St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 270 - February 23/March 7, 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

February 23/March 7, 2004
Second Sunday of Great Lent - St. Gregory Palamas
No. 270

Mark 2:5

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, you sins are forgiven you."

Services This Past Week

February 29 - Thirty-seven people attended Divine Liturgy. Five communicants.
March l - Two people came for First, Third and Sixth Hour. Four people came for Grand Compline.
March 2 - Two people came for First, Third and Sixth Hour. Two people came for Grand Compline.
March 3 - Two people came for Grand Compline.
March 4 - One person came for First, Third and Sixth Hours. Four people came for Grand Compline.
March 5 - Two people came for First, Third and Sixth Hours. Two people came for Grand Compline. Funeral Service with burial in St. George Cemetery was held for George Savage.
March 6 - Two people came for First and Third Hours and Akathist for Departed. Five people came for Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy is held each Sunday at 10:00 AM except on Pascha when it is held earlier.
Morning services - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday at 6:30 AM.
Wednesday and Friday - Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts at 8:00 AM.
Afternoon services - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday at 4:30 PM. Thursday at 5:45 PM. Saturday at 7:00 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

March 7 - Second Sunday of Great Lent. St. George Church, Carmichaels. Vespers at 5:30 PM.
March 14 - Third Sunday of Great Lent. St. George Church, Midland. Vespers at 5:30 PM.
March 20 - Parish Lenten Retreat
March 21 - Fourth Sunday of Great Lent. St. Nicholas Church, Monroeville. Vespers at 5:30 PM.
March 24 - Nativity of Virgin Mary Church, Clairton. First Vigil at 6:30 PM.
March 26 - St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa. Akathist at 5:30 PM.
March 28 - St. Nicholas Church, Johnstown. Vespers at 5:30 PM..
April 4 - Entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday. Holy Resurrection Church, Steubenville. Vespers at 5:30PM.
April 7 - Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh. Holy Unction at 7:00 PM.

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

It was good to see Djelosh Jerry Milosevich and Milosh "Serb" Krewasky at Vespers in Youngwood. Josephine Gresko, friend St.George Church, was also present.
Thank you to Sonia Janson, Kathryn Sage, Dorothy Smargie, Anna Mae Knezovich, Francis Dragich, Mickey Zorman and Tom Hunter for the preparations on Wednesday.
May God give comfort and strength to the family of +George Savage departed this life.
We are blessed as parish to have the Deanery Vespers here today. Thank you to all helping with the preparations.
Honor the fast until the Paschal Divine Liturgy-April ll.
Pray for the monks at Hilandar Monastery on Holy Mt.Athos where a fire occurred.
Pray for parishioners and friends of the parish who are homebound, in care homes, rehab centers, hospitals, jails or prisons.
Pray for men and women serving in the military and their families
Six people came to Adult Class on Thursday. Marriage and the death of a spouse were discussed. Class again this Thursday. Come and see the classes.
Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast each Sunday afternoon at 12:15 on WMBS, 590 AM, Uniontown.

A Thought from Parishioner and College Student Aaron Carson

Regarding the movie "The Passion"- ..."I would rather worship God in Church. Why watch something ABOUT God when you can pray TO Him? I find the Holy Gospels more moving because they are not merely the work of men. Furthermore, when one particpates in the Holy Eucharist and the Mysteries, he or she is is actually communing with God rather than merely thinking about it. I could appreciate the movie for its historical and artistic merits, but I think it is a far cry from what God actually intends for us. ... I find the services of Holy Week far more moving. One is forced to slow down and meditate upon the life of Christ. Also, fasting brings about a spiritual state that you cannot bring about by merely sitting in a theater."

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville, Illinois

To Consider

The themes of the Sundays of Great Lent.
The importance of each day in Great Lent.
The attendance at the Liturgies of Presanctified Gifts.
The individuals and families honoring each day of Great Lent.
The importance of reading the Holy Scriptures during Great Lent.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

Feburary 29 - Went to Vespers at Holy Ascension Church, Youngwood.
March 2 - Blessed six homes.
March 3 - Went to Diocesan Center for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.
March 4 - Blessed three homes.
March 5 - Blessed one house.

