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Spring 2012

Christ Is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen!


THE SV OICE .G OF

T

EORGE

WINTER 2012

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church

Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North & South American 3025 Denver Street • San Diego, CA 92117 telephone: (619)276-5827 web: http://saintgeorgeinsd.com

Church Officers & Staff PARISH PRIEST

V. Rev. Protopresbyter Bratislav Krsic email: frbratso@sbcglobal.net PARISH DEACON

Rev. Deacon Paul Germain PRESIDENT

Vladan Trifunovic VICE PRESIDENT

Robert Trifunovic, MD TREASURER

Linda Alemany SECRETARY

Beatriz Stoyanoff MEMBERS-AT-LARGE

Jack Milasinovic, Toma Jovanovic, Vojkan Popovich STEWARDSHIP MINISTRY

Toma Jovanovic AUDITING BOARD

Miro Copic, President; Sean Wright, Dusanka Urosevic TUTORS/VESTRYMEN

Mico Lukic, Jeffrey Wilgus, George Skaljac, Vojkan Popovich, Miro Copic, Milan Miljkovic

A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.(Matthew 2:18) King Herod, upon hearing of the New Born King, slaughtered 14,000 children two years old and under. The fear of the loss of his throne to the New Born King, his self-love, and hatred led him to take away these innocent lives. So even as we now mourn the loss of 26 innocent lives in Newtown, CT, we also have to ask about the state of mind of the young man who committed this crime. Who can understand this tragedy? I don’t think anyone except the Lord Himself can understand. The road ahead for the grieving families will be hard, but not without hope. Their pain, questioning, doubts, and even anger, will slowly be replaced with acceptance of the reality that the children are no more in this world. Gradually they will move forward with their lives, remembering the images of their six- and seven-year olds as living icons. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He had to flee to escape Herod’s death squads because the work He came to do had hardly started, and the time was not right. His death on the Cross was voluntary, in the time appointed by the Father. A foreshadowing of Christ’s death is even indicated in the Nativity icon where we see the infant Jesus placed in what appears to be a stone casket rather than a crib. Yes, the New Born King was born to die for us and our salvation. Indeed the nativity of Christ is a time of hope, a time of peace and joy. This year, especially for us in America, it is a time when we once again look at our families and communities, asking ourselves: is there something we’ve been missing? Life however short or long cannot be measured by days and years, but rather with how much light of Christ we have allowed to shine through us. Our hope is for better; our hope is for peaceful times; our hope is for joy, but we cannot have joy without Him Who brings joy; without Him Who is the Prince of Peace. Come O Lord; bring us hope, peace, healing, consolation, love and joy! May our living souls have an encounter with the Living God Who can dispel all darkness within and around us. Amen. —Protopresbyter Bratso Krsic

S.S.S. ST. GEORGE CHOIR

Velimir Jovanovic, President CIRCLE OF SERBIAN SISTERS (KOLO)

Snezana Pantovich, President CHURCH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT

Mira Jovanovic MORAVA FOLKLORE ENSEMBLE

Dobrila Undheim, Director ADULT ORTHODOX FELLOWSHIP

Nemanja Selezan VOICE OF ST. GEORGE

Marsha Jovanovic, Editor (619)988-0650 • FAX (619)588-5767 email: marsha@marshaj.com Srdjan Dragic, Cover

In this issue... Christmas 2012 Message from +IRINEJ The importance of Sunday Bring Christ Into the Home Feasts & Saints Day in Winter God and Holiness From the President... Playground Protective Surface Project Should Children Be In Church? Pondering Life... Words from Sylvia MORAVA! St George Choir Report eScrip Update Stewardship List—Adults Stewardship List—Children, Stewardship is our common endeavor

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The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Christmas 2012, +IRINEJ By the Grace of God, Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting: Peace from God! Christ is Born! “Rejoice O ye righteous, rejoice O heaven, dance O mountains for Christ is born…” (Hymn from the Nativity of our Lord Matins, tone four)

The Nativity of our Lord brings to us joyous and wonderful news that the Son of God became Man, the God-Man Jesus Christ. With His Incarnation, the prophesy of Saint Isaiah the prophet has been fulfilled: “Lo, a Virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, which is translated: “God is with us”. (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14) From that day until the end of the age, God is with us and we belong to Him. The Son of God has descended to earth, and man has ascended to heaven. Everything has been united. Angels sing with men and men participate in the angelic life. Saint John Chrysostom called Christmas the mother of all feasts, and contemplating the Birth of God in awe as a wondrous mystery, he glorifies it by saying: “I look upon an astounding mystery. Shepherds’ voices I hear in my ears. Angels and archangels sing, seraphim glorify, they all participate in the Feast, looking upon God on earth, and upon man in heaven. They look upon God, Who is in heaven, as upon Him Who is the Cause of His own descent to earth. They look upon man, who is on earth, and see how through God’s love for mankind he dwells in heaven.” God without body puts on flesh; the Invisible becomes visible, He Who is unapproachable becomes approachable, the Timeless one receives a beginning, the Son of God becomes the Son of man. This manifestation of God in our world and our life is the beginning of our own entrance into God’s world. And so, the meaning of Christmas is in the reality that God came to people so that they may come closer to Him. When talking about the unity of the divine and human natures in the Person of Christ, Saint Gregory the Theologian with reverent amazement says: “How worthy of such wonder is this union of God with man! How marvelous is this union! He Who simply is becomes created. He Who enriches others becomes himself impoverished. He Who is the fullness empties Himself. He is emptied of His glory so that I may taste of His fullness.” Christ’s abasement is His offering of Love toward mankind. Had God not come to man, man would not have been able to come to God. Without the humility of Jesus Christ, the deification of man would not have been possible (cf. Philippians 2:68). Through humility and meekness one expresses the greatest love. He who loves neglects himself and gives himself to the

other. With the mouth of Saint Chrysostom, Christ says to each of us: “For you, my child, I have become impoverished, was beaten, have been brought low from my glory. I have left my Father and I have come to you who hates and rejects me. I have run to you to make you my own. I have united you with myself. And I have you with me above in the heavens, and on earth I am united with you.” With Christ becoming Man, paradise is opened for each of us, heaven is stretched out throughout the earth, the heavenly is united with the earthly. Angels and people together celebrate our Lord, our Heavenly Father. Man begins to hope in Resurrection. Look, the Heavenly Kingdom is rejoicing! And all this is given by God’s unlimited mercy toward mankind, which has made possible this great miracle – God comes into our world. What can we offer to our Lord in return for His limitless love for mankind? We most often respond to His love with our lack of gratitude, since through our manner of living we make Him sadder more than we make Him joyous. But nothing warms our cold souls, bodies and hearts more than God’s love, because God is love (1 John 4:16). He who is estranged from love is estranged from God, Who enters into man only with love. We have in mind not only a heavenly reality, but also an earthly. When the power of love is manifested in our human relationships, is that not just when God embraces man, when He receives him into His arms? When God takes His abode in man, in his heart and his mind, can we not comprehend the joy of encountering the Face of the Living God? If there is so much joy when we, ephemeral beings, meet each other and when we look into each other’s faces, how great is the joy in seeing God, in meeting with God? And this is the day when we have met with God, the day in which we have seen and received God. On Christmas God has come, has entered into our being, in order to teach us how to embrace each other and how to forgive each other. God forgave us, so how dare we not forgive each other? There is no evil that someone can bring upon us that is so great that it can overcome the goodness of this Christmas, and that it can overcome the readiness within us to forgive. Therefore, let us love each other, so that with one mind we may con-

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fess Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God of love! Let us love each other with the love with which God has loved us before even the creation of the world, with the love with which God the Father loves us in His beloved Son! Let us love each other with the love which does not seek its own, which is not arrogant, which endures, the love which hopes in everything (cf. 1 Cor. 13:7)! Let us bear in mind that such love permeates all of nature around us, the nature which God gives us, which feeds us and which gives us joy! Let us safeguard our and her health and beauty! May we not forget that the coming of God’s Son into the world has a cosmic meaning! Through this Event not only are people saved, but also all of God’s creation. By celebrating Christmas, our dear spiritual children, we always remind ourselves and each other of this inexpressible and all-encompassing divine love, and we glorify the love with which God has loved us before we have loved Him, and with which He has loved us eternally. Besides love, which is a bond of perfection (cf. Col 3:14), today we especially need peace and good will. That is why in our hearts always, but especially at Christmas time, the angelic song needs to resonate: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men! (St. Luke 2:14) This Christmas message, dear brothers and sisters, contains in itself three great truths, and on these words, as on three foundation stones, the way, the meaning and the final goal of human life is established. The first truth is the call to man to glorify God. Only he who has discovered the deepest meaning of life can glorify God. The deeper a person’s knowledge of God as Creator, as Providential God and Giver of all good, the deeper is that person’s joy in life and the greater is his readiness to glorify God. The second truth is peace on earth. Peace-making is God’s attribute. With it man becomes a son of God, according to Christ’s words: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God! (St. Matthew 5:9) Only those who make peace with God and with the people around them can find peace in their souls; only people like that are true peacemakers. They have peace in their hearts and on their lips. Otherwise, those who do not make peace with God and with others in mind and in heart may have words of peace on their lips, but in their hearts they harbor hate and war. The more God is in the hearts of men, the more there is peace on earth. The less there is of such treasure, then the more there is of thievery of earthly power and riches, of selfish unrest, and of stealing from one another. The third truth is good will among people as the foundation of human communion. Where peace is born, there a good and gracious will begins among people. Good will is born from love, from love for God and mankind, from gracious thoughts, from the warmth of soul and heart, for true love does not seek anything for itself. We live in a time in which these values, Christian and, we believe, eternal, have been devalued and neglected. This spiritual crisis leaves dreadful consequences for human relation-

ships. Once again, brother does not talk to his brother, son with father, kum with kum, neighbor with neighbor. Of reasons and justifications, those that make sense and those that make no sense, there are, as always, more than enough. We ask ourselves, is it possible that lust for power and selfishness have darkened our minds so much as to make the things of this world more precious than our father, mother, brother, sister, kum, neighbor, and relatives? The time that we live in is one of upheaval, social instability and estrangement. We live in a time when everything is for sale, in which everything is on the market, even true freedom and human dignity. This earthly justice and these rights do not guarantee us even that which is ours, not even the life in which we exist and live. Is the justice of the powerful ones of this world ever manifested in any other way? Is this the first time in history that judges forget the words of the wise Solomon: He who judges the unrighteous as righteous, and the righteous as unrighteous, He is unclean and abominable before the Lord? (Wisdom of Solomon 17:16) But, because the time is such as it is, because it is such since there is sin, and it will be such as long as there is evil in the world, Christmas comes to us as balm upon wounds, as deepest comfort which comes from God and with which He frees us from sadness and returns to us trust in His justice and His truth. Christmas returns to us trust in human goodness and love and reawakens the hope that these can not only shine in our hearts, but that they can through God’s mercy, be proclaimed through man’s institutions despite the arrogance of the powerful ones of this world and age. Christmas is a day of comfort and hope for all refugees and those expelled from their homes, and for all those of our people who eat the bitter bread of exile. Do not be sad and do not get disheartened, our spiritual children. Remember that the greatest and the best known Refugee of mankind was no one else but the God-Child of Bethlehem! Soon after He came into this world, the Most Holy Theotokos and the Righteous Joseph had to flee with Him from the Promised Land to the Land of slavery. Christmas is a day of joy even for the people of St. Sava dispersed, willing or unwillingly, throughout world from Europe to America and Australia. With our paternal care, we call on you not to forget your Orthodox Faith and your language. Do not forget your holy churches and the graves of your ancestors; do not forget your spiritual roots founded by St. Sava in our Holy Orthodox Faith here in this country of God called Serbia and other regions inhabited by Serbs for centuries. Christmas is a day when the Resurrection begins, but there is no Resurrection without suffering for our dear suffering children in Kosovo and Metohija! Know, remember and teach your children so that they may teach their children (cf. Deuteronomy 6:69)that the exiled Hebrew people waited almost twenty centuries to return to their fathers’ land, and the Serbian people waited five centuries for the liberation of Old Serbia. Taught by the words of the Psalmist (cf. Psalm 137:5), we also exclaim: If I forget you, Kosovo, and you Metohija, may my right hand be

