This week at St. John
Prosphora this week were prepared by Eleonora Rieck and Tula Margellos.
The work of the Building Committee is mostly complete. We have worked hard for the last few months and over the next few weeks we will be holding informational meetings during fellowship to share our findings with you. Everyone is encouraged and invited to attend at least one of those meetings so that you become familiar with the options, have the opportunity to ask questions, and discuss this with fellow parishioners. If necessary we can schedule such an informational meeting at a different time, just let Fr. Peter know if you are unable to attend a Sunday one. We have just received word from the city that there are no concerns with our plans. Therefore, we are now able to schedule a parish assembly for Sunday, June 14, after services. Everyone’s participation is welcomed and encouraged so this would be a good time to fill out a Stewardship form for 2015 if you haven’t done so already.
The Ladies of the Philoptochos invite all the women and young ladies to join them in an evening of miniature golf at 3001 Wrights Blvd E and dinner at Culvers on June 9th at 6:00 pm. Please RSVP to Kay Escobedo 319-350-9826.
Please check the sign-up sheet in the hall for opportunities to sponsor the Sunday fellowship in 2015. June 14 and June 21 are in need of sponsorship.
June seniors’ event: Tuesday, June 16, at PCI Medical Pavilion, 12 – 1pm. Witwer Healthy Aging Program: Rethink Your Drink
The St. Iakovos Retreat Center will be celebrating the Grand Opening of the new facilities on Saturday June 13th 2015. The event will begin at 11:00 am with an Agiasmo service and blessing of the new facilities, followed by lunch, tours, hayrides and animal visits.
Registration is open for Camp St. George. Online registration for Fanari is also available. As we have done in the past few years, St. John’s will be providing financial assistance to help defer the cost for our youth attending. Leadership 100 funds are available for Fanari Camp in addition to our own scholarships, so if you would like your children to attend but finances may be a restriction, please let me know as soon as possible in order to apply for all available scholarships.
When the Law of God came to Moses, the same Lord God provided a way for His people to acknowledge Him as that Giver of all good things. God says, “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the LORD’s; it is holy to the Lord” (Leviticus 27:30). And, “the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything” (4 Kings 31:5). For His Old Testament people, God laid down the law of the tithe – one tenth of all that was received by God’s people during the year was to be returned to the owner of all good things, God Himself. Here was a test of their gratitude and loyalty to God.
For you and me, the same Lord God has given to us His richest treasure in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. In Christ has come God’s plan for our salvation. In Christ has come the Church with all the means provided to gain salvation. With Jesus Christ, our Lord, God has gone even further. He has given to us all things to enjoy. The produce of the earth, the bountiful harvest, the treasures of gold and silver – all are His gifts. Houses and land, food and clothing – all this God has placed in our possession. He asks us to acknowledge Him as the Giver of all good things. This is our test of gratitude and loyalty to God.
As New Testament people who enjoy the great abundance of these material and spiritual gifts, how do we pass this test of gratitude and loyalty now? The tithe was the Old Testament requirement. There was no refusal on the part of God’s Old Testament people. The legal test was there. It was 10% returned, or one faced expulsion from the community. Under the New Testament Law of Love, how do we respond? (from On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life on acrod.org).
If you haven’t done so yet, please fill out a pledge form for your 2015 stewardship! So far in 2015 we have $95,158 pledged out of $108,480 budgeted.