Getting ready to get ready: Preparing for the Nativity fast

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Some good things are a long time coming.  We know that in our own lives, relationships, and accomplishments at work, school, or elsewhere.  The best things in life are worth waiting for and require our patience and preparation.
 
That is true of how salvation has come to the world through our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.  The many generations of the Hebrew people in the Old Testament prepared His way.  God’s messengers, the angels, instructed them through the Law and other announcements and actions.  His prophets called the people to faithfulness in anticipation of the Messiah, the One anointed for the fulfillment of all the promises to Abraham both for his descendants and all the people of the world who respond with faith to the Lord.
 
Today we are one week away from the beginning of our time of preparation for the coming of the Messiah, for the birth of Jesus Christ.  Neither merely an angel nor a prophet, He is truly God in the flesh. The Nativity Fast, which we often call “Advent,” begins on November 15, forty days before the great feast of Christmas (Ed. note: Orthodox churches that use the Old Julian calendar begin the Nativity Fast on Nov. 28)  The weeks leading to the Nativity of the Savior do not have the bright sadness of Lent, as they are a joyful time of getting ready to celebrate Christ’s birth by receiving Him anew into our lives as we take our place with angels, shepherds, prophets, and generations of righteous people from all over the world who have rejoiced that the Son of God has become one of us, bringing broken and suffering human beings into the very life of God, Who made us in His image and likeness.

5 steps to Joy!

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Archimandrite Markella (Pavuk)
After the Fall of Adam and Eve, all of their descendants, us included, are doomed to all kinds of hardships and sorrows in life, which ultimately end in death. It seems that there absolutely no reasons for joy. But did the Lord God really create man to mock him so severely?
 
It is, of course, not so. For the sake of man’s salvation from sin, the curses, and death, the Lord Himself endured terrible sufferings and death on the Cross. All who sincerely believe in Him and try to fulfill His holy commandments are given blessedness and joy in this life and in the future, eternal life.
 
Having sinned, we immediately punish ourselves: Our body undergoes all kinds of illnesses, and the soul falls into sorrow and despondency. To dispel sadness, unbelievers come up with different entertainments for themselves, beginning with music, song, and dance, and ending with the unlimited consumption of alcohol or drugs. But in most cases, this multiplies sorrow. This isn’t about it being forbidden to man to listen to music, to sing, to dance, and to drink alcohol. All problems begin when man delights in nothing but these things: neither his family and friends, nor his work. “You are my kin and friend as long as you give me money and treat me to wine, with or without reason, and when you fulfill all my wishes. If you don’t want to listen to me, and make a feast for me or share financially, then you’re worse than an enemy.” But can you really live so bleakly and materialistically?

JOIN US TO THE TRIP AT KAMBI VILLAGE FOR GRAPE FESTIVAL

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If you are interested to enjoy the beauty of fall season and experience the traditions of Cyprus come and join us at our trip which will be held 

on Sunday the 22nd .  Departure time/venue: 10.40am from St. Panteleimonas Church.  (immediately after the English liturgy)  

Program:  We will first visit the monastery/convent of St, Heraklidios.  After venerating the relics of the saint and visiting the crypt where the saint was burried 

we will head on to the village of Pharmakas.  We will have lunch at the house of fr. Ioannis' parents - (you will be given the chance to meet his parents too).  

After lunch we will go to the village of Kambi (5 minutes drive) to participate in the activities of the GRAPE FESTIVAL.  

Bare feet grape pressing, shoushoukos making, palouzes making (grape cream), zivania making process, dances by a cypriot traditional group and many other surprises.  

No entrance fees and you will be given the chance to try fresh wine, zivania and many other Cypriot delights made by the villagers!  

Please bring finger food to share!

If you want to join us, please send a message to 99463030 (fr. Ioannis) specifying if you will need a ride or whether you will bring your own car.   Please notify also 

what food you will bring.  We look forward to seeing you!! 

"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

Mathew 28:19