CURRENTS by fionan

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Monthly Newsletter May/June 2002



900 Alameda
BELMONT CA 94002-1604



CRoss CURRenTs
The Monthly Newsletter of the Church of the Holy Cross 900 Alameda / Belmont, CA 94002-1604 (650) 591-4447 / fax (650) 508-9846 / INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Spirtual Reflection ......................... 3 Philoptochos News ........................ 8 Ask Max ...................................... 10 Greek Light (special) ................... 22 Golf & Tennis Tournament ................. 7 Help Wanted ...................................... 10 Youth Currents ................................... 13 Church Calendar .......................... center

Articles and ads for Cross Currents are due on the 26th of the month prior to the month of desired publication.

Father Peter Salmas, Pastor

Christ is Risen! Truly the Lord is Risen!
In the weeks following the celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection, the Gospel passages read at the Matins service are particularly meaningful. Each of these eleven passages refers to our Lord’s ministry from the time of His Resurrection to His Ascension. These accounts come from all four of the Evangelists’ Gospels. In the Treasury of Blessings series published by Pericope Press, we learn that, although the accounts differ, both the areas of agreement and discrepancy have significant implications. In the introduction of the Treasury of Blessings: Liturgy and Scripture Bible Study, these variations are addressed by Professor Veselin Kesich of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. He states, The variations in the accounts actually testify to their authenticity and serve as an important indicator that the story of the empty tomb belongs to the most primitive Gospel tradition. It is highly unlikely that the empty tomb stories could be legendary embellishments of a later period in the life of the Church, for if the Church had fabricated them, we should expect the Christian community to have created a harmonious account. The Church did not try to harmonize the ac-

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“I will meditate on Your commandments, and contemplate Your ways.” -Ps. 119:15

Constantine did not become a Christian until well into his time as emperor. His first major battle in which he was vastly outnumbered against the infamous Maxentius in Rome hastened his conversion. A bright image of the Cross appeared to him in the sky surrounded by stars in the light of day. The inscription read, “In this sign, conquer!” An image of the Cross was built and carried before his army that vanquished Maxentius and caused him to drown himself in the Tiber River. He then issued the Edict of Milan, which ceased the Christian persecutions. Around this time, Constantine contracted leprosy and doctors and idol-worshipping priests could not heal him. They suggested he bathe in the blood of sacrificed children, which he refused. The Apostles Peter and Paul appeared to him in a vision and sent him to see a certain Bishop Sylvester who instructed, baptized, and healed him. He also built the city of Constantinople, resplendent with cathedrals, churches, and the absence of pagan temples. Equally important, he attacked the heresy of Arianism by calling together the greatest minds of Christianity at the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea and there set in motion its demise. He also declared Sunday a public holiday. His mother, Helen, was said to be the daughter of the lyrical King Cole. She had beautiful churches built at the sites of Christ’s Nativity, the Holy Sepulchre, the Ascension, as well as others. She also discovered the cross of Jesus and the two others buried under a temple. Both Constantine and Helen died early in the fourth century. ++++++++ Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflictor of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness. -St. John Climacus A brother asked Abba Sisoes, “What shall I do, abba, for I have fallen?” The old man said to him, “Get up again.” The brother said, “I have gotten up again, but I have fallen again.” The old man said, “Get up again and again.” So then the brother said, “How many times?” The old man said, “Until you are taken up either in virtue or in sin. For a man presents himself to judgment in the state in which he is found.” -The Lives of the Desert Fathers

