Mailing: 30251 Golden Lantern Ste E #380, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 | Services: 4949 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92604
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
About two thousand years ago, Christianity conquered the world with the joy of Easter, the resurrection. This joy was above all an answer to humanity’s perpetual question and grief about life‘s duality, joy, and mortality. It is only when we understand this that we can appreciate the great importance the first Christians attached to what might otherwise appear to be an inconsequential detail in the gospel account of the resurrection: Christ arose on the first day of the week, the day after the Sabbath. The first day became “the day of resurrection.” Sunday became the first day of that new time and of that new life which shone from the tomb. And over that life, as St. Paul wrote, “death no longer has dominion” (Rom. 6:9).
Christianity introduced a concept of life in which life ceases to be the victim of death. “O death, where is thy sting? O hell, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55). This new experience is the very heart of Christianity and its fire. Death is overthrown; no longer is death a hopeless divorce from life. A new day has arrived, the first day of a new creation which overcomes the limits of time and brings eternal joy and eternal life. That experience is the Christian basis for the celebration of Easter. May this new experience of life through Christ’s resurrection become our experience in this Millennium and always!
For all of you who celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection in the name of the Crucified and Risen Christ, I pray from my heart for God’s blessings to be upon you and your family that you may continually strive for spiritual fulfillment in your words, your actions and your thoughts. With such hopes, I greet you all humbly and sincerely with the victorious Easter greeting:
Christ Is Risen!
With love in the Risen Lord,
Donations and Stewardship (2020)
Beloved in the Godchild Christ brothers and sisters,
I wish you a most blessed feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ and I greet you with the most joyous greeting:
Peace of God! Christ is Born!
The story of Christ’s birth speaks to us about the mysterious ways of God. The Triune God acts in ways that we do not always expect! His ways are truly wonder-filled. For centuries, the Ancient Israelites had expected the Messiah. The prophets, especially Isaiah and Jeremiah, called the people to readiness and openness to God’s actions. Their message provided the people with indications about the coming Messiah.
Yet, when ‘the fullness of time had come’ (Gal. 4:4), the Messiah did not arrive as a conquering hero in a golden chariot with pomp and splendor. He was not robed in expensive clothing. He did not appear in the capital city. Throngs of adoring followers did not accompany him.
When the Messiah finally arrived, he came first as a baby. He was born to a young girl, Virgin Mary. The event occurred in the simple village of Bethlehem. He was sheltered in a place reserved for animals because the inn was full. There, in such simple circumstances, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth…” (Jn. 1: 14). This is the mysterious way of God’s revelation!
Through the Christmas story, Our Lord reveals that God acts in ways that we do not always expect. We cannot shape the mighty acts of God to our limited understanding. The Triune God is greater than our limited perceptions of Him, yet He reveals Himself through the incarnation of the Second person of The Holy Trinity God-man Jesus Christ. He acts in mysterious and wondrous ways to draw us to Him and to one another in love.
I wish you a most blessed Christmas and Happy New 2020 Year!
With love in Christ,
Fr. Blasko Paraklis
April 17, 2019 | Father Blasko
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Please view the flyer for Easter celebration with reservation portion for the banquet. I kindly ask you to send in your reservations as soon as possible. Here bellow is the Schedule of services:
Also, please plan on coming & attending the Annual meeting on Palm Sunday April 21st!
THE SERVICES OF HOLY WEEK
Since the early days of the Church, there has been a cycle of services celebrated during Holy Week and Pascha.
April 20th Lazarus Saturday Div. Liturgy at 9:00 AM
Vespers service and vrbica at 5 PM Please bring children @ 4:45 PM for procession with Vrbica and Bells
April 21st – CVETI ENTRANCE OF OUR LORD INTO JERUSALEM:Divine Liturgy at 10:00am: This liturgy heralds the end of the Great Fast and the beginning of Holy Week as Christ triumphantly enters into Jerusalem. The tradition, as the tropar states and the icon shows, is for a procession of palms led by the children. So begins our journey into Holy Week. During Holy Week, we fast from meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fish, wine and oil.
