St. Sophia Greek

Orthodox Church

Rev. Fr. Gregory Georgiou

Presiding Priest

Tina Thomas

Parish Council President

Phone: 863-224-4307

Direct Email

Sunday, June 16th, 2024

Sunday of the Holy Fathers

Afterfeast of the Ascension

Orthros 8:45 am

Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Service of Matins in


Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

From the website of the Annunciation Cathedral

in Atlanta, Georgia

Readings for June 16th

Prokeimenon. Mode 4 

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers.

Verse: For you are just in all you have done

Acts of the Holy Apostles

(20:16-18, 28-36)


In those days, Paul had decided to sail past Ephesos, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. And from Miletos he sent to Ephesos and called to him the elders of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’” And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

Gospel According to St. John



At that time, Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; and now, Father, you glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made.

“I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you; for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you did send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are mine; all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

Sunday of the Holy Fathers

The heresiarch Arius was a Libyan by race and a protopresbyter of the Church of Alexandria. In 315, he began to blaspheme against the Son and Word of God, saying that He is not true God, consubstantial with the Father, but is rather a work and creation, alien to the essence and glory of the Father, and that there was a time when He was not. This frightful blasphemy shook the faithful of Alexandria. Alexander, his Archbishop, after trying in vain to correct him through admonitions, cut him off from communion and finally in a local council deposed him in the year 321. Yet neither did the blasphemer wish to be corrected, nor did he cease sowing the deadly tares of his heretical teachings; but writing to the bishops of other cities, Arius and his followers requested that his doctrine be examined, and if it were unsound, that the correct teaching be declared to him. By this means, his heresy became universally known and won many supporters, so that the whole Church was soon in an uproar.

Therefore, moved by divine zeal, the first Christian Sovereign, Saint Constantine the Great, the equal to the Apostles, summoned the renowned First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, a city of Bithynia. It was there that the shepherds and teachers of the Church of Christ gathered from all regions in the year 325. All of them, with one mouth and one voice, declared that the Son and Word of God is one in essence with the Father, true God of true God, and they composed the holy Symbol of Faith up to the seventh article (since the remainder, beginning with “And in the Holy Spirit,” was completed by the Second Ecumenical Council). Thus they anathematized the impious Arius of evil belief and those of like mind with him, and cut them off as rotten members from the whole body of the faithful.

Therefore, recognizing the divine Fathers as heralds of the Faith after the divine Apostles, the Church of Christ has appointed this present Sunday for their annual commemoration, in thanksgiving and unto the glory of God, unto their praise and honour, and unto the strengthening of the true Faith.

Apolytikion of Fathers of the 1st Council

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

You are greatly glorified, O Christ our God, who established our Fathers as luminaries upon the earth, and through them led us all to the true Faith. O Most compassionate, glory to You.

Kontakion of Fathers of the 1st Council

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

The Church was strengthened into one faith through the preaching of the Apostles and the doctrines of the Fathers. The Church is robed in truth woven of the word of God from above. It teaches truth, and glorifies the great mystery of faith.

On Father’s Day, we honor the father figures of our lives. May God bless all our spiritual, biological, and adoptive fathers and grant them many years serving our churches and families.

Archbishop Elpidophoros
Archepiscopal Encyclical for Father’s Day 2024 /
Ἀρχιεπισκοπικὴ Ἐγκύκλιος γιὰ τὴν ἡμέρα τοῦ πατέρα 2024


Please share and support

our beloved church!

Coffee Hour Fellowship

Coffee hour fellowship following Divine Liturgy

is in honor of the Fathers of the parish.

Upcoming Services

June 30th, 2024

Sunday of Pentecost

Sts. Peter and Paul

Orthros 8:45 am

Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Fr. Alex speaks with Dr. Edith Humphrey on the holy opportunities for parents and children while reading Scripture as a family. LISTEN HERE.


Submit your names and donations for candles here.


Fill out your 2024 stewardship by clicking here.

Donate anytime through this QR code:

Stewardship and Capital Campaign

We are truly grateful and thankful for

your love for Christ and His Church.

You can also make your stewardship payment online if convenient.

We ask that you continue supporting your parish with your time, talent, and treasure.

Click HERE to fill out your 2024 Online Stewardship
Click HERE for the Capital Campaign Form
Click HERE to give online

Food Pantry and

Community Outreach

‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; Naked, and you clothed me.’ Matthew 25:34-36

We are collecting food items and toiletries to help those in need in our community. Please bring to the church hall on Sundays.

We can also accommodate your schedule and arrange to receive donations on other days.

The Children’s Word Bulletin

Click here to download the OCN Children's bulletin.


It's Easy to Contact the Church

St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church

1030 Bradbury Rd, Winter Haven, FL 33880


Church Website

Please email us!

We want to hear what's on your heart and mind

Tina Thomas

Click HERE to subscribe to the E-Bulletin