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Monthly Message from Father Niko – July 2019

“Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said,
‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I,
unless someone guides me?’”  
Acts 8:30-31

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Some time ago, someone came to me and asked, “Father, what type of adult education does our church offer?” I answered and told her what we currently have at Resurrection, as well as what we hope to have in future years. “Good,” she said, “because there is so much about my faith that I don’t know, and I have a lot of questions.” What she was describing was a commitment to cultivating her spiritual life, both by asking questions and doing research outside of Sunday morning. Like anything we do in life – exercise, relationships, forming good habits in our daily life – the more work we put in, the more cultivation that takes place, the more we receive. 

A word that is often used with regards to one’s spiritual life is cultivation, a word I love using myself because it denotes a certain care that is given so that progress can be made. We cultivate a relationship with our children. 
We cultivate the plants in our garden. God cultivates a parish community to grow in His will. With toil and hard work, cultivation is something that ultimately produces fruit. 

Our theme for this month is Faith and Spiritual Growth, which I’ll be talking about in “Father Niko’s Summer Reads” each week in July. I picked five books which have impacted me–spiritually, in relationships, or other areas, which I think you might find interesting as well. The five books are:

The Five Love Languages of Children by Adam Chapman
The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
Beginning to Pray by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom
The New Oxford Annotated Bible
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen

Each week, I will be sharing some thoughts on these books with you in our weekly ebulletin.*  If you’d like, you may pick up one or more of these books to help you on your spiritual journey as well. In the same way that we asked loved ones and those we trust for advice about life, we go to books like these for spiritual guidance and questions like “How to live our faith?” and “What do things mean?” The more we read and ask questions, the more our hearts will be cultivated.  *Note*  if you haven’t yet, you can sign up for our ebulletin by emailing Liz in the church office at office@cvresurrection.org.

Saint John Chrysostom said that, like divers who swim to the bottom of the ocean to search for pearls, so must we dive into the Holy Scriptures to learn their meanings. I believe this can be taken further and say that it applies to better understanding our faith as well: the Church’s teachings, the services in which we worship, everything. Our relationship with God is like any other relationship, in that the more we put in, the more we get out of it. This is cultivation

It should also go without saying, but anything we read by an Orthodox saint is also tremendously beneficial to us. If it requires guidance, please feel free to ask. In so doing, we continue God to cultivate our hearts and minds going forward every day of our life. 

Have a wonderful month! God bless!
With love in Christ,

Father Niko Bekris
Proistamenos

Our Church

Our Priest and Our Team

Liz Levy

Office Administrator

Marcelo P. Souza

Site administrator, teacher.

Renee Taylor

Communications Coordinator

Fr. Niko Bekris

Parish Priest since 2015

Anna Teodosiadis

Youth Director
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From the Fathers

Spiritual Sayings

You brought forth the Light, the Divine, which was before all time.

How mistaken are those people who seek happiness outside of themselves, in foreign lands and journeys, in riches and glory, in great possessions and pleasures, in diversions and vain things, which have a bitter end! . . . Happiness is found within ourselves, and blessed is the man who has understood this. Happiness is a pure heart, for such a heart becomes the throne of God. Thus says Christ of those who have pure hearts: “I will visit them, and will walk in them, and I will be a God to them, and they will be my people.” (II Cor. 6:16) What can be lacking to them? Nothing, nothing at all! For they have the greatest good in their hearts: God Himself!

With the hosts of angels, God’s messengers, with the Lord’s Forerunner, and Apostles, the chosen twelve. With the saints most holy, and with you, the Theotokos, we seek your intercession for our salvation.

It is only necessary to seek one thing: to be with Jesus. The man who remains with Jesus is rich, even if he is poor with regard to material things. Who ever desires the earthly more than the heavenly loses both the earthly and the heavenly. But whoever seeks the heavenly is Lord of the whole world.

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