St. Peter Newsletter December 31, 2018

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Theophany – The Baptism of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Theophany of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Theophany of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Theophany (or Epiphany) means shining forth or manifestation. The feast is often called, as it is in the Orthodox service books, Theophany, which means the shining forth and manifestation of God. The emphasis in the present day celebration is on the appearance of Jesus as the human Messiah of Israel and the divine Son of God, One of the Holy Trinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Thus, in the baptism by John in the Jordan, Jesus identifies himself with sinners as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29), the “Beloved” of the Father whose messianic task it is to redeem men from their sins (Lk 3:21, Mk 1:35). And he is revealed as well as One of the Divine Trinity, testified to by the voice of the Father, and by the Spirit in the form of a dove. This is the central epiphany glorified in the main hymns of the feast:

When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest! For the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, calling Thee his Beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of his Word. O Christ our God, who hast revealed Thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee (Troparion).

Read the entire article on the Orthodox Church of America website.

 

Blessing of the Water Following Divine Liturgy on Theophany on January 6, 2019

After Theophany Liturgy next Sunday (January 6), we will break for ten of fifteen minutes in the Social Hall for coffee and a donut (no regular social hall next Sunday) and then to Riverside Park and do an outdoor blessing of the waters at the Imperial River in Riverside Park.

The park is 3 miles south on Old 41 where the bandshell is located (get directions).

 

Why do the Orthodox bless the waters? Read about it here.

Feasts of Circumcision of Christ and St. Basil the Great on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 9:30am.

St. Basil the Great of Cappadocia (329–379)

St. Basil the Great of Cappadocia (329–379)

Saint Basil was born in the year 330 at Caesarea, the administrative center of Cappadocia. He was of illustrious lineage, famed for its eminence and wealth, and zealous for the Christian Faith. The saint’s grandfather and grandmother on his father’s side had to hide in the forests of Pontus for seven years during the persecution under Diocletian.

Saint Basil’s mother Saint Emilia was the daughter of a martyr. On the Greek calendar, she is commemorated on May 30. Saint Basil’s father was also named Basil. He was a lawyer and renowned rhetorician, and lived at Caesarea.

Ten children were born to the elder Basil and Emilia: five sons and five daughters. Five of them were later numbered among the saints: Basil the Great; Macrina (July 19) was an exemplar of ascetic life, and exerted strong influence on the life and character of Saint Basil the Great; Gregory, afterwards Bishop of Nyssa (January 10); Peter, Bishop of Sebaste (January 9); and Theosebia, a deaconess (January 10).

Saint Basil spent the first years of his life on an estate belonging to his parents at the River Iris, where he was raised under the supervision of his mother Emilia and grandmother Macrina. They were women of great refinement, who remembered an earlier bishop of Cappadocia, Saint Gregory the Wonderworker (November 17). Basil received his initial education under the supervision of his father, and then he studied under the finest teachers in Caesarea of Cappadocia, and it was here that he made the acquaintance of Saint Gregory the Theologian (January 25 and January 30). Later, Basil transferred to a school at Constantinople, where he listened to eminent orators and philosophers. To complete his education Saint Basil went to Athens, the center of classical enlightenment.

Read the entire history on the St. Peter’s website.

 

St. Peter’s Community Lucheon on Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 12:00pm

Community Dinner

Menu
Chicken Pilaf made with Whole Wheat Orzo
Greek Salad with Feta Cheese
Kalamata Olives
Bread, Dessert, Beverage

You are invited to join your St. Peter’s friends for lunch and fellowship at 12 noon on Thursday, January 3, at 12:00pm.

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.

The cost is $5 per person.

 

New Year Celebration on Saturday, January 12, 2019 for a New Years lamb and chicken dinner! This will be good!

At St. Peter’s we are always a bit late ringing in the New Year. So, in keeping with that tradition join us on Saturday, January 12, 2019 starting at 5:00pm for the roasting of a lamb on a spit along with grilled chicken.

The lamb and chicken are provided but please bring one of the following if you can:

  • Side dishes
  • Salad
  • Desert

If you can help defray the cost of the lamb and chicken, please give a donation to one of the Parish Council members.

 

Vassilopita on Sunday, January 13, 2016

Vasilopita

We will cut the Vassilopita (St. Basil’s bread) on Sunday January 33 following the Divine Liturgy.

 

Please Help on Church Directory Updates

A lot of work has been done behind the scenes updating our record keeping, parish lists, and financial tracking.

One area that has been improved is record keeping of our members.

To bring everything up to date we need current information. Please fill in the form on the website, fill in a paper form at Church, or complete the stewardship form you will be receiving shortly.

You can fill in the form on the website here.

 

Our Stewardship to St. Peter’s: The Tree Must Bear Fruit

You will soon be receiving a letter asking for your Stewardship Support of St. Peter’s in 2019.

