The Desert Messenger - St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church


The Desert Messenger - St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church
The Desert
“Behold, I send My messenger before Your Face, who shall prepare Your way...” (Matthew 11:10)
Volume 13, Issue 5
St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, Las Vegas, NV
May 2015
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
Beloved in Christ:
Χριστος Ανεστη! Christ is Risen!
Just a couple weeks ago a swarm of faithful gathered from all corners of the Las Vegas Valley into (and for
some, outside) our darkened Church shortly before the midnight hour, with Paschal candles in hand, eagerly
waiting to receive the light of Jesus Christ: While chanting “Come, receive the light,” I lit my candle from the
solitary flame of the Altar vigil lamp, shared it with my beloved brother priests, then the Myrrh-Bearers –
who represented those women who were the first eyewitnesses of the Lord’s Resurrection – and not long
after, the entire Church basked in a most amazing radiant light.
Although some time has passed, I pray we are still beaming with the illuminant joy of the Resurrection of
our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the True Light – the Light that can never be overtaken by the night of sin and
death. Receiving the Paschal light is one thing: But more importantly we must internalize this light by
responding daily to Christ’s gift of Life and working out our salvation. (Philippians 2:12) He Who came
first as our Savior will come next time as our Judge: It is not sufficient that we receive regularly God’s love,
mercy and healing through the Holy Mysteries of the Church – we must also live genuinely in accordance
with that grace, wherever we go and whatever we do.
Our compassionate Lord knows us and understands the challenge of keeping the light of faith aflame, and
He has not left us as orphans in our flesh and in this world, which are often darkened by sin: As He kept His
promise to His Disciples, He continues to do so with all the faithful in the Church by granting us the gift of
the All-Holy Spirit. On Pentecost Sunday (May 31) we will fall on our knees, rejoicing in God’s love as He
sends His life-giving Spirit on our parish and all the Orthodox in the world. Let us recall that on Holy
Pascha, we did not come to Church only to receive the light for our own candle, but equally so to share the
light with our fellow brothers and sisters in faith: This unity of Pascha is fulfilled with the Feast of Holy
Pentecost, on which the Holy Spirit entwines us all together – like holy ivy – as brothers and sisters of the
mystical Body of Christ.
Fifty days after the Feast of our Lord’s Resurrection, we are reminded of why God established His Church –
specifically, that we might become holy and bring others into His Kingdom. We are reminded in the festal
hymns that in ancient times God thwarted the plans of those who desired to build a huge tower to magnify
and unite the entire human race on the premise of ego. Yet, on Pentecost Sunday, God revealed the Source of
true unity, bringing all nations together in Him by the gift of the Holy Spirit: “Once, when He descended and
confounded the tongues, the Most High divided the nations; and when He divided the tongues of fire, He called all men into unity;
and with one accord we glorify the All-Holy Spirit.” (Kontakion of Pentecost)
What a blessing it is indeed to have the holy fire of God’s love uniting us with our Creator and one another:
Together may we work to extinguish the darkness of ego, hatred and sin – and to keep the fire of the Holy
Spirit ignited in our souls, relationships, homes and in our community!
With love in Christ,
The Desert Messenger
Sundays: 8:45 am Orthros ~ 10:00 am Divine Liturgy
Church School follows Holy Communion
Church School Commencement on Sunday, May 24 after Liturgy
Sunday, May 3/Sunday of the Paralytic
Orthros: Tone Three
Resurrection Gospel (Orthros): Luke 24:13-35
Epistle: Acts 9:32-42
Gospel: John 5:1-15
Thursday, May 21/Holy Ascension of Our Lord &
Sunday, May 10/Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
Orthros: Tone Four
Resurrection Gospel (Orthros): John 20:1-10
Epistle: Acts 11:19-30
Gospel: John 4:5-42
Orthros: Tone Six (Second Plagal)
Resurrection Gospel (Orthros): John 21:1-14
Epistle: Acts 20:16-18, 28-36
Gospel: John 17:1-13
Happy Mothers Day!
