St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 259 - December 8/December 21, 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 8/December 21, 2003
Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
No. 259



Romans 14:22

Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

Services This Past Week

December 14 - Thirteen people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants.
December 15 - One person came for Matins and First Hour. Three people came for the Akathist to St. Sava and Vespers.
December 16 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
December 17 - One person came for Matins and First Hour. One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers. Two people came for the Akathist to St. Sava and the Akathist to Jesus Christ.
December 18 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Eight people came for the Akathist to St. Nicholas and Vespers.
December 19 - Fifteen people came for Divine Liturgy. Eight communicants.
December 20 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Three 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, Friday, Saturday at 6:30 AM.
Saturday morning will be Divine Liturgy.
Afternoon Schedule - Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 3:00 PM.
Divine Liturgy is scheduled for Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va. at 10:00 AM. Monday.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today, December 21 - Children's Day - Parish Annual Meeting today following Divine Liturgy.
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.
January 6 - Nativity Eve

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

Parish Life

Funds collected at Coffee Hour during the Sundays before Christmas will be given to the Diocesan Relief Fund to benefit suffering Serbian People.
Honor the Nativity Fast until the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Nativity.
Thank you to the parishioners braving the bad weather last Sunday to come to the Divine Liturgy.
Remember the hospitalized, those in care homes, homebound and imprisoned.
Adult Classes will resume after the Feast of the Nativity. Five people came for Adult Class this past week. The youngest adult was five years old. She was attentive.
Remember the men and women serving in the military. Remember their families.
If you know someone who is lonely, sick, depressed, or having serious problems, pray for them.
Good works, education, acts of charity, healthcare ministry and active prayer are part of parish life.
A recent article on the Ministry of Church Singers addresses the important work of the choir.
Coming to Church during the week is an important contribution.
Thank you to the Kolo for completing a major baking project.

A Thought from Prota Rade Merick

We can see the crying needs of our society. We are buffeted by all manner of spiritual confusion and decadence. Immorality has been confused with morality, evil with good, and evil spirits with the Holy Spirit. We have developed our abilities in the fields of science and medicine at a phenomenal rate, but have payed little attention to developing the spiritual wisdom which is necessary for determining how to use these abilities.
(Path of Orthodoxy January 1987 )

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology

To Consider

Remember always the healing power of Jesus Christ.
Remember while there is life and presence of mind, repentance is possible.
Remember the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the Cross.
Remember the First Great and Holy Friday.
Remember Pascha and each major feast.
Remember Jesus Christ taking on human flesh.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

Went to Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh on Monday and Saturday.
Visited parishioners on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday visit included blessing of graves in Brownsville Cemetery. Thursday visit included Mysteries of Confession and Communion for homebound parishioner.
Visit to hospitalized Orthodox Christian on Tuesday.

From the Desert fathers

An old man said, 'See that thou despise not the brother that stands by thee: for thou knowest not whether the spirit of God be in thee or in him.


Twenty-Seventh Sunday After Pentecost 2003

Luke 13:10-17

Now He was teaching in one of the synagagues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity." And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, "There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day." The Lord then answered him and said, "Hypocrite! does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ougth not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound-think of it-for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?" And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

Three weeks of the Nativity Fast are behind us. Less than three weeks remain until the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The question for each person is whether the time to date has been used wisely. The question for each person is how the remaining time will be used.

Fasting is a time of joyful preparation for the feast. Fasting is a time set aside specifically for concentrating on the condition of the soul. Fasting is a time set aside specifically for God.

Priests at times are asked how much fasting is required in preparation for Holy Confession and Communion. Each Orthodox Christian is expected to honor all the fast days throughout the year.

Each person chooses voluntarily to become an Orthodox Christian. No one is forced. At Holy Baptism, each individual renounces Satan and accepts Jesus Christ as King and God.

With the acceptance of Orthodoxy, with the choice to become Orthodox, each person accepts the expectations of being Orthodox. The decision to become an Orthodox Christian is a very serious decision. It is a decision affecting the lasting identity of the person. The decision of becoming Orthodox is not to be taken lightly.

With the joys of Orthodoxy comes the responsibility of living a certain style of life, practicing a certain prayer life, maintaining a certain decorum.

Orthodox Christians are expected to be serious about Church attendance, about fasting, about preparing for the Holy Mysteries of the Church.

The woman in the present Gospel message was healed of a longlasting infirmity. Jesus Christ heals each of us of long standing infirmities when we come to Him in faith.

Our identity as Orthodox Christians enables us to participate in the Holy Mysteries of the Church if we live the life of the Church. We have the opportunity to be forgiven by Christ and made well by His Precious Body and Blood.

Coming to Holy Confession requires examination of the self. Coming to Holy Confession requires an acknowledgement of the committing of sins and estrangement from the ways of God. Coming to Holy Confession requires an interest in being better, in living in ways acceptable to God.

Seeking to receive the Precious and Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ requires serious preparation. Seeking to receive the Precious and Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ requires careful thinking about the Sacrifice of Christ.

We will never be able to enumerate or identify all the good Jesus Christ has done for us. The least we can do is be continuously grateful to God. The least we can do is be repentant for not being better adherers to the teachings of Christ. The least we can do is continuously repent and seek to do better.

Jesus Christ taking on human flesh transformed life. Jesus Christ taking on human flesh was a marking point in time. All time is measured according to the Nativity of Jesus Christ.

The time of life for each person is a gift from God. We choose the way we treat this gift from God. We choose whether we honor the gift of life from God. We choose whether we honor God in our lives.

The woman with the infirmity, when she was healed, glorified God. We have the opportunity to glorify God in the way we live each day. We have the opportunity to glorify God in the way we treat the time given us by God.

We have the opportunity to glorify God by going to Church with increased regularity and praising God in psalms and hymns. We have the opportunity of increasing the good works we do and the amount of time we devote to prayer.

Charitable acts are expectations of Christians. Kindness and love and forgiveness are expectations of Christians.

By the way we live, observers should be able to determine we are serious followers of Jesus Christ, we are serious practioners of the way of Jesus Christ.

The Nativity Fast is a time of training, a time of preparation. Time is not to be wasted. The time of life is never replaced. We receive each day only once. We receive each moment of time only once.

God is a good and merciful God. God is a forgiving God. We have a responsibility to God to be grateful, to be good stewards of the life given to us.

The joy of Christ is realized in the Holy Mysteries. The joy of Christ is realized in hearing the Holy Gospel. The joy of Christ is realized in forgiveness and the doing of good works for the glory of God.

Jesus brought joy to the woman with the infirmity of eighteen years. Jesus brought wholeness and health to this woman. This woman was released and made free from her restrictive condition.

May we ever be faithful to the forgiving and healing God. May we ever be faithful to the commitment we made at Holy Baptism. May each moment of our lives be treasured and used in ways pleasing to God.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
December 8/December 21, 2003
Venerable Patapius. Sts. Sosthenes, Apollos and Others, Apostles

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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