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A Cloud of Witnesses February, 2009 Rejoice, thou who art full of grace, O Virgin Theotokos, for from thee has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, enlightening those in darkness. Rejoice, thou also, O righteous Elder, as thou receivest in thine arms the Redeemer of our souls, Who grants unto us the Resurrection. All Saints Orthodox Church Salina, Kansas All Saints Orthodox Church 2818 Scanlan Avenue, Salina, KS 67401 Church: 823-3735 Personal: (785) 320-0486 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.orthodoxkansas.org Right Rev’d. Fr. Daniel S. Griffith, pastor (E-mail: [email protected]) Very Rev’d. Fr. Thomas Neustrom, (823-2410) ++++++++++++ Please note the above changes in Fr. Daniel’s personal contact information! ++++++++++++ A Forgotten People As I hope that you are aware that on Sat. Feb. 21, our mother church, St. George Cathedral, Wichita, will hope its annual Orthodoxy Alive from 9:00am-4:00pm. The speaker will be Dr. Maria Khoury, whose subject will be “Christian Witness in the Holy Land I & II”. A graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary, Brookline, MA, & a long-time resident on the West Bank [of the Jordan River], she will address the subject of the Palestinian Christians, the majority of whom are devout members of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. It behooves us to be aware of the trials a difficulties of these our brothers & sisters in the Faith. Who are these people who are so frequently ignored by the very powers which decide their fate? They are an ancient people. Certain of these families can trace their Christian roots to the age of the Apostles themselves. One of the great tragedies of events in the Middle East is that the Christian presence in the land of her birth is very rapidly disappearing. Caught between an ever more militant Islam & a hostile Israeli force, they are slowly but surely being pushed out. Today at lest 60% of Palestinians live abroad & will never be allowed to return to their land, the birthplace of Christianity. Today those still residing in the land of their ancestors constitute no more than 2% of the total Palestinian population. As a friend of mine once commented a few years ago: “If our Lord, God & Saviour Jesus Christ, delay His coming much longer, the only ones of His own to greet Him in the Holy City, in fact, in the land of Palestine, will be a handful of Cypriote pilgrims Perhaps a little history will help us to put this dwindling, yet courageous, body in its proper context. The Acts of the Apostles states that the first Christians in Jerusalem were Jews, historians believe that even after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, Christianity in the Holy Land kept its Jewish flavor. Until the Jewish revolt of Bar-Kokhba, all the bishops of Jerusalem were of Jewish background. However, the numbers of Gentile converts to Christianity grew steadily & the number of Jewish converts dwindled after ca. 90 AD when the statutory prayers recited in the synagogue were amended to include a paragraph which, if a Christian should read it, he would be damning himself. The Bar-Kokhba revolt in 132-135 proved to be the death-knell of Jewish-Christianity, for, having secured for a time their independence, the Jews became fierce persecutors of the Christians. When Rome finally put down the revolt, the Emperor Hadrian expelled all Jews, including all Jewish Christians, from Jerusalem & rebuilt the city as a Gentile city, renaming it “Aelia Capitolina” & the country of Israel “Palestine.” With this blow, the Christian Jewish community effectively disappeared. The conversion of Constantine in 313 gave rise to a new Christian presence in the Holy Land. St. Constantine’s mother, St. Helena, helped populate the land with churches & monasteries, & over the next three centuries, the Holy Land witnessed an influx of Christians from various parts of the Roman empire, including Greeks, Armenians, Georgians, Egyptians & Syrians. The Byzantine emperor, meanwhile, governed the land. This period of Byzantine rule entrenched Christianity in the Holy Land, & Christians became the majority. Famous theologians made the Holy Land their home, including St. Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin in the 5th century & St John of Damascus., the great Byzantine theologian, in the 7th. Then suddenly the warriors of a new faith, Islam, burst from the Arabian deserts, quickly invading the Holy Land & taking Jerusalem in 640. What followed was the gradual decline of the Church in the Holy Land, as Muslim overlords reduced Christians to servitude (dhimmis) & prohibited Christians from proselytizing Muslims. Still, various Christian groups survived, the Greek Orthodox being by far the largest. Gradually the majority of these Christians adopted Arabic as their primary language. Christians from Arabia also joined their brethren in the Holy Land, & the “Palestinian” Arab Christian population began to assume a distinct identity. The Crusader kingdom of the 12th & 13th centuries rose & fell, but Eastern