Sunday, May 17/Sunday of the Blind Man
Orthros: Tone Five (First Plagal)
Resurrection Gospel (Orthros): John 20:11-18
Epistle: Acts 16:16-34
Gospel: John 9:1-38
Wednesday, May 20
5:00 pm Orthros ~ 6:00 pm Divine Liturgy
(Holy Ascension & Ss. Constantine and Helen)
Epistle: Acts 26:1, 12-20
Gospel: Luke 24:36-53
Ss. Constantine and Helen
(Liturgy Celebrated Wednesday, May 20)
Sunday, May 24/Fathers of the First Ecumenical
Church School Commencement
Sunday, May 31/Holy Pentecost
Festal Gospel (Orthros): John 20:19-31
Epistle: Acts 2:1-11
Gospel: John 7:37-52
Kneeling Vespers follows Liturgy
Pentecost Week: Fast-free
Monday, June 1/Monday of the Holy Spirit
Epistle: Ephesians 5:8-19
Gospel: Matthew 18:10-20
The Desert Messenger
Ushers: Adam Bieker, John Fotopoulos, John Karas, George Bochanis, Skip Ruffner and Demetrious Asim
Memorial: Albert Flangas (40 days); Kathy Katris (40 days); Christos Demolas (40 days);
Dennis Osborn (40 days); Anna Maliagros (40 days); Margaret Carras Fronimos (1 year); and
Katerina Soto (1 year).
Fellowship: Forerunners ~ Seniors of St. John the Baptist
Ushers: Skip Ruffner, Ramona Tasios, John Fotopoulos, Paula Kelesis, Stacy Mavrantonis
and Dean Chomakos
Memorial: Eftie Grabovoi (2 years).
Fellowship: Pan-Arcadians
MAY 17
Ushers: Kouli Pouridis, Demetrious Asim, John Koutsulis, George Bochanis, John Karas and Adam Bieker
Fellowship: Philoptochos ~ Bartsas Memorial
Ushers: Stacy Mavrantonis, Dean Chomakos, Ramona Tasios, Skip Ruffner, Demetrious Asim
and John Fotopoulos
Memorial: Constantine and Helen Psihountas.
Fellowship: Lemlem Haile and Family
Ushers: John Karas, John Koutsulis, Adam Bieker, Kouli Pouridis, Paula Kelesis and George Bochanis
Fellowship: Orthodox Connection Las Vegas
Notice of Parish Assembly
Sunday, June 7
Following Divine Liturgy
Agenda Items Include:
2015 Stewardship Report
(as of 4/15/15)
Financial Review
 Greek Food Festival Update
Strategic Planning Power-Point
 Church Music Conference
Stewardship Gifts Pledged: $302,463.33
Stewardship Gifts Received: $133,893.83
Your attendance is encouraged.
Only Stewards in Good Standing
for 2015 may vote.
Unfulfilled Pledge Balance: $168,569.50
Stewardship Families Pledged: 334
“Jesus said to her, ‘Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the
water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a
spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” (John 5:13-14)
The Desert Messenger
Christos Anesti!
What an amazing job our volunteers did during Holy Week and Pascha this year! I
cannot stress enough the importance of volunteering in our ministries and parish
events. Serving in our Church is the backbone of our community’s life. Holy Week and Pascha
were a perfect example of everything that is positive about our volunteers and Church
We can start with our Palm Sunday Luncheon which was chaired by Paula Kelesis and Skip Ruffner.
Wonderful fellowship was enjoyed by our parishioners, with Metropolitan Gerasimos present as our honored
guest. The delicious food for this luncheon was prepared by Sam Koutsulis, and was appreciated by all those
in attendance. This has become an annual success, enjoyed by all.
During Holy Week, the efforts of our many volunteers were visible and well-received. Different
ministries stepped up at different times during Holy Week to assist and help. The efforts of Philoptochos, our
Senior Forerunners, Choir and other youth and adult volunteers must be noted and saluted. We appreciated
all of their time and effort.
The Agape Picnic was another successful event which seems to grow in popularity every year. This
year around 650 people attended the event. This labor of love was chaired by Adam Bieker and Demetri
Asim. The food was varied and excellent, prepared by our kitchen All-Stars: Pete Kypreos, Sam Koutsulis
and George Kakavulias. The efforts of these three cannot be overstated; and the time they put into
volunteering for our Church is truly amazing.