We are responsible to increase what God has given us. In the Parable of the Talents, the master gave his servants talents that they are expected to nurture and grow. This is a responsibility we cannot avoid.

The Church is both a place where the increase begins on the inside of us, and to which we much give some our increase. This too is a responsibility we must take on.

A contribution form will be included in the letter you receive. Our goal this year is $200,000. We must meet this goal to avoid using our reserves. If we spend our reserves, we will not be able to obtain a mortgage to buy or build when the time comes to do so (and it will come sooner than later).

All of us may have to squeeze a bit to meet this goal. But if give, the Church flourishes and that flourishing spills over into our lives as well and the lives of our families.

We must increase what we have been given by God.

 

What’s Coming in 2019?

New classes and Bible studies are starting!

Cathechumen/New Member class start on Monday, January 14 at 7:00pm. Catechumens are required to attend but anyone seeking a better understanding of the Orthodox faith is encouraged to attend as well.

General and Mens Bible studies on alternating Wednesdays beginning on Wednesday, January 16. The Mens Study will not begin until February 6 because Fr. Hans will be out of town on January 23 attending the Miami Diocese Retreat in Atlanta.

St. Demetrios Brotherhood meetings (for young men) moved to Thursdays beginning January 17.

Calendar At A Glance

JANUARY

  • Tuesday January 1, 2019 — St. Basil the Great and Circumcision of Christ Divine Liturgy at 9:30am.
  • Thursday, January 3 — Community Luncheon at 12:00pm
  • Sunday, January 6, 2019, 2018 — Theophany Divine Liturgy followed by Blessing of the Waters.
  • Saturday, January 12 — New Years Lamb and Chicken Dinner Celebration at 5:00pm
  • Sunday, January 13 — Cutting of the Vassilopita following Divine Liturgy
  • Monday, January 14 — Catechumen/New Member Class at 7:00pm
  • Wednesday, January 16 — Community Bible Study at 7:00pm
  • Thursday, January 17 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm (NOTE DAY CHANGE)
  • Monday, January 21 — Catechumen/New Member Class at 7:00pm
  • Wednesday, January 16 — Community Bible Study at 7:00pm
  • Thursday, January 17 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
  • January 22-26, 2019 — Fr. Hans attends Miami Diocese Winter Retreat in Atlanta
  • Wednesday, January 23 — CANCELLED Mens Bible Study at 7:00pm
  • Thursday, January 24 — CANCELLED St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
  • Monday, January 28 — Catechumen/New Member Class at 7:00pm
  • Wednesday, January 30 — Community Bible Study at 7:00pm
  • Thursday, January 31 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm

Wisdom From The Elders

Every divulgence of sin accompanied by sincere repentance makes the sinner closer, dearer and more precious to a spiritual father. This is commonly observed. The enemy only frightens one with thoughts contrary to this. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

For us sinners, the prayer of the publican is sufficient. Learn to pray from him. Oh, if only you would learn this! Do not suppose that this is so simple. There is a profound depth here. This prayer opens the abyss of the heart, which is seen to be filled with all kinds of ugly vermin…. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

Wherever I am, as soon as I raise the eyes of my heart in my affliction to God, the Lover of men immediately answers my faith and prayer, and the sorrow immediately departs. He is at every time and every hour near me, only I do not see it, but I feel it vividly in my heart, Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

The rule of life for a perfect person is to be in the image and likeness of God.

St. Clement of Alexandria Elder Sergei of Vanves

If one is to work on one’s fallow soul, one must first weed out all the thorns, its passions, and then plant virtues in their place. However, this process is an arduous one and requires a strong will and great patience. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

Remember in Your Prayers

Athanasia
Alexandra
Constantina
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Tim
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Helen (Rogers)
Doug Spencer
Kathy Spencer
Kathy D
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
Eva K.
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
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
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

Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.
O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to Titus. (2:11-15; 3:4-7)

My son Titus, the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world; awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for Himself a people of His own who are zealous for good deeds. Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Gospel

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

At that time, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by Thee, and Thou dost come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church

St. Peter Newsletter December 18, 2018

Sunday before the Nativity of Christ (The Genealogy)

Ten Martyrs of Crete; New-martyr Nicholas; Venerable Nahum of Ochrid

The Genealogy of Christ According to Luke

The Geneology of Christ

The genealogies in the gospels of Saints Matthew and Luke are made to and from Joseph. This is not to give the impression that Jesus came from Joseph’s seed. Both gospels are absolutely clear on this point. Jesus is born from the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. The point is rather that Joseph is Jesus’ father according to the law, and it is from the father that one’s lawful descent is to be traced. Jesus’ legal father is “Joseph, son of David,” the legal husband of Mary (Mt 1:20).

