St. George the Great Martyr Orthodox Church
A parish of the Orthodox Church in America
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Talk on April 21, at 1:00 pm. Bring any friends or family who you think would be interested - 03/25/24

On Sunday April 21, at 1:00pm, immediately after our common fellowship, there will be a talk on "Life on the screen: Psychiatric and spiritual perspectives on the influence of the screen on our lives," talk given by Dr. Ovidiu Dulgheru and Fr. Silviu. Come and also bring any friends or family who might be interested!

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Proskomidi on April 14, 9:30am - 03/25/24

On Sunday, April 14, we will not have the customary Matins before the Divine Liturgy, but Fr. Silviu will serve the Proskomidi out in the nave, the main room of the church, for everyone to see. This service is the one which prepares the divine gifts (the wine and the bread) for the Divine Liturgy and is usually served before all other Sunday services, when Fr. Silviu is in church by himself, before anyone else even gets there and before any outloud service even begins. Come and see how the gifts are prepared and how the names of all those given for commemoration are remembered! 

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Bring an icon to church on March 24, the Sunday of Orthodoxy! - 03/14/24

The first Sunday of Lent is called the Sunday of Orthodoxy and is dedicated to the ultimate triumph of the veneration of icons at the council in 843. On this day we also have the special service (“Synodikon“) dedicated to this triumph, in which we profess our faith. During this service, as always, we will have a procession around the church while holding icons. So please make sure that you and all the members of your family bring an icon, of their patron saint or another favorite icon. 

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Lent begins on March 18! - 03/14/24

This week is the final preparatory week for Lent. During this week we are giving up meat. On March 18, Lent begins in the earnest and we give up all non-Lenten food. This also means that from now on, till Pascha, we will have the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts on weekdays, and also other Lenten services, and not the usual non-Lenten services. Do be mindful that the only way to have an experience of Lent in the church is to come to these weekday services. Saturdays and Sundays do not change during Lent, so if one comes to church only on Sunday, one will not have a true experience of Lent. 

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March 9 is a memorial Saturday - 03/02/24

This Saturday, March 9, is one of the major memorial Saturdays of the year. This is when we commemorate all the dead of all times during a special memorial service before the Ninth Hour, at 5:30pm. Please bring lists with the first names of your loved ones who have died and kollyva or special memorial bread. 

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The relics of St. Ephraim of Katounakia - 02/13/24

By popular demand, the relics of St. Ephraim of Katounakia will stay in our church longer. They are on the table next to the confession stand. Do not forget to venerate them whenever you enter and exit the church. Know how we Orthodox venerate relics: on weekdays we make full prostrations before them, usually two, then we kiss them, then we make another full prostration. On Sundays we make bows instead of prostrations. Please do not forget to venerate them after you venerate the icons!

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Fr. Silviu will be away, but he can still be contacted - 01/10/24

Fr. Silviu has two trips in the upcoming weeks, so he will be gone between Jan 19-27 and, respectively, Jan 30-Feb 8. He should not be off the grid, so still call or text him about any emergencies, just be mindful of the time differences and be patient with his reply. Our schedule of services continues as normal while he is away, only in Reader’s format, and on the two Sundays he is gone (Jan 21 and Feb 4) we will have the Typika instead of the Divine Liturgy. Both times the Typika will be followed by Sunday school and our common fellowship.

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Divine Liturgy and Great Sanctification of the water this Sunday, January 7 - 01/01/24

We will celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the great feast of Epiphany this Sunday, January 7, due to unforeseen circumstances. It will be immediately followed by the Great Sanctification of the water. Join us and come take holy water for your healing and for the blessing of your houses.

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Divine Liturgy for Christmas on Monday, Dec 25 - 12/23/23

We will celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the great feast of Nativity on Monday, Dec 25, at 10:00. Because the feast falls on a Monday, the Liturgy will be the one of St. Basil the Great. Join us for this proper way of celebrating the Lord’s nativity!

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Holy Unction on December 20! - 12/09/23

The service of Holy Unction will be done again on Wednesday December 20 at 6:00pm, instead of Vespers. We did not serve this beautiful service since March, the previous Lent, and it won’t be served again until the Lent of 2024. 

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Kollyva for St. Nicholas at 6:00pm on December 6 - 11/28/23

At the end of the Ninth Hour on December 6, at 6:00pm, we will offer kollyva for St. Nicholas. Feel free to bring your own kollyva if you wish to offer it to and for this great saint. 

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Archbishop Alexander with us on Sunday, November 26, and baptism that day - 11/23/23

Our Archbishop Alexander is visiting this coming weekend, November 25-26. He will give the sermon at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. Come and greet him! Also, before the Divine Liturgy, at 9:00am, instead of Matins, we will have the baptism of Matthew Zarandona. Celebrate this joyful occasion with us!

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Divine Liturgy this coming Monday, November 20, at 6:00pm for the feast - 11/15/23

This coming Tuesday, November 21, is the great feast of the Entrance of the Birthgiver of God and, as usual, we will celebrate a great feast with a vesperal Divine Liturgy on its eve, in this case on Monday, November 20, at 6:00pm.

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Advent fast begins on November 15 - 11/10/23

As it is the case every year, the Advent fast begins on November 15 and runs through December 24. There are several days of dispensations throughout this period, so please follow your Orthodox calendars for these.  

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Our mortgage campaign has collected all the money to pay off the loan - 10/31/23

Our mortgage campaign has collected all the money we needed to pay off the loan which, through its variable rate, became a serious burden to our parish. Thank you to all who have donated! We have received several generous donations, including one of $6,100, one of $5,000, and three between $2,500-$1,000. Yet, just as importantly, we have received money from many people. Again, thank you to all who have donated and who do things for our small but growing church! Dear members, we all have to carry our parish because it is the heavenly home of all of us. We cannot be visitors in our own home. 

