1110 Eldridge Parkway Houston, Texas 77077
281-679-5395 Fax 281-679-5397Reverend Father Luke Palumbis
[email protected] Eleni Palumbis
Reverend Deacon Iakovos Varcados Diakonissa Maria Varcados
www.mystbasil.orgOn Facebook StBasiltheGreatHoustonTX
https://soundcloud.com/mystbasilTo hear Fr Luke's Podcast go to...
From Father Luke's Desk...My Patron, Saint Luke the Evangelist – Active in My Life!
In my youth, a small icon of Saint Luke the Evangelist hung on my bedroom wall amidst posters and collage cutouts of Nolan Ryan and Larry Bird. I was named after the Evangelist in response to my father’s reading of ‘Dear and Glorious Physician,’ shortly before I was born. I knew that he wrote parts of the Bible, he was a doctor, and an artist -- Saint Luke became a sort of Christian idol for me -- I looked up to Nolan when I threw fastballs, and Bird when I shot hoops – but I wasn’t a doctor or an artist… for what could I look up to Saint Luke?
The relationship with a patron saint can be powerful in support of an individual’s journey to the Kingdom. Trusting that our patron saints pray for us, we grow our relationships with them through witness to the virtue they earned and expressed in their lives. Salient recognition and dedication to the virtues exemplified in the lives of the saints create connection to the holies, and the Holy! The saints truly become our idols when we develop our appreciation for their life stories into application of the virtues that they exhibited in those life stories. Although I am not an artist or a doctor – Saint Luke can still be a role model in my life when I look to the virtues that he expressed in his life, and develop them in my own!
Virtue is not something that we are born with. We were not born with virtue and neither were the saints. Virtue is earned through purposeful living unafraid of discipline.
Saint Luke was my idol as a child because he wrote in the Bible, was a doctor and wrote the first icon. Saint Luke is my idol today because I recognize the phenomenal choices that he made to dedicate himself to a life that would be pleasing to God, and I appreciate the tremendous discipline that he surely adhered to in order to maintain that life – especially when he had options other than the difficult vocations of Apostle and Evangelist… doctor, artist, etc…
Our recognition of how special the saints truly are the initiation of our investment into our relationship with them, and unfortunately is often the extent that we take the relationship. The second, and substantive step is when we choose to live like them. This does not imply that I must live like an Antiochian from 2,000 years ago in order to develop my relationship with Saint Luke, nor does it mean that we must live like others in the Synaxarion by virtue of their foreign ethnicities, cultures, ascetical proclivities or clothing styles. What this second step does mandate is that we examine the virtuous experience of those in the Synaxarion (book of saints) and find ways to apply those
virtues to our God-given personalities and circumstances in our contemporary life.
How is it that so many have lived as saints? They chose to develop their daily lives in capacities that were pleasing to God -- they were virtuous. How is it that you can become a saint? Choose to live your daily life in ways that are pleasing to God – develop virtue through disciplined living!
If you love and would like to have a relationship with your patron saint, ask yourself these three simply questions:
Who is your patron saint?
How were they virtuous?
How can you develop those virtues in your daily life?
Please join me on Sunday, October 18th when I celebrate the feast day of my patron saint, Saint Luke the Evangelist in the context of the Divine Liturgy. He was virtuous through the patient, consistent offering of his talents to the glory of God as a doctors of souls and bodies, as the first iconographer of the Church, and a writer of multiple books in the New Testament! From my relationship to Saint Luke, I am strengthened by his example of Christian pilgrimage, and in turn strive to be a better Christian every day.
Show someone that you have a relationship with your patron saint – be the best Christian that you can today!
Father Luke Continued...
Sunday September 20th, we joined as a community
in wishing Father Luke a very happy birthday!
Friday September 25th, Father Luke joined Captain Ilias Syrros of The Green Sky Vessel in a blessing of the ship
and its crew on their recent stop in Houston
October 25, 2015 is an important day in the life of the St. Basil family! It is the date that has been set for
the Fall General Assembly. For those of you who attend these meetings on a regular basis realize the importance
of the information that is provided in these meetings. The community as a whole is enriched due to your participation. For
those of you who seldom attend or never attend, you are missing out.
