St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 377 - March 13 / March 26, 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
March 13 / March 26, 2006
Third Sunday of Great Lent
No. 377

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

Hebrews 10:38

"The just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him."

Services This Past Week
March 19
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to Communion, Matins and First Hour.
Forty-four people came for Divine Liturgy Twelve communicants.
March 20
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to the Cross, First and Third Hour with Kathisma and reading from The Ladder.
Two people came for Grand Compline.
March 21
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, First and Third Hours.
Two people came for Grand Compline.
March 22
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to the Communion First and Third Hour with Kathisma and reading from The Ladder.
Six people came for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts
March 23
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to the Cross, First and Third Hour with Kathisma and reading from The Ladder.
Two people came for Grand Compline with Canon to the Mother of God
March 24
One person came for Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to the Communion, First and Third Hour with Kathisma and reading from The Ladder.
Five people came for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. Two communicants.
March 25
The following services were read at St. George Church in the morning: Midnight Office, Canon to Jesus Christ, Akathist to Communion, Matins and First Hour.
Eight people came to Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont where also the Third and Sixth Hours were read. Two communicants.
One person came to St. George Church for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule
Mornings
Today, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM.
Wednesday - Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts at 8:00 AM.

Afternoons
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesay at 4:00 PM
Saturday - Vespers at 6:30 PM Responses by guest choir Serb Wings.

Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont
Divine Liturgy Saturday at 10:00 AM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

March 26 - Lenten Vespers St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Midland at 5:30 PM.
April 1 and 2 - Serb Wings comes 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 Church.
April 15 - Lazarus Saturday
April 16 - Palm Sunday, Christ's Entry to Jerursalem

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

Parish Life

Serb Wings, the choir from Steelton will be here next Saturday for Vespers, for Divine Liturgy on Sunday and for a brief program after lunch next Sunday. Plan to attend.

Sympathy extended to Tom and Debby Hunter. Debby's mother, Violet Miller, departed this life this past week.

Honor the fast during Great Lent until the Pachal Divine Liturgy.

Coming to church with sincerity of faith during the week is a contribution to the parish.

The Kolo continues to need helpers for the baking project. Thank you to all helping.

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.

There will be no Adult Class this week.

A Thought from Hieromonk Damascene

It was only after his repose that I learned of his former life, and of the darkness from which he had emerged. And I was even more I awe of Christ Who had transformed him into a new being, and of Fr.Seraphim himself, who had allowed his old self to be put to death so completely and, along with the Apostle Paul, had been "dying daily." I saw that not only had my first impression been true, but that it had only scratched the surface of a profound mystery which the world can never comprehend: the re-creation of a soul through the grace of Jesus Christ.

(Father Seraphim Rose. St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, California, 2003, p. xv.)

To Consider

The Cross of Christ.
The power of the Cross of Christ.
The suffering experienced by Christ on the Cross.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

March 19 - Attended Vespers, St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa.
March 20 - Blessed one house.
March 21 - Went to Washington Hospital due to parishioner having surgery. Visited home of friends of parish. Went to Uniontown Hospital due to Adult Class attendee being sick.
March 22 - Visit home of friends of parish.
March 23 - Visited parishioner in rehab center.
March 24 - Went to UPMC Montefiore and Presby Hospitals to be with a family during surgery.
March 25 - Visited parishioner in Uniontown Hospital. Served Divine Liturgy in Fairmont, W.Va.

From the Desert Fathers

It was said of Abba Or and Abba Theodore, that they laid good foundations, and at all times gave thanks to God.

Third Sunday of Great Lent, Veneration of the Holy Cross 2006

Mark 8:34-9:1

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power."

The Cross is an instrument of death. The Cross is fashioned from wood with deliberate purpose. The Cross was employed against the Son of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. The Lord Jesus Christ went to the Cross without resistance. When Jesus was confronted and betrayed, one of those with him drew a sword to defend Jesus. Jesus said " Put your sword into its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you not think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?" (Mt. 26:52-53)

Given the violence permeating our society, we may find Jesus' actions confounding We need to learn more about Christ and the way of Christ. We need to incorporate more of Christ's teachings in our daily lives. We need to become inseparable from and defined by Christ as we live and move and breathe.

The Cross of Christ is confounding. The Son of God ascending the Cross is beyond human comprehension. The love of Christ demonstrated on the Cross is beyond the full grasp of the finite mind.

That Christ can love each person in each century is beyond the comprehension of the finite mind. That Christ can love sinners and call sinners to repentance is a lesson of which we constantly need reminded.

Jesus said quite clearly He came to call sinners to repentance (Mt. 9:13). Sinners can have unsavory pasts that can be repulsive. The personal history of a sinner can be cause for concern when he or she might appear in a given church.

If we take time to carefully examine the lives of Moses, the Prophet David, St. Paul, Moses the Ethiopian and St. Mary of Egypt we might find certain aspects of their lives that would be surpising and considered unacceptable.

Heiromonk Damascene from St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood in his book about Father Seraphim Rose described the profound transformation that took place in Father Seraphim's life. The transformation was attributed to the Lord Jesus Christ. 1

The present Gospel message speaks about losing one's life for Christ in order to save one's life. It is a matter of losing our life of sin in order to live a life in Christ.

Christians need to be willing to change in certain ways throughout life. Regularly we are to battle sin and to move forward in our lives in Christ. Prayer and fasting provide armor in the battle against sin.

The Holy Apostle Paul spoke of Christian transformation when he told the Corinthians: "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2Cor. 3:18)

St. John Climacus, in his book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent intimates different levels of development in the Christian life.2 As Christians we have to be willing to change. We have to want to change in order to be more like Christ would have us to be.

Fundamentally, we take on the Christian identity at baptism and our total being is consecrated to God. We become Christian in a complete sense. At the same time, our Christian identity is always in a process of completion.

Holy Confession and Holy Communion enable the transformation to occur. Repentance of sins is the necessary prerequisite. With repentance of sins comes the responsibility to repair any damage done by our sinfulness and restore wholeness to anyone who may have been a victim of our sinfulness.

Zacchaeus is a good example for Orthodox Christians to follow. Zacchaeus said to Jesus: "Lord, Lord I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." (Lk. 19:8).

Setting our lives aright requires the mercy and goodness and assistance of God. We need to acknowledge our dependency on God. We need to be trusting of God. We need to be listening carefully to the messages God gives each of us.

The Cross of Christ is dominant in history. The Cross of Christ gives shape to history. The Cross of Christ is inextricably linked with the Resurrection of Christ.

Great Lent is a serious time for believers. Great Lent is a joyous time for believers. The love of Christ is all encompassing. The forgiveness of Christ lifts weights which can be stifling aand unbearable.

Forgiveness by Christ can restore relationships among family members and friends.

God gave us minds. God gave us time in life. If we use our minds to the glory of God, we express appreciaton to God. If we live in ways pleasing to God, we express appreciation to God. God gave us minds. God gave us time in life. If we use our minds to the glory of God, we express appreciaton to God. If we live in ways pleasing to God, we express appreciation to God.

If we love with an effort to love as Christ loved, we show appreciation to Christ. May the Cross of Christ lead to our transformation. May the Cross of Christ define our willingness to follow Christ.
1Heiromonk Damascene. Father Seraphim Rose. St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, California, 2003, p. xv.)

2Saint John Climacus. The Ladder of Divine Ascent. Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, Massachusetts, 2001.


St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
March 13 / March 26, 2006
Third Sunday of Great Lent.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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