Parish Life

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Saint Peter Antiochian Orthodox Church
Madison, Mississippi
Friday, December 30, 2011
1/1 announcements
January 1, 2012
The Feast of Circumcision in the Flesh of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
and the Feast of St. Basil the Great
Colossians 2:8-12: The holy apostle Paul reminds the Colossians that their circumcision is not one made with hands according to the law, but one of the heart, through baptism.
Luke 2:20-21,40-51: In the gospel reading for today we hear of the Christ Child being separated from the Theotokos and Joseph, when He remained behind in the Temple, amazing the teachers with His questions and understanding.
Troparion of the Resurrection:  Having learned the joyful message of the Resurrection from the angel, the women Disciples cast from them their parental condemnation, and proudly broke the news to the Disciples, saying, Death has been spoiled.  Christ God is risen, granting the world Great Mercy.
Troparion of St. Basil:  Thy sound hath gone forth into all the earth, which hath received thy word.  Thereby thou hast divinely taught the Faith; thou hast made manifest the nature of all things that be; thou hast adorned the ways of man.  O namesake of the royal priesthood, our righteous Father Basil, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Troparion of the Circumcision:   Our human form hast Thou taken on Thyself without change, O greatly-compassionate Master, though being God by nature; fulfilling the Law, Thou willingly receives circumcision in the flesh, that Thou mightiest end the shadow and roll away the veil of our sinful passions.  Glory be to Thy goodness unto us.  Glory be to Thy compassion.  Glory, O Word, to Thine inexpressible condescension.
Kontakion of the Circumcision:  The Master of all endureth humiliation and is circumcised for the iniquities of mankind; for he is good, and granteth salvation to the world. And in the highest the High Priest of the Creator, clothed with light, the divine initiate of Christ, Basil, rejoiceth.
Sunday, January 1   (Circumcision of our Lord; Feast of St. Basil the Great)
            8:50 a.m.         -- Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         -- Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       -- Divine Liturgy
Monday, January 2   
            Office Closed  -- Father John's Day Off
Tuesday, January 3   
            6:00 a.m.         -- Daily Orthros
Wednesday, January 4  
5:00 p.m.         -- Catechism Class
6:30 p.m.         -- Daily Vespers
7:30 p.m.         -- Choir Practice
Thursday, January 5   (Strict Fast Day)
6:00 a.m.         -- Royal Hours
11:30 a.m.       -- Men's Lunch
6:00 p.m.         -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Friday, January 6   (Theophany)      
    This Feast Day is one of the greatest days of the Christian year.  In English, we are accustomed to hearing this Feast Day called "Epiphany," a word which means "manifestation" or "appearance."  On this day, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist (he is called "the Baptist" because he baptized Christ).  Epiphany is also called "Theophany" which means "God shows Himself to us."  The importance of this Feast Day lies in the fact that for the first time the Holy Trinity was revealed for all mankind to know and believe (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).  When Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan, a voice was heard from the heavens above saying, "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased."  The Father whose voice was heard from the heavens was God.  The white dove was the symbol of the Holy Spirit which descended upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Thus, we have the Holy Trinity being revealed to all that day, almost 2000 years ago.  This is why we call this day the day of illumination (light) and manifestation (appearance).  The Holy Trinity made its appearance, and we have been illuminated by this wonderful truth and blessing.  On this day we have the traditional blessing of the waters.  Since the waters of the Jordan were blessed in the presence of Jesus Christ, it is a source of Divine Grace and blessing, and we bless ourselves and our homes with the waters of the "Sanctification Service" which is held during the Epiphany Services.
    Theophany Day is a day of illumination and sanctification.  Let us pledge ourselves to a greater participation in the sacramental life of the Church of Christ.  When the Priest blesses our homes, let us all pray that the blessing of the Theophany Season be with us throughout the year and may our homes be sanctified with our prayers, Christian living and spiritual direction in our lifetime.
