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St. Peter Newsletter January 22, 2018

The Publican and the Pharisee

Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee

God-bearing Fathers Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians; Venerable Palladios of Antioch;
Martyr Charita; Venerable Theodosios of Totma in Vologda

The Publican and the Pharisee

What is a Publican and a Pharisee?

A Pharisee was an externally decent and righteous man of religion. The publican was a sinful tax-collector who was cheating the people.

Though the Pharisee was genuinely righteous under the Law, he boasted before God and was condemned. The publican, although he was truly sinful, begged for mercy, received it, and was justified by God.

The focus this Sunday is on the Gospel of Luke 18:10-14, in which two men went to the Temple to pray. On this Sunday in the preparation for Great Lent, we are to see that we have not the religious piety of the Pharisee, but the repentance of the publican. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18:14)

Read more on the Orthdoxwiki website.

Click to listen to Fr. Hopko

To learn more about the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee, listen to Fr. Thomas Hopko’s podcast on the St. Peter website.

Fr. Tom teaches on the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee as we prepare for the Lenten season.


Living the Orthodox Faith Class Continues Wednesday, January 24 at 7:00pm

“Living the Orthodox Faith” will look at why our Church does things the way it does, and how to do it properly. We will learn about the sign up the cross, how to enter the Church properly (candles and veneration), how to make a home altar, and more. This is a very practical class, not theological as much as how to live the Orthodox life as an Orthodox Christian.

Can’t make the class? Join in on Facebook Live! You can also view last week’s class too. (We’ve switched the page from St. Peter’s to Fr. Hans’ page since the reach is much broader.)


Presentation of the Lord in the Temple Divine Liturgy, February 1, 2018 at 6:30pm

Presentation of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Temple
Presentation of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Temple

On Thursday February 1, 2017 at 6:30pm we will celebrate the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple on the eve of this important feast day.

Forty days after Christ was born He was presented to God in the Jerusalem Temple according to the Mosaic Law. At this time as well His mother Mary underwent the ritual purification and offered the sacrifices as prescribed in the Law. Thus, forty days after Christmas, on the second of February, the Church celebrates the feast of the presentation called the Meeting (or Presentation or Reception) of the Lord.

Learn more on the Orthodox Church in America website.

Sign up for House Blessings

Fr. Hans will be blessing homes and businesses during the Theophany season. Please sign up after Liturgy or email Fr. Hans with a few times that work for you. He will contact you to finalize date and time.


Fr. Hans Out of Town January 25-27

He will be attending the Diocese of Miami Winter Retreat in Atlanta. He will be available by cell phone.


St. Peter’s General Assembly Meeting, Next Sunday, January 28

St. Peter’s will hold it first annual General Assembly meeting on Sunday, January 28, 2018 following the Divine Liturgy. St. Peter’s is growing and we are establishing our systems and procedures for greater stability in the long term.

We will discuss vision, budgets and other necessary items for long term planning. Of significant importance is what to do in the immediate future as space is our present facility is limited and our lease runs out at the end of 2018.

Be sure to attend. Your contribution is important to help formulate where we are going and how to get there.


New Dentistry Office Opens

At St. Peter’s we are pro-business especially towards the businesses of our parishioners. Stable incomes contribute to stable families, and when the business grows and can employ others even more stability is created. We ask God to bless businesses and offer prosperity for this reason.

Two other reasons that businesses are blessed is so that the poor can be helped (you can’t give to the poor if you have nothing to give) and also for the support of the Church.

Recently St. Peter’s parishioners Dr. Sorina Ilie and her husband Christian opened at dental office not far from the Church. If you need a dentist or know anyone who does, consider visiting or recommending them.

Dr. Sorina Ilie graduated from the New York University, School of Dentistry. Dr. Ilie worked in a number of offices in New York and New Jersey before moving to Florida, where she currently resides. Dr. Sorina Ilie is an accomplished general dentist with over 15 years of experience.

Visit the Sorina Dental website for more information.

St. Paul Founder’s Day Brunch

St. Paul’ Antiochian Church, our sister parish, is holding a brunch following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at the Olde Cypress Country Club.