Our thanks go out to our volunteers and ministries, not only during Holy Week but throughout the
year. You are all truly appreciated!
Alithos Anesti! George T. Bochanis, Parish Council President
Stewardship and Community Outreach
Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!
These words took on a new and deeper meaning for
me this year as I celebrated Pascha with my family, including
my mother who traveled from Massachusetts to visit with
her grandchildren.
As many of you know, my son is on the Autism
Spectrum Disorder, and one of his challenges is social
communication skills that you and I take for granted.
Typically my son does not initiate conversation unless he is
asking for something to eat or for his iPad. However during Holy Week this year, something beautiful and
wondrous occurred that can only be described as the presence of the Holy Spirit.
On Holy Wednesday, my mother and I attended the Holy Unction service and brought home some
Holy Unction, so that my children could receive this Sacrament. With my mother and my wife Suzy by my
side, I administered Holy Unction to my son while reciting the appropriate prayer, “Holy Father, Physician of our
souls and bodies, have mercy, forgive and save Your servant, Maximos.” My son willingly allowed me to make the sign of
the Cross on his face and hands, and then, without prompting, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Thanks,
Dad.” Dumbfounded, I turned to my mother and my wife to confirm what I had just seen and heard, and my
mother proclaimed, “That is the presence of the Holy Spirit!”
At Pascha we celebrate the Holy Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the promise of
eternal life through Him. Yet, Holy Pascha is also the promise that He is with us always – just as He was on
Holy Wednesday with my son, Maximos.
Alithos Anesti! Truly He Has Risen!
In Peace, Mark Karris and Jennia Szukiewicz, Stewardship and Community Outreach
The Desert Messenger
Christos Anesti!
The months of March and April have been an emotional and spiritual journey for
all of us. We have prayed together, worshipped together, cried together, and shared
and made memories together in His Name, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We as a community performed
the true acts of Orthodox Christians, as we fed the poor, helped those in need, visited the sick, and prayed for
those who have passed on before us.
Though all of the work of the Ladies Philoptochos Society
is a huge team effort, credit and appreciation is especially due to
several women who have faithfully undertaken the larger projects
of Holy Week:
Palm Sunday Luncheon – Thank you to all the terrific
volunteers that helped to decorate and set up and serve the
wonderful lunch. Thanks to the Parish Council members,
especially the chairs, Paula Kelesis and Skip Ruffner, and Ladies
Philoptochos members, for another amazing reason to gather as
friends and family in the fellowship of breaking bread together.
Red Eggs – In keeping with the traditions of our Faith,
Andrea Takas and the team got there early, cooked the eggs, then attended the morning service and returned
to work, with the help of more parishioners! God Bless them all!
Epitaphio Decoration – I would like to acknowledge the dedication and devotion to the designing of
the beautiful Epitaphio by Ernestine Kachikis. Ernestine spends countless hours working to create this
beautiful tribute to our Lord. Many thanks to all of you who financially contributed to the Epitaphio flowers,
using the envelopes to make donations and remember your loved ones. Marcie Karas, thank you for your help
to organize the names.
Agape Picnic – The Agape Picnic would not be the same without the dedication of Glenda and Pete
Eliakis, Donna Maland, Amalia Dominguez, and their families who have faithfully devoted their time to
prepare the sweets and the Tsourekia bread for the Picnic. Many thanks to Estella Nicholas and Rebecca
Matsis and everyone who sold tickets, donated wine, and bought tickets for the Wine Wagon! This little
“fun”raiser helps with several Church and community projects every year.
The month of May sees the Ladies Philoptochos Society in a transition. We will be electing new
officers to lead the Panagia Chapter for the next two years. Elections will take place at the President’s
Dinner, to be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Please look for further information in the Sunday Weekly
It has been my pleasure and privilege to work with the Officers, Board and Members of the Panagia
Chapter these last two years. We have continued the traditions of the past, while introducing a couple of
new projects and activities. I look forward to the future of a Philoptochos that, while taking care of our
Church community both locally and globally, we also reach out into the Southern Nevada community to
show them the true meaning of philanthropy and at the same time acquaint them to our Faith!
