St. Peter Newsletter March 31, 2020

Fifth Sunday of Great Lent
St. Mary of Egypt

Martyrs Claudius, Diodore and their companions; New-martyr George of New Ephesus; Venerable Theodora and Didymus of Alexandria

Fr. Zossima and St. Mary of Egypt

Fr. Zossima and St. Mary of Egypt

Who was St. Mary of Egypt?

Our holy mother Mary was born in Egypt. She had left her parents at the age of twelve to go to Alexandria, where she spent the next seventeen years in debauchery and the greatest profligacy. Living on charity and linen-weaving, she nevertheless offered her body to any man, not being forced to it by dire necessity as were so many poor women, but as though she were consumed by the fire of a desire that nothing was able to appease.

One day, seeing a crowd of Lybians and Egyptians moving towards the port, she followed them and set sail with them for Jerusalem, offering her body to pay her fare. When they arrived in the Holy City, she followed the crowd that was thronging towards the Church of the Resurrection, it being the day of the Exaltation of the Cross. But, when she reached the threshold of the church, an invisible force prevented her entering in spite of repeated efforts on her part, although the other pilgrims were able to go in without hindrance.

Left alone in a corner of the narthex, she began to realize that it was the impurity of her life that was preventing her approaching the holy Wood. She burst into tears and smote her breast and, seeing an icon of the Mother of God, made this prayer to her: “O Sovereign Lady, who didst bear God in the flesh, I know that I should not dare to look upon thine icon, thou who are pure in soul and body, because, debauched as I am, I must fill thee with disgust. But, as the God born of thee became man in order to call sinners to repentance, come to my aid! Allow me to go into the church and prostrate before His Cross. And, as soon as I have seen the Cross, I promise that I will renounce the world and all pleasures, and follow the path of salvation that thou willest to show me.”

She felt herself suddenly freed from the power that had held her and was able to enter the church. There she fervently venerated the Holy Cross and then, returning to the icon of the Mother of God, declared herself ready to follow the path that the Virgin would show her. A voice replied to her from on high: “If you cross the Jordan, you will find rest.”

Read more on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

 

Do Any Of Our Seniors Need Help During the Shut-Down?

 

SOS

 

If any seniors need help during the shut-down like buying groceries or anything else that might come up, please call or text Fr. Hans (text preferred but not necessary) at 239-248-4775.

If anyone could help our seniors if something comes up, please call or text Fr. Hans (text preferred but not necessary) at 239-248-4775. We will set up a list of volunteers.

 

Awaiting Word From the Archdiocese About Holy Week

We are waiting for directions from the Archdiocese about the extension of the shut-down of the parishes because of the pandemic. As soon as we hear, we will let you know.

A Prayer You Can Pray for the Weakening of the Pandemic

This prayer comes from Vatopedi Monastery and prayed during the All Night Vigil held in all monasteries of Mt. Athos to fight the coronavirus

Lord Jesus Christ, our God, the chief physician of our souls and bodies, who for us became Man in order to heal the great trauma of man; You, who did not despise the incurable ten lepers, but, through Your saving grace, cleansed them; You, who, as God and Man, during Your presence on earth, helped and cured all the sick and suffering; You, who also gave relief and restored health to the paralytic, the blind, the heavily transgressed, the demoniacs and the easily drawn into both the flesh and the spirit, do favorably accept our plea and expel, through Your power, the deadly virus that bears the shape of a corona, causing phobias or even death to the ailing and innocent victims. And, if for our many transgressions, You allowed these tempters, we beseech You, as the benevolent one, to take it away from us and from the entire world. But, if for a test of our faith, You found it necessary to continue its presence, ease the distress of the ailing from this epidemic.

And, if through the evil works of Satan, or the negligence of careless humans, this virus was spread, smash its power, as omnipotent God.

Protect the youth and guard all those who became ill; cure the old from the cursed virus; and deliver us all from the stress of the heart; instead, grant us health, comfort, and broadness through the intercessions of Theotokos and all the saints. Amen.

 

Bishop Nicholas Live Stream Pastoral Message

Bp. Nicholoas live streams a pastoral message every Sunday at 3:00pm. You can tune in (or watch replay) on your computer or through the BAND app on your iPhone or Android mobile phone. Instructions are on the St. Peter website.

 

Please Don’t Forget to Fulfill Your Pledge and Donation

As you can imagine, the cash flow of St. Peter’s Church has taken a significant hit. In March we are close to $9,000 short in meeting our expenses. We collected only half of what is needed to keep the Church in the black. Our highest expense is rent.

Some of this is because of the uncertainty of the length of the shut down. While we don’t know for certain when it will end, President Trump’s announcement on Sunday that the country may be shut down for at least another month means that we probably will be too.

