September 2019 Announcements

Memory Eternal, Archbishop NIKON

Once again, we must sadly – but with faith and hope – announce the passing of a great leader in the Orthodox Church in America, His Eminence the Most Reverend Nikon, Archbishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian Archdiocese.  His Eminence fell asleep in the Lord September 1, 2019.  His repose was preceded by a long life of serving Christ’s Church in numerous capacities, nurtured in the Faith from his youth up.  

His Eminence occupied a special place in the hearts of Southern Orthodox Christians in the OCA.  From February 2011 until March 2015 he served as locum tenens (temporary administrator) of the Diocese of the South.  In that capacity he displayed genuine warmth and a fatherly concern for his flock, so characteristic of Archbishop Dmitri’s forty-two-year episcopacy, our Diocese’s founding hierarch.  (Archbishop Dmitri retired in March of 2009 and fell asleep in the Lord, August 28, 2011).

Archbishop Nikon also had the distinction of being one of the only widowed bishops in the OCA.  On occasion he would refer to the uniqueness of his episcopal walking staff. Embedded in the top was his wife’s (Sarah) wedding ring, a sign that he was never without her.  She reposed in 2000, he was consecrated Bishop in 2002.   The Archbishop’s experience of marriage was a great help throughout his ministry.  He sometimes thought that having been married provided him a unique perspective on Church life while serving on the Holy Synod of Bishops. At Southern Diocesan Assemblies he took great joy in hosting the customary clergy wives’ luncheon.

In addition, Archbishop Nikon for many years was a friend of Archbishop Dmitri, serving under him during Archbishop Dmitri’s episcopal oversight of the New England Diocese, from 1971 to 1978.  In 1978 the OCA’s Holy Synod established the Diocese of the South and elected (then) Bishop Dmitri as its first ruling hierarch.  His Eminence Nikon would recall with brotherly affection the pastoral care afforded him and additional New England clergy during Archbishop Dmitri’s time in the Northeast.    

On a more personal note, many of us remember Archbishop Nikon’s visit to St. Barbara Orthodox Church in August of 2014.  His Eminence celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, met with the Council, offering Council members profound words of insight, and spoke privately as well with children and parents.  He also enjoyed greatly a special reception given in his honor.  The Archbishop had an innate ability to find comfort with parishioners of all ages.    

In recent years His Eminence experienced declining health.  His gentle pastoral spirit remains with us as an inspiration, and, as some have recently commented, “he is now with his beloved Sarah in God’s Kingdom.” May his memory be eternal!   


Church School 2019-2020

This year our Church School curriculum will focus on the Parables of Christ.  We will add relevant topics such as major feast days, lives of the saints, etc., as these teaching opportunities avail themselves.

The Church School year will begin with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross on Saturday, September 14th at 10:00 a.m.  Parents will need to send a snack for their child(ren) for each Church School session.  In addition, families will be given take-home reading, information and activities about each Church School class to expand their own Orthodox resource library.  We look forward to an enjoyable and informative year.  Please see Matushka Christine Zebrun, our Church School Coordinator, with any questions. Following is an outline of the first semester with days, times and topics: 

SATURDAY, SEPT. 14th: 10:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy for the Elevation of the Cross.  Church School afterwards focusing on The Elevation of the Cross and The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23, Luke 8:5-15): Read on Sunday, Oct 13 this year.

SATURDAY, OCT. 12th: 4:00 p.m. Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31): Read on Sunday, October 20 this year.

SATURDAY, NOV.  9th: 4:00 p.m. Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21): Read on Sunday, November 17 this year.

SATURDAY, DEC. 14th: 4:00 p.m. Parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:16-24): Read on December 15 for the Sunday of the Forefathers, in preparation for Christ’s Nativity.

Music and Reader Rehearsals

We continue our Youth Choir Rehearsals with a gathering of children, 3rd grade to senior in High School.  We will meet this month on Saturday, September 21 at 5:00 pm.  A Readers Workshop open to men, women, pre-teens and teens will be conducted on Sunday, September 29, during the latter part of Coffee Hour.

General Confession and Council Meeting

General Confession is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18 at 6:00 pm, and a Council Meeting on Thursday, September 19, at 6:30 pm.

August 2019 Announcements

Important Archangel Gabriel Update!!

We are excited to announce that this month Archangel Gabriel Mission in Azle starts a new chapter in its history.  Fr. Chrysostom Arthur has been assigned by Archbishop Alexander as Priest-in-charge of the Mission effective Sunday, August 11.  With Fr. Chrysostom’s assignment Archangel Gabriel becomes a distinct community from St. Barbara’s.  While servicing the parish Fr. Chrysostom will continue with part time outside employment.  We congratulate the members of Archangel Gabriel on this momentous occasion!  The group began meeting almost three years ago, first in homes and then in its current renovated facility at 1157 Jacksboro Highway.  They have been faithful in their service attendance and support of the Mission, and have looked forward to this day.  Many blessed years!  We anticipate the progress that will be made as Archangel Gabriel, living up to its name, becomes a messenger of the Gospel for those living west of the Ft. Worth area.  

Congratulations, Receptions into the Church:

We congratulate the Connell family on their reception into the Orthodox Church.  The infant Nika (patron saint Nicholas) was baptized on Saturday, August 3.  Daniel (the Prophet Daniel), Hannadi (St. Mary of Egypt) and Luke (St. Luke the Evangelist) were Chrismated on Sunday, August 4.  God grant them many blessed years serving Christ and His Holy Church.

Orphaned Children and North Texans:

This summer through Opened Hearts and Homes for Children several North Texas Orthodox families opened their homes for orphans from Ukraine.  A total of six children are benefiting from this experience.  At Archangel Gabriel and St. Barbara’s we have been delighted to have had in our midst, fifteen-year-old Nastya, hosted by Ryan and Lena Key, and fourteen-year-old Sasha, hosted by Aaron and Jamie Stepich.   With sadness we will say goodbye to these lovely children.  Please keep them in your prayers along with their host families. Please feel free to contact Lena Key, a regional director for the program, with further questions and future opportunities. Thank you. 

Parish Picnic August 25!

Exciting news!  On Sunday, August 25, Lucie Muns is planning to graciously host St. Barbara’s Annual Parish Picnic at her lake-house in Chico, Texas. We look forward to this wonderful event which always features great food, fellowship and opportunities for swimming and other water-related activities.  A sign-up sheet will be placed in the Church Hall.  Please plan to join us for a final community celebration at the start of the school year.   

Music Rehearsals:

We continue our Youth Choir Rehearsals with a gathering of children, 3rd grade to senior in High School.  We will meet this month on Saturday, August 17 at 5:00 pm. In addition, several men have expressed an interest in reviewing basics of choral singing.  We have our next Male Singing Workshop on Saturday August 24, at 5:00 pm.  If you are interested please see Fr. Basil and/or simply join us.

General Confession and Council Meeting:

General Confession is scheduled for Wednesday, August 7 at 6:00 pm, and a Council Meeting on Thursday, August 22, at 6:30 pm.


Church School Preview – Classes Begin Sept. 14:

On Saturday, September 14 the Orthodox Church will celebrate the Great Feast of The Exaltation of the Cross.  Liturgy will be served that day at 10:00 am, followed by our first Church School class for the 2019-2020 season.  Our main overall topic this year will be The Parables of Christ.  We will however, follow our past format using the first half hour as a time to review feasts, prominent hymns and basics of Orthodoxy with the children.  The last hour will be spent with Church School Teachers reviewing the Parables.  Should you have any questions please see Matushka Christine our Church School Coordinator.  Thank you.