To the 2013-2015 Officers and Board Members – Bessie Chachas, Vice President; April Karalis,
Treasurer; Dianne Bacon, Recording Secretary; Andrea Takas, Corresponding Secretary; Alexia Chandrinos,
Membership; Catherine Manolakos, Social Services; Jennia Szukiewicz, Outreach; Joanne DeMangus,
Fellowship; Presv. Maria Hondros, Meeting Fellowship; Marcie Karas, Vasilopita; Ernestine Kachikis,
Epitaphio; Dora Hart, National Representative; and Geri Kypreos, Immediate Past President – each and every
one of you have stepped up, fulfilled your offices and chairmanships, and of course cheerfully stepped in
whenever asked to take on another duty. Thank you so very much!
Your dedication along with the strong support of the St. John the Baptist Community has drawn the
notice of the Metropolis and the National Philoptochos Society. They have seen what we do and are
interested in how this one small chapter has made and is still making a difference in Southern Nevada.
Thank you so much for being there!
Your Sister in Christ, Bernadette Anthony
The Desert Messenger
Our Community Registry
Baptized into Christ: Na Mas Zisi!
5300 S. El Camino Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Constantine (Cameron) Smith (Adult Baptism) on March 22, 2015.
Sponsor: Gus W. Flangas.
Rev. Father John Hondros
[email protected]
Johnny Crisstopher, son of Christopher and Shaunyl Sarantakos,
on March 29, 2015. Godparent: George J. Sarantakos.
Thomas Fleetwood on March 29, 2015. Sponsor: Matthew Castillo.
Rev. Father Matthew Swehla
[email protected]
Karen Rawlinson
Administrative Assistant
Angeliki (Melissa) Fleetwood on March 29, 2015.
Sponsor: Justina Szukiewicz.
Monica Finch
Catering & Events Manager
Paraskevi (Jennifer) Santamaria on March 29, 2015.
Sponsor: Catherine (Carolyn) Beeler.
Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Marriages: Na Zisete!
Joshua Miller and Sevasti Paschalis on April 18, 2015.
Koumbaros: John G. Paschalis.
Thomas Gott and Kitty Komashko on April 18, 2015.
Koumbara: Presvytera Kimberly Taweel.
Kyle Foster and Maria Pierro on April 19, 2015.
Koumbara: Argie Kisner.
Fallen Asleep in the Lord: Eternal Memory!
Harry Rigas on March 21, 2015. Funeral on March 27.
Kathryn Katris on March 24, 2015. Funeral on March 28.
Albert Flangas on March 26, 2015. Funeral on April 1.
Anna Maliagros on March 30, 2015. Funeral on April 3.
Dennis Osborn on March 31, 2015. Trisagion on April 6.
Michael Poe on April 18, 2015. Funeral on April 24.
From the Cross . . . to the Empty Tomb!
Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen!
Office Hours
Telephone: (702) 221-8245
FAX: (702) 221-9167
Parish Council: George Bochanis
Philoptochos: Bernadette Anthony
Stewardship & Outreach:
Mark Karris & Justina Szukiewicz
Choir: Athena Mertes
Chanters & Youth Choir:
Presvytera Maria Hondros
Church School: Eileen Koutsulis
Altar Servers: Alex Szukiewicz
Kouli Pouridis & June Likourinou
Orthodox Family Fellowship:
Elaine Bucy & Politimi Zondiros
Greek Folk Dance: Panagiote Tsolis
Greek School: Paula Kelesis
Orthodox Connection Las Vegas:
Dimitri Tsilis
Orthodox Christian Fellowship:
Alex Szukiewicz & Fani Mavrantonis
Mr. & Mrs.: Fr. John, Fr. Matthew
& Presvyteres
Kali Parea: Demetri Asim
Adult Basketball: Nick Kelesis
Forerunners: Marie & Gary Setian
Orthodox Bookstore:
Constantine Frangakis
Bill Andrews Library:
Cheryl Pandelis and Susan Stamis
Greek Food Festival: Angelo Stamis
Hellenic Historical Society:
Cheryl Pandelis and Susan Stamis
Strategic Planning : Paula Kelesis
Photographer: Bill Bruninga
The Desert Messenger
From Father Matthew
Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!
Summer is almost upon us, as temperatures rise and kids eagerly await the end of the school year.
