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St. Peter Newsletter April 9, 2019

Fr. Zossima and St. Mary of Egypt

Fifth Sunday of Great Lent
St. Mary of Egypt

Apostles Aristarchos, Pudens and Trophymos of the Seventy; Martyr Thomais of Alexandria; New-Martyr Demetrios of the Peloponnesos

Fr. Zossima and St. Mary of Egypt
Fr. Zossima and St. Mary of Egypt

Who was St. Mary of Egypt?

Our holy mother Mary was born in Egypt. She had left her parents at the age of twelve to go to Alexandria, where she spent the next seventeen years in debauchery and the greatest profligacy. Living on charity and linen-weaving, she nevertheless offered her body to any man, not being forced to it by dire necessity as were so many poor women, but as though she were consumed by the fire of a desire that nothing was able to appease.

One day, seeing a crowd of Lybians and Egyptians moving towards the port, she followed them and set sail with them for Jerusalem, offering her body to pay her fare. When they arrived in the Holy City, she followed the crowd that was thronging towards the Church of the Resurrection, it being the day of the Exaltation of the Cross. But, when she reached the threshold of the church, an invisible force prevented her entering in spite of repeated efforts on her part, although the other pilgrims were able to go in without hindrance.

Left alone in a corner of the narthex, she began to realize that it was the impurity of her life that was preventing her approaching the holy Wood. She burst into tears and smote her breast and, seeing an icon of the Mother of God, made this prayer to her: “O Sovereign Lady, who didst bear God in the flesh, I know that I should not dare to look upon thine icon, thou who are pure in soul and body, because, debauched as I am, I must fill thee with disgust. But, as the God born of thee became man in order to call sinners to repentance, come to my aid! Allow me to go into the church and prostrate before His Cross. And, as soon as I have seen the Cross, I promise that I will renounce the world and all pleasures, and follow the path of salvation that thou willest to show me.”

She felt herself suddenly freed from the power that had held her and was able to enter the church. There she fervently venerated the Holy Cross and then, returning to the icon of the Mother of God, declared herself ready to follow the path that the Virgin would show her. A voice replied to her from on high: “If you cross the Jordan, you will find rest.”

Read more on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

Lazarus Saturday

The Raising of Lazarus
The Raising of Lazarus

On the Saturday before Holy Week, the Orthodox Church commemorates a major feast of the year, the miracle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when he raised Lazarus from the dead after he had lain in the grave four days. Here, at the end of Great Lent and the forty days of fasting and penitence, the Church combines this celebration with that of Palm Sunday.

In triumph and joy the Church bears witness to the power of Christ over death and exalts Him as King before entering the most solemn week of the year, one that leads the faithful in remembrance of His suffering and death and concludes with the great and glorious Feast of Pascha.

Read more on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

Baptism of Catechumens on Lazarus Saturday

In the early Church catechumens (seekers preparing for baptism) were baptized on Lazarus Saturday so that they could enter Holy Week as Orthodox Christians.

On Lazarus Saturday, immediately following the Divine Liturgy, we will baptize four people (one baby, three adults) at St. Peter’s.

Parents – Bring Your Children!

We will begin with the Liturgy (where Fr. Hans will explain the importance of the day to the children) and baptisms, followed by a pancake breakfast, making palm crosses to be distributed the next day at Palm Sunday and confession for the kids.

St. Basil Liturgy During Lent

On the Sundays of Lent we worship with the Liturgy of St. Basil instead of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. What is the difference between the two? The Liturgy of St Basil is a bit longer because the priests prayers a longer, say 10 minutes or so.

The Liturgy of St. John Chrysotom is derived from the Liturgy of St. Basil.

Order Your Holy Week Service Books

Holy Week Service Book

At St. Peter’s we don’t have the resources to provide Holy Week service books to our parishioners. Those who would like a book can order their private copy from Ancient Faith Press or the Antiochian Book Store.

Books cost $35 each. Five copies ordered through the Antiochian Bookstore offers a $25 discount. Perhaps some parishioners could order five and donate four to St. Peter’s so that we can start a library for future years.

If anyone would care to donate toward service books please see Fr. Hans.

Also, the Greek Orthodox Holy Week book (Papadeas) works too because the order of services are the same. The English will vary from the Antiochian book in a few places however.

Learn About Lent

Click to learn more

Check out the rich resources about Lent and Holy Week on the Antiochian website.


Sign up for Palm Sunday Brunch (Sunday April 21, 2019)

St. Peter’s will hold a Palm Sunday Brunch following the Liturgy on Palm Sunday, April 21. This is a great time of fellowship for all. We need a count so please sign up at Church this Sunday or send an email with names of people attending.

Sign up for Agape Service Pascha Dinner (Sunday April 28, 2019)

On Pascha Sunday we will come together again after the Pascha service to celebrate Agape Vespers on Sunday, April 28, a very short service followed by a community wide Pascha dinner. This will be good! We need a count so please sign up at Church this Sunday or send an email with names of people attending.


