St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 256 - November 17/November 30, 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

November 17/November 30, 2003
Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
No. 256



Hebrews 10:22

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Services This Past Week

November 16 - Thirty-seven people attended the Divine Liturgy.
November 17 - Two people came for Matins and Divine Liturgy at St. George Church. Eleven people came to Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont for Divine Liturgy. Three people came to St. George Church for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
November 18 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
November 19 - Three people came for Divine Liturgy. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
November 20 - Thirteen People came for A Service of Thanksgiving. Parastos for Milan Mike Matovich held.
November 21 - One person came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
November 21 - Two people came for Divine Liturgy. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Divine Liturgy today and each Sunday at 10:00 AM except on Pascha when it is held earlier.
Morning Services - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday - 6:30 AM. Thursday - Divine Liturgy - 8:30 AM.
Afternoon Services - Monday - 7:00 PM. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday - 3:00 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

December 4 - Entrance of Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple - Parish Retreat
December 13 - St. Andrew the First-Called Among the Apostles.
December-14 - Parish Annual Meeting
December 19 - St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia.
December 21 - Children's Day
December 27 - Sts. Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus of Apollonia. Sts. Appolonius, Philemon, Arianus and Theoctychus of Alexandria.

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

Parish Life

Thank you to all helping the Kolo to bake. Holiday orders are due in by tomorrow morning for rolls.
Plan to come to the retreat this Thursday.
Remember the Annual Robena Memorial at 11:00 AM-Saturday on Rt.21.
Congratulations to Marion Luteran for the award received at work.
Dorothy Bozick, Kathryn Sage and Dolores Zivkovich continue to help the community by volunteering at Brownsville Hospital.

A Thought From Very Reverend Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich

Man is the center of all that is created in this world and as such brings together all creation, making of it one single physical world. The chief meaning of man's life in this world and his final goal is, among other things, to have a share in the divine life. Because man does not possess a completely independent relation to God, he must gravitate toward a union with God. Union with man is not necessary to God, but union with God is necessary to man. By uniting himself with God in a communion, man begins to realize his goal already in this earthly life.
(The Eucharist As Sacrifice Published by Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America, 1993, p.23 )

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

To Consider

The Nativity Fast being held each year.
The benefit of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
The importance of prayer, fasting and alsmgiving being practiced with humility.
The cumulative effect of the Nativity Fast.
Partaking of the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Repenting for sins committed.
Seeking the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness (Mt.6:33)

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

November 24 - Served Divine Liturgy - Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va.
November 25 - ravelled to Diocesan Center - Mars, Pennsylvania.
Novmeber 26 - Visited with parishioner.
November 28 - Travelled to Eastern Orthodox Foundation, Indiana, Pennsylvania.

From the Desert fathers

He (Abba Matoes) also said, 'The nearer a man draws to God, the more he sees himself a sinner. It was when Isaiah the prophet saw God, that he declared himself " a man of unclean lips."


The Nativity Fast - 2003

The Nativity Fast began on Friday November 15/28 and continues until the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ on December 25/January 7.

The Nativity Fast is an integral part of the life of serious Orthodox Christians. The Lord Jesus Christ fasted forty days and forty nights as is evident in the Gospel of St. Matthew (Mt 4:2)

Fasting is simultaneously a voluntary act and an expectation. It is voluntary in that believers say "yes" to the practice of fasting and choose to deny themselves for the benefit of drawing closer to God.

The Lord Jesus Christ said: "If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast if from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body be cast into hell." (Mt.5:30)

Denying ourselves certain foods and certain activities while at the same time engaging in more beneficial practices prepares believers for the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Fasting is an expection. When an individual becomes an Orthodox Christian, the expectation is he or she will be a serious Orthodox Christian participating fully in the life of the Church.

Fasting is a natural part of Holy Orthodoxy. Fasting is practiced by serious Orthodox Christians for approximately half of the year. Great Lent, the Apostles Fast, Dormition Fast, Nativity Fast and Wednesdays and Fridays are normal fast periods.

Just as athletes undergo continued conditioning, as military personnel stay in shape, as medical and teaching personnel and other professionals stay current with continuing education, serious Orthodox Christians honor their baptismal commitment and fast.

The Nativity Fast is a time of joyful preparation. The birth of Jesus Christ changed the world forever. The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ is a celebration of "God with us."

During the Nativity Fast, serious believers focus their prayers on the meaning of Jesus Christ taking on human flesh. Prayers enable believers to consider the fullness of time when God sent forth His Son, born of a woman. (Gal.4:4)

Each day of the Nativity Fast is an opportunity for believers to enter into the life of the Church. Each day is an opportunity to cast aside elements of life that hinder the focus on Christ and deter Christian growth.

The Nativity Fast is a time for each believer to be a good steward of the talents given by God. It is an opportunity to apply and invest the talents given by God for the glory of God.

At the recent Sabor in California, Very Reverend Paul Lazor spoke of the importance of almsgiving. He encouraged Serbian Orthodox Christians to share with others what they had. Father Lazor encouraged Serbian Orthodox Christians to give in love.

The Nativity Fast is an opportunity to practice almsgiving. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "Give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you." (Lk.11:41)

The Nativity Fast is a steady movement of the Church toward the Feast of the Nativity. Each day the Church moves forward with certainty, with purpose.

Around the world, in all inhabited lands where Orthodox Christians live, serious believers participate in the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Communion during Nativity Fast.

The joy of the Lord Jesus Christ is known in partaking of His Precious Body and Blood. The joy of the Lord Jesus Christ in known in hearing and cherishing His words in the Holy Gospel. The joy of the Lord Jesus Christ is known in seeing Christ at work in the lives of the saints.

We experience the joy of the Lord when we live in the Lord, when we live in the Lord's Church. We experience the joy of the Lord when we are sensitive to the Lord at work in our lives.

Every moment is a gift from God. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (Jn.3:16)

The Nativity Fast is not about commercialization in the market place. The Nativity Fast is not about parties or glitzy decorations. The Nativity Fast is not about the din of commercial noise which wears thin over time.

The Nativity Fast is preparation for the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Nativity Fast is readiness for the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ which supercedes all joy.

The tenets of being an Orthodox Christian guide the believer and influence all that the serious believer does. Each Nativity Fast, the expectation is to become a little better.

Each day throughout the Nativity Fast it is time to strive to be a better Christian. At this time and throughout the Nativity Fast, benefit comes from pondering the words of the Lord in the Book of the Holy Prophet Ezekiel.

In Ezekiel we read "Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit." (Ez.18:30-31)
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
November 17/November 30, 2003
St. Gregory the Wonderworker.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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