Pastor: Fr John Vazquez | (518) 462-0579 |


Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!

This week we will begin looking at the actual words of the Creed itself but before we do that I want to speak to why it is so important for us to insist that this Creed be preserved and taught. 

Often, I hear the comment (or something like it)—Do these dogmatic things really matter when it comes to our belief in Christ? Don’t most Christians believe the same thing generally? At first glance this objection seems to deserve consideration—do we really need to argue about who God is, what He has done for us and how we participate in that? Well, lets take a moment to think about this proposition—differences don’t really matter, its the similarities that are important. 

Imagine that you are in pain and I have two small white pills in my hand and I tell you that one is arsenic (poison) and the other aspirin (pain killer) you would, no doubt, be very concerned with which was which…Sometimes, despite similarities, differences matter… Sometimes differences are life and death…

Now, does this mean that anyone who does not confess the Creed that we do as Orthodox Christians is going to hell. NO! As I have said many times—who goes to heaven and who goes to hell is up to God, not me and not you. So we return again to the question of why these dogmatic issues really matter. Take another example.

Imagine that you are sick, and the doctor tells you that you there are many medicines that you can take that might help you. Some are more potent than others but there is one medicine that is completely pure and guaranteed to heal you. Which medicine would you take? Obviously you would take the one that is guaranteed to heal you. Our Creed, that expresses our Orthodox Faith, is this pure medicine—guaranteed to heal us if we commit to it fully. 

If we believe that the Church is Christ’s body (Col 1.18) then it would follow that the Church is the presence of Christ here on earth and it is our Lord Jesus Christ who heals us. We need Christ and the Orthodox Church is the fullest and truest expression—the most perfect presentation of Jesus Christ to humanity…This understanding is why the Church has always fought to preserve the teachings and dogma’s about who God is, what He has done for us in His Son and how we can participate in that. If the dogma’s about who Christ is and the doctrines that support those are not preserved in their fullness then the presence of Christ on earth is in jeopardy. Salvation—union with God—comes through Jesus Christ and He is made present to us through His body—the Church. How do we join ourselves to our Lord’s body? We begin with the first word(s) of the Creed.

When we utter the first two words of the Creed—I believe (one word in Greek—πιστεύω)—then we not only declare we understand and confess that something is true but we also open our hearts to that something—in the case of the Creed, we open our hearts to the God who we profess in the Creed. We can remember that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness (Rom 4.3). In other words, Abraham’s faith—his belief (the same root word in Greek)—opened him up to God’s transforming power. We also see that in so many of the healings that our Lord did that he asked the people if they believed He was able to do what they were asking—were their hearts opened to the transformative and healing power of God? 

Remember this when you utter these words I believe—remember that you are opening yourself up to the transformative power of this God—the One True God—that you are confessing by saying this Creed and by participating in this holy liturgy that He has given us. This confession of belief is so that we can have real and true communion with Him for the healing of our souls and bodies. 

Lord, I believe, heal me.

With love in our risen Lord,

Fr John

Services and Events

Friday, May 31st—9am—Paraklesis Service of St George

Saturday, June 1st—1pm–8pm—Parish Council Retreat @ St George Great Vespers @ 5PM

Sunday, June 2nd—9am—Orthros and Divine Liturgy memorial for Rita Rizk with meal to follow


Friday, June 7th—9am—Paraklesis Service of St George

Saturday, June 8th—5pm—Great Vespers 

Sunday, June 9th—9am—Orthros and Divine Liturgy followed by Memorial for Fr Gregory DesMarais

Tuesday, June 11th—6pm—Divine Liturgy for the Leave-taking of Pascha at ST SOPHIA'S on Whitehall Rd

Wednesday, June 12th—6pm—Great Vespers w/Litia and Artoklasia for the Great Feast of Ascension 

Thursday, June 13th—9am—Orthros and Divine Liturgy for the Great Feast of Ascension

Church Calendar


But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2 Pet 3.18

Read Metropolitan Saba's weekly teaching on the Fullness of Life HERE

Get some caffeine for the soul with Coffee with the Fathers. WE ARE ON A HIATUS UNTIL SEPTEMBER when we plan to begin studying Hymns on Paradise by St Ephraim the Syrian. 

Study the Scriptures with us—Bible Study Saturday evenings at 6pm after vespers. WE ARE ON A HIATUS UNTIL SEPTEMBER when we plan to continue studying the Gospel of Matthew.

Click HERE for some resources for learning about our Faith

Click HERE for a great article on advice for mothers. 

Click HERE for some resources for learning about Holy Pascha!

Our Archdiocese is hosting a conference on Christian Education June 6–9. This is a great opportunity to learn about education from an Orthodox Christian lens. The speakers will be outstanding and the opportunity to network, learn and grow with other educators will be wonderful. If you are interested in registering for the event click HERE

Internships for young adults, June and/or July: Men ages 18-35 can apply now to live and work at The Monastery of Our Lady and St. Laurence in Colorado, even if they're not considering a monastic vocation. Starting this Friday, young men and women can apply for internships that will teach servant leadership in Alaska, Puerto Rico and Texas for the 2024-25 school year.

