I wish to express my sincere gratitude and extend a hearty “well done!” to the members of our Parish Council and all those who worked with them to make this year’s Christmas Bazaar a smashing success! The immense amount of work that went into this year’s Bazaar was evident in the beautiful decorations, delicious food, and virtual shopping mall of gifts filling the church hall and overflowing into the courtyard outside. Thanks also go to all who came to support us in this endeavor: We sincerely hope you will come back again and again to enjoy our hospitality in the months to come during the events we conduct during the year to materially support our parish.
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One of the truly good things that comes out of the “holiday season” this time of year is the increased attention given to those in need. Any number of charitable organizations conduct food drives to help feed the hungry, toy collections for children who would not otherwise receive a gift at Christmas, and collections taken up everywhere to help people on many different levels. As Orthodox Christians, we should, of course, be a part of this good work through our contributions and support. Unfortunately, however, after the “holidays” are over, so too—for many—is this season of giving to others. For any Christian, the “season of giving” should never end. We are called upon to follow the example of our Lord, who spent His earthly ministry going from city to city and town to town, not only preaching the Gospel and salvation of the soul, but helping people in need, lightening their burdens, and “healing the diseases and maladies of the people” (Mt. 4:23). Everywhere He went, every opportunity He saw to do good and help others, He did—saving both body and soul. Let us reaffirm our good intent to help others—especially those less fortunate than ourselves—in any way we possibly can throughout the coming year so that we may be worthy of the High Name by which we, as Orthodox Christians, are called.
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Finally, the days of the Nativity lent are upon us. Let us keep this holy time of preparation for the bright feasts of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord very much in mind, especially when faced with the commotion that often accompanies this time of year, always remembering “the reason for the season.”