Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing this as we mourn the passing, just yesterday, of our beloved Protodeacon
Alexis Washington. In these days of loss and sadness for our parish, we plan and
prepare for the funeral services in which we will gather in prayer and, “with psalms,
hymns, and inspired songs” (Ephesians 5:19) will entrust him to the mercy of God
in hope of the Resurrection. The funeral services for which we now prepare, so beautiful
in their prayers and hymns, will certainly provide comfort as we pray not only for
Protodeacon Alexis as he enters into eternal life, but also as we pray “for the weeping
and the grieving who are looking for the consolation of Christ,” i.e. as we pray
for our very selves. The Church’s prayer for those who have fallen asleep also thoughtfully
instructs us in the meaning of Christian life and death and inspires within us the
hope of the resurrection which awaits us all.
A brief “In Memoriam” has already been posted on the oca.org website as well as on
our own parish website. The brief lines of that very brief memorial provide only
a faint outline of his life and do not begin to explain or define who he was as a
son to his beloved mother, a dedicated and esteemed deacon, a faithful and enthusiastic
member of Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church, a devoted friend, and a brother in Christ.
Indeed, over the past few weeks as he has peacefully and gracefully carried the
cross of his illness and as he prepared himself for the Kingdom, and even over these
past twenty-fours hours since his repose, I have heard many inspiring accounts of
how he touched the lives of so many of the members of our parish family—and that
he did so in many different ways and on so many different levels. Indeed, I can
say that as a result of these personal “sharings” and through my own reflection,
I have gratefully come to understand so much more fully the impact he has had on
the life of this community which we are blessed to call our spiritual family.
As I have heard and reflected upon these many stories, I have become ever more grateful
for the ten-plus years of diaconal service which Father Alexis gave to our community
(and the total of eighteen years of diaconal service to the Church). Also, another
important reality has been brought home to me in a powerful and meaningful way: our
life together as a Christian community is a true blessing for each of us, both as
individuals and all of us together as a community. Our lives are intertwined and
we love and support one another in many- mostly imperceptible- ways.
I have also observed, firsthand, that, as Father Alexis touched our lives, so his
life was touched by each one of you. In our brief conversations over these past
few weeks, with his eyes already set on the Kingdom, he often mentioned he knew of
your prayers and of the support you were giving him, even though you were not able
to see him and speak with him personally. He also spoke of his longstanding love
for our parish and his gratitude for having been a part of our lives.
From a merely human standpoint we are, of course, very sad and we grieve this loss.
But from the vantage point of faith, we understand that our dear Protodeacon Alexis
has “fought the good fight and finished the race;” he has “kept the faith.” Therefore,
a “crown of righteousness” is laid up for him (2 Timothy 4:7-8). For his life, for
his faith, and that he shared both with us, we shall be grateful until that day
when we are re-united with him and with all our dear ones who have gone before us—and
join them all in celebrating the eternal Pascha in the Kingdom of Heaven.
May the newly-departed Protodeacon Alexis, our dear friend and brother, be granted
rest with the Saints. May his memory be eternal!
With love in the Lord,
Bishop Daniel, Rector
Father David Balmer, Attached, Retired
Stephanie A. Homyak, Church School Director & Newsletter Editor
Barbara Peterson, Myrrh Bearers
Andrew Evans, Council President
Pat Starkey, FOCA President
Barbara Harp, Choir Director
Mara Hecht, Teen & Young Adult League
Mike Wagner, Webmaster
Bishop Daniel’s Message for October
The Most Blessed TIKHON
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
The Most Reverend BENJAMIN
Archbishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West
Teen and Young Adult League
Project Mexico 2017!
Click Here For Flyer with Full Details
We will be going to Mexico with a large pan-orthodox group from the valley, about
35+. I am not sure exactly how many spots Saints Peter and Paul will get, but I'm
hoping 7 to 10.
FUNDRAISING will be our focus over the next few months as we prepare to be a part
of Project Mexico 2017!
June 7th through the 13th, 2017 are the tentative dates for
us to travel to Mexico and build a home. These dates will be confirmed after we register
Hieromartyr Zenobius of Aegae in Cilicia
The Hieromartyr Zenobius, Bishop of Aegea, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr’s
death in the year 285 in Cilicia. From childhood they were raised in the holy Christian
Faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years,
shunning the love of money, they distributed away their inherited wealth giving it
to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life the Lord rewarded Zenobius with the
gift of healing various maladies. He was also chosen bishop of a Christian community
As bishop, St Zenobius zealously spread the Christian Faith among the pagans. When
the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began a persecution against Christians, Bishop Zenobius
was the first one arrested and brought to trial to the governor Licius. “I shall
only speak briefly with you,” said Licius to the saint, “for I propose to grant you
life if you worship our gods, or death, if you do not.” The saint answered, “This
present life without Christ is death. It is better that I prepare to endure the present
torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him for
the sake of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in Hades.”
By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and began the torture. The bishop’s
sister, seeing him suffering, wanted to stop it. She bravely confessed her own faith
in Christ before the governor, therefore, she also was tortured.
By the power of the Lord they remained alive after being placed on a red-hot iron
bed, and then in a boiling kettle. The saints were then beheaded. The priest Hermogenes
secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs in a single grave.
St Zenobius is invoked by those suffering from breast cancer.
Apostle Tertius of the Seventy
St Tertius was the second bishop (after St Sosipater) in Iconium, where he converted
many pagans to Christ, and ended his life as a martyr. The Apostle Paul mentions
him in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16:22).
Apostle Mark of the Seventy
Saint Mark, also called John, (Acts 12:12), was a nephew of St Barnabas, and was
Bishop of Apollonia (Col. 4:10). It was in the house of his mother Maria that the
persecuted disciples found shelter after the Ascension of the Lord.
Apostle Justus of the Seventy
St Justus, called Barsaba, a son of St Joseph the Betrothed, was chosen with Matthias
to replace Judas. He was a bishop and died a martyr’s death at Eleutheropolis.
In Memoriam: Protodeacon Alexis Washington
October 3, 2016
Protodeacon Alexis Washington, who was attached to Saints Peter and Paul Church here,
fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, October 2, 2016 following a lengthy battle with
Born in Chicago, IL on July 25, 1948, he completed the Orthodox Church in America’s
Late Vocation Program in 1997, after which he was ordained to the diaconate on January
31, 1998 by His Grace, Bishop [later Archbishop] Job at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Chicago,
IL. He was elevated to the dignity of Protodeacon by the Holy Synod of Bishops in
2004. He faithfully served the cathedral community until December 2005, when he
was attached to Saints Peter and Paul Church.
Visitation will begin at Saints Peter and Paul Church, 1614 East Monte Vista Road,
Phoenix, AZ at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7. The Funeral service will be celebrated
at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, October 8, the Divine Liturgy and Panikhida will be celebrated
at 9:00 a.m., followed by interment at Holy Redeemer Cemetery. A luncheon will be
served at the parish hall after the interment.
Additional information will be posted as received.
May Protodeacon Alexis’ memory be eternal!
From the www.oca.org website