Protection of the
Holy Mother of God
Monthly Parish Bulletin
Volume 21, Number 1 (January 2007)
(703) 280-0770 (Office) (703) 254-8914 (Cell)
7223 Roosevelt Avenue, Falls Church, Virginia 22042
Open Letter to the Faithful for the New Year!
By Rev. Fr. David G. Subu
Dear Friends and Faithful of St. Mary’s,
May the Lord God bless you with a joyous and fruitful New Year!
It is hard for me to believe that a year has already passed since my family moved to Northern Virginia. It has
been a year so filled with blessings that we cannot count them, but we give thanks to God and to you for your love,
prayers and hospitality. In this issue you will read Christopher Thomas’s wonderful retrospective on 2006, so I will take
this opportunity to look forward into this New Year of 2007.
Much of the landscape set before us will be the same as it has been before. We will continue to be faced with the
challenge of any and all Christian life—learning to struggle with our pride and passions, opening our hearts to love the
stranger and to forgive our brother or sister, opening our minds to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to rejoice always and
to give thanks. These things do not change from year to year but often enough we forget them. We forget that in every
circumstance God is present and sees all, and works all for the good of our souls. We may forget that every human being
with whom we come into contact was led to us by God for our and for their salvation, and so we should greet each other
as if greeting Christ Himself. If we keep this Truth, the Truth of Christ, every present in our minds as we proceed, our
lives will go well in spite of obstacles and challenges, and sometimes because of them.
After a year at St. Mary’s it is clear to me that we all still need that healing Gospel, the preaching of repentance
and the forgiveness of sins that comes by the gift of the Holy Spirit since the days of the first Pentecost. Every one of our
families and members has some struggle, as much as God knows we can bear, and He will not abandon us, even when
we fall and temporarily abandon Him.
Thus the most important thing that St. Mary’s can do this year in 2007 is to keep praying for one another. I ask
for your prayers. I tell you that I need them. Having experienced them already for one year I know that your prayers are
what make it possible for me to serve this community and to offer what meager supplications that I have in thanksgiving
on your behalf. I have seen the great blessing that comes when the faithful pray for each other, with confidence
interceding for one another, and I rejoice in it, having my faith strengthened by your example. May God grant me to
make a good return this year for the uplifting of your hearts.
Brothers and sisters, I love you and wish you a wonderful New Year!
An English Speaking Parish Community of the Orthodox Church in America
Most Rev. Archbishop NATHANIEL of Detroit & the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America
Rev. Fr. David G. Subu, Parish Priest
Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, Parish Deacon
Christopher Thomas, Parish Council President
Letter from Christopher Thomas, Parish Council President
I started 2006 writing about the installation of the first two festal icons. The icons have
transformed our sanctuary. As we enter 2007 we have completed Phase I of our icon project and begin our
next two phases: Phase 1A, adding a vigil stand between the icons of the Presentation of the Theotokos and the
icon of the Nativity of our Lord; and Phase II, adding icons of the saints along the walls above the festal icons.
The impact of the icons has been dramatic, and the progress is as blessing to our community and to all those
who have donated towards the project.
As addressed in the 2006 Parish Assembly we are embarking on a road taking us from membership dues
to one of stewardship. You should each have received Membership and Stewardship pledge forms. If you have
completed and returned your forms, we thank you. If it is one of those things that slipped through the cracks
please take the time to complete them now. If you have lost the forms you can go to the “Membership” page on
our website, www.stmaryorthodox.org, or let Father David or Joe Cox know and they will get you new copies.
In March I wrote the community telling of the news that Joe and Susan Kumbera were leaving the area
and moving to St. Louis. Not a week goes by when we do not miss the Kumberas and all they did for the
community. There was never an excuse of how busy they were; they simply stepped up and took it upon
themselves to see that the Church was set up, cleaned, candles ordered, the baptismal font polished, and the
parking lot cleared of ice and snow.
