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Friday, October 22, 2021

Outside the Church and without the Church, Christian life is impossible. Without the Church, the Christian teaching alone remains as an empty sound, for Christian life is Church life. Only in the life of the Church can a person live and develop. In a bodily organism, separate members never grow or develop independently of one another, but always and only in connection with the whole organism. The same applies to the Church. For the growth of the Church is at the same time the growth of its members….The word “Church” (ecclesia) appears one hundred and ten times in the New Testament, while such words as “Christianity” and similar words are completely unknown in the New Testament…to be Christian means to belong to the Church.

St. Hilarion (Troitsky), Christianity or the Church?


One of the qualities of a healthy parish church is that the parishioners are involved in each other’s lives. They do not simply appear and disappear at services. At St. Andrew each Sunday after Liturgy the parish converges on the Fellowship Hall for the Agape Hour.  A free lunch is served and parishioners and visitors fellowship with one another, nourishing the love and family ties we here at St. Andrew value so highly. This is a precious time to get caught up with one another, and share our lives in a more intimate way so that we can bear each other’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ. This is also a tremendous opportunity to express interest in our parish visitors, and answer any questions that they may have about Holy Orthodoxy. The parish outreach book store is always open during Agape Hour and is usually packed.   

Occasionally we have special meetings or fundraisers during this hour.  At other times we celebrate significant anniversaries and special acknowledgments for parishioners, for example, our octogenarians are honored with cake and much fan fair. 

The Agape Hour provides an opportunity for continued spiritual nourishment through fellowship as a community, and families take turns providing and serving the Agape Hour lunch.  We encourage all families that take part in Agape Hour, to take their turn bringing and serving lunch.  At this time, people take a turn about once every three months.  About five or six families bring and serve food each week.  

Should you wish to sign up to be on the refreshment list for Agape Hour please contact the church office.


Saint Andrew Orthodox Church
4700 Canyon Crest
Riverside, CA 92507



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