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

Schedule for April:

On the weekends when Fr. David is not here,
Bible Study is held on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am. Eritrean/Ethiopian Bible Study is at 4:00 pm every Saturday.

Message from Father David

“Do you join Christ?”……”Do you believe in Him?”

 These questions which we or our sponsor “in Orthodoxy” have answered, need be remembered as each of us again joins our Friend in His Pascha.

 He is more than an occasional person in our lives in some sense, for we can never really forget Him.  Yet His presence can be ignored or discouraged by events in our lives; lived as they are at this time in this society.  Friendship is sorely tested by the unspoken question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  That question disrupts and can confuse our thinking about being a friend.  We may guard ourselves and our allegiance.  We may at times be tempted to wonder about how practical “being a friend” is.

 Nevertheless, we seek others of our kind.  We crave contact verbally.  We reach out and touch.  A kind facial expression is a help.  A smile can mean much, even from one who is a stranger to us.  As “good persons”, we can offer empathy and support to others who struggle in living their lives.  Often we are disappointed, for our efforts seem to have little, more frequently, no effect.  Our friendship becomes strained to the point of breaking.  The discomfort of this strain may lead us to “wall ourselves off” from this strain and from our “non-responsive” “friend”;  We “cut our losses”, and the friendship ends.

 The Church offers us a form, a structure, a liturgical answer to our feelings, our dismay, and discouragement.  The “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” Church we profess overcomes our humanity and our self-preservation.  It offers you and me the most profound reminders of who we really are, somewhat bedraggled in our preparation.

 The ten days of Holy Week, from Lazarus Saturday to the Agape Vespers of the “good news” voiced in many languages, affords us the many, many moments of friendship sorely tried.  We, like the disciples, apostles, faithful followers, can, through exercising our will, our judgment, our planning, our capacity as “friends”, make the 10 days a capsule in time of this “joyful sorrow”.  We make ourselves present to the “joy” and that “sorrow” as we seek understanding of the unbounded, eternal love of God for His people, His Creation, His Church.

 By willing ourselves to see, to hear, to experience His humility, meekness, travail, and His victory over death itself, we also have the freedom “to die unto life” by the death of our natural instincts.  The instinctual legacy of fear, greed, foul talk, skepticism, vainglory, angry response, inappropriate laughter, disdain for proper behavior that appears “uncool”, and boredom – ennui, even depression – accidie.

 Our life has been gained for us.  Our life is given to us as a gift to be lived, and embraced by our Friend…..God Himself!!  This Friend whose unwavering commitment defines for us that for which we have longed.  Yet we, in our self-righteousness have dismissed as unbelievable.  This love, this life, this time, we can respond to by our renewed belief, our thankful response, being in relationships that we nurture and are nurtured by.  By our willingness to suffer as He suffered to gain a life that is tranquil, peaceful, and without sin.

 We can, if we will, in these short 10 days of Holy Week, be more zealous, be different than we were at the beginning.  We then become and begin again the “new life in Christ, the Risen One”, for then for all who see us, hear us, are befriended by us know truly….”He is Risen”….and a Friend of all mankind!

If you have not turned in your 2015 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.  Also, if you haven’t completed your 2014 pledge, this is the perfect opportunity to catch up on your annual gifts.

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.