One other important point is made in listing the human generations which led to the birth of Jesus. This is the fact that God is faithful to His promises even though His chosen people are often not faithful. Among the people from whom Jesus came are both sinners and heathens. In a word, Jesus comes not only from the righteous and holy, but from the wicked and sinful. And He comes not only from Jews, but from Gentiles. The names of the four women specifically mentioned in St. Matthew’s list— Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba)— were noted, not to say notorious, Gentiles, including one of David’s own wives, the mother of Solomon. The point to be seen here is one beautifully made in an early Christian hymn quoted in the Bible in the second letter to Timothy:

If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him;

If we endure, we shall also reign with Him;

If we deny Him, He also will deny us;

If we are faithless, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny Himself. (2 Tim 2:11-13)

This is the wonderful witness of the genealogies of Jesus: If we are faithless, the Lord God remains faithful— for he cannot deny Himself!

Source: Antiochian Archdiocese Website.

 

Missions Presentation in the Social Hall on Sunday, December 23, 2018

Dr. Cheryl Johnson (white jacket) and Cliff Tewis (blue shirt) working in Kenya

Dr. Cheryl Johnson (white jacket) and Cliff Tewis (blue shirt) working in Kenya

Dr. Cheryl Johnson from Annuciation GOC and Cliff Tewis, a pre-med student at Florida Atlantic University and a member of St. Peter’s went to Kenya this summer on a medical mission trip sponsored by Orthodox Christian Missions. You can learn more about their trip here.

On Sunday, December 23 they will offer a short presentation about their trip in the Social Hall following the Divine Liturgy.

Many of us know Dr. Cheryl and Cliff and we welcome their presentation and service to the Orthodox Church in Africa.

For photos of Cliff Tewis in Kenya visit the gallery on the St. Peter website.

 

Christmas Worship Schedule

Icon of the Nativity

  • Sunday December 23, 2018 — Missions Presentation by Dr. Cheryl Johnson and Cliff Tewis
  • Monday, December 24, 2018 — Nativity Royal Hours 9:00am.
  • Monday, December 24, 2018 — Nativity Divine Liturgy 6:00pm.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2018 — Synaxis of the Theotokos (at St. Paul’s) 9:30am.
  • Thursday, December 27, 2018 — St. Stephen the Martyr Divine Liturgy 6:30pm.
 

Please Help on Church Directory Updates

A lot of work has been done behind the scenes updating our record keeping, parish lists, and financial tracking.

One area that has been improved is record keeping of our members.

To bring everything up to date we need current information. Please fill in the form on the website, fill in a paper form at Church, or complete the stewardship form you will be receiving shortly.

You can fill in the form on the website here.

 

Our Stewardship to St. Peter’s: The Tree Must Bear Fruit

You will soon be receiving a letter asking for your Stewardship Support of St. Peter’s in 2019.

We are responsible to increase what God has given us. In the Parable of the Talents, the master gave his servants talents that they are expected to nurture and grow. This is a responsibility we cannot avoid.

The Church is both a place where the increase begins on the inside of us, and to which we much give some our increase. This too is a responsibility we must take on.

A contribution form will be included in the letter you receive. Our goal this year is $200,000. We must meet this goal to avoid using our reserves. If we spend our reserves, we will not be able to obtain a mortgage to buy or build when the time comes to do so (and it will come sooner than later).

All of us may have to squeeze a bit to meet this goal. But if give, the Church flourishes and that flourishing spills over into our lives as well and the lives of our families.

We must increase what we have been given by God.

 

St. Stephen the Proto-Martyr (First Martyr) Divine Liturgy on December 27 at 6:30pm

St. Stephen was a Jew living in the Hellenic provinces, related to the Apostle Paul and one of the first seven deacons ordained by the Apostles to serve the Church in Jerusalem (thus making him an Archdeacon). In the words of Asterias: St Stephen was “the starting point of the martyrs, the instructor of suffering for Christ, the foundation of righteous confession, since Stephen was the first to shed his blood for the Gospel.”

The Holy Spirit worked powerfully through his faith, enabling him to perform many miracles and always defeat those who would dispute with him. The Jews in their hatred of St. Stephen lied about him to the people, but St. Stephen with his face illumined reminded the people of the miracles God had worked through him and even rebuked the Jews for killing the innocent Christ.

The people were enraged by what they thought was blasphemy and ‘gnashed their teeth’ at Stephen. It was then that he saw his Christ in the heavens and declared it so. Hearing this, they took him outside the city and stoned him to death, with his kinsman Saul (later St. Paul) holding their coats while they did it. Afar off on a hill was the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian who witnessed this first martyrdom for the Son of God and prayed for him while he was being stoned. This occurred about a year after the first Pentecost.

Source: OrthodoxWiki.