April 21st – Bridegroom Matins at following Annual meeting pm:Known in the Church as The End, the imagery here is about the Last Judgment. It relates the deep anguish of Christ as He prepares for His Passion. The services tell us to be ever vigilant for we do not know when God will come. These services are a triumph of the eschatological (last days) imagery in the Church.
April 22nd – VelikiPonedeqak Great and Holy Monday Presanctified Liturgy at 10:00am:
April 22nd – Bridegroom Matins at 7:00 pm.
April 23rd – VelikiUtorak Great and Holy Tuesday Presanctified Liturgy at 10:00 am
April 23rd – Bridegroom Matins at 7:00 pm
April 24th – VelikaSreda Great and Holy Wednesday Presanctified Liturgy at 10:00 am
April 24th – VelikaSreda Great and Holy Wednesday Holy Unction at 7pm, at St. Steven Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at 1621 West Garvey Ave., in Alhambra. For Holy Unction there should be more priests serving, therefore, all of us Serbian priests gather together at the Cathedral to perform this Holy Sacrament for all the Faithful. This service relates to the event when the harlot anoints Christ and is forgiven. On this day we customarily anoint the people with Holy Oil as a sign of healing and remission of sins.
April 25th – Veliki ^etvrtak Great and Holy Thursday: Holy Vespers Liturgy of Holy Thursday at 10:00am: This solemn Liturgy commemorates the First Eucharist also known as Red Thursday. The darkness of the week is broken slightly because of the importance of the Eucharistic event. Traditionally the priest prepares the reserve sacrament of the year. The passion of Christ is now close.
April 25th – Veliki ^etvrtak – Great and Holy Thursday Matins of Holy Friday Thursday evening at 7:00pm. The service, commonly known as “The Twelve Gospels”as the Church, remembers the betrayal and crucifixion of Christ by reading the twelve Gospel accounts. A climatic point of Holy Week emphasizing the reality of actions.
April 26th – VelikiPetak – Great and Holy Friday Royal Hours at 10:00am: Known as Royal because there is a Gospel reading and the Emperor would attend this service. It recounts the entire Gospel and Passion of Jesus Christ.
April 26th – Veliki Petak – Great and Holy Friday Vespers at 4:00pm: Remembering the crucifixion and death of Christ. There is a solemn procession as the burial shroud (plashtanica) is brought out to the people. Christ is laid in the tomb and our vigil of the Resurrection begins.
April 26th – Like every year, please bring children for coloring of eggs from 5 – 7 PM
April 26th – Veliki Petak – Great and Holy Friday Matins of Holy Saturday on Friday evening at 7:00pm: Known as the Praises of the Lamentations, the service begins the Sabbath as Christ lays in rest in the tomb. Often seen as a funeral service for Christ, in fact it is a commemoration of the law and love of God towards His people.
April 27th – Velika Subota – Great and Holy Saturday and The Annuciation Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday at 10:00am: The death of Christ is linked with the creative acts of God. It is here that Christ descends into Hell and breaks the doors. The service inaugurates the paschal celebration as the service is bright and uplifting. The tomb is revealed as a place of life.
April 27th – VelikaSubota Vaskrsno jutrewe- Great and Holy Saturday:The Services of the Great and Holy Pascha Saturday evening starting at 11:30pm: The Joy of Joys, Holiday of Holidays, celebrating Christ’s Resurrection. The service begins with nocturn anticipating the Resurrection. The procession follows at midnight announcing the Resurrection to the world. We then celebrate the Paschal matins.Baskets will be blessed after Ruserrecional Matins on Pascha night and again following Divine Liturgy on Sunday.
April 28th – “VASKRSEWE HRISTOVO” – PASCHA CELEBRATION, Divine Liturgy at 10:00am at Parish Center, 2148 Michelson Dr., Irvine. This is the Great and Joyous Liturgy celebrating the Pascha of our Lord.The Parish celebrates the Resurrection with a feast and events for the children and adults. Banquet will be held after the Divine Liturgy at St. Mark Antiochian Church. See the detailed information later in this Newsletter. Serbian Music and entertainment will be provided by Paganini Orchestra.
April 29th – Vaskrsni ponedeqak -Bright Week. The Divine Liturgy will be held at 10:00 am.
