St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 321 - February 14 / February 27, 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 14 / February 27, 2005
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
No. 321

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

Hebrews 6:1

Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.

Services This Past Week

February 20 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to Communion, Matins and First Hour. Thirty five people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant.
February 21 - Three people came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God. Four people were present for Matins and First Hour. Three people came form the Akathist to St. Elijah and the Akathist to St. Archangel Michael.
February 22 - 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 the Akathist to Jesus Christ and Vespers.
February 23 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 24 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God. Three people were present at St.George Church for Matins and First Hour. Five people came to Holy Trinity Mission for Divine Liturgy. One person came to St. George Church for the Akathist to St. George and the Akathist to the Cross.
February 25 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God. Two people came for the Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Cross. Father Adam Yonitch served with Father Rodney.
February 26 - One person was present for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services this Coming Week - Call to Verify Weekday Schedule

Mornings - 5:30 AM, Midnight Office; 6:30 AM, Matins and First Hour, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Afternoons - 4:30 PM, Ninth Hour and Vespers, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.
Thursday - 6:30 PM, Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Cross.
Saturday - 10:00 AM, Divine Liturgy, Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont.
Next Sunday (March 6, 2005) - There will be no Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
Father Rumen Stoychev will serve a Pro-Liturgy at 9:00 AM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

February 27 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son

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

Parish Life

Thank you to the Kolo and Kolo helpers for baking this past week.
Come to church one additional weekday service per month.
Be sensitive to the Church calendar.
Be attentive to the Scripture readings for each day.
Honor the fasts of the Church.
Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo.
Remember the men and women in the military and their families.
A testimonial dinner will be held on March 6 in Johnstown for Proto Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich. See Father Rodney for more information.
Listen to the weekly radio broadcast.
Home blessings continue this week.
One person came to Adult Class this past week. Class on Thursday at 7:00 PM this week.

A Thought from St. Athanasius

What or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? Who, save the Word of God Himself, Who also in the beginning had made all things out of nothing? His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being the Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.
(St. Athanasius. On the Incarnation.. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1996, p. 33. )

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology

To Consider

The approach of Great Lent.
The changes required of each Christian.
The seriousness of each Christian.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

Febuary 24 - Blessed home in Fairmont, W.Va.
February 25, 26 - Attended Diocesan Assembly in Canton, Ohio.
February 26 - Blessed local parishioner's home.

From the Desert Fathers

He (Poemen) also said, 'There are three things I am not able to go without: food, clothing and sleep; but I can restrict them to some extent.'

Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 2005

Luke 15:11-32

Then He said: A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants." And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf with him.' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'"

The present Gospel is a message of hope. It is a message of hope for all believers. It is a message of hope for those willing to believe and turn to God.

We all are given talents by God. We all waste our talents to a certain degree. We have the opportunity to return to God when we make a mess of our lives. God is ever-present to listen to our fears, to hear our supplications. God is present to forgive sins and to receive the sinful desiring to repent.

Orthodox believers hear the message of the prodigal son each year. We all depart from the path taken at the time of holy Baptism. We all fail and fall short in our commitment to Christ.

The Holy Mystery of Confession enables the believer to be forgiven. The Holy Mystery of Confession enables the believer to begin anew.

Too often believers continue in ignorance. Too often believers continue in willful sin. Too often believers do not act upon good intentions.

The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed speaks of the return of Christ to judge the living and the dead. The Nicene-Consantinopolitan Creed speaks of the resurrection of the dead.

Believers determine the degree of commitment to Christ in their individual respective lives. Believers make choices daily to return to Christ or to resist and remain in sin.

The older son was faithful to the father in the present message. The older son was not happy in the repentance of the younger brother. Current believers have the opportunity to examine their own behavior and acceptance of others returning to the Church after periods of absence.

Current believers have the opportunity to think about the courage required of the younger brother to return home after a time of failure. Current believers have the opportunity to think about individuals long absent from the church who return in hopes of reconciling with God.

The joy of the father in the return of the son is a lesson for all believers. The Lord said: "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." (Lk.15:7)

The present Gospel lesson is a strong invitation for individuals absent from the Church to return. The present Gospel lesson is an expression of love for individuals absent from the Church with an inward yearning for God.

The love of God heals the returning sinner. The love of God invigorates the returning sinner. The love of God cleanses the sin of the returning sinner. The sinner returning to God begins life anew.

Holy Confession and Holy Communion provide rebirth for each believer. Holy Confession and Holy Communion unite the repentant with God. Holy Confession and Communion are invitations from God.

Individuals finding themselves in desperate conditions find hope in today's Gospel. Individuals in desperate conditions can do as the prodigal son and return to the fold of the loving God.

Each believer can take the present message of the Gospel and can share it with men and women in the community who once were affiliated with the Church but have departed and not returned for quite some time.

Each person in the Church can share the love of Christ by being forgiving of returning believers. Church growth is dependent in part on the love shown by the faithful to those who have been absent from the Church.

Let believers in the Church adopt the attitude of the father in seeing his returning son. Let believers welcome and encourage individuals long separated from the Church. inner."
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 14 / February 27, 2005
Sunday of the Prodigal Son.
St. Auxentius. St. Cyril, Equal to the Apostles, teacher of the Slavs.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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