God is With Us!
Holy Nativity of the Lord Mission is a community of the Diocese of the South, Orthodox Church in America under the Omophorion of His Beatitude, The Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, and His Grace Bishop Nikon, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South. 'Holy Nativity Mission' is currently meeting on Sundays at the Barksdale Federal Credit Union South Branch Community Center (5490 Barksdale Blvd) at 10:00 AM to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and on Wednesday evenings at Fr. Jason and Mat' Ashely's House for Vespers, Bible study and dinner. There are two Orthodox Christian parishes in Shreveport, LA – St. George Greek Orthodox Church and St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church. Together, the Mission and the other two sister parishes are part of the greater Orthodox Church that is made up of over 300,000,000 Christians around the world. As one, we seek to bring the ancient faith and practice of Christ and His apostles to the people of Shreveport and Bossier. In doing so, we pray that those who join us will experience the fullness of life in Christ and His Church.
Holy Nativity is an eclectic mix of people from various backgrounds. Some are ‘cradle’ Orthodox, while others have converted to Orthodoxy as the result of a spiritual journey. Until recently, the majority of Orthodox Churches in the United States were made up of immigrants who brought the treasure of the Apostolic Faith with them from the Holy Lands, Greece, Turkey, Russia and other areas that once made up the Byzantine Empire and beyond. Fortunately, the theology and liturgy of the Church is now accessible to all as the original writings, like the New Testament, have been translated from Greek and other languages into English. Although the Mission uses English as the common language for teaching and worship, we still value and cherish the cultural traditions that protected, preserved and passed on the historic faith of the undivided Christian Church and seek to incorporate them in our liturgical life in order to enrich our experience together.
We welcome all people to visit the mission. Also, because we understand worship to be a family affair, our older children, toddlers and infants join us in all services. If you are planning to pray with us one Sunday or attend another gathering during the week, please contact Fr. Jason so he can make sure we prepare a special guest packet for you. This will help you learn more about the Mission, and give us the opportunity to show you how much we appreciate your visit.
We pray your journey of faith continues to move you more and more towards the likeness of Christ. Please know the heart, mind and hands of the Mission are available to assist you as needed on your pilgrimage. Our desire is show the people of Shreveport-Bossier the same love we continue to receive from God and, by His grace, demonstrate to each other.
Great Canon of St. Andrew
On Monday and Tuesday at noon of the first week of Great Lent and Thursday at 1:30, we will gather at the Foster's house at noon for the Great Canon of St. Andrew. The canon is a dialog between St. Andrew and his soul. The ongoing theme is an urgent exhortation to change one’s life. St Andrew always mentions his own sinfulness placed in juxtaposition to God’s mercy, and uses literally hundreds of references to good and bad examples from the OT and NT to “convince himself” to repent.
General Themes of the Great Canon
How we should think about ourselves
Where shall I begin to lament the deeds of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, for my present lamentation? But in Thy compassion grant me release from my fallsMon:1.1
Desire to change - dialogue with the soul
Come, wretched soul, with your flesh, confess to the Creator of all. In the future refrain from you former brutishness, and offer to God tears of repentanceMon:1.2
The end is drawing near, my soul, is drawing near! But you neither care nor prepare. The time is growing short. Rise! The Judge is at the very doors. Like a dream, like a flower, the time of this life passes. Why do we bustle about in vain? Mon:4.2
How to pray - Laments and supplications to God
Thou art the Good Shepherd; seek me, Thy lamb, and neglect no me who have gone astray Mon:3.5
OT and NT examples of righteousness and unrighteousness, for the purpose of emulation or avoidance.
Do not be a pillar of salt, my soul, by turning back; but let the example of the Sodomites frighten you, and take refuge up in Zoar.(Genesis 19:26) Thu Ode 3:5
I have reviewed all the people of the Old Testament as examples for you, my soul. Imitate the God-loving deeds of the righteous and shun the sins of the wicked.Tue Ode 8
Please join us as we enter the season of Great Lent together!
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts Wednesdays at 5:30pm
Each Wednesday during Lent we will gather at the Foster's house for the Liturgy of the Presanctifed Gifts at 5:30pm. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is an evening service. It is the solemn lenten Vespers with the administration of Holy Communion added to it. There is no consecration of the eucharistic gifts at the presanctified liturgy. Holy Communion is given from the Eucharistic gifts sanctified on the previous Sunday at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, unless, of course, the feast of the Annunciation should intervene; hence its name of “presanctified.”
Everyone is invited to stay after the service for our common Wednesday night meal together.
Sunday of Orthodoxy March 9th
On the Sunday of Orthodoxy (March 9th) at 5:30 pm, the Orthodox faithful in our area will gather at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church for a pan-Orthodox vespers service. Bring your favorite icon and prepare to pray and process with us as celebrate the triumph of Orthodoxy!
Please contact Fr. Jason as soon as possible to schedule your house blessing. Thank you!
New Catechumens at Holy Nativity
We are blessed to have 13 new catechumens at the Mission. Please keep David, Reggie, Donna, Amanda, Joshua, Matthew, Kevin, Mara, Travis, Jennifer, Jack, Jane and Murray in your prayers as they prepare to enter the Church.
If you have any questions about what it means to be a catechumen or membership in the Orthodox Church, please contact Fr. Jason.
