St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 315 - January 3/16, 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
January 3/16, 2005
Sunday before Theophany
No. 315

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

II Thessalonians 1:11

Therefore we also pray always for you that God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power.

Services This Past Week

January 9 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist for Holy Communion, Matins and First Hour. Thirty-seven people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants. One Slava Kolach.
January 10 - One person came for Midnight Office. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Holy Trinity.
January ll - One person came for Midnight Office. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Holy Trinity.
January 12 - One person came for Midnight Office. Two people came for Matins and First Hour.
January 13 - One person came for Midnight Office. Two people came for Matins and First Hour. In the evening the Akathist to Jesus Christ and Vespers were served. Five people came.
January 14 - Three people came for Divine Liturgy. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
January 15 - One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour at St. George Church. Seven people came to Holy Trinity Mission for Divine Liturgy in Fairmont, W.Va. One communicant. O ne person came for Akathist to St. Seraphim of Sarov 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 and 6:30 AM.
Divine Liturgy - Tuesday at 8:00 AM.
Divine Liturgy - Wednesday at 9:00 AM.
Divine Liturgy - Thursday at 8:00 AM.
Afternoons - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 4:30 PM.
Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM followed by Adult Class.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

January 18 - Eve of Theophany
January 19 - Theophany
January 20 - Synaxis of St. John the Baptist
January 23 - Monongahela River Blessing, Plan to attend.
January 27 - St. Sava
January 29 - Chains of St. Peter
January 30 - St. Sava Program, Covered dish dinner.

If you are too busy to are too busy!

I indeed baptized you with water, 
but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

Parish Life

The blessing service at the Monongahela River will be next Sunday at approximately 1:00 PM near the Masontown Bridge. This will be a joint service with Nativity of Blessed Virgin Orthodox Church of Masontown. A large group is expected. Plan to attend on January 23rd.
The Kolo will begin baking soon. Help will be needed.
Five people came to Adult Class this past Thursday. The discussion focused on St. Basil the Great. Class will be this Wednesday at 7:00 PM following the evening service. Plan to attend.
Anatoli Peredera gave an interesting report of his trip to monasteries in Arizona and California.
Pete Smargie was back at his post last Sunday.
Congratulations to the Executive Board Officers, Audit Board and Tutors, and Assembly Delegates. Stan Brozik - President; Dr.Ivko Dimitric - Vice President; Andrea Janson - Secretary; Dorothy Bozick - Treasurer; Dolores Zivkovich - Financial Secretary; Kathryn Sage - Audit Board Charperson; Audit Board Members - Anna Mae Knezovich and Sonia Janson; Head-Tutor - Pete Smargie; Tutor - Mildred Belch. Assembly Delegates - Stan Brozik and Sonia Janson.
A special collection is being taken today for the tsunami victims.
Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohijia.
Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.

A Thought from St. John Chrysostom

Concern for spiritual things will unite the family. Do you want your child to be obedient? Then from the beginning bring him up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Don't Think that it is isn't necessary for a child to listen to the Scriptures; the first thing he will hear from them will be "Honor your father and your mother," and immediately you will begin to reap your reward. "Don't say, "Bible reading is for monks; am I turning my child into a monk?" No! It isn't necessary for him to be a monk. Make him into a Christian! Why are you afraid of doing something so good? It is necessary for everyone to know Scripture teachings, and this is especially true for children. Even at their age they are exposed to all sorts of folly and bad examples from popular entertainments. Our children need remedies for all these things!
(St. John Chrysostom. On Marriage and Family Life. Translated by Catherine P. Roth and David Anderson. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1986, p. 66. )

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

To Consider

The life and times of St. John the Baptist.
The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.
The Holy Trinity.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 10 - Served funeral service for Laura Kostrub at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh.
January 12 - Went to Diocesan Center and Monastery Marcha.
January 13 - Went to Pittsburgh to help and Orthodox Christian.
January 15 - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont. Visited parishioner in Brownsville.

From the Desert Fathers

Abba Pambo said if you have a heart, you can be saved.

Sunday before Theophany 2005

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You. The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight." John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, 'There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Today's Gospel refers to the Holy Prophets. If we search the Old Testament, we will find references to the coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist fulfilled the message of the Holy Prophets (Malachi 3:1,Is.40:3,)

In preparation for the Feast of Theophany and other feasts of the Lord, it is common practice to read from the Old Testament. The Old Testament Prophets centuries in advance spoke of the Coming One.

The Holy Prophets were not always heeded. The messages of the Holy Prophets were not always taken seriously.

Today we recite the Nicene Creed and express our belief in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. How many of the believers reciting the Creed use each day in preparation for Christ's Second Coming? How many believers actively prepare for the Day of Judgement?

John the Baptist is called the Forerunner. He was chosen to baptize Jesus in the Jordan. John was witness to the manifestation of the Holy Trinity.

The Gospel of St. Luke highlights the birth of John the Baptist and details the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. How many believers study the Gospel of St. Luke carefully?

Orthodox Christians are called to celebrate the Feast of Theophany. Orthodox Christians are called to heed the message of the Feast.

Immediately following the Feast of Theophany in which John the Baptist has a central place, the Church sets aside a day specifically for John the Baptist. We celebrate St. John on January 7/20, a day many Serbian Orthodox Christians have as their Slava their Patronal Feast.

Baptism is the entry into the Church for the believer. Baptism is the foundation and measuring point for each Christian. Baptism comes first before all the other Holy Mysteries.

Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan revealed His divinity. The celebration of Jesus Baptism appears on the Church calendar soon after the celebration of His Nativity.

The celebration of the Church continues from the Feast of the Nativity to the Feast of Theophany. The joy of Christ is prominent in this period of time.

While we share in the joy of this period, we have a responsibility to think about the meaning of these great feasts. We have a responsibility to live our lives in ways giving honor to God. We have a responsibility to live our lives in ways giving honor to our Christian identity.

We know of the complete sacrifice of John the Baptist for Jesus Christ. We know of St. John giving first place to Christ in his life. John takes not honor for himself. He gives honor to Christ.

As Christians, we are to give honor and glory to Christ. We are not to claim honor for ourselves for gifts and achievements. All good things come from God. All talents are gifts from God.

From the gift of life to all that we are capable of doing, God is the giver, the grantor. We can be thankful to God and give glory to God in the use of the talents, gifts and life given by God.

God chose John the Baptist for a specific purpose. We can find the specific purpose God has for each of us through prayer, through the study of Holy Scriptures and through living the life of Christ each day.

We have a responsibility as did John the Baptist in preparing the way for Christ. We have to prepare for Christ's Second Coming. We can learn from the Holy Scriptures, from the teachings of Christ, the best way to prepare for His Second Coming.

John the Baptist is on the iconastasis of each Holy Orthodox Church. His importance is recorded in the Holy Scriptures. Each year the Holy Orthodox Church dedicates certain days to St. John the Baptist including the day of his conception (October 6), his birth (July 7), and his beheading (September ll). On January 20, the Church celebrates the Synaxis of St. John.

The birth of Christ changed the world. The baptism of Christ in the Jordan changed the world. Each act of Christ results in a changed world. Christ active in each life, changes the life.

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all thing have become new." (2Cor.5:17)

We learn of the newness of the life in Christ when we are baptized. We learn the newness of the life in Christ when we experience the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Communion.

On this Sunday before the Feast of the Theophany, let us turn our hearts and minds to the message of St. John the Baptist. Let us prepare our hearts and minds for the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us welcome Christ into our hearts and minds and give Him first place today and always.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 3/16, 2005
Sunday before Theophany.
Holy Prophet Malachi. St. Gordius, Martyr.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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