Sweet Hosts- Sunday January 20th
Essa and Jennifer Fakhouri
Jiries and Rania Fakhouri
Kamal and Vina Fakhouri
Salem and Dalia Fakhouri
Weekly Bulletin Highlights
2018 Church Contributions: The 2018 End year statements have being mailed out.
Monday Jan.28th @ 6:30PM: Parish Council Meeting.
¨Tuesday Jan.22nd—Saturday Jan. 26th, 2019
2019Diocese of Miami and Southeast “ Winter Retreat” Atlanta, Georgia.
Fr. Kamal will be out of town all week for the diocese winter retreat. Please take a note of it.
We Would Love To Visit You!
It’s House Blessing Season.
House blessings have begun as we celebrate the Feast of Epiphany.
All those who wish to have their house blessed, please call the church office at 904-448-1855 to make an appointment for Fr. Kamal to come and visit you and your family to pray together and bless your home.
Godparents in the Orthodox Church
The institution of godparents (sponsors) is one that dates back to the first century of the Christian Church. Anyone approaching baptism, be they infant or adult, was required to have a godparent. In the case of an infant, it is the godparent that speaks for the child, answering the questions posed by the priest during the baptismal service. But it doesn’t stop there! The godparent is charged by the Church with the duty to make sure the newly baptized is instructed in the teachings of the Church, remains a frequent communicant within the Church and remains active in the Church.
In the case of a child, it is to the godparents that the parents entrust their child, knowing that the godparent will remain actively supporting the child within the life of the Church. Should something happen to the parents, it is traditionally the godparent who will make sure the child continues to be taken to church, and remains Orthodox.
Because of the awesome responsibility of godparents, it is all the more important that great care be taken when choosing someone who will take on this role. The Church does not allow anyone to become a godparent who is not Orthodox, for how can one who is not himself a pious, active Orthodox Christian give witness to living a life immersed in the Orthodox faith? The godparent must therefore be a person of high moral character, and able to inspire the newly baptized to fulfill their baptismal vows.
When the newly baptized approaches the holy chalice for the first three consecutive Sundays following baptism, it is the godparent who accompanies them to receive the Holy Mysteries. The godparent must, therefore, be someone who himself/herself is a frequent communicant. Additionally, the godparent must be someone who is active in the life of the Church, supporting the Church with their tithe, keeping the fasts, and otherwise living in all piety and holiness.
The person chosen to act as a godparent must be someone willing to honor their commitment to the newly baptized for a lifetime, and willing to help nourish the spiritual life and development of the child throughout their life. Thus, it is a very bad idea to pick someone as a godparent simply because they are a good friend. Godparents are duty bound to continue giving support to their godchild, even into adulthood. They must be someone who will remember to honor their godson or goddaughter on special occasions, such as a birthday or names day.
They should be a part of the godchild’s life during the great feasts of the Church, such as Pascha or Nativity. They should commemorate the anniversary of their godchild’s baptism by giving them a Christian gift, such as a Bible, prayer book, or icon.
Everything should be done to strengthen the bond between the godparent and the godchild throughout the ensuing years. They can take each other out to a restaurant for dinner, or receive communion together when possible (if living in different cities). Time should be allotted to cultivate a unique spiritual bond, and the godparent should assist the godchild’s parents whenever possible – especially when doing so enhances the godchild’s commitment to their Orthodox faith.
Because baptism has been called Illumination, and brings us out of the darkness of sin and into the light of Christ, the role of the godparent is critical. The godparent must ensure that the Light of Christ continues to shine in the soul of the godchild. Thus, this role as godparent is an awesome responsibility, and is not to be considered a one-day event. If you’ve been asked to be a godparent, but are unwilling to see this as a lifelong vocation, please decline the honor.
The Godparents in the Orthodox Church
by deacon Thomas Wilson
It is a rule of the Orthodox Faith that every person, child or adult, should have a Godparent at Baptism. To serve as a Godparent is both a special honor and imposes responsibilities, which last a lifetime. Along with the parents, the Godparent is charged with the responsibility of assisting in the spiritual development of the child. Whether a blood relative or not, the Godparent becomes a part of the "spiritual family" of that Godchild.
Selection of a Godparent:
The Orthodox Archdiocese of North America advises that the selection of a godparent is an important choice because the godparent is responsible for the spiritual up bringing of your child. You should think of the person as becoming a member of your family and a relationship that will be lifelong. Often family members will be selected as godparents but they can be non-family members as well. In Greek tradition, the best man or Brides Maid of the parents wedding will baptize the couple's first child. It is best, if you wish someone else, you should at least consult with them about your choice.
As the Godparent is the sponsor at baptism, it should be realized that only someone who is a member in good standing of the Orthodox church, in full sacramental communion, and knows at least the main tenets of the Christian faith and its ethics, as well as the meaning of the mystery of baptism and of the vows which are given in the name of the baptized which are to be conveyed and explained to the latter when he has reached maturity. Thus, the sponsor at baptism cannot be:
a. A minor, i.e. a boy younger than 15, or a girl less than 13.
b. Someone ignorant of the faith.
c. Someone guilty of overt sins, or in general a person who in the opinion of the community has fallen in his or her moral life.
d. A non Christian ( one sponsor has to be orthodox)
Parents may not be sponsors of their own children
In loving memory of Odette Rukab ( 9 Day Obs.), offered by Lewis Rukab and his children. May her memory be eternal
In loving memory of Omar Said Akel (40 Day Obs.), offered by Suad Akel, her children and their families. May his memory be eternal.
In loving memory of Musa Hanania (6mos Obs.), offered by Hind Hanania, her children and their families. May his memory be eternal.
In loving memory of Linda Saleh Yazji (6mos Obs.), offered by Fuad and Afaf Saleh and family. May her memory be eternal.
In loving memory of Christeen Kawwas (1 yr Obs.) offered by Yousef and Janan Kawwas and family. May her memory be eternal.
In loving memory of George Nasser (10yrs), offered by Suhiela Nasser and children. May his memory be eternal.
In loving memory of Khalil and Suad Samaan, offered by Randa Samaan and her family. May their memory be eternal.
In loving memory of Paul and Salwa Rukab, offered by Nabeel and Ghada Rukab and family. May their memory be eternal.
Euthymios the Great
Epistle: II Cor.4:6-15
Gospel: Luke 17:12-19
Arabic: George Baghdan
David & Renee Bateh
Said and Samira Samaan