April 30th – Vaskrsni utorak -Bright Week (on Tuesday -no Liturgy here – there will be Liturgy @ the Monastery in Escondido) and on Monday, April 16th, the Divine Liturgy will be held at 10:00 am.
Also, dear Brothers and Sisters: One Serbian Lady is looking for a domestic job to take care of an elderly person or children. If you know of anyone who needs such a worker please let me know.
Wishing you all a blessed remainder of Holy Great Lent,
With love in Christ,
October 24, 2017 | Father Blasko
Dear Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos Serbian Orthodox Church Parishioners and Friends,
There are only five weeks remaining in the Million Dollar Match. Now is the time, before this great opportunity expires, to make a donation to our Building Fund that will be matched, i.e., doubled, by His Excellency Mr. Milan Panic.
May 21, 2017 | Father Blasko
On behalf of the board, I would like to give you an overview of three interwoven initiatives that are underway to ensure the health and longevity of our church community. Many of you have been involved in sustaining our place of worship, our community, and our unique cultural lineages. Some of you have joined us recently, and some of have persevered since the inception almost 19 years ago. We are grateful for all that each of you has done. The time has come, through the grace of God and generosity of Mr. Milan Panic, for us to make more substantial progress toward ensuring that we, and those that follow, will have a permanent structure in Orange County to worship together, to interact as a supportive community, and to continue the unique identities of our Orthodox Faith and our cultural lineages.
Along with managing the day to day operations of our parish, the three interlaced initiatives include a survey, the development of our purpose/vision/values guiding document, and the necessary funding to secure a permanent structure. This survey will provide crucial information about our hopes and dreams for this parish. It will also provide insight into what we envision for this parish’s permanent structure. The information from the survey will be foundational for the other two initiatives and will guide our future actions on these initiatives. Please take the time to share your experiences and views through this survey. As you will see in the introduction of the survey, your individual responses will be held confidential. The compiled data will first be shared with the board and then with the whole parish. Narandja Milanovich, BSME, MME, MA Counseling, MA Psychology, Ph.D. Psychology along with her husband Gary Eagleson, will compile the results of the survey and present this data to the church board and parish.
The purpose/vision/values document will initially be drafted by a smaller group of parishioners, for practical purposes, followed by the engagement of the whole parish. For clarity, below are some thoughts on what this document is about.
Our purpose (or mission) statement will answer the question ‘Why does this parish exist?’ in the larger context of the Church as a living manifestation of our spiritual beliefs. A purpose statement (or mission statement) is something that will directionally guide those that follow us for decades to come. The vision answers the question, ‘What will be accomplished?’ in the next 5-10 years in pursuit of our purpose/mission. The vision statement speaks to specific, concrete objectives and goals that we can measure. The values or rules of engagement/conduct provide guidance of how we are to act and be as we move toward our vision. All three elements: purpose/vision/values give direction to our decisions as we search for funding, securing a permanent structure, and how we conduct our day to day operations in the parish.
We will ensure alignment of the contents of purpose/vision/values to coincide and align with our Serbian Orthodox Church’s Western Diocese’s mission. It will be the primary guiding document for a future decision regarding securing our permanent structure and our day -to- day operations. Narandja Milanovich, Gary Eagleson, and Mila Evanovich will provide facilitation for the development of our guiding document.
The ongoing search for funding and securing of our permanent structure has entered a unique six-month phase. Mr. Milan Panic’s generous offer to match up to one million dollars will expire November 13, 2017, so there is much to accomplish given this unique opportunity. Spearheading the matching fund’s effort is John Vukasovich, and he will be looking for expertise and help. Our vision of what we foresee for our future parish facility must be clear and concise because it will guide our implementation strategy. The implementation strategy will in turn set priority and timing for which structures (cultural center, hall, sanctuary, et al.) will be secured and made operational first. Please make sure you answer the last question in the survey pertaining to the area where you want to get involved, using your unique skills and experiences.
I am hopeful that we are entering a more secure and sustainable phase of our parish where we can continue our spiritual development, get and give support as a community, and ensure the longevity of our unique Orthodox Christian and cultural lineages.
Blessings to each of you,
Father Blasko on behalf of