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New ramp railings are installed! - 10/23/23

The new railings have been installed on the new ramp toward the front door of the church. With this installation, this project is completed. We now have safe access to the church for all our members and visitors. Thank you to the anonymous donor who paid for the railings! God give you His eternal good things for the temporal!

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Saturday of all souls on Oct 21 - 10/14/23

This Saturday, October 21, is one of the Saturdays of all souls of the year. On this Saturday we at St. George will have a special memorial service immediately before Vespers, at 5:30 pm, to commemorate all the dead in our families, Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. If you wish your own dead to be commemorated, please bring the following: 

1. A list with the names of those fallen asleep in your own families or of friends, with the first names written clearly in legible CAPITAL LETTERS (or typed), so that Father Silviu can commemorate each of them. Please do not write family names on any commemoration lists, this one or any other; family names are a modern invention and are not included in our prayers. Also, you need not bring such a list if you turned in the large commemoration list with your membership pledge form and the names on that list are all which you would commemorate. Fr. Silviu commemorates all the dead on those forms at each Divine Liturgy and at each Saturday of all souls.
2. Kollyva;
3. Any other food or drink which is commonly blessed on this day in your own Orthodox traditions.

Even if you are not bringing any of the above, do join us in our prayers for those who have come before us and those who will come after us, all the fallen asleep of all times. There will be plenty of kollyva for all at the fellowship meal of the following Sunday, October 22. So join us also for that closing of this special commemoration!

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Thanks to everyone who has donated! - 10/09/23

Thank you, donators! We are getting closer to our goal of paying off our $19,000 mortgage balance. So far we have received over $4,000 in donations. Yet, there is more way to go. Please donate now, since the campaign will close in three weeks. Thank you! 

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Fr. Silviu will be away between Sep 30 and Oct 8 - 09/23/23

Fr. Silviu will be away between Sep 30 and Oct 8. Yet, church services will happen at their appointed times, just in a Reader’s form. Also, on Sundays we will have the Typika instead of the Divine Liturgy, at the usual time, 10:00 am. Sunday school and the fellowship will follow the Typika. Fr. Silviu will also be off the grip for a few days, so for any emergencies please contact Rdr. Mike Mezmar, our warden, or Melissa Renner, our parish administrator, at stgeorgepharrtx@gmail.com or at 956-781-6114.

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This Sunday, Sep 17, will be our first "Liturgical word" Sunday - 09/15/23

This Sunday, Sep 17, is our first "Liturgical word" Sunday! Between September and May, every third Sunday of the month (with the exception of major feasts), Fr. Silviu will offer a short "liturgical word" (5-10 minutes) immediately following the sermon, after the reading of the Gospel. This liturgical word serves one major purpose, even though it may have many aspects. The purpose is to deepen our participation in our worship. For this purpose, the liturgical word will explain our liturgical services, our liturgical gestures, behaviors, one prayer, a feast, etc.

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Vesperal Liturgy for the feast this Wednesday at 6:00! - 09/08/23

On Thursday September 14 we have another of the Great Feasts, namely the Elevation of the Cross. Therefore, as it is our practice for Great Feasts which fall on weekdays, on the evening of the feast (which is the day before by modern counting), at 6:00pm we will celebrate the vesperal Divine Liturgy for the feast. Please join us on Wednesday at 6:00 for the Liturgy!

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The vesperal Divine Liturgy for the feast on Thursday September 7 - 08/29/23

On Friday September 8 we have another of the Great Feasts, the first of the year, namely the Nativity of Our All-holy Lady Birthgiver of God and Ever-Virgin Mary. Therefore, as it is our practice, on Thursday evening, at 6:00pm we will celebrate the vesperal Divine Liturgy for the feast. Please join us.

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Strict fasting on Tuesday August 29 - 08/22/23

On August 29 we remember the beheading of St. John the Baptist. According to tradition, this is a strict fasting day, which means that we do not eat or drink anything the entire day. If this is too much for you, then observe the regular fast and abstain from all non-fasting foods. 

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Parish council meeting on Sunday August 20, at 1:00pm - 08/15/23

On Sunday, August 20, at 1:00pm, immediately after our fellowship, the parish council will have one of its regular meetings, in the hall. Every member of the parish is welcome to attend and ask questions or contribute to the discussions.

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The Vesperal Divine Liturgy for Dormition on Monday August 14 at 6:00pm - 08/07/23

This year the Great Feast of the Birthgiver of God, August 15, will fall on a Tuesday. It is our practice that, if the nine Great Feasts with a fixed date fall on a weekday, they are commemorated with a Vesperal Divine Liturgy on their eves. So will be with the Great Feast of the Dormition this year: we will have the Vesperal Divine Liturgy for it on Monday, August 14, at 6:00pm. Please do not forget to fast for it, if you wish to partake.

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Bring your grapes and other fruits on August 6 - 08/03/23

It is the long-held tradition of the Church to bless the first grapes of the fall on August 6, which is the feast of Transfiguration. We will do this at the end of the Divine Liturgy. Wonderfully, the feast falls on Sunday this year. So this is a great opportunity for you to bring your grapes and other fruits to be blessed. If the first fruits keep, please bring them. If not, please bring what you can.

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The service of the Little Paraklisis on Aug 2, at 6:00pm! - 07/25/23

Starting this year, during every Dormition fast, on its first Wednesday, we will have the service of the Little Paraklisis for the Birthgiver of God instead of the customary Vespers. This year it will be on August 2 at 6:00pm. The Paraklisis (Paraclis in Romanian, moleben in Slavonic, ) is a very old service of supplication to our Mother for help during all times of distress and sorrow. Not to mention, it is breathtakingly beautiful! In traditional Orthodox countries the Little Paraklisis is served very often, especially every day during the Dormition fast, and in some monasteries it is even served daily almost throughout the year. Please plan to come and partake of this blessing which those who have come before us have left us!

