St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 477 - February 25 / March 9, 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 25 / March 9, 2008
Forgiveness Sunday
No. 477

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

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

Recent Services
March 2
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Twenty-six people came for Divine Liturgy. Three communicants.
March 3
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
March 3
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Three people came for Ninth Hour, Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Cross.
March 4
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour were read.
Two people came for Akathist to Holy Trinity and Akathist to the Cross.
March 5
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
March 6
Midnight Office, First and Third Hours were read.
Pomen at funeral home for Mildred Pritz.
March 7
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour were read.
Funeral for Mildred Pritz with burial in St .George Cemetery.
Ninth Hour and Vespers read.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

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

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

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

Saturday
10:00 AM-Divine Liturgy, Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

March 9 - Cheesefare Sunday, 5:30 PM, 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, 5:30 PM Vespers, St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa.
March 30 - Sunday of the Cross, 5:30 PM Vespers at St. George Church, Midland
April 6 - Sunday of St. John Climacus
April 13 - Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt- 5:30 PM Our 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

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

Pray for the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija


Parish Life

Sympathy extended to the family and friends of +Mildred Pritz.

Thank you to the St. George Choir for being present for pomens, funerals and parastoses. It is always appreciated.

Great Lent begins with Vespers this evening.

Make a serious effort to honor all of Great Lent.

Prepare to come to Holy Confession and Communion during Great Lent.

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.

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

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.

Do you listen to the St. George radio program each week. Do you tell your friends and relatives to list. Do you tell others about the St. George and Diocesan websites?

One person came to Adult Class this past week. No class this week.

A Thought from the Lenten Triodion

When I call to mind the many evils I have done, and I think upon the fearful day of judgement, seized with trembling I flee to Thee for refuge, O God who lovest mankind. Turn not away from me, I beseech Thee, who alone art free from sin; but before the end comes grant compunction to my humbled soul and save.

(The Lenten Triodion, Translated by Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware. Faber and Faber, London, 1984, p. 188 )

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

To Consider

Prayer
Fasting
Almsgiving

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

March 2 - Conference call on Christian Education.
March 4 - Went to Fairmont General Hospital to visit patient.
March 4 - Went to Smithfield to bless residence of parishioner.
March 4 - Attended lectures on Disaster Preparedness at West Virginia University.
March 5 - Took friends of parish to central Allegheny County.
March 6 - Went to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va. to be with family during surgery. Later in day blessed three homes in Greene County.
March 7 - Went to Diocesan Center in Mars. Visited patient at Southwest Regional Medical Center, Waynesburg. Served pomen in the evening at funeral home.
March 8 - Funeral for Mildred Pritz.

From the Desert Fathers

Abba Poemen said that Abba Anthony used to say, 'The greatest thing a man can do is to throw his faults before the Lord and to expect temptation to his last breath."


Forgiveness Sunday

Matthew 6:14-21

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Today's Gospel lesson is a beautiful lesson. The Gospel tells us how to get along with others. Today's Gospel connects our relationships with others with our relationship with God.

Our relationship with God and our relationship with people are absolutely interconnected. St. John said: "If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (I Jn. 4:20)

The Lord's Prayer is said regularly by Christians. In the Lord's Prayer, forgiveness of our trespasses by God is connected with our forgiveness of others. The theme is consistent with the present Gospel.

The feeling is wonderful to be at peace with the people we meet in life. The feeling is wonderful to be at peace with God. Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians said: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Gal.5:22-23) May God grant our world leaders these fruits.

To achieve the fruit of the Holy Spirit, a person begins by heeding the words in the present Gospel: "Lay up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Mt. 6:29)

If we treasure Christ in our lives, we will devote our lives to Christ. We will adopt goals consistent with pleasing Christ. We will treasure our unity with Christ. We will treasure the love of Christ. We will treasure knowledge of Christ.

When our lives are consumed by the love of Christ, the words of St. Paul will resonate in our hearts. St. Paul said: "I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:38-39)

The love of God which St. Paul spoke of was a binding love. St. Paul spoke of a love clearly manifested when the Lord Jesus Christ went to the Cross. This is a love not weakened by the passing of centuries. This is an enduring love for all ages.

At the conclusion of the Orthodox Funeral Service, we sing "Memory Eternal!" We pray for believers to hear at the Second Coming, "Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Mt. 25:34)

In this life we choose the goals we will pursue. A small percentage of people "seek first the kingdom of God." (Mt. 6:33, Mt. 7:14). Many people are consumed with accumulating material wealth. Many people are consumed with certain activities or pursuits which lead far from the kingdom of God. Many people are occupied with interests having nothing to do with the kingdom of God and may be directly contrary to the way to the kingdom.

Today's Gospel comes at a time of transition in the liturgical year of the Holy Orthodox Church. The time to begin Great Lent is at hand. At Vespers this evening, we will hear the words: "Let us set out with joy upon the season of the Fast, and prepare ourselves for spiritual combat." 1

How many across the world will set out in due seriousness upon this fast? How many in this parish will honor the fast for the duration? The parish benefits when believers honor Great Lent.

The parish benefits when parishioners fast and pray. The parish benefits when parishioners forgive each other and seek to be at peace with each other. The parish and the community benefits when Christ's love permeates relationships.

We know from the Holy Apostles chosen to follow Christ and blessed to be with Christ, that everyone does not remain true to Christ. Judas fell away and betrayed Christ. Judas was among the chosen but did not remain true to his calling.

Everyone baptized into Christ does not remain true to the baptismal commitment throughout life. Wise individuals knowing when they have strayed, repent and return to Christ seeking forgiveness and mercy.

Many attractions exist in the world. Many interests, many activities, many different material items can appeal to a person. Jesus said to lay up treasurers in heaven. Nobody can rob a person of treasures in heaven.

Only the person who lays up treasures in heaven can tarnish those treasures. Sin can divert a person and can cause a fall for the person initially seeking the kingdom of God

Vigilance is necessary throughout life. Great Lent is a time for vigilance. Great Lent is a time for repentance. Avoiding the traps and temptations of life is necessary during Great Lent and throughout the year.

The wise person chooses to lay up treasures in heaven and lives in ways pleasing to God. By God's grace, mercy and forgiveness, the vigilant person can remain to true to Christ;

1The Lenten Triodion Translated by Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware. Faber and Faber, London, p. 181


St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 25 / March 9, 2008
St. Tarasius.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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