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St. Peter Newsletter August 13, 2019

The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Afterfeast of the Dormition

Martyrs Floros and Lauros of Illyria
Venerable Sophronios of St. Anne Skete on Athos

Dormition of the Theotokos Liturgy on Wednesday, August 14, at 6:30pm

What is the Dormition of the Theotokos?

The Holy Scriptures tell us that when our Lord was dying on the Cross, He saw His mother and His disciple John and said to the Virgin Mary, “Woman, behold your son!” and to John, “Behold your mother!” (John 19:25-27). From that hour, the Apostle took care of the Theotokos in his own home.

Along with the biblical reference in Acts 1:14 that confirms that the Virgin Mary was with the Holy Apostles on the day of Pentecost, the tradition of the Church holds that she remained in the home of the Apostle John in Jerusalem, continuing a ministry in word and deed.

At the time of her death, the disciples of our Lord who were preaching throughout the world returned to Jerusalem to see the Theotokos. Except for the Apostle Thomas, all of them including the Apostle Paul were gathered together at her bedside. At the moment of her death, Jesus Christ himself descended and carried her soul into heaven.

Following her repose, the body of the Theotokos was taken in procession and laid in a tomb near the Garden of Gethsemane. When the Apostle Thomas arrived three days after her repose and desired to see her body, the tomb was found to be empty. The bodily assumption of the Theotokos was confirmed by the message of an angel and by her appearance to the Apostles.

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.


Dormtion Fast and Akathist Hymns Continue Through August 15

August 1 starts the Dormition period in our Orthodox Church. We fast (abstain from meat and dairy as much as possible) from August 1 to August 15. At St. Peter’s the fast ends after the Dormition Liturgy on the evening of August 14.

Most weekdays we will sing an Akathist to the Theotokos starting at 6:00pm. These are very powerful prayers and you will notice a focusing in your life if you participate in them.

On the evening of August 14, 2018 we will celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos with a Divine Liturgy at 6:30pm.

Thank You From Dn. Daniel and Tabita Valentine

Last Sunday was Dn. Daniel’s last Sunday of service at St. Peter’s, although he will be joining us whenever he is on break from his studies at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. As many of you know, Dn. Daniel is completing the last nine months of his three year preparation for ordination to the priesthood.

We held a small goodbye gathering after Liturgy and he passed along this note of thanks to St. Peter parishioners.

4 August 2019 +
The “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus

Dear Fr. Hans, Parish Council, and Pious Faithful of St. Peter’s,

Father, bless. Christ is in Our Midst! He is And Always Shall Be!

It is with immense joy and gratitude that we received your heartfelt gifts at the reception this morning – to aid us in our tuition expenses, as well as in our necessitated relocation for our final nine months at St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary. It’s enormously uplifting, and of a great boost to our morale, knowing that we are held in your thoughts, hearts, and prayers. Yet, not simply by this. From the moment we set foot into the sacred walls of St. Peter’s, each and every one of you has continued to encourage us. You have graced us with your faith, integrity, hospitality, and love.You have welcomed us into your lives and into your hearts: truly, St. Peter’s is our home. You are all beautiful souls, by whom the Light of Christ continues to burn. I am with immense faith, that through your compassion, devotion, love, and generosity, innumerable souls will come to know Our Savior and His Salvation – through your examples. You are an inspiration.

From the bottom of my heart, I am thankful for each and every one of you; likewise, for your kind and merciful spirits. As you know, my wife, by the strengthening of Our Lord, places in nearly sixty to eighty hours a week as a Wound Nurse & Consultant, in order to maintain us on one income.Your gifts are a true blessing! It genuinely is a struggle through Seminary, spiritually and in other forms. Yet, as Christ tells us, “… if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” [Lk. 9:23]. By your prayers, and His merciful interventions, I have great faith we will be able to accomplish such a journey. We peer forward to great labors to come.

Your generosity is truly of selflessness, kindness, and love – the fulfillment of Our Lord’s Commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” I have no doubt in my soul that the good Lord smiles upon you all. Please, know that you, and all your kin will forever be remembered in my daily prayers and commemorations. Moreover, please do not hesitate to reach out, personally, could we be of aid to you in any of your blessed labor.

Please, continue to hold us in your God-pleasing prayers. Thank you, so very much; and, may the Lord’s blessing forever fall upon you, your loved ones, and all the endeavors of your hands. We remain with love,

Your unworthy servants in Christ,

Reverend Deacon Daniel & Tabita Valentine

Two Upcoming Liturgies

Tuesday, August 27 – St. Phanourios at 9:30am

St. Phanourios

The holy, glorious and right-victorious Great-martyr Phanourios (also Fanurius, Fanourios, Phanurius, Phanourius) the Newly Appeared of Rhodes, the Miracle-Worker, is commemorated by the Church on August 27. There is no literature available in the church prior to discovering his little church in Rhodes so not much is known about St. Phanourios’s life other than the images of his martyrdom on his icon.

In the Church we have the tradition of patron saints. St. Phanourios has become famous for assisting the faithful in revealing lost or hidden spiritual matters of the heart, objects, directing or revealing actions that should be taken, restoring health and similar situations. He is then honoured by the faithful through a symbolic cake, called the “Phanouropita” which can be brought to the church, at any time, for a blessing.

