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St. Peter Newsletter June 19, 2018

The Nativity of the Forerunner and Baptist John

New-martyr Panayiotis of Caesarea in Cappadocia

Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Among the Church’s feasts, there are three in honor of God’s saint which in their significance stand out from the others devoted to the saints and are numbered among the great feasts of the Church of Christ. These feasts glorify the economy of God for our salvation.
These three feasts are the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner, his Beheading, and the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

The apparition of the holy Archangel Gabriel to the priest Zacharias in the Temple, with the announcement of the birth to him and the righteous Elizabeth, of a son who would prepare the way for the Lord, the Savior of the world, and the subsequent fulfillment of this premise, are the first of the events related by the Evangelists.

The announcement of the holy Archangel Gabriel to Zacharias in the Temple begins the New Testament Gospel. The announcement of the same Archangel Gabriel six months later in Nazareth to the Virgin Mary concerning the birth from Her of the Son of God, Who was to become incarnate, is a continuation of the revelation of the Pre-eternal Counsel concerning the salvation of the human race.

Three months after, the Annunciation, St. John the Forerunner was born “in a city of Judah,” and six months after him Christ Himself was born in Bethlehem.

Read the entire article on the Orthodox Christianity website.

St. Peter and Paul Liturgy on Thursday June 28, 2018

Sts. Peter and Paul
Sts. Peter and Paul

The feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul are also the feast day of St. Peter and our sister parish St. Paul in Naples. We will celebrate this day together on the eve of the Feast on Thursday, June 28. Orthros begins at 6:00pm, Divine Liturgy at 7:00pm.

Bp. Nicholas will be serving. This year the Divine Liturgy will be help at St. Paul’s. Next year we will hold it at St. Peter’s. We will change locations every year and hopefully this will become a tradition that will continue for years, even decades as both parishes flourish.

Please make every effort to attend. Having Bp. Nicholas come and celebrate is very significant. A light luncheon will follow the service.

Your Support is Needed

The increase in rent and the lean summer months means that we need to raise at least $25,000 above our current income to end the year in the black. We are not bringing in enough in contributions to pay our monthly bills. This forces us to draw from our reserve, and lowered reserves means we will have difficulty in acquiring new property.

Please prayerfully consider an increase in giving or a special gift to meet this need.

Fr. Hans Out of Town Tuesday through Thursday – June 19-21, 2108

Fr. Hans will be speaking at the Alliance for Orthodox Christians and at Acton University on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. He lectures at Acton University every summer (a weekly long program put on by the Acton Institute) and the Alliance for Orthodox Christians asked him to kick-off their newly formed speaker serious since he was in town.

The topics are “From Boys to Men: The Rocky Road from Boyhood to Manhood” and “The Economic Thought of Sergius Bulgakov.” He will return late Thursday night.

Mark Your Calendar!

Pilgrimage to Panagia Vlahernon Greek Orthodox Monastery on Saturday, July 7, 2018

Join us for a pilgrimage to the Panagia Vlahernon Monastery near Ocala on Saturday, July 7, 2018. We will leave the church at 8:00am and return between 9:00-10:00pm. We will rent a bus and ride up together.

The cost is $40 per person to pay for the bus. If you cannot afford this talk to Fr. Hans. You will go anyway. This remains private. If you can afford a contribution to support someone else, please give.

Dress Code: Men wear long sleeve shirts and long pants. Women wear long skirts and blouses (shoulders covered) and a head scarf. No open toe sandals (dark socks in sandals is acceptable).

You can learn more about the monastery on their website.

Calendar At A Glance

  • Saturday, July 7, 2018 — 8:00am Pilgrimage to Panagia Vlahernon Monastery

Wisdom From The Elders

He who restrains his mouth from speech guards his heart from passions. St. Isaac the Syrian

Compassion for others and sympathy for their failings will bring the heart closer to the heart of God than any form of judging. St. Hesychius the Presbyter

So, read the Fathers, even one or two lines a day. They are very strengthening vitamins for the soul. Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

In its own time, known to God, the action of prayer of the heart will be revealed of itself. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

If you wish to tell another about the power of God, you should first feel the power of God yourself. Priest Daniel Alekseevich Sysoev

When someone abandons himself to God, God does not abandon him. Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

It is essential to delve into the law of God, to contemplate, to pore over it, always referring to the holy fathers.
Priest Daniel Sysoev


Remember in Your Prayers

Carolyn L.
Jim R.
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
Eva K.
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


The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
O God, hear my voice when I cry unto Thee.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. (13:11-14:4)

Brethren, salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for God is able to make him stand.


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (1:1-25, 57-68, 76, 80)

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed.

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the Temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.

And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink neither wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”

And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they wondered at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, “Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.”

Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zacharias after his father, but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marveled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.

And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people. And you, child, will be called the Prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

St. Peter Orthodox Church