Christians continued to call the Holy Land home in spite of the return of Muslim power. Over the next 600 years, the heavy taxes exacted by Muslim sultans impoverished Christian communities, forcing many to convert to Islam to escape the burden. Further the sultans allowed bloody outbreaks of persecution. Christians appealed to their old master, the Byzantine emperor, who graciously intervened for them with ransoms & bribes. But Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453; & for protection, Christians turned to France, which supported Franciscan holdings in the Holy Land acquired after the Crusades. By the 19th century, the Christian population in the Holy Land numbered only 15,000, over 80% of these being Greek Orthodox. These numbers actually rose over the course of the century, as Ottoman military power declined & European nations like Russia, France & Britain exerted pressure on the Turks to “liberalize” their rule. At the same time, Western Protestants began sending missionaries to the Holy Land; Anglicans, for example, first visited Jerusalem in 1820 where they built new churches & set up schools & clinics. Soon a host of other Protestant denominations joined them, including Lutherans, the Church of Scotland, etc. Catholics too sent missionaries to the Holy Land. Since they were unable to convert Muslims, all their proselytizing efforts were directed toward the poorer segments of the Greek Orthodox faithful. Muslim rule came to an end with the British occupation of the Holy Land in 1917. The British Mandate provided Christians with a welcome respite from Turkish control; high birth rates contributed to an increase in the population. When the state of Israel declared itself in 1948 & an estimated 750,000 “Palestinian” Arabs fled the country (never to be allowed back in), many Christians stayed, doubling the ratio of Arab Christians to Muslims, especially in towns like Nazareth & Bethlehem. Despite this, Palestinian Christians have suffered discrimination—& brutality—from Israel. Even though the Israeli constitution assures Christians “freedom of religion, conscience, education & culture,” they live as 2nd-class citizens. Israel refuses to allow them to serve in its military, & Palestinian Christians have fewer educational & employment opportunities. Also, Israel’s troops, in response to suicidal terrorists bombing Israeli citizens, have confiscated land belonging to Palestinian Christians. Since the founding of Israel, massive numbers of Palestinian Christians have left the Holy Land, due to Israel’s occupation of their land & the dismal state of the economy in Palestinian towns. Today, they make up only 2% of the country, when they claimed 17% of the population around 1900. Most Palestinian Christians support the quest for a homeland. But Christians familiar with the rising tide of Muslim persecution in other parts of the Middle East must ask what kind of government the Palestinian Authority (PA) might create once/if Israel releases control. Various watchdog organizations point out that since the PA took over Bethlehem in 1993, Christians have dropped from 60% of the population to 30%, & they cite incidents of Palestinian police harassing Christians. It would seem then that Palestinian Christians are caught between a wary, unfriendly Israeli state & increasingly hostile Muslim neighbors. On the Election of the Patriarch of Moscow & All Rus Epistle of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Regarding the Election of His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk & Kaliningrad as the Patriarch of Moscow & All Rus. Dear in the Lord Pastors, Divinely-Wise Monks & Nuns, Beloved Brothers & Sisters, faithful children of our Holy Church! The Local Council, held on Jan. 27-28, 2009, at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, addresses you with the words of the Apostle: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, & the love of God, & the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). The Council has deemed worthy the fruits which, by the mercy of God, our Church has brought to the Lord over these last 18 years since the last Local Council. At that Council, by the will of the Holy Spirit, the Hierarchy & the people of God chose His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow & All Rus of blessed memory. This Council approved the works of the Councils of Bishops from 1990-2009, & the ecclesiastical efforts in various areas made during the Patriarchal service of His Holiness the late Patriarch. Expressing due gratitude to him for all his labors & cares, we appeal to our pastors & children of our Church to prayerfully remember our late Patriarch. His Holiness strove tirelessly to preserve the unity of the Church, protecting her from schisms & divisions, uniting people of various nationalities, generations & social strata. The main deed achieved by His Holiness the Patriarch, together with the late Metropolitan Laurus [Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia – ROCOR] of blessed memory, was the reestablishment of the unity of the Russian Church Abroad & the Church in the