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Parish News presented by the

St. Zosima Society

The purpose of the St. Zosima Society is to proclaim the Orthodox Faith to all those it can reach:  to reclaim Orthodox Christians who have drifted from, or never truly knew, the Church, and to bring into the Church those who have not known her at all. The society is inspired by its patron, St. Zosima, who enlightened the world with the glorious revelation of his wondrous encounter with St. Mary of Egypt, the precious treasure of the Judean desert who embodied the union with God offered to all mankind.  The society will establish and implement goals for reaching out, inviting, educating, and enlightening people in the Orthodox Faith, always witnessing to the the love of Christ.

Christ Is Risen!! Truly He is Risen!!
Christ Is Risen!! Truly He is Risen!!
Christ Is Risen!! Truly He is Risen!!

Holy Friday, Pascha, and Bright Saturday 

Photos Click Here

Lenten Almsgiving Event 2022

During Lent we collected items for the Drake House, located in Roswell, GA.  The Drake House is a crisis residential assessment center for homeless women and children. They provide immediate residential housing, and an empowerment program designed to provide stability for the children and assist the family in working toward housing self-sufficiency.  Drake House personnel were very pleased to receive all the donated items. Thank you for making this a successful donation drive. 

Lazarus Saturday

On Lazarus Saturday, April 16/ April 3, catechumens Patrick, Seraphim, Victor, and Seraphim were baptized. Fr. John Townsend officiated the service. Congratulations to our newly illumined and sponsors Reader Matthew, Reader Zachary, John, and Nathaniel (respectively). God bless and grant you many years!

SOUTHERN LENTEN CLERGY RETREAT

On Wednesday, April 13, the Southern Lenten Diocesan Clergy Retreat concluded with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts in St. Mary of Egypt Church in Roswell (Atlanta), GA. Click here for more detail and pictures

Click here for more photos
Click here for more photos

 

St. Mary of Egypt Patronal Feast Day

April 10, 2022

On April 10, the fifth Sunday of Great Lent, our parish celebrated its patronal feast commemorating St. Mary of Egypt.

We were blessed to be visited by His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, who arrived at 9:30. Bishop Nicholas tonsured David Matthews to become a Reader, and elevated Reader Eugene Yukin to Subdeacon. Bishop Nicholas, along with other visiting clergy, celebrated the Divine Liturgy with us and before preaching on St. Mary of Egypt and her inspiring example of repentance.

Afterward the parish enjoyed a festive fasting meal as many parishioners greeted and received blessings from Bishop Nicholas.

Wedding Photos

Reader Matthew and Stephanie

January 2022

Click her for more photos

St. James Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy of St James, Brother of the Lord, was celebrated Sunday, January 9th, as we commemorated St. James along with King David and St Joseph, Foster-father of our Savior. This is the oldest of the Church’s Liturgies.  Click here for pictures.

Nativity Almsgiving Events - Recap

During the Nativity Fast, the church held three almsgiving events and one speaking event. Below are recaps of almsgiving events and photos.

Baby Items

On January 5, 2022, the collection of baby items (up to 2T) for The Pregnancy Aid Clinic (PAC) was delivered to their location at 281 S. Atlanta St. Roswell, GA.  PAC’s mission is to protect life and enlighten families to their God- given dignity. The PAC staff was very impressed and grateful with the amount of baby items donated.   Message from PAC: “Thank you again for the wonderful donations from St. Mary of Egypt Russian Orthodox Church. Our clients will really appreciate all the baby wipes, diapers and new and used clothing, so you are really making a difference in their lives!” Click here for pictures

Blankets

On January 8, 2022, blankets were delivered to the homeless that live around Hurt Park (close to Georgia State University). Parishioners Seraphim and his son Noah, and Reader Raphael delivered the blankets.  Seraphim said that it was an amazing day and that the recipients were very grateful. Click here for pictures.

Loaves and Fish

We also collected funds to help St. John the Wonderworker OCA in Grant Park (Atlanta) GA. The Loaves and Fishes project provides food and gifts for needy families during western Christmas.  Also, several families from St. Mary of Egypt ROCOR volunteered to help with the Family and Gift Program and the Christmas Day meal ( pictures unavailable).

The Spiritual Process

The recorded presentation from Metropolitan Jonah on The Spiritual Process is now available on our YouTube Channel.  This is a beautiful presentation that discusses how to fight off temptations, the Jesus Prayer, and other spiritual topics to help us as we continue the Nativity Fast (and beyond).  Please forgive the few technical glitches in the video.