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Quote of the Week May 26 2023 - 05/26/23

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra, translated by Fr. Silviu from Μοναχική Έκφραση 28 [Σεπτέμβριος-Οκτώβριο 2008

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Baffle the Priest - 01/29/23

Do you have a burning question you have always wanted to ask an Orthodox Priest but were always too shy to ask? This is your chance! The first Sunday of each month, St. George the Great Martyr Orthodox Church hosts "Baffle the Priest." This is a fun time for the young (and young at heart) to have an open forum to stump Fr. Silviu on church topics. Nothing is off-limits! *Recommended audience: those ages 13 to 25.

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Welcome Fr. Silviu - 01/15/23

New Year, New Priest!  

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International Festival is Back! - 09/06/22

St. George International Festival Facebook Page

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Updated 5/25/2021: COVID precautions in the Diocese of the South - 05/28/21

Please review Archbishop Alexander's directives for COVID precautions in the Diocese of the South. These are
to be shared with all parishioners via parish bulletins and/or email lists immediately

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Archbishop Alexander Visit January 2020 - 03/09/20

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Fundraiser Meals - 05/27/19

Potluck Meals

We host a potluck fundraiser meal on the first Sunday of each month.  We ask that all parish members please bring a dish to share.  

Anyone can attend.  A suggested donation of $5.00 per person is requested.  We look forward to sharing a meal and fellowship!

Thank you!

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Holy Synod of Bishops issues statement on recent tragic events in Charlottesville, VA - 08/13/17

Holy Synod of Bishops issues statement on recent tragic events in Charlottesville, VA

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statement on the recent tragic eventsin Charlottesville, VA was issued and signed by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on August 16, 2017.

The complete text of the statement appears below and in PDF format

Statement of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America
August 16, 2017

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
— Colossians 1:16-18

August 16, 2017

To the Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America,

Recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, have highlighted the presence of un-Christian rhetoric and violent actions within our communities. At the same time, the response to these events by our civil leadership has unleashed a nationwide debate which has created a certain moral ambiguity, which in turn is fostering further division. Such a climate requires a clear response from the Church.

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America joins people of faith and good will across the United States, Canada and Mexico in unequivocally, unreservedly and unambiguously rejecting words and actions which perpetrate, support or encourage hatred, violence, racism, white supremacy, white nationalism or neo-Nazism.  As Orthodox Christians, we believe that every human being is a child of God, created in His image and likeness, and therefore we are all brothers and sisters whatever our race, nationality or creed. 

At the same time, we also reject the climate of condemnation of the individuals carrying out these heinous activities.  Indeed, Jesus rebuked his disciples when they suggested that he violently retaliate against his enemies. “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”  (Luke 9:55-56). The Church offers to all—without exception—not condemnation but a path to forgiveness and peace in Christ.  

As the Orthodox prayer of confession says: “O Lord God, the Salvation of Thy servants, gracious, bountiful and long-suffering, who forgives us concerning our evil deeds, and desires not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his way and live: Show Thy mercy upon Thy servants and grant unto them an image of repentance, forgiveness of sins, and deliverance, pardoning their every transgression, whether voluntary or involuntary…”

We reject hatred and violence, and as Orthodox Christians we are also committed to the ministry of reconciliation. We encourage our clergy and faithful to hold fast to the Christian message of healing, salvation and love offered by Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. At the same time, we exhort our clergy and faithful to reject any attempts by individuals or groups to claim for themselves the name of “Orthodox Christian” in order to promote racism, hatred, white supremacy, white nationalism or neo-Nazism. This is in keeping with the Holy Gospels, the decisions of the Holy Councils and the experience of the Saints.

We remind the faithful that the Orthodox Church in America does not restrict membership to those of a particular race or nationality and has historically welcomed all, going back to the Alaskan Mission which embraced the indigenous peoples of that land and continuing to this day in the multicultural and multi-ethnic context of North America.

Brothers and sisters, Saint Justin Martyr, writing at a time when Christians were persecuted in the second century, said, “We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country.  Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and pray for our enemies.” May that same spirit be ours today as well.

With our paternal love and blessings,

The Most Blessed TIKHON, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada

The Most Reverend NATHANIEL, Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate

The Most Reverend NIKON, Archbishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian Archdiocese

The Most Reverend BENJAMIN, Archbishop of San Francisco, and the Diocese of the West

The Most Reverend ALEJO, Archbishop of Mexico City and the Diocese of Mexico

The Most Reverend MELCHISEDEK, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania

The Most Reverend MARK, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania

The Most Reverend IRÉNÉE, Archbishop of Ottawa and the Archdiocese of Canada

The Most Reverend MICHAEL, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey

The Most Reverend ALEXANDER, Archbishop of Toledo, Dallas, the South and the Bulgarian Diocese

The Right Reverend DAVID, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska

The Right Reverend PAUL, Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest

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Parish Life - Are You Involved? - 07/18/17

Parish Life – Are You Involved?

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…”  

           - The Holy Apostle Paul (Romans 12:6)

Are you using your gifts to help our parish grow and thrive?  We always need more help, so if you are not involved in some way already, be sure and ask how you can be.  It is an important part of living the “Liturgical” life.  It might not always be enjoyable, but it is a work unto the Lord and can be an excellent opportunity to grow in humility. 

Some areas we could use help in:

  • Church Choir – The Lord loves us to worship Him in song and we want to do so with excellence.  If the Lord has given you the ability to sing, please consider practicing and singing with the choir. 
  • Maintenance / Repair – There is always something that can be fixed or upgraded. Just ask!
  • Beautification – Indoor and Outdoor projects are always ongoing, especially around major feast days.
  • Hospitality during Services – Greeting visitors and helping the elderly.
  • Hospitality after Services – Coffee hour meals and clean-up. 
  • Community Outreach – Food Pantry is normally twice a month and help is always appreciated.
  • And more… again, just ask!  

