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The Tribe of God

     We live in a time of chaos. It seems that we are confronted with more distress and sorrow every day. Our country is filled with wickedness  and “every man does what is right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:252) We may be tempted to despair. We have lost faith in our public institutions. We have witessed a spirit of madness descend upon the mind of our culture. We know that whatever the outcome of the next election, no matter what solution is offered, it is at best a temporary respite. Those who disagree will immediately start working to undo whatever is done in the name of justice. However, Justice is a call render unto everyone what they deserve. Is that what we really want? What do we really deserve? What does America really deserve? Are we really prepared to load the sins of America onto the scales of justice?

Consider what scripture says in 2 Timothy 2:3 and see if it applies to our land and our times...

 “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”

Truly from ancient times to our own day, “there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Jesus warned us that in the last days it would be like in the days of Noah. The Early Christians knew with certainty that this world was not their home and the Holy Apostles called on Christians everywhere be “in the world but not of the world.”

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Corinthians 6:14-18

And

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

The scriptures speak of “those who call good evil and evil good.” (Isaiah 5:20-21) and cry “Peace! Peace! when there is no peace.” (Jerimiah 6) America is reaping the harvest of its choices and a bitter harvest it is. This craziness is our new normal in America. We have to face that truth and repent.

16 Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. (Jerimiah 6:9-16)

Orthodox Christianity is a tribe of many races and many nations. We are a “Peculiar People” called to inherit all the promises God made to His people Israel in the Old Covenant, called to discipleship and new life in Christ Jesus under the New and Everlasting Covenant and called to live as foreigners and pilgrims in our own land. The greatest threat to the salvation of the soul has always been to be seduced into the spirit of our own “sinful and perverse generation.” If you are thinking about Orthodox Christianity and wondering if it is for you, please understand that Orthodox Christianity is not a set of doctrines or a collection of ideas. Orthodoxy is a people. Orthodoxy is a tribe. Orthodoxy Christians are the people who have found the True Faith worshiping the True God, walking the True Way by the True Light which is Christ.

We invite you to leave the world behind, become a disciple of Jesus and join our tribe on its journey home.

Father Mark+

Where We Stand on Things that Matter

GOD THE FATHER

God the Father is the fountainhead of the Holy Trinity. The Scriptures reveal that the one God is Three Persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-eternally sharing the one divine nature. From the Father the Son is begotten before all ages and all time (Psalm 2:7; 2 Corinthians 11:31). It is also from the Father that the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds (John 15:26). Through Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, we come to know the Father (Matthew 11:27). God the Father created all things through the Son, in the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1; 2; John 1:3; Job 33:4), and we are called to worship Him (John 4:23). The Father loves us and sent His Son to give us everlasting life (John 3:16).

JESUS CHRIST

Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Trin­ity, eternally born of the Father. He became a man, and thus He is at once fully God and fully man. His coming to earth was foretold in the Old Testament by the Prophets. Because Jesus Christ is at the heart of Chris­tianity, the Orthodox Church has given more attention to knowing Him than to anything or anyone else. In reciting the Nicene Creed, Orthodox Christians regularly affirm the historic faith concerning Jesus as they say,

"I believe . . . in one Lord Jesus Christ, begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made, who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suf­fered and was buried; and the third day He rose again from the dead, according to the Scriptures; and as­cended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, whose Kingdom shall have no end."

THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is one of the Persons of the Trinity and is one in essence with the Father. Orthodox Christians repeatedly confess, "And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. . ." He is called the "Promise of the Father" (Acts 1:4), given by Christ as a gift to the Church, to empower the Church for service to God (Acts 1:8), to place God's love in our hearts (Romans 5:5), and to impart spiritual gifts (1 Corin­thians 12:7-13) and virtues (Galatians 5:22, 23) for Christian life and witness. Orthodox Christians be­lieve the biblical promise that the Holy Spirit is given in chrismation (anointing) at baptism (Acts 2:38). We are to grow in our experience of the Holy Spirit for the rest of our lives.

THE BIBLE

The Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16), and is a crucial part of God's self-­ revelation to the human race. The Old Testament tells the history of that revelation from Creation through the Age of the Prophets. The New Testament records the birth and life of Jesus as well as the writings of His Apostles. It also includes some of the history of the early Church and especially sets forth the Church's apostolic doctrine. Though these writings were read in the churches from the time they first appeared, the earliest listing of all the New Testament books exactly as we know them today is found in the Thirty-third Canon of a local council held at Carthage in A.D. 318 and in a fragment of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria's Festal Letter for the year 367. Both sources list all of the books of the New Testament without exception. A local council, probably held at Rome under Saint Damasus in 382, set forth a complete list of the canoni­cal books of both the Old and New Testaments. The Scriptures are at the very heart of Orthodox worship and devotion.

