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


Last week I spoke about how God is One, Father and Almighty—there is no other and He is united in will and action; He has a Son from eternity and He is relational; He has defeated the great enemy of death and the devil. 

This week we move to the next words of the creed—maker of heaven and earth (Gen 1.1) and of all things visible and invisible. 

It is a dogma (a non-negotiable tenet or belief) of the Church that God created out of nothing. The fancy way to say this is ex nihilo (literally from, or out of, nothing). Often you hear people say that the “Big Bang Theory” of science, and Christianity, are not compatible. In other words, you cannot believe in both of these things. Is that really true? Think about it, if God said let there be light (Gen 1.3) and there was never any light before, that would be the biggest explosion the universe has ever known…

Another reason we insist that God created from nothing is that there was a common belief in the ancient world that the universe—or cosmos, as used to be the common way to say it—was eternal. In other words, that—like we believe about God—the universe had always existed. Well, first that is problematic because if there was never a starting point we, who find ourselves in this world, could never make it to this present moment…try that for a mind bender! But take a moment and think, how can there ever be a progression along a line of time if there is no starting point? The next reason we don’t believe that the universe is eternal is because there can’t be two eternal all-powerful things—God and the universe. This would mean that the universe is divine in some way but we established last week that God is One—there is no other. We also established that God is Father, meaning that He is a person and therefore relational—unlike a non-personal universe. 

So God, created everything that exists from nothing and not just the things here on earth but in heaven and, those things seen and unseen. And very importantly, He created these things good (Gen 1.31). Included in things unseen are the holy angels as well as the devil and the demons, who were created first as good angels of God. As strong as the devil is—he is still a creature of God…

Now, some will ask, why did God create the devil? A fair question, but behind this question is another question…why did God decide to create at all if He knew that evil would come? Well, that would mean that even the possibility of evil is so bad…and so strong that it could keep God from creating, which is nonsense! God chose to create and to create all things good because He is humble and loving—not proud and selfish. Humble people empty themselves, they go outside of themselves and so we see that the act of creation itself is a humble act by God because He goes outside Himself through creating and we see that the freedom God gives His creatures is a loving act because as I have said many times, there is no love without freedom. 

So, for today, God is the only eternal one who is creator of all things—heaven, earth, things seen and things unseen. God, who we have established is Father, is the fountainhead of all things and all things were created good. Those things given rationality by God—angels and human beings—were also given this gift of freedom which is the ability to choose God or not. This great and terrible gift of freedom bestowed on God's creatures shows that God is almighty to create and to weave any dissonance of freedom ill-used (evil) into His Song of salvation where all is resolved in the end.

With love in the risen and ascended Lord,

Fr John

Services and Events

Friday, June 14th—9am—Paraklesis Service of St George

Saturday, June 15th—9am—Funeral for William Carragan 

Saturday, June 15th—5pm—Great Vespers 

Sunday, June 16th—9am—Orthros and Divine Liturgy—memorial for Milad and Isahk Saiid, Hassib and Zahra Tleiji and William Carragan—meal to follow provided by Georgette Saiid

Friday, June 21st—9am—Paraklesis Service of St George

Saturday, June 22nd—9am—Orthros and Divine Liturgy for the Saturday of Souls (A service called for before the great feast of Pentecost)

Saturday, June 22nd—5pm—Great Vespers w/Litia and Artoklasia for the great feast of Pentecost 

Sunday, June 23rd—9am—Orthros and Divine Liturgy for the great feast of Pentecost—Kneeling Vespers immediately to follow the Liturgy (this is the first time that we kneel in prayer since Pascha) 

Friday, June 28th—5pm—Vespers for the feast of the Apostles

Saturday, June 29th—9am—Orthros and Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Apostles

Saturday, June 29th—5pm—Great Vespers 

Sunday, June 30th—9am—Orthros and Divine Liturgy—memorial for Rezek family (Antonios, Tamam, Michael, Mounir, Bassir, Novaline)—meal to follow provided by Maria Rezek


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. 

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...

*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, Diane, Callie, 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), William (6.9.24), Abrahim (6.9.24) 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 on Sunday, June 16, 2024 Tone 6 / Eothinon 10

Sunday of the After-feast of the Ascension

Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

Tikhon the wonderworker, bishop of Amathos in Cyprus; Venerable Tikhon of Kaluga; Venerable Tikhon of Lukh


Clap your hands, all ye nations; shout unto God with a voice of rejoicing. For the Lord Most High is terrible; a great King over all the earth.

