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Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,
Christ is in our midst!
Welcome to the website of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Brockton, MA. The Annunciation is within the Metropolis of Boston, which is part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – one of the daughter Churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Church of the Annunciation is the only Eastern Orthodox Church in Brockton and its surrounding communities.
At the Annunciation, we conduct the full cycle of Sunday services, commencing with Great Vespers on Saturday evenings through Orthros (Matins) and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings. Throughout the liturgical year, we also celebrate the feasts of our Lord and the Theotokos (Mother of God), as well as the feasts of all major saints of the Church. From fall through spring, Small Vespers are also celebrated on most Wednesdays nights, with adult religious education sessions following the service.
We welcome all to worship with us, whether you are visiting the area or live locally. May God bless you!
†Fr. Anthony Evangelatos
Fr. Anthony's July - August 2014 Message
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
If we were to take a good look at today’s society, we would realize that the behavior of many individuals stems from a basic lack of self-control. We could come up with an endless list of examples, such as substance abuse, violence, promiscuity, anger, rudeness, verbal and physical abuse, gambling, cursing, adultery, glu7ony, pre-marital sex, road-rage, self-indulgence, lying, cheating, excessive materialism, and so on, just to name a few.
Unfortunately, some of these behaviors can become so out of control that they can adversely affect others. Some recent examples are the tragic random shootings at various schools and other venues. Although this type of incident is still a rare occurrence, unfortunately, there has been an increase in such events. “Going postal” was not part of our vocabulary a few years back. In today’s world, one never really knows what could happen in any given place, and at any time. The reality is that we have been forced to live with domestic terrorism.
There is no doubt in my mind that as society becomes more secularized, it also becomes plagued with all sorts of problems and an increase in violent crimes. With an increasing number of people having no faith tradition, there are countless souls with no sense of accountability to a higher power. The bad apples of this sector of society have no problem behaving inappropriately, or even criminally, when it behooves them. Those who are not criminally minded are still susceptible to behaviors that are outside the realm of morality and ethics, which again, stem from a lack of self-control.
In regards to the Christian community, there are various ways of dealing with issues of self-control. Prayer, of course, is the starting point since it is an integral part of one’s spiritual life. The first step in controlling one’s various passions is to prayerfully acknowledge their existence and the amount of control they have on one’s life.
In our Orthodox Christian spiritual tradition, there is one other powerful tool at our disposal, which is fasting. Fasting had always been an integral part of the spiritual lives of early Christians, as well as devout Orthodox Christians throughout the ages. For the Orthodox, fasting basically consists of an alteration of foods consumed as a starting point. The general rule is that animal products and alcoholic beverages are prohibited when one is fasting. We Orthodox Christians fast on Wednesdays and Fridays each week (with some exceptions), and during certain periods of the year, in order to strive to control various passions and to remind ourselves of our constant dependence upon God for all things in life.
The correct understanding of fasting has always incorporated prayer and the performing of good works as necessary counterparts; otherwise, it would be practiced in vain. The spiritually healthy Orthodox Christian ideally focuses more clearly on God through prayer during times of fasting, because he has willingly controlled the basic bodily passion for food and drink. In this prayerful state of mind, he not only encounters God more readily through prayer, but also through his fellow man by involving himself in charitable works.
What is important to stress here, is that true fasting does not remain on the level of food consumption. Here is where the ability to control undesirable behaviors comes in. When we’re able to control what we eat and drink, we can then take fasting to a higher level. Sincere, prayerful fasting leads to fasting of the total person – fasting from what we say, what we listen to, what we look at, what we do, etc. The combination of prayer and fasting can give us the strength to tackle many issues which seek to control us.
Obviously, I’m not trying to naively insinuate that mass murderers would not commit crimes if they would only learn to fast! There are many types of negative behavior that are based on a multitude of complex issues. In such cases, spiritual guidance is only the beginning of what is truly needed in order to help. The average Christian, however, could reap immense spiritual benefit through a fine-tuned spiritual life that would include fasting.
As an Orthodox priest, I’m obviously biased toward a holistic spiritual life that emphasizes prayer, fasting, regular liturgical and sacramental participation, performing good works, and so forth. In a general sense though, all those who believe in God should seek the full inclusion of Him in their lives through whatever means they know. Basically, we are all children of God, and as any child we are in need of his unending and unconditional love, as well as his mercy and divine guidance.
Beloved in Christ, please remember that we have a 13-day fast period coming up on August 1st, in honor of the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos. Let us use this holy period – our “summer Lent” – in order to keep our own passions and self-control in check. As far as the rest of society, it is our obligation to continually pray for the world. Hopefully, our own example of sincere Christian spirituality can perhaps affect others around us to seek Christ in their lives.
Asking for the intercessions of the Holy Theotokos,
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Easton Country Club
256 Purchase Street
South Easton, MA
Orthros at 8:30 am; Divine Liturgy at 9:45 am
Orthros at 9:00 am; Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am
Saturdays at 6:00 pm
The Annunciation Church now offers an online bill pay service for the convenience of our parishioners. Click on the links below to fulfill your Stewardship or make other payments by credit card.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
457 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301
From Route 24 take Exit 18B (Route 27 North - Stoughton).
At lights take a right on to Pearl Street.
At second set of lights take a right on to Oak Street.
Drive 1 mile. The church is on the left. Welcome!
Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Rev. Fr. Anthony Evangelatos - Presiding Priest
Office - firstname.lastname@example.org
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