May 17, 18, and 19 Ascension Cathedral once again presents the annual Oakland Greek Festival! (Check the main website of the Festival for more information!
HOURS: Friday & Saturday – 10am-11pm
Sunday – 11am-9pm
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension
4700 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, California 94602
Have you ever wanted to just come by the church to light a candle & pray for someone? Feel like you don’t have time to come all the way to church to do this? Well now you can do it online! The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA has an online candle lighting program that anyway can use, at any time! Just click on the picture below! God Bless you and may Christ our Lord & Savior and all of the saints intercede for us!
Instructions: When you get to the website linked below, you will see a stand with candles on it, and candelabras with a lit candle. Please click on one of the candles on the stand, and then “light” it (place the head of the candle next to the lit candle), and then “place” your lit candle “into” the sand (the bottom of the lit candle must be touching the sand).
ARCHBISHOP DEMETRIOS VISITS STORM RAVAGED AREAS IN STATEN ISLAND, NY
NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America establishes the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and designates Sunday November 11, 2012 as a day of prayer and offering on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Archbishop Demetrios of America, on behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod, issued today an Encyclical (click here ) in which he calls upon all the faithful throughout the Church in America to pray fervently for comfort from above. We offer prayers of remembrance for those who perished and of solace for those who lost family members. We pray for the many who have lost their homes, and for those who are facing uncertainty regarding their jobs and livelihood.
The Archdiocesan Encyclical designates next Sunday a day of prayer for the victims and asks the parishes of our Holy Archdiocese to conduct a special collection for the “Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund,” and the proceeds to be sent to the Archdiocese, which will coordinate the relief efforts with the National Philoptochos, the Metropolis of New Jersey and the Direct Archdiocesan District. Donations by check can also be send directly to the Archdiocese designated for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund or made online at: http://www.goarch.org/special/hurricanesandy
The Archbishop continuing the assessment of damages of Hurricane Sandy, visited yesterday Sunday Nov. 4, the Greek Orthodox Church of Holy Trinity / St. Nicholas in Staten Island, N.Y., which has been hard hit by the storm. He presided over the Divine Liturgy and offered a Trisagion prayer service for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives. He also led the congregation in prayer for strength and comfort from God for all the people who lost their homes, their businesses and property and are suffering in the aftermath. After the liturgy he met families who were affected by the hurricane and together with the community’s pastor, Fr. Nicholas Petropoulakos and National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas surveyed an area of Staten Island that was ravaged by the storm and suffered tremendous damage and loss. The Archbishop was joined by Greek American NY Assemblywoman Nicole Maliotakis, who is coordinating relief efforts for her constituency and together they met with and spoke to many volunteers, including local AHEPA officials, who were distributing food and supplies or were helping in the cleanup.
Fr. Nicholas Petropoulakos said he appreciated the presence and support of the Archbishop in these difficult times. He said that many families in the parish had extensive water damage and suffered losses in their homes and business. The church, he added, has relatively minor exterior damage. Fr. Nicholas conveyed that the parish has received many calls and offers for help in kind and offers from volunteers from all over the country, and he explained that the church is serving as a collection and distribution center, funneling relief aid to people in need on Staten Island.
For a photo album from the Archbishop’s Staten Island visit the Archdiocese photo gallery: http://www.goarch.org/special/hurricanesandy
We packed 98 IOCC school supply kits on Sunday November 4th, also known as Youth Sunday! They are boxed up & will be sent to IOCC in the coming weeks. There are 9 boxes total filled with School Kits for children in need of school supplies.
We want to thank everyone who participated including ALL of our Youth Ministries. Thank you for supporting IOCC & school children everywhere!
The 44th Annual Ascension Cathedral Golf Tournament in memory of John F. Andronico will take place Monday, August 27, 2012 at the Sequoyah Golf and Country Club in Oakland, California.
Kids and Adults, it is time to learn Greek!
(children & adults) the opportunity to decide on the days you would
like to attend the Greek classes. If you are interested, please visit
http://www.groca.org to complete the registration form and find more
information for the program.
Saturday evening August 18th, 4pm-11pm
Free Admission! All food will be ala carte and cash bar.
Please join us as we celebrate as a community!
