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St. Peter Newsletter February 7, 2017 –Prodigal Son, Akathist Hymn in Cape Coral, Orthodox Fellowship Started, Meet Georgia Katsigianopoulos, more…

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son

St. John of Kronstadt: All our attention must be centered on the parable of the Prodigal Son…

All our attention must be centered on the parable of the Prodigal Son. We all see ourselves in it as in a mirror. In a few words the Lord, the knower of hearts, has shown in the person of one man how the deceptive sweetness of sin separates us from the truly sweet life according to God.

God knows how the burden of sin on the soul and body, experienced by us, impels us by the action of divine grace to return, and how it actually does turn many again to God, to a virtuous life.

St. John of Kronstadt, “Sermon on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son,” originally printed in Orthodox Life Vol. 39 No. 1, January-February 1989

St. John Climacus: Let your prayer be completely simple…

Let your prayer be completely simple. For both the publican and the prodigal son were reconciled to God by a single phrase.

St. John Climacus, Step 28.5, Ladder of Divine Ascent


Saturday of the Souls Liturgy – Saturday, February 18, 2017

Our Saturday of the Souls liturgy will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2017 starting at 9:30am.

Saturday of Souls is a day set aside for commemoration of the dead within the liturgical year of the Orthodox Church. Saturday is a traditional day for prayer for the dead, because Christ lay dead in the Tomb on Saturday.

Bring kollyva (boiled wheat) if you can but even if you can’t bring the names of your deceased loved ones anyway. We will hold a memorial service for them after the Divine Liturgy.


Orthodox Christian Fellowship Started

Attention college age and above Orthodox Christians in SW Florida. Members of St. Peter’s have started an Orthodox Christian Fellowship open to anyone who would like to join. They meet twice a month. Many plans are in the works including activities, occasional bible studies and more. This is a great way to get to know Orthodox Christians your own age!

Events will be announced in the newsletter and on the website and the OCF phone text list. Questions? Want to join? Contact Jeremiah at 504-256-8768 (text him), Erika at 412-716-2899, or Julia at 239-450-2400.


Akathist Hymn in Cape Coral/North Fort Myers

St. Peter’s can offer the Friday Akathist Hymn of Great Lent in the Cape Coral/North Fort Myers area if enough people are interested in attending. We need a committment of at least 5 to 10 people to make this worthwhile.

If you are interested and can make the commitment, please contact Peter Wouralis at 239-851-7865.

Fr. Hans Out of Town Thursday through Saturday

Fr. Hans will be out of town Thursday through Saturday, February 9-11, 2017 attending the SOPHIA conference in San Antonio, Texas. He will be available by cell phone.


Parish Portrait — Georgia Katsigianopoulos

This is the first in an ongoing series profiling members of St. Peter Orthodox Church.

Everyone who is a part of St. Peter’s Orthodox Church knows Georgia K. who teaches the children in the Sunday school class. Step inside the classroom and you will see a colorful scene: artwork and icons adorn the walls; lessons explain the Liturgy to eager young people; and special treats await the students at the end of each session. The miracle occurring is that Georgia has students in one room, ranging from five years to twelve years old. How can one teach such a diverse group of children? Yes, she has cheerful and helpful assistants—Miss Mercedes and Miss Sophia—and she gives these two women lots of credit, but managing energetic chaos takes a special and imaginative person to accomplish this miracle. Georgia is that person.

Georgia is a native New Yorker who grew up in Manhattan. She is proud of her Greek heritage and appreciates the courage and determination of grandparents who migrated from Greece. Imagine being uprooted from ancestral roots and making the fearful journey to the new world and an unfamiliar life in America. She loved her grandmother, a strong woman who bore three children and worked in a fur factory for most of her life. Georgia remembers hearing stories of her grandmother walking the picket line to form a union for protection of employees from unfair working conditions.

Read Georgia’s entire portrait on the St. Peter website.

Calling All Women to a Retreat Saturday, March 4

St. Paul’s has invited all Orthodox women in the area to “Spiritual Saturday Women’s Reteat” at St. Paul’s on Saturday March 4. Full schedule of the day’s events are posted on the website.

