St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 319 - January 31 / February 13, 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 31 / February 13, 2005
Sts. Cyrus and John, Unmercenaries
No. 319

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

I Timothy 4:12

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity

Services This Past Week

February 6 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist for Communion, Matins and First Hour. Forty three people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants.
February 7 - Two people came for Midnight Office and the Canon to Jesus Christ. Three people were present for Matins and First Hour. Two people came in the afternoon for Akathists to Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity. Pomen for Rose Zorich at funeral home.
February 8 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. Two people were present for Ninth Hour and Vespers. Funeral for Rose Zorich in Church. Burial in church cemetery.
February 9 - One person was present for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 10 - Two people were present for the morning services. Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Canon to the Mother of God, Matins and First Hour were held. Five people came in the evening for the Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Cross.
February ll - One person was present for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. Two people were present for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 12 - One person was present for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour at St.George Church. Eleven people were present for Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont, W.Va. Two people were present for Ninth Hour and Vespers at St. George Church.

Services This Coming Week

Today - Divine Liturgy
Mornings - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 5:30 AM; Midnight Office, Canons to Jesus Christ and Mother of God; Matins and First Hour at 6:30 AM; Tuesday - Divine Liturgy at 8:00 AM.
Afternoons - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday at 4:30 PM; Thursday and Saturday at 6:30 PM

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today, February 13 - Zaccheus Sunday
February 14 - Forefeast of the Meeting of the Lord
February 15 - Meeting of the Lord
February 20 - Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
February 21 - St. Sava II of Serbia
February 22 - Apodasis of Presentation

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

Parish Life

Thank you to the Choir for singing at the Pomen and Funeral for Rose Zorich.
Six people came to Adult Class this past Thursday to discuss St. John Chrysostom. Class again this Thursday at 7:00 PM following the evening service.
Thank you to the Kolo for continuing to bake.
Remember those serving in the military and their families.
Remember those in care homes, homebound, in hospitals, rehab centers and jails and prisons.
Remember those grieving for departed loved ones.
Remember those battling illnesses and depression.
Become familiar with the saints commemorated each day.
Become familiar with the Scripture readings for each day.
Come to church one additional weekday service per month.
Thank God for all blessings the St.George Church has received.
Thank you to all contributing for St. Sava School of Theology

A Thought from St. Athanasius

But men, having turned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had come inevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in which God had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, and death had them completely under dominion. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again. The presence and love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably, therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good. By nature, of course, man is mortal, since he was made from nothing; but he bears also the Likeness of Him Who is, and if he preserves that Likeness through constant contemplation, then his nature is deprived of its power and he remains incorrupt.
(St. Athanasius. On the Incarnation.. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1996, pp. 29-30. )

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

To Consider

The arrival of Zacchaeus Sunday.
The following Sundays leading to Great Lent.
The expectations of Orthodox believers in these ensuing weeks.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 6 - Visited family of parishioner.
February 7 - Pomen for Rose Zorich.
February 8 - Funeral for Rose Zorich. Blessed one home.
February 9 - Went to UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh for pastoral visit.
February 12 - Served Divine Liturgy at Mission in Fairmont.

From the Desert Fathers

He (Abba Poemen) also said, 'Experience is a good thing; it is that which tests a man.'

Zacchaeus Sunday 2005

Luke 19:1-10

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was short of stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house' So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.' Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria said that Zacchaeus was counted worthy of mercy at Christ's hand because Christ calls near those who are far off and gives light to those who are in darkness.1

Zacchaeus Sunday sends forth a call to all persons afar off from the Church. Zacchaeus Sunday sends forth a message to all persons afar off from Christ. Zacchaeus Sunday sends forth a message to draw near to Christ.

The Church is moving forward in time toward the Second and Glorious Coming of Christ. A brother asked Abba Sisoes about the attacks by Satan at the present as opposed to earlier times. Abba Sisoes replied Satan attacks more at the present because his time is nearly finished and Satan is enraged.2

Believers must deal with the existence and passage of time. Believers must treat time as extremely valuable. The time of life in earthly bodily form is limited. We know only the average length of life expectancy. (Ps.89/90). We do not know specifically the length of our own particular lives. We do not know the time of the Second Coming of Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." (Mt.25:13).

At Holy Baptism and at each Divine Liturgy we recite the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed. In the Creed we profess our belief in the Second Coming of Christ. We profess our belief Christ will come to judge the living and the departed.

Zacchaeus realized the errors of his ways before it was too late. Zacchaeus took positive action to correct his life. Zacchaeus took definitive steps to right the wrongs he committed. He gave half of his goods to the poor. He restored fourfold to any person he had defrauded.

Zacchaeus made a specific effort to draw near to Christ. Christ recognized the effort and drew near to Zacchaeus. Christ went to Zacchaeus house.

The conscious choice to draw near to Christ is not easy to make and to honor consistently. Satan is at work with deceptions and temptations. Satan places obstacles in the path to Christ.

The most determined and the most committed to Christ succeed. Each day we make many choices. The choices we make either draw us closer to Christ or take us further from Him.

The arrival of Zacchaeus Sunday is notification the Church is moving toward Great Lent and eventually to Holy Week and Pascha. The Church moves in an orderly manner through the year.

Zacchaeus Sunday is notice to get ready. Zacchaeus Sunday draws attention to the love of Christ and the forgiveness of Christ. Zacchaeus Sunday demonstrates the compassion of Christ.

Believers benefit by being attuned to the structure of the Church year. Believers benefit from being attentive to the daily commemorations of the Church. Common ground links Orthodox believers from around the world and through the centuries.

The movement of the Church occurs around the world. The procession is orderly and with purpose. Zacchaeus Sunday is celebrated throughout the Orthodox world.

Zacchaeus experienced the nearness of Christ. Zacchaeus was blessed to have Christ come to his home. Have we taken steps like Zacchaeus to right past wrongs?

Have we taken steps like Zacchaeus to correct actions from the past that were less than good? Have we been generous in almsgiving in the spirit of Christ?

St. Cyril says Christ is in us when we believe. Christ dwells in our hearts by faith.3 The condition of our hearts is our responsibility. The degree to which we believe is our responsibility.

Reaching out to Christ is an act of faith. Placing full confidence in Christ is an act of faith. The results of acts of faith are known afterwards. The results become clear when one acts in faith.

The life of Zacchaeus is a lesson in faith. The life of Zacchaeus is documented in anecdotal form. The Holy Orthodox Church puts the lesson of Zacchaeus before believers each year.

The lesson of repentance is a valuable lesson requiring regular reinforcement. Let us always be open to the lesson of repentance Let us be open to the lasting lesson taught to us by Zacchaeus.
1Saint Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria. Commentary on the Gospel of Saint Luke. Translated by R. Payne Smith. Studion Publishers, Incorporated, 1983, p. 505.
2The Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Translated by Benedicta Ward. Foreward by Metropolitan Anthony. Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1984, p.214.
3Saint Cyril, p. 507

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 31 / February 13, 2005
Sts. Cyrus and John, Unmercenaries.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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