St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 222 - March 24/April 6, 2003

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

March 24/April 6, 2003
Fouth Sunday of Lent
No. 222

I Timothy 1:15
Having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.

Services This Past Week

March 29 - Vespers - Nine people came for Vespers. Serb Wings from St. Nicholas Church - Steelton sang.
March 30 - Divine Liturgy - Forty five people came.
March 21 - Three people came for the Akathist to the Cross and Compline.
April 1 - Three people came for the Akathist to the Cross and Compline.
April 2 - Three people came for the Akathist to the Cross and Compline.
April 3 - Four people came for the First and Third Hours and Akathist to the Cross. Four people came for Akathist to Jesus Christ and Compline.
April 4 - Five people came for the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. One communicant. Two people came for Akathist to the Cross and Compline.
April 5 - Eight people came for the Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission - Fairmont. One communicant. Five people came to St. George Church for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy.
Monday - 7:00 PM - Evening Service
Tuesday - 7:00 PM - Akathist to the Cross and Compline
Saturday - 7:00 PM - Vespers

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today - Please stay for the parish meeting after the Divine Liturgy.
April 6 - Service at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church-Monroeville-5:30 PM.
April 7 - Feast of Annunciation
April 9 - Nativity of Virgin Mary Church - Clairton - 5:30PM
April 11 - Akathist - St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church - Aliquippa - 6:30 PM.
April 13 - Lenten Vespers - St. George Serbian Orthodox Church - Carmichaels - 5:30 PM.
April 16 - Clergy Confession - St. Nikodim Chapel - Mars. Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.
April 19 - Lazarus Saturday
April 20 - Feast of Christ's Entry into Jerusalem - Vespers - Holy Resurrection Church - Steubenville - 5:30 PM.
April 21 - Great and Holy Monday
April 23 - Great and Holy Wednesday - Holy Unction at Holy Trinity Cathedral - 7:00PM

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

1. Thank you to all contributing to the joyful visit of Serb Wings last weekend.
2. Thank you to Stanko Brozik, Milosh "Serb" Krewasky, Mildred "Mim" Belch and Mary Trbovich for making the ninety mile trip to St. George Church in Midland last Sunday.
3. Three people came to Adult Class this past Thursday. No class this week.
4. Help will be needed for next Sunday's dinner after Vespers.
5. Honor the Fast for Great Lent until the Paschal Divine Liturgy. Pray more.
6. Thank you to Sonia Janson for planting the peonies at the Cross in the cemetery in remembrance of the Serbian People who have died in the Faith in Kosovo.
7. Parish Nurse Practioner Mitzi Hunchuck continues to be helpful to parishioners.
8. This is the last Sunday the large collection bottle for Shadeland will be in the church hall.

A Thought From Father Rastko Trbuhovich *

The Church is His heavenly institution that God shares with us, through His love and divine grace. The Church is not "ours": it is His. Our "job" is to be faithful to God and to do what He wants us to do, to open our hearts to Him and to let the Holy Spirit "come and abide in us." In other words, it is our task to do God's will. If each of us asks God what He wants us to do, and then do that very thing with love and enthusiasm, God's work in the world will get done, and we will see how God indeed manages the life of His Church.
*(The Voice of St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church . Lackawanna, New York, March-April 2003)

To Consider

1. St. John's Ladder of Divine Ascent.
2. The steps necessary to reach the Kingdom of Heaven.
3. Growth in Christ as an essential part of Christian life.
4. Being serious about Jesus Christ throughout life.
5. Knowing the Christian journey is a life-long journey.
6. Entering the fasts of the Church with anticipation and great joy.
7. Being sorrow for sins committed and resolved to do better.
8. Being appreciative of the goodness and mercy of God.
9. Prayerfully repeating the Name of Christ in our hearts throughout the day and night.
10. Living at peace.

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology - Libertyville

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

1. Went to Vespers at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Midland on March 30.
2. Went to Diocesan Center in Mars on March 31, April l and April 2.
3. Visited two residents of Mt. St. Macrina Manor on April 4.
4. Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, on April 5.

From the Desert fathers

It was said of Abba Isaac that he ate the ashes from the incense offering with his bread.

The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent
Mark 9:17-31 Matthew 4:25-5:12

Great multitudes followed Him-from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not. He answered him and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me." Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, 'Why could we not cast it out?" So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.

Two thirds of Great Lent is behind us for this year. Two weeks remain and Lazarus Saturday will be here. The Church will move into Holy Week. Each day takes on great significance.
The Psalmist tells us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Ps. 90:12) We do not know what each day will bring. We do not know the number of our days.
Statistics give an average length of life but do not address the life span of each individual. Beyond the length of life, the issue of quality of life and reasons for living are to be considered.
Some people live a short period of time and make the most of it. The Serbian Deacon Habakkuk died a martyr confessing Christ. Rejecting Islam, Habakkuk proclaimed: "A Serb is Christ's;"
Each person is given twenty four hours per day from God. Each person has the same amount of hours in a day. The way we choose to use the time given by God reflects the values we hold and the goals we maintain.
The question to ask during the remaining days of Great Lent is do our lives reflect the glory of God? Do our lives reflect a full life in Christ? Do our lives reflect purity of heart? Purity of thought? Freedom from sin? A life of prayer?
Important questions of self-examination are necessary during Great Lent. This is a time to reconstruct our lives. This is a time to redirect our lives. This is a time to be immersed in the life in Christ.
Abba Moses asked Abba Silvanus, 'Can a man lay a new foundation every day?' The old man said, 'If he works hard, he can lay a new foundation at every moment.'
We need courage and faith in God to begin anew. We need to trust God and our lives need to reflect that trust. Peter made the direction clear for all believers when he said to Jesus: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (Jn. 6:68)
The remaining days of Great Lent afford us the opportunity to repent of our sins. The remaining days of Great Lent afford us the opportunity to seek peace with God. The remaining days of Great Lent afford us the opportunity to come to Christ seeking the peace which passeth all understanding. (Phil. 4:7)
Today's Gospel proclaims the healing power of Christ. Today's Gospel describes the qualities important for the Christian life. The meek, the merciful, the peacemakers, those who seek righteousness, these are the people held up as examples by Christ.
Today and each day are important days to assess and reassess the way we live our lives. While there is time, let us repent. While there is time, let us invest in prayer. Let us invest in the Kingdom of God. While there is time, let us confess Christ with our hearts, our minds and our actions.
The words of Jesus Christ recorded in the Gospel of St.Mark tell of the unlimited power of God for those who believe. (Mk. 9:23) We best come to know the power of God in the lives of believers when we live our lives for God. Personal experience is always the best experience.
The proof of the Christian life is best experienced by the person who lives the full Christian life.
Today is the day to make good use of today. Today is the day to invest in the Kingdom of God. Today is the day to begin anew in Christ. While there is time, let us bring our lives into conformity with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
March 24/April 6, 2003.
Forefeast of the Annunciation.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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