St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 327 - March 28 / April 10, 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
March 28 / April 10, 2005
The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent
No. 327

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

Mark 9:19

He answered and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me."

Services This Past Week

April 3 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to Communion, Matins and First Hour. Twenty nine people came for Divine Liturgy. Six communicants. Parastos for Andrew Pasquini and Aleksandar Kasich.
April 4 - One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Cross. Two people were present for First and Third Hours. Two people were present for Great Compline.
April 5 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to the Cross and Canon to Jesus Christ. Two people were present for First and Third Hours. Two people were present for Great Compline.
April 6 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to the Cross and Akathist for Communion, First and Third Hours. Seven people came for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. Five communicants.
April 8 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to the Cross and Akathist for Communion. Two people were present for First and Third Hours. Three people came for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. Two communicants. Two people came for Great Compline.
April 9 - 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 came for Akathist to Jesus Christ and Vespers.

Services this Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Midnight Office, Akathist to Communion, Matins and First Hour. Divine Liturgy. Parastos.
Mornings - 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Afternoons - 4:30 PM-Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday. Thursday-6:30 PM.
Friday - Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts at 8:00 AM
Saturday - Divine Liturgy, Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont at 10:00 AM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Tonight at 5:30 PM - Vespers, Holy Resurrection Church, Steubenville
April 17 - St. George Church, Carmichaels, Vespers at 5:30 PM.
April 24 at 5:30 PM - Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh, Vespers
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

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

Parish Life

Milosh Serb Krewasky has logged many miles and used many rolls of film on trips to different parishes for Lenten Vespers.
Fasting baked goods and helpers will be needed for the Lenten dinner next Sunday evening.
Mary Trbovich is receiving donations for flowers for the church for Pascha.
One person came to Adult Class this past Thursday. Class again this Thursday at 7:00 PM.
Honor the Fast until the Paschal Divine Liturgy on May l.
Remember those in care homes, the homebound, those in hospitals, rehab centers, jails and prisons. Remember the caregivers and staffs.
Come to weekday services with greater frequency.
Take time to read your Bibles at home on a regular basis.
May God give strength and comfort to the family of +William Pataski.
Remember the men and women in the military and their families.
Thank God for our St. George Choir and for the faithful coming to sing and read for weekday services.

A Thought from St. Athanasius

If, then, it is by the sign of the cross and by faith in Christ that death is trampled underfoot, it is clear that it is Christ Himself and none other Who is the Archvictor over death and has robbed it of its power. Death used to be strong and terrible, but now, since the sojourn of the Savior and the death and resurrection of His body, it is despised; and obviously it is by the very Christ Who mounted on the cross that it has been destroyed and vanquished finally. When the sun rises after the night and the whole world is lit up by it, nobody doubts that it is the sun which has thus shed its light everywhere and driven away the dark.
(St. Athanasius. On the Incarnation.. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1996, p. 59. )

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

To Consider

Growth in Jesus Christ.
The amount of time we consciously think about Jesus Christ.
The amount of time we pray to Jesus Christ daily.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

March 30 - Attended public meeting in Nemacolin regarding construction of another power plant.
April 3 - Attended Vespers at St. George Church, Midland.
April 5 - Visited parishioner in rehab center in Morgantown, W. Va.
April 6 - Visited Western Region Hearing of Office of Pennsylvania Board of Probation & Parole.
April 7 - Went to St. Nikodim Chapel for Divine Liturgy and to St. Mary Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh for Clergy Retreat at which His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN was the speaker.
April 7 & 8 - Made pastoral visits.
April 9 - Went to Diocesan Center for Shadeland Camp meeting.

From the Desert Fathers

A brother questioned Abba Poemen, 'What ought I to do about all the turmoils that trouble me? The old man said to him, 'In all our afflictions, let us weep in the presence of the goodness of God, until He shows mercy on us.'

The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent 2005

Mark 9:17-31
Matthew 4:25-5:12

Great multitudes followed Him-from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not. He answered him and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me." Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, 'Why could we not cast it out?" So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The Son of Man is being betrayed

We come today to the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent. It is time to think about our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is time to determine whether we really are serious Orthodox Christians. It is time to assess whether we are honoring the fast and intent of Great Lent.

Two weeks remain before Holy Week. Each remaining day offers promise for a better life in Christ. Each remaining day offers hope for a better life in Christ.

The Holy Apostle Paul to the Romans: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Rom.12:2).

How many of us immerse our minds in the life of Christ as written in Holy Scripture? How many of us pour our eyes over the words of Christ in the Holy Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John? How many of us heed the words of the Holy Apostle Paul in his epistles describing the life in Christ in great detail?

For most believers, regular church attendance is limited to the Sunday Divine Liturgy. The use of time outside the Sunday Divine Liturgy is of great importance for believers. Important decisions are made each moment of time.

This morning's Gospel of St. Mark illustrates the importance of prayer and fasting in healing the child with the unclean spirit (Mk.9:17-29. All of us have aspects of our lives which could be improved if we were more diligent in prayer and fasting?

This morning's Gospel from St. Matthew presents the Beatitudes which we hear regularly in the Divine Liturgy. The Church considers the Beatitudes of such importance they are heard throughout the year.

St. Gregory of Nyssa says beatitude is a possession of all things held to be good, from which nothing is absent that a good desire may want.1

The Holy Gospel emphasizes the importance of the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted for righteousness sake, the reviled and the persecuted.

The Beatitudes hold forth images much different from the images of contemporary society. St. John the Holy Apostle said: "Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (I Jn.2:15)

Keeping our focus on Jesus Christ requires constant effort. The Holy Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing. (I Thess.5:17) The standard of prayer St. Paul established is a constant measure for all believers. It is a goal to strive for throughout life.

Our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount said to "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." (Mt.6:33). Each day we determine the use of the day. Each day we determine whether God will be our primary interest throughout the day.

Our families, our friends, our employment, our interests are in proper order when we seek first the Kingdom of God. When we unite ourselves with Christ as we do at Holy Baptism, we are to view the world through the life and teachings of Christ.

When Christ is our world-view, when Christ is our goal, the path to follow, the work to do is apparent.

The lives of the saints teach us the road to the kingdom may result in physical harm. The lives of the saints teach us to expect persecution and difficulties. The Beatitudes tell of hardships which have a long history for those who follow God.

We draw strength from the Resurrected Christ. We draw strength from century after century of verification of the faithfulness of God. We draw strength from the words of the Holy Apostle John who wrote to the children of God: "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (I Jn.4:4)

St. Apostle Peter said "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." (I Pet.3:15) Today's Gospel of St. Mark provides the answer: "All things are possible to him who believes." (Mk.9:23)
1St. Gregory of Nyssa. The Lord's Prayer, The Beatitudes. Translated by Hilda C. Graef, Newman Press, New York, 1954, p.87.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
March 28 / April 10, 2005
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent.
St. John of the Ladder.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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