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Great Lent - Extra Services - 02/26/17

Great Lent is upon us and with it the “Great Fast.”  Be sure and check the calendar on the website as we have extra services in order to help encourage everyone through this time of spiritual struggle and growth.  In addition, on Wednesday evenings, after liturgy, we are having a Lenten potluck.  While we eat, Fr. Antonio is teaching a short class on the “liturgical life.”

Don’t miss out!

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Photos from the Bishop's Visit and Clergy Conference - 02/19/17

We had a wonderful visit with his grace, Bishop Alexander.  He stayed here through Wednesday due to the Dioceses of the South Clergy Conference.  Here are some photos from both events:

Parish visit: http://stgeorgetx.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=6

Clergy Conference: http://stgeorgetx.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=7

 

 

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Arch-Pastoral Visit & Priest Conference - 02/05/17

This is the first Arch-Pastoral Visit made by our new bishop, His Grace, Bishop Alexander, of Dallas and the South. Please join us for Great Vespers at 6 pm on Saturday evening, February 11th, with food and fellowship to follow in the Church Hall.

Sunday morning, we will be celebrating Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.  The greeting of the Bishop will be between 9:30 to 9:45 am; Liturgy will begin at 10 am., with a meal and time for fellowship after.

Also, Monday - Wednesday our parish will be hosting this year's Diocese of the South priest conference.  We'll have over 50 priests in attendance.  Help is welcome.  We'll also be having extra services all week long including another Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Tuesday morning.   

Here is a full schedule including this weekend: (events in BOLD are open to the public)

Saturday, 2/11
Arrival of Bp Alexander for pastoral visit to St George – Great Vespers, 6 pm – Dinner afterwards at the parish hall – All are welcome!

Sunday, 2/12
Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. George’s followed by Brunch - All are welcome! 
Arrival of Administrator, Chancellor and Deans (no later than Sunday evening). 

Monday, 2/13
Arrival of Diocesan Council members (no later than noon)
9 am - 11 am Bishop's Breakfast and Meeting with the Deans
12 Lunch Diocesan Council Lunch with the Bishop
Arrival of DOS clergy
1 – 5:30 pm Diocesan Council Meeting
6 pm Vespers - Registration
7 pm Opening Reception – Dinner & Local Entertainment at Church Hall

Tuesday, 2/14
9 am (Hierarchical) Divine Liturgy
Brunch at St. George Church Hall
1 pm Session I Bishop with Clergy
5 pm Vespers
6 pm Dinner at Hotel or on your own (Hotel provides food between 5:30-7:00 pm-local restaurants available also) 
7:30 pm Session II Bishop with Clergy - open to the Public

Wednesday, 2/15
8 am Matins
Fasting Breakfast at St. George Church Hall
10 am Session III Bishop with Clergy
12 or 1 pm Fasting Lunch – At St. George Church Hall
Departure of DOS clergy – Or beginning of post-conference fellowship
2 pm Spiritual Court in the afternoon
6 pm Vespers

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The 2016 International Festival was a Great Success! - 12/21/16

If you didn't make it to this year's International Festival, here is a small peek at what you missed. Mark you calendars for next year! Saturday, December 9, 2017. 

 

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Festival Preparations Begin! - 09/06/16

It's that time of year again! The date for our International Festival is set - December 10, 2016.  We start preparing for it this weekend by baking our first batch of Baklava! 

Come help us out if you can.  We'll be baking and packaging from 9:30 until finished (probably 3 PM).  

 

 

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Summer Wrap-up - 08/29/16

As Summer draws to a close, a new school-year begins and we all look forward to temperatures not hitting the century mark on a consistent basis...  At St. George, many of our parishioners hit the road vacationing, but thankfully, there were a number of visitors over the last few months as well.  A few key events that occurred:

  • Fr. Antonio drove a truck donated by St. Justin Martyr (Jacksonville, FL) down to Mexico City.  It is already getting good use on the mission field.  (See our Facebook page for a link to a video.
  • Summer Camp – camp was held in the same location as last year, outside of Ledbetter, TX.  It was a time of spiritual growth and lots of fun! .  (See our Facebook page for a link to a video.)
  • The Diocese of the South had its Assembly in Wilmington, NC.  His Grace, newly enthroned Bishop Alexander, presided over the meetings. 
  • The wedding of parishioner Denise Cuellar to Reese Stamper along with a farewell as she moves to Washington State.  (See our Facebook page for a link to a photo album.)
  • The funeral of parishioner Jose Barreda, may his memory be eternal!

Coming up…

On Saturday, September 10th, we begin cooking for this year’s International Festival.  As always, we need your help! More details to follow…

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Register for Summer Camp now and save! - 05/01/16

All Saints Summer Camp is June 26th from July 1st this year.  It is at the same location - Cooper Farms outside of Ledbetter, TX.  There is a discount if you register before May 15th.  

http://www.allsaintssummercamp.org

Also check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OCAAllSaintsSummerCamp/?fref=ts

This year's objectives, taken from the website:

Objective One: Spiritual Growth and Understanding

The theme this year foAll Saints Summer Camp 2016 is Let My Prayer Arise! Retreaters will learn the structure and theology Matins, Vespers, Great Vespers and the Divine Liturgy. In turn, this will give the campers a better of understanding of our liturgical theology. We are praying this week will be a time of true spirtual growth and understanding for all that participate. 

Objective Two: Renew Old Friendships and Make New Ones

All Saints Summer Camp brought together campers from four states and various backgrounds. We made really good friendships that will last a liftetime. At Winter Retreat, new people joined our family! With all the emails and calls I am getting, there is no doubt our All Saints Family will continue to grow this summer! 

Objective Three: Let's Have Fun!

Nightly party themes, hayrides, swimming, ropes course, blob pond, tubing, Camp Band Jam, bball, etc. Summer Camp was a blast last year and we have more planned for this summer. 