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

He hath subdued peoples under us, and the nations under our feet. God is gone up in jubilation, the Lord with the voice of the trumpet. (Refrain)

Glory… Both now… (Refrain)


Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. The mountains of Sion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

Refrain: Save us, O Son of God, Who didst rise from us in glory to the heavens; who sing to Thee. Alleluia.

God is known in her towers when He cometh to help her. (Refrain)

For lo, the kings of the earth were assembled; they came together. (Refrain)

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


Hear this, all ye nations; give ear, all ye that inhabit the world. My mouth shall speak wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear unto a parable; I will unfold my problem on the psaltery.

During the Little Entrance, after the verses of the Third Antiphon, chant the Apolytikion of the Ascension. The Eisodikon (Entrance Hymn) is “O come, let us worship… save us, O Son of God, Who art risen from the dead…” as on ordinary Sundays. After the Little Entrance, chant these hymns in the following order:


When Mary stood at Thy grave, looking for Thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above Thy revered tomb. And the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led Hades captive and wast not tempted thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world, O Thou, Who art risen from the dead, O Lord, glory to Thee.


Thou hast ascended in glory, O Christ our God, and gladdened Thy Disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit, making them confident through the blessing that Thou art the Son of God, and Deliverer of the world.


Thou, O Christ, art our God of exceeding praise Who didst establish our holy Fathers as luminous stars upon earth, and through them didst guide us unto the true Faith, O most merciful One, glory to Thee.

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


When Thou didst fulfill Thy dispensation for our sakes, uniting the terrestrials with the celestials, Thou didst ascend in glory, O Christ our God, inseparable in space, but constant without separation, and crying unto Thy beloved: I am with you, and no one shall be against you.


Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers. For Thou art just in all Thou hast done to us.

The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (20:16-18, 28-36)

In those days, Paul was determined to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if possible, to be at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the priests of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you bishops, to shepherd the church of the Lord and God, which He purchased with His own blood.  For I know that after my departure ravenous wolves will enter among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, remain watchful, remembering that for three years I did not cease to admonish every one, night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by such laboring we ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down on his knees with them all, and prayed.


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (17:1-13)

At that time, Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee, since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent.  I glorified Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; and now, Father, glorify Thou Me in Thy own presence with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was made. I have manifested Thy Name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word.  Now they know that everything that Thou hast given Me is from Thee; for I have given them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from Thee; and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.  I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them.  And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee.  Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name, which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one.  While I was with them, I kept them in Thy Name, which Thou have given Me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.  But now I am coming to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”

Megalynarion: “It is Truly Meet”; Koinonikon (Communion Hymn): “Praise ye the Lord.”

Instead of singing “We have seen the true light,” sing the Apolytikion of the Ascension.


Priest: May He Who ascended in glory into Heaven, and sat at the right hand of God the Father, and 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—especially the 318 of the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea whom we commemorate today—of Saint N., the patron and protector of this holy community; of the holy and righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna, and of all the saints: have mercy on us and save us, forasmuch as He is good and loveth mankind.

Priest: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us and save us.

Choir: Amen.

Parish Giving Summary—Fiscal Year 2023/24

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

Sunday Giving for week of June 9th—$1333

Online Giving for week of June 9th—$0

Total Giving for fiscal year to date (October 23–September 24)—$68404

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)—18

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 of Nyssa—Homily on the Ascension

Oh man, what can be new if our God has been seen on earth and lived with men? Because the earth is his creation and he made it, it is not unusual nor unbecoming to see the Lord come to what is his own [cf. Jn. 1:11]. He was not in a strange world but in the earth which he had established upon the foundation of the seas and fixed a good passage for the rivers. What was the reason for his presence? Having cast the ruin of sin away from you, he ascended the mountain of his royal dwelling in his chariot and then opened up a way of citizenship for you in accord with virtue. You cannot ascend that mountain unless you are innocent in the company of virtues and are washed from every evil deed, pure in heart without vanity in your soul nor inflict your neighbor with grief. The blessing of this ascent is a prize, and the Lord bestows his mercy which he had stored up. "This is the generation seeking him" through virtue ascending on high and "seeks the face of the God of Jacob" [Ps. 23:6].

Why should I care about the church fathers?