Holy Qurbana for Feast of Annunciation of St. Mary - Mon., March 24th @ 6:30pm

A Holy Qurbana will be held to celebrate the Feast of Annunciation to St. Mary on Monday, March 24th at 6:30pm.   We request everyone to attend the special services and pass on this information to others.

Read more on the Feast of Annunciation to the Virgin St. Mary.

Live Stream of Holy Qurbana will be on our Facebook Page.  We request all members to attend online only.  
https://www.facebook.com/stthomasla

Meetings and Events for 3-23 to 3-29


Holy Qurbana Live Stream - Sun., March 22nd @ 9am

We request all faithful to join our live stream of the Holy Qurbana on Sunday, March 22nd beginning with Morning Prayers at 9am.

YouTube Live Stream Link:

https://youtu.be/WWEhP0cWFtQ





Below is a link to view the Holy Qurbana slides to follow along when you watch the live stream today.
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1N1L92UTR9elV1Sgp1H4hZ61vEYciBvJDY3Bys9VFRAc/edit?usp=sharing

ONLINE EVENING PRAYER - Sat., March 21 @ 6pm

Please join the evening prayer starting at 6pm by going to the below link.  You can also join by using your smartphones or tablets with the Zoom App. 

Please join with your family and participate!

http://zoom.stthomasla.com

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - March 17th

Dear Congregation,

Managing Committee met on March 17th and discussed the COVID-19 situation and its impact to our church family.

We have made a decision to celebrate Holy Qurbana with only a priest and needed acolytes until April 1. In order to adhere to the current guidance of the CDC to keep any gathering to less than 10 people, we request the rest of our faithful to refrain from coming to church until further notice. (This includes all activities i.e. evening prayers and Sunday Service) When possible, we will arrange for live-streaming as was done on March 15th.

For those in need that wish to receive Holy Qurbana, please contact Samuel Achen and he will explore arrangements to come to you.

We will be monitoring the situation carefully and will update everyone on or before April 1. Please continue to adhere to your local health department guidance, as well as the CDC.

Let us continue to pray for all those affected by the virus and those who are assisting to combat this pandemic.

Prayerfully,
St. Thomas LA - Managing Committee 2020

COVID-19 CoronaVirus Update

We request all who are sick, elderly, pregnant or with any health conditions to stay home and refrain from attending any events or gatherings.  We also request anyone who is uncomfortable with these situations to refrain from attending any events or Holy Qurbana. If you wish to receive the Holy Qurbana at your home, please make a request to either of the Achens.


Protection measures for everyone

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
  
      Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
    
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

      Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

      Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

      Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places  – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.

Service of Reconciliation - Mon., February 24 at 6:30pm


Feast of Vattasseril Thirumeni & Makarios Thirumeni

Feast Day: February 23rd


St. Geevarghese Mar Dionysius Vattasseril

Vattasseril Geevarghese Mar Dionysius is popularly known as Malankara Sabha Bhasuran (The Great Luminary of Malankara Orthodox Church) which our Church has bestowed on him in recognition of his rich contribution to Malankara Orthodox Church. Vattasseril Thirumeni was a man of prayer, determination and dynamism. He was a saint who never stooped before falsehood.

As our Church pays its profound respects to the sacred memory of Mar Dionysius VI, it should dedicate itself to follow his example and build on what he had begun. May the remembrance of his saintly life be a blessing to the Church as a whole and to its members individually.

H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios

He was instrumental in the growth of our church and have been part of many of our lives.  Let us all pray and remember the great things he has blessed us with on this special day.  May his memory live with us forever.