This year’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) will run from July 9 – July 13 (Monday – Friday) from 9am – 12pm every day that week!
Registration is now open & you can sign up for the program itself, or even to volunteer! We need a lot of help this year, in order to provide the outstanding program we always do, so please sign up!
If you have any questions or concerns about the program please contact Fr. Nebojsa Pantic
The link is a PDF file. If you cannot view the file, you will need to download and install the Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
Regular Parish Assembly Meeting
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Fr. Thomas Paris Events Center / Richmond Room
Dear Ascension Cathedral Parishioners:
The first Regular Parish Assembly for 2012 is scheduled for June 10, 2012. Doors will open at 11:45 AM for registration. The meeting will begin at 12:00 PM. Your attendance and thoughtful input is kindly requested.
1. Call to Order and Invocation
2. Election of Parish Assembly Chairman and Parliamentarian
3. Approval Of Minutes of Parish Assembly meeting held on December 11, 2011
4. Election Committee Nominations
5. Oakland Greek Festival Report
6. Stewardship Report
7. Treasurer’s Report
8. Facilities Reports and Update
9. President’s Report
10. Clergy Report
Jim Glafkides Parish Council President
George T. Polyzos Parish Council Secretary
Eligibility: A parishioner who has a signed Stewardship Card on file in the Church Office and whose pledge is paid current through first quarter of 2012 is eligible to participate and vote in the Parish Assembly. Stewardship balances may be paid at the door. In the event that a quorum is not established as of 12:00PM, the Parish Assembly will be called a second time at 12:15PM without a quorum.
OAKLAND GREEK FESTIVAL 2012! THANK YOU EVERYONE!!
I want to express my thanks to all of you for a job well done for another very successful Festival. To Sofo Kyriakopedi and Paul Fakaros our festival chairmen and their executive committee, to the booth chairmen and workers, all the ladies and men who helped to prepare the food and our chefs in the kitchen, dancers and performers, the informative school outreach; everyone did an outstanding job.
Over the course of the three days people spoke of the wonderful food, the philoxenia and the friendliness of our community. An older Chinese woman pulled me aside on Saturday to tell me that this was her 40th festival and not only raised her daughter to come to our festival, but had begun to bring her granddaughter. She is named Sophia in honor of our culture! It is wonderful to hear that our efforts touch people. In addition we collected a great deal of food for the Alameda Food Bank with our dollar off program entrance to the festival. It is our way of giving l thanks to the community of Greater Oakland who has supported us all these years.
We should also thank our gracious Lord for the talented individuals as well as the commitment of our Parish leaders to make this such and outstanding event. Thank you for your stewardship of time and talent.
Fr. Tom Zaferes & Fr. Nebojsa Pantic
May 18, 19, and 20 Ascension Cathedral once again presents the annual Oakland Greek Festival! (Check the main website of the Festival for more information!
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension
4700 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, California 94602
Here is the full program book! (as listed in “inside the Bay Area”)
Click on the picture below to open up the Entertainment Schedule 2012! (Excell Required)
Our Ascension Community ties around 1,400 crosses this year, so as many hands as are available would be helpful!
The JOY/HOPE ministry will be “all hands on deck” for this wonderful opportunity for fellowship, and community building, as we help our church put together the palm crosses we all take away on Palm Sunday.
Please Join us for the Divine Liturgy beginning at 9:30 am, Saturday, April 7th, and then join us in the Richmond Room for the Palm Cross tying activity, where a small meal for the children will be provided. It should take us about an hour to finish the meal and the crosses.
Encyclical for Great Lent 2012
Let us keep the Fast not only by refraining from food, but by becoming strangers
to all the bodily passions; that we who are enslaved to the tyranny of the flesh
may become worthy to partake of the Lamb, the Son of God, slain of His own will
for the sake of the world, and spiritually may celebrate the feast of the
Savior’s Resurrection from the dead. So shall we be raised high in the glory of the virtues, and through our righteous actions we shall give joy to the Lord who loves humankind.”
