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The Nativity of Christ December 25 608 SOUTH COLLEGE ROAD * WILMINGTON, NC 28403 * (910) 392-4444 * FAX (910) 392-4905 WWW.STNICHOLASWILMINGTON.ORG


St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

December 2011

Rev. Fr. Matthew Carter, Proistamenos Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Church Website: www.stnicholaswilmington.org Office Phone: 910-392-4444

Office Fax: 910-392-4905

Fr. Matthew’s cell phone (pastoral emergencies): 910-685-5521 Office Email: office@stnicholaswilmington.org Fr. Matthew’s Email: frmatthew@stnicholaswilmington.org Officers Emanuel Miliotis (President) Evangelos Fragos (Vice President) Tina Bostic (Secretary) Barbara Reynolds (Treasurer)

2011 PARISH COUNCIL Members Nick Lazaridis Peter Malahias Debbie Rallis Nick Saffo

Maria Stasios Alexandros Theodoropoulos Irene Sotiriou Vogiatzis

CHURCH STAFF Daphne Snow, Parish Office Administrator PARISH MINISTRY TEAM Philoptochos...Mary Beth Miliotis, Chapter President

Communications...Alexandros Theodoropoulos, Ministry Chair Webmaster...Alexandros Theodoropoulos Communication & Publications...Daphne Snow Technology...Alexandros Theodoropoulos

Religious Education...Richard Reynolds, Ministry Chair Adult Education...Richard Reynolds Youth Catechism...Courtney Malahias, Director Bookstore/Library...Mary Ann Wall Oratorical Festival...Courtney Malahias

Family Life...Daphne Snow, Ministry Chair Family Night...Daphne Snow Men’s Group...Peter Saffo Women’s Group...Daphne Snow Forever Young...Stella Vallianos

Hellenic Culture...Kitsa Wiersteiner, Ministry Chair Hellenic School...Alexandros Theodoropoulos Dance Instruction...Zaharoula Katsikis Choral...Dr. Michael Rallis Special Activities...Kitsa Wiersteiner

Outreach & Evangelism...Jimmie Stasios, Ministry Chair OCF...Fr. Matthew Carter & Alexandros Theodoropoulos Hospitality...**volunteer needed** Community Service...Sia Mayorga Gibbs Parish Care...Debbie Rallis

Youth Diakonia... Koula Katsikis, Ministry Chair GOYA...Dr. David Snow, Irene Sotiriou Vogiatzis, Mary Beth Miliotis, Tina Bostic, Advisors HOPE/JOY...Peter & Kim Saffo Liturgical Life...Dr. Michael Rallis, Ministry Chair Liturgical Music...Dr. Michael Rallis Acolytes (Altar Boys)...Doug Brown Neokoros/Sexton...**volunteer needed**

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St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

December 2011

From the Desk of Fr. Matthew The icon of the Nativity tells the story of Christ's birth from the Scriptures. It also shows that all creation is taking part in Christ's birth. The angels give thanks with their song; the heavens give the star; the Wise Men give their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The poor, humble shepherds give their praise and amazement; the earth gives the cave, and humanity gives the Virgin.

This Holy Icon is an icon with many scenes. First, it stresses the importance of the Theotokos, the Mother of Jesus (1). She is placed in the center and is the largest figure in the icon. In this icon, she is kneeling with crossed arms, looking at the Christ child. The three stars, denoting her virginity before, during, and after the Nativity, are on her garments. The Christ Child (2), in the center of the icon, is in swaddling clothes and is lying in the manger. In the background is the dark cave where He was born. In the cave are an ox and a donkey guarding the newborn Babe. Even though the Gospels say nothing of the cave, this information is from Holy Tradition.

Neither do the Gospels speak of the ox and the donkey, but all icons of the Nativity include these animals. Including the animals in the icon fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 1:3, "The ox knows his master, and the donkey his master's crib; but Israel does not know me, and the people have not regarded me." The long ray of light from the star points directly to the cave. This ray comes from the star and travels to all parts of the world. It teaches that this bright star is an astronomical happening, and is a messenger from heaven announcing the birth of Jesus.

