St. Peter Newsletter — August 12, 2015

The Eleventh Sunday of Matthew

After-feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos
Recovery from Edessa of the Icon of Christ Not Made by Hands: ‘The Holy Napkin’

What is the ‘Icon Made Without Hands?

Icon Made Without Hands

The Icon of the Savior, Image Not-Made-By-Hands, also Acheiropoieta (Greek: “made without hand”) is one of the earliest icons witnessed to by the Church. The Feast of this icon is celebrated on August 16, during the afterfeast period of the feast of the Dormition, and is called the Third Feast-of-the-Savior in August.

During the time of the earthly ministry of the Savior, Abgar, ruler in the Syrian city of Edessa, was afflicted with leprosy. Reports of the great miracles performed by the Lord extended throughout Syria (Matt. 4:24) and as far as Arabia at this time. Although not having seen the Lord, Abgar believed in him and wrote a letter requesting Christ to come and heal him.

Abgar sent his court painter, Ananias, with this letter to Palestine telling him to paint an image of the Divine Teacher. Ananias was not able go to near Christ because of the great many people listening to his preaching. He attempted to produce an image of the Lord Jesus Christ from afar, but could not.

The Lord called Ananias and promised to send his disciple in order to heal Abgar from the leprosy and instruct him in salvation. Then the Lord called for water and a towel. He wiped His face with the towel, and on it was His Divine Image.

The Savior sent the towel and a letter to Edessa back with Ananias. With thanksgiving Abgar received the sacred objects and started healing. He continued healing until the arrival of the disciple Thaddeus, Apostle of the 70. The Apostle preached the Gospel and baptized the Abgar and all living in Edessa.

Read more on the Orthodoxwiki website.

Dormition Liturgy on Saturday, August 15

Dormition of the Theotokos

The Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, and will be celebrated on Saturday, August 15 starting at 9:30am.

This feast, which is also sometimes called the Assumption, commemorates the death, resurrection and glorification of Christ’s mother. It proclaims that Mary has been “assumed” by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of her spiritual and bodily existence.

Paraklesis Services will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays of the Dormition period starting at 6:30pm. Check the website calendar for the dates.

Learn more about the Dormition Orthodoxwiki website.

Improvements to the Church

Have you noticed the upgrades? We have added a wall near the entrance, installed a proskomide cabinet that runs the full length of the interior wall on the altar, added an adult baptismal font, procured a child baptismal font, furnished the center room on the balcony for our youth, added a marble standard to hold flowers and other items, added a new censor, lanterns, and sprinkler to our liturgical items, installed a file cabinet in the office, and more.

What will we see in the upcoming months? New fans and cross, a new candle stand, a new icon of St. Peter, the hanging of our beautiful Holy Week icons, and more.

Attendance during the summer has been very good. We are meeting all of our expenses every month. Many thanks to the the faithful parishioners of St. Peter’s who love their parish and support it.

Choir Practice and Bible Study
Resume on August, 18, 2015

Choir Practice begins at 6:00pm. Please consider joining the choir. “He who sings prays twice.”

Bible Study begins at 7:00pm. Turn out has been good, even in summer! Come and bring a friend.

Remember in Your Prayers

Mary Spiropoulos, mother of Joan Simon.

Bob Smith. Bob has been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

Sunday Readings

pantokrator-blessing

Epistle

For the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

The Lord is my strength and my song.
The Lord has chastened me severely.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (9:2-12)

Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop.

If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel of Christ.

Gospel

For the Eleventh Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (18:23-35)

The Lord spoke this parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.

When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.

So also My heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”