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St. Peter Newsletter December 31, 2019

The Theophany of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Theophany of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ
The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

Theophany - The Baptism of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ


Theophany (or Epiphany) means shining forth or manifestation. The feast is often called, as it is in the Orthodox service books, Theophany, which means the shining forth and manifestation of God. The emphasis in the present day celebration is on the appearance of Jesus as the human Messiah of Israel and the divine Son of God, One of the Holy Trinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Thus, in the baptism by John in the Jordan, Jesus identifies himself with sinners as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29), the “Beloved” of the Father whose messianic task it is to redeem men from their sins (Lk 3:21, Mk 1:35). And he is revealed as well as One of the Divine Trinity, testified to by the voice of the Father, and by the Spirit in the form of a dove. This is the central epiphany glorified in the main hymns of the feast:

When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest! For the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, calling Thee his Beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of his Word. O Christ our God, who hast revealed Thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee (Troparion).

Read the entire article on the Orthodox Church of America website.


Tue Jan 7 — Synaxis of St. John the Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am

The Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

The Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

In the Orthodox Church it is customary, on the day following the Great Feasts of the Lord and the Mother of God, to remember those saints who participated directly in the sacred event. So, on the day following the Theophany of the Lord, the Church honors the one who participated directly in the Baptism of Christ, placing his own hand upon the head of the Savior.

Saint John, the Holy Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, whom the Lord called the greatest of the prophets, concludes the history of the Old Testament and opens the era of the New Testament. The holy Prophet John bore witness to the Only-Begotten Son of God, incarnate in the flesh. Saint John was accounted worthy to baptize Him in the waters of the Jordan, and he was a witness of the Theophany of the Most Holy Trinity on the day of the Savior’s Baptism.

The holy Prophet John was related to the Lord on His mother’s side, the son of the Priest Zachariah and Righteous Elizabeth. The holy Forerunner, John, was born six months before Christ. The Archangel Gabriel announced his birth in the Temple at Jerusalem, revealing to Zachariah that a son was to be born to him.

Read the entire article on the Orthodox Church in America website.


Blessing of the Water Following Divine Liturgy on Theophany on January 5, 2020


Blessing of the Waters


After Theophany Liturgy next Sunday (January 5), we will break for ten of fifteen minutes in the Social Hall for coffee and a donut (no regular social hall next Sunday) and then to Riverside Park and do an outdoor blessing of the waters at the Imperial River in Riverside Park.

The park is 3 miles south on Old 41 where the bandshell is located (get directions).

Why do the Orthodox bless the waters? Read about it here.



Feasts of Circumcision of Christ and St. Basil the Great on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 9:30am.


St. Basil and The Circumcision of Christ Divine Liturgy


Saint Basil was born in the year 330 at Caesarea, the administrative center of Cappadocia. He was of illustrious lineage, famed for its eminence and wealth, and zealous for the Christian Faith. The saint’s grandfather and grandmother on his father’s side had to hide in the forests of Pontus for seven years during the persecution under Diocletian.

Saint Basil’s mother Saint Emilia was the daughter of a martyr. On the Greek calendar, she is commemorated on May 30. Saint Basil’s father was also named Basil. He was a lawyer and renowned rhetorician, and lived at Caesarea.

Ten children were born to the elder Basil and Emilia: five sons and five daughters. Five of them were later numbered among the saints: Basil the Great; Macrina (July 19) was an exemplar of ascetic life, and exerted strong influence on the life and character of Saint Basil the Great; Gregory, afterwards Bishop of Nyssa (January 10); Peter, Bishop of Sebaste (January 9); and Theosebia, a deaconess (January 10).

Saint Basil spent the first years of his life on an estate belonging to his parents at the River Iris, where he was raised under the supervision of his mother Emilia and grandmother Macrina. They were women of great refinement, who remembered an earlier bishop of Cappadocia, Saint Gregory the Wonderworker (November 17). Basil received his initial education under the supervision of his father, and then he studied under the finest teachers in Caesarea of Cappadocia, and it was here that he made the acquaintance of Saint Gregory the Theologian (January 25 and January 30). Later, Basil transferred to a school at Constantinople, where he listened to eminent orators and philosophers. To complete his education Saint Basil went to Athens, the center of classical enlightenment.

Read the entire history on the St. Peter’s website.

Cutting of the Vassilopita on Sunday, January 12, 2016



We will cut the Vassilopita (St. Basil’s bread) on Sunday January 12 following the Divine Liturgy.


Our Stewardship to St. Peter’s


Click to view the letter

The letter for Stewardship Support of St. Peter’s in 2020 has been sent.

We are responsible to increase what God has given us. In the Parable of the Talents, the master gave his servants talents that they are expected to nurture and grow. This is a responsibility we cannot avoid.

