St. Peter Newsletter May 22, 2018 — Pentecost

The Fiftieth Day after Pascha
The Great Feast of Pentecost

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Fifty days after the Resurrection, on the existing Jewish feast of Pentecost, while the disciples and many other followers of Jesus Christ were gathered together to pray, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of “cloven tongues of fire,” with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and they began to speak in languages that they did not know. There were many visitors from the Jewish diaspora to Jerusalem at that time for the Jewish observance of the feast, and they were astonished to hear these untaught fisherman speaking praises to God in their alien tongues. This account is detailed in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2.

The number fifty, as in the fiftieth day after Pascha, stands for eternal and heavenly fulfillment, seven times seven, plus one.

The Orthodox Church sees Pentecost as the final fulfillment of the mission of Jesus Christ and the first beginning of the messianic age of the Kingdom of God, mystically present in his Church. It is traditionally called the beginning of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Besides celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit, the feast also celebrates the full revelation of the divine Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hymns of the Church celebrate the sign of the final act of God’s self-disclosure to the world of His creation.

To Orthodox Christians, the feast of Pentecost is not just a celebration of an event in history. It is also a celebration their membership in the Church. They have lived Pentecost and received “the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit” in the sacrament of chrismation.

Read more on the Orthodox Wiki.

Pentecost Prayers Immediately Following the Divine Liturgy

Pentecost Kneeling Prayers

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.

For those who cannot kneel to physical limitations, it is entirely appropriate to remain seated and both bow you head and “bow the knees of your heart” as scripture says. For those of us who can kneel, we should kneel.

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

  • Sunday, May 27, 2018 — Pentecost
  • Saturday, July 7, 2018 — 8:00am Pilgrimage to Panagia Vlahernon Monastery
 

Wisdom From The Elders

Since the Resurrection of the Lord is the ever-present event by which He enters into unlimited Communion with all mankind, we can conclude that this same mystery should become a concrete reality within the sphere of our social life. His Beatitude, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV

When someone has a vice we should try to bombard him with rays of love and compassion so that he may be cured and freed. These things are achieved only through the grace of God. Think that this person is suffering more than you. In a coenobitic monastery when someone is at fault we should not tell him that he is to blame. We must adopt an attitude of care, respect and prayer. We must endeavour not to do any­thing harmful. When we endure insults from our brother, it counts as martyrdom. And it is something we should endure with joy. Elder Porphyrios

God is everywhere. You decide if you are close to him or not. St. John Chrysostom

Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture. If our thoughts are peaceful, calm, meek, and kind, then that is what our life is like. If our attention is turned to the circumstances in which we live, we are drawn into a whirlpool of thoughts and can have neither peace nor tranquility. Elder Thaddeus

Not only that: truth is truth; but if at some point you speak the truth without discernment, this is not truth. For example, it is true that so and so is mentally disturbed. But if you go and tell this truth you do not benefit anyone.
Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

 

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

Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God.

The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (2:1-11)

When the day of Pentecost had come, the Disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

Gospel

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (7:37-52; 8:12)

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

When they heard these words, many of the people said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” So there was a division among the people over Him. Some of them wanted to arrest Him, but no one laid hands on Him. The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this man!” The Pharisees answered them, “Are you led astray, you also? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd, who do not know the Law, are accursed.”

Nicodemus, who had gone to Him before, and who was one of them, said to them, “Does our Law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee.” Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church