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Promise The


September 2011 ^ Volume 35, Issue 6


Ecclesiastical New Year A

s we begin the Ecclesiastical New Year (September), a time in which we are called to recognize and honor God’s magnificent beauty found in the created world we are reminded, by our very own Ecumenical Patriarchate, of our duty to honor and respect the natural environment that surrounds us.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has called the whole Orthodox world to offer supplications to the Maker of all things for the great gifts found in the natural world and to offer prayers for its protection and preservation from every evil that threatens it. In response to the request of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in 1989, other Orthodox Churches, in 1992, have also adopted and promoted this idea. “Everything that lives and breathes is sacred and beautiful in the eyes of God. The whole world is a sacrament. The entire created cosmos is a burning bush of God’s uncreated energies. And humankind stands as a priest before the altar of creation, as microcosm and mediator. Such is the true nature of things; or, as an Orthodox hymn describes it, “the truth of things,” if only we have the eyes of faith to see it. – His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. ^

Goodness in Creation 


“And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.” [Genesis 1:31]


hese words taken from Holy Scripture speak to us about the natural link that exists between the created and the Creator. No one doubts that God Himself is the primal good. And we, being the work of His hands, by nature are also good since the product is always a reflection of its Maker. God, Who is good by essence, cannot create anything contrary to His very own essence. In similar fashion, in bringing forth new life, a man and a woman can only bring forth that which is common to their nature – a human child. As the blessed Augustine says, “we are linked to God by the simple fact that we are alive, and God is incomparably alive and the source of life.” After God created the entire universe, He looked at all that He had created and seeing His goodness reflecting in all things, He beheld His creation as very good! Being part of His creation, it is important for us to identify with and to confirm our connection to God. Only through His goodness and only Pag. 3

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Dates in the Life of Our Church September - New Ecclesiastical Year begins



8:15 AM Orthros Labor Day







9:30 AM Divine Liturgy



Office Closed 7:30 PM Choir practice 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

6:30 PM Great Vespers 7:00 PM Philoptochos



3:00 PM Wedding 4:00 PM Greek School


27 WED


Exaltation of the Precious and Holy Cross

10:00 AM TOTS



8:30 AM Orthros 10:00 AM Trinity Circle Trip Holy Cross Liturgy & Diving for the Cross in Asbury Park; no church services at Holy Trinity 7:30 PM Northern New Jersey Youth Commission

4:00 PM Greek School 7:30 PM Choir practice


6:30 PM Christ Encounter Weekend


Christ Encounter Weekend


Christ Encounter Weekend


4:00 PM Greek School and Agiasmos

18 19

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy



8:15 AM Orthros Registration for GOYA, Greek School, Religious Education

9:30 AM Divine Liturgy



8:15 AM Orthros



7:00 PM GOYA Kick off dance in Tenafly


7:30 PM Parish Council




Registration for GOYA, Greek School, Religious Education, TAG Luncheon TUE

7:30 PM Choir practice




4:00 PM Greek School and Agiasmos

8:15 AM Orthros 9:30 AM Hierarchical Divine Liturgy Sapphire Luncheon after Church Service

Sacraments & Rites CHURCHINGS

Sun., July 24 - Olivia Mary Irina Daughter of Laurie & Danny Zoba

Sat., August 27 - Paraskevi Daughter of Rhodamanthy & Nikolaos Christopoulos



Sat., July 16 - Angeliki Cecilia Daughter of Christina & Christopher Torizzo Sun., July 17 - Elpida Brielle Daughter of Christopher & Tami Stappas Sat., August 13 - Alexander Peter Son of Melissa & Peter Nikolakopoulos Sun., August 14 - Eleni Barbara Daughter of Jaime & James Andrews


Saturday, July 16 Marina Padakis & Ian Lowry Sunday, July 17 Diane Honecker & Dan Bellina FUNERALS

Wed., April 20 ^ Evelyn Somkopoulos

Sat., May 21 ^ Spiridon Repousis Tue., May 24 ^ Peter L. Vlahakes Sat., May 28 ^ Athena Lazos Tue., June 7 ^ Socrates A. Vasilatis Mon., June 20 ^ Theocharis A. “Haris” Philippou Tue., June 21 ^ Irene T. Vagelos Sat., July 9 ^ Apostolos “Paul” Dellaportas Tue., August 2 ^ Peter Midas Wed., August 3 ^ Mary Ketsoglou

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church ^ Westfield, New Jersey

