"Gracanica" Serbian Orthodox Church

1960 Meldrum Road ~  Windsor  Ontario 

GRACANICA CHURCH SLAVA -  Dormition of the Holy Theotokos

СВЕЧАНО ПРОСЛАВЉЕНА СЛАВА ВИНДЗОРСКЕ ГРАЧАНИЦЕ


Ове године празник Успенија Пресвете Богородице – наша храмовна Слава нешто је другачије прослављена због свих рестрикција, поводом пандемије, које су још увек на снази. Но, упркос томе, благодарни смо Богу да су баш непосредно пред празник Успенија Пресвете Богородице државне власти попустиле мере и дозволиле приступ храмовима у значајнијем броју. Ми смо са радошћу и благодарношћу примили вест и литургијски прославили празник уз учешће кумова Славе и верног народа који је био у прилици да присуствује.


Литургију је служио протонамесник Владимир Вранић уз саслуживање протојереја-ставрофора Драга Кнежевића, и умилно појање чтеца при нашем храму Брајана Пејна, који је откако су почеле ристрикције испратио свако богослужење у Грачаници, без изузетка. Овом приликом желимо да изразимо посебну благодарност чтецу Брајану Пејну, али и његовој породици на огромној жртви и посвећености. Нека им Господ узврати својим благословом свише за добро које чине.

У исто време благодаримо овогодишњим надалеко чувеним и свима драгим кумовима храмовне Славе, господину Груји (чика Лали) и госпођи Јагоди Стеванов, на дивно организованој прослави, упркос свим изазовима око пандемије. Посебно је било дирљиво видети и присутне кумове прошлогодишње Славе господина Јована и госпођу Зорку Брујић, како присуствују моменту када кумови овогодишње Славе уручују део колача кумовима за следећу годину господину Ђорђу и госпођи Сузани Величковић. Тај моменат ће остати записан као најлепше могуће сведочанство о лепоти и благослову, али и важности и одговорности кумства и као светао пример млађим генерацијама.


На крају свете Литургије, уручене су дипломе ученицима црквене школе који су завршили осми разред, с надом да ће се увек сећати да су духовно поникли и духовно стасавали у Српској Православној Цркви, те да, имајући то у виду, никада неће заборавити своје корене и своју заједницу. За све то и много више, благодаримо Venture Labels Printing Company, као и директорки Црквене школе госпођи Мирјани Вујановић-Кнежевић, јер много тога чине могућим у неретко немогућим условима.


Иако наизглед мирнија, оно ни у ком случају не можемо рећи скромнија прослава храмовне Славе, јер је Литургијска прослава најсвечанија могућа прослава коју ми Православни хришћани имамо. Славу смо прославили литургијски. На свакој Литургији Господ нам нуди Себе, Своје Тело и Своју Крв ради сједињења са нама. Има ли ишта вредније или свечаније од тога да се сјединимо са Богом? На Литургији, чак иако се само свештеник причести, опет, макар једна душа се сједнила са Господом тога дана. Има ли ишта вредније и свечаније од тога? Богу смо благодарни што нам је дао да и ове године на најсвечанији могући начин, литургијски прославимо храмовну славу и нека би благослов Божји био на Кумовима храмовне Славе, као и на свима који на било који начин доприносе добру и јединству наше колоније овде у Виндзору, јер то је уједно на добро свеукупне Српске Православне Цркве.


Срећна и Богом благословена Слава, на многаја и благаја љета и нека би и наши животи били преображени благословом Празника!

 ~ Свештеник Владимир Вранић


Address in English Below

Liturgy Service 

Speech from 2020 Kumovi Gruja "Lala" & Jagoda Stevanov

Gracanica Church Bulletin Slava Edition

Special in this Issue:


  • Address from Fr. Vladimir
  • 2020 Kumovi Gruja & Jagoda Stevanov
  • St. John Chrysostom On Raising Children
  • Raising Children: A Commentary by a Saint
  • Serbian Center Letter
  • Church School Letter
  • Museum Update 2020
  • Church Maintenance Update

A SOLEMN CELEBRATION OF THE SLAVA OF WINDSOR’S GRAČANICA


This year, the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God – our church’s Slava - was celebrated somewhat differently due to all the restrictions ever since the pandemic started, which are still in force. But, in spite of that, we are grateful to God that just before the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God, the government authorities relaxed the measures and allowed access to churches in significant numbers. We received the news with joy and gratitude and liturgically celebrated the Feast with the participation of the Kumovi and the faithful people who had the opportunity to attend.


The Liturgy was served by protonamesnik Vladimir Vranić, with the concelebrating of the protopresbyter-stavrophor Drago Knezević, with the prayerful chanting of reader Brian Payne, who, since the restrictions began, accompanied every worship service in Gračanica, without exception. On this occasion, we would like to express our special gratitude to reader Brian Payne, but not least to his family for their great sacrifice and dedication. May the Lord reward them with His Blessings from above for the good they do.


