God has given us everything we have: health, talents, abilities and our very life. It is within the Holy Church that we receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation and Crowning, and constantly drawing spiritual energy from the divine services, mutual prayer, Confession and Communion. The main events in a Christian's life are sanctified in God's temple, begining with the Churching on the 40th day after birth, and ending with the last burial rights. However, in our times of the rapidly spreading spirit of consumarism one often forgets to thank God and it never occurs to one that, "Perhaps I owe something to the temple, where I attend on regular basis?" How can one thank God? - By one's service to the Church and one's neighbors.
A Church is the Body of Christ. A Parish is a congregation of the faithful. Our parish, like any other, depends on people who support it spiritually and materially, and anyone regardless of their wealth, location or health is able to offer adequate support. The Lord Himself gave us an example of charity by pointing out the poor widow's mite (Luke 21:1-4). Therefore anyone reading these lines could be of help. It could be either spiritual, physical, or financial help. Most important is your good intention.
The first thing Orthodox Christians owe to their parishes is their prayer "for the good estate of God's holy Churches". Even if one has no other means to support the Church, he or she is always able to invoke God's help, and ask the Lord to settle everything and to send the right people to support certain parish or community. "If you ask anything of the Father, He will give it to you in My name" (John 16:23) - saith the Lord.
The Church always prays "for the builders and benefactors of this Holy Temple" that the Lord bless them and render their generosity. The Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral parish by and large depends on its parishioners' and benefactors' donations and financial supprort. Financial help to our parish includes:
Regular donations - which can be made either in the church (charity-box or plate collections), or by mail in the form of a check;
Pledge system - a form filled out by a parishioner, in which he/she takes a responsibility to give a certain amount a year or in a certain time period.
Item and food donations - for numerous parish activities, like weekly buffets, International Festival, Christmas Bazaar etc.
Helpers of all ages are needed in our parish in its various church life aspects, from church cleaning to teaching at the parish schools. Even though not everyone is able to come and help on weekdays, yet many people have spare time either before or after work, on Saturdays, or on other days-off falling on weekdays. Parishioners with families may assist in our parish activities together with their children, so they become accustomed to caring for the church. Junior and High school children are welcome to come and help us at many of our activities, working off their community service hours. We constantly need help with the following:
- Candlestand duty (on Sundays)
- Prosphora baking (as needed; could be done at home)
- Mending and ironing vestments (any convenient time, in the sacristy sewing workshop)
- Church cleaning (as needed; see annoncements)
- Bell ringing (at the beginning of Sunday and Festal divine Liturgies)
- Choir (those who can sing are encouraged to use their talent to glorify God at the divine services)
- Serve at buffet (on Sundays)
- Bring a casserole for buffets and donate food for other Festal potlucks
- Parish Feast and other activities (see upcomming events and Sisterhood news)
- Kiosk duty and assistance (after the Liturgy on Sunday)
- "Monthly Bulletin" assembly (once a month)
- Building and maintenance projects
- Saturday School (teaching classes in Russian on Saturdays from September to May)
- Sunday School (teaching classes in English on Sundays from September to May)
- Youth activities
- Flower beds and church garden assistance
- Coffee hour (after the early Sunday Liturgy)
- Parish Council service (monthly meetings)
We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and all your donations are tax exempt (#95-1694016).
You can also donate via PayPal
Please address all questions and your help propositions to the parish office at (323) 666-4977, or by