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St. Peter News March 19, 2024

First Sunday of Great Lent
The Sunday of Orthodoxy

The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil

Venerable Zachariah the recluse and Artemon, bishop of Seleucia

The Sunday of Orthodoxy

The Sunday of Orthodoxy

The Sunday of Orthodoxy is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated as the “Triumph of Orthodoxy.”

The Seventh Ecumenical Council dealt predominantly with the controversy regarding icons and their place in Orthodox worship. It was convened in Nicaea in 787 by Empress Irene at the request of Tarasios, Patriarch of Constantinople. The Council was attended by 367 bishops.

Almost a century before this, the iconoclastic controversy had once more shaken the foundations of both Church and State in the Byzantine empire. Excessive religious respect and the ascribed miracles to icons by some members of society, approached the point of worship (due only to God) and idolatry. This instigated excesses at the other extreme by which icons were completely taken out of the liturgical life of the Church by the Iconoclasts. The Iconophiles, on the other-hand, believed that icons served to preserve the doctrinal teachings of the Church; they considered icons to be man’s dynamic way of expressing the divine through art and beauty.

An Endemousa (Regional) Synod was called in Constantinople in 843. Under Empress Theodora. The veneration of icons was solemnly proclaimed at the Hagia Sophia Cathedral. The Empress, her son Michael III, Patriarch Methodios, and monks and clergy came in procession and restored the icons in their rightful place. The day was called “Triumph of Orthodoxy.” Since that time, this event is commemorated yearly with a special service on the first Sunday of Lent, the “Sunday of Orthodoxy”.

Read more on the Greek Orthodox website.


Procession With Icons Following the Divine Liturgy

We will hold the procession of icons following the Divine Liturgy and read the Decree of the Seventh Ecumenical Council that restored the proper veneration of icons. Children should bring their icons from home to partake in the procession.


Services and Events This Week

  • SUN Mar 17 — SUNDAY OF FORGIVENESS Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • SUN Mar 17 — Forgiveness Vespers 12:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Mar 18 — Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Mar 19 — Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Mar 20 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Mar 21 — Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Mar 22 — Salutations First Stanza 6:30pm 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Mar 22 — Men of St. Paisios 7:30pm Social Hall
  • Sat Mar 23 — Saturday of the Souls Divine Liturgy 9:00am LIVE STREAM
  • Sat Mar 23 — Parish Council Meeting 11:00am
  • Sat Mar 23 — Great Vespers 5:30pm LIVE STREAM

Presanctified Lenten Suppers

Lenten Supper

Every Wednesday after Presanctified Liturgy on the Wednesdays during Lent, we gather for fellowship over a simple Lenten supper.


Journey to Pascha


Click to enlarge and print

Click to enlarge and print


Can You Help Aspen (Elizabeth) Kerr Work at Project Mexico this Summer?

From Aspen:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Aspen Elizabeth Kerr

This summer I will be going to Project Mexico on a mission trip to build houses for families living in poverty. Over the course of one week our team will be building one safe and weather tight home for a local family.

I will be paying $200 for travel expenses and $100 for a deposit to Project Mexico. Project Mexico also requires each team to cover the cost of all the building materials. The portion that I am responsible to raise is $750. All prayers and support will be greatly appreciated!

With Much Love,

Aspen Elisabeth


You can donate here: Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphange

About Project Mexico: For over thirty years, Project Mexico has been building secure, safe and weather-tight homes for some of the most impoverished families in northern
Mexico. Built strictly by volunteer labor, these homes provide families economic security and hope for a brighter future. In addition to helping families, proceeds from service trips benefit the children of St Innocent Orphanage.

Project Mexico is an Orthodox Christian ministry endorsed by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. Learn more on the Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage website.


Annual Seminarian Appeal This Sunday

Antiochian Archdiocese

The Sunday of Orthodoxy
March 24, 2024

Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and beloved Faithful in Christ,

Greetings to you as we celebrate this glorious Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. We havejust completed the difficult first week of Lent. In many ways, this one week is a microcosm ofthe challenges we face throughout our Christian lives, as we try to live faithfully despiteweaknesses within us and trials around us. However, the Lord’s words to St. Paul are a comfortto us in every season of our lives: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is madeperfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:19).

Each year on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, we remember our seminarians, who are studying atresidential seminaries and through the Antiochian House of Studies. They are preparing totake up the Cross and follow our Lord on the difficult but rewarding road of priestly ministry.Those whom God calls to ordination will become pastors in our parishes, working with thechildren, the elderly, and all the faithful, leading them on their journey to the heavenlykingdom. They will stand before the holy altar and offer prayers to the All-Holy Trinity onbehalf of us all. They will bring divine grace into all the joys and sorrows of our earthly lives.Therefore, it is our duty to provide them with the best possible education and preparation forthis sacred ministry.