—First Apostichon of Vespers from Tuesday of the First Week
As we embark on the journey of Great Lent, it is good and edifying to pause and reflect on the true significance the spiritual endeavor that lies before us. The Church’s hymnography is a trustworthy guide, steering us away from all caricatures of Lent, reminding us of the full scope of our pilgrimage. Great Lent is a time of retreat to help us confirm our life to Christ. Great and Holy Lent is designed to be a period of transformation for us – yes, a time of struggle, but a joyful struggle to become more Christ-like in all that we think, in all that we do, and in all that we say.
Let us keep the Fast not only refraining from food. All too often we focus almost exclusively on what we eat and do not eat. This is important, but it is only part of our task. As Saint Basil the Great wrote, “Fasting is the strength-training of the godly….It is clear that fasting would not only teach self-control in relation to all kinds of foods, but also how to entirely escape and get rid of covetousness, greed, and all kind of evil.” (Sermon 2 On Fasting).
Let us keep the Fast…by becoming strangers to all bodily passions. A fundamental concept in understanding Orthodox Christian spiritual life is passions. These are natural things necessary for life that have mutated and taken control of our lives. We must eat in order to live, but when our life is dominated by food we succumb to the passion of gluttony. Money is a necessity but when our life is centered on the acquisition of wealth, we are controlled by the passion of avarice. Humans need to love and be loved, but often times that love is deformed and we become slaves to the passion of lust. Lent is a time to practice self-control in order to tame these passions that have enslaved us to unhealthy cravings and disorient our life.
During this period of Great Lent, let us examine the essential values that guide us in our actions. Let us reorient our lives so that they are guided by God and His love rather than passionate desires; let us desire nothing more fervently than God and His love. Great Lent is a time of liberation, when we free ourselves from the shackles of things and desires, pursuing single-mindedly a deeper union with God and a more authentic reflection of God’s love. Lent is a time to rejoice that, through self-discipline, we have grown closer to God and have become a more perfect image of God’s compassion, mercy and love. As such, regardless of the struggle, this is a time of joy and hope. Embrace it as such and the joy of the Resurrection will fill the very depths of your existence.
Liberating ourselves from the slavery to passions of the flesh frees us to love God. Without the distractions of the passions, we can be more attentive to our relationship with God. Without destructive passionate goals, our lives are free to be guided by Christ’s command to love God and our neighbor. This is the true meaning of μετανοια (repentance): a reorientation of our lives. And so the Church instructs us that a pure fast includes attentiveness in prayer and works of mercy to the poor.
Let these simple insights guide us during the coming 40 days. Be aware not only of ourselves but of others. Let us be attentive in all aspects of our life not only to our own needs but to the needs of others. Let this be a time when we not only curtail that which impedes us but when we develop the things that make us more Christ-like.
With these few thoughts I invite you to embark joyfully on the journey of the Great and Holy Lent. Do not be burdened by the discipline, but be renewed by the opportunity to grow into deeper communion with God. The discipline is neither easy nor always pleasant, but the results will bring joy to you and those around you. May this be a time of profound spiritual joy for you, your community, your family, and your loved ones. Our hope is in the Lord who never fails!
With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco
February 27, 2012
Holy and Great Lent
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we begin this season of Holy and Great Lent, we do so in anticipation of the blessings we will receive as we commune with Christ through the special services, observances, and disciplines of our Orthodox Christian faith. We embark on a journey of faith, with the destination of the joy of Pascha before us, knowing that abundant spiritual treasure awaits if we are committed to intensifying prayer and fasting and service to others in charity.
We have begun to prepare our hearts for the impact of Great Lent during the Triodion period and our reflection on repentance and forgiveness. Our resolve to follow the services and disciplines is strong, but we also realize that we face many challenges in navigating the course of the season and realizing the great potential that it has to offer in our relationship with God.
In the days ahead, we will have responsibilities and commitments to fulfill. We may have a family that will need our care and provision. Each day we will have tasks to accomplish, work to do, and obligations to meet. In addition, we know that new challenges will arise and pressures will appear that will make the journey difficult. Our resolve to strengthen our faith through Great Lent will be tested. Many things will compete for the attention of our hearts and minds, challenging us to be faithful to our commitment to deeper communion with God.