Baptism

On Saturday, November 21 / December 4, 2021, on the Feast of Entrance of Theotokos, catechumens Matthew, Gregory, and Ina were baptized. Fr. John Townsend officiated the service. Congratulations to our newly illumined Matthew and his godparents John and Sophia; Gergory and godparents Nicholas and Anna; and Ina and her godmother Nina.  God bless and grant you many years!

Little Creek Campground Camping Trip.

Over Thanksgiving weekend several dads and boys from the church went on a two-night camping trip at Little Creek located near Blue Ridge, GA. The group camped out in tents and were engaged in several activities such as hiking, fishing, and other recreational activities, as well as prayer, fellowship, and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. Another father and son trip will be planned in the spring, if interested, please contact Fr. Mikhail at fr.mikhail@stmaryofegypt.orgClick here for pictures.

Mary and Ledio Wedding 

11/14/2021

The Church is the Hospital for Our Souls

Abbot Tryphon's sermon at St. Mary of Egypt, held on the Eighteen Sunday After Pentecost or the feast of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Click here to watch.

On Monday, October 25,2021, Abbot Tryphon, from the All-Merciful Savior Monastery on Vashon Island, visited our parish and gave a presentation titled “Living Our Orthodox Faith in a World of Unbelief.” Click to watch.

Baptism

Congratulations to our newly baptized Mary.   Mary, husband Sergey, and daughter Inga are long time parishioners.  Fr. John Townsend officiated and is godfather and choir director Irene Wasilov is godmother. God bless and grant you all many years. 

Baptism

On Saturday, September 4, 2021, infant Alexandra Cortez was baptized. Fr. Daniel Iliev officiated the service. Congratulations to godparents Vassilena and David; parents Nicholas and Anna and big sister Lily. May God’s grace and blessing be with you always.

Baptism

Saturday, September 4, 2021, two catechumens of our parish were baptized. Fr. John Townsend officiated.  Congratulations John and his sponsors Fr. Deacon Jude and Matushka Sophia and Alexis and his sponsor Eduard. God bless and grant you both many years! Click here for more photos.

 

Baptism

On Friday, September 3, infant Hermione was baptized. Fr. John Townsend officiated the service. Congratulations to proud grandparents and sponsors Johua and Sophia. God bless and grant you all many years.

Dormition Fast Almsgiving Event

During the Dormition Fast we collected non-perishable items for Never Alone Food Bank. Never Alone, located at 291 Ropemill Road, Woodstock, GA  30188, provides free food and other items to residents of Cherokee County, Georgia. 

From their website: In 2020, Never Alone served 12,861 families, representing 49,230 individuals, and distributed 978,790 pounds of food. That’s a lot of Corn Flakes! Yet in Georgia, one in six children go to bed hungry each night

Fr. John Whiteford's Presentation Now Available

The recorded presentation from Fr. John Whiteford on The Relationship Between Scripture and Holy Tradition and How We Can Best Understand and Articulate the Orthodox Perspective to Our Friends and Family is now available on our YouTube Channel. Please click HERE to access.

Baptism

On Saturday, August 1 / 14, 2021, on the Feast of The Procession of the Cross, Nektarios Cooper and Mary Phillips were baptized. Fr. John Townsend officiated the service. Congratulations to godparents Joshua and Sophia Bowden.  God bless and grant you many years!

(Gal 3:27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Newly Illumnied

Congratulations to our newly illumined John, Feodor, and Michelle and their sponsors Eduard, Cornelius, and Galina (respectively), baptized on July 12/June 29, 2021.  God bless and grant you many years!

(John 3:5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

July 2021 Almsgiving Event

During the month of July we collected school supplies for a local elementary school’s special needs and inclusion classrooms.  They receive very little funding from the county and often the teachers are responsible for stocking the classrooms.  On Monday, August 9th, the children return to school, so we delivered the supplies this week.  The teachers were very grateful and said it felt like Christmas in August.  Thanks to all who participated in providing this gift to these giving educators.

George and Irene Haralson Wedding
The Church Fathers in Relation to the Statements of Faith in the Creed

Thursday, April 1, the first of three talks on the teachings of the church fathers in relation to the statements of faith in the creed was held.  Thomas (Lisa) Boston’s presentation of the Orthodox conception of God, included consideration of other religions' perception of “God” and their contradictions with the true Orthodox teaching about the Triune God. Finally, the discussion dealt with how we know that God is called “Father" (as opposed to “Mother").  Utilizing the teaching of the Holy Fathers, the presentation was edifying to those in attendance.  The program will continue for the next two Thursdays.  All should make an effort to attend. 