Christmas Fast Continues

The Nativity Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ. That is the reason it is less strict than other fasting periods. The fast is divided into two periods. The 1st period is November 15th through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Similarly, fish, wine, and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays.

The 2nd period is December 20th through 24th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil only on Saturday and Sunday during this period.

Fasting always works in conjuction with prayer and giving alms (helping the poor, giving to worthy charities, etc.). Fasting helps us reorder the interior life, but the reordering does not occur with greater prayer and greater concern for the poor.

The reordering is a clarification — we end up seeing things more clearly, we get stronger in the fight against sin and temptation. The fast always ends on a great Feast Day of our Lord.

For a complete list, visit the Antiochian website or click on the image below:

 

Interfaith Charities Still Needs Soups

Support Interfaith Charities

Interfaith Charities, the local assembly of churches that helps the poor in our area, needs soups.

Publix is running a two for one on soups this week. Buy some and give double!

If you bring to the church, we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

 

Calendar At A Glance

  • Sunday December 23, 2018 — Missions Presentation by Dr. Cheryl Johnson and Cliff Tewis
  • Monday, December 24, 2018 — Nativity Royal Hours 9:00am.
  • Monday, December 24, 2018 — Nativity Divine Liturgy 6:00pm.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2018 — Synaxis of the Theotokos (at St. Paul’s) 9:30am.
  • Thursday, December 27, 2018 — St. Stephen the Martyr Divine Liturgy 6:30pm.

Wisdom From The Elders

Anger is by nature designed for waging war with the demons and for struggling with every kind of sinful pleasure. Therefore angels, arousing spiritual pleasure in us and giving us to taste its blessedness, incline us to direct our anger against the demons. But the demons, enticing us towards worldly lusts, make us use anger to fight with men, which is against nature, so that the mind, thus stupefied and darkened, should become a traitor to virtues. Abba Evagrius the Monk

Let this always be the aim of your conduct: to be courteous and respectful to all. Venerable Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Nineveh

Strive toward salvation, do not despair, do not grum­ble, do not offend anyone with a harsh word. Pray, and always try to keep before you the image of God. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

We should never say that nothing is important. On the contrary, everything is important. Even the smallest of our actions impacts our eternal salvation. Elder Sergei of Vanves

If one is to work on one’s fallow soul, one must first weed out all the thorns, its passions, and then plant virtues in their place. However, this process is an arduous one and requires a strong will and great patience. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

Remember in Your Prayers

Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Helen (Rogers)
Doug Spencer
Kathy Spencer
Kathy D
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
Eva K.
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
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
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 before the Nativity

Blessed are Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
For Thou art justified in all that Thou hast done for us.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (11:9-10, 32-40)

Brethren, by faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Gospel

For the Sunday before the Nativity: “The Genealogy”

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (1:1-25)

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, Who is called Christ.

So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ were fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called His Name Jesus.

St. Peter Orthodox Church

St. Peter Newsletter December 11, 2018

Sunday of the Forefathers (Ancestors) of Christ

Prophet Haggai; Theophania the Empress; Modestos, Archbishop of Jerusalem

The Ancestors of Christ

The Ancestors of Christ

Sermon on the Sunday of the Forefathers

By Fr. Thaddeus Hardenbrook

On the second Sunday before Nativity, the Gospel reading leaves off its progression based on Pentecost and aligns itself with the approaching Nativity. This is a sign for us; a message of urgency regarding what is about to happen. Worries, distractions, and cares must now be set aside for the sake of not missing out on the greatest of the Father’s gifts to us, which is His Son in human flesh. Every other mystical and sacred gift is secondary to the Incarnation.

We have been preparing for the feast by fasting. And now that we have moved past the midpoint of the fast, the pace quickens in anticipation of Christ’s birth. We commemorate the Holy Forefathers who were part of mankind’s preparation for the Messiah. Without them, there would be no God-man, no Christ, for prophecy foretold His birth from their lineage. Therefore their flesh, their prophecies, and their piety prepared the way for the coming of Christ.

Without the Incarnation, there is no salvation as we know it, there is no Cross, there is no Resurrection, there is no partaking in the divine energies of God and no deification. Even paradise and immortality submit to the mystical superiority of the Incarnation. For both paradise and immortality were given to man before the fall. Without the Incarnation, Paradise and eternal life only result in being perfectly and eternally joined to God as His servants.

But when the Father gives His Son to redeem mankind, you and me, redeemed from the curse of the Fall wherein God commanded that “surely you will die,” and His Son deifies human flesh and makes it a communicant with the Holy Trinity through Himself, the second Person of the Trinity, no longer are we called to be servants in His Kingdom, but adopted sons and daughters of God the Father.

