Sunday, April 5, 2009

Celebrate Eastern Orthodox Easter and Holy Week April 12 - 19

St. Christopher Hellenic Orthodox Church of Peachtree City invites the community to join in celebrating Eastern Orthodox Easter and Holy Week services during the week of April 12-19th.

The reason for the different dates of Western (Catholic, Protestant, Episcopalian) Easter and Orthodox Easter (Pascha) is primarily because Orthodox Christians determine the date of Easter (Pascha) based on the Julian Calendar in use during the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325 AD. Additionally, in keeping with the rule established by the Council of Nicea, the Orthodox Church holds to the tradition that Easter (Pascha) must always fall after the Jewish Passover, since the death, burial and Resurrection of Christ happened after the celebration of Passover.

This year, the 350 million Orthodox Christians worldwide celebrate Easter (Pascha) on Sunday, April 19, 2009.

The young mission of Peachtree City, Georgia, began on October 26, 2003 with its first Divine Liturgy celebrated at the Fayette Family YMCA in Fayetteville, Georgia. A planning group of about 15 families met with the Rev. Fr. George Tsahakis, and with the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, began inviting families from the Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, Henry, Spalding and South Fulton areas to join together to form the new parish.

Within one year, more than 50 families had committed their support. A warehouse in the business/industrial park of Peachtree City was renovated through the hard-working efforts of parishioners, who provided most of the labor and materials needed for the heating, air conditioning, drywall, plumbing, cabinetry, interior painting and carpeting.

At present, the church seats more than 100 and offers Sunday and weekday church services, coffee fellowship, community luncheons and dinners, and a full offering of parish ministries that include religious education from nursery through adult education (year-round), classes for inquirers and converts, Hellenic language and dance, GOYA, JOY, community family nights, and outreach and evangelism to area residents and visitors. The very active Philoptochos Chapter (Friends of the Poor) was soon formed and parishioners are committed to serving its philanthropic efforts and the surrounding community’s service needs.

In December 2006, 10 acres of property in Fayette County were purchased (one mile outside of Peachtree City on Ebenezer Road) and they plan to pay off the mortgage in early 2010 and begin the building of the new educational and meeting facility shortly thereafter. That will enable them to worship and offer ministries on-site until the permanent sanctuary and church complex is completed.

For a complete schedule of services visit
Photo: Holy Friday “Lamentations” Service offering praise to Christ, officiated by Rev. Fr. George Tsahakis.
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