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Annunciation True Vine
Parish Bulletin Board

(full pdf of January True Vine, with flyers included, may be found by clicking here)


Rev. Fr. Anthony Cook

Beloved in the Lord,

Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year to all of you!

This tradition of marking the passage of time with the celebration of a new year is an ancient one, reaching back beyond written history. As human beings, we are deeply conscious of the passage of the seasons, and of the milestone achieved as we return once more to seasons that we have experienced before. Oftentimes these come to be associated with particular memories, so that (to give an example that is particularly vivid for me) we feel a lifting of our spirits in the spring, as the smells and the feel of the air and the color of the light all remind us years past, of the lifting of the burden of winter, of the joy of Pascha and the Lord’s Resurrection, and other milestones that often come in the spring, whether graduations, weddings, other celebrations.

New Year’s has a different feel, of course; the celebration falls squarely between the Church’s celebrations of the Lord’s Birth and His Baptism, and therefore the theme of the period is His Incarnation, as He renews our nature and grants healing and life to all the Creation. The chill in the air, the short and dark days, and the falling of snow mingle with our Feasting in the home with our loved ones to establish a profound and tremendously strong seasonal memory. Beyond the memories, however, as we celebrate the Lord’s renewal of our nature, we often take the opportunity to renew our own commitment to a path of wholeness and peace. I therefore pray that whatever New Year’s resolutions we have all made may be blessed and prospered by the Lord, so long as they advance our progress in His Kingdom. Behold, the Lord does indeed make all things new - may we be renewed in His life and love and glory.

Sacramental Summary So Far

We noted last month that the Church does not, in fact, limit the number of Her Sacraments to be only seven. The Eucharist, Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Holy Unction, Marriage and Ordination are certainly central to the life of the Church, but we also observe the Sacraments of the Blessing of the Waters, the Consecration of a Church, the Burial of a Christian, the Tonsuring of a Monastic, and the Anointing and Consecration of a Monarch. We discussed the Blessing of the Waters last time, and will proceed with the Consecration this month. It is certainly fitting that we should do so, as the blessing of the physical space in which we live is deeply connected to the consecration of a space and a building as a Temple in which we worship and commune with our Lord.

What is Needed for a Church’s Consecration

When a church temple is consecrated, there are three items that are used in the Consecration, and all of them are connected to the other Sacraments: Holy Water, Chrism, and the Relics of the Saints. We have, of course, discussed Holy Water and Chrism, but the Relics of the Saints has not been part of our consideration of the Sacraments thus far, at least not overtly. But if we consider rightly, then we realize that the Relics of the Saints are fundamentally connected to the Sacraments at large, since the point of everything else that we bless and sanctify is the sanctification of human beings, and we, ourselves, become a living Sacrament as we receive the Lord in the Sacraments and become Christ-bearers wherever we go in life. The Relics of the Saints are the very matter of transfigured humanity, of the Creation in proper communion with our Creator, and it is for this reason that Churches have always been founded upon the graves of the Saints where possible, and where not possible, the Relics of the Saints have been brought to wherever the Church building is established, so that the Holy Altar may indeed be established upon the foundation of the Lord’s transfiguring work in His People.

The Order of Consecration

When the day of Consecration arrives, there are preparatory services the night before, but the pivotal moment arrives the next morning with the Consecration Divine Liturgy. Details can be found here (, but in essence, the Relics of three saints are processed three times around the Church, in a manner similar to the triple procession of a newly baptized Christian around the font. Then they are brought inside the Church, where they are placed upon and then sealed inside the Holy Table. After they have been placed there, the Altar is washed with Holy Water and soap, is dried off, and is then anointed with Holy Chrism. After it has been anointed, the Holy Table is vested in linen and then with the normal Altar Covering, and the Hierarch proceeds to anoint the four walls of the Church and every surface with Holy Chrism, after which the Vigil Lamp is lit and placed on the Holy Table, to burn as long as the Church remains. With that, the Divine Liturgy continues until its end.