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Holy Week - 04/24/16

Holy Week is upon us! Come join us for one or all of the services this week:

Great & Holy Monday Evening, April 25th - 6 PM - Bridegroom Matins

Great & Holy TuesdayApril 26th - No Liturgical Services - Good day to shop & prepare for the rest of the week...
 
Great & Holy Wednesday, April 27th - 6 PM - Bridegroom Matins followed by Holy Unction Service (Annointing of the Faithful)
 
Great & Holy Thursday Morning, April 28th - 10:15 AM - Prayers of Preparation - 10:30 AM - Hours 11:00 AMVesporal Divine Liturgy (Commemorating the Last Supper/Institution of the Holy Eucharist) 
                                    
Great & Holy Thursday Evening, April 28th - 6 PM - Service of the 12 Passion Gospels (Candles Lit During Gospels & Bell Rung)
 
For the remainder of the Holy Week schedule and Great & Holy Pascha, see the front page of the website.  

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Mexico Mission Trip - 04/11/16

News from the OCA website concerning Fr. Antonio's mission trip:

OCA/OCMC team returns from mission trip to remote Mexican villages

Mexico

During the week of March 26-April 2, 2016, the Mexico Mission Team cosponsored by the Orthodox Church in America and the Orthodox Christian Mission Centervisited the indigenous Orthodox Christian Aztec communities in San Esteban, Hidalgo and Pisaflores in Veracruz. 

With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo of Mexico City, the team built upon earlier outreach efforts in this remote region northwest of Mexico City.

For the fourth year, Archpriest Antonio Perdomo, Rector of Saint George Church, Pharr, TX, led the team, which included Priest David Moga, Pastor of Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cedarburg, WI; Subdeacon William Almy III and his daughter Susan from Kansas; Arthur Dossey from California; Fernando Arango from Florida; and Hanna Valentine from Iowa.

Before setting out on the arduous journey to the remote mountain villages, the team attended the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the OCA’s Cathedral of the Ascension, Mexico City, where they received Archbishop Alejo’s blessing coupled with words of encouragement and thanks.

Mexico

“Archbishop Alejo has a great vision for the Orthodox Church in Mexico, to put into practice what we say in the Nicene Creed—to be the ‘One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,’” said Father David. “He sees that the harvest is great and wishes to bring Orthodoxy to the Mexican people, and not just serve the ethnic enclaves that exist in Mexico. This vision, I believe, energized us individually, which resulted in the coalescing of us as a team.”

Upon their arrival in Pisaflores, team members were welcomed by Father Serafin, who serves the region’s missions. The following morning they continued their journey to San Esteban, which was to become “Mission Central” for the next week.
Due to the villages’ remote locations, there is no public transportation.

“This is why we need a good car, so that all of Archbishop Alejo’s work will not go to waste,” said Father Serafin, referring to the Archbishop’s missionary work in the region in which he resided and ministered in the early 2000s. “We need to be able to visit more frequently, but it is hard to get to these villages. The people are good and they have a lot of faith—we cannot lose them.”

The roots of the village communities dates back to the early 1920s, when a Father Armin ministered in the region. By 1960, a dozen parishes, including those in San Esteban, Pisaflores, Benito Juarez, and elsewhere, had been established. Father Armin is buried in Pisaflores, where community members care for his grave and hold his memory in great esteem. After Father Armin’s death, Father Jesus Gutierrez arrived and served the people until his death in 1986.

“There was a lack of clergy to serve the local faithful until 2000, when Father Antonio—now Archbishop Alejo—moved to Pisaflores for one year and traveled by foot and horseback to serve the faithful,” said Father Antonio. “After he was reassigned to Mexico City’s cathedral in 2001, he continued to serve area missions weekly for the next three years, traveling over nine hours each way by bus, boat, foot and horseback.”

Mexico

Having settled into their quarters in San Esteban—a house erected on earlier mission trips through the efforts of Father Antonio and Archpriest Theodore Pisarchuk, Rector of Saint Justin Martyr Church, Jacksonville, FL—team members set out on their mission, which involved the celebration of well attended daily liturgical services, catechetical sessions for all ages, presentations for children and parents alike, discussions and talks, and a good measure of fellowship with local residents.

“We got to know some of the townspeople, who treated us with much respect and formality,” said team member Fernando Arango. “We noticed how happy they were that Father Antonio had returned, and everyone wanted to greet him personally and listen to what he had to say.

“The days were miraculous, full of God’s grace,” Fernando continued. “The children were especially happy to participate, and their eyes shone like the heavens. It was as though the Holy Spirit had filled us with joy as we all felt the presence of God’s divine grace.”

The children—who were on spring school break and thereby able to fully participate in the week’s activities and services—learned much about the faith through various craft projects.

“Susan and Hanna formed a special relationship with the children, who enjoyed praying and discussing the importance of prayer,” said Fernando. “Hanna helped them make sun catchers with the image of the risen Christ and decorate crosses. The children also learned about the life of Jesus, the importance of Holy Communion, icons, and many other aspects of our faith.”

“Each morning, we offered the children activities related to the Cross, the Resurrection and the Ascension,” Hanna added. “Despite our varying abilities to speak the Spanish language, we embraced the children with the love of Christ in words as well as in action, and the church’s walls rang with the children’s voices as they colored their images of the Cross. Later, the church’s courtyard was filled with laughter as the children learned how to throw frisbees!”

Mexico

“We priests blessed the people with holy water each evening after service,” Father David added. “One evening, we anointed everyone for the healing of body and soul, and on Thursday morning—our last full day in San Esteban—we celebrated the Divine Liturgy. Arthur read the Epistle in Spanish, while the faithful drew near to partake of the Holy Mysteries ‘with the fear of God and with faith and love.’ Here we were, all sharing the same Body and Blood of Christ despite linguistic and ethnic differences. We truly became the ‘One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church’ of which Archbishop Alejo spoke when we began our mission.”

