St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 264 - January 12/January 25, 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

January 12/January 25, 2004
Sunday after Theophany - Zacchaeus Sunday
No. 264

Ephesians 4:13

Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Services This Past Week

January 18 - Eighteen people came for the Divine Liturgy. Many of the parishioners went to the Monongahela River afterwards for the Great Blessing of Water and Blessing of the River, a joint service with the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Orthodox Church in Masontown where Father Rumen Stoychev is the priest.
January 19 - One person came for the Divine Liturgy and Blessing of the Water. One person came for the Akathist to St. John the Baptist and Vespers.
January 20 - One person came for the Matins and First Hour at St.George Church. Four people came for Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont. Four people came for Vespers at St. George Church. A Service of Thanksgiving was held also.
January 21 - Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came Ninth Hour and Vespers.
January 22 - Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Four people came for Vespers.
January 23 - One person came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and January
January 24 - One person came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for the Parastos for George Vuich, Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy is at 10:00 AM each Sunday except on Pascha when it is earlier.
Morning services - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday at 6:30 AM.
Afternoon services - Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday at 4:30 PM. Wednesday at 3:00 PM.
Tuesday morning - Divine Liturgy at 8:00 AM.
Saturday morning - Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont at 10:00 AM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today (January 25) - Annual Parish St. Sava Program, Covered Dish dinner.
January 26 - Apodasis, Leave, taking of Theophany.
January 27 - St. Sava
January 29 - Chains of St. Peter
January 31 - St. Maxim, Archbishop of Serbia, St. Athanasius the Great.
February 1 - Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee - Parish meeting to view video on Stewardship.
February 8 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son
February 12 - Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

Congratulations to Stan Brozik for serving as Kum for the St. Sava celebration.
Thank you to Mildred Bezjak, Melva Hunchuck and the Kolo for coordinating the dinner.
Thank you to all supporting and taking an interest in honoring St. Sava.
Five people came to Adult Class this past Thursday. St. Bishop NIKOLAI's book Prayers by the Lake was reviewed. Next class will be February 5.
Thank you to all parishioners going to the Monongahela River last Sunday .
Sympathy extended to Rod and Molly Torbic and children, periodic visitors to our parish. Molly's mother departed this life this past week.
Nadezda Rogish and Mary Trbovich are examples of remarkable recoveries.
Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Remember the sick and the suffering and the imprisoned.

A Thought from Reverend Father Aleksa Micich

We may ask, 'what do demons want with man'? If the battle is with God, why is control of man so important? Man is the soldier in the army of God. Man was created for one purpose, and one purpose only, to live in harmony with God, to be with God, to become AS GOD. The infinite love that God shows for His creation could be considered akin to the enormous love that parent has for child. What greater gift could any parent give to child than to guarantee eternal peace and joy? It is this gift that God gave His children that had been led astray by the forces of evil: the gift of redemption.
(St.Luke Serbian Orthodox Church Newsletter January 2004 )

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

To Consider

The continuing influence of St. Sava.
Jesus Christ alive in St. Sava.
St. Sava alive in Christ.
The love and appeal of St. Sava for all ages.
The inability of enemies to defeat St. Sava.
The holy places of St. Sava.
Honoring St. Sava with our lives.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 20 - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont.
January 20 - Visited two patients at Brownsville Hospital.
January 20 - Blessed one house on occasion of a family Slava.
January 21 - Attended meeting of Christian Associates Jail Chaplaincy Committee, Pittsburgh.
January 24 - Visited resident of personal care home in Clarksville.

From the Desert fathers

An old man said, "There is no stronger virtue than to scorn no man."

Sunday after Theophany 2004

Mathew 4:12-17

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was short of stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house' So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner." Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Today is a day of transition. The Holy Orthodox Church is moving with certainty toward the end of the celebration of the Feast of Theophany, the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Jordan, the manifestation of the Holy Trinity.

The Serbian Orthodox Church will conclude the celebration of Theophany on January 13/26 and will celebrate St. Sava on January 14/27.

Today is known as the Sunday after Theophany. The message of the Lord Jesus Christ for today is clear and direct. The message of the Lord Jesus Christ, spoken centuries ago, is timely until His Second Coming. The Lord Jesus said: "Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Every believer desiring to honor his or her baptismal commitment will be in a constant state of repentance. Believers sin and sin and continue to sin. Continual repentence and return to God is the necessary response.

The best way to deal with sin is to fight sin with every fiber of the being, with the whole heart and with the whole mind. The best way to fight sin is to turn to God in repentance and seek help and strength from God in fighting sin.

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist John said: "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (I Jn.4:4) Each believer "puts on Christ" at Baptism. Each believer is sealed with the gift of th e Holy Spirit at Chrismation.

Baptism and Chrismation are honored by believers each time believers repent and return to God. The seriousness of sin is to be battled by an equal or greater degree of repentance.

In today's Gospel message, Zacchaeus clearly was sincere in his approach to God. Zacchaeus gave half of his goods to feed the poor and restored fourfold to those he had defrauded.

Zacchaeus Sunday is the ringing of the first bell to get the attention of Orthodox believers. The arrival of Zacchaeus Sunday signals the coming of Great Lent.

When Zacchaeus Sunday arrives, serious believers turn their attention to repentance. Zacchaeus is a definitive example for believers that Jesus Christ came to save sinners.

Zacchaeus Sunday is a Sunday of hope. The repentance of Zacchaeus establishes hope for sinners desiring a better life. Jesus Christ stayed with Zacchaeus. Jesus Christ's acceptance and demonstrated love of Zacchaeus encourages sinners to return to God and the ways of God.

The message of the Zacchaeus Sunday is that Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost. Healthy parish churches and serious believers reflect acceptance and love for men, women and children who repent and want to return to God.

When Jesus Christ was on the Cross, Jesus accepted the plea of the thief next to Him. Jesus told the confessing thief on the Cross "Today you will be with Me in Paradise." (Lk.23:39-43)

Sharing Christ's love is the telltale hallmark of true believers. St. John has written: "If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us." (I Jn.4:12)

To love requires patience. To love requires forgiveness. To love requires understanding. To love requires considering the point of view and the experiences of others.

To love involves a willingness to begin anew in a relationship with another person. To love means to give support and demonstrate kindness for the person who is repenting and returning to God.

The parish church and believers are beneficiaries of the love of God. Living in ways pleasing to God results in God's love being shared with others.

These words of Christ cannot be repeated too often: "Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Mt.7:14)

Celebrating Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan brings newness to life. Zacchaeus Sunday is a call for faithfulness to Christ, faithfulness to the ways of God, of ways pleasing to God.

The time to repent is now. The time to love is now. The time to love, to turn from sin and turn to Christ is now and always.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Sunday after Theophany. Zacchaeus Sunday. St. Tatiana, Martyr.
January 12/January 25, 2004

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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