St. Peter Newsletter May 15, 2018 – Sunday of the 318 Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

Sunday of the After-Feast of the Ascension
The Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

The 318 Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

The 318 Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

“I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18). Although the Church of Christ on earth will pass through difficult struggles with the Enemy of salvation, it will emerge victorious.

Persecution of Christians ceased during the fourth century, but heresies arose within the Church itself. One of the most pernicious of these heresies was Arianism. Arius, a priest of Alexandria, was a man of immense pride and ambition. In denying the divine nature of Jesus Christ and His equality with God the Father, Arius falsely taught that the Savior is not consubstantial with the Father, but is only a created being.

A local Council, convened with Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria presiding, condemned the false teachings of Arius. However, Arius would not submit to the authority of the Church. He wrote to many bishops, denouncing the decrees of the local Council. He spread his false teaching throughout the East, receiving support from certain Eastern bishops.

Investigating these dissentions, the holy emperor Constantine (May 21) consulted Bishop Hosius of Cordova (Aug. 27), who assured him that the heresy of Arius was directed against the most fundamental dogma of Christ’s Church, and so he decided to convene an Ecumenical Council. In 325, 318 bishops representing Christian Churches from various lands gathered together at Nicea.

Read the complete story on the Orthodox Church in America website.

The Ascension Divine Liturgy on May 16, 2018 at 6:30pm

The Ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

The Ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

The Ascension is when Jesus Christ ascended into heaven to resume his rightful place at the right hand of the Father. It is the completion of Christ’s earthly ministry. Following about two weeks later the Holy Spirit descends, the Church begins, and the era of the New Covenant (God’s new way of dealing with men) begins.

We will commemorate Ascension with a Divine Liturgy on the Eve of Ascension on May 16, 2018 starting at 6:30pm.

 

Pentecost Prayers Immediately Following the Divine Liturgy on May 27

Next Sunday is Pentecost and and immediately following the Divine Liturgy we will read the Pentecost Prayers in their entirety. Plan on staying about an extra half hour.

Why are we doing this? One reason is that Pentecost is a major feast day in our Church. Pentecost (the fifty days) is when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and then all the people in Jerusalem, the same Holy Spirit that Adam lost is restored through Jesus Christ (the Second Adam) and makes our salvation possible.

If Christ hung on a cross to make our salvation possible (and he did), then we can pray these prayers that have been given to us by our Fathers in order to receive Christ’s salvation more deeply. It takes discipline, but there is never any growth without it.

As the prayers are read. As you listen, absorb them. Let them sink in. Keep in mind what Fr. Hans taught about worship a few Sundays ago and embrace it through these prayers. You soul will experience a measure of reordering – of healing – that will become evident in the days ahead.

That is why we come to Church. That is why we are Orthodox.

Fr. Hans Out of Town May 17-31

Fr. Hans will be traveling to Russia the last two weeks of May.

We will still have church every Sunday. The substitute priest will be Fr. Kyrill Williams, an OCA priest and hospital chaplain working in St. Petersburg (Forida, not Russia).

In case of pastoral emergencies please contact Fr. Paul Girgis from St. Paul’s at 509-845-4540. Fr. Paul has graciously consented to help us while Fr. Hans is out of town.

Calling All Seniors! Luncheon on Thursday, June 7 at Noon.

Seniors, join us for the first of many monthly get-togethers. Meet your friends, enjoy the conversation, and share in some good food!

We meet at noon on Thursday, June 7 at noon at Church.

Barbara Dionysopoulos is preparing a delicious lunch of Roast Pork Tenderloin with Greek style Roast Potatoes, Broccoli Spear, Greek Salad, and dessert and coffee. The cost is $5.00 to cover the food.

We need to know how many are coming so sign up in the social hall (sheet on the table in the hallway).

The luncheons are a good opportunity for seniors to get together socially for a few hours every month. There is no minimum age requirement for these luncheons, but we want seniors to attend to get them a hot meal and meet with friends socially.

For questions call Barbara at 239-826-1655.

Interfaith Charites Needs More Help

The shelves are bare. They need rice, canned vegetables, beans, and cereal. Please consider picking up a few extra items the next time you are shopping and bring them to Church. We will get to Interfaith Charities.

Interfaith Charities is a coalition of churches and business that help the poor in the San Carlos and south Fort Myers area (view their website). We partner with them to help the working poor in our area as part of our mission to serve the poor around us.

Mark Your Calendar!

Pilgrimage to Panagia Vlahernon Greek Orthodox Monastery on Saturday, July 7, 2018

Join us for a pilgrimage to the Panagia Vlahernon Monastery near Ocala on Saturday, July 7, 2018. We will leave the church at 8:00am and return between 9:00-10:00pm. We will rent a bus and ride up together. More details forthcoming.

You can learn more about the monastery on their website.

Calendar At A Glance

  • Wednesday, May 16, 2018 — 6:30pm Ascension Divine Liturgy
  • Sunday, May 27, 2018 — Pentecost
  • Saturday, July 7, 2018 — 8:00am Pilgrimage to Panagia Vlahernon Monastery
 

Wisdom From The Elders

The suffering of the world, ample and endless, is their own. We are all one human being. And the prayer of the humble person is one: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” In other words, have mercy on the whole of your world. He prays and breathes for all people. He is the breath of the world. He lives with Him Who is the Alpha and the Omega Metropolitan Saba(Esber)

‘The pure of heart will see God,’ according to the Lord’s infallible word (Mt. 5:8), according to his capacity, receiving as much as his mind can sustain; yet the infinite and incomprehensible nature of the Godhead remains beyond all understanding. Archimandrite Vasileios (Gontikakis) of Iveron

I see a fish expiring as soon as it is taken out of the water, and I say: “That is me! If they take me out of Your embrace, I shall die in seconds—like a fish tossed onto the sand. St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Know and remember always, no matter where you are, that whatsoever hurts will be dulled as soon as you learn In all things, to look at Me. Everything has been sent to you by Me, for the perfection of your soul. All these things were from Me. St. Seraphim of Viritsa

A certain monk lived in a monastery, and he was always angry. He decided, “I will leave this place and dwell by myself as a hermit, and then I will no relations with anyone, and the passion of anger will leave me.” Leaving the monastery, he settled in a cave. One day, having taken up a pitcher of water, the monk set it one the ground, and it tipped over. Again he drew the water, and the pitcher tipped a second time. The he drew it again, and it fell a third time. The brother got angry, picked it up and broke it.

When he had come to himself, he understood that the devil had triumphed over him and said, “Behold, I have gone away into seclusion, and I am conquered! I will go back to the monastery, for patience and the help of God are necessary everywhere!” And he returned to his previous place. Ancient Patericon, 7.38

 

Remember in Your Prayers

Carolyn L.
Jim R.
Vassiliki
Octavio
Tom
Carl
Rena
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
David
Eva K.
Rosie
Jill
Kathryn
Jeremy
Robert
Jane
Theodora
Baby Brynn L.
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
John
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Sonya
Kenneth
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Ron
Ivy-Jean
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Katerina
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
James Hord
Tom

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

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers.
For Thou art just in all Thou hast done.

The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (20:16-18, 28-36)

In those days, Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.

And when they came to him, he said to them: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.

And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

Gospel

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (17:1-13)

At that time, Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee, since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent. I glorified Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; and now, Father, glorify Thou Me in Thy own presence with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was made.

I have manifested Thy Name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. Now they know that everything that Thou hast given Me is from Thee; for I have given them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from Thee; and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.

I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name, which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one. While I was with them, I kept them in Thy Name, which Thou have given Me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”