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The Universal Exaltation of the Precious & Holy Cross


aint Constantine the Great was preparing to march on Rome to confront his rival Maxentius when the sign of the Life-giving Cross appeared to him in the midday sky, surrounded with the inscription: “By this sign you shall conquer.” He therefore immediately had his flags and banners adorned with the Sign of the Cross and won a brilliant victory, that enabled him to assume power over the entire Roman Empire and to assure the triumph of Christianity. In the twentieth year of his reign (326 AD), Constantine sent his mother Saint Helen to Jerusalem to venerate the Holy Places and to fi nd the site of the Holy Sepulchre and of the Cross that was covered by rubble from building-works done at the time of Hadrian when the city had been enlarged. Relying upon the oral accounts of the faithful, Saint Helen was led to an area just outside the city and smelled the fragrant basil plant. She instructed those with her to dig at that spot. With God’s grace, she found the precious Trophy along with the crosses on which the two thieves had hung. She could not, however, see a way of telling which was the Cross of Christ. The healing of a dying woman at the touch of the holy Wood enables St. Makarios, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, to identify the Cross of Christ, for no miracle was worked by the other two crosses. Then the Queen and her whole court venerated the Holy Cross and kissed it with great devotion. The people, who had gathered in large numbers at the place, also wanted to share in this grace, or at least – so ardent was their love for Christ – to see from afar the instrument of our redemption. So

the Patriarch mounted the ambo, and taking the Cross in both hands, raised it on high so that all could see it, while the crowd exclaimed: Kyrie Eleison! This was the occasion of the institution in all the Churches of the Exaltation of the Precious Cross, not only in memory of this particular event but also to show forth this instrument of shame as having become our pride and our joy. By recalling the action of the Patriarch and by elevating the Cross at the four points of the compass while chanting Kyrie Eleison, Christians show today that, in mounting the Cross, Christ desired to reconcile all things to Himself, uniting Creation in all its beauty and magnitude to His body, so that we may access the Father through Him. ^

Pag. 1 - Goodness in Creation through His life, we are able to possess goodness and life itself. And because of His gifts, we in turn, love, honor, and worship Him. “For if we love our parents because they have produced us [and are from their flesh], how much more ought we to love the Creator of our parents and our own Creator!” –St. Ambrose of Milan God created the entire universe, with the inclusion of man, in six steps, or as Scripture says, in six days. “The concept of a ‘day’ cannot be reduced to an instant [or moment in time] but implies a process.” –St. John Chrysostom. The “days of creation” set forth a sequence of divine creation, as St. Gregory the Theologian says, in which the lower forms were created first proceeding to the higher forms of being, as explained by St. Gregory of Nyssa. Therefore, we can understand that by the sixth and last day, with the formation of man, God had reached the pinnacle of His creation. To further illustrate the importance of man’s genesis, Scripture records a Triune consultation proceeding Adam’s formation, something that did not happen with the rest of creation. [Genesis 1:26] The point of this discussion regarding creation is to identify the undisputable link that exists between God and man, and man with his environment. This is an appropriate topic at the beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year (September) when the Church focuses its attention on our natural environment,

the first harvested fruits of the season, and God’s benevolence in providing care for that which He made. [Luke 12:22-34] The creation narrative, as found in the Book of Genesis, shows, not only an overwhelming, awesome, and multifaceted creative power flowing from God along with His abundant munificence offered to mankind but it also begins the divine chronicle explaining our eternal connection to Him. This particular opinion and desire for communion between the divine and the human is pervasive throughout the entirety of Holy Scripture and therefore the concept of our true nature and identity in the divine is established within its pages. All this is meant to encourage us, reminding us that we are at once part of creation and yet the Creator’s prized creation. Our connection and dependence on God keeps us from falling victim to the lifeless, soul-killing, false philosophies prevalent in today’s society. Through this magnificent divine connection provided by our Creator we are asked to bring the life of God into our own inner being and allow Christ to reside within. By allowing Christ to live within and thus direct our actions, thoughts and deeds, we understand the saying of St. Paul in a deeper sense that, it is no longer I that live but Christ within me [Galatians 2:20] and therefore live as true imitators of our Creator. – †Fr. Peter ^ The Promise ^ September 2011 ^ Volume 35, Issue 6

