ST. john the baptist greek orthodox church the messenger

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E MAIL ORDER TO: Or fax to ; 727-784-8019

Or call: 727-432-0228

*To promote charitable, benevolent and philanthropic outreach to preserve the sanctity of life and family and to perpetuate and promote our Orthodox faith and traditions

Membership Form

Annunciation Chapter

Philoptochos Society of St John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church

Tampa Florida

The Annunciation Chapter #501 of Philoptochos, St John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, would like to invite you to join us in our mission of outreach for the 2012 Membership year.

While the word “philoptochos” means “friends of the poor”, it does not begin to describe the many facets of the organization that chose this name. The Greek Orthodox Philoptochos are involved in all areas of philanthropy. Whether it be on a global scale help earthquake victims or helping a local parishioner to pay a bill, Philoptochos seeks to help all those in need.

YES! I would like to offer my love and service by joining the Philoptochos Society in its philanthropic efforts! Please accept my $30 stewardship contribution.

Name Date

Street Address

City State Zip

Home Phone Cell Work

e-mail address
lease make checks payable to: Philoptochos

for I was hungry and you gave Me food; for I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.

in as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25-36; 40

Please return form to: Melissa Krinos, 8728 Hickorywood Lane, Tampa FL 33615 or the Philoptochos mailbox in the church office

Greek Independence Day Program

And Luncheon

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2011
Following Divine Liturgy

Lunch Menu:

Baked Fish with tomatoes, peppers and onions

Manestra (orzo)

Salad - Rolls

Coffee, Tea and Dessert
Adults $10

Children (age 5-12) $5

Children Under 5 are free




So, come for a great lunch, a wonderful program and support a needed project at our church!
Zito I Ellas!


On January 29, 2011 the Parish Assembly unanimously approved leasing out the Day School to an experienced, professional school management organization, Smart Starts Day School, Inc. Smart Starts currently manages eleven schools in Miami/Dade and Georgia educating over 1,400 children.

We will be leasing out the pre- school, big school building, a portion of the administrative building and gymnasium on a shared-use basis. This is an arrangement similar to the ones Smart Starts has established with other churches, including Greek Orthodox parishes. The preschool program will be called Smart Starts at St. John’s and K-8th grade will be called Bridgepoint Prep at St. John’s.
We will continue to use the meeting rooms, classrooms for Sunday School and the gym as we do now. We will continue to have our same events, such as our Festival, Junior Olympics, etc. We will coordinate our event calendar with Smart Starts just as we currently do with the Day School.
This arrangement has several benefits. It will lift the financial and administrative burden off the church and it will provide a steady stream of income. As you can read in the following letter, the Metropolitan has been aware of the issues at the school for a long time and has given his blessing to this arrangement. We look forward to a long and positive relationship with the new management group.



GOYA Meeting for March-The GOYA meeting for March will be Sunday, March 4, from 5:00-7:30 p.m. in the Kourmolis Center. Dinner, as always, will be provided.
Successful Lock-In Held February 4-5—GOYAns from St. John and St. Stefanos in St. Petersburg participated in a lock-in at St. John February 4-5. Between the two churches, we had 17 teenagers. A great time was had by all.
Oratorical Festival-The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is a public speaking contest for students in the 7th-12th grades. Our parish has had GOYAns participate in this for the past several years. It is a great opportunity to learn about our faith and get some public speaking experience. The local level competition for our parish will occur on Sunday, March 4, after Divine Liturgy. The district level competition for the Tampa Bay area will be on Saturday, March 17, at Holy Trinity in Clearwater. For more information, please contact Peggy Bradshaw at
Eighth Annual GOYA Lenten Retreat—March 9-11-GOYAns from our neighboring parishes will be participating in the 8th annual GOYA Lenten Retreat March 9-11. GOYAns from our parish are encouraged to sign up with Elaine Halkias for this event. Retreat participants will be attending the Salutations to the Virgin Mary on March 9, having their retreat on March 10, and attending Divine Liturgy on March 11.
Attention All College Students of the Tampa Bay Area

Lenten Discussion with Fr. Stavros—March 16-This will be the second Lenten get together for our Bay Area College students. We had one of these last year during Lent, and most recently had a successful gathering at Christmas. All Bay area college students are invited to an evening of prayer and fellowship on Friday, March 16. We will begin with the Salutations to the Virgin Mary at 6:30 p.m. After the service there will be a discussion from 7:30-10:00 p.m. in the Kourmolis Center. Dinner will be provided at no cost. Please RSVP to Fr. Stavros at to let him know who is coming.

Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta

ιερα μητροπολισ ατλαντασ

February 1, 2012
Rev. Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

Mrs. Katherine Sakkis, Parish Council President & esteemed Parish Council members

And the Faithful of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, Tampa, FL
My dearly beloved in the Lord,
Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God.” (1 Cor. 22:19)
As we look forward to the beginning of the Triodion, I greet you in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with heartfelt prayers for a blessed and spiritually uplifting Great Lent, abundant in spiritual renewal and inspiration.
Thank you for your letter dated January 30, 2012 regarding the decision by your parish’s General Assembly to lease your school facility to Smart Starts Day School, Inc. beginning with upcoming 2012-2013 school year. I was especially pleased to learn that the transition will begin immediately.
Indeed I give glory to Almighty God for inspiring and uniting you in this great endeavor, and I pray that He will sustain you always in true Christian love and unity. It gives me great pride and pleasure therefore as your Hierarch and spiritual father to bestow my permission and blessings to proceed with your plan, since you have the approval and agreement of the Parish Council and the General Assembly.
Also I congratulate you and the Faithful of your Parish community for taking the time to seek a resolution to the ongoing issues with the school. I believe that this decision will lift a burden from the parish community, allowing time and resources to be directed to activities and efforts that will bear much good fruit, while still maintaining a school on your church campus.
I commend Father Stavros, the leaders and the Faithful for your commitment and dedication, and I am looking forward to soon receiving a report on your parish’s progress. With prayers for a Triodion, filled with God’s blessings, I remain
Paternally yours,

+Metropolitan Alexios


Metropolitan of Atlanta

2480 Clairmont Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30329 Telephone: 404-634-9345 Fax: 404-634-2471

Web: E-mail:

Bible Study

Bible Study is held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the day school. We are currently studying the Gospel of Mark. All are welcome to join us. In March, Bible Study will meet on March 6, March 20 and March 27.

Community Outreach Initiative

The Community Outreach Ministry continues to grow!  We have had steady participation (about 12-15 volunteers) in our partnership with the First Presbyterian Soup Kitchen.  On a typical Saturday we serve about 120-140 of our homeless neighbors breakfast.  We have also been able to provide some financial support to the soup kitchen with the money raised (over $230) from coffee hour to help buy paper supplies and juice.  We hope to expand to provide volunteers at an additional soup kitchen site in 2012.  We would love to have more volunteers.  Please contact Betty Palios at to sign-up or learn more.

Upcoming Dates: March 17, April 21, May 19
Young at Heart

Young At Heart-The Young At Heart meeting for February will be Tuesday, March 6 at 11:00 a.m. More details to follow. For more information on our group, contact Ron Myer at 909-2327.


Philoptochos Retreat Weekend, January 27 -29 2012 was held in Salem, S.C at our beautiful Diakonia Center.  We flew to Atlanta and rented a van for a 2 hour drive. As the roads became hilly and we winded through pastures, we came to the small sign, the symbol for our Metropolis Sanctuary.
The 200 acres is there for our spiritual journey. 44 woman from all over our region joined in as Father Barnabas led the 3 days of lecture, prayer and fellowship. The food was plentiful, and the crisp, sunny weather was perfect. It was an unexpected surprise to see ladies ranging in age from 25 to 75. And as the icebreaker began after our first meal together, we learned of their educational background, professions, pastime passions and travels.  But, what we all shared was the love of Orthodoxy.  Many were converts and all came to listen.
The days were so relaxing, and the church services were cozy and meaningful. Information and points to meditate on were plentiful. 
As I boarded the plane with my shiny folder, it felt like a roadmap. The papers were only the beginning.
The quiet lesson is for all to discover.
March Meeting Schedule

