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CASTRO VALLEY, CA.

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Message from Father

FrNiko

New Beginnings

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Have you ever been especially angry when driving on the road?

Have you ever cut someone in line at the grocery store?

Have you ever had buyer’s remorse?

Have you ever regretted something, anything, you wish you hadn’t done?

Human beings are not perfect, of course, and as such, the answer to all of the above and much more is a resounding “yes.”  We all have our strengths as well as our weaknesses.  As Saint Paul affirms so powerfully in his epistle to the Romans, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (3:23) As a result, each of us have our good days and our bad days.  Along with those bad days can come regrets and wishing we hadn’t done something.

This could be the reason why New Year’s Resolutions are so popular.  There is, after all, something to be said about turning the page on one year and going into the next with a clean slate, a completely fresh start.  We often say things to ourselves like “I will go to the gym more often.”  We hear statements like “I will be nicer to people around me.”  “I will spend more time with my spouse or my family.”  Given that there is so much that we regret and wish we could do, New Years resolutions offer us an opportunity to reflect on our mistakes, our shortcomings, and start over, completely forgiven (even if we forget what our resolution was after two weeks…).

Despite how powerful a New Year can feel, the reality is that for each of us as Orthodox Christians, every moment of every day is a new beginning!  So much of our faith revolves around just this concept: we are weak, we have shortcomings, we need to be forgiven, and through the sacraments, acts of mercy or generosity, pleading with the Lord or any other number of myriad possibilities that exist for us, we are.

There is a reason that every Sunday, for those of us who are able to make it, the service of Orthros begins with a series of six psalms that talks about how weak and wretched we are as humans and sinners, but by the end of the day we are cleansed!  We are renewed!  We experience our own “New Year” at the conclusion of every divine liturgy, and every time we pray!  Every time we ask for the Lord to help us, we receive what we need and are “wiped clean,” if you will.  The reality is, there is never a point where the Lord shuns or condemns, but like any parent who desires nothing more than to be with their children, He patiently waits and invites, and then starts all over with that person.

The Lord knows that our slate is wiped clean each time He touches our life when we ask Him.  With this in mind, I would pose another series of questions:

Have we ever felt cleansed after the sacrament of confession?

Have we ever believed we are forgiven after receiving communion?

Have we ever received guidance through prayer when encountering life’s problems?

Have we ever felt renewed when praying a baptism service, and pondering our own?

Do we believe that the Lord knows our weaknesses and heals them?

The answer to all of the above, and much more, is yes, and speaking for myself, I know I need to do it a great deal more often.  This is my New Year’s Resolution.

May this New Year bring every blessing from above, and may we always remember that our fresh start is never as far away as it may seem.

Happy New Year!  Καλη Χρονια!

With love in Christ,

 

 

Father Niko Bekris
Proestamenos

Our Church

Our Priest and Our Team

Liz Levy

Office Administrator

Marcelo P. Souza

Site administrator, teacher.

Fr. Niko Bekris

Parish Priest since 2015

Anna Teodosiadis

Youth Director
Our Ministries

Latest Updates

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Niko Antonopoulos came from St. Demetrios in Seattle to be our guest director for Nea Arxi.  He is also Fr. Niko’s cousin.  He was a tremendous help for Nea Arxi.  Both Enotita and Near Arxi kids are working very hard to compete at FDF in January 2018.  Please come to the San Francisco Marriott Marquis… Read More

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T’was the Sunday before Christmas Eve and all throughout our parish, all the children were preparing, for an afternoon you would all cherish. The cutest angels ever received their wings, and the shepherds all gathered to sing. Mary and Joseph walked to the cave, where we have never seen anyone ever so brave. The star… Read More

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Resurrection got to host the Bay Area GOYA Christmas Party on Friday, December 8th. Over 50 kids from Resurrection, Ascension, and Holy Cross gathered to meet, eat, play games, decorate Christmas cookies, make GORGEOUS Christmas cards to share, reflect about what it means to be a gift, and discuss the true meaning of our faith… Read More

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Last night the HOPE and JOY kids had a Christmas Party!! We made Christmas cards, decorated a lot of yummy cookies, set up the Nativity scene, and wrapped each other like gifts! We had an amazing night filled with laughing, Christmas Carols, and lots of bows. A few GOYAns lead all the stations too! Thank… Read More

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Volunteers from our last Food Pantry distribution November 11. Thank you to the young adults for organizing an event and helping!  

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Young Adult day on Saturday! Thank you everyone who came from near & as far as Santa Cruz to volunteer at Resurrection’s Food Pantry!! We even went to see St. John Maximovitch where we ran into Vickie Meier, Elias & John! Can’t wait until we meet again!

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From the Fathers

Spiritual Sayings

The soul that loves God has its rest in God and in God alone. In all the paths that men walk in in the world, they do not attain peace until they draw nigh to hope in God.

You are the sweetness of Angels, the gladness of the afflicted ones, a protection of all Christians, O Virgin Mother of our Lord.

Merciful and full of love, She [Mother of God] manifests Her love towards Her Son and God in love for the human race. She intercedes for it before the Merciful One, and going about the earth, She helps men. Having experienced all the difficulties of earthly life, the Intercessor of the Christian race sees every tear, hears every groan and entreaty directed to Her.

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.

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