Sunday of Orthodoxy in Canton

The community of St George Serbian Orthodox Church celebrated the Triumph of Orthodoxy on the first Sunday of Great Lent, March 5, 2017.  The day began with a church full of faithful Christians gathered for Holy Divine Liturgy.  During the service, Fr Aleksa offered a sermon on the challenge of remaining true to our Orthodoxy in the midst of this busy and distracted world. Through all the peripheral noise, however, he reminded us that the voice of our Lord Jesus Christ calls out to us saying, “Follow me.”

Near the end of service, all in attendance immediately put the words of the Gospel into direct action as they answered the call to “follow.”  Lined up in joyous procession, the community followed the Gospel, carried by Fr Aleksa, around the church. With icons in hand, those present listened to, or sang, the troparion of the “Triumph of Orthodoxy”:

We venerate Your most pure image, O Good One, and ask forgiveness of our transgressions, O Christ God. Of Your own will You were pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh to deliver Your creatures from bondage to the enemy. Therefore with thanksgiving we cry aloud to You: You have filled all with joy, O our Savior, by coming to save the world.

After reading the Synodicon and Creed, parishioners once again entered the church for dismissal.

During the evening of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, St George Serbian Orthodox Church once again hosted a Pan-Orthodox gathering. With faithful from all over Stark County, the community realized our Orthodox unity in prayer.  The choir, under the direction of Stephen Winovich, sang hymns derived from the chant traditions of many of the jurisdictions present, and the stichera at “Lord I Call” were offered by a local Greek cantor, George Rafilitis.

The evening’s presentation was offered by the Very Rev. Dr. Daniel Rogich, a homegrown member of the St. George parish who now tends to the flock of the nearby Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.  Fr. Dan offered a thought provoking evaluation of Orthodoxy in America over the last 100 years, offering us a “grade” in five distinct areas, including our personal piety, our sense of missions, liturgical life and participation, and our educational efforts. The inspiring talk left those in attendance with a desire to go out into the world and strive for improvement!

After the seminar, Fr. Aleksa welcomed all those present, including the following nine participating, guest clergy:  Fr. Dan Rogich and Fr. Dn. Labib Bardawil, Holy Trinity (GOA) in Canton; Fr. Nick Gamvas, St. Haralambos (GOA) in Canton; Fr. Michael Corbin and Fr. Basil Shaheen of St. George Antiochian in Canton; Fr. Spiro Keyhays and Fr. Dn. Orestes Varonis of St. George (GOA) in Massillon; Fr Stacey Richter of Holy Assumption (OCA) in Canton; and Fr. Ionel Satnoianu, St George Romanian in Canton.

The day concluded with a meal and fellowship at the St. George Event Center. Faithful from almost every Stark County Orthodox community gathered in a joyful realization, both liturgically and socially, that we are all part of one body – regardless of the ethnic heritage that underlies the foundation and traditions of our individual communities.

Parish Community Begins Lenten Journey

On Cheesefare Sunday, the St George Community gathered in the spirit of forgiveness as they began to enter the holy days of the Great Fast. During the service, Fr Aleksa offered words on our journey to match our ‘spirit’ to our ‘actions’ – and that is the ‘toil’ we undertake during Great Lent. 

This year, at the end of Divine Liturgy, Fr Aleksa offered the prayer to be read at the start of the Great and Holy Fast.  This was a welcomed change for the community as few were able to be present for that prayer during the Lenten Vespers service offered on Cheesefare Sunday.

The community also gathered around their 2017 Parish Council in prayer and support as they received their blessing to undertake the great work ahead of them in the calendar year.  Fr Aleksa extended the blessing to all those present, reminding the community that although they have elected a Board to lead the good-work of the parish – the Board requires the loving support of the entire community to better ensure success in that endeavor.

May God bless the duly-elected servants of the St George community in 2017:

President: Nick Pribich

Vice President:  Vicki Becerruchi

Treasurer:  Don Demor

Financial Secretary: Dwight Decker

Recording Secretary: Paula Weaver

Corresponding Secretary: Lanny Hawkings

Board Members:  Mike Babics, JoAnn Breedlove, Mark Resanovich, Maxwell Sherer, Gary Trbovich

St Sava Celebration 2017

16266279_565289753641793_6323506982455465740_n On Sunday, January 29th, the children of St George Serbian Orthodox Church hosted their annual St Sava Celebration. Under the leadership of church school teachers Svetlana McCully, Rajko Radonjich, and Kathy Tobias, the children prepared a show that not only entertained the audience, but also educated them!