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Narthex/Exonarthex Renovation Nears Completion the church through the courtyard entrance whether it is to attend a liturgical service or come to church for some other reason. Now, greeted by Christ as soon as one enters, a clear reminder shows us that this place is God’s holy place. Therefore our over-riding objective is directed by service to Christ, whether we come for a meeting, to practice athletics or dance or even visit the church office. This mosaic shows that Holy Trinity is Christ-centered and He is the purpose of our being here. The second mosaic, found in the Narthex, bears the name The Deisis. This mosaic depicts Christ flanked by His Mother, the Theotokos, and His cousin, St. John the Baptist. This wonderful image teaches that our earthly attention must be directed heavenwards – toward Christ. During the first week in July, both The Theotokos and St. John the Baptist The Deisis & Christ Enthroned mosaics were are perfect examples of this, teaching us installed. Renowned artist Bruno to look beyond this temporal world into Salvatore created these spiritual works of God’s eternal kingdom. It also instructs us art and sent his assistant Corrado Maganzi about worship and ministry. We minister from Pietrasanta, Lucca, Italy to complete to Christ by worshipping Him and by the installation work. These mosaics add serving our fellow man. another spiritual dimension and beauty Likewise, the new etched glass windows to the church. and new carved wooden doors each The Christ Enthroned mosaic found in the holding ancient Christian symbols further Exonarthex is positioned in a manner beautify our parish. Lastly, the new brass that reminds us of Christ’s infinite love five day candle holders and the icon display welcoming all who enter into His Holy case further project prayer and faith. House. The Church, founded [established] Our donors are thanked for their upon the person of Jesus Christ, is extraordinary contribution to Christ’s the center of Christian life. Church. They are motivated by love and A great number of the faithful enter strive to promote our precious faith. ^

View into church through new etched glass.


he beautification of the Narthex/ Exonarthex is near completion. Two majestic mosaics now grace these areas with an expectation for the dome iconography to be finished by the end of September.

Christ Enthroned, Exonarthex.

The Deisis, Narthex.

Notis with Corrado. Corrado Maganzi installing Deisis.


Notis & Theresa with Christ Enthroned Mosaic.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church ^ Westfield, New Jersey

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Sapphire Sunday On Sunday, October 2, 1966, the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the parish of Holy Trinity in Westfield, New Jersey. On October 2, 2011, we commemorate our 45th Anniversary, symbolized by the Sapphire. Blue is the favorite color of 50% of all people, men and women alike. The strongly linked blue color of sapphires is also linked to feelings of harmony, friendship, loyalty, mutual understanding and indestructible trust. The beauty of the sapphire with its transparency, constancy and durability has become a color which fits in with everything that is constant and reliable; all the qualities we find in Christianity. Often called gemstones of the sky, sapphires are truly a ‘heavenly ‘gem. With deep appreciation we are grateful to our true-blue founders who had the vision and foresight to build the Crown Jewel that is Holy Trinity, Westfield. Through their love, dedication and sacrifices the Holy Trinity Family has flourished. We have built up our foundation on many generations. Let us come together once again as the Holy Trinity Family to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, the Dedication of the Narthex and feast in fellowship at the Sapphire Sunday Luncheon on Sunday, October 2 with thankfulness for all that God has graced us. Penny Pefanis, Chair of Sapphire Luncheon.


To aid the poor, the aged, the hungry, the needy, and the sick through charitable works performed with discretion, courtesy, and kindness. Beloved Philoptochos Sisters in Christ, greet you with agape, joy and enthusiasm as we begin this Ecclesiastical New Year on September 1 as one united and mighty team. Philoptochos women renew their faith and their relationship with the Lord by exercising commitment to serve those in need.


With the Lord’s blessings, Philoptochos enters this year addressing its mission respectfully with agape and demonstrating its faithful and loyal service. As we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross, it has been the tradition and the commitment of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, to offer our love and support for the seminarians and students at our beloved Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology. On Sunday, September 11, Philoptochos will have a tray collection for Hellenic College/Holy Cross Scholarships.

This is our starting point for putting our faith into action. Become a Philoptochos member. And with dedication, dignity and respect, we will help those in need, the aged, the children, the hungry, the destitute and the disabled. Join us in all our events and share the happiness of bringing joy to others. May the Blessings of the New Church Year be with all of us!