Science and the Bible

On Thursday, March 25th, parishioner Matthew Campbell gave a talk on Science and the Bible. His talk focused on truth revealed through Scripture centuries before scientific corroboration. Of note is the discussion on how science is dependent on a Christian worldview - of an ordered world operating based on natural laws, rather than the chaotic conception of pagan religions. Matthew also provided specific examples of scientific insight in Scripture - such as observations of atmospheric movement in Ecclesiastes, biology and medical wisdom in Leviticus, and mental health in Proverbs. Even physical laws such as entropy receive attention in passages like Psalm 102. The book of Job, despite being the oldest in the Biblical canon, was mentioned as the Scripture with the most scientific facts and observations in it.

Through this talk, those present were reminded that our human discoveries through science often lag behind those revealed through divine revelation, and that in regards to the most contentious issues surrounding science - such as evolution and the origin of life - what is called "science" is often a matter of philosophy or history: speculation based on philosophical presuppositions that cannot be subjected to the scientific method of observation and experimentation.

Through Matthew's talk, those in attendance were reminded of God's great care and order in his creation, as well as His divine provision. With the understanding that science is no replacement for God, but in fact just one of several ways of obtaining truth, listeners were reminded that as Christians we can take a balanced view of science and what it offers, viewing it as a useful tool rather than a replacement or revelation.

Maxim's Baptismal Photos
Baptism

On Saturday, March 20, child Maxim was baptized. Fr. John Townsend officiated the service. Congratulations to godfather Andrew; parents Christopher and Reghan, and little brother Enoch. God bless and protect the newly illumined Maxim.  Click Here For Photo Album

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The Joy of Great Lent - A Presentation by Fr. Josiah Trenham

 

On Thursday, March 11, St. Mary of Egypt was blessed to host a talk by Fr. Josiah Trenham. Archpriest of St. Andrew's Orthodox Church in Riverside, California, Fr. Josiah is known as the author of Rock And Sand: An Orthodox Appraisal of the Protestant Reformers and Their Teachings, as well as popular videos and lectures through Patristic Nectar Publications and its YouTube channel.

Following a potluck dinner in the trapeza, attendees heard Fr. Josiah present his talk virtually through Zoom. Speaking on the topic The Joy of Lent, Fr. Josiah sought to encourage attendees toward a beneficial mindset toward the Lenten season.

Focusing on Jesus' teaching about fasting, almsgiving, and prayer in Matthew 6, Fr. Josiah encouraged attendees to focus upon what we gain through lenten disciplines, rather than what is given up, describing Lent as a time when "we feast on the food of the soul," giving less attention to the kingdoms of man, and more focus on the kingdom of God.

Fr. Josiah emphasized Lent as an opportunity for interior rejuvenation, and embracing spiritual disciplines which help us draw near to God. Lent exposes our unconscious dependencies on things less than God, and teaches us humility, with St. Andrew's Canon for Repentance being particularly beneficial toward this end.

The relation between joy and repentance received special attention from Fr. Josiah, who emphasized Psalm 50 as an example of joy in the midst of repentance, embodying a concept called "harmolipi" in Greek – joyful sadness. Fr. Josiah cited St. Seraphim of Sarov as a life particularly driven by delight in God, and his practice of greeting all who met him with the exclamation "My joy!"

Following the talk, Fr. Josiah answered several questions from attendees. Fr. John expressed gratitude to Fr. Josiah for his presentation, and hope that he will be able to visit us in person in the future.

You can watch the presenation  here: Fr. Josiah's Presentation

Click here for pictures: Cheesefare Thursday Presenation

Presentations During the Great Fast

 

During the Fast we will be presenting several speaker events to help in our spiritual renewal / journey. Our first speaker, Father Josiah Trenham, a noted Orthodox author, speaker, and pastor of St Andrew’s Orthodox Church in Riverside, California, will visit with us through ZOOM on Cheesefare Thursday, March 11th, at 7:00 PM.  Fr. Josiah will provide a 45-minute presentation followed by a 15-minute Q&A session.  Click here to submit questions for Fr. Josiah.  

On Thursdays during the Great Fast we will have presentations provided by Matthew Campbell and Thomas (Lisa) Boston. The presentations will be held on Thursday at 7:00 PM beginning on April 1st . The first presentation, offered by Matthew Campbell, will discuss Science in the Bible. The following three Thursdays will be a presentation, provided by Thomas, on The Symbol of Faith. The presentation will use commentaries from several church fathers, including St Hilary of Poitiers, St. Symeon the New Theologian, and other church fathers. St. Hilary of Poitiers was a Champion of Orthodoxy against Arianism. Visit our announcement page for exact dates and times.   

