St. Peter Newsletter — May 13, 2014

The Samaritan Woman

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
The Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

Introduction

The fourth Sunday after the Feast of Holy Pascha is observed by the Orthodox Church as the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman. The day commemorates the encounter of Christ with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. The biblical story of this event and the dialog between Christ and the woman is found in the Gospel of Saint John 4:5-42.

Background

One of the most ancient cities of the Promised Land was Shechem, also called Sikima, located at the foot of Mount Gerazim. There the Israelites had heard the blessings in the days of Moses and Jesus of Navi. Near to this town, Jacob, who had come from Mesopotamia in the nineteenth century before Christ, bought a piece of land where there was a well. This well, preserved even until the time of Christ, was known as Jacob’s Well. Later, before he died in Egypt, he left that piece of land as a special inheritance to his son Joseph (Gen. 49:22). This town, before it was taken into possession by Samaria, was also the leading city of the kingdom of the ten tribes. In the time of the Romans it was called Neapolis, and at present Nablus. It was the first city in Canaan visited by the Patriarch Abraham. Here also, Jesus of Navi (Joshua) addressed the tribes of Israel for the last time. Almost three hundred years later, all Israel assembled there to make Roboam (Rehoboam) king.

Read more. . .

 

The Making of a Catechumen

Samuel Tewis and Jack Long

On the Sunday of Pascha (Agape Vespers) ago we read the Catechumen prayers for Samuel (Cliff) Tewis who has decided he wants to enter the Orthodox Church.

The term catechumen comes from the Greek term “katakesis” and means instruction. A cathecumen is a person receiving instruction as he prepares for his baptism. Jack Long will be Samuel’s Godfather (sponsor).

May God bless and teach the servant of God Samuel as he prepares for Holy Baptism and Chrismation.

See more pictures on the website.

The Life of the Samaritan Woman Teaches Us to Preach the Gospel

Dr. Bradley Nassif

The evangelistic message of the Samaritan woman has an important message for Christians and it is this: It is possible to go to Church all your life and still not know God. We can be surrounded by a sea of Christian truth and still die because we really did not drink from the well of eternal life which is found in Jesus Christ. This podcast speaks to those who are like the Samaritan woman who was “religious,” but lost.

Listen to the podcast on the St. Peter website.

 

Ascension Liturgy on Wednesday, May 28, 6:30pm

The Asceinsion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Mark you calendars! A vesperal-liturgy for Ascension will be held at our sister parish St. Paul’s Antiochian Orthodox Church (get map) on Wednesday, May 28 starting at 6:30pm.

The Ascension marks the end of the earthly ministry of Christ where He ascends back to His place at the right hand of the Father. Next up? Pentecost.

We Need a Secretary/Administrator!

We need a secretary!

Responsibilities include:

  • Take notes at council and other meetings
  • Set up coffee hour list and remind people if necessary
  • Coordinate with hotel with functions going on
  • Help with special occasion, write thank you notes and any other correspondence needed
  • Remind Father of up coming events or notices to go on web site
  • Talking to congregation announcements
  • Help with breaking down of the church with other people

If you can volunteer, please speak to either Jack Long, John Hansen, or Fr. Hans.

 

Sunday Scripture Readings

Epistle

How great are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (11:19-30)

St. Barnabas

In those days, the Disciples, who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen, traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the Word to none except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, upon coming to Antioch, spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord.

News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord.

So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the Disciples were for the first time called Christians. Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.

And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world; and this took place in the days of Claudius. And the Disciples determined,every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brethren who lived in Judea; and theydid so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

 

Gospel

Ancient Cover for the Bible

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (4:5-42)

At that time, Jesus came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as He was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His Disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

The Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that Thou, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and Who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst forever; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered Him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly.”

The Woman at the Well
(The Samaritan Woman)
became St. Photini

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and Thou sayest that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming [He Who is called Christ]; when He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I Who speak to you am He.” Just then His Disciples came. They marveled that He was talking with a woman, but none said, “What dost Thou wish?” or, “Why art Thou talking with her?”

So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man Who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the city and were coming to Him.

Meanwhile the Disciples besought Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” So the Disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him food?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Many Samaritans from that city believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He said to me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His words. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”