Our Land on the Southern Loop
Thanks be to God! On the Friday before Holy Week we purchased an 10.98 acre tract of land on the Southern Loop. This will be the future home of Holy Nativity. We are very thankful for Dr. Tom Siskron who gifted a large portion of the land to us, Jeff Norris for donating his legal services, Scott Adcock for the discounted appraisal work and Ioannis Petikas for doing our enviornmental study at no charge. Also, we want to thank Kayne Pierce of Carter Federal Credit Union for financing the deal for us.
Email and Phone
Holy Nativity of the Lord Mission
588 Oneonta St.
Shreveport, LA 71106
THANKS FROM THE MISSION FAMILY TO:
The Blanchard's for the gifts of the Gospel and Epistles Books and incense.
The McInnis family for all the new liturgical supplies: candles, incense, charcoal, processional cross and processional candles!
The Taylor's for the Pascha candles, Trikirion and icons.
The Cosse's for the brass candle stands.
The anonymous gift of the iconostasis - we know who you are!
The Theo's for the altar and kubuklion.
The Alexander Mijalis family for the gift to purchase a new liturgical item.
An anonymous family for the gift of the Church Library series for adults and children from St. Vladimir Seminary Press.
The Greening family for special incense and a zeon pitcher and the new processional candles!
The Mission is in need of many other liturgical items. If you want to make a liturgical gift to Holy Nativity, please contact Fr. Jason. He has a very long list of things for you to chose from at you convenience. Thank you.
Fr. Alexander Schmemann: On the Sunday of Orthodoxy
5 hours ago
Assembly of Bishops issues message for Orthodoxy Sunday
7 Mar 2014 at 1:38pm
On Sunday evening, March 9, 2014—the first Sunday of Great Lent—Orthodox Christians will gather in churches around the world to commemorate the restoration of icons to their proper use in the Church in 843 AD, thereby ending the 100-plus year iconoclast controversy.
The spiritual theme of the day is first of all the victory of the True Faith. “This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith” [1 John 5:4]. Secondly, the icons of the saints bear witness that man, “created in the image and likeness of God” [Genesis 1:26], becomes holy and godlike through the purification of himself as God’s living image.
To mark the occasion, a message has been issued by the members of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, the complete text of which follows.
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America
Sunday of Orthodoxy 2014
The grace of truth has shone out; the things prefigured in shadows in times of old have now been openly fulfilled in words…in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, and in icons [From the Vespers of the Sunday of Orthodoxy]
To the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Members of Philanthropic Organizations, the Youth and Youth Workers, and the entire Orthodox Christian Family in North and Central America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Gathering in our Churches as members of the undivided Body of Christ to celebrate the Sunday of Orthodoxy, we call to mind the holy men and women who defended holy icons, succeeded in restoring them, and pronounced the authentic faith and worship of the Church. Among these heroes of our faith, we commemorate the blessed emperors: Michael, Theodora, and Irene, the holy patriarchs and confessors: Germanos, Nikephoros, and Methodius, and the holy ascetics: John Damaskenos and Theodore the Studite.
The reading from the Holy Gospel on this feast recounts Philip’s invitation to his friend Nathanael to “come and see” Jesus [John 1:46]. During his encounter with Christ, Nathanael addresses Him, saying, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!} [John 1:49]. This declaration indicates that Nathanael recognized Who stood before him; he understood that the man before him was God, was once prefigured in shadows, now having become human. This particular moment as well as the entire three-year ministry of Jesus Christ helps us understand why the Church uses holy icons in Her worship. Because “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” we can depict the Son of God, His Most-Holy Mother, and other saints in icons, and through these holy images we extend honor and worship to the archetype. In this light, the effort of the Iconoclasts to remove and destroy holy icons seriously jeopardized humanity’s ability to encounter God. Their efforts, were they successful, would have deprived believers of a window through which we could communicate with God. By contrast, the restoration of the holy icons, which we celebrate today, is the triumph of genuine faith and worship in Christ and the assurance that God maintains a profound and immediate connection with the world.
Our beloved brothers and sisters, for us Orthodox Christians the presence of icons in our churches and in our homes bears witness to the Incarnation of God and His presence in our lives. Icons also remind us of His invitation to draw closer to Him. Sunday of Orthodoxy and the weeks that follow in Holy and Great Lent help facilitate our effort to become united to Jesus Christ, our Lord. It is our heartfelt prayer that through the veneration of holy icons a doorway to Christ will be opened unto us, permitting us to enter into “the fullness of God” [Ephesians 3:19].
The Members of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.
Orthodoxy Sunday celebrations to be highlighted on OCA.org web site
6 Mar 2014 at 9:02am
Photo galleries of the numerous Sunday of Orthodoxy celebrations slated to be held on the first Sunday of Great Lent, March 9, 2014, will again be featured on the web site of the Orthodox Church in America.
Photos of regional, deanery and parish celebrations should be sent to email@example.com. Photos should be sent in high resolution, at least 600 pixels in width or larger. No more than three  photos from any given celebration should be sent. Please do not send links to on-line galleries, Vimeo postings, etc. Only photos sent as attachments will be posted.
Include the name and location of the host parish, the celebration sponsor [deanery, diocese, clergy association, etc.], the name of the hierarch or main celebrant, and the name of the guest preacher within the body of the e-mail to which the photos are attached. Brief captions, especially for parish celebrations, are acceptable as well.
The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 19, 2014.