Fatherland. And today, remembering the legacy of our late Patriarch, we must preserve & strengthen church unity, not allowing anyone to sow the seeds of discord among us. Keeping “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) is a sign of the presence of Christ Himself in the community of His followers. Even as we preserve unity in the main thing—the Holy Orthodox Faith—we can have differences in individual questions relating to the life of the Church or society. But these differences must lay the foundation for enmity, division & unfair accusations. The Local Council supports the document of the Holy Council of Bishops of 2008 “On the Unity of the Church” & calls upon the Fullness of the Church to follow it. On Jan. 27 of this year, by the will of the Holy Spirit, the Council elected His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk & Kaliningrad as the Patriarch of Moscow & All Rus. We ask the entire Church flock to fervently pray that our Chief Pastor, the Lord Jesus Christ, bountifully pours forth His mercies on the service of the new, 16th Patriarch of Moscow & All Rus, that He grant him undiminished help in all his efforts, strengthen his spiritual & physical powers towards service to the Holy Church, that the Patriarchal labours of His Holiness Vladyka, our Father, the newly-elected Patriarch Kyrill, bring fruits blessed by God. During the last century, our Church passed through the furnace of tribulations, preserving faith & devotion to Christ. Today, new possibilities arise before her: missionary work, which we must actively pursue, for the Christian mission is the direct legacy of the Saviour. The Resurrected Christ calls upon His disciples to follow Him & preach Divine Truth. The Lord came to save, but, in the words of the Apostle, “How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). May we all be servants & preachers of Christ the Saviour, “by Whom we have received grace & apostleship” (Romans 1:5). The pastoral word & the example of Christian good works must reach the hearts of those who call themselves Orthodox Christians, but do not live a churchly life. For they are also a part of our Church, called by the Lord towards salvation. Rejoicing at the growing number of churches & priests, we must remember that it is the condition of the souls of men, their participation in the Mysteries & divine services, their moral & spiritual image that are the essential criteria of the efforts of the Church. We are called upon to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel of Christ, “that they might have life, & that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). We must declare that only by following the eternal & unchanging moral values granted by Divine Revelation will we be able to overcome internal individual crises, the disintegration of the family & social problems. The Church carries this testimony to the entire world, to all people, especially children & youth. This is precisely why we must take the opportunity today to turn boldly to the young generation through preaching, through school, through the mass media. Service to the church has always been yoked to care for people, those who need help & sympathy. Our duty is to feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, defend the unfairly injured, help the elderly, support the lonely, lighten the burden of the ailing, console those in despair. The Local Council calls upon all the devoted flock of our Church to strengthen their unity in the Name of Christ under the omophorion of our new Primate, His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow & All Rus. Through unified effort we must “work out [our] own salvation with fear & trembling” (Philippians 2:12) & participate in the spiritual education of those near & far. “Pray,” said the Apostle, “that the word of the Lord may have free course & be glorified” (2 Thessalonians 3:1). The most important thing is that we abide in the love of Christ, which supersedes state borders, national or other divisions, that we may fulfill the testament of the Saviour, Who prayed His Heavenly Father for those who believe in Him: “that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, & I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us” (John 17:21). May the Lord God, glorified in the Holy Trinity, through the intercession of the Most-Pure Mother of God, by the prayers of the New Martyrs & Confessors & all the saints of our land, have mercy upon us & save us, through His grace & love for mankind. Amen. Orthodox glad to claim Polamalu as one of their own Sunday, Feb. 01, 2009 By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Peter Diana / Post-Gazette Steelers safety Troy Polamalu watches from the sidelines against the Vikings at the Hubert Humphrey Stadium in Minneapolis in Aug. He is often seen crossing himself—right to left—during games. Most NFL fans are familiar with the sight of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu crossing himself during games, but one subset of fans is gleefully aware that he crosses himself from right to left, rather than left to right. “Each time