St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 333 - May 9 / May 22, 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
May 9 / May 22, 2005
Sunday of the Paralytic
No. 333

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

Matthew 21:21

Jesus answered and said unto them, "Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done."

Services This Past Week

May 15 - One person came for Midnight Office. Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection, Akathist to Holy Communion, Matins and First Hour. Twenty-seven people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants.
May 16 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and Akathist to the Resurrection. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Vespers and Ninth Hour.
May 17 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and Akathist to the Resurrection. Two people were present for Matins and First Hour. Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
May 18 - One person was present for Midnight Office, Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection and Akathist to the Resurrection. Three people were present for Matins and First Hour. One person came to read the Ninth Hour and Psalms.
May 19 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection, Akathist to the Resurrection, Matins and First Hour. Four people were present for Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to St. George.
May 20 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection, Akathist to the Resurrection, Matins and First Hour.
May 21 - One person came for Midnight Office, Akathist to the Tomb and Resurrection, Akathist to Communion, Matins and First Hour at St. George Church. Eight people came for Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va. Two people came to St. George Church for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services this Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today - Midnight Office, Akathist to Tomb and Resurrection, Akathist to Communion, Matins, First Hour, Divine Liturgy.
Mornings - 5:30 AM - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday - Midnight Office, Akathist to Tomb and Resurrection, Akathist to the Resurrection. Mornings, 6:30 AM - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday - Matins and First Hour.
Afternoons - 4:30 PM - Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday - Ninth Hour and Vespers.
Thursday - 6:30 PM - Vespers.
Saturday - 9:30 AM - Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

May 24 - St. Cyril and Methodius, St. Nicodemus, Archbishop of Pech.
June 3 - Sts. Constantine and Helen
June 7 - Third Finding of Head of St. John the Baptist

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

Parish Life

Veterans from VFW Post 4584 Faith-Gray-McCardle as they do each year before Memorial Day, came to put flags on the graves of the St. George Veterans.
The parish Outdoor Religious Program and Picnic will be on June 5. Help will be needed.
Philip and Christina Sivak plan to marry in the St. George Church on May 28.
The joy of Pascha continues.
Remember the sick, the suffering, those in care homes, the homebound, those in hospitals, prisons, jails and rehab centers.
Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.
Read your Bible for the benefit of your soul.
Five people came to Adult Class this past Thursday when a video on St. Paul was shown and a paper on St. John Chrysostom distributed.
Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kovoso and Metohijia.
Plan to attend Diocese Days at Shadeland on August 6 & 7.
Consider volunteering at Shadeland.
Stewardships is the giving of time and talent to the Church.
Help the parish by increasing your weekday church service attendance.
The St. George radio broadcast is now available throughout the week on the parish website.
The Paschal Message of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN can be heard in Serbian and English on the parish website.
The St. George Choir can be heard singing Oce Nas on the parish website.

A Thought from St. Athanasius

You must know, moreover, that the corruption which had set in was not external to the body but established within it. The need, therefore, was that life should cleave to it in corruption's place, so that, just as death was brought into being in the body, life also might be engendered in it. If death had been exterior to the body, life might fittingly have been the same. But if death was within the body, woven into its very substance and dominating it as though completely one with it, the need was for Life to be woven into it instead, so that the body by thus enduing itself with life might cast corruption off.
(St. Athanasius. On the Incarnation.. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1996, pp. 80-81. )

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

To Consider

The healing of the paralytic at the pool at Bethesda.
Jesus continues to heal.
Turning to Jesus in complete faith.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

May 15 - Travelled to St. George Church, Hermitage for Baptism/Chrismation of Jelena Katanic.
May 18 - Travelled to Monastery Marcha, Richfield, Ohio.
May 20 - Travelled to Diocesan Center, Mars for Shadeland meeting.
May 21 - Travelled to Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont for Divine Liturgy.

From the Desert Fathers

Another of the old men questioned Amma Theodora saying, 'At the resurrection of the dead, how shall we rise?' She said, 'As pledge, example, and as prototype we have him who died for us and is risen, Christ our God.'

The Fourth Sunday of Pascha 2005
The Sunday of the Paralytic

John 5:1-15

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatsoever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed." He who made me well said to me, "Take up your bed and walk." Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, "Take up your bed and walk?" But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

When we are made well by Jesus do we give Jesus the credit? When our prayers our answered, do we give God the credit? Do we take time to give thanks to God for the many blessings we receive in life? Do we take time to thank God for our families, for our health, for the country we live in?

Do we thank God for our St. George Church? Do we thank God for the freedom to worship?

The paralytic made well in today's Gospel told the Jews it was Jesus who healed him. Healing takes place throughout the centuries. Believers hear the words of Jesus Christ: "Rise, take up thy bed and walk." (Jn. 5:8)

The paralysis of sin is cast away by the healing of Jesus Christ. Believers sunk in sin are freed when they turn to Christ in faith.

The Gospel of Christ reaches out to attentive listeners desiring a better life. The Gospel of Christ reaches out to the hearts that are broken and need healed. The Gospel of Christ reaches out to men, women and children caught in circumstances that are inhibiting.

Today's Gospel is a message of hope. Today's Gospel comes to us in the context of Paschal joy. Preparation to hear today's Gospel in a certain way began many weeks ago even before the beginning of Great Lent.

While the present Gospel has power today for the first time listener and the newcomer to the Orthodox Church, it is important to remember that the journey to this period of Pascha joy was preceded by earlier weeks of Paschal joy. Bright Week, Holy Week, Great Lent, and the preparatory of weeks before Great Lent, all preceded today's time of Paschal joy.

The Paschal joy experienced today is enriched by the preceding periods of preparation. Orthodoxy is a way of life that continues each day and has meaning each day. Living the Orthodox life has a cumulative effect.

When our lives are immersed in the daily life of the Church we tend to appreciate the Church more. We are enriched. We are strengthened.

Pride is always a danger for believers. Pride that leads to sin is something about which believers must always be sensitive.

The Holy Orthodox Church brings us the message of the healed paralytic. We hear this today in a distinctly Serbian Orthodox Church. We hear this Gospel message today in a land of relative freedom.

We benefit by thinking of our Serbian brothers and sisters in faith and other Orthodox brothers and sister in faith who do not have the security of hearing this Gospel message in safe and secure surroundings.

We do well when we live the Orthodox Christian life fully. We benefit when we are serious about daily prayer. We benefit when we are serious about the fasts and feasts of the Church. We benefit when we structure our lives, our homes and our work in accord with the teachings of the Holy Gospel.

When we turn to Christ, we find the definition of our existence. When we turn to Christ we find the meaning of our existence. When we turn to Christ we find the hope, the love, the fullness of life that satisfies.

If we take time to study the Holy Scriptures, we will find God helping those who need help and remain faithful to God. In the Holy Scriptures, we learn of Abraham being provided for at a time he thought he was going to lose his son Isaac. (Gen. 22:13).

If we take time to study the Holy Scriptures we learn about Joseph suffering only to find out that it was for good when his brothers had intended evil. (Gen. 50:20)

If we take time to study the Holy Scriptures, we learn about God caring for Elijah when he was isolated (I Kings 19:1-21).

It is important that we guard against narrow vision. It is important that we guard against having a God too small. 1

If we open our eyes, if we open our ears, if we are observant with out minds, we will see the glory of God. We will see the healing power of God. We will find in our own lives healing that has taken place.

Each time we seriously confess our sins and are forgiven, we are healed. Each time we partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ, we experience healing. Each time we turn to God in faith and seek forgiveness with repentant hearts, we are healed.

The paralysis of sin is removed by the healing of Christ. Today's Gospel shows that paralysis can be in place for years, but when Christ enters, freedom of movement takes place.

The paralytic became new in Christ in the present Gospel. Each believer healed by Christ is new in Christ. Let us share the joy of the risen Christ with all that have ears to hear.
1Protostavrofor Radovan Milkovich. "A God Too Small" The Path of Orthodoxy. July-August 1978.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
May 9 / May 22, 2005
St. Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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