St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 681 - January 23 / February 5, 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. 681
January 23 / February 5, 2012
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee

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

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Recent Services
January 27
Matins and First Hour were read.
Three people came for Divine Liturgy.
January 28
Akathist to the Mother of God was read.
Two people came for Great Vespers.
January 29
Matins and First Hour were read.
Third and Sixth Hours were read.
Twenty-five people came for Divine Liturgy.
The Kolach and Koljivo were blessed for the St. Sava celebration.
Akathist to Mother of God was read.
January 30
Matins and First Hour were read.
Akathist to Mother of God was read.
Vespers was read.
January 31
Matins and First Hour were read.
Akathist to Mother of God was read.
Vespers was read
February 1
Matins and First Hour were read.
Akathist to Mother of God was read.
Three people came for the Akathist to Jesus Christ.
February 2
Matins and First Hour were read.
Akathist to the Mother of God was read.
Nine people came to Vespers at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Fairmont, W.Va.
February 3
Matins and First Hour were read. One person came for reading of Akathist to Mother of God.

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 Friday and Saturday.

No services on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

4:00 PM Vespers

Call to schedule Akathists or prayers for special needs.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Thanksgiving

Important Dates

February 7 - St. Gregory the Theologian
February 9 - St. John Chrysostom
February 12 - Holy Three Hierarchs. Sunday of the Prodigal Son.
February 15 - Presentation of the Lord
February 18 - Pittsburgh Deanery Meeting on Christian Education
February 19 - Meatfare Sunday, Sunday of the Last Judgment

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

A warm welcome to all visitors.

Thank you to all participating and helping with the St. Sava program and dinner.

Thank God for increased participation and new participants in the St. Sava dinner and program. Thank God for the faithful parishioners coming each year.

Mildred “Mickey” Zorman sets an example by her regular church attendance.

Remember the 37 miners that lost their lives in the Bishop #34 mine in McDowell County, West Virginia in 1957. Remember their families and friends.

Four people came for Adult Class on Wednesday.

Thank you to all baking this week. Help is always needed and welcomed.

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 decisions and activities.

Today’s collection goes to St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyille, Illinois as is done each year on the Sunday following the celebration of St. Sava.

St. Sava School of the Theology has provided priests for many parishes in this country.

A Thought from Archimandrite Thomas Kazich

Many songs and prayers of the Church are taken from parts of the Bible. The services themselves are formed after the pattern of worship given in the Bible. To understand the services of the Church, we must know the Bible, and in order to understand the Bible, we must participate in the church services. The truth about God, God’s Law, God’s plan, and God’s love are revealed to us in the Bible.

( Little Falcons , Diocese of New Gracanica, Midwest America, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2010. )

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

To Consider

The Sundays leading to Great Lent.
The gradual approach to Great Lent.
The importance of investing in Great Lent

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

January 27 - Went to Midland, Pennsylvania.
January 27 - Visited resident of Friendship Ridge in Beaver, Pennsylvania.
January 27 - Attended Diocesan Administrative Board meeting in Mars, Pa.
January 28 - Attended Diocesan Council meeting in Mars, Pa.
January 29 - Went to Monroeville, Pa.
January 31 - Blessed one house.
February 2 - Attended meeting of Carmichaels Ministerium.
February 2 - Served Vespers in Fairmont, W.Va.

Proverbs 12:26

The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.

The 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 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.”

The present Gospel emphasizes the importance of humility when approaching God in prayer. When praying, coming to church services and coming to Holy Confession, taking time to focus on personal sins has value.

In the current Gospel, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the humility of the tax collection as having greater value than the boasting of the Pharisee. The Lord Jesus Christ said: “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over nine-nine just persons who need no repentance.” (Lk. 15:7)

St. John Climacus in the book The Ladder of Divine Ascent said: “Humility is the door to the Kingdom that introduces those who draw near to it.” 1 Individuals seeking the Kingdom of God do well to heed the lesson of the current Gospel.

St. Maximos the Confessor said: “If the indestructible power of the pure kingdom is given to the humble and the gentle, what man will be so lacking in love and so complete without appetite for divine blessings that he will not desire the greatest degree of humility and gentleness…” 2

The current Gospel provides a standard for personal self-examination of Christians. The self-boasting of the Pharisee has no place in the life of the serious Christian. The humility of the tax collector is valued by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Individuals seeking to live in ways pleasing to Christ will control their tendencies of boastfulness and self-justification. Individuals seeking to live in ways pleasing to Christ will acknowledge and repent of personal sin.

Serious Christians seek the mercy and forgiveness of God. Serious Christians seek strength from God to go forward in life in a greater state of purity. Sins become a part of personal life due to inattentiveness to the ways of Christ.

Resoluteness is necessary in guarding the heart, the mind and the soul. Resoluteness is necessary in controlling the mind, the tongue and the stomach. Resoluteness is necessary in prayer and enrichment of the soul.

The Pharisee went to the temple and told God how good he was. The tax collector knew he sinned. He was seeking to be better.

Each Christian determines the degree he or she will grow in Christ. Daily decisions determine whether the believer is transformed “from glory to glory” as the Holy Apostle Paul described to the Corinthians. (II Cor.3:18)

The Pharisee was content with his spiritual condition. The Pharisee did not speak of the need or interest to improve. The Pharisee was proud of his religious efforts. The Pharisee was blind to the value of humility.

The Gospel of the Publican and Pharisee is read each year in God’s Holy Church. The perils of pride and the need for humility need reinforced throughout the year.

The reading of the Gospel in church is intended to impact local and far reaching communities by a ripple effect. Believers listening carefully to the Gospel in church will affect others they meet daily.

Individuals with a personal view comparable to the Pharisee will not be open to fully hearing the Gospel. Individuals with the humility of the tax collector will seek the nourishment of the Gospel for personal benefit.

The present Gospel provides two examples how believers can lead the remainder of their lives. During the remaining time of earthly life, wise individuals will seek to choose the way of the humble tax collector.

The Lord Jesus Christ made known the value of humility. The saints have documented and detailed the place of humility in the Christian life. Acquiring humility requires taking responsibility for person sin.

The Lord Jesus Christ showed the greatest degree of humility when He submitted to being arrested and crucified. Jesus had the power to avoid arrest and the crucifixion. (Mt. 26:53)

Jesus’ time on the Cross was followed by His Resurrection. Believers acquiring humility through the Crucified and Resurrected Christ experience the peace and joy known only in Christ.

1 St. John Climacus The Ladder of Divine Ascent Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2001, p. 155.

2 The Philokalia. Vol.II Translated and by G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware with the assistance of others. Faber and Faber, London and Boston, 1981, p. 293.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 23 / February 5, 2012
Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee.
Holy Hieromarty Clement.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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