Saturday, October 11, 2014

From our October Newsletter


October 5 – Typika service. 10:30am. Potluck lunch to follow.
October 12 – Typika service. 10:30am. Potluck lunch to follow.
October 18  – Vespers. 6pm. Soup Supper to follow.
October 19 – Hours. 10:10am. Liturgy 10:30am. Potluck lunch to follow.
October 26 – Typika service. 10:30am. Potluck lunch to follow.


  Children have a variety of activities to play with both inside and outside. These activities are available both during church, if your kids need a break, and after church. Please have adult supervision.

Readings (posted on the website):

October 5 – St. Aidan story: Teaching Balance
October 12 – St. Aidan story: Aidan's New Desert
October 19 - St. Aidan story: Castle Lessons
October 26 - St. Aidan story: King Oswald's Death

Lesser Feasts of October

October 1st 
The Protection of the Most-Holy Theotokos 
October 6th 
The Glorification of St. Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow, Enlightener of the Aleuts and Apostle to the Americas 
October 9th 
The Glorification of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America 
October 31th 
The Repose of Priestmartyr John Kochurov 


St. Gall:  October 16

One of the twelve companions of St. Columbanus, in 589 they set out from Ireland to establish the Gospel in Gaul. When Columbanus was exiled from Gaul, they went to Switzerland. St Columbanus continued on to Italy, but Gall was forced to remain behind due to illness. He remained in Switzerland for the rest of his life, becoming a hermit and renowned preacher, eventually refusing offers to be Bishop to remain a hermit. He died at the age 95.

A popular story has it that as St Gall was travelling in the woods of what is now Switzerland he was sitting one evening warming his hands at a fire. A bear emerged from the woods and charged. The holy man rebuked the bear, so awed by his presence it stopped its attack and slunk off to the trees. There it gathered firewood before returning to share the heat of the fire with St Gall. The legend says that for the rest of his days St Gall was followed around by his companion the bear.

It’s Bear Season!

Bear Story #1: Two nuns from a certain convent once came to visit Saint Seraphim. Suddenly a bear lumbered unexpectedly out of the woods and frightened the visitors with his appearance. “Misha,” – said the saint, - “why do you frighten the poor orphans! Go back and bring us a treat, otherwise I have nothing to offer to my guests.” Hearing these words, the bear went back into the woods, and two hours later he tumbled into the holy elder’s cell and gave him something covered with leaves. It was a fresh honeycomb of purest honey. Father Seraphim took a piece of bread from his bag, gave it to the bear, pointed to the door – and the bear left immediately.
If we had lived in the saint’s times, if we had gone to the Sarov hermitage, visited the saint’s solitary abode, we would have met there the holy elder with his face shining like the face of an angel. In the summer we would have seen him in white clothes – a coverall made of sackcloth. On his chest he wore a copper cross, - the same cross with which his mother blessed him when, as a youth, he set out for Kiev. In the winter he wore a coat and mittens.

Saint Seraphim. While he was generally separated from people during his stay in the hermitage—only occasionally receiving visitors such as other nearby hermits—the animals of the forest became his friends. Father Joseph related, as an eye-witness, that rabbits, foxes, lynx, lizards, bears, and even wolves would gather at midnight at the door of the cabin and wait for St. Seraphim to finish his prayers and come out to feed them with bread. It has also been related by several people that a bear would take bread from his hands, as well as obey his orders by, for example, fetching honey when there was a visitor.
Photo from

Bear story #2: Fr. Vladimir tells the following story about Metropolitan Peter when he was on his way to exile in Siberia. One dark night "he was thrown out of the railway carriage while it was still moving (apparently more than one bishop perished in this way). It was winter, and the metropolitan fell into a snow-drift as if into a feather-bed, so that he did not hurt himself. With difficulty he got out of it and looked round. There was a wood, and snow, and no signs of life. For a long time he walked over the virgin snow, and at length, exhausted, he sat down on a stump. Through his torn rasson the frost chilled him to the bone. Sensing that he was beginning to freeze to death, the metropolitan started to read the prayers for the dying.