At the same time, we are particularly grateful to this year's widely known and dear to all Kumovi of church’s Slava, Mr. Gruja (Lala) and Mrs. Jagoda Stevanov, for a wonderfully organized celebration, despite all the challenges surrounding the pandemic. It was especially touching to see present Kumovi of last year's Slava, Mr. Jovan and Mrs. Zorka Brujić, as they attend the moment when the Kumovi of this year's Slava hand over a part of the Slava Kolač to the Kumovi for next year, Mr. George and Mrs. Suzana Veličković. That moment will remain written as the most beautiful possible testimony of beauty and the blessing, but also of the importance and responsibility of the Slava Kumovi, and most certainly as a shining example to the younger generations.


At the end of the Divine Liturgy, specially crafted Diplomas were handed to the students of the Church School who finished the final eighth grade, with the hope that they will always remember that they grew up and matured spiritually in the Serbian Orthodox Church, and that, having that in mind, they will never forget their roots and their community. For all that and much more, we thank
Venture Labels Printing Company, as well as the Church School Principal Mrs. Mirjana Vujanović-Knežević, because they make many things possible in often impossible conditions. 

Although our Church’s Slava was seemingly celebrated in a calmer fashion, we can by no means say that it was a more modest celebration of the Slava, because the Liturgical celebration is the most solemn possible celebration that we Orthodox Christians have. We celebrated our Slava liturgically. At every Liturgy, the Lord offers Himself, His Body and His Blood to unite us with Himself. Is there anything more valuable or solemn than to be united with God? At the Liturgy, even if only the priest partook of communion, again, at least one soul was united with the Lord that day. Is there anything more valuable and solemn than that? We are grateful to God for giving us to liturgically celebrate our church’s Slava in the most solemn way possible this year as well, and may God's blessing be on the Kumovi and all who in any way contribute to the good and unity of our colony here in Windsor, because it is at the same time for the good of the entire Serbian Orthodox Church, thus the Orthodox Church in general.

A happy and blessed Church Slava and may our lives be transformed through the blessings of the Feast!
Protonamesnik Vladimir Vranić

Information Regarding Returning to In-Person Church Services

Dear brothers and sisters,

With the desire to always inform you about further plans and steps regarding the opening of our church, we inform you that we will continue to act with the blessing of our Bishop, and in accordance with local provincial laws. For your convenience we enclose the act of the Bishop, as well as the instructions of the local state authorities regarding the measures that must be taken before the opening of the church.


It is very encouraging news that most of our province is slowly but surely heading towards opening up. In that spirit, we also plan our activities and the opening of the church. In order for everything to be in accordance with the regulations, we will need the help of committed volunteers.


We believe that we would ensure the safety of believers by meeting all the requirements of the authorities, but we need dedicated volunteers who will work closely with the Board of Directors and actively participate in the implementation of all measures listed in the documents. Our goal is not only to fulfill the letter of the law, but the overall health of the faithful.


If you are able to help by volunteering and are interested in taking a more active part in the life of our church, please send your wish and contact to executive@gracanicawindsor.com. The Board of Directors will make further plans and issue instructions based on the information at its disposal.


Your contact and your help are necessary for further timely planning.


Letter from Bishop

Ontario Ministry of Health COVID 19 Religious Services Guideline



+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 


Драга браћо и сестре, 


Са жељом да Вас увек обавештавамо о даљим плановима и корацима по питању отварања нашег храма, обавештавамо вас да ћемо и даље поступати по благослову нашег Епископа, а у складу са локалним државним законима. У прилогу Вам достављамо акт Епископа, као и упутства локалних државних власти по питању мера које морају бити предузете пре отварања храма.


Веома је охрабрујућа вест да већина наше провинције полако али сигурно иде ка отварању. У том духу и ми планирамо наше активности и отварање цркве. Но, наш циљ није само испуњавање слова закона, већ свеукупно здравље верних. Стога, да би све било у складу са прописима требаће нам помоћ посвећених волонтера.


Верујемо да бисмо осигурали безбедност верника испуњавајући све захтеве од стране надлежних, али су нам потребни посвећени волонтери који ће блиско сарађивати са Управним одбором и активно учествовати у спровођењу свих мера наведених у документима. Уколико сте у могућности да помогнете добровољним радом и заинтересовани да узмете активнијег учешћа у животу наше цркве, молимо вас да вашу жељу и контакт доставите на executive@gracanicawindsor.com. Управни одбор ће правити даље планове и издавати упутства на основу информација које буде имао на располагању.


Ваш контакт и ваша помоћ су неопходни ради даљег благовремног планирања.


Порука Владика

                           ANTICIPATING THE PENTECOST DURING THE PANDEMIC

Psalms of hope during the Pandemic

In Psalm 41 we see that it is written by someone who has experienced the presence of God in the Temple in Jerusalem; he remembers the excitement of being close to God through His temple, and it creates a deep ache and a sense of loss because he is not there any more:

Psalm 41 (42)

As the deer longs for the springs of waters,

So my soul longs for You, O God.

3 My soul thirsts for the living God;

When shall I come and appear before the face of God?

