St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 299 - September 13/September 26, 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

September 13/September 26, 2004
Sunday before Elevation of Cross
No. 299

Remember to listen to the parish radio broadcast on WMBS, 590 AM, Uniontown at 6:20 this evening.

I Timothy 6:11

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

Services This Past Week

September 19 - Twenty-six people came for Divine Liturgy.
September 20 - One person came for Matins and First Hour. Four people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
September 21 - Three people came to St. George Church for Matins and First Hour. Six people came for Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont. Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers at St. George Church.
September 22 - Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Akathist to St. Panteleimon and Vespers.
September 25 - Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Three people came for the Akathist to St. Panteleimon and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy
Monday - Divine Liturgy at 9:00 AM, Feast of Elevation of the Precious Cross
Morning services - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 5:30 AM Midnight Service. 6:30 AM, Matins.
Afternoon service - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday at 4:30 PM.
Thursday - 6:30 PM followed by Adult Class.
Saturday - 10:00 AM. Divine Liturgy, Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

September 27 - Feast of Precious Life Giving Cross of our Lord. Fast Day
October 14 - Protection of Mother of God
October 16 - An Evening for Shadeland
October 19 - St. Thomas, Apostle
October 24 - St. George Church Fiftieth Anniversary
October 27 - St. Petka-Paraskeva
October 31 - St. Luke
November 5 - St. James the Apostle
November 8 - St. Demetrius, the Myrrhflowing, Great Martyr of Thessalonica
November 14 - Sts. Cosmas and Damian, Unmercenary Healers
November 16 - Renovation of St. George the Great Martyr Church

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

The radio program this week and next week and most weeks until the end of the year will be heard at 6:20 PM, Uniontown station WMBS, 590 AM dial.
Plan to attend the "Evening for Shadeland" on October 16 in Weirton.
Adult Class will be held at 7:00 PM on Thursday. This will be the eleventh class on the Divine Liturgy. All parishioners that can, should attend.
Monday is a major feast of the Church. All parishioners that can should be in Church. It is a fast day and the fast should be observed.
Most Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year are fast days. When parishioners observe the fasts of the Church, the parish benefits.
Try to come to Church at least one additional weekday per month. The parish will benefit.
Today is the Slava of the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church in Steubenville.
Pray for the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Pray for the sick and the suffering and the imprisoned. Pray for victims of violent crimes.
Pray for the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.
The parish benefits when parishioners read their Bibles each day.
The parish benefits when parishioners take time to pray seriously each day.
Executive Board Meeting today after Divine Liturgy.

A Thought from St. Basil the Great

What does the Spirit do? His works are ineffable in majesty, and innumerable in quantity. How can we even ponder what extends beyond the ages? What did He do before Creation began? How great are the graces He showered on creation? What power will He wield in the age to come? He existed: He pre-existed; He co-existed with the Father and the Son before the ages. Even if you can imagine anything beyond the ages, you will discover that the Spirit is even further beyond.
(St. Basil the Great. On the Holy Spirit. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1980. pp. 76-77. )

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

To Consider

The Feast of the Elevation of the Cross.
The power of the Cross in the world.
The effect of the Cross on each life.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

September 19 - Attended Eightieth Anniversary Dinner-Nativity of Blessed Virgin Serbian Orthodox Church, Clairton.
September 20 - Visited resident-SCI-Greene.
September 20 - Visited parishioners.
September 23-24 - Travelled to Chicago to participate in First Sabor of Alumni of St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville, Illinois.

From the Desert fathers

Abba Paphnutius, the disciple of Abba Macarius, said, 'I asked my Father to say a word to me and he replied, 'Do no evil to anyone, and do not judge anyone. Observe this ahd you will be saved.'

Sunday before the Elevation of the Cross 2004

John 3:13-17

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth come to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.

Matthew 16:13-18

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, 'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?' So they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.'

The Holy Apostle Peter confessed Jesus as Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus had asked His disciples: "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"

Each believer is required to answer the question, "Who is Jesus?" At Holy Baptism, believers confess Jesus Christ as King and as God. Each Divine Liturgy, believers profess their belief in the Holy Trinity.

Each Divine Liturgy, believers profess their belief in the Virgin birth of Christ, of His death, resurrection and ascension. Each Divine Liturgy, believers express belief in the Second Coming of Christ.

Each day believers are expected to live out their faith in Christ in ways that are true to the Baptismal commitment, in ways that are consistent with the life and teachings of Christ.

The standards set by Christ are high standards. The morals expected of Christians are in keeping with the teachings of Christ. The ways expected of Christians are to be true to the teachings of Christ.

When believers fall short of the teachings of Christ, it is time to repent and return to Christ. When believers sin, it is time to repent, to confess and to seek the mercy of Christ.

Our Lord said: 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). The joy over a returning sinner is evident in the parable of the prodigal son. (Lk.15:32).

Today's Gospel in preparation for the Feast of the Elevation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross speaks about eternal life. When we pull back from the life in Christ, we put ourselves in peril. When we take roads that depart from the life in Christ, we put our lives in peril.

When we withdraw from Christ, we are withdrawing from the Source of Life. There is no substitute for the nourishment of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. There is no teaching exceeding the teaching of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our Lord taught the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls who, when he had found one pearl of great price, sold all that he had and bought it. (Mt.13:45-46) There is no greater kingdom than the Lord's Kingdom.

Let us keep in mind the words of the Holy Apostle Peter at all times. Peter had direct personal contact with Christ. Peter left his occupation as a fisherman and follow Christ (Mt.4:18-20) Peter said: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (Jn.6:68)

Each person draws his or her own personal conclusion about the testimonies of Peter and the saints and martyrs through the centuries. Each person is responsible for his or her own salvation

God is good. God is merciful. The Holy Orthodox Church provides the opportunities for those who are serious about Christ to worship Christ, to learn about Christ, to partake of Christ's Precious Body and Blood.

Being a professed Orthodox believer is a serious undertaking. The joy of Christ exceeds all joys. Discipline is required to follow Christ throughout life. "Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Mt.7:14)

The Feast of the Precious and Life Giving Cross is at hand. Each person with faculty of mind benefits by contemplating the sacrifice of Christ. Each person with faculty of mind benefits from thinking about the ultimate humility demonstrated by Christ.

The demonstration of humility was evidenced by the place where Christ was born under the simplest of circumstances (Lk.2:7). The demonstration of the humility of Christ was evidenced when He washed His disciples feet (Jn.13:14). The demonstration of humility was evidenced the way Christ entered Jerusalem (Lk.21:7).

Let us compare our lives with the example set by Christ. Let us measure our lives by the teachings of Christ. Let us think about Peter and the other Holy Apostles, the saints and martyrs through the centuries.

Do we sacrifice like the saints? Do we pray as the Holy Fathers of the Church have taught us to pray? Do we fast as the teachings of the Church ask us to fast? Do we repent and confess in ways consistent with the teachings of the Church? Do we seriously prepare when we are coming to the Holy Chalice?

Many have been martyred in the Holy Orthodox Church. Many are being martyred even today because they are Orthodox Christians. Do we honor the saints and martyrs of the Church in the way we live?

Christ died that we may live. Do we live in ways that are in keeping with His Death and Resurrection as we experienced them in the Baptismal fount?

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
September 13/September 26, 2004
Sunday before the Elevation of the Precious Cross

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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