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St. Peter Newsletter October 27, 2020

Holy Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian
Fifth Sunday of Luke

Theodota, the Unmercenaries’ mother; Venerable-martyr James and his disciples James the Deacon and Dionysios of Prodromou Skete on Athos; Venerable David of Evia in Greece

Sts. Cosmas and Damian

Sts. Cosmas and Damian have helped with healings at St. Peter’s.

The Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian and their mother Saint Theodota were natives of Asia Minor (some sources say Mesopotamia). Their pagan father died while they were still quite small children. Their mother raised them in Christian piety. Through her own example, and by reading holy books to them, Saint Theodota preserved her children in purity of life according to the command of the Lord, and Cosmas and Damian grew up into righteous and virtuous men.

Trained and skilled as physicians, they received from the Holy Spirit the gift of healing people’s illnesses of body and soul by the power of prayer. They even treated animals. With fervent love for both God and neighbor, they never took payment for their services. They strictly observed the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Freely have you received, freely give.” (Mt. 10:8). The fame of Saints Cosmas and Damian spread throughout all the surrounding region, and people called them unmercenary physicians.

Learn more on the Orthodox Church in America website.


Upcoming Liturgies


The Protection of the Theotokos, Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 9:30am

The Protection of the Theotokos
The Protection of the Theotokos

The Feast of the Protection commemorates the appearance of the most holy Theotokos in the Church of Blachernae in Constantinople in the tenth century, as recorded in the life of Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ’s sake. While the multitudes of the faithful were gathered in church, Epiphanius, the friend of Saint Andrew, through the Saint’s prayers, beheld the Virgin Mary above the faithful and spreading out her veil over them, signifying her unceasing protection of all Christians. Because of this we keep a yearly feast of gratitude, imploring our Lady never to cease sheltering us in her mighty prayers.

Source: The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.


St. Raphael of Brooklyn, Saturday November 7, 2020 at 9:30am

St. Raphael of Brooklyn
St. Raphael of Brooklyn

Our father among the saints Raphael of Brooklyn (November 20, 1860 – February 27, 1915) was born Rafla Hawaweeny in Beirut, Lebanon, to Damascene Syrian refugee parents. He was educated at the Patriarchal School in Damascus, the School of Orthodox Theology in Halki Island, Turkey, and at the Theological Academy in Kiev, Russia. In 1904 he became the first Orthodox bishop to be consecrated in North America; the consecration was done by Archbishop St. Tikhon of Moscow and Bishop Innocent in New York City. He served as bishop of Brooklyn, New York until his death.

During the course of his ministry as an auxiliary bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in America, St. Raphael founded the present-day primatial cathedral of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (St. Nicholas Cathedral), established thirty parishes, and assisted in the founding of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.

Bishop Raphael was glorified (numbered among the saints) by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America in its March 2000 session, and the glorification services by that Holy Synod took place in May of that year at St. Tikhon’s Monastery with the participation of bishops representing the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and the Church of Poland. He is commemorated by the Orthodox Church in America on February 27, the anniversary of his death, and by the Church of Antioch on the first Saturday of November, which is shortly before Raphael’s own patronal feast (the Feast of the Archangels, November 8).

Read about the life and ministry of St. Raphael of Brooklyn on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR – Thanksgiving Liturgy on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 6:30pm (St. Katherine)


Man giving thanks to God

Thanksgiving is about the only American Civil Holiday left that has not be completely secularized (de-Christianized), and we celebrate it to keep the Christian founding of America alive. The Orthodox missionary imperative is to affirm the good wherever you find it and build on it, even if the good is not yet complete. For that reason we celebrate Thanksgiving every year with a Divine Liturgy, most often, but not exclusively, on the eve of the holiday.

The Saint we commemorate in the Divine Liturgy is St. Katherine.


Morgan Waterman Baptism Sunday November 8, 2020


Baptism of Christ

Morgan Waterman will enter into the Holy Sacrament of Baptism on Sunday, November 8 following the Divine Liturgy (about 12:30-12:45pm). The baptism will be live streamed so his parents can attend (they live in Arizona) as well as several parishioners who cannot make it in person. Morgan will take the name Paisios after St. Paisios of Athos.


Attention St. Peter’s Men: AMEN Holds a Saturday Virtual Retreat Featuring Fr. Paul Girgis of St. Paul’s in Naples on Saturday November 14, 2020

AMEN (Antiochian Men) will hold a virtual retreat on “Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives” on Saturday, November 14, 2020 via Zoom. The featured speaker will be Fr. Paul Girgis of St. Paul Orthodox Church in Naples. To get login information, sign up for the AMEN Newsletter on the AMEN website.


Click the image to sign up


St. Peter’s Launches a Capital Campaign for a New Church

Watch for a special edition of St. Peter’s Newsletter this week for the last information on our Capital Campaign.


Dear Saint Peter’s Parishioners. Thank you for getting your Capital Campaign Pledge cards in as soon as possible.