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forgotten! Having said a prayer during this 100th anniversary of Kosovo and Metohija’s liberation in 1912, let us now also put our hope in the Lord! Christmas is a day when we are liberated from the bonds of sin, death, and Satan. This year’s Christmas, we are celebrating the beginning of the formal celebration of 1700 years since the issuance of the Edict of Milan, by which the Holy Emperor Constantine gave the freedom and the right to Christians to celebrate their faith in Christ. Unfortunately, in this jubilee year of freedom of Christian confession, this very freedom has been taken from our brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Ochrid, whose spiritual leader, Archbishop Jovan, is held imprisoned by those who for decades have been preventing Christ’s garment, torn apart by godless hands, to be made whole. In this day when the earth rejoices with heaven, we send words of love, comfort and encouragement to the children of the Ochrid Archdiocese together with its leader and Holy Synod. Mindful of all the difficulties and tribulations in which we find ourselves, and of the dark clouds hovering over our martyred and suffering people, yet taught by this great Day, we call you, dear spiritual children, to stay in Christ’s faith and the faith of our holy ancestors. Know that as our faith in the God-Child Christ grows, our love toward Him and our neighbors also grows, because faith in Christ continually reveals ever newer perfection, riches and beauty, and that is why we love Him more and more. Just as there are no limits to our faith in Christ, so there are no limits to our love toward Him. Only those with great faith are rooted and anchored in love, because God’s love has brought God to earth, which is the message of Christmas that we celebrate today. God has descended from heaven on this holy day so that from the dust He may lift us up above every heaven and above every earthly mystery. This is our joy, our celebration and our consolation granted to us by Christmas. That is why on this blessed day, dear spiritual children, we call you to gather in the Church which is Christ’s Body; gather in the Divine Liturgy which Christ has given to us, for outside of the Church there is no salvation, for outside of the Church there is no Savior. We joyously call you, return to the living God! We are truly blessed when we return to God! And who else if not God! And when would we return to God if not during these Nativity days? May this holy day be blessed, and may you all be blessed in this holy day, Christ’s Birthday. In Him we ourselves are born and reborn, in Him we become people, Godly-people, and in Him we receive our true and eternal meaning. In this way let us experience and say: God is with us, let all nations understand!

Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch IRINEJ Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana JOVAN Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands AMPHILOHIJE Metropolitan of Dabro-Bosna NIKOLAJ Bishop of Sabac LAVRENTIJE Bishop of Zvornik-Tuzla VASILIJE Bishop of Srem VASILIJE Bishop of Banja Luka JEFREM Bishop of Budim LUKIJAN Bishop of Canada GEORGIJE Bishop of Banat NIKANOR Bishop of New Gracanica-Midwestern America LONGIN Bishop of Eastern America MITROPHAN Bishop of Zica CHRYSOSTOM Bishop of Backa IRINEJ Bishop of Great Britain and Scandinavia DOSITEJ Bishop of Bihac and Petrovac CHRYSOSTOM Bishop of Osijek and Baranja LUKIJAN Bishop of Central Europe CONSTANTINE Bishop of Western Europe LUKA Bishop of Timok JUSTIN Bishop of Vranje PAHOMIJE Bishop of Sumadija JOVAN Bishop of Slavonia SAVA Bishop of Branicevo IGNATIJE Bishop of Milesevo FILARET Bishop of Dalmatia FOTIJE Bishop of Budimlje and Niksic JOANIKIJE Bishop of Zahumlje and Hercegovina GRIGORIJE Bishop of Valjevo MILUTIN Bishop of Ras and Prizren TEODOSIJE Bishop of Nis JOVAN Bishop of Western America MAXIM Bishop of Gornji Karlovac GERASIM Bishop of Australia and New Zealand IRINEJ Bishop of Krusevac DAVID Retired Bishop of Zahumlje and Hercegovina ATANASIJE Vicar Bishop of Hvostno ATANASIJE Vicar Bishop of Jegar PORFIRIJE Vicar Bishop of Moravica ANTONIJE Vicar Bishop of Lipljan JOVAN Vicar Bishop of Remezijan ANDREJ THE ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF OCHRID: Archbishop of Ochrid and Metropolitan of Skoplje JOVAN Bishop of Polos and Kumanovo JOAKIM Bishop of Bregal and locum tenens of the Diocese of Bitolj MARKO Vicar Bishop of Stobija DAVID

Path of Orthodoxy translation

PEACE FROM GOD - CHRIST IS BORN! INDEED HE IS BORN! Given at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade at Christmas, 2012. Your intercessors before the cradle of the divine ChristChild: VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 5


СРПСКА ПРАВОСЛАВНА ЦРКВА СВОЈОЈ ДУХОВНОЈ ДЕЦИ О БОЖИЋУ 2012. ГОДИНЕ ИРИНЕЈ ПО МИЛОСТИ БОЖЈОЈ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ АРХИЕПИСКОП ПЕЋКИ, МИТРОПОЛИТ БЕОГРАДСКО-КАРЛОВАЧКИ И ПАТРИЈАРХ СРПСКИ, СА СВИМ АРХИЈЕРЕЈИМА СРПСКЕ ПРАВОСЛАВНЕ ЦРКВЕ, СВЕШТЕНСТВУ, МОНАШТВУ И СВИМ СИНОВИМА И КЋЕРИМА НАШЕ СВЕТЕ ЦРКВЕ: БЛАГОДАТ, МИЛОСТ И МИР ОД БОГА ОЦА, И ГОСПОДА НАШЕГА ИСУСА ХРИСТА, И ДУХА СВЕТОГА, УЗ РАДОСНИ БОЖИЋНИ ПОЗДРАВ: МИР БОЖЈИ – ХРИСТОС СЕ РОДИ! Радујте се, праведни, кличите небеса, играјте горе јер Христос се роди...(стихира на божићном јутрењу, глас четврти)

Божић нам доноси радосну и дивну вест да је вечни Син Божји постао Човек, Богочовек Исус Христос. Оваплоћењем Његовим испунило се пророштво пророка Исаије: Ето, Девојка ће зачети и родиће Сина, и наденуће му име Емануил, што ће рећи: С нама Бог (Мт 1, 23; Ис 7, 14). Од тог дана, па до краја века, Бог је са нама и ми смо Божји. Син Божји је сишао на земљу, а човек се успео на небо. Све се сјединило. Анђели са људима певају, а људи учествују у анђелском животу. Свети Јован Златоуст назива Божић мајком свих празника и, дивећи се Рођењу Божјем као чудесној тајни, прославља га говорећи: „Гледам чудновату тајну. Гласове пастирâ чујем у ушима својим. Анђели певају, арханђели поју, серафими славослове, сви празнују гледајући Бога на земљи, а човека на небесима. Бога, Који се на небесима налази, гледају као Онога Који је Узрочник Свог силаска на земљу. Човека, који је на земљи, гледају како се човекољубљем Божјим нађе на небу.“ Бестелесни Бог узима тело, Невидљиви бива видљив, Онај Коме нико не могаше да се приближи постаје опипљив, Безвремени добија почетак, Син Божји постаје Син човечји. Ово јављање Божје у нашем свету и у нашем животу почетак је нашег сопственог уласка у свет Божји. Дакле, смисао Божића јесте у томе да је Бог дошао људима како би се они приближили Њему. Говорећи о јединству божанске и човечанске природе у Личности Христовој, свети Григорије Богослов са побожним чуђењем каже: „Колико је дивљења достојно ово сједињење Бога са човеком! Какво је то чудесно сједињење! Онај Који јесте ствара се. Онај Који богати друге сиромашан постаје. Онај Који је пунотан испражњава се. Он се испражњава од славе Своје да бих ја окусио од пуноће Његове.“ Унижење Христово јесте снисхођење љубави Његове према роду људском. Да није Бог дошао човеку, не би човек могао да дође Богу. Без унижења Исуса Христа не би било могуће да се оствари обожење човека (Флп 2, 6-8).

Смирењем и унижењем себе изражава се највећа љубав. Онај ко љуби занемарује самога себе и даје се другом. Устима светог Златоуста Христос говори сваком од нас: „Тебе ради, дете моје, осиромаших, избивен бих, унизих се од славе моје. Оставих Оца и дођох ка теби који ме мрзиш и одбацујеш. Дотрчах ка теби да те учиним својим. Тебе са самим собом сјединих. И горе на небесима тебе имам и доле на земљи сједињен сам са тобом.“ Очовечењем Христовим, за свакога од нас отвори се рај, небеса се распростреше по земљи, небеско се са земаљским сједини. Анђели и људи заједно прослављају заједничкога Господа, Оца нашега небеског. Човек почиње да се нада Васкрсењу. Гле, радује се Царство небеско! И све ово даровано је безграничним снисхођењем божанског човекољубља које учини ово велико чудо – дође Бог у наш свет. Чиме можемо да узвратимо Господу за бескрајно обиље човекољубља Његовог? На Његову љубав ми најчешће одговарамо својом незахвалношћу јер Га својим начином живота вероватно више жалостимо него што Га радујемо. А наше хладне душе, тела и срца ништа тако не загрева као љубав Божја зато што је Бог љубав (1. Јн 4, 16). Ко је од љубави отуђен, отуђен је од Бога Који се само љубављу усељава у човека. Не мислимо само на небеску стварност већ и на земаљску. Када се снага љубави толико манифестује у нашим људским односима, како ли је тек кад Бог загрли човека, кад га прими у Своје наручје? Када се Бог усели у човека, у човеково срце и у човеков ум, можемо ли појмити радост сусретања са Лицем Бога Живога? Кад је толика радост када се сретнемо ми, пролазни људи, једни са другима и када гледамо лице један другога, колика ли је радост Бога видети, са Богом се срести? А ово је Дан у којем смо се са Богом срели, у којем смо Бога видели и Бога примили. На Божић је дошао Бог, уселио се у нас, да би нас научио како да једни друге загрлимо, једни другима опростимо. Бог је нама опростио, како да се ми усудимо да једни другима не опростимо? Нема тога зла које нам неко може нанети, а да би оно могло надвладати добро овог Божића и да би могло надјачати у нама спремност на опроштај. Зато, волимо једни друге, да бисмо једнодушно исповедали Оца, Сина и Духа Светога, Бога љубави! Љубимо једни друге љубављу којом нас је Бог заволео пре настанка света, љубављу којом нас љуби у Сину Свом Љубљеном! Волимо једни друге љубављу која не тражи своје, која се не горди, која све трпи, свему се нада (1 Кор 13, 7)! Имајмо на уму да се та љубав простире на целокупну природу око нас, којом нас Бог дарује, храни и радује! Чувајмо своје и њено здравље и лепоту! Не заборавимо да Долазак Сина Божјег у свет има космички значај! Преко тог Догађаја спасавају се од смрти не само људи него и читава Божја творевина. Славећи Божић, децо наша духовна, ми увек изнова подсећамо сами себе и једни друге на неизрециву и свепрожимајућу божанску љубав и прослављамо љубав

