18.04.2007, [11:00] // Orthodox //www.risu.org.ua

New Jersey, US-- On 14 April 2007 a powerful rain storm that swept across the entire eastern coast of the USA arrived in the area of the administrative and spiritual center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in South Bound Brook, New Jersey.

Due to the advance predictions of the magnitude of the storm, approximately 1,000 people visited on the traditional Easter Saturday pilgrimage this year. Only a few hundred braved the storm on Sunday. The rain began to fall at around 2 a.m. on Sunday and had not completely stopped throughout the day on Monday.

The Raritan River poured over its banks and it is not selective about where or what it invades. It slowly moved toward the Memorial Church, flooding the driveway, St. Andrew Cemetery entrance gates and surrounding the monument to St. Olha, Equal to the Apostles and Baptizer of Ukraine. Several of the homes located on center property are under water.

Fortunately, as the falling rain decreases, it appears that the flood will not equal the breadth of the 1999 experience. In that year, the waters came within ten feet of the Memorial Church. This year, they do not come near that level. The properties affected, however, lie directly in the areas that are susceptible to any overflow from the Raritan.

Sources, and for more information, see:

• http://www.uocofusa.org/news/Flood_2007.shtml

• http://www.uocofusa.org/center

Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The "principal characteristics" of the zealot according to knowledge are the following: "fervent love for God and neighbor, gentleness, religious tolerance, forbearance, graciousness of manner."