Three Day Fast of Nineveh - February 3-5

In the first qolo of Thursday evening prayer, we sing:
The Ninevites trembled at the voice of Jonah, the son of Mattai, and took refuge in penitence by watching, fasting and prayer; and by tears and groans the sentence of judgment pronounced by Jonah concerning the destruction of Nineveh was annulled. Blessed be the Compassionate one who turned them from evil to good. 
The three-day fast commemorates the three days Jonah spent in the belly of the fish and also the repentance of the city of Nineveh. Jonah runs away from God and from the mission that was entrusted to him. Jonah was cast into the sea and in the belly of the whale Jonah cries out to God. Jonah proclaims his message: “in 40 days Nineveh will be overthrown.” The people fast and pray. The king also prays and commands the whole city to call on God in the hopes that God would relent and withdraw his anger. God withholds his judgment due to their repentance and prayers. The Three Day Fast is in a way our preparation for the Great Lent. St. Jerome writes: “Fasting is not merely a perfect virtue: it is the foundation of all the other virtues; it is sanctification, purity, and prudence, – virtues without which no one can see God.” 
The origins of the Nineveh Fast in the Syrian Orthodox Church can be traced back to the fourth century AD. This can be inferred from the memres and hymns of St. Ephrem, the Syrian. Initially the fast was for six days, but now it is only for three days starting on the third Monday before the Great Lent. The 3 days Fast had been neglected through the ages. Mar Dionysius Bar Salibi states that Mar Marutha of Tikrit was the one who enjoined it on the Church of the East first in the region of Nineveh. Armenians embraced this practice of the Syrians calling it (Sorep Sarkis). The Copts did the same during the time of Patriarch Anba Eprem, the Syrian. 
Historically, this fast is one of the most rigorously observed fasts in the Church. The faithful traditionally refrain from food and drink for three consecutive days, from Monday till Wednesday. Some observe the fast by refraining from food and drink from morning till sunset during the three days. The church exhorts her faithful to at least refrain from meat, fish and dairy products during the period of fasting. The faithful are urged to go to church after this fast and receive the Holy Qurbono.
In the Old Testament, preparation for a special holy occasion included fasting and prayer. The New Testament often mentions fasting. Fasting is clearly not optional inasmuch as Jesus Christ said, regarding fasting “When you fast” (Matt. 6:16), rather than “If you fast.” Fasting is the change of every part of our life, because the sacrifice of the fast is not the abstinence but the distancing from sins. Fasting is an essential aspect of practicing the Orthodox life. You cannot be Orthodox and not fast. Unfortunately, many in the Church today do not participate in this grace-bestowing practice. 
St. John Chrysostom says: “Fasting purifies the mind, calms the senses, subjects the flesh to the spirit, renders the heart humble and contrite, disperses the clouds of concupiscence, extinguishes the heat of passion, and lights up the fire of chastity.” 
Fasting in the Orthodox Church has two aspects: physical and spiritual. The first one implies abstinence from food, such as dairy products, eggs, fish and all kinds of meat. Spiritual fasting consists in abstinence from evil thoughts, desires, and deeds. The main purpose of fasting is to gain mastery over oneself and to conquer the passions of the flesh. It is to liberate oneself from dependence on the things of this world in order to concentrate on the things of the Kingdom of God. It is to give power to the soul so that it would not yield to temptation and sin. 
Basil the great reminds us, “As much as you subtract from the body, so much will you add to the strength of the soul. True fasting lies is rejecting evil, holding one's tongue, suppressing one's hatred, and banishing one's lust, evil words, lying, and betrayal of vows.” 
Written by Tenny Thomas

Monday of Three days Lent

Evening
St. Matthew 12: 31-41
Morning
Numbers 5: 5-10
Jonah 1: 1- 17
Isaiah 19: 17-22
Acts 13:6 - 12
Colossians 1: 3-13
St. Matthew 7: 1-12

Tuesday of Three days Lent

Evening
St. Luke 4: 24-32
Morning
Exodus 22:28 - 30
Micah 1: 1-16
Jonah 2: 1-10
Nahum 1: 1-14
Isaiah 57: 13-19
Acts 8: 9-25
Romans 1: 18- 32
St. Matthew 24: 36-46

Wednesday of Three days Lent

Evening
St. Luke 11: 5-13, 29-32
Morning
Exodus 22:28 - 30
Exodus 23: 1 -9
Zephaniah 1: 11-2: 4
Jonah 3: 1 - 10
Isaiah 41: 17-26
St. James 1: 13-27
Romans 15: 24-43
St. Luke 11:27-36
St. Matthew 24: 36-46
Holy Qurbana
II Peter 2: 1-18
I Thessalonians 5: 12-24
St. Matthew 12: 38-50

Thursday/The end of Three days Lent

Before Holy Qurbana
Genesis 18: 23-33
Joshua 7: 6- 20
Jonah 4: 1 - 11
Holy Qurbana
St. James 4: 7-17
Ephesians 5: 3-21
St. Luke 12: 54-13: 9

Sunday School Mid-Terms - Sun., February 2nd

Sunday School Mid-Terms will be held on Sunday, February 2nd from 9am to 9:50am.  Please prepare your children and bring them to church on time.

If you have any questions, please contact your child's teacher or George Mathew, Principal.

Evening Prayer - Saturday, January 18th @ 6:30pm

Evening Prayer will be held at church on Saturday, January 18th at 6:30pm.  If any family would like to host the prayer, please contact the Roy George, Secretary.

Please contact Mrs. Saramma John, Prayer Meeting Coordinator, to schedule prayer meeting at your home or at church.

MMVS Meeting - Sun., January 19th

The next MMVS meeting will be held on Sunday, January 19th after the Holy Qurbana.  We request all women to attend and participate.

Please contact Mrs. Susan Varughese or Mrs. Rachel Sam, for more information.

Sunday School Re-Starts January 5th

Sunday School will resume on Sunday, January 5th at 8:45am.  Please make sure to bring your children on time and arrive by 8:45am for the worship and song session. 

Sunday School Mid-Terms will be held on Sunday, February 2nd.  Please mark your calendars and prepare your children for the exam.

Baptism of our Lord (Danaha Perunal) - Sun., Jan. 5th @ 8:30am

Danaha Perunal (Epiphany - The Baptism of our Lord) is on January 6th, however we will have the service on Sunday, January 5th along with the Holy Qurbana. Morning prayer will begin at 8:30am and the Holy Qurbana will start at 9:30am.

Please make every effort to attend with your family.