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којом нас је Бог заволео пре него што ми заволесмо Њега и којом нас вечно воли. Поред љубави, која је свеза савршенства (Кол 3, 14), данас су нам преко потребни мир и добра воља. Зато у нашим срцима увек, а посебно о Божићу, треба да одјекује анђеоска песма: Слава на висини Богу и на земљи мир, међу људима добра воља! (Лк 2, 14). Ова божићна порука, браћо и сестре, садржи у себи три велике истине и на овим речима се, као на три камена темељца, заснива начин, смисао и коначни циљ људског живота. Прва истина јесте позив човеку да прославља Бога. Славити Бога може само онај ко је открио најдубљи смисао живота. Што је дубље знање о Богу као Творцу, Промислитељу и Дародавцу свих добара, то је већа човекова радост живота, то је већа и његова спремност да слави Бога. Друга истина јесте мир на земљи. Миротворство је Божје својство. Њиме човек постаје син Божји, по речи Христовој: Блажени миротворци јер ће се синовима Божјим назвати! (Мт 5, 9). Само они људи који се помире са Богом и са људима око себе могу наћи мир у својој души; једино такви људи су истински миротворци. Њима је мир у срцу и на језику. Иначе, онима који се не помире са Богом и људима у уму и у срцу, мир може бити на језику, али у срцу су им мржња и рат. Што је више Бога у срцима људи, то је више мира на земљи. Што је мање тога богатства, то је више отимања за земаљском влашћу и богатством, више себичног немира, отимања једних од других. Трећа истина јесте добра воља међу људима као темељ људског заједништва. Тамо где се роди мир, наступа добра и блага воља међу људима. Добра воља се рађа из љубави, из богољубља и човекољубља, из благих мисли, топлоте душе и срца, јер истинска љубав ништа не тражи за себе. Живимо у времену у коме су ове вредности – хришћанске и, верујемо, вечне – обезвређене и запостављене. Духовна криза оставља страшне последице по међуљудске односе. Поново не говори брат са братом, син са оцем, кум са кумом, сусед са суседом. Разлога и оправдања, смислених и бесмислених, као и увек, има на претек. Питамо се: зар је могуће да нас толико помрачују наше властољубље и самољубље да нам све овосветско буде драгоценије од оца, мајке, брата, сестре, кума, суседа, ближњега? Наше време је одавно време потресâ, социјалне несигурности и отуђења. Живимо у времену у коме је све на продају, у коме се тргује свим и свачим, па и истинском слободом и људским достојанством. Овоземаљска правда и право не јемче нам право на своје, па ни на живот онде где постојимо од када постојимо. Да ли се, уосталом, правда моћникâ овога света икада другачије испољавала? Да ли је ово први пут у историји да судије заборављају речи премудрог Соломона: Ко оправда кривога и ко осуди правога, обојица су гад пред Господом (ПрС 17, 16)?

Али зато што је време такво какво јесте, због тога што је оно такво откако је греха и што ће такво бити док је зла у свету, Божић нам долази као мелем на рану, као најдубља утеха, која од Бога долази и којом нас Он ослобађа од туге и враћа нам поверење у Његову правду и Његову истину. Божић нам враћа поверење и у људску доброту и љубав и буди наду да она не само може да засија у срцима људским већ и да се може, милошћу Божјом, пројавити и кроз људске институције, упркос осионости силникâ овога света и века. Божић је Дан утехе и наде за све избегле и изгнане, па и за све оне из рода нашега који једу горки изгнанички хлеб. Не тугујте и не очајавајте, децо наша духовна, сетите се да је највећи и најпознатији Изгнаник у роду људском био нико други до Богомладенац Витлејемски! Са Њим су Пресвета Богородица и праведни Јосиф, чим је дошао у овај свет, морали да беже из Земље обећане у Земљу ропства. Божић је Дан радости и за народ Светога Саве, расут вољно и невољно по свим меридијанима од Европе до Америке и Аустралије. Очински бринући, позивамо вас да не заборавите своју православну веру и свој језик, да не заборавите богомоље и гробове својих предака, да не заборавите своје светосавске корене који су овде у овој земљи Божјој која се Србијом зове и у другим крајевима који су вековна постојбина Србинова. Божић је Дан којим почиње и Васкрсење, а Васкрсења не бива без страдања, страдална децо наша на Косову и Метохији! Знајте, запамтите и научите децу своју да би они научили децу своју (5. Мој 6, 6-9) да је изгнани јеврејски народ скоро двадесет векова чекао дан повратка земљи отаца својих, а српски народ пет векова чекао ослобођење Старе Србије. Поучени речима Псалмопојца (Пс 137, 3), и ми ускликнимо: Ако заборавим тебе, Косово,и тебе, Метохијо, нека ме заборави десница моја! Помоливши се Богу на стоту годишњицу ослобођења Косова и Метохије 1912. године, положимо и сада наду на Господа! Божић је Дан у којем смо ослобођени од оковâ греха, смрти и сатане, а овогодишњи Божић славимо пред почетак свечаног обележавања 1700-годишњице Миланског едикта којим је свети цар Константин хришћанима дао слободу и право да Христа слободно прослављају. Нажалост, у овој јубиларној години слободе хришћанског исповедања вере управо та слобода ускраћена је нашој браћи и сестрама припадницима Охридске Архиепископије, чијег Поглавара, архиепископа Јована, држе заточеног у тамници они који већ више деценија не дозвољавају да ризу Христову, безбожном руком раздерану, поново саставимо. У овом дану, када се земља радује са небом, упућујемо речи љубави, утехе и охрабрења деци Охридске Архиепископије, на челу са њеним Предстојатељем и Светим Синодом. Осећајући све тешкоће и невоље у којима се налазимо данас и мутне облаке који су сe наднели над наш мученички и

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страдални народ, поучени овим великим Даном, ми вас, децо наша духовна, позивамо да останете у вери Христовој и вeри наших светих предака. Знајмо, расте ли вера наша у Богомладенца Христа, истовремено расте и љубав наша према Њему и ближњима. Јер, вера непрестано открива у Христу све новија и новија савршенства, богатства и красоте, због којих Га ми све више и више волимо. И као што нема граница вери нашој у Христа, тако нема граница ни љубави нашој према Њему. Само су људи велике вере укорењени и утемељени у љубави, јер је љубав Божја свела Бога на земљу, што је и порука Божића који данас славимо. Бог је сишао са неба на овај свети Дан да би нас из прашине дигао изнад сваког неба и изнад сваке земаљске тајне. Ово је наша радост, наше весеље и наша утеха које нам даје Божић. И због тога вас на овај благи Дан, децо наша духовна, позивамо да се саберете у Цркви која је Тело Христово, на светој Литургији у којој нам се даје Христос, јер изван Цркве нема спасења, јер изван Цркве нема Спаситеља. Радосно вас позивамо, враћајте се Богу Живом! Благо нама када се Богу враћамо! А коме бисмо другоме ако не Богу? И када бисмо се вратили ако не у ове божићне дане? Нека је благословен овај свети Дан и ви будите благословени у том светом Дану, Христовом Рођендану. У Њему се рађамо и препорађамо, у Њему постајемо људи, богољуди, и добијамо свој истински и непролазни смисао. И тако осећајмо и говоримо: Са нама је Бог, нека разумеју сви народи!

Епископ бихаћко-петровачки ХРИЗОСТОМ Епископ осечко-пољски и барањски ЛУКИЈАН Епископ средњоевропски КОНСТАНТИН Епископ западноевропски ЛУКА Епископ тимочки ЈУСТИН Епископ врањски ПАХОМИЈЕ Епископ шумадијски ЈОВАН Епископ славонски САВА Епископ браничевски ИГЊАТИЈЕ Епископ милешевски ФИЛАРЕТ Епископ далматински ФОТИЈЕ Епископ будимљанско-никшићки ЈОАНИКИЈЕ Епископ захумско-херцеговачки ГРИГОРИЈЕ Епископ ваљевски МИЛУТИН Епископ рашко-призренски ТЕОДОСИЈЕ Епископ нишки ЈОВАН Епископ западноамерички МАКСИМ Епископ горњокарловачки ГЕРАСИМ Епископ аустралијско-новозеландски ИРИНЕЈ Епископ крушевачки ДАВИД Епископ умировљени захумско-херцеговачки АТАНАСИЈЕ Викарни Епископ хвостански АТАНАСИЈЕ Викарни Епископ јегарски ПОРФИРИЈЕ Викарни Епископ моравички АНТОНИЈЕ Викарни Епископ липљански ЈОВАН

МИР БОЖЈИ – ХРИСТОС СЕ РОДИ! ВАИСТИНУ СЕ РОДИ!

Викарни Епископ ремезијански АНДРЕЈ ОХРИДСКА АРХИЕПИСКОПИЈА:

Дано у Патријаршији српској у Београду, о Божићу 2012. године.

Архиепископ охридски и Митрополит скопски ЈОВАН Епископ полошко-кумановски ЈОАКИМ Епископ брегалнички и мјестобљуститељ

Ваши молитвеници пред Богомладенцем Христом:

Епархије битољске МАРКО

Архиепископ пећки, Митрополит београдско-карловачки и Патријарх српски ИРИНЕЈ

Викарни Епископ стобијски ДАВИД

Митрополит загребачко-љубљански ЈОВАН Митрополит црногорско-приморски АМФИЛОХИЈЕ Митрополит дабробосански НИКОЛАЈ Епископ шабачки ЛАВРЕНТИЈЕ Епископ зворничко-тузлански ВАСИЛИЈЕ Епископ сремски ВАСИЛИЈЕ Епископ бањалучки ЈЕФРЕМ Епископ будимски ЛУКИЈАН Епископ канадски ГЕОРГИЈЕ Епископ банатски НИКАНОР Епископ новограчаничко-средњезападноамерички ЛОНГИН Епископ источноамерички МИТРОФАН Епископ жички ХРИЗОСТОМ Епископ бачки ИРИНЕЈ Епископ британско-скандинавски ДОСИТЕЈ

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 8


The importance of Sunday For Christians, Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is a special day consecrated to the service and worship of God. It is a unique Christian festival. It is “the day the Lord has made” (Ps. 117 (118):24). Its nature is holy and joyful. Sunday is the day on which we believe God acted decisively to liberate the world from the tyranny of sin, death, and corruption through the Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The primacy of Sunday is affirmed by the liturgical practice of the early church. St. Justin the Martyr writing around 150 AD notes that “it is on Sunday that we assemble because Sunday is the first day, the day on which God transformed darkness and matter and created the world and the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead (First Apology, 67).” Sunday has always had a privileged position in the life of the church as a day of worship and celebration. On Sunday the Church assembles to realize her eschatological fullness in the Eucharist by which the Kingdom and the endless Day of the Lord are revealed in time. It is the perpetual first day of the new creation, a day of rejoicing. It is a day for community, feasting and family gatherings. As we look at our fellow Christians and our society, we observe that everyone is short of time and stressed. One reason is that many of us have forgotten the meaning of Sunday, and with it the practices that regularly renewed our relationships and lives. More and more Christian leaders see the effects of a 24/7 work life and ask “Where is the time of rest?”

work squeeze out the chance for a day of worship or rest in the Christian sense. By abandoning Sunday worship we lose out on the regenerative powers that flow out of the liturgical assembly. And when Sunday becomes detached from its theological significance, it becomes just part

of a weekend and people can lose the chance to see transcendent meaning for themselves and their lives (The Lord’s Day, 4).