After the Liturgy, the faithful, bearing icons, processed through the town to mark their parish’s 92nd anniversary.

“As anyone who has taught before can attest, we think we are going on such trips to teach, but we end up learning more than we could ever share,” said Fernando. “This experience helped me grow in my faith. I recommend a missionary trip to anyone who would like to share his or her faith with others. You will not forget it!”

A gallery of photos is accessible on the OCA web site and Facebook page.

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Sunday of the Cross and more... - 04/03/16

Today we celebrated the Sunday of the Cross. Great Lent is at the half-way point; the Great and Holy Pascha for this year begins to dawn before us. If you haven't been able to join us yet, please take advantage of the Presanctified liturgies we have offered every week for the remainder of this Lenten season.  They will help you and nourish you through the struggle with your passions during this fast.

Presanctified services are on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Wednesday services are followed by a class and potluck.  Friday services are in the mornings for those who have difficulty making it in the evenings.  Please see the home page for the schedule of upcoming services.

Interested in learning more about the Sunday of the Cross?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfAaJsuEreU

00046
We have a new Bishop! - 03/30/16

Holy Synod elects Bishop Alexander of Toledo to vacant Dallas See

Bp Alexander
Metropolitan Tikhon with Bishop Alexander and the Holy Synod in St. Sergius Chapel.

The members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America elected His Grace, Bishop Alexander of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese to fill the vacant See of Dallas and the South during their Spring Session here on Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

Bishop Alexander succeeds His Eminence, the late Archbishop Dmitri, who in retirement fell asleep in the Lord at the age of 87 on August 28, 2011.

A letter addressed to the clergy of the Diocese of the South, signed by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, reads as follows.

“Dearly Beloved in the Lord: I am pleased to inform you that the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, at its session held in Oyster Bay Cove, New York, on the Twenty-Ninth day of March in the year of Our Lord Two Thousand Sixteen, elected the His Grace, the Right Reverend Alexander, Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese, as Bishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South.

“You are to immediately begin to commemorate Bishop Alexander by elevating his name at all Divine Services after that of the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America Metropolitan Tikhon, as is the approved practice of our Church.

“Bishop Alexander’s new title, as blessed by the Holy Synod, is “His Grace Alexander, Bishop of Dallas and the South” when serving in the Diocese of the South. The date and place of his installation to the See will be determined in due time.

“Assuring you of my prayers for Bishop Alexander, and for all the clergy and faithful who have been entrusted to his archpastoral care, I remain

“With love in Christ,
“+ Tikhon
“Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada”

Concurrently, a similar letter to the clergy of the Bulgarian Diocese, informing them of the election, was also issued.  Bishop Alexander will continue as Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese.  Archpastoral Letters to the faithful of the Diocese of the South and the Bulgarian Diocese and additional particulars will be posted on the OCA web site as they become available.  His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon has been in contact with the administrator, chancellor and deans of the Diocese of the South on this matter.

Bishop Alexander [Golitzin] was born in Burbank, CA in 1948 and was raised at Saint Innocent Church, Tarzana, CA.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary.  He spent seven years pursuing doctoral studies at Oxford University in England under His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos [Ware].  During this time, he also spent two years in Greece, including one year at Simonos Petras Monastery on Mount Athos.

After receiving his D.Phil. in 1980, Bishop Alexander returned to the US.  He was ordained to the diaconate in January 1982 and to the priesthood two years later.  In 1986, he was tonsured to monastic orders.  He served OCA missions in northern California and headed the Diocese of the West’s mission committee.

In 1989, he accepted a position with the Theology Department at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, a position that he left at the end of April 2012.  While teaching at Marquette, he had been attached to Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, Milwaukee, WI.  For 22 years, he preached, taught and served at Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, and witnessed to the Gospel and to Orthodox Christian theology at Marquette University.  He helped attract a dozen Orthodox Christian students to doctoral work in theology at Marquette.

In June 2010, the Bulgarian Diocese initiated a search for a candidate to succeed His Eminence, Archbishop Kirill [Yonchev], who reposed in the Lord in 2007.  In October 2011, the Holy Synod of Bishops elected Archimandrite Alexander as Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese.  He was consecrated to the episcopacy as Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese during a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint George Cathedral, Rossford, OH on May 5, 2012.

A photo gallery can be viewed on the OCA web site and Facebook page.

00047
Great Lent - 03/11/16

Great Lent and the "Great Fast" are upon us.  We have many services (see the right side of our home page) to help you as you work on growing spiritually.  Join us!

Taking Lent Seriously

The gateway to divine repentance has been opened.  Let us enter eagerly, purified in our bodies and observing abstinence from food and passions, as obedient servants of Christ, Who has called the world into the heavenly Kingdom.  Let us offer to the King of all a tenth part of the whole year, that we may look with love upon His Resurrection. —Sessional Hymn, Matins of Cheesefare Week

Great Lent is the “School of Repentance.”  It is roughly equivalent to an “annual tithe” in which we offer ourselves back to God so as to be received with love, as was the prodigal son.  As such, Great Lent is a gift from God, guiding us toward a way of life we may be reluctant to assume on our own, suffering as we often are from spiritual apathy or a simple lack of focus.  Great Lent is also goal-oriented, for it leads us on a spiritual pilgrimage of preparation toward the “night brighter than the day” of Pascha and the Risen Lord.  Great Lent is “sacred” and “soul-profiting.”  It is a key component in the Orthodox Way of living out the Christian life to which we have been committed in holy Baptism.