Calendar of Events SEPTEMBER

9/13 Tuesday – Board Meeting 7 pm Rm. 101 9/11 Sunday – Tray Collection – Hellenic College Holy Cross Scholarships– Janet O’Sullivan, Maria Stevens 9/18 Sunday – Holy Cross Asbury Park 9/24 Saturday – Walk or become a

sponsor To End Alzheimer’s event Point Pleasant, 9:00 - 12:00 Noon OCTOBER

All Sundays in October – Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Anna Savva, Chairperson 10/2 Sunday – Parish Luncheon Celebrating Holy Trinity’s 45th Sapphire Anniversary – Bouras Center

10/12 Wednesday – General Meeting – Bouras Center 7:00 pm 10/ 14,15,16 Friday,Saturday,Sunday – Art Show to benefit HomeFirst Plainfield – Nitsa Bruno, Avi Kiriakatis Co-Chair 10/23 Sunday – 50/50 Raffle Drawing – Marina LoAlbo, Chairperson – Bouras Center 12 pm 10/26 Wednesday – Lord & Taylor Shopping Bash – to benefit fashion show Grand Raffle gifts – Penny Pefanis 10/30 Sunday – Tray Collection Saints Cosmas & Damianos - Ecumenical Patriarchate Obligation – Jean Fountas, Terri Kotsolios ^

New Philoptochos Board 2011 - 2012 Congratulations to the New Philoptochos Board for 2011-2012 Avi Kiriakatis, President Marina LoAlbo, Vice President Maria Stevens, Recording Secretary Barbara Manos, Corresponding Secretary Helen Hadzitheodorou, Treasurer Ellen Manos-Athenson, Assistant Treasurer Mary Demiris, Advisor

The Promise ^ September 2011 ^ Volume 35, Issue 6

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Parish Life

Greek Festival 2011 Snapshots / Ionian Village

Katie Vasilow receiving a blessing from Archbishop Demetrios at Ionian Village.

New Members of the Church


Jaime Calabrese 131 Candace Ln., Chatham, NJ 07928

Vasilios & Marguerite Porfiris 28 Greenwood Dr., Millington, NJ 07946

Iliana Dellaportas 25 Terry Ln., Middletown, NJ 07748

Nicole Repousis 74 Canal St., Iselin, NJ 08830

Constance Efthemios-Thomas 707 Gallows Hill Rd., Cranford, NJ 07016

Christopher Stappas 6 James Ter., Towaco, NJ 07082

Candace Honecker 47 Mount Airy Rd., Bernardsville, NJ 07924

William Stappas 401 Route 22 West, Apt 25H, North Plainfield, NJ 07060

Ian & Marina Lowry 72 Broad St., Summit, NJ 07901

Jonathan S. & Christina Torrizo 41 Benthaven Pl., Boulder, CO 80305

Melissa Nikolakopoulos 95 Birchwood Rd., Bedminster, NJ 07921

Danny & Laurie Zoba 815 Coolidge St., Westfield, NJ 07090

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church ^ Westfield, New Jersey

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Genesis Continued… Bible Study Beginning October 12


uring the Lenten period last March, the Theosis program began reading the Book of Genesis. The interest of many was peeked as the book spoke about man’s relationship with God and man’s relation to society.

Before each Bible Study, a short Vespers service will be held at 6:30 PM for those who want to pray in solace before contemplating the Word of God.

The Book of Genesis, the first book of Holy Scripture, is jammed packed with many awe inspiring and uplifting stories. Beginning on Wed., October 12, the study of this book will continue. And you are invited to attend.

There are people who say, “If I had the opportunity to hear God speak in person, I would run on my bare feet to the ends of the earth to hear Him!” But God is present here and now and He is speaking to each of us personally. We do not have to travel to the ends of the earth to hear Him. He speaks to us all the time in and through His Word, the Holy Bible. What is the Bible but the Word of God speaking to us every Sunday in the Divine Liturgy and every day at home. It is God’s Word just as surely as if God Himself were speaking to us in person.

Theosis Bible Study will begin at 7:15 PM and the group will continue to examine the content of this sacred book, hence GENESIS CONTINUED… The Bible is the Book of the Church. The faithful must open it and read it to understand the mysteries of God. Spiritual edification arises when the faithful come together to share their experiences of faith and understand how God has directed them in life and has blessed them.


