How Are Our Hearts? St. Christopher Hellenic Orthodox Church MARCH 2012

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1 St. Christopher Hellenic Orthodox Church 313 Dividend Drive, Suite 210 Peachtree City, Georgia Phone: Website: Very Rev. Fr. George J. Tsahakis, Pastor Tammy Soulakos, President, Parish Council MARCH 2012 How Are Our Hearts? Recently, I searched the Internet for links to Heart Health and over 616,000,000 sites appeared. That s 616 million! After reading just a few of them, I realized how overwhelming the evidence is supporting the correlation between what we put into our bodies (diet, exercise, rest, supplements, etc.) and the health of our heart. While God is certainly concerned with the well-being of our physical heart, it is the state of our spiritual heart that matters most. Our kardia (Greek) is the center and fountain of all spiritual life. In fact, the word heart is found in Holy Scripture nearly 900 times more than money, or even Heaven. Of all of those heart verses, one of my favorites is 2 Chronicles 16:9: For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the entire earth, to strengthen those whose heart is true to Him. The Lord is diligently seeking men and women whose hearts are true. What does a true heart look like? Consider these qualities from God s Holy Scripture. A true heart is a: - broken and contrite heart a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17) - clean heart Create in me a clean heart, O God (Psalm 51:10) - rejoicing heart my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation (Psalm 13:5) - serving heart serve the Lord your God with all your heart (Deuteronomy 10:12) - pure heart Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8) Page 1

2 Pastoral Remarks From Fr. George: How Are Our Hearts? It is interesting that Jesus taught the essence of a person s heart is revealed by his spoken words The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45) What do our words say about the kind of treasure we have stored in our hearts? When we speak, is it evident that our hearts are true in the eyes of the Lord? What are we hiding in our hearts? When life is not the way it is supposed to be, what does our speech say about the condition of our hearts? How are our hearts? Are our arteries clogged from the pain and pressure of everyday life; from un-confessed sins, envy, bitterness, and limited or no spiritual exercise? Are we feeding on spiritual fast food? I pray that during this period of Great and Holy Lent, we seek to improve our spiritual diet. Have we tried to feed the Word of God in our hearts? Likewise, when was the last time we saturated our hearts with regular and fervent prayer? During this special period, have we opened up our hearts so as to share our time and talents with those in need? Have we sought to purify our hearts by seeking God s forgiveness and those we have wronged, as well as forgiving those who have hurt us? In the remaining weeks of Great Lent, will we struggle to keep the fast to discipline our hearts to overcome the temptations of this world? Very Rev. Fr. George J. Tsahakis Chancellor, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta & Pastor, St. Christopher Hellenic Orthodox Church Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12) As we continue our journey towards Holy Pascha (Easter) on April 15 th, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22) Yes, brother, let me have this benefit from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. (Philemon 1:20) In closing, I reiterate that a heart that is true towards God will turn your life around. Why should we care? St. Paul answered this question emphatically: So that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power for us who believe, according to the working of His great power. (Eph. 1:18-19) Let us offer our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ our praise, thanksgiving, and worship, and let us seek His mercy and forgiveness today and always. Amen! Page 2

3 Have you ever thought about your quiet time as an intimate conversation with God? What distractions do you need to eliminate in order to be quiet? Having a quiet time is like many other activities you might do in life. To be successful, it helps to have a plan. If you ve never had a quiet time before, simplicity is important with any plan you develop. If you make it complicated, you re more likely to get off track. All you really need for an effective quiet time is a Bible and a notebook. The first step - Be quiet Philoptochos News Quiet Time With God before the Lord. The Bible calls it waiting on God. You start by simply sitting down and being quiet. As you do this, you ll find yourself calming down. The second step - Start off with a short opening prayer. Ask God to open your mind and guide you. Ask Him to cleanse your mind. The third step - Slowly read Scripture. This is where your conversation with God begins. He starts speaking to you through His Word, and then you speak back to Him through prayer. The fourth step - Write down what you discover. When God speaks to you through His Word, care enough about what He is saying to write it down. Writing enables us to remember what God has said to us. Ask God to show you His Word. Talk to God about what He has said to you. Tell Him what you re thinking about what He is saying. Talk to Him about anything else that s on your mind. There s not just one way to have a quiet time, but following a plan can get you started on a rewarding devotional journey. Faithfully, Dina Tagalos Kearns President Calendar Alerts: March 3: Hands On Day (Spring Cleaning, everyone needed to help) March 4 & 11: Philoptochos Membership Drive March 11-April 8: Collections for flowers for the Kouvouklion March 25: Philoptochos General Meeting and Board Meeting Visit the St. Christopher s Online Parish Calendar at for details about upcoming events and services! Page 3

