St. Peter Orthodox Church Newsletter September 16, 2019

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The First Sunday of Luke

Hieromartyr Phocas, Bishop of Sinope; Apostle Quadratos of the Seventy: Martyr Phocas the Gardener; New-martyrs Isaac and Martin

St. Phocas of Sinope

St. Phocas of Sinope

Who is the Hieromartyr Phocas, Bishop of Sinope?

Hieromartyr Phocas was born in the city of Sinope. From youth he led a virtuous Christian life, and in his adult years he became Bishop of Sinope. Saint Phocas converted many pagans to faith in Christ. At the time of a persecution against Christians under the emperor Trajan (98-117), the governor demanded that the saint renounce Christ. After fierce torture they enclosed Saint Phocas in a hot bath, where he died a martyr’s death in the year 117.

In the year 404, the relics of the saint were transferred to Constantinople (July 22).

The Hieromartyr Phocas is especially venerated as a defender against fires, and also as a helper of the drowning.

Source: Orthodox Church in America website.

 

We Need Some People to Help Barbara Dusckas Move

Barbara is moving and could use some help packing and a few other things. Here is the schedule:

  • Tuesday-Thursday, September 24-26, 10-4pm — help pack up boxes.
  • The move is on Saturday September 28 (movers have been hired) but help throughout the day especially with unpacking is appreciated. Workday begins at 9:00am.

These are the hours she is working, not the hours you are being asked to work. If you are free and could help Barbara for even a few hours, it would be much appreciated.

If you could help please call Barbara at 239-220-7383.

Men: Join AMEN

Antiochian Diocese of Miami and the South East

AMEN is growing in the Miami Diocese, very fast actually, and there is a lot of good energy behind it. Fr. Hans has been appointed the Spiritual Advisor to the group by Bp. Nicholas. Steve Breitenbach is our local president.

What will AMEN do? It will bring together the men of the parish for friendship, fellowship, and work.

She could really use the help, if even for only a few hours.

St. Peter’s Men:

Income Report – July 2019

In order to meet our operating Budget goal for 2019 we need to take in $16,777.00 each month.

In July we took in $18,104.00 in total contributions. Our monthly goal is $16,777.00. Thank you to everyone who responded to our letter of appeal. So far we are meeting our budget and have remained in the black in these more difficult summer months.

We also apologize for the late report. Our bookkeeper is very busy this summer and was only to compile the report recently.

Please pledge in order to meet our goal. Pledge forms are available on the table in the narthex.

 

Bible Studies

Bible Studies will resume Wednesday, September 18, 2019

  • Wed Sep 18 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Wed Sep 25 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm

The Community Bible Study is for the entire community.

The Men’s and Women’s Bible Study are separate studies but held concurrently.

Pledge & Income Report – August 2019

In August we took in $15,536 in total donations. Our monthly goal is $16,777.00 leaving us $1,241 short for August.

These are good numbers for August and we appreciate the response to our mid-summer appeal. Thank you for your support to date.

Please be generous in your giving between now and the end of the year so that we can meet our expenses.

It is not too late to pledge. Pledge forms are available on the table in the narthex.

 

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help

Interfaith Charities Logo

They need:

  • Ramen noodles
  • Canned tuna
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Soups

and…

  • Used clothing
  • Used household items

Bring the items to church and we will get them to Interfaith Charities. Interfaith Charities is a coalition of local churches helping the poor in our immediate community. See more on their website.

 

Calendar At A Glance

SEPTEMBER

  • Wed Sep 18 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Mon Sep 23 — Conception of St. John Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Wed Sep 25 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm
  • Thu Sep 26 — Apostle John Divine Liturgy 9:30am
 

Wisdom From The Elders

The goal of our profession, as we have said, is the kingdom of God. Its immediate purpose, however, is purity of heart, for without this we cannot reach our goal. Abba Moses

Let us not be scared, practicers of the prayer of Jesus, either by winds or waves! By winds I mean diabolic thoughts and imaginings, and by waves the revolt of the passions aroused by thoughts and reveries. From the midst of the most furious storm, with perseverance, courage and weeping you will cry to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will rebuke the winds and waves. St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov), Bishop of the Caucasus and the Black Sea