CREED

Creed comes from the Latin credo, "I believe." From the earliest days of the Church, creeds have been living confessions of what Christians believe and not simply formal, academic, Church pronouncements. The creeds were approved by Church councils, usually to give a concise state­ment of the truth in the face of the invasion of heresy.The most important creed in Christendom is the Nicene Creed, the product of two Ecumenical Coun­cils in the fourth century. The creeds give us a sure interpretation of the Scriptures against those who would distort them to support their own religious schemes. Called the "Symbol of Faith" and confessed in many of the services of the Church, the Nicene Creed constantly reminds the Orthodox Christian of what he personally believes, keeping his faith on track.

WORSHIP

Worship is the act of ascribing praise, glory, and thanksgiving to God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All humanity is called to worship God. Most promi­nent in Orthodox worship is the corporate praise, thanksgiving, and glory given to God by the Church. This worship consummates in intimate communion with God at His Holy Table. In that worship we touch and experience His eternal Kingdom, the age to come, and join in adora­tion with the heavenly hosts. We experience the glory of the fulfillment of all things in Christ as truly all in all.

SIN

Sin literally means "to miss the mark." We sin when we pervert what God has given us as good, falling short of His purposes for us. Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1, 2), leaving us spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). To save us, the Son of God assumed our humanity, and being without sin, "He condemned sin in the flesh" (Romans 8:3). In His mercy, God forgives our sins when we confess them and turn from them, giving us strength to overcome sin in our lives.

SALVATION

Salvation is Discipleship "Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works." Gospel of St. Matthew 16:24-27 

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Gospel of St. Mark 16: 16

Salvation is a Divine Gift through which men and women are delivered from sin and death, united to Christ through Holy Baptism, made members of his Body the Church thus becoming "partakers of the Divine Nature" which is eternal life. Salvation requires us to repent, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit thus becoming faithful disciples, bearing our cross and following Jesus Christ in love, in faithfulness and self-denial until our last breath. Salvation is "faith working through love."

Salvation is Theosis which is an ongoing, lifelong, process of dying to sin and being tranformed into both the image and likeness of Christ becoming by grace what Jesus was by nature. People cannot save themselves by their own good works, yet the scriptures clearly teach that "faith without works is dead.".  Salvation is past tense in that, through the death and Resurrection of Christ, we have been saved. It is present tense, for we are also be being saved by our active participation through faith in our union with Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Salvation is also future tense, for we must yet be saved at His glorious Second Coming.

MARRIAGE

Marriage in the Orthodox Church is forever. It is not reduced to an exchange of vows or the establish­ment of a legal contract between the bride and groom. On the contrary, it is God joining a man and a woman into "one flesh" in a sense similar to the Church being joined to Christ (Ephesians 5:31, 32). The Orthodox Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality, firmly grounded in Holy Scripture, 2000 years of church tradition, and canon law, holds that marriage consists in the conjugal union of a man and a woman, and that authentic marriage is blessed by God as a sacrament of the Church. . Whereas marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred institution ordained by God, homosexual unions are not. Neither Scripture nor Holy Tradition blesses or sanctions any union between persons of the same sex. Marriage is necessarily monogamous and heterosexual. The Orthodox Church cannot and will not bless same-sex unions.

SEXUALITY

The Orthodox Christian Faith firmly holds to the biblical teaching that sex is reserved for sacramental marriage. Sex is a gift of God to be fully enjoyed and lawfully experienced only within Christian mar­riage. The marriage bed is to be kept "undefiled" (He­brews 13:4), and all men and women are called to remain celibate outside of marriage.

ABORTION

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by taking the life of the baby before it comes to full term. Whenever an unborn child is aborted, a human being is killed. For the Christian, all children, born or unborn, are precious in God's sight and a gift from Him. Even in the rare case in which a choice must be made between the life of the child and the life of the mother, decision making must be based upon the recognition that the lives of two human persons are at stake.

TRANSGENDER ISSUES

In accord with the timeless plan of God our Creator, the unchanging teaching of Christ, his holy apostles, and their successor; the Orthodox Church affirms that God made human beings in two sexes, male and female, in his own image, and that chaste and pure sexual relationships are reserved to one man and one woman in the bond of sacramental marriage. However, persons with a homosexual orientation are to be cared for with the same mercy and love that is bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ upon all sinners. All persons are called by God to repent, grow spiritually and morally toward holiness."

THE LAST JUDGEMENT

There is a Day of Judg­ment coming for EVERYONE.

