Page 1

The Messenger Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church


Theophany January 6

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

January 2018

Rev. Fr. Matthew Carter, Proistamenos Church Website: Office Email: Office Phone: 850-433-2662 Office Fax: 850-549-4943 Fr. Matthew’s Contact Information: Cell phone: 850-889-3919 Email:

2018 PARISH COUNCIL Gus Argeris Kyle Gatzmeyer Dr. Peter Kantrales Peter Roumbos Heidi Silivos Michael Stamitoles Rose Thames Gary Tringas Stella Geeker Verzwyvelt Andy Watson Doug White

Subdeacon Philoptochos Community Outreach Stewardship SS Joachim and Anna Chanter (Protopsaltis) Choir Director Assistant Choir Director Organist

Emmanuel Zangas Athena Staviski Sissy Watson Gary Tringas Kris Mohammed Stelios Vatsolakis Vangie Anastopolou Eli Pagonis Tina Varvouris

Altar Boy Director Prosforo Coordinator HOPE/JOY GOYA HARA Dancers Glentzethes AHEPA Daughters of Penelope

Philip Brown Phyllis Pagonis Liz Gilmore & Presv. Emily Joe & Panayiota Whisler Liz Gilmore Daphne Pagonis Adam Sanders Vangie Anastopolou

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

January 2018

From the desk of Fr. Matthew

My brothers and sisters in Christ, each year at the beginning of the New Year, we have the opportunity to invite the priest into our homes and have him bless our homes with the blessed waters of Theophany (Epiphany). This is an important tradition for us as Orthodox Christians and enables us to begin the New Year by confirming that Jesus Christ is the foundation of our lives. The Feast of Theophany gives us two opportunities to participate in the Blessing of the Waters. On January 5, the Eve of Theophany, we celebrate a Vesperal Liturgy with a blessing of the waters immediately after the service, and on January 6, we celebrate a Divine Liturgy for the Feast of Theophany with a second blessing of the waters. This feast day is important for us because it commemorates our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. Christ did not need to be baptized because He was completely without sin, but He permitted St. John the Baptist to baptize Him in order to sanctify the waters for eternity, and to give us the opportunity to have our sins washed away and begin our journey, by God’s grace, toward salvation. Following this great feast, it is customary to invite the priest into your home so he can bring the blessed waters and sanctify your home and everyone who lives in it through the grace of Jesus Christ. The priest brings the blessed water, and after saying the prayers, goes throughout the house and sprinkles the water of Theophany in each room. We do this in order to have God bless our personal lives and our personal space. As Orthodox Christians, we live our faith in all aspects of our lives. We need God’s grace and

blessing in our homes so we can continue, as St. Paul writes, to “Fight the good fight” against sin and temptation. Having your house blessed is a wonderful opportunity to renew your commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church by receiving sanctification through the blessed waters of Theophany. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your home for a house blessing: 1. Contact the church office (433-2662) to schedule a house blessing. Fr. Matthew will be advertising days he will be in certain areas (Gulf Breeze, Pace/ Milton). 2. Make a list of first names of those family members you wish to pray for when Fr. Matthew arrives, with the living and deceased in separate columns. 3. On your dining room table (or other designated area), place a lighted candle, an icon of Theophany or of Jesus Christ, a bowl of water, your prayer list, and a sprig of basil. If you have a small censer with incense, please place this on the table as well. 4. Turn on the lights in each room so Fr. Matthew can see where he is going. 5. Turn off all TVs, stereos, and computers. 6. Secure any pets that might jump up, and let Fr. Matthew know where they are so he can bless them. If you have children living at home, try to schedule your house blessing at a time when they can be present so they can participate in the blessing. Let’s pray that God continues to bless all of us in the New Year!

