St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 524 - January 19 / February 1, 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 19 / February 1, 2009
Zacchaeus Sunday
No. 524

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

Romans 3:31

Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not. On the contrary, we establish the law.

Recent Services
January 23
Vespers was read.
January 24
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour were read at St. George Church.
Twelve people came to Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Fairmont, W.Va. for Divine Liturgy and Blessing of the Water.
The Monongahela River was blessed in Fairmont.
One person came for Ninth Hour and Vespers at St. George Church.
January 25
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour were read.
Twenty-eight people came for Divine Liturgy. Three communicants.
January 26
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour were read. Vespers was read.
January 27
Matins was read. Ninth Hour and Vespers was read.
January 28
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour were read.
One person came for the reading of the Akathist to the Holy Spirit, Akathist to the Mother God the Healer, and Akathist to Sophia, Faith, Hope and Love.
One person came for the reading of the Akathist to the Lord Jesus Christ and Akathist to the Cross.
January 29
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour were read.
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
January 30
Matins and First Hour were read.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour. Third and Sixth Hours followed by Divine Liturgy.

5:30 AM Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

4:00 PM on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

6:30 PM followed by Adult Class at 7:00 PM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

February 1 - Parish St. Sava Program-Covered Dish.
February 7 - St. Gregory the Theologian
February 12 - Holy Three Hierarchs
February 15 - Presentation of the Lord
February 26 - St. Simeon the Myrrhgusher
February 27-28 - Diocesan Assembly
March 1 - Forgiveness Sunday

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Remember the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija

Parish Life

Thank you to all staying for the Annual Meeting.

Congratulations to all re-elected officers and reappointed tutors.

Thank you for all supporting the St. Sava program today.

Annual St. Sava programs become life-long memories.

Remember the founders and benefactors of this church during the past 54 years.

Remember the steady workers in the parish each year.

Remember the people daily living an Orthodox Christian life in the parish.

Remember the people who support and contribute to the parish in any way.

Remember the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, those in rehab centers, the homebound, the mentally ill and their caretakers and the institution staffs.

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

Remember the workers in mines, law-enforcement, corrections, probation and parole and firefighters, all working in dangerous occupations.

One person came for Adult Class this past week. Class again this Tuesday.

Each parishioner is a missionary for the Church.

Tell your family and friends to listen to the parish radio broadcast each week.

If any parishioner has a question about the Divine services of the Church, ask Father Rodney or attend the Adult classes.

Today's collection will go to support the students at St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, Illinois.

St. Sava School of Theology is the only Orthodox School of Theology under the auspices of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States.

A Thought from His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN

There is no Mystery outside of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. The Church is the eternal altar on which is accomplished the Holy Mystery, and the priest is the one who offers the sacrifice. By it all the members of the Church live and are fulfilled with every gift of grace. The Holy Eucharist is the greatest manifestation of God's love for man.

(The Teachings of Saint Apostle Paul on the Church Translation by Protopresbyter Stefan Zaremba. 2001, pp. 65 - 66) )

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

To Consider

St. Sava in the life of each Serbian Orthodox Christian.
St. Sava programs held throughout the world.
St. Sava remembered through the centuries.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 24 - Served at Holy Trinity Mission Church in Fairmont, W.Va.
January 25 - Attended Parish Annual Assembly.
January 25 - Went to a parish family celebration.
January 27 - Went to St. George Church in Midland.
January 29 - Attended a Slava celebration.

From the Wisdom of Sirach

The Lord has not enabled his holy ones to recount all His marvelous works, which the Lord Almighty has established that the universe may stand firm in his glory.

Zacchaeus Sunday
Luke 19:1-10

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was short of stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house' So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.' Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

The arrival of Zacchaeus Sunday is a call to serious for believers. Zacchaeus Sunday is the sounding of the bell. Great Lent is not far way. Believers need to get their lives in order and prepare for the journey.

Serious believers view the arrival of Zacchaeus Sunday with warm welcome. The time has arrived to carefully think about the condition of the soul and the steps necessary to purify the soul.

Serious believers want a soul pleasing to God. Zacchaeus sets an example of wanting to please God. He made amends for his wrongs. He gave half his goods to the poor and restored fourfold to those he deceived.

Zacchaeus' actions reflect his repentance. Serious believers' actions reflect their repentance. Repentance is a change of heart and admission before God of personal sin. Trust in God is necessary to confess sin.

Confessing personal sins to God entails believing the confession is good for the soul and that God will receive the confession as intended. God knows the hearts of believers at the time of confession.

The believer's disposition makes the difference at the time of Holy Confession. God knows when the confession comes from the heart and is motivated by a change of heart to begin anew.

The serious believer is concerned about the condition of the soul and looks to Zacchaeus as a model of inspiration. Jesus told Zacchaeus salvation had come to his house. Jesus was welcome in the house of Zacchaeus.

Zacchaeus exerted effort to see Jesus. He did not lament that he was short of stature. He did not give up in despair due to the effort required in repentance. He believed in God and acted upon the hope that God provides.

Zacchaeus ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a tree to ensure he would see Jesus. People today have the same opportunities to experience Jesus. People repenting today experience the forgiving Christ.

Jesus was criticized for being the guest of a sinner. It is important to remember Jesus' words: "I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." (Mt. 9:13)

Jesus welcomes sinners coming to Him in faith. The Parable of the Prodigal Son is a perfect example of the joy experienced when a sinner returns to his or her home (Lk. 15:11-32)

With the arrival of Zacchaeus Sunday, each person decides whether to seriously begin thinking about Great Lent. Great Lent is an invitation to all believers. Only a certain amount of believers will honor Great Lent entirely.

The Christian life requires investment. Zacchaeus invested effort to see Christ. Zacchaeus expended his personal funds to repair the wrong he did. He wanted to ensure he was in good standing with God.

The actions Zacchaeus took did not only affect him. His actions affected other. The people Zacchaeus helped benefited from his generosity. The people whose losses he restored experienced goodness.

The good a person does benefits others. Recipients of Christian good will think about Christ and the motivations of Christians. Recipients of Christian good may have increase in hope and be less cynical.

Believers acting on their faith will influence family members neighbors, and individuals met in daily life. Doing good daily is a way to combat and stem evil.

Remaining silent in the face of evil is viewed as being tolerant of or in agreement with evil that is taking place. Believers make decisions when observing evil. Acting aggressively against evil is consistent with Christianity.

Crime and unethical behavior in a community need not dominate the news. Good people acting upon their Christian faith can change a neighborhood for the better. Good people acting on their Christian faith can improve a community.

Churches in the community are prominent witnesses for ethical behavior and higher moral standards. Christians repenting of sinful ways and acting to right the wrongs they have committed set examples for community improvement.

The Gospel is a call for personal repentance. The Gospel is a call for a better way of life in the community. Nations fall, communities flounder, neighborhoods are ridden with sin when Christians fail to heed the Gospel.

God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of the multitude of sin that existed. (Gen. 18:20-19:24) The multitude of sin prevalent and unethical behavior in present times is reason to think carefully about the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The experiences of Zacchaeus are proclaimed in Orthodox churches throughout the world today. Individuals heeding the arrival of Zacchaeus Sunday take definitive steps to repent. The world is better due to their actions.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 19 / February 1, 2009
Zacchaeus Sunday.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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