Starting with our preschool class, our youngest students crossed themselves, said the Lord’s Prayer, and sang B-I-B-L-E.  The primary grades followed up by going through lessons from Scripture, including the Beatitudes.  The final performance was by the middle school students – a ‘reader’s play’ of the life of St Sava.

As is customary at our parish, the children then had an opportunity to share their unique talents and gifts with the audience.  Featured performers were Lazar Pavichevich on violin, Sophia Pavichevich on harp, Addy Tompot performing an amazing dance routine, and Luka Kraguljac on electric guitar.

Thanks to Jasminka Kraguljac who led the kitchen crew for the event, and for all the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and community members that came out to support the hard work of our children and our teachers.

Lenten Pilgrimage: Journey to New York

svs2017With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Irinej, our St George community will embark on our 2nd annual spiritually uplifting pilgrimage to St Vladimir’s Seminary during the season of Great Lent 2017.

This year’s event will take what was wonderful about last year and improve upon it – Fr Aleksa, working in conjunction with the new Director of Hospitality and Alumni Relations, Matushka Robyn Hatrack, have planned a wonderful visit to St Vladimir’s Seminary.

The day will begin with a visit to the St Vladimir’s Seminary Press Bookstore followed by a campus tour hosted by Deacon Larry Soper and Sister Margarite.  We will gather at Three Hierarchs Chapel for a Panakhida (Parastos) at 5pm, after which our group will enjoy a meal at the seminary refectory prior to a wonderful reflection by Fr Alexander Rental (Canon Law, Church History).  Fr Alexander will explore the role of Repentance in our lives – a theme that we explore, liturgically, in-depth during the Lenten season. The evening will conclude with a reception where the trip participants will have an opportunity to mingle with a number of current seminarians.

The second day will be an opportunity for members of the group to explore some of the unique cultural and Orthodox delights of New York City. Participants will go in separate directions – some to see where our immigrant fore-fathers and fore-mothers came into this country via Ellis Island;  Others will offer prayers at the site of the World Trade Center; and others will opt to visit some of the various Orthodox churches and communities in Manhattan.

Our final day will be particularly special in that our community will have an opportunity to join the St Sava Cathedral Community for Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.  His Grace Irinej, newly-enthroned Bishop of Eastern America, along with concelebrants Very Rev Stavrophor Dr Zivojin Jakovljevic, Very Rev Vladislav Radujkevic and Rev Aleksa Pavichevich, will serve together – and our St George Parish will offer a visible show of support for the suffering, yet strong, Serbian community in New York City.

Download a flier and itinerary for more details!

Please be sure to fill out an online registration form if you are planning on joining this pilgrimage:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSflutSkHIQAhOPTZG7kQmMry-yVhA66WBkMC2f8ukt7efDeXQ/viewform

Christmas Celebrations 2017

image-04Beginning with Badnji Dan (Christmas Eve Day), the community of St George Serbian Orthodox Church reveled in the joy of the newborn Savior Jesus Christ.  Festivities began with the reading of the Royal Hours followed immediately by the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great.

Later in the evening, the community gathered in great numbers to celebrate the Nativity Vigil service (Badnje Vece/Christmas Eve). In a church building filled near-capacity, the parishioners gathered in prayer and festive song. The service concluded with the reading of our newly-enthroned Bishop Irinej’s Christmas message to the faithful of our diocese.

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Church School Bowling Event 2017

On Tuesday, November 22nd, members of the St George Serbian Orthodox Church school went to Colonial Lanes for an evening of fun, food, and fellowship. The students arrived in the late-afternoon, laced up their bowling shoes, selected their bowling balls, and sent them down the lanes.

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Church School Bake Sale

Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, November 6th, our St George Church School Children sold baked goods as part of a fundraiser for their ongoing activities.  Last year, the students raised enough money to purchase a new, hand-painted icon of St George for use and veneration in the church.  This year, the money raised went directly into their weekly educational efforts with the purchase of needed supplies and tools to make lessons fun and engaging.

This Sunday was also marked by the 40-day parastos for our dear, departed Daisy Verlinich.  Daisy was a long-time and much-loved member of our St George parish. During the service, Fr Aleksa reminded the parish of our communal responsibility to care for and visit those who are sick and infirm.  By the grace of God, Daisy had people who visited her regularly even though her family lived quite some distance away.  Still, as a community, we can always do better – and we are responsible for expressing our Christian love and visitation for those members of our community that are ill, homebound, or in nursing homes.

It was a beautiful day for our parish community!

2016 Kolo Slava

On Sunday, October 16, the Circle of Serbian Sisters (KSS) of St George Serbian Orthodox Parish celebrated their Krsna Slava. This celebration occurs annually in honor of their patron saint, the Most-Holy Mother of God on the feast of her protection.

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