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

January 2018

From James Mohamed, Parish Council President

Happy New Year Dear Fellow Parishioners: Happy New Year to all. The holiday season is behind us and hopefully everyone was able to spend quality time with family and friends. Parents are back to working full-time and students are once again trying to balance their busy schedules. On January 20, we will be having a Dinner Dance at the church. We will be serving Prime Rib, Greek-style potatoes and green beans, and Greek salad. We are asking parish members to bring their favorite deserts. There will also be a DJ playing Greek Music all night. The cost for the evening will be $30.00 per person, not to exceed $90.00 for an immediate family. Children 10 and under are free. Tickets will be available at the beginning of the month. Please make your plans now to attend. I would like to congratulate the five individuals who were elected to serve on the Parish Council. They are Gus Argeris, Kyle Gatzmeyer, Rose Thames, Stella Verzwyvelt, and Andy Watson. All paperwork has been sent to Atlanta for final approval. As soon as the approval notification is received, the 2018 Parish Council will take the oath of office. There are many projects that will be discussed throughout the coming year. We are looking for ideas for bringing new members interested in helping with the Greek Fest a better understanding and appreciation as to how they can help. We will also be looking at holding social events once a quarter to bring family and friends together. Please be sure to let your council members know any ideas that you may have on how to strengthen and bring our church family together. This will be my final letter as your Parish Council President. It has been both an honor and privilege to serve our church in this roll. I have enjoyed working with all the Parish Council members as well as all the parishioners of our church family. Kris and I look forward to helping when and where we can as loyal members of our church. Always remember, working together with the Lords help and guidance we can accomplish anything.

James R. Mohamed President

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

ALTAR BOYS CO-CAPTAINS Zachary Verzwyvelt Zachary Whisler Jayden Arredondo Jackson Barrineau Christos Bithos Alexios Carter Garrett Cole Jonathon Thames Christian Truitt Joshua White

All young men, from 2nd grade through 12th grade, are encouraged to join our Altar Boy Team. If you would like your sons to serve as Altar Boys for the 2017/2018 Ecclesiastical Year, please contact the Church Office to register. Altar Boys should arrive to Church no later than 9:50am on Sunday mornings so they have time to receive a blessing from Fr. Matthew before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy. ************** JANUARY NARTHEX USHERS All Parish Council members will be serving in the month of January.

January 2018 Monday, January 1, Circumcision of Christ/St. Basil 8:30 am Orthros 9:30 am Divine Liturgy Friday, January 5, Eve of Theophany 8:30 am Orthros 9:30 am Divine Liturgy Saturday, January 6, Theophany 8:30 am Orthros 9:30 am Divine Liturgy Sunday, January 7, Synaxis of St. John the Baptist 8:45 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy Saturday, January 13, Cross Dive in Ft. Walton Beach 9:00 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy Sunday, January 14, Leave-taking of Theophany 8:45 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy Tuesday, January 17, St. Anthony (Celebrated in Malbis, AL) 9:00 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy Wednesday, January 18, St. Athanasios (Celebrated in Gulf Shores, AL) 6:00 pm Divine Liturgy Sunday, January 21, 15th Sunday of Luke 8:45 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy Sunday, January 28, Triodion Begins 8:45 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy Tuesday, January 30, Three Hierarchs (Celebrated in Mobile, AL) 9:00 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

January 2018


Bible Study

Christ is Born! Glorify Him! and Happy New Year to All! Καλη Χρονια, La Multi Ani si Un An Nou Fericit, Feliz ano neuvo, Szczesliwego Nowego Roku, S novim godom, Sretna nova godino!

Bible study will be held two Tuesdays in January - Tuesday, January 16 and Tuesday, January 23 at 10:30 am.

Our Philoptochos Bookstore has icons, candles, incense, prayer ropes, cook books, and many educational books for adults and children, all at reasonable prices. We're also able to order your special item if we don’t have it on hand. Come by and see us!

Philoptochos Happy New Year everyone! Let me first start off by saying a big thank you to Sissy Watson and to all those who helped with our Holiday Bake sale. This is our largest annual fundraiser and this year was no exception. Also, thank you to Krissy Kritselis who hosted our Philoptochos Christmas party.

Sunday School Sunday Church School classes will resume on January 7 following our Christmas break. As a reminder our PreK and Kindergarten meets in the double downstairs classroom and 1st-2nd and 3rd-5th meet upstairs. Classes begin after the children and teachers have received Communion and end at 12:00 pm. Parents of PreKKindergarten students should plan to pick up their children in the downstairs double classroom at 12:00 pm. 1st grade and up will be dismissed to the Hall at the end of class. If you are able to provide snacks for your child’s class please bring them in at anytime. We are always in need of crackers, goldfish, veggie straws, small water bottles, etc. Thank you for your help with this!

We start the New Year with the cutting of the Vasilopita. Ladies who wish to participate in baking, are requested to bake a Vasilopita to bring to Church on Sunday, January 7th for Father Matthew to bless and distribute. There will be a collection tray with proceeds going to St. Basil.

All children PreK-5th grade are invited to join us after Sunday School classes on January 28 for an activity. We’ll be making Valentine cards!

