Dearly Beloved,a] us from on high 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” 80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel. REFLECTIONS: According to the Holy Scriptures, everything has a time to occur. Whatever occurs at certain times could be because of the time for it to happen. Our ancestors had a sense of time, not the time sense we have looking at the clock or watch. The scriptural expression is, ‘fulness of time’. What comes before time is called premature and what comes after is late or post. If we look at the evolution of life, humans were created after everything else came into being. There could be things came after the emergence of human race too. However, humans came as the crown of creation. Nothing in the universe as perfect and the most developed as humans. Above humans, it can be only angels and they are not of the world. For redemption to happen, there could be falls or flaws prior to it. God comes when human errs or fails. Before the fulness of time there can be chaos, darkness, despair, and troubles. Zachariah and Elizabeth were kept in the dark of humiliation and a feeling of disrespect, because of barrenness. Abram and Sarai had almost the same dark tunnel experience without having children. Naaman was hesitant to come out to the society due to leprosy, though he was a glorified warrior and military leader. The bleeding woman was in constant pain of social isolation and was always in discomfort with her condition. The demon possessed man was unable to walk free on streets and was confined himself in caves. All these people had to suffer pain and humiliation for a time. Darkness comes not to stay forever. It will go. Light can take away the darkness. As St John says, ‘What has come into being in Him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it (Jn 1:4,5). If we are in the dark, He, the light of the world, will bring new light of hope, victory and resurrection. Everything happens in life for good. Only God is eternal and leaning on Him constantly would keep us safe and secure. He is our redemption. In the fulness of time, our darkness will be replaced by His eternal light of salvation. Glory be to God in the highest! FEASTS AND REMEMBRANCES:Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! December 10 Sunday: Birth of St John the Baptist (Children’s Day) Epistle Readings: 1 John 4:1-10, Galatians 4:18-30 Holy Evangelion: St Luke 1:57-80 1 57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. 58 And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marveled. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him. Zechariah’s Prophecy 67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, 68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people, 69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, 70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, 71 that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us; 72 to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath which he swore to our father Abraham, 74 to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life. 76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, 78 through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon[
- December 04, Women Martyrs St Barbara & St Julian.
- December 06, St Nicholas (Mar Soke, Bishop of Myra).
- December 08, HH Baselios Augen I Catholicose, 48th anniversary, entombed at Devalokam Aramana Chapel.
- December 09, HG Mathews Mar Barnabas Metropolitan, 11th anniversary, entombed at St Peter’s & St Paul’s Church, Valayanchirangara.
- December 10, Mar Bahanan, Marth Sara & Co Martyrs, Mar Philoxenos of Mabug.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: Ecumenical Christmas Carol Competition at Niagara was on Saturday December 02 Our parish choir participated in the carol singing competition. There were twelve teams presenting songs. Our team sang excellently well. We got a lot of appreciation from the participants and audience and secured the fourth place. We congratulate our team for their beautiful presentation. Visit of Khadija Kathy Ali, Coordinator- Engagement & Volunteers from Earnestine Women’s Shelter Our parish has been supporting the Earnestine project for the last few years. Ms. Khadija visited us on Sunday Dec 03. She spoke on the Shelter project and the issues and challenges women face. She thanked us for the support we have been giving to the project in the past years. She has also invited us to visit the shelter. All charity projects are to be viewed as the follow up of Christ’s ministry and to support as they serve the purpose of the Kingdom of God where the poor and the needy are taken care of. Parish Carol at St George Area was on Sunday December 03rd We had a wonderful evening with carol visit in Brampton area. The participation and dedication of our members was highly appreciable. Taking time and effort on a Sunday evening, especially the evening before a working day can be too tiring. Participation of our children was so encouraging and exciting. Our