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St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

December 2011

From the Desk of Fr. Matthew On the left hand side of the icon is another scene. The Wise Men (3), who were led by the star, are riding horses to bring their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus. The Wise Men are of various ages. One is without a beard. In those days, young men did not wear beards. The other Wise Man has long hair and a long beard, which indicates that he is much older. These details teach that regardless of age and appearance, the Good News was given to each and everyone. Opposite the Wise Men is the scene with the humble shepherds. An angel proclaims the glad tidings. A young shepherd plays a reed instrument (4). This scene reveals that the music of the humans was added to the hymn of the angels. Across from the shepherd's scene is the heavenly choir of angels (5). They are giving glory to God. The angels serve two purposes in the Nativity of Christ. They give glory to God and announce the good news to all mankind. The background shows a very rugged terrain. This is not a true representation of the land in this area. Joseph could not find room in Bethlehem, so they went outside of Bethlehem to a cave. This rocky mountain formation only serves as a background for the event. In the lower part of the icon are two more scenes. In the right hand corner are the two women Joseph brought to take care of the Christ child (6). They are bathing Him just as any baby is bathed. The humanity of Jesus is clearly shown in this setting. Opposite the bathing of Jesus scene sits a sad and worried Joseph (7). He is not part of the central group the Christ Child and the Theotokos. Joseph is not the natural father. Joseph is troubled and despondent. There is an old man talking to Joseph. The old man is Satan. Satan can appear in many forms. Here he is as an old man who is tempting Joseph and disturbing him. Satan is telling Joseph that virgin birth is impossible. He's telling Joseph that he's a fool if he believes this. This story comes to us from Holy Tradition. The sad Joseph shows us not only his personal predicament but the dilemma of all mankind the difficulty of accepting that which is "beyond words or reason." The tree, which is in the middle of the lower part of the icon, is a symbol of the Tree of Jesse. This tree refers to Isaiah 11:1-2, "But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him." King David was often mentioned as the son of Jesse and Jesus was from the House of David. The Holy Icon of the Nativity reminds one to praise and glorify the Birth of Christ. The celebration of Christmas each year serves to remind each and everyone of us that Christ came for you and me.

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St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

December 2011

From Emanuel Miliotis, Parish Council President I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with quality time with family and friends. At St. Nicholas we have a lot to be thankful for. I know the parish council is extremely thankful for the scores of volunteers who provide their tireless energy to support our church in so many ways. Praise God for you. Thank you. November was wrapped up with our fall general assembly meeting on November 20th. Thank you for those who attended our session. It was great to hear all the good things coming from the highlighted ministry reports as well as reviewing and passing our 2012 draft budget. As a reminder, we have elections for the parish council on December 11th following the Divine Liturgy. We ask all eligible stewards to take the time to vote. With December now here, Christmas is right around the corner. The Advent season leading up to Christmas provides us time to reflect and prepare for the commemoration of the birth of Christ. Please take the time to participate in a variety of events including the Sunday School Christmas program and our Christmas services. Look at the newsletter or the continually updated website for the latest dates and times. Finally, the parish council would like to wish everyone a joyous and healthy Christmas. In Christ’s service We would like to thank the following sponsors for the 2011 St. Nicholas Golf Tournament: Giorgios Restaurant College Diner Basile Katsikis Rick & Barbara Reynolds Drs. John & Maria Poulos Carolina Arthritis Dr. John Anagnost & Dr. Kathleen Jewell I Love NY Pizza

Christmas Liturgical Schedule Friday, December 23:

9:00 AM Royal Hours

Saturday, December 24:

9:00 AM Great Vespers 6:00 PM Orthros 7:00 PM Divine Liturgy

Emmanuel & Lambra Koklanaris International Shipping St. Nicholas Ladies Philoptochos Society Dr. Spiro Macris Crescent Bank Famous Pizza & Subs Saffo Contractors

