201102 TransaGram 02 by wangnianwu

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									TRANSaGRAM
February 2011	                                                       Monthly / Issue No. 2




 TRANSFIGURATION GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
                                                                       Fr. Stephen Lawrence, Pastor


                                                                           New Parish Council Sworn In
                                                                                                  by Cathy Koufogazos, Trans-a-Gram Editor

On Sunday, January 2nd, Fr. Stephen
conducted the swearing–in ceremony for this
year’s Parish Council.
Newly elected Parish Council members John
Dristilaris, Greg Floor, Niclis Kouloungis,
Nick Pappas, Olivia Sintros, and Cesar de la
Torre join George Bertos, Corinne Dubay,
Angela Hastings, Konstantinos Kalabokis,
Carl Maib, and Christian Zouzas as this year’s
Parish Council.




                                                                                                                                                        Photo by Arthur Sparages
Former council members Tom Amick, Sandra
Gulezian, and Mary Piper opted not to seek
re–election this year. We would like to thank
Tom, Sandra, and Mary for their dedication,
leadership, and service to our parish.
Elected to serve as officers in 2011 were:
    President: Olivia Sintros                           (Front row, from left): Christian Zouzas, Corinne Dubay, Olivia Sintros, Nick
    Vice President: Christian Zouzas                    Pappas, Angela Hastings, and Greg Floor.
    Treasurer: Konstantinos Kalabokis                   (Second row, from left): John Dristilaris, Cesar de la Torre.
    Assistant Treasurer: George Bertos                  (Third row, from left): Niclis Kouloungis, Konstantinos Kalabokis, and George
    Assistant Treasurer: Niclis Kouloungis              Bertos.
    Secretary: Nick Pappas                              (Back row): Fr. Stephen Lawrence.
Read an interview with this year’s president,           Missing from the photo: Carl Maib.
Olivia Sintros, on page 5.

                                                                                                                                In this issue
 Musings                              Church Events                       Parish Council News                     Church News
 Fr. Stephen begins a new series of   Meet Parish Council President       Read up–to–date information from        Read all of the latest news being
 articles discussing who we are,      Olivia Sintros; read about          the Parish Council, including the       reported by our parish groups and
 why we’re here, and what it          Philoptochos guest speaker Diana    President’s Report, Treasurer’s         committees, including Philoptochos,
 means. This month: Our               Gaikazova; enjoy photos from the    Report, Stewardship, and Grecian        Sunday School, Choir, Coffee
 Christian Anthropology, Part I.      New Year’s Eve social; and more.    Festival.                               Hour, and more.
 Page 2                               Page 4                              Page 6                                  Page 8
                            Christian Anthropology — Part I
                            by Fr. Stephen Lawrence


                 Why were we created? Why are we here? As we get ‘back       Let’s dwell on that for a moment because it will be
                 to the basics’ there really aren’t any questions more basic immensely important to what we learn in the coming
                 than these. “Why are we?” is perhaps the most basic of      months. To put this another way, there are two ‘realms’ of
                 philosophical questions. But philosophical questions are    being — the spiritual and the material. God dwells in
                 sometimes an acquired taste; interesting to some but mind- heaven surrounded by the heavenly hosts (the angels). This
                 numbingly boring to others. So here I’m going to address    is the spiritual realm; it has no material, physical form. It
MUSINGSMUSINGS



                 them in what I hope is a practical way that is interesting  cannot be touched, or seen, or heard (through typical
                 and enlightening to all. So instead                                                     means). The material realm is
                 of just waxing poetic about the                                                         what we experience on a day-to-
                 abstract philosophy of who we are,                                                      day basis. It has physical form and
                 I’m going to start off by telling our  God’s act of creation was                       can be touched, seen, and heard.
                 Orthodox Christian story of                                                             These two realms were not meant
                 Creation. And that starts out with      and is an act of divine love. to be separate, however, so God
                 a few basics about our God.                                                             designed in His Creation a way to
                                                         God created us and the                          bridge the two realms. He created
                 We worship a Trinitarian God.
                                                                                                         angels as purely spiritual beings
                 That means, among many other            entire Universe so that he                      without material form and He
                 things, that God Himself exists in
                                                                                                         created animals as purely material
                 community. For all Eternity God         had more to love.                              beings without spiritual form.
                 has had company. And the divine
                                                                                                         Only one creature in all Creation
                 community of Father, Son, and
                                                                                                         was endowed with both material
                 Holy Spirit is founded on love; a love so overwhelming that
                                                                             and spiritual form. “The LORD God formed man from
                 the three Divine Persons weren’t enough. And so God
                                                                             the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the
                 created. This is the important basic point that we need to
                                                                             breath of life; and the man became a living being” (Gen
                 start out from — God’s act of creation was and is an act of
                                                                             2:7). Humans were formed of physical matter (dust of the
                 divine love. God created us and the entire Universe so that
                                                                             ground) and spirit (breath of life). So we were created to be
                 he had more to love. That’s important because it explains
                                                                             a bridge between God’s divine life in the spiritual realm
                 one of the basic underlying assumptions that we Greek
                                                                             and His created physical world.
                 Orthodox Christians have — that humanity and all of
                 Creation is basically ‘good.’ Evil, in and of itself, cannot       This is important not just for theological or philosophical
                 exist on its own; it is a cancerous parasite that can only exist   reasons. It is important for a very practical reason. For, you
                 as a corruption of something created to be good. So                see, the material order has always been meant to be
                 humanity, and everything about us, was designed by God to          subordinate to the spiritual order. Not just on some cosmic
                 be good and to work in harmony with His plans for us (and          supernatural level, either, but on a personal level as well —
                 His ultimate plan for us is to live eternally in love with Him).   because we humans are, as we have seen, both physical and
                                                                                    spiritual. We have a physical body with all its appetites and
                 How this extravagant divine act of overflowing love worked
February 2011