St. Zosima Society 2021 Kickoff Meeting

 

On the afternoon of Sunday, January 31, 2021, following the singing of O Heavenly King, the first meeting of the St. Zosima Society for the year was held.  Although the Society was hampered last year by uncertainties brought about by Covid19, we are excited to pursue both regular annual activities and new avenues for outreach.  Matushka Sophia Rountree and Fr. Michael led the meeting, with Fr. John offering feedback. 

The attendees discussed upcoming events and the need of volunteers and ownership, as well as brainstorming other outreach activities. 

Edwin volunteered to help Matushka Sophia with written documentation of church news and events both.  Additional help in this area is welcome.  The Society will continue to rely on Gary and Tatiana for photographs.  Other volunteer photographers are also welcome.  The group expressed a desire to use these written and photographic resources, and particularly social media, to direct inquirers toward our website, and ultimately our parish.

The Society next discussed almsgiving and charitable activities.  The group expressed the desire to concentrate efforts on local organizations and charities in the Roswell area. Below is the list of the four major almsgiving events along with designated tentative charities:

Almsgiving Events:

Lent (March 15-April 18): Foster Cares.  Coordinated by M. Sophia 

Apostles’ Fast (June 28-July 11): Hembree Springs Elementary.  Coordinated by Adam.

Dormition Fast (August 14-August 28): To be determined.  Coordinated by Zosima.

Nativity Fast (November 28-December 18): To be determined.  Coordinator – Open – please see M. Sophia if you would like to help.

Other Outreach Events Discussed:  

Annual Lenten Speaker:  With the blessing of Fr. Alexander, Nina and Zosima volunteered to help identify and coordinate a speaker for Cheesefare Thursday March 11 or Friday March 12, 2021. 

Open House: The Society proposed an Open House in May, most likely the Saturday of 5/15 or 5/22, in which we will offer church tours, and other information on our parish and the Orthodox faith.  Tikhon volunteered to help coordinate this event.

Church Camp: The Church Camp for teens and children, typically held in June or July, plans to resume in 2021.  M. Elizabeth and Nina volunteered to help coordinate the camp.

Fall Festival: The parish’s biggest outreach event of the year, the Fall Festival, was not held last year because of health concerns, but the Society hopes to resume holding it as usual this October, most likely on October 16/17, the weekend following Columbus Day.

Proposed Events: Finally, the Society proposed a number of new activities and prospective events.  

Cornelius volunteered to lead a Men’s Group which, pending approval from the Fathers, would seek to cultivate healthy masculinity amongst men at the parish and include social activities such as camping and fishing trips in addition to study of Scripture or patristic teachings. 

Examples of other prospective activities included: bible studies during the week, activities for teens, resume workshop (Miglena), and sponsor a park/road/etc. (John)

With gratitude for a productive and invigorating meeting, the Society concluded with the singing of It Is Truly Meet.  We hope that the St. Zosima Society will be effective in serving the needs of our parish and community, we welcome feedback and input.

If you would like to be a part of St. Zosima Society, please speak to any member or email the Society @ https://www.stmaryofegypt.org . The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Sunday April 4, 2021 at 1:15 pm in the Church.

 

 

Wedding of Reader Theodore and Anneliese Foley

On January 24, 2021 Reader Theodore Foley and Anneliese Shannon were wed.  The service was held at Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Bixby OK., Fr. Ambrose officiated the service.  Reader Theodore and Anneliese will live in the Bixby OK area. God bless and grant them many years!

Sister Maria from St. Elizabeth Convent

On January 7, 2021 and several weeks thereafter, Sister Maria from St. Elizabeth’s Convent in Minsk, Belarus visited with us and other Orthodox Churches in the Metro area.  Sister Maria’s visit was to raise funds for the convent.  The sisterhood, along with an active prayer life, has a mission to care for orphaned children and many people with disabilities.  If you would like to learn more and/or provide financial support for the monastery, visit their website at https://catalog.obitel-minsk.com/.

Baptism

On Saturday, January 16, 2021 two of our catechumens were baptized into the Orthodox Faith.  Fr. Alexander officiated the service. 

Congratulations to the newly illumined Alfred, the newly illumined Sophia, and their sponsors, Fr. Mikhael, Nina, and Isaac. Also in attendance was Alfred's family and Sophia's husband Joshua, along with other church members. God bless and grant them many years!!

