St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 207 - December 9/December 22, 2002

Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
Parish Priest - Fr. Rodney Torbic
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320

December 9/December 22, 2002
Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
No. 207

Galatians 3:9
So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

Services This Past Week

December 15 - Thirty one people came for the Divine Liturgy. One communicant.
December 16 - Three people came for the Akathist to St. Sava and Prayer Service to St.Sava.
December 18 - Three people came for the Akathist to St. Nikolas and Vespers.
December 19 - Thirteen people came for Divine Liturgy. Eight communicants.
December 20 - Two people came for Matins and First Hour. One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
December 21 - One person came for the Akathist to Holy Communion and Vespers.

Services This Week - Call to Verify Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy.
Monday - 7:00 PM - Akathist to St. Sava - Prayer Service to St.Sava.
Thursday - Matins and First Hour - 8:30 AM. Ninth Hour and Vesper-4:30 PM.
Friday - Divine Liturgy - 9:00 AM. Vespers-3:00 PM.
Saturday - Divine Liturgy - Holy Trinity - Fairmont-10:00 AM.
Saturday - Ninth Hour and Vespers - St.George Church-4:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today - Children's Day - Special collection will be taken.
December 27 - Parish Retreat-Sign up today.
December 29 - Sunday of the Holy Forefathers
January 5 - Sunday before Nativity
January 6 - Eve of the Nativity
January 7 - Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ
January 8 - Synaxis of Most Holy Theotokos
January 9 - St.Stephen the Archdeacon and Protomartyr
January 14 - St.Basil the Great. Circumcision of our Lord.
January 18 - Feast of the Holy Cross
January 19 - Theophany-Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ
January 20 - Synaxis of St.John the Baptist, Prophet and Forerunner
January 27 - St.Sava, First Serbian Archbishop and Enlightener
January 29 - Feast of St.Peter's Chains

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

1. Plan to attend the parish retreat on Friday from 9:00AM - 3:30PM. Sign up today. The theme is "Jesus Christ in the Old Testament."
2. Welcome Popadija Mirjana, Savo and Marta from St. Sava Cathedral, NYC.
3. Thank you to Aaron Carson for attending the Christian Education meeting.
4. Thank you to officers serving during 2002. Congratulations to new officers.
5. Honor the Nativity Fast until the Feast of the Nativity.

A Thought from Ratibor-Ray M.Jurjevich, Ph.D.*

All religiously sensitive people have known periods of alignment with God to be followed by turmoil of sinful wishes and behavior; they find themselves on the threshold of paradise, only to lose it when swayed in Satan's direction. TO keep paradise within as long as possible and not to stray any farther than human weekness allows, it is essential to have the mind centered on God and to keep unclean thoughts and intentions out.
*(1983 Calendar of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada)

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology

To Consider

1. The conception of St. Anna of the Mother of God.
2. The honor given to St. Anna.
3. The honor given to the Mary, the Mother of God.
4. The joy we experience through the Mother of God.
5. The obedience of the Mother of God.
6. The purity of the Mother of God.
7. The singular place in history of the Mother of God.
8. The men and women learning from the Mother of God.
9. The men and women praying to the Mother of God.
10. The miracles attributed to the Mother of God.

Activities of the Parish Priest

1. Visited parishioner-Uniontown Hospital-December 15.
2. Was at Diocesan Headquarters, Mars-Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
3. Visited with two parishioners-Friday.
4. Attended Pittsburgh Deanery-Christian Education Meeting held in Youngwood-December 21.

From the Desert fathers

He (Abba Isidore) also said, 'It is impossible for you to live according to God if you love pleasures and money.'

Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 12:16-21

Then He spoke a parable to them saying, "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, You have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry"' But God said to him, "Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?" So is he who lays up treasures for himself, and is not rich towards God."

If we want to find the meaning and purpose in life, let us look to the Lord God. Let us look to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us search the Holy Scriptures and see the work of God through the centuries.

The present Gospel reveals the temporary value of material goods. The present Gospel reveals that materials goods do us no good at the time we are ready to depart this life.

Material good are of value only in the present world. There was a time before our birth when we had no material possessions. At the time of our departure from this life, no material possessions will go with us.

God is the constant of our lives. The present Gospel reveals the rich man's soul would be required of him at the time he felt he was financially secure. Actually the man felt he was abundantly wealthy.

When we measure our wealth, let us measure the goodness of God in our lives. Let us measure the abundance given us by God and our own unworthiness in receiving it.

When we think about wealth, let us think about laying up treasurers in heaven where neither moth nor rust consume and where thieves cannot break in an steal (Mt.6:20). God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor.9:7).

We go through different stages in life. We make certain major decisions as we proceed. The rich man the present Gospel was at a decision point in his life.

He could have shared his abundance with the poor. In sharing with the poor, he would have been consistent with the teachings of the Holy Gospel. We hear every year on the Sunday of the Last Judgement of the importance of giving to the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, the hungry and the naked. We learn of the presence of Jesus Christ in each suffering and needy person (Mt.25:31-46)

Concern for the hungry and the poor is evident in the Gospel of St.Luke. We learn in St.Luke's Gospel that when we feed the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind who cannot repay us, repayment comes at the resurrection of the just.(Lk.14:12-14)

Indeed, the rich man in today's Gospel lived without heeding the teachings of God. Those who heed the teaching of God learn from the Psalmist who said: "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Ps.90:12)

The way we manage our material wealth, the way we manage the blessings we receive from God will reveal the depths of our faith, will reveal the feelings we have toward God.

God looks to the heart. The widow who gave a small amount, but actually gave all that she had, was recognized by God for her great sacrifice. The widow was recognized in the words of Christ as giving much more than the rich who gave a much lesser percentage of their wealth. (Lk.21:1-4)

We can learn from the present Gospel of the temporary nature of this present life on earth. We can learn from the present Gospel that our earthly life can come to an end suddenly and without much forewarning. It is important that we are mindful of God. It is important that we are mindful of caring for our soul.

We do not want to be like the foolish virgins we hear about every year during Holy Week (Mt.25:1-13). We find security only in Jesus Christ. We find security only in the life in Jesus Christ. We are protected only when we live in Christ, according to the way of Christ.

The rich man in the present Gospel could have given from his abundance to God. He could have been rich towards God. The rich man could have been sensitive to the presence of God in his life. He could have been thankful and showed his appreciation.

The man decided to eat, drink and be merry. He decided to be greedy in accumulating more wealth than he would ever need. Decision points in life can take us closer to God or further away.

We need to pray for the clearness of vision to see God at work in our lives. We need to pray for the resolve to be serious about God in our lives. We need to be attentive to a life of prayer, of repentance, of sacrifice for the good of others.

The present Gospel reminds us clearly to be attentive about our souls. Good happens to us by the goodness and mercy of God. Additionally, we have a responsibility to live in faithfulness to the commitment we made to Jesus Christ at Holy Baptism.

Our whole lives, our total beings were set aside for, dedicated to God at Baptism and Chrismation. Material wealth and other blessings from God are to be used in accord with the way of God.

When we choose to live consistently with the way and teachings of God, our life increases in joy. Our life takes on greater contentment when we live in Jesus Christ. We experience peace in Christ when we live with and for Christ.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. December 9/December 22, 2002.
Conception of the Theotokos by St. Ann.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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