St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 300 - September 20/October 3, 2004

The Orthodox Faith

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 20/October 3, 2004
Sunday after Elevation of Cross
No. 300

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

Titus 2:1-3

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things---

Services This Past Week

September 26 - Thirty-six people attended Divine Liturgy.
September 27 - Four people came for Divine Liturgy. Four people came for Akathist to St. Panteleimon and Vespers.
September 28 - Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Five people came for Akathist to St. Panteleimon and Vespers.
September 29 - Two people came for Midnight Office. Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Four people came for Akathist to St. Panteleimon and Vespers.
September 30 - Two people came for Midnight Office. Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Four people came for Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Cross. Pomen held in funeral home in Roscoe for Danica Kostich.
October l - Two people came for Midnight Office. Three people came for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Akathist to St. Panteleimon and Vespers. Funeral service held for Danica Kostich at funeral home in Roscoe, with burial in Monongahela area. Pomen held for Sophie Kovach in funeral home in Pt. Marion.
October 2 - Two people came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour at St. George Church. Seven people came for Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va. Funeral service held at St. George Church for Sophie Kovach with burial in St. George Cemetery. One person came for Akathist for Communion and Vespers at St. George Church.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy
Mornings - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 5:30 AM, Midnight Office. 6:30 AM - Matins and First Hour.
Afternoon - Monday at 3:00 PM. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday at 4:30 PM. Thursday at 6:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

October 14 - Protection of Mother of God
October 16 - An Evening for Shadeland
October 19 - St. Thomas
October 24 - Fiftieth Anniversary of St. George Church
October 27 - St. Petka-Paraskeva
October 31 - St. Luke

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

Sympathy extended to the Families of Danica Kostich and Sophie Kovach. These two former Kolo Presidents departed this life on September 29, 2004.
It would be nice to see Pete Smargie back in Church soon with Dorothy at his side.
Mike "Mac" Rogish has served this parish for fifty years, an admirable record of faithfulness and dependability.
Thank you to Sonia Janson for singing at Danica Kostich's funeral.
Mary Trbovich has a faithful record attending Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont.
Thank you to Mildred Belch for always being willing to help when needed.
Thank you to the Kolo and helpers for making the rolls this week.
Five people came to Adult Class on Thursday evening, the eleventh class discussing the Divine Liturgy. Class again this Thursday following evening service.
Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Remember the people in hospitals, care homes, homebound, in rehab centers and jails and prisons.
Remember the parish radio program is now on at 6:20 PM on Sunday evenings, station WMBS, 590 on the AM dial.
It was good to have Protopresbyter George Yatkso and Protonica Maria at the church this week. Father George was ordained deacon in this church twenty five years ago.
Stay for the photo after church today.
Send your reservations in for the "Evening for Shadeland".
Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo.

A Thought from St. Athanasius

God knew the limitation of mankind, you see; and though the grace of being made in His Image was sufficient to give them knowledge of the Word and through Him of the Father, as a safeguard against their neglect of this grace, He provided the works of creation also as a means by which the Maker might be known. Nor was this all, Man's neglect of the indwelling grace tends ever to increase; and against this further frailty also God made provision by giving them a law, and by sending prophets, men whom they knew.
(St. Athanasius. On the Incarnation. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, p. 39. )

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

To Consider

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The ways lives have been changed by the Resurrection.
Reasons to be joyful each day because of Christ's Resurrection.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

September 26 - Visited parishioner at Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown.
September 28 - Visited home of parishioner and went to Ruby Memorial Hospital.
September 30 - Went to viewing for +Eli Rebich in Aliquippa. Visited Orthodox Christian in Jefferson Memorial Hospital. Visited parishioner at home.

From the Desert fathers

He (Isadore the Priest) also said, 'If you desire salvation, do everything that leads you to it.'

Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2004

Luke 5:1-11

So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fisherman had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he all and who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men." So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross

Mk. 8:34-9:1

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.

The two Gospel messages for today are about following Christ. They are about the commitment to follow Christ with completeness of faith. They are about the Cross of Christ and the crosses each of us must bear in our lives.

Christ suffered upon the Cross and turned the Cross into an instrument of salvation. Each believer will experience suffering, difficulties and extraordinary challenges in life.

We learn from Christ that the crosses in our lives can become instruments of hope and healing. The crosses in our lives can be beneficial for our salvation.

When we are faced with difficult situations, when we are faced with threatening circumstances, when we are faced with crosses, let us turn to Christ. Let us turn to the lesson of Christ on the Cross. Let us turn to the message of the Resurrection of Christ. Let us turn to the message of the empty tomb. If we turn to Christ, if we listen to Christ, if we study the words and life of Christ, we find ways to handle the crosses that we experience. If we pray to Christ, if we partake of Christ's Precious Body and Blood, we are united with Christ, Christ lives in us.

Christ transforms us. We become new. The Holy Apostle Paul said: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Cor.5:17).

Simon Peter recognized his own sinfulness when in the presence of Christ. Simon Peter experienced success on his second try at fishing when he followed the words of Christ.

The catch of fish exceeded all expectations when Simon Peter followed the words of Christ. Our lives can exceed our expectations if we listen to Christ. Our lives can improve beyond our imaginations, if we are serious about Christ.

There are is no greater extreme than Jesus Christ humbling Himself to experience death on a Cross. The lesson of Holy Friday and the lesson of the Resurrection give form to the Orthodox world view. They serve as the foundation for hope for Orthodox Christians.

The Holy Apostle Peter wrote: "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." (I Peter 3:15)

Jesus Christ is our Savior and our hope (I Tim 1:1) When we follow Christ, we can do so with confidence. When are true to Christ, we can proceed with certainty. No circumstance is so bleak that Christ cannot shine a light of hope.

The First Great and Holy Friday was a dark, dark day. (Lk.23:44) The words of the young man clothed in white at the empty tomb brightened each succeeding century. He said to the women: "You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here." (Mk. 16:6)

We celebrate Pascha every year. We celebrate Pascha every Sunday. In reality, we celebrate Pascha everyday. Today's Gospel messages encourages believers to hold firm to the message of Pascha. Today's Gospel messages encourage believers to remain faithful to Christ, to recommit their lives to Christ.

Jesus reassured Simon Peter to not be afraid. With Christ, there is no reason for fear. Perfect loves casts our fear. (I Jn. 4:17) There is no more perfect love than the love Christ showed for all when He ascended the Cross.

The Jesus Prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner" is the perfect prayer for keeping the focus on Christ. The Jesus Prayer is the perfect prayer to take as a travelling companion wherever a believer goes.

We never know how our lives will unfold and how circumstances will develop. If we are true to Christ, if we follow Christ, there is no better way to approach each day, each circumstance, each situation.

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians: "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (I Thess. 5:18) If we turn to God, if we listen, God will direct our lives each day. It behooves us to follow Christ.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
September 20/October 3, 2004
Sunday after the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross.
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost.
St. Eustathius Placidas, his wife Martyr Theopistes, and their children. Martyrs Agapius and Theopistus.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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