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St. Peter News March 30, 2021

Third Sunday of Great Lent
Veneration of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

Venerable George of Mt. Maleon; Martyrs Theodoulos the Reader and Agathopodos the Deacon of Thessalonica; Venerable Theonas, archbishop of Thessalonica; Isidore, Bishop of Seville

Elevation of the Precious and Life Giving Cross

Elevation of the Precious and Life Giving Cross

Each of the Sundays of Great Lent has its own special theme. This Sunday’s theme is that in the cross of Christ crucified lies both “the power of God and the wisdom of God” for those being saved (1 Cor 1:24). On this Sunday in the middle of the Lenten season, the cross stands in the middle of the church, not merely to remind the faithful of Christ’s redemption and for them to keep the goal of their Lenten efforts, but also as a reminder: “He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:38).

Historical theme

The historical theme, as seen in the hymnology, is the victory and joy of the cross, not the suffering. The Church fathers equate the life-giving cross with the tree of life and plant it in the middle of the Lenten pilgrimage. It was the tree that was planted in Paradise; it is to remind the faithful of both Adam’s bliss and how he was deprived from it.

Personal theme

For the catechumens of the early church, and the faithful preparing for Pascha today, the spiritual theme starts to change from personal faith, and personal effort, to Christ. The Church teaches that it is Christ’s cross that saves. One cannot take up his own cross and follow Christ unless one has Christ’s cross which he took up to save mankind. Partaking of this tree, one will no longer die, but will be kept alive.

This is done to refresh, reassure and to encourage those participating in Great Lent. The Church equates the appearance of the cross at this time to the banners and symbols that precede the return of a victorious king. The Epistle reading is from Hebrews 4:14-5:6 and explains Christ’s priesthood, and the Gospel lesson from Mark 8:34-9:1 ends with And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

From Orthodoxwiki website.


Fr. Thomas Hopko on “Taking Up Your Cross”

Fr. Thomas Hopko

On the third Sunday of Great Lent, we concentrate on the Cross of Christ, and Fr. Tom helps us understand what it means to take up our cross.

Listen here:


Services this Week

  • Sun March 28 — Sunday Of St. Gregory Palamas
    Please note: Sunday March 28 services begin at the new Church on Hickory Road.
  • Mon Mar 29 — Great Compline 6:30pm
  • Wed Mar 31 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • Fri Apr 2 — Third Stanza Salutations 6:30pm

Two Things to Remember About Our Church at Hickory Drive

  1. The Presbyterian Church will be using the Social Hall for their worship until they find a place to relocate. Do not enter the Social Hall before 10am on Sundays.
  2. 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

Coming Soon: Antiochian Men!

The new parish means new responsibilities and the men can step up. A lot of men already have with the move contributing hours of work and sweat to bring the building into shape. We could also do other things too, say breakfast one Saturday a month. It would be a great time for fellowship.

Stay tuned! The Church needs you men.

Cafe of Life Ministry

Praise the Lord! St. Peter’s Church has moved to its new home and thanks to all the volunteers, this was all done in less than a week. We are very fortunated and blessed. Occasionally though, we need to be reminded of what the scripture says in John 3:17-18:

But if any man has the worlds goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abine in him? Little children, let us not in work or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Thus, volunteers will be meetin gthis Thursday, April 1, at 1:00pm in our new social hall to make the sandwiches for the poor and homeless at the Cafe of Life. So please be especially generous and give.

Thank you Kali Sarakosti and IC XC NI KA


Women’s Book Club

Due to the move this week and Lent starting, the next meeting for the Women’s book club will be held on Wednesday May 5, 2021 after Holy Pascha.


Pledge & Income Report – February 2021

Donations received in February 16,374.00
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $19,732.00
We are behind by $2,812

None of the monthly expenses are spent on the new building. There are operating costs for the Bernwood property.

Please note:Please continue your generous support. If you cannot make it to church please mail in your donation to:

Don't forget your pledge!

St. Peter Orthodox Church
24850 Old 41 Road Suite 6
Bonita Springs, FL 34135


You can also donate online (scroll to bottom of page):


Bishop NICHOLAS Offers a Weekly Live Stream

These are short thirty minute presentations where His Grace Bp. Nicholas speaks on one theme in Sunday readings for fifteen minutes followed by questions from the listeners. It’s worth tuning in. Get instructions on the St. Peter website on how to use the Band App on your phone or computer to participate.