Orthodox Christians are Orthodox because they maintain a continuous sense of divine-human catholicity which they preserve and kindle through prayer and humility. They never preach about themselves; they never boast; they never remain entirely within their base human nature; they never idealize humanism. Venerable Justin (Popovic) of Chelije in Serbia

Only by being illuminated with the light of the God-man Christ does the world open the blossom of its essence to us and thus reveals its true meaning and value. That is why the Savior said: “I am the light of the world” (John 8: 12; 9: 5). Venerable Justin (Popovic) of Chelije in Serbia

You ask the Lord that you may love Him with a love, strong as death, or until death. Suppose, now, that the Lord sends you a terrible inward disease that may bring you nigh unto death itself. Do not, then, murmur against the Lord, but bear it bravely, thanking the Lord for His fatherly visitation. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

The Lord especially values virginity and loves monks. At first it is very difficult and one needs constantly to compel oneself, but in the end the Savior’s words are fulfilled: “For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk

Remember the words: “Set, O Lord, a watch before my mouth” (Psalm 140:3). Do not teach if you are not asked!
Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk

 

Remember in Your Prayers

Alan L (B Duskcas)
Charles (Oberg)
Christine (Kouzes)
Nina (Kovalev)
Hugh (Jacquie)
Violet (Jacquie Mom)
Tammie (Jacquie friend)
Phillip
Baby Luke
George
Priest Kyprianos
Savannah (Jonson)
Bud
Silvana
Nicole
Evan
Megan
Bill R.
Pat R.
Aglaia
George
Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Athanasia
Alexandra
Constantina
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Tim
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Patricia
Gregory
Andreas
Sofia Tešanovic
Paul
Dennis H. and Family
Victor Evan
Ann
James
Vasiliki
Efstratia
Alexandra
Nikos
Georgia
Ioannis
Costandino
Jeffrey
Vaso
Dave
Dimitri – Presbyter
Vassiliki
Octavio
Tom
Carl
Rena
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
David
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy
Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Katerina
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
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

For the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Thou, O Lord, wilt keep and preserve us.
Save me, O Lord, for the godly man has failed.

The Reading from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (1:21-2:4)

Brethren, it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; He has put his seal upon us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. But I call God to witness against me—it was to spare you that I refrained from coming to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith; we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith. For I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. For I wrote you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

Gospel

For the First Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (5:1-11)

At that time, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And He saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, Jesus asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at Thy word I will let down the nets.”

And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish, which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

St. Peter Orthodox Church

St. Peter Newsletter September 10, 2019

Sunday After the Elevation of the Holy Cross

Great-Martyr Nikitas the Goth and those with him; Martyr Porphyrios the Mime; Vissarion, Bishop of Larisa; New-Martyr John of Crete; Joseph the New of Partosh

St. Nikita the Goth

Who is the Great Martyr Nikitas the Goth?

Saint Nikitas was a warrior who lived with the Gothic tribes on the eastern side of the Danube River within the boundaries of present-day Romania. He was a convert to Christianity of the Gothic Bishop Theophilus, a well-known enlightener of the Goths, who also had baptized Nikitas.

At the time there was internecine warfare among the Goths, in particular between Prince Athanarichus, who hated Christians, and Frigentus who revenged a defeat by Athanarichus with the help of Arian emperor Valens, forcing Athanarichus into exile. After Frigentus’ victory the Christian Goths enjoyed a period of peace during which Bishop Hierarch Urphilus, successor to Bp. Theophilus, created the Gothic alphabet and translated many spiritual books from Greek into Gothic. St. Nikitas participated during these time by his preaching the Gospel while living a pious life, which greatly aided the confirmation of the Christian faith among the Goths.

However, after a few years, Athanarichus returned to his homeland with a large army and warfare among the Goths started again. As part of his actions, Athanarichus raised a fierce persecution against the Christians. Nikitas, who had become a spiritual leader among the Christian Goths, denounced Athanarichus for godlessness and cruelty. He called on the faithful to be firm and not to fear martyrdom. Athanarichus soon had Nikitas seized.