Christ is Born! Glorify Him! 5


St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

December 2011

Catechism Corner

Outreach & Evangelism Jim Stasios

Courtney Malahias

On Sunday, November 13th, during the Ladies Philoptochos Society’s OPA Sunday Lunch/Dinner & Holiday Bake Sale, we opened our Sanctuary for visitors to “Come & See” the beauty of an Orthodox Church. A couple of parishioners volunteered and offered Church Tours to the guests who were attending the “OPA Sunday” fundraiser.

As the holiday season is fast approaching, I find myself stretched a bit thin, then remind myself "everything is as it should be." My week is so much better when I remember to take the time to pause, and be mindful of what I am doing. Everyday we need to do this but some days fly by so fast, we forget. That is why I love Sunday. I stop everything and remind myself of what is important and thank God for all his blessings he bestows upon us.

The Nativity Fast began on November 15th. This is a time for fasting, almsgiving, prayer, reflection and attending the services of our Holy Orthodox Church in anticipation the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on December 25th.

Thank you for giving the children quarters for our Stop Hunger Now project! It is a great feeling for them to know each time they put a quarter in the jar, they fed one person.

Saturday, December 3rd is the date of our Parish’s STOP HUNGER NOW meal-packing event. This event will be hosted in our Hellenic Center from 10 AM until Noon. We will be assembling meals which will be sent to folks in need in third world countries. Forty-five (45) volunteers will be needed to assemble, weigh, seal and pack the meal bags on December 3rd. Please volunteer and come help us on the first Saturday in December. What better way to commemorate the Feast Day of our Parish’s Patron Saint, St. Nicholas, than to help the poor?

Our Christmas Pageant is fast approaching and will be on December 14th at 6pm in the Hellenic Hall. Kim Saffo and myself are trying something new this year and we are very excited to share it with you! We will have a lovely dinner and of course a visit with Santa Claus! Oratorical Festival will be here before you know it. Please encourage your child to participate - it is so good for them to have as many public speaking experiences they can have. More about that later with dates and practice sessions, etc. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me, Kim Dandulakis or Irene Vogiatzis.

Please mark your calendars for Sunday, February 5th. This will be the date of our Parish’s Second Annual Family Outreach Sunday. We will reach out to parishioners that we have not seen in church lately and invite them to come and worship with us on this designated Sunday in February. We will host a luncheon in our Hellenic Center following Divine Liturgy and break bread together in Christian fellowship and love. Please make plans to be with us on this special day.

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving and I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful community. In His Service, Courtney Malahias

Parish Council Elections

Best wishes to you and your family for a blessed Christmas Holiday Season. “Kala Christouyena” “Everything we do is an opportunity for Outreach and Evangelism!”

The 2012-2014 Parish Council elections will take place on Sunday, December 11 following the Divine Liturgy. 6


St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

December 2011

Philoptochos

Hellenic Culture, continued

Mary Beth Miliotis

We would also like to thank Kathy Dimopoulos for printing the program and the flyer and Barbara Harris for the photographs of the OXI DAY program. Thanks to everyone who helped with the clean up; too many to mention by name. We apologize if we missed thanking anybody.

Philoptochos held their OPA! Sunday Dinner and Holiday Bake Sale Sunday, November 13th. There are some pastries still available, so see a Philoptochos member if you want to purchase any. A special thank you goes out to John Poulos, Darious Babson, Peter Malahias, Bill Vogiatzis, Plato Theophilos, Jimmie Stasios, and Matt Kirkby for their help in prepping, cooking, and serving the food.

Most of all thank you all for being present and showing your support for the efforts of our children.

We will be donating food to 20 families this year for the Thanksgiving holiday. Distribution of these food packages will take place on Saturday, November 19th. Thank you to those of you who have made contributions towards this ministry.