                                                                                    needs and we are endowed with a spirit, created in the
                 out is revealed to us in the first book of the Old Testament,
                                                                                    image and likeness of God. And this physical body (with all
                 the book of Genesis (chapters 1–3). Genesis recounts God’s
                                                                                    its appetites and needs) was created to be subordinate to
                 creation of the heavens and the earth, the mountains and
                                                                                    our spirit, to be ruled by our “divine breath.” The great
                 the seas, plants and animals. And His final act of Creation
                                                                                    tragedy of the Fall was, in part, the inversion and reversing
                 was to form us. In Gen 2:15 we find out why we were
                                                                                    of this proper order. Too often now, we are ruled by our
                 created: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the
                                                                                    appetites and impulses, acting in ways we later regret. But
                 garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” Now in the English
                                                                                    in order to fully understand how to overcome this regret —
                 translation that sounds a little boring; as if we were just
                                                                                    how to restore the proper control of our physical appetites
                 created to be gardeners and farmers. But in both Hebrew
                                                                                    to our spirits — we needed to start at the beginning. Now
                 and Greek the two terms are profoundly meaningful. ‘To
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                                                                                    that we understand basic Christian anthropology (i.e. that
                 till’ is εργάζεσθαι which can simply mean ‘to work’ but also
                                                                                    we are created as physical/spiritual beings) we can move
                 carries the sense of ‘to invest’ or ‘to work toward.’ ‘To keep’
                                                                                    on to Part II.
                 is φυλάσσειν and is the same word often translated as ‘to
                 guard.’ So the sense of the verse has always been understood       Next Month: Part II, “The Anatomy of the Soul” — What is our
                 in the teachings of the Church to mean that we were                Soul and how is it put together?
                 created to be God’s caretakers of Creation — to protect it
                                                                                    † Fr. Stephen
                 and to help it become everything that God intended. We
                 were created, then, to be a sort of bridge between God’s
                 divine life and the material, physical life of Creation.
2
                                Services, Sacraments and Calendar of Events
                                                                        For up–to–date information, contact the church at 978–458–4321


                              Sunday Services                                                                                 Special Services
Orthros: 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.                             February 2nd (Wednesday)	..................................................Orthros, 8:30 a.m.
Divine Liturgy: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.                                                  Divine Liturgy, 9:30 a.m. (Presentation of our Lord)
February 6th	..........................Orthros, 8:00 a.m.   February 10th (Thursday)	...................................................Orthros, 8:30 a.m.
                             Divine Liturgy, 9:30 a.m.                                                Divine Liturgy, 9:30 a.m. (St. Haralambos)




                                                                                                                                                              CHURCHCALENDARS
February 13th	........................Orthros, 8:00 a.m.
                                                            February 19th (Saturday)	.....................Special Needs Divine Liturgy, 10:00 a.m.
                             Divine Liturgy, 9:30 a.m.
February 20 ........................Orthros, 8:00 a.m.
            th	                                                                     .....................................................Orthros, 8:30 a.m.
                                                            February 26th (Saturday)	
                             Divine Liturgy, 9:30 a.m.                                         Divine Liturgy, 9:30 a.m. (1st Saturday of Souls)
February 27th	........................Orthros, 8:00 a.m.
                            Divine Liturgy, 9:30 a.m..

                                   Sacraments                                          Sunday Epistle and Gospel Readings
Baptisms                                                    2/6/2011
None                                                        Matins:
 Luke 24:1–12
                                                            Epistle:
 St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:16–18; 7:1
Weddings and Marriage Blessings                             Gospel:
Matthew 15:21–28
None
                                                            2/13/2011
Funerals                                                    Matins:
 Luke 24:13–35
January 13th: Florence Betses
                                                            Epistle:
 St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy 3:10–15
May her memory be eternal.                                  Gospel:
Luke 18:10–14
                               Trisagia Names               2/20/2011
                                                            Matins:
 Luke 24:36–53
As we shift our tradition, we ask you to please             Epistle:
 St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 6:12–20
submit names of your departed loved ones                    Gospel:
Luke 15:11–32
who passed away during the upcoming
month month so that Fr. Stephen can offer a                 2/27/2011
Trisagion on the anniversary of their entry into            Matins:
 John 20:1–10
the Kingdom of God. Each month we will                      Epistle:
 St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 8:8–13; 9:1–2
commemorate those who have fallen asleep in                 Gospel:
Matthew 25:31–46
that month. No donation is required.

