Holy Trinity Orthodox Church:
What’s Happening December 2023

"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.
For a printer-friendly PDF version of our weekly update, click here: HTOC Weekly Update.

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church is the little church with a big heart and room for all, where Jesus nourishes modern lives through ancient roots! With our priest Father Alexis Woytek on board and common-sense health and safety 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.

Unholy Mess?

Ever feel like your life is too much of an unholy mess for God to find a place in it?

Consider, then, under what circumstances God was born into the human race — which we’ll celebrate this month on Christmas (December 25), the Nativity of Christ Jesus. He was born homeless in a stinky stable from an unwed mother in a seemingly suspect pregnancy that bewildered her fiancé. What’s more, his family tree had a few skeletons in the closet: a Canaanite call girl, a pushy Gentile daughter-in-law, and a king who covered up his adultery with murder most foul!

Not quite the accommodations or credentials one might expect for a Messiah! Yet God was born into such a mess, nonetheless. Five-star lodgings and squeaky clean pedigree obviously matter little to him. What matters to him is you — because “God is love” (1 John 4:15). Welcome him into your life, then!

Mark Your Calendar!

Tuesday, November 15 ‐ Saturday, December 24
Nativity Fast

Sunday, December 3 · 9:30 a.m.
Twenty-Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
Divine Liturgy

Wednesday, December 6
Saint Nicholas of Myra Day

Sunday, December 10 · 9:30 a.m.
Twenty-Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday Observance of Saint Nicholas Day
Divine Liturgy and Breakfast

Sunday, December 17 · 9:30 a.m.
Twenty-Eighth Sunday After Pentecost
Baptism, Chrismation, and Divine Liturgy

Sunday, December 24 · 9:30 a.m.
Twenty-Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday Before Nativity · Christmas Eve
Divine Liturgy

Monday, December 25 · 9 a.m.
Christmas · Nativity of Christ · Birth of Jesus
Compline, Carols, and Divine Liturgy

Sunday, December 31 · 9:30 a.m.
Thirtieth Sunday After Pentecost
Divine Liturgy


"Rejoice with those who rejoice" (Romans 12:15). Best wishes to our kinfolk in Christ celebrating special milestones this month! Anniversaries: Mark and Luann Donnelly Willemen (December 3). Birthdays: Father Michael Miklos (December 3), Luann Donnelly Willemen (December 5), Diane Orloff (December 9), Karen Ragone (December 22), Stephen Kuzmiak (December 25). God grant you many years!

News and Notes

Saint Nicholas Celebration: On Sunday, December 10, our parish will celebrate Saint Nicholas Day (December 6), the fourth-century bishop of Myra (in today’s Turkey) whose record of nocturnal charity for the sake of youngsters inspired the holiday figure of Santa Claus. After church, we’ll gather for a celebratory breakfast at IHOP at 3660 Commercial Way (US Route 19) in Spring Hill.

Upcoming Baptism and Chrismations: Our church family is growing! On Sunday, December 17 we will welcome into the Orthodox Church Brian Chavis via baptism and Brian Valdes via chrismation. Please pray for them as they start a new chapter in their lives as followers of Christ Jesus.

The Nativity Fast is underway and continues through Sunday, December 24. As best you can, practice almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, the three spiritual exercises that Jesus taught us (see Matthew 6:1-18) to tame our egos and appetites so we can better focus on God and neighbor, whom he calls us to love (Mark 12:30-31). It’s also a good time for taking stock of our lives and clearing our consciences in the sacrament of confession with our parish priest, Father Alexis Woytek.

If Not You, Who? Immense human suffering in Ukraine continues as unprovoked Russian warfare against it continues. Please help provided humanitarian aid and relief by donating online to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Ukraine Response.

Pitch In!

Church doesn't just happen on its own. It happens when we come together and put our time, talent, and treasure at God's disposal to do his will as followers of Christ Jesus. In a word, that's stewardship. Not sure how to help or how to give? Talk to our parish priest, Father Alexis Woytek, or our parish treasurer, Lydia Pinkowski. Thank you for pitching in to make your church happen!

Reach Out!

The Church doesn't exist for itself. God calls it to reach out and share his love with the world that it lives in. Our parish charity bin is one way we do such outreach, collecting nonperishable food that our friends at People Helping People in Hernando County share with locals in need. Click here for an online grocery list. Thank you for reaching out through your church's charity!

Parish Health and Safety

While the World Health Organization (WHO) says COVID-19 is no longer a global pandemic, cases of coronavirus still crop up now and then, here and there. Please keep alert and take sen¬sible precautions while our church remains open:

If you are feeling ill, please stay home, follow doctor's orders, and take good care of yourself. Let us know if you want us to pray for you. We look forward to seeing you again once you get well!

Please feel comfortable wearing a face mask if your health requires it or you just feel safer doing so.

Please respect personal space and give each other courteous leeway.

Thank you for your consideration, which is really simply part of doing what Christ Jesus told us to do: "Love others as much as you love yourself" (Mark 12:31).