St. John Chrysostom writes, “As when God became man in Bethlehem the eternal Word become flesh, so in the Bible the glory of God veils itself in the fleshy garment of human thought and human language.” God is speaking! Whenever I pick up the Bible to read, I need to say to myself, “God is now speaking to me.” He speaks not in thunder and lightning as He spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai. He speaks to us as Jesus spoke to His disciples in the

Sermon on the Mount. He sat down with them on a lovely hilltop and spoke to them personally the words of life. Bible reading is a conversation with God; we are actually in contact with Him, and how greatly we ought to prize that fact! When you say your prayers you are speaking to God; when you read the Bible God is speaking to you – not as a stern judge but as a loving Father. We must ever remember that more than a lawgiver God is life giver. That life comes to us through word and sacrament. God speaks continuously to us! Do we listen? Do we read? Do we make conversation with Him? Every day every newspaper, every website, every television, every radio, every conversation fills us with the so-called daily news. The news-cycle very rarely gives us good news. Good News comes to us through the Holy Bible. Jesus said in John 15:22, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.” God has come in Christ. He has spoken to us. He has given us the Good News. He holds us responsible for the Word even if we have not read it, for He has placed it in our hands. Rev. Fr. Anthony Coniaris. ^

HOLY TRINITY’S 2011 GRADUATES COLLEGE ELENA CONSTANTINOU graduated with honors from Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s in English and a minor in Psychology. Elena will pursue a master’s degree at Rutgers. DAVID KOTSONIS graduated from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Arts. He majored in Economics and minored in Mathematics. WILLIAM MIEHE graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. ALEXANDRA TSAKOS graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Minored in Public Health Policy and Spanish. She has accepted a position with the Royal Bank of Canada in New York as an Operations Analyst.

HIGH SCHOOL Congratulations to our high school graduates. Listed here are their names and the college they are attending: Angeline Apostolou, Dickinson College; Helen Daifotis, Princeton; Alexander Demas, Johns Hopkins University; Christina Efthimion, Princeton; Alexander Eliopoulos, Centenary College; Gus Exarhakos, Fordham University; Evan Grafas, Raritan Valley College; Rebecca Kotsonis, Wake Forest University; Aris Ladas, Ramapo College; Kali Maris, Kean University; Christopher O’Sullivan, Fairfield College; Andreas Panagakos, Scranton University; Colin Panayi, Scranton University; Christina Philippou, Hofstra University; Alexandra Pisack, Montclair State University; Aris Psyhojos, Miami University, Ohio; Dean Roros, University of Illinois; Ricky Simon, Stevens Institute of Technology; Matthew Thomas, Seton Hall University; Walter John Wygera III, Fordham University; Katie Youlios, Salisbury University in Maryland.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION GRADUATES Angeline Apostolou, Helen Daifotis, Alexander Demas, Alex Eliopoulos, Gus Exarhakos, Rebecca Kotsonis, Aris Ladas, Kaliopi Maris, Christopher O’Sullivan, Andreas Panagakos, Christina Philippou, Alexandra Pisack, Aris Psyhojos, Dean Roros, Walter John Wygera, and Katie Youlios. GREEK SCHOOL GRADUATES Yanni Angelides, Christopher Boutsikaris, Martha Garyfallos, John Katsingris, and Niko Monfalcone. SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED The AHEPA recipients were: Alexander Demas, Gus Exarhakos, Evan Grafas, Aris Ladas, Colin Panayi, Dean Roros, Matthew Thomas, and Walter Wygera. The Philoptochos Scholarships recipients were: Alexander Demas and Christina Efthimion, The Violet Gussis Memorial Scholarships; Rebecca Kotsonis, The Angela Stappas Memorial Scholarship; and Gus Exarhakos, Aris Ladas, Andreas Panagakos, Dean Roros, Richard Simon, and Walter John Wygera. ^

The Promise ^ September 2011 ^ Volume 35, Issue 6

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Holy Trinity Youth Mission Trip to Houston, TX


n July 10th, seven youth and three chaperones travelled from Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church to Houston, Texas, as part of the annual Youth Mission Trip. As with the past few years, our mission team participated in an outreach program with the International Orthodox Christian Charity [I.O.C.C.] and the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. The team consisted of the following youth members: Nick Constantine, Dean Logus, Alexandra Agathis, Andreas Panagakos, Nick Menakis, Maria Langas, and Elena Baurkot. Chaperones where John and Jenny Logus, and Foti Panagakos. The mission team arrived on July 10 and settled in at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church which was to be our home for the next week. Each of us slept on air mattresses and at night we all found a small chocolate candy on our pillows, courtesy of Deacon Dan Gray, who joined our team for the week as I.O.C.C. liaison. Also with us the first day and a half was Pascalis Papouras, outreach coordinator for IOCC. The first day in Houston was actually spent in Galveston, touring the areas devastated by Hurricane Ike in 2008. Our team visited Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Galveston, which was severely damaged by the storm and is still undergoing repairs. We also visited Sts. Constantine and Helen Serbian Orthodox Church, the oldest Orthodox church in North America. It was built by Orthodox sailors so they would have a place to worship. We learned much about the church’s history, and learned that twice in the past, the church floated off its foundation during a hurricane. I guess those sailors really built a tight church! On Tuesday, July 12 we travelled to the construction site were we would be working for the next 5 days. The site is located in the 5th ward area of Houston. This area was settled by freed slaves after the Civil War, and has a long and deep history. Unfortunately, the area is very depressed, with many homes in disrepair. Houston’s Habitat For Humanity has been working in this ward for many years, and has built over 400 homes thus far. The Holy Trinity Mission Team would be working on two homes during our stay. Following a safety orientation, we quickly got to work. Half of us working on roofing and the other half on siding. We pretty much remained on these two tasks during the entire week. The nail gun became the favorite power tool among team members. The circular saw proved a bit more challenging for those of us who were allowed to operate it. As with every true carpenter, our mantra was measure twice and cut once. One change from previous Habitat projects was the work hours. We actually started very early in the morning, around 6:30 AM, and finished by noon or