May everyone have a blessed New Year!

William Adamopoulos


Praying for the Servants of God George Alexakos Perry Baniakas Samantha Barrineau Helen Bouth Probst Gregory Gill George Giouzelis Martha Hicks Zoe Liollio Mandy Miller Tom Miller Patricia Pappas

Dean Peterson Katherine Petrelis Harry Pieratos Ross Pieratos Helen Sakalarios Jermaine Salter Nicole Salter Adam Sanders Sia Stanton Anastasia Ta Rene Thames Sava Varazo

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

January 2018

CHRISTMAS PAGEANT Thank you to all of the children who participated in our 2017 Christmas Pageant! You all did a beautiful job telling the story of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you to our Sunday School teachers for organizing the pageant – Presv. Emily, Liz Gilmore, Anastasia Ta, Sarah Larson and Paula Maria Brown; and to all of the parents and family members who helped during the practices and with costumes (especially those who dressed up!). Thank you also to Philip and Paula Maria Brown for the very special roles they played during the potluck luncheon and to the Gutu family for the books they gave to each child! Narrators – Kalli Gilmore, Fr. Matthew Mary – Juliana Triboi Joseph – Christo Bithos Angel Gabriel – Alexios Carter Star of Bethlehem – Auna Arredondo King Herod – Angelo Alexakos Wise Men – Jayden Arredondo, Andrei Florea, Ioannis Lagouros

Shepherds – Alexios Alexakos, Eduard Bodorev, Antoni Brock, Stavroula Brock, Evan Carter, Oscar Dvoriadkina, Stefan Florea, Albert Gutu, Lucas Gutu, Lynette Paulcheck , Brantley Varvouris Angels – Penelope Bithos, Cristiana Bodorev, Bianca Gutu, Angela Gilmore, Elizabeth Gilmore, Audrey Heal, Maria Heal, Crina Knight, Nicholas Knight, Zoe Lagouros

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

January 2018

Vasilopita Sunday January 7, 2018

Please join us as Philoptochos hosts our annual fundraiser for St. Basil’s Academy in Garrison, NY. Founded in 1944 by Archbishop Athenagoras, St. Basil’s Academy is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s home for children in need. All of our Greek Orthodox Churches support this valuable ministry through the donations collected during the cutting of the Vasilopita. The Vasilopita will be blessed at the end of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, January 7. Fr. Matthew will cut a piece for all of our ministry leaders. Each ministry leader is kindly asked to make a financial offering on behalf of his or her ministry that will go directly to St. Basil’s Academy. Philoptochos will also pass a special tray with proceeds going to St. Basil’s Academy. Each Vasilopita is baked with a coin inside, commemorating the miracle of the Vasilopita performed by St. Basil the Great. The coin is not a good luck charm for the recipient. Rather, it represents a blessing from God for the individual receiving the coin. Recipients of the coin should place it on their iconostasis in their home and say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for receiving His blessing.


Nicholas Katsaros - Sophia Katsaros

Are In Honor Of

Stephanie Pappas Mark Pappas -The Pappas Family

Fr. Matthew, Presvytera Emily, Alex, Evan & Theo - Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Ana, Ion, & Nicolae - Hugo & Elena Sanchez Are In Memory Of My Grandparents, Evangelos & Aspasia Alexakos, & Gus Varazo - Angelo & Chrissy Alexakos My Beloved Wife, Dorothea Beloved Daughter, Kathy - George Apostle Spero Stanton & Family - Harry & Sia Booros My Loving Father, Gus Varazo -Skip & Marianthe Brown My Beloved Husband, Costa - Nina Dickson My Beloved Parents, Michael N. Gavallas & Sophia Stamitoles Gavallas - Panayiota Gavallas Pete N. Geeker - Katherine Geeker My Beloved Husband, Spyros Geeker Stelios & Sophia Garoufalis Nick & Anastasia Geeker - Mahi Geeker Ray V. Hartwell - Marianne Geeker

Steve Roumbos - Peter & Diane Roumbos Xenia, Vasile, & Theodor - Hugo & Elena Sanchez My Beloved Husband, Apostolos - Heidi Silivos Our Beloved Mother, Anna - Gus Silivos & George Sakilariou Alex Peter Stamatelos Pete Alex Stamatelos Nick Peter Stamatelos Pete Nick Stamatelos John D. Stamatelos - Maria Stamatelos William & Lula Stamitoles - Michael & Martha Stamitoles Eva Kypreos John Tringas - Gary, Gia & Ashley Tringas John Tringas Jim & Mary Tringas Argirios & Marika Alexander - Phyllis Tringas

STEWARDSHIP 2018 The following families listed have completed and submitted their Stewardship Commitment Card for 2018. If you would like to receive a Stewardship Commitment Card for 2018 to fill out and submit, please contact the church office at (850) 433-2662.

