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St. Peter Newsletter January 30, 2017 — Presentation Liturgy, Sunday of Publican and Pharisee, Preparing for Lent Mini-Retreat, Helping NAMI, Women’s Retreat…more

The Publican and the Pharisee

Sunday of the Pharisee and Publican
After-feast of Presentation (Meeting) of Christ

The Publican and the Pharisee
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.

Liturgy: Presentation of Our Lord – Wednesday, February 1, 2017 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 Wednesday 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.

Preparing for Lent Morning Retreat

Preparing for Lent

Fr. Stephanos will give us some practical instruction on Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 9:00am to 11:00am on what Lent is for, why we fast and how to fast, the worship cycle and more. We’ve planned it to fit into your schedule.

  • 9:00 – Coffee, bagels, more
  • 9:30 – Start of Presentation
  • 11:00 – End of Presentation

Please plan to attend. The talk will be focused and cover the important points regarding Lent.


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!

A Letter from a Friend

Dino moved back to Ohio and recently sent us a letter. Some highlights:

Constantine (Dino) Houpis
Constantine (Dino) Houpis

To My Friends at St. Peters,

I miss coming to church and being there with you on Sundays. For me, at my youthful age of 94, the best thing I can do now is to maintain a healthy, happy, life and enjoy life.

A year has gone by with good health considering my age and I am still active writing. My co-author and I have received a contract from our publisher to produce the third edition of our textbook “Digital Control Systems.” As far as we know, it is the only textbook written on this subject.

My permanent home is now with my son and his wife. I am also closer to my daughter and her husband. My address is 7001 Charing Court, Huber Heigts, Ohio 45424. I no longer had any relatives in Naples so I put my winter home up for sale.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and New Year with Good Health,

Dino Houpis

The full letter is posted on the bulletin board in the Social Hall. Thank you Dino for the letter and God bless you and be with you!

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 8, 2017

Choir practice at 6pm, Bible study at 7pm. No choir practice or bible study this Wednesday (February 1) because of the Liturgy for the Presentation.


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 1 (Wednesday) Liturgy Presentation of the Lord in the Temple (eve) 6:30pm; Choir Practice and Bible Study CANCELLED
  • February 4 (Saturday) How to Prepare for Lent by Fr. Stephanos 9:00am to 11:00am.
  • February 12 (Sunday) Memorial Luke Pallis by John and Joan Simon; Memorial Rena (Tharina) Brooks
  • February 25 (Saturday) NAMI Walk
  • February 27 (Monday) Lent Begins
  • March 4 (Saturday) Women’s Retreat

Wisdom From The Elders

Listen, if all someone does is eat, drink and sleep, he will start falling apart; he’ll feel sleepy all the time because his body and his mind slacken.
St. Paisios of Mount Athos

But those who would like to live a genuine spiritual life must first of all be satisfied with a few things. When their life is simplified, without too many concerns or nuisances, not only will they be liberated from the worldly spirit, they will also have plenty of time available for spiritual things.
St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Take care to distinguish between your thoughts, as the Fathers teach. Stop and look, decide which ones are good and which ones are bad. Then, disassociate from any that you find to be bad, believe nothing they tell you, do not believe for an instant that they are a part of who you are. This is of the utmost importance, because if we accept bad thoughts, then they will stay with us and make us believe that they are actually a part of us.
Elder Sergei of Vanves

Much effort and labor is needed, for a man to be changed and to be the good tree that brings forth good fruit. Strive, then, for nothing else but to change, renew, and correct yourself. And pray for this…
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

…habit is wont to alter nature and change its action in accordance with the direction of the will.
St. Gregory of Sinai

Remember in Your Prayers

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

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.”