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Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,
Christ is in our midst!
Welcome to the website of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Brockton, MA. The Annunciation is within the Metropolis of Boston, which is part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – one of the daughter Churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Church of the Annunciation is the only Eastern Orthodox Church in Brockton and its surrounding communities.
At the Annunciation, we conduct the full cycle of Sunday services, commencing with Great Vespers on Saturday evenings through Orthros (Matins) and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings. Throughout the liturgical year, we also celebrate the feasts of our Lord and the Theotokos (Mother of God), as well as the feasts of all major saints of the Church. From fall through spring, Small Vespers are also celebrated on most Wednesdays nights, with adult religious education sessions following the service.
We welcome all to worship with us, whether you are visiting the area or live locally. May God bless you!
†Fr. Anthony Evangelatos
Fr. Anthony's September 2014 Message
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Some of the recent news from the Middle East has been quite tragic and disturbing. This is especially true when we see the Christian communities of the various countries of this region being affected by the on-going turmoil. As I will discuss below, many people are not aware that there is still a Christian presence throughout this region of the world. I have been fortunate to have visited the Holy Land in 1988, and had the opportunity to get to know many Orthodox Palestinians. I was very impressed, not only by their extreme friendliness and hospitality, but also by their deep faith and piety. Here in the United States, I have also had the opportunity to get to know many other Orthodox Christians from middle-eastern countries, some of them having been former parishioners. In these cases, I also found similar qualities as with the Orthodox of Palestine. Unfortunately, this is not always the image that the general public has of people from this region of the world.
Over the past many decades of turmoil in the Middle East, it seems that the media has managed to portray people of this region in the most negative light. I’m sure that most Americans have a certain image in mind regarding people from these countries, typically viewing them as religious fanatics, peace-haters, and terrorists. Many people also mistakenly believe that all Arabs are Muslim. While it is true that currently the majority of Arabs in the Middle East are Muslim, as an Orthodox priest, I cannot speak about the tenets of Islam as they relate to the actions of its followers with any accuracy. What I do know, is that many Arabs are Christians – a fact that seems to be virtually unknown by many, if not the majority of Americans.
The Middle East before the year 650 AD, was an Orthodox Christian stronghold. Christianity spread throughout the region during the Apostolic era, starting in Jerusalem, which is one of the five ancient centers of the Church. Another center of the ancient Church located in the Middle East was the city of Antioch in Syria (the modern-day Patriarchate of Antioch has been relocated to Damascus, Syria). The other three ancient centers of the Church are the cities of Alexandria in Egypt, Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, Turkey), and Rome, prior to the Great Schism of East and West.
The entire region of the Middle East contains many biblical cities and sites, and multiple Christian sites of pilgrimage. Not only were there numerous monasteries in the Middle East centuries ago, but also the vast deserts of the region were home to thousands of desert-dwelling hermits, seeking total seclusion from the world. Many great Orthodox theologians, hymnographers, iconographers, monastics, and countless saints have come from this region of the world, and have contributed much to the universal Orthodox Church
For centuries, the majority of the Middle East fell under the protection of the Byzantine Empire. Eventually with the rise of Islam, these lands fell to invading Muslims. This onslaught continued, and eventually led to the fall of Constantinople, the capitol of the Byzantine Empire, thus ending the empire’s 1,000 years of existence. These invasions and occupations did not, however, wipe Christianity off the map of this very biblical region. To this day, the Christian faith has survived in the Middle East.
Of all the Arab countries, Lebanon has historically been the most Christian. In fact, before the civil war, the majority of that country’s population was Christian. Another Arab nation with a large Christian population is Syria. Although Egypt technically is not in the Middle East but borders the region, I would like to point out that this Arabic-speaking nation also has a large Christian population. A lesser amount of Christians can be found in Jordan, Iran, Iraq, and among the Israeli occupied Palestinians. In all these lands, these Christians are predominantly Eastern Orthodox, secondly, Oriental Orthodox – an offshoot of traditional Orthodoxy which includes groups such as the Armenians, Copts, and Assyrians – and thirdly, Roman Catholic.
What I wish to stress, is that Christianity is alive and well in many Middle-eastern countries. While Christians should rejoice in this fact, we also need to be aware that our Christian brothers and sisters of these lands are being heavily persecuted once again. Unfortunately, many fanatic Islamic militants are driving away thousands of Christians in the various lands currently in conflict. Many of these people are literally leaving for fear of their lives. Therefore, it is our duty to continually pray for the well-being of these Christian brethren and for peace in general due to the various conflicts in the Middle East.
I hope and pray that all of us may one day visit the Holy Land and surrounding areas, and be enlightened by the piety and deep-rooted faith of Christians in the Middle East. Anyone making such a pilgrimage would realize that what one encounters in person, can be very different than what the media has typically portrayed.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Lombardo's - Randolph, MA
For reservations contact:
Elaine Zetes: 781-598-1333
Diane Stamantopoulos: 978-530-1064
Orthros at 8:30 am; Divine Liturgy at 9:45 am
Orthros at 9:00 am; Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am
Saturdays at 6:00 pm
The Annunciation Church now offers an online bill pay service for the convenience of our parishioners. Click on the links below to fulfill your Stewardship or make other payments by credit card.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
457 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301
From Route 24 take Exit 18B (Route 27 North - Stoughton).
At lights take a right on to Pearl Street.
At second set of lights take a right on to Oak Street.
Drive 1 mile. The church is on the left. Welcome!
Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Rev. Fr. Anthony Evangelatos - Presiding Priest
Office - firstname.lastname@example.org
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