NO Daily Orthros
Saturday, January 7    (Synaxis of the Forerunner)
5:45 p.m.         -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers with Litia
                                    and Artoklasia
Sunday, January 8   (Circumcision of our Lord; Feast of St. Basil the Great)
            8:50 a.m.         -- Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         -- Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       -- Divine Liturgy
            1:00 p.m.         -- Young Adults
            4:00 p.m.         -- Outdoor Blessing of the Waters at the Reservoir
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Hendersons for the Divine Liturgy today and the Artoklasia Bread was offered last evening by the Algoods for the Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and the Feast of St. Basil the Great.  
Please be reminded of the following:
Be very careful with the Blessed Bread when you take it after communion.  Because this bread has been blessed, we should take care not to let crumbs fall on the floor.  Parents, especially, please help your children to choose a small piece and treat it carefully.
         Also, at the end of the liturgy, maintain a prayerful disposition during the veneration of the cross as the prayers of thanksgiving after communion are still underway.  Please exchange your greetings with each other in the Fellowship Hall during Coffee Hour.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                                      Eucharist Bread                     Coffee Hour
         January 1                              Henderson                               Henderson
         January 5 (p.m.)                   Algood                                          
                  Feast of Theophany
         January 8                              Katool                                      Woods
         January 15                            Schelver                                   POT LUCK MEAL
                                                                                                      (set-up: Algood/R. Root)
         January 22                            Morris                                      Schelver
         January 29                            Jones                                       Fahmy
Schedule for Epistle Readers – Page numbers refer to the Apostolos (book of the Epistles) located on the front pew.  Please be sure to use this book when you read.
                                          Reader                                 Reading                          Page#
January 1                           Mildred Morris                      Col. 2:8-12                     356
January 5 (p.m.)                Kh. Sharon Meadows           Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7        361
January 8                           Phillip Lasseter                     Eph. 4:7-13                     364
January 15                         Kh. Be'Be' Schelver             Col. 3:4-11                     233
January 22                         Brenda Baker                        I Tim. 4:9-15                  252
January 29                         Tom Willingham                   II Cor. 6:16-7:1               173
Please be reminded that the Sacristy/Vestry which is adjacent to and behind the altar in our church is considered by the Orthodox Church to be part of the Sanctuary (Altar area) and should not be entered without the blessing of the priest for a specific purpose.  If you need to speak with a member of the clergy while they are in the Sanctuary, please ask them to come to you in the nave.
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle and their daughter Abigail in your prayers. 
Please remember the following in your prayers:  Maria Costas; Amy and Michael Surratt and Amy's family; Tom and Jennifer Skirtech and Jennifer's mother, Jessamine Hinkson;  Warren and Sandi Strain and their family; Fr. Leo, Kh. Be'Be', Stephen and Amy, Justyn and Jeffrey; Steve, Sheryl and Stephen Chamblee; Amy and Brantley Oliver; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit; David Turner's mother Mary Jean; Georgia Buchanan, George Johns (Georgia's grandson) and his family; Dorin and Carolina Lavric and Victor (Carolina's brother); Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon's sister).
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
Memory Eternal!  Our thoughts and prayers are Warren and Sandi Strain and their family in the falling asleep of Warren's mother Quida Strain last week-end.
Calendar Items:
*    The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.
*    The Feast of Theophany will be celebrated with Royal Hours on Thursday morning, January 5th, beginning at 6:00 a.m.  Orthros and Divine Liturgy will be celebrated that evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
*    The Annual Outdoor Blessing of the Waters at the Ross Barnett Reservoir will take place on Sunday, January 8th at Old Trace Park, beginning at 4:00 p.m.  Afterwards all those who wish will enjoy a meal at Cock of the Walk restaurant.
*    Parish Creative Arts Festival – Saturday morning, February 4th from 9-12.
*    The Annual Deanery Youth Retreat will be held on February 10-12, 2012 at John W. Kyle State Park in Sardis.  Joel and Sarah Finley will be addressing the topic of the Culture of Dating.  More information will be available as the time draws near.
*    Father Thomas Hopko will be speaking at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Clinton February 14-16, 2012.  More information will be available at a later date.
*    The Youth Group is planning to hold their annual Cheesefare Fundraising Luncheon on Sunday, February 26th.
*    His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN will be here the weekend of May 6, 2012 to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary as a parish.  The planning committee is working very hard to make our celebration a memorable one.  There will be an evening event at the MS Museum of Art on Saturday, May 6th.  Other events are being planned and more information will be available in the coming months.
