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St. Peter Newsletter July 14, 2020

Sunday of the Holy Fathers of Fourth Ecumenical Council

Venerable Macrina, sister of Basil the Great; Venerable Dios of Antioch; Theodore, archbishop of Edessa; Uncovering of the relics of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov; Holy Stephen Lazarevic, Serbian Prince and Holy Militsa his mother

Held in Chalcedon, near Constantinople, 451. Under Emperor Marcian. 630 Bishops were present.

Monophysite Controversy

The Council was concerned, once again, with the nature of Jesus Christ. The teaching arose that Christ’s human nature (less perfect) dissolved itself in His divine nature (more perfect): like a cube of sugar in a post of water. Thus, in reality, Christ had only one nature, the Divine. Hence, the term: Monophysites (“mono”, one and “physis”, “nature”.) Monophysitism overemphasized the divine nature of Christ, at the expense of the human.


The Council condemned Monophysitism and proclaimed that Christ has two complete natures: the divine and the human, as defined by previous Councils. These two natures function without confusion, are not divided nor separate (against Nestorius), and at no time did they undergo any change (against Eutyches: Monophysites).

History of the Ecumenical Councils

  1. The First Council, of the 318 Fathers who assembled in Nicaea in 325 to condemn Arius, who denied that the Son of God is consubstantial with the Father; the Fathers of the First Council also ordained that the whole Church should celebrate Pascha according to the same reckoning;
  2. The Second Council, of the 150 Fathers who assembled in Constantinople in 381 to condemn Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who denied the Divinity of the Holy Spirit;
  3. The Third Council, of the 200 Fathers who assembled in Ephesus in 431, to condemn Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who called Christ a mere man and not God incarnate;
  4. The Fourth Council, of the 630 who assembled in Chalcedon in 451, to condemn Eutyches, who taught that there was only one nature, the divine, in Christ after the Incarnation, and Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who illegally received Eutyches back into communion and deposed Saint Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople, who had excommunicated Eutyches;
  5. The Fifth Council in 553, of the 165 who assembled in Constantinople for the second time to condemn Origen and Theodore of Mopsuestia, the teacher of Nestorius;
  6. The Sixth Council in 680, of the 170 who assembled in Constantinople for the third time, to condemn the Monothelite heresy, which taught that there is in Christ but one will, the divine;
  7. The Seventh Council in 787, of the 350 who assembled in Nicaea for the second time to condemn Iconoclasm.

Read the entire history on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.


St. Vladimir Equal to the Apostles Divine Liturgy on Wednesday July 15, 2020 at 9:30am

Prince Vladimir was the son of Prince Svyatoslav and Malusha, the Princess of the Drevlyany people. He was raised by his mother’s brother Dobrynya, who was a pagan. In 972 Vladimir became the ruler of Novgorod. In 980, when the war between brothers was at its highest point, Vladimir started hostilities against Kiev, ruled at the time by his brother Yaropolk.

He had 5 wives and numerous concubines. He installed idols on the Kiev Mountains with human sacrifices being brought to them. It was at that this time that Variagians Feodor and Ioann died for being faithful to the Lord. The death of these martyrs impressed Vladimir so much that he began to doubt pagan beliefs.

Vladimir invited missionaries from many countries to come to Kiev: Moslem Bulgarians who lived beyond the Volga river, German Latins, Jews and Greeks. The prince asked them about their creeds, and each of the visitors offered him his own belief. It was the Greek preacher who impressed Vladimir most of all. At the end of their conversation, the preacher described the day of the Lord’s judgment.

Upon counseling with his boyars, Vladimir sent 10 wise men to find out whose faith was better. When the Russian envoys arrived in Constantinople they were impressed to the depth of their souls by the splendor of the Holy Wisdom Cathedral, the harmonious singing of the royal choir and the grandeur of the service conducted by the Patriarch. “We were not even aware if we were on the earth or in heaven,” they related to Vladimir while recounting their impressions.

Read the entire history on the Fr. Alexander website.


