe and enjoyable summer and we will see you in September. Eleni J.O.Y.- Junior Orthodox youth Hello everyone, Another fantastic year has come to an end for our beloved JOY. We had a very productive and fun year starting with our elections in September, our Harvest dance in October, our ice skating outing, our trip to Woodlock Pines, our mini golf night, movie night ,and many gym nights. Also, lots of great events to celebrate Christmas and Easter with all our traditions of our religion like Vasilopita cutting and prosfora making. We had so much fun in all of our events and we are looking forward to a fun year after our summer vacation. JOY is a great way for children of the ages of 8 to 12 to come together, make everlasting friends and have tons of fun and learning about our faith and culture. Litsa Milionis and Penny Diamantis have been our JOY advisors for many years and we want to thank them for all their hard work organizing JOY and making it so much fun. We will miss you both so so much and we will cherish the memories forever. We are looking forward to see everyone in September. Good luck to all the boys and girls that are moving up to GOYA. Have a great summer everyone! Natasha Vazacopoulos JOY secretary PHILOPTOCHOS: Election of officers and Board Members for the tern 2013-1015 were held on June 23rd after receiving the Oath of office The results are as follows: President 1st Vice President 2nd Vice President Treasurer Asst. Treasurer - Barbara Kostakis Stella Baker The first item on the agenda will be hosting dinner after Verper Services for the Name Day of our Cathedral. I thank Father Panagiotis for his spiritual help and guidance. . Barbara Kostakis President Maria Kamilaris Aspasia Panaretos Katina Halkias Recording Secretary – Paulette Geanacopoulos Corresponding Secretary - Sophia KInnis Board Members Pota Arvanitis Theodora Manolis Georgia Christofides Aphrodite Microutsicos Xanthi Athanassenas Maria Meidanis Melpo Floratos Harriet Nikolaidis Dina Gaitanaros Marina Philliou Katina Kavalas Sotiroula Savva Joanne Kos Morphia Tsocanos The results of the Elections have been ratified. Congratulations to all. I thank everyone for their support over the past 2 years and I look forward to working again for another 2 years. We will be very busy, since the NJ Metropolis will be hosting the 2014 Clergy Laity in Philadelphia Our calendar is filling up and if anyone has any ideas for projects please inform us, AHEPA: We celebrated AHEPA Sunday on May 19th and were honored to present a recognition award to our Barbara Kostakis for her service this past year. We also presented 3 scholarships to Zoe Ferranti, Alexander Mikelis and Aristotelis Zigouras. The AHEPA will be hosting its First Annual Car Show, as a Fundraiser to benefit multiple charities, including St. John the Theologian. It will occur on Saturday, September 21st, in the Church’s parking lot, with all types of Show Cars being displayed proudly by their owners. Trophies will be presented in multiple categories, to the cars and their owners! So, come and visit the show, and take in the sights, enjoy some food and drink for our inagrual event! If you have a friend you know that might have a car they like to show, please pass this info on. Visit the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BergenKnightsCarS how Or the Web site at: http://bergenknightscarshow.com/index.html THE “BERGEN KNIGHTS CAR SHOW” BENEFITTING CHARITABLE CAUSES – SEPTEMBER 21st in TENAFLY, NJ The AHEPA Bergen Knights Chapter 285 is proud to announce the 2013 BERGEN KNIGHTS CAR SHOW, with all proceeds for the benefit of various charitable and philanthropic programs. This year’s show will be a day long affair, taking place from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm on Saturday, September 21st in the lot at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint John the Theologian, located at 353 East Clinton Ave. in Tenafly, New Jersey. There will be from 120 to 200 collector