St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 427 - March 5 / March 18, 2007


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 5 / March 18, 2007
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent
No. 427

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

Mark 9:19

He answered and said to him, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you?"

Services This Past Week
March 11
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
Thirty people were in church during the Divine Liturgy. Five communicants.
March 12
One person came for Midnight Office, First and Third Hours with Kathisma and reading from The Ladder.
Three people came for Great Compline.
March 13
One person came for Midnight Office, First and Third Hours with Kathisma and reading from The Ladder.
Three people came for Great Compline.
March 14
One person came for Midnight Office, First and Third Hours with Kathisma and reading from The Ladder.
Five people came for Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. One communicant.
One person came for Great Compline.
March 15
One person came for Midnight Office, First and Third Hours with Kathisma and reading from The Ladder.
Four people came for Great Compline.
March 16
One person came to read the Hours in the morning and the afternoon.
March 17
Six people came for Divine Liturgy at the YWCA in Fairmont, West Virginia.
Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers at St. George Church.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour. Divine Liturgy.

Mornings
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 5:30 AM.

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

Friday
Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts at 8:00 AM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

March 18 - Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, Vespers in Monroeville at 5:30 PM.
March 25 - Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, Vespers in Carmichaels at 5:30 PM.
March 31 - Lazarus Saturday
April 1 - The Feast of Jesus Christ's Entry into Jerusalem. Vespers at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Pgh.
April 2 - Great and Holy Monday
April 3 - Great and Holy Tuesday
April 4 - Great and Holy Wednesday

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

Parish Life

Remember parishioners recovering at home from recent hospitalizations.

Remember those in hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers, jails, prisons and the homebound. Remember those caring for them.

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

Remember the miners, those in law enforcement and corrections, probation and parole and other dangerous occupations.

Remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.

Honor the fast until the Paschal Divine Liturgy.

Prepare for Holy Confession and Communion during Great Lent.

Adult Class this Thursday at 7:00 PM.

Help the Kolo with baking and preparing for the Lenten dinner next Sunday.

Sympathy extended to the family of +Ewing "Red" Miller, retired state parole agent. Agent Miller served Fayette and Greene Counties with honor.

A Thought from St. John Climacus

Greater than baptism itself is the fountain of tears after baptism, even though it is somewhat audacious to say so. For baptism is the washing away of evils that were in us before, but sins committed after baptism are washed away by tears. As baptism is received in infancy, we have all defiled it, but we cleanse it anew with tears.

(The Ladder of Divine Ascent Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, Ma. )

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

To Consider

The journey to the Kingdom of God.
The steps to be taken along the journey.
The faithfulness required daily to enter the Kingdom of God.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

March 11 - Went to St. George Church, Midland for Lenten Vespers.
March 13 - Went to Rolling Meadows Nursing home to visit resident. Stopped to say hello to one parishioner and two additional residents.
March 15 - Went to Morgantown for printing.
March 17 - Served Divine Liturgy, YWCA, Fairmont, W.Va.

From the Desert Fathers

Abba Poemen said, 'Do not judge yourself, but live with someone who knows how to behave himself properly."


The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent

Mark 9:17-31

Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to You disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not." He answered and said to him, " O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me." Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell to the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, 'From childhood. And often he has thrown him bother into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!" When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more. Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead.." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day."

Matthew 4:25-5:1-12

Great multitudes followed Him---from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Two weeks remain until the conclusion of Great Lent. Two weeks remain until the arrival of Lazarus Saturday and the Feast of Jesus Christ's Entry into Jerusalem. Two weeks remain until we feel the immediacy of Holy Week.

Today's Gospel of St. Mark mentions the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed by one of His disciples. Believers betray Jesus Christ daily by not being faithful.

Great Lent is the time to reconcile with Christ. Great Lent is the time to return from the far country as did the prodigal son. (Lk. 15:11-32).

The heart is where the battle for Christ is won and lost. The heart is where love for Christ is nourished and nurtured. Love radiates from a Christian heart.

Repentant sinners have their hearts cleaned by Christ. Repentant sinners have Christ as the dominant occupant of their hearts.

Prayer guards the heart. Fasting increases awareness of God. Prayer and fasting keep the focus on God and life having meaning only in God. Jesus established the value of prayer and fasting in the present Gospel of St. Mark. Peace and healing come through prayer and fasting.

The Beatitudes direct attention to blessedness. The Beatitudes provide the framework for those who want to know about blessedness.

If we occupy our hearts and minds with Christ, we will learn of and value humility. Christ going to the Cross was an act of humility. Christ washing His disciples' feet was an act of humility.

Recognition of our own sinfulness and recognition of the love and bounties of God puts life into perspective. Great Lent heightens our awareness of personal sinfulness. Great Lent heightens our awareness of the need for prayer and fasting.

In the Lenten journey, the Church directs believers thoughts back to the time of creation.1 The Church provides believers with increased opportunities to partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ.

Repentance and return to Christ strengthen the believer. Repentance and return to Christ nourish the believer. Repentance and return to Christ acknowledge the prevalence of hope in Christ. Repentance and return to Christ are expressions of love for Christ.

Living in Christ brings about blessedness described in the Beatitudes. When lives do not reflect blessedness, more reasons exist for repentance, for prayer and fasting.

Reading St. John Climacus' book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent is a sound investment for the journey to God's Kingdom. The Ladder has much to say about prayer and fasting, about humility and pride, and about Christian growth.

The Fourth Sunday of each Great Lent is dedicated to St. John Climacus and brings to attention St. John's book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent.

This Sunday and the remaining days of Great Lent require our full attention. Each day increases in meaning as we prepare for Holy Week and the arrival of Pascha. The investment we make in Great Lent is an investment in the Kingdom.

Christian growth is paramount. The life in Christ is paramount. The Holy Prophet Isaiah said centuries ago: "Men have not heard nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him." (Is. 64:4).

Great Lent is about the God Who created the world. Great Lent is about the God of the Holy Prophets. Great Lent is about the God Whose Only Begotten Son went to the Cross. Great Lent is about Death, Resurrection and Redemption.

1See daily readings - First Week of Great Lent.


St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
March 5 / March 18, 2007
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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