Orthodox Young Professionals Conference, July 25-28: In Anaheim, Calif., attendees will have opportunities for spiritual growth, and build future friendships and lasting memories. Be one of the first fifty people to register and earn a discount! (Please also share the attached flier.)


Did You Know...that Christ is Risen!...and...

*Our next teen event is scheduled to be a hike on Saturday June 15th. Have your teens join us for some fellowship, a workout and some discussion on the "Mountain of God."

*We will be having a parish softball game on Father's Day June 16th. Come enjoy a meal and some fun together as a community. 

*St Andrew OCA camp is in need of female counselors for the summer. Please speak with me or Melody Holman if you know of anyone who is interested. 

*The Parish Life Conference is in Montreal this summer (July 4–7). Find out more here:

Parish Prayer List

"Remember Me O Lord When You Come Into Your Kingdom." Lk 23.42

Please include in your daily prayers the following. Contact me to have someone added to the list. These are the names that will be remembered during the Divine Liturgy.


Bishop Alexander, Fr Gregory Potter, Fr Andrew, Fr Pat, Fr Joseph, Fr Chrysostom, Fr Peter and Matushka Sophia,  Dn Jorge, Dn Horia, Lamia, The Shahin Family, The Ruff Family, Will, Diane, Leila, Helen, Lucy, Camile, Marsha, Rana, Caroline, Jessica, Irenei, Frederick, Cathie, Ugyen, Tshering, Tenzin, Mary, Georgette, Presbytera Marina, Hassib, Alex, Raymond, Andrew, George, Elizabeth, Elena Marie

All those suffering from illness, violence and want in this country and throughout the world and especially those in Ukraine Gaza and the middle east


Fr Gregory DesMarais, Fr Alvian, Jeninne (5.16), Ken (5.16), those who have lost their lives and who have no one to pray for them, those who have passed in the conflict in Ukraine and the middle east.

Why do we pray for the dead?

Divine Liturgy Variables for Sunday, June 02, 2024—Tone 4 / Eothinon 7

Fifth Sunday of Pascha: Sunday of the Samaritan Woman & After-feast of Mid-Pentecost

Nikephoros the Confessor, archbishop of Constantinople; New-martyrs Demetrios of Philadelphia, John of Trebizond, and Constantine of Athos


 The Priest begins Divine Liturgy with “Blessed is the Kingdom” and the choir responds “Amen.” Bearing the Paschal Candle, the Priest then leads the singing of the Paschal Apolytikion and censes the west side of the Altar Table.

Priest: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death; and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

The Choir then sings this twice, and the Liturgy continues with the Great Litany.


Verse: Shout with joy to God, all the earth; sing to His Name, give glory to His praises.

Refrain: Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

Verse: Say to God: How awesome are Thy works; let all the earth worship Thee, and sing to Thee. Let it sing a song to Thy Name, O Most High. (Refrain)

Glory… Both now… (Refrain)


Verse: May God have mercy upon us, and bless us, and may He cause His face to shine upon us, and have mercy upon us.

Refrain: Save us, O Son of God, Who art risen from the dead; who sing to Thee. Alleluia.

Verse: That Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy salvation among all nations; let the people give thanks to Thee, O God, let all the people give thanks to Thee. (Refrain)

Verse: May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear Him. (Refrain)

Glory… Both now… O, only begotten Son and Word of God…


Verse: Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered, and let those who hate Him flee from before His face.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death; and upon those in the tombs, bestowing life!

Verse: As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish, as wax melts before the fire. (Refrain)

Verse: So let sinners perish before the face of God, and let the righteous be glad. (Refrain)

Verse: This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Refrain)


In the gathering places bless ye God the Lord, from the springs of Israel. Save us, O Son of God, Who art risen from the dead, who sing to Thee: Alleluia.

Now sing these hymns in the following order.


Having learned the joyful message of the Resurrection from the angel, the women disciples of the Lord cast from them their parental condemnation. And proudly broke the news to the Disciples, saying, Death hath been spoiled; Christ God is risen, granting the world Great Mercy.


In the midst of this Feast, O Savior, give Thou my thirsty soul to drink of the waters of true worship; for Thou didst call out to all, saying: Whosoever is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Wherefore, O Christ our God, Fountain of life, glory to Thee.

Now sing the apolytikion of the patron saint or feast of the temple.

The KONTAKION of pascha in Tone EIGHT

Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou destroy the power of     Hades, and didst arise as victor, O Christ God, calling to the myrrh-bearing women, Rejoice, and giving peace unto Thine Apostles, O Thou Who dost grant resurrection to the fallen.


