". . . the Word of the Father is Himself divine, that all things that are owe their being to His will and power, and that it is through Him that the good Father gives order to creation, by Him that all things are moved, and through Him that they receive their being . . . He has been manifested in human body for this reason only, out of love and goodness of the Father, for the salvation of us men."
Galatians 4:4-7: We are reminded that in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son to be born of a woman, under the law in order to redeem those who were under the law. Because the child born to the Holy Virgin was in fact God by nature, she is rightly called the mother of God (Theotokos). Our Lord was born under the law, by fulfilling the law as an infant, being circumcised on the eighth day and presented in the Temple forty days after His birth. In doing this, God fulfilled His promise to Abraham, paying ransom, as it were, to Himself, according to His own vow.
Matthew 2:1-12: From the Gospel of Matthew we learn of the visit by the Magi to the Christ Child.
Troparion of the Nativity: Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, hath given rise to the light of knowledge in the world; for they that worshiped the stars did learn therefrom to worship thee, O Sun of justice, and to know that from the east of the Highest thou didst come; O Lord, glory to thee.
Kontakion of Nativity: Today the Virgin giveth birth to the Transcendent in essence; the earth offereth a cave to the unapproachable One; the angels with the shepherds glorify him; and the Magi with the star travel on their way; for a new child hath been born for our sakes, God before the ages.
There is no fasting from December 25th through January 4th
Sunday, December 25 (Nativity of our Lord)
Monday, December 26 (Synaxis of the Theotokos)
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off
Tuesday, December 27 (Protomartyr Stephen)
NO Daily Orthros
Wednesday, December 28
NO Catechism Class
6:30 p.m. -- Daily Vespers
7:30 p.m. -- Choir Practice
Thursday, December 29
NO Daily Orthros
Friday, December 30
NO Royal Hours
Saturday, December 31
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers with Litia
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
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Dn. Richard Roots for the Divine Liturgy today.
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 BreadCoffee Hour
December 24 (p.m.) R. Root Sandi Strain/Mary Ellis
December 31 (p.m.) (Artoklasia Bread for the Circumcision of our
Lord and the feast of St. Basil)
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.
December 24 Warren Strain Gal. 4:4-7 351
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 TBA
January 15 Kh. Be'Be' Schelver TBA
January 22 Brenda Baker TBA
January 29 Tom Willingham TBA
Father John will be out of town from December 26-31, visiting family and friends. Please contact Father Leo or Father James if you have need of a priest.
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 Warren's mother, Quida Strain; 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; Sophie Dansereau (as she recovers from surgery), Rebecca and Chris; 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.
* The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.
* As is our custom, we will have Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia to celebrate the Circumcision of our Lord and the feast of St. Basil the Great on Saturday evening, December 31st, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
* 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.
Memory Eternal! Our thoughts and prayers are with Sam and Anne Habeeb and their family in the falling asleep of Sam's father George Habeeb last week-end. Mr. Habeeb was a faithful member of St. George Orthodox Church in Vicksburg and a friend to many here at St. Peter's.
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
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.
St. Nicholas Tithe: Our custom here at St. Peter's is to take up a special collection each year at the Feast of St. Nicholas. The money that is collected is then used to help someone in need. If you would like to contribute to this fund and have not yet, you may still do so. Be sure to mark on your check that the donation is for the St. Nicholas Fund.
Fasting Discipline for December
There is no fasting from December 25th through January 4th.
Major Commemorations for December
December 25 Nativity of our Lord
December 26 Synaxis of the Theotokos
December 27 Protomartyr Stephen
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.
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.
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 December/January:
December 27 -- Ben Skirtech
-- Warren Strain
-- Nicholas Zouboukos (#12!)
December 28 -- Sheryl Chamblee
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: "To speakers of English, it may seem coincidental that the word 'mystery' is used in the Orthodox Church to signify what most Christians in the West refer to as 'sacraments.' However, one of the most astounding transformations a human person can undergo happens when an enquirer realizes that the word 'mystery' in all its dimensions is exactly what is experienced in Orthodoxy by the person who enters into and participates in the life of God in the life of the Church. The 'Holy Mysteries' are precisely what they say they are."
Archimandrite. Meletios Webber, Bread and Water, Wine and
Oil: an Orthodox Christian Experience of God
Worship: Sunday, January 1, 2012 (Circumcision of our Lord; Feast of St. Basil)