The Fall General assembly is particularly important for 2 reasons. First, it is an opportunity for everyone to get informed, have input, and approve
our community’s annual budget. In order for St. Basil’s to serve as our spiritual home - providing weekly services, sacraments, religious education, and youth
programs – a significant amount of money and time is required each year. We must all be aware of what it takes to keep the doors of this community open. The
entire community - not just Father, the Parish Council and the few that attend these assemblies - must be aware of the challenges that we face every day in keeping St. Basil’s financially alive. When the community is informed that there is a challenge in paying our bills, I am immediately bombarded with the phrase “I didn’t know”. The Fall General Assembly is your chance of getting informed about the community’s finances.
Second, the Fall General Assembly is the time when candidates for the Parish Council and the Audit Committee are nominated. It is a time when the leaders, who help set the tone for the community, are identified. It is also a chance for you to maybe take that leap and get involved in a much bigger way in leading this community. Our community is constantly seeking new talent and new ideas to help guide it in its growth. This may be the time for you to become that person.
These are exciting and challenging times for our community. It is exciting because we are adding new religious programs. It is exciting because the Sunday school is overflowing with children eager to learn about our faith. It is exciting because our Goya is larger than it’s ever been. It is exciting because we are constantly welcoming new faces to our community. What a blessing! However, we are also facing challenges that come with this growth. We have a large debt load and bills to service every month. But unfortunately our stewardship, which is our primary revenue stream is not keeping up with our needs. We all need to be aware of this. We all need to be informed so we can come up with a plan to solve our financial challenges. The way to do this is through information provided to you through our General Assembly.
I hope that you mark October 25 on your calendar and join us for this important meeting.
Yours in Christ, John Rigas – Parish Council President.
Parish CouncilJohn Rigas President
Jerome Burbridge Vice President Spiro Petritsis Treasurer Manny Pollos Secretary Andrew Constantinou
Elias Haddad Luke Stellakis
George Koucouthakis Gus Taxiarchou Andrew Robison
SUNDAY SCHOOL HAS BEGUN Join us!!
Sunday September 13 marked our first day of class for the 2015-2016 and we were blessed to have over 110 kiddos! We are a growing program for sure. We have a whole new class this year and 2 brand new teachers. BUT, we still have space for YOU and your children. Please jump in on the excitement and fun of learning the Orthodox Faith with us. We would love to have you! Here’s our list of classes and teachers.
St. Basil Sunday School 2015-2016 CurriculumThe archdiocese approved curriculum will be used by every classroom. Since our classes cover two age groups, two books will be used per classroom. In addition to the books approved by the archdiocese, St. Basil's teachers will supplement with the following topics:
Adults ........................................................................Feast days, email questions George Comits (old library/admin building Juniors & Seniors........................................................................ Open discussion Manny Pollos, Caterina Kaffes, (Gabby Haddad) (piano room) Freshman & Sophmores ....................................................... Defending Our Faith Alexia Alexopolous, Christina Stamatakis, Tonia Yiakras (old cry room) Seventh & eighth ............................ Ecumenical councils and acts of the apostles John Rigas, Gabriel Haddad, Lewis Faraclas (3rd classroom in hallway) Fifth & Sixth.........................How to live out Christian lifestyle and Divine Liturgy. Andrew Ginnakakis, Casey Robison, Angela Geeker (1st classroom in hallway) Third & Fourth .................................................................Symbolism in the church Vicky Fikaris, Angie Tyra, (Tonia Yiakras) (2nd classroom in hallway) First & Second ...............................................................................................Saints IreneTsounakas, Miriam Merianos, Pavlina Tsorbatzoglou (right of single bathroom) Kinder & Pre-k ................................................................................... Jesus parables Tina Tsounakas, Eleni Merianos, Oana Macesanu (left of single bathroom)
Fill in substitutes: Carrie Rigas, Georgia Petritsas
StewardshipDid you know that Christian Stewardship is embodied in the way that we respond to God with our life? With such understanding, we must begin and refresh our stewardship experience with prayer. The following is a prayer of Christian Stewardship that all are encouraged to offer…
“Lord Jesus Christ, Thou art the good steward, who redeemed Adam and Eve of their failed stewardship by offering Thyself for the life of the world. Thou didst teach us in the feeding of the multitudes that whatever we give to God is returned to us multiplied. Thou didst praise those good and faithful servants in the parable of the talents who returned to the Master their gifts. So help us to learn the joy of stewardship, remembering that everything we have comes from Thee and belongs to Thee. We know, Lord, that we often live in fear of the future and insecurity. Help us to remember the lilies of the field and so to trust in Thy providence. Grant to us a cheerful and generous spirit. Kindle in the hearts of all Thy people a zealous love for Thee. For Thou art the Good Steward, and to Thee we give thanks, praise and glory, together with Thy Father who is from everlasting and
Thine all holy good and life-giving Spirit now and ever and onto the ages of ages. Amen”
Aura Chapter #405
On Saturday, October 10, we will be hosting DANCING WITH THE GREEKS! Don’t miss this opportunity for you, and your friends, to learn some of the more popular Greek dances from members of the Olympian dance troupe. We will have drinks and snacks and plenty of great music at the Kostas Hall, from 10:30am to 1:30pm, all for only a $20 donation. Net proceeds will benefit our national and local domestic violence and rehabilitation center charities. To reserve your spot, please contact Johanna Pappas at 713 783 9015 no later than October 4.
