St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 294 - August 9/August 22, 2004, 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

August 9/August 22, 2004
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
No. 294

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

Hebrews 10:22

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Services This Past Week

August 15 - Twenty-eight people came to the Divine Liturgy.
August 16 - Three people came to Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Akathist to the Dormition of the Mother of God and Vespers.
August 17 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. One person came for Akathist to the Dormition of the Mother of God and Vespers.
August 18 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Vespers.
August 19 - Eight people came for Divine Liturgy. Six people came for Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Cross.
August 20 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Akathist to the Dormition of Mother of God and Vespers.
August 21 - Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Akathist for Communion and Vespers

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy.
Morning Services - Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 6:30 AM.
Afternoon Services - Monday, Wednesday at 4:30 PM. Thursday evening at 6:30 PM
Friday at 3:00 PM - Vespers and Confessions.
Saturday - Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
Saturday - Evening at 6:30 PM

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today - Executive Board Meeting following Divine Liturgy.
August 28 - Dormition of Mother of God, Kolo Slava, Federation KSS Slava.
September 11 - Beheading of St. John the Baptist
September 14 - Church New Year
September 18 - St. Nikodim Chapel Slava
September 19 - Parish Outdoor Religious Program and Picnic (To be confirmed)
September 21 - Nativity of Most Holy Theotokos
September 27 - Exaltation of Life-Giving Cross
October 14 - Protection of Most Holy Theotokos

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

Parishioners planning to attend the Kolo Slava on Saturday please inform Sonia Janson that you are coming.
Melva Hunchuk is the Kuma for the Slava on Saturday. Ann Krewasky the first St. George Kolo President will be honored at the Slava celebration.
Thank you to Sonia Janson, Pete and Dorothy Smargie, Mary Trbovich and Mildred Belch for cleaning the church hall following the recent renovation project.
Paige Shlosky is featured this week in the Carmichaels Coal Show. She is the daughter and grandaughter of miners.
Andrea Janson made it three in a row when she earned recognition in horse events in the Washington County Fair last week. Previous wins were at Fayette and Greene County Fairs.
We heard from the Parish Nurse Diane Vukelich from Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church in Steubenville in connection with Healthcare Day.
It was fitting the friends of the parish from Perry County, Jim and Linda Riggs, visited last Saturday, the day before Healthcare Day. Jim and Linda are both long time ambulance workers in the town of Blain, Pennsylvania. Both are retired after careers in criminal justice and always have had time to help their community.
Five people came to Adult Class this past Thursday. Class again this Thursday following the 6:30 PM service. Discussion on the Divine Liturgy continues. All parishioners are welcome.
The Dormition Fast continues until the Divine Liturgy on Saturday. Honor the Fast.
Help the parish by increasing your Church attendance by one weekday service per month.
Divine Liturgy will be held at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont on Thursday, August 26.
It was good to have Father Djokan Majstorovic, Popadija Mirjana, Savo and Marta in the area.

A Thought from St. Basil the Great

Understand from this that in every operation, the Holy Spirit is indivisibly united with the Father and the Son. God works in various ways, and the Lord serves in various capacities, but the Holy Spirit is also present of His own will, dispensing gifts to everyone according to each man's worth.
(St. Basil the Great. On the Holy Spirit. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1980, 1980. p. 61. )

Remember the Students from St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

August 14 - Attended service at Dormition Greek Orthodox Church, Aliquippa, Pa.
August 16 - Visited resident of SCI, Greene.
August 17 - Went to Diocesan Center, Mars, Pa.
August 18 - Visited parishioners.
August 21 - Went to St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa.

From the Desert fathers

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

Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost, 2004

Matthew 19:16-26

Now behold, one came and said to Him, 'Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?' So He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.' He said to Him 'Which ones?' Jesus said, 'You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' The young man said to Him, 'All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?' Jesus said to him, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.' But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus said to His disciples, ' Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.' When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, 'Who then can be saved?' But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'

The young man with many possessions in the present Gospel message was inquiring about eternal life. He was a man who had adhered to the commandments from his youth.

We can assume that he was a good man, yet still lacking. Material goods and possessions are not sufficient. The person is more than body. The needs of an individual for total fulfillment are more than the materials available in life.

Fulfillment comes in God. Fulfillment comes when the soul is united with Christ. Fulfillment comes when there is recognition of the existence of the Creator and the dependence upon the Creator.

The young man was asked to shed himself of his earthly possessions and give them to the poor. He was asked to give up the material that he might gain the heavenly.

We live in a society that places great importance on the material. Our Lord Jesus Christ taught "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Mt.6:20)

Possessions can take many forms beyond the material. Possessions that serve as barriers to our relationship with God can be a hobby or a favorite pastime that one cherishes to such a degree that all else is secondary in importance.

We are told by Jesus Christ to "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." (Mt.6:33) These are to be our priorities in life. Our lives are to be formed and measured by these priorities.

The present Gospel message and each Gospel message are standards of measurement for our lives. We are to measure our lives according to the teachings of the Holy Gospel.

We are to form and seek to reform our lives to conform to the teachings of the Holy Gospel. We exercise choices each day and throughout each day. These choices bring us closer to God or take us further away, depending on the choices made.

We require God's mercy and forgiveness. We require the love and care of God. We require the life given by God that we may live and continue to live.

We do not live by our own strength or creation. We do not draw life from ourselves. Life comes from God. Each breath, each heartbeat, each movement of the body is totally dependent upon God.

The functioning of our brains is dependent upon God. Our speech, our eyesight, our hearing is dependent upon God.

In sinfulness, we may abuse our bodies. In sinfulness, we may abuse our minds. In sinfulness, we may destroy our lives. We may live sinful lives to the degree our lives are completely destroyed and we experience death.

The choices we exercise can include not only an earthly physical death. We can become dead spiritually. We can separate ourselves from God by the choices we make.

Our Lord tells us "narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and tehre are few who find it." (Mt.7:14) Care must be taken in each choice we make each day.

Life is like walking on a tightrope. Certainly, according to the Gospel, life is the way of the narrow path. With sure footing, with decisions that conform to the Holy Gospel, the way of Christ, we move forward toward the Kingdom of God.

When faulty choices are made, when our faith is weakened or lacking, we place ourselves in peril. We can regain our footing, we can regain our balance by sincere appeals to the Savior.

Even in sinfulness, Christ hears the plea of the heart. Christ hears the plea of the repentant person. In the Gospel of St. Luke we are reminded: "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." (Lk.15:7)

Jesus told His disciples that with God all things are possible. Men and women who currently place material possessions or activities before God have the opportunity enter the Kingdom of Heaven if they turn to God in seriousness.

The repentant thief on the cross is the constant example of sincere repentance at the last moment of life. (Lk.23:39-43) We never know when our last moment of life will be. We cannot wait to the last moment of life to repent. Now is the time to act.

It behooves each of us to repent immediately. It behooves each of us to seek first the Kingdom of God immediately. It behooves each of us cut the sin from our lives serving as barriers to our relationship with God.

God knows each heart. God knows each mind. God knows what is first in the hearts and minds of each person. Today's Gospel is a strong message of the ultimate possibilities with God.

May we heed the words of God and keep them. (Lk.11:28)

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
August 9/August 22, 2004
St. Matthias.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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