Friday, March 10, 2023

Second Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Gregory Palamas)

Hello everyone, and I hope that your Great Lent is continuing to bear spiritual fruit! We're really speeding along, aren't we?... towards the halfway point of the season. This past weekend found us at Divine Liturgy once again, and the theme for the Second Sunday of Great Lent is on St. Gregory Palamas. Thus, Father's homily spoke about monasticism and how we can live that out in our daily lives as laypeople. Especially during Lent, I love thinking about the home as our domestic monastery!

Speaking of such, we lit the second candle on our Lenten festal wreath on Sunday! Our Byzantine rite parish also hosted the first coffee hour of the new year (we brought some danish!), and we're really feeling more and more at home there. Everyone who attends the 9 am English language liturgy knows us know, and we feel a lovely kinship with them. It was nice to socialize and unwind with everyone for a spell after liturgy. Planning is in high gear for the Easter Bazaar, and I'm looking forward to helping out and becoming more immersed in parish life. Thus, when I found out that the parish was having a meeting on Thursday evening for all interested parishoners, I put that into my calendar. 

Thursday evening found me knitting at a table surrounded by icons and learning more about the challenging financial place that the parish is in. At this particular parish, it's difficult to get any kind of influx of new members outside of family members of existing members, and as the parish ages, there are less and less active members. Less active members means less income in the form of donations, and of course, the pandemic meant less events in the past few years from which quite a bit of fundraising usually resulted. So we spent some time strategizing events for the remainder of the calendar year, which was a great feeling. I'm currently praying a novena to St. Patrick that the parish is able to raise the funds that it needs to pay its' debts and stay afloat financially. 🙏 The Easter Bazaar is Palm Sunday weekend and we're all looking forward to it.

How is your Great Lent progressing, friends? I need to get started on some of my spiritual reading, but I do feel like it's been quite a spiritual fruitful season for me so far!

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