St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 262 - December 29/January 11, 2004




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 29/January 11, 2004
Sunday after the Nativity
No. 262



Romans 4:5

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.

Services This Past Week

January 4 - Thirty-six people came for Divine Liturgy. Four communicants. Pomen was held at Funeral Home in Masontown for Mildred Brozik.
January 5 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Funeral was held for Mildred Brozik with burial in St. George Cemetery.
January 6 - Two people came for the Great Vespers served with the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil.
Fifty five people came for the Blessing of the Badnjak. Fifty people came for the Vigil.
January 7 - Forty nine people came for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Five communicants. This was a historic day. The visit by His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN was the first by a Diocesan Bishop on the Feast of the Nativity to the St. George Church. Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic accompanied His Grace.
January 8 - Two people came for the Divine Liturgy.
January 9 - Five people came for the Divine Liturgy. One Slavski Kolac' and Kolivo blessed.
January 10 - Matins and First Hour were read. Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today and each Sunday the Divine Liturgy is at 10:00 AM. It is earlier on Pascha.
Morning services Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (Divine Liturgy), Thursday, Friday at 6:30 AM.
Afternoon services Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday at 3:00 PM. Thursday at 6:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

January 14 - Circumcision of our Lord. St. Basil the Great. Julian New Year.
January 18 - Feast of the Holy Cross, Blessing of the Water, Blessing of the Monogahela River. Stay for the Blessing of the River immediately after the Divine Liturgy. Our neighbors from the Nativity of the Theotokos Church will come.
January 19 - Theophany, Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Parish Life

Thank God for all the parishioners attending services for the Feast of the Nativity.
Thank God for all the parishioners helping in preparing for the celebration of the Feast.
Thank you to Andrea Janson for directing and members of the St. George Choir for singing the responses at the Funeral of Mildred Brozik and on the Feast of the Nativity.
Thank you to Tom Hunter for work put into recording the Feast Day service.
Thank you to Melva Hunchuck and the Kolo for coordinating providing the refreshments on the Eve of the Nativity and on the Feast.
Thank you to Rick Rodavich for building the fire. Thank you to Jack and Cindy Rose for bringing the Badnjak.
Adult class this Thursday following the evening service.

A Thought from Very Reverend Stavrofor Dr. Mateja Matejic *

We Orthodox Christians are fortunate to belong to the authentic Christian Orthodox Church and that we confess the true faith, Orthodoxy, which is the genuine Christianity. However, if we belong only formally to Orthodoxy, without practicing it, then we do no differ from others. It is, therefore, important that we familiarize ourselves with the Scriptural requirements for a Christian life and to conduct ourselves accordingly.
*(Scriptural Instructions for Christian Life Published by the Protonica Ana Zivadinovich Publishing Fund, 1997 )

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology

To Consider

The time the Church devotes to the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.
The different ways the Church emphasizes and celebrates the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The cumulative impact of the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.
The love of God made known in the Feast of the Nativity.
The strengthening of believers during the Feast of the Nativity.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 5-Visited homebound parishioner for Confession and Communion.
January 9-Visited parishioner in personal care home.

From the Desert fathers

The abbot Elias said, 'Three things I fear: the first, what time my soul shall go forth from my body; the second, what time I shall go to meet God; the third, what time the sentence shall go forth against me."


Sunday After Nativity 2003

Mt. 2:13-23

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, 'Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.' When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoke by the Lord through the prophet, saying, 'Out of Egypt I called My Son.' Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 'A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachael weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.' Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 'Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead.' Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archaelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

The Holy Orthodox Church began preparations for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ in late November. The Nativity Fast began on November 15/28 and continued until Divine Liturgy of the Feast.

The celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ continues until December 31/January 13, the Apodasis, the Leave-taking of the Feast. Each feast of the Lord is celebrated for a several day period of time.

Serious Orthodox believers attempt to live their lives in conformity with the Church calendar. Serious believers are sensitive to the cycle of the Church year. Believers benefit when they pay close attention to the calendar of the Church.

Believers are enriched when they increase their knowledge of the feasts and fasts of the Church and the daily commemoration of the saints and martyrs. When families take into account the focus of the Church each day, the family connection with the Church is strengthened.

Orthodoxy is a way of life for all of life on earth. Orthodox believers have eternal life in the Kingdom of God as their goal. Each day is a day to be lived in concert with the Church of Christ. Each day is a day to be lived in appreciation to and for the glory of God.

Today's Gospel message tells of the evil occurring at the time of Christ's birth. Today's Gospel message tells of the effort of the wicked Herod putting to death the male children under the age of two years.

The passage of time has not eradicated evil. Powerful individuals in authority today seek to destroy Christians. Powerful individuals today have facilitated the killing of unborn children. Powerful individuals in authority today seek to disrupt Christian worship.

We need only listen to the daily news from Kosovo to learn of the hardships imposed on our Serbian brothers and sisters due to their Orthodox identity. We do not have to look beyond the boundaries of the United States to see examples of consistent attacks on Christianity.

Here in America, seldom a day passes without a news report of a court case against Christianity in some area of this land. Try as they may through the courts, opponents of Christianity cannot take Christ from our hearts. The courts cannot take Christ from our homes. The courts cannot take Christ from our lives.

Each person decides the degree to which he or she will remain true to his or her baptismal commitment. Each person decides the degree to which he or she will live the Christian life each day.

If we read the lives of the saints and the marytrs, we learn of the countless numbers known to God for their Christian witness in times of great adversity.

God gives us each twenty-four hours of life each day. We must ask ourselves how much of each day do we give to God? How much of each day do we spend in prayer, in consciously thinking about the goodness and blessings of God?

Do we structure our daily lives around television programs or other personal interests or are we sensitive to the structure of the Church day? To what degree do we consciously live our daily lives according to the structure of the Church day?

"God so loved the world so that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whomever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (Mt. 3:16). If we take time to think about the love of God for us, we will notice the limitless love coming from God.

An important element in the love of God is charity and forgiveness. We know from the Holy Gospel that God " makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Mt. 5:45)

God is good to everyone and we can learn from this in our relationships with others. In Proverbs we read: "When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." (Pr. 16:7) The way we use our minds to guide our lives will determine the structure and direction of our lives. When God is in the forefront of our thinking, when God is in the forefront of our hearts, we structure our lives to bring them into greater conformity to the ways of God.

The goal of the Kingdom of God is constant for the serious believer. We may fall short in our efforts each day. If we are serious and we repent, we begin anew by returning to God and the ways pleasing to God.

It is too late to return to God when we have lost our faculties of thinking. While our minds work, while we have life in our bodies, we can repent and seek the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God supercedes everything in earthly value. The Holy Gospel tells us the kingdom is "like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it." (Mt.13:45-46). Each person exercises control over his or her life. Each person sets his or her personal goals. Each person determines his or her personal interests. Each person decides the way he or she will use, waste or invest the time of each day. Much time was set aside in preparation for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Presently the Church is in the midst of the celebration of the Nativity.

If we take to heart the message of the Feast of the Nativity, if we consider the message that the divine took on human flesh (Jn. 1:14), that Jesus came to save sinners (I Tim. 1:15), then we will live our lives in all seriousness to Christ.

The time we have on earth is finite (Ps. 90:10) Eternal life comes from God. (Jn. 17:1-3) Let us make the best possible use of everyday of our lives. Let us make every effort to live in conformity to ways pleasing to God.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.

Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost. Sunday after the Nativity. Commemoration of the Holy Righteous Ones.
December 29/January 11, 2004

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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