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Monthly Message from Father Niko – August 2019

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Many years ago I recall being at home one night watching the film, “The Godfather: Part II.” As I was doing so, my brother walked into the room during a scene where Michael Corleone was beseeching his mother’s blessing. The mother, dressed in black in her old age after becoming a widow many years before, talked very little and when she did, very softly. In this particular scene, one of many in which Michael would seek counsel from his mother, she was sitting in a rocking chair in front of her fireplace. In one of the movie’s most tender moment’s, her son would lay his head on her knee as she stared at the fire. The rest of the film aside, at this moment, I looked at my brother and said to him “Look at how these filmmakers view the sacredness of the mother,” to which he agreed. 

Many cultures in the Mediterranean world would resonate with this image. It would also resonate very much for Orthodox Christians. For those of us who are Greek ethnically, motherhood is something so beautiful and revered as sacred, even, which it should be! There are many beliefs about receiving a blessing from a mother or grandmother and what that means. Mothers are beloved in a way that is not quite the same in every part of the world. It means something very different, which is often applied in our relationship with Panagia, the Virgin Mary.

This same dedication can and should be recognized within the Orthodox Church toward the Mother of God, whom we believe is our mother in a very beautiful, spiritual sense. In the way that we revere the mother who tenderly gives birth, cares for and nurtures her child with love, so we believe that Mother Mary does for each of us. Her presence is a very profound and special one, which can be found in all parts of the Orthodox world and recognized in her hymns and iconography. This same relationship can be sought with her, remembering that she is our mother par excellence, one without human weaknesses and who will never let us fall. 

This month, as we celebrate the great feast of her Dormition, the “Pascha of the Summertime,” let us endeavor to receive her blessing as we would our own mother’s. She loves and is there for us, and we pray for her intercessions for whatever we need. 

May we all have her blessing and protection today and every day of our life!  Amen!

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
Our Ministries

Latest Updates

Please join us for this year’s Golf Tournament at Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton where once again, our Gyro Chefs, Baklava Sundae Scoopers, and team of Bartenders will be serving up our delicious Greek fare & treats!

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Life is short. Eat the Pastitsio. Dance the Syrtaki. Drink the Retsina. Channel your inner Greek and join us at the Castro Valley Greek Festival!

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“Proclaim” is the theme for the 2019 YAL Conference hosted by the SF Metropolis over Labor Day Weekend in Long Beach.

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Join us for a weekend of fun, faith, family & fellowship!

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All Believers Welcome. Invite your Family & Friends to Come and See!

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Upcoming YOUTH Events

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As we approach our 48th Annual Greek Festival, let’s reflect on other Greek Festivals in the U.S.

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Our annual Greek festival is right around the corner and you know what that means…time to get cooking! Festival baking starts in June and volunteers are needed – no experience necessary.

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Having raised $3 million in three years, can we endeavor in 2019 to raise $4 million in four for our Building Project?

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What Does it Mean to Carry the Light? To Eleni, Stavroula and Judi, they carried the Light of Christ by sharing their thoughts through words and expression on two different topics last month at the District Oratorical Festival at Holy Cross in Belmont. Eleni and Stavroula spoke on the significance of water within the Church,… Read More

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Click here for a print version of this year’s schedule of Holy Week and Pascha Services.

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Let’s play Greek ball! Don’t miss out on this year’s TWO Bay Area Greek Heritage Nights!

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From the Fathers

Spiritual Sayings

A certain monk told me that when he was very sick, his mother said to his father, “How our little boy is suffering. I would gladly give myself to be cut up into pieces if that would ease his suffering.” Such is the love of God for people. He pitied people so much that he wanted to suffer for them, like their own mother, and even more. But no one can understand this great love without the grace of the Holy Spirit.

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.

wAs it is impossible to verbally describe the sweetness of honey to one who has never tasted honey, so the goodness of God cannot be clearly communicated by way of teaching if we ourselves are not able to penetrate into the goodness of the Lord by our own experience.

God loves us more than a father, mother, friend, or any else could love, and even more than we are able to love ourselves.

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