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 – February 2020

Donations received in February: $15,511.00
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $18,121.00
SHORTFALL: $2,610.00

Thank you for your continued support. As you can see, we are behind in our February numbers. Due to our current situation, I am sure that March will be significantly behind, too.

You can fill out a pledge form on the St. Peter website.

 

Calendar At A Glance

Live Streamed Services This Week

  • Fri Apr 3 — Complete Salutations/Akathist Hymn 6:30pm LIVE STREAM

All Sunday Services are live streamed as well.

To Live Stream a service: Go to the St. Peter Facebook page. Scroll down to “posts” (use the navigation bar on the left). You do not need a Facebook account to view.

St. Peter Orthodox Church

Greek School classes cancelled.

Sunday March 29 Sunday of St. John of the Ladder LIVE STREAM

  • Mon Mar 30Great Compline 6:30pm CANCELLED
  • Wed Apr 1Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm CANCELLED
  • Fri Apr 3 — Complete Salutations/Akathist Hymn 6:30pm LIVE STREAM

Sunday April 5 Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt

  • Mon Apr 6Great Compline 6:30pm CANCELLED
  • Wed Apr 8Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm CANCELLED
  • Fri Apr 10Small Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus 6:30pm CANCELLED
  • Sat Apr 11 — Lazarus Saturday Liturgy 9:30am / Baptisms / Make crosses / Pancake breakfast / Children confessions – WAITING FOR INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ARCHDIOCESE

Holy Week is still undetermined. We will wait for clarification from the Archdiocese.

See the entire Lenten Schedule on the St. Peter website.

 

Wisdom From The Elders

We must not boldly throw ourselves into the abyss of sorrows; this would be prideful self-reliance. But when sorrows come of their own accord do not be afraid of them; do not think that they came by accident or circumstance. No, they are allowed by God’s unfathomable Providence. St. Nikon of Optina

Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. Philippians 4:6

Remove yourself in every way possible from all circumstances in which you are inescapably forced to see and hear a lot of bad things. There is company in which bad conversations are a usual or even a favorite way to pass the time. There are amusements in which the tendency to sensual pleasure finds the most plen­tiful nourishment. Those fond of frequenting such set­tings can easily throw their hearts into confusion and become entangled in the web of seduction.
Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg

And when our motives are pure, we are at peace. This is how we can distinguish whether or not our every action is good. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

God takes each person at the very best time of his life, in a particular manner, in order to save his soul. If He sees that someone will improve, God will give him time to live. But if He sees that he’ll become worse, God takes him in order to save him. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

Yet that which calls us forward is love: the love God has shown us, and the love the heart desires to return to Him. So accept your little cross out of love, and do not become disheartened when pains and struggles accompany the life to which we are called. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

Remember in Your Prayers

Vasiliki (Morekeas)
Iakavos (Diveris)
Heriklia (Diveris)
Macy James
Joan (Breitenbach)
Mary (Rauch)
Diomidis (Kanellos)

Anastasia (Ann Constan)
Ben (Ben)
Thomas (Ben)
Irene (C. Diveris)
Vasiliki (C.Diveris)
Efrosini (C. diveris)
Charles (Oberg)
Christine (Kouzes)
Nina (Kovalev)
Hugh (Jacquie)
Violet (Jacquie Mom)
Tammie (Jacquie friend)
Phillip
Baby Luke
George
Savannah (Jonson)
Bud
Silvana
Nicole
Evan
Megan
Bill R.
Pat R.
Aglaia
George
Priest Kyprianos
Athanasia
Alexandra
Constantina
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Tim
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Patricia
Gregory
Andreas
Sofia Tešanovic
Paul
Dennis H. and Family
Victor Evan
Ann
James
Vasiliki
Efstratia
Alexandra
Nikos
Georgia
Ioannis
Costandino
Jeffrey
Vaso
Dave
Dimitri – Presbyter
Vassiliki
Octavio
Tom
Carl
Rena
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
David
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy
Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Katerina
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
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

 
Search the Scriptures
 

Epistle

For the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent

Make your vows to the Lord our God, and perform them.
God is known in Judah; His Name is great in Israel.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (9:11-14)

Brethren, when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, thenthrough the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), Heentered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but His ownblood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the bloodof goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself withoutblemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 

Gospel

For the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (10:32-45)

At that time, Jesus took His twelve Disciples, and began to tell them what was to happento Him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of man will be delivered tothe chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles. And they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit upon Him, and kill Him; and after three days He will rise.”

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Him, and said to Him, “Teacher, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire” And Jesus said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And they said to Him, “Grant us to sit, one at Thy right hand and one at Thy left, in Thy glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to Him, “We are able.”

And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized. But to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be servant of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

 
St. Peter Orthodox Church