St. Peter Newsletter – January 7, 2015

Who are Metropolitan Paul, Archbishop John?

Archbishop John and Metropolitan Paul

During the Divine Liturgy right after the petitions for Metropolitan Joseph and Bishop Antoun we say these words:

For Metropolitan Paul, Archbishop John, and for their quick release from captivity and safe return, let us pray to the Lord.

Who are Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop John? Why are we praying for them?

From the Assembly of Orthodox Canonical Bishops:

[O]n April 22, 2013, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi (brother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch) and the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim, both of Aleppo, Syria were kidnapped by Islamist extremists during a joint philanthropic mission in the region.

With sorrowful hearts we recognize a growing lack of interest on the part of civil authorities to assist in the recovery of the two Christian leaders. We encourage all people of good conscience to communicate with their elected officials and ask them to assist in the effort to find and retrieve the two bishops.

We implore the Holy Great-Martyr Saint George, the patron of Christians of the Middle East and upon the eve of whose Feast the Hierarchs were kidnapped, to intercede for their salvation and safe return.

Moreover, we appeal to the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, as well as to all people of faith and good will, and ask them to keep the two bishops in their daily thoughts and prayers.

The Jordan River Reverses Flow

In the sermon on Theophany we talked about the significance of the Jordan reversing its flow. In 2006, during the blessing of the waters, the Jordan River again reversed its flow immediately after the Patriarch of Jerusalem threw the Cross into the waters.

You can view a video of the event here:

The Jordan River reverses its flow

If you listen closely you can here the worshipers signing “By Your Baptism O Lord” in the Byzantine tone in Arabic.

 

House Blessings

Theophany is the season for house blessings.

If you would like your house blessed, please contact Fr. Hans or fill in the form on the website.

 

Stewardship for 2015

Stewardship forms for 2015 are available in the back pocket of each chair or on the website.

Your financial support of the Church is very important because it enables us to continue and grow.

We are also instructed to support our Church in scripture.

How much to give? How about the equivalent of one hour of work each week?
 

Remember in Your Prayers

John, the brother of Pauline Poulos who is suffering from cancer.

Pat and Milam Evanoff. Milam is unable to make it to Church.

Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

Greg and his wife Margaret. Greg is the founder of Project Mexico and has cancer.

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

 

The Sunday Scripture Readings

The Gospel Reading

Ancient Cover for the Bible

(For the Sunday after Theophany of Christ)

The reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (4:12-17)

At that time, when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulon and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The Epistle Reading

(For St. Theodosios the Cenobiarch)

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saint.
What shall we render to the Lord for all that He hath rendered unto us?

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (13:7-16)

Brethren, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through His own blood.

Therefore, let us go forth to Him outside the camp and bear the abuse He endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city, which is to come. Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His Name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.