St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 314 - December 27, 2004/January 9, 2005


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
December 27, 2004/January 9, 2005
Sunday after the Nativity
No. 314

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

James 2:26

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Services This Past Week

January 2 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist for Holy Communion, Matins and First Hour. Forty people came for Divine Liturgy. Four communicants. An Akathist to Jesus Christ and an Akathist to St. John of Kronstadt were completed in the afternoon with one person present.
January 3 - Two people came for Midnight Office. Three people were present for Matins and First Hour. Three people were present in the afternoon form the Akathist ot Jesus Christ and Vespers.
January 4 - Two people were present for Midnight Office. Three people were present for Matins and First Hour. Five people were present for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
January 5 - Two people were present for Midnight Office. Three people were present for Matins and First Hour.
January 6 - Three people were present in the morning for the Vespers and Liturgy of St. Basil. One communicant. Seventy-two people came on the Eve of the Feast of the Nativity at which time the Badnjak was blessed and burned and the Vigil of the Feast was served. Father Rumen Stoychev and Deacon Tony Miralles were present.
January 7 - Fifty-six people came for the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Nativity. Six communicants.
January 8 - Two people came for the Divine Liturgy. Ninth Hour and Vespers were read in the afternoon.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Mornings - Morning at 5:30 AM; Midnight Office - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 6:30 AM; Matins Daily Monday through Saturday.
Friday - Divine Liturgy at 8:00 AM.
Saturday - Divine Liturgy, Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont at 10:00 AM.
Afternoons - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 4:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

January 13 - Apodasis of Nativity
January 14 - Circumcision of Our Lord , St. Basil the Great, Julian New Year.
January 18 - Eve of Theophany
January 19 - Theophany
January 20 - Synaxis of St. John the Baptist
January 27 - St. Sava
January 29 - Chains of St. Peter
January 30 - St. Sava Program-Covered dish dinner.
February 12 - Holy Three Hierarchs
February 15 - Meeting of the Lord

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

Parish Life

Thank you to all helping to prepare for and coming to the Feast of Nativity services.
Adult classes will resume Thursday evening at 7:00 PM.
More adults are needed to attend weekday services. Please make an effort to help the parish by increasing your weekday attendance.
Happy Slava to parishioners celebrating Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen as their patronal feast.
Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohijia.
Remember those who are homebound, in hospitals, care homes, jail and prisons and rehab centers. Remember their families and the staffs of these facilities and institutions.
Take time to read your Bible regularly.
Take time to pray regularly.

A Thought from St. John Chrysostom

When we take a wife we cannot return her to her family, but we must keep her with us until the end. IF we reject her because she is bad, we are guilty of adultery according to the law of God. So when you are going to take a wife, do not read the laws of the state only, but first of all read the laws of the Church. God will judge you at the last day not by the civil law but by His law. Neglect of the civil law often brings fines in money. Neglect of God's law brings inescapable punishment for the soul and that unquenchable fire.

Remember St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville

To Consider

The number of Divine services held throughout the world and throughout the centuries celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The number of believers attending the Feast of Nativity services throughout the world each year.
The positive effect upon the world of Divine services celebrating the Feast of the Nativity of Christ.

Activities of Parish Priest

January 2 - Had meeting with an Orthodox Christian.
January 4 - Visited two parishioners unable to attend church services.
January 5 - Visited three patients in a nursing home.
January 6 - Visited home of parishioners.
January 7 - Visited home of parishioners.

From the Desert Fathers

The priest of Nitria asked him how the brethren ought to live. He replied, 'With much labour, guarding their consciences towards their neighbour.'

Sunday after Nativity 2004

Mt.2:13-23

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, 'Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.' When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoke by the Lord through the prophet, saying, 'Out of Egypt I called My Son.' Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 'A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachael weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.' Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 'Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead.' Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archaelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

Today we come to the Sunday after the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We come to the Third Day of the Feast of the Nativity of Christ. We come to the day when the Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen is upon the minds of Orthodox Christians.

Today's Gospel hearkens the mind back many centuries to the time of Christ's birth and to the earlier time of the Holy Prophet Jeremiah. St. Stephen's eloquent testimony about Christ recorded in Acts also draws the mind back many centuries (Acts.6:8-7:60).

Today we are early in the Twenty-first Century. Our minds go to the future. We do not know what the future holds. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. There are many uncertainties in the world.

World events are unfolding that are cause for concern. Vast disparities in the quality of life, tragedies caused by extreme weather and wars and hostilities require Christian responses.

We learn to face the concerns of the present and the future by turning to Jesus Christ in prayer and worship. We learn to face the concerns of the present and future by studying the teachings of Christ.

We develop confidence in facing problems when we live according to the teachings of Christ. We are capable of dealing with problems when we live according to the way of Christ.

We find fulfillment in our lives when Christ is the center of our lives. We find completeness in our lives when Christ guides our minds and our hearts. We are on solid footing when Christ is the foundation of our actions and the goal of all that we do.

When Christ is on our lips and Christ dominates our hearts and minds, we are on the journey to peace. When Christ orders our thoughts, chaos dissipates. Christ teaches us what to do if we are patient and attentive.

Christ reassures believers. Christ protects believers. St. Stephen suffered physically for Christ but he kept his perspective. He kept his integrity. He kept his Christian identity and commitment.

St. Stephen experienced a great trial due to his faith in Christ. St. Stephen's life in Christ became a definitive example of complete faith in Christ.

St. Stephen's witness for Christ has been an enduring lesson for twenty centuries of believers. St. Stephen's knowledge of Christ and the centuries leading to Christ is an inspiration.

St. Stephen lost his life in witness to Christ. In the present Gospel we learn of Herod's interest in killing the Christ-Child. Evil existed at the time of Christ. Evil continues to exist.

Believers draw strength from the lives of martyrs such as St. Stephen. Believers have a responsibility to stand firm in testimony to Christ in the face of evil. Believers have a responsibility to live and teach the way of Christ as the best alternative to those who would promote evil.

Parishes, families and individuals must guard against the creeping effect of evil existent in modern society. Totally dedication to Christ in the parish, in the home and in heart is the only sure course to follow.

At this time when the joy of the Nativity of Christ is dominant, let us turn our minds to the goodness of Christ. Let our hearts welcome Christ. Let our ears be attentive to the teachings of Christ. Let our eyes focus on the path of Christ.

We best deal with concerns that arise, taking them one by one, in order of importance. We best deal with concerns by having Christ serve as the measure and guide of all that is done.

Turning to Christ for life's nourishment is always the solution. We can never exhaust the potential for learning with Christ. The mercy of God is limitless. Only Christ can satisfy the inner longing of believers to nourish the soul.

Each day is the opportunity to be nourished by Christ and to be taught by Christ. Each day is the opportunity to return to Christ.

Christ welcomes repentant sinners. Christ welcomes believers seeking to grow in Christ. Our Lord said "Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Mt.ll:29)

At this time of the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, let us experience the joy of Christ in the world. Let us receive the Body of Christ. Let us taste of the Fountain of Immortality.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
December 27, 2004/January 9, 2005
Third Day of Feast of Nativity.
Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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