St. Peter Newsletter February 21, 2017 — Sunday of Forgiveness, Forgiveness Vespers, Lenten Schedule, Lenten Suppers, NAMI Walk, Women’s Retreat

Sunday of Forgiveness (Cheese Fare)
The Explusion of Adam and Eve from the Garden

Sunday of Forgiveness, the last of the preparatory Sundays before Great Lent, has two themes: it commemorates Adam’s expulsion from Paradise, and it accentuates our need for forgiveness. There are obvious reasons why these two things should be brought to our attention as we stand on the threshold of Great Lent.

One of the primary images in the Triodion is that of the return to Paradise. Lent is a time when we weep with Adam and Eve before the closed gate of Eden, repenting with them for the sins that have deprived us of our free communion with God. But Lent is also a time when we are preparing to celebrate the saving event of Christ’s death and rising, which has reopened Paradise to us once more (Luke 23:43). So sorrow for our exile in sin is tempered by hope of our re-entry into Paradise.

The second theme, that of forgiveness, is emphasized in the Gospel reading for this Sunday (Matthew 6:14-21) and in the special ceremony of mutual forgiveness at the end of the Vespers on Sunday evening. Before we enter the Lenten fast, we are reminded that there can be no true fast, no genuine repentance, no reconciliation with God, unless we are at the same time reconciled with one another.

A fast without mutual love is the fast of demons. We do not travel the road of Lent as isolated individuals but as members of a family. Our asceticism and fasting should not separate us from others, but should link us to them with ever-stronger bonds.

Read more on the Greek Orthodox website.

 

Forgiveness Vespers — Sunday, February 26, 6:30pm

Forgiveness Vespers

 

Lenten Suppers — Sign-Ups and Program

We will hold a light Lenten supper following each Wednesday Presanctified Liturgy during Lent. This will be something like lentil soup, bread and fruit — very simple.

A sign up sheet is posted on the board in the Social Hall. The dates are March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.

We also will hold brief presentations during the suppers. This year we look at Monasticism. The schedule this year:

  • March 1 St. Anthony and the Desert Fathers — A Brief Introduction
  • March 8 The Holy Mountain — A video about Mt. Athos
  • March 15 Trude Mancini talks about her son’s life on Mt. Athos
  • March 22 Monasticism in the United States — A video on the monastery in Arizona
  • March 29 From the Little Mountain — A video on a hermitage in West Virginia
 

Social Hall Lenten Food

In order to stay faithful to our Lenten disciplines, during Lent we will eliminate animal products (meat, cheese, eggs, fish, etc.) from our refreshments following the Divine Liturgy. Shell fish (shrimp, etc.) and oil are still allowed.

 

Orthodox Christian Fellowship Started

Attention college age and above Orthodox Christians in SW Florida. Members of St. Peter’s have started an Orthodox Christian Fellowship open to anyone who would like to join. They meet twice a month. Many plans are in the works including activities, occasional bible studies and more. This is a great way to get to know Orthodox Christians your own age!

Events will be announced in the newsletter and on the website and the OCF phone text list. Questions? Want to join? Contact Jeremiah at 504-256-8768 (text him), Erika at 412-716-2899, or Julia at 239-450-2400.

 

Looking for Bookshelves

If you have any you don’t need please see Fr. Hans.

Calling All Women to a Retreat Saturday, March 4

St. Paul’s has invited all Orthodox women in the area to “Spiritual Saturday Women’s Reteat” at St. Paul’s on Saturday March 4. Full schedule of the day’s events are posted on the website.

Mark you calendar. More details will be provided this Sunday. Cost is $10 to cover lunch and snacks. Questions? Please see Angela Long or Anthea Teufel.

This is a good opportunity to meet other Orthodox women in our area in a setting that also is good for the soul!

Stewardship Letters in the Mail

Responsibility towards God includes taking responsibility for His Church. We love God because He first loved us. He established the Church as His body, as the way we find Him and draw closer to Him. We are responsible for maintaining it so that the work of Christ can continue in the world. That’s how it works.

If you have not returned your stewardship form, please fill it in and mail (or bring) it to the Church by March 1, 2017.

 

Choir Practice 6:00pm and Bible Study 7:00pm This Week on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 6

See you then.

