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684 West College St. Sun City, United States America, 064781.

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St. Peter News August 24, 2021

Beheading of the Forerunner and Baptist John

Venerable Theodora of Thessalonica; Theopistis and Joseph the Sanctified of Samaka

Beheading of St. John Baptist

Beheading of John the Baptist

The Beheading of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John — Saturday August 29, 2020 at 9:30am

The Beheading of the Prophet, Forerunner of the Lord, John the Baptist: The Evangelists Matthew (Mt.14:1-12) and Mark (Mark 6:14-29) provide accounts about the martyric end of John the Baptist in the year 32 after the Birth of Christ.

Following the Baptism of the Lord, Saint John the Baptist was locked up in prison by Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch (ruler of one fourth of the Holy Land) and governor of Galilee. (After the death of king Herod the Great, the Romans divided the territory of Palestine into four parts, and put a governor in charge of each part. Herod Antipas received Galilee from the emperor Augustus).

The prophet of God John openly denounced Herod for having left his lawful wife, the daughter of the Arabian king Aretas, and then instead cohabiting with Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip (Luke 3:19-20). On his birthday, Herod made a feast for dignitaries, the elders and a thousand chief citizens. Salome, the daughter of Herod, danced before the guests and charmed Herod. In gratitude to the girl, he swore to give her whatever she would ask, up to half his kingdom.

The vile girl on the advice of her wicked mother Herodias asked that she be given the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Herod became apprehensive, for he feared the wrath of God for the murder of a prophet, whom earlier he had heeded. He also feared the people, who loved the holy Forerunner. But because of the guests and his careless oath, he gave orders to cut off the head of Saint John and to give it to Salome.

We will celebrate the Liturgy for St. Phanourios on Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 9:30am.

Read the entire history on the Orthodox Church in America website.


Services This Week

  • Sun Aug 29 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Aug 16 – Sep 1 — Fr. Hans on Vacation

Please welcome Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis

Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis will be substituting for Fr. Hans while he is on vacation. Fr. Emmanuel has been a priest for over 30 years and is with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He is the founder of Orthodox Witness.

Biography summary

Fr. Emmanuel and Presbytera Barbara

Fr. Emmanuel and Presbytera Barbara

Fr. Emmanuel was born in Chania, Crete, Greece in 1941. At age 18, he left Greece to study in Italy. In the middle of his second year, he converted to Roman Catholicism, joined the Society of Saint Paul in Rome, and prepared to become a Roman Catholic priest-monk. However, he returned to the Orthodox Church, and years later became an Orthodox priest. Read the full story here.


  1. Licenza – International Institute of St. Paul, Rome, Italy, 1965
  2. BA – Classics – Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, 1972
  3. Graduate level studies in Classics – the University of Chicago, IL, 1973
  4. M.Div. – Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA, 1989


Before being received by ROCOR, Fr. Emmanuel served in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, in parishes in Huntington, West Virginia, Rocky River, Ohio, Swansea, Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, Columbia, Missouri and Tarpon Springs, Florida.

He is the author of two books, The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy and Jesus: Fallen? The Human Nature of Christ Examined From an Eastern Orthodox Perspective, both published by Orthodox Witness.

Fr. Emmanuel lives in Palm Harbor, Florida with his Presbytera (Barbara) and his son (Anthony), and has two daughters and three grandchilden.

For pastoral emergencies while Fr. Hans is away, please contact Fr. Paul Girgis at 509-845-4540.


Diocese of Miami (DOMSE) Fall Retreat

Interested in attending? See Fr. Hans.


Monthly Fellowship Luncheons Are Back!

Community Luncchone

Monthly Fellowship Luncheons with be held on the SECOND THURSDAY of every month at 12:00pm noon starting on Thursday, September 9, 2021.


  • Pastichio
  • salad
  • bread and butter
  • coffee and dessert
  • You must sign up by Sunday, September 5th so that we know how many people to prepare for. The Luncheons are sponsored by Barbara and Costa Dionysopoulos. A small donation of $10 per person is requested to cover the cost of the meal. All additional proceeds will be donated to the building fund. Bon Appetito…Kalee Oraxie!
  • The sign-up sheet will be in the Social Hall.
  • Bon Appetito…Kalee Oraxie!

But Wait! There’s More! Announcing St. Peter’s “Kafenio” (Coffee Cafe)!

