A Growing Orthodox Community



Encyclical for the Feast of the Dormition 2018


“The Virgin is holding the Creator in her arms as an infant.”
Saint Photios the Great, Homily XVII


Dearly Beloved,

We are accustomed to seeing and venerating icons of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ. As we contemplate and prepare for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos over the next two weeks, we are challenged by the converse of the above statement from the great Saint, theologian, and Patriarch Photios. In the icon of the Feast of the Dormition, the Creator holds the Virgin in His arms.

As Orthodox Christians, we proclaim that the translation of Mary into the heavens at the time of her falling asleep is a great mystery and miracle. Tradition holds that at her falling asleep, the Lord entered the room and received her soul from the Archangel Michael, while an angelic choir sang nearby. We believe that Mary passed through death unharmed and already dwells with her Son in the kingdom that is to come. The icon for the Feast presents our hope to pass through death and into eternal life with Christ. We can only sing praises to God when we encounter this miracle.

Metropolitan_Gerasimos_2016_largeIn our life’s experiences, the time will come when we will face the death of a loved one. As Orthodox Christians, however, we look upon death in a different way. The Dormition of the Theotokos is a reminder that we too, will depart from this life “to the source of life.” We must also call to mind the words Saint Paul uses when instructing the Philippians about death: “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

These first two weeks in August always provide us the opportunity to grow in faith and be strengthened by the intercessions of the Holy Mother of God. Let us contemplate the mystery and the miracle of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Observe the fast. Attend the Paraklesis services and sing praises to the Almighty God and to the Virgin Mary. Take time to submit your name and the names of your loved ones so that we might pray for your “health, salvation, visitation, pardon and remission of sins….

For you, the faithful stewards of our Holy Metropolis, I ceaselessly pray: “commemorating our most Holy, Pure, Blessed and Glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the saints let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco

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
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Latest Updates

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Between the joy of Pascha and the anticipation of Pentecost: The Road to Emmaus – Their Eyes were Opened in the Breaking of the Bread

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Dear fellow parishioners, In an effort to continue tailoring our ministries to target the needs of each of our families, we have prepared a brief survey to collect data which we feel will assist us going forward.  Please take a moment to fill out the survey by following the link below, it would be much… Read More

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After taking a brief hiatus early 2018, our Mom’s Bible Study group format was changed a bit and restarted this last March 13 during Great Lent.  The group, led by Annemarie Bosl, now will go through topical discussions over a series of four sessions periodically throughout the year. Our first topic for this year was… Read More

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From the Fathers

Spiritual Sayings

Every time I take a step in the direction of generosity, I know that I am moving from fear to love.

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.

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!

Do not say, “this happened by chance, while this came to be of itself.” In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance … How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God?


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