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St. Peter Newsletter October 6, 2020

Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council

Sunday of Holy Fathers of Seventh Ecumenical Council
The Fourth Sunday of Luke

Apostle Philip the deacon of the Seventy; Venerable Theophanes the branded; Nektarios, Arsakios, Sisinios and Philotheos Kokkinos, patriarchs of Constantinople; Venerable Jonah of Cyprus

Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council
The Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council

On Sunday the Church remembers the 350 holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council under the holy Patriarch Tarasius.

The Synod of 787, the second to meet at Nicea, refuted the Iconoclast heresy during the reign of Empress Irene and her son Constantine VI.

The Council decreed that the veneration of icons was not idolatry (Exodus 20:4-5), because the honor shown to them is not directed to the wood or paint, but passes to the prototype (the person depicted). It also upheld the possibility of depicting Christ, Who became man and took flesh at His Incarnation. The Father, on the other hand, cannot be represented in His eternal nature, because “no man has seen God at any time” (John 1:18).

Source: The Orthodox Church in America website.


Liturgies This Week

Apostle Thomas on Tuesday October 6, 2020 at 9:30am

The Apostle Thomas "The Twin"
The Apostle Thomas touching Jesus

The Apostle Thomas was born in the Galileian city of Pansada and was a fisherman. Hearing the good tidings of Jesus Christ, he left all and followed after him.

According to Holy Scripture, the holy Apostle Thomas did not believe the reports of the other disciples about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).

On the eighth day after the Resurrection, the Lord appeared to the Apostle Thomas and showed him His wounds. “My Lord and my God,” the Apostle cried out (John 20:28). “Thomas, being once weaker in faith than the other apostles,” says St John Chrysostom, “toiled through the grace of God more bravely, more zealously and tirelessly than them all, so that he went preaching over nearly all the earth, not fearing to proclaim the Word of God to savage nations.”

Some icons depicting this event are inscribed “The Doubting Thomas.” This is incorrect. In Greek, the inscription reads, “The Touching of Thomas.” In Slavonic, it says, “The Belief of Thomas.” When St Thomas touched the Life-giving side of the Lord, he no longer had any doubts.

What is more, in the English language, the nickname of “Doubting Thomas” can convey the false impression of Thomas as being timid, lacking the full conviction of faith, or even being cowardly; this concept of Thomas is neither historical nor Biblical, except in consideration of the vitally important moment in which Thomas touched the Resurrected Christ; the momentary sinful fluctuation in faith being spectacularly reversed through Divine Grace as an opportunity to validate the bodily Resurrection.

In John 11:16, Thomas expressed a desire to die with the Lord, in response to the other disciples’ fear that the Pharisees would seek to kill Jesus should they re-enter Judea. The notion of Thomas as wavering or pusillanimous in his faith can be further dispelled in light of the Church Tradition regarding his evangelism, according to which, the holy Apostle founded Christian churches in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Parthia, Ethiopia and India. Church Traditon also indicates that Apostle Thomas baptized the Magi.

The the entire essay on the Orthodox Wiki website.


Apostle James son of Alphaeus on Friday October 9, 2020 at 9:30am

The Martyrdom of St. James Son of Alphaeus
The Martyrdom of St. James Son of Alphaeus

James heard the Lord’s words and witnessed his miracles. After the Descent of the Holy Spirit the Apostle James, Alphaeus, and the Apostle Andrew the First-Called (November 30) made missionary journeys throughout Judea, Edessa, Gaza, and Eleutheropolis, proclaiming the Gospel, healing all sorts of sickness and disease, and converting many to the path of salvation. St James finished his apostolic work in the Egyptian city of Ostrachina, where he was crucified by the pagans.

He is called James the son of Alpaheaus or sometimes James the Less in order to distinguish him from the Apostle James, the son of Zebedee.


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

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


Mary Jarvis — May Her Memory Be Eternal

Mary Jarvis
Mary Jarvis

Our dear friend Mary Jarvis, loved by many and who worked so tirelessly for St. Peter’s in ways that will affect our parish for generations, has gone to be with the Lord. Most of us know this and our hearts are saddened.

I heard from Bob (Mary’s husband) and Jamie (Mary’s daughter) who asked me to express their deep appreciation for the Trisagion Prayers for Mary last Sunday and the Forty Day Memorial that will be held on Sunday, November 8, 2020.

Bob in particular expressed his sorrow that so many of their friends live in Southwest Florida and would not be able to attend the funeral. I told Bob we will do a beautiful memorial for Mary on the forty days and her friends would be here to pray for Mary, Bob, Jamie, her two grand-daughters she loved so dearly and her entire family. The memorial will be our funeral for her.

Funeral arrangements for our friends in Illinois are:

  • Viewing followed by the Trisagion prayer on Wednesday, October 7 from 3:00pm – 8:00pm at Davenport Funeral Home, 419 E Terra Cotta Ave, Crystal Lake, IL 60014.
  • Funeral on Thursday October 8 at St. Necktarios Greek Orthodox Church, 133 Roselle Road, Pallatine, IL. Viewing at 9:00am, Funeral at 10:00am.

You can read Mary’s obituary on the Davenport Funeral Home website.

You can send cards to Bob, Jamie, and the girls at:

Jamie James
7131 Foxfire Drive
Crystal Lake IL 60012

May Mary rest in the arms of the Savior she served and may her memory be eternal.


