Dear brother and sisters in Christ,
In his commentary on the story of the Gadarene demoniacs from the gospel of Matthew, the Blessed Theophylact tells us that the driving of the herd of swine into the sea was not at the will of the pigs, but rather a conscious decision of the demons, who intended to embitter the local residents due to the loss of a valuable herd. This is, if you will, appropriately demonic. From our own life experiences, we know that we can find ourselves disturbed and embittered by events or things that have little direct connection with us, and certainly little or no connection with God. This is not the only interpretation of the passage, of course. Indeed, in the prayers of exorcism read over newly minted catechumens the demons are mocked for not even having control over pigs. Still, it is an instructive perspective.
1. This coming week: We will start this weekend with a clean up of the church on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm. If you can help, please come and do so. We want it looking as good as possible when Alex Zarynow arrives to photograph it on Monday morning. If you have questions, contact Joyce Young. Alex, by the way, will arrive at 11 am on Monday morning.
At 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night we will serve great vespers, with Divine Liturgy following on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. On Wednesday evening we will serve small compline at 6:00 p.m. Inquirers class will be immediately thereafter, at 6:30.
2. Because there is so much going on in August, we will take a break in Sunday school for the children during that month. Classes will resume in September.
3. We will observe the 10th anniversary of the opening of St. Nicholas on August 11 with a pot luck dinner following Divine Liturgy. We are hopeful that Metropolitan Gregory will be with us, but I will keep you informed about that.
I hope to see you all this weekend!