Nikitas was then given over to cruel tortures and, finally, was thrown into a fire where he died on September 15, 372. A friend of Nikitas, a Christian named Marianus, found his remains during the night and transferred them to Cilicia. Since then, miracles and cures have occurred before the relics of the holy Martyr Nikitas. A particle of his relics is held in the monastery of Vysokie Dechany in Serbia.

Source: Orthodox Wiki.

 

Our Condolences to Bess and Jim Hord

Our Condolences to Bess and Jim Hord on the passing of Bess’ brother Anastasios last week. May his memory be eternal. Bess will return to Naples later this week.

 

Community Luncheon on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 12:00pm

Community Dinner

Our next Community Luncheon will be held on Thursday, September 12.

Menu
Stuffed Baked Tomato
Greek Salad with Feta and Kalamata Olives
Dessert

Barbara Dionysopoulos and friends are preparing a delicious meal for all our members. Come and join us to enjoy some good food and the company of your friends. Make some new friends too and get to know other parishioners.

Reservations are required! Please call Barbara at 239-826-1655 or sign up in the Social Hall after Divine Liturgy.

Donations are accepted. Proceeds benefit the building fund.

 

Elevation of the Holy Cross Divine Liturgy, Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 9:30am

Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered.

The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses. Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole.

Consequently, the precious Cross was lifted on high by Archbishop Macarius of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, “Lord have mercy.”

It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country (see Jan. 22, Saint Anastasius the Persian). Late, in the year 628, Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place.

We Need Some People to Help Barbara Dusckas Move

Barbara is moving and could use some help packing and a few other things. Here is the schedule:

  • Sunday, September 15, 2:00pm to 5:00pm — help pack garage and bring items to Goodwill.
  • Tuesday-Thursday, September 24-26, 10-4pm — help pack up boxes.
  • The move is on Saturday September 28 (movers have been hired) but help throughout the day especially with unpacking is appreciated. Workday begins at 9:00am.

If you could help Barbara for even a few hours on any of these days, please call her at 239-220-7383.

Men: Join AMEN

Antiochian Diocese of Miami and the South East

AMEN is growing in the Miami Diocese, very fast actually, and there is a lot of good energy behind it. Fr. Hans has been appointed the Spiritual Advisor to the group by Bp. Nicholas. Steve Breitenbach is our local president.

What will AMEN do? It will bring together the men of the parish for friendship, fellowship, and work.

St. Peter’s Men:

Income Report – July 2019

In order to meet our operating Budget goal for 2019 we need to take in $16,777.00 each month.

In July we took in $18,104.00 in total contributions. Our monthly goal is $16,777.00. Thank you to everyone who responded to our letter of appeal. So far we are meeting our budget and have remained in the black in these more difficult summer months.

We also apologize for the late report. Our bookkeeper is very busy this summer and was only to compile the report recently.

Please pledge in order to meet our goal. Pledge forms are available on the table in the narthex.

 

Bible Studies

Bible Studies will resume Wednesday, September 18, 2019

  • Wed Sep 18 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Wed Sep 25 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm

The Community Bible Study is for the entire community.

The Men’s and Women’s Bible Study are separate studies but held concurrently.

 

Calendar At A Glance

SEPTEMBER

  • Thu Sep 12 — Community Luncheon 12:00pm
  • Sat Sep 14 — Elevation of the Holy Cross Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Wed Sep 18 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Mon Sep 23 — Conception of St. John Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Wed Sep 25 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm
  • Thu Sep 26 — Apostle John Divine Liturgy 9:30am
 

Wisdom From The Elders

He who prays must hunger after, must ardently desire those blessings— especially the spiritual ones— the forgiveness of sins, the cleansing, the sanctification, the strengthening in virtue, for which he prays, otherwise, it will be a useless waste of words. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Let us learn to live an inward life. Let us turn our thoughts to the highest blessings, to the heavenly recompense which is alone desirable, true, and makes those who obtain it truly happy. St. John of Kronstadt