“You who are led by the Spirit of God, you are sons of God . . . you have not received the spirit of bondage again but the Spirit of adoption.” (Rom. 8:14)

“Blessed be God, who has given us every spiritual blessing in heaven through Christ, foreordaining us to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself [the Father].” (Eph. 1:3)

In Great Vespers on Saturday, we praise the glorious men from before and during the Old Covenant Law. We honor Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Samson, Barak, Jephthah, Nathan, Eleazar, Josiah, Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha and all the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, “and all the rest,” especially Daniel and the three holy youths, Zachariah, John the Baptist, and all those who proclaimed Christ.

Likewise, we sing praises to the holy women who were made “strong in the days of old by the might of Your Strength, O Lord: Hannah, Judith, Deborah, Huldah, Jael, Esther, Sarah, Miriam, Rachel, Rebecca, and Ruth.”

Orthodox Christians never forget where we come from. We not only remember that we are from the dust of the earth, but we also remember those who have preceded us, and are joined to us, in piety, and in faith, and in the spiritual struggle. History is chronological, but the Kingdom of God is ever-present, and we commune with all the righteous who were before us and await us. As brothers and sisters in Christ, they are our forefathers too!

The days of preparation for receiving the Incarnation with joy and understanding are drawing to a close. We may come to church on the feast, but if we have not prepared our hearts, we will miss the fullness of what happens there. Everything of value in life is worthy of preparation. Attend services, pray, read, be charitable, love your neighbor, and give gifts of love and devotion.

Source: Pravmir.

 

Missions Presentation in the Social Hall on Sunday, December 23, 2018

Dr. Cheryl Johnson (white jacket) and Cliff Tewis (blue shirt) working in Kenya

Dr. Cheryl Johnson (white jacket) and Cliff Tewis (blue shirt) working in Kenya

Dr. Cheryl Johnson from Annuciation GOC and Cliff Tewis, a pre-med student at Florida Atlantic University and a member of St. Peter’s went to Kenya this summer on a medical mission trip sponsored by Orthodox Christian Missions. You can learn more about their trip here.

On Sunday, December 23 they will offer a short presentation about their trip in the Social Hall following the Divine Liturgy.

Many of us know Dr. Cheryl and Cliff and we welcome their presentation and service to the Orthodox Church in Africa.

For photos of Cliff Tewis in Kenya visit the gallery on the St. Peter website.

 

Christmas Worship Schedule

Icon of the Nativity

  • Sunday December 23, 2018 — Missions Presentation by Dr. Cheryl Johnson and Cliff Tewis
  • Monday, December 24, 2018 — Nativity Royal Hours 9:00am.
  • Monday, December 24, 2018 — Nativity Divine Liturgy 6:00pm.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2018 — Synaxis of the Theotokos (at St. Paul’s) 9:30am.
  • Thursday, December 27, 2018 — St. Stephen the Martyr Divine Liturgy 6:30pm.

St. Stephen the Proto-Martyr (First Martyr) Divine Liturgy on December 26 at 6:30pm

The Nativity of Christ

St. Stephen was a Jew living in the Hellenic provinces, related to the Apostle Paul and one of the first seven deacons ordained by the Apostles to serve the Church in Jerusalem (thus making him an Archdeacon). In the words of Asterias: St Stephen was “the starting point of the martyrs, the instructor of suffering for Christ, the foundation of righteous confession, since Stephen was the first to shed his blood for the Gospel.”

The Holy Spirit worked powerfully through his faith, enabling him to perform many miracles and always defeat those who would dispute with him. The Jews in their hatred of St. Stephen lied about him to the people, but St. Stephen with his face illumined reminded the people of the miracles God had worked through him and even rebuked the Jews for killing the innocent Christ.

The people were enraged by what they thought was blasphemy and ‘gnashed their teeth’ at Stephen. It was then that he saw his Christ in the heavens and declared it so. Hearing this, they took him outside the city and stoned him to death, with his kinsman Saul (later St. Paul) holding their coats while they did it. Afar off on a hill was the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian who witnessed this first martyrdom for the Son of God and prayed for him while he was being stoned. This occurred about a year after the first Pentecost.

Source: OrthodoxWiki.

Christmas Fast Continues

The Nativity Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ. That is the reason it is less strict than other fasting periods. The fast is divided into two periods. The 1st period is November 15th through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Similarly, fish, wine, and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays.

The 2nd period is December 20th through 24th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil only on Saturday and Sunday during this period.

Fasting always works in conjuction with prayer and giving alms (helping the poor, giving to worthy charities, etc.). Fasting helps us reorder the interior life, but the reordering does not occur with greater prayer and greater concern for the poor.

The reordering is a clarification — we end up seeing things more clearly, we get stronger in the fight against sin and temptation. The fast always ends on a great Feast Day of our Lord.

For a complete list, visit the Antiochian website or click on the image below:

 

Interfaith Charities Still Needs Soups

Support Interfaith Charities

Interfaith Charities, the local assembly of churches that helps the poor in our area, needs soups.