                                                                                                                                   Save the Date




                                                                                                                                                                   February 2011
Bible Study                                                                   Family and Youth Activities
February 1, 8, 15, 22 (Tuesday): Christian Bible Fellowship                   February 12th (Saturday): Family “Morning” Potluck
(Bible Study), 7:00 p.m.                                                      Breakfast, 9:00–11:00 a.m.
                                                                              (see enclosed flyer for more information)
February 2, 9, 16, 23 (Wednesday): Christian Bible
Fellowship (Bible Study), 10:00 a.m.                                          February 13th (Sunday): GOYA Sounding Board

Sunday School                                                                 Special Events
February 13th (Sunday): Sunday School Bake Sale                               February 3rd (Thursday): Grecian Festival meeting, 6:30 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                   TRANSaGRAM




Church Camps (VCC)                                                            February 10th (Thursday): Golf Tournament meeting, 6:30 p.m.

March 5th (Saturday): Lenten Camp                                             June 24, 25, 26, 2011: Grecian Festival

April 22nd (Friday): Holy Friday Retreat                                      Philoptochos Events
July   24th   –   29th:   Vacation Church Camp                                February 5th (Saturday): Philoptochos Meeting, with guest
                                                                              speaker Diana Gaikazova
Special Needs Divine Liturgy
                                                                              February 6th (Sunday): Get Your Red On! Wear red to
February 19th (Saturday): Special Needs Divine Liturgy,                       church to raise awareness of women’s heart health
10:00 a.m.
                                                                              March 7th (Monday): Philoptochos Meeting                                                    3
                                                    February 5th: Guest Speaker Diana Gaikazova
                                                    by Patricia Mahoney, Philoptochos President

                                                    The Transfiguration Philoptochos will be featuring well–renowned jewelry
                                                    designer Diana Gaikazova as a guest speaker at our annual “Heart Health”
                                                    Brunch on Saturday, February 5th. Diana will join us in the Philoptochos
                                                    room and speak with us after our business meeting at 10:00 a.m.
                                                    Diana was born in Italy, raised in Moscow, and later returned to Italy to
                                                    study art and learn the centuries–old tradition of reverse glass painting.
CHURCHEVENTS



                                                    She brought her talents and creativity to Boston a decade ago. She
                                                    quickly became known for her work, which can now be found in the
                                                    White House and the Vatican. Her work is collected by noted celebrities
                                                    like Sylvester Stallone and Quincy Jones, and it is carried in the finest
                                                    stores on Rodeo Drive, Harrod’s of London, and Saks 5th Avenue.
                                                    Today, Diana is the designer of unique heart pendants. She feels that the
                                                    heart is the universal symbol of love, charity, and hope. She embodies
                                                    these attributes in her Museum of Fine Heart pendant collection. Each
                                                    glass heart is hand–molded, painted with porcelain paint imported from
                                                    France, and finished with stunning enamel glaze and genuine Swarovski
                                                    crystals. There is a heart to suit a woman of any age, profession, and style.
                                                                                                                                    Diana will have her collection available for
                                                    In keeping with the national “Go Red” initiative, our February meeting has      viewing and/or purchase. To view Diana’s
                                                    traditionally been earmarked to underscore heart health awareness. This is      collection online, please visit her website at
                                                    the first time that we are welcoming such a beautifully talented artist of      www.museumoffinehearts.com.
                                                    heart pendants. All parishioners and friends are invited to her presentation.

                                                    Photo Gallery: New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Church
                                                                                                                                             The Events Ministry, headed by
                                                                                             (Left): Zachariah                               Angela Hastings, brought in the
                                                                                             Lawrence                                        New Year with style. Many
                                                                                             searches high and                               parishioners chose to celebrate the
                                                                                             low for the New                                 New Year as a parish family,
                                                                                             Year’s Eve Raffle                                enjoying catered mezethes and
                                                                                             Ticket winners.                                 sharing many laughs together.
                                                                                             Here they are,
                                                                                                                                             Congratulations to all the lucky
                                                                                             Zac, listed on the
                                                                                             right!                                          raffle ticket winners! Enjoy the
                                                                                                                                             photo gallery, and don’t forget to
February 2011




                                                                                                                                             book your calendar for next year!
TRANSaGRAM

                Photos by Nick and Melanie Pappas




4
                  Meet Olivia Sintros, New Parish Council President
                                                                                           by Cathy Koufogazos, Trans–a–Gram Editor


I recently presented some questions to the new Parish Council                • Discipleship
President, Olivia Sintros, so that we could get to know her a little           Ministry
better. Olivia was happy to respond.                                           Coordinator,
                                                                               2010–present
Q:	Where were you born?
                                                                             • Parish Council
   Lowell, Massachusetts                                                       Member, 1998–




