St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 525 - January 26 / February 8, 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 26 / February 8, 2009
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
No. 525

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

Galatians 3:5

Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Recent Services
January 30
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
January 31
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour were read.
Parostos held.
Three people were present for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
February 1
Midnight Office, Matins, and First Hour were read.
Twenty-three people came for Divine Liturgy,
Blessing of Kolach and Koljivo. One communicant.
February 2
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
February 3
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Two people came for Akathist to Jesus Christ and Akathist to St. George
February 4
Matins and First Hour were read.
One person came for Akathist to the Holy Spirit, Akathist to the Mother of God the Healer and Akathist to St. Basil the Great.
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
February 5
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
February 6
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Today
Midnight Office, Matins, First Hour. Third and Sixth Hour immediately before Divine Liturgy.

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

Afternoons
4:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

Tuesday
6:30 PM followed by Adult Class.

Thursday
Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

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
March 2 - Great Lent begins.
March 8 - Sunday of Orthodoxy
March 15 - Second Sunday of Great Lent, St.Gregory Palamas
March 22 - Third Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of the Cross

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

Remember the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija

Parish Life

Thank you to all participating in and supporting the St.Sava Program.

Pearl Zivkovich, Mark, Eileen and Gregory Zivkovich were recently featured in an article reprinted in the American Srbrobran regarding the celebration of Christmas.

Stephen Zivkovich always remembers the St. George Church.

Marcy Brozik Sloneker was recently featured in the Greene County Messenger regarding the establishment of a large new retail facility in the Waynesburg area.

Remember the people who work, 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.

Two people 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.

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

If you have not been to Holy Confession and Holy Communion, it is time to prepare.

A Thought from Proto Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov

God does not die on the day we cease to believe in a personal deity but we die on the day we cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, and renewal daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond a reason.

( St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church Parish Bulletin, April 1991 )

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

To Consider

St.Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. John Chrysostom
The impact of the Three Holy Hierarchs.
The continued relevance of the Three Holy Hierarchs.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 26 - Went to Veterans Hospital in Pittsburgh to visit parishioner.
January 31 - Went to Morgantown, W.Va. for printing purposes.
February 2 - Blessed one home.
February 2 and 5 - Went to Brownsville Tri-County Hospital to visit patient.
February 5 - Went to Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Fairmont, W.Va.
February 6 - Scheduled for Shadeland Meeting at Diocese.
February 7 - Scheduled for Diocesan Council Meeting.

From the Wisdom of Sirach
43:30

When you praise the Lord, exalt Him as much as you can; for He will surpass even that.


Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee 2008
Luke 18:10-14

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, "God, I thank You that I am not like other men---extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner.!" "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Courage is necessary to plead guilty as a sinner before God. Individuals setting out from the baptismal fount do not begin the Christian life with the intention of sinning. Sinning happens throughout life.

The actual moment when a person begins to sin after baptism probably cannot be determined. To a degree it will determined by the maturity of the individual. A newly baptized adult is more apt to sin quicker than an infant.

Some Christians grow into modern day Pharisees with attitudes of superiority. Other Christians take a path in life more conforming to the way of the tax collector.

Prostrating before God and acknowledging personal sin is viewed as an admission of failure. Individuals don't like to admit failure. Societal norms and advertising are negative about personal failures,

Jesus is present to help sinners. Jesus is present to heal the broken-hearted. Jesus is present to help those individuals who find life to be very difficult.

The difference between the Pharisee and the tax collector was great. The Pharisee had an attitude of superiority. He considered himself and his actions much more worthy than the tax collector.

Jesus sided with the way of the tax collector. The tax collector was humble. The tax collector knew he needed help from God. The tax collector knew he needed to change his life to ways more pleasing to God.

We all need to change our ways to conform to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. We all need to prostrate ourselves before God and be appreciative the countless blessings we have received.

Even individuals in the most difficult of situations have reason to thank God and to repent. In times of tragedy, in times of illness, in times of hardship, repentance is beneficial as it is in time of abundance and in the absence of pain and difficulty.

We sin and fall short of the way of God each day. We judge others. We think thoughts we shouldn't think. We say things we shouldn't say. We violate the teachings and commandments of God in one way or another.

We benefit from the use of the Jesus Prayer, the prayer used by the tax collector. We benefit by saying as often as possible: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."

Shame does not exist in admitting to being a sinner. Shame exists in sinning and failing to admit the sin before God in Holy Confession. Failing to admit sin keeps a person from having the help of God in conquering sin.

Change for the better is not considered realistic without having acknowledged doing wrong in the past. Christians cannot expect to conquer sin alone. The help of God is needed.

The mercy of God, the forgiveness of God, the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the Cross enters into beginning the new life in Christ. Holy Confession and Holy Communion are essential steps for the new life in Christ.

Acting on the desire to follow Christ, to put sin behind and to begin anew is the first step. The desire to be united with Christ needs to be overwhelming. The desire for Christ must be greater than the desire for sin.

The Pharisee was blinded to his own sin. He was blinded to his judgmental attitude. He was blinded to his arrogance. The Pharisee denied himself the full benefits of religious life.

The Pharisee kept the outward form of religious life. The Book of the Holy Prophet Isaiah has reminiscent words of the Lord: "These people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me." (Is. 29:13)

To enter into the joy of the Lord, God must come first. The Christian must look beyond the self to the primary place God has in all creation, in all life and in the forgiveness of sins.

Being blinded to personal sin keeps a person from making progress. Christian growth occurs when the person lives the Christian life each day being nourished by God, being conscious of sin and fighting sin vigorously.

The Cross and Resurrection of Christ provides the vision of victory for the believer. The believer does well never to lose sight of the vision in the daily battle.

The road to the Kingdom of God has been cleared by the saints and martyrs through the centuries. The prayers of the saints and martyrs keep the road to the Kingdom open for each generation.

Men and women through the centuries who have worked for Christ's Holy Church have contributed beyond measure to the benefits and opportunities believers have today.

Christians rooted in sin today deny themselves the full life in Christ. They dishonor the sacrifices of Christians through the centuries. Sins are committed when a person is in denial and will not repent. Let us repent while there is time.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 26 / February 8, 2009
Venerable Father Xenophont and Mary.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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