Community Kafenio

Join us for some Greek coffee and dessert beginning on Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 3:00pm-5:00pm. The Kafenio is open on the fourth Thursday of every month.

Barbara and Costa Dionysopoulos invite you to attend our first ever “Kafenio” for some Greek coffee, “Parea” (company) and sweets.

Once again, we ask that you to SIGN UP on or before Sunday, September 19th so that we knowhow many people to prepare for. A small donation is requested to cover the cost of coffee and desserts. All additional proceeds will be donated to the building fund.

If you would like to help make Greek Coffee or donate a dessert to the Kafenio as well, please call Barbara Dionysopoulos ahead of time at 239-826-1655 so that she can coordinate it with what will hopefully be a monthly event.


Cafe of Life Ministry Update

Cafe of Life

God has given us the greatest sacrifice — his only Son. In doing so, he left us with a true example of what it means to give. He asks us to sacrifice as an act of worship before Him. And, when we obey He will bless us. So please be especially generous and mail or give your tax deductible donations to Father Hans.

Thank you, God bless and IC XC NI KA!

St. Peter Orthodox Church

Pledge & Income Report – July 2021

Donations received in July: $17,468.
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $22,760.21.
We are behind by $5,292.

These numbers reflect the operating costs of the the Hickory Drive property.

Please note:Summer months are always lean and in July we fell behind by $5,292. Please remember to send in your pledge so we can make up the deficit and keep St. Peter’s on a secure financial footing.

Don't forget your pledge!

St. Peter Orthodox Church
7470 Hickory Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33967


You can also donate online:

Social Hall All Stars

The Social Hall All Stars are the men and women that make social hall happen. Thank you All Stars!

August 1 to August 29

  1. Olga Bilych
  2. Pavlo Bilych
  3. Sandy Krotov
  4. Nader Sahawneh

Procedures for Hospitality

New procedures for coffee hour
  1. On most Sundays we will serve lighter refreshments like coffee, sweets, hummus, olives, feta, pita and similar items. Please continue bringing these items. Even though we have a range (unlike our former facility), we appreciate items that are “ready to be served.”
  2. Please do not donate coffee. We have a space age coffee brewer that we aquired at no cost if we buy our coffee from one supplier. If you bring in coffee, we can’t use it.
  3. We cannot continue preparing meals for Memorials, Name Days, Anniversaries, and other celebrations. We don’t have the appliances or manpower to do it well. We do, however, have the name of two catering companies that can prepare and deliver the food if you would like to sponsor a celebration. Please call Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 for details and to make arrangements.
  4. If you would like to bring in your own prepared food, please contact Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 by the Friday before the upcoming Sunday. That way we know not to prepare any food for Sunday.

The Safest Way to Come to Church

US 41 is a busy highway and the intersection at Hickory Drive does not have a stop light. We recommend turning on Sanibel Boulevard and following Coconut Road instead.

Driving Safely

Calendar At A Glance

Calendar also available on the St. Peter website.


  • Sun Aug 29 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Aug 16 – Sep 1 — Fr. Hans on Vacation


  • Sun Sep 05 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Sep 06 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Sep 08 — Divine Liturgy Nativity of the Theotokos LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Sep 09 — St. Peter Community Fellowship Luncheon
  • Fri Sep 10 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Sep 12 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Sep 14 — Divine Liturgy Elevation of the Holy Cross LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Sep 17 – Sun Sep 19 — DOMSE Fall Retreat at Franklin, TN
  • Sun Sep 19 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Sep 21 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Sep 23 — Divine Liturgy Conception of St. John the Baptist 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Sep 23 — St. Peter Kafenio (Coffee Cafe)
  • Fri Sept 24 – Sat Sept 25 — Fr. Hans out of town
  • Sun Sep 26 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Sep 29 — Divine Liturgy St. Kyriakos the Anchorite 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Oct 01 — Divine Liturgy Apostle Ananias Bishop of Damascus 9:30am LIVE STREAM

Wisdom From The Elders

Strive as well as you can to enter deeply with the heart into the church reading and singing and to imprint these on the tablets of the heart. Abbot Nazarius of Valaam

[On Protestants] They say that by praying to the saints we worship idols. This is untrue. We do not pray to any saint as we pray to God, we only ask his prayers for ourselves. Is there a shadow of idolatry in this? Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

