WHAT: “Mission to Guatemala: Receiving the Mayan People into the Orthodox Church”
WHO: Fr. John Chakos, OCMC Missionary to Guatemala
WHERE: St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral at 1607 West Union Blvd., Bethlehem, PA
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, November 27
Fr. John Chakos will speak and lecture and will be available to meet the public and discuss the ministry to the people of Guatemala, some 100,000 to 200,000 of whom have recently converted en masse to Orthodox Christianity. This is a great opportunity to meet Fr. Chakos and hear about his efforts to establish the first Orthodox Seminary in Latin America.
FATHER JOHN CHAKOS is an OCMC Missionary to Guatemala, working under Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico City to help establish the first Orthodox Seminary in Latin America. He simultaneously is working with Fr. Andres Giron in helping tens of thousands of Mayan People enter into the Orthodox Church. Fr. John was the priest of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Mt. Lebanon, PA, for 31 years. He and his wife Sandy served as short-term missionaries in Tanzania for six months, and spent three years in the slums of Brazil with the Peace Corps before becoming a priest.
As part of its forty days of Divine Liturgies served during the Nativity Fast, St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral at 1607 West Union Blvd., Bethlehem, PA, has invited all Orthodox Christians of the Lehigh Valley and beyond to join them in Thanksgiving (Evcharistia) to God on Thursday, November 22, at 9am. The Liturgy will be served by Orthodox clergy of the Lehigh Valley.
To mark the beauty of this day of Thanksgiving, please read the following brief sermon from the departed Fr. Alexander Schmemann, who served his last Divine Liturgy on Thanksgiving in 1983 and preached this homily:
Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.
Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.
Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.
Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.
Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.
Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the “one thing needed;” Your eternal Kingdom.
Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to Worship You.
Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.
Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially, children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise.
Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.
Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.
Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.
May Fr. Alexander’s memory be eternal!
This website is a collaborative, “pan-Orthodox” effort between the Orthodox Christian churches of the Lehigh Valley, administered by the Lehigh Valley Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood. Our prayer is that it would serve as a witness to the ancient Christian faith, the Orthodox faith, the faith given by Christ to His Apostles and then handed down in every generation without any alteration for twenty centuries, beginning first in Jerusalem, and then brought to the uttermost parts of the Earth, yes, even to the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Though ancient, it is neither exotic nor esoteric, and though it began in faraway places, it is as fresh and relevant to every person in every place as the moment that Christ rose from the dead.
Our hope is that the Orthodox Christians of the Lehigh Valley may stand as living witnesses to this timeless faith, welcoming all who would seek healing, meaning and wholeness in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world.