St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 678 - January 2 / January 15, 2012

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

Phone 724-966-7428
Phone/Fax 724-966-7780
Cellular Phone 412-860-0944

No. 678
January 2 / January 15, 2012
Sunday before Theophany

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

Romans 5:1-2

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Recent Services
January 8
Matins and First Hour were read.
Third and Sixth Hours were read followed by the Divine Liturgy. Thirty-one people came for Divine Liturgy. Two communicants.
Akathist to the Mother of God was read.
January 9
Matins and First Hour were read.
Three people came for Divine Liturgy.
Akathist to Mother of God was read.
January 10
Matins and First Hour were read.
Akathist to Mother of God was read.
Vespers was read.
January 11
Matins and First Hour were read.
Akathist to Mother of God was read
January 12
Matins and First Hour were read.
January 13
Matins and First Hour were read.
One person came for reading of Akathist to the Mother of God.
Vespers was read.

Services This Coming Week. Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

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

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

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

8:00 AM Divine Liturgy. Blessing of Water.

8:00 AM Divine Liturgy. Blessing of Water

8:00 AM Divine Liturgy.

Akathists and Prayers for Special Needs held on request.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Thanksgiving

Important Dates

January 15 - Parish Annual Meeting. Plan to stay for the meeting today.
January 18 - Holy Cross Day
January 19 - Theophany
January 20 - Synaxis of St. John the Baptist
January 22 - Blessing of the Mon River
January 26 - Apodasis of Theophany
January 27 - St. Sava
January 29 - St. Sava Program and Covered Dish Dinner. Chains of Holy Apostle Peter.

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

All visitors are warmly welcome.

All visitors are warmly welcome.

Thank you to all planning to stay for the Annual meeting today.

Celebrate the Feast of Theophany in church this week

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

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

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

Prepare for Holy Confession and Communion regularly.

Let the love of Christ guide all your decisions and activities.

Celebrate your Slava each year..

Adult classes will resume this Wednesday at 3:00 PM. Plan to attend.

Ask the priest if you have questions about the teachings or practices of the Church.

Come to Adult classes to learn more about the Holy Gospel.

Bring a friend or relative to church the next time you come.

Tell your friends and family about the parish radio broadcasts.

Look at the twenty videos about the parish on You Tube.

A Thought from Protopresbyter Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov:

And what’s the proof that Christ is still around and not in some hiding place? The lights and hymns and worship of Christmas are the proof! The very presence of Christmas and what it has done to change the world by creating the presence of healing and companionship in this broken and lonely world.

( St. Elijah Bulletin January 2001 )

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

To Consider

* The Church’s focus on Holy Cross Day, Theophany and the Synaxis of St. John the Baptist.
* Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan.
* The blessing of water in the churches and in outdoor bodies of water.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 9 - Went to Morgantown for printing purposes.
January 12 - Went to Diocesan Center, Mars, Pa.

Proverbs Proverbs 9:9

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

The Sunday before Theophany

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: ‘Behold I send My messenger before Your face. Who will prepare Your way before You.” The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘ Prepare the way of the Lord: Make His pathways straight.’” John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Repentance has a place throughout a Christian’s life. Only the Lord Jesus Christ is perfect. Everyone sins. Repentance is necessary if a person is to be united with Christ. Repentance is necessary if a person desires to be true to his or her baptism.

Repentance involves a change of heart. Repentance provides for the confession of sins. Repentance includes a desire to be fully united with Christ. The way of sin is rejected and the way of Christ is desired when a person repents.

The present Gospel focuses attention on St John the Forerunner. Baptism, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit have important places in the current Gospel. Serious Christians greatly value their Baptism and Chrismation.

Every Christian does well to constantly remind themselves of the great honor and high “calling” of Baptism. Every Christian does well to periodically assess if the Baptismal commitment to Christ is fully being honored throughout life

Individuals exit the Baptismal fount with the best of intentions and having been fully committed to Christ. As days develop into years, the memory of having embraced the Lord Jesus Christ as King and as God may fade.

As the time between Baptism and the current moments of life increases, Christians may become less committed and less faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. Temptations and diversions lead believers astray from the way of Christ.

The road from the Baptismal fount to departure from this life can be very long and require decades to complete. Repentance and Holy Confession are necessary if a believer is to remain firmly headed toward the Kingdom of God.

Every day believers are required to struggle to remain firmly united with Christ. Every day believers must exert themselves to reject sin and embrace Christ. The soul is put in peril when laxity sets in. Vigilance is vital to the Christian life.

Evil has many different faces and tactics. Even doing good carries with it the possible perils of pride and judging others. Care must be taken to keep the mind and soul fortified with Christian nourishment.

Care must be taken to guard the heart and prevent sin from taking root. Christ brings joy. John the Baptist experienced joy when his mother Elizabeth met Mary the Theotokos. (Luke. 1:39-44).

Serious believers experience joy when being faithful to Christ. Joy comes in the forgiveness of sins. Joy comes in partaking of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. Joy comes in knowing Christ 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 who need no repentance.” (Lk. 15:7) The importance of repentance has a long history.

Long before the coming of Christ, we read these words that are in the Book of the Holy Prophet Ezekiel: “When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits lawlessness, he will die because of it. But when the sinner turns from his lawlessness and does judgment and righteousness, he shall live because of it.” (Ezekiel 33:18-19. Orthodox Study Bible.)

Christians with decision-making faculties are to exercise their faculties in ways responsible to God. Gratefulness to God is a common expectation. Christ taught an important lesson when He said only one healed leper said “Thank you.” (Lk. 17:11-19)

Christians are expected to follow the example of the leper taking time to give thanks for his healing. Believers are healed and blessed by God every day. Believers do well to give thanks to God every day.

The celebration of the Nativity of Christ is still fresh in our minds. The Feast of Theophany will be here soon. Believers have many blessings to think about. Being a Christian is the highest calling. Being a Christian is the highest honor.

Christians do well to keep their baptismal garments clean and pure. Christians do well to take great care about their souls. The world offers a variety of roads to travel. The Lord Jesus Christ said to follow the narrow way to life. (Mt. 7:13-14)

The time of life is precious. Each moment of life is a treasured gift from God. Each moment of life is best used for the glory of God. When a person lives in ways pleasing to God, the soul is well-cared for and protected.

The Lord Jesus Christ said: ”Among those born of women there has not arisen one greater than John the Baptist.” (Mt. 11:11) St. John’ faithfulness and commitment to Christ are beyond question and are examples to follow.

Believers benefit from considering their degree of personal faithfulness to Christ. Believers benefit from considering the complete commitment to Christ exhibited in the lives of saints and martyrs.

The Lord Jesus Christ said: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mt. 4:17). The words have relevance for believers today. Blessed are those heeding the words of God and keeping them. (Lk. 11:28)

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 2 / January 15, 2012
The Sunday before Theophany.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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