Our Church’s Consecration

The Annunciation Church in Dayton was consecrated on October 6, 1985 by Archbishop Iakovos together with Bishop Timothy of Detroit, with the assistance of Fr. Stratton Dorozenski, Fr. Jerry Tasikas, & Fr. Philemon Payiatis, as well as Fr. Nickolas Tsaknides and Fr. Dean Gigikos, who grew up in the parish. The three saints whose relics were placed within the Holy Table are three unnamed martyrs from the monastic fathers of Raithu, near the shore to the south of the Sinai Peninsula, who were martyred on December 22nd in the mid-400's. Their feast-day is January 14th, and their Apolytikion is as follows:

O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Your gentleness: take not Your mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

As we worship the Lord in this place, we pray that, by their intercessions, and those of all the saints, we may be transformed, like them, in the likeness of the glory and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

With love in Christ, 

+Fr. Anthony Cook

Philoptochos News

Happy New Year!!

Next Membership meeting

 The first meeting of the year is January 4th at 10am.  Following the meeting we encourage everyone to stay and help set up for Vasilopita Sunday. 

Vasilopita Sunday

Vasilopita Sunday is January 7th. This annual event raises money for Saint Basil Academy through a silent auction of delicious homemade vasilopitas.  The reservation deadline for the luncheon was December 17th.  Please donate a homemade vasilopita for the auction.  Contact Chris Makaritis at 937-433-0703 or  

Thank you to Dena Inempolidis, Stacy Bambakidis, Cindy Keilholz and Harriett Ellis for chairing this event.  

2024 Annual Dues

Membership fees are $30 per year. You can mail your 2024 dues to Kathy Spyrou, Membership Chair, 856 Princewood Ave, Dayton, OH 45429 OR give it to her at church. Please write 2024 Philoptochos dues in the memo line on your check. We encourage you to fulfill dues by mid-January 2024.

2024 CCM Donations

Do you know how easy it is to contribute to our Philoptochos Community Care Ministries (CCM)? You can donate MONTHLY or ONCE a year to be divided among ALL the charities.  Please make checks payable to: PHILOPTOCHOS and put “CCM + the charity or ALL” in the memo line.  Checks can be put in the RED BOX in the community center OR mailed to Connie Zavakos, 3437 Dahlia Drive, Dayton, Ohio 45459.        

The charities for 2024 are:  St. Basil’s Academy, Day of Caring, 4 Paws for Ability, Good Shepherd Ministries, Crayons for Classrooms, Blessing Bags for Homeless Veterans, Charity at Home and Edison School Hats and Mittens. If you have questions, please contact CCM coordinators: Diane Leakas (937-298-6858) or Renee Nicholas (937-901-2623).  We still need a charity leader for April, Good Shepherd Ministries.  Thank you in advance for your support.                  

Philoptochos Tidbits

  • §  Name the states in the Detroit Metropolis: Ohio east of Columbus, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Michigan, Indiana, upstate New York.

  • §  There are 36 active chapters in our Metropolis with 1850 members.

  • §  There are 427 Philoptochos Chapters across the USA. 

  • §  There are over 25,000 members nationally.

  • §  Philoptochos is the second largest women’s philanthropic organization in the United States.  

  • §  We are a powerful group of women who know how to get anything done!!!!!

Missions and Outreach

Hannah’s Treasure Chest Volunteer Opportunities in January

Thursday, January 11 (1:00-3:00pm) 

Thursday, January 25 ( 9:00-11:00 am)

Join us!  Any questions? Call Maria McFarland 937-409-9876

AHEPA & Daughters of Penelope News

​Upcoming Events

  •  We have a fun evening planned for our annual wine and craft beer tasting, “Cheers and Beers” Friday, January 19, 2024. See the flyer later in the True Vine for more information.

  • DOP is hosting for our community a guest speaker, Dr. Nickolas Pappas, professor of philosophy, to present on the Three Holy Hierarchs, on Sunday, January 28, 2024. Please see the flyer later for more details. 

At our monthly outreach at the Ronald McDonald House, we prepared breakfast and dinner with our Maids, for the families staying there. Please be on the lookout for our Maids of Athena upcoming fundraisers and how you might be able to support their efforts.

For our members, effective January 9, 2024, we will be returning to meet on the second Tuesday of each month.

Lastly, please remit your 2024 dues of $45.00 to our Treasurer.

