The Fiftieth Day after Pascha
The Great Feast of Pentecost
Fifty days after the Resurrection, on the existing Jewish feast of Pentecost, while the disciples and many other followers of Jesus Christ were gathered together to pray, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of “cloven tongues of fire,” with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and they began to speak in languages that they did not know. There were many visitors from the Jewish diaspora to Jerusalem at that time for the Jewish observance of the feast, and they were astonished to hear these untaught fisherman speaking praises to God in their alien tongues. This account is detailed in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2.
The number fifty, as in the fiftieth day after Pascha, stands for eternal and heavenly fulfillment, seven times seven, plus one.
The Orthodox Church sees Pentecost as the final fulfillment of the mission of Jesus Christ and the first beginning of the messianic age of the Kingdom of God, mystically present in his Church. It is traditionally called the beginning of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Besides celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit, the feast also celebrates the full revelation of the divine Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hymns of the Church celebrate the sign of the final act of God’s self-disclosure to the world of His creation.
To Orthodox Christians, the feast of Pentecost is not just a celebration of an event in history. It is also a celebration their membership in the Church. They have lived Pentecost and received “the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit” in the sacrament of chrismation.
Read more on the Orthodox Wikiwebsite.
Pentecost Prayers Immediately Following the Divine Liturgy
Immediately following the Divine Liturgy we will read the Pentecost Prayers.
Why are we doing this? One reason is that Pentecost is a major feast day in our Church. Pentecost (the fifty days) is when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and then all the people in Jerusalem, the same Holy Spirit that Adam lost is restored through Jesus Christ (the Second Adam) and makes our salvation possible.
If Christ hung on a cross to make our salvation possible (and he did), then we can pray these prayers that have been given to us by our Fathers in order to receive Christ’s salvation more deeply. It takes discipline, but there is never any growth without discipline.
For those who cannot kneel to physical limitations, it is entirely appropriate to remain seated and both bow you head and “bow the knees of your heart” as scripture says. For those of us who can kneel, we should kneel.
Sunday Sign-Ups and More
- Sunday Sign-ups continue (sign up here) with a maximum limit of 30 persons.
- Monday liturgies don’t really work. Instead, we will have a second liturgy on a Feast Day or Saint’s Day during the week. Watch the calendar. Those who cannot make it on Sunday can come during the week.
- We will continue with this plan until we receive permission to increase our number.
- Social distancing must be maintained.
Regarding the Social Distancing: Toward the end of Divine Liturgy last Sunday, a lot of people congregated toward the front of the Church since our regular Social Hour is still restricted. If you would like to talk to others (and we all do of course), please also use the sidewalks outside so that proper social distances can be maintained.
Theo Palis at Life Care Center
Theo Palis is at Life Care Center of Estero recovering from a fall. He will be there at least 3 weeks and would appreciate receiving a get well card or letter from parishioners because he cannot have any visitors. You can send it to:
Theo Palis — ROOM 433
LIFE CARE CENTER OF ESTERO
3850 Williams Road
Estero, FL 33928
Interview with Fr. Paul Girgis
An interview with Fr. Paul, who we all know, from St. Paul’s in Naples.
His topic: Waking Up From Spiritual Slumber.
In this wide ranging interview, Fr. Paul addresses such topics as homeschooling, entering the priesthood, and fulfilling our Christian vocation.
Do You Receive THE WORD Magazine?
The Word Magazine is the official publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese and comes out monthly. It is filled with helpful articles, archdiocese news, and more. All members of St. Peter’s can (and should) receive it.
If you are not receiving your copy sign up on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.
Sign Up for the DOMSE Newsletter
The Diocese of Miami is growing and we need to stay informed. Sign up for the DOMSE News and the get the news delivered directly to your inbox. Send an email to email@example.com to get added!
Bishop NICHOLAS Offers a Weekly Live Stream
His Grace Bishop NICHOLAS offers a LIVE STREAM talk with questions and answers to everyone in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast every Sunday at 3:00pm ET.
You will be able to send questions directly to Bishop NICHOLAS via chat during the live stream. A recording of the live stream will be posted to the DOMSE BAND group. You must join the newly formed Domse band group to join in.
Open this invite link below on your iPhone, Android, or desktop: https://band.us/@domse
If you have BAND already, you will be able to simply join the group. If you do not have BAND, you will be able to download the application and join the group.
Sharing the Light
Fr. Hans received requests about sharing the light, the flame from the Paschal Candle, that many people like to bring home.
Since we can’t meet, Fr. Hans will keep votive candles lit with the light from the Paschal Candle. He will keep them burning until we resume the services at the Church. If you would like to take the Paschal light home after the parish is opened, you will be able to get them from these candles.