During Great Lent we will recover the essential practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  These practices are the tools that can assist us in returning and remaining close to God.  Liturgical services unique to Great Lent immerse us in a way of communal prayer that is solemn and penitent, but which also lighten and unburden the soul through the mercy and grace of God so abundantly poured out upon us through these inspired services.  You leave the church tired in body perhaps, but brighter inside – in the mind and heart.  Great Lent invites us to see our neighbors as children of God and of equal value in the eyes of God, and thus deserving of our attention, patience and care.  Charity can be distributed through material means or through an encouraging and warmly-spoken word.  Great Lent liberates us from the excessive appetites of our bodies through the discipline of fasting.  Our diet essentially becomes “vegan” as we seek to be less weighed down by a body overly satiated with food and drink.  This is healthy for both soul and body.  The human person does not live by bread alone as the Lord taught us, as He Himself fasted in the desert for forty days.  We also fast from entertainment, bad habits, obsessions, useless distractions, vulgar language and the like.  We try to simplify life and redeem our new-found time through more focused and virtue-creating tasks.  If approached seriously, perhaps we will be able to carry some of this over into the paschal season – and beyond.

What can we do?  How do we not squander this time set aside for God? 

  • Prayer - Make provision to be in church for some of the Lenten services.  Start with the first week of Great Lent and the Canon of Repentance of Saint Andrew of Crete.  Assume or resume a regular Rule of Prayer in your home.  Read the psalms and other Scripture carefully and prayerfully.  Pray for others.
  • Charity – Open your heart to your neighbor.  If you believe that Christ dwells within you, then try to see Christ in your neighbor.  Make your presence for the “other” encouraging and supportive.  Restrain your “ego” for the sake of your neighbor.  Help someone in a concrete manner this Great Lent.
  • Fasting – Set domestic goals about the manner in which you will observe the fast.  Test yourselves.  Resist minimalism.  If you “break” the fast, do not get discouraged or “give up,” but start over.  Assume that your Orthodox neighbor is observing the fast.  Seek silence.  Allow for a different atmosphere in the home.

Jesus set the example of fasting for forty days.  We imitate Him for the same period of forty days.  If it was hard for Him, it will be hard for us— but not as hard as it was for Him.  Jesus went to the Cross following His “holy week” in Jerusalem.  We follow Him in our holy week observance and practices.  Jesus was raised from the dead following His crucifixion, death and burial.  We seek the resurrection of our spiritual lives here and now as we await our own death at the appointed time and the resurrection of the dead at the end of time.

“Taking Lent seriously”—Father Alexander Schmemann’s phrase—is a concrete sign of taking God seriously.  Our surrounding culture is not serious about taking anything too seriously.  When serious issues arise, however, people have a difficult time dealing with them.  Yet Jesus was very serious, especially when it came to issues of life and death – and God and salvation, and so forth.  Great Lent helps us to focus on these very themes, thereby making it meaningful and important for our lives.

-Fr. Steven Kostoff

https://oca.org/reflections/fr.-steven-kostoff/taking-lent-seriously

A couple of videos that might help:

Why fast?

https://youtu.be/2rt9An2OaDs

Why attend services more during Great Lent?

https://youtu.be/T-4aG3h5i5Y

 

00048
Online Giving now Available - 02/23/16

You can now give online - one time or set up regular and recurring donations.  Check it out on our front page or click the credit card image below. 

Your donation counts!

Give Online

 

00049
Join us for Services - The Meeting of the Lord - 01/30/16

February begins with a Great Vespers (with a Litya) and a Divine Liturgy commemorating the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple.  Please join us Monday (February 1st) at 6 PM and Tuesday morning (Febaruary 2nd) at 9:30 AM (all are welcome to join us for the prayers at 8:35 and 9:05 as well).  

What is the reason for this great feast? Read more:

https://oca.org/saints/lives/2000/02/02/100407-the-meeting-of-our-lord-and-savior-jesus-christ-in-the-temple

 

00050
House Blessings - 01/14/16

Having celebrated Theophany (the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ), it is time for house blessings! If you haven't yet, please contact Father Antonio to schedule an appointment to have your house blessed.

Why do we bless our houses? Please read this brief article:

Source: http://holytrinity-oca.org/why-do-orthodox-christians-bless-homes/

by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov

The Orthodox Church teaches that we do not have two separate lives—a secular one and a spiritual one–but one human life, and that all of it must be holy. We must not be Christians for just a few hours on Saturday and Sunday, spending the rest of our life godlessly that is to say, without God. The person who has united with Christ in the sacrament of baptism cannot be a part-time Christian, but must be faithful to Christ everywhere and at all times—in church, at work, at home, in relationships with other Christians, and in those with non-Christians. We must be faithful to Christ in the fullness of our life.

The Orthodox Church teaches us that a temple is not only a building in which we worship, but that we are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16); that the Body of Christ is not only that of which we partake at the Divine Liturgy, but that we are the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). And just as the Gifts of the Eucharist are treated with reverence and kept in sanctified vessels in the altar, so should every Christian’s life be full of reverence and sanctity not only during a church service, but likewise outside the walls of the temple. A Christian’s home must become a small temple, a small Church.

The Church blesses the very foundation of a home in the same way that it blesses the foundation of a church; it blesses a new Christian home in the same way that it blesses a new temple; and yearly, after the blessing of a parish temple with the water of Theophany, the Church brings this holy water into the homes of the faithful. The prayers for the blessing of a temple are different from those for the blessing of a home, because the function of a home is different from that of a temple, but the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit is one. And just as in the baptism of our Lord all of creation is washed clean and sanctified, every year after the feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January 6), Christians sanctify themselves and their homes with the water of Theophany.

The Church teaches us to sanctify everything: dwellings, places of work, all our pursuits, and the fruits of our labor. And just as a temple and sacred vessels, once sanctified and set aside for sacred use, can no longer be used for anything profane, in the same way a Christian washed in the baptismal waters, and his home, and all his works can no longer be the dwelling of sin and the works of Satan, but only and always the temple of the Holy Spirit and the fulfillment of the will of our Heavenly Father. This is why the Church blesses everything that can be found in a Christian home; and if something is not worthy of being blessed, then there should not be a place for it in the home of a Christian.

