St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 223 - March 31/April 13, 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 31/April 13, 2003
Fifth Sunday of Lent
No. 223

Luke 7:50

He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."

Services This Past Week

April 6 - Divine Liturgy - Thirty-four people attended. Six communicants.
April 7 - Akathist to Jesus Christ and Compline - Three people attended.
April 12 - Akathist to Jesus Christ and Vespers - Two people attended.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Monday evening - 7:00 PM
Thursday and Saturday at 4:30 PM
Thursday, Friday mornings at 8:30 AM.
Saturday morning - Divine Liturgy-9:00 AM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

April 13 - Lenten Vespers here! - St. George Serbian Orthodox Church - Carmichaels - 5:30 PM. Plan to come!
April 16 - Clergy Confession - St. Nikodim Chapel - Mars. Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.
April 18 - 6:00 PM service - Holy Trinity Mission - Fairmont.
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 22 - Great and Holy Tuesday
April 23 - Great and Holy Wednesday - Holy Unction at Holy Trinity Cathedral - 7:00PM
April 24 - Great and Holy Thursday
April 25 - Great and Holy Friday - Service at 10:00AM - Holy Trinity Mission - Fairmont.
April 26 - Great and Holy Saturday
April 27 - Pascha - The Feast of Feasts - The Holy Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ
April 28 - Bright Monday
April 29 - Bright Tuesday
April 30 - Bright Wednesday
May 1 - Bright Thursday - Clergy Seminar - St.Sava Cathedral - New York City.
May 4 - St. George Parish Slava Banquet
May 6 - St. George the Great Martyr
May 8 - St. Mark, Apostle and Evangelist
May10 - Burning of Relics of St. Sava
May 12 - St. Basil of Ostrog.

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

1. Thank you to Aaron Carson for making the trip to Aliquippa for the Akathist on Friday.
2. Tom and Gary were helping out again this past week.
3. Thank you to all staying for the meeting last Sunday.
4. Thank you to all helping get ready for this evening's Vesper service and dinner.
5. Thank you to all baking this past Tuesday.
6. Let us remember to pray for our homebound and those in care homes and those ill or in prison.
7. Remember to pray for Richard, Dustin, Jason, Marko, Rudy and Matthew in the military.
8. Adult class - Thursday morning following the service.
9. Honor the Fast until after the Divine Liturgy on Pascha.
10. By now Christmas flowers should be removed from graves.

A Thought From Father Peter Milosevich *

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an eternal connection between the physical and metaphysical world; between the Earth and Heaven; between man and God; between this temporary world of the time and and the eternal Kingdom of God.
*(2003 Calendar of Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood. )

To Consider

1. Repentance as a theme of Great Lent.
2. Change of heart of during Great Lent.
3. Becoming "new" in Christ during Great Lent.
4. Coming to Holy Confession and Communion.
5. The Precious Body and Blood of Christ entering into the body of believers.
6. Preparing for Holy Confession and Communion.
7. Taking time to pray carefully before Confession and Communion.
8. Being resolute in trying to be better after Confession and Communion.
9. Trying to pray continuously.

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

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

April 6 - Attended Vespers - St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church - Monroeville.
April 7, 8 - Went to Diocesan Center - Mars.
April 9, 10, 11 - Travelled to Chicago area and returned. Visited Nativity of Theotokos Monastery in New Carlisle, Indiana, St. Sava School of Theology and Monastery in Libertyville and Most Holy Mother of God Monastery and Episcopal Office of New Gracanica Metrolitanate in Grayslake.
April 11 - Attended Akathist to the Mother of God - St. Elijah Church - Aliquippa.
April 12 - Attended Shadeland Camp meeting at Serbian Cultural Center in Weirton WV

From the Desert fathers

A brother questioned Abba Hierax saying, 'Give me a word. How can I be saved? The old man said to him, 'Sit in your cell, and if you are hungry, eat, if you are thirsty, drink; only do not speak evil of anyone and you will be saved.'

Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt - 2003
Mark 10:32-45 Luke 7:36-50

Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him. "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit upon Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again. Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, 'Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.' And He said to them, 'What do you want Me to do for you?' They said to Him, 'Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.' But Jesus said to them, 'You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' They said to Him, 'We are able.' So Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.' And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, 'You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat down to eat. And behold a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him say this, he spoke to himself saying 'This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.' And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Simon, I have something to say to you." So he said, 'Teacher, say it.' There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denari and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?' Simon answered and said, 'I suppose the one whom he forgave more.' And He said to him, 'You have rightly judged.' Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman?' I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. Then He said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.' And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?' Then He said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved You. Go in peace."

Orthodox believers enter the Christian life at Holy Baptism. The Funeral Service marks the departure from this life. Between these two services of God's Holy Church, we live our Christian lives.
The measure of our days will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ. He will determine whether we have made good use of the time alotted to each of us. We remind ourselves of Christ's Second Coming at each Divine Liturgy.
Our days on earth are finite in number. We seek eternal life. We seek the Kingdom of God. We have a foretaste of the Kingdom of God in the Divine services of the Holy Orthodox Church. We are called to be steadfast in faith.
We make a commitment to Christ at Holy Baptism. Every remaining moment of our life, we either fulfill the commitment and renew it or we pull back. We betray Christ when we do not honor our commitment to Him.
The saints of the Church give us examples of Christian commitment. The saints give us examples of different ways to live our lives according to Christ. The saints of the Church give us inspiration to press on in times of great difficulty.
In today's Gospel of St. Luke we learn of the simple yet profound example of the woman who washed Jesus' feet with tears. Her actions did not cost a great deal of money. Her actions did not involve a great expenditure of time. The woman's actions revealed to Jesus Christ the seriousness of her faith.
We can not buy our way into the Kingdom of God. God determines who will enter. God determines whether we are serious Orthodox Christians. God knows the content of our hearts and thoughts and the measure of our actions.
Today's Gospel from St. Mark Jesus stressed the importance of serving others. Christ said He came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. Serious Orthodox Christians serve God with their lives.
We can reach back through the centuries with our minds to think about the love of God. We can reach back through the centuries to think about Noah, about Abraham, about Moses and Elijah. The Scriptures tell us of God acting in their lives.
We can best go forward in the future knowing that God is in control of the world. We have life from God. We breathe because of God. Our heart pumps blood. Our lungs process air because of God.
Coming to God in prayer, we find the best to ways to live our lives. Coming to God in prayer, we find the best use of our talents from God. Coming to God with a repentant heart, we learn ways to begin anew in Christ.
The direction we took up at the Baptismal fount was the road to the Kingdom of God. Great Lent redirects us to the road to the Kingdom. Great Lent provides structure and encourages us to return to and remain on the road to the Kingdom.
A repentant heart is necessary when we come to God. The Psalmist tells us "The sacrifices of God are broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart." (Ps.50/51:17) Serious believers battle pride and seek the heart Christ desires.
The Psalmist teaches us to pray: "Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Ps.50/51:10) These words have a place on lips of each believer throughout the day.
In the remaining days of Great Lent, let our lives reflect service to God, a repentant heart and seriousness of faith.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
March 31/April 13, 2003.
Fifth Sunday of Great Lent - St. Mary of Egypt. March 31/April 13, 2003.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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