Calendar At A Glance

Calendar also available on the St. Peter website.


  • Sun March 28 — Sunday Of St. Gregory Palamas LIVE STREAM
    Please note: Sunday March 28 services begin at the new Church on Hickory Lane.
  • Mon Mar 29 — Great Compline 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Mar 31 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Apr 1 — Cafe of Life sandwich making
  • Fri Apr 2 — Third Stanza Salutations 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Sunday Apr 4 — Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross LIVE STREAM
  • Apr 5 — Great Compline 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Apr 7 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Apr 9 — Fourth Stanza Salutations 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Sunday Apr 11 — Sunday of St. John of the Ladder LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Apr 12 — Great Compline 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Apr 14 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Apr 16 — Complete Salutations/Akathist Hymn 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Sunday April 18 — Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Apr 19 — Great Compline 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Apr 21 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Apr 23 — Small Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Sat Apr 24 — Lazarus Saturday Liturgy 9:30am / Baptisms / Make crosses / Pancake
    breakfast / Children confessions – Full Schedule TBA LIVE STREAM

Wisdom From The Elders

‘My most dear brother! Make an effort to gain the heavenly kingdom and fear to lose it. Did you see God’s mercy to you? See to it then that you be not ungrateful toward your Savior, Who has revealed to you that which is invisible. Attempt to gain His love, and make ready to drink the cup which will be sent to you in accordance with our Lord’s will— then God’s grace and the protection of our heavenly Queen will always be with you; and I, too, will not leave you.’ Great Martyr George

A person who is accustomed to humiliation attracts the grace of God. Elder Porphyrios

Strive to clothe your soul in the imperishable beauty of meekness, humility, chastity and purity, mercy and righteousness. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

At every moment we need to have wakefulness, recollected thoughts, and a careful watch on the intellect. Martyrius

We unite ourselves to Him, in so far as this is possible, by participating in the godlike virtues and by entering into communion with Him through prayer and praise. St. Gregory Palamas

As it is impossible to verbally describe the sweetness of honey to one who has never tasted honey, so the goodness of God cannot be clearly communicated by way of teaching if we ourselves are not able to penetrate into the goodness of the Lord by our own experience. St. Basil the Great


Remember in Your Prayers

The Prayer List has been revamped. To bring order to the list we will do the following:

  • 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.

Current Prayer List (Updated March 5 / Resets April 1)

Stephanie (Dusckas 6/21)
Rhea (Dusckas 6/21)
Kyle (Dusckas 6/21)
Jean (Wolffe 6/21)
Robin (Wolffe 6/21)
Debbie (Breitenbach 6/21)
Michael (Jacobse 4/21)
Kathy (Jacobse 4/21)
Raphaela (4/21)
Michael (Wolffe 4/21)
Fredericos (Diveris 4/21)
Vasiliki (Diveris 4/21)
Panagiota (Jacobse 4/21)
Michelene (Repya 4/21)
Colleen ((Repya 4/21)
Fr. Demetrios (Copeland 4/21)
Kondylia (Chapekis 4/21)
Brian (Colis 3/21)
Maria(Colis 3/21)
John (Jacobse 3/21)
Mary (Jacobse 3/21)
Herman (Kerr 3/21)
Innocent (Kerr 3/21)
Nickolas (Kerr 3/21)
Barbara (Dusckas 3/21)
Maryann (Breitenbach 3/21)
Irina (Jacobse 3/21)
Lee Joseph (Irina 3/21)
Paola (Jacobse 3/21>
Bryce (NA 3/21)

Permanent Prayer List

Soterios (Ninos)
Pauline (Poulos)

Angela and Unborn Child (Chapekis)
Sergio (Kazakos)
Rae (Semeretis)
Fran (Hansen)
Nina (Krotov)
George the Priest (Chapekis)
Franklin (Pyrrson)
George (Chionis)
Stamatia (Jacobse)
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)
Gregory (Pappas)

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 Third Sunday of Great Lent

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance.
To Thee, O Lord, have I cried, O my God.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (4:14-5:6)

Brethren, since we have a High Priest, Who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Sonof God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathizewith our weaknesses, but One Who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt Himself tobe made a high priest, but was appointed by Him Who said to Him, “Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee”; as He says also in another place, “Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”


For the Third Sunday of Great Lent

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (8:34-9:1)

The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up hiscross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life forMy sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world andforfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Meand My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed,when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And Jesus said to them, “Truly,I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom ofGod come with power.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church