John the ForerummerSaint John's Eastern Orthodox Church

 Bringing Orthodox Christian Faith to Amarillo


Saint John's Eastern Orthodox Church

1101 Bell Street, Amarillo, Texas, 79106                            (806) 355-0683

Message from Father David

 ......Arise o sleeper, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give you Light...
Ephesians 5 v.17

"Brief Encounters" and "Unwanted Conversations"....Reflections needed for January and February

In this season of the Orthodox Church, as it is established in America, we find ourselves that "brief encounters and "unwanted conversations" happen quite frequently.
It turns out we who are seeking peace, tranquility, wholeness, a sense of satisfaction and a joyful celebration.. have challenges! The challenge is darkness of mood and shadow thoughts that can disrupt us in the midst of the progress of our lives. Temptation? Distraction? Preoccupation?

In reflecting on the progress we have made, and the progress dreamed about for the future a "something" in the present stuns us, captures our attention, moves us in a negative way. This "something" grates us! Not fostering greatness or success.
Our heart, the seat and "tabernacle" of our soul shrivels and becomes smaller than the generosity felt just a split-second before.

The positive "something " lost is the sense of being a servant of good, We want good to flourish. This is our 'brief encounter"...a reluctance, a hesitation. that can open horizons not imagined. A "'newness" strange but exciting that disrupts the
normal requires us to pause, give thanks, evaluate and to change aspects of our perception.
This becomes the "unwanted conversation" that we can have with ourselves and need not be avoided for it is the gift of this season.
The gold, the incense, the myrrh ...the precious gift of goodness, the spirit of prayer rising, the healing of wounds...the gifts of the Magi brought from the East, the Orient. Holding onto the Gifts, let us return to and carry them lightly! Preparing ourselves for the other "unwanted conversations".

These new yet familiar preoccupations.....Cnn, Espn, Fox News, the, catalogs ,the Globe News, pleas of all sorts Oxfam, IOCC, OCMC, and a Church mailing such as this one.

These "brief encounters" lay siege to our best laid plans to remain in the "flow". The gift of the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. We have been created to "be beautiful sons and daughters "of God. The Master we invoke in the trisagion of the many Orthodox services of this season of December, not only January and February.

As a reminder.. may we become serious about the "four-day round" of Liturgical services of the Nativity and also the Theophany that needs to be planned for. In this year the Triodion (3 week preparation) of Pascha begins early in February.

We can lend ourselves in the realization of the full worth of Christ's humility of his Nativity just past. The present feast of his revelation in baptism by our patron, John the Baptist and Forerunner accompanied by the voice of the Father, "this is my Beloved Son,...hear you Him,,"
Then most importantly the Paschal season where He suffers humiliation by His chosen people who choose to crucify Him and ignore the immortality won for us by His trampling down death by his death bringing life to the whole world.

These indelible "brief encounters" and "unwanted conversations" are upon us this January and February. May we devote ourselves and one another to these moments and the wonders which we can have revealed to us again in this present and miraculous time where we respond...."He is and ever shall Be..'

Eritrean/Ethiopian Bible Study is held each Saturday afternoon at 4:00 and all are invited to come to this special time of worship.
Also, on the Sundays when Fr. David is not present we have Bible Study at 11:00 am, with the church opening earlier so that we may all enter and prepare ourselves through prayer and meditations.

News Letter
May Calendar
June Calendar

If you have not turned in your 2018 stewardship pledge card yet, December is the time to do so.  We cannot determine a budget for the year without a proposed income for the year.  Pledges are the only “hard number” that we have to determine our ability to pay the church’s expenses throughout the year.  It is our generosity in giving that keeps not only St. John’s operating, but our membership in the Archdiocese and the Metropolis.
See Carl or Rex to get your card if you need one.