Anyone who reads the recent book Sunday, Sabbath, and the Weekend (2010, Edward O’Flaherty, ed.) will see there is also strong ecumenical consensus on the need to recover the meaning of Sunday-not just for our souls, but for our bodies, our hearts, and our minds as well.

Sunday is more than just the first day of the week. In our faith we see how it is the ultimate day of new beginnings: “It is Easter (Pascha) which returns week by week, celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death, the fulfillment in him of the first creation and the dawn of "the new creation" (cf. 2 Cor 5:17). It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world's first day and looks forward in active hope to "the last day", when Christ will come in glory (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Th 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (cf. Rev 21:5. The Lord’s Day, 1).”

Sadly Sunday has become less of a day of worship and family and more like an ordinary work day. Shopping, sports, and

Sunday even unlocks the mystery of time itself, for “…in commemorating the day of Christ's Resurrection not just once a VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 9

year but every Sunday, the Church seeks to indicate to every generation the true fulcrum of history, to which the mystery of the world's origin and its final destiny leads (The Lord’s Day, 2).” The Lord’s Day is the day after the last day of the week and so it symbolizes eternity as well: what St. Augustine calls “a peace with no evening (Confessions 13:50).” St. Basil the Great in his Treatise on the Holy Spirit writes, “Sunday seems to be an image of the age to come… This day foreshadows the state which is to follow the present age: a day without sunset, nightfall or successor, an age which does not grow old or come to an end (On the Holy Spirit 26:77).” Sunday is a day of joy, rest, and solidarity. Joy there is, because the disciples are always glad to see the Master. God scripturally established a day of rest as a gift to us, and rest there must be for every human person. Rest is built into our nature and also withdraws us “…from the sometimes excessively demanding cycle of earthly tasks in order to renew [our] awareness that everything is the work of God. There is a risk that the prodigious power over creation which God gives to man can lead him to forget that God is the Creator upon whom everything depends. It is all the more urgent to recognize this dependence in our own time, when science and technology have so incredibly increased the power which man exercises through his work. Finally, it should not be forgotten that even in our own day work is very oppressive for many people, either because of miserable working conditions and long hours — especially in the poorer regions of the world — or because of the persistence in economically more developed societies of too many cases of injustice and exploitation of man by man (The Lord’s Day, 65,66).” We strongly urge both clergy and laity to work cooperatively within their communities to stress the importance of Sunday for worship and family. Foremost we call for all to render thanks to God and render Continued on page 10


Continued from page 9 love towards one another – and be willing to reserve time to do both -- and avail ourselves of the riches of the Lord’s Day. Appropriate authorities can be approached to schedule sports activities after 12 noon in order to give young athletes and their family the opportunity to worship on Sunday morning. We call for our children to live in a timescape that respects the Godgiven rhythm of the week. “Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that he may cast light upon it and give it direction. He is the One who knows the secret of time and the secret of eternity, and he gives us "his day" as an ever new gift of his love. The rediscovery of this day is a grace which we must implore, not only so that we may live the demands of faith to the full, but also so that we may respond concretely to the deepest human yearnings. Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human (The Lord’s Day, 7).” Source: http://assemblyofbishops.org/

How You Can Make A Difference at St. George and in Your Life Participate and Pray. Your participation and attendance at services and St. George activities is very important. Those who regularly attend the services grow spiritually which in turns reflects on their relationship with God and the loved ones. Your prayers matter. Pray for the completion of the church property renovation and all those in need. Prayer is indeed the greatest gift that we can offer for each other. Get involved today. Volunteers are needed for: church property cleanup, Sunday luncheons preparation, assistance with mailing, Church Board, office volunteers, Sunday school teachers, choir, etc. For more info. call church office 619-2765827 or email Fr. Bratso frbratso@sbcglobal.net or call his cell phone 619-316-2362. Give. Your generosity is a blessing to St. George parish and God will reward you. By supporting the ministries at St. George you are placing yourself along the side of our holy ancestors, missionaries, priests, bishops who faithfully served God and spread the Good News in the world. Make a donation today. Your gift to God’s work does not go unnoticed, “For God is not unjust; He will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for His sake in serving the saints as you still do.” (Hebrew 6:10)

Bring Christ Into the Home When we talk of “bringing a thing home,” we mean bringing it into those vital centers of interest wherein we really live. This is what many of us fail to do with Jesus. We praise Him. We pray to Him. We worship Him. We build churches for Him. But we fail to take Him home with us. We fail to bring His love, His forgiveness, His patience, His understanding into our homes. Some time ago the Supreme Court outlawed prayer and Bible study in the schools. What has this done but drive us back to our homes where it all began? Our homes must become more Christian than ever. If our children may not pray in school, let them hear you – the parents – pray at home. If they may not hear the Bible read in school, let them hear it read at home. They may take prayer and the Bible out of our schools, but they can never take them out of our home which is the greatest school our children will ever attend. So bring Christ into the home! George Santayana, who taught so long and brilliantly at Harvard, was born in Spain. He became a master of exquisite English, as his books reveal. But he confessed that he never became at home in the English language because he never learned to speak it at home as a child. We know that a language never does quite reach the center of being unless we learn it early and speak it in our homes. The principle is the same in religion. Religious faith does not reach the center of our souls when it is superimposed on us from outside our homes. So bring Christ into the home. Pray with your children. Read the Bible with them. Spend time with them. Let them see you pray daily before the family icon. A Bishop who visited a tribe in the interior of Africa was greeted by an old chief who said, “Bishop, we believe in God. But sometimes He is so far away. You be God for us today.” To the children the parents represent God. They are the real priests. As the great psychologist Fritz Kunkel wrote, “The child cannot yet distinguish between the parents and God. To him the parents are God … if we are bad parents, the child learns that God is bad.” Bring Christ into the home. Speak with Him daily. Let your children catch from you the radiance and the reality of His presence. In calling on a family, a pastor asked the wife, “Does Christ live here?” The wife went back and repeated the question to the husband. He replied, “Tell him we go to church every Sunday.” The wife replied, “But that is not what he asked. His question was, ‘Does Christ live here in our home?’” Does He? Excerpted from, Making God Real in the Orthodox Christian Home, by Anthony Coniaris

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CELEBRATION * DEDICATION * PROGRESS * VISION Jesus Christ is Our Teacher

Jesus Christ is Our Sanctifier

In Iconography, Jesus Christ is most commonly portrayed imparting a blessing with his right hand raised while firmly holding the Scriptures in His left hand.

Jesus Christ came into the world to transform a fallen and sinful creation. God had created all things in order to eternally share in His boundless love. But humanity rejected God through sin, turning away from the Source of Life. Where there had once only been life with God, death became a dreaded part of humanity’s experience.

When Jesus was twelve years old, He accompanied Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem to celebrate one of the high Jewish holy days. Having been separated from Mary and Joseph, Jesus was later discovered in the Temple, teaching the teachers who were amazed by His wisdom and knowledge. Thus, long before He began His public ministry, Jesus revealed Himself as The Teacher of all; The Living Word of God, the very embodiment of the Scriptures; and The Way by which we know and experience God.

By His resurrection, Jesus Christ reunited creation with its Creator and destroyed the eternal power of death. His mission on earth was to reveal God’s kingdom and to prepare us for it by Calling us to personal holiness;

New Year’s Blessings to everyone

Destroying all that had corrupted creation while saving all that was worth being saved; and Sanctifying us so that we might rid ourselves of sin and corruption and clothe ourselves in His very glory.

Orthodox Christianity is the way of life initiated by Jesus Christ and a living organism composed of those who believe in Him.

The Orthodox Church began on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles; subsequently spread to every corner of the world, and was established in North America in the late eighteenth century. It is the second largest body in Christendom with 225 million people worldwide. But in the U.S. and Canada there are less than six million.

The Church is People - God’s People Who • Gather together in His name, thereby calling themselves Christian; • Share a common faith and hope based on the love of God; • Affirm the truth, or orthodoxy, of their faith, belief and experience; and • Proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all.

An Orthodox Christian, then, is one who fully lives and proclaims God’s Truth as it has been revealed by Jesus Christ and experienced everywhere and at all times by His People, the Church.

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Saint’s & Feast Days celebrated during Winter Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia (December 19)

This glorious saint, celebrated even today throughout the entire world, was the only son of his eminent and wealthy parents, Theophanes and Nona, citizens of the city of Patara in Lycia. Since he was the only son bestowed on them by God, the parents returned the gift to God by dedicating their son to Him. St. Nicholas learned of the spiritual life from his uncle Nicholas, Bishop of Patara, and was tonsured a monk in the Monastery of New Zion founded by his uncle. Following the death of his parents, Nicholas distributed all his inherited goods to the poor, not keeping anything for himself. As a priest in Patara, he was known for his charity, even though he carefully concealed his charitable works, fulfilling the words of the Lord: Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth (Matthew 6:3). When he gave himself over to solitude and silence, thinking to live that way until his death, a voice from on high came to him: ``Nicholas, for your ascetic labor, work among the people, if thou desirest to be crowned by Me.'' Immediately after that, by God's wondrous providence, he was chosen archbishop of the city of Myra in Lycia. Merciful, wise and fearless, Nicholas was a true shepherd to

his flock. During the persecution of Christians under Diocletian and Maximian, he was cast into prison, but even there he instructed the people in the Law of God. He was present at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea [325] and, out of great zeal for the truth, struck the heretic Arius with his hand. For this act he was removed from the Council and from his archiepiscopal duties, until the Lord Christ Himself and the Most-holy Theotokos appeared to several of the chief hierarchs and revealed their approval of Nicholas. A defender of God's truth, this wonderful saint was ever bold as a defender of justice among the people. On two occasions, he saved three men from an undeserved sentence of death. Merciful, truthful, and a lover of justice, he walked among the people as an angel of God. Even during his lifetime, the people considered him a saint and invoked his aid in difficulties and in distress. He appeared both in dreams and in person to those who called upon him, and he helped them easily and speedily, whether close at hand or far away. A light shone from his face as it did from the face of Moses, and he, by his presence alone, brought comfort, peace and good will among men. In old age he became ill for a short time and entered into the rest of the Lord, after a life full of labor and very fruitful toil, to rejoice eternally in the Kingdom of Heaven, continuing to help the faithful on earth by his miracles and to glorify his God. He entered into rest on December 6, 343. Свети Николај Чудотворац, архиепископ мирликијски (19. децембар) Овај славни светитељ, слављен и данас по целоме свету, би јединац син у својих знаменитих и богатих родитеља, Теофана и Ноне, житеља града Патаре, у Ликији. Као јединца сина, дарованог им од Бога, они опет посветише Богу, и тиме дадоше га Богу као уздарје. Духовном животу VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 12

научи се свети Николај код свог стрица Николаја, епископа патарског, и замонаши се у манастиру Нови Сион, основаном тим истим стрицем његовим. По смрти родитеља Николај раздаде наслеђено имање сиромасима не задржавајући ништа за себе. Као свештеник у Патари беше се прочуо својим милосрђем, мада он брижљиво скриваше своја милосрдна дела испуњујући реч Господњу: "Да не зна левица твоја што чини десница твоја" (Мт 6, 3). Када се предаде самоћи и безмолвију, смишљајући да тако до смрти проживи, дође му глас свише: "Николаје, пођи на подвиг у народ, ако желиш бити од Мене увенчан". Одмах потом чудесним Промислом Божјим би изабран за архиепископа града Мира у Ликији. Милостив, мудар, неустрашив, свети Николај био је прави пастир добри стаду своме. У време гоњења хришћана под Диоклецијаном и Максимијаном бачен у тамницу, но и у тамници поучаваше људе закону Божјем. Присуствовао Првом васељенском сабору у Никеји, и, из велике ревности према истини, ударио руком јеретика Арија. Због тога дела би уклоњен са Сабора и од архијерејске службе све док се неколицини првих архијереја на Сабору не јави сам Господ Христос и Пресвета Богородица и не објавише Своје благоволење према Николају. Заштитник истине Божје овај дивни светитељ био је вазда и одважан заштитник правде међу људима. У два маха спасао је по три човека од незаслужене смртне казне. Милостив, истинит, правдољубив, он је ходио међу људима као ангел Божји. Још за живота његова људи су га сматрали светитељем и призивали га у помоћ у мукама и бедама; и он се јављао, у сну и на јави, онима који су га призивали, подједнако лако и брзо наблизу и надалеко, и помагао. Од његовог лица сијала је светлост као од лица Мојсијева, и он је самом


