St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 364 - December 12 / December 25, 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
December 12 / December 25, 2005
Sunday of Holy Forefathers
No. 364

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

I John 5:4

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Services This Past Week
December 18
The Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to Communion, Matins and First Hour were read.
Thirty-four people came to Divine Liturgy. Two communicants
December 19
Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Akathist for Communion, Matins, First and Third Hours were read.
Nine people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant. Two Kolac's were blessed.
December 20
Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, and Canon to Mother of God were read.
Two people came for Matins and First Hour.
The Akathist to Jesus Christ was read in the evening.
December 21
Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to Mother of God were read.
One person came for Matins and First Hour.
Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
December 22
The Canon to the Mother of God was read.
One person came for Matins and First Hour
December 23
The Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God were read.
One person came for Matins and First Hour.
Ninth Hour and Vespers were served. Two people came.
Father Miroslaw Kulik, the new priest at Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Masontown came to visit.
December 24
Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God were read.
One person came for Matins and First Hour.

Services This Coming Week - Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule
Today
Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to Communion, Matins, First Hour, Divine Liturgy
Mornings
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 5:30 and 6:30 AM.
Afternoons
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturdayat 4:00 PM. Thursday at 6:30 PM.
Saturday Divine Liturgy, Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont at 10:00 AM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

December 25 - Serbian Mother's Day
December 26 - Sts. Gabriel and Nicodimus of Serbia
December 30 - Venerable Abbot Paisije and Deacon Avaccum
December 31 - St. Sebastian, Martyr.
January 1 - Serbian Father's Day
January 6 - Christmas Eve
January 7 - Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

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

Parish Life

Thank you to Mary Trbovich for painting the metal storage cabinents in the church hall.

Reverend Father Djokan Majstorovic, Dean of St. Sava Cathedral in New York City visited the parish this past Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. He was accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Vladimir Zutic and Dr. Radmila Milentijevic. Mr. Zutic is the new Serbian Consul based in New York City.

Sympathy is extended to the family and friends of +Theodore Rantovich.

Adult Class is scheduled for Thursday evening at 7:00 PM this week. .

Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.

Remember the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, those in care homes, hospitals, rehab centers and homebound. Remember their families and the staffs of the facilities.

Read your Bible daily for the benefit of your soul.

Take time to pray as much as you can each day.

Pray for the staff of Tara Hospital that this medical facility remain open as a stable environment to serve the needs of the community and that employees having worked there retain their jobs.

A Thought From ST. NIKOLAI of Zicha and Ochrid

Serving Christ - this is the eternal regular path of the Serbian people. Theodulia, therefore, and not theocracy, autocracy, or even western democracy; theodulia - service to Christ---this is the path and way of life of the Serbian people.
This path hath glorified them on earth and in heaven. This path, the path of serving Christ, has filled a large part of heaven with Serbs. Travelling this path from generation to generation, many millions of Serbs have entered the heavenly kingdom for which they longed; and they have created a Heavenly Serbia---not just great, but magnificent and splendid.

A Treasury of Serbian Orthodox Spirituality. (Translated by Father Theodore Micka and Father Stevan Scott. The Free Serbian Orthodox Diocese of the United States and Canada, Grayslake, Illinois, 1988, pp. 66-67)

Remember the Students of St. Sava School of Theology - Libertyville

To Consider

The invitation to draw near to receive the Precious Body and Blood of Christ.
The opportunity to attend the Divine Liturgy each Sunday.
The opportunity to hear the Holy Gospel each Sunday.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

December 18 - Visited parishioner at home.

December 20 - Went to Diocesan Center. Took friend of parish to rehab center in North Hills, Pittsburgh.

December 22 - Went to Holy Trinity Catheral in Pittsburgh, St. Nicholas Church, Monroeville, and Diocesan Center.

From the Desert Fathers

They told of a certain old man that when his thoughts said to him, "Let be to-day: thou shalt repent to-morrow," he would contradict them, saying, "Nay, but I shall repent to-day: to-morrow, may the will of God be done."


Sunday of Holy Forefathers 2005

Luke 14:16-24

Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready. But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused. And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused. Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore cannot come.' So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind. And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is no room.' Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'

A Great Banquet is held each time the Divine Liturgy is served. Believers have the opportunity to partake of the Precious Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Other than at certain times of the year, few believers respond to the invitation to draw near in fear and faith. The vast majority of believers choose not to partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ on a regular basis throughout the year.

A minority of people on this continent attend the Divine Liturgy every Sunday. A much smaller minority of believers attend weekday Divine Liturgies and the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.

No greater earthly experience exists than partaking of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. Partaking of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ unites the believer with Christ and opens the door to eternal life.

The Nativity Fast is an opportunity for self-assessment of adherence to Orthodox practices. The Nativity Fast is an opportunity to assess the degree of faithfulness to daily prayer and fasting.

Believers have an opportunity during the Nativity Fast to evaluate personal practices in partaking of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ and in attending the Divine Liturgy.

The Divine Liturgy is offered in parish churches and monasteries on Sundays and major feast days throughout the year. Only a limited number of individuals identifying themselves as Orthodox faithful attend the Divine Liturgy at any given time.

While attendance tends to be greater on Sundays, the number of believers attending the Divine Liturgy on Sundays is only a fraction of the total Orthodox baptized individuals

Attending the Divine Liturgy and partaking of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ is not proof positive an individual will experience eternal life. Attending the Divine Liturgy and partaking of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ strengthens the believer and unites the believer with Christ.

Each believer has a continuing responsibility to be faithful to Christ. Each believer has a responsibility to be faithful to Christ in all aspects of life.

No greater joy exists than the new life in Christ. No greater joy exists than being united with Christ. No greater joy exists than partaking of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ.

The weight lifted from the mind and shoulders of the believer at Holy Confession can be immense. The unity with Christ experienced at Holy Communion is assessed personally though the joy is shared with all believers.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst."(Jn.6:35) The Lord Jesus Christ told the woman at the well: "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shal lgive him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (Jn. 4:14).

Individuals decide each time the Divine Liturgy is scheduled whether or not to attend. Believers decide at each Divine Liturgy whether to draw near when the chalice is brought forth and the invitation is proclaimed to draw near in fear and faith.

Each believer acts on his or her set of personal standards. Each believers acts on values personally adopted. The Nativity Fast is the time to evaluate personal standards and values and determine if the standards and values maintained are in accord with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today's Gospel reveals excuses offered by individuals invited to the great supper. At times believers may have valid reason not to attend the Divine Liturgy when it is scheduled. Serious illness and essential work schedules can prevent a person from attending the Divine Liturgy.

When baptized, believers take on the responsibility to live an Orthodox Christian life. The joy of Orthodox life comes in living the Orthodox life. Minimal participation yields to minimal joy. Maximum participation yields maximum joy.

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Galatians: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlenesss, self-control." (Gal. 5:22) We cannot expect to experience the fruit of the Spirit without adherence to a disciplined Orthodox Christian life.

Orthodox believers are expected to live the life in Christ each day. The Nativity Fast is not intended to be an abbreviated effort of a few days prior to approaching the Holy Chalice.

The Nativity Fast is intended to be an extensive effort beginning the first day of the Fast in November and continuing until the Divine Liturgy of the Feast of the Nativity.

May our hearts and minds be firmly focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. May we live in ways pleasing to God and do all that we can to approach the Holy Chalice in faith and fear.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
December 12 / December 25, 2005
Sunday of Holy Forefathers.
St. Spyridon. St. Herman.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

Back to St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels - Home Page