Sunday 4 GOYA 5:00 p.m. Kourmolis Center

Tuesday 6 Young at Heart 1:00 a.m. TBA

Wednesday 7 Sunday School Lenten Dinner 6:00 p.m. Liturgy/Dinner after

Tuesday 13 Parish Council 6:15 p.m. Multi-purpose Room

Friday 16 College Student Discussion 6:30 p.m. Kourmolis Center

Saturday 24 Adult Lenten Retreat 9:00 a.m. Church/K-Center
Sunday School

Pre-Sanctified Liturgy/Lenten Dinner—March 7-The Sunday School Students and Parents are invited to attend the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on March 7 at 6:00 p.m. Once each Lent, we encourage our Sunday School students and parents to take the time to experience this beautiful Lenten Service. The service will be celebrated mostly in English. There will be a Lenten dinner to follow the service at 7:00 p.m.


The children, parents, and teachers are so excited about our first PREPARING FOR LENT - RETREAT taking place this Saturday, February 25th, from 10:00-3:00. Our students will attend the Saturday of the Souls service followed by THIS RETREAT, focusing on Great Lent. The children will partipate in the Sacrament of Confession and learned about the importance of this Sacrament. Other areas of study and crafts are: Making their Lenten Covenant, the importance of Forgiveness; The Ten Commandments: The Sundays before Lent and the events that take place up through Holy Week; the creation of a Lenten Calendar; and finally the students will make a Lenten Treasure box to save their Lenten Covenant and other mementos from Holy Week/Easter.

On Sunday, February 26th, our students will sing with the Church Choir under the direction of Maria Zenick. We are teaching our students the Orthodox Hymns of our Liturgy to encourage participation on a weekly basis. Every week our congregation is encouraged to join in the singing of these hymns along with the choir. After all, in the Liturgy Book you see the words, “PEOPLE”, not “Choir”.

Pre-School: Maria Nicklow and Emily Nicklow

Kindergarten: Helen Fentress, Isabella Brown, John Nicholas Krinos, and

Eleni Katzaras

First Grade: Yanni Trimikliniotis

Second and Third Grade: Angelina Krinos

Fourth Grade: Nicholas Yotsis, Dominic Garcia, Maria Tsokos, and James Katzaras

Fifth and Sixth Grade: Nicholas Katzaras, Sophia Krinos, Christos Nenos, Savvas Ferekides, Jonathan Tsokos, and Brigham Sibley

Seventh and Eighth Grade: Nedi Ferekides, Chace Sibley, Larissa Krinos, and Matthew Tsokos

High School: Arianna Krinos, Christopher Scarfogliero, and Angelina Bertucci
CLASS UPDATES FOR Feb. 12, 2012:

PRE-SCHOOL:  The class read the story of the Prodigal Son and discussed the importance of FORGIVENESS.  The students also made a Valentine's Day Cards.

KINDERGARTEN:  Lesson- We are happy to join the church-The study of the Sacrament of Baptism.  The students also made a Valentine's Day Cards.

FIRST GRADE:  Lesson:  Jesus Loves the Children.

SECOND AND THIRD GRADE:  The class made a JOHN 3:16 Valentine's Day Project.

FOURTH GRADE:  The students practiced looking up Books, Chapters, and Verses in the Old and New Testament.

FIFTH AND SIXTH GRADE:  Reviewed the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  The students started making their very own Gospels.  They learned that one side of the Gospel has icons of the Resurrection, St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John.  The other side has icons of the Crucifixion, King David, King Solomon, Moses, and Isaiah.   We also practiced memorizing the Creed.

SEVENTH, EIGHTH GRADE, and HIGH SCHOOL:  We read today's Epistle Lesson and the Gospel of the Prodigal Son.  We discussed why the Church put this Epistle Lesson, on yielding from immorality and the Gospel of the Prodigal together.  The students learned show God loves both the sinners who repent and listen to the word of God maybe later on in life, as much as he loves those who always followed his commandments. We discussed St. Paul's own conversion from someone who killed a Christian to one of our greatest Saints. 


