St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 476 - February 18 / March 2, 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 18 / March 2, 2008
Sunday of the Last Judgement
No. 476

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

Ephesians 6:23

Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Recent Services
February 25
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Twenty-one people came for Divine Liturgy. Three communicants.
March 1
One person came for reading of Ninth Hour and Vespers.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour. Divine Liturgy.

5:30 AM Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

Monday, Tuesday at 4:00 PM.

6:30 PM followed by Adult Class.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

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
April 6 - Sunday of St. John Climacus
April 13 - Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, Parish hosts Lenten Vespers
April 20 - Palm Sunday
April 21 - Great and Holy Monday
April 22 - Great and Holy Tuesday
April 23 - Great and Holy Wednesday
April 24 - Great and Holy Thursday
April 25 - Great and Holy Friday
April 26 - Great and Holy Saturday

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Pray for the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija

Parish Life

St. George Church lost a friend last week when Joe Ferranti fell asleep in the Lord. Many Serbian children and families benefited from the extraordinarily large quantity of shoes donated by Mr. Ferranti after the bombing in Kosovo.

The St. George Kolo recently was the beneficiary of a large quantity of walnuts from Jack York of Walmart. The Kolo is grateful for this generous contribution.

Monetary donations are being accepted immediately and will continue to be accepted to help the needy in Kosovo. When donating, please designate the contribution for Diocesan Relief Fund. The situation is urgent.

We are in the preparatory time for Great Lent. In the gradual preparation, beginning tomorrow, meat products are not to be eaten until Pascha.

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.

A Thought from St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Contemplate therefore the Bread and Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for though sense suggests this to thee, let faith establish thee. Judge not the matter from taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that thou hast been vouchsafed the Body and Blood of Christ.

(St. Cyril of Jerusalem Lectures on the Christian Sacraments. Edited by F.L. Cross. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1977, p. 69. )

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

To Consider

The meaning of Kosovo and Metohijia to the Serbian People.
The importance of the rule of law in a just society.
Respect for Orthodox churches, monasteries and believers.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 27 - Attended Vespers at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, State College, Pa.
February 29-March 1, 2008 - Attended Diocesan Assembly-Monroeville, Pa.

From the Desert Fathers

Abba Gregory said, 'These three things God requires of all the baptized: right faith in the heart, truth in the tongue, temperance in the body.'

The Sunday of the Last Judgement

Matthew 25:31-46

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' Then He will say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they will also answer Him saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?" Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

The Gospel for today is very strong and direct. Believers are wise to take personal inventory and carefully prepare for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ is going to come in glory. He is going to judge. Individuals will be called to the kingdom and experience eternal life or go to everlasting punishment.

Standing for judgement carries with it the implication of stress. The Gospel speaks of the value of feeding the hungry, receiving the stranger, visiting the sick and the imprisoned and clothing the naked.

Throughout the year, believers should be conscious of this Gospel. Each person in need should be treated as Christ. Jesus said: "Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Mt. 25:40)

In this hurried and commercial filled world, it is easy to become callous to individuals in need. Christians can face appeals for help on a daily basis. Appeals for help can appear to become unnending.

The Serbian People in recent years have been faced with crisis after crisis. Large numbers of individuals have experienced great need. As a result of the war in Bosnia, Serbs faced great hardship. All wounds are not healed. Help is still necessary for many.

In Kosovo and Metohija now and in recent years, Serbian People have been in great need. The need for shelter, the need for food, the need for safety, the need for support, the need for recognition as God-fearing and God-loving People has been paramount.

Today's Gospel cries out for those whose voices need heard. Today's Gospel cries out for those in the greatest of need. Today's Gospel cries out to help the homeless, the helpless, the hungry, the stranger, those in need of clothing, those sick and in prison.

The Holy Apostle Paul said: "Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Gal. 6:9) The journey to the kingdom of God can be long and difficult.

The Holy Orthodox Church is preparing for the imminent arrival of Great Lent. The Cross is an ever-important part of consciousness for Great Lent. The Cross looms large when Holy Week nears the most far-reaching of conclusions.

Today and everyday, believers are expected to reach out in love and with dignity to help the needy. The Holy Apostle Paul said: "Love never fails." (I Cor.13:8). Acting in love requires confidence and faith in God.

A person must believe in God and have great confidence in God to live each day in love. Treating each person with the love of Christ can be counter to public opinion.

Treating each person with the love of Christ can be a test of integrity, a test of faith, a test of patience. It is not easy to love everyone as if the person was Christ. It is not easy to give to each person truly in need as if the person was Christ.

Remaining patient, remaining resolute, remaining faithful to Christ requires complete faith in Christ and complete confidence in Christ. To fulfill the spirit of the Gospel of the Last Judgement, the believer needs to maintain hope.

Hope carries a person forward. Hope summons a person to draw near to Christ. Hope in Christ provides the strength to endure in moments of doubt and difficulty.

Serbian Orthodox Christians have St. Lazarus and the martyrs of Kosovo as beacons of hope and sources of prayerful intercession to carry on in helping present individuals in need.

God is a good, merciful, kind and loving God. All individuals face judgement. Perils come when bad choices are made. Wise believers heed the words of Christ and help as best they can.

The plight of the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija and individuals met during the course of daily life must be addressed.

Today and each day, let us heed the words of the Lord Jesus Christ and do all that we can to treat each and every person as the very Christ Himself. Then can we expect to hear: "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Mt. 25:34)
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 18 / March 2, 2008
Sunday of the Last Judgement.
St. Leo of Rome.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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