St. Peter Newsletter — January 23, 2013

Atheism and Christianity

pantocrator-2Many people debate atheism and Christianity. The dividing line always crystallizes around the question: What can we really know to be true and real?

The atheist says that all a person can really be sure about is what can be measured. In other words, if you can’t put something into a test tube or look at it under a microscope or measure it in some other way, then it not true or real.

An atheist says since you can’t do that with God, then God must be an imaginary being. The Christian is free to believe in God, but it really is no different that believing in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy.

The Christian responds that it is true that things you can measure really exist. However, there are other things that are just as true that can’t be measured like, beauty, meaning, love, friendship, joy and so forth. You know they are true because you experience them.

A good example is a painting. Take, say, a painting by Rembrandt. The atheist would say that the only certain thing you can say about the painting that is true and real is that paint has chemical composition. The chemistry of the paint is all that can be measured. Everything else is is subjective. It does not really exist.

The Christian would respond that a description of the chemical composition alone does not explain the deeper meaning and beauty of the painting. The painting says more than what the chemistry reveals about it.

We know God is real because we experience Him. When we draw close to Him, he draws close to us.

Some things are too big to be put into a test tube. Our ways of measuring them are not up to the task. That does not mean they do not exist or have no value.

Relocation Update

movingAs of this week we have raised $45,000, just $5000 short of our $50,000 goal. The Parish Council met briefly after Church a few weeks ago and we are starting our search for a new location.

The purpose of the fundraising is to ensure we have the means to make the move and support ourselves for at least one year. These are lean economic times so we are being prudent and cautious. We do not want to accrue any debt and we don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we are over-extended and cannot meet our obligations.

We believe however that a more permanent location is necessary at this stage of our growth. St. Peter’s is small, but it is vibrant and a welcoming and supporting community.

Finding a more permanent location is necessary to fulfill our mission to create a Church where we find Christ, support each other, and offer the Gospel of Jesus Christ within our Orthodox Christian faith to all who are seeking it for themselves.

House Blessings

A reminder: it is never to late to get your house blessed. If you would like you home or business blessed, call Fr. Hans to set up a time at 239-248-4775.

Sunday Scripture Readings

Byzantine Bible CoverEpistle

Hebrews 7:26-8:2 (St. John Chrysostom – Same as Nov. 13)

My mouth shall speak wisdom and meditation of my heart shall bring forth understanding
Hear this all you nations

The Reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews

BRETHREN, it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did this once for all when he offered up himself. Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priest, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord.

Gospel

Luke 18:35-43 (14th Sunday of Luke)

The Reading of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me receive my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.