First Sunday of Great Lent
The Sunday of Orthodoxy
The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil
Translation of the relics of Nikephoros, patriarch of Constantinople; Bishops Poplias and Marios
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 This Week
Don’t Forget: Daylight Savings Starts This Sunday!
St. Peter’s Women’s Retreat – Saturday March 26, 2022 at 9:30am
Stewardship letters have been mailed out. God has blessed St. Peter’s. Please fill in your pledge so the work that we have been called to do will continue.
You can also print and download the form on the St. Peter website.
Presanctified Lenten Suppers
Every Wednesday after Presanctified Liturgy on the Wednesdays during Lent, we gather for fellowship over a simple Lenten supper.
Thank you to Marjorie Zimmerman will be organizing the suppers.
Journey to Pascha
Helping Victims of the War in Ukraine
Galyna Seabrooke who has spoken on several occasions on the situation in Ukraine on behalf of our Ukranian parishioners mentioned opportunities to help the victims of the war.
One way to offer humanitarian aid is through a Go Fund Me page. Another is to donate essential items for Ukranian refugees. These items include:
- Medications (no liquid or sprays allowed)
- Pain killers / Fever Reducer (aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprophen)
- Sterile gauzes
- Elastic bandage wraps
- Elastic bandages
- Hydrogel burn bandages
- Granola bars
- Energy bars
- Dry foods
A box will be set up in the church for donations.
We pray that war in Ukraine will end quickly.
Liturgical Greek Language School Continues
Classes meet on Thursdays at 3:30pm in the Sunday School room.
Let’s Pray the Paraklesis to the Theotokos Daily
Our goal at St. Peter’s is to have one person or family pray the Parakelsis to the Theotokos for at least one day of every month. For each day of the month, individuals or even an entire family can sign up to pray the Paraklesis in their homes on the day/s which they select.
Hopefully, we will reach our goal of collectively praying for the intercessions of the Theotokos every day of every month. That way the supplications to the Theotokos will be offered for our parish, the larger world and those in need such as the people on our prayer list.
Also, you will come to know and love this beautiful hymn and learn more about the Theotokos and her benevolence and power towards us. We supplicate the Theotokos who responds in mercy, and she supplicates her son on behalf of the parish and its people.
Get more information on how to participate from the St. Peter’s website.
Cafe of Life: Christians are Called to Give
The foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels.
As we enter Lent, we are reminded to focus more intently on almsgiving, donating money or goods to the less fortunate and performing other acts of charity.
Here at St. Peter’s we make over 200 sandwiches and provide fruit every month to help the working poor in our community.
It costs about $200 each month to keep this ministry going. At St. Peter’s we are blessed. That’s why we give to others.
If you can support this ministry for at least one month every year, we are giving back to God what He has given to us.
Thank you, God bless and IC XC NI KA!
Do You Have a Used Car for Sale?
If you have a used car that you want to sell for a reasonable and fair price, Tom Sovjani is looking for one for a relative that recently moved to the area from Albania.
Please contact Tom at 239-254-1004.
Man of God (St. Nektarios) Movie Coming to Fort Myers/Naples on Monday March 21/28, 2022
A special showing of “Man of God,” an award winning feature film about the life of St. Nektarios is coming to Southwest Florida on Monday, March 21 and March 28, 2022. Fr. Hans has already seen the film and gives it five stars.
We can go view the film as a parish. Since we have parishioners in both the Cape Coral/Ft. Myers and Naples areas, two locations and dates are offered to see this film as a parish.
Cape Coral and Ft. Myers
Monday, March 21, 2022 meet at 6:30pm (show time 7:00pm) at:
13499 Belltower Drive
Fort Myers, FL
Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero
Monday, March 28, 2022 meet at 6:30pm (show time 7:00pm) at:
Regal Coconut Point
8021 Cinema Way
Please note that we will not hold the Great Compline on March 28, 2022.
Keep in mind that St. Nektarios has performed miracles in our parish including the healing of cancer and other maladies.
Save the Date! DOMSE Parish Life Conference June 15-18, 2022
Learn more on the DOMSE website.
Pledge & Income Report – February 2022
Donations received in January: $25,767.
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $37,209.
We are ahead by $13,095.
Thank you to all who paid their 2022 stewardship in advance!
St. Peter Orthodox Church
7470 Hickory Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33967
You can also donate online:
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.
The Social Hall All Stars are the men and women that make St. Peter’s Social Hall happen. Thank you All Stars!
March 6 – March 27
- Leon Dephkalion
- Marlene Haley
- Tom Haley 239-887-0753
- Cheryl Morse
- Tim Morse
- Diana Najjar
- Debbie Repya
- Elaine Semeretis
- Gregory Semeretis
Procedures for Hospitality
Please note: If you would like to bring in your own prepared food, please contact Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 a week before the upcoming Sunday. That way we know not to prepare any food for Sunday.
- 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.”
- Please do not donate coffee. We have a space age coffee brewer that we acquired at no cost if we buy our coffee from one supplier. If you bring in coffee, we can’t use it.
- 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.
- If you would like to bring in your own prepared food, please contact Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 a week 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.