Publix is running a two for one on soups this week. Buy some and give double!

If you bring to the church, we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

 

Calendar At A Glance

  • Sunday December 23, 2018 — Missions Presentation by Dr. Cheryl Johnson and Cliff Tewis
  • Monday, December 24, 2018 — Nativity Royal Hours 9:00am.
  • Monday, December 24, 2018 — Nativity Divine Liturgy 6:00pm.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2018 — Synaxis of the Theotokos (at St. Paul’s) 9:30am.
  • Thursday, December 27, 2018 — St. Stephen the Martyr Divine Liturgy 6:30pm.

Wisdom From The Elders

True fasting lies is rejecting evil, holding one’s tongue, suppressing one’s hatred, and banishing one’s lust, evil words, lying, and betrayal of vows. St. Basil the Great

Do not spare yourself, but pray earnestly, even if you have been toiling all day. Do not be negligent in holy prayer; say it to God unto the end from your whole heart, for it is a duty you owe to God. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

In the first place, do not talk yourself when you are agitated, in malice. In the second place, forgive those who are hot tempered and irritated, when they pour forth abuse and reproaches, either just or unjust. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Everything we do, our every objective, must be undertaken for the sake of… purity of heart… we must practice the reading of the Scripture, together with all the other virtuous activities… to hold our hearts free of the harm of every dangerous passion and in order to rise step by step to the high point of love. St. John Cassian

Our soul is simple, as the image and likeness of God; therefore, when it is well-regulated and is living in accordance with the will of God, then it is peaceful, easy, and joyous; whilst, on the contrary, when it consents to sin, commits sin, or is forced into sin by the Enemy, then it becomes disturbed, darkened, and heavy. Thus, always do the will of God, and you will be simple and quiet; but if you sin you will have no peace. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Remember in Your Prayers

Helen (Rogers)
Doug Spencer
Kathy Spencer
Kathy D
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
Eva K.
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
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
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 Holy Forefathers

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

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians. (3:4-11)

Brethren, when Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

Gospel

For the Holy Forefathers

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (14:16-24)

The Lord spoke this parable: “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for all is now ready.’ But, one by one, they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’

So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church

St. Peter Newsletter December 4, 2018






Conception of the Theotokos by Righteous Anna

Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem

The Conception of the Theotokos by Saint Anna is commemorated by the Orthodox Church on December 9. St. Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary, was the youngest daughter of the priest Nathan from Bethlehem, descended from the tribe of Levi. She married St. Joachim, who was a native of Galilee.

For many years, St. Anna was childless and the couple suffered much reproach for her barrenness. When they were in Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God, the High Priest, Issachar, upbraided Joachim, “You are not worthy to offer sacrifice with those childless hands.” Both spouses gave themselves to fervent prayer, and the Archangel Gabriel announced to them separately that they would be the parents of a daughter who would bring blessings to the whole human race.

The Orthodox Church does not accept the teaching of the Immaculate Conception, but has also always believed that the Virgin Mary was, from her conception, filled with every Grace of the Holy Spirit in view of her calling as the Mother of Christ our God.

The Church also celebrates other saints who were sanctified in the womb of their mothers. St John the Baptist is one example; St Nicholas the Wonderworker is another.

Source: OrthodoxWiki.

 

Bp. Nicholas Visits St. Paul’s on December 5 (His name day)

St. Nicholas

Bishop Nicholas will be making a pastoral visit to the our area on Tuesday, December 5 at St. Paul Orthodox Church (get map).

Schedule:

  • 6:00pm — Arrival of His Grace followed by Great Vespers
  • 7:00PM — The Story of St. Nicholas followed by light refreshments.

It is important we attend to show respect for our Bishop and strengthen our bonds with the Parishioners of St. Paul’s.

More import is that our attendance keeps us within the traditions of our Orthodox faith in a society that is becoming increasingly de-Christianized.

NOTE DATE CHANGE – St. Nicholas Liturgy and Children’s Celebration on Wednesday, December 6, 2018 starting at 6:00pm

St. Nicholas

The date of the program has been moved to December 6, 2018. Bp. Nicholas will be visiting St. Paul’s the day before on December 5, 2018.

The day begins at 6:00pm with the program immediately following.

The kids love it!

Schedule:

  • 6:00pm — Divine Liturgy
  • 7:15pm — Program begins

Parents: Bring you children!

Missions Presentation in the Social Hall on Sunday, December 23, 2018

Dr. Cheryl Johnson (white jacket) and Cliff Tewis (blue shirt) working in Kenya

Dr. Cheryl Johnson (white jacket) and Cliff Tewis (blue shirt) working in Kenya

Dr. Cheryl Johnson from Annuciation GOC and Cliff Tewis, a pre-med student at Florida Atlantic University and a member of St. Peter’s went to Kenya this summer on a medical mission trip sponsored by Orthodox Christian Missions. You can learn more about their trip here.

