The Rector, Trustees, and Parish Council
extend to you and your family
best wishes for a Christmas and New Year
filled with the light and joy and peace of Christ!
depends on your good will, support, and generosity
Your generous Christmas gift to the parish will be deeply appreciated.
CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF KAZAN, SEA CLIFF, NY
The feast of Christ’s birth is God’s gift to humanity. The birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem signifies God’s action to overcome the alienation of humanity from God. In Christ human beings are brought into the life of God, and God is brought into the life of every human person. This miracle of love brings to us the light and joy and peace of Christ. Let us rejoice and be glad in the Christmas celebration!
The Nativity of Christ also challenges us as Christian believers. Do we put Christmas in its separate and self-contained compartment of liturgical worship and family celebration? Is this a sign of our conscious or unconscious determination to live our “real” life in a way that excludes God? Is this contradiction in our way of life so comfortable that these questions are easily avoided?
The Orthodox Faith in all its dimensions seeks to align our way of life with the Gospel of Christ. In ways large and small the practice of our Faith invites us to wholeness and integrity. The holy icons and their veneration, daily prayers, holy sacraments, liturgical services, regular reading of the Gospel – all of these guide us to persevere in the Christian way of life at all times and in all things.
We live in a time of violence, distress, and confusion in our country and around the world. The one meaningful contribution we can make towards healing of societies, towards right decisions and right action is to live our Faith with integrity, relating things small and great to Christ. This is the only way to be free in Christ, free of the idolatry of human ideologies, mindful of the warning in the Psalm 146, Put not your trust in princes, in mortal men, in whom there is no salvation.
Let us join in prayer that our Christmas celebration will renew in us our love of God and
neighbor and our commitment to be true witnesses to the Gospel of Christ.
As this year comes to an end, remember that our parish is dependent on your generous support. Your Christmas gifts to the parish are significant contributions to the parish budget. Please reflect on this before you make your Christmas donation, making your gift to the parish a true expression of your love for our church and your care for our community.
With love in Christ,
Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky