St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 331 - April 25 / May 8, 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
April 25 / May 8, 2005
Thomas Sunday
No. 331

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

Acts 16:5

And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Services This Past Week

April 30 - Fourteen people came for the reading of the Acts of the Apostles.
Pascha - Eight people came for The Paschal Resurrection Service
Sixty-four people came for Paschal Divine Liturgy. Three communicants.
Bright Monday - One person came for the Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and Akathist to the Resurrection.
Bright Tuesday - One person came for the Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and Akathist to Communion. Two people came for Divine Liturgy. One person came for the Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Resurrection.
Bright Wednesday - Two people came for Matins. Two people came for Akathist to the Resurrection and Vespers.
Bright Thursday - Three people came for Matins. Two people came for the Akathist to the Resurrection and Vespers.
Bright Saturday - Two people came for Matins.

Services this Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Hiearchical Divine Liturgy
Monday - 5:30 AM service and 6:30 AM Matins, 4:30 PM Akathist and Vespers
Wednesday - 5:30 AM service and 6:30 AM Matins (Verify before you come).
Wednesday - 4:30 PM Akathist and Vespers
Thursday - 5:30 AM service and 6:30 AM. Matins, 6:30 PM Vespers.
Friday - 5:30 AM service and 6:30 AM Matins, 4:30 PM Vespers
Saturday - 5:30 AM service.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today - We celebrate the Parish Slava of St. George Church. St. Mark the Apostle and Evangelist.
May 10 - Burning of the Relics of St. Sava.
May 12 - St. Basil of Ostrog.
May 13 - St. James the Apostle
May 15 - St. Athanasius the Great

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

Parish Life

The parish is honored by the presence of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN and all the visitors today.
Thank you to all helping with the Slava celebration.
Congratulations to Kuma Gail Menhart.
Thank you to the faithful coming to church services.
Adult Class this Thursday at 7:00 PM.
Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Remember parishioners and friends of the parish who are homebound, hospitals, rehab centers and jails and prisons. Remember the staffs and caregivers.
The practice of stewardship is an eventual goal for each parish in the Diocese.
The celebration of Pascha continues until June 8.
Consider visiting and volunteering at Shadeland Camp this summer. Camper applications are available from Father Rodney and on the Diocesan website.
Listen to the parish radio broadcast each week. Visit the Diocese web site regularly.
Read your Bible for the benefit of your soul.
Philip and Christina Sivak plan be married in the St. George Church on May 28, 2005.

A Thought from St. Athanasius

Some may ask, why did He not manifest Himself by means of other and nobler parts of creation, and use some nobler instrument, such as sun or moon or stars or fire or air, instead of ere man? The answer is this. The Lord did not come to make a display. He came to heal and to teach suffering men. For one who wanted to make a display the thing would have been to appear and dazzle the beholders. But for Him Who came to heal and to teach the way was not merely to dwell here, but to put Himself at the disposal of those who needed Him, and to be manifested according at they could bear it, not vitiating the value of the Divine appearing by exceeding their capacity to receive it.
(St. Athanasius. On the Incarnation.. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1996, p. 78. )

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

To Consider

St. Thomas saying "My Lord my God." (Jn.20:28)
The appearances of the Risen Christ.
The Risen Christ in the world today.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

Pascha - Visited with parishioners
May 5 - Visited with parishioner.
May 6 - Went to Diocesan Center for celebration of St. George the Great Martyr.

From the Desert Fathers

The Abbot Mathois said, 'The nearer a man approaches to God, the greater a sinner he sees himself to be. For the prophet Isaiah saw God, and said that he was unclean and undone.

The Second Sunday of Pascha 2005

John 20:19-31

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.' And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, " We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." And after eight days His disciples again were inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."

St. John the Evangelist states in the present Gospel he wrote about the signs of Jesus for readers and listeners to believe and have life in Christ's name. As Orthodox Christians, our identity is with Christ.

We are defined as Orthodox Christians. A certain set of standards and expectations is associated with our identity. A certain set of responsibilities goes with our Orthodox Christian identity.

Today we rejoice in the joy of the resurrection of Christ. We know that during the intervening centuries many witnessed to Christ through martyrdom. Christ first went to the Cross and then resurrected. We understand and view the Resurrection in direct association with the Cross and the Tomb.

Christ's Resurrection is of immeasurable importance because He was able to defeat death, to overcome death, to rise from the tomb. Christ established hope for all. The hope in Christ is inextinguishable.

While there is life, while there is presence of mind, individuals can turn to Christ and say the words of St. Thomas: "My Lord and My God." (Jn. 20:28) While there is life, while there is presence of mind, believers can say with the thief on the Cross, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into Thy kingdom." (Lk. 23:42)

The Holy Orthodox Church continues to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ until the Leave-taking, the Apodasis of Pascha, immediately before the Feast of the Holy Ascension.

Each day of the Paschal celebration we are reminded in the services of the Church of Jesus Christ trampling down death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

As Orthodox believers we benefit from training our minds on the Resurrection of Christ. We benefit from considering the meaning the Resurrection has for our lives. We benefit from thinking seriously and carefully about the Lord Jesus Christ and the way Christ brings new life to believers.

The joy of the Resurrection is incomparable. Pascha is known in the Holy Orthodox Church as the Feast of Feasts. Much preparation goes into readiness for Pascha. Much time is devoted by the Holy Orthodox Church to the celebration of Pascha. In many ways the celebration of Pascha continues throughout the year.

Every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection. Every Divine Liturgy we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. Everyday we live in Christ is a celebration of the Resurrection.

This importance of the Resurrection is not to be taken lightly. St. Maximos the Confessor states: "He who apprehends the mystery of the cross and the burial apprehends the inward essences of created things; while he who is initiated into the inexpressible power of the resurrection apprehends the purpose for which God first established everything." 1

We choose to a large degree what enters our mind. We choose to a large degree the thoughts our minds consider. Let us train our minds on Christ and the ways of Christ. Let us train our minds on God through the centuries. Let us train our minds in prayer and thanksgiving to God.

Each day we choose the way we will use the time of life. If we invest the time of life in the Kingdom of God, we make no better in investment. When we invest in the Kingdom, we can show no greater appreciation to God.

Thanksgiving to God is something to be done consistently. The blessings we receive from God exceed our ability to comprehend . Knowing that we can turn to Christ and be forgiven of our sins, knowing that we can turn to Christ to begin anew, there is reason for thanksgiving.

Knowing that we can draw near in the fear of God and in faith and receive the Precious Body and Blood of Christ is reason for thanksgiving. Knowing that Christ rose from the grave is reason for thanksgiving.

St. Gregory of Sinai says that each person baptized into Christ should pass through the stages of Christ's own life. He explains the stages in this way: To Christ's conception corresponds the foretaste of the Holy Spirit, to His nativity the actual experience of joyousness, to His baptism the cleansing force of the fire of the Spirit, to His transfiguration the contemplation of divine light, to His crucifixion the dying to all things, to His burial the indwelling of divine love in the heart, to His resurrection the soul's life-quickening resurrection, and to His ascension divine ecstasy and the transport of the intellect into God." 2

Savor the Resurrection during this joyous time of the Church. Savor the Resurrection for the ultimate value the Resurrection has for the life of each person. Turn to the Resurrected Christ and experience the hope and peace which passes all understanding. (Phil. 4:7)

The message of Pascha is a lasting message. The message of Pascha is ever-renewed. The message of Pascha yields to no obstruction or challenge.

Joy has come into the world through the Risen Christ. Light has come into the world through the Risen Christ. Hope has come into the world through the Risen Christ.

Each day is an opportunity to be united with Christ. Each day is a day to experience the new life in Christ. Each day is a day to find direction and purpose in Christ.

Let us open our eyes, our minds and our hearts to the Risen Christ. Let us open our homes to the Risen Christ. Let us open our communities to the Risen Christ. In the end, let us given thanks continually to the Risen Christ.
1 The Philokalia. The Complete Text Compiled by St. Nikodemus of the Holy Moutain and St.Makarios of Corinth.
Vol. Two. Translated from the Greek and edited by G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware. Faber and Faber, London and Boston, 1981, p.127.

2 The Philokalia. The Complete Text Compiled by St. Nikodemus of the Holy Moutain and St.Makarios of Corinth.
Vol. Four. Translated from the Greek and edited by G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware. Faber and Faber, London and Boston, 1995, p. 252.


St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
April 25 / May 8, 2005
Thomas Sunday.
St. Mark, Apostle and Evangelist.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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