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St. Peter News November 16, 2021

Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

The Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos

The Entrance of the Theotokos

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, also called The Presentation, is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on November 21. Among those Orthodox Christians who use the “Old” (Julian) calendar as their Church calendar, the date of this feast corresponds to December 4 in the secular calendar.

According to Tradition, the Theotokos was taken – presented – by her parents Joachim and Anna into the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem as a young girl, where she lived and served as a Temple virgin until her betrothal to St. Joseph. One of the earliest sources of this tradition is the non-canonical Protoevangelion of James, also called the Infancy Gospel of James.

Mary was solemnly received by the temple community which was headed by the priest Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. She was led to the holy place to become herself the “holy of holies” of God, the living sanctuary and temple of the Divine child who was to be born in her. The Church also sees this feast as a feast which marks the end of the physical temple in Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God.

Source: Orthodoxwiki


Services This Week

  • Sun Nov 14 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Nov 14 — PARISH ASSEMBLY MEETING following Divine Liturgy in the Social Hall
  • Tue Nov 16 — Divine Liturgy St. Matthew the Apostle 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Nov 19 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM

Services Next Week

  • Sun Nov 21 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Nov 24 — Divine Liturgy St. Katherine / Thanksgiving 6:00pm LIVE STREAM

St. Matthew the Apostle Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 9:30am

St. Matthew

St. Matthew (also called Levi the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14)) was a brother of St. James the Younger and was a tax

collector. The First Gospel is attributed to him, and, according to many scholars, was first written for the Hebrews. According to Church tradition, St. Matthew preached to the Jews first, and then traveled to Ethiopia, Macedonia, Syria and Persia, dying a natural death, according to one tradition, or by martyrdom, according to another. His Feast Day is November 16.


Thanksgiving Liturgy on the Eve of Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at 6pm

Giving thanks to God

Thanksgiving is about the only American Civil Holiday left that has not be completely secularized (de-Christianized), and we celebrate it to keep the Christian founding of America alive. The Orthodox missionary imperative is to affirm the good wherever you find it and build on it, even if the good is not yet complete. For that reason we celebrate Thanksgiving every year with a Divine Liturgy, most often, but not exclusively, on the eve of the holiday.

The Saint we commemorate in the Divine Liturgy is St. Katherine.


Nativity Fast Begins November 15, 2021


Nativity Season Begins on November 15, 2021

Click the image to learn more about Orthodox practice during the Nativity Season


November 15 is the beginning of the Nativity Fast, one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year. This is a joyous fast in anticipation of the Nativity of Christ.

In the weeks between now and December 25, Orthodox Christians prepare themselves to celebrate the birth in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we begin the fast, we encourage both believing Orthodox and inquirers to review the reflections and resources in the special Nativity section on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.

For additional general resources on the Orthodox Christian tradition of feasting and fasting, visit the Feasts and Fasts section of Discover Orthodox Christianity.


Cafe of Life Ministry Update

Cafe of Life

A special thank you to those who volunteered their time on the second Thursday of every month to make sandwiches for the impoverished and then to the donors who generously gave to this philanthropic cause.

Remember, ”Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. for with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).

So please reach deep into your pockets. Any amount is appreciated.

Thank you, God bless and IC XC NI KA!


AMEN (Antiochian Men) Virtual Retreat this Saturday, November 20, 2021

AMEN Virtual Retreat

3rd Annual AMEN Virtual Retreat – November 20, 2021

  • Event #1 – Books, Breakfast, and Brotherhood
    • Discussion on the book “The Religion of the Apostles”
  • Event #2 – Guest Speaker Event featuring Fr. Stephen De Young

The retreat will be held on ZOOM. The ZOOM link will be sent via email.  Be sure to subscribe to the AMEN newsletter to receive the Zoom link!


Church Closed December 7-8, 2021. We Are Upgrading!

We will be updating the electrical system

We will be upgrading the electrical system. All power will be shut down for two days.


Toys for Tots Drive Begins Through December 15

Please contribute to Toys for Tots

Every Christmas season St. Peter’s parishioners contribute to Toys for Tots which gives children who otherwise would receive no gifts some presents on Christmas Day.

There are two boxes one in the narthex and one in the community center. Please bring in an unwrapped toy for a boy or a girl and place in box.

If you prefer to make a monetary contribution and have Mary Copeland go shopping for you, please contact Mary.

We have until December 15 to fill the two boxes.


Christmas Season Toiletry Supplies Drive for NAMI Begins Through December 15

Please contribute to NAMI

Every Christmas season St. Peter’s supports NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness)serving local people in need. NAMI helps people with serious and persistent mental illnesses, as well as their parents, children, spouses, siblings and friends.

St. Peter’s has contributed to NAMI emergency food bank care for nine years. Donations go to the Sarah Ann Drop In Center in Naples, FL. Three categories of items are needed:

  • Shampoo
  • Body lotion
  • Tooth pasete
  • Tooth brushes
  • Ladies and mens disposable shavers
  • Anything you brought home from traveling and in sits your linen closet

Bring them to church with “Mary Copeland” written on the bag and she will get them to NAMI.

The drive runs through December 15, 2021.


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.


Could You Support a Special Project?