својом појавом доносио утеху, тишину и добру вољу међу људе. У старости поболе мало и упокоји се у Господу, многотрудан и многоплодан, да се вечно весели у Царству небеском продужујући да чудесима на земљи помаже вернима и прославља Бога свога. Упокојио се 6. децембра 343. године (в. 9. мај). The Nativity of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ (January 7)

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son (Galatians 4:4) to save the human race. And when nine months were fulfilled from the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel had appeared to the Most-holy Virgin in Nazareth, saying, Rejoice, thou that art highly favored … behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son (Luke 1:28, 31), at that time there went forth a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the people of the Roman Empire should be taxed. In accordance with this decree, everyone had to go to his own town and be registered. That is why the righteous Joseph

came with the Most-holy Virgin to Bethlehem, the city of David, for they were both of the royal lineage of David. Since many people descended on this small town for the census, Joseph and Mary were unable to find lodging in any house, and they sought shelter in a cave which shepherds used as a sheepfold. In this cave-on the night between Saturday and Sunday, on the 25th of December-the Most-holy Virgin gave birth to the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ. Giving birth to Him without pain just as He was conceived without sin by the Holy Spirit and not by man, she herself wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, worshiped Him as God, and laid Him in a manger. Then the righteous Joseph drew near and worshiped Him as the Divine Fruit of the Virgin's womb. Then the shepherds came in from the fields, directed by an angel of God, and worshiped Him as the Messiah and Savior. The shepherds heard a multitude of God's angels singing: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:14). At that time three wise men arrived from the east, led by a wondrous star, bearing their gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. They worshiped Him as the King of kings, and offered Him their gifts (Matthew 2). Thus entered the world He Whose coming was foretold by the prophets, and Who was born in the same manner in which it had been prophesied: of a Mostholy Virgin, in the town of Bethlehem, of the lineage of David according to the flesh, at the time when there was no king in Jerusalem of the lineage of Judah, but rather when Herod, a foreigner, was reigning. After many types and prefigurings, messengers and heralds, prophets

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 13

and righteous men, wise men and kings, finally He appeared, the Lord of the world and King of kings, to perform the work of the salvation of mankind, which could not be performed by His servants. To Him be eternal glory and praise! Amen. Рождество Господа и Бога и Спаса нашега Исуса Христа (7. јануар) А кад се наврши вријеме, посла Бог Сина својега јединороднога" (Гал 4, 4), да спасе род људски. И кад се испуни девет месеци од благовести, коју јави архангел Гаврил Пресветој Деви у Назарету, говорећи: "Радуј се, благодатна... ево зачећеш и родићеш сина, и надјени му име Исус" (Лк 1, 18 и 31). У то време изиђе заповест од кесара Августа, да се попише сав народ у Царевини римској. Сходно тој заповести требаше свако да иде у свој град и тамо се упише. Зато Јосиф Праведни дође с Пресветом Девом у Витлејем, град Давидов, јер обоје беху од царског колена Давидова. Па како се у тај малени град слеже много народа ради пописа, не могоше Јосиф и Марија наћи конака ни у једној кући, због чега се склонише у једну пећину овчарску, где пастири овце своје затвараху. У тој пећини, а у ноћи између суботе и недеље, 25. децембра роди Пресвета Дева Спаситеља света, Господа Исуса Христа. И родивши Га без бола, као што Га је и зачела без греха, од Духа Светога, а не од човека, она Га сама пови у ланене пелене, поклони Му се као Богу и положи Га у јасле. Потом приђе и праведни Јосиф, и он Му се поклони као божанском плоду девичанске утробе. Тада дођоше и пастири из поља, упућени од ангела Божјег, и поклонише Му се као Месији и Спаситељу. И чуше пастири мноштво ангела Божјих где поју: "Слава на висини Богу и на земљи мир, међу људима добра воља" (Лк 2, 14). У то време стигоше и три мудраца с Истока вођени чудесном звездом, са даровима својим: златом, ливаном и измирном, и поклонише Му се као Цару над царевима, и дариваше Га даровима својим (Мт 2).


Тако дође у свет Онај, чији долазак би проречен од пророка, роди се онако како би проречено: од Пречисте Деве, у граду Витлејему, од колена Давидова по телу, у време када више не беше у Јерусалиму цара од рода Јудина, него цароваше Ирод туђин. После многих Својих праобраза и наговештења, изасланика и весника, пророка и праведника, мудраца и царева, најзад се јави Он, Господар света и Цар над царевима, да изврши дело спасења људског, које не могоше извршити слуге Његове. Њему нека је вечна слава и хвала. Амин. The Holy Protomartyr Stephen the Archdeacon (January 9)

Stephen was a kinsman of the Apostle Paul and one of those Jews who lived in the Hellenic provinces. Stephen was the first of the seven deacons whom the holy apostles ordained and appointed to the service of assisting the poor in Jerusalem. For this, he is called the archdeacon. By the power of his faith, Stephen worked great miracles among the people. The wicked Jews disputed with him, but they were always defeated by his wisdom and the power of the Spirit, Who acted through him. Then the shameful Jews, accustomed to calumnies and slander, incited the people and the elders of the people against the innocent Stephen, slandering him as though he had blasphemed against God and against Moses. False witnesses were

quickly found who confirmed this. Stephen then stood before the people, and all saw his face as it had been the face of an angel (Acts 6:15), that is, his face was illumined with the light of grace as was once the face of Moses when he spoke with God. Stephen opened his mouth and enumerated the many good works and miracles that God had performed in the past for the people of Israel, as well as the many crimes and opposition to God on the part of this people. He especially rebuked them for the killing of Christ the Lord, calling them betrayers and murderers (Acts 7:52). And while they gnashed their teeth, Stephen beheld and saw the heavens open and the glory of God. That which he saw, he declared to the Jews: Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God! (Acts 7:56). Then the malicious men took him outside the city and stoned him to death. Among his persecutors was his kinsman Saul, later the Apostle Paul. At that time, the Most-holy Theotokos, standing on a rock at a distance with St. John the Theologian, witnessed the martyrdom of this first martyr for the truth of her Son and God, and she prayed to God for Stephen. This occurred one year after the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. Gamaliel, a prince of the Jews and a secret Christian, clandestinely took St. Stephen's body and buried it on his own estate. Thus, this first among the Christian martyrs gloriously reposed and took up his habitation in the Kingdom of Christ God. Свети првомученик Стефан, архиђакон (9. јануар) Сродник апостола Павла, и Јеврејин од оних Јевреја, који живљаху по областима јелинским. Беше Стефан први од седам ђакона, које апостоли свети рукоположише и поставише на службу око помагања сиротних у Јерусалиму. Зато се и прозва архиђаконом. Силом вере своје Стефан чињаше чудеса велика међу људима. Злобни Јевреји препираху се с њим, но биваху увек побеђивани његовом мудрошћу и силом Духа, који кроз њега дејствоваше. VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 14

Тада посрамљени Јевреји, навикнути на потворе и клевете, узбунише и народ и старешине народне против невиног Стефана, клеветајући га као да је хулио на Бога и на Мојсеја. Брзо нађоше лажне сведоке који то потврдише. Тада Стефан стаде пред народ, и сви видеше лице његово "као лице ангела" (Дап 6, 15), то јест лице му беше озарено благодатном светлошћу као негда Мојсеју, кад је с Богом говорио. И отвори Стефан уста своја и изређа многа доброчинства и чудеса Божја, која Бог учини у прошлости народу израиљском као и многе злочине и противљење Богу од стране тога народа. Нарочито их изобличи за убиство Христа Господа назвавши их "издајницима и крвницима" (Дап 7, 12). И док они шкргутаху зубима, Стефан погледа и виде небо отворено и славу Божју. И то што виде, он објави Јеврејима: "Ево видим небеса отворена и Сина Човечјега гдје стоји с десне стране Бога" (Дап 7, 56). Тада га пакосници изведоше ван града и убише камењем. Међу мучитељима његовим беше и његов сродник Савле, доцније апостол Павле. У то време стајаше у даљини на неком камену Пресвета Богородица са светим Јованом Богословом и гледаше мучеништво овога првог мученика за истину Сина њеног и Бога, молећи се Богу за Стефана. То се десило на годину дана после силаска Духа Светога на апостоле. Тело светог Стефана тајно узе и сахрани на своме имању Гамалил, кнез јеврејски и потајни хришћанин. Тако славно сконча овај првенац међу мученицима хришћанским и пресели се у Царство Христа Бога.


THE EPIPHANY [THEOPHANY] OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST (January 19)

we must die as the old sinful man and become alive again as cleansed, renewed and regenerated. This is the Savior and

А када Јован Крститељ засведочи и рече о Христу: "Гле, Јагње Божије које узима на се гријехе свијета" (Јн 1, 29) и када он погрузи и крсти Господа у Јордану, тиме се показа и мисија Христова у свету и пут нашега спасења. Наиме: Господ узе на се грехе рода човечјег и под њима умре (погружење) и оживе (излазак из воде); и ми морамо умрети као стари греховни човек и оживети као очишћени, обновљени и препорођени. Ово је Спаситељ, и ово је пут спасења. Празник Богојављења (Теофанија, грчки) просвећује показујући нам Бога као Тројицу једнобитну и неразделну. То је једно. И друго: јер се свак од нас крштењем у води просвећује тиме што постаје усиновљен од Оца Светлости, заслугом Сина и силом Духа Светога

When our Lord reached thirty years from His physical birth, He began His teaching and salvific work. He Himself signified this "beginning of the beginning" by His baptism in the Jordan river. St. Cyril of Jerusalem says, " The beginning of the world - water; the beginning of the Good News - Jordan." At the time of the baptism of the Lord in water, that mystery was declared to the world: that mystery which was prophesied in the Old Testament; the mystery about which in ancient Egypt and India was only fabled; i.e., the mystery of the Divine Holy Trinity. The Father was revealed to the sense of hearing; the Spirit was revealed to the sense of sight, and in addition to these, the Son was revealed to the sense of touch. The Father uttered His witness about the Son, the Son was baptized in the water, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove hovered above the water. When John the Baptist witnessed and said about Christ, "Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world" (St. John 1:29), and when John immersed and baptized the Lord in the Jordan, the mission of Christ in the world and the path of our salvation was shown. That is to say: The Lord took upon Himself the sins of mankind and died under them [immersion] and became alive again [the coming out of the water]; and

this is the path of salvation. The Feast of the Epiphany [Theophany in Greek] is also called the Feast of Illumination. For us, the event in the Jordan river illuminates, by manifesting to us God as Trinity, consubstantial and undivided. That is one way. And, the second: everyone of us through baptism in water is illumined by this, that we become adopted by the Father of Lights through the merits of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit.