The Church is both a place where the increase begins on the inside of us, and to which we much give some our increase. This too is a responsibility we must take on.

A contribution form will be included in the letter you receive. Our goal this year is $217,000.


Diocese of Miami Winter Retreat

DOMSE Winter Retreat


A Short Conversation with Bp. Nicholas



Mark You Calendar! Valentine’s Day Party on February 15, 2020


Valentine's Day party on February 15, 2020


Mark you calendar: Time and details will be announced. Tina Kuchera is the chairwoman of this event.

Bible Studies


Bible Study


Please note: Bible Studies have been postponed until January, 2020.


  • Wed Nov 27 — CANCELLED Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Thanksgiving Divine Liturgy held instead) 7:00pm
  • No Bible Studies in December

The Community Bible Study is for the entire community.

The Men’s and Women’s Bible Study are separate studies but held concurrently.

Upcoming Liturgies

St. Basil / Circumcision of Christ Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 at 9:30am

St. Basil

Synaxis of St. John the Baptist on Wednesday, January 7, 2020 at 9:30am

St. John the Forerunner

St. Anthony the Great on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 9:30am

St. Anthony the Great

The Three Hierarchs on Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 9:30am

The Three Holy Hierarchs


Pledge & Income Report – November 2019

In November we took in $17,225 in total donations. Our monthly goal is $16,777.00 leaving us $448 above our monthly expenses for.

Thank you for your generosity.

Dr. Zannos and Julia Are Going to be Married and You Are Invited


Wedding rings


We are pleased to announce the marriage of Zannos and Julia to be held on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 4:00pm. They have invited all members of the parish to attend.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP online to Julia (click here) or mention it to her in person by December 14, 2019.


Calendar At A Glance


  • Sun Dec 29 — Kuchera Memorial following Divine Liturgy


  • Wed Jan 1 — St. Basil / Circumcision of Christ Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Fri Jan 3 — Theophany Royal Hours 9:00am
  • Sat Jan 4 — Grekos Wedding 4:00pm
  • Sun Jan 5 — Theophany Great Blessing of the Waters 9:30am
  • Sun Jan 5 — Blessing of the Waters at Riverside Park Following Divine Liturgy
  • Tue Jan 7 — Synaxis of St. John the Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Sun Jan 12 — Cutting of the Vasilopita following the Divine Liturgy
  • Fri Jan 17 — St. Anthony the Great Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Tue-Sat Jan 22-25 — Miami Diocese Retreat in Atlanta. Fr. Hans out of town
  • Fri Jan 17 — St. Anthony the Great Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Thu Jan 30 — Three Hierarchs Divine Liturgy 9:30am


  • Wed-Sat Feb 5-8 — Fr. Hans Out of Town
  • Sat Feb 15 — Valentine’s Day Party (Time and details TBA)

Please note the extra remaining liturgies scheduled for January:

  • Wed Jan 1 — Circumcision of Christ Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Tue Jan 7 — Synaxis of St. John the Baptist Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Fri Jan 17 — St. Anthony the Great Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Thu Jan 30 — Three Hierarchs Divine Liturgy 9:30am

Wisdom From The Elders

Every divulgence of sin accompanied by sincere repentance makes the sinner closer, dearer and more precious to a spiritual father. This is commonly observed. The enemy only frightens one with thoughts contrary to this. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

For us sinners, the prayer of the publican is sufficient. Learn to pray from him. Oh, if only you would learn this! Do not suppose that this is so simple. There is a profound depth here. This prayer opens the abyss of the heart, which is seen to be filled with all kinds of ugly vermin…. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

Wherever I am, as soon as I raise the eyes of my heart in my affliction to God, the Lover of men immediately answers my faith and prayer, and the sorrow immediately departs. He is at every time and every hour near me, only I do not see it, but I feel it vividly in my heart, Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

The rule of life for a perfect person is to be in the image and likeness of God. Elder Sergei of Vanves

If one is to work on one’s fallow soul, one must first weed out all the thorns, its passions, and then plant virtues in their place. However, this process is an arduous one and requires a strong will and great patience. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

Remember in Your Prayers

Mary (Rauch)
Warren (BAND)
Joseph (Breitenbach)
Diomidis (Kanellos)

Anastasia (Ann Constan)
Ben (Ben)
Thomas (Ben)
Irene (C. Diveris)
Vasiliki (C.Diveris)
Efrosini (C. diveris)
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


Search the Scriptures


Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.
O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to Titus. (2:11-15; 3:4-7)

My son Titus, the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world; awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for Himself a people of His own who are zealous for good deeds. Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs hope of eternal life.


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (3:13-17)

At that time, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by Thee, and Thou dost come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church