St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 374 - February 20 / March 5, 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 20 / March 5, 2006
Forgiveness Sunday / St. Leo of Catania
No. 374

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

Romans 14:22

Do you have faith? Have it yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

Services This Past Week
February 26
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist for Communion, Matins and First Hour.
Twenty-seven people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant.
February 27
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Canon to the Mother of God, Matins and First Hour.
One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 28
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Canon to the Mother of God, Matins and First Hour.
Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
March 1
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God.
March 2
Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God were read.
One person came for Matins and First Hour.
Two people came for the Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to St. George.
March 3
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ and Canon to the Mother of God, Matins and First Hour.
One person came for Akathist to the Cross and Akathist to Jesus Christ.
March 4
One person came to St. George Church for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to Communion, Matins and First Hour.
Seven people came to Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont, West Virginia for Divine Liturgy. The Third and Sixth Hours were read prior to Divine Liturgy.
Three people came to St. George Church for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule
Mornings
5:30 AM Daily Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts Wednesday and Friday at 8:00 AM.
Divine Liturgy on Saturday at 8:00 AM.

Afternoons
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday at 4:00 PM. Thursday at 6:00 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today March 5 - Forgiveness Sunday, 5:30 PM, St. Sava Church, Mckeesport Vespers.
March 6 - Great Lent begins.
March 11 - Theodore Saturday
March 12 - Sunday of Orthodoxy Service-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, fsMt. Lebanon at 5:00 PM.
March 19 - Lenten Vespers St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church, Aliquippa at 5:30 PM.
March 26 - Lenten Vespers St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Midland at 5:30 PM.
April 1 and 2 - Serb Wings come to St. George Church to sing at services.
April 2 - Lenten Vespers Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church, Steubenville at 5:30 PM.
April 7 - Annunciation
April 9 - Lenten Vespers St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels at 5:30 PM.

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

Parish Life

Thank you to the Kolo for baking this past week. Helpers needed each week.

Four people came for the Adult Class this past Thursday to discuss Great Lent. Class again this Thursday.

Honor the Fast until the Paschal Divine Liturgy. You will help the parish by this effort.

Father Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Seminary will be at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in New Salem on March 17 in the evening to serve and speak. If you plan to go, notify Father Rodney. Thank you.

The Clergy Brotherhood of Pittsburgh is sponsoring an icon festival next weekend at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church. See the bulletin board for details.

Frances Dragich has joined those having listened to the parish radio program. Do you listen? Do your family members or friends listen? Make it known.

Help the parish by honoring the fast during Great Lent.

Pray for miners, living and departed.

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

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.

Pray as much as you can each day.

Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija

A Thought From His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN

The spiritual strength of any Christian is in his firm and steadfast faith, trust in the Lord and the fulfilling of God's will in his or her life. In the same way, the spiritual strength and richness of any parish is in the pure and strong faith of the individual members and the parish as a whole. It is in submitting our wills to God's will; submitting our ways to the Lord Jesus Christ as our Way; in obeying the Gospel of our Savior through the acceptance of His Teachings as preserved and taught by the One, Holy, Apostolic and Orthodox Church.

(His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN. "A Pastoral Letter on Gambling." The Path of Orthodoxy. April 2001, p. 15)

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

To Consider

The effect of the forgiveness of God through the centuries.
The effect of the forgiveness in families and among friends.
The effect of forgiveness in a parish.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 28 - Blessed one house.
March 2 - Visited home of friends of parish.
March 4 - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, West Virginia.

From the Desert Fathers

Abba Poemen said "Do not give your heart to what does not satisfy your heart."

Forgiveness Sunday 2006

Mt. 6:14-21

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Every year Forgiveness Sunday is on the Orthodox liturgical calendar. Forgiveness Sunday marks the arrival of Great Lent. Forgiveness Sunday is the opportunity to begin the Great Fast in peace and repentance.

The arrival of Forgiveness Sunday stimulates thoughts about the days ahead. Ideally, believers end the Great Fast as better Orthodox Christians than they began.

Ideally, believers view the Great Fast as the time to invest in the Kingdom of God. The Gospel emphasizes the importance of laying up treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not consume and thieves cannot break in an steal.

Serious believers use the time of the Great Fast to assess personal practices and exercises of faith. Serious believers assess whether or not they are true to the baptismal commitment proclaiming Jesus Christ as King and as God.

The days on earth in our present physical bodies are finite.
The days in our present physical bodies are limited. (Ps.90:10)
We are created in the image and likeness of God and need to
give glory to God in the way we live. (Gen.1:26-27)

Believers are prudent when paying careful attention to the life given by God. The Psalmist cautions that we should number our days to gain a heart of wisdom (Ps. 90:12).

Believers set goals for themselves. Believers dream about what they want to do in life. Believers work toward a certain end in life. The dreams we have, the goals we have, the work we perfom should be pleasing to God.

We do not live on this planet alone. We do not live alone in the Church. We are connected to each other. We are united in Christ. The Holy Apostle Paul told the Ephesians: "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism." (Eph. 4:4-5).

Forgiveness is central to the present Gospel. Forgiveness is an essential part of Christianity. Forgiveness of sins gives believers the opportunity to begin anew. Forgiveness of sins gives men and women who have fallen away from the Church, the opportunity to return.

Forgiveness lifts weights from the shoulders and hearts of the forgiven. Forgiveness reduces or eliminates anxiety and is replaced by peace. Forgiveness restores and heals broken and troubled relationships.

The love of God was manifested on the Cross. The love of God is manifested in daily life. We experience the love of God when we partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. We experience the love of God when our sins are forgiven in Holy Confession.

Careful analysis of our thoughts and behavior will lead to an understanding of our sins. Careful understanding of the Holy Gospel and the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ help us to focus on our sins.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are weapons in the battle against sin. Prayer fasting and almsgiving are essentials of the Great Fast. The Great Fast is a time to train our bodies, to train our minds, to focus our hearts upon God.

Believers are required to focus on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Believers are strengthened only when following Christ. Tempations arise in life. The Epistle of St. James states: "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:2-3).

Patience is necessary during the Great Fast. Each day is a challenge. Focusing on Jesus Christ is necessary throughout the period.

The Gospel of St.Matthew describes Jesus being tempted when Jesus fasted forty days. The tempter said to Jesus: "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." (Mt. 4:3).

If Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil, we, too, will be tempted. The possibility of temptations is not cause to fear. When we are true to God and the ways of God, there is reason for confidence in God.. The First Epistle of St. John states: "Perfect love casts out fear." (IJn. 4:18)

The present Gospel establishes heaven as the place by which we are to measure our thoughts and our efforts. The present Gospel establishes heaven as the place to direct our thoughts and efforts.

Accomplishments on earth take on meaning when they are pleasing to God. Accomplishments on earth take on meaning when they are consistent with the ways of God.

Believers are expected to progress. Forgiveness Sunday each year is expected to make a decided difference in each believer's life. Serious believers' lives will conform more with the ways of God as time progresses.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: "You will know them by their fruits...a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit." (Mt. 7:16-18) Our investments reveal where our hearts are.

The way we use our time, our talents and our resources reflects the values we hold most important. If what we do is not pleasing to God, the time to change is now.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 20 / March 5, 2006
St. Leo of Catania.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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