Let us be patient! Are not all our temporary burdens and difficulties worth eternal happiness? Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg

Learn to love opportunities not to speak, not to contribute, not to influence. Rather than crave conversations in which your voice can be heard, crave instead those opportunities in which your silence may respond to voice, in which you may sac­rifice your willful desire for self-involvement on the altar of quiet humility before God and man. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

If it falls to you to have to bear great misfortunes, sorrows, and sicknesses, do not grow faint-hearted or despondent do not murmur; do not desire death for yourself and do not speak audaciously before the all-seeing God—as, for instance : “O, what a cruel affliction!” “O, what an unbearable misfortune; let me rather die!” or “I would rather kill myself!” God save you from such faint-heartedness, murmuring, and audacity! But endure all this courageously, as having been sent to you from God for your sins. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Some men tell me, “I don’t agree with my wife; we are complete opposites! How does God allow for such strange matches? Couldn’t He provide so that couples would be compatible and live spiritually?” But I tell them, “Don’t you understand that in this very difference of character lies hidden the harmony of God? It is the different characters which create harmony. God forbid that you should be the same in character! Think of what would happen if, for example, both of you had a short fuse; you would tear the house down!” Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

For instance, the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is accomplished immediately after the utterance of the words: “Make this bread the precious Body of Thy Christ, and that which is in this cup the precious Blood of Thy Christ, changing them by Thy Holy Ghost.” After these last words, and after the blessing, with the sign of the cross with the hand, the bread and wine are instantaneously changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, but not before; for the divine Omnipotence awaits the word of the priest co-operating with it. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

 

Remember in Your Prayers

Alan L (B Duskcas)
Charles (Oberg)
Christine (Kouzes)
Nina (Kovalev)
Hugh (Jacquie)
Violet (Jacquie Mom)
Tammie (Jacquie friend)
Phillip
Connie
Baby Luke
George
Priest Kyprianos
Savannah (Jonson)
Bud
Silvana
Nicole
Evan
Megan
Bill R.
Pat R.
Aglaia
George
Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Athanasia
Alexandra
Constantina
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Tim
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Patricia
Gregory
Andreas
Sofia Tešanovic
Paul
Dennis H. and Family
Victor Evan
Ann
James
Vasiliki
Efstratia
Alexandra
Nikos
Georgia
Ioannis
Costandino
Jeffrey
Vaso
Dave
Dimitri – Presbyter
Vassiliki
Octavio
Tom
Carl
Rena
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
David
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy
Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Katerina
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
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

For the Sunday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross

O Lord, how manifold are Thy works.
In wisdom hast Thou made them all.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (2:16-20)

Brethren, you know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. For I through the Law died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh Ilive by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Gospel

For the Sunday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (8:34-9:1)

The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And He said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.

St. Peter Orthodox Church

St. Peter Newsletter Special Edition September 9, 2019

Community Luncheon and St. Symeon the Stylite

Community Luncheon on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 12:00pm

Community Dinner

Our next Community Luncheon will be held on Thursday, September 12.

Menu
Stuffed Baked Tomato
Greek Salad with Feta and Kalamata Olives
Dessert

Barbara Dionysopoulos and friends are preparing a delicious meal for all our members. Come and join us to enjoy some good food and the company of your friends. Make some new friends too and get to know other parishioners.

Reservations are required! Please call Barbara at 239-826-1655 or sign up in the Social Hall after Divine Liturgy.

Donations are accepted. Proceeds benefit the building fund.

St. Symeon the Stylite

St. Simeon the Stylite

St. Simeon the Stylite

Last Sunday we talked a bit about St. Symeon the Stylite, the man who lived on a pillar for 47 years spending most of his time in prayer.

As it happens, Steve and Anne Breitenbach visited Jordan recently and saw the place where St. Symeon lived. They sent these pictures and commentary.

Regarding our talk in church last about stylite towers, I thought these pictures would help tell the story. Anne and I visited Israel and Jordan this year. The attached photos are from a ancient town called “Castron Mephaa”. You can see the Greek lettered name in the floor mosaic tiles in the detail picture – along with a mosaic of the Stylite the site is famous for.

