St. Peter Newsletter — February 2, 2016

Sixteenth Sunday of Matthew

Christ the Bridegroom

Lent is approaching and the time to start preparing is now. Lent takes effort, and the beginning of all effort is mental preparation, to become aware that a season is approaching the will call more from us.

There is no progress without effort. To win a race we have to train. Lent is a training period, a period of learning self-discipline that enables us to orient ourselves more toward God and move closer to Him. Inward orientation and purification is critical for the Christian. He more he draws closer to God, the more God draws closer to him, and he then begins to live the life that God created him to live.

There are two great commandments: 1) Love God with all you heart, soul, body, mind, and strength, and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. Be good to your neighbor and you draw closer to God. Draw closer to God and you will become good to your neighbor.

Who is our neighbor? To that question Jesus answered with the Parable of the God Samaritan. Your neighbor is anyone who has a need that only you can fulfill, the one who needs your mercy.

Learn How to Make Prosphora!

prosphora-150x157

Mary Copeland and BJ James are holding a “Learn how to make Prosphora” class on February 8 at BJ’s house on Monday, February 8 starting around 9am. BJ lives at 26086 Fawnwood Court, Bonita Springs, Florida (near the church, get map).

BJ’s phone number is 239-498-1931, Mary Copeland’s number is 239-498-1331. Please call before the class so they can prepare the items that are needed.

Fr. Hans in Texas This Week February 4-6, 2016

He will be attending the Sophia Conference (Society of Orthodox Philosophers) at Holy Archangels Monastery in Kandellia, Texas. He will be back for Liturgy on Sunday.

 

St. Valentine’s Day Potluck

Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 13 at 6:00 St. Peter’s Valentine’s Day potluck.

Our potlucks are great. Everyone loves them. They are low-key affairs with great fellowship and camaraderie. Bring some friends if you like. Often we have people from other parishes attend and they are welcome.

The food is always really good too!

Want to know about the real St. Valentine? Read about him here.

If you plan to attend please sign up on the website or mention it to Mary Jarvis on Sunday.

Bible Study Continue Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 7pm

Choir practice resumes in a few weeks.

Youth Bible Study Continues on Wednesday February 10 at 6pm

We meet at Tony’s Off Third Restaurant in downtown Naples (get map).

House Blessings Continue

Please sign up on the website or talk to Fr. Hans.

Orthodox Wisdom

Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.

– St. John Chrysostom

One must force himself to prayer when he has not spiritual prayer; and thus God, beholding him thus striving and compelling himself by force, in spite of an unwilling heart, gives him the true prayer of the Spirit.

– St. Macarius the Great

Whoever says that it is impossible to be saved with a wife and children is a deceiver. Abraham had a wife and children and three hundred and eighteen servants, and also much gold and silver, and he was called the friend of God! Many servants of the Church have been saved, and many lovers of the desert; many aristocrats, and many soldiers; many craftsmen, and many farm laborers. Be devout towards God and loving towards men, and you will be saved.

– St. Niphon

Thank you from Cafe of Life

Cafe of Life

The Cafe of Life sent a thank you note to the parishioners of St. Peter’s for our help in feeding the working poor on Christmas Eve Day.

They also featured St. Peter’s on the Cafe of Life website. You can view it here (under “Christmas 2015 – Joyous Time At The Cafe of Life!”. Also check out our gallery on the St. Peter’s website that has pictures from our service that day.

Remember in Your Prayers

Constandina James

Peter Wouralis

James Hord

Bonnie Joseph

Bob Smith

Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

Sunday Readings

Search the Scriptures

Epistle

For the Sixteenth 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 Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (6:1-10)

Brethren, working together with Him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For He says, “At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation. Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute.

We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Gospel

For the Sixteenth Sunday of Matthew

The reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (25:14-30)

The Lord spoke this parable: A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.

Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying: “Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying: “Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying: “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sew, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.”

But his master answered him, “You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” As Jesus said these things He cried out: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”