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St. Peter News November 30, 2021

Tenth Sunday of Luke
The God-bearing Father Sabbas the Sanctified

Venerable-Martyr Stephen the New, Martyr Irinarchos of Sebastia and those with him

Who was the God-bearing Father Sabbas the Sanctified?

God-bearing Father Sabbas the Sanctified

Today, the fifth of December, is the feast-day of Saint Sabbas, one of the great monastic fathers of the Middle East in Late Antiquity. Saint Sabbas, who in the Orthodox Church is often known by his cognomen ‘the Sanctified’, established the Dayr Mâr Sâbâ, one of the holiest and most visited monastic houses in the Holy Land, which to this day continues as a shining jewel of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. He is venerated throughout the Holy Land and throughout the Orthodox Church.

Saint Sabbas was born to Cappadocian Greek parents, Ioannes and Sophia, in Moutalaski – which is in the modern-day Talas district in the Turkish province of Kayseri (Cæsarea) – in the year 439. His father, Ioannes, was a commander in the Roman Army, who was placed on assignment in Alexandria when the future Sabbas was about five years old. His father left the boy in the care and tutelage of a kinswoman named Hermia. Unfortunately, Hermia was something of a weak governess. The boy’s uncles were given free reign over his property and fell to squabbling over it. As a result, he was sent into the monastery of Saint Flavian and given to the monks to study. When his father returned three years later, the boy had already renounced the world and had dedicated himself to the celibate service of God. Though his parents entreated and begged him to return to sæcular life and marriage and siring children, the young Sabbas adamantly insisted that he stay with the monks.

In particular, he loved reading from the Psalter. He performed all that was asked of him without complaint, even the menial duties, and loved the sixty-five monastic brethren with whom he lived, seeking to learn from each of them. In being the servant of all, he became the greatest among them. He acquired the virtues and held onto them like precious gems: sobriety, obedience and humility. So great was his virtue as a monk that he worked wonders even as a young man. At one time a baker left his clothing in a red-hot oven. Sabbas went into the oven to fetch the clothes, first making the holy sign of the Cross; he came out of the oven unscathed.

When he was fifteen or sixteen years old, he went to the abbot of Saint Flavian’s and asked his leave to undertake a pilgrimage into the Holy City, there to take up another monastic abode. After a probation of two years, his request was granted, and he went into Jerusalem, staying at the monastery of Saint Passarion that winter. The abbot at Saint Passarion’s, Elpidios, asked Sabbas to stay with them in that monastery, but Sabbas asked and was granted permission to seek out instruction from Euthymios who lived nearby, and who understood the path of hesychasm.

Saint Euthymios received Saint Sabbas in his own monastery, and treated him with great warmth and hospitality, but he forbade him to stay there, and instead recommended him to the care of his friend Saint Theoktistos. His reasoning for this seems to have been that he did not want to set the precedent for accepting teenagers into the cœnobitic life. Whatever his reason, however, Saint Sabbas obeyed the word of Euthymios as though it were the word of God Himself, and went and subjected himself to whatever discipline Theoktistos sought to lay upon him. He served in the community of Saint Theoktistos for ten years longer until the age of thirty, in fasting and vigil and prayer, and showed great love for his monastic brethren, as well as great skill and diligence in holding the Divine Liturgy and the monastic hours.


Read the entire history on the Heavy Anglophile Orthodox website.


Services This Week

  • 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

Services Next Week

  • Sun Dec 05 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Dec 06 — Divine Liturgy St. Nicholas 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Dec 10 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM

St. Andrew the First Called Divine Liturgy, Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 9:30am

St. Andrew the First Called

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalivia Divine Liturgy, Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 9:30am

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalivia

Nativity Fast Continues


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.


Decorating the Christmas Tree

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Today Cheryl Morse went around the tables and asked everyone to take an ornament and help decorate the tree as they were leaving the Social Hall. Above are the final four.

Trip to Tarpon Springs on December 2, 2021

Trip to Tarpon Springs

SIGN UP TODAY for St Peter’s Bus trip to Tarpon Springs on Thursday, December 2nd for some Parea and Holiday Shopping.

Bus will depart from the church parking lot at 9 am and return around 6pm. You can do some shopping at Greek Boys, have lunch at a fabulous Greek Restaurant and visit Saint Michael’s Shrine before returning home.

We need at least 25 people to sign up (50 max). Round-trip cost is $56 per person. CALL Barbara Dionysopoulos ASAP to sign up at 239-826-1655


Calling All Teens!


Fr. Hans needs your name and email address (or your parent’s address) so you can receive SOYO (Society of Orthodox Youth Organization) materials. Maybe we can begin a SOYO group at St. Peter’s too.

Learn more about Teen SOYO on the DOMSE website.


Cafe of Life Ministry Update

Cafe of Life

Thank you to everyone who has supported our Cafe of Life Ministry. We make over 200 sandwiches and provide fruit every month to help the working poor in our area.

It costs about $200 each month to keep this ministry going. At St. Peter’s we are blessed. We have enough money to meet our needs. 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!


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.


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 Church computer
  • 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:


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.

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 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


  • Sun Dec 05 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Dec 06 — Divine Liturgy St. Nicholas 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Dec 10 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Dec 12 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Dec 15 — Divine Liturgy St. Eleutherios 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Dec 17 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Dec 19 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Dec 20 — St. Ignatios of Antioch 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 24 — Royal Hours NOTE EARLIER TIME 9:00am LIVE STREAM
  • thu Dec 24 — Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Divine Liturgy 7:00pm LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Dec 26 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Dec 27 — St. Stephen the Proto-Martyr 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 24 — The Holy Innocents Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sat Jan 01 — Circumcision of Christ / St. Basil Divine Liturgy Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM

Wisdom From The Elders

God does not come near to where flesh is in charge: God’s contact with man is through his spirit, and the spirit in such a person is out of its proper order. He will feel God’s calling for the first time when his spirit begins to claim its rights in the voice of conscience and the fear of God. And when a man finally makes his free deliberate choice for the spirit, then God will join that man and dwell in him. From that moment on begins the conversion of his soul and body, the whole inner and outer man, until “God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28), and the man which once was carnal, transforms into a spiritual being and becomes sanctified. What a marvelous privilege of mankind, and how few of us know about it, appreciate it and seek it! St. Theophan the Recluse

Whatever great struggles we may have endured, if we have not acquired a suffering heart they are counterfeit and useless. St. John Climacus

All who continue to wallow in sin and who through their sins are languishing and suffering as slaves to the devil are deeply unhappy, for they cannot find moral satisfaction, which is the only thing that can give a man happiness in life. Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

Be extremely careful not to offend anyone in word or deed, for it is a grave sin. When someone is offended, God, Who loves the man, is also offended, for there can be no offending man without offending God. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

The praying person is continually beset by a stream of inappropriate thoughts, feelings and mental impressions. To stop this tiresome stream is as impracticable as to stop the air from circulating in an open room. But one can notice them or not. This, say the saints, one learns only through practice. Tito Colliander

The cross is the beacon upon which Christ places the light of the world, by which we become a light for the world. 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 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 18 / 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

Sarina (Ghanem)
Kasiani, Jordan and their unborn child (Chapekis)
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


For St. Sabbas the Sanctified

The saints shall boast in glory.
Sing unto the Lord a new song.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (5:22-6:2)

Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control: against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a person is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore such a one in a spirit of meekness; looking to yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law ofChrist.



For the Tenth Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (13:10-17)

At that time, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrite! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As Jesus said this, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by Him.

St. Peter Orthodox Church