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you 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; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’  Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

HEAVEN

Heaven is the place of God's throne beyond time and space. It is the abode of God's angels, as well as of the saints who have passed from this life. However, heaven is not only for the future. For the Orthodox, heaven is part of Christian life and worship. The very architecture of an Orthodox Church building is designed so that the build­ing itself participates in the reality of heaven. The Eucharist is heavenly worship, heaven on earth. At the end of the age, a new heaven and a new earth will be revealed (Revelation 21:1).

HELL

Hell, is real. The Orthodox Church understands hell as a place of eternal torment for those who willfully reject the grace of God. Hell is a place of punishment for those who have hardened their hearts against God. It does make a eternal difference how we live this life. Those who of their own free will reject the grace and mercy of God must forever bear the consequences of that choice.

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know themNot everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" Gospel of St. Matthew 7:13-23

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    10:30 Reader's Orthros
What makes the Orthodox Church The Way, The Truth and The Life.
The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

The Church is One

 The Church is one because it has One Lord, One Savior, One Great High Priest and Intercessor Jesus Christ who is the image of God the Father, who made the Heavens and the Earth, who is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, who alone trampeled down death by death and rose again, who offers all men salvation through repentance, faithful belief and service in His Kingdom and who will return to judge the Living and the Dead, who's Kingdom is at hand and will have no end. The Orthodox Church is one with Jesus Christ because it is His true body and He is present within it. 

The Church is Holy

 The Church is Holy because God the Father has sent the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to indwell the Body of Christ, to fill the Holy Orthodox Church with power from on high, to guide it into all truth and preserve it unconquered forever. Therefore, the faithful members of the one true believing and right worshipping church, laity, clergy, and hierarchs are true icons of His holiness. Thus, the living presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is truely and mystically present in the transformative reality which are the Church's Holy Sacraments and that these Sacred Mysteries make those dead through sin alive in Christ. The Church is Holy because its martyrs have sanctified it with their blood, witness and sacrifice. The Church is holy because through the prayers of its acetics, monastics, and holy elders it leads all people to salvation through the practice of cross-bearing, self denial, lived and living repentance, and the aquisition of the Holy Spirit leading to Theosis, bearing witness that God became man that men might become a true partakers of the Divine Nature becoming through grace what Christ was by nature.

The Church is Catholic

The Orthodox Church is catholic because it is complete and whole in itself, lacking nothing, that it preserves, defends, and proclaims the unchanging faith of the Holy Apostles as delivered to it by Jesus Christ himself, neither adding anything or taking anything away from the faith "Once delivered to the saints." The Orthodox Church is catholic beause it stands fast and holds the traditions which were taught, whether by spoken word in Holy Tradition or written in Holy Scripture. The Orthodox Church is catholic because it originally recieved and still possesses the fullness of the written revelation of God in its Holy Scriptures, which it interprets though the wisdom of the Church Fathers and proclaims the Good News of the Holy Gospel in order to make disciples of all nations in every generation.

The Church is Apostolic

The Church is Apostolic because it was founded by Jesus Christ himself through his Great Commission of Holy Apostles, that the authority and power of the apostolic office is conferred on their successors through the laying on of hands in consecration, ordination, and holy orders and that every Orthodox Church lives in unbroken continuity with the Holy Apostles through the Apostolic Succession of its hierarchs from its foundation to the present, living generation. The Church is apostolic because through the priesthood of every believer, it has been sent into the world to make discples, to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel, and to intercede on behalf of all and for all.

Fulfilling the Great Commission in West Texas
Holy Cross Orthodox Church
REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND!

Welcome to Holy Cross Orthodox Chrisitian Church In Midland Texas. We are a diverse parish with individuals and families from the local community and from accross the Orthodox Christian world. We invite everyone to join us in worship this Sunday.

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The West Texas Diaspora

Do you live outside the Midland/Odessa area? We are here to serve you. You are not alone, please feel free to Contact Fr. Mark Telschow at 432-741-1040 or fmtelschow@gmail.com

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 Meeting for Worship at 1616 W. Golf Course Rd., Midland, Texas 79701

Please call (432) 741-1040 for more information

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, June 19
No Inklings. Fr. Mark in Germany
Saturday, June 22
No Services
Sunday, June 23
PENTECOST
10:30 Reader's Orthros
Wednesday, June 26
No Inklings. Fr. Mark in Germany
Saturday, June 29
Ss. Peter & Paul
5:00 Great Vespers Service with confessions afterwards
Sunday, June 30
9:30 Orthros
10:30 Divine Liturgy
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02/05/2023 - Weekly Bulletin
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