On Sunday, December 23 they will offer a short presentation about their trip in the Social Hall following the Divine Liturgy.

Many of us know Dr. Cheryl and Cliff and we welcome their presentation and service to the Orthodox Church in Africa.

For photos of Cliff Tewis in Kenya visit the gallery on the St. Peter website.

Christmas Fast Continues

The Nativity Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ. That is the reason it is less strict than other fasting periods. The fast is divided into two periods. The 1st period is November 15th through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Similarly, fish, wine, and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays.

The 2nd period is December 20th through 24th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil only on Saturday and Sunday during this period.

Fasting always works in conjuction with prayer and giving alms (helping the poor, giving to worthy charities, etc.). Fasting helps us reorder the interior life, but the reordering does not occur with greater prayer and greater concern for the poor.

The reordering is a clarification — we end up seeing things more clearly, we get stronger in the fight against sin and temptation. The fast always ends on a great Feast Day of our Lord.

For a complete list, visit the Antiochian website or click on the image below:

 

Interfaith Charities Needs Soups

Interfaith Charities, the local assembly of churches that helps the poor in our area, needs soups.

Publix is running a two for one on soups this week. Buy some and give double!

If you bring to the church, we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

 

Calendar At A Glance

  • Tuesday December 5, 2018 — Bp. Nicholas Pastoral Visit at St. Paul’s 6:00pm.
  • Wednesday December 6, 2018 — St. Nicholas Celebration. 6:00pm.
  • Sunday December 23, 2018 — Missions Presentation by Dr. Cheryl Johnson and Cliff Tewis

Wisdom From The Elders

The gardener may reflect with great edification on the Lord’s saying “every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matt. 7:19) and try to make himself a tree that bears good fruit. It is salvific also for him to reflect on the barren fig tree (Matt. 21:19-20) and to try to become fruitful. Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg

First the memory brings some passion-free thought into the intellect.By its lingering there, passion is aroused. When the passion is noteradicated, it persuades the intellect to assent to it. Once the assentis given, the actual sin is then committed. St. Maximos the Confessor

The cross is not only a place of divine justice; it is also a place for love to the point of death. Metropolitan Saba(Esber)

For, if someone does not cut out his bad habits when he is young, then it will be very difficult later in life when the will is weakened. If a person has no willpower, he can do nothing. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

When malice against anyone is roused in your heart, then believe with your whole heart that it is the work of the Devil working in your heart: hate him and his brood, and malice will leave you. (Do not acknowledge it as anything of your own, and do not sympathise with it.) This is from experience. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Remember in Your Prayers

Helen (Rogers)
Doug Spencer
Kathy Spencer
Kathy D
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
Eva K.
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy

Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Baby Brynn L.
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
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
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 Conception of the Theotokos by Righteous Anna

God is wondrous in His saints.
Bless God in the congregations.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (4:22-27)

Brethren, Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise. Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married.”

Gospel

For the Tenth Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (13:10-17)

At that time, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”

Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrite! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As Jesus said this, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by Him.

St. Peter Orthodox Church


St. Peter Newsletter November 27, 2018

The Fourteenth Sunday of Luke

The Holy Prophet Habakkuk; Martyr Habib the New; Martyr Myrope of Chios; Venerable John, Heraclemon, Theophilos and Andrew of Egypt; Martyr Stephen Urosh, the Serbian king; Venerable Ioannikios of Devitch

The Prophet Habbakuk

The Prophet Habbakuk

Who was the Prophet Habbakuk?

This Prophet, whose name means “loving embrace,” is eighth in order of the minor Prophets. His homeland and tribe are not recorded in the Divine Scriptures; according to some, he was of the tribe of Symeon. He prophesied in the years of Joachim, who is also called Jechonias, before the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish People, which took place 599 years before Christ.

When Nabuchodonosor came to take the Israelites captive, Habakkuk fled to Ostrakine, and after Jerusalem was destroyed and the Chaldeans departed, Habakkuk returned and cultivated his field. Once he made some pottage and was about to take it to the reapers in the field. An Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and carried him with the pottage to Babylon to feed Daniel in the lions’ den, then brought him back to Judea (Bel and the Dragon, 33-39): His book of prophecy is divided into three chapters; the third chapter is also used as the Fourth Ode of the Psalter.

His holy relics were found in Palestine during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Great, through a revelation to Zebennus, Bishop of Eleutheropolis (Sozomen, Eccl. Hist., Book VII, 29).

Read the complete biography on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

 

Bp. Nicholas Visits St. Paul’s on December 5 (His name day)

St. Nicholas

Bishop Nicholas will be making a pastoral visit to the our area on Tuesday, December 5 at St. Paul Orthodox Church (get map).

