Diocesan Assembly 2013
2013 DIOCESAN ASSEMBLY HELD IN JACKSONVILLE
During the last week of July the annual Diocesan Assembly was held in Jacksonville, Florida. Priests and lay delegates from across the dioceses assembled to conduct matters necessary for the diocese. The major accomplishment was the adoption of bylaws for the Diocese of the South. These new bylaws may be viewed on the DOS website. Fr. Joseph celebrated vespers for the assembly on Wednesday evening and delivered a sermon on carrying our cross. It was announced that the search for a new bishop goes on and in the interim Archbishop Nikon will continue to serve as our locum tenens.
CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN!
This year's Holy Week was especially joyful. On Flowery (Palm) Sunday we had an adult Baptism and Chrismation. We started at 9:00 am with the Baptism and most of the parishioners were present. On Holy Wednesday we had a record turn out for the Hoy Unction service. On Thursday the reading of the passion gospels was well attended. Holy and Great Friday was a most moving service. On Holy Saturday morning we changed from dark to light vestment colors and for the first time our new Holy Table vestment was unveiled. We began the Pascal services at 11:30 pm. We were honored to have Fr. Pavel celebrate with us. His presence allowed the gospel to be chanted in Church Slavonic as well as Latin and English. Breakfast was a joyful gathering.
PASCHA IN UGANDA
Fr. George celebrated Pascha with his parishioners at St. Basil the Great parish in Gulu, Uganda. Truly this is one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Father wore a set of Paschal vestments that were a gift to him from Fr. Joseph. Note the way they decorated the eggs compared to our red eggs.
GEORGINA MALONE IS BAPTIZED AND CHRISMATED.
On Palm Sunday with the parish in attendance Georgina Malone was Baptized and Chrismated as an Orthodox Christian. She was given the name Monica as a sign of her new life in Christ. Georgina meet us at the Florida State Fair. With family and friends present, she was received into the Church to the great joy of the parishioners.
PAN-ORTHODOX VESPERS HELD AT PARISH.
On April 7, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, the Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of Tampa Bay celebrated Pan-Orthodox vespers at St. Philip Church. Six priests celebrated the service and parishioners from many different parishes were in attendance. At the end of vespers a collection for the building of the medical clinic in Uganda was taken up and by the Grace of God, $8,695 was collected. Following vespers a Lenten meal was served by the parishioners of St. Philip.
LARGE ORTHODOX PRESENCE AT 2013 MARCH FOR LIFE
On January 25th hundreds of thousands of pro life demonstrators gathered in Washington D.C. for the fortieth anniversary of the infamous Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade. This decision, which legalized the slaughter of the innocent in the womb by abortion, was handed down on January 22, 1973. This year the march was held on the 25th to allow for clean up after the presidential inauguration. Marchers from all across the country gathered on the Washington mall to hear speeches and prayers from church and political leaders. Metropolitan Tikhon spoke and then, accompanied by other Orthodox Church in America hierarchs, led a large contingent of OCA clergy, seminarians and laity form all parts of America. With a large banner proclaiming "Orthodox Christians For Life" as a back drop the hierarchs led the Orthodox contingent in the march down Constitution Avenue. A prayer service was then held in front of the Supreme Court building. Fr. Joseph, who was in attendance, said that being surrounded by so many pro life supports of all faiths gave him hope and faith that one day this greatest sin of our nation will be again outlawed. He observed that the majority of marchers were high school and college age young people many carrying signs that proclaimed "We are the pro life generation." Father was uplifted that there was another generation ready to take its rightful place in the defense of the sanctity of life. At St. Philip parish on the evening of January 22nd, a molieben of repentance for our country's sins of abortion was offered and more than half of the parish was present.
Florida State Fair 2009
PARISH ENDS SUCCESSFUL RUN AT FLORIDA STATE FAIR IN TAMPA
13 hours a day for 12 consecutive days the parish manned its booth in the main exhibition hall at the Florida State Fair in Tampa. Despite the economy, overall attendance ecceeded 425,000. The reception of our display was beyond what we had expected. Thousands of visitors thanked us for "sharing such beautiful things with [them]". As expected, Archbishop Dmitri's miter, which he loaned to us, was the most admired item in our display. We lost track of the number of unchurched Orthodox that we gave directions to for the Orthodox parish near them. Inquirers were given more detailed information and literature and were invited to visit an Orthodox church near them. Innumerable visitors stopped to ask us what is Orthodoxy, and what do we believe. On the final night of the Fair a passerby was heard to say to his companion "All of the [protestant] churches and only the Orthodox are here to witness to Jesus." To Him belongs the glory." We have planted, God will supply the rain. Others may reap but "the reaper and the sower shall rejoice together."
Hamilton Isaac Royal is Third ConvertJanuary 25, 2009 Hamilton Royal was received into the Holy Orthodox Church through Chrismation. Receiving the name Isaac for the heavenly patron Isaac the Syrian, he became our third convert.
2008 March for Life. - 01/22/08Fr. Joseph attended the January 22nd March for Life in Washington, D.C. seeking to overturn legalized abortion in our country.
Theophany 2008. Blessing the Hillsborough River - 01/05/08On the eve of Theophany the parish gathered at Sulphur Springs Park to celebrate Great Vespers and the Great Blessing of Waters as well as to bless the Hillsborough River.
FESTAL ICONSHERE ARE A NUMBER OF THE FESTAL ICONS OBTAINED BY THE PARISH THROUGH THE GRACE OF GOD AND THE GENEROSITY OF THOSE THAT GAVE TO THE MEMORIAL FUND FOR OUR BELOVED FOUNDER BILL FINZER.