Today the location is called Umm ar-Rasas – “The Mother of Bullets” – for the Roman Army garrison that it was back in the days prior to the Muslim conquest. Mephaa is believed to be the town of Mephaat, called out in the book of Jereremiah. Castron I think comes from the Roman Latin for fortified military camp. This area is about 30km southeast of Madaba. There is a LOT of Christian history to see in Jordan — Probably that was the most surprising thing we learned on our trip there!

This location has ruins of LOTS of churches, with the Church of St Stephan the largest. The complete floor mosaic had representations of the major cities east of the Jordan on one side (Our Lord’s side), and the cities west of the Jordan on the other side (our Lady’s side). The mosaics have no iconography as this was built AFTER the Muslim conquest – but interestingly, the Christian community was obviously very robust and affluent even in the mid-700’s. There is an even older 500 AD church under this 700’s AD church.

The stylite tower is one of only a few surviving sytlites remaining. The city represented in the mosaic just below the stylite is “Philadelphia” (in Greek of course), which is today’s city of Amman (Jordan’s capital).

Some pictures from the trip:

An example of the style (tower) St. Symeon the Stylite sat on for 47 years.

An example of the style (tower) St. Symeon the Stylite sat on for 47 years.

Church interior facing the altar. Note the floor mosaics.

Church interior facing the altar. Note the floor mosaics.

The mosaic mentioning the city of Philadelphia (in Greek lettering near the bottom), now modern day Aaman, the capital of Jordan.

The floor mosaic mentioning the city of Philadelphia (in Greek lettering near the bottom), now modern day Aaman, the capital of Jordan.

Church interior facing the altar. Orthodox Churches are still built using the ancient model.

Church interior facing the altar. Orthodox Churches are still built using the ancient model.

St. Peter Newsletter September 3, 2019

Sunday Before the Elevation of the Holy Cross
Sunday Before the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos

Sophronios, Bishop of Iberia

Upcoming Liturgies

Elevation of the Holy Cross Divine Liturgy, Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 9:30am

Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered.

The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses. Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole.

Consequently, the precious Cross was lifted on high by Archbishop Macarius of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, “Lord have mercy.”

It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country (see Jan. 22, Saint Anastasius the Persian). Late, in the year 628, Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place.

 

Fr. Hans Out of Town Thursday, September 5 to Saturday, September 7, 2019

He will be attending the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast (our diocese) retreat in Franklin, Tennessee. He will be available on his cell phone.

We Need to Stockpile Some Water

If you run across a good deal on bottled water, could you pick up a case and bring it to Church? Our supplies are running a little low.

Men: Join AMEN

Antiochian Diocese of Miami and the South East

AMEN is growing in the Miami Diocese, very fast actually, and there is a lot of good energy behind it. Fr. Hans has been appointed the Spiritual Advisor to the group by Bp. Nicholas. Steve Breitenbach is our local president.

What will AMEN do? It will bring together the men of the parish for friendship, fellowship, and work.

St. Peter’s Men:

Income Report – July 2019

In order to meet our operating Budget goal for 2019 we need to take in $16,777.00 each month.

In July we took in $18,104.00 in total contributions. Our monthly goal is $16,777.00. Thank you to everyone who responded to our letter of appeal. So far we are meeting our budget and have remained in the black in these more difficult summer months.

We also apologize for the late report. Our bookkeeper is very busy this summer and was only to compile the report recently.

Please pledge in order to meet our goal. Pledge forms are available on the table in the narthex.

 

Bible Studies

Bible Studies will resume Wednesday, September 18, 2019

  • Wed Sep 18 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Wed Sep 25 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately but occur concurrently) 7:00pm

The Community Bible Study is for the entire community.

The Men’s and Women’s Bible Study are separate studies but held concurrently.