This will be the first visit or our new Bishop Nicholas to the Naples-Fort Myers area. It would be good if some of us could attend to support St. Paul’s and welcome Bp. Nicholas.

St. Paul Founder's Day Brunch

To order tickets please call the number on the flyer. Deadline for ordering tickets is February 1.

The brunch will be held at the Olde Cypress Country Club,7165 Treeline Dr, Naples, FL 34119 (view their website or get directions).

Since St. Paul’s will be celebrating a hierarchical liturgy that Sunday there should be enough time for St. Peter’s parishioners to get to Olde Cypress before the brunch begins.


Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help!

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help!

Interfaith Charities has asked us to help supply:

  • Jelly
  • Crackers (Ritz or Saltines)
  • Any Chef Boyardee food item (cans only please)

They also need:

  • Used clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bedding

Bring bring all items you can to St. Peter’s and we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

Interfaith Charities is a coalition of churches and business that help the poor in the San Carlos and south Fort Myers area (view their website). We partner with them to help the working poor in our area as part of our mission to serve the poor around us.


Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Festival held February 16-18 in Port Charlotte

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Port Charlotte invites all parishioners to attend their annual Greek Festival from February 16-18. The food and entertainment will be great.

Visit the Holy Trinity website for more information. Get directions to Holy Trinity.


Ladies, Mark Your Calendar: Lenten Women’s Retreat on Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Annunciation of the Theotokos
The Annunciation of the Theotokos

The Lenten Retreat for women will be held at St. Peter’s on Saturday, March 3, 2018. The women from St. Paul’s will join us.

The topic will be on the Theotokos as our teacher and guide. Fr. Hans and Fr. Paul Girgis will be the presenters. Details will be announced in a few weeks.

Calendar At A Glance


  • Wednesday, January 24, 2018 7:00pm. Living the Orthodox Faith Class
  • Thursday, January 25 – Sunday, January 27, 2018 Diocese of Miami Winter Retreat (Fr. Hans out of town)
  • Sunday, January 28, 2018 General Assembly Meeting


  • Thursday, February 1, 2018 6:30pm Divine Liturgy Presentation of Christ in the Temple


  • Saturday, March 3, 2018 Women’s Lenten Retreat (Details forthcoming)

Wisdom From The Elders

Truly I tell you, idle-talking is love of idleness. If you do not understand yourself, can you discuss anything or teach others? Be silent, constantly be silent. Remember always the presence of God and His name.St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

[On the married couple] They have an obligation to struggle to practice temperance, so as not to impart these carnal passions to their children. You see, young children whose parents have a heightened carnal frame of mind, will, from a young age, also have those inclinations, because they get their carnal mindset from their parents.St. 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 live kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.Micah 6:8

St. Nil Sorsky, basing himself in the teaching of all the holy fathers, forbids people to strive prematurely for the union of the mind with the heart, for the leading down of the mind into the heart, for exterior and interior silence, for the feeling of devotion or sweetness, and other high states of prayer; these are revealed when God accepts the prayer of penitence and the enemies retreat from the soul.St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

The ungrateful person cannot be pleased with anything. He grumbles and complains all the time, finding fault in everything and everyone.St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Love does not reflect. Love is simple. Love never mistakes. Likewise believe and trust without reflection, for faith and trust are also simple; or better: God, in whom we believe and in whom we trust, is an incomplex Being, as He is also simply love.St. John of Kronstadt


Remember in Your Prayers

Anne B.
Eva K.
Sean Helgeland (great nephew to Steve and Anne Brietenbach)
Baby Brynn L.
Presbytera Rosy
Eva W.
Carol Ann
Maria Louise
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
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 Sunday of the Pharisee and Publican

Make vows to the Lord thy God, and perform them.
In Judah God is known; His Name is great in Israel.

The Reading from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy. (3:10-15)

Timothy my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, and my sufferings; and what befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra. What persecutions I endured; yet from them all, the Lord rescued me. Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.


For Sunday of the Pharisee and Publican

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (18:10-14)

The Lord spoke this parable: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other men, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”