John the ForerummerSaint John's Eastern Orthodox Church

 Bringing Orthodox Christian Faith to Amarillo

 

Saint John's Eastern Orthodox Church

1101 Bell Street, Amarillo, Texas, 79106                            (806) 355-0683


Message from Father David

...." I will put My Sprit upon your seed"
Isaiah 44

..."O God save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance"....
Divine Liturgy

    As we approach the feast of the "...falling asleep..." of the Mother of God, August15th, which is a Wednesday; we must call to mind and heart the Theotokos and her decision to accept in herself the person of the promised Messiah, from the seed of the tribe of Jesse. It is sad and painful to note that this feast will not be celebrated due to our very human circumstances which we face as a parish.

   Our desire and heritage, our prayers and aspirations, seem guided by very human judgment and deliberation in this circumstance for us.  Yet we are called to greater things, when we confess our faith, and accept the Body and Blood of Christ into ourselves in the Divine Liturgy.

Our Struggle remains, as life in Christ remains, frequently beyond our grasp.  Our rhythm and harmony with His Love for us remains fleeting because of our difficulty in accepting His bountiful Grace.  We all too frequently accept the bounty in our lives as children with a new toy, a present enthusiasm which very soon disappears because it is such a small fragment of the life which has been given to us to live.   We engage with joy much like the seed of Christ's parable that falls on hard ground.  That seed sprouts roots that cannot penetrate the hard ground it has fallen on, and so it shrinks in the hot sun of the day.

We would like to honor our inheritance by being the seed that falls on the ground that has been tilled and cultivated by our forbearers.  Yet since they were human and moving toward being Christian themselves, their acts and decisions were too frequently just human. They lacked the inspiration which was given by a loving God calling them to behave in goodness, and in the beautiful dignity and self-respect so necessary.  Our forbearers were a challenged people who were  

martyred for their acceptance of God's will in their lives.  They were common citizens of an empire based on human law and a polytheistic religious environment.

Their discovery of a monotheistic God in Three Persons, who healed them through His Word, and laying on of hands, and proper worship suffered loss in this life.  Their goal was a life in harmony with the adoration and humility Christ exhibited before their eyes.  They could not remain ignorant of those things that changed them as they were witnesses to a man, like themselves, yet who was endowed with an authority far above the rules of their contemporary society.

Their miraculous observations opened within them the awe necessary to do good, and to sacrifice themselves as an example of true belief in a loving and Not a wrathful God.

Yet they lived within an evolving society.  One which demanded of them a kind of loyalty that limited the early Church from expressing itself in its fulness.  Centuries of challenges presented themselves until this present time.

God's patience was not tested by this.  He had sent His Only Begotten Son to minister to those believers in those centuries who were transformed by the challenges which formed their character and they called themselves Christians.

The Christians, represented a radical departure from a rules-based society to one that could over time respond to the needs and wants of all citizens.  Yet the society as such gave certain privileges to religious people but was unable to accept God's sovereignty in its fulness and its mystery which cannot be understood only through intellect or reason.

God's sovereignty can be accepted through the sense of faith and Grace that is evident in an omnipotent authority Who cares for all aspects of the Created Order.

Society continues to evolve, even today.  The peoples of the world continue to grow in greater numbers.  The inventiveness and creative activity also has multiplied exponentially.  Yet challenges still overshadow our human capacity.  The religious endeavor of Christian expression and authority were humanized rather God-inspired.  Thus, the Church was tainted by self-righteousness rather than the righteousness lived by Christ.

Humankind is now very human and expresses its humanity as "I am not religious, but I am spiritual."  Present day Christians thus are also subject to such belief and this then intervenes and confuses our lives. This is the distortion of the free inheritance of being an Orthodox Christian.

We at present in Saint John's Orthodox Church must realize our true nature as persons who believe.  We can overcome our individual challenges because in God's house "there are many mansions prepared for us."

We are called to become those who have the "eyes to see" and "the ears to hear" the living God of all centuries.  His love for us allows us to make our decisions manifest.  Often those decisions though fruitful in a human sense, lack the mark of "Thy Will be done."

In accepting our Orthodox faith and its way of life, is to accept that we are both 'religious' and we are 'spiritual’. We do not vacillate between or from one and the other. Rather we embrace both and hold both in tension that can and does exist.

We become enlightened by knowing a true expression of God-consciousness within our heart that influences our minds.

We at this time, which is God's time, have opportunity to "again yet again' extend ourselves to a greater commitment to the Body of Christ, St john the Forerunner Orthodox Church, Amarillo, Texas....

We are challenged to evolve to a community that speaks the truth, creativity, due diligence (not forgetfulness), a personal sacrifice, a vibrant hospitality, and a new vision of "how to" proclaim the Gospel 'good news' of Christ. God, Himself has granted us this moment !!.

Let us be nourished by the challenge it presents to each of us.

May we accept the tension, so we may achieve the character, the dignity, that is demanded...

Let us  say: "Glory to God in all Things" !!


Eritrean/Ethiopian Bible Study is held each Saturday afternoon at 4:00 and all are invited to come to this special time of worship.
Also, on the Sundays when Fr. David is not present we have Bible Study at 11:00 am, with the church opening earlier so that we may all enter and prepare ourselves through prayer and meditations.

News Letter
July Calendar
August Calendar


If you have not turned in your 2018 stewardship pledge card yet, December is the time to do so.  We cannot determine a budget for the year without a proposed income for the year.  Pledges are the only “hard number” that we have to determine our ability to pay the church’s expenses throughout the year.  It is our generosity in giving that keeps not only St. John’s operating, but our membership in the Archdiocese and the Metropolis.
See Carl or Rex to get your card if you need one.