So this is what we will do. On the first Sunday after opening, Fr. Hans will anoint everyone with Holy Oil after the Divine Liturgy with oil he has saved from the Holy Unction service last year. Then we will go to the Social Hall and have a celebratory meal. On the way out you can light a candle to bring the Holy Light home and bless your homes.
God bless all the good people of St. Peter’s. God is with you. Stay faithful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to each other.
Christ is Risen!
Interfaith Charities is Ramping Up and the Shelves are Bare
Interfaith Charities gave out all their available food during the coronavirus pandemic. The shelves are bare and they are asking local churches and business for help in feeding the poor in the south Lee County area (where St. Peter’s is located).
- Peanut butter
- Canned vegetable (any and all)
- Staples (any and all except for rice and beans)
St. Peter partners with Interfaith Charities as part of our service to the larger community. You can find out more on the Interfaith Charities website.
The Parish Life Conference is Going Virtual!
The Parish Life Conference scheduled for June in Memphis, TN was cancelled because of the virus. It is going virtual instead! Click the image (or here) to see the schedule and sign up!
Please Don’t Forget to Fulfill Your Pledge and Donations
We received some last minute donations in March and exceeded our March budget goal. We were able to cover our February shortfall as a result. Thank you very much for all who contributed for your care and stewardship of St. Peter’s. We should all draw great encouragement from this. A complete financial tally is found below.
Please keep current with your pledge. The financial health and stability of our parish requires us to do our part.
You can mail your check to:
St. Peter Orthodox Church
24850 Old 41 RD Suite 6
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
You can also donate online (scroll to bottom of page):
Pledge & Income Report – April 2020
Donations received in April: $16,163.00
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $18,121.00
Thank you very much for your support of St. Peter’s. Please give generously so we can catch up with our $2,000 shortfall.
You can fill out a pledge form on the St. Peter website.
Calendar At A Glance
- Sun Jun 07 — PENTECOST Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun Jun 14 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun Jun 21 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Wed Jun 24 — NATIVITY ST. JOHN BAPTIST Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun Jun 28 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Tue Jul 30 — TWELVE HOLY APOSTLES Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Wed Jul 01 — STS. COSMAS AND DAMIAN Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Thu Jul 02 — ST. JOHN MAXIMOVITCH Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun Jul 05 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Tue Jul 07 — ST. KYRIAKE THE GREAT MARTYR Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun Jul 12 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun Jul 19 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Mon Jul 20 — ELIAS (ELIJAH) THE PROPHET Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun Jul 26 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Mon Jul 27 — ST. PANTELEIMON THE GREAT-MARTYR AND HEALER Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
Wisdom From The Elders
Since the Resurrection of the Lord is the ever-present event by which He enters into unlimited Communion with all mankind, we can conclude that this same mystery should become a concrete reality within the sphere of our social life. His Beatitude, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV
When someone has a vice we should try to bombard him with rays of love and compassion so that he may be cured and freed. These things are achieved only through the grace of God. Think that this person is suffering more than you. In a coenobitic monastery when someone is at fault we should not tell him that he is to blame. We must adopt an attitude of care, respect and prayer. We must endeavour not to do anything harmful. When we endure insults from our brother, it counts as martyrdom. And it is something we should endure with joy. Elder Porphyrios
God is everywhere. You decide if you are close to him or not. St. John Chrysostom
Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture. If our thoughts are peaceful, calm, meek, and kind, then that is what our life is like. If our attention is turned to the circumstances in which we live, we are drawn into a whirlpool of thoughts and can have neither peace nor tranquility. Elder Thaddeus
Not only that: truth is truth; but if at some point you speak the truth without discernment, this is not truth. For example, it is true that so and so is mentally disturbed. But if you go and tell this truth you do not benefit anyone.
Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
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)
Alberta (Dusckas 8/20)
Patricia (Copeland 8/20)
Demetrios (Copeland 8/20)
Efstathios (Mourgis 8/20)
Sophia (Dusckas 8/20)
Dave (Dusckas 8/20)
Sergio (Mary Kazakos 8/20)
Francis (Copeland 7/20)
Dimitrios (Copeland 7/20)
Patricia (Copeland 7/20)
Dennis (Dusckas 7/20)
Barbara (Dusckas 7/20)
Jerry (Zafiris 7/20)
Harry James (Zafiris 7/20)
Permanent Prayer List
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
Friends and Benefactors Departed this Life
Fr. Stephanos (Shagoury)
Panagiota (Bea Chionis)
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.
Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God.
The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (2:1-11)
When the day of Pentecost had come, the Disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (7:37-52; 8:12)
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
When they heard these words, many of the people said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” So there was a division among the people over Him. Some of them wanted to arrest Him, but no one laid hands on Him. The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this man!” The Pharisees answered them, “Are you led astray, you also? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd, who do not know the Law, are accursed.”
Nicodemus, who had gone to Him before, and who was one of them, said to them, “Does our Law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee.” Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”