4 My tears w ere m y bread day and night,

When they said to m e each day, “Where is y our God?”

5 I remembered these things, and poured out m y soul within me;

For I shall enter the place of the wondrous tabernacle, even the house of God,

To celebrate a festival with a voice of great joy and praise.

6 Why are you so sad, O my soul? And why do you trouble me?

Hope in God, for I will give thanks to Him;

My God is the salvation of my countenance.

We see that the writer is deeply depressed, but not despaired. The writer is thirsty for God, like a deer in the desert; he finds himself in tears twenty four hours a day; his memory of happier times makes him more sad, but also want God more. But, what the writer of the Psalm does is, he is engaging in an inner dialogue, in a prayer, and by doing that he is growing stronger: Why are you so sad, o my soul? Hope in God, for I will give thanks to Him.

Then, he remembers what it was being in the presence of God, or rather, he puts himself in the presence of God:


7 My soul within me was troubled;

Therefore I will remember You

From the land of the Jordan and Hermon,

From the small mountain.

8 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;

All Your waves and billows went over me.

9 By day the Lord shall command His mercy,

And by night His ode will be with me,

A prayer to the God of my life.

10 I will say to God, “You are my protector. Why have You forgotten me?

Why do I go about with a sad face w hen m y enemies afflict me?”

11 Those w ho afflict me revile me when they break my bones,

When they speak to me each day, saying, “Where is y our God?”

12 Why are you so sad, O my soul? And why do you trouble me?

Hope in God, for I will give thanks to Him.

My God is the salvation of my countenance.


He is long way away from Jerusalem – in the Land of Jordan or up on Mount Hermon. He knows that the Lord is always with him, and he can pray to the Lord, but he feels a long way away. Being challenged from all sides of life, and taunted by his enemies with the apparent lack of any evidence for the presence of God, nevertheless, he remains faithful to God, he longs to be back in Jerusalem where he can sense God’s presence and grace, where everyone is caught up with worship and adoration, but it is in times like this that he reminds himself of hope.


Psalm 42 (43)

Judge me, O God, and pass judgment in my cause against an unholy nation;

Deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.

2 For You, O God, are my strength;

Why do You cast me off?

Why do I go about with a sad face when my enemy afflicts me?

3 Send out Your light and Your truth;

They guided me and led me to Your holy mountain

And to Your tabernacles.

4 And I will come to the altar of God,

To the God who makes glad my youth;

I will give thanks to You with the lyre, O God, my God.

5 Why are you so sad, O my soul? And why do you trouble me?

Hope in God, for I will give thanks to Him;

My God is the salvation of my countenance.


The writer appears powerless in his own eyes and before his enemies, and God seems to have abandoned him. It is at his lowest point that he turns to pray the greater prayer (42:3): the prayer for God’s light and truth to come and find him, to lead him back to the very presence of God so that he can praise God once more. Light and truth is what you need not only when your intellect is curious and needs stimulating, but when your whole being is lost, downcast, depressed, thirsty for God.


We now know that it is the faith and cry like the one of the Psalmist that led to God’s dwelling among us, His Resurrection,  and the ultimate comfort through His Holy Spirit, Who is the Comforter and the Spirit of Truth! We know that God is with us!

In these trying times of the Corona Virus, we too are invited to exclaim with the Psalmist: Why are you so sad, O my soul? Hope in God, for I will give thanks to Him.

New Land Blessing and Fundraiser

We are very excited to celebrate with the community the purchase of the New Serbian Centre Property. When circumstances allow, we plan to hold a celebratory land blessing and fundraiser banquet. 

While we wish we could see you all very soon, this event is 

Tentatively Postponed to FALL 2020.

From the Serbian Center, 50fortheFuture Fundraiser

Community Members – The Serbian Centre needs our help during these difficult times. 

Please join us in writing the stories future generations will tell and consider giving $50 for the future of the Serbian Centre.

#50fortheFuture

Give $50 per person, $50 per family, whatever is in your heart to give will help us establish some certainty, amidst so much uncertainty. 

When sending your contribution, please send a picture of yourself, or family, be as creative as you wish. It can be a video, saying “I am the future of the Serbian Centre” Or holding a sign saying the same. We look forward to seeing all the familiar community faces and sharing them on Facebook as they come in. For those that are harder to reach because of social distancing, perhaps your parents or grandparents, consider going to take a picture of them on their front porch or in their front window if they would like to take part.

We believe in our community, and this Easter weekend we encourage you to share the beautiful stories that you have from our Church and our Community Centre with your families.


Click the following link to submit your information should you choose to contribute.

Serbain Centre Contribution Form


To view our fundraising video, click the image 

Please share it with your friends and family. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING PARISHIONER RECORDS


To ensure all our parish records are up to date, Fr. Vladimir is requesting that parishioners of the Gracanica Church fill out a quick form.  Forms can be submitted at the church, or to any Executive Board Member.  

Thank You for your cooperation.
VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THE PARISHIONER RECORD FORM HERE