Holy Trinity Orthodox Church:
What’s Happening September 2020

"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.

Progress on Church Reopening

With an eye toward reopening our church, our parish council has researched safety guidelines for regathering. Volunteers have tidied up our house of worship and parish grounds. Professionals have worked on floor refinishing, pest control, air conditioning, and parish house repairs. We still await word about clergy assignment from our diocese, with whom our parish council has been in constant contact. And naturally we're keeping a wary eye on Florida's coronavirus surge, which is cause for deep concern. We all want to be back in church — but given the utter seriousness of this lethal disease with no vaccine or cure yet, it must be done as safely as possible, given the risk to health and life. Thank you for your patience, prayers, and support while we work and wait! "In God's peace, at God's pace..."


Tuesday, September 1
Church New Year

Sunday, September 6
Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Worship and fellowship temporarily postponed
at our bishop's direction as a precaution against
coronavirus (COVID-19).

Tuesday, September 8
Birth of the Virgin Mary

Sunday, September 13
Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday Before Elevation of the Cross
Worship and fellowship temporarily postponed
at our bishop's direction as a precaution against
coronavirus (COVID-19).

Monday, September 14
Elevation of the Holy Cross

Sunday, September 20
Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday After Elevation of the Cross
Worship and fellowship temporarily postponed
at our bishop's direction as a precaution against
coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sunday, September 27
Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Worship and fellowship temporarily postponed
at our bishop's direction as a precaution against
coronavirus (COVID-19).


Go to Church Online: While we hunker down due to coronavirus precautions, church can come to us via the Internet. Watch worship services streaming live online from our diocese's cathedral by clicking this link: Live From Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Sunday Liturgy broadcasts at 9 a.m. Also broadcasting worship services online (both live and video) are the nuns at the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. To join them via YouTube in their lovely little chapel, click this link: Ellwood City Chapel on YouTube. For their worship schedule, click this link: Monastery of the Transfiguration Calendar.

In Case of Emergency: If an emergency puts you in immediate need of clergy on call while we are between permanent presbyters, please call our neighboring presbyter, Father John Lazarek, at 412 310 0608. Also, if you, a loved one, or a fellow parishioner are hospitalized, please let your church and available clergy know. HIPAA federal medical privacy laws do not allow hospitals to notify churches or clergy that parishioners are there.


"Rejoice with those who rejoice" (Romans 12:15). Best wishes to our brothers and sisters in Christ who are celebrating special milestones this month. Birthdays: Rose Soulis (September 21), John Romanyak (September 24), Paňi Karen Miklos (September 28), and Mary Ann Richards (September 29). God grant you many years!

"Mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15). Heartfelt condolences to our brothers and sisters in Christ who lost loved ones recently. Deaths: Nancy Kastelan (August 13), wife of Nick Kastelan, and Isabel Fonseca (August 14), mother of Lucy Fonseca and mother-in-law of Russ Daniluk. Eternal memory and blessed rest to them!

Fresh Starts


September 1 is Church New Year. New Year’s Day in September?! Well, yes. It's a date the Church inherited from the Hebrew culture and Greco-Roman social order in which it was born, tied to the rhythms of ancient agriculture and post-harvest tax bookkeeping. By falling "out of sync" with our secular celebration on January 1, it reminds us that God always welcomes fresh starts and new beginnings, no matter where we are on the calendar. In the Bible readings for the day, we hear Christ Jesus starting his public ministry as the Messiah with these words: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me... He has sent me... to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:16-22). As his followers, what shall we do, in terms of deepening our faith and spirituality, to make this new church year a "year of the Lord's favor" in our own lives?

A Human Habitat for God

Mary Birthday

On September 8, the Church marks the Birth of the Virgin Mary. In the Bible readings for the day, we read these mysterious words: "Wisdom has built her house" (Proverbs 9:1). Who is this wisdom? "Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24). And who is his house? Mary, in whose body he, as God, took on human flesh and was born into human life as one of us. In celebrating her birth, the Church reminds us that the Incarnation — a word whose Latin roots mean "in the flesh" — was God's well-laid plan for our reconciliation with him. God intended to come to us "in the flesh" as a human in the person of Christ Jesus, so that we humans, in turn, "can share in God's nature" (2 Peter 1:4). Mary was born to serve that purpose in his plan. The child she carried, gave birth to, and mothered is Jesus, who is Immanuel, which means "God is with us" (Matthew 1:22-23).

The Cross: A Paradox


On September 14, the Church celebrates the Elevation of the Holy Cross. In the cross of Christ Jesus, we see the cost of human sin and the depth of God's love, wrapped up in a paradox: a seeming victim turns out to be a victor, because his death leads to resurrection! God promises us neither a bed of roses nor endless days of sunshine, but rather a path through life's worry, weariness, and woe that leads to victory in him. Honoring the cross on this holy day reminds us of Jesus' call to set aside egos and appetites of ours that block us from reaching victory in God: "All who want to be my followers must say 'no' to themselves, carry their crosses, and follow me daily" (Luke 9:23).

Pray for A New Presbyter!


God, at the moment, our church is a family of faith in need of a steady father. Thank you for the ministry of our late longtime presbyter, Father Michael Shuster, and for all the visiting presbyters who have been taking care of us since his death. Please help a new permanent presbyter come our way and make his home among us soon, to lead us faithfully and help us grow in spirit and numbers. We trust that you know our needs and will provide what is best for us, in your love for us, for you take care of the fatherless and the widowed. Amen.

Keep Up With the Latest at HTOC

A lot is changing from day to day as we ride out these challenging times of coronavirus together. Our church wants to do its best to keep you informed and in touch as promptly as we can. To get the latest news about our worship schedule and church life, along with a dose of inspiration, sign up for our regular and special email updates by clicking this link: HTOC Updates.