"Suddenly he saw a huge bear approaching him. "The thought flashed through his mind: 'He'll tear me to pieces'. But he did not have the strength to run away. And where could he run?
"But the bear came up to him, sniffed him and peacefully lay down at his feet. Warmth wafted out of his huge bear's hide. Then he turned over with his belly towards the metropolitan, stretched out his whole length and began to snore sweetly. Vladyka wavered for a long time as he looked at the sleeping bear, then he could stand the cold no longer and lay down next to him, pressing himself to his warm belly. He lay down and turned first one and then the other side towards the beast in order to get warm. Meanwhile the bear breathed deeply in his sleep, enveloping him in his warm breath.
"When the dawn began to break, the metropolitan heard the distant crowing of cocks: a dwelling-place. He got to his feet, taking care not to wake up the bear. But the bear also got up, and after shaking himself down plodded off towards the wood.

"Rested now, Vladyka went towards the sound of the cocks and soon reached a small village. After knocking at the end house, he explained who he was and asked for shelter, promising that his sister would pay the owners for all trouble and expenses entailed. They let Vladyka in and for half a year he lived in this village. He wrote to his sister, and she arrived. But soon after her other 'people' in uniform also came..."

Bear Story #3: Father Herman dedicated himself fully to the Lord's service; he strove with zeal solely for the glorification of His Most Holy Name. Far from his homeland, in the midst of a variety of afflictions and privations, Father Herman spent several decades performing the noblest deeds of self-sacrifice. He was privileged to receive many supernatural gifts from God.

In the midst of Spruce Island, down the hill flows a little stream into the sea. The mouth of this stream was always swept by surf. In the spring when the brook fish appeared, the Elder raked away some of the sand at its mouth so the fish could enter, and at their first appearance they rushed up the stream. His disciple, Aligyaga, said, "It was so that if 'Apa' would tell me, I would go and get fish in the stream!" Father Herman would feed the birds with dried fish, and they would gather in great numbers around his cell. Underneath his cell there lived an ermine. This little animal cannot be approached when it has had its young, but the Elder fed it from his own hand. "Was this not a miracle that we had seen?", said his disciple Ignaty.

They also saw Father Herman feeding bears. But, when Father Herman died, the birds and animals left; even the garden would not give any sort of crops even through someone had willingly taken care of it, Ignaty insisted. On Spruce Island there once occurred a flood. The inhabitants came to the Elder in great fear. Father Herman then took an icon of the Mother of God from the house where his students lived and placed it on a laida (a sandy bank) and began to pray. After his prayer, he turned to those present and said, "Have no fear - the water will go no higher than the place where this holy icon stands." The words of the Elder were fulfilled.


Bear Story #4:

Christians of Egypt and Palestine distanced themselves from everyday worries by retreating into deserts, and the holy men of Russia built their dwellings in impenetrable forests. They were not visited by lions and crocodiles, but by wolves and bears.

In the fourteenth century there lived a holy recluse – the Most Venerable Sergius of Radonezh. A tiny hut in the forest was for a long time his lonely dwelling. The forest was full of wild beasts and birds. They all came to love the holy Man, visiting him often. Sometimes a wolf would wander into his garden; another time he would be visited by a herd of wild boars.

It once happened that Saint Sergius met a great bear right in front of his small hut. The bear was hungry. Sergius felt sorry for it and decided to give the bear his own lunch – a slice of bread. From then on the bear came to love the Most Venerable One. It would come to the hut every day where starets would regularily leave some bread on a tree stump for the bear to eat. Even when he had very little bread he would share the little he had with the bear. On occasions when Saint Sergius was praying, the bear would patiently wait for him to finish knowing that it would soon be given its treat.
The other Russian saint, Seraphim of Sarov, also lived long in a forest. His clearing in the forest, and his hut on it, he called “the tiny desert”, remembering the ascetics who spent their lives living in deserts. The Miracle-Maker Seraphim gave his love to every living being, be it man or animal. “Oh, my joy” – this is how he greeted all who would come to visit him.

It was often that a particular bear would come to hi “tiny desert”. He would receive food from the Holy Man, offer its head to be stroked and then lie down at his feet, as a faithful dog would do. – There, the Lord had sent this beast to me to console me, - Saint Seraphim would say, stroking the bear’s shaggy fur.