just thereafter. The reasoning behind this was that the afternoon heat and humidity precluded us from working the beyond noon. The work was hard, fun and fulfilling, and everyone got to do construction tasks that they never had done before. After the typical work day, we retired back to the church for lunch, and then washed up for afternoon activities. Midweek, we were joined by two volunteers from Canada who remained with our team for the rest of the week. Our off-time activities included visiting a local YMCA (thanks to Jenny, a member at the Westfield Y, for getting us free passes), bowling, seeing the new Harry Potter movie and visiting a local museum. In the evenings, we went to a Houston Astros baseball game and had our group dinner at Dave and Buster’s, after which everyone played games in the game room. We also had dinners out of the church on a few occasions. One night IOCC treated us for local BBQ, one night Father John from St. George took us to a Mediterranean restaurant, and our last night we were invited to the home of local parishioners from the Greek Orthodox church for BBQ and swimming in their pool. The family had worked with us that week on the job site. The group returned to New Jersey on July 17th tired but fulfilled. We all appreciated what we had done the past week, and appreciated what we have at home after seeing the living conditions in the neighborhood we worked in. Overall, we had a great time. The team bonded and enjoyed each other’s company. Deacon Dan made the week that much better - he kept us on task and organized, as well as well stocked in the kitchen! I would like to thank our youth volunteers for their dedication and hard work the entire mission trip. They performed in an exemplary manner, and made me proud that they were from Holy Trinity. I also want to give a huge thank you to John and Jenny - they were ideal chaperones for the trip, and we could not have had such a successful trip without them. Big thanks as well to Father Peter and also Irene and Diana in the church office, and to Kathy Liakas for coordinating the donations and for her encouragement. Finally, I would like to thank everyone in the Holy Trinity community who supported this mission endeavor with their generous donations. The funds raised went to support St Innocent Orphanage, as we have over last many years. This year we send a donation in the amount of $5,000 to St. Innocent Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. We are already looking forward to next year’s trip. I hope we get a great turnout of youth volunteers and chaperones. It is an experience like none other! – Fotinos Panagakos ^


Come to the Book Store to Understand What $32 Buys!



1601.] For an index to other Study Articles, see page 1821.


mere $32 buys a magnificent tool to aid your lifelong spiritual journey – The Orthodox Study Bible with Old and New Testaments. Every home should have a copy. See note on Matthew 13:44-46 in the Orthodox Study Bible, Old and New Testament version.

Other features include: “Introduction to the Orthodox Study Bible”, page xi, “Overview of the Books of the Bible”, page xv, “Introducing the Orthodox Church”, page xxi, “The Bible: God’s Revelation to Man”, page 1753, “How to Read the Bible”, page 1757, Morning and Evening Prayers, pages 1791 and 1794.

Of the multitude of our Lord’s blessings, one of the most beautiful is grace “God’s unlimited, unconditional, uncreated love, freely given to those who do not deserve it.” [See note on 1 Corinthians 1:3.]. That is, we have God’s love, no matter what! But how we respond to that love is also important [See article on “Works” in Paul’s Writing, page

The general subject of each section is printed in centered bold type, with references to similar passages below that centered in regular type. Copious notes explain important aspects of the passage, and make references to other passages as applicable. All this for only $32. What a bargain! ^

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church ^ Westfield, New Jersey