Please also mark your calendars for our SPIRIT OF GREECE wine-tasting and light dinner event scheduled for Saturday, February 20, at Annunciation GOC’s Martel Hall. This year we will again have Evan Turner, sommelier and co-owner of the recently opened Helen Greek Food and Wine restaurant, to guide us through the evening’s wine selections and pairings. Greek wines have come a long way in the last 20 years, so please join us for what is sure to be a delectable and informative evening. Tickets are $45 and are available from any member of Daughters of Penelope.
The objectives of the Daughters of Penelope are to promote Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family & Individual Excellence. The Daughters of Penelope encourages and promotes loyalty to the country in which they live; cultivates the ideals and traditions of Hellenism; promotes opportunities of education; and promotes the spirit of cooperation and works closely and in harmony with the whole AHEPA Family. The Daughters of Penelope is non-partisan and non-denominational.
Today, the Daughters of Penelope is a leader in philanthropic, educational and cultural activities with local chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece and Cyprus. Also available are scholarships, on the district and national levels, for children/grandchildren of members in good standing. Any woman, age 21 and up, interested in learning more, please see Johanna Pappas or any member of DOP.
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Of Plato and Plowshares: What is Hellenism?
We all know the Parable of the Sower. The sower casts seeds everywhere, but only in the good soil does the seed flourish. Of course, good soil isn’t good by accident! Something happened to prepare the earth for the seed. In this parable the seed is the Gospel, the sower is the evangelist, and the soil is the human heart. But what is the plow? What prepares hearts to accept the Truth of Christ?
Historically it is a fact that in the ancient world the Gospel fared best where Hellenism was the strongest. Hellenic culture was the plow that prepared hearts for Christianity. When the Gospel seed fell in areas not well Hellenized—among the Germanic tribes, throughout Persia, in Jerusalem, in Arabia—the seed sprouted only to yield bitter fruit: Arianism, iconoclasm, legalism, and Islam. But wherever Hellenic values were accepted and celebrated—there, his-torically, the churches planted by the Apostles stayed Orthodox in their worship and theology, century upon century.
And so it is worth thinking about what Hellenism is and how Hellenism prepared hearts for the Word of God. Hellenism is not about olives in our salad and line dancing in costumes. Hellenism is above all a frame of mind, an outlook on the world that shapes every experience. To understand Hellenism, you have to know something about the ancient world in which it developed.
There were two kinds of societies. There was the tribal way of life, where people lived with their clan, and religion was a form of nature worship. Humans lived in fear of the spirits all around them, and worship was placating these spirits. Then there was the life of the ancient city-state, where people were organized into a society of different classes—the merchants, the artisans, the priests, the rulers, and the serfs and slaves. Fear of nature was replaced by fear of the king, who received worship as a kind of god, with absolute power of life and death over his subjects. And so whether you lived in the wilderness or in civilization, the operative principle of your world was fear—fear of “divinities” who menaced mankind either as natural elements or as tyrants.
Not so among the ancient Hellenic people. For them fear was replaced by wonder. Yes, they worshipped many gods. But when looked up at the sky and watched the movements of the stars, they did not just see supernatural forces at play. They saw mathematics at work. They saw geometry and physics and chemistry. And seeing this, they did not cower in fear. They rose up in wonderment, and in delight. And they explored and experimented and exam-ined this wonderful world.