Send a Card to George Chionis

George Chionis
George Chionis

As some of you may know, George Chionis, a friend to many at St. Peter’s, is still in Illinois. His return to Florida is delayed because his bladder cancer has returned. George loves and misses his St. Peter’s family. If you would like to send him a card you can mail it to:

George Chionis
C/O Jeanne Bern
12340 S Natchez Ave
Palos Heights, IL 60463

Please keep George and his family in you prayers. We have also included him on our prayer list.


Send a Card to Frank and Sarah Pyrrson

Frank and Sarah Pyrrson
Frank and Sarah Pyrrson

Frank and Sarah attend our parish during the winter months. Unfortunately Frank has been diagnosed with cancer (Frank’s prognosis is very encouraging) and won’t be able to make it down this winter from Illinois where he lives. They both love St. Peter’s.

Fr. Hans been able to pray with them both on the phone. Keep them in your prayers.

Pray for them both and if you would like to send them a card of encouragement you can mail it to:

Frank and Sarah Pyrrson
PO Box 32
Lake Forest, IL 60045


Starting a Lending Library of Orthodox Books


Orthodox Books

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 start small and hopefully it will grow. If anyone would like to donate to help buy new books, well, we do that too!

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.


Taking Care of our Animals


Rescued dog


The Lee County Domestic Animal Services pet food pantry will be in Bonita Springs.

They will be available from 9:00am to 11:00am on Tuesday, October 13 at:

26820 Old 41 Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

The pet food pantry will be no contact, drive up only.

Please note: This drive is both for those that wish to donate pet food and to pick up pet food.

Donations can be made at any time to Bonita Assistance or directly to the Lee County or Collier County animal shelters.


Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes Have Begun


There is still time to join if you would like to take the class.

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. We will plan meet in the Sunday School room. If attendance is greater we will meet in the Church. Plan on classes lasting about an hour.

Why are we meeting on Sunday? To allow everyone an opportunity to attend.


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 – August 2020

Donations received in August $22,648.00
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $18,167.00
We are ahead by $4,481.00

Please note:Thank you for your response to our Appeal Letter. 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):


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


  • Thu Oct 1 — ST. ANANIAS OF THE 70 Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Oct 2 — Sat Oct 3 — DOMSE Virtual Retreat
  • Sun Oct 4 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Oct 4 — CANCELLED Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes Begin Following Divine Liturgy
  • Sun Oct 4 — Riciolli Baptism 12:30pm
  • Tue Oct 6 — APOSTLE THOMAS Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Fri Oct 9 — APOSTLE JAMES Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Sun Oct 11 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Oct 11 — Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes Begin Following Divine Liturgy
  • Fri Oct 16 — LONGINUS THE CENTURION Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Sun Oct 18 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Oct 18 — Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes Begin Following Divine Liturgy
  • Tue Oct 20 — ARTEMIUS THE GREAT MARTYR OF ANTIOCH Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Fri Oct 23 — APOSTLE JAMES Divine Liturgy 9:30am
  • Sun Oct 25 — Orthros 8:30am / 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
  • Wed Oct 28 — PROTECTION OF THE THEOTOKOS Divine Liturgy 9:30am

Wisdom From The Elders

For how can grace, given for enlightenment and help, enter into such a person, someone who thinks that he is something great, that he knows everything and does not need the help of others?
Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

It is God’s task to administer the world and the soul’s task to guide the body. St Thalassios the Libyan

During the course of the day, constantly repeat “O Theotokos and Virgin”; and, if you will do this, the Mother of God will love you. Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk

The cross is not merely a sort of beautiful spiritual meditation. It is also enduring suffering in order to stand against the sinful world. Metropolitan Saba(Esber)

Often we find that those who had never previously known God have much stronger faith than those who claim to have been devout all their lives. When a person who has not known God comes to his senses and begins to pray to God, he knows what it [life] was like before and he knows Who helped him find the light at the end of the tunnel. Elder Thaddeus(Strabulovich) of Vitovnica

He who lives according to God’s will has no worries. When he needs something, he simply prays for it. If he does not receive that which he asked for, he is joyful as though he had received it. Elder Thaddeus(Strabulovich) of Vitovnica


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)

Elizabeth and unborn baby Mackenzie (Zafiris 12/20
Weston (Teufel 12/20)
Michelle (Leone/Evanoff 12/20)
Nolan (Zafiris 12/20)
Barree (Dusckas 11/2020)
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)
Douglas (Dusckas 10/22)
Sophia (Irina 10/22)
Nicholas (Zeena 10/22)
Ruthann (Zeena 10/22)
Charles Timothy (Wolfe 10/22)
Sergio (Mary Kazakos10/22)
Libby Ann (Riccioli 10/22)
Andrea (Sarros 10/22)
Basil (Sarros 10/22)
Margaret (Sarros 10/22)
Susan (Wolffe 9/20)
Grant [Van Berkom] (Zeena 9/20)
Barbara (Dusckas 9/20)
John (Troutman 9/20)
Constandina (Stephania 9/20)
Steven (Breitenbach 9/20)
Patricia (Copeland 8/20)
Demetrios (Copeland 8/20)
Efstathios (Mourgis 8/20)

Permanent Prayer List

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 the Holy Fathers

Blessed are Thou, O Lord, the God of our Fathers.
For Thou art just in all that Thou hast done.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to St. Titus. (3:8-15)

Titus, my son, the saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissension, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.

When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful. All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.


For the Fourth Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (8:5-15)

The Lord spoke this parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold.”

And when His Disciples asked Him what this parable meant, Jesus said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

As Jesus said this, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church