Sunday, February 6, 2022 Weekly Bulletin -GODPARENT SUNDAY
FROM FR. GEORGE'S DESK
"Those of you who have been baptized into Christ, you have clothed yourselves with Christ; Alleluia."
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, the role of the Godparent in the Orthodox Church is very crucial. As the original Greek term Aνάδοχος (=Νονός/Νονά in modern Greek) signifies, the Godparent is the person who receives in his/her arms the newly baptized infant in the Sacrament of the Holy Baptism.
Since the introduction of the infant Baptism, the Godparent assumes the very important responsibility of guiding and bringing up, together with the parents, in a harmonious cooperation, the infant within the Orthodox Church, her Teaching, Tradition, and her liturgical and sacramental life. Along with the parents, the Godparent is charged with the unique and sacred responsibility of consciously and joyfully assisting in the spiritual development of the Godchild in Christ.
Under these circumstances, baptizing a child creates for the Godparent a strong and insoluble spiritual relationship not only between him/her and his/her Godchild, but also with the Godchild's family. Because of this spiritual relationship it is prohibited a marriage between the Godparent and his/her Godchild, and between the Godparent and the biological parent (father or mother) of the Godchild.
The Godparent must have been baptized/chrismated in the Orthodox Church. He/She also needs to be in full sacramental communion, and a member in good standing of a local Greek Orthodox Church. In addition, the Godparent should ideally be a pious Greek Orthodox Christian. The Godparent should willingly participate in the Holy Sacraments of the Church. The Godparent, after his/her spiritual preparation should also receive Holy Communion often, -always with the blessing of his/her Spiritual Father (Confessor Priest)-, in order to teach by example his/her Godchild about the significance and the uniqueness of the Orthodox Worship and Spirituality.
Needless to point out that the Godparent needs to have a good and close relationship with his/her Godchild and the Godchild's family. The Godparent should often contact his/her Godchild. Although great care is put forth by the parents in choosing the Godparent for their child, sometimes after the Baptism the relationship does not grow. Unfortunately, sometimes, the spiritual relationship, instead of being an essential, becomes a typical one. Other than the occasional birthday, Godchildren and Godparents rarely see or talk to each other… As it is well-known, a healthy relationship requires both parties to put in their good will and love in order to be strengthened. Therefore, this spiritual relationship also needs to be nurtured by both parties in order to develop for the benefit of the Godchild.
St. John Chrysostom underlines, "To be a Godparent is not a typical and accidental matter. The Godparent should guide his/her Godchild on the path of virtues. Apathetic Godparents will bring upon themselves great condemnation".
Of course, the best way for this spiritual relationship to grow is through prayer. Pray for our Godchild and his/her parents is crucial. By doing this, the Godparent is encouraging a relationship and giving it the spiritual basis on which to mature, with God's Grace.
Other practical ideas for maintaining a relationship with your Godchild are to celebrate the anniversary of the Baptism with a card or a telephone call. Along with the necessary learning about the child's Patron Saint, learn about the Saint whose feast day is celebrated on the date of his/her Baptism and share the story of that Saint's life with your Godchild. It is also useful and beneficial the Godparent, beyond all others, to mainly offer spiritual gifts, such as Holy Bible (The Orthodox Study Bible), Prayer Books, Holy Icons, Spiritual Books, Synaxaria (Books of the lives of Saints), and prayer ropes to his/her Godchild. By doing this they are giving tools to help their Godchild grow in the faith, and are helping him/her to start a personal library of the unique Orthodox Teaching and Tradition.
If you live far away, call, write, or email your Godchild. If possible, plan visits to see your Godchild.
The Greek Orthodox Church can play a significant role in honoring and fostering this relationship by hosting a Godparent/Godchild Sunday. By doing this, the Church, as a unique Family in Christ, motivates ALL Godparents to remind the significance of this very special, unbreakable and everlasting bond in Christ, and encourages the ongoing development of this sacred relationship.
USHERS - Team D - Kosta Hodges, Spiro Strates, Lisa Siokis, Greg Karagiorgis
CHURCH SERVICES COMMITTEE - TEAM 3 – Renee Kortesis, Chris Nichols, Pete Mastoras, Mike Kangelaris
READER – George Kalamaras
MAIDENS FOR CHRIST - TEAM 11 – Despina Strates, Ella Grace Moye, Vasia Sialmas, Eleni Kontos
ALTAR BOYS MINISTRY - Team 4 – William Nolan, William Pierce, Niko Vlahos, Vasilios Johnson, Nektarios Vgenopoulos, Panteleimon Leontarides, Andreas T. Kazakos, Alexander Burns, Maximus Kazakos, Anastasi Kazakos
This Week at the Annunciation
Sunday, February 6, 2022
8:45 AM Matins & Divine Liturgy:
Sunday of the Canaanite
· Godparent/Godchild Sunday
· Godparent 's Sunday Luncheon in the Fellowship Hall - 10 % of the proceeds will be donated to the IOCC in lieu of the Souper Bowl Charity Drive
Monday, Feb 7, 2022
10:00 AM Warm-Up America
6:30 PM OCF Meeting @ 66 Pizza - 3440 Frontis St., Winston-Salem
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
8:45 AM Matins & Divine Liturgy: Theodore the Commander & Great Martyr
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
4:30 PM Greek School: Regular Classes
4:30 PM Greek School: Conversation Class
6:00 PM Philoptochos General Meeting with guest speaker, Annaliese Wall, Founder & Board Chairwoman from "A Bed and A Book"
Thursday, February 10, 2022
8:45 AM Matins & Divine Liturgy: St. Haralambos, the Priest Martyr
6:00 PM Paraklisis to the Theotokos
7:00 PM Orthodoxy 101
Saturday, February 12, 2022
10:00 AM GOYA Snow Tubing Trip - Meet at Church
Sunday, February 13, 2022 (Beginning of Triodion)
8:45 AM Matins & Divine Liturgy: Sunday of the Publican And Pharisee
Coffee Hour OPEN