4 Hands of Love : March 2012 For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore, I command you to do this word which says, You shall surely open your hands to your brother, to your poor and needy in your land. Deut.eronomy15:11 March 11, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology We will be collecting monetary donations to benefit Holy Cross School of Theology Centered upon Jesus Christ and His Gospel, Holy Cross is the graduate School of Theology and Seminary founded in 1937 and supported by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, an Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The mission of Holy Cross is to provide theological education and formation for future clergy and lay leaders of the Church and Society. For more information, please check their website: Thank you for your continued support of our Philoptochos Chapter. Wrapped in Love Although our next collection and blessing of Prayer Shawls will be on Sunday, April 15, following the Agape Service, Father George blessed the eight shawls already prepared by our Parish s dear friend, Mildred Mayson on Sunday, February 5, Two of these shawls and one previously blessed shawl have been shared with two women battling cancer and one woman whose husband just died. It is Mildred s hope, and ours, that these shawls will bring comfort, solace, and strength to these ladies. EVERYONE IS CORDIALLY INVITED If you want to become involved in this ministry, we welcome you and your gift of time and talents. However, if you wish to become involved but do not sew, knit or crochet, there is another way you can participate. We are very fortunate to have some very talented ladies who will make a Prayer Shawl on your behalf, if you provide the yarn. Please contact Susan Kleto at or about ways to participate or to receive a Pray Guide. For Additional Information Contact Valine Georgeson JoAnna Snider RESPOND BY MARCH 10, 2012 Page 4

5 March Prosfora Baking Schedule The following families are scheduled to prepare Prosfora in March: Saturday, March 3 (due Fri., March 2 by 4:00 pm) Helen Psihountas/Julie Skouteris Sunday, March 4 (due Sat., March 3 by 10:30 am) BJ Spanos/Susan Kleto Wednesday, March 7 (due Tues., March 6 by 4:00 pm) Georgia Lungaro / Claudia Sliwinski Sunday, March 11 (due Fri., March 9 by 7:30 pm) Evangelos and Emilia Moraitis / Angela Miles Wednesday, March 14 (due Tues., Mar. 13 by 4:00 pm) Pat MacDougall / Stella Christodoulopoulos Wednesday, March 21 (due Tues., March 20 by 4:00 pm) Costas and Tammy Soulakos / Zenais Bassett Sunday, March 25 (due Fri., March 23 by 7:30 pm) Becky Butler / Presbytera Marinda Tsahakis Wednesday, March 28 (due Tues., March 27 by 4:00 pm) Anna Pelky / Presbytera Marinda Tsahakis PROSFORA BAKERS: PLEASE BE SURE TO MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Congratulations to participants in our parish s St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival held Sunday, February 28, Representing our Parish at the Conference Festival will be: Christine Pelky Jr. Division Angelique Soulakos Sr. Division Athena Cahill Sr. Division We wish them all clear diction, good eye contact, and much success. GreekFest 2012 September 15th Please be thinking about what you and your family can offer to this year s GreekFest! We need committee chairpersons and co-chairpersons! Questions? Co-Chairs George or Julie Skouteris at Join us March 11 at 10:15 am, as we start to plan! Page 5

6 Community Calendar March 2012 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday :30 pm Salutations to the Theotokos 1 3rd Sat. of Souls (bring Kolyva) 9:00 am Diving Lit./ Memorial Service 10:30 am Comm. Lenten Breakfast 10:45 am Hands On Day (Spring Cleaning) Fast Day Sunday of 4 Orthodoxy am Divine Liturgy 10:15 am Procession of Icons 10:30 am Philoptochos Membership Drive 10:45 am Religious Ed 11:30 am Hellenic Lang Class 6:00 pm Pan-Orthodox Vespers, Presanctified Liturgy Community Family Dinner & Lenten Program 6:30 pm Salutations to the Theotokos Sunday of St. Gregory of Palamas 9 am Divine Liturgy 10:15 am Philoptochos Membership Drive 10:15 am GreekFest Mtg 10:45 am Religious Ed Presanctified Liturgy Community Family Dinner & Lenten Program No Church Service in PTC tonight 7:00pm Salutations to the Theotokos Annunciation Cathedral, Feast of St. Alexios, Man of God (Patron St. of Metropolitan Alexios) Orthros/Hierarchial Divine Liturgy/Pan Orthodox Celebr. Annunciation Cathedral, 18 Sunday of the Holy Cross No Church Service in PTC 8:15 am Orthros 9:30 am Hierarchical Divine Liturgy Annunciation Cathedral, 25 Annun. of the Theotokos/Gr. Indep. Day/Sun. of St. John Climacus 9 am Divine Liturgy/ Doxology of 3/25 10:45 am Religious Ed 11:30 am GOYA/Phil. Gen Meetings 12:30 pm Phil Bd Mtg Presanctified Liturgy Community Family Dinner & Lenten Program Presanc. Liturgy Comm. Fam. Dinner & Lenten Program Deadline to Sched. Sacrament of Confession 6:30 pm Salutations to the Theotokos 4 No Church Service in PTC tonight 7:00pm Akathist Hymn Annunciation Cathedral, Page 6

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