there is an important play, he makes his cross the Orthodox way. Nobody else does this, & it is a beautiful thing,” said Metropolitan Maximos, of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh, who officiated at the wedding of Troy & Theodora Polamalu 4 years ago. Mr. Polamalu, an ethnic Samoan, long has had a strong Christian faith, but was non-denominational until he joined his wife’s Greek Orthodox Church. The metropolitan is quick to note that Orthodox enthusiasm for Mr. Polamalu isn’t intended to denigrate any other branch of Christianity. “I’m very proud of him. But, to be honest, I don’t care if his background is Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox or any of the Protestant communities, as long as the guy is a faithful person. & Polamalu is that, & his wife is as well,” he said. When football doesn’t allow the Polamalus to worship together on Sundays, they make weekday visits to the Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God in Saxonburg. Their infant son was baptized there. But the nuns won’t be watching him play in the Super Bowl, Metropolitan Maximos said, because they don’t watch anything on television that isn’t religious. Orthodoxy & Catholicism—which split in 1054 over issues of church authority—have a different ethos. The monks of St. Vincent Arch-abbey in Latrobe, the Catholic monastery on the college campus where the Steelers practice, are unabashed fans. One monk, now deceased, went into earlier playoffs with a gold “7” on his black habit & called himself “Big Ben-edictine.” St. Vincent Arch-abbot Douglas Nowicki said Mr. Polamalu prays in their basilica during training camp & is close to the monks. “He’s Orthodox, but I think he embodies that spirit of selflessness & humility & is so well-grounded in who he is, that people of every faith relate to him. There is something deeply spiritual about him that all of us experience in being with him,” he said. But for the Orthodox, he’s something special, said Damian George, the youth director at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland. When teens attend national Orthodox conferences, “the kids from Pittsburgh kind of brag about Troy, not only that he’s a Steeler, but that he’s Orthodox. & even the kids from Philly & New York get excited about it. He gives them a good role model because he’s able to play at a high level & keep his faith at an equally high level,” he said. Orthodoxy has no tradition of celebrities who testify to their faith, said the Fr. Thomas Soroka, pastor of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKees Rocks. There are lists of celebrities who have belonged to the church, including Tina Fey & Tom Hanks. But none are considered exemplars of Orthodox spirituality. Current online discussions of an Orthodox celebrity that don’t involve Mr. Polamalu tend to bewail the conduct of Rod Blagojevich, who was removed as Illinois governor last week after a four-day impeachment trial. “A lot of times when people are Orthodox, it’s more of an ethnic or cultural thing. Troy stands above that by being a practicing, committed Orthodox Christian,” Fr. Soroka said. “Orthodoxy is quite sober. It’s not flashy or attractive to those who are looking for stardom. It’s much more introspective, & I think Troy embodies that.” But it helps that Mr. Polamalu is cool & handsome, with Samoan warrior hair that hasn’t been cut in seven years. His plays appear to defy the laws of physics. “Being faithful & devout isn’t always cool. So it’s great when you can point to Troy Polamalu & say, ‘Look, faith isn’t stupid. It’s something really special,’” said James Purdie, 26, a subdeacon at St. George Cathedral. “Seeing him crossing himself after a play, or praying on the sidelines, it’s a way of witnessing that your faith can be incorporated into your everyday life.” Mr. Purdie saw the Polamalus at a lecture at Duquesne University by Orthodox theologian Bishop Kallistos Ware. “A lot of the younger folks went up to him afterward & were asking him questions—theological questions as well as football questions. His answers showed that he was knowledgeable in his faith. And it was nice to see his humility. He was very approachable,” Mr. Purdie said. One Orthodox leader who does not tell stories about the Polamalus is their pastor, the Fr. John Touloumes at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, North Side. He wants to respect the family’s privacy. But he will say that Mr. Polamalu has steeped himself in the Orthodox faith. “Troy has received the faith with great dedication & great enthusiasm in his personal life. He does share it on the field with others when he believes it is his calling to do that. & he shows it through his life, through his humility & his good works,” he said. “He has a particular love for the younger people & they have responded very warmly to his gentle personality, his athletic talents & his deep faith.” The Fr. Patrick Carpenter, pastor of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, South Side, joined a Troy Polamalu fan group on Facebook & took part in its “Steelers prayer wave.” But he won’t pray for a