 

Calendar At A Glance

SEPTEMBER

  • Thu-Sat Sep 5-7 — Fr. Hans Out of Town (Diocese Conference)
  • Sat Sep 14 — Elevation of the Holy Cross Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Wed Sep 18 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Mon Sep 23 — Conception of St. John Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Wed Sep 25 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm
  • Thu Sep 26 — Apostle John Divine Liturgy 9:30am
 

Wisdom From The Elders

In the evening, when your daily business should be finished, by no means give your­self over to rest, no matter how much the activities of the day have tired you. It is unbecoming for a Christian to act ungrateful this way. When you have finished your business, lift up your thoughts to the Lord God and sincerely thank Him for all the good things that you have received from Him in the day. Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg

Pray sincerely to the Heavenly Father; especially say the Lord’s Prayer, reverently, peacefully, not hurriedly: in general, read all the prayers quietly, evenly, with reverence, knowing before Whom you are saying them. St. John of Kronstadt

Each sentence ofthe patristic texts contains a multitude of meanings, and each person can interpret them according to their own spiritual state of being. It is better to read the ancient text rather than a translation, because the translator interprets the original verse according to his own spirituality. In any case, in order to understand the writings of the Fathers one must constrain oneself, focus and live spiritually, for the spirit of the Fathers is perceived through and by the spirit only. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

To love Christ means not to be a hireling, not to look upon a noble life as an enterprise or trade, but to be a true benefactor and to do everything only for the sake of love for God. St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople

One must treat holy books and holy objects with reverence. Above all, one must have fear of God, for it teaches reverence, and it teaches everything good. Careless and irreverent treatment of holy things is a result of habit. This must not happen. St. Nikon of Optina

I think that one must approach the Logos Savior, not induced by the fear of punishment and not in the expectation of some kind of a reward, but primarily for the sake of the good in itself. Such will stand on the right in the sanctuary.
St. Clement of Alexandria

If you read worldly magazines and newspapers, and derive some profit from them, as a citizen, a Christian, and a member of a family, then you ought still more and still oftener to read the Gospel and the writings of the Holy Fathers; for it would be sinful for a Christian, who reads worldly writings, not to read divinely-inspired ones. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

 

Remember in Your Prayers

Anastasios (B. Hord)
Alan L (B Duskcas)
Charles (Oberg)
Christine (Kouzes)
Nina (Kovalev)
Hugh (Jacquie)
Violet (Jacquie Mom)
Tammie (Jacquie friend)
Phillip
Connie
Baby Luke
George
Priest Kyprianos
Savannah (Jonson)
Bud
Silvana
Nicole
Evan
Megan
Bill R.
Pat R.
Aglaia
George
Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Athanasia
Alexandra
Constantina
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Tim
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Patricia
Gregory
Andreas
Sofia Tešanovic
Paul
Dennis H. and Family
Victor Evan
Ann
James
Vasiliki
Efstratia
Alexandra
Nikos
Georgia
Ioannis
Costandino
Jeffrey
Vaso
Dave
Dimitri – Presbyter
Vassiliki
Octavio
Tom
Carl
Rena
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
David
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy
Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Katerina
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
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

Search the Scriptures

Epistle

For the Sunday before the Elevation of the Holy Cross

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance.
To Thee, O Lord, I have cried, O my God.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (6:11-18)

Brethren, see with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the Law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh. But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. For, neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all, who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God. Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

Gospel

For the Sunday before the Elevation of the Holy Cross

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (3:13-17)

The Lord said, “No one has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For, God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church

St. Peter Newsletter August 29, 2019

Beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year

Righteous Simeon the Stylite; Synaxis of the Theotokos at Miasinae

St. Simeon the Stylite

St. Simeon the Stylite

Who was St. Simeon the Stylite?

Saint Simeon spent 80 years in arduous monastic feats, 47 years of which he stood upon the pillar. God granted him to accomplish in such unusual conditions an indeed apostolic service. Many pagans accepted Baptism, struck by the moral staunchness and bodily strength which the Lord bestowed upon His servant.

The first one to learn of the death of the saint was his close disciple Anthony. Concerned that his teacher had not appeared to the people for three days, he went up on the pillar and found the dead body stooped over at prayer. Patriarch Martyrius of Antioch performed the funeral before a huge throng of clergy and people. They buried him near his pillar. At the place of his ascetic deeds, Anthony established a monastery, upon which rested the special blessing of Saint Simeon.