Father John Explaining the Nativity Icon

On December 25/January 7, 2021 (Nativity of Christ), Archimandrite John held his annual Nativity lesson for children to discuss the meaning of the Nativity Icon.  It was a very engaging session with many children asking thoughtful questions as well as demonstrating their understanding of this joyful Feast.

The icon of the Nativity tells the story of Christ's birth from the Scriptures. It also shows that all creation is taking part in Christ's birth. The angels give thanks with their song; the heavens give the star; the Wise Men give their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The poor, humble shepherds give their praise and amazement; the earth gives the cave, and humanity gives the Virgin.

 
Baptism

On December 24/January 6, 2021 (Eve of Nativity), 12 of our catechumens were baptized into the Orthodox Faith.

Congratulations to newly illumined Zosima, Seraphim, Samuel, Larissa, James, Edwin, Tikhon, John, Raphael, Adam, Madeleline, and Katherine along with their sponsors, Archimandrite John, Hieromonk Alexander, Priest Mikhail, Ivan, Isaac, Nina, Thomas, Gheorge, Rodica, Maria, Irene, and Nina. God grant you many years.

“Baptism is the aid to our weakness, the renunciation of the flesh, the following of the Spirit, the fellowship of the Word, the improvement of the creature, the overwhelming of sins, the participation of light, the dissolution of darkness. It is the carriage of God, the dying of Christ, the perfecting of the mind, the bulwark of Faith, the key of the Kingdom of Heaven, the change of life, the removal of slavery, the loosing of the chains, the remodeling of the whole man. Illumination is the greatest and most magnificent of the Gifts of God (Oration 40).” St. Gregory the Theologian

Annual Tree Decorating

Saturday, January 2, 2021. As we prepare for the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, church children (with a little help from parents) gathered for the annual tree decorating.

Troparion of the Forefeast: Make ready, O Bethlehem, Be thou opened unto all, O Eden. Adorn thyself, O Ephratha. For in the cave the Tree of Life hath sprung forth from the Virgin. Her womb is shown to be a noetic paradise, in the midst of which is the divine Tree, whereof eating, we shall live, and not die as did Adam. Christ is born to raise up His image which before was fallen.

Baptism

On Sunday, December 6, 2020, infant Mariam Epstein was baptized. Fr. John Townsend officiated the service. Congratulations to godparents Sopio and Demetre; parents Fr. Peter and Matushka Tamara and big sister Elena. May God’s grace and blessing be with you always.

Baptism

On Friday, December 4 on the Feast Day of the Entry of the Theotokos four of our catechumens were baptized into the Orthodox Faith.

Congratulations to newly illumined Joshua, Matthew, Seraphim and Noah. God grant you many years.

Wedding of Rachel Rountree and John Davenport

On Sunday, November 22, 2020 Rachel Rountree and John Davenport were wed.

Congratulations Rachel, John and their families.  God bless and grant them many years!!

 

Baptism

On Saturday, October 17, 2020, George (Mina) Mikhail was baptized. Godfather, Fr. Daniel Iliev officiated the service. Congratulations to godparents Fr. Daniel and Dusica and parents Mathew Mikhail and Bosiljk Vukobrat.

Baptism

On Saturday, August 29, 2020, infant Susannah Murray was baptized. Fr. Daniel Iliev officiated the service. Congratulations to godparents Fr. Jude and Matushka Sophia; parents Andrew and Madeline and big brother Amos. 

Older Items 

 
Life of St. Zosima

Righteous Zosima of Palestine commemorated as a saint on April 4.

Saint Zosimas was born in the second half of the fifth century, during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Younger. He became a monk in a monastery in Palestine at a very young age, gaining a reputation as a great elder and ascetic. At the age of fifty-three, now a hieromonk, he moved to a very strict monastery located in the wilderness close to the Jordan River, where he spent the remainder of his life.

He is best known for his encounter with St. Mary of Egypt (commemorated on April 1). It was the custom of that monastery for all of the brethren to go out into the desert for the forty days of Great Lent, spending the time in fasting and prayer, and not returning until Palm Sunday. While wandering in the desert he met Saint Mary, who told him her life story and asked him to meet her the next year on Holy Thursday on the banks of the Jordan, in order to bring her Holy Communion. He did so, and the third year came to her again in the desert, but he found that she had died and he buried her. St Zosimas is reputed to have lived to be almost one hundred years of age.

All that we know of Zosimas' life comes from the Vita of St. Mary of Egypt, recorded by St. Sophronius, who was the Patriarch of Jerusalem from 634 to 638.

 

   
 
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