St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 241 - August 4/August 17, 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

August 4/August 17, 2003
Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
No. 241



I Peter 1:7

That the genuineness of your faith, being more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Services This Past Week

August 9 - Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
August 10 - Twenty nine people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants. Blessing of one ambulance and blessing of area to be used as office by Parish Nurse.
August 11 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
August 12 - Three people came for the Akathist to St. Panteleimon and Matins. Four people came for the Akathist to the Mother of God and Akathist to the Dormition of the Mother of God.
August 13 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Three people came for the Akathist to the Cross and Akathist to the Dormition of the Mother of God.
August 14 - Three people came for the Matins and First Hour. Five people came for the Akathist to the Cross and Akathist to the Dormiton of the Mother of God.
August 15 - Three people came for Matins and the First Hour. One person came for the Akathist to the Dormition of the Mother of God and Vespers.
August 16 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Sixteen people came for Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont. Parostos was held for Rosa Danko. Two people came for the Akathist to the Dormition of the Mother of God and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Divine Liturgy is held each Sunday at 10:00 AM except on Pascha when it is held earlier.
Monday - 6:30 AM - Matins and First Hour.
Tuesday - Divine Liturgy - Feast of Transfiguration - 9:00 AM. Evening service - 7:00 PM.
Wednesday - 6:30 AM Matins and First Hour. Afternoon service - 3:00 PM.
Thursday - 6:30 AM - Matins and First Hour.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

August 17 - Important Parish Meeting after Divine Liturgy to discuss the new roadway.
August 19 - Feast of Holy Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ.
August 28 - Dormition of Mother of God - KSS Federation and St. George Kolo Slava.
September 5 & 6 - Diocesan Chapel Slava Vigil and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.
September 11 - Beheading of St. John the Baptist.

If you are too busy to pray...you are too busy!

Parish Life

Thank you to all helping with the Healthcare Day dinner and program.
Thank you all staying for the meeting today.
Thank you to everyone making a serious effort to honor the Dormition Fast.
Remember homebound parishioners and friends of the parish, also those in care homes, nursing homes, jails, prisons and other institutions.
Remember all those working in the mines and those who have been injured or have lost their lives in mining accidents.
Remember the men and women serving in the United States Miitary.
Remember the people suffering in Kosovo.

A Thought From His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN *

This world is the abode of various spirits, but they can be classified into two groups: those from God and those from the devil, or better said into two spirits: the Holy Spirit of God and the spirit of the devil. The Holy Spirit confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ was and always will be the only Savior of this world in His Church. But the satanic spirit tries to contest this and to prove that there is no God, no incarnation, no Church, no salvation.
*(The Teaching of Saint Apostle Paul on the Church p. 26. )

To Consider

The seriousness of honoring the Dormition Fast.
The benefits to self and others in honoring the Dormiton Fast.
The importance of fasting in secret and without a sense of pride.
The reasons the Church establishes periods of fasting throughout the year.
The transformation taking place when fasting is accompanied by repentance and prayer.

Remember the St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

August 8 - Took Communion to homebound parishioner.
August 11 - Visited resident of Cherry Hill Nursing Home.
August 12 - Assisted parishioner with transportation.
August 13 - Went to Diocesan Center in Mars.
August 15 - Served at Divine Liturgy at Nativity of Mother of God Orthodox Church - Masontown.
August 16 - Served at Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission - Fairmont.
August 16 - Visited parishioner in personal care home.

From the Desert fathers

He (Nilus) also said 'Prayer is a remedy against grief and depression.'

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 14:22-34

Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, "be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." So He said, 'Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he was that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, "Truly, You are the Son of God."

Today we are blessed to hear the Holy Gospel. Today we are in the initial days of the Dormition Fast. Today we are celebrating the Divine Liturgy. We hear the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We have the opportunity to partake of His Precious Body and Blood.
With the Dormition Fast upon us, we must be conscious of the need for fasting and prayer. We must be conscious of the need for repentance. We must be conscious of the need to be faithful to God and the ways pleasing to God.
Jesus told Peter in the present Gospel that he was of little faith. Jesus told Peter that he let his doubts get the best of him.
At times individuals get impatient. The people got impatient with Moses when he was on the mountain and they turned to Aaron to make them gods. He made the golden calf from their earings. (Exodus 32:1-5)
Had Peter kept his faith in Jesus, he would not have started to sink. We know from St. Paul's Second Epistle to the Thessalonians that "The Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil." (2Thess.3:3)
The storms of life, the rocky waters of life can be disconcerting. Doubts like those experienced by Peter can occur. The Holy Apostle Thomas was among the very chosen of Christ (Mt.10:3) he had a certain skepticism about the Resurrection of Christ (John 20:24-25). Thomas did not come to believe in the Resurrection until invited by Jesus to put his hand into Jesus' side. (Jn.20:27)
We know from the Holy Gospel read today that the disciples in the boat came to view Jesus as the Son of God. We know from the Gospel of St. John that Thomas proclaimed Jesus "My Lord and my God." (Jn. 20:28).
In our relationship with God we come to know the way we are to live our lives. We come to know the direction our lives are to take. In our relationship with God we find the direction for daily living, the way we are to best use our time and talents each day.
Our relationship with God is based upon faith and trust in God. Our relationship with God is based upon confidence in God. Our relationship with God develops as we turn our lives over to God and recognize our dependence on God.
Each of us is walking on the sea of life. Jesus Christ stands before each of us. With faith, we can draw closer to Christ. If we doubt, when we doubt, we begin to sink and move from Christ.
We are never too old to draw near to Christ. We are never too old to turn our lives over to Christ. We are never too old to begin to take Christ seriously.
We are in the Dormition Fast. As Orthodox Christians, we are expected to honor the fast. This expectation is at once voluntary, yet expected. We are Orthodox Christians by choice. With the choice comes the responsibility.
There are no shortcuts to take us to the same end as fasting and prayer and almsgiving. We deny ourselves the fullness of the Orthodox life if we do not take the fasts of the Church seriously.
There are no shortcuts to lead us to knowledge of Christ. We professed Jesus Christ as King and as God at Holy Baptism. To continue to learn about Jesus Christ, we must invest time in reading the Holy Gospels.
We deny ourselves great riches when we do not read our Bibles. We deny ourselves of unity with Christ when we do not partake of His Precious Body and Blood.
We never know when a storm will arise in life. We never know when doubts will arise within us. When we have been serious about Christ, we know of the faithfulness of Christ.
In the present Gospel, we learn that Jesus took time to be alone. Jesus took time to pray. How often do we pray with regularity and great seriousness? How often do we examine ourselves with the greatest of care?
How often do we assess our lives according to the teachings and life of Christ? How often do we read the Holy Scriptures and Orthodox books that will enrich and strengthen us in the Holy Orthodox Faith?
To what degree do we seriously honor the Fasts of the Church not only in the foods we eat but by the way we live? Are we better at the end of each period of fasting than when the fast began?
Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us: "Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Mt.7:14). Constant vigilance is required to live the Orthodox Christian life. Constant focus on Christ and the way of Christ is required for the Orthodox Christian life.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
August 4/August 17, 2003.
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.
Sts. Prochorus, Nicanor, Parmenas, and others, Apostles and Deacons.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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