From the Desert fathers

He (Abba Poemen) also said, 'A Man who stays in his place in life will not be troubled.'

Second Sunday of Great Lent 2004

Mark 2:1-12, John 10:9-16

And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you." And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say 'Arise, take up your bed and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"---He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house." Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

Great Lent intensifies consideration of Jesus Christ. Prayer and fasting provide focus for the believer. Serious Orthodox Christians are drawn to Christ during Great Lent.

The lenten journey is undertaken around the world. Orthodox Christians from different continents and different countries... men, women and children, actively participate in Great Lent.

The Gospel for today tells of the power of Jesus Christ to forgive sins. Great Lent is an opportunity for believers to repent of their sins. Great Lent helps serious believers face the burden of their sins.

Jesus Christ took the sins of the world upon Himself when He went to the Cross. Jesus Christ died for each person of each century desiring to repent and live in Christ. By the Cross, Jesus showed His total love for each person.

St. Gregory Palamas wrote to the Nun Xenia centuries ago regarding despair. He said each person has the power of free will to choose or reject the road of life or the road of death. St. Gregory raised the penetrating question: "Where, then, are grounds for despair, since all of us can at all times lay hold of eternal life whenever we want to?" 1

The Gospel of St. John tells of the Good Shepherd laying down His life for His sheep. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. He laid down His life for every person.

Great Lent is the time to learn more about the life of Jesus Christ. Great Lent is the time to think more about Jesus Christ. Great Lent is the time to consider the complete sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Centuries have passed since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Gospel message of Jesus Christ continues to be proclaimed. Men continue to study for the priesthood and devote their lives to preaching the "Good News" of Jesus Christ.

Men and women enter monastic life. They dedicate the remaining days of their lives to disciplined religious life. They renounce worldly ambitions and seek the Kingdom of God.

Great Lent is a time to reflect on our family life. Great Lent is a time to consider the values we are teaching our children. Great Lent is a time to think about the love we share with others.

Great Lent is a time for forgiveness, for prayer and for fasting. When we prepare for Holy Confession, we examine our hearts and minds. We examine our thoughts and our behavior.

When we seriously prepare for Holy Confession, we are doing work important for the soul. St. Gregory Palamas tells us: "As the soul was separated from God and died in consequence of the violation of the commandment, by obedience to the commandment it is again united to God and is quickened." 2

All Orthodox Christians are expected to prepare extensively for Holy Confession and Holy Communion. Believers are renewed in Christ when confessing and receiving the precious Body and Blood of Christ.

Coming to Holy Communion is an expression of faith. Coming to Holy Communion is a journey toward Christ. Coming to Holy Communion joins the believer and Christ.

According to the present Gospel message, the paralytic entered the building through the roof to come to Christ. The men carrying the paralytic were resourceful in making sure the paralyzed man reached Jesus.

Serious believers make the required effort to follow Christ. Coming to Jesus Christ is a voluntary act. When a person invests time and effort in coming to Christ, he or she makes a sound investment for the present and future.

We do not have to enter by way of the roof to see Jesus Christ. We do need to pray with great concentration and conviction. We need to come to the Divine services of the Church. We do need to repent of our sins and seek the mercy and forgiveness of God.

Believers are blessed to have the Church accessible. Believers are blessed to be able to come to Church in freedom. Believers are blessed to have priests to serve the Divine Liturgy.

Many reasons exist for which to be thankful. May this Great Lent serve to increase our commitment to Christ. May this Great Lent serve as a time of great renewal. May the Lord Jesus Christ heal our hearts, clease us of our sins, and bring the joy of the resurrection.
1 The Philokalia. Vol. IV. Translated by G. E. H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware. Faber and Faber, London, 1995, p.299
2 Ibid. p.297.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Second Sunday of Great Lent. Commemoration of St. Gregory Palamas.
February 23/March 7, 2004

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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