St. Peter Second Annual Bake Sale Ends on April 14

Supplies are running low. Remaing items for sale are:

  • 3 trays of Spanikopita (Spinach pies, $35/tray)
  • 11 trays of Tiropita (Cheese pies, $35/try)
  • 10 dozen Baklava
  • 60 dozen Koulouria (Cookies)

Baked goods are on sale on April 14. All items pre-ordered will be available for pick up on April 14 as well. Thank you for your support!


Pledge Report

In order to meet our operating Budget goal for 2019 we need to take in $16,666.00 each month.

Please pledge in order to meet our goal. Pledge forms are available on the table in the narthex.


Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help

Interfaith Charities, the local agency St. Peter’s partners with to help working poor families in our immediate area needs these items:

  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Tuna
  • Mac and cheese
  • Soup
  • SpaghettiOs
  • Jelly
  • Used clothing
  • Used housewares

St. Peter’s is committed to helping the poor among us. If each family could bring some of these items to church this Sunday and the next, then we will get them to Interfaith Charities and the families who need them.


Lent and Holy Week Schedule Posted

Click the image to view and print. Copies will also be available at Church.

Click to view and print


Icons Available in the Social Hall

St. Peter’s has a large selection of Icons available for sale and donation. They come in various sizes — mini, small, medium and large.

The Icons are generously donated by Theo Palis and therefore all proceeds go directly to St. Peter’s.

If there is a specific icon you are looking for and we don’t have it, Theo might be able to make it for you.


New Member Classes and Bible Studies

St. Demetrios Brotherhood meets on Thursday at 7:00pm.

Bible studies cancelled until after Holy Week.


Calendar At A Glance

Note: Lent and Holy Week Schedule available on the St. Peter website.


  • Mon Apr 8 — Great Compline at 6:30pm
  • Wed Apr 10 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • Fri Apr 12 — Complete Salutations 6:30pm
  • Mon Apr 15 — Great Compline at 6:30pm
  • Wed Apr 17 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • Fri Apr 19 — Small Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus 6:30pm
  • Fri Apr 20 — Lazarus Saturday Liturgy 9:30am / Baptisms / Make crosses / Pancake
    breakfast / Children confessions

UPCOMING – Mark your calendars!

  • Sun Apr 21 — Palm Sunday Brunch following Liturgy
  • Sun Apr 28 — PASCHA Community Dinner following Agape Vespers
  • Sun May 12 — Mother’s Day Brunch following Liturgy
  • Sun Jun 16 — Father’s Day Barbecue following Liturgy

Wisdom From The Elders

We must not boldly throw ourselves into the abyss of sorrows; this would be prideful self-reliance. But when sorrows come of their own accord do not be afraid of them; do not think that they came by accident or circumstance. No, they are allowed by God’s unfathomable Providence. St. Nikon of Optina

Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. Philippians 4:6

Remove yourself in every way possible from all circumstances in which you are inescapably forced to see and hear a lot of bad things. There is company in which bad conversations are a usual or even a favorite way to pass the time. There are amusements in which the tendency to sensual pleasure finds the most plen­tiful nourishment. Those fond of frequenting such set­tings can easily throw their hearts into confusion and become entangled in the web of seduction.
Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg

And when our motives are pure, we are at peace. This is how we can distinguish whether or not our every action is good. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

God takes each person at the very best time of his life, in a particular manner, in order to save his soul. If He sees that someone will improve, God will give him time to live. But if He sees that he’ll become worse, God takes him in order to save him. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

Yet that which calls us forward is love: the love God has shown us, and the love the heart desires to return to Him. So accept your little cross out of love, and do not become disheartened when pains and struggles accompany the life to which we are called. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

Remember in Your Prayers

Bill R.
Pat R.
Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Presvytera Charlotte
Bryan, Carolina, their unborn baby
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Doug Spencer
Kathy Spencer
Kathy D.
Sofia Tešanovic
Dennis H. and Family
Victor Evan
Dimitri – Presbyter
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
Presbytera Rosy
Eva W.
Carol Ann
Maria Louise
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
James Hord

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

Christ Giving Blessing


Make your vows to the Lord our God, and perform them.
God is known in Judah; His Name is great in Israel.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (9:11-14)

Brethren, when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, thenthrough the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), Heentered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but His ownblood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the bloodof goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself withoutblemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (10:32-45)

At that time, Jesus took His twelve Disciples, and began to tell them what was to happento Him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of man will be delivered tothe chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles. And they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit upon Him, and kill Him; and after three days He will rise.”

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Him, and said to Him, “Teacher, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire” And Jesus said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And they said to Him, “Grant us to sit, one at Thy right hand and one at Thy left, in Thy glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to Him, “We are able.”

And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized. But to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be servant of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church