Today we ask you to support our dedicated seminarians through your prayers and by makinga financial gift toward their theological education. Among the Orthodox in America, ourarchdiocese is a leader in seminarian support. We strive to provide full scholarships to thesequalified men who are studying for the priesthood, and your generous contribution will helpto ensure a well-prepared clergy for our future while not burdening our future pastors withexcessive debt.

Fervently praying that your Lenten journey will be filled with growth in Christ, I remain,

Yours in Christ,

Metroplitan Saba


Orthodoxy 101 Class Continues

Small steps into the Kingdom

Subdeacon Joseph will lead the classes. The classes will run every Sunday following Social Hour. Schedule and syllabus will be handed out at the next class this Sunday.

We will use Fr. Spyridon Bailey’s “Small Steps into the Kingdom” available from Amazon here.

All catechums are required to attend but the class is open to everyone.


Web Site Fixed — But Please Be Patient Because…

…It still needs some fine tuning. Websites are fickle beasts but we are almost there. The good news is that the calendar is back. One or two weeks and it will be where we want it to be.


2023 Donation Statements Sent Out

This week you should receive your 2023 donation statement, If you do not receive your donation statement by Saturday, please contact Greg Semetis (917) 992-5884 or Ron Franklin (618)-530-5059.
Thank you for your continued support of St. Peter’s.


Bible Bowl Invitation!

All teens are invited to join our Catechism team and study the book of Romans. Actually adults are invited too as we can have an adult team as well.
St. Peter’s teens won 2nd place last year at the Parish Life Conference for the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast.

The competition this year will be held in Georgia, near Atlanta over the weekend of June 13-15. All questions for the competition will be from the book of Romans.

If you are interested in studying Romans, whether you want to travel to the conference in Georgia or just study with the team, please contact Diana Najjar at 317-213-5785 or Currently we are studying by zoom, but we plan to meet together when the opportunity arises. Diana is flexible to work with teens at a time that fits their schedule.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

Sign up the the Monthly DOMSE Newsletter on the DOMSE (Diocese of Miami and the Southeast) Website!


Visit the DOMSE Website (scroll to the bottom, fill in the form on the left side) to sign up for "The Light" Newsletter and DOMSE emails.


DOMSE Parish Life Retreat in Hiram Georgia

Click for more information

More information at DOMSE website.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL


MARCH 2024

  • Mar 03 — George Tsikatis – Buck Hatcher
  • Mar 10 — George Tsikatis – Joe Repya
  • Mar 17 — George Tsikatis – Alex and Elanie Hildreth
  • Mar 24 — George Tsikatis – Will Schwarz
  • Mar 31 — George Tsikatis – Joe Repya

APRIL 2024

  • Apr 07 — George Tsikatis – Candice Rosen – Joe Repya
  • Apr 14 — George Tsikatis – Pavlo Bilych – Moriah Peterson
  • Apr 21 — George Tsikatis – Candice Rosen
  • Apr 28 — George Tsikatis – Will Schwarz

Can you volunteer? Please call Joe Repya 612-270-4443.

Social Hall All Stars


MARCH 2024

TEAM #3 – (Need to appoint a new Team Leader) for March 2024
Mar 03 – Coffee, Bagels and Mixed Fruit*
Mar 10 – Coffee, Donuts and Mixed Fruit*
Mar 17 – Catered Lunch for Theo’s 99th Birthday
Mar 24 – Coffee, Cookies and Mixed Fruit*
Mar 31 – Coffee, Coffee Cake and Mixed Fruit*

APRIL 2024

TEAM #1 – Barbara Dionysopoulas Group for April 2024
April 07 – Coffee, Bagels and Mixed Fruit*
April 14 – Coffee, Donuts and Mixed Fruit*
April 21 – Coffee, Cookies and Mixed Fruit*
April 28 – Coffee, Coffee Cake and Mixed Fruit*

MAY 2024

TEAM #2 Margie Zimmerman Group for May 2024
May 05 – Coffee, Bagels and Mixed Fruit*
May 12 – Coffee, Donuts and Mixed Fruit*
May 19 – Coffee, Cookies and Mixed Fruit*
May 26 – Coffee, Coffee Cake and Mixed Fruit*

For Special Events/Koliva please contact BARBARA SASEN and give her a completed Special Events Form which is found in the lobby of the church.

The Social Hall All Stars are the men and women that make St. Peter's Social Hall happen. Thank you All Stars!

