St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 737 - February 18 / March 3, 2013

The Orthodox Faith

Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320

No. 737
February 18 / March 3, 2013
Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN

Parish Priest - Father Rodney Torbic

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

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

Hebrews 12:1-2

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Recent Services
February 22
Akathist to Mother of God was read.
Vespers was read.
February 23
Midnight Office was read.
Akathist to Mother of God was read
February 24
Matins and First Hour were read.
Third and Sixth Hour were read followed by Divine Liturgy. Thirty-eight people came for Divine Liturgy. Six communicants.
Akathist to Mother of God was read.
February 25
Matins and First Hour were read.
Akathist to Mother of God was read.
Vespers was read
February 26
Matins and First Hour were read.

Services This Coming Week. Always Call to Confirm Weekday Schedule

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

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

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

3:00 PM Akathist followed by Adult Class at 3:30.

Vespers at 5:00 PM. Call to confirm.

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

March 3 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son
March 9 - Memorial Saturday. 1st and 2nd Finding of the Head of St.John the Baptist.
March 10 - Meatfare Sunday
March 17 - Cheesefare Sunday, Forgiveness Vespers at St. Sava Church, Mckeesport 5:00 PM.
March 18 - Beginning of Great Lent
March 23 - Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers at 6:30 PM, St. Spyridon Church, Monessen
March 24 - St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, 903 Ann Street, Homestead, Pa. 15120 for the site of Triumph of Orthodoxy Service on Sunday, at 4:00.
March 31 - Second Sunday of Great Lent

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

Congratulations to Matthew and Brittany Filipovic married this past Saturday.

Congratulations to Mr. Scott Newton for being chosen to speak in May at the 18Th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine in Manchester, England. Mr. Newton has supported Health Care Day at this parish from the beginning and has been a seminar speaker here. He and his family have been here on a number of occasions.

Congratulations to Linda Chambers for recently winning a cooking award.

Thank you to Stan Brozik and Sonia Janson for planning to represent the parish at the Diocesan Assembly in Lebanon, Pennsylvania on March 1 and 2nd.

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 the families.

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

The Serb National Federation is always seeking new members. Consider joining.

See Stan Brozik and the flyer in the church hall for details on a March 9 fundraiser in Pittsburgh for suffering people in Serbia.

See Stan Brozik for college scholarship information for individuals entering college.

Prepare for the coming of Great Lent.

Be mindful of the daily Scripture readings.

Be mindful of the fasts of the Church.

If you have a question about the practices and teachings of the Church, ask the priest.

Come to Adult Class on Wednesday.

From the Holy Apostle Paul – Romans 12:2

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

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

To Consider

The days remaining until the beginning of Lent.
The importance of preparing for Great Lent.
The condition of the soul as Great Lent approaches.

Recent Activities of Parish Priest

February 23 - Went to Morgantown, W.Va. for printing purposes.
February 23 - Went to All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania for the wedding of Matthew and Brittany Filipovic.

Words from Very Reverend Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich.

Since in the holy mystery of Communion the communicant receives the very all-holy Body and most glorious Blood of the Lord Christ, it is absolutely necessary that the communicant prepare for this holy mystery. Preparation is accomplished by fasting and prayer, for fasting and prayer purify the soul from every sin and impurity. Along with this a person must examine himself and cleanse his conscience of sin by repentance.

(The Eucharist as Sacrifice Johnstown, Pa. 1993, p.141 )

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

The Lord God gives us the days of our lives. He gives us talents and treasures. At Holy Baptism, we commit ourselves fully and completely to Christ. We are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit at Chrismation.

The Kingdom of God is the goal of those individuals baptized into Christ. Baptism is special and life-changing. Baptism is a life-defining experience. Baptism is a point of reference for the remaining days of life.

With the passing of time, believers move away from the baptismal experience and into daily life. The firm and complete commitment to Christ becomes less intense. Interests other than Christ affect the heart, the mind and the soul.

The vivid recollection of Baptism recedes as life progresses. Remaining fully committed to Christ throughout each day is a constant challenge. Temptations to sin are strong. Believers too often yield to temptation.

Individuals often realize they have departed far from the path to the Kingdom of God. Jesus said: “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Mt. 7:14)

When individuals realize they have departed far from the path of Christ, some sink into despair and lose hope. They determine that God will not receive them back. The present Gospel offers hope for each person willing to return.

The father in the present Gospel showed no hesitancy in welcoming his returning son. The son was received with great joy and celebration. The father’s love for the returning son was apparent.

God’s willingness to accept sinners is well documented. Jesus said: “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Lk. 15:7)

Many people continue to stay away from attending church after a long absence. They are hesitant to return to church because they don’t know how they will be welcomed. God welcomes returning believers with great love.

Believers returning to church after a long absence will find joy and love from God. Believers returning to church will experience unity with God. The returning prodigal son and the father were firmly reunited.

St. Nicholai said: “If you commit a sin, and people see your sin and pass judgment, and cast you off like an unneeded ragamuffin in this world, your faith will protect your worth and say to you: “Christ died on the cross for sinners.” 1

Draw courage from the present Gospel. Draw courage from the words of St. Nicholai Velimorovic when he said: “He (Christ) paid the price for your sin before God, and to God you are very valuable and precious.” 2

Every person is a sinner. Every person serious about drawing near to God will benefit from entering God’s Holy Church. Every person open to Christ will feel the warmth and love of Christ when resolutely returning to church.

The lesson of the Gospel of the Sunday of the Prodigal Son is a lesson of God’s infinite and welcoming love for sinners returning to Him. Every person has the opportunity for a new beginning in Christ. Every person can return from a life which is far from God.

The time of life is very precious. Individuals need not waste the time of their lives in suffering because of a life alienated from God. Now is the time to return to the God of love experienced and embraced at Holy Baptism.

1 St. Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic. The Struggle for Faith. Translated by Rt. Rev. Todor Mika and Very Rev. Dr. Stevan Scott. The Free Serbian Orthodox Diocese of the United States and Canada, Grayslake, Illinois, 1989, p. 8.

2 Ibid.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
February 18 / March 3, 2013
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee.
St. Leo of Rome.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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