To be sure, other ancient peoples, like the Egyptians and the Babylonians, had some knowledge of astronomy—but they always used this power to suppress the masses with fear of the king’s divinity—as if Pharoah or Nebuchadnez-zar were the ones controlling comets and eclipses. The Greeks would have none of that! Their kings were revered, but not as gods. For the Greeks, science—and the sense of wonder that inspired it—were tools for progress, not weapons of enslavement.
And so in the ancient world, the Gospel of a God Who is a heavenly Father, who is universal and is tied to no dynasty in particular, Who loves us as children, and in Whose love there is no fear, for “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:8)—this was a message that the Hellenized world was ready to hear. This was a God worthy to be wor-shipped as the Creator of the “wonder”-full world which they inhabited … the “kosmos,” as the Greeks named it, meaning the thing of beauty and design. The Greeks saw the world, not as the battlefield of a hundred warring
Of Plate and Plowshares Continued...
deities, but as the lovely sculpted artwork of a wise and beneficent Mind. And so in the teachings of Jesus Christ, they recognized the loving Creator God of their science.
But what about Greek religion, with its polytheism and all those funny myths of gods coupling with humans and turning out demigods like Heracles? Indefensible, of course, and yet . . . within the strict and absolute monotheism of Judaism, there was no room for the experience of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hellenic thought, by con-trast, was not only ready for the message of only one God, but it was also equipped to receive the revelation of one God in three persons. Likewise, the Incarnation made no sense in the mindset of Judaism, where God was so apart from this world that the thought of an eternal union of human and divine in one person was utter blasphemy. For the Hellenic mind, shaped by the stories about Olympians interacting with mortals, the concept of the Incarnation was less of a stumbling-block.
But it was not so much Hellenic religion that prepared the soil as it was Hellenic philosophy. And here we can speak of an achievement that no other single culture before or after ever came close to matching. The science of knowledge, the discovery of the mind, the refinement of human curiosity—and the recognition of its limits!—these are some of the unique accomplishments of Hellenic philosophy. And so profound was the influence of that philos-ophy in the ancient world, that it left some noteworthy marks upon the young religion of Christianity.
The first was in the fact that the early Christians did not speak of their movement as a threskeia (“religion”), but rather a philosophia. The Church Fathers viewed Christianity as an extension and perfection of Greek philosophy, a complete way of life guided by wisdom. For them, true faith was the application of God-given reason to the data of God-given revelation in the Old and New Testaments. And the black robe of the clergy in our Orthodox Church, the exorasson, is nothing else but the early Church’s adaptation of the plain, unadorned garb of the philosopher, the uniform for those who spurn outward ostentation for the inner beauty of wisdom.
But perhaps the chief contribution of Hellenic philosophy to the ancient world was the idea of virtue, or arete, and of ideals that are greater than life: truth, justice, integrity, liberty. Elsewhere in the ancient world men fought and died for gold, for cattle, perhaps even for love. Rarely did one find a man laying down his life for his ideals. But for the Hellenic mind this was the height of virtue—as exemplified by Socrates, by the Spartans at Thermopylae, and by Pheidippides, who ran himself to death to bring news of the battle of Marathon. To lay down one’s life voluntarily for the common good was one of the great themes of Hellenic culture. The self-offering of Jesus Christ and the voluntary sacrifice of the early martyrs were not alien to Greek ideals. The Son of God who lays down His life for His friends ( John 15:13) is to the Hellenic mind the consummate possessor of virtue.
As Orthodox Christians, we give thanks both for our Jewish roots and for our Hellenic heritage. To disdain Hel-lenism, as do some Orthodox in America, is to despise one’s grandmother. It is a rejection of the heavenly Father, who through the Greeks prepared the world for His evangelion of a “perfect love that casts out all fear” (1 John 4:18). Thanks be to God for Greeks bearing gifts, ancient gifts of wonder and wisdom that prepared our hearts to receive the Gospel!
©Copyright 2013 by Fr. B. Mark Sietsema
GOYAGOYA began the 2015-16 year with a kickoff event on September 12th.
Everyone enjoyed a great meal, seeing old friends, meeting new ones and playing some fun and crazy games.
Basketball practice began on September 13th. There are 50 GOYAns signed up to play basketball! This is the largest number we have ever had and are planning to take 5 or 6 teams to the Metropolis Tournament in Dallas this January.
The St. Basil GOYA will also be starting a new program called Orthodox Life. Beginning in October, the group will meet the first Wednesday of every month. This will give our junior high and high school students an opportunity to interact personally with our clergy outside of liturgy, participate in meaningful faith based activities, as well as a chance to socialize with their peers.