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counts, but instead faithfully transmitted the traditions that were received…It is most improbable that the narratives about the women and the empty tomb were created later in order to satisfy some need…The Gospels were written in a world and in an atmosphere that distrusted the witness of women. Thus we are given these accounts to confirm what was experienced by the disciples and others following our Lord’s Resurrection. Today there are many who question the accuracy and authenticity of these writings, raising many doubts in the minds of the faithful. However, from the earliest traditions, the Fathers of the Church recognized the scriptures as having been written with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. With such a source, the third person of the Holy Trinity, the Church has always recognized these accounts as being true and authentic. In a few weeks we will once again commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the first Christian community. As Orthodox Christians of the 21st Century, we, too, will ask the Holy Spirit to come upon us, thereby sanctifying the work of the Church throughout the world. It is important for us to remember that without the Holy Spirit we can do nothing good. The Holy Spirit that guides and protects, inspires and instructs, enlivens and maintains is the same Holy Spirit that moves with its sanctifying power freely throughout creation. Saint Athanasius of Alexandria shares with us these thoughts on the Church and the Holy Trinity. Let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian: there is a Trinity, holy and perfect, acknowledged as God, in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, having nothing foreign or external mixed with it, not composed of a fashioner and an originated, but entirely creative and fashioning; It is consistent in Itself, indivisible in nature, and Its activity is one. The Father does all things through the Word in the Holy Spirit; and thus the unity of the Holy Trinity is preserved…He is over all as Father, as beginning, as source; and through all, through the Word; and in all, in the Holy Spirit…And because this is the faith of the Church, let them somehow understand that the Lord sent out the Apostles and

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commanded them to make this the foundation of the Church, when He said, “Go out and instruct every people, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our Orthodox tradition is inexhaustibly rich with wisdom, understanding and instructive reminders. As proclaimed in our Creed of faith, let us not stray from our belief in the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.” And again as we sing in the Divine Liturgy, “let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.”

FRom THe JAnIToR’s CLoseT
CHRISTOS ANESTI! I am going to start out by giving a BIG YASOO to all the Altar boys who were serving on Palm Sunday. As you know by now we’ve had plumbing problems for a few weeks; we thought we had everything under control when the unthinkable happened. The Altar boys came to the rescue and helped keep things under control. They did an excellent job in helping me and I thank each and every one of you for a job well done. Aaaaaand aaaa Biggggggg THANK YOU to Geri Mayers for donating a Power Washer to the Church. Geri, I really appreciate it and I am sure the church will appreciate a good cleaning. I still need a small air compressor and an on-the-back vacuum cleaner. Another Big Thank You to Jim Stephanos for putting up our new retaining wall in the north parking lot. We are receiving many compliments, THANKS JIM. It amazes me how many clothing articles are left at church, very nice and expensive clothes mainly children’s from the ages 5 to 18 and older. We keep them sometimes for months and we then give them to the Russian relief. (We do not have room to store these articles) No one claims or even looks for them and even when we try to return them the families never come by to pick up the lost articles. My suggestion to parents of young children, place a name tag in the clothing (jackets, sweaters, sleeping bags, etc.) so whoever finds lost clothing can return it. Now a more serious matter, as facilities manager and Hall supervisor I would like to accommodate everyone who rents the church facilities. How many times have I heard “Tyke, you know me I’m a good member and I work hard for the Church? Do me this special favor.” I hear this even if I’ve

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never seen the person before. My point is I can not give special favors to anyone. The Hall Committee has established rules and regulations that all parishioners and I must obey. When I am asked and have to refuse I feel like and must sound like an ogre and I apologize for that but I am sure you understand. Hector Martin, our second shift custodian, has resigned and has moved on to Andalusia, Spain to manage his father’s newly acquired restaurant. We wish him much success in his new venture. Interviews are being held for an Event Supervisor. Needed is a mature college student or anyone who can use extra money. This job is mainly on weekends (not every weekend), all you have to do is make sure the events or parties are running smoothly and lock up when the event is over. If you would like to apply, please call Tyke at 591-5517. If you have any questions or suggestion on how to improve our facilities please leave a message on my door or call 591-5517. Thank You, TYKE