PRE-SCHOOL:  The class read the story of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee.  The students learned that they should be HUMBLE.  The students also made a Valentine's Day craft.

KINDERGARTEN:  Lesson- Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, 40 Day Blessing, and learning the first sentence of the Lord's Prayer in Greek.

FIRST GRADE:  Lesson:  Parts of the church and the vessels (chalice, disko/star, communion cloth set, Gospel, censor, etc) used during the Divine Liturgy.  The children had an opportunity to touch and learn about these vessels.

SECOND AND THIRD GRADE:  Lesson:  Discussed the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.  Learned that it is important to be HUMBLE in life.

FOURTH GRADE:  Familiarization of the Bible.  The students practiced looking up Books, Chapters, and Verses in the Old and New Testament.

FIFTH AND SIXTH GRADE:  Lesson:  What does the Holy Gospel teach us? (The life of Jesus, the Kingdom of Heaven, the way to live, the life of the saints, the parables, and the miracles of Jesus.) Discussed the Great Entrance, the Cherubic Hymn, and the Creed. Practiced memorizing the Creed.

SEVENTH, EIGHTH GRADE, and HIGH SCHOOL:  Discussion of the Gospel Lesson and preparing for the St. John Chrysostom's Oratorical.


PRE-SCHOOL:  Lesson-Jesus asked the twelve disciples to become "fishermen."

KINDERGARTEN:  Lesson-Happy to Forgive and the three Hierarchs.   The students made a forgiveness heart.

FIRST GRADE:  Lesson:  Jesus wants us to forgive.

SECOND AND THIRD GRADE:  Lesson:  Jesus wants us to forgive one another.

FOURTH GRADE:  The Bible is the Word of God.  We begin to understand the importance of the Holy Bible and learn to use the Bible.

FIFTH AND SIXTH GRADE:  In depth review of the Church Vessels.  Gospel lesson.

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH GRADE:  Discussion of St. John Chrysostom's Oratorical Topics.

HIGH SCHOOL:  Discussion of the Gospel Lesson and the St. John Chrysostom's Oratorical Topics.

PRE-SCHOOL:  Jesus and the Canaanite Woman - Discussed Jesus' love for us and also made a craft to remind us of his love.

KINDERGARTEN:  Lesson:  Happy to help others.   Reviewed the Lord's Prayer.

FIRST GRADE:  Lesson:  The Holy Spirit helps us love and do good.

SECOND AND THIRD GRADE:  The class discussed how they can show their parents love.  The students shared their favorite ways of showing their parents how they love them.

FOURTH, FIFTH, AND SIXTH GRADE:  The children got to touch each of our church vessels (Chalic, Gospel, Diskos, Star, Communion Cloth Set, etc.) They learned the meaning of each and how they are used in our church.

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH GRADE:  Discussion of the Old Testament and the St. John Chrysostom's Oratorical Topics.

HIGH SCHOOL:  Discussion of the Gospel, Epistle, and the  St. John Chrysostom's Oratorical Topics.

God bless all of you,

The Sunday School Staff

Lenten Covenant for Children (Older children should fill out the regular form)

Things I promise to do this Lent (Check all that you wish to do):

_____Pray every day _____Be nicer to my parents
_____Say prayers every morning _____Be nicer to my brother/sister
_____Say prayers every evening _____Try harder in school
_____Say prayers at meals _____Do my chores without being told
_____Come to church each Sunday _____Be more helpful at home
_____Receive Communion each Sunday _____Not say any bad words
_____Go to confession during Lent _____Share more
_____Read a short passage from the Bible each day
PRAYER: Lord help me to be successful in keeping the promises I have made. Help me to grow in my faith and love You more this Lent. Help me to be a nicer person and a better Christian. Amen.
_____________________________________Sign your name

Make a copy for yourself, place your covenant in a sealed envelope, write your name and address on front of envelope. Bring covenant to church and place it in locked box on the solea in front of the icons.

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