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

"...again and again in peace, let us pray to the Lord....."

  We hear the above and possibly we wonder about this reminder or it's sense, a way of alerting us to the "work of worship" (liturgy), a way of life encapsulated in this very brief moment.  In our response, we shake off the elements of ourselves that preoccupy us and we open ourselves to that which we are familiar. Yet distant in our everyday life.

Recently, the whole United States became aware of the predicable movement of the moon so a total eclipse of the sun and it took place in certain cities of the nation, We in Texas would see the penumbra of the eclipse.  The crescent of the moon moving into the sun's face, then receding. We needed special apparatus to help us see more clearly without dangerous consequences, We participated as directly as we were able in an awesome display of the natural order of things.

It was interesting to note others who avoided looking because, it would seem, it was "only a partial eclipse" not the "total eclipse".  We in Texas "were overlooked'.

I heard several say, "Why waste the few moments at lunchtime? 'when offered special glasses to protect their eyes, Strange.

It might be said this self-concern and the decisions we make consequentially illustrate a sorrowful truth: Our vulnerable self we protect by avoiding a true giving

gesture of ourselves in a wholehearted joyful manner.  Liturgy, "the work of the people " is drudgery. Our fallen nature keeps us in ignorance of the awesome relationship of ourselves to God and His gift of life here on His earth.

During these last six months, a shift in our parish life of St Johns' parish has taken place.  Members of the Church resolved to come together and consider a way to the future of the parish.  Not just to preserve what we have, but also to be vulnerable to the process of working together in a process of writing about ourselves and create a vision for the future

After many iterations of the document, the Parish Writer's Group discovered a very important order which presented itself:  "We need to have the Church and the people of our Parish consecrated by our Metropolitan."  And:  "We need to continue the process of applying for The Grant, in a humble way, for help from the Archdiocese, to validate our resiliency as an 85 year old Parish."

Our "effort" is in service to His Church.  His Will must be our will.  We are entering into the struggle required for awareness of who we really are as "sons and daughters" of Christ in service to His

World.  We are a Sacred Community beset by worldliness, yet faithful because of the trials we experience.

Hence Resiliency!

Each of us then have achieved partially that which Christ embodied fully in His Incarnation, taking on our humanity as a Shepherd carrying the Now Found lost Sheep on His Shoulders, even unto death on the Cross for our sake, the World's sake.

It is our belief that we have gained immortality by His having conquered "death by His death."  Even so, we can, when asked by Him to forego our earthly pleasures in fasting, prayer and almsgiving, we run the risk of becoming Ananias and Sapphira.  (If this story from The Acts of the Apostles does not come to mind for you, please read Acts 5:1-11) They who choose Death rather than full participation in their community of which they wished to be a part. . .They however wanted to retain for themselves a "precious part" which they must relinquish in order to fulfill their commitments.

So.  So in the Present Moment: Our love for one another, not judgement, proves to be the "hinge point".  The key to the future rests in our relationship to God, to one another and to those who annoy and even aggravate us.  Make us angry.  Those who repulse us.

For in each of these common fraught instances we are, ourselves aggravation, angry and repulsive in ways obvious to others but invisible to ourselves.  Can we come to know?  Can we come to true knowledge?  Yes!!

It is in this "penumbra of ourselves" that we truly can find that which we are lacking:  The Extreme Humility of Our Bridegroom, Christ Who comes to us always, never announced... for He is constant!

Let us ask ourselves, as resilient persons in a resilient community:  What more can I do?  Not, What can the community do for me?

Father David, Protopresbyter

Your Priest, who prays for you

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
September Calendar
October Calendar

If you have not turned in your 2017 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.