Mark you calendar. More details will be provided this Sunday. Cost is $10 to cover lunch and snacks. Questions? Please see Angela Long or Anthea Teufel.

This is a good opportunity to meet other Orthodox women in our area in a setting that also is good for the soul!

Stewardship Letters in the Mail

Responsibility towards God includes taking responsibility for His Church. We love God because He first loved us. He established the Church as His body, as the way we find Him and draw closer to Him. We are responsible for maintaining it so that the work of Christ can continue in the world. That’s how it works.

You will be getting letter next week asking for your commitment to St. Peter’s. Prayerfully consider your support of St. Peter’s. The Church is not a charity. The Church is the Body of Christ. It needs to be high on our list.


Interfaith Charities Needs Peanut Butter, Jelly and Ramen Noodles

Help the poor

Interfaith Charities (IC), the local agency St. Peter’s partners with to help working poor families, needs peanut butter, jelly, and ramen noodles to help feed underprivileged kids. They do not need spaghetti.

St. Peter’s helps IC at crunch time. Last time we supplied over 90lbs of peanut butter and jelly when the call came out.

Please bring your donation to Church. We will be sure it gets to IC.


Choir Practice and Bible Study Continues on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Choir practice at 6pm, Bible study at 7pm. Choir practice and bible study also held this week, February 8.


2017 NAMI Walk on Saturday, February 25, 2017

Every Christmas St. Peter’s helps our local NAMI chapter by collecting food for their drop-in center. Every spring we extend our help by joining in the NAMI walk of Naples.

From the NAMI website:

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Collier County membership is comprised of people with serious and persistent mental illnesses, as well as their parents, children, spouses, siblings and friends. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of the 1 in 4 families affected by serious and persistent mental illness, through education, support and advocacy. We believe that persons with severe and persistent mental illness can recover and lead productive and meaningful lives within their community of choice.

Why help? Because God calls us to help those who need help. This is part of our mission at St. Peter’s.

Mary Copeland will handle the sign-up and donations and speak more about the walk following Liturgy on Sundays. For questions please call Mary at 239-498-1331.

View the NAMI Walk poster on the website.


Calendar At A Glance

Choir Practice every Tuesday at 6:00pm and Bible Study every Wednesday at 7:00pm unless cancelled as noted below. Divine Liturgy every Sunday at 9:30. Extra services noted below.

  • February 12 (Sunday) Memorial Luke Pallis by John and Joan Simon
  • February 18 (Saturday) Saturday of the Souls 9:30am
  • February 19 (Sunday) Memorial Rena (Tharina) Brooks
  • February 25 (Saturday) NAMI Walk
  • February 27 (Monday) Lent Begins
  • March 4 (Saturday) Women’s Retreat

Wisdom From The Elders

Humility restrains the heart.
St. Isaac the Syrian

Abide in perpetual repentance then and be prepared for departure at all times and in every place.
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

Always do everything according to your conscience!
Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk

If we will not gladly disdain present delights, we will not with certainty feel and taste the whole sweetness of God.
St. Diadochus

On Sundays and feast days come to church, and falling down with reverence before God, be mindful of all the mercies you may ever have received from Him. Thank Him for them with all your heart, and as a sign of your thankfulness, promise to live as He has commanded you. This is a sacrifice most pleasing to God.
St. Theophan the Recluse

Remember in Your Prayers

Jeff, Spring, and their unborn baby
Baby Samuel
Baby Kyriake
Brad William
Robert Jarvis
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Harry Zifiris
Iris Kuring (Bettina Zifiris' mother)
Constantine Houpis
Gerhard Kuring (Bettina Zifiris' father)
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
Constandina James
James Hord
Bob Smith
Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

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


For Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us. Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (6:12-20)

Brethren, all things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything. Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food; but God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two shall become one flesh.”

But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.


For Sunday of the Prodigal Son

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (15:11-32)

The Lord spoke this parable: “There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything.

But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father.

But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.

Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’

And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”