Read the complete history on the Orthodox Chruch in America website.

 

September 1 is the Church New Year, Also Called “Indiction”

The first day of the Church New Year is also called the beginning of the Indiction. The term Indiction comes from a Latin word meaning, “to impose.” It was originally applied to the imposition of taxes in Egypt. The first worldwide Indiction was in 312 when the Emperor Constantine (May 21) saw a miraculous vision of the Cross in the sky. Before the introduction of the Julian calendar, Rome began the New Year on September 1.

According to Holy Tradition, Christ entered the synagogue on September 1 to announce His mission to mankind (Luke 4:16-22). Quoting Isaiah 61:1-2), the Savior proclaimed, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to proclaim release to captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…” This scene is depicted in a Vatican manuscript (Vatican, Biblioteca. Cod. Gr. 1613, p.1).

Tradition says that the Hebrews entered the Promised Land in September.

Source: Orthodox Church in America website.

 

Upcoming Liturgies

Beheading of John the Baptist Liturgy, Thursday, August 29, 2018 at 9:30am

The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

We will celebrate the Liturgy of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 starting at 9:30am. Why celebrate this important day? Because when we celebrate the liturgies of important Saints, their presence and power becomes more evident in our Church.

This is particularly true of St. Peter’s with the recent installation of the icon of St. John the Baptist. St. John, like the Theotokos, work to bring people to Christ. They work in different ways. We welcome their intercessions and honoring them increases the grace of God they bring to us.

 

Elevation of the Holy Cross Divine Liturgy, Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 9:30am

Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered.

The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses. Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole.

Consequently, the precious Cross was lifted on high by Archbishop Macarius of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, “Lord have mercy.”

It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country (see Jan. 22, Saint Anastasius the Persian). Late, in the year 628, Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place.

 

Fr. Hans Out of Town Thursday, September 5 to Saturday, September 7, 2019

He will be attending the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast (our diocese) retreat in Franklin, Tennessee. He will be available on his cell phone.

Men: Join AMEN

Antiochian Diocese of Miami and the South East

AMEN is growing in the Miami Diocese, very fast actually, and there is a lot of good energy behind it. Fr. Hans has been appointed the Spiritual Advisor to the group by Bp. Nicholas. Steve Breitenbach is our local president.

What will AMEN do? It will bring together the men of the parish for friendship, fellowship, and work.

St. Peter’s Men:

A Thank You From Mihail Strezev

Mihail Strezev

Dear Parishioners of St. Peter’s,

I would like to express my deep gratitude to St. Peter’s Church, to its community, and to Fr. Hans for being with me all the time of my living here, for the spiritual and material support that I needed, to enable me to go and study at the Eastman School of Music.

I become of a beautiful family that helped me go through a very difficult time in my life. Thank you all for your prayers and your trust in my talent!

I am going far away but I will always be part of our family and will be coming back to see you whenever it is possible.

With much love,

Mihail

A Note From Fr. Hans — Be A Missionary

The Good Samaritan by Vincent Van Gogh (detail)

Mihail wrote a beautiful note above. What many do not realize is that he found St. Peter’s when running into Jeremiah and Irina at Starbucks. Jeremiah and Irina met him, and after conversation invited Mihail to St. Peter’s. Mihail came and St. Peter’s became a family to him. He was going through a very difficult time and God brought him here to help him.

What would have happened if Jeremiah and Irina were not missionary minded, if they would have not perceived Mihail’s need and neglected to mention how God can help him and how he needed to come to the Church? Most likely Mihail would not have found the Church and his difficulties would have continued.

It’s an audacious thing to say but in a way our Lord relies on us. Often we are the messengers, the point of contact between our Lord and people searching for Him. If we don’t do our job, what needs to get done does not get done.

