St. Peter Newsletter — November 12, 2015

Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Eighth Sunday of Luke

The Good Samaritan

This Sunday we read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable has many layers of meaning. Below is one layer about the Church as the place for healing written  by Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos):

The objective of the Church is to lead man to God, after curing him. Man’s fall from Paradise, the true communion with God, brought terrible changes to anthropology and sociology. Christ’s incarnation healed man and led him to communion with God. Therefore, the main task of the Church is to cure man.

This objective of the Church is seen in Christ’s well-known parable of the good Samaritan. According to Saint John Chrysostom’s interpretation, the man who fell into the hands of robbers is Adam and his descendants who stepped down from the heavenly polity to the polity of the devil’s deceit, which wounded them deeply.

The good Samaritan is Christ, who incarnated to cure the wounded man. He gave life to the almost-dead man with wine and oil, that is, with His Blood and the Holy Spirit. Then he carried him to the inn, which is the Church, to be healed. The innkeeper is the Apostles and after them the clerics, who have the commandment to heal men wounded by the devil. Thus, in this parable it is clear that the Church is a Hospital that cures men who are sick because of sin, and the bishops-priests are therapists of the people of God.

Christ referred to His healing work elsewhere too. He said: “They that be whole need not a physician but they that are sick” (Matt. 9:12). All of His sayings referring to the acquisition of humility, the realization of sin, repentance, and so on, show that the Son and Word of God became human to defeat death, sin, and the devil, and to deify man. Hence, all His work refers to man’s cure.

Read the entire article on the Pempousia website.

 

St. Peter's is Growing and We Need to Expand

John Simon and Zannos Grekos explain the expansions

Great news! We will expand into the unit behind the back wall of our present location. Above Council members John Simon and Zannos Grekos explain the expansion at our recent Parish Meeting.

This will meet our needs prompted by our growth and include an expanded sanctuary, social hall, Sunday school, bible study, offices, teen lounge and especially important a place to hold our potluck fellowship dinners.

We hope to have the area fully functioning by January 1.
 

Pilgrimage to St. Nicholas Monastery on Website

Click to view the Gallery

On November 7 about 18 parishioners from St. Peter's visited St. Nicholas Monastery in Fort Myers. We started with a reading of the Hours in their new chapel, heard a lecture on St. Nektarios, had lunch and toured the grounds.

It was a very good visit. The monastery is now under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) and has a new priest, Fr. Stephanos (pictured above).

A gallery of images from the pilgrimage is posted on the website.

 

Helping the Poor and Homeless

 

Helping the Homeless in Lee County

Click image to view full size

Helping the Homeless

So far St. Peter's has donated 6 tents, 4 sleeping bags, 4 backpacks and a cot to the homeless in the area through our "Good Samaritan" fund. Below is pictured Melinda Starrett of the David Lau Foundation who directs the effort to take care of the homeless as cold weather approaches, and St. Peter parishioner Nicole Clark. St. Peter's partners with the David Lau Foundation.

Melinda Barret and Nicole Clark

An important point to remember: When we help the needy, God helps us. One reason why St. Peter's is blessed is because we share those blessings with the poor. When we help meet the needs of others, God helps us meet our needs.

We also support:

Food for the Hungry

food-drive

As we do ever year, the months approaching Christmas is when we collect foor for neighborhood foodshelves.

Please bring a canned item to Church with you on Sundays. Bins will be set up to collect them.

Cash/check donations work too. Please give your donation to Mary Copeland and notate "Food Donation" on the memo line.

The drive will run through December 29. All donations will be distributed locally.

See more information on the website.

Next Choir Practice and Orthodoxy 101 Class on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Choir practice begins at 6pm and Orthodoxy 101 at 7pm.

No practice or class on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

Get the class syllabus and complete information on the website.

 

Wisdom from St. Silouan the Athonite

St. Silouan the Athonite

When bad thoughts are planted in you, then cry to God: ‘Lord, my Maker and Creator. You see that my soul is in agony from bad thoughts. Have mercy on me.’ Teach yourself to root out thoughts immediately.

But when you forget and don’t root them out immediately, then offer repentance. Work on this, so that you get a habit.

– St. Silouan the Athonite

 

Upcoming Memorials

Sunday, Nov. 22nd, 40-day Memorial for MARY SPIROPOULOS, mother of Joan Simon May her Memory be Eternal.
 

Remember in Your Prayers

Tony Backos – That his business would be restored quickly.

Soterios Ninos father of Angela Long.

Bonnie Joseph

Bob Smith

Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

 

Sunday Readings

pantokrator-blessing

Epistle

For the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

The Lord will give strength to His people.
Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of God, ascribe to the Lord honor and glory.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians. (2:14-22)

Brethren, Christ is our peace, Who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the Cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end.

And He came and preached peace to you, who were far off, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in Whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Gospel

For the Eighth Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (10:25-37)

At that time, a lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read?” And the lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”

But the lawyer, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’

Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” The lawyer said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”