"Let us not give up the habit of meeting together... Instead, let us encourage each other all the more,"
the earliest Christians said (Hebrews 10:25). So join us for worship and fellowship. To find us, click here: Find HTOC.
For a printer-friendly PDF version of our monthly newsletter, click here: HTOC Newsletter.
Our church now has a new priest — Father Alexis Woytek — and is reopening for worship and fellowship! Join us as we celebrate our first Divine Liturgy with him at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 4, 2020. For more details and our parish pandemic protocols for safe church regathering, please read on...
Thursday, October 1
Protection of the Virgin Mary
Sunday, October 4
Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday, October 11
Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday, October 18
Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday, October 25
Twenieth Sunday After Pentecost
Welcome to Our New Priest: Father Alexis Woytek has long been a familiar face, a good friend, and a frequent worshiper at our church — and now with his transfer from the clergy of our kindred Byzantine Catholic Church to the Orthodox Church, he is our new parish priest! Let's all welcome him, pray for him, and work with him to further our life in Christ together.
A New Chapter: We're starting a new chapter in our church life with the joy of a new priest amid the perils of a pandemic. To read how we're approaching both, click these links: Making Beautiful Music Together and Safe Church Regathering.
"Rejoice with those who rejoice" (Romans 12:15). Best wishes to our kinfolk in Christ celebrating special milestones this month. Anniversaries: Harold and Diane Orloff (October 22), and George and Sandra Hreczuck (October 24). Birthdays: Stephen Tymoczko (October 5) and Irene Leschak (October 24). God grant you many years! God grant you many years!
Think of an orchestra. It is made up of a conductor and musicians. Both must do their part to make beautiful music. Without musicians, the conductor cannot play all the instruments at the same time on his or her own. Without the conductor, the musicians cannot play in coordination with each other. Both the conductor and the musicians must work together in harmony. And both must know their music, which means learning the notes and practice, practice, practice.
The Church is like an orchestra. If the Church is to "sing and make music to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19), both clergy and laity must do their part and work together in harmony, just as the conductor and musicians do in an orchestra. Like a conductor, a clergyman is meant to coordinate, not to do everything on his own. Like musicians, laypeople are meant to be active participants, not a passive audience. And both must know their faith, which means becoming ever more familiar with what we believe and putting it into practice, practice, practice.
Just as a conductor and musicians are part of a single orchestra, clergy and laity are part of a single body: the "body of Christ," as the Bible calls the Church. "The body of Christ has many different parts, just as any other body does.... It takes many parts to make a single body. That's why the eyes cannot say they don't need the hands. That's also why the head cannot say it doesn't need the feet. In fact, we cannot get along without the parts of the body that seem to be the weakest.... God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others.... All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it" (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
As we welcome Father Alexis Woytek as our church's new priest — after so much praying and waiting! — let us keep these thoughts in mind and act on them. With his assignment, our church starts a new chapter in our life in Christ together, full of opportunities, possibilities, and challenges. Let us work together with him and each other in harmony, as one body in which everyone plays a part and has something to contribute to our mutual, overall spiritual health. By following that dynamic, the little orchestra of our church will surely be able to make beautiful music together, to "make a joyful noise to the Lord" (Psalm 100:1) that brings God praise, makes our hearts beat in rhythm with his love, and draws newcomers and fresh life into his family of faith.
Reopening our church amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic means we must adjust our familiar churchgoing habits for the safety of one and all. Please join us in following these precautions:
If you are feeling ill, please stay home, follow doctor's orders, and take good care of yourself.
Face masks and hand sanitizer will be available in the entryway of the church in case you forgot yours at home. Please use them!
Please practice social distancing and respect personal space. The seating and choir stands have been rearranged to ensure safer leeway between each other.
Please do not kiss icons, crosses, or the hands of clergy. Until less contagious days return, a simple bow is ample sign of reverence and respect.
Please drop any offerings in the collection plate set in the entryway of the church, so we do not have to pass it hand to hand.
To avoid any possible cross-contamination, there will be no "coffee hour" or other re-freshments served after church until after the pandemic.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our church experience as safe as possible amid these challenging times. It's all part of doing what Christ Jesus told us to do: "Love others as much as you love yourself" (Mark 12:31).
"Always be thankful" (1 Thessalonians 15:18). Heartfelt thanks to all the helping hands who kept our church moving forward toward this new chapter of our life in Christ by negotiating dauntlessly with our diocese; balancing our books and paying our bills; maintaining our parish property both inside and out; keeping us informed and in touch via print, email, and Internet media; and offering alms and prayers ever so patiently amid our unprecedented challenges so far this year. Such teamwork in Christ is what keeps a church going through thick and thin! Thanks be to God for it!