St. Matthew Orthodox Christian Church
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
Torrance, CA

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Learning Opportunities

1st Sunday of the Month Parish Teaching

  • Following the Divine Liturgy on the first Sunday of each month Fr. John gives a teaching to the community during the Agape Meal. All are welcome.

Weekly Bible Studies

  • A study of the scriptures in light of the anceint commentators takes us to a deeper relationship with Christ and understanding of the Christian faith. Currently Bible Studies are on Friday mornings from 7am yill 

Introduction to Orthodox Christianity and Catechism

  • Instruction about Orthodox Christianity and the Catechism process takes place on an individual/family bases with Fr. John. After meeting, a schedule will be establised for meeting regularly.
  • Please feel free to contact Fr. John if you have particular questions or to discuss the process of becoming an Orthodox Christian.

Great Lent Wednesday Night Teaching

  • During the Lenten season a teaching will be offered on Wednesday night during the Agape Meal which takes place immediately following the Presanctified Liturgy.
Activities & Minitries

Hot Meals for the Homeless
Hot Meals For The Homeless is an opportunity to help others in need.
Held on the 2nd Saturday of every month, members of various churches come together to provide lunches and a hot meal for those in need. As the economy slows, more people will be in need of a meal, just to get them through the week.
Come prepare sandwiches, or serve food, or make a dish for those less fortunate than ourselves. The meal is from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm, so come help, even if just for an hour.
The meal is served Saturday morning at Walteria United Methodist Church in south Torrance.
3646 Newton Street, Torrance
For more information, e-mail JoAnn or Jim Ramirez at songoku2@verizon.net

Agape Meal Teams rotate in the offering of the Agape meal following the Divine Liturgy on Sundays. Contact the Church office if you would like to be added to a meal team. 

The Ladies of St. Matthew is a fun and vibrant group that conducts many activities throughout the year. Bake sales, church meals, party planning and support are just some of what they do. Contact the church office for the time and location of their next meeting!

The Sunday School Ministry takes on the important task of teaching our youth, from new borns to High Schoolers, the ancient Christian faith and how to live into the calling of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sunday School gathers on Sundays immediately following Holy Communion until 12 noon.

Our Men's Fellowship Group meets on the second to last Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm. Following a potluck dinner the group gathers to read about and discuss subjects of importance to Christian men. Contact the church office for more details and locations.

Our Women's Fellowship Group meets on the last Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm. Following a potluck dinner the group gathers to read about and discuss subjects of importance to Christian women. Contact the church office for more details and locations.

Our Senior's Fellowship (50+) meets monthly at a local resturant for fellowship and teaching. Check the Church google calendar for upcoming gathers.

Arabic Orthodox Education is an opportunity to learn the beauty and depth of the Orthodox Christian faith in the Arabic language. The group meets once a month at a different home and enjoys dinner, fellowship, teaching, and discussion.

 

House Blessings
 
With the Feast of Theophany, Christ's baptism in the Jordan, we celebrate the coming of Christ into this world to sanctify ALL of creation. As such, it is customary and essential, to arrange for the priest to bless your home / apt / business / dorm room, etc with holy water. Contact Fr. John directly to make arrangements. Here is some information to help you prepare:

Before the Priest arrives, prepare by cleaning your home/business and opening and lighting all the rooms. Have the following items ready for the house blessing: 

  • Icon of Christ
  • Candle
  • Small bowl half full of water to which the Priest will add the "Jordan" Holy Water.
  • Incense burner
  • Incense
  • Charcoal
  • A sprig of basil leaves (available at the grocery store.) or other fragrant greenery that the priest can use to bless your home.
  • A list of the Living and Departed in the family you wish the priest to pray for in the blessing

Many of these items can be purchased in the church bookstore. If you don't know how to use the incense at home, this is a great time for the priest to help you learn! (If having these items (Censer, basil, etc.) is not possible, the priest will have these in his blessing bag).

Place the items on a small table in your icon corner.

Upon the arrival of the Priest, he is to be greeted by all of the family members, each of whom asks the Priest’s blessing and kisses his right hand. The priest will begin the short prayer service, bless with the incense,and say the Theophany blessing prayer. Then, using the basil sprig dipped in water as a sprinkler, he will go to each room, lead by a family member holding a candle, and sprinkle holy water on all 4 sides, blessing the home with the grace of the Holy Spirit which also protects you from evil spirits. After blessing the home, all gather back at the table for the final prayers, dismissal, and blessing of each person in the family. 

Save some of the holy water in a bottle in your ikonostasi (home altar) and pour the remainder on plants. Although ideal, all family members do not need to be present for the house blessing. House Blessings are a yearly tradition. It is customary, although not required, for the head of the household to discreetly present the Priest with an envelope containing an honorarium and a list of the Living and Departed for whom the family requests his prayers during the New Year.

The goal is to bless every dwelling of the faithful by March 1st. (While you are free to invite the priest (and his family if you like) for a meal after the blessing, by NO means is this necessary. We can just simply come and bless, have a cup of tea (or not), spend a little time, and leave at your convenience.

If several families live in close proximity to each other, it is helpful to coordinate with each other to have the priest come and bless multiple homes at one time then, if you would like (but not necessary), all gather together for a potluck meal afterwards. 

Call, Text or Email Fr. John

Today's Commemorations
The Holy Prophet Sophonias (Zephaniah), Our Righteous Father John, Bishop and Hesychast, Holy Martyrs Agapius and Seleucius, Theodore, Archbishop of Alexandria, Angelis the New Martyr, Karpos the Hieromartyr
Today's Scripture Readings
ST. PAUL'S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 1:3-10
Brethren, grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel - not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel of heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.
LUKE 12:32-40
The Lord said, "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour."
Today's Thought

Never confuse the person formed in the image of God, with the evil that is in him: because evil is but a chance misfortune, an illness, a devilish reverie. But the very essence of a person is the image of God, and this remains in him despite every disfigurement. -- St John of Kronstadt