St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 258 - December 1/December 14, 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

December 1/December 14, 2003
Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
No. 258



I Timothy 3:9

Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

Services This Past Week

December 7 - Twenty seven people attended Divine Liturgy.
December 8 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
December 9 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for the Akathist to Jesus Christ and Vespers.
December 10- Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for the Akathist to the Cross and Vespers.
December ll - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Four people came for the Akathist to St. Nectarios.
December 12 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
December 13 - Three people came for Divine Liturgy. Seven 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, Thursday, Saturday at 6:30 AM. Friday Divine Liturgy at 9:00 AM.
Afternoon Services - Monday at 4:30 PM. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at 3:00 PM. Thursday at 6:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

December 14 - Parish Annual Meeting Today
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.
December 28 - Mother's Day
December 30 - Venerable Abbot Paisije and Deacon Avaccum
December 31 - St. Sebastian, Martyr. St. Modestus and Others.
January 4 - Father's Day.

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

Parish Life

Thank you to Joe Katusa for the presentation on St. Nectarios at the Thursday evening adult class. Five people attended this past week. Class will be this Thursday evening following Vespers.
Thank you to the Kolo and Kolo helpers for baking rolls since September.
The Nativity Fast continues until the Divine Liturgy of the Feast on January 7.
The parish will benefit to the degree the Nativity Fast is honored.
Remember the men and women serving in Iraq. Remember their families.
Remember the Serbian People suffering in Kosovo.
When possible come to Holy Confession on Saturday evening rather than Sunday morning.

A Thought From Very Reverend Rade Merick

Claiming the title of Christian means following the Light wherever it leads us. It means opening the eyes of our souls and hearts and keeping our face towards the Sun. And that means doing what is right in God's eyes and being obedient to Him, instead of following our own whims. That is where we so often fail, because we often prefer our own ways to God's ways.
(Path of Orthodoxy January 2002 )

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

To Consider

The degree of attention given to the soul in daily life.
The values held in life.
The primary interest of the heart.
The thoughts that occupy the mind.
The amount of attention given to God daily.
The time spent in prayer daily.
The value of repentance.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

December 10 - Went to Diocesan Center, Mars, Pa.
December 11 - Visited resident at SCI-Greene.
December 12 - Visited resident in personal care home.

From the Desert fathers

One of the brethren asked the abbot Isidore, an old man in Scete, saying, "Wherefore do the devils fear thee mightily?" And the old man said to him, "From the time that I was made a monk, I have striven not to suffer anger to mount as far as my throat."


Twenty-Sixth Sunday After Pentecost 2003

Luke 12:16-21

Then He spoke a parable to them saying, "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, You have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry"' But God said to him, "Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?" So is he who lays up treasures for himself, and is not rich towards God."

Richness towards God is a primary teaching in the present Gospel message. We can be rich toward God in many different ways. We can be rich toward God with our time. We can be giving of ourselves for the benefit of God's Holy Church.

We can be rich towards God with our talents and skills. Many people have been especially blessed by God with particular talents and skills. Believers recognizing their talents and skills are gifts from God apply their talents and skills for the glory of God.

The present Gospel describes a rich man whose primary interest was self-indulgence. His chief interest was self-interest. This rich man apparently was not too familiar with the Lord Jesus Christ's teaching to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in an steal." (Mt.6:20)

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Mt.6:21) Each person knows the allegiance of the heart. Each person knows the primary interests of his or her own heart.

The person who takes care of his or her soul does so by being generous towards God. The person taking care of his or her own soul does so by devoting time to prayer and fasting. Believers with the help of God ward off the attacks of the devil. Believers seek to receive the Precious Body and Blood of Christ.

The person taking care of his or her soul is ever alert and sensitive to the presence of God. The lesson of the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins is a lesson for everyday. (Mt.25:1-13)

Believers recite the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed at Holy Baptism and at each Divine Liturgy. Serious believers recite the Creed daily. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is an integral part of the Creed.

Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead. We read in the Gospel of St. Matthew: "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates his sheep from his goats." (Mt.25:32)

How often do we treasure each day as a gift from God to be appreciated, to be used wisely? How often do we measure our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom? (Ps.90:12)

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Galatians "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Gal.5:22)

Serious believers attempt to bring their lives into conformity with the divine teachings. Serious believers examine themselves and determine if their lives yield results described by and desirable to the Lord.

The opportunity to repent, to live the way the Lord God wants us to live, is possible as long as life and soundness of mind are present. Opportunities to repent are not to be wasted. They may never return.

Life may end before peace is made with God. Life may end before peace is made with relatives and friends. Life may end before the believer is at peace with him or herself.

Material goods do not satisfy the inner yearnings of the soul. Material goods are not a substitute for sound relationships with God. Material goods are not a substitute for sound relationships with family members, friends and individuals we meet in the course of our lives.

We can turn to God in confidence to learn the best way to invest and distribute our resources. We can turn to God in confidence to learn the best way to manage our lives.

The Nativity Fast is a time of preparation for the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Preparation involves attention to the soul. Preparation involves ordering our lives in ways consistent with the teachings of Christ.

Believers taking steps to live the Orthodox life in fullness find nourishment and completeness in the Church. New avenues of faith in the Orthodox Church open for individuals seeking to grow in Christ in the Holy Orthodox Church.

The more a believer invests his or her life in the life of the Church, in the life in Christ, the more the believer comes to know the peace and joy of Christ.

The joy of the Resurrection is never far from the pain of the Cross. The difference between Holy Friday and the Resurrection is a decided difference. Christ died on the Cross. Christ defeated death and rose from the grave.

Hope did not die on Holy Friday. Hope that will never be defeated was firmly and irrevocably established at the empty tomb.

The message of the present Gospel is not an ominous message. It is not a foreboding message. The message of the present Gospel is a direct message to be heeded.

We are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Mt.6:33) The joy found in Christ exceeds all joy (IPet.4:13) The peace found through Christ passes all understanding. (Phil.4:4)
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.
December 1/December 14, 2003
St. Naum the Prophet.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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