Baby Shower for the Andrews Family on Sunday July 19, 2020 after the Divine Liturgy

Have you noticed the new families coming to St. Peter’s? We know that St. Peter’s is to become a Church where those who are seeking Christ in the fullness of the Orthodox Church. This is our vision and it is happening.

We have two new families that includes three more young children (and two more when Moriah and Lillie have their babies) attending our parish. Glory to God for all things!

One couple, Jason and Moriah Andrews, are expecting a child soon and we are throwing a shower! See the details below.



Please sign up in the Narthex or RSVP to Lillie Riccioli.

Please note: Jason and Moriah won’t be using disposable diapers so please don’t buy any.


July 2020 Summer Appeal

Giving tends to slow down in the summer but unfortunately our obligations don’t. There is still rent, electricity, and other necessities that we have to pay.

The letter below was sent to all parishioners as a gentle reminder to remain current on their pledges and giving. That we we stay in the black and remain on a sound financial footing.

Please stay current on your pledge and giving to help keep St. Peter’s strong.

Click the image to see letter on the St. Peter website.


St. Peter LIVE STREAM To Get An Upgrade

Thanks to parishioners who responded to a request for better LIVE STREAM equipment, you will soon be seeing an improvement in our live streaming. We’ve purchased a camera, software the improves image quality, and will soon be adding improvements for the sound.

We began this Sunday and although there were a few glitches (the rain on our metal roof was one of them), the overall quality was better. It will take us a few weeks to work out the bugs and set up the equipment that uses all of its capabilities in proper way.

What do we need from our viewers? Your patience and your comments. Let us know what works and what doesn’t. You can comment directly on the live stream If you are using Facebook. Remember that the LIVE STREAM is also simulcast on the St. Peter website.

Thank you to our parishioners who made this upgrade possible!


Theo Palis Moving

Theo Palis is moving today (Tuesday) to The American House Coconut Point in Estero.

His new address is:

Theo Palis
The American
8460 Murano Del Lago Dr Room 2310
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

He will be there for at least a few months.


Pledge & Income Report – June 2020

Donations received in June: $15,642.00
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $18,167.00
We are ahead by $2,300.00
Shortfall: $2,525.00

Please note: We are running a deficit for the month of June. Donations are also down significantly for the month of July. If you cannot make it to church please mail in your donation to:

St. Peter Orthodox Church
24850 Old 41 Road Suite 6
Bonita Springs, FL 34135


You can also donate online (scroll to bottom of page):


More on the Corona Virus and Church Protocols

St. Peter Orthodox Church

St. Peter’s is following the State of Florida recommendations on reopening. This works out about 40 worshipers attending every Sunday. Masks are recommended but not required.

Clearly there are some parishioners, particularly those in the high risk categories, who do not feel safe going into public areas until the virus threat has passed completely. No one really knows when safety can be universally assured and it may take a while, perhaps six months or more before we get there. We see this in many of our parishes.

We want to accommodate the needs of all parishioners. A one size fits all approach however is going to restrict attendance at church for both low risk and high risk parishioners.

One way to resolve this problem is to provide liturgy during the week that meet all the requirements that high risk parishioners request. This includes providing adequate social distancing which would be six feet between families and an empty row between seated rows. Wearing masks is again optional but highly recommended according to Florida State Guidelines. Weekday attendance is lower and the social distancing requirement is easier to implement.

This is not a perfect solution but it is workable and accommodates the needs of most parishioners. Since most of our high risk parishioners are retired, attending a weekday liturgy is feasible. Our low risk parishioners work during the week and are not able to attend.

As is our practice, hand sanitizer and extra masks are available at the Church entrance. We will continue to live stream all liturgies as well.


NEW* Byzantine Chant Workshop Tuesdays a 7:00 Weekly — Beginning on Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Byzantine Chant Workshop


Led by Dn. Nicholas Reid of St. Paul Orthodox Church, participants will learn the basics of the tone of the week — its characteristics, scale, and various forms — and will get a chance to participate in group practice.

No prior chanting experience is required.