Many of us are starting to plan our summer trips and looking forward to taking life a bit easier, or escaping
the hottest days of the year!
In our spiritual lives, we sometimes want to take a break as well. There are seasons when Church
attendance diminishes – whether it is in the weeks following major feasts like Pascha or Christmas, or in the
summer months when kids are out of school and people go on vacation.
However our life in the Church is our spiritual heartbeat; it is the thing which sustains us through the
ups and downs of life. When summer comes (or any other season of relaxation), we must remember that our
vacation time needs the Church just as much as any other time in our lives. We must nurture our
relationship with Jesus Christ at all times, because, if we are not moving towards our Lord, then we are
moving away. There is no happy medium or comfortable middle ground.
Taking a spiritual vacation from the Church means that we are moving away from Christ, Who is our
life and the Source of Life. Just as moving away from your spouse or your family and loved ones would hurt
your relationship with them, so does moving away from God diminishes our relationship with Him, affecting
all aspects of our life.
When we move away from the life of the Church – our life in Christ – we become ill-prepared for the
inevitable losses and tragedies which come upon us. We become more prone to spiritual attacks. In our dry
spells the devil works especially hard, causing us to stumble and sin.
In fact our salvation is dependent upon our growth in Christ, our union with God. We are “being
transformed into . . . the glory of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) Yet this transformation is a slow
process; it is the work of our whole life. Just as marriage is the life-long process of becoming one with
another person, so our spiritual life is the process of being transformed into oneness with God.
As we approach summer, let us not take a spiritual vacation, drifting away from our Lord and
becoming susceptible to spiritual attack. If you travel, then find a Church wherever you go. Let us not be
“alienated and enemies by wicked works,” for “Jesus has reconciled [you to be] holy and blameless . . . if
indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the
gospel. (Colossians 1:21-23)
In summer and in all seasons of our life, may we move toward God, participating in His Church,
praying, and growing in His love. Let us be grounded in the Church, so that it may be the foundation of
everything else in our lives.
In Christ’s love,
Thursday Morning Study
with Father Matthew:
Sunday New Testament Readings
Adult Study with
Father John:
“The Church at Prayer”
Meets every Wednesday
Meets every Thursday
10:30 am in the Library
7:00 - 8:30 pm in Kokkos Hall
Join us on our quest toward holiness!
Bring your Bible!
Serving Dinner to the Homeless
The Community of St. John the Baptist will resume serving dinner to the homeless at the Las Vegas
Rescue Mission in May, on Friday, May 15 at 4:30 pm. Please join us and see why “it is more blessed to
give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
The Desert Messenger
Youth and Family Ministries
Church School
Christos Anesti! I hope everyone had a
wonderful Pascha.
It is hard to believe the school year is coming to
an end. Where has the year gone? I hope everyone
enjoyed the Lenten season along with Holy Week. We
had our annual chat with Metropolitan Gerasimos
before Palm Sunday Vespers. The children had many
inspiring and thoughtful questions. It was nice seeing
so many children participate in the various events. A special thanks to our Altar Servers and the MyrrhBearers. They did an amazing job and made Holy Week and Pascha so beautiful.
Our annual egg hunt at the Agape Picnic was so
much fun for our youth. We had more than 3,000 eggs – a
special thank you for all the donated eggs; I could not
have done it without you. Our youth programs would
not be successful without many hands.
We are having a great school year with the kids.
Our Commencement and Pizza Party will be taking
place on Sunday, May 24. Please mark this date in your
calendar so your child can participate. At that time, we
will honor our Graduating High School Seniors and
present the Mochas for Missions donation (which
benefits Metropolis Mission Parishes) to Philoptochos.
In Christ, Eileen Koutsulis, Church School Director (702) 521-6516 or [email protected]
Youth Choir News
Christos Anesti! I want to thank the
Youth Choir members who participated in the
Holy Saturday Morning Service. You sang those
hymns with such enthusiasm! The congregation
loved the service!
Our next practice will be on Sunday,
May 3 right after Church School. We will work
on hymns for the Paschal Season as well as the
coming Church Music Conference. The Youth Choir will chant the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, May 10
(Mothers Day). Please be at the front right side by 9:40 am to chant the Doxology, and wear your black and
white outfits. We will be taking our Youth Choir group photograph after Liturgy.