Please be sure to turn in your pledge letters as soon as possible.  If you did not receive one in the recent weeks, please let Kh. Sharon know.
We welcome Jeff and Anca Basinger and Anca's son Andrei Anicescu to St. Peter.  (Anca and Andrei are from Romania.)  Their address is
                        340 Arbor Drive  #2296
                        Ridgeland, MS  39157
                        Cell phones:     Jeff      937-707-0668
                                                Anca    937-707-0763
Windows into Heaven:  We are looking for a volunteer to take charge of the small bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall that was used in the past to display icons, hymns and information about the major feasts that occur during the year.  The packets of material needed for the bulletin board are available in the church office and only need to be changed for each of the feasts as they occur.  If you are interested in taking on this responsibility, please let Fr. John know.
If you are the last to leave the building, please make sure that the heating and cooling unit in the Fellowship Hall is turned off.
Fasting Discipline for January
From December 25 through January 4th there is no abstinence of any sort and all types of food are permitted.  The forefeast of Theophany (January 5th) is observed as a strict fast day (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil).  The traditional fasting is observed on the remaining Wednesdays and Fridays of the month. 
Major Commemorations for January
January 1         Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and feastday of St. Basil the Great
January 6         Theophany
January 7         Synaxis of the Forerunner
January 11       Theodosios the Head of Manasteries
January 18       Athanasios and Cyril of Alexandria
January 20       Euthymios the Great
January 25       Gregory the Theologian
January 27       John Chrysostom
January 31       Cyros and John the Unmercenary Healers
Parish Creative Arts Festival:  The Christian Education classes will have a festival to work on their entries for this year's Creative Arts Festival on Saturday morning, February 4th from 9-12.  There will be teaching about this year's conference theme and then time to work on the projects themselves.  A Pizza lunch will be provided afterwards.  Please make plans now for your children to attend.
Breakfast and Bible Study:  we are continuing to meet every 2-3 weeks for Bible Study on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast. This is open to all who are interested.  Be sure to come and enjoy the fellowship.
Happy Birthdays in January:
         January 1               --    Dn. Richard Root
         January 5               --    Sarah Anne Milnor
         January 10             --    Georgia Buchanan
         January 11             --    Nicholas Henderson
         January 12             --    Cheryl Pigott
         January 13             --    Nader Dabit
         January 19             --    Saliba (Sam) Dabit
         January 20             --    Alfred Katool
         January 22             --    Tatiana Lavric
         January 24             --    Oliver Yeatts
         January 29             --    Michelle Pigott
         January 30             --    Chris Dansereau
Happy Anniversaries in January:
         January 10             --    Bob and Georgia Buchanan (1987)
         January 17             --    Chris and Rebecca Dansereau (2009)
         January 19             --    Ramzi and Jean Kafoury (2003)
Quotable:  "When taking part in the Mysteries of the Church, Orthodox Christians do not experience mental exercise, nor are their emotions of any particular significance.  Participation in the Mysteries is an encounter with God in a very intimate and direct way.  As nearly as I can put it into words, such an encounter brings thinking and feeling to a halt, albeit briefly.  As can happen when looking at something extremely beautiful, or when finding oneself in a life-or-death situation, thought and feeling are momentarily stilled, and something much more profound is engaged.  The encounter penetrates through thinking and feeling and goes to the very being of the person taking part—to that fathomless state of awareness that exists, yet lies hidden and dormant, in all human beings.  In Greek, this is what the Fathers called the nous.  In this book, it will be also called the 'heart.'"
                                                Archimandrite Meletios Webber, Bread and Water, Wine and
                                                             Oil: an Orthodox Christian Experience of God
Worship:         Sunday, January 8, 2012 (Sunday after Theophany)
         Scripture:                                Ephesians 4:7-13; Matthew 4:12-17
         Celebrant:                               Father John
         Epistle Reader:                       Phillip Lasseter
         Prosphora:                              Katools
         Coffee Hour:                           Woods
posted by Daniel Root at 1:35 PM Parish Life

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