St. Mark Orthodox Church
400 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills, MI

SANCTITY OF LIFE SUNDAY, JANUARY 19,2020 

Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon

To the honorable Clergy, venerable Monastics, and pious Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America,

From ancient times, all who have believed in the One God have believed that He takes special care in the formation of each human being. As God Himself expressed to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5).

In the moment of conception in the mother’s womb, a human being comes into existence. Yet even before being conceived and formed, this human being is known by God. God exists outside of time, and already knows and loves each one of us personally, knowing what we will do and who we will become both in this life and in eternity. As Solomon proclaims, “God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things that they might exist” (Wisdom of Solomon 1.13-14). God wants us to be alive, and certainly, this is why we must speak against abortion and its legalization in our country: it is in opposition to God’s loving plan to bring a human being into the world to live.

For just as He consecrated Jeremiah a prophet so that he might speak God’s word, God brings each human being into the world with a unique purpose of speaking a unique word to the world, to reveal something to the world that will bring it closer to Him. Our lives are intended to be a period of sanctification, each one of us helping in the salvation and sanctification of our neighbor, and in this way being sanctified ourselves. Whatever occupations we have, together with the universal human callings to be loving children, siblings, parents or friends, can thus be holy and life-giving. For the purpose of all of our lives’ activities is ultimately to become sanctified images of God by imitating God in caring for others. Because of this, we must give every human being the opportunity to live their life and work toward sanctification, just as we have been given that opportunity.

And what does this work of sanctification look like? Keeping in mind that David instructs us to “turn away from evil, and do good” (Psalm 33:15), we must begin to sanctify ourselves and the world by preaching the truth about evil, just as Jeremiah did. Above all, we reject Cain’s first sin of murder, in all of its loathsome forms: murder against the unborn, murder through violence, murder by starvation or deprivation, and murder of the ill and elderly. We also reject greed, lust, and selfishness, and we reject harming others, being dismissive of others, and hating others. We then “do good” by being imitators of God in caring for one another, by speaking the truth in love, and by emptying ourselves for the sake of others. Remembering that “this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life” (John 6:40), we couple our efforts of care for humanity with a call to the world to believe in the Son of God, Jesus the Savior of the human race, who was “given as a ransom for all,” because His Father “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:6, 4).

Yet we know that despite our efforts to do good, each of us falls at times and does evil. But with incredible compassion, our God who knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb still loves and respects us. He still loves each and every human being, despite our faults and mistakes, even those who have made terrible mistakes and have worked evil.

Thus, if we recognize that our purpose in this life is to become images of God, we must also forgive, help, pray for, and love all those who have committed wrong. In imitation of our loving God, whose mercy is immeasurable, we too must love those who have been involved in the evil of abortion, showing mercy and compassion to the poor, desperate, and confused parents who have committed abortions, and praying fervently for the repentance of abortion doctors and advocates everywhere. We must love them and forgive them their sins, knowing that God loves all of humanity and is willing to forgive all sins.

At the same time, we cannot allow any excuse for abortion. We firmly believe that a new person comes into being in the moment of conception, and because of this, we must ever strive to prevent abortions from happening, making sure our local communities know of the many Christian-supported pregnancy crisis services available to unprepared and confused young parents. In turn, our churches must ever be willing to love and help such parents and their unborn children.

Thus, this year, as we mark the sorrowful 47th anniversary of the legalization of abortion, we remember to hate the sin of abortion, and to make ever effort we can to stop it from happening, while loving the misguided and confused ones who have been involved in abortions, knowing that God is willing to forgive all transgressions. In this way, we fulfill the purpose that God has given us in this life to become His images and presence in the world, while helping others – unborn and born alike – to have that same opportunity to come to “the knowledge of the truth” and fulfill their own lives’ God-intended purposes. For this “truth,” as we all should be reminded of again and again, is that:

God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” - John 3:16-17

With love in Christ,

+Tikhon
Archbishop of Washington

 

Adult Bible Study

Fr Lawrence Farley brings his exegetical skills to bear on the Song of Songs, one of the shortest but richest and most difficult books of the Bible. This balanced, verse-by-verse commentary examines the text on two main levels: both as a beautiful image of the love and the bond shared between man and woman in marriage, and as an icon of the great mystery toward which human marriage points: Christ and the Church (Eph 5.32).  Most Tuesday evenings 7:15 at the church.  Check Sunday announcements and calendar page for cancellations.