It is imperative that we receive these funds and the pledge for future funds ASAP so that we can make an offer on this church property while it is still available. Please submit all Capital Campaign Pledges by November 1st. Thank you for supporting the Saint Peter’s Campaign for the Future.

Click here
Click the image to see how and why you can help

St. Peter’s has outgrown their space and it is time for a church!

Why has St. Peter’s grown? Why will it continue to grow? The main reason is that we have remained true to our founding vision: St. Peter’s is a church where one can encounter Christ and the place where those who seek Christ within our Orthodox faith can find their home.

Throughout the past eight years that initial vision has been corroborated by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The people he has brought to us are the testimony and proof that the vision comes from Him. We are laborers in His vineyard and we rejoice and are grateful to God for the people He brought to us.

It’s time to expand. Our work so far has been blessed but there is much more work to be done and to accomplish that we need a larger facility. That’s why we are embarking on the St. Peter Capital Campaign to raise the necessary funds to achieve our growth.

Click the picture to learn more and how you can help.


Would You Be Interested in a ZOOM Discussion on the New Book “Live Not By Lies”?

Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon

“Live Not By Lies” is a new book by Orthodox Christian author Rod Dreher that takes a hard look at the direction our country is going and exhorts American Christians to take their calling to be Christian more seriously. It’s not a political book. Rather, it looks at the direction of American culture and how we must live given the cultural changes.

The book is being widely read. Dreher interviews people from the formerly Eastern Bloc countries with special emphasis how they dealt with a government and society that was very hostile to Christianity. It includes a study guide that we would use in our discussions.

Several parishioners have expressed interest in forming a book reading group to study this book. Given that we still have Covid restrictions that affect many of our parishioners, we could hold the discussion online via ZOOM beginning in November, probably on Wednesday evenings for an hour.

If you are interested please RSVP to Fr. Hans via text (239-248-4775) or Nancy Forderhase via text (859-749-9509) or send an email to If enough people are interested (minimum would be eight to ten people), we will organize it.

Please include your email address with the RSVP.

You can read more about the book “Live Not By Lies” on Amazon.


Starting a Lending Library of Orthodox Books


Orthodox Books


Update: Our catalog of books is growing. If you have any Orthodox books to donate, please bring them to church.

We are starting a lending library of Orthodox books at St. Peter’s. Nancy Forderhase has graciously consented to lead this project. If you have any Orthodox books on your shelves, consider donating them to the library!

How does it work? You borrow the book, read it, and bring it back. Simple!

We will be selective about the books in the library. They must be Orthodox related and trustworthy and reliable scholarship. The library won’t contain off-topic or unreliable material.


Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes Continue


Assignment this week: Chapters 3 and 4.

The class is required for seekers and catechumens and also open to any parishioner who would like to attend. The syllabus will be posted on the website at soon as it is completed and handed out the first day of class.

We will meet after social hall. Get some coffee, have some food and fellowship, and then we break for class.


Byzantine Chant Workshop – Weekly on Tuesday at 7:00pm at St. Paul’s


Byzantine Chant Workshop


Led by Dn. Nicholas Reid, participants will learn the basics of the tone of the week — its characteristics, scale, and various forms — and will get a chance to participate in group practice.

No prior chanting experience is required.

This will also be an opportunity to deepen our Orthodox faith by better understanding the role each tone plays in liturgical worship so that we can apply them more fruitfully in our parish life as well as in the worship of the “little church” – our own homes.

Questions? Contact Dn. Nick (


Pledge & Income Report – September 2020

Donations received in September $13,296.00
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $18,167.00
We are behind by $4,871.00

Please note:Please continue your generous support. If you cannot make it to church please mail in your donation to:

St. Peter Orthodox Church
24850 Old 41 Road Suite 6
Bonita Springs, FL 34135


You can also donate online (scroll to bottom of page):

Click to donate


Bishop NICHOLAS Offers a Weekly Live Stream

These are short thirty minute presentations where His Grace Bp. Nicholas speaks on one theme in Sunday readings for fifteen minutes followed by questions from the listeners. It’s worth tuning in. Get instructions on the St. Peter website on how to use the Band App on your phone or computer to participate.



Calendar At A Glance

Calendar also available on the St. Peter website.


  • Sun Oct 25 — Orthros 8:30am / Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Oct 25 — Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes Begin Following Divine Liturgy
  • Mon Oct 26 — ST. DEMETRIOS Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Tue Oct 27 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul’s 7:00pm
  • Wed Oct 28 — PROTECTION OF THE THEOTOKOS Divine Liturgy 9:30am


The Christmas Fasting Period begins on November 15.