automobiles and motorcycles on full display, from all eras and marques. Featuring classic American iron as well as rare import models, attendees can expect everything from Alpha Romeos to Z28’s, modest daily drivers to fully restored trailer queens. Entries will be divided into three unique categories: Pre-World War II, from post war to 1979, and 1980 to present and all cars will be viewed by a panel of judges. The BERGEN KNIGHTS CAR SHOW, held just outside Manhattan - 8 miles from the George Washington Bridge and 20 miles from the Tappan Zee - will undoubtedly attract countless vintage car and motorcycle enthusiasts from throughout the Tri-State area. For participants who would like to showcase their classic vehicle or bike, the BERGEN KNIGHTS CAR SHOW encourages pre-registration (and it makes coming through the gate a snap). Full registration details can be found at http://bergenknightscarshow.com The BERGEN KNIGHTS CAR SHOW is a completely free, family-friendly event as well as a non-profit venture. To ensure success for this charitable fundraiser, the organization relies solely on both local Bergen based and national businesses for sponsorship. Commitment is encouraged by August 15th, and complete sponsorship details are available at http://bergenknightscarshow.com Founded in 1922, AHEPA is non-profit organization whose mission includes philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family excellence. AHEPA’s outreach includes grants for cancer research, Hurricane Sandy relief, fund raising for Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise in Bergen, and support to the Hackensack University Medical Center, to name just a few causes that effect Bergen County and the Hudson Valley. All donations to the AHEPA are tax deductible under IRS Section 170(c)(4) media contact: Rob Moore, 60 Cycle Media LLC [email protected] phone 646-918-4360 Goya Olympics Baptisms: 04/20/2013 M/M Peter Charles Rinaldi for Nikolas / Νικόλαος with Kalliopi Paleoudis Kousis as Godparent. Weddings: 05/11/2013 Ervin Sheati and Rosalyn Angelidis with Dora Catechis and Orlando Christ Economos as Paranymphoi. 05/18/2013 M/M Minas P. Bottos for Pete Minas / Παναγιώτης Μηνάς with Alexandra Spyridaki Anastassiou as Godparent. 05/25/2013 Charles S. Anastos and Rebecca S. Auerhahn with Nicholas Anastos and Thomas Anastos as Paranymphoi. 05/18/2013 M/M Louis M. Macchiaroli for Augustina / Αυγουστίνα with Dimitri Paul Vallis as Godparent. 05/18/2013 M/M Alexander Pappas for Charles Alexander Konstantinos / Κωνσταντίνος with Theodore George Pappas as Godparent. 05/19/2013 M/M Efmorfopoulos Panagiotou fo r Peter Nicholas / Παναγιώτης Νικόλαος with Achilleas Tzoulafis and Michelle (Press) Tzoulafis as Godparents. 05/26/2013 M/M Antonio G. Anamisis for George Antonio / Γεώργιος Αντώνιος with Konstantina Kostara as Godparent. 06/09/2013 M/M Andonis Michael Demetriades for Michael / Μιχαήλ with Nicholas Louis Vlantes and Cassandra Renne Collum as Godparents. 06/08/2013 Sean P. W engerter and Cindy Aspasia Kotopoulos with Maria Zachariadis as Paranymphos. 06/16/2013 Sotirios V. Malamis and Maria Amaxas with Christopher Kyriakou as Paranymphos. 07/06/2013 Konstantinos Kefalas and Marianthi Sapaskis with John Thomas and Deana Balahtsis-Thomas as Paranymphoi. 07/07/2013 George M. Maroules and Anna T. Malafis with Athena Maroules and Ja m e s Alexander Maroules as Paranymphoi. Funerals: 04/06/2013 Nicholas Kourambis 04/11/2013 Leonidas Kotsogiannis 04/18/2013 Socrates Dimataris 04/26/2013 06/16/2013 M/M Kiriakos Hatziminadakis for Constantino / Κωνσταντίνος with Tsampicos A. Perides and Athena (Troianos) Perides as Godparents. Melpo Parlitsis 05/13/2013 Helen Papantonis 05/17/2013 Agnes Kamenos 05/29/2013 James N. Apostle 06/07/2013 M/M Niko Jeljenic Jr. for Niko / Νικόλαος with Vasilios Tsagaratos and Anastasia (Gallios) Tsagaratos as Godparents. 06/07/2013 Sophia Lafharis 06/14/2013 Theodora Triandafillidou 06/24/2013 Theodora Christie 06/27/2013 Basil Williams Jr.