Bulletin

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church:
What’s Happening April 2021

"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.

Heading Toward Pascha at HTOC!

Great Lent is underway at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church — so come join us in our journey to Pascha, our celebration of the risen Christ! With our priest Father Alexis Woytek on board and common-sense pandemic precautions in place, we continue to gather safely for Sunday Divine Liturgy at 9:30 a.m. and share groceries with hungry neighbors through our friends at People Helping People in Hernando County. Plus, this month brings special seasonal opportunities for worship and spiritual growth over Great Lent. See our calendar below for details!

Calendar

Sunday, April 4
Third Sunday of Great Lent
Veneration of the Cross Sunday
Divine Liturgy
9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 6
Great Lent Prayer Service
Faith and Spirituality Enrichment Hour for Adults
7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 7
Prayer Service to the Holy Cross
12 noon

Sunday, April 11
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent
Saint John Climacus Sunday
Divine Liturgy
9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 13
Faith and Spirituality Enrichment Hour for Adults
7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 14
Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete
12 noon

Sunday, April 18
Fifth Sunday of Great Lent
Saint Mary of Egypt Sunday
Divine Liturgy
9:30 a.m.

 

Tuesday, April 20
Great Lent Prayer Service
Faith and Spirituality Enrichment Hour for Adults
7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 21
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
12 noon

Sunday, April 25
Palm Sunday: Entry of Christ Jesus into Jerusalem
Divine Liturgy with Blessing of Palms and Willows
9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 27
Holy Week Prayer Service
Faith and Spirituality Enrichment Hour for Adults
7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 28
Holy Unction: Service of Anointing for Healing
12 noon

Sunday, May 2
Pascha: Resurrection of Christ Jesus
Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy
Blessing of Paschal Food Baskets
9:30 a.m.

Milestones

"Rejoice with those who rejoice" (Romans 12:15). Best wishes to our kinfolk in Christ celebrating special milestones this month. Anniversaries: Father Bill and Presbytera Mary Mattis (April 23). Birthdays: Alex Onishenko (April 16) and Debbie Romanyak (April 24). God grant you many years!

The Cross: An Inside Job

Great Lent leads us toward the cross of Christ Jesus — and through it, to resurrection! His cross shows the cost of human sin and the depth of God's love. In Jesus, immortal God became mortal man and laid down his life to short-circuit, "from the inside," the power of sin and death holding humanity hostage. "Since we, God’s children, our flesh and blood, he became that too, so that by dying he could break the devil's grip on death and set us free from living all our days as slaves to fear of dying" (Hebrews 2:14-15). Thanks to the cross of Jesus, life comes out of death, victory comes out of defeat, healing comes out of hurt. Let's ponder what that means for our lives here and now as individuals and a church.

The Jesus Solution

In these days of global pandemic, economic uncertainty, social unrest, and polarized politics, a way out of the world's manifold problems may seem elusive and out of reach. But Jesus already gave us the solution, as Great Lent reminds us by stressing three practices he taught: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting (Matthew 6:1-18).

Almsgiving moves us to share with others in need, rather than think only of ourselves and our own wants.

Prayer prods us to admit that we don't have all the answers, so we had best call on God, whose wisdom outshines our own, to find them.

Fasting teaches us to tame our cravings, so that self-indulgence on our part doesn't rob others of their fair share.

After all, competing egos and appetites are what tends to tear cultures and societies apart. Jesus calls us to leave such "me first" thinking and "dog-eat-dog" behavior behind and dare to opt for loving God and loving fellow human beings instead (Mark 12:30-31). He didn't come only to map out "a way to heaven" for later on, but to tell and show us how God intends for us to live on earth here and now.

Selfless love is the answer, and almsgiving, prayer, and fasting are how we put it into practice. The world's solutions to its problems certainly don't seem to be working out very well — they tend to turn life into more of a human nightmare rather than the dream God intends for us. So why not give the Jesus Solution a fair shot instead?

Safe Church Regathering: Parish Pandemic Precautions

Safety first! 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).