In May I wrote of the death of Col George Codrea. I wrote then: “For those of you who did not know
Col Codrea, there is a shadow box in the Church hall that tells the story of Col. Codrea's sacrifice and heroism in
World War II. His heroism at war is surely a great part of his legacy. I did not know Col Codrea when he was
young defending his country. I did not know Col Codrea when he was helping as an early founding member of
St. Mary’s. I met him years later when he was quietly serving his Church. The gentle heroism I witnessed was
watching Col Codrea slowly but with determination climb the stairs up to the Church. Suffering from heart
problems, he could have stopped coming years ago with a reason worthy of a blessing, but he was not deterred.
Not only did Col Codrea come to Church; he came and he took out the trash on Thursday nights; he came and
made coffee each Sunday; he reserved the park for our annual picnic, going to the Falls Church park office each
September reserving the site for the upcoming year; he came and he and Martha cleaned the kitchen and the hall;
he came and served on the Parish Council; he came and he sprayed for ants; he came having purchased the towel
paper, toilet paper, napkins, cups, and coffee; he came and was a saintly example to all of us. He was an example
through his work for the Church, of his humility, of his dedication. Seeing an American hero toil to serve the
church was an example to all of us. When I remember Col Codrea I will remember him for his heroism getting
up from his hospital bed and coming to church. When I remember Col Codrea I will remember that he put
serving St. Mary’s and our needs first. I honor his war-time sacrifices, and I honor his quiet service to St.
In June I wrote of Father David’s trip with the AROY to Project Mexico. The presentation provided by
the AROY after their return served to remind us of how blessed we are to live in America. We were told that
the roads are not paved, the electricity is on only part of the time, with but one water and sewer line for the
town, and that often the people of the town risk electrocution climbing the high tension poles to tap in to the
lines to steal a few hours before the electric company comes through to cut the lines down.
In September the Council voted to replace the windows in the Sunday School rooms, a project that I was
leery of, given that we were thousands behind in annual donations, but a cost that was largely offset by very
generous donations by two families in our parish. Showing how little faith I have, and the generosity of our
parish. We also moved forward with the replacement of the furnace, a wish of the Codrea family, and with
donations in Col Codrea’s name covering most of the project. We held our annual picnic and I took on the job
that Marshal Standifer had held for many years, hamburger cook. With all of your patience I almost kept up
with demand, and the picnic was a very nice event and well coordinated by Presb. Stephanie and Lisa Robertson.
We ended 2006 with our celebration of the Nativity of our Lord. With your many donations Joe Cox
presented Father with a check for his Christmas bonus. Joe Cox has also told me that the initial 2006 tally shows
that in the last several months of the year we overcame a $10,000 shortfall and ended with a net positive
operating income and a net positive overall growth in funding in our checking and savings accounts. This was
something that we could not predict even a few weeks ago as we met to draft a budget for 2007.
At our Annual Assembly we will ask you to review and approve the budget for 2007. This week we will
present the budget to the Parish Council and then provide copies of the proposed budget to the community.
The budget committee focused on level funding to all areas while increasing the priest’s total compensation by
10% and keeping on the path we committed to His Eminence in 2005 as he worked to place a new priest in our
community. Our commitment was to bring our priest to the average household income for Fairfax County
within 5 years. We will also ask you to approve our movement to stewardship, and elect the slate for the 2007
The nominating committee will develop a slate for the 2007 Parish Council over the next couple of
weeks. If you would like to join the council or would like to suggest someone, please let me know. An
individual must have been a member of the parish for 6 months at the time of the Parish Assembly.
