St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 631 - February 7 / February 20, 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
February 7 / February 20, 2011
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
No. 631

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

I Corinthians 13:2

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Recent Services
February 12
Matins and First Hour were read at St. George Church.
The Divine Liturgy was served at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Fairmont, W.Va. Thirteen people came.
Vespers was read at St. George Church.
February 13
Matins and First Hour were read.
Third and Sixth Hours were read followed by the Divine Liturgy and Parastos. Thirty-six people came. Three communicants.
February 14
Matins and First Hour were read.
Ninth Hour and Vespers were read.
February 15
One person came for Matins and First Hour.
Five people came for Divine Liturgy.
Three people came for the Akathist to Jesus Christ.
February 16
Matins and First Hour were read.

Services This Coming Week. Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

Third and Sixth Hours followed by Divine Liturgy. A very warm welcome to Very Reverend John Kluchko serving today.

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

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

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

Akathists and Prayers for Special Needs can be scheduled during the week on request.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

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 12 - Theodore Saturday
March 13 - Sunday of Orthodoxy
March 20 - Second Sunday of Great Lent, St. Gregory Palamas
March 27 - Third Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of the Holy Cross

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 of +Ann Secondini recently departed this life. Mrs. Secondini kept in contact with St. George Church when she left the area to live in Indiana. She wrote favorably about the St. George Church in local papers when she was in this area.

Five people came to Adult Class on Tuesday. Other individuals participate in the class via email. Class again this Tuesday at 7:00 PM. The Gospel for the Sunday of the Last Judgment will be the topic. Bring a friend and attend. Learn from Blessed Theophylact and St. Cyril of Alexandria and other time tested Church authorities.

Prepare for the Second Coming of Christ. Prepare to fully honor Great Lent.

Make your investments in the Kingdom of God.

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 every year.

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

Bring a friend to church.

Tell your friends and relatives about the parish radio and internet broadcasts.

Come to church during the week.

A Thought from +Proto Stavrofor Radovan Milkovich

Sobornost as a corporate unity, as togetherness, as conciliarity, as reconciliation, as a gathering of God's family is natural expression of twofold love: Love of God and love of our fellow God's children and our brothers and sisters. Without love not only is there no assembly that could be called a church-assembly; but there, even, is no church.

( 1219-1969 The Serbian Orthodox Church Through 750 Years. Published by the Serbian Orthodox Eastern American and Canadian Diocese, Cleveland, Ohio.1969 )

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

To Consider

The Prodigal Son in each of us.
The reaction of the Prodigal Son's older brother.
The love of the Prodigal Son's father.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 11 - Visited patient in hospital in Bridgeport, W.Va.
February 12 - Went to Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Fairmont, W.Va. for Divine Liturgy.
February 13 - Attended memorial meal following parastos for departed parishioners.

Psalm 101/102:1

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto Thee.

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

Each day brings the world closer to the glorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Each day believers have the opportunity to repent of sins. Every believer is in a far country to a certain degree as was the prodigal son. Every believer to a certain degree looks to the sufficiency of the self and gives insufficient attention to the blessings of God. Every believer squanders blessings received from God.

The return of the prodigal son to his father shows the merits and benefits of repentance. The love of the father reflects the love of God for each returning sinner. Individuals determine whether they cherish their relationship with God and are willing to do what is necessary to live in ways pleasing to God. Sin must be battled with great vigor throughout life. Care must be taken that pride does not cause a believer to become careless.

Benefits exist in honoring the fasts of the Church. Benefits exist in praying as often and as carefully as possible. Benefits exist in attending the Divine Liturgy with consistency and regularity. Holy Confession and Holy Communion restore unity with Christ and bring opportunities for beginning anew.

The prodigal son originally thought he could make his way in the world without his father. He found out he was wrong. Many people feel they can get along without God. Casual and lukewarm believers may have a residual of belief but live most of their lives inattentive to God. Being a serious Christian requires resoluteness of faith and living responsibly according to the teachings of Christ and the Church.

The prodigal son originally wanted to live life on his terms and without the presence of his father. People in each generation choose to be distant from the Church. People in each generation reject a life in Christ. Every life has a certain amount of difficulties. Christ makes the difference in facing those difficulties. Christ helps believers respond to difficulties in ways that bring peace to the heart, mind and soul.

The returning prodigal son experienced the welcoming love of his father. Individuals distancing themselves from God and God's Holy Church do well to return before it is too late. Too often men and women live out their lives in ways that are contrary to the teachings of God. Individuals living their lives without God often learn too late that they should have lived differently. It is hard to repair relationships that were destroyed by behavior contrary to the ways of God. It is hard to make up for time lost that could have been shared in love with family members and friends. It is hard to make up for time lost due to extended absences from church services.

Great Lent is the annual opportunity provided by the Church for sinners to repent and return to God. The prodigal son set an example by taking initiative to return to his father. Each person, believer or non-believer, benefits by turning to God with a repentant heart.

Drawing closer to God brings immediate and lasting benefits. Each person is heading in a certain destination by the way he or she lives daily life. The wise person chooses to seek first the Kingdom of God (Mt. 6:33) The Kingdom of God is the initial intended destination of each person being baptized. Renewal of the baptismal commitment to seek the Kingdom of God is necessary throughout life. Sin interrupts the journey to the Kingdom of God as life is lived. Unless repentance occurs, sins multiply and can devastate a person's life.

The prodigal son showed that by returning to his father, his life improved. Sinners repenting and seriously returning to a life pleasing to God realize the benefits. The Christian life entails the Cross and the Resurrection. Joy awaits those who take up their cross and follow Christ.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 7 / February 20, 2011
Sunday of the Prodigal Son.
St. Parthenius of Lampsacus.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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