St. Peter Newsletter May 28, 2019

Christ is Risen!

The Sixth Sunday After Pascha

The Sunday of the Blind Man

Nikephoros the Confessor, Archbishop of Constantinople; New-Martyrs Demetrios of Philadelphia, John of Trebizond, and Constantine of Athos

Introduction

The sixth Sunday of Holy Pascha is observed by the Orthodox Church as the Sunday of the Blind Man. The day commemorates the miracle of Christ healing the man who was blind since birth. The biblical story of this event is found in the Gospel of Saint John 9:1-41.

Background

The Lord Jesus was coming from the Temple on the Sabbath, when, while walking in the way, He saw the blind man mentioned in today’s Gospel. This man had been born thus from his mother’s womb, that is, he had been born without eyes (see Saint John Chrysostom, Homily LVI on John; Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V:15; and the Second Exorcism of Saint Basil the Great). When the disciples saw this, they asked their Teacher, “Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” They asked this because when the Lord had healed the paralytic at the Sheep’s Pool, He had told him, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14); so they wondered, if sickness was caused by sin, what sin could have been the cause of his being born without eyes. But the Lord answered that this was for the glory of God. Then the God-man spat on the ground and made clay with the spittle. He anointed the eyes of the blind man and said to him, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam.” Siloam (which means “sent”) was a well-known spring in Jerusalem used by the inhabitants for its waters, which flowed to the eastern side of the city and collected in a large pool called “the Pool of Siloam.”

When our Lord Jesus Christ, then, came at midday to this city, which is also called Sychar (John 4:5), He was wearied from the journey and the heat. He sat down at this well. After a little while the Samaritan woman mentioned in today’s Gospel passage came to draw water. As she conversed at some length with the Lord and heard from Him secret things concerning herself, she believed in Him; through her many other Samaritans also believed.

Therefore, the Savior sent the blind man to this pool that he might wash his eyes, which had been anointed with the clay-not that the pool’s water had such power, but that the faith and obedience of the one sent might be made manifest, and that the miracle might become more remarkable and known to all, and leave no room for doubt. Thus, the blind man believed in Jesus’ words, obeyed His command, went and washed himself, and returned, no longer blind, but having eyes and seeing. This was the greatest miracle that our Lord had yet worked; as the man healed of his blindness himself testified, “Since time began, never was it heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind,” although the Lord had already healed the blind eyes of many. Because he now had eyes, some even doubted that he was the same person (John 9:8-9); and it was still lively in their remembrance when Christ came to the tomb of Lazarus, for they said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have caused that even this man should not have died?” Saint John Chrysostom gives a thorough and brilliant exposition of our Lord’s meeting with the woman of Samaria, the healing of the paralytic, and the miracle of the blind man in his commentaries on the Gospel of Saint John.

Read more on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

 

Michael Strezev Accepted to Masters Music Program

Many of you know Michael, our parishioner from Moldavia. Michael makes his living playing the organ which is why you see him enter liturgy late on most Sundays. He plays for other churches.

Most don’t know that Michael is an accomplished organ player, one with great promise and talent. He was encouraged by a faculty member of the Eastman School of Music to audition there and was accepted into their Master’s program. He begins his studies in August. He needs to raise $20,000 plus living expenses.

Michael has been granted a scholarship that covers half of his expenses to start. A person associated with the Naples Philharmonic is arranging a fund raising concert to help him meet the second half of his expenses. Location and time will be announced. It would be could if those of us who can help him attend the concert in support of his goals.

If would also be good if anyone who could help him do so. My prayer is that the money comes in for Michael through both work and gifts and that he be able to complete this course of study in his fledgling career.

 

The Ascension Divine Liturgy on June 5, 2019 at 6:30pm

The Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

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.

We will commemorate Ascension with a Divine Liturgy on the Eve of Ascension on June 5, 2019 starting at 6:30pm.

 

Community Luncheon on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 12:00pm Noon

Community Dinner

You are invited to join your St. Peter’s friends for lunch and fellowship at 12 noon on Thursday, September at 12:00pm.

Barbara Dionysopoulos and friends are preparing a delicious meal for all our members. Come and join us to enjoy some good food and the company of your friends. Make some new friends too!

Reservations are required! Please call Barbara at 239-826-1655 or sign up in the Social Hall after Divine Liturgy.

Menu

  • Chicken with macaroni
  • Greek salad (feta and olives)
  • Whole wheat French bread
  • Desert
  • Coffee

Cost $5. All proceeds go to the building fund.

 

Father’s Day Barbecue on Sunday, June 16

It’s early but we have to give our dessert makers time to plan!

