St. Peter’s Newsletter — January 23, 2014

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The Sunday of Zaccheus Means Lent is Coming

Whenever we hear the reading of Zaccheus, we also hear a warning far off in the distance to begin preparing for Lent. Lent is still a ways off, but it is approaching faster than we realize and when it comes we want to be ready.

Lent is a season of interior purification, the kind of purification that is necessary to grow closer to God so that He can work in our lives, families, parish, and world in stronger ways.

We will talk about the necessary things like fasting, confession, attending Church, prayer, almsgiving, and other things that we can do as part of this purification as the weeks go on.

Zaccheus want to see Christ but he had to climb a tree in order to see Him. Our time of preparation is like climbing the tree.

Pray and Send a Card to Noah

good-sam-van-gogh-thumbNoah is a fifteen year old boy who lives in Orlando, Florida. Recently he was riding his bike and was hit by a truck. Mary Copeland, a St. Peter’s parishioner met Noah and was moved by his plight.

Remembering how Jeremiah said that the cards he received helped him in his recovery from a car accident? Mary asked the parish to both pray and send a card to Noah.

You can send a card to:

Noah Leonhardt
606 Doheny Way,
Casselberry, Fl. 32707

“God and the Gladiators” a Success

public-lecture“God and the Gladiators” drew about 60 people, 30 of whom were from the larger community. This series attempts to fulfill Christ’s command to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the highways and byways. We want to reach people for whom Christianity in particular is important but don’t really understand what it is or how to apply it to today’s world.

If successful we would like to expand this series will expand to Fort Myers as well. Many people are looking for Christ as He is understood within our Orthodox faith and it our job to bring our faith to them.

St. Peter’s has a missionary focus. That means we have to be open to whoever the Lord puts in our path. If we are you will discover that He will bring people to you who are looking for him in a deeper way. That’s why our Church was established.

Metropolitan Phillip gave us the charge to bring the Orthodox faith to the American people who don’t know about it. That’s what we plan to do.

Don’t be surprised if the people you encounter don’t understand yet that the Lord is who they are seeking. If they understood that clearly they would be knocking on our doors instead of we bringing our faith to them. Most people don’t know exactly what they need, but they will recognize it when they see it. We are the ones who present it to them.

Sunday Scripture Readings

Epistle

bible(For the Thirty-Second 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 First Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy. (4:9-15)

Timothy, my son, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things.

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching.

Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you. Practice these duties; devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.

Gospel

(For the Fifteenth Sunday of Luke—“Zacchaeus”)

The reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (19:1-10)

At that time, Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see Who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Jesus, for He was to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.

And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord , the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”