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL


  • SUN Mar 17 — SUNDAY OF FORGIVENESS Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • SUN Mar 17 — Forgiveness Vespers 12:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Mar 18 — Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Mar 19 — Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Mar 20 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Mar 21 — Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Mar 22 — Salutations First Stanza 6:30pm 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Mar 22 — Men of St. Paisios 7:30pm Social Hall
  • Sat Mar 23 — Saturday of the Souls Divine Liturgy 9:00am LIVE STREAM
  • Sat Mar 23 — Parish Council Meeting 11:00am
  • Sat Mar 23 — Great Vespers 5:30pm LIVE STREAM
St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

That there is a devil, that there are demons, and that these beings wage an active war against mankind and its salvation is so foundational a testimony of the Church that it is shocking it needs clarifying among Christians; yet too often it does. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

The Lord is so holy, so simple in His holiness, that one single evil or impure thought deprives us of Him, of the sweet and most sweet, of the pure and most pure peace and light of our souls. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

As God is ever-flowing, infinite goodness, he desires and ever seeks to impart His goodness to His creatures, if only they turn to Him with faith, hope, and love, like children to their father, recognising their sinfulness, poverty, need, blindness, and infirmity without Him. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Ask, then, unremittingly and without doubting, however poor your efforts to gain holiness, however weak your strength; and you will receive great gifts, far beyond anything that you deserve. St. John of Karpathos

Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honour your patience. St. John Climacus

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL
  • Names will remain on the list for three 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.

Current Prayer List

Rachel (Voss)
Ken John (Eaton)
Diane (Najar)
William (Semeretis)
David (Orfanos)
Maria (Orfanos)
William (Long)
George (Chionis 11-1)
Mark (Chionis 11-1)
Katheryn (Chionis 11-1)
Jacob (Chionis 11-1)
Ken (Chionis 11-1)
Maxim (Koco)
George (Tsikistas 8/1)
George (Mourgis 8/1)
Barbara (Sason 8/1)
Anthony (Breitenbach 6/1)
Arielle (Ghanem 6/1)
Nicholas (Ghanem 6/1)
Father Demetris
Christina (Hildreth)
Georgia and Richard and their unborn child (Chapekis)
Dionysios Chapekis)
Nancy (Forderhase)
Kayla (Palantine)
George (3/23 Chapekis)
Penelope (3/23 Chapekis)
Theodora (3/23)
Victor (3/23)
Les (3/23
Lynn (Hurely 1/23)
Irene and newborn baby (Tsikitas 1/23)
Linda (Pappas 1/23)
Ekaterina (Chapekis 1/23)
Lee (Hurley 1/23)
Emmanuel (Kalousdis 1/23)
Katherine (Dusckas 1/23)
Vassiliki (Diveris 1/23)
Zena Touma (Contorelli 1/23
Lamia Touma (Contorelli 1/23
Matthew (Contorelli 1/23
Emmanuel (Kaloudis 1/23)
Marlene (Tewis 12/22)
Tina (Johnson 12/22)
Nicholas (De Lorenzo 12/22)
Priest Anthony (Karbo 11/22)
Archpriest Dionysius (Valentine 9/12)
Anthony Presbyter (Kerr 10/22)
John Presbyter (Jacobse)
Elain Presbytera (Jacobse)
Angel (Ghanem 10/22)
Edgar (Chapekis 9/22)
Evthriki (Jacobse 9/22)
Christos (Johnson 8/22)
Jon Paul (Andrew 8/22)
William (Brubaker 8/22)
Peter (Tewis 8/22)
The People of Ukraine and People of Russia and all those who are suffering in the war

Permanent Prayer List

Bonnie Joseph
Michael (Sovjani)
Maria (Sovjani)
Maria (Sovjani)
Maria (Sovjani)
Katerina (Sovjani)
Frederick (Sovjani)
Arsen (Sovjani)
Irene (Diveris)
Katheryn (Tolkkinen)
Markisia (Long)
Angela (Long)
Marina (Long)
Eleni (Long)
Raphaella (Long)
Joanne (Haley)
Corwin (Dusckas)
Corgette (Troutman)
Irina (Irina)
Lidia (Irina)
Sarina (Ghanem)
Debbie (Breitenbach)
Kathy (Breitenbach)
Hope (Isadore)
John (Long)
Pantelis (Tsikita)
Marisa (Tsikita)
Barbara (Dionysopoulos)
Patricia (Evanoff)
Gabriel (Mankus)
Baby Dani (Repya)
Despina (Diversis)
Fredericos (Diveris)
Herman (Kerr)
Innocent (Kerr)
Nicholas (Kerr)
Paola (Jacobse)
Gregory (Yankopolos)
Pauline (Poulos)
Sergio (Kazakos)
Fran (Hansen)
Nina (Krotov)
Franklin (Pyrrson)
Demetrios (Kuchera)
Theodosios (Palis)
Theodora (Webb)
Robert (Smith)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
James (Hord)
Vassiliki (Kontinos)
Vassiliki (Morekeas)
Vassilike (Hord)

Founders, Members, Benefactors and Friends 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)
Soterios (Ninos)
George (Ninos)
John (Katsigianopoulos)
George (Chionis)
Mary (Spiropoulos)
Gregory (Pappas)
Angela (Coran K
Eugene (Rust)
Robert (Jarvis)
George (Corey)
Patricia (Cotsones)
Seraphim (Zolio)

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.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL
Search the Scriptures


For Sunday of Orthodoxy

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 Hebrews. (11:24-26, 32-40)

Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

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 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.



The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (1:43-51)

At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God! Thou art the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”