Schedule:

  • 6:00pm — Arrival of His Grace followed by Great Vespers
  • 7:00PM — The Story of St. Nicholas followed by light refreshments.

It is important we attend to show respect for our Bishop and strengthen our bonds with the Parishioners of St. Paul’s.

More import is that our attendance keeps us within the traditions of our Orthodox faith in a society that is becoming increasingly de-Christianized.

NOTE DATE CHANGE – St. Nicholas Liturgy and Children’s Celebration on Wednesday, December 6, 2018 starting at 6:00pm

The date of the program has been moved to December 6, 2018. Bp. Nicholas will be visiting St. Paul’s the day before on December 5, 2018.

The kids love it!

Schedule:

  • 6:00pm — Divine Liturgy
  • 7:15pm — Program begins

Parents: Bring you children!

Christmas Fast Continues

The Nativity Fast is one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ. That is the reason it is less strict than other fasting periods. The fast is divided into two periods. The 1st period is November 15th through December 19th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Similarly, fish, wine, and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays.

The 2nd period is December 20th through 24th when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, fish, wine, and oil) is observed. There is dispensation given for wine and oil only on Saturday and Sunday during this period.

Fasting always works in conjuction with prayer and giving alms (helping the poor, giving to worthy charities, etc.). Fasting helps us reorder the interior life, but the reordering does not occur with greater prayer and greater concern for the poor.

The reordering is a clarification — we end up seeing things more clearly, we get stronger in the fight against sin and temptation. The fast always ends on a great Feast Day of our Lord.

For a complete list, visit the Antiochian website or click on the image below:

 

Toys for Tots Drive Until Next Sunday December 2, 2018

Give to Toys for Tots

Let’s make our Second Annual Toys for Tots Drive the best one yet!

Please bring new, unwrapped toys to Church to make Christmas brighter for kids who otherwise would have none.

A Toys for Tots contribution box will be in the Social Hall until December 2, 2018.

Every child deserves a Christmas!

 

Interfaith Charities Needs Soups

Interfaith Charities, the local assembly of churches that helps the poor in our area, needs soups.

Publix is running a two for one on soups this week. Buy some and give double!

If you bring to the church, we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

 

Calendar At A Glance

  • Thursday, November 15 — Christmas Fast Begins
  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018 — 6:30pm Entrance of the Theotokos Divine Liturgy
  • Tuesday December 5, 2018 — Bp. Nicholas Pastoral Visit at St. Paul’s 6:00pm.
  • Wednesday December 6, 2018 — St. Nicholas Celebration. 6:00pm.

Wisdom From The Elders

The Devil also manifests his presence in our hearts by unusually violent irritation. We sometimes become so sick with our own self-love that we cannot even endure the slightest contradiction, any spiritual or material obstacles; cannot bear a single, rough, harsh word. But then is the very time for endurance when the waters of malice and impatience reach the depths of our souls. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

When it is a matter of the prescribed times of fasting, such as Wednesdays, Fridays, and the other Lenten seasons, then we should, because it is a confession of faith. The other ascetic fasts, that is those which are undertaken for the love of Christ or for our prayer of petition to be heard, those should be practised in secret. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

God in His goodness has arranged things perfectly, so that with our gifts, we can help each other, and with our faults, we can be humbled by each other. For every person has some gifts; but everyone also has some faults which one must struggle to overcome. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

It is a good thing to believe in Christ, because without faith in Christ it is impossible for anyone to be saved; but one must also be instructed in the word of truth and understand it.

It is a good thing to be instructed in the word of truth, and to understand it is essential; but one must also receive Baptism in the name of the Holy and Life-giving Trinity, for the bringing to life of the soul.

It is a good thing to receive Baptism and through it a new spiritual life; but it is necessary that this mystical life, or this mental enlightenment in the spirit, also should be consciously felt.

It is a good thing to receive with feeling the mental enlightenment in the spirit; but one must manifest also the works of light.

It is a good thing to do the works of light; but one must also be clothed in the humility and meekness of Christ for perfect likeness to Christ.

He who attains this and becomes meek and humble of heart, as if these were his natural dispositions, will unfailingly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and into the joy of His Lord. St. Symeon the New Theologian

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Conqueror of death, and, consequently, of the death of our departed ones. Monk Mitrophan

Remember in Your Prayers

Helen (Rogers)
Doug Spencer
Kathy Spencer
Kathy D
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
Eva K.
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy

Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Baby Brynn L.
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
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
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 Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

The Lord is my strength and my song.
With chastisement hath the Lord chastened me.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians. (6:10-17)

Brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Gospel

For the Fourteenth Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (18:35-43)

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.

St. Peter Orthodox Church