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CASTRO VALLEY, CA.

October 2017

FrNiko

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…”

–   Acts 3:19-21

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,

These words above were spoken by the Apostle Peter after he healed a paralytic lying at the door of the temple.  As the Apostles had only just been commissioned to preach the Gospel to all the world, Peter stood before the assembly of Israel, holding the hand of the man who had been paralyzed, demonstrating to all the miracles which can be wrought through faith in Christ Jesus.

Although we have been taught from a young age that Jesus heals us, have we stopped to consider what this healing means for us today?  Truly, we must always remember that the power of the Holy Spirit is just as active today as He was in Jesus’ time, and that miraculous healings of the body do indeed continue to happen.  Even so, according to the Fathers of our Church, the “times of refreshing” which Peter refers to in the Book of Acts have a far greater connotation than simply healing the paralytic, or the blind man, or the leper, or any other exclusively bodily ailment.

To put it in theological terms, since the Fall of Adam and Eve and the entrance of sin into the world, humanity is broken.  We are not created to become ill, sick, or even die, but to live in harmony, eternally, with our Creator, as was originally intended.  When left to our own devices however, evil flourishes, as is seen in human history and even in the Holy Scriptures.  It is only through divine intervention, the breaking of the barrior between God and humanity by God Himself entering created existence, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that God restores humanity.  Quite simply, in our Orthodox understanding, God puts our broken heart, mind and soul back together, piece by piece.

When we view our holy Orthodox faith in light of this understanding, then what the Church offers us is made so much clearer.  Christ entering our life, first through baptism, but repeatedly every day, is meant to begin this process.  The sacraments are offered to us, also, for continual, repeated healing, or “reassembling” of ourselves as human beings.  Holy Communion, Holy Unction, the blessing of the waters and of homes each year, the blessings of the grapes, the palms, antidoron and countless other aspects of our lives are brought from the altar and into our homes, our clothing, and our very bodies.   We come to the services each week, as well as each year at Holy Week and Pascha, not because it is our duty as Christians, but because we celebrate and rejoice in the restorative power of our Lord.

Our Church knows that a man cannot reassemble himself any more than a broken glass can.  Let us be mindful and grateful for this incredible gift, that our Lord has not abandoned us in our misery and pain, but is with us through our struggles, always connecting and reconnecting us through His Church.

May that same God continue to bless each of us, our families, our homes, our parish and all our communities.

Amen!

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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Men’s Fellowship met this week at the home of Steve and Lisa Rigisich and enjoyed chili and barbecue, as well as great discussion and conversation!  We thank Steve and Lisa for opening their home to us once again. Next month, Men’s Fellowship will take place at the Younani home on Sunday, November 19.  Looking forward to… Read More

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Sr GOYA last night!! We enjoyed In-n-Out and dissected Taylor Swift’s new song “Look What You Made Me Do.”

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Our building project continues to gather momentum and move forward, and much has happened in the last thirty days.  As mentioned last month, our steering committee has been working with two representatives from Colliers International, whom we have engaged as our commercial realtor for the project. Although one site, in particular has been very closely… Read More

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Hey everyone, This month we will be starting our Youth Choir practices in the Sunday School rotation.  The rotation will go as follows: October 1, 29: K-3rd Grade October 8: 4-5th Grade October 15: 6–7th Grade October 22: 8-12th Grade Κύριε Ελέησον – “Lord have mercy” We hear this prayer multiple times throughout the Divine… Read More

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October 1, 2017 Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Resurrection: When I hear the word missionary, the first image in my mind is someone traveling and toiling in a far-off land, trying to preach Christ to those who have never heard of Him before. But the reality is that there are so many people in… Read More

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South Texas and Louisiana are beginning the recovery process after Hurricane Harvey brought an estimated of 50 inches of rainfall, causing loss of life, extensive property damage, and hardship for the residents of Houston, the United States’ fourth-largest city. Fatalities are estimated to be over 60 people, with tens of thousands more displaced and staying… Read More

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From the Fathers

Spiritual Sayings

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

As 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 was the reason of true faith and good behavior and of the knowledge of technology among people. While people continually felt God above them, before them, and around them, in the same way air and light is felt, they attributed and dedicated all their technological works and handiwork to Him, their Lord and Creator.

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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