We will celebrate the Liturgy for St. Phanourios on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 9:30am.

Read more about St. Phanourios on the OrthodoxWiki website.

Thursday, August 29 – Beheading of St. John the Baptist at 9:30am

The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner
The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

We will celebrate the Liturgy of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on Thursday, August 29, 2018 starting at 9:30am. Why celebrate this important day? Because when we celebrate the liturgies of important Saints, their presence and power becomes more evident in our Church.

Men: Join AMEN

AMEN is growing in the Miami Diocese, very fast actually, and there is a lot of good energy behind it. Fr. Hans has been appointed the Spiritual Advisor to the group by Bp. Nicholas. Steve Breitenbach is our local president.

What will AMEN do? It will bring together the men of the parish for friendship, fellowship, and work.

St. Peter’s Men:

Fr. Hans Interviewed by AMEN President Michael Bacleg

Click the image to view the interview.

Tuition for Young Organist Mihail Strezev

Mihail Strezev

Many of you know Mihail (we call him Michael). You see him coming into church late on Sundays. He comes late because he makes his living playing the organ for other churches on Sundays. On weekday liturgies you see him come in on time.

Mihail has a very interesting story that you can read on his God Fund Me page. He won the Green Card Lottery in his home country of Moldavia, came to Naples, was invited to play a new organ at a concert and it turned out one of the American Grand Master organ players heard his playing and invited him to attend the Eastman School of Music to become his student.

Mihail found St. Peter’s through Jeremiah and Irina. They were having coffee one day and bumped into Mihail. He was struggling a bit (a stranger in a strange land at the time) and invited him to St. Peter’s. He came and has been a member of our congregation ever since. He comes from an Orthodox family and his devout mother probably thanks the Lord every day he found St. Peter’s.

Mihail is raising money for his tuition. Tuition each year for his two year program costs $39,000. He received a $22,000 scholarship. He also needs to raise another $15,000 for living expenses for the year although he is going to try and make it on $10,000. This leaves $27,000 yet to be raised. If he does well the first year, his second year will be paid. This shows that Eastman definitely sees he has talent.

It’s remarkable thing for us to witness as well. It takes a lot of courage and fortitude to come into a strange country and move forward to establish your talents and gifts. It shows America is still a place of opportunity for those who have the resolve and discipline to make something of themselves. Mihail is one of those people.

We need to pray that somehow Mihail’s goal of raising the money will be reached somehow. Prayer works, but we have to do our part as well, just as Mihail is doing his. If you can help please do. If you know of others resources please let Mihail know about that too. You can help him on his Go Fund Me page.

Click the image below to hear him play.

Pledge Report – July 2019

In order to meet our operating Budget goal for 2019 we need to take in $16,777.00 each month.

In June we took in $9741.00 in total donations. Our monthly goal is $16777.00 leaving us $7036.00 short for June.

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


Bible Studies

Bible Studies have been cancelled for the summer. We will resume in September.


Calendar At A Glance


  • Tue Aug 13 — Paraklesis Service 6pm
  • Wed Aug 14 — Dormition Liturgy 6:30pm
  • Tue Aug 27 — St. Phanourios Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Thu Aug 29 — Beheading of St. John the Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am

Wisdom From The Elders

In the event of a violent attack of the enemy, when a weakening of the will and darkening of the mind is felt, vocal prayer is indispensable. St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov), Bishop of the Caucasus and the Black Sea

Be most careful not to break the least of God’s commandments; such a violation would destroy your likeness to God, and would bring you near to the likeness of the Devil. The more you transgress God’s commandments, the more you will grow like unto the Devil. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Sin is foolish and destructive. For instance, a drunkard, from the excessive use of spirituous liquors, becomes ill, and indulges in various dissipations and shameful acts, which he himself is ashamed to think of and remember afterwards. And yet he continues to give himself up to drink. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Through God’s great wisdom, sins and demons can contribute to man’s humility, and through that—to his salvation. This is why the Lord commanded not to pluck the tares from the wheat (Matt. 13:25); without the tares it would have been easy for pride to spring up, and God opposes pride. Pride and high-mindedness only lead to per­dition. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

Uproot from your heart, by every means, both bodily and spiritual pride, which resists the Holy Ghost; it lies imperceptibly hidden in your heart, and clearly shows itself in your intercourse with your fellow-men, or during prayer. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

With patience, prayer, humility and thankfulness to the Lord, conquer your present state. The Lord is near. He is looking at your heart. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev


Remember in Your Prayers

Anastasios (B. Hord)
John J. (B Duskcas)
Alan L (B Duskcas)
Charles (Oberg)
Christine (Kouzes)
Nina (Kovalev)
Hugh (Jacquie)
Violet (Jacquie Mom)
Tammie (Jacquie friend)
Baby Luke
Priest Kyprianos
Savannah (Jonson)
Bill R.
Pat R.
Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
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


For the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Make vows to the Lord thy God and perform them.
In Judah God is known; His Name is great in Israel.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (3:9-17)

Brethren, we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw, each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.


For the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (14:22-34)

At that time, Jesus made the Disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side,while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on themountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the Disciples’ boat bythis time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. But when the Disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is Thee, bid me come to Thee on the water.” He said, “Come.”So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind,he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly, Thou art the Son of God.” And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.

St. Peter Orthodox Church