Please keep an eye out for updated Youth Choir information in the Church e-mail blasts. Thank You!
Love, Presvytera Maria
Orthodox Family Fellowship
Christ is Risen! Summer is on its way, and it is a great time to spend with friends and family. Join us
for a barbeque on Saturday, May 9, at 6:00 pm at the home of Brent and Elaine Bucy.
Please bring a potluck dish for dinner for everyone to enjoy. Please RSVP to Elaine at
[email protected] or (702) 321-8054.
God bless, Timi Zondiros & Elaine Bucy, OFF Advisors
The Desert Messenger
Christ is Risen! Greetings in the Resurrection of our Lord!
Thank you to those who attended the Lazaros Saturday events (palm
tying and the youth gathering with Metropolitan Gerasimos), the decorating of
the Epitaphion, setting up the tables and chairs for the Agape Picnic, the Altar
Servers and the Myrrh-Bearers, and everyone for attending the wonderful
services during Holy Week.
We have a fun-filled month ahead, so mark your calendars and check our
social media Facebook (Las Vegas GOYA) and Instagram (Goya LV) for
announcements. Save these dates:
● Sunday, May 17 GOYA & Parent BBQ on the Church
Grounds at 5:00 pm. Bring your appetites, lawn chairs, umbrellas, and
sunscreen for an evening of fun and fellowship!
Saturday May 30, GOYA Volleyball Tournament in
Pasadena, CA. We are looking for a few parents to help with logistics
and hotel accommodations, carpools, etc.
Volleyball practices are scheduled for Sundays, 1:00-2:30 pm. Additional
practices may be scheduled. Parents and young adults of the GOYA family are welcomed to participate. Let
us know your thoughts, and help us make this a great Greek Orthodox youth experience.
Again, thank you for your participation and commitment! Please come see us with any concerns or
In Christ, June Likourinou and Kouli Pouridis, GOYA Advisors
Greek Language Classes
Christos Anesti! Another year of Greek School is coming to an end; our last class will be
Tuesday, May 19. We will have class and then a graduation party in Kokkos Hall.
Please look for information about next year’s classes in the July/August issue of The Desert
Messenger and Weekly Bulletin.
Paula Kelesis, Director
Attention, Graduates!
We want to share the good news of your commencement in the June issue of The
Desert Messenger! If you (or your child) will be graduating soon from High School or
University, please e-mail the following to [email protected] by May 15:
▪ School from which you are graduating
▪ The degree you will receive, including honors
▪ What your plans are, and what you will study if pursuing further education
▪ And most importantly, a photo of you in JPG format!
2015 AHEPA Scholarship Applications are Available
The Order of AHEPA, Las Vegas Chapter 314, announces availability of the 2015 scholarship
application. Worthy students – those entering college and continuing college students – are encouraged to
submit applications for this academic scholarship, which assists students in meeting their tuition and
registration expenses.
Applications, as well as additional information regarding criteria, are available at the Church Office, or
you may ask Karen to e-mail you an application.
The Desert Messenger
Adult and Young Adult Ministries
Orthodox Connection Las Vegas ~ For Young Adults (20s & 30s)
Christos Anesti! For the month of May OCLV will be going on a hike at Red Rock Canyon on
Saturday, May 9 at 10:00 am. We will meet at the entrance of the Visitors Center (at 3205 NV-159, Las
Vegas, NV 89161), then drive together to the trailhead.
The trail is called Moenkopi Loop: It is an easy trail, two miles in length, and can be completed in
under two hours. I recommend bringing a bottle of water and some snacks or a packed lunch. The entrance
fee is $7 per vehicle. Please let me know if you can attend.
In Christ, Dimitri Tsilis (801) 243-6047
Orthodox Christian Fellowship ~ For College-Aged Young Adults
Christ is Risen! Come celebrate the end of the school year! OCF will be
going to Sunset Park on Monday, May 18, 4:00-7:00 pm for a barbeque and
some beach volleyball. Relax after another long school year finished!
In Christ, Father Matthew
Kali Parea ~ “Good Company” for the 40+ Crowd
Christos Anesti! Let’s get together and enjoy this beautiful weather! Join us on Saturday, May 9 for
“Jazz in the Park” featuring Selina Albright at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater.
