St. Peter Epistle — April 30, 2013

Jeremiah Tewis Update

jeremiah-tewisJeremiah is getting better. He is undergoing extensive therapy at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a facility that specializes in injuries of the type Jeremiah suffered. He will be in Atlanta for at least a month and perhaps longer. I speak to him on the phone almost daily.

Therapy is intensive and rigorous but he is in good hands. However, we have to remain vigilant in our prayers for him because he still has a way to go. I can’t stress this enough. Healing takes time and our Lord is involved in the process. We pray too that the doctors and other caregivers receive the wisdom to know how to administer the therapy in the best possible ways.

Another side of Jeremiah’s healing also involves Elder Paisios, a soon to be saint who lived in Greece and died in in 1994. Elder Paisios is known to intervene in brain related injuries. He helps young people in particular and is known in Greece for working miracle healings, much like St. Nektarios does or St. John Maximovitch (a Russian Orthodox Saint) does here in America. He came to the aid of Jeremiah through the prayers of many, including a friend in Greece who Jeremiah met some years back. I will have more on this down the road.

Jeremiah can’t receive visitors yet but you can send him a card or note at: Dylan Jeremiah Tewis, Shepherd Center, 2045 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30309.

Our First Palm Sunday Brunch a Huge Success

Savannah Katirina, Harry, Katina, Bettina. (Harry James got lost!)

Savannah Katirina, Harry, Katina, Bettina. (Harry James got lost!)

Our Parish priest and council would like to send a BIG thank you to the Katina Protopapadakis and Zafiris family. They provided a wonderful fish dinner for our Palm Sunday service. Katina and her family donated and cooked all the food and it was good!

The brunch was a fund raiser for the Jeremiah Tewis family to help them with costs for Jeremiah’s medical treatment. We raised $3,050 and hopefully counting. The generosity of the St. Peter congregation and our sister parish St. Paul’s is helping the Tewis family and that is the good and right thing to do.

Thank you again Katina, Harry and Bettina and Harry James and Savannah Katarina!

There were many in the parish that provided additional food and assistance. It was wonderful to see the love and cooperation that was evident through out the affair. We couldn’t have pulled this off without all who helped.

Pictures of the Brunch will be available soon on the parish website.

Thank you brothers and sisters in Christ,

Mary Copeland and Mary Jarvis
Palm Sunday Brunch Captains

Holy Week and Pascha

extreme-humility-150x191Holy Week is a journey. Each day has a different meaning that prepares us for Pascha (Passover or Easter in English) when Christ enters death and defeats it. You can review a synopsis of the Holy Week Services at Journey Through Holy Week on the Antiochian website.

Try to attend all the services that you can. Read what St. Theophan the Recluse (1815-1894) wrote about them:

Church services, that is, all the daily services, together with the entire arrangement of the church’s icons, candles, censing, singing, chanting, movements of the clergy, as well as the services for various needs; then services in the home, also using ecclesiastical objects such as sanctified icons, holy oil, candles, holy water, the Cross, and incense — all of these holy things together acting upon all the senses — sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste — are the cloths that wipe clean the senses of the deadened soul. They are strongest and only reliable way to do it.

The soul becomes deadened by the spirit of the world, and possessed by sin that lives in the world. The entire structure of our Church services, with their tone, meaning, power of faith, and especially the grace concealed with them, have an invincible power to drive away the spirit of the world. In freeing the soul from the world’s onerous influence, it allows the soul to breathe freely and to taste the sweetness of spiritual freedom.

Walking into church we walk completely into a completely different world, are influenced by it, and change according to it. The same thing happens when we surround ourselves with holy objects. Frequent impressions of the spiritual world more effectively penetrate within and more quickly bring about a transformation of the heart.

You can find the complete schedule of Holy Week services on the parish website or download it here.

Agape Vespers to be held at St. Peter’s on Sunday, May 5 at Holiday Inn.

resurrection-150x219Although we will celebrate the Paschal Liturgy (Easter Liturgy, the Resurrection Service) with our sister parish St. Paul’s, we will return to celebrate the Agape Vespers at the Holiday Inn starting at 11am.

This is a very short service (by Orthodox standards anyway), about 45 minutes. We read the gospel in different languages to represent the gospel going into all the world. We will need people who know different languages to read the gospel that day.

Fr. Hans will do Greek and Dutch. If any parishioner knows a different language in which the gospel can be read, please notify Fr. Hans this week.

Easter Pot-Luck at Bob and Mary Jarvis’ home on Sunday, May 5

potluckWe celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by getting together and breaking the fast together. This year Mary and Bob Jarvis are holding the celebration at their home (get directions) starting at 2pm on Sunday, May 5.

Everyone is invited, bring something to share, and be sure to bring a chair (a lawn chair is fine). Our pot lucks are always a great time of fellowship and the food is always great and there is always enough to go around.

Many, many thanks to Bob and Mary for hosting this.

Students at Holy Cross Seminary Sing at Boston Memorial

A video of the Holy Cross Seminary students singing at the Memorial for the victims of the Boston bombings.

Fr. Hans Interviewed on Orthodox Christian Network

american-flagI was recently interviewed by Bill Hinkle, the former minority whip for the Washington State Senate and a convert to Orthodox Christianity, about religion and culture a few weeks back. I got to know Bill after he used some material I wrote in a debate over legislation and a friendship developed out of that.

You can listen here to Our Life in Christ and America.

Sunday Scripture Readings – Great and Holy Pascha

Epistle

Acts: 1:1-8

Byzantine Bible CoverThis is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad therein.

The Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles

In the first book, O Theophilos, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by any proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wa it for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”

Gospel

John 1:1-17 – Pascha

The Reading of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.

He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'”)

And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.