The fifth Sunday of Holy Pascha is observed by the Orthodox Church as the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman. The day commemorates the encounter of Christ with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. The biblical story of this event and the dialog between Christ and the woman is found in the Gospel of Saint John 4:5-42.

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For the first time in 1200 years, the fourteen autocephalous Orthodox Churches will meet, with a common desire to reinforce their relations and address contemporary spiritual and social challenges in the world.
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In Christ's service,
Fr Gary Kyriacou
St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church




Message from Fr Gary May 2016

Map It

Preparing for a fishing expedition, I handed a copy of a map of the lake to each of my boys. It was a copy of an original and an old one at that. You could see the residue that accumulated on the copy print after print after print. We gathered our supplies, some tackle, snacks, drinks and a variety of activities to help us with our patience.

After approving the snacks and activities one of the boys asked an important question. While pointing to the map he asked, “Where are we going to fish?” “Right there,” I said touching the map and pointing to a corner of the lake. He responded, “How do we get there?” “Well,” I said, “you follow this road and turn left up over here.” “And how do you know that? Have you been there before?” “No,” I said, “never been there. We’ll follow the map.” “Who drew the map, Dad?” “Someone who knows the lake.”

Finally, I understood his point! He wanted to know why I was placing my faith in this map, trusting that it would help us to our destination. When we finally arrived at our fishing spot, we sat there for half a day and caught nothing, nada, zilch, not a bite! But all the while as we sat, waiting, I kept thinking about the exchange outside the Outpost earlier that day. Our Orthodox Faith is like a map. It helps us stay on track and helps lead us towards our destination, which is the entrance into God’s Kingdom.

This life is not the end of our existence, merely the introduction to a never-ending, everlasting, eternal life with our Lord in His Kingdom. Do we take full advantage of the benefits our map (the Orthodox Faith) offers us? Or do we frame it for all to see, to enjoy its beauty, never really getting our hands on it, to study it, crinkle it and learn from it.

Orthodoxy offers us the greatest expression of Christianity. Through the study of Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the determination to live a Sacramental Life, we have the tools to reach our destination. But do we compartmentalize our lives and wear our Church clothes on Sunday and take them off the rest of the week, not giving it another thought until the next Sunday?

In Psalm 37:23 we read, “The Lord guides a man in the way he should go and protects those who please Him.” The Bible offers us a guide for life circumstances. It teaches us how to deal with anger, with our enemies, how to help others, and how to live like Christ. From the Tradition of the Church, our Church Fathers tell us in the Didache (The Teaching, an early manuscript of Christian writings) there are two ways to live: “One of life, and one of death, and there is a great difference between them.” The Didache goes deep into the teachings of Christ, expanding upon them, reminding us of the two great commandments, “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” Living Sacramentally is an essential aspect of imitating Christ. Everyone of the seven sacraments offers us the opportunity to restore our relationship with God (The Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Baptism, Christmation, Eucharist, Unction, Marriage, Confession, and Ordination are all avenues towards the same location (note that marriage and ordination are the only two sacraments that are optional, Baptism and Chrismation are offered once and for all time, but as Orthodox Christians we are required to regularly participate in the Eucharist -communion, Confession and Unction.) The Sacraments reestablish our bond and connection with God. It is a way to secure of our spiritual foundation.

No one builds a house without blueprints and it would be foolish to set out on a journey without first considering the destination. Every now and then we need to reset our compass and make sure we are on the right path.

Where are we going and how do we get there are great questions. The answers are found in our Orthodox Church; Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition and a Sacramental Life. Let’s reset and set your sights on the purpose of our being, finding communion with God in His Kingdom.

In Christ’s Service,

Fr. Gary

Fr Gary

Message from Fr Gary

Fr Gary

Christ-Centered Parish


I learn a lot of interesting things at committee meetings. At one meeting, when discussing the newsletter of our parish, The Myrrh-Bearer, someone frankly said, “Nobody reads that.” That person is either right or wrong depending on how much further you go into this message. At our most recent Parish Council meeting, a parish council member, politely, combined the conversation about healthy church finances with the status of our relationship with Christ.

It wasn’t me, I wasn’t preaching, it was one of YOUR ELECTED OFFICERS, that was sharing this thought. I was mesmerized by his conviction; I looked around at the other members and they were too! The Holy Spirit was present. His inspiration moved us to take the conversation about Parish financial health to a new level.

“Every year we consider ways to raise money. What fundraisers can we hold? How will we meet our obligation to the Metropolis and Archdiocese? How can we motivate better giving? Instead,” he went on, “How can we serve Christ? How can we instill a deep love for Jesus, in every member, young and old, so that our Parish becomes financially healthy and shows greater concern for how Christ-Centered we are as a group?”

It was refreshing to hear a leader of our community express these thoughts. I have offered them in the past, but it is cliché for the priest to say it, because I’m supposed to. A group begins to reexamine the metric for success when a respected member of the Parish Council looks intently at his peers and says, “Are you concerned for your salvation?” If we look at our challenges through the lens of salvation, that is, how what we do will enhance our relationship with Christ, a new perspective is born.

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