00051
Happy New Year! Theophany & Nativity pt2 - 01/04/16

Happy New Year to all!  

As seen in our schedule of services, we have had a busy end to 2015 and a busy start to 2016.  Come and join us! 

We will be having Great Vespers on Tuesday, January 5th, which includes the blessing of the water / commemoration of the baptism of Christ (Theophany). 

Thursday we will have a repeat of the Nativity Liturgy for our Old Calendar (Julian Calendar) members.  All are welcome!  The service will start at 9:30 AM but is preceded by Pre-Communion prayes at 8:35 AM and the Hours at 9:00 AM.  

 

00052
2015 International Festival - Saturday December 12 - 12/02/15

We are loaded up with goodies and doing the final preparations.  Make plans to be there! Saturday, December 12, from 9 AM to 4 PM.  

 

00053
Baklava Day - Festival food already on sale too! - 11/18/15

This Saturday, we will be making baklava for the last time, in preparation for our upcoming December 12th International Festival that will be here at the Parist - 704 W. Sam Houston in Pharr.

Come and join us to help bake if you can and share in the fellowship. No experience required. Bring something (vegan) to share for lunch.  We'll be working from about 9 am - 4 pm.  

Also, all items we've made thus far are on sale now - baklava (vegetarian), stuffed grape leaves (vegan and with meat), pastitsio (with meat), spanakopita & tiropita (vegetarian), pirogies (vegetarian) and cabbage rolls with meat.

Hope to see you Saturday, or on International Festival - St. George Orthodox Church​ Day!

00054
Tiropita this weekend - 10/28/15

This Saturday, we will be continuing our pre-festival cooking together, making Greek Tiropita (Potato and Cheese Filled Phyllo).  Come and help if you can. We start at 9 am, share something for lunch, and hopefully, will finish up by 4 pm.  All hands are needed!  If you can't work all day, come and go as you can.  It's a great time for fellowship and getting to know one another better.  

00055
Spanakopita cooking this Saturday! All hands on deck... please! - 10/20/15

Making yummy Greek spanakopita this Saturday in preparation for our upcoming December 12th International Festival - St. George Orthodox Church. Come and join us in the cooking fun, or come by and purchase baklava, pastitsio and more! 9 am - 4 pm. If you come and cook, bring something to share for lunch.  

Come and go as you need to - we need lots of hands to roll up these babies! Thanks!

00056
Help needed! - Baking Pastitsio this Saturday (Greek lasagna) - 10/14/15

This coming Saturday, we will be making Greek Pastitsio (a layered pasta dish), starting at 9 AM at St. George's.  Come and join us if you can.  Bring something to share for lunch. Great fellowship!

No experience required.  If you can't come in the morning, come in the early afternoon!  
 
See you on Saturday.

 

00057
Final clearance on 2014 Baklava - get it before it is gone! - 10/09/15

We need to get rid fo the reminaing Baklava from last year so we can make space for this years! Don't miss your chance to get a bargain price.  

Box of 25 ($35 normally) now only $15!

Box of 14 ($20 normally) now only $8!

00058
Baklava Baking Round 2 - 10/06/15

We are making BAKLAVA again this coming Saturday!

It will be on sale Immediately - and at our upcoming December 12th International Festival. Come and join us for fellowship, help and fun.

See more about volunteering at: http://www.stgeorgetxfestival.com/volunteers.html

00059
Vegetarian Dolmades this weekend - 09/28/15

Last weekend we successfully made 600 meat filled Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves).  This weekend it is time for the Vegetarian variety - all hands are welcome!

00060
Stuffed Grape Leaves up next! - 09/21/15

Our first pre-festival cooking day was a wonderful success, thanks to each of you who helped out! All went as smoothly as melted butter... of which there was plenty. :-) Thanks again to one and all.

Next up - Saturday, 9 AM - Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades) with Meat. All the help we can get is welcome! 

00061
New website launched for the festival! - 09/17/15

Check out our new website for the International Festival by clicking the "Festival" tab or right HERE.

00062
2015 International Food Festival - the date is set! - 09/16/15

Save & Share That Date! 2015 International Festival - St. George Orthodox Church will be held on Saturday, December 12th 9 AM - 4 PM.

Check out the flyer HERE.

00063
Live-stream Church Service March 29th, 2020

<div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/199628833443222/videos/215026539773959/" data-width="500" data-show-text="true"><blockquote cite="https://developers.facebook.com/199628833443222/videos/215026539773959/" class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore">Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/St-George-Orthodox-Church-199628833443222/">St. George Orthodox Church</a> on&nbsp;<a href="https://developers.facebook.com/199628833443222/videos/215026539773959/">Sunday, March 29, 2020</a></blockquote></div>

00064
UPDATE: Cancelled All Saints Summer Camp 2020

St. George's parish sent many of our youth to attend the annual "All Saints Summer Camp" in July of 2019. 

Summer Camp for 2020 has been canceled due to COVID-19

All Saints Summer Camp Facebook 

All Saints Summer Camp Webpage

00065
Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

So then, did [the Father]—as one might suppose—send [the Son] to rule in tyranny, fear, and terror? Not at all. But with gentleness and meekness, as a king sending his own son, He sent Him as a king; He sent Him as a god; He sent Him as a human to humans. So that He might bring salvation and persuasion He sent Him, not to coerce—for God does not work through coercion. He sent Him to issue His call, not to persecute.

He sent Him to show forth His love, not to judge.

00066
Visitors

Helpful Information For Your First Visit to an Orthodox Church

 


Mailing Address
St. George the Great Martyr Orthodox Church
PO Box 667
Pharr, TX 78577
Location
704 W Sam Houston
Pharr, TX 78577
Email and Phone