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Holy Trinity Choir

Employment opportunities in September 



f you are between the ages of 7 and 12, please consider joining the Angel Choir. As a member you will be able to wear a white robe, learn many hymns of the Church, rehearse after Religious Education class for about 20 minutes, sing with the Adult Choir and have the opportunity to sing in the Christmas and Lenten Concerts. If you are ages 13 to 18 you can join the Byzan-“teens”. This group gets to wear the blue robes, have a notebook with music, rehearse only a few times when possible, sing with the Adult Choir, and have the opportunity to sing in the Christmas and Lenten Concerts. If you 18 and older, and can sing, and can commit to Thursday night rehearsals, and to Sunday Liturgies then you can join the Adult Choir. This choir wears maroon robes, is guaranteed a seat every Sunday, and has the opportunity to sing in a Christmas and Lenten Concert. The Adult Choir is in special need of tenors and basses of any age.

These are not volunteer jobs. They fulfill an important ministry. As stewards you will be making good use of your Godgiven talent. 3RD YOUTH SINGERS WORKSHOP

Calling all youth between the ages of 9 and 19 who love to sing, to participate in the Metropolis of New Jersey workshop for young people. The day is filled with fun as you vocalize, learn Christmas music, liturgical music and perform in a concert of what was accomplished during the day. This year’s workshop will be hosted by St. George in Clifton, NJ on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10:30 to 4:00. The concert will be from 3:30-4:00 PM. Choir directors, priests and/or youth advisors are encouraged to attend and remain for a feed-back session from 4:00 to 5:00 pm to help interested parties with establishing and developing a youth choir for their parish. The youth from Holy Trinity is especially encouraged to attend. Last year 32 enthusiastic youth attended. Applications to register are now available in the new information center or contact Kathryn Athanasoulas, choir director and clinician, 908-232-7695 or


A number of our choir members will be attending the annual conference of the Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians. The Divine Liturgy of Steven Cardiasmenos will be sung by a choir of about 125 from our Metropolis which includes many Holy Trinity members. This is a wonderfully inspiring event. NATIONAL FORUM MEETING. ST. LOUIS, MO JULY 7-10

The “Forum” is an arm of the music ministry of the Archdiocese. Kathryn Athanasoulas, Past President of EFGOCM attended this year’s forum in St. Louis along with other representatives from our Metropolis. We were hosted by the Ladies Philoptochos of St. Nicholas in St. Louis at their new Family Center Building. This is a facility that serves two churches that gives them space to expand their social activities. It houses a huge multi purpose gym, a lovely chapel, meeting rooms, Philoptochos room and two kitchens. ^

T.O.T.S. Trinity Orthodox Toddler Social A reflection…


welve years ago, Father Dimitrios called me up and asked me to come to T.O.T.S. with my youngest son who had not yet turned two. Little did I know there was an plan in place and ever since then I have been ‘organizing’ T.O.T.S. gatherings. Not only does T.O.T.S. provide a safe, secure environment for young children to explore, experience and expand their horizons with their parent nearby, it provides an opportunity for moms (dads or caregivers) to meet, share and support one another. Most importantly, it provides an atmosphere where very young Orthodox Christians are introduced to God’s house and His loving kindness. There have been many relationships fostered through T.O.T.S. for old and

young alike. Some of the ‘toddlers’ from twelve years ago (who are now teens, my son included) went to Camp Good Shepherd together this past summer. Their lives have remained interconnected through: Sunday School, Greek School, Joy, Hope, and Goya. There are even rumors of this group wanting to go to Ionion Village together next summer. I have heard that Ionion friends become life-long friends. Relationships built through T.O.T.S. are not limited to only those under four years of age. There are many adults whom have met and become friends, confidants and koumbaroi for each other. There are moms I met many years ago, though our lives are on different paths and schedules, call just to say hi. Their sincere friendship

and caring always takes my breath away… T.O.T.S. will begin meeting again on September 28th in the pre-school room from 10 AM till 11:30 (though some moms leave early to pick up older siblings from pre-school and kindergarten while others bring their lunch and stay later). We meet the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Children from 18 months through four years of age are welcome with a parent or caregiver. Please dress for play and paint… be ready for action… bring your own drinks… snack will be provided. Come join us! Most of all, be ready to possibly meet a ‘friend of a lifetime’ as well as spend time with the caring One who is always there for us… for eternity. ^