On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for putting up with my poor leadership of the Parish
Council and for tolerating my constant badgering for your time and treasures to aid and help St. Mary’s. I
underestimated the generosity of the parish, was frequently late in putting out agendas for the council meetings,
and was never attentive enough to the needs of the parish. Please forgive me if I have offended, or worse,
ignored you. I thank all the members of the Council for their time and sincere efforts for St. Mary’s. Serving on
the Parish Council is not spiritually uplifting, it is not filled with piety; it is a time to address the business aspects
of the parish, the heating and A/C, the lights, the rental properties, and the interest rate we are receiving from
our savings account. Each of the last two years has shown us the wisdom of the Episcopate By-Laws, which
require permission from the Episcopate Congress before allowing a parish to rent properties. The sooner we
are able to pay down the mortgages and eliminate the need for renters, the better off our community will be. I
encourage paying down the mortgages as among our highest priorities. We function very poorly as landlords; it
is not a role that is easy to perform in a Christian manner.
I ask that you pray for Father Alexander and his family, as he travels in harm’s
way ministering to our Orthodox service men and women overseas. And I ask your
prayers for Father David and his family as he carries the burden as our Spiritual
I pray that each of you finds 2007 to be filled with the Love of Our Lord
and Lady, and that Our Lord blesses you and Our Lady Protects and cares for you.
Who Knew There Were Orthodox Monasteries in Finland?
By Paula Yuskavage
Bob and I were fortunate to spend a week in Finland last summer. While he was
attending an economics conference in the town of Joensuu where we stayed, I explored the town
and took advantage of a day trip for spouses—visits to the Orthodox Monastery at Valamo and
the Orthodox Convent at Lintula.
Before I left the United States I wasn’t expecting to find such a strong Russian Orthodox
presence in Finland. I was interested to learn that Orthodoxy is, in fact, one of two sanctioned
and government-supported religions in the country. Later I found out that Joensuu was founded
by Czar Nikolai I of Russia in 1848.
The town of Joensuu, about 200 miles north of Helsinki, is not a town made for tourists.
But, as I walked around the town the first day, I found some older, wooden buildings with ornate
trim. Many such structures that once were typical in the town were destroyed in the 1970s and
replaced, unfortunately, with what looked to me to be Soviet-style apartments. The jewel of
Joensuu, to me, anyway, was a still-functioning wooden Russian Orthodox Church built in the
1880s. Although the tour books and guides indicated it was closed, it just happened to be open
the day I stumbled across it. I was impressed with its old icons and iconostasis, and of course I
lit a candle and said a prayer. I was the only one among the friends I made at the conference
who was able to get inside the church.
The next day I took a bus trip to Valamo Monastery, about an hour’s drive from Joensuu.
We passed very few cars along the way, and although the roadside signs warned of reindeer
crossing, we didn’t see any. Finland is the least-populated country in Europe and as a result the
road trip to the monastery did not take us past
towns or villages, but rather past farms and
through miles and miles of magnificent birch
The Valamo monastery was founded in
Finland by Russian monks from the monastery
of the same name in Russia after they fled for
safety from the violence of the Russian
Revolution. The icons, the heavy hand-carved
chair, and all the accoutrements were carried
though harsh conditions and over frozen waters
by the displaced monks. Many of the monks
escaping to Finland were old and many died as
they sought a new home in Finland.
My guide at Valamo was not Orthodox
but said she loved to visit the monastery and give tours because of the peace she found there.
She said she found many practices of Orthodoxy to make sense, such as the marriage of priests
and the use of icons. The guide was well-versed on her explanation of icons, and members of my
tour group were taken with the beauty and uniqueness of the iconostasis and icons.
More information about the monastery can be found the websites:
(http://www.valamo.fi/en/index.php) and (http://www.monasterytours.com/lisaa_eng.html).
After a pleasant lunch at the monastery, which was yet another meal heavy with fish,
berries, and a homemade brew called beer, our trip continued to an Orthodox convent. The
Orthodox Convent at Lintula is the only Orthodox convent in Scandinavia. Although it is just a
few minutes drive from Valamo, it is not in any way connected to the monastery. At the convent,
a nun guided us through its newly constructed church and provided yet another explanation of
icons to the group. After listening to a brief history of the convent, we walked down majestic
birch-lined lanes to the old house and afternoon tea. The novices served beverages and
homemade cakes. Our last stop, the gift shop, offered mostly locally made crafts such as
ceramics and crocheted items. The gift shop at the monastery had had a more wide-ranging
array of wares, but many were not made in Finland. The shop at the monastery did, however,
have its own wine room and sold wine made by the monks on the grounds. The wines were not
made from grapes, but rather from berries and fruits.
