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St. Peter Newsletter March 18, 2019

St. Gregory Palamas, Abp. Of Thessaloniki

Second Sunday of Great Lent
St. Gregory Palamas

Venerable Zachariah the Recluse and Artemon, Bishop of Seleucia; New-Hieromartyr Parthenios, Patriarch of Constantinople

St. Gregory Palamas, Abp. Of Thessaloniki
St. Gregory Palamas, Abp. Of Thessaloniki

From “A Man Fully Alive” by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick.

On the Second Sunday of Great Lent we celebrate St. Gregory Palamas, the archbishop of Thessalonica in Greece for a number of years in the 14th century, right around the same time that Geoffrey Chaucer was born, the man who wrote The Canterbury Tales.

But before he became an archbishop, Gregory was a monk on the holy mountain of Athos. During his time there and also when he later became an archbishop, Gregory was involved in a controversy that cut straight to the heart of this longing for life that all of us who are sons and daughters of Adam share.

At that time, there was a certain heretic named Barlaam, who was from the southern part of Italy, which was Greek-speaking at the time. Barlaam made the claim that the highest possible knowledge of God that anyone could have was through the mind, that the philosophers knew God better than the prophets and even the apostles.

Gregory answered that the human mind, while a great gift from God, was not actually capable of the kind of intimate knowledge and communion that Adam had received from God, that there was something much deeper, that the Christian could actually know God and see Him with the heart, as a light shining in. And indeed, sometimes this heart knowledge of God was so powerful and so pervasive that some people were actually seeing the light of God with their physical eyes.

Isn’t that why we’re here? Don’t we want to see God? Aren’t we here not just to learn about God with our minds, but truly to know Him with our hearts?

Read Fr. Damick’s complete essay.

Read a brief history of St. Gregory Palamas.

Annunciation Liturgy on Monday, March 25 at 6:30pm

The Annunciation of the Theotokos
The Annunciation of the Theotokos

The Feast of the Annunciation of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated on March 25 each year. The Feast commemorates the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would become incarnate and enter into this world through her womb.

Fr. Thomas Hopko on The Annunciation

Click to listen to Fr. Hopko

On March 25, exactly 9 months before Nativity, the Church celebrates the Annunciation to the Theotokos that she will be the Mother of God. God’s declaration through the angel Gabriel, however, had a contingency attached.

Listen to find out what it was.

Listen here:

Click to listen to the podcast

St. Basil Liturgy During Lent

On the Sundays of Lent we worship with the Liturgy of St. Basil instead of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. What is the difference between the two? The Liturgy of St Basil is a bit longer because the priests prayers a longer, say 10 minutes or so.

The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is derived from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Learn About Lent

Click to learn more

Check out the rich resoures about Lent and Holy Week on the Antiochian website.

Would you Like to take a Deep Dive into the Events of the Resurrection?

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

If so, email Deacon John Howard at as soon as possible.

10-week course ONLINE (from your home) beginning this Thursday, March 7th at 7 pm – 8:30 pm EST

We will learn why understanding the events surrounding the Resurrection are so critical in our lives and deserves study

We will examine how our faith and the bible are historically reliable

Finally we will go deep into the Resurrection Accounts

Interested? If so, email Deacon John at as soon as possible.

NOTE: This in an ONLINE course that will meet every Thursday night at 7 pm EST starting this week March 7th, Thursday night.

I will be using ZOOM software. It is a very easy download the first time you connect. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, a bible and a quiet place. A headset would be good but not necessary.

Again, if interested email me back soon! Thank you.

Gods Blessings,

Deacon John Howard


St. Peter Second Annual Bake Sale

Order your treats for Pascha by March 24 and pick them up on Sunday, April 7 or April 14.

Items include: Spanikopita (Spinach Pie), Tiropita (Cheese Pie), Baklava, and Koulourakia (Cookies).

Order forms, pick up instructions, and more are available at Church and also on the St. Peter website.

Please note: All orders must be in by March 24, 2019.


Stewardship Drive Report

Pledge Report March 18, 2019

In order to meet our operating Budget goal for 2019 we need to take in $16,666.00 each month.

In January We Took In $23,716, approximately $7,000 above our goal. However, giving is high in January as some people pay their stewardship for the whole year. Extra accrued in January goes into savings for leaner months.

In February we took in $16,577, just a few dollars short of our monthly needs.

Please pledge in order to meet our goal. Pledge forms are available on the table in the narthex.


Lent and Holy Week Schedule Posted

Click the image to view and print. Copies will also be available at Church.

Click to view and print


Lenten Supper Schedule

Following the Presanctified Liturgies on Wednesday evenings during Great Lent, we share in a Lenten supper. During the supper a short program will be held. This year’s theme is “Orthodox Saints.”