  • Sun Nov 01 — Orthros 8:30am / Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Nov 03 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul’s 7:00pm
  • Sat Nov 07 — ST. RAPHAEL OF BROOKLYN Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Nov 08 — Orthros 8:30am / Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Nov 09 — ST. NECKTARIOS OF AEGINA Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Nov 10 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul’s 7:00pm
  • Fri Nov 13 — ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Nov 13 — Parish Council Meeting 3:30pm
  • Sun Nov 15 — Orthros 8:30am / Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Nov 16 — ST. MATTHEW THE EVANGELIST Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Nov 17 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul’s 7:00pm
  • Sun Nov 22 — Orthros 8:30am / Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Nov 24 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul’s 7:00pm
  • Wed Nov 25 — ST. KATHERINE THE GREAT MARTYR Divine Liturgy 6:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Nov 29 — Orthros 8:30am / Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Nov 30 — ST. ANDREW THE FIRST CALLED Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Dec 02 — ST. PORPHYRIOS Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Dec 04 — ST. BARBARA / ST. JOHN OF DAMASCUS Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM

Wisdom From The Elders

A strong antidote was needed to tear you from the path of perdition. It was the Lord’s only alternative to send you this antidote in the form of your illness. For this reason, do not grumble against God, do not despair, but thank Him for His mercy and concern for your salvation. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

we must particularly remember regular Confession, by which the heart is lightened of the burdens that weigh it down with worldly cares. Without the practice of such Confession of thoughts and sins, we fetter to the earth that which might otherwise ascend to the heights of heaven. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

Worthless is the charity of the man who bestows it unwillingly, because material charity is not his, but God’s gift, whilst only the disposition of the heart belongs to him. This is why many charities prove almost worthless, for they were bestowed unwillingly, grudgingly, without respect for the person of our neighbour. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Faith in the Lord Christ unites man with the eternal Lord Who, according to the measure of man’s faith, pours out in his soul eternal life so that he then feels and realizes himself to be eternal. And this he feels to a greater degree inasmuch as he lives according to that faith which gradually sanctifies his soul, heart, conscience, his entire being, by the grace-filled Divine energies. Venerable Justin (Popovic) of Chelije in Serbia

One of the first tricks of the enemy against us is the idea of trusting in oneself: that is, if not renouncing, then at least not feeling the need for the help of grace. The enemy as it were says: “Do not go to the light where they wish to give you some kind of new powers. You are good just the way you are!” And a man gives himself over to repose. But in the meantime the enemy is throwing a rock (some kind of unpleasantness) at one; others he is leading into a slippery place (the deception of the passions); for yet others he is strewing with flowers a closed noose (deceptively good conditions). SSt. Theophan the Recluse, bishop of Tambov

The Holy Fathers differentiate the following separate stages or steps in this battle: (1) initial suggestion, (2) acceptance, (3) consent, (4) captivity, and (5) passion. Archbishop Averky (Taushev)


Remember in Your Prayers

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 (Updated September 1 / Resets October 1)

Heather (Waterman 1/21)
Zachary (Constantine 1/21)

Peter (Foltz 1/21)
Alexa (Buchanan 1/21)
Rebecca (Aguado 1/2021)
Jacob (Aguado 1/2021)
Lori (Dusckas 12/2020)
Aggie (Dusckas 12/2020)
Baby Mackenzie (Zafiris 12/20
Weston (Teufel 12/20)
Michelle (Leone/Evanoff 12/20)
Nolan (Zafiris 12/20)
Christos (Eleni 11/20)
Lucy Marie (Eleni 11/20)
Pantelis (Tsikitas 11/20)
Patricia (Evanoff 11/20)
Barbara (Dusckas 11/20)
Brendan (Wolffe 11/20)
Sophia (Irina 10/22)
Nicholas (Zeena 10/22)
Ruthann (Zeena 10/22)
Sergio (Mary Kazakos10/22)
Libby Ann (Riccioli 10/22)
Andrea (Sarros 10/22)
Basil (Sarros 10/22)
Margaret (Sarros 10/22)

Permanent Prayer List

Nina (Krotov)
George (Chapekis)
Franklin (Pyrrson)
George (Chionis)
Stamatia (Jacobse)
Stamatia (Evelyn)
Demetrios (Kuchera)
Margaret (Palis)
Theodosios (Palis)
Theodora (Webb)
Helen (Rogers)
Robert (Smith)
Robert (Jarvis)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
James (Hord)
Ann (Rellis)
Vassiliki (Kontinos)
Vassiliki (Morekeas)

Founders, Members, and Benefactors Departed this Life

John (Hansen)
Anatoly (Kurdsjuk)
Thareni (Brooks)
Milan Evanoff
Jean (Sam)
Eleni (Pearson)
Richard (Pearson)
Fr. Stephanos (Shagoury)
Panagiota (Bea Chionis)
Anthony (Mourgis)
Anthony (Mankus)
Constantine (Houpis)
Constantine (Joseph)
Mary (Jarvis)

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



For Ss. Cosmas and Damian of Asia

In the saints that are in His earth hath the Lord been wondrous.
I beheld the Lord ever before me.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (12:27-13:8)

Brethren, you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the Church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.


For the Fifth Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (16:19-31)

The Lord said, “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’

But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

St. Peter Orthodox Church