St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 320 - February 7 / February 20, 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
February 7 / February 20, 2005
Sunday of Publican and Pharisee
No. 320

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

II Timothy 3:10-11

But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance. Persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra---what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Services This Past Week

February 13 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to Holy Communion, Matins and First Hour. Thirty nine people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant. Parastos for Joseph Radock.
February 14 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to Mother of God. Two people came for Matins and First Hour. Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 15 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Canon to Mother of God, Matins and First Hour. Three people came for Divine Liturgy. Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 16 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to Mother of God. Two people came for the Akathist to the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow and the Akathist to the Cross.
February 17 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to Mother of God. Three people came for the Akathist to St. George and the Akathist to Jesus Christ.
February 18 - One person came for the Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Canon to the Mother of God, Matins and First Hour. Pomen held in Brownsville for Andrew Pasquini. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 19 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to Mother of God. Two people came for Matins and Ninth Hour. Funeral held in Brownsville for Andrew Pasquini with burial in Lafayette Park Cemetery. One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week

Today - Divine Liturgy
Mornings - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 5:30 AM; Midnight Offices, Canons to Jesus Christ and Mother of God. 6:30 AM-Matins and First Hour.
Afternoons - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 4:30 pm; Ninth Hour and Vespers.
Thursday at 6:30 PM - Two Akathists.
Thursday at 10:00 AM - Divine Liturgy, Holy Trinity, Fairmont

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

February 20 - Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
February 21 - St. Sava II of Serbia
February 22 - Apodasis of Presentation
February 25-26 - Diocesan Assembly, St. George Church, Canton, Ohio
February 26 - St. Simeon the Myrrhflowing
February 27 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son

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

Parish Life

May God give comfort to the family of Andrew Pasquini. Thank you to Sonia Janson for singing at the funeral.
A Testimonial Dinner will be held for Proto Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich in Johnstown on March 6. Please see Father Rodney if you are interested in attending.
Three people came for Adult Class this past Thursday to discuss St. Athanasius. Class again this Thursday at 7:00 PM following the evening service. Plan to attend.
Home blessings will continue this week.
Pray for the homebound, those in hospitals, care homes, rehab centers, jails and prisons.
Pray for the men and women in the military and their families.
Many parishioners of St. George Church have served in the military in defense of this land.
Prayers of offered daily at the St.George Church for the civil authorities and armed forces.
Prayers are offered daily at the St.George Church for the sick and the suffering.
Come to church one additional weekday service per month.
The best way to help the St.George Church is to live an Orthodox Christian life each day.
Remember to listen to the weekly radio broadcast.

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

To Consider

The Publican and Pharisee in each of us.
How to become more like the Publican.
How to become less like the Pharisee.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

Visited parishioner in Uniontown Hospital.
Visited friend of parish in Uniontown Hospital.
Blessed three homes on February 15. Blessed one home on February 19.

From the Desert Fathers

She (Sycleta) also said, 'Those who are great athletes must contend against stronger enemies.'

The Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee 2005

Luke 18:10-14

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and said this prayer to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men---robbers, cheats, adulterers; or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on everything I get.' But the tax collector, standing at a distance would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but struck his chest and said, 'God be merciful to me, the sinner.' I tell you, it was he who went home forgiven, rather than the other; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

St. Cyril of Alexandria tells us to receive the Savior's words in heart and mind. St. Cyril says the Savior : "Teaches us in what manner we ought to make our requests unto Him, in order that the act may not prove unrewarded to them who practice it." St. Cyril does not want those in prayer to anger God.1

We need to look carefully at our prayers. We need to look carefully at what we ask for in prayer. We need to look carefully at our demeanor and attentiveness in prayer. We need to examine our attitude as we come to God in prayer.

When we come to God in prayer do we come in awe of the majesty of God? Do we come to God in prayer knowing that God exceeds our ability to fully comprehend? Do we come to God, approaching in reverence, approaching the holy?

When we come into the Church, do we come in recognition of God's presence? Do we come to the Holy Liturgy with the expectation of experiencing God in our life? Do we come in awe of having the opportunity to partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ?

When we come to God in prayer, are we aware of our own sinfulness? Are we aware of squandered opportunities to worship and glorify God? Are we aware that we do not pray unceasingly as St. Paul would have us to do? (I.Thess.5:17)

The classic book on prayer, The Way of a Pilgrim states: "There are many virtues that are required of a good Christian, but above all else he must pray: for nothing can ever be achieved without prayer." 2

Many different opportunities exist for prayer. Believers have the opportunity to pray privately, to pray orally and silently. Believers have the opportunity to use prayer books with an extensive range of prayers. Believers have the opportunity to attend divine services in parish churches and in monasteries.

Believers benefit when praying for each other. Believers benefit from prayers of others whom they may never meet or even know about.

The richness of prayer of the Holy Orthodox Church is worth experiencing. Prayer is beneficial. The results of prayer may not always be discernible. Trust in God is necessary.

God answers prayers in different ways. The wisdom of God is not always clear to believers. A review of history reveals God acts in ways that at times are beyond human comprehension.

Abraham and Sarah had a child at an advanced age (Genesis 18:14). Noah and his family were protected by the ark (Genesis 7:7). Joseph experienced good by as a result of an act of his brothers which seemed not good (Genesis 50:20).

The Virgin birth of Christ, Christ's Transfiguration, Resurrection and Ascension reveal what God can do.

In our own limited ways of comprehending, we are challenged to reach out in our understanding of God. We are challenged to honor God. We are challenged to think about the glory, the majesty, the love and kindness of God. We are challenged to think about the demonstrations of humility.

We are challenged to think about Jesus Christ as Servant. We are challenged to think about Jesus Christ as Teacher. We are challenged to think about Jesus Christ performing miracles.

Too readily, we can begin to take God for granted. Too readily we can adopt a lifestyle of turning to God only in times of crises. Too often we can invest valuable time of our lives in ways having nothing to do with God.

Today's Gospel message is a lesson in coming to God in search of mercy. Today's Gospel message is a lesson in examining the content of the heart. Today's Gospel message is a lesson in the essence of Christianity.

The Jesus Prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner" is a prayer of the heart. When thinking of prayer, think of the heart. In the heart we battle against sin. In the heart we wage war for our soul.

Our minds must be vigilant. We must be conscious of our own sinfulness and be prepared to battle with temptations, diversions and sloth.

We have the opportunity to experience Christ. We have opportunity to be forgiven of sin and to partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. We have the opportunity to be made whole in Christ, to be made well in Christ.

Let us make good use of everyday given by God. Each day is a gift from God. Each day is a valuable part of each human life. Let us heed the words of the Psalmist who said: "Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Let us compare the attitude and demeanor of the publican and pharisee and guard against hardness of heart. Like the publican let us say, "God be merciful to me a sinner."
1Saint Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria. Commentary on the Gospel of Saint Luke. Translated by R. Payne Smith. Studion Publishers, Incorporated, 1983, p. 480.
2The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues on His Way. Translation by George P.Fedotov, New Sarov Press, 1997, p.26

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 7 / February 20, 2005
Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord. St. Luke of Hellas. St. Parthenius.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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