St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 526 - February 2 / February 15, 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
February 2 / February 15, 2009
Sunday of the Prodigal Son / Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.
No. 526

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

I Timothy 1:5

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.

Recent Services
February 8
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Third and Sixth Hours were read before the Divine Liturgy.
Thirty-two people came for Divine Liturgy. Four communicants.
February 9
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
February 10
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Two people came for the Akathist of Jesus Christ and Akathist to St. George.
February 11
Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour were read.
Two people were present for the Akathist to the Holy Spirit, Akathist to the Protection of the Mother of God and Akathist to St. Basil the Great.
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
February 12
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
Three people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant.
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
February 13
One person came for Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour.
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.

Services This Coming Week - Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

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

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

4:00 PM on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

6:30 PM followed by Adult Class.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

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
March 29 - Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of St. John Climacus.
April 5 - Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, St. Mary of Egypt.

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Remember the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija

Parish Life

Sympathy extended to the family of Jack and Cynthia Rose. Jack's father departed this life last week.

Two people came for Adult Class this past Tuesday to discuss "Gentleness." Class again this Tuesday.

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

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.

Read your Bible regularly..

Each parishioner is a missionary for the Church.

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

Resolve to honor Great Lent from the time of arrival.

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.

Learn the calendar of the Church. Use the calendar as a daily guide.

A Thought from Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rastko Trbuhovich

So when should we begin bringing the children to church? From the very beginning. From the time they are baptized. I know this is not easy for mothers, but it's the best thing for children to learn to feel completely at home in their church from their earliest years.

(The Voice of Saint Stephen , December 2005, January-February 2006). )

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

To Consider

Jesus being brought to the temple.
Anna the Prophetess.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

Februrary 9 - Went to the federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va.
February 10 - Blessed one restaurant.
February 11 - Went to Morgantown twice for printing purposes.
February 12 - Blessed two homes.
February 13 - Blessed two homes.

From the Wisdom of Sirach

Enoch pleased the Lord, and was taken up; he was an example of repentance to all generations.

Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Luke 15:11-32

Then He said: "A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided them his livelihood. And not many days after, the young son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants"' And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry. Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'

The Meeting of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Temple
Luke 2:22-40 1

Now when the days of her purification according to law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.(as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord."), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons." And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: "Lord, now You are letting You servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel." And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His Mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against"(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own City, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Believers have a responsibility to be serious about their Christian identity. Believers have a responsibility to strive with all their heart, soul, and mind to love God. Believers are expected to love their neighbors as themselves. (Mt. 22:37-38)

Being a believer does not only entail responsibilities. Being a believer entails experiencing the joy of Christ. Being a believer offers the opportunity for continued nourishment of the soul.

Peace in the mind, heart and soul come from taking the responsibilities of the Christian life seriously. Sin is held at bay when believers pray and fast and seek help from God.

The returning prodigal son is the constant lesson and example of the benefits of returning to God. The returning son's father welcomed him with great celebration. God welcomes sinners who repent.

The Lord Jesus Christ said: "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." (Lk. 15:7) There is no good reason to delight when a person sins.

There is good reason to delight when a person repents. Courage is necessary to be honest with the self and with God. Courage is necessary to face personal sin and resolve with God's help to bring the sin to an end. Beginning anew can be frightening and seemingly difficult. God helps the returning sinner.

The prodigal son must have felt trepidation as he returned to his father. He must have wondered how he would be received. Sinners may fear returning to God.

God's love is demonstrated everywhere and at all times. God's love clearly is evident in the account of the prodigal son. Parents do well to teach their sons and daughters the experience of the prodigal son.

Parents can never be certain when a son or daughter who has gone off to a far place may decide to return. Keeping the door open, making parental love welcoming and the parental home open are reflections of God's love.

Joseph and Mary loved Jesus enough to take Him to the temple. Parents do well to follow the example of Mary and Joseph and offer their sons and daughters to the Lord. Parental love has a profound and lasting impact on children.

Children loved regularly and consistently will not forget their upbringing. Proverbs states: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Pr. 22:6)

The journey from Holy Baptism to departure from this life varies in length of time for each individual. No one is certain of the amount of days he or she will live. Each moment of life is reason for joy and thanksgiving to God.

1The Orthodox Study Bible. St. Athanasius Academy, 1993

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 2 / February 15, 2009
Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.
Sunday of the Prodigal Son.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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