Aside from these visits, the most interesting part of our trip to Finland was our hike up
one of its most popular trails at Koli. We picked and ate blueberries along the trail, and stopped
to snack on lingonberry juice and rye cookies. When we reached the summit, we were treated to
a view of some of Finland’s finest forests and lakes as well as distant mountains that bordered
Russia. After a week of enjoying great Finnish hospitality and meals that always included
several kinds of fish (even at breakfast!), we said goodbye to friends we made from all over the
world and headed home.
2007 Home Blessings/ Commemorations
Please fill out the form below in preparation for house blessings. Those named will also be
remembered in the Divine Liturgy throughout the year. First names only. Please Print.
Family Name: _____________________________________________________________
Please detach this list from the rest of your bulletin and have it ready at time of House blessings.
Health and Blessings for: (Living) In honor and memory of: (Departed)
At the Home Blessing: Have this list, a lit candle, an Icon, and a medium sized bowl of fresh water on
a clean table ready. The head of the household should lead the priest through the house with the
candle at the appropriate time.
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING & PROPOSED AGENDA FOR 2007
In compliance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America
(Article IX, Section 25), the Annual General Meeting of the members of the congregation of Protection of
the Holy Mother of God in Falls Church, Virginia, will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2007, following
the Divine Liturgy and Church School. All church members have the responsibility to attend. Associates
and observers are also welcome.
Approval of Proposed Agenda
Appointment of Parliamentarian and Tellers
Review and Approval of the January Parish Council Minutes
Parish Council Report
Ladies Guild Report
Sunday School Report
Icon Project Report
Recommended Budget Proposal from the Parish Council
Recommendation of the Parish Council to the Parish Assembly on Stewardship (see attached)
Recommended Parish Council Slate and Election of the Parish Council
Election of Delegates to the Episcopate Congress
[Parishioners who have been official members of the congregation for at least six months prior to
the date of the meeting are eligible to vote and to hold office.]
Rev. Fr. David Subu Christopher Thomas
Parish Priest President, Parish Council
Recommendation by the Parish Council to the 2006 Parish Assembly
Having considered the system of dues as a means of defining the financial obligation of the Member to the Parish as no longer expedient or
effective for the Parish of Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church, the Council recommends that the Parish Assembly adopt the
Stewardship system as presented to the Parish on Oct. 1, 2006. This would define the financial obligation of the Member to the Parish as
1. The Member in good standing would be obliged to submit to the Parish Council a completed Statement of Membership Intent Form
as provided by the Parish. Options on this form allow the member to specify whether they wish to renew or resubmit this form on an
2. The Member in good standing would then be obliged to submit to the Parish Council a completed Stewardship Pledge Form as
provided by the Parish. Again, options on the form allow the Member to designate how often they wish to renew or resubmit this form.
3. The Parish Office will track the person’s giving throughout the year and report on at least an annual basis to the Member the
percentage of their pledge fulfillment. The Parish Member is only obliged to fulfill their pledge as much as they are willing or able, and
is reminded that the Parish is responsible for paying an annual assessment to the Episcopate for that member (currently $60.00 per
Member in 2006).
Copies of these forms are already available from the Parish Office or on-line at www.stmaryorthodox.org .
Led by Reader Mike Gullette, the Children’s Choir sang beautifully on Christmas Eve,
while the older kids read and chanted Scripture.
One week later on New Year’s Eve, the Fellowship Hall was the scene of celebration and “serious” poker!
2 Greg Zimmerli St. Mary’s Rings in
4 Armand Scala II 2007 with Food,
24 Davis Myers Robertson Friends, and Fun
31 Toni Robertson By Eleni Woglom
January Anniversaries Happy New Year!