                                                                                                                                                                                               CHURCHEVENTS
Q:	What is your home town?                                                     2005 and 2009–
                                                                               present
   Andover, Massachusetts
Q:	What is your work background?                                          Q:	What are the
                                                                          reasons you
   • Title I Facilitator for Lowell Public Schools                        accepted the
   • Interim Assistant Principal McAvinnue Elementary                     nomination for
     School, Lowell
                                                                          president?
   • Retired educator (30 years), Lowell Public Schools
                                                                             I accepted the
Q:	Tell us a little bit about your family.                                   nomination, with
   My blessings are my son Michael, his wife Kate, and                       the desire to work
   grandchildren Peter and Ellie; my son Steven, his wife                    side by side with
                                                                             my fellow brothers




                                                                                                                                                                   Photo by Cathy Koufogazos
   Pam, and grandchildren Luke, Kendall, and Emmy; my
   son Christopher, his wife Erin, and grandchildren                         and sisters in
   Thomas and Callia; and my husband Spike.                                  Christ and with the
                                                                             help of God to use
Q:	What are your church affiliations?                                         our God -given
   • Baptized at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox                             time, talent and
     Church                                                                  treasure for the
   • Married at the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox                            spiritual progress and advancement of the parish.
     Church
                                                                          Q:	What do you hope to accomplish during your initial
Q:	Tell us about your participation in church ministries.                 term?
   • Philoptochos President, 1991–1995                                       Along with Fr. Stephen and the Parish Council, I hope
   • Philoptochos Board Member, 1991–present                                 to assist in establishing clear goals, setting priorities and
   • Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Board Member,                         moving forward our newly established Ministry Teams.
     1998–2001
   • Philoptochos 1st Vice President, 2009–present                        Q:	Do you have any closing thoughts?
   • Sunday School Teacher, 1995–present                                     This is not a closing thought, but is rather a thought
   • Vacation Church Camp Coordinator, 2002–present                          that I live by, which is best stated in one of my favorite
   • Stewardship Ministry Coordinator, 2001–2004,                            biblical references regarding church ministries: “We




                                                                                                                                                                                                   February 2011
     2008–present                                                            came not to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).

                                                                                                                           A Soldier Says “Thank You”
                                                                November’s Family Night activity included a “Remember Our
                                                                Troops” package drive. Thanks to the generous donations of our
                                                                parishioners and local companies, we collected enough items to send
                                                                nearly 50 packages for Christmas to our troops serving overseas.
                                                                                                                        Family Night coordinator Susan
                                                                                                                        Mitchell recently received a postcard at
                                                                                                                                                                                                   TRANSaGRAM




                                                                                                                        the church from one of the soldiers who
                                                                                                                        received a packages SPC Antonio
                                                                                                                        Coiado sent this postcard from Kabul
                                                                                                                        to express his gratitude. Our small
                                                                                                                        efforts made a big difference to many
                                                                                           Provided by Susan Mitchell




                                                                                                                        people far from home.
                                                                                                                        Find a way to contribute. Join an
                                                                                                                        activity and find fellowship; you will
                                                                                                                        make a difference in someone’s life.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          5
                            President’s Report
                            by Olivia Sintros, Parish Council President


                We came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28).           Gospel of Matthew 4:9, “Come and follow Me.” We have
                                                                                  been called! We have taken the oath to faithfully and
                It is with great humility that I accepted the position of
                                                                                  sincerely fulfill our responsibilities, and we will move
                President of the Parish Council for the year 2011. I would
                                                                                  forward and follow the lead of previous church leaders to
                first like to thank Fr. Stephen and my fellow council
                                                                                  whom we owe a great deal of gratitude. In closing, I would
                members for the confidence they have placed in me, and it
                                                                                  especially like to thank past President John Dristilaris, our
                is my prayer that together we will serve this ministry with
PARISHCOUNCIL



                                                                                  43rd Parish Council President, for his love and leadership as
                love, loyalty and dedication to Christ and his Church. On
                                                                                  he followed in the footsteps of his papou John Dristilaris,
                February 4–5th, we as a Parish Council, under the spiritual
                                                                                  our 25th Parish Council President.
                guidance of Fr. Stephen, will participate in an overnight
                retreat at The St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center.
                                                                                  Grecian Festival
                Following the Retreat, and by this time next month, a
                vision will be formulated, priorities will be set, Ministry       I hope and pray that at our Retreat, we will set long–range
                Teams will be called to action, and Grecian Festival 2011         plans, work to establish parish priorities, and along with
                will be well on its way. Jesus said to his apostles in the        our established ministries, move forward to implement new
                                                                                  programs.




