St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 276 - April 5/April 18, 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

April 5/April 18, 2004
Thomas Sunday
No. 276


Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast each Sunday afternoon at 12:15 on WMBS, 590 AM, Uniontown.


Services This Past Week

Pascha, Resurrection Matins and Paschal Divine Liturgy - Approximately forty people attended. One communicant.
Bright Monday - Two people came for Hours of Pascha and Matins. Two people came for the Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and the Akathist to the Resurrection.
Bright Tuesday - Three people came for the Hours of Pascha and Matins. Two people came for the Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and the Akathist to the Resurrection.
Bright Wednesday - Two people came for the Hours of Pascha and the Matins. Two people came for the Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and the Akathist to the Resurrection.
Bright Thursday - Three people came for the Hours of Pascha. Two people came for the Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and the Akathist to the Resurrection.
Bright Friday - Three people came for the Hours of Pascha. and Matins. Two people came for the Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and the Akathist to the Resurrection.
Bright Saturday - Two people came for the Hours of Pascha and Matins. Three people came for the Akathist to the Resurrection and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy each Sunday at 10:00 AM except Pascha when it is earlier.
Morning services - Tuesday, Wednesday at 6:30 AM
Afternoon services - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 4:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today - Parish meeting following Divine Liturgy.
May 2 - Parish Slava celebration.
May 3 - St. Nikolai of Ochrid and Zicha. Venerable Joasaf of Serbia.
May 6 - St. George the Great Martyr.

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

Parish Life

Thank you to all staying for the meeting.
Thank you to Sonia Janson for preparing the willows and palms for the Feast of Christ's Entry into Jerusalem and for upkeep of the Peonies for Kosovo Martyrs.
Thank you to Mildred Bezjak for preparing the Tomb for Great and Holy Friday.
Thank you to Mildred Belch and Mary Trbovich for taking the initiative to clean.
Thank you to Pete Smargie for coming during the week to keep the candles ready for use.
Thank you to Stan Brozik for getting the scaffolding for the cleaning of the chandeliers.
Thank you to Jerry Milosevich for being ready to read when needed.
Pray for the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.
Make your Slava reservations this week.

A Thought From An Orthodox Nun

Every spring a carpet of wild red peonies blooms near Gracanica over the field of Kosovo, which is believed to represent the blood of the tens of thousands of warriors who died in battle. The earthly Kingdom lasts for a brief time, but the heavenly kingdom always and forever. As we were leaving the monastery, drops of rain began falling down upon us from the clear skies, and we received this with gratitude, knowing it was a sign of God's grace.

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

To Consider

Consider the experience of Thomas with the Risen Christ.
Consider the response of each believer to the Risen Christ.
Consider the daily response to the Risen Christ!
Consider the cumulative responses to the Risen Christ!
Consider the centuries since Thomas witnessed the Risen Lord.
Consider the testimonies to the Risen Lord.
Consider the joy associated with the Risen Lord.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

Bright Monday - Visited parishioner in personal care home for Confession and Communion.
Bright Friday - Went to Diocesan Center, Mars.
Bright Saturday - Met with parishioner for planning purposes.

From the Desert fathers

She (Syncleta) also said, Imitate the publican, and you will nto be condemned with the Pharisee. Choose the meekness of Moses and you will find your heart which is a rock changed into a spring of water.

Thomas Sunday, 2004

John 20:19-31

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, fo fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." but he said to them, "Unless I see his hands and the print of the nails, and place my finger in his side, I will not believe." Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be fairthless, but believing." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

The Holy Orthodox Church continues to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The joy of the Resurrection is fresh in the minds of serious believers. Every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection. Thomas Sunday brings emphasis to the Resurrection.

Jesus Christ came proclaiming peace to the disciples. St. John Chrysostom emphasized Jesus's greetings of "Peace" and recalled the continuous mentioning of "peace" by the Holy Apostle Paul. 1

Jesus empowered the disciples with the words: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Jesus's words to the disciples bring to mind the Holy Mystery of Confession. Jesus's words are reminders of the great weight lifted from the shoulders of repentant sinners turning to the Church seeking forgiveness.

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away." (II Cor.5:17). The celebration of the Resurrection gives an understanding to the words of St. Paul.

Christ is forever with those turning to Him in faith. In the Ninth Ode of the Paschal Canon, attentive believers hear the words: "Thou hast faithfully promised to be with us to the end of the world. Having this as our anchor of hope, we the faithful rejoice." 2

The world is completely different because of Pascha. Pascha is the prism through which to view the world. Pascha gives definition to the world and all within it. Pascha is the supreme point of measurement for the future.

The Second Coming of Christ is thought of in connection with Pascha. Pascha gives defintion to the lives of believers preparing for the Second Coming. The empty tomb and the appearances of the Risen Lord set in motion the changing of lives and generation after generation of believers.

New life in Christ finds its greatest meaning in relationships with others and with Christ. The peace of Christ is best manifested in Christian relationships. The declaration of Thomas of "My Lord and My God" is best expressed and experienced in following the teachings and way of Christ.

The Gospel is proclaimed in the Holy Churches of God. The Gospel comes alive best when carried in the hearts of believers to all parts of the earth.

The Gospel comes alive best when permeating the lives of believers. The Gospel comes alive best when radiated in the daily lives of believers.

Christian life is never separated from the proclamation of the Holy Gospel. Christian life is a continuation of the Gospel. Christian life is a putting into action of the Holy Gospel.

Words of joy came forth from the resurrected Jesus. When the Risen Jesus first met the women, He said: "Rejoice!" According to St. John Chrysostom, the words of joy were to alleviate the sorrow the women felt. 3

Jesus Christ transforms the lives of believers having sorrow for their sins.

Contemporary believers know the Risen Lord in the Holy Mysteries. Contemporary believers know the Risen Lord in prayer. Contemporary believers know the Risen Lord in the Holy Gospel.

Contemporary believers are united with Christ in the Paschal celebration. Contemporary believers immersed in the Paschal celebration savor the joy of the Resurrection each day.

The divine words: "I make all things new" found in Revelation (21:5) define the Paschal period. Believers have a foretaste of God's Kingdom. Believers experience God in the Paschal joy.

Bright Week unites each day in the joy of the Risen Christ. Bright Week unites believers everywhere. Bright Week is its own time. Bright Week is likened to no other time.

Thomas Sunday stands in witness to the Resurrected Christ. Thomas Sunday commands the attention of believers. Thomas Sunday adds an exclamation to the Resurrection.

In the Risen Christ, every believer finds meaning for his or her own life. In the Risen Christ, every believer finds reason and purpose for each day of life. In the Risen Christ, each believer finds the surpassing joy of life.
1 St. John Chrysostom. A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Homilies on the Gospel of St. John and the Epistle to the Hebrews. Edited by Philip Schaff. Wm. B. Errdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1978, p.325.
2 The Paschal Service Prepared by Very Rev. Paul Lazor and Mr. John Erickson. Department of Religious Education, Orthodox Church in America, 1977, p.38.
3 Chrysostom, p.325.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
Thomas Sunday
April 5/April 18, 2004
Sts. Theodolos and Agathopodes, Martyrs, Venerable Mark.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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