Steelers win. “We don’t pray for victories. We don’t pray for defeats. We pray for the safety of the team.” Of course, Mr. Polamalu is the safety of the team. News from the Parish th On Sun. Jan. 20 , 2008, our newly-inducted Parish council met to elect its new officers for the year 2008. The following were elected: Chair Monica (Paula) Lambert Treasurer Patrick (Willis) Bell Vice-Chair Seraphima (Dena) Berquist Secretary Catherine (Meghan ) Mai The Parish of All Saints Orthodox Church, 2818 Scanlan Avenue, Salina, KS, Invites you to attend the dedication of our parish hall To Saint Thomas the Apostle In honor of The Very Reverend Thomas Neustrom, Benefactor of the parish and beautifier of the temple. Thursday, February 12th, 2009 5:30pm Vespers presided by His Grace Basil, Bishop of Wichita and Mid-America 6:30pm Service of dedication, followed by festive banquet Memory Eternal May God grant rest to the soul of His servant Paul Karabinas in the bosom of Abraham in the Paradise of Delight. Our sincerest condolences go out to his son, Nicholas & to all his surviving family. From the Desk of David & Sophia (Jan) Leopold Top picture, Sadie Rose Leopold at 6 weeks. (Pat & Megan’s baby born Dec. 8, 2008 Bottom pictures, Eleanor (Ellie) Meinhard Leopold at 5 days. Ellie was born on Jan. 18 to Chris & Sara. It’s hard to get a picture of Ellie with her eyes open. They have to wake her to eat, she stays awake about 15 minutes & goes back to sleep until her next feeding! Wow! I only hope she continues that pattern. It sure would be nice for Chris & Sara but, someow, I doubtful that it is a permanent arrangement! Both are as sweet as they can be. Now we just have to get Brian’s & Tracy’s little gal here in May. Applications for Camp St. Raphael, 2009, are currently available on the camp website. Sun., Feb. 15th: All Saints’ Men’s Association (host reader John), 6:00-7:30pm Sun., Feb. 22nd: Meat-Fare Sunday, Meaty-Covered-Dish & Talent Show to follow the Divine Liturgy Mon., March 2nd: Pure Monday (Beginning of the Fast of Great Lent) Sat. & Sun., March 7th & 8th: ASOC Craft Sale, 4-H Building Wed., March 25th: Feast of the Annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel to the Theotokos. Sun., April 19th: Holy & Great Pascha (Easter) Sat., April 25th: Annual Big Fat Greek Dinner June 10th-14th: 5th Annual Parish Life Conference, hosted by St. Mary, Wichita June 28th-July 4th: Camp St. Raphael, 1st Session July 5th- 11th: Camp St. Raphael, 2nd Session July, 19th-26th: 49th Biennial Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, hosted by St. Michael, Van Nuys, CA, at the Palm Springs Resort, Palm Desert, CA. Sat., Aug. 22nd: Annual Vineyard Blessing Prayer Requests For the health of Anastasia (Vi) Wygal For the health of Samuel Wygal. For the health of Joseph Shively. For the health of the Very Rev’d Fr. Thomas Neustrom. For the repose of the soul of Alice Smith, sister of Kh. Lukie Neustrom. For the repose of the soul of John Osborn (March 28th), brother of Vernon Osborn. For the repose of the soul of Fr. Bill Wells (Aug. 4th), Beautifier of All Saints’ Temple. For the repose of the soul of Russell Brockmeier (Oct. 16th),cousin of Elizabeth Lindgren. For the repose of the soul of Kathaleen Beryl Brunsell (Nov. 1st), grandmother of Robert Lindgren. For the repose of the soul of Paul Karabinas (Jan. 12th), father of Nicholas Karabinas. Holy Bread Schedule Coffee Hour Schedule Feb. 1 Feb. 8 Feb. 15 Feb. 22 March 1 Teen SOYO Wygal-Lambert Gapter-Grey Osborn-Mai Houchin-Walker Sun., Feb., 1 Sun., Feb. 8 (Publican & Pharisee) Sun., Feb. 15 (Prodigal Son) Sat. Feb. 21 (All Souls) Sun., Feb. 22 (Meatfare) Sun., March 1 (Cheesefare) Wed., March (Presanctified) Sun., Mar. 8 (Sun. of Orthodoxy) Wed., March (Presanctified) Please prepare 3 loaves for Sunday Divine Liturgies & 1 loaf for weekday liturgies. When there is bread needed on a week day the individual responsible for the previous Sunday is asked to bake extra loaves for the upcoming week days. One recipe may be divided into 4 loaves. Bread may be baked ahead & frozen, (1 to 2 weeks ahead) sealed in Ziploc bags with paper towel wrapped around each loaf. Thank you! Johna Walker Sara/Martha Osborn Elizabeth (Michelle) Stephenson Elizabeth (Michelle) Stephenson (1 loaf) Elizabeth Lindgren Seraphima Berquist Seraphima Berquist (1 loaf) Elizabeth Johnson Elizabeth Johnson(1 loaf) God Grant You Many, Many Blessed Years! Names' Days Lil Philips & Nancy Fawcett (Venerable Mother Brigid Abbess of Kildare, Feb. 1), Brian McCallum (Holy New-martyr Krisios, Feb. 12), Christian Yetter (Holy Kristos the Gardener, Feb. 12), Addie Houchin (Holy Prophetess Mariamna, sister of the Holy Apostle among the 12 Philip, Feb. 17) & Theodore Stavropoulos (Holy Martyr Theodore the General, Feb. 17). Birthdays Layne Lloyd (Feb. 4), Preston Gapter (Feb. 7), Nancy Fawcett (Feb. 8), Joshua Houchin (Feb. 9), Allissa Houchin & Adrienne Gapter (Feb. 19), John Mai & Jennifer Klapp (Feb. 23) & Lois Johnson (Feb. 25). Wedding Anniversaries Reese & Donna Baxter (Feb. 3) David & Carol Pantle (Feb. 12) & Janeane & Jerry Houchin (Feb. 28).