30 Sarah & Arthur Zimmerli And a happy New Year’s Eve it was, for about 50 St.
31 Julie & John Grecco Mary members, family, and friends who came together
on Sunday evening, December 31st. By the night’s end,
January Saint’s Name Days midnight had been celebrated twice—and promises
12 St. Tatiana, Martyr in Rome-Dsa.Tanya were made to do it all again next year.
Danilchick The evening began shortly after 5 p.m. with pizza,
music, and games including tournament Bingo,
We thank our Fellowship Hour sponsors! Scrabble, and Hullaballoo. Psa. Stephanie showed her
skills at brewing “mocktails” for all ages while the
January 7th: Danilchick Family younger children enjoyed basketball and a ball pit
January 14th: Ziu Family downstairs. It was wonderful to chat with old friends
January 21st: Carolyn Pritchyk and to welcome new faces as the party got underway.
January 28th: Parish Council At 7 p.m. the group assembled in the sanctuary for a
beautiful Thanksgiving Prayer Service led by Father
David, with many of the children leading the responses.
Ladies Guild to Elect 2007 Officers Prayers said and pizza eaten, it was time to prepare for
January 14th After Liturgy the Big Midnight Countdown. And this being a family
All women of the parish are invited to attend the event, “midnight” came at 8 p.m.
meeting of the Ladies Guild following Divine Liturgy
on Sunday January 14, 2007. Election of officers will “5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year, Greenland!” The
fellowship room was filled with happy kids and adults,
take place. plus noisemakers, bubbles, party tiaras, champagne,
and Auld Lang Syne—certainly Times Square paled in
Women’s Bible Study comparison!
The next meeting of the Women’s Bible Study will be 7:30 p.m. And then some serious fun began. Two tables were set
on Tuesday evening, January 9th, at the Woglom home in up for Texas Hold ‘Em, and hold ‘em they did. With
Fairfax. Stacy Gullette will lead a discussion of Romans careful instruction by Mike Gullette—and with the
Chapter 14. Women of the parish are warmly invited to join only real money involved being a small donation for
the chance to play—15 poker players got busy. It was
the group any time they are able. For more information on the
a hilarious night of bluffs, jackpots, and great
study, contact Stacy Gullette at (703) 925-9247. For friendship—so great that the game was still going on
directions, contact Eleni Woglom at (703) 425-0834. when the real midnight countdown came.
Finally, after midnight, there were still four players
Come Hungry! stacking chips: Stacy Gullette, Johnny Gullette, Alex
Men’s Breakfast—Saturday, February 3 Beranek, and (you guessed it) Father David. Rumor has
All men of the parish are invited to a Men's it that the game ended with a string of wild bluffs and
Breakfast on Saturday February 3rd, at 9 a.m., at the crazy hands, and with Johnny and Alex crowned the
Dujmovic home. No particular agenda is in the works, eventual winners.
other than coffee, good food, excellent manly fellowship The idea behind the St. Mary New Year’s Eve party is to
and a very good time. Please let Nick Dujmovic know give everyone a chance to celebrate New Year’s Eve
by the previous Sunday (January 28th, the date of our fully—even little kids, and even their parents, who
parish assembly) whether you can come. The might only rarely get an evening out. It’s a come-
Dujmovics live at 1607 Sereno Court, Vienna 22182. when-you-can, leave-when-you-must event, with
plenty of food, beverages, and terrific people—in short,
(703) 242-1432. NandCDujmovic@aol.com it’s a lot of fun. Mark your calendar now, because
plans are already underway for December 31, 2007!
Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
31 January 1 2 3 4 5 6
Ss. David, Joseph, New Year's Day 9 AM - 5 PM 7:30 PM - 9 PM Eve of Theophany Holy Theophany
James St Basil Office Hours Parish Council
7 PM - 9 PM 10 AM - 11:30 AM
9 AM - 10 AM 10 PM - 11:15 PM Vesperal Liturgy of Divine Liturgy
Matins Divine Liturgy St. Basil w/ Blessing w/Blessing of
of Waters Waters
10 AM - 11:30 AM
Divine Liturgy 11:30 AM - 12:30
5 PM - 7 PM
New Year's Eve
Pizza Party 5 PM - 6 PM
7 PM - 7:30 PM
7:30 PM - 12 AM
The Party Continues
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
St John the Baptist Home Blessings Home Blessings Home Blessings Home Blessings St Tatiana Home Blessings
Home Blessings 9 AM - 5 PM 7 PM - 8 PM Home Blessings 2 PM - 3 PM
Office Hours Reader's Vespers Holy Baptism-
9 AM - 10 AM
Holy Baptism- Mihail 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Ziu Women's Bible 5 PM - 6 PM
Study Vespers &
10 AM - 11:30 AM
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
St Nina Martin Luther King, Jr. Home Blessings Home Blessings Ss. Athanasius and Home Blessings Sanctity of Life
Day Cyril of Alexandria Vespers @ St
Home Blessings 9 AM - 5 PM 5 PM - 6 PM
Home Blessings Nicholas in DC
Office Hours St Anthony Home Blessings
9 AM - 10 AM
Matins 7 PM - 8 PM Home Blessings
10 AM - 11:30 AM
12 PM - 12:45 PM
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
St. Maximos the March for Life Home Blessings Home Blessings St. Gregory Home Blessings St. Ephraim of Syria
Home Blessings 9 AM - 5 PM 7 PM - 9 PM Home Blessings
Home Blessings Office Hours Vespers & Adult Home Blessings
5 PM - 6 PM
9 AM - 10 AM Vespers &
10 AM - 11:30 AM
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
St. Ephraim of Syria/ Home Blessings Three Hierarchs Home Blessings St. Brigid Home Blessings Home Blessings
The Publican and
Home Blessings 7 PM - 9 PM Home Blessings Presentation of the St. Nicholas of
Vespers & Adult Lord Japan
9 AM - 5 PM 7 PM - 8 PM
Home Blessings Education
Office Hours Great Vespers With 7 AM - 8:30 AM 9 AM - 12 PM
9 AM - 10 AM Litya Divine Liturgy with Men's Breakfast
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Matins Blessing of Candles
Women's Bible 5 PM - 6 PM
10 AM - 11:30 AM Study Vespers &
Divine Liturgy Confessions
12 PM - 1 PM
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
St Mary Orthodox Church, 7223 Roosevelt Ave, Falls Church, VA 22042 (703) 280-0770
Looking forward to January: Pre-Lenten and Lenten Adult Education
• Home Blessings begin Sunday, Wednesdays after 7:00 PM Daily Vespers
January 7 in the evening. Your prayer A 5-week series on Basics
list for use this year is in this
bulletin—please detach and fill out. Jan. 24: Pre-Lenten Intro: Discipline and Purity
Vespers: St. Gregory the Theologian
• Ladies’ Guild Meeting is January Jan. 31: The Publican and The Pharisee:
14th following Divine Liturgy. Piety and Practice
• Adult Education begins a new 5 Vespers: St. Brigid of Ireland
week series on January 24th. Feb. 7: Prodigal Son: Repentance and Confession
Vespers: St. Theodore the General,
• 2007 Parish Assembly is January 28th Prophet Zechariah
following Divine Liturgy. Feb. 14: Last Judgment: Almsgiving and Salvation
Vespers: St. Onesimus of the 70, St.
Euphrosyne of Alexandria
Feb. 21: The Great Canon of St. Andrew: Mercy
Questions, comments ,updates or submissions? E-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
St Mary Orthodox Church
7223 Roosevelt Avenue
Falls Church, Virginia 22042
Sunday, January 28th
The Annual General Meeting
of the members of the
congregation of Protection of
the Holy Mother of God in
Falls Church, Virginia, will be
held on Sunday, January 28,
2007, following the Divine
Liturgy and Church School.
All church members have the
responsibility to attend.
Associates and observers are