Youth Diakonia Koula Katsikis

As we prepare for the Nativity season I would like to take this opportunity to say how thankful we are for all the love and support you have shown our youth. Joy/ Hope is well underway with our new advisors Peter and Kim Saffo. They have done a tremendous job planning all their planned activities. With support of the parents there has been record participation. Joy/Hope consists of youth PreK-5th grade

The next meeting will be our Christmas Brunch which will be held on Sunday, December 11th at 1:30 pm at Angie’s B & B. We look forward to seeing you there! many to mention by name. We apologize if we missed thanking anybody.

Hellenic Culture Goya continues to be very active not only in the church community, but supporting events in The Greater Wilmington area. Some of our activities have been car wash, arthritis walk, participated in cross dive, helped with golf tournament, Kiwanis pancake breakfast, sponsoring OXI day luncheon, helped prepare Thanksgiving day baskets and Stop Hunger Now, and yard sale. As you can see we have been very busy.

Kitsa Wiersteiner

Many thanks from the Hellenic Culture Ministry: So many people came and thanked us for the enjoyable OXI Day Celebration program. We would like to give special thanks to Dr. Nick Lazaridis for his most interesting speech, also to the Hellenic School for decorating so beautifully the Hellenic Center. A big thank you for the hard work by the children who recited poems, to the singers and dancers. Many thanks to Vasili Vogiatzis and his helpers for preparing and serving this fund raising luncheon. Thank you, also to everyone who brought desserts and drinks.

As our Romiosini dancers and choral groups prepare for the 2012 Hellenic Dance Festival in Atlanta, we ask you to give them your continuing support and prayers. We are so blessed to have not only wonderful youth but also loving and supportive parents. I would like to wish all of you a blessed Advent and Christmas season.

We also want to thank Dr. Ron Demas, Dr. Sam Wiersteiner, Ifigenia Diakogiannis and Thalia Kefalas for helping the children with their poems.

Koula Katsikis Youth Director 7


St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

December 2011

Congratulations

LOVE Stella McTaggart, Presv. Emily Carter

LOVE (Living Orthodoxy Very Early) is a new ministry group at St. Nicholas. It is a gathering of parents and grandparents with small children (birth preschool age) as well as any expectant parents. We have met twice this fall and are looking forward to more gatherings! This is still a very new ministry and we need ideas about future get-togethers -- playgroups, outings, etc.

Congratulations to Konstandena Brown and Dr. Michael Rallis for accepting the Archangel Michael Award. The awards banquet was held on Saturday, November 12 in Atlanta, GA. This award is presented each year to honor and recognize those individuals who exemplify the fundamental nature of our Orthodox Christian faith: a loving spirit and a Christ-centered life. Ἀξιοι! Congratulations to Athanasios and Alacia Agapitos and family on the baptism of their daughter, Evey, into the Orthodox Church on November 13. Evey’s godmother is Tina Gill. Νά σάς ζἠσει!

Our next gathering will be held on December 16 at 9:30AM at the church. We are planning to let the little ones explore the church with guidance from Fr. Matthew!

Congratulations to Bill Saffo on winning the election for Mayor of Wilmington! Ἀξιος!

We would LOVE to see you on December 16!

Our Sympathy

HOPE and JOY Peter and Kim Saffo

We extend our deepest sympathy to Eva Ponos and family on the falling asleep of Nick Ponos on November 23. May his memory be eternal!

On November 6 twenty-one children were exhausted after a day of “monkeying around” at Jungle Rapids. Pizza was served for lunch. A fun time was had by all.

Memorials

A big thank you goes out to all the parents for bringing their children to this special Fall event.

A two-year memorial service was chanted on November 6 for Louis Pappamihiel, husband of Ruth Pappamihiel and father of Eleni Pappamihiel Theodoropoulos. May his memory be eternal!

On November 20 we went on a Scavenger Hunt. This exiting event was planned and conducted by Presbytera Emily. The children enjoyed learning about our many beautiful icons in the church.