Admission and parking are FREE. Seating begins at 6:00 pm, and the concert starts at 7:00 pm. It is
strongly suggested to arrive early for good seating. Picnic, blankets and low back chairs are welcome. Food
and drink are available for purchase on site.
In Christ, Demetri Asim, Kali Parea Advisor
Mr. & Mrs. ~ A Couples Fellowship
Christ is Risen! Last month we had a wonderful celebration of Pascha, with a meal
at Yassou Greek Grill Café. The food was excellent, and the conversation even better,
thanks to the large table we all sat around. Thank you Pete Papas for hosting!
This month we will have our gathering at the home of Dean and Tammy Chomakos,
just a few miles away from the Church. Join us for a potluck dinner and group discussion on Sunday, May 3
at 5:00 pm at the Chomakos’ home. Please bring a dish and your significant other. RSVP with Father
Matthew for directions.
In Christ, Fathers John and Matthew and their Presvyteres
Adult Basketball
Join us on Mondays at 6:30 pm for a pick-up basketball game in Panos Hall. Please
e-mail Nick Kelesis at [email protected] to add your name to the list.
Christos Anesti!
We welcome you to the
“History of St. John the Baptist
Greek Orthodox Church” – First Installment
in Kokkos Hall, from 1829 to 1979.
The Desert Messenger
Forerunners ~ The Seniors of St. John the Baptist
Due to Holy Pascha we did not have a meeting in April. Thank you to all of the seniors who attend
our monthly luncheons and who contributed pastries for our recent Fellowship. As a result, we were able to
attain our 2015 goal of contributing $1,000 to our St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, which was
presented on April 19 following Liturgy. That same day, the Forerunners hosted Fellowship Hour, and the
proceeds from this event will again be used to meet our annual commitment to the Church.
In keeping with our tradition of charitable contributions, two donations have recently been awarded:
A check for the sum of $100 was given to provide Easter meals for the less fortunate and homeless citizens of
our community; another check for $100 was given to the Archdiocese for the construction of the St. Nicholas
Greek Orthodox Church National Shrine in New York City – the former Church was destroyed as a result of
the 9/11 attack on our country.
Our next luncheon meeting will be held on Monday, May 11, at 11:30 am in Panos Hall. We look
forward to seeing you then and encourage you to bring a friend. The more the merrier!
Alexis Joseph Kyprianou, Secretary
Notes from the Choir Loft
Christos Anesti! Thank you to the Choir for their
beautiful singing during the services of Holy Week and Pascha.
A special thank you to our organist, George Bosnos, for his
support during rehearsals and services!
We are only two months away from our Church Music
Conference! It is time for our Choir members to register for the
conference. Please plan to turn in your registration forms and
money ASAP!
We also need to continue learning the music for the
conference. Please mark your calendars for these VERY
IMPORTANT rehearsals: Sunday, May 17 after Liturgy, and Wednesday, May 27 at 6:00 pm.
We will also be taking a new Choir photo on Sunday, May 3 after Liturgy. Please plan to attend so
everyone is included.
Athena Mertes, Director
Orthodox Bookstore
Christos Anesti!
This month we are featuring Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses & Sayings. Abba
Dorotheos was one of the Desert Fathers and his spiritual insight is very illuminating. The
language of this book is very simple but very deep. Reading Abba Dorotheos will cause us
to constantly reflect on our own condition and habits. Please come by and take a look!
From Chapter III: On Conscience: “Let us be zealous, brothers, to guard our conscience for
as long as we are in this world and not to neglect its promptings in anything. And let us not tread it under
foot even in the least thing, for you can see that from the smallest things, which of their nature are worth
little, we come to despise the great things. When we begin to say, ‘What is it if I just say these few words? What does it matter if I
eat this morsel? What difference if I poke my nose in here or there?’ From this way of saying, ‘What does this or that matter?’ a
person takes evil and bitter nourishment and begins presently to despise greater and more serious things and even to tread down
his own conscience and so, at last destroying it, bit by bit, he falls into danger and finally becomes completely impervious to the
light of conscience.”
