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St. Peter Newsletter August 6, 2019

The Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Afterfeast of the Transfiguration

Martyr and Archdeacon Euplos of Catania in Sicily;
Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople; New-Martyrs Anastasios and Demetrios of Lesbos

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

Dormition of the Theotokos

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.

St. Peter Orthodox Church

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 thismorning – to aid us in our tuition expenses, as well as in our necessitated relocation for our finalnine months at St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary. It’s enormously uplifting, and of a greatboost to our morale, knowing that we are held in your thoughts, hearts, and prayers. Yet, not simplyby this. From the moment we set foot into the sacred walls of St. Peter’s, each and every one of youhas 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 areall beautiful souls, by whom the Light of Christ continues to burn. I am with immense faith, thatthrough your compassion, devotion, love, and generosity, innumerable souls will come to know OurSaviour 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 kindand merciful spirits. As you know, my wife, by the strengthening of Our Lord, places in nearly sixtyto 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 otherforms. Yet, as Christ tells us, “… if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take uphis cross daily, and follow me” [Lk. 9:23]. By your prayers, and His merciful interventions, I havegreat 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’sCommandment to “love thy neighbour as thyself.” I have no doubt in my soul that the good Lordsmiles upon you all. Please, know that you, and all your kin will forever be remembered in my dailyprayers and commemorations. Moreover, please do not hesitate to reach out, personally, could webe 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 theLord’s blessing forever fall upon you, your loved ones, and all the endeavors of your hands. Weremain with love,

Your unworthy servants in Christ,

Reverend Deacon Daniel & Tabita Valentine

St. Peter Orthodox Church

Pilgrimage to Panagia Vlaheron Monastery in Ocala FL. on Saturday August 10, 2019

Join us for a Dormition Pilgrimage to the Panagia Vlaheron Monastery on Saturday, August 10.

The bus leaves St. Peter’s at 8:00am and returns at 9:00pm. The cost is $30 to pay for transportation.

Please sign up on Sunday in the Social Hall following the Divine Liturgy.

Visiting the monastery always entails a special blessing, although sometimes the blessing is not evident until two or three days later. It also introduces us to monastic life, and shows us how the monastic dimension of Orthodoxy strengthens the entire Church.

Steve Breitenbach New President of AMEN

Steve Breitenbach

Thank you to Steve Breitenbach who has taken leadership of St. Peter’s recently formed Antiochian Men (AMEN) group.

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.

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 Study

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


Calendar At A Glance


  • Wed Aug 7 — Paraklesis Service 6pm
  • Fri Aug 9 — Paraklesis Service 6pm
  • Mon Aug 12 — Paraklesis Service 6pm
  • Tue Aug 13 — Paraklesis Service 6pm
  • Wed Aug 14 — Dormition Liturgy 6:30pm

Wisdom From The Elders

God knows when to give us what we ask for, so we won’t be harmed spiritually. Sometimes we ask God for something, but we have no patience and are troubled. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

He has shown you, O mortal what is good; and what does the LORD require of you? but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah

Always remember that you were born into this world so that you may do good to all insofar as possible on every occasion. St. Theophan the Recluse

The way to the kingdom of God is a moral rebirth of man’s whole spiritual nature, a development in him of a Christian outlook, and a formation of his will in the spirit of New Testament love and truth. Protopriest Grigori Dyachenko

And so you must not become despondent in your illness and weakness, but on the contrary, rejoice in spirit, being comforted with the thought that the Lord has come closer to you now, and later will adopt you as His own children, if you will remain faithful to Him to the end and bear without grumbling all the sorrows that He finds necessary to send you. He that endureth to the end shall be saved (Matt. 10:22). Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

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. Venerable Abba Dorotheos of Gaza


Remember in Your Prayers

John J. (B Duskcas)
Alan L (B Duskcas)
Richard (Wilkowski)
Charles (Oberg)
Christine (Kouzes)
Nina (Kovalev)
Hugh (Jacquie)
Violet (Jacquie Mom)
Tammie (Jacquie friend)
Baby Luke
Priest Kyprianos
Presvytera Charlotte
Savannah (Jonson)
Bill R.
Pat R.
Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Presvytera Charlotte
Bryan, Carolina, their unborn baby
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 Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

The Lord will give strength to His people.
Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of God, ascribe to the Lord honor and glory.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (1:10-17)

Brethren, I appeal to you, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree andthat there be no dissension among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the samejudgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you,my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,”or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crisposand Gaius; lest anyone should say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also thehousehold of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christdid not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the crossof Christ be emptied of its power.


For the Eighth Sunday of Matthew

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

At that time, when Jesus went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion onthem, and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is alonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy foodfor themselves.” Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They saidto Him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”Then He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fishHe looked up to Heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelvebaskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men,besides women and children. Then Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before Himto the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.

St. Peter Orthodox Church