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
Basil the Confessor, Jonah the Righteous Martyr of Lerios, Kyranna the New Martyr of Thessaloniki
Today's Scripture Readings
ST. PETER'S SECOND UNIVERSAL LETTER 3:1-18
Beloved, this is now the second letter that I have written to you, and in both of them I have aroused your sincere mind by way of reminder; that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation." They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
MARK 13:24-31
The Lord said to his disciples, "In those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
Today's Thought

No one is so patient and so merciful as God, but even He does not forgive those who do not repent. - Metropolitan Kallistos Ware