St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 522 - January 5 / 18, 2009

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
January 5 / 18, 2009
Eve of Theophany
No. 522

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

Romans 3:21-23

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Recent Services
January 10
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour read.
Ninth Hour and Vespers read
January 11
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour read.
Twenty-one people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants.
January 12
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour read.
Ninth Hour and Vespers read.
January 13
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour read.
One person came for the Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to St. John the Baptist.
January 14
Vespers read.
January 15
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour read.
One person came for Akathist to Holy Spirit, Akathist to Mother of God, Assuager of Grief and Akathist to Holy Fathers of Mt. Athos.
Ninth Hour and Vespers read.
January 16
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour read. Vespers read.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

We are honored to have His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN with Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic here for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Great Blessing of Water and Blessing of the Monongahela River.

5:30 AM on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday

4:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday.

Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM, Feast of Theophany.

8:00 AM Divine Liturg, Synaxis of St. John the Baptist.

Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church, Fairmont, W.Va. Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. Blessing of River.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

January 19 - Theophany
January 20 - Synaxis of St. John the Baptist.
January 25 - Parish Annual Meeting
January 27 - St. Sava
February 1 - Parish St. Sava Program

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Remember the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija

Parish Life

The time for home blessings has arrived.

Happy Slava to all celebrating St. John the Baptist as their Slava.

Congratulations to Melissa Miciotto for her entry in the pie baking competition at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. She was the winner at the Fayette County Fair in 2008.

The important work of area fire fighters was once again demonstrated recently with the large fire in the buildings in Carmichaels.

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.

One person came for Adult Class this past Tuesday evening.

Every parishioner is a missionary for the Church.

It is reassuring for parishioners when they go to a hospital to know that individuals affiliated with the Church are employed in patient care.

A Thought from His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN

The aim of the Savior's advent is to rebuild in man a building to God, that man may once again become that which he was when he was created. The Savior did this by His sacrifice on the Cross, saving us objectively, and it is up to us to work on our own personal salvation. He did not merely make sacrifice and then leave us. He also gave us all the divine means by the Holy Spirit through which we will be perfected. For the true designation of man is to live in the Holy Spirit and by the holy Gospel.

(The Teachings of Saint Apostle Paul on the Church Translation by Protopresbyter Stefan Zaremba. 2001, pp. 60-61) )

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

To Consider

Jesus' baptism in the Jordan.
The honored afforded St. John the Baptist.
The message of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 10 - Went to Morgantown for printing purposes.
January 11 - Visited parishioner at Rolling Meadows. Stopped to say hello to resident at Rolling Meadows.
January 14 - Went to Diocesan Center.
January 14 - Visited parish family.
January 16 - Went to Morgantown to visit student.

From the Wisdom of Sirach

All bribery and injustice will be blotted out, but good faith will stand for ever.

The Sunday Before Theophany
Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: 'Behold I send My messenger before Your face. Who will prepare Your way before You." The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ' Prepare the way of the Lord: Make His pathways straight.'" John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached saying, "There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Eve of Theophany
Luke 3:1-18

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins., as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His pathways straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'' The he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." So the people asked him, saying "What shall we do then?" He answered and said to them, "He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him "Teacher, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Collect no more than what is appointed for you." Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do? So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages." Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. " And many other exhortations he preached to the people.

St. John the Baptist spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Lk. 3:16). Baptism by the Lord Jesus Christ is a defining moment in the life of a believer.

The serious believer is changed forever by the baptismal experience. The serious believer will think carefully and continually about the commitments made at Holy Baptism and the responsibilities assumed.

The commitment to Christ at Holy Baptism is intended as a life-long commitment. The commitment at Holy Baptism is expected to be renewed and reaffirmed with every conscious decision.

The life in Christ is not reserved for a certain age of life or for certain days of life. From Holy Baptism until departure from this life believers are expected to be committed to Christ and to live in Christ.

Christian renewal comes through prayer and fasting. Christian renewal comes through attending the Divine services, participating in the Holy Mysteries of the Church and reading the Holy Scriptures.

Christian renewal comes through repentance, through Holy Confession and Holy Communion. Serious Christians will conduct their daily lives according to the teachings and standards of Christ.

Serious Christians pray to the Holy Spirit to "come and abide in us and cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls O Good One." Care of the soul is of paramount importance throughout life.

Much work is involved in being a Christian. Being a Christian entails many responsibilities. The joy and appreciation of being a Christian are sufficient motivation for the serious believer to meet the significant responsibilities.

The Precious Body and Blood of Christ transform believers, unite believers with Christ and provides for renewal of life. Believers become "new" in Christ when repenting and partaking of Holy Communion.

The Lord God is a forgiving God, a welcoming God. The Lord God is kind and merciful. Each person benefits from the love and forgiveness of God.

Believers see God at work in daily life when they take time to look for God. God is ever-present. The Holy Apostle Paul spoke in Athens centuries ago and said: "In Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts. 17: 22-28)

The life in Christ is life that is enduring. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well: "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing into everlasting life." (Jn. 4:14)

The waters of Baptism in the Jordan River or baptismal waters at the local parish church are defining waters changed by God. Baptismal experiences are life-changing experiences.

The baptism of Lydia is recorded in the Acts of the Holy Apostles (Acts 16:12-15). Baptisms continue to take place where Lydia was baptized. A sense of the holy is identified with baptisms.

The work of the Church in the present is rooted in centuries past and continues until the Second Coming. Serious believers seek to learn more and understand more about the Baptism of Jesus, of believers through the centuries and for the future.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 5 / 18, 2009
Sunday before Theophany.
Eve of Theophany.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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