God and Holiness It must be stated at the beginning that the only true “saint” or holy one (Hagios) is God Himself. The Bible states “For I am the Lord your God; you shall name yourselves holy and keep yourselves holy, because I am holy.”(Levit. 11: 44; 19: 2 and 20: 7). Man becomes holy and “sainted” by participation in the holiness of God.

Богојављење (19. јануар) Када Господ Исус беше навршио тридесет година од Свог телесног рођења, Он отпоче Свој учитељски и спаситељски посао. И сам, почетак почетка ознаменова крштењем на Јордану. Свети Кирил Јерусалимски вели: "Почетак света вода, почетак Јеванђеља Јордан". При крштењу Господа у води објавила се свету она тајна која се у Старом Завету наговештавала, о којој се у старом Мисиру и Индији само баснословило, тј. тајна божанске Свете Тројице. Отац се јавио чувству слуха, Дух се јавио чувству вида, а Син се јавио уз то још и чувству додира. Отац је изрекао Своје сведочанство о Сину. Син се крстио у води а Дух Свети у виду голуба лебдео је над водом. VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 15

Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit. In the Second Letter to the Thessalonians St. Paul suggests: “But we are bound to thank God always for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because from the beginning of time God chose you to find salvation in the Spirit that consecrates you, (en agiasmo Pneumatos) and in the truth that you believe. It was for this that He called you through the Gospel we brought, so that you might possess for your own the splendor of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2: 13–14).

Greek Orthodox Diocese of America


From the President... It is my sincerest hope that this final Voice of 2012 finds all of you in good health and enjoying God’s blessings! I don't know about the rest of you, but as our children get older, the hours in the day go by at seemingly the speed of light.

the years, that if you are so led of the Lord, you can even arrange to leave your estate, or parts of it, to the church, and

As I reflect on this past year, I am drawn to just how blessed I am to work with such a wonderful group of people, not only on the executive board, but from all corners of our parish. Thank you, one and all, for your help, advice, and support. 2012 was a year of great successes, as well as great losses, for our parish. We said farewell to many stalwart stewards, friends who meant so much to St. George, and, of course, to their families. May their memories be eternal. Each passing leaves us with a void, and, as we grieve, we reminisce fondly about the happy days we spent together, the contributions that were made, the advice that was dispensed, and so many life lessons given to us. But as Christians, we do not grieve as others, because we have the hope of eternal life, and we know we shall see them again in heaven. Nevertheless, as loved ones pass on, I would like to remind you that you should prepare your affairs so there is no question about where your earthly treasures should go after you are gone. It’s never too early to secure your estate. As we have reminded you several times over

Mir Bozji! Hristos se rodi! Vladan Trifunovic & family

many of our beloved ones who have passed on, have done so, or made some provision for the church in their final directives. I have often spoken about how time, talent, and treasury play into our stewardship pledge, but how many of us know about Charitable Gifting or Planned Giving? When executed properly, this kind of giving can provide a lifetime of income for the donor and a generous monetary gift to a charity such as your church. But it is very important to have a professional, such as a lawyer or estate planner, help you make this kind of contribution totally sound. Regrettably, there are predatory people who can and do unscrupulously take advantage of people who are vulnerable and, in effect, steal that person’s resources and even physically harm them.

The practice of systematic and proportionate giving of time, abilities, and material possessions—these are a trust from God, to be used in His service for the benefit of all mankind in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming love. Please turn in your signed stewardship cards, if you have not done so. Thank you!

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 16

We are a church family, and no one who is part of our fellowship should hesitate to ask anyone in the church leadership— Proto Bratso, myself, or anyone on the church board—for advice and assistance. You are not alone! Our parish has a wealth of love and generosity available and all one needs do is to ask for help. We are blessed to have one active and two retired priests, each amazing in their own right, each compassionate and available to provide not only spiritual guidance, but their years of community involvement have given them a treasure trove of professionals at their disposal. If you, or someone you know, is at that stage of life when decisions need to be made, but the road is not so clear, please reach out to your church family. We can help get you in touch with trusted advisors who can help you. As 2013 begins, my family and I wish you and yours a blessed new year and a most happy Christmas. Peace from God! Christ is born! Mir Bozji! Hristos se rodi! Vladan Trifunovic, President St. George Serbian Orthodox Church Board

ANNUAL CHURCH ASSEMBLY

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church will hold its Annual Assembly on Sunday January 13, 2013, following the Divine Liturgy. All Parishioners are encouraged to attend. God bless you All! For questions please call Fr. Bratso Krsic 619-276- 5827.


Schedule of Services for January 2013 January 6

Sunday: Christmas Eve

7:00 pm

Great Vespers Blessing of Yule Log Children’s Program/Arrival of Santa Claus Dinner & Fellowship

January 7

Monday: Nativity of our Lord/Christmas

10:00 am

Divine Liturgy Lunch and Fellowship

January 8

Tuesday: Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos

10:00 am

Divine Liturgy

January 9

Wednesday: Holy Protomartyr Stephen

10:00 am

Divine Liturgy

January 13

Sunday: Ven. Mother Melania

10:30 am

Divine Liturgy Lunch Parish Annual Assembly

January 14

Monday: The Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ, St. Basil the Great Julian calendar New Year

10:00 am

Divine Liturgy

January 18

Friday: Holy Cross Feast Day

10:00 am

Divine Liturgy and Blessing of the Water

January 19

Saturday: Theophany

10:00 am

Divine Liturgy and the Great Blessing of Water

January 20

Sunday: St. John the Baptist

10:30 am

Divine Liturgy

January 27

Sunday: St. Sava, First Archbishop of Serbia

10:30 am

Divine Liturgy St. Sava Celebration (Blessing of the Kolach and Children’s Program) All are invited

Svetlana Jovanovic, sister of Misha Jovanovic, and her great niece Cora Jovanovic in the church play area. Note: the concrete surface that is now a project for safety retrofitting. See article on right.

Playground Protective Surface Project As you probably are aware of, we have a playground structure adjacent to the social hall that sits on bare concrete. Many of you have voiced concerns about the safety of the children that use the playground, and some of you have complained that seemingly nothing has been done about it. As the father of two young boys I assure you that I share those concerns, and I assure you that something will be done about it in the near future. I have volunteered to lead the project to get a protective surface installed in the playground area. When will the project be completed? That depends entirely on you and on how quickly donations for the project come in. Why are donations needed? If you read the letter that accompanied the stewardship commitment packet that was mailed to you in November, you know what financial situation the Church is in. Every year, stewardship donations and other revenue generated is just barely enough to cover our operating costs. The Church Board recognizes the need to do something about the playground surface, but there just isn’t any money available for the project at this time. Aside from the fact that there isn’t any money in the general fund for the playground surface project, I think this is a relatively straightforward and quick project that we parents and grandparents at St. George should take responsibility for. When it is completed, I know that you will be proud that you have contributed towards it, and disappointed if you haven’t. What type of surface will be installed and how much will it cost? I have listened to several stewards’ ideas on this topic. Everything, including placing sand or wood chips, tearing out the concrete pad and installing grass or artificial turf, placing loose rubber chips, installing rubber mats, and installing a poured-in-place EPDM rubber surface has been brought up. While a final decision on exactly what to install has not been made yet, the Church Board is in agreement that we are going to do this properly - which means installing a product that will last with minimal maintenance, and most importantly will meet critical fall-height requirements. That essentially rules out everything except for quality interlocking rubber mats or a poured-in-place EPDM rubber surface. I have contacted several contractors and suppliers, and have received quotes ranging from $9,000 to $14,000 for those two options. I know it sounds like a lot, but if we all share the cost, we can get it done. Think about it: if only 50 stewards donate $200 each, we’ll have $10,000 for the project. I think that every parent and grandparent at St. George will agree that $200 is a good investment for the safety of their children and grandchildren. $200 is just a suggested donation amount. If you are able to donate more, please don’t hold back. I also wanted to make sure that everyone knows that their donations for the playground protective surface project will be kept in a separate account and will be used for this purpose only. When will the project go to construction? The time frame for construction is as soon as we have raised enough funds. If we haven’t raised at least $10,000 by Easter 2013, I will be shocked. I want to thank everyone who has given me input about the playground surface, and I welcome your continued input and any assistance that you can provide. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions. Toma Jovanovic

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 17


Should Children Be In Church? Below are some points taken from the article, Should Children be in Church?, written by Joan Teebagy, which provides ideas that may be helpful in bringing your children to Church. 1. Sit as close to the front as possible. Children need to see what is happening. This also helps with their attention and eventual understanding of the service. Don’t expect young children to sit still for the whole service or stay quiet. This is unrealistic and counter-productive. I never say to my young children, “Don’t talk” but rather “Whisper.” Movement can be restricted but not prohibited. My five year old is expected to sit on the pew and stand with minimum of movement while my younger ones move around a little bit more. 2. Bring materials for the children. This can be children’s liturgy books, picture books and crayons. Let the children know what is acceptable and what is not-this will change as the children get older. 3. Prepare your children for the Liturgy. Try to read the Gospel reading for the day to your children on Saturday night. Explain to the children that they will hear this in the church and have them listen for key words during the Gospel. During church, whisper to them to remind them to listen to the Gospel story. On special days, such as Elevation of the Cross or Orthodoxy Sunday, have them bring in their own cross or icon so they can participate in their small way. Have children prepare an offering envelope that they can place in the collection baskets. Children as young as two can recite the Lord’s Prayer. Teach it to your children and encourage them to recite it during church. As your children grow older, encourage them to participate in the Divine Liturgy and the life of the community by singing in the choir and serving in the altar.

4. Ignore comments that belittle your effort to make your children part of the church life. People who make these comments about behavior of children have little understanding of what the Church is about or Christ’s acceptance and welcome of little children. Don’t let “bad” day discourage you. Evaluate what has happened, change expectations if necessary and try again. You are not alone so seek advice from other parents as well. 5. Make the Church an important part of your life. Your own spiritual life is an important role model to your children. If the children see that God and the Church are an important part of your life, this will make a great impact as children grow older and one day, accept this faith as their own. Pray at home, read the scriptures, and involve your children in good works. Your own spiritual strength will also give you that extra strength to tolerate those less than perfect but child-like behaviors in church and to bring your children on a regular basis to the Liturgy, even during those summer months when there is no Church School. Parents who bring their children just to Church School, whether it is before or after church, do not realize that the real class is in CHURCH. The other class is only reinforcement. It is only an enrichment of what is being taught at home and what is being absorbed through all five senses in church. 6. Attend special services with your children. Make an effort to attend weekly Vespers and other special services with your children. Although it is not always possible with young children to attend all the special services during Great Lent, attending a few extra services including Presanctified Liturgies, special Divine Liturgies, and Akathist exposes the children to the cycle of services. Again, learn about these services and prepare your children to know what they will see and hear.

St George Parishioners enjoying the after service church luncheon Church organizations and individual families take turns providing the lunch (donations from the lunch are given to the church). On December 23, the sister of Misha Jovanovic, Svetlana Jovanovic, visiting from Serbia, prepared the lunch. Misha’s son Aleksandar and granddaughter Cora are shown in the foreground.