The Promise ^ September 2011 ^ Volume 35, Issue 6

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n behalf of the Board, I would like to welcome back all of the YHT members and encourage anyone that isn’t already involved in Youth to join. We are planning many new and exciting events for the upcoming year, and we look forward to sharing them with both old and new members. Please join us at our fi rst meeting on Sunday Sept. 11th. YHT offers many unique opportunities such as, the Spiritual Retreat and Kick - Off, State Youth Dances, Diving for the Cross, Mr. & Ms. GOYA, Sights and Sounds, Junior Olympics, and so much more. YHT is an organization where members have a chance to share their talents and ideas while embracing their culture and heritage through the Church. I look forward to seeing everyone in September! FROM THE ADVISORS:

We look forward to working with our very talented youth members and wish

the Officers and Board a successful and rewarding year:

Cross Celebration. These individuals will represent Holy Trinity:

OFFICERS: President: Vickie Zourzoukis Vice-President: Gregory Vlahakis Treasurer: Dina Savva Recording Secretary: Nik Karsos Corresponding Secretary: Jonathan Savorgiannakis Outreach Coordinators: Evie Kyritsis & Stephanie John BOARD: Mike Anastasiou, Christodoulos Apostolou, Elena Arida, Nicole Economides. Amalia Kanaras, Christina Karsos, Andreas Vlahakis

Juniors: Christina Karsos & Jonathan Savorgiannakis and Seniors: Vickie Zourzoukis & Dean Logus


Sept. 11th Events of the day will

include the Oath of Office, first YHT general meeting, registration and sign ups. Registration: $25/ member $10 each for uniform and Greek costume use.

We applaud our youth representatives who will dive for the cross on Sunday Sept. 18th at Asbury Park at the Holy


Friday, Sept. 23rd – NNJYC Kick off dance at Tenafly - $10. Min. 12 to have a bus. Deadline for registration and sign-up: Sunday Sept. 11th Sept. 30th - Oct. 1 Our Christ Encounter weekend will take place at Fairview Lake Camp, Newton, NJ. Father Peter along with the advisors and chaperones look forward to this special weekend. $100/ participant. Oct. 2nd – 45th Anniversary Luncheon at Holy Trinity. All youth families are encouraged to be a part of this very special event. Sunday, October 9th - Mr/Miss GOYA pageant at the Pines Manor in Edison. $60- Adults $40 – Youth. YHT representatives: Vickie Zourzoukis and Gregory Vlahakis. ^

The Promise • Classifieds


Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church ^ Westfield, New Jersey

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Pinnacle Despina (Debbie) Martin REALTOR-ASSOCIATE速 318 Rt. 202-206, PO Box 45 Bedminster, NJ 07921 Of. (908) 306-9600 x 415 Fax: (908) 306-9666 Toll Free: (800) 854-3771 Cell. (908) 586-1594 Each Office Independently Owned & Operated


340 Main Street Madison, NJ 07940


Tel.: 973-236-0100 Fax: 908-277-3050 Cell.: 201-681-5366

The Promise ^ September 2011 ^ Volume 35, Issue 6

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Wait for The


Non Profit Org. US postage PAID Rahway, NJ Permit No. 654

of the Father

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 250 Gallows Hill Road ^ Westfield, NJ 07090 Change Service Requested

Metropolis of New Jersey

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Office Staff

Contact Information Mailing Address 250 Gallows Hill Rd. Westfield, NJ 07090-1109 Phone 908-233-8533 Fax 908-233-0623

Administrative Assistant Irene Panagakos Accountant Diana R. Waltsak Caretaker Ocione Nunes


E-mail Web site Presiding Priest Rev. Peter Delvizis Priest Rev. Alexander G. Leondis

Psaltis Pascalis Kuvalakis Choir Director Kathryn Athanasoulas Organist Phyllis Verenes Head Acolyte Chris Wolff

Schedule of Services Sundays



8:15 AM

8:30 AM

Divine Liturgy

9:30 AM

9:30 AM

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The Promise: Volume 35, Issue 6 10 issues published annually. No subscription fee. Article deadline - 10th of the preceding month

Ministries Parish Council Ted Demetriou Philoptochos Avi Kiriakatis Religious Education Louis Martin Eleftheria Wolff Greek School Rita Fitanidis Trinity Circle Athena Manos TAG Barbara Arbes Youth (GOYA) Vickie Zourzoukis JOY / HOPE Kathy Maglaras Yiana Leichtling Sandy Boutsikaris TOTS Joanne Paras Bookstore Sandy Mouratoglou Cultural Barbara Manos Greek School PTO Irene Cohen

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The Promise -Sepember 2011  

The Promise is the monthly bulletin of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Westfield, New Jersey

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