Bulletin

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church:
What’s Happening August 2022

"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 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.

Cultivate with Christ

This month features two special blessings: fruit on the Transfiguration of Christ Jesus (August 6, recalling how his divinity shone through his humanity), and flowers and herbs on the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (August 15, recalling her passage from earthly life into heavenly bliss).

Both customs remind us that the themes of these holy days — transformation and transition — involve us too. We who were "baptized into Christ" (Galatians 3:27) "can share in God's nature" (2 Peter 1:40) and "live as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8) destined to "be at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).

But that change is a process: like fruit, flowers, and herbs, we Christians start as seeds that grow over time to yield ripened produce — so long as we cultivate our lives in Christ through almsgiving, prayer, fasting, and churchgoing to become ever more open to "God who makes things grow" (1 Corinthians 3:7).

Mark Your Calendar!

Monday, August 1 - Sunday, August 14
Dormition Fast

Saturday, August 6
Transfiguration of Christ Jesus

Sunday, August 7 · 9:30 a.m.
Eighteh Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday Observance of the Transfiguration
Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Fruit

Sunday, August 14 · 9:30 a.m.
Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Divine Liturgy

Monday, August 15
Dormition of the Virgin Mary

Sunday, August 21 · 9:30 a.m.
Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday Observance of the Dormition
Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Flowers and Herbs

Sunday, August 28 · 9:30 a.m.
Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost
Divine Liturgy

Monday, August 29
Beheading of Saint John the Baptizer

Milestones

"Rejoice with those who rejoice" (Romans 12:15). Best wishes to our kinfolk in Christ celebrating special milestones this month! Birthdays: Mark Willenen (August 4) and Denis Pizza (August 20). God grant you many years!

"Mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15). Heartfelt condolences to our parish priest, Father Alexis Woytek, on the loss of his mother, Ethel Woytek, who died on July 7, 2022. Eternal memory and blessed rest to her!

News and Notes

Dormition Fast: The Dormition Fast runs from August 1 through 14 to ready us for the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (August 15), which celebrates her passage from earthly life into heavenly bliss. Please mark the season with enhanced effort at almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. It is also a good time to take stock of our lives and clear our consciences with God's gift of forgiveness in the sacrament of confession.

August Blessings: Fruit, Flowers, and Herbs: At our Sunday observance of the Transfiguration of Christ Jesus on August 7 we will bless fruit at the Divine Liturgy — and at our Sunday observance of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary on August 21, flowers and herbs. Both of these customs remind us that our lives in Christ are a process of spiritual change and growth, as though from first bud to full flower to ripened fruit over time. We’re all works in progress in God’s eyes, so "continue working out your salvation" (Philippians 2:12).

Help Ukraine!

War in Ukraine is causing hellish and needless widespread suffering — destroying lives, tearing apart families, and Ukrainedisplacing millions (particularly women and children) from hearth and home. It is an indictment of what happens when humans refuse to follow God's commandments: "Love others as much as you love yourself," "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," and "Do not crave what belongs to your neighbors" (Mark 12:31, Luke 6:31, Exodus 20:13, Exodus 20:15, and Exodus 20:17).

God calls on us Christians to "see that justice is done — help the oppressed, stand up for the orphaned, defend the widowed" (Isaiah 1:17). Please do so by praying daily for the return of peace, freedom, safety, and humanity to Ukraine, and by giving as you are able to these charities working to relieve human suffering there and among refugees who had to flee war-torn Ukraine:

IOCC: International Orthodox Christian Charities Ukraine Crisis Response

UNICEF: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund Ukraine Response

Giving Back to God

"We offer unto you, yours of your own, in behalf of all and for all." Those words to God we hear at the Divine Liturgy echo King David's prayer of offering in the Bible: "Everything comes from you — all we are doing is giving back to you what came from your own hand" (1 Chronicles 29:14). Giving to our church goes beyond funding, then — it's a way of showing thanks to God for all he gives us by giving back to him. Please drop your tokens of thanks in the collection plate at church or mail them — as checks payable to "Holy Trinity Church" (no cash, please!) — to our treasurer: Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, c/o Lydia Pinkowski, 7431 Glasgow Rd, Weeki Wachee FL 34613. Thank you!

Feed the Multitudes

"Why don't you give them something to eat?" said Jesus to his first followers about the hungry all around them (Matthew 14:16). He bids us to do the same by practicing almsgiving (a slightly old-fashioned word for "charity") as he taught (Matthew 6:1-4). And so our parish charity bin collects groceries for sharing through our friends at People Helping People in Hernando County, which feeds hungry children and adults right here in our own neighborhood. So won't you please bring a bag, a box, a can, or a jar of something nutritious to help? It doesn't take much: after all, one major miracle started with just five loaves and two fish! Thank you!

Safe Church Regathering: Parish Pandemic Precautions

Keeping our church open amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic means we must adjust familiar churchgoing habits for the safety of one and all. Please join us in following these wise and common-sense precautions:

If you are feeling ill, please stay home, follow doctor's orders, and take good care of yourself.

Wearing face masks and using hand sanitizer is recommended and encouraged.

Please practice physical distancing, respect personal space, and ensure safe 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.

Thank you for doing your part to keep our church experience as safe as possible amid these challenging times. It's simply part of doing what Christ Jesus told us to do: "Love others as much as you love yourself" (Mark 12:31).