A forty-day memorial service was chanted on November 20 for Connie Batounis. May her memory be eternal!

Our group made adorable Christmas Stockings during a craft project. These will be sent to Jack Brants and fellow Marines stationed in Afghanistan. We are also collecting supplies to send in a CARE/LOVE package.

A forty-day memorial service was chanted on November 20 for Evdokia Papoulias, mother of Michael Papoulias. May her memory be eternal!

Christine Etters has graciously invited HOPE/JOY to bake Christmas Cookies at her home. Date and time will follow.

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St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

December 2011

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St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

December 2011

Hosted by Pan-Ikarian Chapter Therma

2012

RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH US HEAVY HORS D'OEUVRES FEATURING MUSIC & DANCING BY DJ SPECIAL KIDS ACTIVITY ROOM

Saturday ~ December 31, 2011 St. Nicholas Hellenic Center Doors open at 8 pm Bring&your&own&liquor. No&outside&beer,&wine&or&coolers. Set7ups&must&be&purchased&at&the&bar. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seating&is&limited.&&Buy&your&tickets&early. Tickets&go&on&Sale&November&13th Presale:(($30(Adults(~($20(Students(13(5(21((~($10(Under(12

Presale&ends&December&18th&Firm&~&No&Exceptions! Door:(($40(Adults(~($30(Students(13(5(21((~($20(Under(12

For&additional&information&contact:&& Mary&Frankos&at&910.231.1642&or&George&Brunetti&at&910.259.3161 10


Parish Calendar December 2011 SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY 1

FRIDAY 2

6:00 PM Hellenic School

4 Family Worship Sunday 8:30 AM Orthros 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy 12:00 PM Christmas Pageant Rehearsal 12:30 PM Dance Practice

11 8:30 AM Orthros

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy 12:00 PM Parish Council Elections 12:30 PM Dance Practice 1:30 PM Philoptochos Christmas Social

18

8:30 AM Orthros 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy 12:30 PM Dance Practice

5 6:00 PM Great Vespers for St. Nicholas, followed by Community Pot-luck Dinner

12 St. Spyridon

8:00 AM Orthros 9:00 AM Divine Liturgy

19

6 St. Nicholas

7

8

9

7:00 PM Parish Council

7:00 PM GOYA Discussion Group

6:00 PM Adult Education

6:00 PM Hellenic School

13

14

15

16

6:00 PM Family Night: Christmas Pageant and Community Christmas Social

6:00 PM Adult Education 7:15 PM Choir Practice

21

22

8:00 AM Orthros 9:00 AM Divine Liturgy

20

11:00 AM Forever Young

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

26 Office Closed

27 St. Stephen

8:00 AM Orthros 9:00 AM Divine Liturgy

3

8:00 AM Men’s Group 10:00 AM STOP HUNGER NOW 3:00 PM Dance Practice 6:00 PM Great Vespers

10

8:00 AM Men’s Group 3:00 PM Dance Practice

9:30 AM LOVE Gettogether

17

8:00 AM Men’s Group 3:00 PM Dance Practice 6:00 PM Great Vespers

6:00 PM Hellenic School

23

24 Eve of Nativity

9:00 AM Service of Royal Hours

9:00 AM Great Vespers 6:00 PM Orthros 7:00 PM Divine Liturgy for the Nativity of Christ

7:15 PM Choir Practice

25 Nativity of Christ

SATURDAY

28

29

30

11:00 AM Dance Practice

11:00 AM Dance Practice

11:00 AM Dance Practice

7:15 PM Choir Practice

31

6:00 PM Great Vespers 8:00 PM New Year’s Eve Celebration hosted by Pan-Ikarian Chapter Therma


ST. NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH 608  S.  College  Road,  Wilmington,  NC  28403  

ADDRESS  SERVICE  REQUESTED  

   


December 2011 Monthly Newsletter