                            Treasurer’s Report
                            by Konstantinos Kalabokis, Parish Council Treasurer


                                                                          Account Summary
                                                  Account                                                    Balance
                                                  Altar
Fund                                                $1,413.11
                                                  Fes0val
Checking                                          $5,609.44
                                                  General
Checking                                         $58,928.64
                                                  Mortgage
Elimina0on                                      $15,704.87
                                                  Money
Market
Savings                                   $133,552.29
                                                                                                         $215,208.35

                If you have any questions, or are interested in helping, please contact me at treasurer@transchurch.org.
February 2011




                Stewardship Report
                by Olivia Sintros, Stewardship Reporter

                The Stewardship Ministry Team would like to thank the             $135,000, ending the year with a total amount received of
                174 stewards who have thoughtfully and sincerely                  $148,426.60. Please let this serve as a gentle reminder that
                completed their 2011 commitment card since Stewardship            our church meets the financial needs of its ministries and
TRANSaGRAM




                Sunday on December 12th. If you have not yet pledged for          operating budget by way of this Stewardship program. If
                2011, won’t you please give prayerful consideration to the        you have not yet done so, please fill out your 2011
                commitment that you will be making to the church? May             commitment card. Once again, thank you for helping to
                we all remember that our stewardship is obedience to the          end 2010 on a positive note.
                greatest commandment to “love the Lord with all your
                heart, soul, mind and strength.” In the spirit of                 Final Data as of 12/31/2010
                transparency, we are saddened to report that we ended             Participating stewards:	....................................................407
                2010 with 407 stewards, reflecting a loss of 21 stewards           Received:	................................................................$148,427
                from the 2009 year–end total of 428 stewards. On a                Total pledged:	  .........................................................$150,336
6               brighter note, we surpassed our budgeted goal of                  Budgeted goal:	........................................................$135,000
                                                                    Parish Council Report
                                                                           by Nick Pappas, Parish Council Secretary


After being sworn into office on January 2nd, the Parish              with Fr. Stephen on February 4–5, at the St. Methodios
Council met to elect officers for the 2011 year under Fr.             Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, N.H. Fr.
Stephen’s direction. During the process, the council                 Stephen and the 12 council members will use that time
decided to create a second assistant treasurer position to           to set goals for the year, as well as to conduct the
help with the handling of the parish’s finances.                      February council meeting. A full report on the retreat is
                                                                     scheduled to appear in the March Trans–a–Gram.
Elected to serve as officers in 2011 were:




                                                                                                                                 PARISHCOUNCIL
                                                                   • Voted to permit the three council members who did not
    President: Olivia Sintros
                                                                     seek re–election to retain their keys and alarm codes in
    Vice President: Christian Zouzas
                                                                     order to be able to assist the council from time to time.
    Treasurer: Konstantinos Kalabokis
                                                                     The council also agreed to distribute keys to the church
    Assistant Treasurer: George Bertos
                                                                     office to all 12 members, rather than just to the officers,
    Assistant Treasurer: Niclis Kouloungis
                                                                     so that all of them will be able to access the office as
    Secretary: Nick Pappas
                                                                     needed when covering daytime or weekend services.
After receiving the weekly duty rotation for the year and
                                                                   • Graciously accepted a donation of $15,000 from the
choosing the month in which they will be responsible to
                                                                     Demoulas Market Basket Foundation of Chelmsford.
cover special weekday services, council members agreed to
                                                                     Also accepted a $2,000 donation from Michael and Ann
change the regular meeting night to the first Monday of
                                                                     Eliopoulos of Chelmsford, who won the $2,000 prize at
the month, starting with the March meeting (previously, the
                                                                     the New Year’s Eve social but generously chose to return
council had been meeting on the second Tuesday of the
                                                                     the check to the parish for its use. The council will
month). The council also scheduled its first official meeting
                                                                     prepare and send personal thank–you letters in both
of the year for January 10th at 6:30 p.m.
                                                                     instances.
At that meeting, the council took the following actions:
                                                                   The council will next meet on February 5th as part of the
• Voted 8–3 to authorize the expenditure of up to $1,300           overnight retreat at the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage
  to cover the cost of an overnight Parish Council retreat         Center.



                                                                                    Grecian Festival ’11
                                                                                            by Nick Pappas, Publicity Chairman

Six long years.                                                    and serve the many Greek delicacies that will be available
                                                                   during that festive weekend, as well as to help out in
That’s how long it has been since our parish family came
                                                                   numerous other areas.
together to share our faith and culture with the Greater
Lowell community with a full–fledged Grecian festival on            Besides the sale of Greek food and pastry, preliminary
the church grounds.                                                plans call for Greek dancing to live entertainment, a Greek




                                                                                                                                      February 2011
                                                                   marketplace, religious booth, church tours and a children’s
Well, you can stop counting — we have no intention of
                                                                   area. Other attractions are under consideration for the
making it seven.
                                                                   free-admission festival.
A steering committee under the leadership of Co–Chairmen
                                                                   As the festival preparations continue to take shape, more
John Dristilaris and Christian Zouzas is moving forward with
                                                                   information will be shared in the weekly Trans–Notes,
plans for Grecian Festival ’11, a three–day celebration
                                                                   monthly Trans–a–Gram, on our website
scheduled for the weekend of June 24, 25 and 26.
                                                                   (www.transchurch.org), Facebook page (www.facebook/
The mission? To inspire, promote, educate, engage and              transchurch) and through our e–newsletter, which
embrace the Merrimack Valley community with the Greek              parishioners can subscribe to by signing up on our website.
Orthodox religion and Greek culture.
                                                                                                                                      TRANSaGRAM