Jeremiah and Irina went to Starbucks not knowing that Mihail would enter their lives, and through them Mihail would enter the Church. Mihail did not know that the Church would help him sort things out, encourage him, and make his path more clear. That’s why the Lord him to Jeremiah and Irina. That’s how it works.

Be missionaries. Be open to people entering your life who are looking for God, which is to say they are also looking for clarity, stability, understanding, real friendship, meaning — all the necessary constituents that give our lives the life we yearn for and that have their source in God.

If we are open in the way Jeremiah and Irena were, the Lord will bring people to us like He brought Mihail to them. That is how the vision of St. Peter’s that it becomes a home for anyone seeking God (a vision that comes from our Lord Himself) will be fulfilled.

Pledge Report – July 2019

In order to meet our operating Budget goal for 2019 we need to take in $16,777.00 each month.

In June we took in $9741.00 in total donations. Our monthly goal is $16777.00 leaving us $7036.00 short for June.

Please pledge in order to meet our goal. Pledge forms are available on the table in the narthex.

 

Bible Studies

Bible Studies have been cancelled for the summer. We will resume in September.

 

Calendar At A Glance

AUGUST

  • Thu Aug 29 — Beheading of St. John the Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Fri Aug 30 — Parish Council Meeting 2:30pm

SEPTEMBER

  • Thu Sep 5 — Joachim and Anna Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Thu-Sat Sep 5-7 — Fr. Hans Out of Town (Diocese Conference)
  • Sat Sep 14 — elevation of the Holy Cross Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Mon Sep 23 — Conception of St. John Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Thu Sep 26 — Apostle John Divine Liturgy 9:30am
 

Wisdom From The Elders

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

Especially inexcusable are faint-heartedness and unbelief in the’ man who has already been deemed worthy of often receiving marvellous help from God the Saviour. O, how great a sinner I am! St. John of Kronstadt

It is God, Who is merciful and grants everyone what he needs, Who is building him up when He gives him more than he needs; in doing so He shows the abundance of His love for men and teaches him to give thanks. When He does not grant him what he needs, He makes him compensate for the thing he needs through the working of the mind and teaches him patience. St. Dorotheos of Gaza

Do not be discouraged when you see no improvement. One thing is needful: try to live according to the Gospel commandments. Fight and defend yourself against every sin through deeds, words or thoughts, and do not voluntarily succumb to bad influences. If you do succumb, repent before the Lord, ask forgiveness, and rise to fight again. And so until death. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

For even if we do not seek virtue, but at least praise it, we shall perhaps be able to attain it; and even if we do not avoid evil, but at least censure it, we shall perhaps be able to escape it. St. John Chrysostom

The Christian, who is called to a heavenly country, who is only a stranger and a sojourner upon earth, ought not attach his heart to anything earthly, but should cling to God alone, the Source of life, our resurrrection, and the Life eternal. St. John of Kronstadt

 

Remember in Your Prayers

Anastasios (B. Hord)
Alan L (B Duskcas)
Charles (Oberg)
Christine (Kouzes)
Nina (Kovalev)
Hugh (Jacquie)
Violet (Jacquie Mom)
Tammie (Jacquie friend)
Phillip
Connie
Baby Luke
George
Priest Kyprianos
Savannah (Jonson)
Bud
Silvana
Nicole
Evan
Megan
Bill R.
Pat R.
Aglaia
George
Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Athanasia
Alexandra
Constantina
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Tim
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Patricia
Gregory
Andreas
Sofia Tešanovic
Paul
Dennis H. and Family
Victor Evan
Ann
James
Vasiliki
Efstratia
Alexandra
Nikos
Georgia
Ioannis
Costandino
Jeffrey
Vaso
Dave
Dimitri – Presbyter
Vassiliki
Octavio
Tom
Carl
Rena
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
David
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy
Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Katerina
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
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

For the Indiction

Great is our Lord, and great is His power.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy. (2:1-7)

Timothy, my son, first of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,Who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Gospel

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (4:16-22)

At that time, Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and He went to the synagogue, as His custom was, on the Sabbath day. And He stood up to read; and there was given to Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor and to heal the broken hearted. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” And Jesus closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of Him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.

St. Peter Orthodox Church