In the midst of daily life and during this sacred and solemn season, we must remind ourselves through prayer and reflection that we do not make this journey alone. The services we attend are beautiful and holy times of worship in the presence of Christ and in the company of our brothers and sisters. The disciplines of fasting and giving are disciplines of grace that connect us to the love of God and allow that love to transform us and be offered through us to others. Thus, our resolve and commitment in Great Lent should be strengthened by knowing that His presence and His grace are always with us. We make this journey in Christ. He is the source of the spiritual power we need to remain focused on the meaning of this season. He is also our destination.
As we begin this journey together, I encourage you to keep your eyes looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Each new day reaffirm your resolve to participate in the services and disciplines of Great Lent as you live in the presence of Christ and experience His love for you. May we also remember that making this journey with Him, through the examination of the soul, through self-denial and obedience to the will of God, and through the suffering and pain of His Crucifixion, we will be with our Lord in the glorious light and life of His Resurrection.
With paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America
CATECHETICAL HOMILY For HOLY AND GREAT LENT
+ B A R T H O L O M E W
By God’s Mercy Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church:
Grace and Peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
And Prayers, Blessings and Forgiveness from Us
“O faithful, let us joyfully welcome
the divinely-inspired announcement of fasting”
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
In recent times, we observe an elevated level of concern. Many challenges arise. The world is suffering and yearns for help. Indeed, we are going through a general test. Some people call it a financial decline; others refer to it as a political crisis. So far as we are concerned, it is a matter of spiritual perversion. And a solution exists. Many resolutions are proposed and numerous viewpoints are heard. Yet, the problems persist. People feel deserted and alone. Their deeper nature is ignored. They remain in the gloom of confusion and depression.
Irrespective of the direction or solution proposed, the various answers that are offered cannot redeem humanity. For, from the outset, they render it captive to corruption and death. The Church is the divine-human Lord, who alone can liberate our soul. Upon entering the space of the Church, we enter the atmosphere of divine consolation, of reconciliation between heaven and earth. We are at home. Our spirit is calm. We discover a heavenly beauty and a spiritual maturity, “a holy fragrance capable of reaching the ends of the world.” The Church knows all that we suffer. It speaks the whole truth. And it urges us to face reality as it is; to recognize that we are earth and dust.
The Great Canon of St. Andrew makes mention of repentant tears of and sorrowful mourning, namely the pain of our wounds. Nonetheless, what follows is the rest of the soul, the health of the spirit. We have our Creator and Savior. Through the abundance of His mercy, he has placed us at the intersection of incorruption and mortality. He has not forsaken us. He came to save us. Through His cross, He abolished death. He granted us incorruption of the flesh.
Since, therefore, we are planted with Christ, why are we troubled in vain? Why do we not run toward Him? The Church neither dwells on nor abandons us to corruption. It knows our deeper inclinations and comes to our support and salvation. We need nourishment. Yet, “man does not live by bread alone.” (Matt. 4.4) We also need spiritual understanding; however, we are not bodiless. In the Church, we discover the fullness of life and understanding as a divine-human balance. Away from God, we are perverted and corrupted. Wherever material goods are plentiful and waste is glorified, scandalous temptation and dark confusion prevail.
Wherever human beings live with reverence and receive all things with gratitude and thanksgiving, all things are sanctified. The little is considered blessing; the corrupt is dressed with the glory of incorruption. Human beings enjoy what is ephemeral as a gift from God, while at the same time being nourished from here and now by the pledge of the future life. Not only are problems solved, but even the suffering of trials are transformed into the power of life and a reason for giving glory. When this occurs with our soul, when we find peace and salvation by committing all things to Christ our God, then our mind is illumined. We come to know ourselves and the whole world. We have faith in the One who alone is powerful. This in itself strengthens the faithful. Then, by means of an invisible radiance, it is transmitted as support to all those who hunger and thirst for the truth.
The entire world needs salvation by its Creator and Maker. The entire world needs the presence of the faith and communion of the Saints. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God for all His benefits, as well as for the present period of Holy Lent.
Behold, this is a welcome time; behold, this is a time for repentance.
May we journey through this time of the great fast with contrition and confession so that we may reach the infinite joy of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom is due all glory, honor and worship to the ages of ages. Amen.
Holy and Great Lent 2012
+ Bartholomew of Constantinople
Fervent supplicant for all before God