August 2018 Announcements

New Bible Study Begins Saturday, August 4

His Eminence Archbishop Dmitri (of blessed memory) once said that the Sermon on the Mount contains the core of Christ’s teachings for how men ought to live.  This Sermon will be the focus of a New Bible Study led by Mr. Zach Lueth.  Classes begin Saturday, August 4 at 4:30 pm, and will meet for 4 consecutive Saturdays ending on August 25.  The sessions will cover chapters 5, 6 and 7 in the Gospel according to St. Matthew.  In addition, Zach will utilize as a guide the Biblical Commentary of the Blessed Theophylact.  Copies of this text will be provided.   We invite our older teens and adults to join us for these spiritually enriching discussions.  Should you have any questions please see either Zach or Fr. Basil.

19th All-American Council Presentation, Aug. 12

From July 23 to July 27, Zach Lueth and Fr. Basil represented St. Barbara's at the Orthodox Church in America’s 19th All-American Council, held in St. Louis.  In addition, Reader Stephen and Jean Bodnarchuk, as well as Matushka Christine Zebrun participated as observers, with Matushka representing and working for the OCA’s Department of Christian Education from Monday to Friday.   On SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, during Coffee Hour, Zach will provide an account of what happened in St. Louis. One may also read about and hear proceedings from the Council on the OCA website.

Altar Server Class August 19

On Sunday August 19 toward the middle of Coffee Hour we will begin classes for our men and youth currently serving in the Sanctuary.  We will try to meet once a month or every 6 weeks, focusing on things specific to the Divine Liturgy and special occasions, as well as to the Hierarchical Liturgy, when a Bishop is present.  We invite those currently serving or who would like to learn to serve at the Altar, to please join us.  At least two immediate goals are to make our typical Sunday services as efficient as possible, and to get a head start on Lent and Holy Week, or for any future visits by His Eminence Archbishop Alexander. For more information please see Fr. Basil.

Liturgy at Azle Mission, August 26

We continue Tuesday evening services at 6 pm at Archangel Gabriel Mission in Azle. This month the Mission will also welcome Fr. Chrysostom Arthur on Sunday, August 26 at 10 am, for Divine Liturgy.  We invite St. Barbara members to come visit the Mission at 1157 S.E. Parkway (Jacksboro Highway).        

General Confession and Council Meeting

This month our monthly General Confession will be conducted on Wednesday, August 22 at 6 pm, just prior to Vespers.  Our Council Meeting will be conducted on Thursday, August 23 at 6:30 pm. 

Church School Classes Begin Saturday Sept. 8

In anticipation of the upcoming 2018-2019 School Year, Matushka Christine will be meeting personally in weeks to come with Church School teachers as well as with parents to discuss registration and curriculum.  Teachers this year will utilize the OCA’s Department of Christian Education newest publication, Saints Who were Physicians and Healers.  Once a month Saturday Church School Classes will start the morning of September 8, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, immediately after a 10 am Liturgy.  For more information or clarification please see Matushka Christine Zebrun our Church School Coordinator. 

May 2018 Announcements

Special Services in May

On Sunday, May 13, Fr. Chrysostom Arthur from St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the Archangel Gabriel Mission in Azle.  Service will start at 10:00 am, with the Hours being read at 9:40 am.  We encourage those who are able to join our brethren in Azle, for this “Sunday of the Blindman,” (the last Paschal Sunday), and for Mother’s Day.

In addition, on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, May 16 and 17, we will celebrate services for the Feast of Ascension at 7:00 pm and 10:00 am, respectively.  Along with special hymns, Great Vespers will include three Old Testament Readings, a Gospel Lesson, and Litiya (blessing of the wheat, wine and oil). 

And then finally, on Saturday night and Sunday morning, May 26 and 27, we will celebrate services for the Feast of Pentecost at 6:30 pm and 10:00 am, respectively.  Pentecost is also known as Trinity Sunday in Orthodoxy.  It is the celebration of the giving of the Spirit, the birthday of the Church, and the final act that places a “seal” upon Christ’s ministry and God’s saving dispensation.  Again, Great Vespers will include three Old Testament Readings, a Gospel Lesson, and the Litiya.  The Liturgy on Sunday will be followed by the three traditional kneeling prayers of Pentecost.  The week after Pentecost is fast free.   

Special Parish Meeting Convened, April 22

On Sunday, April 22 (Sunday of the Myrrbearers), a Special One Topic Parish Meeting was convened during Coffee Hour, to offer a proposal on a New Temple and Site Plan for everyone’s consideration and approval.  Michael Hoffer (our Architect) was in attendance as well, to make the presentation and to address any technical questions that might arise.

The meeting was relatively brief, but everyone present voted to support the project.  Plans were sent to His Eminence Archbishop Alexander who approved the design in less than 48 hours.  Again, we thank everyone for their input and support. There is still a great deal of work before us, but we do look forward to the day that groundbreaking will commence.    

Special Features of the Paschal Season

The week following Pascha is called Bright Week, by the Church.  It is a period of unique Resurrection joy, manifested outwardly by the faithful in diverse ways.  The Resurrection season, however, is definitely not limited only to one week.  For forty days after Pascha, until Ascension (this year May 17), the faithful recall in songs and greetings the joyous news that ‘Christ has trampled down death by death, bestowing life upon those in the tombs.’  Clergy and altar servers continue to wear their brightest vestments, and everyone stands (rather than kneels) in prayer, both at home and in Church.  The practice of standing in prayer during the Paschal Season serves to stress our belief that in Christ we are already resurrected beings, residents on earth yet citizens of Heaven. The faithful actually continue this practice until Pentecost (this year May 27), when after Liturgy for the first time since Holy Week we kneel during three special prayers that are read from the ambo by the clergy.

The five Sundays following Pascha emphasize, through the appointed Scripture readings and hymns, (1.) post-resurrection appearances of Christ; (2.) the Church’s early life and missionary endeavors (Epistle readings are taken from the Book of Acts); and (3.) aspects of baptism, through which we ourselves have died and risen with the Lord to a new life in God (Gospel readings are taken from the most “sacramental” of the Gospel accounts, that of John theTheologian or Evangelist).