  • March 20 Wednesday Corgette Troutman
  • March 27 Wednesday Barbara Dionysopoulos
  • April 03 Wednesday Katina Protopapadakis
  • April 10 Wednesday Mary Copeland
  • April 17 Wednesday Anne Breitenbach

Thank you ladies!


Icons Available in the Social Hall

St. Peter’s has a large selection of Icons available for sale and donation. They come in various sizes — mini, small, medium and large.

The Icons are generously donated by Theo Palis and therefore all proceeds go directly to St. Peter’s.

If there is a specific icon you are looking for and we don’t have it, Theo might be able to make it for you.


New Member Classes and Bible Studies

Cathechumen classes continue on Tuesday evening at 7:00pm

Bible studies cancelled until after Holy Week.


Calendar At A Glance

Note: Lent and Holy Week Schedule available on the St. Peter website.


  • Sun Mar 17 — Sunday of Orthodox Vespers
  • Mon Mar 18 — Great Compline at 6:30pm
  • Wed Mar 20 — Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm
  • Fri Mar 22 — Second Stanza Salutations to the Theotokos at 6:30pm
  • Sun Mar 25 — CANCELED Annunciation Great Vespers at St. Paul’s
  • Mon Mar 25 — Divine Liturgy Annunciation of the Theotokos 6:30pm
  • Wed Mar 27 — Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm
  • Fri Mar 29 — Third Stanza Salutations at 5:30pm NOTE EARLIER TIME
  • Mon Apr 1 — Great Compline at 6:30pm
  • Wed Apr 3 — Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30pm
  • Fri Apr 5 — Fourth Stanza Salutations to the Theotokos at 6:30pm

UPCOMING – Mark your calendars!

  • Sun Apr 21 — Palm Sunday Brunch following Liturgy
  • Sun Apr 28 — PASCHA Community Dinner following Agape Vespers
  • Sun May 12 — Mother’s Day Brunch following Liturgy
  • Sun Jun 16 — Father’s Day Barbecue following Liturgy

Wisdom From The Elders

A life lived in humility and with an irreproachable conscience brings peace, tranquility, and true happiness. But wealth, honor, glory and exalted position often serve as the cause of a multitude of sins, and such happiness is not one on which to rely. St. Makary of Optina

Cheerfulness is not a sin. It drives away weariness; and it is from weariness that despondency comes, and there is nothing worse than that. It brings with it everything negative. St. Seraphim of Sarov

The vices are linked one to another: hatred to anger, anger to pride, pride to self-esteem, self-esteem to unbelief, unbelief to hard heartedness, hardheartedness to negligence, negligence to sluggishness, sluggishness to apathy, apathy to listlessness, listlessness to lack of endurance, lack of endurance to self-indulgence, and so on with all the other vices. St. Makarios of Egypt

Love has perfect eyesight: it sees the truth in a person, and it distinguishes the sin from the sinner. Priest Daniel Sysoev

Very desireable is the prayer of the heart. Very desireable is the silence of the heart. St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov)

One must remember the words of the Lord Himself in the Gospel: I will have mercy and not sacrifice (Matt. 9:13), i.e., in order to please the Lord one must most of all take care not to condemn others, and in general have an indulgent disposition towards his neighbor. St. Ambrose of Optina

Remember in Your Prayers

Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Presvytera Charlotte
Bryan, Carolina, their unborn baby
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Doug Spencer
Kathy Spencer
Kathy D.
Sofia Tešanovic
Dennis H. and Family
Victor Evan
Dimitri – Presbyter
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
Presbytera Rosy
Eva W.
Carol Ann
Maria Louise
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
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


O Lord, Thou wilt preserve us and keep us from this generation.
Save me, O Lord, for the godly man hath disappeared.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (1:10-2:3)

“In the beginning, Thou, O Lord, didst found the earth, and the heavens are the work ofThy hands; they will perish, but Thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment, like a mantleThou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will neverend.” But to what angel has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies astool for thy feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? Therefore, we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lestwe drift away from it. For if the message, declared by angels, was valid and every transgressionor disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a greatsalvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard Him.


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (2:1-12)

At that time, when Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that Hewas at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, noteven about the door; and He was preaching the Word to them. And they came, bringing to Jesusa paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near Jesus because of the crowd,they removed the roof above Him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the palleton which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, yoursins are forgiven.” Now, some of the scribes were sitting there, reasoning in their hearts, “Whydoes this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

And immediately Jesus, perceiving in His spirit that they thus reasoned within themselves, said to them,“Why do you reason thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic – “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all. So that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

St. Peter Orthodox Church