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 18


Pondering Life... Words from Sylvia Dearest Sisters and Brothers in Christ, I wish all of you a joyous Christmas, and a very healthy and prosperous New Year. This is truly the season of giving of our time and talents while honoring our Lord. For those who have been able to help out at God's Extended Hand (GEH) your time and talents have been a blessing to so many. A previous coworker of mine has now fulfilled her wish of helping the needy by accompanying us. Think of inviting someone, they may also have a wish and desire to help. Especially during this season, we try to spend more time with those who are dear to us, but there are so many who have neither family nor friends who can care for them. If you are able to reach out to someone in need, make an effort, carry it through into the new year. Some of us have time to volunteer, while others make financial contributions, and there are those who can offer professional assistance. Whatever you are able to do, let’s continue to help. There is always someone, somewhere with needs greater than our own. I wanted to cry the last time I helped out at GEH, when I heard the Happy Birthday song being sung to a young girl. It was heart rendering, such a small thing, but so important to be remembered when you are alone and needy. Please continue to make clothing contributions and other assistance. These items will be distributed to the needy. It’s in giving that we receive. On another note, here is one more of my stories that I hope will inspire you...

courtyard. And even though I was relaxing, I at the same time was observing her, and wondering, what might she be thinking of me. I saw her as no different than myself, but how would she know this. I didn't feel comfortable having so much help. Then a thought came to mind when she began to clean the windows: Dear Lord why is it that I am the one looking out, while she is the one looking in? I can truly say I have lived a very privileged life because of the desire of my maternal great-grandfather, who was a very successful businessman in Mexico. He made a decision to emigrate his family from Mexico in the early 1900s to give his family a better chance in life. So he sold all of his properties and businesses. His children were adults and had families of their own. But they all moved and settled in Santa Barbara, and later moved to San Diego. Had that not taken place, I, for one, would not have been there in this privileged place. I could have been just like the maid cleaning the windows, looking in. But God in His Grace put me in another place, a place where He expects me to use the gifts He has given me to help others and spread His Word.

Well, dear friends, as most of you may know by now, we are forming a new Kolo board. Due to some health issues, I'm resigning as president of Kolo Sestara this term. I would like to thank all of you for giving me this honorable position, and I greatly appreciate all of your support these past years. Trusting God our Father, the future is bright for our church and all of its organizations. I will still be part of Kolo, taking on the role of Sunshine chairperson. And in addition, Marsha Jovanovic, editor of the Voice, has invited me to continue sharing with you through these short devotional articles. It has been nice to get so much positive feed back from many of you for my stories and insights on life. Thank you for having taken the time to read them and for encouraging me to continue. So with God’s Grace, I will continue writing for the Voice. Once again I send and extend my sincere love and best wishes for a beautiful life filled with good health, peace, and joy. Your sister in Christ God’s Peace! Christ is Born!!! Sylvia Ivanovic, former Kolo President, now Sunshine Chair

Many years ago while Mirko, I, and our daughter Maria, who was only three at the time, were enjoying a very nice life style, which our employment in a resort hotel in Cabo San Lucas offered us. We both had management positions, and we had full use of all of the services that the resort had to offer, including free room and board. I did not have to lift a finger. Since it was a package deal, we lived very comfortably. During our employment, we often invited family and friends, and the hotel took care of their stays, too. We were pampered, that’s for sure. Well, one day while relaxing in our suite, one of the chambermaids was making her rounds. We were comfortable with all the workers, and knew them on a first name basis. As this maid went about with her assigned duties, she proceeded to straighten out the patio area that led to a beautiful shared

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 19


MORAVA! Dear friends and supporters,

Here it is my second year of being Director of Morava Seniors and the season has started off with a bang! A lot of exciting things have happened. The most memorable this season so far was the Talija Concert which was held at St. George on November 3. I think everyone expected another good dance group from Belgrade. What we did not expect was to see and experience perhaps one of the best folk dance shows St. George has ever seen! It was a very special night that will not be forgotten by those who attended. A by-product of this new relationship is that one of their instructors will be rehearsing Morava and teaching another new choreography, Leskovac, In December, rehearsals will increase to two times a week while Lazar Ruzicic is teaching. Another exciting bit is that Talija has given us their most-favored goc (drum) on a long term loan. Now we just need someone to play it! Talija will be performing for us again on October 12, 2014. Please be on the lookout for this spectacular extravaganza which will be held at one our local theaters. Don’t miss it! Morava will soon be renovating their new Morava room actually located in the hall instead of an outside room. We are looking forward to renovating the room so that it can accommodate and preserve the inventory of beautiful costumes that Morava has acquired over the past 25 years. A big thank you to the church board for making this happen. We will soon be purchasing new Bosilegradske Krajiste costumes from Serbia and are on the lookout for someone returning/coming from Serbian within the next couple of months who could bring the costumes back with them. It would be a tremendous savings on shipping costs. The only cost would be for

extra baggage which Morava would pay. If you know of anyone willing to help, please let us know. We hope to debut this new choreography by Vladimir Spasojevic at our Sv. Sava program at the end of January. Perhaps we will also debut Leskovac, choreographed by Dragan Pantelic. Morava performed at the famous December Nights at Balboa Park on December 8 with a 40- minute program. As ambassadors of Serbian folk dance, this is an opportunity for an American audience to see some of the beauty that Serbian culture has to offer. Another first for Morava will be our upcoming performance at Nations of San Diego International Dance Festival on Feb 9 and 10, 2013 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. Morava was invited to audition and was accepted into the program. This gives yet more opportunity for American audiences to see the spirit and beauty of the Serbian culture through music and dance. Mark your calendars for Morava’s next fundraiser on March 9, 2013. By popular demand, we will be holding our 2nd Bacon and Wine Tasting evening. Last year we learned that you cannot go wrong with bacon, wine, and lots of fellowship! Chocolate covered bacon and wild boar bacon were the highlights of the evening. This is also a great event to bring along your non Serb friends for an evening of wine tasting, good food, and socializing in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. $25 per person gets you entrance, your very own wine glass for the evening, all the food you want to eat, and five wine tastings! More info coming soon! Each dance season culminates in Morava’s famous summer folkfest. This year folkfest will be held on June 29, 2013, at the Garfield Theater in La Jolla. Doors open at 3pm. Concert begins at 4pm sharp. Dinner and dance at St George at 7pm. We are so pleased and honored to announce that Mladost Pariz from Paris, France, will be coming to participate at folkfest. This will be their first trip to California, and we look forward to hosting them and showing them VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 20

San Diego Serbian hospitality. We will be housing them to help them save money. If you are interested in housing a couple of dancers at your home for about a week, please let me know. We will need about 15 homes in order to accommodate their group. To wrap up, as you can see, Morava is busy, vibrant, and excited to share their Serbian dance heritage with all. We are always recruiting. If you are interested in joining Senior Morava, are 16 years of age or older, and think you have an ability to dance, please consider joining. The friendships and fellowship is ever-lasting. I would like to extend my thanks to Sava Ninkovic for stepping up and taking on the challenge of instructing this group of young adults. I would also like to express my admiration of all the senior dancers for their amazing dedication, loyalty, and commitment to perpetuating their heritage through kolo. Rehearsals are a serious workout, and there is not a minute not being used for either dance or vocals. Most of these young people are racing to arrive on time (which they do—pretty amazing for a bunch of Serbs!) from either work or school, and they show up with enthusiasm and determination. Ziveli Svima! Dobrila Undheim, Morava Seniors, Director, dobrila@cox.net, 760-2125891 Find us on Facebook! Back by Popular Demand!

Bacon and Wine Tasting March 9, 2013 7:00pm – 11:00pm Mark Your Calendars! 26th Annual MORAVA FOLKFEST 2013 June 28 – 30 Honored Guests MLADOST PARIZ OPA!


Talija from Belgrade, Serbia

Morava

at December Nights in Balboa Park

Morava 2013 Schedule • •

January 27 February 9 & 10

• • • • • • • • • •

February 13 – 16 March 9 May 18 June 1 June 29 September 22 September 28-29 October 18 – 20 November 2 December 7

St. Sava Program, St. George Nations of SD International Dance Festival, Coronado Center for the Performing Arts Golf Tournament, St. George Bacon and Wine Tasting Fundraiser, St. George Avala Kolofest, St. Petka Kolobration, St. Steven’s Morava Folkfest, Garfield Theater, Honored Guests: Mladost Pariz Gracanica Serbian Festival, Boston Viking Festival Vista, Norway Hall Opolo Wine Harvest, Paso Robles Morava Fundraiser, St. George December Nights, Balboa Park

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 21


St George Choir Report The St. George Serbian Orthodox Church Choir lost one of its longtime members Twila Zivkovich.She follows in death her husband George (Djoko) who was also a choir member. Twelve of our Choir members sang at her funeral. Marina and Peter Sterling gave our Choir a $100 donation in Twila’s memory. The Choir acknowledges their donation with gratitude. Marina is a longtime member of our Choir. The Choir made a $2,000 donation to our Church at the Stewardship meeting in November.

Happy New Year & Merry Christmas from the St. George Choir 2013

Velimir Jovanovic President of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church Choir

Alcohol and Drug Abuse When teens were asked in the Orthodox Teen Survey, conducted this past year, “In the past twelve months how many times did you go out drinking with your friends” this is what they said: • Never: 56.71% • 1-2 Times: 13.04% • 3-6 times: 1.77% • More than 6 Times: 2.03% “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

The Church’s rational for being opposed to alcohol and drug abuse is found in St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians 6:19-20. In both cases one who over indulges puts the body and mind at risk and in some cases harms and even destroys the body. It is a well-known fact that excessive alcohol consumption kills brain cells and affects the liver. Other drugs such as cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, heroin and the like all affect the body and eventually harm and destroy various organs and can even lead to death. Aside from the physical harm caused by alcohol and other drugs, one’s emotional and spiritual lives are directly affected. While certain forms of alcohol, such as wine, drunk in moder-

ation, particularly with a meal, can in fact be healthy, overindulgence to the point that judgment becomes impaired can lead to loss of self-control and one’s entering into sins one might not otherwise enter into. For example, in the Orthodox Teen Survey there was a direct link between alcohol consumption and those who were sexually active. Most likely this connection has to do with the effects of alcohol lowering ones ability to effectively control what is happening to oneself and ones sense of judgment. Unfortunately, our society’s seemly casual view that alcohol consumption is normal amongst teens, has led many teens into situations that have caused them much harm. While a total prohibition of alcohol is not recommended since even the scriptures say that a little wine is good, the causal attitude in society about becoming intoxicated needs to be changed and responsible alcohol consumption be taught to teens and practiced by the adults whom they are emulating. Other drugs, from cigarettes to marijuana, to heroin all fall into the category of having virtually no benefit and only harm to the body, mind and spirit, aside perhaps from some controlled medical uses. Here the user again puts him or her at great risk of harm. Not only is there often loss of control and judgment, but also from the start the body is harmed. Such abuses of the body can be classified as a form of indirect suicide, in which the continued use of such substances over

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 22

time will lead to the deterioration of the body and eventual death. If we take seriously the fact that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, where God dwells, then it becomes incumbent upon us to keep the body pure, healthy and sound. The Church puts the emphasis on the sacredness of the body and is why we are called to care for it, nurture it and protect it from all forms of defilement and harm. In caring for the body, keeping the body sound and pure we also provide for our spiritual wellness and wholeness. The Church has always spoken of the person as a whole human being; the Church has always emphasized the sacredness of both body and soul. In fact, the Resurrection accounts of Christ in the Scripture, emphasize Jesus was raised both in Body and Spirit. By caring for one’s body and keeping it pure, healthy and strong, a person also helps keep their spiritual life in order, as by disciplining the body one allows their spiritual life to guide them, rather than the cravings of the body. By Archpriest Joseph Purpura


eScrip Update Thank you to the nearly 150 families who have participated in our eScrip fundraising! Every supporter counts and makes a difference! eScrip is a fast, easy, and free way to earn money for our church! If you have not yet registered please do so by visiting www.escrip.com, click on sign up and identify St. George Serbian Orthodox Church (ID#: 137331530 ). Then follow the easy instructions to register (you need only register your Vons Club Card Number (note this is not your tel. # but can be quickly retrieved at: 877-1-877-723- 3929). Did you know that every time you shop online you can be earning eScrip dollars for St. George? Use the eScrip Online Mall portal at www.eScrip.com or skip the portal and install the spyware safe tracking program “AutoEARN.” With AutoEARN you can go directly to your merchant’s website and all qualifying purchases will earn St. George eScrip dollars! Registering for eScrip is simple and free. Visit www.eScrip.com, register your Vons Club card (or any credit card), and identify St. George Serbian Church (#137331530) as your organization to support! Thank you to all our supporters!