Here’s the menu:

  • Hot dogs
  • Hamburgers
  • Pulled pork bar BQ
  • — and all the sides that go with it!

Ladies and other dessert makers…

Can you continue doing the fine job you have been doing? Desserts have been great!

 

Pledge Report – May 2019

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

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

 

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help

Interfaith Charities Logo

Interfaith Charities, the local agency St. Peter’s partners with to help working poor families in our immediate area needs these items:

  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Tuna
  • Mac and cheese
  • Soup
  • SpaghettiOs
  • Jelly
  • Used clothing
  • Used housewares

St. Peter’s is committed to helping the poor among us. If each family could bring some of these items to church this Sunday and the next, then we will get them to Interfaith Charities and the families who need them.

 

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.

 

Bible Studies

Bible Study

Bible Studies resume on Wednesday, May 8.

Schedule:

  • Wednesday, May 29 — Community Bible Study at 7:00pm
 

Calendar At A Glance

MAY

  • Wednesday, May 29 — Community Bible Study at 7:00pm
  • Thursday May 30 — CANCELED St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
  • Thursday-Saturday, May 30-June 1 — Fr. Hans our of town

JUNE

  • Thursday-Saturday, May 30-June 1 — Fr. Hans our of town
  • Wednesday, Jun 5 — Ascension Divine Liturgy
  • Wednesday, Jun 5 — CANCELED Men’s/Women’s Bible Study at 7:00pm (Ascension Liturgy)
  • Thursday, Jun 6 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
  • Wednesday-Saturday, Jun 12-15 — Parish Life Conference in NC. (Fr. Hans out of town)
  • Wednesday, Jun 12 — CANCELED Community Bible Study at 7:00pm (Fr. Hans out of town)
  • Thursday, Jun 13 — CANCELED St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm (Fr. Hans out of town)
  • Sunday, Jun 16 — PENTECOST
  • Sunday, Jun 16 — Father’s Day Barbecue following Liturgy
  • Monday-Saturday, June 24-29 — St. Peter and Paul Fasting Period
  • Monday, Jun 24 — Divine Liturgy for Nativity of St. John the Baptist at 6:30pm
  • Wednesday, Jun 26 — Men’s/Women’s Bible Study at 7:00pm
  • Thursday, Jun 27 — St. Demetrios Brotherhood at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, June 29 — St. Peter and Paul Great Vespers at 6:30pm
 
 

Wisdom From The Elders

How can there be peace, when people are not reconciled with God? Only when man is reconciled with God can inward and outward peace come. But for us to be reconciled with God, we must first attain awareness, we must repent, we must live in accordance with God’s commandments, and then the Grace and peace of God will enter into us, enabling us to also help create peace around us. Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

It is difficult for you, but think of how it was for the Savior on the Cross. The end is near; life passes quickly. We are guests on earth, migratory birds. Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk

An unfulfilled promise is just like a good tree without fruit. St. Ambrose of Optina

No wickedness, no heresy, not even the devil himself can deceive anyone unless he counterfeits virtue…
Dorotheos of Gaza

He who attains love cannot fall. Saint Macarius the Great

For you to learn repentance depends not only on me, but more on you yourself. Repentance in its essence is humility. And you must humble yourself. Then humility will teach you true repentance. Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk

 

Remember in Your Prayers

Baby Luke
George
Priest Kyprianos
Presvytera Charlotte
Savannah (Jonson)
Bud
Silvana
Nicole
Evan
Megan
Bill R.
Pat R.
Aglaia
George
Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Presvytera Charlotte
Bryan, Carolina, their unborn baby
Athanasia
Alexandra
Constantina
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Tim
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Patricia
Gregory
Doug Spencer
Kathy Spencer
Kathy D.
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
Tom

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

Epistle

Thou, O Lord, shalt keep us and preserve us.
Save me, O Lord, for the godly man hath disappeared.

The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (16:16-34)

In those days, as we Apostles were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slavegirl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying. She followedPaul and us, crying, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the wayof salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul was annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I charge you in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the rulers; and when they had brought them to the magistrates they said, “These men are Jews and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs which it is not lawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in attacking them; and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house.

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.

Gospel

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (9:1-38)

At that time, when Jesus was passing, He saw a man blind from his birth. And His Disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him Who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” As He said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” [which means Sent]. So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he”; others said, “No, but he is like him.” He said, “I am the man.” They said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, “What do you say about Him, since He has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight,until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age,ask him.”

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I don ot know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become His disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where He comes from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him He said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered, “And Who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him,“You have seen Him, and it is He who speaks to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe”; and he worshiped Him.

St. Peter Orthodox Church