Sunday Weekly Announcements

This week's selection:

“Some suffer much from poverty and sickness, but are not humbled, and so they suffer without profit. But one who is humbled will be happy in all circumstances, because the Lord is his riches and joy, and all people will wonder at the beauty of his soul. The saints were people like all of us. Many of them came out of great sins, but by repentance they attained the Kingdom of Heaven. And everyone who comes there comes through repentance, which the merciful Lord has given us through His sufferings.” St. Silouan the Athonite, Wisdom from Mount Athos: The Writings of Staretz Silouan.

 

Remember to bring your clean container to receive Holy Water

The St. Mark Annual Meeting will be during coffee hour on Sunday, January 26th. 

The Current Member Voting list is found here:   VOTING-MEMBER-LIST-2020-1.docx

Minutes of the St. Mark Annual meeting from 2019 are found here: 2019-St-Mark-final-annual-mtg-minutes.pdf

Sunday-Announcements-Jan-19.pdf
Sunday-Announcements-Jan-12.pdf

 



Service Schedules
cleaning schedule Jan 5 thru April 5, 2020
cleaning schedule Jan 5 thru April 5, 2020
cleaning schedule Jan 5 thru April 5, 2020
Orthodox Church in America

The OCA website provides a wealth of educational, ministry, and liturgical resources.

http://OCA.org

Diocese of Midwest

Read messages from Bishop Paul and learn about news in the Diocese.  Find resources for Bible study, missions, and liturgical music.  Our Life in Christ bulletins found here:

https://domoca.org

Online giving now available for Mother Maria Ministry

CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] —The new website for the Mother Maria of Paris Charitable Ministry is now live, thanks to the work of Fr. Joel Wilson. The website can be found at charity.domoca.org.

Online Giving Now Available for the Mother Maria MinistryPerhaps the most important function of the new website is that it allows users to process online donations for the Mother Maria Ministry's fundraising campaigns. Shortly after the website went public, the Mother Maria Ministry received a $1,000 donation to match the Ministry's donation to Orthodox Detroit Outreach of the same amount. Please share the link to the Ministry's fundraising campaigns on your Facebook accounts, in emails, and on social media, to maximize its effectiveness throughout the Diocese of the Midwest.

The new website features ministries in the Diocese of the Midwest as well as in the OCA and in other jurisdictions and pan-Orthodox nonprofits. The site will be a place for parishes and individual Orthodox Christians to share ideas and learn about best practices concerning ministry work. In addition, it will also be a place to learn about the life and work of St. Maria Skobtsova, whose example this ministry seeks to imitate.

If you have any questions or would like your ministry to be highlighted on the website, contact Fr. Jonathan Lincoln at mothermariaministry@domoca.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Orthodox Christian Women of Michigan (OCW)

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WOMEN OF MICHIGAN (OCW)

The purpose of the Orthodox Christian Women of Michigan is to serve God, the faithful of His Orthodox Church and the world.  This purpose shall be fulfilled through programs and charitable works that promote Orthodox unity, fellowship, witness, Orthodox Christian values, lay leadership and education, spiritual growth and renewal and interpersonal support.

Annual dues of $20.00 is applied to presentations, speakers, and other related activities, charitable works, mailing supplies and postage.  Please make your check payable to:  Orthodox Christian Women of Michigan and mail to:

Loretta Gates

37 Scotsdale Drive

Troy, MI 48084

Include your name, address, phone number and email address.

 

 

 

 

Ancient Faith Ministries

Ancient Faith Ministries exists to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ through accessible and excellently-crafted publications and creative media that educate, edify, and evangelize, leading to a living experience of God through His Holy Orthodox Church.  Music, podcasts, publishing, and online store.

http://ancientfaith.com