                                                                   If you are wondering what you can do to help make
On Jan. 6th, nearly two dozen parishioners gathered in the         Grecian Festival ’11 a success — and that can’t happen
Philoptochos Room to begin making preparations for the             without your assistance — please contact our co-chairmen
festival — our first since 2005 and the 14th since its inception   John (jdristilaris@yahoo.com) and Christian
32 years ago. Some were veterans of that first festival in 1979;   (zouzas@aol.com) or the other members of our steering
others were looking forward to participating for the first time.   committee: festival veterans Arthur Faneros, George
Many of the key leadership positions already have been             Laganas and Spike Sintros.
filled — i.e., facilities, finance, food, pastry, publicity and      Or join us for the next meeting of our Grecian Festival
raffle — though there are still some critical openings. And         Ministry team on February 3rd at 6:30 p.m. in the
numerous volunteers will be needed to help prepare, cook           Philoptochos Room.                                                        7
                           Philoptochos Society
                           by Patricia Mahoney, Philoptochos President


                Many thanks to the women of the             recipient of the gold coin was Andrew          Schoolers and Advent campers, and
                Transfiguration who have responded           Coravos. We wish him good health and           filled with snacks donated by
                to the Philoptochos membership              blessings in 2011.                             Transfiguration family and friends —
                initiative for the calendar year 2011 by                                                   will be distributed to the disadvantaged
                returning their stewardship envelopes.      Outreach                                       children of our city. This outreach
                We are looking forward to involving all     Nursing Home/Shut-In Visitations: Our          project is ongoing. We thank all those
CHURCHNEWS



                our Transfiguration sisters in meeting       “Visiting Angels” are continuing their         who participated and look forward to a
                the needs of those less fortunate. If       visits to nursing homes and shut–ins.          repeat performance in the near future.
                you have not already so, please             Please contact the church office or             In Memoriam: Philoptochos Sister Florence
                consider returning your membership          Christine Faneros if you or a loved            Betses. May her memory be eternal.
                envelope. Including your email              one would like to have a visit, or if you
                address, if you have one, will help         would like to volunteer.                       Up and Coming
                speed communication. If you have any
                questions, please contact the church       House of Hope: We continue to serve             Next Meeting: Our next meeting will be
                office at 978–458–4321, or contact us       dinner at the House of Hope in                  Saturday morning, February 5th, at
                at philoptochos@transchurch.org.           Lowell on the 4th Thursday of the               10:00 a.m., in the Philoptochos Room.
                                                           month. Please contact our coordinator           In keeping with our tradition, a heart
                January Meeting: On January 9th, our first Iris Malliaros, at 978–452–1363 or at           healthy brunch will be served by
                Saturday morning meeting of the year Iris–Malliaros@uml.edu if you are                     hostesses Deanne Finn, Daphne
                took place. Kudos to chefs George          interested in volunteering.                     Kouloungis, and Susan Mitchell. Over
                Laganas, Jill Laganas, and junior chef                                                     the years, we have dedicated the
                Shyanne Laganas, who served delicious Family Literacy Program: As we clean out             enrichment part of the meeting to
                pancakes, sausages, and much more.         our children’s bookshelves after
                                                                                                           speaking about the heart and health.
                The business meeting followed. We          Christmas, please consider placing
                                                                                                           This time, after the business meeting,
                voted on our January and February          gently used books in our book
                                                                                                           our speaker will be Diana Gaikazova,
                National commitments, and we               collection bins. The goal is to collect as
                                                                                                           a designer of poignant heart pendants.
                reported and discussed our fundraisers many books as possible for the                      We encourage all to attend this
                and outreach ministries. After the         children at the Moody School.
                                                                                                           opportunity to meet Diana, listen to
                meeting, several ladies gathered to cut    Pajama Program: We will be continuing           her story, and view her collection. Her
                the vasilopita for Sunday.                 our collection of new pajamas to be             work can be found at the White
                Vasilopita: Our traditional Gold Coin      distributed to the needy children in the        House, the Vatican, and at the finest
                celebration was held on Sunday,            Merrimack Valley. Bins are located in           stores. Visit her website at
                January 9th. Thanks to chairlady Corrine the upper and lower lobby.                        www.museumoffinehearts.com.
                Dubay and to Jill Laganas, Christine        Blessings in a Bag: Collection of children’s   (Editor’s note: Read more about Diana on p. 4.)
                Faneros, Oliva Sintros, Pat Mahoney,        snacks is an ongoing outreach and is very      Get Your Red On! In keeping with the
                and Soula Spaziani, for cutting and         much appreciated by the disadvantaged          National American Heart Association
February 2011




                wrapping close to 300 pieces of the         children in the Lowell area.                   awareness initiative, Philoptochos is
                vasilopita bread. A special thanks to our                                                  asking parishioners to consider
                                                            Shoes for Orphan Souls: New children’s
                famous baker Eleni Stavrou. The                                                            wearing red on Sunday, February 6th,
                                                            shoes, socks, and/or laces are being
                proceeds of the purchasing of the slices                                                   to heighten awareness that the leading
                                                            collected. They will be sent to the
                of vasilopita enable us to make a                                                          causes of death of women in the USA
                                                            Buckner Foundation, who in turn
                substantial donation to St. Basil                                                          are heart disease and stroke.
                                                            disperse them all over the world.
                Academy in Garrison, NY, which is our
                National commitment in January.                                                            March Meeting: Our March meeting will
                                                            Acknowledging                                  take place on March 7th. We will first
                Seventy–eight parishioners purchased a
                piece of the bread this year. The lucky     Blessings in a Bag: Wow! Over 300              be attending the Compline service,
TRANSaGRAM




                                                            “Blessing Bags” — decorated by Sunday          with the meeting to follow.

