From Father Gary

October brings with it some very exciting events. Our kids are back in school, college football is back in full swing and hopefully a local team enters the World Series. The harvest is set and the lots are filled with pumpkins. Every good farmer knows that in order to harvest a crop you must first till the soil and prepare the earth. The same holds true for us Christians– we too are called to produce fruits of virtue.

Christ reminds us of this in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9). The sower tossed seeds on a path, rocky ground, then some seeds fell in the thorns, and finally some were placed in the good soil. Consider the outcome of each of the settings the seeds rested. Those on the path were eaten by birds, those on the rocky ground sprang up, could not take root and fell, the seeds in the thorns were choked, only the seeds that fell on the good soil brought forth grain, some even one hundred fold!

The seeds in this parable are likened to the teachings we receive from Holy Scripture, writings of the Saints, and instruction from our spiritual leaders. For the seed to take effect the soil must be prepared to accept it. The setting for the seed depends on how we choose to maintain the soil, how we choose to live our lives. What do we want to do with these kernels of wisdom given to us from God?

If we leave them out in the open, giving no sincerity to its value (the road), the birds will take them away. If we deposit them on rocky ground ( a hard heart, full of pride) we do not give it the opportunity to settle, thus it falls away, and the world is bursting with thorns (anxieties and worries) waiting to choke it from us. We are called to continually maintain our soil of Faith.

For the seed of Faith to cultivate in our hearts we need to practice and maintain the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, fidelity, modesty, continence, and chastity. Our hearts need to be clear of negativity to create room for the good seed. A hardened heart leaves no room for the seed to take root. Consistent and daily practice of tilling the fields (exercising our Faith) allow the seed to settle and blossom in our soul. Here are some very practical ways of make room for the sower (Jesus Christ) in our lives.

First, we must read the Word of God daily. Find time in your day to read scripture and to reflect up-on it. You can do this from your computer in your home or office by visiting our Church’s website (www.saintdem.org) and opening the “Online Chapel.” If you do not have email, contact our church office for a list of the daily readings.

Second, be positive and friendly. Not only should we look strangers in the eye and say “hello,” but we should greet each other with love and sincerity- showing genuine kindness.

Third, forgive. Find it in your heart to forgive, or seek forgiveness from someone you may have hurt. Our ego and pride keeps us from doing so. The buildup of resentment makes it difficult for the Word (seed) to yield its fruit. Forgiveness should be something that we all make an effort to offer and request.

Fourth, offer daily prayers. If you have a smart phone you can access several daily prayers on our Parish’s app. Again, visit our website and download the St. Demetrios App. Daily prayer and communication with God serves as an opportunity to lovingly connect with God.

Lastly, get involved. The Church needs you now more than ever. With the Agape Building’s completion, we have plenty of positions and tasks that have been identified. Whatever your talents are can be put to use so that our community can continue to flourish.

Please, find ways to volunteer at Saint Demetrios. What are your talents? Can you sing? Join the choir. Can you dance? Then teach Greek Dance. Are you willing to help others along in their faith walk/journey? Then educate our youth in Sunday School. You can use your abilities to help plant the seed of Christ in others.

Christ ends the parable of the sower by exclaiming, “Let anyone who hears, hear!” This is our opportunity to till the soil, cultivate our souls, become shining examples and imitators of Christ! Yes, October is a great month! There are lots of things to enjoy and look forward to, but nothing will bring us more peace and joy, than that which comes from our Lord Jesus Christ!

Blessings and peace to you now and always,

Sower and the Seeds

 

The following items still available from the golf tournament at the Opening Bid price.If interested, contact Mary Freeth at 805-390-9551 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. This is First Come, First Served basis! So act quickly!!!

Lots of good stuff like a Hand Signed Football from the Denver Broncos... Well you need to check this list out. Lots of Calvin Klein, a full one hour massage for $40 bucks! Give Mary a call right now!

New Philoptochos Officers

 


Marth Poulos - President
Natalie Habash - 1st VP
Katherine Russell - 2nd VP
Oliva Bibian - Corr. Secretary
Susan Valle - Rec. Secretary
Nancy Jassak - Treasurer
Mary Freeth - Assistant Treasurer
Danke Schmidt - Advisor
Carrie Nicholeris - Advisor

Congratulations Ladies!!
We look forward to your leadership.
And the wondrous works your ministry will provide.

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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