St. Peter Orthodox Church

Some parishioners have requested a needs list they could contribute to. Below are the special projects we still need to get done. If you can help please mention it to Fr. Hans, Jack Long, or John Simon.

  • Replace Flat roof on Church
  • Replace windows in the Sunday School rooms
  • Upgrade Church sound system
  • Seal coat and restripe parking Lot
  • Upgrade Church Electrical System
St. Peter Orthodox Church

Pledge & Income Report – October 2021

Donations received in October: $22,884.
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $22,760.
We are ahead by $124.

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

Don't forget your pledge!

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


You can also donate online:

St. Peter Orthodox Church
Social Hall All Stars

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

November 7 – November 28

  • Olga Bilych
  • Pavlo Bilych
  • Bonnie Joseph
  • Al Joseph
  • Sandy Krotov
  • Leon Dephkalion
  • John Hurley
  • Nader Sahawneh

December 5 – December 26

  • Marlene Haley
  • Tom Haley
  • Cheryl Morse
  • Elaine Semeretis
  • Gregory Semeretis
  • Tim Morse
  • Anna Tsikitas

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.

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 acquired 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 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.

Driving Safely

Calendar At A Glance

Calendar also available on the St. Peter website.


Nativity Fast Begins November 15 through December 24, 2022

  • Sun Nov 14 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Nov 14 — PARISH ASSEMBLY MEETING following Divine Liturgy in the Social Hall
  • Tue Nov 16 — Divine Liturgy St. Matthew the Apostle 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Nov 19 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Nov 21 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Nov 24 — Divine Liturgy St. Katherine / Thanksgiving 6:00pm LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Nov 28 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Nov 30 — Divine Liturgy St. Andrew the First Called 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 02 — Divine Liturgy St. Porphorios 9:30am LIVE STREAM

Wisdom From The Elders

The more a person labors to cleanse himself of all sin by the purification of thoughts, feelings, sinful and even empty desires; the more he forces himself to constant, pure, mindful, heartfelt and reverent prayer, the weaker the sorrows become and the more easily he is able to endure them. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

If you try to keep the rules of fasting and cannot do so because of ill health, then with contrition of heart you should give thanks to Him who cares for all and judges all. St. John of Karpathos

We have no life of our own; our life has been given to us as a gift…. As individuals, however, we have been given free will to choose. If we had no free will, we would be like animals and we would not have to answer for our actions. We must live the way God intended us to, having given us the gift of free will. We use our rational minds to discern right from wrong. We have God’s judgment in us—our conscience. Every judge in the world can be bribed, but the judgment of God, our conscience, cannot be bribed. It can only be renewed through repentance. Elder Thaddeus(Strabulovich) of Vitovnica

Trust in the intercession of the Mother of God, of the angels and saints, is a form of Christian hope. They are powerful in intercession for us, both by the grace of Christ and their own virtues. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Accept scornful criticism rather than words of praise; for a flatterer ‘is no different from one who curses’ (Prov. 27:14. LXX). St. John of Karpathos

Imagining that he loves God, the proud person loves only himself and his emotional sensations, which he prizes above genuine faithfulness and devotion to God. Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

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 November 15 / Resets January 1.

Current Prayer List

Nicholas (Ghanem 1/22)
Arielle (Ghanem 1/22)
Georgia (Sarros 1/22)
Kerri (Dusckas 1/21)
Aggie (Dusckas 12/21)
Fr. Thomas (Forderhase 12/21)
Emily (Forderhase 12/21)
Sean (Breitenbach 12/21)
David (Zafiris 12/21
Robin (Zafiris 12/21
Dana (Zafiris 12/21
Mackenzie (Zafiris 12/21
Harry (Zafiris 12/21
Bettina (Zafiris 12/21
Harry James (Zafiris 12/21
Anastasia (Protopapadakis 12/21)
Barbara (Dusckas 11/21)
Dave (Dusckas 11/21)
Elizabeth (Wolfe 11/21)
Catherine (Breitenbach 11/21)

Permanent Prayer List

Debbie (Breitenbach)
Kathy (Breitenbach)
Hope (Isadore)
John (Long)
Pantelis (Tsikita)
Marisa (Tsikita)
Barbara (Dionysopoulos)
Patricia (Evanoff)
Gabriel (Mankus)
Baby Dani (Repya)
Maria and her newborn baby (Diveris)
Despina (Diversis)b
Fredericos (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)
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


My soul doth magnify the Lord,
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
He hath regarded the lowliness of His servant.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (9:1-7)

Brethren, the first tabernacle had ordinances of the divine services and an earthly sanctuary. For the first tabernacle was prepared, in which were the candlestick, and the table, and the bread of the offering, which is called the Sanctuary. And behind the second veil stood the tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies; having a golden altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, which contained a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the two tablets of the covenant; and above it the two Cherubim of glory overshadowing the Ark’s lid; of these things, we cannot now speak in particular. Now these things having been thus prepared, the priests go in continually into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the divine services; but into the second the high priest enters alone, once in the year, not without blood, which he offers for himself, and for the ignorances of the people.



The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (10:38-42; 11:27-28)

At that time, Jesus entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to Him and said, “Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” As He said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that Thou didst suck!” But He said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

St. Peter Orthodox Church