How magnified are Thy works, O Lord. In wisdom hast Thou made them all. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

The Reading from the Acts of the Holy Apostles. (11:19-30)

In those days, when the apostles were scattered because of the tribulation that arose over Stephen, they traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one, except to Jews only. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who upon coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord. The report concerning them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas, to go as far out as Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they should cleave to the Lord; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great multitude was added unto the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year, they were gathered together in the church, and they taught a great multitude of people, and the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabos stood up and signified by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over the whole world; and this took place in the days of Claudius Caesar. And the disciples, every one according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren who dwelt in Judaea; and they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (4:5-42)

At that time, Jesus came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  Jacob’s well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as He was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.  There came a woman of Samaria to draw water.  Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”  For His Disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.  The Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that Thou, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?”  For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and Who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water?  Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?”  Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst forever; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”  Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”  The woman answered Him, “I have no husband.”  Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet.  Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and Thou sayest that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”  Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.  You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.  But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming [He Who is called Christ]; when He comes, He will tell us all things.”  Jesus said to her, “I Who speak to you am He.”  Just then His Disciples came.  They marveled that He was talking with a woman, but none said, “What dost Thou wish?” or, “Why art Thou talking with her?”  So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man Who told me all that I ever did.  Can this be the Christ?”  They went out of the city and were coming to Him.  Meanwhile the Disciples besought Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”  But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”  So the Disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him food?”  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.  Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’?  I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest.  He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.  For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”  Many Samaritans from that city believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He said to me all that I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.  And many more believed because of His words.  They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”


The angel spake to her that is full of grace, saying, O pure Virgin, rejoice; and I say also, Rejoice; for thy Son is risen from the tomb on the third day.

Rejoice and be glad, O gate of the divine Light; for Jesus Who disappeared in the tomb hath risen with greater radiance than the sun, illuminating all believers, O Lady favored of God.


Receive ye the body of Christ; taste ye the Fountain of immortality.

Instead of “We have seen the true light,” sing “Christ is Risen” once.


Priest: May He Who rose from the dead, Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-immaculate and all-blameless holy Mother; by the might of the Precious and Life-giving Cross; by the protection of the honorable Bodiless Powers of Heaven; at the supplication of the honorable, glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John; of the holy, glorious and all-laudable apostles; of our father among the saints, John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople, whose Divine Liturgy we have now celebrated; of the holy, glorious and right-victorious Martyrs; of our venerable and God-bearing Fathers; of Saint N., the patron and protector of this holy community; of the holy and righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna; of the holy and glorious Great-martyr Photeni, the Samaritan Woman, whose memory we celebrate today, and of all the saints: have mercy on us and save us, forasmuch as He is good and loveth mankind.

Priest:  Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down Death by death, and upon those in the tombs… 

People: …bestowing life!

Parish Giving Summary—Fiscal Year 2023/24

Help us Meet our Goal of $120,000 for the Year

Sunday Giving for week of May 26th—$486

Online Giving for week of May 26th—$0

Total Giving for fiscal year to date (October 23–September 24)—$65,564

Families who have contributed for fiscal year to date (October 23–September 24)—67

Families who have contributed over $5,000 for fiscal year to date (October 23–September 24)—3

Families who have contributed over $1,000 for fiscal year to date (October 23–September 24)—15

Check out our parish financial report by clicking HERE.

*You can set up a recurring monthly donation to the Church by clicking HERE 

Give to St. George

A Note to our Visitors


We are blessed by your presence! Join us for fellowship after. Please note, in the Orthodox Church only baptized and chrismated Orthodox Christians who have properly prepared can partake of the Holy Eucharist. All others may come forward for a blessing with the chalice held over their head and receive a piece of blessed bread from the altar servers.

From a Father of the Church

St Gregory Palamas on the Samaritan Woman

Do you see how forbearing and keen to learn the woman was? “Our Fathers,” she said, “worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the pace where men ought to worship” (John 4:20). Notice what occupies her thoughts, and how well she knows the Scriptures. How many believers nowadays, born and brought up in the Church, are ignorant of what the Samaritan woman knew, that our fathers, namely Jacob and his sons the patriarchs, worshipped God on that mountain (cf. Deut. 11:29;27:12; Josh. 8:33)? Christ accepted her knowledge and her intelligent meditation on divinely inspired Scripture as sweet savour, and gladly continued His conversation with her. If you put something fragrant on to burning coals, you motivate those who approach to come back again and to stay near, but if instead you put on something with an unpleasant, oppressive smell, you repel them and drive them away. It is the same with the mind. If your attention is occupied with what is holy, you make yourself worthy of being visited by God, since this is the sweet savour which God catches scent of. On the other hand, if you nurture evil, foul and earthly thoughts within you, you remove yourself from God’s supervision and unfortunately make yourself worthy of His aversion. Homily 19 on the Gospel about the Samaritan Woman

Why should I care about the church fathers?