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St. Peter Newsletter March 26, 2019

Third Sunday of Great Lent
Veneration of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

Hypatios the Wonderworker, bishop of Gangra; Venerable Akakios the Confessor, Bishop of Melitene; and the Prophet Joel

Elevation of the Cross

Each of the Sundays of Great Lent has its own special theme. This Sunday’s theme is that in the cross of Christ crucified lies both “the power of God and the wisdom of God” for those being saved (1 Cor 1:24). On this Sunday in the middle of the Lenten season, the cross stands in the middle of the church, not merely to remind the faithful of Christ’s redemption and for them to keep the goal of their Lenten efforts, but also as a reminder: “He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:38).

Historical theme

The historical theme, as seen in the hymnology, is the victory and joy of the cross, not the suffering. The Church fathers equate the life-giving cross with the tree of life and plant it in the middle of the Lenten pilgrimage. It was the tree that was planted in Paradise; it is to remind the faithful of both Adam’s bliss and how he was deprived from it.

Personal theme

For the catechumens of the early church, and the faithful preparing for Pascha today, the spiritual theme starts to change from personal faith, and personal effort, to Christ. The Church teaches that it is Christ’s cross that saves. One cannot take up his own cross and follow Christ unless one has Christ’s cross which he took up to save mankind. Partaking of this tree, one will no longer die, but will be kept alive.

This is done to refresh, reassure and to encourage those participating in Great Lent. The Church equates the appearance of the cross at this time to the banners and symbols that precede the return of a victorious king. The Epistle reading is from Hebrews 4:14-5:6 and explains Christ’s priesthood, and the Gospel lesson from Mark 8:34-9:1 ends with And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

From Orthodoxwiki website.

Fr. Thomas Hopko on “Taking Up Your Cross”

Click to listen to Fr. Hopko

On the third Sunday of Great Lent, we concentrate on the Cross of Christ, and Fr. Tom helps us understand what it means to take up our cross.

Listen here:

Click to listen to the podcast

Presentation of IOTA Conference at St. Peter’s

Orthodox Christian Laity will be offering a presentation on the recent conference held in Romania that was attended by Orthodox Christian scholars around the world. Professor Gayle Woloschak will be the speaker.

The presentation will be held at St. Peter’s on Friday, March 29, 2019. Salutations begins at 5:30 that evening followed by a light lenten supper. The presentation begins at 7:00pm.

Click view on the website
Click view on the website

St. Basil Liturgy During Lent

St. Basil the Great

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. Basil 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.


St. Peter Second Annual Bake Sale

Orders are closed. Pick up your items on Sunday, April 7 or April 14.


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 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

Bible Study

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 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
  • Mon Apr 8 — Great Compline at 6:30pm
  • Wed Apr 10 — Great Compline at 6:30pm with Canon of St Mary at 6:30pm
  • Thu Apr 11 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • Fri Apr 12 — Complete Salutations 6:30pm
  • Mon Apr 15 — Great Compline at 6:30pm
  • Wed Apr 17 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • Fri Apr 19 — Small Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus 6:30pm
  • Fri Apr 20 — Lazarus Saturday Liturgy 9:30am / Baptisms / Make crosses / Pancake
    breakfast / Children confessions – Full Schedule TBA

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

‘My most dear brother! Make an effort to gain the heavenly kingdom and fear to lose it. Did you see God’s mercy to you? See to it then that you be not ungrateful toward your Savior, Who has revealed to you that which is invisible. Attempt to gain His love, and make ready to drink the cup which will be sent to you in accordance with our Lord’s will— then God’s grace and the protection of our heavenly Queen will always be with you; and I, too, will not leave you.’ Great Martyr George

A person who is accustomed to humiliation attracts the grace of God. Elder Porphyrios

Strive to clothe your soul in the imperishable beauty of meekness, humility, chastity and purity, mercy and righteousness. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

At every moment we need to have wakefulness, recollected thoughts, and a careful watch on the intellect. Martyrius

We unite ourselves to Him, in so far as this is possible, by participating in the godlike virtues and by entering into communion with Him through prayer and praise. St. Gregory Palamas

As it is impossible to verbally describe the sweetness of honey to one who has never tasted honey, so the goodness of God cannot be clearly communicated by way of teaching if we ourselves are not able to penetrate into the goodness of the Lord by our own experience. St. Basil the Great

Remember in Your Prayers

Bill R.
Pat R.
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


For the Third Sunday of Great Lent

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance.
To Thee, O Lord, have I cried, O my God.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (4:14-5:6)

Brethren, since we have a High Priest, Who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Sonof God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathizewith our weaknesses, but One Who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt Himself tobe made a high priest, but was appointed by Him Who said to Him, “Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee”; as He says also in another place, “Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”


For the Third Sunday of Great Lent

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (8:34-9:1)

The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up hiscross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life forMy sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world andforfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Meand My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed,when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And Jesus said to them, “Truly,I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom ofGod come with power.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church