St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 372 - February 6 / February 19, 2006


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 6 / February 19, 2006
Sunday of the Prodigal Son - St. Photius - St. Boucolus
No. 372

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

Hebrews ll:3

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Services This Past Week
February 12
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to Communion, Matins and First Hour.
Fifteen people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant.
February 13
One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers
February 14
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God.
Two people came for Matins and First Hour.
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read
February 15
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God.
Two people came for Matins and First Hour.
Two people came for Divine Liturgy.
Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 16
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God.
Two people came for Matins and First Hour.
One person came for the Akathist to Jesus Christ.
Two people were present for the Akathist to St. George.
February 17
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God.
Two people came for Matins and First Hour.
Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 18
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Akathist to Communion.
One person came to St. George Church for Matins and First Hour
Five people came to Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont, West Virginia for Divine Liturgy.
One person came to St. George Church for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule
Mornings
Monday, Thursday, Friday at 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM.
Afternoons
Thursday at 6:30 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today - Sunday of Prodigal Son
February 21 - St. Sava II, Archbishop of Serbia
February 22 - Leave-taking of the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord
February 24-25 - Diocesan Assembly at St. George Church, Midland, Pennsylvania
February 25 - Memorial Saturday
February 26 - Meatfare Sunday, Ven. Simeon the Myrrhgusher Nemanja

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

Parish Life

Joe, Melva and Mitzie Hunchuck work together each week to mail sixty-five bulletins to Diocesan officials, parishioners and friends of the parish. Another forty bulletins are prepared for parishioners coming to Church. More than three thousand bulletins are mailed during the year and more than five thousand distributed during the year.

Individuals unable to attend the Divine Liturgy on Sundays can received the bulletin which includes announcements, the service schedule and the weekly sermon as well as news and food for thought.

Church services generally are held at least twice per day throughout the week. Parishioners have ample opportunity to attend at least one church service during the course of each week.

Anna Mae Knezevich joined with Bertha and John Decovich in listening to last Sunday's parish radio broadcast. Kathryn Sage also was able to receive the broadcast. Sarah Pasquini listens periodically.

The full Divine Liturgy from the St. George Church is available on the parish website as is one year of radio programs that can be listened to from anywhere in the world with Internet access. Also parish bulletins including back copies are accessible on the parish website.

A collection is being taken today for the families of victims of the tragic train accident in Bioce(Beocha) in Montenegro. Forty-five people died and more than two hundred were injured.

Four people came to Adult Class on Thursday to discuss Holy Unction. Class again this Thursday.

A number of St. George parishioners physically cannot come to the Divine Liturgy on Sundays. Pray for them regularly as is done in church each day.

Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.

Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.

A Thought from Father Sebatian Dabovich

This Sacrament was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ as a spiritual means for healing the ills of the body as well as a means for healing spiritual diseases of the soul. While the Sacrament of Repentance heals the spiritual and moral failings (or disease), it can also in an intermediate way promote the healing of bodily sickness. It is expressly for such who are in need of both spiritual and physical succor that this beneficient gift in the Sacrament of Holy Unction with Oil was granted to the Church by her Lord.

(The Holy Orthodox Church Reprinted 1993 by St. Nectarios Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, p. 62.)

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

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 15 - Blessed one home.
February 16 - Blessed one home.
February 17 - Blessed one home.
February 18 - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont, West Virginia.
February 18 - Blessed one residence.

From the Desert Fathers

Abba Pambo said, 'If you have a heart, you can be saved.'

Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 2006

Luke 15:11-32

Then He said: A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants." And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf with him.' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'"

The Gospel account of the Prodigal Son is a lesson in the renewing power of God. When we turn to God in faith, when we return to God after having squandered and polluted our Christian life, we find a loving and kind God willing to take us back.

When have reached the end of our patience, when we have reached the end of our resources, we find a loving and forgiving God ready to take us in. When we do not know where to turn, when we do not know where to go, a loving and forgiving God is ready to take us in.

When we are hungry for nourishment of soul, when we are thirsty to drink of the fountain of life, a nourishing and good God is ready to provide for our needs. When our sins are uncovered and our weaknesses are apparent, a good and loving God is prepared to provide the necessary shelter.

When we are sick, when we are tired, when we feel homeless, a healing and caring God provides hope and direction and a haven from the storms of life. God is ever-present, God is ever ready to receive the sinner ready to return. God is ready to cleanse the tarnished baptismal garment we have blackened over time. God is ready to wash away our sins. God is ready to cleanse our souls.

"A broken and contrite heart, God will not despise." (Ps. 50.51:17) The prodigal son returned to his father and was received with joy and celebration. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "...joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Lk. 15:7)

At Holy Baptism and Christmation believers embrace and receive the treasure of the Christian life. When exiting the Baptismal fount, believers go into the world and intentionally and unintentionally sin against God.

At each fraction of time, decisions are made drawing believers closer to God or further from God. At each fraction of time, decisions are made which are pleasing to God and consistent with the ways of God or they are the opposite.

Not all believers returning to God are observed having the dramatic return of the Prodigal Son. The Holy Scriptures indicate every return to God by a believer is pleasing to God.

Today is a day closer to the beginning of Great Lent. Today is a day closer to Holy Week and to Pascha. Today is a day closer to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each day arrives only once as a precious gift from God. Believers choose the way each day will be used. Will each day be an investment in the Kingdom of God? Will each remaining day of our lives be lived to the glory of God?

Will we treat each day as a gift from God and demonstrate our appreciation to God in return? Will we live the remaining days of our lives as returning Prodigal Sons or Daughters or will we squander our Christian lives in idle and vain pursuits?

St. Isaac the Syrian said: "This life has been given to you for repentance: do not waste it in vain pursuits."

The approach of Great Lent is an exciting time. It is a time of readiness. This is a time to clear our minds and prepare our bodies. This is a time to think about the journey ahead and the necessary tasks that remain in preparation.

Orthodox Christians are expected to greet Great Lent with the seriousness of the time. Orthodox Christians are expected to value the condition of their souls and to care for their souls.

The value of the soul is readily apparent in these words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul" (Mt. 16:26)

The love of God is apparent in the actions of the father greeting his returning son in the present Gospel. The joy of God is apparent in the return of the sinner as symbolized by the celebration of the father in the present Gospel.

Return to God while there is time. Seek the forgiveness of God while there is time. Partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ while there is time. Experience the weightlifting from the heart granted by Holy Confession while there is time.

Let us care for our lives in a way that we like the Mother of God can say:"My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." (Lk. 1:46-47).
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 6 / February 19, 2006
Sunday of the Prodigal Son.
St. Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople.
St. Boucolus Bishop of Smyrna.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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