St. Peter Newsletter — December 20, 2013

nativity-newsletter

Christmas Eve Liturgy, December 24 at 6:30pm

Mark your calendar. On Christmas we will hold a Nativity Liturgy starting at 6:30pm at the Holiday Inn.

Following the Liturgy we will have refreshments, sing some Christmas carols and enjoy some healthy fellowship (like we always do!).

Bring your friends.

Bishop Antoun’s Visit

His Grace Bishop Antoun

His Grace
Bishop Antoun

First off, thank you to everyone who worked so diligently helping prepare for Bp. Antoun’s visit. Extra effort was evident all around, from the people who came in early to help set up to the choir who practiced hard and sung beautifully.

Bp. Antoun was impressed with our fledgling mission and saw we are serious. Our turnout was good too, over sixty people someone who counted told me. That’s impressive too.

Picture of the reception are already posted on the website.

What’s the take-away? It’s hard to tell so soon but one I think is this: We are more aware of our own viability as an Orthodox parish. Our self-identity as a competent and enduring Orthodox parish has been strengthened.

This is good because we have a mission to do. We come to St. Peter’s to find Christ as part of our own salvation, but at the same time we are called to bring Christ to others who are seeking Him as well (even if they don’t know yet that St. Peter’s is where they might find Him).

If we do these things, God will bless us. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

Sunday Scripture Readings

Epistle

Epistle Hebrews 11:9-10; 17:23, 32-40 (Sunday Before Nativity of Christ)

prayer-bibleBlessed are you, O Lord, God of our Fathers.
For you are just in all you have done.

The Reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews

BRETHREN, by faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tel l of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets-who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.

Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains an d imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated of whom the world was not worthy, wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Gospel

Epistle Hebrews 11:9-10; 17:23, 32-40 (Sunday Before Nativity of Christ)

Gospel Matthew 1:1-25 (Sunday Before Nativity of Christ)

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah t he father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram and Aram the father of Ammin’adab, and Ammin’adab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Bo’az by Rahab, and Bo’az the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uri’ah, and Solomon the father of Rehobo’am, and Rehobo’am the father of Abi’jah, and Abi’jah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehosh’aphat, and Jehosh’aphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzzi’ah, and Uzzi’ah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezeki’ah, and Hezeki’ah the father of Manas’seh, a nd Manas’seh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josi’ah, and Josi’ah the father of Jechoni’ah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation of Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoni’ah was the father of Sheal’ti – el, and Sheal’ti – el the father of Zerub’babel, and Zerub’babel the father of Abi’ud, and Abi’ud the father of Eli’akim and Eli’akim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zakod the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eli’ud, and Eli’ud the father of El ea’zar, and Elea’zar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

So all generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emman’u-el” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but kne w her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.