Sunday of the After-Feast of the Ascension
Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council
Martyrs Hermias of Comana in Cappadocia and the magician Marus who believed through him
“I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18). Although the Church of Christ on earth will pass through difficult struggles with the enemy of salvation, it will emerge victorious.
Persecution of Christians ceased during the fourth century, but heresies arose within the Church itself. One of the most pernicious of these heresies was Arianism. Arius, a priest of Alexandria, was a man of immense pride and ambition. In denying the divine nature of Jesus Christ and His equality with God the Father, Arius falsely taught that the Savior is not consubstantial with the Father, but is only a created being.
A local Council, convened with Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria presiding, condemned the false teachings of Arius. However, Arius would not submit to the authority of the Church. He wrote to many bishops, denouncing the decrees of the local Council. He spread his false teaching throughout the East, receiving support from certain Eastern bishops.
Investigating these dissentions, the holy emperor Constantine (May 21) consulted Bishop Hosius of Cordova (Aug. 27), who assured him that the heresy of Arius was directed against the most fundamental dogma of Christ’s Church, and so he decided to convene an Ecumenical Council. In 325, 318 bishops representing Christian Churches from various lands gathered together at Nicea.
Read the complete story on the Orthodox Church in America website.
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.
Fr. Hans Out of Town
Fr. Hans will be out of town from Tuesday May 26 to Thursday May 28. He will be in North Carolina with First Things Foundation. For pastoral emergencies please contact Fr. Paul Girgis at 509-845-4540.
Ascension Divine Liturgy on Friday, May 29 2020 at 9:30am (A Day Later Than it Should Be)
The Ascension is when Jesus Christ ascended into heaven to resume his rightful place at the right hand of the Father. It is the completion of Christ’s earthly ministry. Following about two weeks later the Holy Spirit descends, the Church begins, and the era of the New Covenant (God’s new way of dealing with men) begins.
Divine Liturgy will be held on Friday, May 29, 2020 instead of May 28 (May 28 is the correct day). Why? Because Fr. Hans is out of town and wont return until late evening on May 28. Better to have it one day later than not to have it at all.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Live Streamed Services This Week
UPDATE: St. Peter Live Stream is now available on the St. Peter website (as well as Facebook). Click go to the website, “Watch Live Stream” and wait for the service to begin.
To Live Stream a service on FACEBOOK: 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.
- Fri May 29 — ASCENSION Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- Sun May 31 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
- 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
Wisdom From The Elders
The suffering of the world, ample and endless, is their own. We are all one human being. And the prayer of the humble person is one: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” In other words, have mercy on the whole of your world. He prays and breathes for all people. He is the breath of the world. He lives with Him Who is the Alpha and the Omega Metropolitan Saba(Esber)
‘The pure of heart will see God,’ according to the Lord’s infallible word (Mt. 5:8), according to his capacity, receiving as much as his mind can sustain; yet the infinite and incomprehensible nature of the Godhead remains beyond all understanding. Archimandrite Vasileios (Gontikakis) of Iveron
I see a fish expiring as soon as it is taken out of the water, and I say: “That is me! If they take me out of Your embrace, I shall die in seconds—like a fish tossed onto the sand. St. Nikolai Velimirovich
Know and remember always, no matter where you are, that whatsoever hurts will be dulled as soon as you learn In all things, to look at Me. Everything has been sent to you by Me, for the perfection of your soul. All these things were from Me. St. Seraphim of Viritsa
A certain monk lived in a monastery, and he was always angry. He decided, “I will leave this place and dwell by myself as a hermit, and then I will no relations with anyone, and the passion of anger will leave me.” Leaving the monastery, he settled in a cave. One day, having taken up a pitcher of water, the monk set it one the ground, and it tipped over. Again he drew the water, and the pitcher tipped a second time. The he drew it again, and it fell a third time. The brother got angry, picked it up and broke it.
When he had come to himself, he understood that the devil had triumphed over him and said, “Behold, I have gone away into seclusion, and I am conquered! I will go back to the monastery, for patience and the help of God are necessary everywhere!” And he returned to his previous place. Ancient Patericon, 7.38
Remember in Your Prayers
Please Note: Names with the notation “6/20” will be removed next week. If you would like any names to remain, please notify Fr. Hans.
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 June 1)
Alberta (Dusckas 8/20)
Dorothy (Copeland 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)
Irene (Tsikitas 6/20)
Dimtrios (Jacobse 6/20)
George (Elpida 6/20)
Pantellis (Anna T 6/20)
Angelo/Evangelos (Constan 6/20)
Christine (Kanellos 6/20)
Edna (Mitchell 6/20)
Pauline (Jacobse 6/20)
Priest Benjamin (6/20)
Louis (Repya 6/20)
Iakavos (Diveris 6/20)
Heriklia (Diveris 6/20)
Macy James (6/20)
Joan (Breitenbach 6/20)
Mary (Rauch 6/20)
Diomidis (Kanellos 6/20)
Anastasia (Constan 6/20)
Ben (Ben 6/20)
Thomas (Ben 6/20)
Irene (Diveris 6/20)
Vasiliki (Diveris 6/20)
Efrosini (Diveris 6/20)
Scott (Repya 6/20)
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.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers.
For Thou art just in all Thou hast done.
The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (20:16-18, 28-36)
In those days, Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.
And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (17:1-13)
At that time, Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee, since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent. I glorified Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; and now, Father, glorify Thou Me in Thy own presence with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was made. I have manifested Thy Name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. Now they know that everything that Thou hast given Me is from Thee; for I have given them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from Thee; and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.
I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them. And now Iam no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name, which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one. While I was with them, I kept them in Thy Name, which Thou have given Me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”