St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 475 - February 11 / 24, 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 11 / 24, 2008
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
No. 475

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

2 Corinthians 1:24

Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.

Recent Services
February 17
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour were read.
Forty people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants. Parastos. Moleben for Kosovo.
February 18
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
Four people came for Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to Archangel Michael.
February 19
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour read.
Two people came for Ninth Hour and Verspes.
February 20
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.Pomen.
February 21
Midngiht Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
One person came for Akathist to St.Sava.
February 22
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
February 23
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Third and Sixth Hour and Pomen. Four people came. Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour. Divine Liturgy.

1:00, Viewing +Ljbubica Lax.

March 2nd
5:30 AM, Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour.
10:00 AM, Divine Liturgy.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today-Sunday of the Prodigal Son
February 26 - St. Simeon the Mryrrhgusher
February 29 - March 1 Diocesan Assembly, St. Nicholas Church, Monroeville.
March 2 - Meatfare Sunday
March 9 - Cheesefare Sunday, Vespers St. Sava Church, Mckeesport.
March 10 - First Day of Great Lent.
March 16 - Sunday of Orthodoxy, 4:00 PM St. Nicholas Carpatho, Russian Orthodox Church, Homestead.
March 23 - Second Sunday of Lent, Vespers St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa.
March 30 - Sunday of the Cross, Vespers St .George Church, Midland

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

Sympathy extended to the family and friends of +Ljubica Lax departed this life this past week.

Thank you tall all parishioners participating in the conclusion of the Annual Meeting last week to address the By-Law Addendum.

We are in the preparatory time for Great Lent.

Prayer the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.

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 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.

One person came to Adult Class last Thursday. No class the next two weeks.

A Thought from St. NIKOLAI (Velimirovic)

Mistaken are those who say: Kosovo stopped the wheel of our history; it held us back; if it had not been for Kosovo, we would have been a great nation today! It was Kosovo that made us a great nation. It is our national Golgotha but is at the same time our national resurrection, spiritual and moral. Yet, the holy body of Lazar's imbued with Heavenly power lies whole even today curing all human inabilities. The bodies of the other knights of the cross were not lost although they remained on the battlefield. Their bodies were sanctified by their holy souls and the entire land of Kosovo was dedicated by their holy bodies.

(Kosovo Revisited Published by the Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada, Editor Hadzi Dragan Antic. Beograd, 1989. )

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

To Consider

Sacrifices made for Kosovo.
Churches, monasteries and believers in Kosovo.
Christian prayers to God in Kosovo.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 20 - Went to Morgantown for printing purposes.
February 21 - Blessed five houses.
February 22 - Went to Diocesan Center. Went to Washington Hospital to visit patient.

From the Desert Fathers

It was said of Abba John the Persian that when some evildoers came to him, he took a basin and wanted to wash their feet. But they were filled with confusion, and began to do penance.

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

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 them his livelihood. And not many days after, the young 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 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, 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 older 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 for 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.'

God blesses each of us with time, talents and treasures. We choose how we will use the time, talents and treasures given by God. If we are shortsighted, we will not give God recognition for the blessings bestowed upon us.

If we are shortsighted, we will use the time, talents and treasures of life for personal pleasure and perhaps riotous living. We may give no second thought to our time, talents and treasures having come from God.

We may squander our time, talents and treasures in meaningless pursuits. Sooner or later, the place of God in our lives becomes apparent. If we are fortunate, God is recognized early in life.

If we are fortunate, we turn to God quickly in life. God welcomes the individual coming in faith. God welcomes the individual recognizing life is better with God. The return to God is a step toward a loving God.

The father moved toward the returning prodigal son. The father welcomed the returning son with great joy. God welcomes repentant and returning sinners. The Lord Jesus Christ said: "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." (Lk. 15:7)

The father was joyful in seeing and receiving his returning son. The father considered the returning son be alive after having once been dead. The father considered the son found after he had been lost. (Lk. 15:32)

A returning son or daughter warming welcomed by the forgiving God takes on a responsibility to live in ways pleasing to God. A person coming to Holy Confession and Holy Communion seeking forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ takes on the responsibility to live faithfully to Christ.

Returning sinners will not be perfect the rest of their days of life. Setbacks will occur. Failures will occur. Remembrance of the joyful greeting of the welcoming father can be impetus for return to God again.

God welcomes the repentant sinner who is sincere. God welcomes the person realizing he or she has failed again and needs to begin anew. At times it is important to go back and assess what has occurred.

At times it is important to appeal to God for mercy and help in beginning anew. Prayer is always necessary to begin anew and continue the effort. Repentance is always necessary.

The Psalmist said: "A broken and contrite heart, these, O God, thou will not despise." (Ps. 50/51:17) The welcoming God gives the returning sinner a new beginning. The returning sinner determines what to do with the new opportunity.

Wise individuals make good use of the new life in Christ. Wise individuals are appreciative of the forgiveness of God and the welcoming love of God. Wise individuals will constantly give thanks to God for mercy, love and forgiveness.

A life in Christ after life without thought of God is a time for personal growth and faithfulness to God. A returning sinner knows what life without God is. A returning sinner knows the difficulties, the hardships and sense of alienation that occurs when God is not central to life.

A returning sinner can become a model of repentance. A returning sinner can be an encouragement to others enslaved by sin. A returning sinner can burn with the love of Christ and can ignite the love of Christ in others.

God feeds the returning sinner just as the father provided a feast for the returning son. The Precious Body and Blood of Christ is the grand banquet of love returning sinners.

Joy exists in Christ. Christians experience that joy. The joy of Christ is paramount joy. The joy of Christ is an experience of hope. Sinners realizing the joy in Christ have reason to be grateful.

The Gospel message of the Prodigal Son is a message of eternal hope for every sinner of every century. "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." (Lk. 15:32)
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 11 / 24, 2008
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee.
Sunday of the Prodigal Son.
St. George of Kratovo, Greatmartyr.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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