 

2017 NAMI Walk on Saturday, February 25, 2017

Every Christmas St. Peter’s helps our local NAMI chapter by collecting food for their drop-in center. Every spring we extend our help by joining in the NAMI walk of Naples.

From the NAMI website:

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Collier County membership is comprised of people with serious and persistent mental illnesses, as well as their parents, children, spouses, siblings and friends. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of the 1 in 4 families affected by serious and persistent mental illness, through education, support and advocacy. We believe that persons with severe and persistent mental illness can recover and lead productive and meaningful lives within their community of choice.

Why help? Because God calls us to help those who need help. This is part of our mission at St. Peter’s.

Mary Copeland will handle the sign-up and donations and speak more about the walk following Liturgy on Sundays. For questions please call Mary at 239-498-1331.

View the NAMI Walk poster on the website.

 

Calendar At A Glance

Choir Practice every Tuesday at 6:00pm and Bible Study every Wednesday at 7:00pm unless cancelled as noted below. Divine Liturgy every Sunday at 9:30. Extra services noted below.

  • February 25 (Saturday) NAMI Walk
  • February 26 (Sunday) Forgiveness Vespers 6:30pm
  • February 27 (Monday) Lent Begins
  • February 27 (Monday) Great Compline 6:30pm
  • February 28 (Tuesday) Great Compline 6:30pm
  • March 1 (Wednesday) Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • March 2 (Thursday) Great Compline 6:30pm
  • March 3 (Friday) First Stanza Salutations 6:30pm
  • March 4 (Saturday) Women’s Retreat

Full Lenten schedule available on the website.

 

Wisdom From The Elders

Many people have never experienced the pleasure of a light stomach.
St. Paisios of Mount Athos
St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Holiness is the fruit of a man’s efforts and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

As it is impossible to verbally describe the sweetness of honey to one who has never tasted honey, so the goodness of God cannot be clearly communicated by way of teaching if we ourselves are not able to penetrate into the goodness of the Lord by our own experience.
St. Basil the Great

One must not harbor anger or hatred towards a person that is hostile toward us. On the contrary, one must love him and do as much good as possible towards him, following the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you” (Mt. 5:44). If then we will try to fulfill all this to the extent of our power, we can hope that God’s light will begin to shine in our hearts, lighting our path to the heavenly Jerusalem.

St. Seraphim of Sarov

You may find yourself hampered by someone who sows tares of despondency. He tries to prevent you from climbing to such heights of holiness by discouraging you with various thoughts. For instance, he will tell you that it is impossible for you to be saved and to keep every single one of God’s commandments while you live in this world.

When this happens you should sit down in a solitary place by yourself, collect yourself, concentrate your thoughts and give good counsel to your soul, saying: “Why, my soul, are you dejected, and why do you trouble me? Put your hope in God, for I will give thanks to Him; for my salvation lies not in my actions but in God (cf. Ps. 42:5). Who will be vindicated by actions done according to the law (cf. Gal 2:16)? No living person will be vindicated before God (cf. Ps. 143:2). Yet by virtue of my faith in God I hope that in His ineffable mercy He will give me salvation. Get behind me, Satan (cf. Matt. 16:23). I worship the Lord my God (cf. Matt. 4:10) and serve Him from my youth; for He is able to save me simply through His mercy. Go away from me. The God who created me in His image and likeness will reduce you to impotence.”

St. Symeon the New Theologian

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18

Remember in Your Prayers

Tim
Ron
Ivy-Jean
Pat
Christina
Baby Samuel
Victoria
Jennie
Mary
Baby Kyriake
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Brad William
Ryan
Sarah
Robert Jarvis
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Harry Zifiris
Iris Kuring (Bettina Zifiris' mother)
Constantine Houpis
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Katerina
Dianne
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Christine
Maria
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
Constandina James
James Hord
Bob Smith
Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

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

Add or remove names and print this list for easy reference during your prayer time on the St. Peter website.

 

Sunday Readings

Christ Giving Blessing

Epistle

For Sunday of Forgiveness

Sing praises to our God, sing praises. Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
O clap your hands, all ye nations.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. (13:11-14:4)

Brethren, salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Master is able to make him stand.

Gospel

For Sunday of Forgiveness

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (6:14-21)

The Lord said to His Disciples: If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

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