The Epistle Reading about the Apostle Paul
In the epistle reading for Sunday has the Apostle Paul tells us about how he suffering for the sake of his children in the faith in the Churches that he started. He lists the things he went through, and then tells his readers that they too should imitate him. (See the reading at the bottom of this post.)
St. Paul says that he was “born out of due season” because he was not a disciple of Christ when Christ was performing His earthly ministry. In fact, he said that he was the least worthy of all disciples because he persecuted the Church of Christ before his conversion. St. Paul (who was known as Saul at the time) was present when St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was stoned to death.
St. Paul came to Christ on the road to Damascus (that’s where we get the phrase “a road to Damascus experience”). He was confronted by the Lord Jesus and struck blind. Christ talked to Him and St. Paul (Saul) talked to Christ and he became a follower of Christ.
In the scripture reading for Sunday we see how greatly St. Paul suffered for his churches but then he adds:
I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
What St. Paul means here is that he does no list his sufferings to make us ashamed, but to exhort us, to warn us, that we are to follow his teachings and his teachings alone. There were many false apostles at the time of St. Paul, and some of them would go to the churches he started and try to pervert the teachings. None of them suffered for his flock as he had however, and this suffering was both 1) proof of his apostleship (the authority given to him by God), and 2) his great love for them.
A Brief Biography
Named Saul at his birth in the city of Tarsus, the holy apostle was a son of the tribe of Benjamin. Saul became a Pharisee under Gamaliel, one of the chief Jewish Rabbis (Masters/Teachers) of the day. After his study under the great Rabbi, Saul became one of the chief persecutors of Christians. Present at the stoning of St Stephen (Acts 7: 58), Saul later found himself blinded by Jesus Himself on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-22). Sought out by the Apostle Ananias, Saul immediately repented and Ananias baptized him.
Saul, soon after his conversion called Paul, was later named and numbered among the Apostles. The extent of Paul’s preaching as he spread the Gospel went far and wide from Arabia to Spain, to both Jews and Gentiles. He was called the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” Paul spent his new life in suffering and labor for Christ, establishing and organizing churches everywhere. He reached such a state of perfection that he was able to say to the Church at Galatia: “not I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Like the Apostle Barnabas, Paul studied under Gamaliel.
The account of Paul’s missionary journeys and the letters he wrote to the Churches he founded form an important part of the New Testament. St. Paul was martyred with the Apostle Peter under Nero by beheading.
Farewell to a Good Friend
It is with sadness that we received the news that Dino Houpis will not be returning to Naples and St. Peter’s this winter. This is a great disappointment for Dino and our community. Dino loves St. Peter’s and we love him.
Dino sends his regards to everyone in St. Peter’s. I asked him if it would be okay to make this announcement in the newsletter and he said yes. He also asked me to tell you that he will miss all of his friends at St. Peter’s.
Many of you don’t know that Dino is a very accomplished man who was the trailblazer in a mechanical theory and wrote the first book in his field that is still the standard used in universities today. He is working on editing the newest edition.
Pray for Dino, especially for his health. These last few years have been very difficult for him. If anyone would like to send him a note you can write him at: Dr. Constantine Houpis, 7001 Charing Court, Huber Heights, Ohio, 45424.
Dino will be living with his son and daughter-in-law in Dayton, OH.
Events This Fall
As we enter into the new Ecclesiastical Year, St. Peter’s will hold at least one monthly parish event. Please mark you calendars.
- September 4, 2016 (Sunday) Labor Day Barbecue Following Divine Liturgy.
- October (Date to be Announced) New Members Welcome Reception.
- November 12-13 Christmas Lent Retreat with Fr. Gregory Jensen on “Building an Intentional Community.” Fr. Gregory will speak on our calling and vocation as Christians and how to live it especially in the Church.
More details as we move closer to the dates.
Labor Day Barbecue Sunday, September 4, 2016
Plan on attending our Labor Day Barbecue cooked by Tom Haley and crew following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, September 4.
The food will be as good as the fellowship!
Make sure to bring your kids. They love to play together.
We Offered a Good Amount of Food for the Poor
St. Peter’s helps Interfaith Charities at crunch time. Usually we supply food items for the children of the working poor families they help.
Thank you to all who donated in the latest call for help.
For I was hungry and you gave me food… (Matthew 25: 35).
Receive the Daily Readings in your Inbox
You can read the daily scripture readings in two ways:
- Follow the calendar on the website, or
- Have them delivered to your inbox by signing up (scroll to bottom of page).
You can also download apps for your mobile device for daily readings.
Reading scripture is important. Our hearts have to be purified but so do our minds. Holy Scripture contains what our Lord wants us to know and understand. It shapes how we think, and how we think is how we see the world. Read scripture and the eyes of our mind will open to see Jesus Christ working around us more clearly.
Register Your Children for Sunday School
Sunday School begins September 11, 2016 — the first Sunday after Labor Day and parents need to register their children!
You can register you child in three ways:
- Fill in the registration online on the website or…
- Download and print the registration form, fill it in and bring it to Church or…
- During Social Hall on Sundays.
Please register early. Sunday School is growing and we need to plan. It is only about 7 weeks away.
Choir practice on Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Choir practice also this Wednesday, August 17, 2016.
Choir practice begins at 6:00pm
Bible Study on Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Bible Study also this Wednesday, August 17, 2016.
Bible Study begins at 7:00pm
Wisdom from the Elders
It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.
But how could you live and have no story to tell?
To love someone means to see them as God intended them.
You can be sincere and still be stupid.
I love mankind, he said, “but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular.
—Fyodor Dostoevsky (not officially an elder but very wise nonetheless)
Such is the power of love: it embraces, and unites, and fastens together not only those who are present and near, and visible, but also those who are distant. And neither time, not separation in space, nor anything else of that kind, can break up and divide in pieces the affection of the soul.
—St. John Chrysostom
Remain in prayer, persevere, go through the day without sin. All the rest will be given by God Himself.
—Archimandrite Sophrony of Essex
A man can be harmed by another only through the causes of the passions which lie within himself. It is for this reason that God, the Creator of all and the Doctor of men’s souls, who alone has accurate knowledge of the soul’s wounds, does not tell us to forsake the company of men; He tells us to root out the causes of evil within us and to recognize that the soul’s health is achieved not by a man’s separating himself from his fellows, but by his living the ascetic life in the company of holy men.
When we abandon our brothers for some apparently good reason, we do not eradicate the motives for dejection but merely exchange them, since the sickness which lies hidden within us will show itself again in other circumstances.
—St. John Cassian
Prayer List on the St. Peter website
The Prayer List is now available on the St. Peter website. You can add or remove names using the form provided. More important is that you can print out the names periodically to keep on your family altar or near your icons and bible and reference the names whenever you pray.
Remember in Your Prayers
Gerhard Kuring (Bettina Zifiris’ father)
Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.
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 the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.
The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (4:9-16)
Brethren, God has exhibited us Apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill clad and buffeted and homeless; and we labor, working with our own hands.
When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
For the Tenth Sunday of Matthew
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (17:14-23)
At that time, a man came up to Jesus and kneeling before Him said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus said to them, “Because you have no faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. This kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting.” As they were traveling together through Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and He will rise on the third day.”