We missed including some names in our Community Easter Card but include them here with our wishes for a happy Easter season. Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti! Gus & Irene Chagaris Bill & Vickie Chapralis Steve & Irine Chapralis The Coutsouridis’ Despina Davis Mrs. Pearl Delis The Haddad Family Harry & Lillian Haramis Vangelis Hytopoulos George & Irini Kehagias Makris Family John & Maria Maneatis John & Maxine Mathrusse Valerie & Dimitri Roumeliotes Mr. & Mrs. Guy Salmas Pete & Stacey Samaras

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May / June 2002 Volume 12 Number 2a - Special

900 Alameda Belmont, CA 94002-1604 Fr. Peter G. Salmas, Vaso Tonas, Advisor Theodora Kounalakis, Coordinator; Cleon Skourtis, Co-Coordinator Editorial Staff : Theodora Kounalakis & Vaso Tonas

Jim & Maria Eugenia Smith Joseph & Bessie Smith Pauline Stavaris Dr. Mary Topalis Mr. & Mrs. James Triggas Eugenia Verbeckmoes The Zongus Family

2002 GoLF & TennIs ToURnAmenT
Our 36th Annual event was a great success - fielding over 150 golfers and nearly 30 tennis players - especially since we provided them one of the best weather days of the year! This year’s Committee outdid themselves in hospitality with barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs and cold drinks on the course throughout the day. The evening’s awards banquet was also a huge draw with delicious hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction for sports memorabilia, and then a signature youvetzi dinner. Thank you to the sponsors, donors, and players, and SPECIAL thanks to the Committee (which has been planning and working on the Tournament for months) and the scores of volunteers who came out to lend a hand with every facet of the event.

The Fourth Level students in Mr. Mallas’ Greek School class wrote these short essays about Easter.

by Tyke Stamates, President CHRISTOS ANESTI! I took over the Presidency from Roxanne Koston in February of this year. Roxanne will be a hard act to follow as she has done an outstanding job as President. Filia and I thank Roxanne & Mike for a job well done. In the past four months we’ve had some outstanding meetings and everyone has had a good time. For those of you, members and non-members, who missed the May 9 meeting, you missed an outstanding talk by Dr. John Cladis on “ARCHIMIDES”. Over 60 people attended and were held spell bound by John’s informative and interesting talk. Wine and cheese, dessert and coffee and of course our “ARCHIMIDES RAFFLE” were enjoyed by everyone. Nick Lolonis won $400 and Anthony Sperow won $100. I want to thank John for an excellent talk and making the evening a great success.

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If you would like to join Filia, please attend our meetings held on the second Thursday of the month in The Oaks at 7 PM.


A Glimpse of Glamorous Athens
by Diane Kounalakis-Baxter On April 20, 2002, a warm, beautiful morning in Belmont, California, the Philoptochos Society of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church hosted its annual Fashion Show and Luncheon. In front of a sold-out crowd of more than 350 people, Fashion Show co-chairs, Theodora Kounalakis and Eleni Metaxas, along with Stage Coordinator Maria Frangos took luncheon guests on a Glimpse of Glamorous Athens. Alexandra and Gabrielle Nemchik kicked off the show with a cute informative skit highlighting the upcoming fashion adventure. The show included short vignettes, from trendy shopping in Kolonaki Square to an evening out on the town in Athens. Each segment included high fashion, modeled by members of the Parish including many of our high school and college students. We began our journey on a sun-drenched morning by the seashore of Glyfada beach. Then, we browsed the boutiques of elegant Kolonaki Square, promenaded down Sofokleous Street, the backbone of the Athens’ Stock Exchange, shared in a wedding reception at the beautiful Royal Olympic Hotel and reveled in Greek music at night, all in the course of an afternoon. The fashions were provided by Cache at Stanford, Express, Manije Boutique of Burlingame, Patrick James Purveyor to Gentlemen and Structure at Hillsdale. Special thanks to John and Yvonne Stamatakis of Stella Catering, who presented a beautiful Greek meal, complete with a Hydra Salad, Solomos Souniou with grilled asparagus and herb rice. Topping off the lunch was Kataifi me Krema, all served by our dynamic waiters, the men of the Parish. Special acknowledgements go to Roxanne Koston for preparing the elaborate appetizers, Annette Vlahos for creating the flyer and program, Rita Zaharioudakis for arranging the elegant centerpieces that some lucky winners got to take home as well as offering other special touches that day. Additional thanks to Cathy Zamenes, the reservations chair and to Hope Callas and her committee for setting up the hall beautifully. It was elegant, it was lively (thanks to dynamic music provided by Alex Mallas) and it was a very special day for all who attended. This sold out event was a great success allowing our Philoptochos to grant Church and

