35th Annual Pysanky Festival and Pysanky Classes
On Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17 our parish will host its 35th ANNUAL PYSANKY (Ukrainian Easter Egg) FESTIVAL. This much anticipated event will be a milestone in our parish’s history. For three and a half decades the Pysanky Festival has been an excellent outreach activity introducing neighbors to the community of St. Barbara’s. In the early days members of the Church would take their decorative eggs to local malls and to May Fest. Later, sales efforts were moved onsite to the Church itself. This new venue provided the Festival a decorative and warm environment in which to welcome guests and offer tours of the Church.
Hours of the sale are: Friday, March 16, from 9 am to 6 pm, and Saturday, March 17, from 9 am to 5 pm. Please plan now to notify family members and friends about this unique event. Please plan as well to help work the sale itself if at all possible. We will be in need of greeters, egg packagers, cashiers, hosts, and tour providers. No experience is necessary! A SIGN-UP Sheet will be set up in the near future so that we may coordinate everyone’s availability.
The Festival is early this year due to the early date of Western Easter, and to the Orthodox Church's liturgical cycle (Note: the 2nd weekend prior to Western Easter generally provides the best chance for the most possible visitors).
The Festival itself features intricately decorated chicken, goose, and ostrich eggs with traditional Ukrainian Pysanky motifs: prices range from $10 to $850. In addition, skilled craftsmen demonstrate this wonderful and ancient folk art during the two-day event. We also have available other Pysanky supplies, instructional books and related gift items.
Pysanky Classes, open to the Public and to Church members, will take place at 7:00 pm on consecutive weeks, following Pascha and Orthodox Bright Week. Classes will be held on April 17 and 19, and on April 24 and 26 to accommodate as many people as possible during this, our 35th Year. Should you have any questions please contact Matushka Christine Zebrun, our Festival Chairperson. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
Chili and Cornbread Competition Results
On Sunday, January 28, immediately after the Divine Liturgy, St. Barbara's conducted its Annual Chili and Cornbread Competition. Those who placed in the Chili Cookoff were: 1st Place, David Stepich; 2nd Place, Zach Lueth; 3rd Place, Peter and Christina Drauden. In the Cornbread Competition: 1st Place, Tiera Lueth; 2nd Place, Kate Stepich; 3rd Place, Melinda Bowman. Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to all of our competitors for making our Coffee Hour on January 28, something to remember. Thank you also to everyone to brought side dishes, and to our Chili Cookoff Coordinator, Mrs. Lynn Powers for her efforts in hosting and arranging this wonderful event.
Baptisms in February
We are pleased to announce six upcoming Baptisms on the eve of the Sunday of Orthodoxy. Peter, Kacey, Joanna, Rebecca and Leah Blaisdell, as well as Les Nicholson will be received into the Church through Baptism on Saturday, February 24 at 3:30 pm. We invite everyone to be with us for this joyful event. Many years to Les and to the Blaisdell’s!
A New Book Study on Prayer
We are pleased to announce a new Adult and Teen Book Study focusing on Metropolitan Anthony Bloom’s, “Beginning to Pray.” This relatively brief work (106 pages) has been referred to as a modern spiritual classic. In an easy to read, yet engaging style, the Metropolitan addresses many of the questions asked – at one time or another – by any person setting out to encounter the Living God through the art of prayer. Copies of the book are available in our bookstore for $10.00. We will conduct the classes on Beginning to Pray, Wednesday nights after services beginning February 21. We will return, however, to our normal midweek topics immediately after Pascha. Please join us for the new Book Study starting Wednesday, Feb. 21.
St. Barbara Building Program Update
In the near future the St. Barbara Council and Building Committee will meet with the parish architect, Michael Hoffer, to discuss final renderings of the proposed designs and site plans for the new Church. After this meeting we hope to set a date for a Special One Topic Parish Meeting, offering the proposal(s) for everyone’s consideration and approval.
During the Parish Meeting on Sunday, January 28, we provided a four-page handout to those present outlining a two-year time frame of activities, and describing the thought process leading up to the current design(s). A total of eighteen people from the congregation have contributed officially to design efforts in their capacity as members of the Building Committee and/or Council. Multiple copies of the aforementioned handouts are available on the table in the Church’s narthex. We ask that everyone please review this material over the next couple of weeks. It provides very helpful information that will facilitate discussions greatly during the upcoming Parish Meeting.
Mississippi Pastoral Conference
This year’s Diocesan-wide Pastoral Conference will be held Tuesday through Thursday, February 13-15. Our host parish will be Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Jackson/Clinton, Mississippi. With travel time, Fr. Basil will be gone from Monday morning February 12 through Friday night, February 16. In case of an emergency during that period please notify Fr. Nicholas at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Ft. Worth, Fr. Vasile at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Euless, or Fr. Mark at St. Peter Antiochian Orthodox Church in Ft. Worth.
Special Lenten Services and Confessions
We wish to invite everyone to make room on their schedules for the special Lenten services coming up, as well as for Holy Week Services. For Orthodox Christians, Pascha is celebrated quite early this year on Sunday, April 8. Lazarus Saturday, Palm Sunday and Holy Week services begin on Saturday, March 31, with services conducted every day during the nine day period.
In addition, throughout the Fast we celebrate each Wednesday evening (except February 21) the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. During the first week of Lent the Penitential Canon of St. Andrew of Crete is celebrated Monday through Thursday, and on the fifth week of Lent on Thursday, March 22.
We also want to encourage everyone to arrange times for Confessions prior to Holy Week so that liturgical preparations and other practical considerations immediately before Pascha will be conducted as smoothly as possible.
Church School and General Confession
This month's Church School will meet on Saturday, February 10, at 4:00 pm. General Confession will be conducted on Wednesday, February 7, at 6:00 pm.
2018 Calendars and Pocket Planners
The 2018 Orthodox Wall Calendars are in and available for $5.00 each. Pocket Planners are also available for $4.00. The Calendars as well as the Planners contain much helpful information for the year. Both include lists of fasts and feasts. The Planners also provide future dates during the next few years for Pre-Lent, Lent, Pascha, Ascension and Pentecost. Both are available on a side table at the front of the Church.