Helping Our Seniors With Parking
With the church growing the parking lot is close to full every Sunday. Younger parishioners, could you park in the grass lot even if spaces are open in the paved area? That way our seniors can park closer to the entrance and avoid the grassy area where it is easier to stumble and fall.
The handicap areas nearest the front door have wider access. If you park in the handicap area but don’t need wider access, please avoid the space nearest the front door. These spots are exclusively for those parishioners who need wheelchair access, which for now is one parishioner.
Calendar At A Glance
Calendar also available on the St. Peter website.
- Sun Mar 06 — FORGIVENESS SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY / MEATFARE SUNDAY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun Mar 06 — FORGIVENESS SUNDAY VESPERS (Following Social Hall)
- Mon Mar 07 — LENT BEGINS
- Mon Mar 07 — Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew 6:30pmm LIVE STREAM
- Tue Mar 08 — Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew 6:30pmm LIVE STREAM
- Wed Mar 09 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
- Thu Mar 10 — Greek Language School 3:30pm
- Thu Mar 10 — Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew 6:30pmm LIVE STREAM
- Fri Mar 10 — First Stanza Salutations to the Theotokos (Akathist Service) 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
- Sat Mar 11 — Third Saturday of the Souls Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun Mar 13 — SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Mon Mar 14 — Great Compline 6:30pmm LIVE STREAM
- Wed Mar 16 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
- Thu Mar 17 — Greek Language School 3:30pm
- Thu Mar 17 — Second Stanza Salutations to the Theotokos (Akathist) 6:30pm NOTE DATE CHANGE LIVE STREAM
- Fri-Sat Mar 18-19 — Fr. Hans Out of Town
- Sun Mar 20 — SUNDAY OF ST. GREGORY PALAMAS – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Mon Mar 21 — Great Compline 6:30pm
- Mon Mar 21 — Cape Coral/Ft. Myers “Man of God” viewing at Belle Tower 6:30pm
- Wed Mar 23 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
- Thu Mar 24 — Greek Language School 3:30pm
- Thu Mar 24 — Great Vespers of the Annunciation 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
- Thu Mar 24 — ANNUNCIATION OF THE THEOTOKOS – Orthros 8:30am / Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Fri Mar 25 — Parish Council Meeting 3:30pm
- Fri Mar 25 — Third Stanza Salutations to the Theotokos (Akathist) 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
- Sun Mar 27 — SUNDAY OF THE HOLY CROSS – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Mon Mar 28 — CANCELLED Great Compline 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
- Mon Mar 28 — Naples/Estero “Man of God” viewing at Coconut Point 6:30pm
- Fri Apr 01 — Third Stanza Salutations to the Theotokos (Akathist) 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
Wisdom From The Elders
It is possible for a brotherly life filled with love, in short, for the kingdom of God, to exist on earth, but we must look for it not somewhere in our surroundings, not in something external, but inside ourselves, in our hearts. Protopriest Grigori Dyachenko
I wish you peace, God’s peace, which transcends all human understanding and unites man with God. To be blessed with such peace one must strive diligently to acquire a peaceful disposition of soul, to be patient with one an other’s weaknesses, and to be all forgiving toward all who have offended you. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev
Man feels that he is eternal, but since this feeling is corrupted by his deceptive reason and by his corrupted and false conscience, he tends to think of his life on earth as something that will go on for ever. On the basis of his beguiling, false, and destructive feelings, man devotes himself exclusively to cares and labors devoted to establishing himself on earth. He forgets that he is but a passing pilgrim here, and that his enduring abode will be either heaven or hell. If he misuses for temporal gains the time given to him for repentance and for gaining a blessed eternity, he will be unable to get another span of time for a second chance. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov
Therefore the Fathers counsel: act with discernment. Of two evils one chooses the lesser. If you are in private, take the poorest morsel, but if anyone is looking, you should take the middle way that arouses the least notice. Keep hidden and as inconspicuous as possible; in all circumstances let this be your rule. Tito Colliander
The cross is the means of liberation from the self and its crucifixion. Metropolitan Saba(Esber)
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 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.
Updated February 21 / Resets March 1.
Current Prayer List
Mary Lou (Grekos 5/22)
Andrea, Yelena, newborn baby (Protpapadakis 4/22)
George (Haynes 4/21)
Kayla (Palentine 4/21)
Katherine (Jacobse 3/22)
Daniel, Fr. Deacon (Jacobse 3/22)
Lev (Jacobse 3/22)
Basil (Jacobse 3/22)
Linda M. (Dusckas 3/22)
Barbara (Dusckas 3/22)
Fr John (Jacobse 3/22)
Angel (Ghanem 3/22)
John (Duskas 3/22)
Nancy (Coin 3/22)
Nicholas (Ghanem 1/22)
Arielle (Ghanem 1/22)
Georgia (Sarros 1/22)
Kerri (Dusckas 1/21)
Permanent Prayer List
Kasiani, Jordan and their unborn child (Chapekis)
Baby Dani (Repya)
Maria and her newborn baby (Diveris)
Sophia (D. Constantine)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
Founders, Members, Benefactors and Friends Departed this Life
Fr. Stephanos (Shagoury)
Panagiota (Bea Chionis)
Panagiota Margarita (Palis)
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.
For Sunday of Forgiveness
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.”