Until next month, ICXC NIKA, Constantine Frangakis, Bookstore Director
The Desert Messenger
The Desert Messenger
Our Family in God: 2015 Stewards & Contributors (as of 4/21/15)
Adamy, Marina
Agnos, Jim and Angeline
Akopian, Juliette
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Andricopoulos, Margo
Anthony, Stavros and Bernadette
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Designated, Restricted, and Other Total
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Kokkos Scholarship Fund
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The Desert Messenger
Our Family in God: 2015 Stewards & Contributors (as of 4/21/15)
Frangakis, Christos and
Frangakis, Constantine
Frangakis, John
Frangakis, Sophocles
Franzi, Jack
Funk, Helen
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Garza, Evarardo and Eliades,
George, Pete and Georgia
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Gianakoulias, Nick and Magda
Giouzelis, Anastasia
Gordon, Victor and Demetria
Gott, C. Thomas and Kitty
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Gutierrez, Connie
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Hall, Elizabeth
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Hamilton, Paul and Brandi
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Haynes, Maria
Hetzel, David and Joanne
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Katris, Nick and Kathy +
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Koliambas, Eleni
Kostopoulos, Georgia
Kotonias, George and Pat
Kountanis, Pat
Kourlos, Georgia
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Koutsulis, Sam and Effie
Kypreos, Peter and Geri
Kypreos, Sophia
Kyprianou, Gilbert and Alexis
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4:00 pm OCF BBQ at
Sunset Park
6:30 pm Adult Basketball
17 8:45 am Orthros
10:00 am Divine Liturgy
Adult Choir Practice after
1:00 pm GOYA
Volleyball Practice
5:00 pm GOYA BBQ
31 Pentecost
June 1 Monday of the
8:45 am Orthros
Holy Spirit
10:00 am Divine Liturgy 8:00 am Orthros
and Kneeling Vespers
9:00 am Divine Liturgy
6:30 pm Adult Basketball
4:30 pm Youth Greek 7:00 pm Adult Study:
Language Classes
The Church at Prayer
6:00 pm Parish Council
11:30 am Forerunner
Luncheon in Panos Hall
6:30 pm Adult Basketball
8:45 am Orthros
10:00 am Divine Liturgy
Church School
1:00 pm GOYA
Volleyball Practice
8:45 am Orthros
10:00 am Divine Liturgy
Youth Choir Chants
1:00 pm GOYA
Volleyball Practice
4:30 pm Last Day of
Youth Greek Language
TBD Philoptochos
President’s Dinner
4:30 pm Rescue
10:30 am Bible Study
6:00 pm Adult Choir
Practice in Choir Loft
7:00 pm Adult Study:
The Church at Prayer
10:30 am Bible Study
10:30 am Bible Study
21 Ascension/Ss.
6:00 pm Divine
Constantine & Helen
Liturgy (Ascension of (Liturgy on 5/20)
Our Lord; Saints
10:30 am Bible Study
Constantine & Helen)
7:30 pm Adult Study
20 5:00 pm Orthros
7:00 pm Adult Study:
The Church at Prayer
4:30 pm Youth Greek
Language Classes
6:30 pm Adult Basketball
Wednesday Thursday
10:00 am Divine Liturgy
12:15 pm Youth Choir
1:00 pm GOYA
Volleyball Practice
5:00 pm Mr. & Mrs.
Potluck at Chomakos’
3 8:45 am Orthros
GOYA Volleyball
Tournament in
Pasadena, CA
10:00 am OCLV Hike at
Red Rock Canyon
6:00 pm OFF Potluck at
Bucy Home
7:00 pm Kali Parea at
Govt. Ctr Amphitheater
for Jazz in the Park
The Desert Messenger
The Desert Messenger
St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church
5300 South El Camino Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89118-1922
The Desert Messenger
The Way of the Lord
With gratitude to our photographers: Bill Bruninga, Amy Bauck and David Collins.
It is the day of
Resurrection; let us
then make ourselves
resplendent for the
festival and embrace
one another. Let us say,
brethren, even to those
who do not love us:
“Let all be forgiven in
the Resurrection, and
so exclaim: Christ is
risen from the dead, by
death trampling down
upon death, and to
those in tombs He has
granted life.”