                Save the Date: Transfiguration Family Night
                              Parish Family Morning                                If you have any questions or suggestions (or if you would
                   Saturday morning, February 12th, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.              like to help), please contact Susan Mitchell at 978–453–4551
                                                                                   or at susanmitchell73@yahoo.com.
                If you haven’t attended a Transfiguration Family Night,
                you don’t know what you are missing! Please put aside
                February 12th, and join us for fun, food, and fellowship.
8
                                                                     Parish Committee Reports
                                                                                                              Various Contributors


             Choir                          The cost to sponsor the coffee hour in                     Sunday School
                                            memory of loved ones or in honor of a
             by Louis Stamas,                                                                          by Connie Gkolias,
                                            special person or event is still $50. We
             Choir Director                                                                            Sunday School Director
                                            usually average about 15 sponsors per
                                            year. When there are no sponsors and
Choir rehearsals for the month of                                                        February is a very special month. It is
                                            there is a donation basket put out, we
February will be held on Tuesdays,                                                       the month of love. We give our hearts to




                                                                                                                                                                   CHURCHNEWS
                                            usually collect between $20 and $30.
February 1st and 15th, at 7:00 p.m. We’d                                                 all, and especially to our children. Let’s
love to see some new faces at rehearsal! Fortunately, we have had a few                  all work together to show everyone how
                                         wonderfully generous parishioners and           much love we can give to all, whether it
                Coffee Hour              friends who have consistently donated the       be a card or just a simple hello.
                                         cups, milk, sugars and sweeteners, stirrers
                by Susan Pappas,                                                         The Sunday School teachers will be
                                         and half the coffee. Otherwise, we would
                Coffee Hour Coordinator                                                  holding our annual Valentine Bake
                                         be out of business or would have to ask         Sale on Sunday, February 13th. Raffle
December 12  th: Sponsored by Ted and    for funds from the Parish Council.              tickets for our wonderful gifts will be
Stella Couris in loving memory of        Please try to keep all of this in mind as       sold on February 6th and 13th, with the
their son Matthew.                       you enjoy your coffee and doughnut in           raffle being drawn on February 13th.
December 19th: Sponsored by Virginia     the company of your friends and                 Please support the Sunday School by
Moore in loving memory of her            family each week.                               purchasing some raffle tickets and
husband Roland.                                                                          baked goods for your Valentine(s).
                                            We continue to look for volunteers to
                                            help serve the coffee. It involves about 1   We are always looking for help for our
Food for Thought                            hour of your time. What a great way to       Sunday School. Please see Connie or
We are currently purchasing the             meet and/or greet your fellow                Harilikia if you would like to help out.
doughnuts from Top Donut. During the        parishioners while contributing to a         The holidays are over, and hopefully
Sunday School year, there are an average    very important ministry. Please consider     so is the bad weather. Girls and boys,
of 10 dozen doughnuts purchased weekly      offering your services a few times a year.   please come and join your friends in
at a cost of $5 per dozen. The cost for     Anytime you would like to sponsor a          Sunday School. We have lots of things
milk, regular and decaf coffee, cups,       coffee hour in honor of someone, for a       planned for you, and we miss you
sugars and sweeteners, napkins and          special occasion, or in memory of a          when you do not join us.
stirrers for 150 people adds up to $12.66   loved one — or to volunteer your time —
per week, making the total cost per week    please contact Susan Pappas at 603–886–
of $62.66.                                  4717 or at smpappas16@yahoo.com.

                                                                                Vasilopita Gold Coin Celebration
On January 9th, the parish participated in the Philoptochos       coin winners Andrew and Thelma Coravos, who accepted




                                                                                                                                                                      February 2011
Vasilopita Gold Coin Celebration. Congratulations to gold         the coin on behalf of their family.                                 Photos by Cathy Koufogazos




                                                                                                                                                                      TRANSaGRAM




                                                                                                     Save the Date: VCC
           Lenten Camp                              Holy Friday Retreat                        Vacation Church Camp
           March 5, 2011                               April 22, 2011                            July 24 –July 29, 2011

All children grades pre–K through 8 are welcome to                contact Fr. Stephen or Olivia Sintros:
participate in this Youth Ministry program. If you are            • Fr. Stephen (978–458–4321, frstephen@transchurch.org)
interested in assisting or need more information, please          • Olivia Sintros (978–475–5805, osintros@comcast.net).                                                     9
                                            Find Us on Facebook!
                                            by Melanie Pappas


                                                                                                                comments! And don’t forget to use the “Suggest to Friends”
                                                                                                                feature to share the page with your friends and family.
                                                                                                                If you are in GOYA or have children in grades 7–12,
                                                                                                                please also “Like” our Transfiguration GOYA page. Search
                                                                                                                “Transfiguration GOYA” on Facebook, or simply access the
                                                                                                                page through the main church page at
CHURCHNEWS



                                                                                                                www.facebook.com/transchurch.

