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Anniversary and Iconography in Poway - 09/14/16

His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin visited St. John of Damascus Church, Poway, CA, the weekend of September 10-11, 2016. At the hierarchical Divine Liturgy, His Eminence preached on the Cross and the connections between the Tree of Life in Genesis and the love of God that we experience in the life-giving death of Christ on the Cross. During the liturgy, the victims of the attack on 9/11 were prayerfully remembered.

The parish recently completed a major beautification project of adding iconography to the apse of its temple. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence blessed the new icons in altar and dome of the church. His Eminence honored the 40th anniversary of Archpriest Alexander Federoff's ordination to the Holy Priesthood and the ministry of Fr. Alexander and Matushka Vickie in Poway.

Additional photographs from the Divine Liturgy are posted online: (courtesy of Anne Cooper).

HELP NEEDED - Matushka Mary Perez - 08/27/16

Matushka Mary Perez was recently diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer after a year of suffering from recurring pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic cough, several infections, wheezing and fatigue. While the diagnosis does explain her prolonged illness, it came as a shock to her family and friends.

She and her husband, Fr. Dimitri Perez, serve our mission parish in Vancouver, WA called Holy Apostles. For eleven years, Matushka Mary has been helping her husband in his ministry, and has been doing a lot of work herself in the church community and beyond.

Matushka Mary is a Licensed Psychologist Associate, specializing in work with children, teens and their families and has a private practice which helps supplement income to support her family, which includes their precious and only son Benjamin.

As of this week, Matushka Mary has temporarily suspended her private practice due to her recent diagnosis, in order to seek treatment and work toward healing.  Because the family relies heavily on her income for financial support, we are asking for your generous donation in support of her medical treatment and her family's needs, which will be both numerous and extensive due to insurance not covering all of these needed treatments.

Please help by making a donation:

"Serv-X-Treme" Experience - 08/27/16

Thecla Shubert, of Holy Theophany in Colorado Springs, recently served as a “diocesan representative” for this national youth training event of IOCC. The following is her reflection on the experience:

Christ has called us all to service. As Christ says, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in.” (Mat. 25:35) In this modern time it is easier than ever to serve. Not only do cities have soup kitchens and food pantries, school organize donations drive and fundraisers, but with a simple click of a button you can send money to help people on the other side of the world. It’s wonderful that as a society we have united in this dedication to serve, but as Christians, we are called to take this a step further. We are called to be Christlike in our service. I recently had the opportunity to attend the International Orthodox Christian Charities’ (IOCC) “Serv-x-treme” youth leadership and service conference. There, twenty six youth attended from across the nation, and spent the week serving at local organizations in the twin cities, and discussing what it means to serve in a Christlike manner. We talked about the three tiers of Christlike service; building personal faith, knowing those you serve, and putting God at the head of all your service.


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