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St. Peter Newsletter August 29, 2019

Jesus reading the scriptures in the synagogue

Beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year

Righteous Simeon the Stylite; Synaxis of the Theotokos at Miasinae

St. Simeon the Stylite
St. Simeon the Stylite

Who was St. Simeon the Stylite?

Saint Simeon spent 80 years in arduous monastic feats, 47 years of which he stood upon the pillar. God granted him to accomplish in such unusual conditions an indeed apostolic service. Many pagans accepted Baptism, struck by the moral staunchness and bodily strength which the Lord bestowed upon His servant.

The first one to learn of the death of the saint was his close disciple Anthony. Concerned that his teacher had not appeared to the people for three days, he went up on the pillar and found the dead body stooped over at prayer. Patriarch Martyrius of Antioch performed the funeral before a huge throng of clergy and people. They buried him near his pillar. At the place of his ascetic deeds, Anthony established a monastery, upon which rested the special blessing of Saint Simeon.

Read the complete history on the Orthodox Chruch in America website.


September 1 is the Church New Year, Also Called “Indiction”

The first day of the Church New Year is also called the beginning of the Indiction. The term Indiction comes from a Latin word meaning, “to impose.” It was originally applied to the imposition of taxes in Egypt. The first worldwide Indiction was in 312 when the Emperor Constantine (May 21) saw a miraculous vision of the Cross in the sky. Before the introduction of the Julian calendar, Rome began the New Year on September 1.

According to Holy Tradition, Christ entered the synagogue on September 1 to announce His mission to mankind (Luke 4:16-22). Quoting Isaiah 61:1-2), the Savior proclaimed, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to proclaim release to captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…” This scene is depicted in a Vatican manuscript (Vatican, Biblioteca. Cod. Gr. 1613, p.1).

Tradition says that the Hebrews entered the Promised Land in September.

Source: Orthodox Church in America website.


Upcoming Liturgies

Beheading of John the Baptist Liturgy, Thursday, August 29, 2018 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 Wednesday, 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.

This is particularly true of St. Peter’s with the recent installation of the icon of St. John the Baptist. St. John, like the Theotokos, work to bring people to Christ. They work in different ways. We welcome their intercessions and honoring them increases the grace of God they bring to us.


Elevation of the Holy Cross Divine Liturgy, Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 9:30am

Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered.

The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses. Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole.

Consequently, the precious Cross was lifted on high by Archbishop Macarius of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, “Lord have mercy.”

It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country (see Jan. 22, Saint Anastasius the Persian). Late, in the year 628, Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place.


Fr. Hans Out of Town Thursday, September 5 to Saturday, September 7, 2019

He will be attending the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast (our diocese) retreat in Franklin, Tennessee. He will be available on his cell phone.

Men: Join AMEN

Antiochian Diocese of Miami and the South East

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:

A Thank You From Mihail Strezev

Mihail Strezev

Dear Parishioners of St. Peter’s,

I would like to express my deep gratitude to St. Peter’s Church, to its community, and to Fr. Hans for being with me all the time of my living here, for the spiritual and material support that I needed, to enable me to go and study at the Eastman School of Music.

I become of a beautiful family that helped me go through a very difficult time in my life. Thank you all for your prayers and your trust in my talent!

I am going far away but I will always be part of our family and will be coming back to see you whenever it is possible.

With much love,


A Note From Fr. Hans — Be A Missionary

The Good Samaritan by Vincent Van Gogh (detail)

Mihail wrote a beautiful note above. What many do not realize is that he found St. Peter’s when running into Jeremiah and Irina at Starbucks. Jeremiah and Irina met him, and after conversation invited Mihail to St. Peter’s. Mihail came and St. Peter’s became a family to him. He was going through a very difficult time and God brought him here to help him.

What would have happened if Jeremiah and Irina were not missionary minded, if they would have not perceived Mihail’s need and neglected to mention how God can help him and how he needed to come to the Church? Most likely Mihail would not have found the Church and his difficulties would have continued.

It’s an audacious thing to say but in a way our Lord relies on us. Often we are the messengers, the point of contact between our Lord and people searching for Him. If we don’t do our job, what needs to get done does not get done.

Jeremiah and Irina went to Starbucks not knowing that Mihail would enter their lives, and through them Mihail would enter the Church. Mihail did not know that the Church would help him sort things out, encourage him, and make his path more clear. That’s why the Lord him to Jeremiah and Irina. That’s how it works.

Be missionaries. Be open to people entering your life who are looking for God, which is to say they are also looking for clarity, stability, understanding, real friendship, meaning — all the necessary constituents that give our lives the life we yearn for and that have their source in God.

If we are open in the way Jeremiah and Irena were, the Lord will bring people to us like He brought Mihail to them. That is how the vision of St. Peter’s that it becomes a home for anyone seeking God (a vision that comes from our Lord Himself) will be fulfilled.

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


  • Thu Aug 29 — Beheading of St. John the Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Fri Aug 30 — Parish Council Meeting 2:30pm


  • Thu Sep 5 — Joachim and Anna Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Thu-Sat Sep 5-7 — Fr. Hans Out of Town (Diocese Conference)
  • Sat Sep 14 — elevation of the Holy Cross Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Mon Sep 23 — Conception of St. John Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Thu Sep 26 — Apostle John Divine Liturgy 9:30am

Wisdom From The Elders

Many people have never experienced the pleasure of a light stomach. St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Especially inexcusable are faint-heartedness and unbelief in the’ man who has already been deemed worthy of often receiving marvellous help from God the Saviour. O, how great a sinner I am! St. John of Kronstadt

It is God, Who is merciful and grants everyone what he needs, Who is building him up when He gives him more than he needs; in doing so He shows the abundance of His love for men and teaches him to give thanks. When He does not grant him what he needs, He makes him compensate for the thing he needs through the working of the mind and teaches him patience. St. Dorotheos of Gaza

Do not be discouraged when you see no improvement. One thing is needful: try to live according to the Gospel commandments. Fight and defend yourself against every sin through deeds, words or thoughts, and do not voluntarily succumb to bad influences. If you do succumb, repent before the Lord, ask forgiveness, and rise to fight again. And so until death. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

For even if we do not seek virtue, but at least praise it, we shall perhaps be able to attain it; and even if we do not avoid evil, but at least censure it, we shall perhaps be able to escape it. St. John Chrysostom

The Christian, who is called to a heavenly country, who is only a stranger and a sojourner upon earth, ought not attach his heart to anything earthly, but should cling to God alone, the Source of life, our resurrrection, and the Life eternal. St. John of Kronstadt


Remember in Your Prayers

Anastasios (B. Hord)
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 Indiction

Great is our Lord, and great is His power.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy. (2:1-7)

Timothy, my son, first of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,Who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (4:16-22)

At that time, Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and He went to the synagogue, as His custom was, on the Sabbath day. And He stood up to read; and there was given to Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor and to heal the broken hearted. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” And Jesus closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of Him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.

St. Peter Orthodox Church