St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 316 - January 10 / January 23, 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 10 / January 23, 2005
Sunday after Theophany
No. 316

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

Romans 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

Services This Past Week

January 16 - Midnight Office. Matins, First Hour. One person came. Twenty-nine people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants.
January 17 - One person came for Midnight Office. Two people came for Matins and First Hour. One person came for Compline.
January 18 - One person came for Royal Hours. Four people came for Vespers-Divine Liturgy. In the afternoon, two people came for the Akathist to Jesus Christ and the Akathist to St. John the Baptist.
January 19 - One person came for the Akathist to Holy Communion and the Canons for Holy Communion. Two people came for Divine Liturgy.
January 20 - Two people came for Divine Liturgy. Father Rumen Stoychev came to serve also. Two people came in the afternoon for the Akathist to St. John the Baptist and for Vespers.
January 21 - Two people came for Midnight Office. Three people were present for Matins and First Hour. Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Services This Coming Week

Today - Divine Liturgy. Blessing of Monongahela River following the Divine Liturgy.
There will be no daily services this week.
After today, the next scheduled service is the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM on Sunday January 30, 2005.

Important Dates

January 26 - Apodosis of Theophany.
January 27 - St. Sava
January 29 - Chains of St. Peter
January 30 - St. Sava Program, Covered dish dinner.
February 12 - Holy Three Hierarchs
February 14 - Forefeast of the Meeting of the Lord
February 15 - Meeting of the Lord
February 19 - Apodasis of Meeting of the Lord

If you are too busy to are too busy!

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Parish Life

We will go to the Mongahela River following the Divine Liturgy today.
Adult classes will resume on February 3.
The parish program is now heard again at 12:15 PM on the Radio Station WMBS, Uniontown, 590 on the AM dial.
Next Sunday will be the annual St. Sava Program.
Remember the homebound, those in hospitals, care homes, jails, prisons and rehab centers.
Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohijia.

A Thought From St. NIKOLAI

But God gave all this teaching on humility and obedience to men indirectly, either through created nature or through His prophets, chosen men and angels. Only in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ did God give this teaching directly, through Himself clothed in flesh. In every moment of His earthly life, from His birth in the cave to His death on the Cross, the Lord Jesus was living teaching to men on humility and obedience. He gave this living teaching also through His baptism in the Jordan.
(Nikolia Velimirovic. Homilies. Volume One. Translated by Mother Maria. Lazarica Press, Birmingham, 1996, p.75 )

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

To Consider

The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.
The honor bestowed upon St. John the Baptist.
The continued meaning derived from Jesus' baptism.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 18 - Visited with parishioners.
January 20 - Blessed one home as part of Slava celebration. Visited with parishioners.

From the Desert Fathers

When Abba Romanus was at the point of near death, his disciples gathered around him an said, 'How ought we to conduct ourselves?' The old man said to them, 'I do not think I have ever told one of you to do something, without having first made the decision not to get angry, if what I said were not done; and so we have lived in peace all our days.'

Sunday after Theophany 2005

Matthew 4:12-17

Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Our Lord Jesus Christ preached repentance. The call for repentance has never been silenced. The call for repentance is ever renewed. The wise person heeds the call for repentance.

Archimandrite Nektarious Antonopoulous described repentance this way: "Repentance is a work of divine grace. Man living in the darkness of sin and not knowing the beauty of divine life, cannot understand the difference between human life and theanthropic life."

True believers want to draw closer to God. True believers want to live in conformity to the ways of God. True believers take serious their baptismal commitment and the promises of God.

Repentance has been defined as "Primarily a change of mind or change of intellect: not only sorrow, contrition or regret, but more positively and fundamentally the conversion or turning of our whole life towards God."

It is difficult to maintain Christian discipline and commitment throughout life. Many distractions and temptations appear which can derail believers. Vigilance is always necessary.

Often one must remind the self, "Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Mt.7:14) God does not disappoint those who reach out in faith. God does not forsake those who sincerely want to enter the kingdom. God knows the hearts and minds of believers.

The parable of the prodigal son is a constant source of hope for those who fail in life and realize the need to return to God. The loving and forgiving father was joyful at the return of his son. (Lk.15:11-32)

The Holy Orthodox Church is now in the midst of celebrating Theophany. The Holy Trinity manifested when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan summons our innermost thoughts and challenges our minds.

We must reach beyond our narrow thinking and heed the sermon given by Proto Radovan Milkovich years ago. Proto Radovan in his sermon entitled "A God Too Small" said it takes prayer, knowledge and commitment to meet God. Fervent and attentive study is required.

To experience the fullness of God's love, we must learn how to worship God. We must learn how to pray to God. We must learn how to be faithful to God.

Being a serious Orthodox Christian throughout life from infant baptism to the time of earthly departure from this life can be a period of many years.

The Psalmist tells us to expect seventy to eighty years of life on average (Psalm 90) It is common to find people living to their late nineties and even a hundred years old.

To live each day to the glory of God and to be able to deal with the trials of life requires fortification with the armor of God. The Holy Apostle Paul told the Romans "Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light." (Rom.13:12) He told the Ephesians: "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Eph.6:11)

The devil appears in many forms and at unexpected times in life. God is always with us. We have to have enough sense and clearness of mind to turn to God and remain with God in all circumstances, at all times.

Today's Gospel is a "wake up" call. Being intricately familiar with the Gospel and making the words and life of Christ part of our individuals lives is part of the armor of God.

Frequent use of Holy Confession and Holy Communion are part of the armor of God. Frequent attendance at the divine services of the Church are part of the armor of God.

The more we devote our lives, our thoughts and our time and resources to the way of God, the more we will learn about God. At the same time, we cannot be lax. We cannot be overconfident. We cannot become prideful and feel we have triumphed over the devil.

Until our last breath, until our last conscious thought is exhausted, we must cling to Christ. We must pray to Christ and focus on Christ.

Let us take time to give thanks to God for the many blessings we have received. Let us take time to listen carefully to God as He speaks to us through the Divine services of the Church, through the Holy Scriptures and the prayers of the Church. Let us heed Christ's call for repentance.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 10 / January 23, 2005
Sunday after Theophany.
St. Gregory of Nyssa.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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