1 Timothy 1:15; “This is a worthy saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”


The woman with an issue of blood.
Matthew 9:20-22; “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned and saw her, ‘Take heart, daughter,’ He said, ‘your faith has healed you’.”


Joash (or Jehoash), who began his reign at the age of seven.
2 Chronicles 24:1; “Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years.”


The Word (Logos)
John 1:1-4; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men...”


Luke 1:26-27; “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary...”

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Community Service Awards to seven deserving students. These are graduating seniors who have shown dedication to their church as well as the community. A fashion show and luncheon of this magnitude takes a lot of hard working people who commit quite a bit of their time and talent to make it a success. Special thanks to all of the following Fashion Show Committee members: Helene & Bob Nemchik, Christine Hopkins, Dee Sperow, Helen Valavanis, Sofia Medeiros, Eugenia Rousseas, Georgia Novo, Eleni Baxter, A.S.K. Artistic Destination, Sharon Milanos, Diane KounalakisBaxter, Caroline Crivelli of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Alex Mallas of Vital Sounds, Don Craighead, Roxanne Koston, Rita Zaharioudakis, Kathy Craighead, Cathy Zamenes, Hope Callas, Arleen Brenner, all the wonderful models and of course, the co-chairs, Theodora Kounalakis and Eleni Metaxas, along with Stage Coordinator Maria Frangos. We hope you can join us next year. Mark your calendars Fashion Show, Church of the Holy Cross Belmont, California - Spring 2003. See you there!

GOYA and families on the slopes.


The Committee met again and was faced with a huge stack of applications for this year’s Philoptochos Church and Community Service Awards - given to eligible students who have shown dedication to their church and community by sharing their time and talent in service throughout their time at Holy Cross. This year’s scholars received their awards at the Youth Appreciation Luncheon on June 9 : Alexandra Nemchik - First Place; Katherine Loukianoff - Second Place; Ashley Brenner and Vanessa Craighead - Third Place; James Culores, Justin Lianides, and Andrea Milanos - Special recognition award Congratulations to all!

(See if you can find these in the Bible before you look at the answers!) 1. Who called himself the “chief of sinners? 2. Who had so much faith in Jesus’ healing power that she touched the hem of his robe? 3. Who was the youngest king mentioned in the Bible? 4. According to St. John the Evangelist, what was in the beginning with God? 5. Where was Mary when the Angel of the Lord appeared to her, when he announced the news that she was to give birth to a son named Jesus?

There are only a few openings for the Fall session in either the T-Th program (starting at 2 ½ years) or the morning M-W-F program for children 3 ½ older.

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Our Pre-K afternoon/5-days-a-week session also has availability. Holy Cross Preschool is one of the best in the Peninsula and our community should be very pleased and proud of such an outstanding school Please call 631-9338 for further info. School board members : Tom Mavrakakis (chair), Nick Peros, Ella Stamates or Fran Bibbes can answer your questions. Share this information with relatives or neighbors who are looking for the best in teaching, curriculum and development.