                                            The Transfiguration Church is on Facebook! If you have a             Don’t have a Facebook account? Stay informed about
                                            Facebook account but have not yet become a fan, please go           Transfiguration ministries, services and events with our
                                            to www.facebook.com/transchurch and click the “Like”                weekly e–newsletter. Visit www.transchurch.org and click
                                            button. Updates are posted daily, and we welcome your               the pink “Join Our E–Newsletter” button to sign up.

                                            Merrimack River Blessed for Theophany
                                            by Cathy Koufogazos, Trans–a–Gram Editor

                                            On January 6th, local
                                            Orthodox priests gathered at         Left: Rev. Nick Pelekoudas
                                                                                 of Holy Trinity, Fr. Stephen
                                            Rynne Beach in Lowell to
                                                                                 Lawrence of Transfiguration,
                                            bless the Merrimack River on         and Very Rev. Leonard Faris
                                            the holy day of Theophany,           of the St. George Antiochian
                                            commemorating the baptism            Orthodox Church conduct
                                            of Jesus Christ.                     the blessing at Rynne Beach
                                                                                 in Lowell.
                Photos by Arthur Sparages




                                                                                 Right: Fr. Stephen retrieves
                                                                                 the cross (highlighted on
                                                                                 right) used during the
                                                                                 ceremony to bless the
                                                                                 Merrimack River.


                                            Contact Information
                                            Church                                    Parish Council Members
                                            Secretary: Jeanne Brady                   President                   Assistant Treasurer          Corrine Dubay
                                            Address: Father John Sarantos Way,        Olivia Sintros              Nick Kouloungis              H: 978–649–0258
                                            Lowell, MA 01854
                                                                                      H: 978–475–5805             H: 978–256–3739              C: 978–621–4617
February 2011




                                            Telephone: 978–458–4321
                                            Fax: 978–458–8726                         C: 978–902–6152             koulclan@comcast.net         ccdubay@charter.net
                                            Church e–mail: info@transchurch.org       osintros@comcast.net        Secretary                    Gregory Floor
                                            Web page: www.transchurch.org             Vice President              Nick Pappas                  H: 978–455–3231
                                            Office hours:                              Christian Zouzas            H: 603–886–4717              C: 801–455–7155
                                            Secretary: Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.;   H: 978–256–9717             C: 978–852–8825              gregoryfloor@mac.com
                                            Priest: Mon.–Thurs., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,
                                                                                      C: 978–257–3360             npappas05@comcast.net        Angela Hastings
                                            or by appointment
                                                                                      zouzas@aol.com              Cesar de la Torre            H: 978–649–8708
                                            Priest                                    Treasurer                   H: 978–455–8626              C: 978–902–9602
                                            Father Stephen Lawrence
                                                                                      Konstantinos Kalabokis      C: 781–953–6033              angjefhastings@verizon.net
                                            Telephone: 978–973–2098
                                            E–mail: frstephen@transchurch.org         H: 978–649–4352             cesar.delatorre@gmail.com    Carl Maib
TRANSaGRAM




                                                                                      C: 781–354–5996             John Dristilaris             H: 978–459–8986
                                            Trans–a–Gram                              kkalabokis@gmail.com        H: 978–455–2191              C: 978–337–1280
                                            Editor: Catherine Koufogazos
                                            Telephone: 978–957–5330                   Assistant Treasurer         C: 978–804–3410              carl@maib.us
                                            E–mail: transagram@transchurch.org        George Bertos               jdristilaris@yahoo.com
                                                                                      H: 978–957–8253
                                            Web Site                                  C: 978–423–2339
                                            Webmaster: Melanie Pappas                 ljsclean@comcast.net
                                            Telephone: 978–337–1329
                                            E–mail: webmaster@transchurch.org

                                            Facebook
10                                          URL: www.facebook.com/transchurch
                                                                                       Thank You For Your Support
                                                 For advertising information, contact Nick Pappas at 603–886–4717 or npappas05@comcast.net.




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     Proudly serving the Greek Community in Dracut and
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                                                    978.458.4921                                          276 Pawtucket Street
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                                                                                                         Lowell, Massachusetts
                                                    Office Hours:
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      LARGE enough to Serve All, but Small Enough to Care

   Privately Owned 
                                        Pre–Need Inquiries Welcomed 
                                  978–458–6841

                                                                        Walter F. Bayliss, Jr.                                                                11
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                  BLUE ANGUS                                                                                   George A. Malliaros
                     CAFÉ                                                                                              Attorney at Law


                    34 Broadway Road                                           1794 Bridge Street
                                                                               Suite #22B
                        (Route 113)                                            Dracut, MA 01826
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                     Dracut, MA 01826                                          Fax:
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February 2011




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