St. Peter Newsletter — April 26, 2009

Christ is Risen! Christos Anesti! El Messieh Kahm! Christos Voskress! Krishhti Unjall! Hristus A Inviat! Christus is opgestaan!

Christ is Risen!

Our first Divine Liturgy will be held next Sunday at the Holiday Inn on I-75 and Alico Road beginning at 9:30am. We hope you will be there. We've been busy preparing. Our first Liturgy will be simple and develop from there. Christ, however, will be with us.

What is our vision? First of all to shape a fellowship where Christ can be found. If we love one another, we love God, St. John tells us. The opposite is also true: If we love God then we love one another. What does this mean in practical terms? That we treat one another with simple decency and respect, and that we welcome the newcomer and make him feel at home.

I know in my heart that St. Peter Orthodox Mission will prosper. How do I know? I've seen over and over again that when the Gospel is preached, and when people attempt to live an authentic life with Christ, Christ Himself brings people who are searching for Him. People need other people to find Christ. And there are a lot of people looking for Christ who don't know how to find Him. If we commit ourselves to Him, He will bring those who are seeking Him to us.

St. Peter will be open to anyone who wants to find God. Two principles that can guide us are these: 1) God does not expect us to be perfect, only faithful; and 2) God doesn't care where we have come from, only where we are going.

We will learn as we go. We will probably make some mistakes along the way. The first few months might be a bit uncertain, but we will persevere, learn, and be faithful. In due course and in due time, we will see the Lord bless our efforts. St. Peter will grow and become a home for us and for others whom God will choose to bring along.

What can you do? First of all, pray. Second, support the Mission. Third, tell everyone you know the Mission is starting. Forward this email to your friends who you think would be interested and ask them to join the mailing list on our website. Of course I am easily reached either through my cellphone (239-248-4775) or through email (use the website).

My brothers and sisters in Christ, we are on our way. May God bless you. Christ is Risen!

Fr. Hans

St. Peter’s opens May 3!

Our first liturgy will be held on May 3 starting at 9:30 at the Holiday Inn (get directions). Tell your friends!

This is the start of something that, with God’s favor (and, yes, I believe God is blessing this) could be the start of something really good. My commitment to you? I will give you the Gospel of Christ and minister to you to the best of my ability. Your commitment? To love God and neighbor. With God all things are possible.

We are making progress!

Tentative start date for St. Peter Orthodox Mission is Sunday, May 3. This will be confirmed tomorrow or the next day. We meet at the Holiday Inn on I 75 and Alico Road (get directions). The time that services will be held will be announced shortly.

What can you do? Tell your friends! Tell them to check this website for news. Sign up for the St. Peter email newsletter which will publish all upcoming events and information. Questions? Contact us.

What do we need? We are starting small, but by the grace of God it looks like we will have all the liturgical supplies we need by the time we open. One parishioner is baking the prosphora and supplying the wine.

Do you chant? Could you chant? Remember, we don’t need perfection, just faithfulness. Please contact Fr. Hans if you can help in this way.

Welcome to St. Peter’s

St Peter’s was given this directive from Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese: “Establish a parish that will draw people who have never stepped into a church before.” It’s a worthwhile challenge, and one that can be fulfilled because many people are searching for enduring and certain truth.

Truth is found in Christ. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said. We encounter Christ through hearing the Gospel, and the Gospel as it comprehended and understood in our Orthodox Christian faith has led many people to embrace the Orthodox Church as well.

Here’s our mission as we have defined it so far: We want St. Peter’s to be a place of welcome to any one seeking Christ. We want St. Peter’s to develop into a place of prayer and worship where Christ can be found.

We welcome any Orthodox Christian from any jurisdiction to attend.

We especially welcome anyone interested in Orthodox Christianity to come, as well as Orthodox Christians who may be disenfranchised and want to reestablish contact with their Church.

The Mission is opening soon

We are working to secure the Holiday Inn at Town Center (get directions) as the first home of St. Peter Othodox Mission. Lord willing and if all goes well, we should start worship on May 3, 2009 — the first Sunday in May.