HOPE - The HOPE youth group (ages 5 - 8) was “walking the path”
through Lent with special projects to help us understand the meaning of Easter. At our April meetings, we created a Lenten Cross, adorned with flowers reminding us of the steps to take in our journey through Lent. We followed up by tossing raw eggs in a bucket to see what kind of mess they made. We allowed the eggs to represent ourselves before Lent. Then we noted that by the end of Lent (Easter), the eggs would be hard-boiled and not so messy when cracked. That reminded us that by following the “Lenten Path,” we too would be stronger and closer to God by Easter. To celebrate God’s love, our assistant, Jason Craighead, brought in his frog, Bob, and we learned that indeed God works in wonderful and mysterious ways. We thought about Psalm 23 and created fuzzy sheep to remind us that God is our Shepherd. The children of HOPE wish our Holy Cross Community a joyous and glorious Easter!

This year the District Oratorical Festival was hosted by Holy Cross. Representing our parish were Greg Bangs and Anna Iuppa in the Senior Division and Irene Iuppa and Maria Iuppa in the Junior Division. All our speakers did a fantastic job! Although they did not make it to the Diocesan Festival, we congratulate them, along with our other parish orators, Alex Spirtos, Andreas Najjar, Sophie Callas, Stephanie Callas, and Katerina Kalaitzidis. Over the next few months we will be publishing the oratories of this year’s participants for our edification as a parish.

JOY - The Junior Orthodox Youth (JOY) made Easter baskets for the
elderly during their April meetings, and they have planned a day to “Renew the Zoo,” when all the youth groups will help out at the SF Zoo in their “Renew the Zoo” program. For more information, call Alesia Panagiotides at 342-2496.

Greek School teacher wanted at Holy Cross. Qualifications : Good knowledge of the Greek language, desire and enthusiasm to teach the children the language, our beautiful culture and heritage. Please call Vaso Tonas at 3665105. This is a paid position. Teaching hours are Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.

GOYA – The GOYAns recently have been discussing our Orthodox Faith.
We have discussed what being an Orthodox Christian means to all of us and how we should defend our faith to others. We also spoke about why we wear our crosses. Many of our GOYAns participated in the Oratorical Festival this year and did a fantastic job. We also had a debate recently about abortion and the Orthodox point of view on the issue. We had a movie night at the Angelis’ home and at one of our meetings we also watched a movie on the Cross and about the Prophet Jeremiah. Our ski trip was a fantastic time, and we had “spring skiing” conditions. The GOYAns had their Lenten Retreat in April and a meeting at the bowling alley for a “bowling night out.” - Hope Callas

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ASTARAKIA 4th – 6th Grades EFSTROFIA 7th – 9th Grades MELTEMIA 10th Grade1st Year College

Irene Fotinos Tula Gieseker Vicki Boubalos Hope Callas Pauline Alevizos Hope Callas

349-1535 652-4641 802-0422 345-1672 340-8689 345-1672

by Max the Office Rabbit Q. When is Greek Easter? A. (You’re probably thinking this is an old edition of “Ask Max” . . . ) Believe it or not, humans were calling to ask when Greek Easter was as late as late-April. True, Easter was late this year, but if you’re calling to ask the date of Easter in late-April, does that mean you haven’t started your Lenten fast yet? Did you miss all those Lenten services? Did you NOT hear the Lentrelated sermons on Sunday? Q. Why am I not getting an Orthodox Observer? A. The Observer used to send out yearly requests for updates to our church mailing list. In turn, we would comply by sending back a revised mailing list - including new members and changed addresses. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since they have sent such a request, so in the meantime, we have been calling and e-mailing to them the information for new members and for members with changes. We ask that you do the same - contact the Observer directly - PLEASE do NOT contact the church office regarding the Observer. By the way, you can get any issue of the Observer, since 1996, at http:// Q. How was your Easter? A. Fine. After hiding the eggs, I hid myself in the bushes and watched the happenings at the Easter Picnic. Everyone had a good time. The weather was beautiful. By the way, nice to see some of you in church Saturday night - see you again Christmas Eve, okay? ADVICE OF THE WEEK Advice for anyone with a long commute - you know, those of you who spend as much time in your car as you do at home the Gilroy quake last month reminds us that not only should we gather earthquake supplies for our homes - but also for our cars - a portable radio with batteries, food, flashlights, blankets, water, first-aid gear. MY QUESTION OF THE WEEK Why are you humans so mean to each other? Case in point. Reading from the bottom of my cage, I noticed that if

The Efstrofia performed WONDERFULLY! at the Roseville Greek Festival on June 1. Look in the Sunday Bulletins for news of other possible summer performances.

