Beginning on Sunday, April 24th the community of St George began it’s solemn procession towards our Lord’s betrayal, crucifixion, entombment, and resurrection. Fr Aleksa and members of the St George community, began the week by traveling to St George in Hermitage, PA for Lenten Vespers. Fr Aleksa was the week’s homilist, preaching on the temptation we have to be distracted by the cares of this world – cares that can pull us away from growing in Christ.
On Great and Holy Monday and Tuesday the community served Bridegroom Matins in the evening. On Monday they reflected on the hymnography sung, likening all of us to a whitewashed tomb that looks beautiful on the outside while, at the same time, containing bones or a corpse within. Fr Aleksa juxtaposed this with the reading of Ezekiel from the Matins of Great and Holy Saturday – the joy of our Easter celebration is that our Lord takes those ‘dry bones’ that we conceal within and renews them; he, once again, breathes life into what was dead.
On April 9th, 2016, St George Serbian Orthodox Church hosted their first annual Lenten workshop sponsored by the Circle of Serbian Sisters. This year’s workshop facilitator was parish priest Fr Aleksa Pavichevich who spoke on the theme “Quiet: Listening to God in a Noisy World.”
The day began with unseasonably cold weather and snowy, winter conditions. Starting late in the evening, and continuing well into the afternoon, snow fell, winds howled and the temperatures dipped into the 20s. Despite the adverse conditions, however, 20 participants from a variety of local churches braved the weather to attend the event for fellowship and spiritual edification.
On Saturday, April 23, our St George community celebrated the end of Great Lent and began our transition to the solemn worship of Holy Week with the joyous and great feast of the Resurrection of Lazarus. As in previous years, this day was marked by an educational Divine Liturgy for the church school participants with Proskomedia (preparatory) prayers being done in the Nave. The faithful present were able to observe and children were able to ask questions about the beginning parts of the service.
The St Sebastian Young Adult Association (SSYAA) of North Canton held a Lenten event on Sunday, April 3rd 2016. Immediately following Divine Liturgy the members, including students from St George in North Canton and St Archangel Michael in Akron, departed for the Catholic Worker in downtown Akron.
Upon arrival, the students received a tour of the two building facility that function together to offer meals to the poor, needy, and homeless in their neighborhood. This organization is runs on a completely volunteer basis and solicits no money for their charitable efforts. Groups like the SSYAA help this mission thrive, and various free-will donations keep food in their pantries.
Parishioners from St George Serbian Orthodox Church in North Canton went on a Lenten Pilgrimage from March 24-27th. Beginning on the morning of March 24th, the 13 attendees offered prayers for safe travel and were blessed in their home church. Later that evening they arrived in White Plains, New York, in Westchester County.
On Sunday, March 20th St George Serbian Orthodox Church hosted the Pan-Orthodox Vespers for the Triumph of Orthodoxy. This annual event not only commemorates the return of icons as an integral and necessary part of Orthodox worship, but also serves as an opportunity for all the Orthodox communities of Stark County to gather in common celebration.
On March 11th, St George sent delegates to participate in the 2016 Diocesan Assembly of the Eastern Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church at St Archangel Michael in Akron, Ohio. Following the service of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit, His Grace Bishop Dr +Mitrophan, along with the Dioesan Council, offered reports on the financial state of the diocese, along with reports on various events and activities.
On Saturday, February 27th, St George hosted the Cleveland Deanery Christian Education meeting. His Grace Bishop Dr +Mitrophan opened the meeting with prayer, followed by a warm welcome by Cleveland Dean V. Rev. Zivojin Jakovljevic. The featured speaker for the event was Rev. Bosko Stojanovic, from St George in Lorain, Ohio, who offered his thoughts on keeping teenagers connected to their Orthodox faith.