families in the area hosted us with much warmth, they served homemade snacks. Nearby families joined at the venues. The fellowship we share and the cooperation we have for hosting and cohosting events like area carol is exemplary and highly encouraging. Sincere thanks to all the participants, hosts, cohosts, and the area coordinator Shibu Cherian for the support. Parish Annual General Body Meeting held on Sunday, November 26, 2023 We sincerely thank all our eligible members for their participation in the AGBM held on Sunday November 26th. The GB elected new office bearers for the year 2024. After obtaining the approval from the Diocesan Office, the names shall be formally announced. Congrats to the newly elected members of the Management Committee. Sincere thanks to the MC members for the year 2023 for their hard work and dedication. Nativity Lent (25-Day Lent): December 01-25, 2023 Another season of Nativity is here. In these days of Lent, let us prepare ourselves to receive Christ. Because He came, we are here today. Let us pray earnestly, seek fervently for solutions to difficulties that others face and let us uphold each other in sincere love. Let us find this lent as the journey of the magi and shepherds to the manger by accepting all the discomforts and challenges of leaving our comforts and to reach out to the Holy Infant through the narrow path of abstinence, fasting and prayer. UPCOMING WEEK’s EVENTS/MEETINGS: Hand Waving Machine for communicants will be there at the entrance. There will be the hand waving machine at the entrance for taking count of the communicants. Whoever wishes to take Holy Communion, on entering the temple, please wave your hand once at the machine. There will be a common absolution prayer for all communicants to prepare for Holy Communion. Parish Organizations to practice for the Carol Service We request all the parish organizations to plan, prepare and practice for the Carol Service scheduled to be on Saturday December 23rd. FUTURE IMPORTANT DATES/EVENTS: Please note in your calendar
- December 10, 17, Sundays: Parish Area Carol, St Mary’s, and St Paul’s respectively.
- December 10, Sunday: NEAD Youth Ministry Day
- December 23, Saturday: Parish Christmas & New Year Celebration
- December 25, Monday: Christmas Liturgy, Night Prayer third hour at 06:00 am, Procession & Holy Fire at 06:15 am, Morning Prayer at 06:45 am, Christmas Liturgy at 07:45 am, Holy Qurbana at 08:45 am.
- January 01, 2024, Monday: New Year Service starting with Morning Prayer at 08:30 am, Holy Qurbana at 09:30 am.
- January 06, 2024, Saturday: Feast of Epiphany, Morning Prayer at 08:30 am, Liturgy of Epiphany at 09:30am. Holy Qurbana at 10:30 am.
- Tender Leaves of previous Palm Sunday to be brought back.
Please remember to bring the tender leaves of the previous Palm Sunday to church before the Nativity service. It will be offered into the divine fire during the Christmas Liturgy.
- HTRC Giving Tuesday, Nov 28th. Kindly donate.
Towards supporting the Holy Transfiguration Retreat Centre and various programs aimed to equip our members especially youth and children, the Diocese of Northeast America has initiated a fundraiser named ‘Giving Tuesday’ (Nov 28th). It is now open and will close within 12 days. The goal is to fund $ 50,000/- for essential upgrades. The Diocese wishes our members to donate a minimum of $ 100/- per person.https://www.paypal.com/donate?campaign_id=GKTY7QZ3XQ528Please access the link below and kindly donate.
- Central & Diocesan Funds Collection Envelope, please contribute ASAP.
Please bring the envelope with contribution, distributed for various fund collections of the Malankara Orthodox Church (Catholicate Day, Diocesan Day, funds for Sunday School, Theological Seminaries and Mission Board). We need to send the collections to the Diocesan Office and Catholicate Office before December 31st.SPIRITUAL ORGANISATIONS’ UPDATES & UPCOMING EVENTS
- MGOCSM Alumni
In response to the interest of several MGOCSM alumni who have shown willingness to form an active forum, we are generating a list of members who have had any association with MGOCSM in India or elsewhere and are planning meetings and activities for MGOCSM Alumni. Please let us know if you have previously worked with MGOCSM. You can either send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org copying to the vicar at email@example.com or send a message/call to (416) 570 5610. Sincere thanks to all for their encouraging responses.
- SGOCT Parish Library and Book Club
Please donate books or kindly make monetary contributions for the parish library and book club.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDT7tcyQw1yZ1_yCG9AWStA Holy Liturgical Text for this Sunday We will be using the Taksa of Mar Osthathios this Sunday. May the Gracious Lord keep us from all harm and heal the entire world. Yours in Christ Thomas John Achen Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: (416) 570 5610Live-streaming Link Please see below the link for Sunday Holy Liturgy Live Streaming