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Announcements from the Office of Fr. David Barr

Follow Father David's Blog

Several people who followed Father David and Luanne's Italian Adventure asked him to continue writing from time to time (you can find the Italian Adventure at

Well, Father David has a new blog entitled A Peek Within.  You can find it at  Check it out, and if you like it, click on the follow button on the bottom right corner.

2014/2015 Catechism Class starts on September 6

Each year, St. Elias holds a series of Catechism Classes for adults.  These classes are geared for all those interested in learning more about the Orthodox Church, for those interested in becoming Orthodox, and for our own members who may never have gone through a series of catechism classes.  The classes will be held on Saturday afternoons in the Parish Library (in the rear annex building), starting on September 6 at 4:00 PM (before Great Vespers).  For a class schedule, click here.


Fall Study Series With Dr. Mark Cherry

Wednesdays, October 22, 29, and November 5 after Vespers

Orthodox Christians as Strangers in a Strange Land:

           Navigating in a Hostile Secular Culture   

Week #1 – October 22  
     The Christian Family in a Post-Christian World: The Challenges of Secular Morality

Week #2 – October 29  
     Saints and Martyrs; Orthodox Christians and the Secular World

Week #3 – November 5  
     Ignoring the Data and Endangering Children: The Orthodox Family vs. The Mature Minor Doctrine of Medical Decision Making

Dr. Cherry's presentations are always stimulating and informative.  These will be a fun and educating time for our parish community.  Mark Your Calendars Now!

The Arthur and Theodore Jabour and Rabab Sayegh Memorial Scholarships
St. Elias has set up memorial scholarship funds in the names of Arthur and Theodore Jabour and Rabab Sayegh available for Orthodox high school seniors and college students in Central Texas.  For more information on these scholarships, click on the names above to access the applications.  The application deadline for both scholarships is May 15.

2nd and 3rd Campus Goal:
The tradition at Saint Elias is that we are the mother church and the engine of growth for Orthodox Christianity in Central Texas. We have struggled in recent years to see how we can honor this tradition while also expanding our existing facilities to keep pace with the needs of our growing community. Through parish-wide meetings and lively debate we arrived at a pioneering “Second Campus” solution.

Simply put, we plan to grow not by dividing our church, but by expanding its ministries and resources. Saint Elias will remain one community, worshipping and growing our faith from two or more locations. The historic downtown campus, a north campus, and a future south campus will stand together, each serving its own unique ministry with the expanded resources made possible by accelerating growth at each location.

This plan calls us to go forward in faith as one growing community. Saint Elias will look forward to a third campus, probably to the south, and perhaps a fourth and fifth campus to follow. This expansion will also allow us to satisfy directives from our Metropolitan and our Bishop. As one growing family we can bring to fruition the tradition of growing the faith that was planted by the founding families of Saint Elias. This missionary outreach will target the expanding Central Texas population that desperately needs the living waters of the Orthodox Faith.

Homily on the New Year
Father David gave a sermon on September 1, Orthodox Ecclesiastical New Year, in which he lays out a vision for where St. Elias should go for this coming year to meet the needs of our growing community.  You can download the sermon here or watch it on You Tube here.

Planning Study by Anthony Scott
The Planning Study conducted by Anthony Scott is now available for you to download and read by clicking here.

Do you have a will?

One of our new members attorney Luis Landeros will help you to prepare a will for a donation to the Church.  This is a great way to help the parish and prepare a legal will!  A simple will can cost anywhere from $150 to $500 to prepare.  All too often, people put this off.  All adults need a will.

Luis will be the only one looking at the worksheets and drafting the wills so there is no need to worry about a breach in confidentiality.   Note: Anyone with substantial assets (over $500,000) or a complex issue should hire an attorney that specializes in wills and estates.

You will need to fill out a Client Information Worksheet to get this started.  These are available as a downloadable document by clicking here.

Father Thomas Hopko's 10 Essential Conditions for Coming to Know God's Truth and Finding Life

You can download a worthwhile list of conditions an Orthodox Christian should have if he or she wants to come to know God by clicking here.

Pray That I Pray More: The St Philip’s Prayer Discipline…
… a ministry of the Fellowship of St John the Divine, is designed for Orthodox believers who wish to deepen their spirituality through a regular diet of prayer and study.  There are flyers on the table in the Narthex on this prayer rule/group.  Pick one up and consider joining with hundreds of other who follow this discipline in the Church.  Or, check it out on the web:

AMEN (Antiochian Men Eating at Noon [or around 1:00 PM])
The men of the parish will have lunch and a time of fellowship together on the 1st Tuesday of the month. For more information, contact the Church Office or Fr. David or click here

Guide to Fasting
Click here to download a guide to Fasting in the Orthodox Church.  Be sure to talk to one of the priests if you have questions on fasting—and how to properly make it a part of your spiritual life.

When Offering Holy Bread:
• Please limit names to immediate family and those that you especially wish to commemorate. 
• Remember to list clergy by rank - Archimandrite, Archpriest, Priest, etc., not "Father," which is only used for personal address.
• Use full Christian names, not nicknames, wherever possible (e.g., “James,” not “Jimmy”).
• Do not list the bishop among your commemorations. He is already commemorated.
• Do not list parish clergy among commemorations. They do not commemorate themselves.
• When offering a Trisagion, please place that name first on your list of departed.

For an excellent article on how to make Holy Bread by David Schele, click here.

For ongoing current announcements and notice of events see the weekly BulletinService Schedule, Opportunities to Serve at St. Elias, and our Calendar.

Notice to Parishioners for whom English is a second language: 

This Announcements page may sometimes contain urgent information important to the entire parish. We are requesting volunteers who can make themselves available quickly by e-mail to translate announcements into Arabic, Russian, Romanian, or Eritrean for the greater convenience of your language group. Please contact the church office if you can help in this way.