The GOYAns will also have the opportunity to travel to Pine Cove Camp in November for the annual Metropolis Southern Region Retreat.
This has been a great weekend for all who have attended in the past.
If you are interested in participating in GOYA as a member, advisor or would like to donate to help with travel expenses to retreats and the tournament, please contact Manny and Stacey Gallas at [email protected]
Pumpkin Patch Saint Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church -‐‑ Hope & Joy Youth Group
Please join us this coming month at the pumpkin patch!
Methodist Church 12955 Memorial Dr. 77079
PUMPKIN PATCH AGENDA
12:30 -‐12:45 P.M.: Arrive at Patch
12:50 P.M. Group Photo, then find your pumpkin!
1:25 P.M.: Meet back at Church: Pumpkin Decorating and Snack!
Contact Information: Dates & Times TBD Elizabeth Andreno 936-‐402-‐7265 Look for them in the weekly Bulletin. Vicky Fikaris 713-‐882-‐3900 November: Glazed Over Georgia Petritsis 832-‐535-‐7721 Athena Varcados 832-‐713-‐4500 December:
Christmas Caroling and Holiday Movie Day
S U N D A Y , O C T O B E R 1 8 , 2 0 1 5
Τα νέα του Ελληνικού σχολείου
Το ελληνικό σχολείο ξεκίνησε στις 14 Σεπτεμβρίου. Μετά τον αγιασμό τα παιδιά συνάντησαν τις δασκάλες τους και τους συμμαθητές τους και με κέφι πήγαν στις τάξεις τους, αφού όλοι μας τους ευχηθήκαμε ‘Καλή σχολική χρονιά’! Από την πλευρά μας μπορούμε να τους υποσχεθούμε ότι θα κάνουμε το καλύτερο δυνατό για να νοιώσουν όμορφα, να μάθουν και να αγαπήσουν τα Ελληνικά.
Σκοπός του Ελληνικού σχολείου, εκτός από τη διδασκαλία της ελληνικής γλώσσας, είναι και η προσπάθεια να μάθουν τα παιδιά τις παραδόσεις, τα ήθη και τα έθιμα του λαού μας. Στο πλαίσιο αυτής της προσπάθειας στις 25 Οκτωβρίου, μετά τη Λειτουργία, θα γιορτάσουμε την ημέρα του ΟΧΙ.
Σας περιμένουμε να γιορτάσουμε και να χαρούμε την πρόοδο των παιδιών μας!
Greek School NewsThe Greek School of our church started on September 14. After the blessing the kids met with their teachers and their friends and excited went to their classes. We all wished them ‘happy school year’! We can promise them that we will do our best to make them feel happy, to help them in their effort to learn and love the Greek language.
Our goal, besides teaching the language is to help the kids learn the traditions, history, and culture of our homeland. On October 25, after the Divine Liturgy we will celebrate the OXI day.
We would like you to join us and help us celebrate and enjoy our kids’ progress!
11am-1:30 Spaghetti Luncheon
10am Silver Stars 7pm Parish Council
8:45am Orthros 10am Divine Liturgy
8:45am Orthros 10am Divine Liturgy
8:45am Orthros10am Divine Liturgy 12:30 JOY/HOPE Pumpkin Patch
8:45am Orthros 10am Divine Liturgy General Assembly Meeting: following the Divine Liturgy
Holy Protection of the Theotokos 9am Divine Liturgy 11am Bible Study Galatians7 pm Orthodoxy 101 Ecclesiastical Structures & Experience: Clergy & Laity
11am Bible Study Galatians 7 pm Orthodoxy 101 What is Theology?
11am Bible Study Galatians7 pm Orthodoxy 101 Scripture & Tradition
11am-1:30 Spaghetti Luncheon
11am-1:30 Spaghetti Luncheon
11am-1:30 Spaghetti Luncheon
11am-1:30 Spaghetti Luncheon
7pm Parish Council
Saint Gerasimos of Kefalonia, 9 AM Divine Liturgy
Saint Dimitrios, Divine Liturgy, 9 AM
9am DOP Fundrasier
Saint James, Divine Liturgy, 9 AM
6pm GOYA Orthodox Life
Articles, photos and any other submissions pertaining to the life of St Basil the Great Houston for the Voice 2.0 may be sent to
Catherine Stellakis at [email protected] Thank you for your support of this minisrty to our community!