St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 630 - January 31 / February 13, 2011

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 31 / February 13, 2011
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
No. 630

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

Ephesians 3:17-19

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Recent Services
February 3
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
February 4
One person came for Matins and First Hour.
Vespers was read.
February 5
Matins and First Hour were read.
Two people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers with Litya.
February 6
Matins and First Hour were read.
Third and Sixth Hours were read followed by Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Kolach and Koljivo. Seventeen people came for Divine Liturgy.

Services This Coming Week. Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Matins and First Hour. Third and Sixth Hour followed by Divine Liturgy and Parastos.

5:30 AM Matins and First Hour on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

4:00 PM Monday and Wednesday, Ninth Hour and Vespers

8:00 AM Divine Liturgy, Feast of Presentation of the Lord.
6:30 PM Akathist followed by Adult Class at 7:00 PM.

No services on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Services for Special Needs or Akathists can be scheduled on request during the week.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

Today - Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
February 15 - Feast of Presentation of the Lord, Attend the Divine Liturgy.
February 18-19 - Diocesan Assembly, Clearwater, Florida
February 20 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son
February 22 - Apodosis of the Presentation
February 27 - Meatfare Sunday
March 6 - Cheesefare Sunday
March 7 - Great Lent begins
March 13 - Sunday of Orthodoxy
March 20 - Second Sunday of Great Lent, St. Gregory Palamas

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Remember the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohijia and All Suffering People Everywhere

Parish Life

Sympathy extended to the family and friends of +Patrick Donovan recently departed this life.

Sympathy extended to the Hunchuck Family on the loss of an anticipated new member of the family.

Thank you to all participating and helping with the St. Sava Program last Sunday.

Plan to attend the Adult Class on Tuesday at 7:00 PM and learn more about the Gospel for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. Learn from Blessed Theophylact and St. Cyril of Alexandria.

Remember the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, those in rehab centers, the homebound, the mentally ill, 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.

Honor your Slava.

If you have questions about the teachings and practices of the Church, ask Father Rodney.

Bring a friend to church.

Listen to the parish radio broadcast. Encourage your family and friends to listen.

A Thought from Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rade Merick

We as congregations must honor the fasts as well as the feasts in every activity we undertake. Remembering that our first and primary purpose as Church is to worship God in faith and truth, we must emphasize and nurture a vibrant and active liturgical and spiritual life in our parish. Remembering the Great Commission of Christ to preach the Good News of salvation, we must make teaching and outreach a primary task and purpose of all our activities. In everything we do as Christ's Church we must be good examples of what it means to be Christian, and eliminate anything which dishonors Christ, and us as His followers.

( From his talk given at 2010 Diocesan Assembly )

To Consider

The Gospel themes of the Sundays leading to Great Lent.
The gradual approach of the Church to Great Lent.
Our personal efforts in preparing for Great Lent.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 3 - Blessed three homes.
February 3 - Went to Morgantown for printing purposes.
February 4 - Blessed one home.

Psalm 100/101:1

I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.

Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee

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 thankYou 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."

Each decision by a believer affects the relationship he or she has with God. Each decision influences the quality of the relationship with God. Individuals serious about God and resolute in seeking the Kingdom of God will invest proportionate time and effort. The personal attitude about the self and God is a decisive factor in the relationship. The present Gospel shows by the actions of the Pharisee that personal pride about religious practices and failure to acknowledge personal sin can be detrimental. The actions of the tax collector were viewed more favorably by the Lord Jesus Christ and made a difference in the tax collector's life.

Individuals may find it hard to be honest about personal sin. Individuals may find it hard to acknowledge personal shortcomings particularly with respect to their relationships with God. The tax collector found it within himself to admit personal sin. He found it important to come to the temple and seek the mercy of God. He wanted relieved of the weight of sin. He wanted to begin anew. Many believers come to the church seeking the mercy and forgiveness of God. Many believers come to Holy Confession and repent of their sins. They find forgiveness and begin life anew in Christ.

The Pharisee was consumed with his own perceived goodness. He did not express a need for improvement or for help from God. He sought to elevate himself before God. He held himself above the tax collector and others mentioned in the Gospel. He was content the way he was.

Every person commits sins. Every person is in need of the mercy and goodness of God. Every person needs to be vigilant against sin. The believer faces a life-long war against sin. The tax collector demonstrated it is beneficial to come humbly before God and to confess personal sin. Jesus said of the tax collector: "This man went down to his house justified rather than the other." (Lk. 18:14)

Life can be many years in length from Holy Baptism until departure from this life. Every year the Church wants believers to hear the Gospel account of the Publican and the Pharisee. The example of the tax collector being sorry for his sins before God is a lesson that has new meaning every year. Life's circumstances change from year to year. Individuals advance in age from year to year. The readiness to hear this message may change from year to year.

The love of God is manifested in the reading of the Holy Gospel. The Holy Gospel is God's way of speaking directly to individuals in the Church. The Holy Gospel is God's way of reaching out to individuals interested in their souls. The tax collector and the Pharisee show by their actions that individuals came to the temple with different purposes.

Individuals come to church with different purposes. Not everyone comes to church with a strong interest in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hopefully by hearing the Holy Gospel individuals will increase their interest in Christ. The Holy Apostle Paul was not always interested in Christ. He was a persecutor of Christians at one point in his life. In Acts we read this description of the Holy Apostle Paul after he began to preach Christ: "Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem...?" (Acts 9:20-21)

The Holy Apostle Paul went from being a persecutor to being a foremost apostle. The Lord Jesus Christ made a difference in his life. The tax collector felt God could make a difference in his life. Each person willing to repent of sins and seek the mercy of God will experience Christ making a difference in their lives.

The Holy Apostle Paul told the Ephesians: "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." (Eph. 1:7)

This is a time for a new beginning in life. Each day, each moment is a time for renewal in Christ. Sin is to be put behind and Christ is actively to be welcomed into the heart, mind and soul. The Christian life is a life of action and a life with great responsibilities. Living in Christ requires honoring the morals and ethics taught and exemplified in Christ. Living in Christ requires vigilance against sin and an active life of goodness in word, deed and thought.

Each person will live out his or her life a little differently from others as each person is an individual. The common bond among believers is Christ and His Holy Church. All that a believer does is expected to be within the realm of acceptability of Christ and His Holy Church. Dying and rising with Christ at Holy Baptism brings with it great responsibility to live as a responsible Christian during the remaining days of life.

Individuals committing sin have reason to hope. Repentance will bring forgiveness and renewal. The tax collector is an example to follow. Believes may resist taking steps to repent. The Lord Jesus Christ made it clear sinners are welcome to come to Him. He said: "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mt. 9:13). The joy of the Lord awaits those willing to repent. (Lk. 15:7)

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 31 / February 13, 2011
Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee.
Holy Unmercenaries Cyrus and John.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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