St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 323 - February 28 / March 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
February 28 / March 13, 2005
Forgiveness Sunday
No. 323

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

Romans 14:1

Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.

Services This Past Week

March 6 - Twenty-four people came. Father Rumen served the Pro-Liturgy.
March 8 - Midnight Office was read. One person came for Matins and First Hour. One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
March 10 - One person came for Midnight Office and Akathist to Jesus Christ. Two people were present for First Hour.

Services this Coming Week - Call to Verify Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy.
Mornings, 5:30 AM - Services each morning-Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Services also at 6:30 AM, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday
Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts, 8:00 AM - Wednesday and Friday.
Afternoons, 4:30 PM - Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Wednesday at 6:30 PM.
Thursday - 3:00 PM.
Saturday, 10:00 AM - Divine Liturgy, Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

March 13, 5:30 PM - Forgiveness Vespers, St. Sava Church, Mckeesport.
March 19, 5:00 PM - Sunday of Orthodoxy Service to be held on Saturday at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh.
March 27, 5:30 PM - Vespers, St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa. Second Sunday of Great Lent.
April 3, 5:30 PM - Vespers, Sunday of Holy Cross, St. George Church, Midland.
April 7 - Feast of Annunciation
April 10, 5:30 PM, Fourth Sunday of Great Lent - Vespers, Holy Resurrection Church, Steubenville
April 17, 5:30 PM, Fifth Sunday of Great Lent - Vespers, St. George Church, Carmichaels.
April 24, 5:30 PM, Palm Sunday - Vespers, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh.
April 25 - Great and Holy Monday
April 26 - Great and Holy Tuesday
April 27 - Great and Holy Wednesday
April 28 - Great and Holy Thursday
April 29 - Great and Holy Friday
April 30 - Great and Holy Saturday
May 1 - Pascha

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

Thank you to Kolo members and helpers for baking this past week.
An Executive Board meeting will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 AM.
Increase church service attendance during Great Lent.
Great Lent starts tomorrow. Honor the Fast until Pascha on May l.
Remember our suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija. March 17-18 is the anniversary of the tragic attack on Serbian churches and monasteries last year.
Adult Class will be held on Wednesday evening this week at 7:00 PM.
Remember the sick at home, in hospitals, care homes and rehab centers.
Increase your prayers and almsgiving during Great Lent.

A Thought from St. Athanasius

Have no fear, then. Now that the common Saviour of all has died on our behalf, we who believe in Christ no longer die, as men died aforetime, in fulfillment of the threat of the law. That condemnation has come to an end; And now that, by the grace of the resurrection, corruption has been banished and done away, we are loosed from our mortal bodies in God's good time for each, so that we may obtain thereby a better resurrection. Like seeds cast into the earth, we do not perish in our dissolution, but like them shall rise again, death having been brought to nought by the grace of the Saviou
(St. Athanasius. On the Incarnation.. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1996, p. 50. )

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

To Consider

The freeing power of forgiveness.
The renewing power of forgiveness.
The creative growth released through forgiveness.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

March 5 - Visited parishioner at Ruby Memorial Hospital.
March 6 - Served at Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, Johnstown. Attended Testimonial Dinner for Proto Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich.
March 6-7 - Travelled to Monastery Marcha. Served Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to Jesus Christ. Vespers.
March 8 - Visited parishioner in Morgantown.
March 9 - Served at Funeral of Proto Stavrofor Nenad Resanovich held at St. Sava Cathedral of Cleveland. Served Akathist to Jesus Christ, Monastery Marcha.
March 10-12 - Travelled to Chicago, Holy Resurrection Church of Sabor Committee meetings.

From the Desert Fathers

He (Hyperechius) also said, 'Fasting is a check against sin for the monk. He who discards it is like a rampaging stallion.'

Forgiveness Sunday 2005

Mt. 6:14-21

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive their trespasses. Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Great Lent has arrived in the Holy Orthodox Church. We have reached the time of the year when the focus on the Crucified and Risen Christ is at hand.

We have reached the time of the year when prayer, fasting and almsgiving become dominant. We have reached the time of the year when attention to our souls is of paramount importance.

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Corinthians he determined not to know anything among them except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (I Cor.2:2)

It would be interesting to study the minds and hearts of men and women today to determine how many of them really are serious about the Lord Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ Crucified.

We cannot occupy our thoughts with the contents of the minds and hearts of others. Great Lent is the time to work upon our own souls. Great Lent is the annual opportunity to put our lives in order. Great Lent is the opportunity to "get right" with God.

Today's Gospel speaks about forgiveness of others. Today's Gospel describes the way our forgiveness of others is connected with God's forgiveness of us.

It is time for Jesus Christ to fully occupy our hearts and minds. It is time for the Name of Jesus Christ to be constantly on our lips and at the forefront of our minds.

We are part of the Holy Orthodox Church. We are part of the Serbian Orthodox Church. We are part of the Church of St. Sava, the Church suffering greatly in Kosovo and Metohija.

Let us fast and pray not only for our souls. Let us fast and pray for improvement for the lives of Orthodox believers in Kosovo and Metohija. Let not the physical comforts we enjoy or desire for greater material good obscure our thoughts about God.

As Serbian Orthodox Christians, our identity is specifically linked with Jesus Christ. We should not be afraid or reticent about living as an Orthodox Christian and identifying ourselves as Orthodox Christians.

Let us not fall prey to lies and distortions of truth harmful to our identities as Orthodox Christians. Today's Gospel says where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. We are to lay up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust consume, nor thieves break in and steal.

Each of us knows the contents of our hearts and minds. Each of us knows what we value the most. Each of us knows our goals and intentions.

Great Lent has God as the primary emphasis. Great Lent has the well-being of our souls of primary interest.

We can be overwhelmed by the services of Great Lent if we do not become involved in them in ways beneficial to our souls. God helps those drawing near to Him.

It is time to examine our hearts carefully. It is time to reconcile with family and friends with whom we have become estranged.

It is time to consider increasing our church attendance. It is time to increase our charitable contributions. It is time to think carefully about God. It is time to think carefully about God's love and sacrifice for us.

Great Lent directs the Christian mind to think about. Great Lent directs summons the believer to draw near to God. Great Lent helps believers to depart from sin.

We avoid thinking about God. We avoid thinking about the nearness of God. We avoid having God in our hearts and minds.

Let us open our hearts and minds. Let the coming of Great Lent be inspirational. Work is necessary for the salvation of our souls. Combat with evil is necessary for the salvation of our souls.

Too often we engage in sinfulness. Too often Christ is not on our lips and in our hearts. Too often our mind departs from Christ to be preoccupied with activities not pleasing to God.

God knows the contents of our hearts. God knows the content of our minds. God knows more than we give God credit for knowing.

Opening our Bibles to study during Great Lent is an approved activity. Opening our prayer books for daily prayer is an example for others to follow.

Great Lent lasts until the arrival of Lazarus Saturday. Great Lent has a definite time length and certain services.

The time to repent is now. The time to think about the Crucified and Risen Christ is now.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 28 / March 13, 2005
Forgiveness Sunday.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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