St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 265 - January 19/February l, 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 19/February l, 2004
Sunday of Publican and Pharisee
No. 265

II Timothy 3:10-11

But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance. Persecutions, afflictions which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra---what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Services This Past Week

January 25 - Twenty four people attended the Divine Liturgy.
January 26 - Matins and First Hour were read in the morning. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
January 27 - Four people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant. One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
January 28 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour.
January 29 - Matins and First Hour were read.
January 30 - Matins and First Hour were read. One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
January 31 - One person came for Matins and First Hour to St. George Church. Eleven people came to Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont for the Third and Sixth Hours, Divine Liturgy, Service of Thanksgiving, Blessing of the Kolac' and Kolivo and St. Sava Program. Two people came to St. George Church for 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, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 6:30 AM.
Afternoon services - Monday, Thursday, Friday at 6:30 PM. Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday at 4:30 PM

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today - Video on Stewardship to be shown following Divine Liturgy
February 8 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son
February 12 - Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs
February 13, 14 - Diocesan Assembly at St. Petersburg, Florida.
February 14 - Memorial Saturday. Antefeast of Presentation
February 15 - Feast of Meeting of the Lord, Meatfare Sunday
February 16 - St. James, Archbishop of Serbia
Febraury 21 - St. Sava II of Serbia

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

Thank you to all supporting and participating in the St. Sava Program.
Home blessings have begun. Parishioners are encouraged to call to schedule an appointment for the blessing of your homes.
A short parish radio program can be heard Sundays at 12:15 PM on WMBS, 590 AM.
Adult Class will be held on Thursday following the evening service.
Let us remember Richard and Dustin Menhart and Jason Rogish, their families and all men and women and their families serving in the military at this time.
Let us remember those in hospitals, nursing and care homes, the homebound, those in jails and prisons and other institutions.
Let us remember those in rehab centers and treatment programs.
Let us remember the suffering people in Kosovo.
Let us become familiar with the saints commemorated each day.
Let us remember the staffs of hospitals, nursing homes and correctional facilities.
Let us remember those working in hospice care and those caring for loved ones at home.
This parish would benefit if each parishioner came to one additional church service per month.

A Thought from Father Milovan Katanic

Certainly then, there is something we are given in this world that in the end we can take to the next world. We pray at our funeral services and our parastoses that God grant us memory eternal that God literally remember us, remember our names for all of eternity. And may our prayers today at this Divine Liturgy and every liturgy and every day of our lives be that God keep us and protect us and that we might make those choices in our lives, in our communities and with our neighbors that will earn us a place in heaven and our names to be pronounced for all of eternity with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Parish Priest at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Hermitage, Pennsylvania )

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

To Consider

The demeanor of the tax collector.
The tax collector's focus on his sinfulness.
The tax collector's understanding of the mercy of God.
The tax collector's attention focused on God.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

Wednesday - Visited two residents at Brownsville Hospital.
Saturday - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont - St. Sava Program held.

From the Desert fathers

The abbot Nilus said, "Invulnerable from the arrows of the enemy is he who loves quiet: but he who mixeth with the crowd hath often wounds.

The Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee

Luke 18:10-14

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and said this prayer to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men---robbers, cheats, adulterers; or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on everything I get.' But the tax collector, standing at a distance would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but struck his chest and said, 'God be merciful to me, the sinner.' I tell you, it was he who went home forgiven, rather than the other; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Today is a preparatory Sunday leading to Great Lent. Today we have a Sunday Gospel lesson emphasizing the importance of great humility. If we measure the blessings from God, the gifts from God and the mercy of God, we will see the need for repentance and humility.

The Apostle James wrote: "Every gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights..." (James 1:17) We receive all good from God.

The question is the way we manage and apply the gifts from God. The question is the type of stewards we are with the gift of life given us by God. In two weeks, the Holy Gospel lesson will be on the Last Judgement.

Each of us faces the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Each of us will answer for the way we have lived our lives.

The tax collector in today's Gospel realized he was a sinful person. He placed himself at the mercy of God. He knew he had not been a good steward with with the life given him by God.

The tax collector was making a new beginning with God. By recognizing his own sinfulness, he sought the forgiveness of God. He sought to place behind him the sins he committed. He desired to begin anew.

Repentant believers coming to the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Communion begin anew in Christ. Everyday is a battle in the heart between good and evil. Everyday is judgment day. Believers seek the kingdom of God each day or they follow a path that leads to everlasting punishment (Mt.25:46)

The Pharisee held himself to be better than the tax collector. The Pharisee did not look at his own sins. He looked at what he considered his own righteousness.

The Lord Jesus Christ showed the greatest humility when He permitted Himself to be arrested, tried and crucified. Jesus Christ tells believers willing to listen: " whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Any good a person accomplishes is through the gift and mercy of God. Any blessing a person experiences is due to the gift and mercy of God. Any great talent a person has is due to the goodness of God.

Individuals are not the creator of God given gifts. A person chooses the way to use gifts from God.. Gifts from God can be used for the glory and work of God on earth. Gifts and blessings from God can be missused to the peril of the person receiving them.

The present Gospel lesson shows each believer the two paths that can be taken in life. A person can walk the path of Christ in humility. A person can walk the unacceptable path of self-exaltation.

Christ tells us in the Gospel, the person recognizing his or her own sinfulness and turning to God in repentance is forgiven. The person exalting him or herself in self-proclaimed religiosity is in danger of not being forgiven.

Believers benefit from paying careful attention to the Gospel lessons. At this time of the year, the theme of repentance has increased importance.

With Great Lent approaching, the Holy Orthodox Church calls believers to come to God and put their lives in order.When we confront our sins, we acknowledge our dependence on God and God's mercy.

Each day is a day closer to the end of the earthly life. Each day is a day closer to the Second Coming of Christ. Each day comes only once. Time and talents given by God are to be cherished and used wisely. Life given by God is to be used as intended by God.

The Gospel lessons are to be carefully considered. Having heard the Gospel, believers are expected to be better.

The words in Revelation "Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth" are a constant reminder to be fervent in Christ. (Rev.3:16)

The Christian life is not a life of casualness. The Christian life is not a life limited to Sunday mornings. Orthodox believers are expected to live in Christ throughout each day and night, throughout life.

At Holy Baptism and Chrismation great joy comes to the believer. At Holy Baptism and Chrismation, great responsibility comes to each believer. Each time a believer experiences the Mysteries of Holy Confession and Holy Communion, the believer takes on the great responsibility of leading a better life in Christ.

Growth in Christ is expected throughout life. Believers benefit from the example of St. Apostle Paul who said: "forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil.3:13-14)
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee.
Venerable Macarius the Great of Egypt. St. Mark of Ephesus
January 19/February l, 2004

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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