This will also be an opportunity to deepen our Orthodox faith by better understanding the role each tone plays in liturgical worship so that we can apply them more fruitfully in our parish life as well as in the worship of the “Little Church” – our own homes.

All lessons will be held at St. Paul Orthodox Church in Naples (get directions).


Calendar At A Glance


  • Tue Jul 14 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Wed Jul 15 — ST. VLADIMIR EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 19 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 19 — Trisagion Prayers for Rubie Mallers (10 years) and Arthur Spirou (40 days), the mother and uncle of Elaine Semeretis 11:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 19 — Andrews Family Baby Shower following the Divine Liturgy
  • Mon Jul 20 — ELIAS (ELIJAH) THE PROPHET Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 21 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Sun Jul 26 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 28 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm

Wisdom From The Elders

There are saints who were very anxious, who had nervous tics, and also those who were very brusque. Others were exceptionally slow. Some saints had physical defects. What makes a saint is not outward perfection, it’s that the old man is conquered on the inside. The saints are not yet totally transfigured, and the old man continues to be visible on the outside. These appearances can trick us and hide their inner reality from us.
Elder Sergei of Vanves

“Love of the body is a sign of unbelief.” Faith frees the intellect from the categories of the senses and sobers it by means of fasting, by pondering on God and by vigils. St. Justin Popovich

When bad thoughts surround us like a swarm of flies, we shouldn’t become discouraged, but persevere in prayer and hold on. Elder Sergei of Vanves

Pride, too, has its levels, just like humility. Outward pride is easier to cure, but pride of the mind is almost impossible to eradicate. No one can prove to such a person that he is on the wrong track. But outward pride is curable, because one can go from riches to rags in the twinkling of an eye and become humble whether he wants to or not!
Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

…an untried man is unpracticed. St. Barsanuphius


Remember in Your Prayers

The Prayer List has been revamped. To bring order to the list we will do the following:

  • Names will remain on the list for two months.
  • If you would like to keep them on longer please mention it to Fr. Hans. We will keep the names on the list for as long as the person needs prayers.
  • Names will include the person who requested the prayers and the month the name will be removed.
  • The permanent list includes friends and members of St. Peter’s and others including shut-ins.

Were names dropped that should have remained? Please mention it to Fr. Hans. He will add them back.

Current Prayer List (Resets July 1)

Susan (Wolffe 9/20)
Grant [Van Berkom] (Zeena 9/20)
Sarah (Dusckas 9/20)
Barbara (Dusckas 9/20)
John (Troutman 9/20)
Dave (Dusckas 9/20)
Constandina (Stephania 9/20)
Steven (Breitenbach 9/20)
Irini (Tsikitas 9/20)
Lori (Dusckas 8/20)
Patricia (Copeland 8/20)
Demetrios (Copeland 8/20)
Efstathios (Mourgis 8/20)
Sergio (Mary Kazakos 8/20)
Francis (Copeland 7/20)
Dimitrios (Copeland 7/20)
Patricia (Copeland 7/20)
Dennis (Dusckas 7/20)
Jerry (Zafiris 7/20)
Harry James (Zafiris 7/20)

Permanent Prayer List

Demtrios (Kucera)
Margaret (Palis)
Theodosios (Palis)
Theodora (Webb)
Helen (Rogers)
Robert (Smith)
Robert (Jarvis)
Mary (Jarvis)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
James (Hord)
Ann (Rellis)
Vassiliki (Kontinos)
Vassiliki (Morekeas)
Scott (Repya)
Bud (Repya)

Friends and Benefactors Departed this Life

John (Hansen)
Anatoly (Kurdsjuk)
Thareni (Brooks)
Jean (Sam)
Eleni (Pearson)
Richard (Pearson)
Fr. Stephanos (Shagoury)
Panagiota (Bea Chionis)
Anthony (Mourgis)
Anthony (Mankus)
Constantine (Houpis)

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 the Holy Fathers

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers.
For Thou art just in all that Thou hast done for us.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to St. Titus. (3:8-15)

Titus, my son, the saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.

When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful. All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.


For the Holy Fathers

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (5:14-19)

The Lord said to His Disciples: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church