St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 474 - February 4 / February 17, 2008


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 4 / February 17, 2008
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
No. 474

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

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

Recent Services
February 10
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Twelve people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants.
February 11
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 12
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Two people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant.
February 13
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 14
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 15
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Three people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant.
February 16
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read at St. George Church.
Eleven people came for Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont, W.Va.
Two people came to St. George Church for Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

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

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

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

Thursday
6:30 PM followed by class at 7:00 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

February 17 - Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, Continued Annual Meeting.
February 22 - Leave-taking of the Meeting of the Lord.
February 23 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son
February 26 - St. Simeon the Mryrrhgusher
March 2 - Meatfare Sunday
March 9 - Cheesefare Sunday
March 16 - Sunday of Orthodoxy

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

Parish Life

Sympathy extended to the family of +Michael Mercadante having departed this life at a young age.

Today the Annual Meeting will be continued to discuss the By-law amendments.

Today a molieban is being served in all churches of the Diocese due to a crisis in Kosovo.

If you do not celebrate you family Slava, it is time to begin.

If you have not been to Holy Confession and Communion recently, it is time to prepare.

Remember the men and women working in dangerous occupations including those in the mines and criminal justice agencies, the police, correctional officers and parole agents.

Remember the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, those in rehab centers, nursing homes, jails and prisons. Remember the staff members and caretakers.

Remember the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.

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

When making funeral arrangements, please talk to the parish priest to ensure the arrangements are consistent with the practices of the Holy Orthodox Church.

Two people came to Adult Class last Thursday. Class again this Thursday.

Prayer from Molieben in Time of War

O Lord Who didst help meek David to defeat the Philistines, do Thou also grant assistance through the weapon of the Cross unto our governing authorities that they may cast down our enemies. Show us Thine ancient mercy, that, in truth, they may understand that Thou art our God, and that we who are calling upon Thee may be victorious.

(Book of Needs Vol. 4. St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1999 )

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

To Consider

Kosovo only as Serbian.
Kosovo worth always defending.
Kosovo-sacred land.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 12 - Went to Washington Hospital to be with parish family.
February 14 - Went to Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh to visit parishioner.
February 14 - Went to Diocesan Center
February 15 - Attended funeral of +Michael Mercadante. Blessed three residences
February 16 - Served Divine Liturgy in Fairmont, West Virginia at Holy Trinity Mission.

From the Desert Fathers

Abba Poemen said, "Many of our Fathers have become very courageous in asceticism, but in fineness of perception there are very few."


Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee 2008

Luke 18:10-14

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, "God, I thank You that I am not like other men---extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner.!" "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

The present Gospel message is a lesson in the value of humility and the perils of pride. While it is good to be faithful in following the practices of the Church, if a believer strays from Christian love in the process, peril exists.

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up..." (I Cor. 13:4) Christian love is the hallmark of the serious believer.

Christian love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and is accompanied by "joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..." (Gal. 5:22-23)

The Pharisee focused on practices which he believed set him apart and above the tax collector. The Pharisee considered himself much better than others. He proceeded to tell God how much better he was and who exactly had a lesser standing.

The tax collector knew very well he was a sinner. The tax collector knew very well he had transgressed. He did not seek to be elevated by God. He simply sought the mercy of God.

Today's society is full of crassness and fast-paced living. Today's society is full of behavior at the extreme with individuals demanding more and more in financial compensation.

Many athletes, entertainers, corporate executives and others demand and expect compensation at amounts exceeding human comprehension. Christian values may never be a factor in the process.

The Lord Jesus Christ held up as the good example the widow who put two mites into the treasury. She gave all she had. (Lk. 21:1-4) Full faith in God was exhibited by the widow.

The tax collector had faith in God. The tax collector turned to God not to tell God how good he was. He turned to God knowing God could forgive his sins. The tax collector had courage to admit his sinfulness and seek the mercy of God.

Personal recognition of sins is an important first step on the return to living in ways pleasing to God. When a person admits personal sin, the person can repent of that sin and seek God's forgiveness and help in combating the sin.

The Pharisee made no mention of personal sin. His behavior indicated he probably considered he was sinless and deserving of recognition. We find sin in our heart. We find sin in our mind. We find sin in our actions.

Sin comes in the form of thinking or doing things in conflict with the ways of God. Sin comes in the form of not doing things pleasing to God. Sin comes in the form of harboring feelings towards others that are ripe with envy or anger or worse.

Great Lent is coming soon. Orthodox believers can benefit greatly from Great Lent. The decision of the degree of benefit rests with each believer. Each believer determines the seriousness accorded Great Lent.

The tax collector knew the value of coming before God in great humility. Prostrations are very much a part of Great Lent. Each believer has the opportunity to fall down before God to pray St. Ephrem's Prayer.

Every believer has the opportunity throughout the year to pray the prayer used by the tax collector. The prayer has come to be known as the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."

The Lord Jesus Christ's crucifixion has the power to change lives today. The Lord Jesus Christ's crucifixion has the power to change each life today. Each person determines whether to fall down before the Crucified Christ.

Each person determines if he or she will make the long journey to the Cross and share in the immeasurable joy of the Resurrection. The Pharisee stood before God to say he had done good with no reference to sin.

The Publican bowed before God seeking mercy and forgiveness. The content of his heart and mind were reflected in his words and actions. Being a Christian is a serious undertaking.

Christians experience joy. Christians have certain far reaching responsibilities. The Cross and the Resurrection go together. Christian joy is not separated from Christian responsibilities.

Believers are expected to follow Christ from the time of Holy Baptism to the time of departure from this life. It can be a long time. It can be a short time. Regardless the length of time involved. Faithfulness to Christ is the daily expectation.

Faithfulness to Christ is not limited to certain times of the year. Faithfulness to Christ is not limited to certain of the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ said: "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 5:19)

Each person reaps the consequences of his or her choices.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 4 / February 17, 2008
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee.
Venerable Isidore of Pelusium.
St. Nicolas the Confessor.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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