From Miraculous Friendships between Saints and the Wild Beasts by T.V. Kiselova

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke         Oct. 18                        Fr. Andrew

On October 18 we celebrate the feast day of the great Apostle St. Luke. He of course wrote the Gospel of Luke and also the Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke came to find Christ in person when he heard of His great miracles. He was one of the few non-Jewish disciples who was a member of the original 70 that were sent out in two’s to heal the sick and preach the Kingdom of God with authority - even over the demons (Luke 10: 1-24).

He is known as the first to paint icon’s, painting three of the most holy Theotokos which he showed her and received her blessing for, and he also painted icons of Sts. Peter and Paul.

St. Luke travelled extensively with the great Apostle Paul on his 2nd and 3rd. missionary journeys, and then travelled with St. Paul and was shipwrecked with him on the voyage to Rome when Paul was sent to stand trial before Caesar. When the Apostle Paul was imprisoned and about to be martyred by Emperor Nero in Rome, St. Luke was the only one left supporting him. St. Paul says in 2nd Timothy 4:10-11: “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica, Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me.” Tradition tells us that Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts were both written with Paul’s guidance and approval. St. Luke also journeyed and established the Church in many places such as Antioch, Italy, Macedonia and in great old age even Egypt. He was martyred at the age of 84, being crucified on an Olive tree in Thebes in central Greece.

His wonder working relics were taken to Constantinople in the mid 4th century by Constantine’s son Constantius II, and then were stolen in the 4th Crusade and the sacking of Constantinople, ending up in Padua Italy. In 1992, a request was made to bring back the relic’s of St. Luke to his original tomb in Thebes where he was martyred. This produced a great deal of scientific testing to verify that these were in fact St. Luke’s relics, and this was proven quite conclusively as a result. One of his ribs – closest to his heart – was given back to the tomb of St. Luke in Thebes, Greece, were it now resides. It is reported that many miracles and especially cures for eye ailments have occurred there, and myrrh has appeared on the tomb and a myrrh scent pervades at the tomb.  

In Luke’s Gospel he relates a first hand account of our risen Lord appearing to him and Cleopas on the road to Emmaus) when Christ after He has risen, walks along with them and explains the scriptures regarding the Christ (Luke 24: 13-53. They do not realize it is Christ they are travelling with until He takes bread, blesses and breaks it and gives it to them; and when their eyes are opened at the breaking of the bread He vanishes. Luke and Cleopas quickly rush back to the other disciples in Jerusalem to report this great and joyous event, and as they are explaining it to the other disciples, Christ Himself appears among them all again saying “Peace to you.” Christ gives them all some final instructions explaining from the scriptures how all that had occurred was the fulfillment of what was written in the prophets and the Psalms concerning Him, then leads them out to Bethany where they watch Him ascend to Heaven.

The Gospel of St. Luke is read in the Church readings (lectionary) over nineteen weeks always beginning on the Monday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross. This is known as the “Lukan Jump” as depending upon how the many weeks there are from Pentecost up until the Elevation of the cross, there may be some Gospel readings in Matthew actually repeated in order to begin the readings from Luke always on the first Monday after the Elevation of the Cross, thus straightening out the readings coming into the upcoming Paschal season. The original reason given for this is that only the Gospel of Luke contains the verses outlining the “Conception of John the Baptist.” – Just a little liturgical trivia for those who had always wondered what the “Lukan Jump” was.

Through the prayers of our Holy Father and Apostle Luke, may God bless and have mercy upon us!

2015 Orthodox Christian Youth Retreat !!!
February 14th — 16th, 2015
Camp Berachah, Auburn, WA
Deadline, January 12
Cost: approximately $160. 7th Grade-12th Grade. Forms will be available at in the near future.

Come see old and new friends, hang out, play games, swim, challenge yourself on the ropes course, and soak in spiritual truths. Enjoy a weekend of fellowship with friends, and dedicated time with priests to discuss topics like The Discernment of God and Getting Closer to God. There’s also an indoor pool, gymnasium, ping pong and more!

This retreat is coordinated by the Orthodox Christian Youth Ministry (OCYM) Team from
the Antiochian Archdiocese under the archpastoral oversight of Archbishop JOSEPH

 Nia Chopelas,

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