In April 2012, Rade Plavsic set on an extended visit to Krajina and Serbia. Rade and his wife Jelena are from Golubic, Krajina. During his visit he attended church services in Krajina and Belgrade. Pictured here is Rade with His Grace bishop Irinej of New Zeland and Australia and Krajisnici (his friends from Krajina) in the Saborna Crkva (Cathedral) in Belgrade.

Tia Ducich, eScrip coordinator of St. George SOC

Shopping at

or

?

Then you can be earning money for St. George with every purchase you make!

All you need to do is register your Club Card at www.eScrip.com & identify St. George as the organization to support. If you can’t find your club card # it can be obtained at 877-723-3929. Our group is: St. George Serbian Orthodox Church; Group # 137331530. If you are a rewards Card holder, please register it at www.ralphs.com (bottom of page, click “Services – community contributions”, click on “participant, enroll”, St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, #93561.) Your Ralphs Rewards Card # can be obtained at 1-800-660-9003. Shopping online? Visit eScrip’s online mall and purchase from these popular vendors and 700 MORE! Go to www.escrip.com and click on eScrip Online Mall. Purchase prices will not change, but now you’ll contribute back to St. George!

This simple program costs you nothing and raises money for our Church. Let’s all use this opportunity to give back to St. George! Thank you for your support! Tia Ducich is our Scrip Coordinator. Please feel free to contact her with any questions. Tia.ducich@gmail.com or (805)890-4826

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 23


Stewardship List—Adults December 17, 2012 • Alemany, Linda & Family • Amanovic, Diana • Andolsek, Tonska • Aud, Matthew, Laurie & Family • Basic, Stevo & Stana • Begovich, Michael & Samantha • Belcevich, Milos • Borojevic, Mildred • Borojevic, Wally • Bradic, Aleksandar & Jelena • Brucker, Mitch, Lidija (Obrenovic) & Family

• Jovanovic, Toma & Vesna & Family

• Popa, Cornelia & Family

• Jovanovic, Verica Kasic, Rade & Radmila

• Popovich, Darko & Family

• Kinach, Alex & Seka • Kostic, Tordis • Krsic, Proto Bratso & Protinica Lisa • Kukich, Branko • Kunac, Maria & Dusan • Lukic, James-Ljuban & Petka • Lukic, Milos • Markley, Scott & Nada • Marin, Mike, Tina & Family • McKenzie, Sally • Medigovich, Samuel • Melnick, Stanley & Pauline

• Caric, Brigitte & Family

• Mihailovic, Gordon

• Copic, Miro, Laura & Family

• Mikler, Zora

• Cronemeyer, Jamie & Zorica

• Milanovich, Jennifer

• Denton, Natalie

• Milasinovich, Zeljko & Marija & Family

• Dimich, Marlene

• Milicevic, James & Melanie

• Ducich, Nick & Krista

• Milicevic, Nikola & Nada

• Drakulich, Persida

• Miljkovic, Milan & Diane

• Draskovic, Proto Bozidar & Protinica Bozana

• Miljkovic, Vesna & Miodrag

• Elez, Sladjana • Freeman, Lillian • Fulton, Jeff & Radmila • Germain, Deacon Paul, Natalija & Family • Gavrilov, Gleb • Gregovich, Ljubica - Ruby • Grijakovic, Vladimir • Hjembo, Karl & Alyssa & Family • Ilic, Boris • Ilic, Petar & Rosa • Irick, Olga • Ivanovic, Mirko & Sylvia • Janich, Marcia & Thomas • Jaich, Dennis, Rhonda & Family

• Milovancev, Miroslav, Mira & Family • Mitrovich, Desanka • Mitrovich, Jelena • Mitrovich, Predrag • Mitrovich, Risto & Linda • Mrja, Millie • Naughton, Pamela • Nedic, Sava & Spomenka • Nikolic, Gordana & Family • Pantich, Toma & Jelena • Pantovic, Nada • Pantovic, Snezana & Dole • Papac, Wayne & Sandie • Petakovich, Deyan & Natasha & Family

• Jojic, Dobrinka

• Petakovich, Proto Velimir & Protinica Ljubinka

• Jojic, Julie & Vesko

• Petric, Milovan & Jelena

• Jovanovic, Velimir & Mira

• Plavsic, Milan & Ljubica

• Jovanovic, Misha

• Plavsic, Mara-Seja

• Jovanovic, Ratko & Koka

• Plavsic, D. Dee

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 24

• Popovich, Dolly • Potkonjak, Michael, Sheila & Joseph • Pugh, Zachary & Milica • Purlia, Sam & Gloria • Radojevic, Slobodan & Dr. Vesna • Radojevic, Protinica Nadezda • Radomirovic, Vladimir • Radovanovic, Dragoslav & Ljiljana • Raicevic, Vladimir, Silvana & Family • Rakic, Marko, Vera & Family • Rhoads, Howard & Lydia • Ruzic, Stevan & Marija • Saathoff, Stephanie & Family • Savchuk, Nikolaj & Olga & Family • Selezan, Nemanja & Family • Serdar, Sophie • Skaljac, George & Bernadette • Smith, Justin, Zorana & Family • Starr, Tatyana • Thickstun, Kathryn • Topalovic, Vojkan, Maja & Family • Trifunovic, Dr. Robert, Simona & Family • Trifunovic, Vladan & Milica & Family • Tully, George • Undheim, Robert & Dobrila & Family • Urosevic, Branislav & Elaine • Vasich, Branko & Ruja • Vasich, Milica • Vasiliu, Laurentiu & Daniela • Vladic, Vladanka • Vlasovic, Milanka • Vucelic, Inge • Vukotich, Dorothy • Vukotich, Marian & Stephan • Vukotich, John & Jean • Vuksanovic, Dusan • Yancey, Peter • Zivkovic, Tina & Jovan & Family


Stewardship List—Children, • Krsic, Anastasija • Krsic, Luka • Krsic, Nikolaj

If we have overlooked and misspelled anyone’s name, please, inform our church office (619-276-5827), and we will immediately make the necessary corrections. Thank you!

Stewardship at St. George Parish is our common endeavor Our annual Stewardship Sunday Luncheon took place on November 18, 2012. A lovely meal was prepared by Dobrinka Jojic and family, followed by short presentations about the meaning and importance of being an active steward by Prota Bratso, Vladan Trifunovic, and me. Special thanks to Dobrinka and her kitchen crew, and to everyone that attended the luncheon. I would also like to thank everyone that has already turned in their stewardship commitment card for 2013, and to remind those that haven’t that it is not too late to fill one out and help the Church Board plan the 2013 budget. For the financial aspect of Stewardship, we are off to a good start, with approximately $40,000 in 2013 stewardship donations committed and approximately $8,000 of that collected. But we still have a long way to go just to be able to cover operating costs, so please fill out a card if you have not already done so. As I mentioned on Stewardship Sunday, Stewardship donations in recent years have only covered about half of our

roughly $130,000 annual operating budget. A large portion of the remainder comes from revenue from several events that the church holds – Badnje Vece, Bozic, St. Sava, Easter, Djurdjevdan, Vidovdan, Folkfest, Cevap Challenge, etc. – which is why it is so important for you to volunteer your time and help out at those events. Every time you volunteer to be chairperson for an event, sell tickets, work the bar, work the kitchen, serve, set up, clean up, and promote those events, you are being an active steward and are contributing greatly to your Church, your second home. Likewise, every time you volunteer to cook for a Sunday fellowship luncheon after Church, you are contributing and helping to keep St. George an active community. There are many ways to help out, so if you have any questions about how best to contribute your time, talents, and treasures, please talk to me or Father Bratso, or any member of the Church Board. Sincerely, Toma Jovanovic, Stewardship Chairman

In 2013, we celebrate the Edict of Milan, which gave religious freedom to the Roman Empire 1700 years ago! Agreement reached on rebuilding of 9/11 church New York, Oct. 20—New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the final agreement on the rebuilding of the Greek Orthodox Church destroyed with the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, has been signed. The Governor said that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in charge of the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, will begin construction immediately, with plans to complete the foundation within a year and then turn the site over to the Church for completion of the church. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, welcomed the news, thanking the Governor for being “instrumental” in bringing about the agreement, which had been stalled for a decade, and for “helping St. Nicholas Church be resurrected.” The Archbishop talked about the transformation of the World Trade Center and said that “when St. Nicholas Church is completed it will be a place of praying, a place of comfort, openness and reconciliation where

the relatives of the almost three thousand victims of 9/11 can come and light a candle.” St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a tiny building in the shadow of the Trade Center’s twin towers, was destroyed when the towers fell. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has clashed at times with the Port Authority over the location, size and other details of the rebuilding of the church. The rebuilt church is planned to be a testament to faith and a place of worship and reflection at the site which is presently rising as both a business center and as a memorial to the events of 9/11.

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE • WINTER 2012 25


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Voice of St George Advertising Rates Full page color $200 per issue Full page B&W

$100 per issue

1/2 page B&W

$50 per issue

1/4 page B&W

$25 per issue

All stewards receive one free ad when placing in four consecutive issues. Send your copy or information to the Voice Editor at marsha@marshaj.com or contact Father Bratso. Fr. Bratso encourages you to: â&#x20AC;˘ Send your email address to: frbratso@sbcglobal.net if you would like to be placed on a church information email list so that you get updated announcements of important changes or events during the month between monthly and quarterly mailings. â&#x20AC;˘ Let him know when people are sick so that he can call or visit them if they want him to do so, and add their names to the weekly prayer list. â&#x20AC;˘ Call him at any time; with questions, with concerns, with suggestions. If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to you, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to him!

Visit the SNF website for latest information: www.snflife.org

Wanted: a new Voice Editor! Anyone interested in taking on the responsibility of writing/ editing/publishing the Voice of St George, please contact either Father Bratso or the current Voice Editor who has been doing the job for many years and would welcome a replacement! The software used is Adobe Framemaker, Photo Elements, and other assorted design programs. However, a new editor could choose the software he/she is most comfortable using. Father Bratso creates the cover and provides most of the content, and both he and I would help you get started. Please consider this important service. It is a demanding job, but is well worth the blessings! Our Bookstore has many items on sale! Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget to shop in our church bookstore. We have many items: gold crosses, gold chains, prayer books, books on various topics, tapes, video tapes, DVDs, icons, prayer ropes, etc. Stewardship Pledges Did you forget to submit your stewardship card or perhaps misplaced it somewhere, or do you simply need some more offering envelopes? Call our church office 619-276-5827 and we will immediately send you a stewardship cards and envelopes.

VOICE OF ST. GEORGE â&#x20AC;˘ WINTER 2012 26


Bronze relief in the medieval cathedral in Linkรถping, Sweden

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Misha Jovanovic & family

Firstworld Travel / Misha Tours 619-588-5811 * 619-588-4644 misha@mishatours.com VOICE OF ST. GEORGE โ€ข WINTER 2012 27


Voice of St George - Winter 2012  

Quarterly newsletter

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