James & Helen Adams Nick & Katherine Agall George & Deb-b Alexakos George Apostle Constantine & Susie Argeris Eleftheria Argeris Auna & Jayden Arredondo Fran & Jack Barker Gloria Betcher Chris Bithos Peter & Megan Bithos George & Aspasia Bokas Harry & Sia Booros Ephraim & Stavroula Brock Christina Brown Giles & Marianthe Brown Paul & Tammy Brown Philip & Paula-Maria Brown Jason Callonas Fr. Matthew & Emily Carter Dan & Connie Cassidy Stephanie Cole Debby Dasinger Nina Dickson Georgine & John Ericsson Kyle & Angela Gatzmeyer Patricia M. Gavallas Anastasia Geeker Mahi Geeker Marianne Geeker

Nick P. & Jan Geeker Erik & Elizabeth Gilmore William & Joanna Thagouras Heal Dr. Peter & Sophia Kantrales Sophia Katsaros Krissy Kritselis Bill & Mache Langford Charles & Linda Liberis Gloria Lind Dr. George & Sophia Lukes Ruth Magoulas Dimitrios & Linda Maletsidis Bill & Liz Markopoulos Helen Milukas Catherine Mitchell James & Kris Mohamed Gene & Betty Murphy George & Linda Nikolopoulos Magdalene Pappas William & Lynette Paulchek Dean & Tina Peterson Stelios & Cristin Peterson Katherine Petrelis Chrystyna Pittas Bill & Kitty Randall Peter & Diane Roumbos Cecil & Helen Sakalarios Spero & Toula Sampanis Hugo & Elena Sanchez Steve & Sarah Sparton

Michael & Martha Stamitoles Giannoula Stamoulis Maria Thagouras Sotirios Thagouras Jonathan & Eran Thames Rose Thames Gary & Gia Tringas Phyllis Tringas Tina Varvouris Stelios & Alice Vatsolakis Brett & Stella Verzwyvelt Victoria Verzwyvelt Georgia Walters Andy & Sissy Watson Bill & Maria Weisnicht Joe & Panayiota Whisler Wyatt Douglas & Rose Mary White Michael & Anna Wright

January SUNDAY







1 Circumcision of our Lord & St. Basil the Great 8:30 am Orthros 9:30 am Divine Liturgy




5 Eve of Theophany 8:30 am Orthros 9:30 am Divine Liturgy

6 Theophany 8:30 am Orthros 9:30 am Divine Liturgy

7 St. John the Baptist 8:45 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy Vasilopita Sunday

8 House Blessings Begin

9 Fr. Matthew attending Western Conference clergy meeting in Mobile




13 Cross Dive in Ft. Walton 9:00 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy followed by Cross Dive & Luncheon

14 Leave-taking of Theophany 8:45 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy

15 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Office Closed

16 10:30 am Bible Study

17 St. Anthony the Great (celebrated in Malbis) 9:00 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy in Malbis

18 Ss. Athanasios & Cyril (celebrated in Gulf Shores)



21 15th Sunday of Luke 8:45 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy


23 10:30 am Bible Study



28 Triodion Begins 8:45 am Orthros 10:00 am Divine Liturgy HOPE/JOY Activity following Sunday School


30 Three Hierarchs (celebrated in Mobile) 10:00 am Divine Liturgy in Mobile


GOYA Taste of Greece

6:00 pm Greek Night

6:00 pm Divine Liturgy in Gulf Shores 26


FEED THE HUNGRY Please bring non-perishable items to the food donation basket located in the Narthex. Thank you!

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church 1720 West Garden Street Pensacola, FL 32502 Address service requested

Apolytikion of the Annunciation Today is the beginning of our salvation. And the revelation of a mystery which was hidden from eternity. The Son of God becomes the Virgin’s Son. And Gabriel announces the grace of this good news. Let us also join with him, calling to the Theotokos: Rejoice, O woman full of grace. The Lord is with you.

Nonprofit Organ. U.S. Postage PAID Pensacola, FL Permit No. 86

January 2018 messenger online  
January 2018 messenger online