All ladies are warmly invited to join our Daughters of Penelope. Please contact Alexis Brun, (937) 219-0463,

Catechism School News

Happy New Year, 2024! 

Classes resume on Sunday, January 7th. 

We are your partners in your children's religious education...

  • Attend the Divine Liturgy as a family 

  • Join Father Anthony as he preaches his weekly Youth Sermon

  • After Holy Communion, students go to their classrooms.

  • Classes are dismissed at 11:45

Youth Sunday

As we partner with families to prepare our youth for adulthood, we encourage students to participate in the various roles during the Divine Liturgy. On the first Sunday of each month, students can: stand in the Narthex greeting parishioners, bringing vigil candles to the iconostasis, sing in the choir, pass the tray, recite The Lord's Prayer, The Creed and more. Talk to your child's Sunday school teacher about your child's participation! 

Join our Team! 

We need substitutes and teachers! Let us know if you're interested in sharing your time and talent by emailing

Thank you!

The Catechism school family wants to thank co-directors, Rebecca James and Rita Ronayne for their generous gifts of time and talent to produce and direct our beautiful children in the Christmas Program. 

Upcoming Catechism School Dates to Remember: 

•     February 4th: Godparent Sunday (no classes). Students will attend the Divine Liturgy with their Godparents. Students will be bringing home invitations to send to their Godparents in early January. Please help them to send or email.

 •     February 18th: GOYA Basketball Tournament (no classes). Attend the Divine Liturgy as a family.

Greek School News

Our Annunciation Dayton Greek school has been in session with 31 students. We are grateful for the continuous support of the Annunciation Investment Fund and AHEPA, who sustain our program.  Students and their families enjoyed our 16h annual Fall party at Hills and Dales Park to kick off the new school year. On October 23th we celebrated OXI Day and we are looking forward to the rest of the school year.

HOPE/JOY Swim Outing

Join us on Saturday, January 20 (2:00-4:00 pm) for swimming and fellowship. 

Goldfish Swim School is located at 671 Lyons Rd 45459. 

Details and RSVP in the group chat. 

Any questions ? – Maria McFarland 937-409-9876

Attention Youth Workers

It is that time of year - renewal of training is around the corner as well as some of us will have to renew our background checks.  Please watch your email mailboxes for emails with instructions.  They will not be from our local church - they will be from Safety Platform with Sterling Volunteers.  Please pay attention to the directions in the emails and complete the training / background checks in a timely manner. 

Speaker Program - Fr. Nicholas Louh

On Feb 9 & 10, our parish will host a weekend retreat with Fr. Nicholas Louh. He will speak on strengthening our Families, our Parish, and our Faith. Details may be found on the flyer on later in the True Vine. Please save the date now, and RSVP by Feb 2nd. We hope and pray for a full house, and are inviting our neighboring parishes, so don’t delay if you want to save your seat.

For some background, Rev. Dr. Nicholas Louh was born in Jacksonville, FL where he was raised as a member of St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church, the same church he has served as a senior pastor since 2007.

He has two weekly podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio. Healthy Souls and Live with the Louh’s, where he is joined by his wife Dr. Roxanne, a licensed clinical psychologist. Together they have written the book, Renewing You; A Priest, a Psychologist and a Plan.

His daily inspirational messages on social media have attracted thousands of followers from all over the world. 

Father Louh is a dynamic speaker who will host three sessions on February 9 and 10, 2023. He will discuss how to strengthen our families, our parish and our faith. This is a retreat you don’t want to miss.

Want to learn more about Father Louh? Click on the link to his website where you will be directed to Ancient Faith Radio podcasts and a link to subscribe to messages.

Please see the attached flyer later in the True Vine for more information and to make reservations.

 Church Doors Funding Drive

At the General Assembly last week, the Building & Maintenance Committee presented a plan for renewing the current doors of the Church for a cost of $15,000. A generous family in our community has offered matching funds to cover half the expense of this work, so we are now soliciting donations from the rest of the community. We need to raise $7,500, and our donor will then provide the other $7,500. Please make your checks or donations payable to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, and note "Church Doors" in the memo. We thank you all for your generosity! This will free up parish funds for our many other pressing needs.

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