Due to the weather, the mini-retreat Has been moved to Saturday, October 31. It will begin at 8:30 am, at Mt. Tabor Hall and will conclude by 1:00 pm in the afternoon. We look forward to seeing you there.
Registration is now open!
Camp St. Nicholas is for all children from 2 years old to those entering 5th grade in the Fall, and children from all over the Austin area are welcome to attend! Camp runs from Monday, August 3 – Thursday, August 7, from 9:00 – 12:00 at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, 414 St. Stephens School Road, every day. On Saturday, August 8, we hope you’ll join us for a Family Field Trip to Holy Archangel’s Monastery in Kendalia, Texas
Gospel of Luke
Register your team today!
It is time for our annual Bible Bowl once again so mark your calendars for March 29 and start brushing on Luke. All teams include 3 players, plus alternates if you like. TEEN Teams: players aged 13 – 19 or ADULT Teams: players 20+. Registration forms are available now in Mt. Tabor Hall. Please return the form by March 15. For more information, contact Dr. Jacob Angelo at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Sky Ranch March 13– 15, 2015
The 2015 Southern Region GOYA Lenten Retreat will be held March 13-15, 2015, at the Sky Ranch retreat center in Van, Texas. GOYAns, ages 11-18, are invited to retreat away from every day challenges for a weekend of growth and fellowship. The registration fee for the 2015 GOYA Southern Region Lenten Retreat is $125. Registration closes at midnight in the Mountain Time Zone on March 3, 2015. Click here for the online registration.
An exciting GOYA event is taking place this weekend here in Austin. For the third year, FOCUS Youth Equipped to Service is visiting our city and giving the opportunity to our GOYAns to spiritually grow through a weekend full of activities that give them the opportunity to see our beautiful city through the eyes of those in need. We will meet at 5pm on Friday and stay Friday and Saturday nights at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church: 414 Saint Stephens School Road South, Austin, TX 78746. The service learning weekend will come to a close following Liturgy on Sunday, February 22nd. For questions about the program or future trips, please contact Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director at: Kbitar@focusna.org
On Sunday, February 8, we hosted our parish Oratorical Festival. Many thanks to all those who made this possible. All of the students who participated offered wonderful writings on the Orthodox Faith, and all of their works will be featured in the parish newsletter, Light from Light.
With the beginning of every new year, comes the celebration of a new beginning and the wish that the year be blessed with health, happiness, love and the protection of God. Households with elaborately decorated dinner tables, filled with platters of homemade foods and sweets are opened to family and friends. And the cutting of the Vasilopita (va-see-lopee-ta) placed in the middle of the table brings everyone together. Although every family may have a slightly different tradition as to how the Vasilopita is cut and distributed, the spirit is the same. As is the case with all Orthodox feasts, such ceremonies do not merely commemorate an historical event but celebrate the loving incarnation of the Son of God, the sanctification of the new year, and the Church in her saints.
The Vasilopita, as a bread, reminds us of our Lord’s teaching: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51) Of course the Lord is speaking specifically of Holy Communion, however, the Vasilopita reinforces this blessing for us.
The tradition of the cutting of the Vasilopita goes back to St. Basil.
For centuries upon centuries parents, grandparents and Godparents have related the following story to Orthodox children about St Basil and the Vasilopita. One year, during a time of terrible famine, the ruler Julian, the apostate of Christianity, levied a sinfully excessive tax upon the people of Caesarea. The tax was such a heavy burden upon the already impoverished people that to avoid debtors’ prison each family had to relinquish its few remaining coins as well as pieces of jewelry, including precious family heirlooms. Learning of this injustice against his flock, St Basil the Great, the archbishop of Caesarea, took up his bishop’s staff and the book of the holy Gospels and came to his people’s defense by fearlessly calling the emperor to repentance. The ruler threatened that he would destroy Caesarea if they did not pay him, after returning from his return from war with Persia. The people of Caesarea called a fast and offered up prayers to God. The ruler never returned to Caesarea because he died in battle. The Caesareans decided to offer the largest portion of their to the Church in thanksgiving to God. St. Basil used these to create the famous village of Basilias—a place housing a hospital, orphanage, and refuge for the elderly and abandoned. What was left over from the treasury, was to be given back to the people, but how? St. Basil asked the Caesareans to make dough for sweet buns. Then he blessed the gold and jewelry and threw it into the dough. The saint, then, distributed the buns to all the people. Tradition tells us that the people of each household miraculously received a bun containing the gold or jewelry that originally belonged to them.
In the spirit of this tradition, our parish will have the cutting of the Vasilopita, offering a piece of bread to each ministry on Sunday, January 4, followed by the Vasilopita Auction of Philoptochos.