St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 249 - September 29/October 12, 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

September 29/October 12, 2003
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
No. 249

Ephesians 6:16

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

Services This Past Week

October 5
Thirty one people came for Divine Liturgy.
October 6
Two people came for Matins and First Hour.
Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
October 7
Three people came for Matins and First Hour.
Six people came for Ninth Hour and Akathist to Jesus Christ.
October 8
Three people came for Matins and First Hour.
Two people came for the Akathist and Vespers.
October 9
Three people came for Matins and First Hour at St. George Church.
Seven people came to Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont for Divine Liturgy.
Four people came for Vespers at St. George Church.
October 10
Two people came for Matins and First Hour.
Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
October ll
Seven people came for Akathist Before Communion and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week

Divine Liturgy today and every Sunday at 10:00 AM except on Pascha when it is earlier.
Monday - Matins and First Hour-6:30 AM.
Monday - Ninth Hour and Vespers-3:00 PM.
No weekday services - Tuesday through Saturday.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

October 14 - Protection of the Mother of God
October 15-18 - Sabor of Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada - held in California.
Ocotber 19 - St. Thomas the Apostle
October 26 - Parish Annual Banquet
October 27 - Venerable Mother Paraskeva of Serbia - St. Petka
October 31 - St. Luke, the Apostle and Evangelist, St. Petar of Cetinje
November 1 - Memorial Saturday
November 5 - St. James the Apostle, First Bishop of Jerusalem
November 8 - St. Demetrius the Myrrhflowing, Great Martyr of Thessaloniki

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

If you need an Orthodox priest for an emergency Tuesday through Saturday, call Father Rumen Stoychev of St. Mary's Church in Masontown at 724-583-9740.
Fr. Rumen said his parish has resumed soup sales on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Stan Brozik has been taking a steady interest in the cemetery and picnic grounds to ensure they are cut well.
Thank you to all helping the Kolo with baking this past week.
Banquet reservations are due in to Dorothy Bozick.
Our parish is blessed with a committed choir director and committed choir members.
Seven people came for Adult Class this past Thursday. Next class - October 23. This past week we heard and discussed sermons of St. John Chrysostom.
Pray for the sick and the suffering.
Concessions by Hatfield Ferry Power Plant officials are responsible in part for the Rt. 21 reconstruction not requiring a larger portion of church property.
Attorney Linda Chambers is of assistance to the parish.
Thank you to Joe Katusa, Mildred Belch and Mary Trbovich for coming each day to church.

A Thought From His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN *

Why did the Lord God create the human race? So that men could be His sons. This is why the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, became incarnate. He is born as a man, so men could become sons of God by faith in Him, and in this manner fulfill that for which they were created.
*(The Teaching of Saint Apostle Paul on the Church )

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

To Consider

Consider the faith of the woman in today's Gospel message.
Consider the power of faith in your life.
Consider the power of faith for those who have been prisoners of war.
Consider the power of faith of those facing hardships in the mines.
Consider the power of faith in hospitals and prisons.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

October 3-4 - Travelled to Washington D.C. area for Christian Education Deanery Meeting.
October 7 - Attended public meeting held by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
October 8 - Went to Diocesan Center, Mars.
October 9 - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va.
October 10 - Visited resident at SCI, Greene.
October ll - Went to St. Nikodim Chapel for Divine Liturgy then to Akron for Christian Education Deanery Meeting.

From the Desert fathers

The abbot Mathos said, "The nearer a man approaches to God, the greater sinner he sees himself to be. For the prophet Isaiah saw God, and said that he was unclean and undone.

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost - 2003

Matthew 15:21-28

Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed. But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries out after us." But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Then she came and worshipped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

We all have demons in our lives. The woman in today's Gospel had enough sense to go directly to the Lord Jesus Christ to deal with the demons that were afflicting her daughter.

We can learn from the woman in today's Gospel. We can learn to come to Jesus Christ in faith and in prayer to battle the demons separating us from God. The woman in the present Gospel was persistent. She was not discouraged when Jesus seemed not to answer her request for mercy. We have a responsibility to be persistent in prayer. We have a responsibility to come to God in faith.

We cannot know the ways of God for our lives unless we constantly come to God in serious prayer. We cannot come to know the peace which passes all understanding unless we come before God at all times in prayer. (Phil.4:6-7):

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Philippians: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." (Phil.4:6)

The necessity for constant prayer, prayer without ceasing was preached by the Holy Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians (I Thess.5:17)

The woman in the present Gospel was determined to have her demon-possessed daughter healed. She knew that Jesus Christ could heal her daughter.

We know from the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church, we know from the words of Christ in the Holy Gospel, we know from the words of Holy Scriptures the unlimited power originating in and resting in God.

Jesus told the man whose son had a mute spirit and convulsed and threw himself into fire and water: "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Jesus healed the man's son. (Mark 9:17-29)

There are times the demons entering our lives may seem too great for us. There are times when the tasks we face seem insurmountable. There are times when peace seems beyond reach and elusive.

It is time to turn immediately to God when the pressures of life increase greatly. It is in God we find peace. It is in God we find strength. It is in God we find direction.

The words of the Psalmist provide direction and comfort: The Psalmist says "God is our refuge and strength." (Ps.46). In the same Forty Sixth Psalm we read: "Be still and know that I am God."

The Psalter has been called the perfect prayer book. Orthodox Christians do well when they invest time in reading the Psalms. Orthodox Christians do well when they learn from the faith of the determined mother in the present Gospel.

Prayers do not go unanswered. Prayers are heard and answered by God.

When praying as in when speaking, we must be conscious of our words. We must be conscious of our degree of attentiveness.

The woman in the present Gospel kept her focus. She kept her purpose in mind. Her desire was the healing of her daughter. Jesus realized the singleness of her purpose. Jesus realized the deep extent of her faith.

The woman was not intimidated by the presence of the disciples. She was not discouraged or dismayed. The woman did not draw back from Jesus Christ. She drew near to Christ and remained near to Christ.

The woman's love for her daughter and her desire for the healing that comes from Christ motivated her.

We learn valuable lessons from individuals healed by Jesus Christ. We learn valuable lessons from individuals who are serious in Orthodox Christian worship and prayer.

In the present Gospel, a single woman with a disturbed daughter demonstrated a persistency of faith that has been a valuable lesson for countless millions through the centuries.

One person can make a big difference in the world. The effect of a single person living the serious Christian life is transforming. One only need read the lives of the saints to see the impact of individuals who are serious about God.

This morning's Gospel penetrates the centuries. This morning's Gospel shines the light of Christ for those willing to heed the message and follow the direction.

We choose everyday the degree to which we follow Christ. If we read The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, we will find that Abba Pior made a new beginning everyday .

Each day we have the opportunity to draw closer to Jesus Christ. Each day we have the opportunity to increase our faith, to increase our prayer.

The life in Christ is complex and compelling. We come to know the richness of the life in Christ when we draw near to Christ. We come to appreciate the life in Christ when we experience Christ in serious prayer and worship.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
September 29/October 12, 2003
St. Cyriacus the Anchorite of Palestine.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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