If you wish to be ‘in the Lord’, do not just seem to be a monk, and good, and gentle, and always at one with God; decide to be such a person in truth. With all your strength pursue the virtue of attentiveness — that guard and watch of the intellect, that perfect stillness of heart and blessed state of the soul when free from images, which is all too rarely found in man. St. Hesychius the Theologian of Jerusalem, disciple of St. Gregory the Theologian

Self-will can be gradually overcome, so that we begin more fully to live that reality of identity in Christ which His own prayer proclaims: that we cry, “Our Father,” as, by na­ ture, only His Son can do. This is what it means for man to live Life in Christ. He is borne up in Christ’s life, through union with Him made a child of the Father. The human person is made a son, a daughter, of the Lord. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

He does not always immediately answer our prayers. Sometimes he does not answer them at all, but instead, in His wisdom and goodness, grants us something that we did not ask for, but which in our situation is more beneficial for the salvation of our souls. Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg

Men of the world love the world because they have not yet discovered its bitterness. They are still blind in soul and do not see what is hiding behind this fleeting joy. Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Remember in Your Prayers

List has been updated. If you want some names restored, please mention it to Fr. Hans.

  • Names will remain on the list for two months.
  • If you would like to keep them on longer please mention it to Fr. Hans. We will keep the names on the list for as long as the person needs prayers.
  • Names will include the person who requested the prayers and the month the name will be removed.
  • The permanent list includes friends and members of St. Peter’s and others including shut-ins.

Were names dropped that should have remained? Please mention it to Fr. Hans. He will add them back.

Updated June 13 / Resets August

Current Prayer List

Eleni (Tsikitas 11/21)
Maggie (Jacobse 10/21)
Walt (Dusckas 10/21)
A. L (Duskas 10/21)
M. R. (Duskas 10/21)
Jeff (Duskas 10/21)
Georgia D. (Repya 10/21)
Colleen R. (Repya 10/21)
Debbie (Breitenbach 9/21)
Anne (Breitenbach 9/21)
Patricia (Tsikita 9/21)
Robert (Tewis 9/21)
Lydia (Irena 9/21)
Lee (Irena 9/21)
Demetrios (Karras 8/21)

Permanent Prayer List

Patricia (Evanoff)
Gabriel (Mankus)
Baby Dani (Repya)
Maria and her unborn child Iakovos (Diveris)
Sophia (D. Constantine)
Herman (Kerr)
Innocent (Kerr)
Nicholas (Kerr)
Paola (Jacobse)
Gregory (Yankopolos)
Soterios (Ninos)
Pauline (Poulos)
Sergio (Kazakos)
Rae (Semeretis)
Fran (Hansen)
Nina (Krotov)
Franklin (Pyrrson)
George (Chionis)
Stamatia (Evelyn)
Demetrios (Kuchera)
Theodosios (Palis)
Theodora (Webb)
Helen (Rogers)
Robert (Smith)
Robert (Jarvis)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
James (Hord)
Ann (Rellis)
Vassiliki (Kontinos)
Vassiliki (Morekeas)

Founders, Members, and Benefactors Departed this Life

John (Hansen)
Anatoly (Kurdsjuk)
Thareni (Brooks)
Milan Evanoff
Jean (Sam)
Eleni (Pearson)
Richard (Pearson)
Fr. Stephanos (Shagoury)
Panagiota (Bea Chionis)
Anthony (Mourgis)
Anthony (Mankus)
Constantine (Houpis)
Constantine (Joseph)
Mary (Jarvis)
Panagiota Margarita (Palis)
Maria (Ninos)
John (Katsigianopoulos)
George (Chionis)
Gregory (Pappas)
Angela (Coran K)

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


For the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
Hearken unto my voice, O God.

The Reading from the Acts of the Holy Apostles. (13:25-33)

In those days, as John was fulfilling his course, he said, “Who do you suppose that I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me the shoes of whose feet I am not worthy to unloose.” Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you is the word of this salvation sent forth. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read on every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him. And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet they asked Pilate that He should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all the things that were written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days He was seen by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now His witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that He raised up Jesus again.


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (6:14-30)

At that time, Jesus’ Name had become known, and King Herod heard of it. Some said,
“John the Baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in Him.”
But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.”

But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly.

But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. For when Herodias’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptizer.” And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. The Apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.

St. Peter Orthodox Church