² Efstrofia walks off to a warm round of
applause after one of their June 1 performances at the Saint Anna Greek Festival.

How would you like to be a brave warrior hunting a wild boar to save the kingdom of Caledon? How about one of the three Fates holding precious lives in your hands? Kings, Queens, Princes, a Princess more athletic than any man, and numerous other exciting parts can be yours when you join the cast of Atalanta and her Many Suitors. Rehearsals will begin twice a week around July 15. Flexible schedule for family vacations. Must be able to commit time for intense rehearsals the last two weeks before the Festival. Play will be presented twice a day Labor Day Weekend, August 31 - September 2. Play times will not conflict with folk dance performance times. If this sounds like fun to you, call Helene Nemchik, 345-2719.

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you currently get your ATT long distance bill sent WITH your PacBell/SBC bill, and you DON’T call ATT before July, you will be dinged up to $1.50 per month for that privilege. However, if you call ATT before July (1-888288-2455), and tell them you want your long-distance bill sent SEPARATELY (that is, apart from your local service bill), they will do so AND will not charge you the $1.50. I do not know if this applies to other local and/or long distance carriers, but I’m sure they’ll tell you either way if you give them a call. You would think that the savings in postage AND paper would make the combined mailing cost-effective and environmentally-friendly (ignoring that with separate bills, you’ll have to send TWO checks instead of one), but I guess you humans will do anything to each other for a buck. (OH! Which reminds me - if this info just helped save you $18 a year, consider sending it to the church.) By the way, if you DON’T own any telecom stock and know what possible reason ANYONE would want to continue receiving the combined billing AND getting charged the $1.50, please write me. Max will entertain any question submitted on clean, natural, carrot pulpbased paper written with low-salt, soy-based ink . . . or e-mail him at

The schedule for the 2001-2002 year is available in the church office. If there are any questions about guidelines or expectations, call Simon Thomas at 591-4447. The group assignments for June are as follows: Sun/Jun. 2 – Group D Sun/Jun. 16 – Group B Sun/Jun. 30 – Group D Thu/Jun. 13 – All Groups Mon/Jun. 24 – All Groups Sun/Jun. 9 – Group A Sun/Jun. 23 – Group C Tue/May 21 – All Groups Sat/Jun. 22 – All Groups

The Varsity & Adult Season came and went during Great Lent, with the Holy Cross teams playing very well. We had one Boys High School team, one Girls High School team, two Adult B teams & one Adult A team. The season only lasted 5 weeks, but the Holy Cross teams showed great sportsmanship and ability. A special thank you to Tom Mavrakakis, Mark Simon, Chris Chidester, Steve Culores and all the coaches and players for a great year!

Congratulations to Loula Anaston who was conferred the Elios Cultural Achievement Award during February’s Diocesan Folk Dance Festival in Spokane. Loula, president of the Philoptochos Board of the Diocese of San Francisco, also received the Humanitarian Award from the FDF. Congratulations to Christopher Scott who will take over as editor-inchief of “NewsMatt,” the official student newspaper of Saint Matthew’s School in San Mateo. Christopher will guide a large staff of fifth through eighth graders to produce their monthly paper, circulation 300. (Remember, Christopher, it really helps to use “styles” in PageMaker!) Proud parents and other relatives are encouraged to proclaim the successes of their recent graduates here in Cross Currents. Please send us the news (by mail or e-mail) and we’ll publish it in the next issue(s).

Registration for the 2001-02 year is closed. In order to participate in the Holy Cross Dance Program, a child must be a baptized Orthodox Christian, participating actively in the Holy Cross Religious Education and Youth Group Programs, and his/her family must be a pledging member of the community. For information on practices, please contact the appropriate parent advisor: ANGELOUDAKIA PRE-SCHOOLHope Callas 345-1672 st 1 Grade Athia Giotinis 568-0281 KAMARI MAS 2ND –3RD Grade Paulette Costantini 591-4529 Nicky Papadakis 321-2225

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second highest grossing film in history, J.K. Rowling has sold millions of books, and its marketing has produced everything from Harry Potter dolls to the “Every-Flavor Jelly Bean” from Jelly Belly. The “Sorcerer’s Stone” book was entertaining, if you realize that it is fantasy. Fun spells, a game of quidditch on brooms, hidden passages unknown to “muggles” like ourselves – all of this VERY British in its nature (Rowling lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, itself known for hidden passageways, witches and the like). But how many kids, or even how many of us for that matter, know anything about witches? What do we know about their religion (Wicca) and their beliefs? Are we even aware that there are witches who live among us? The movie and stories may be all in good fun, but what are they teaching our children and us when we don’t research the truths behind the stories? During Orthodox worship, all five of our senses are aroused in order to keep our focus on God. We see the actions of the priest and the Icons on the walls. We hear the priest and chanter chanting, and the bells on the censer. We venerate the Icons, make prostrations, and do our cross. We smell the incense and taste the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The entire service is not only meant to guide us on the path towards God, but also to TEACH us about God, from the Icons, to the hymns, to the sermon. There is nothing hidden in Orthodoxy, nothing that is shrouded in mystery. Everything that is put on our plate as Orthodox Christians is intended to lead us towards the Truth. Yet even our faith needs to be researched and studied in order for our knowledge and understanding to become greater. How much more then, should we be researching and studying those worldly things society feeds us, in order to understand them and to put them into perspective for us as Orthodox Christians. We are not monastics, we cannot shut out society and the world, but we can recognize how it is influencing us. We can choose what role society is going to play in our lives, and what role the teachings of the Church will play. As St. Paul says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.” (1 Cor. 6:12) Let us not be enslaved by what society puts on our plate. Let us pick and choose wisely what we eat, and that which we do eat, let us understand where it comes from.

MAY/JUNE 2002 edition Grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18

Garbage In, Garbage Out…
As the saying goes, “We are what we eat.” How many of us remember what we had for breakfast this morning? Dinner last night? Lunch three days ago? And we have more on our plate than we realize. You see, it isn’t just food that I am writing about – we go through every day taking in what society puts on our plate in front of us. These things influence the way we think, the things we say, the way we speak, how we act, how we appear, etc., etc., ad infinitum . . .We listen to music, we watch TV, we read the newspaper and the Internet – all the while ingesting and digesting everything. Several years ago, I read the comic strip Doonesbury. In it, a college professor was giving his lecture on Thomas Jefferson. As he continued to lecture, he realized that the students were writing down every word that came out of his mouth. To see what would happen, he explained how Jefferson owned the state of Virginia, how he built the first automobile, and finally walked on the moon. The final scene showed two students writing, one saying to the other, “This class is finally getting good!” The point of this comic strip – critical thinking is dead! We go with our children to the movies without talking to them about what they are seeing. We listen to music, without knowing what the lyrics mean, or who the people are that are writing them. We listen to the news without trying to understand all sides of the story. Even in our own Church, we receive propaganda in the mail from people who have no theological training, speaking to us about theology. Freedom of speech does not negate the freedom to think critically. As I write this article, the new Star Wars movie will open in less than 12 hours. This movie, coming on the heels of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Spider-man, is expected to sell out for months to come, and like the others, generate a lot of revenue for its creators. Harry Potter is the

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