St. Gregory Palamas (c. 1296-1359) - St. Gregory was a Greek monk and theologian and the chief exponent of Hesychasm. He was ordained a priest in the year 1326 and became Bishop of Thessalonica in 1347. The political conditions made it impossible for him to take possession of the see until 1350. He died on November 14, 1359, which is his feast day. He was canonized in 1368. St. Gregory stressed the biblical notion of man as a single and united whole, body and soul together. In virtue of this, he argued that the physical exercises used by the Hesychasts in prayer, as well as their claim to see the Divine Light with their bodily eyes, could be defended as legitimate. He distinguished between the essence and the energies of God: God's essence remains unknowable, but his uncreated energies, which are God Himself, permeate all things and can be directly experienced by man in the form of deifying grace. In the earlier period, there was on this day a commemoration of the Great Martyr Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 155). St. Gregory replaced St. Polycarp on the Second Sunday of Lent in the fourteenth century.
Hebrews 1:10-2:3: Writing to the Hebrews, the Apostle quotes from Scripture to proclaim the greatness of Jesus Christ as compared with the angels; for this reason we must be careful not to neglect our salvation.
Mark 2:1-12: Reading in the Gospel of Mark, we see Jesus demonstrate His authority to forgive sins by healing a paralytic.
Troparion of the Resurrection: When thou, O immortal Life, didst humble thyself unto death, then didst thou destroy death by the brightness of thy Godhead; and when thou didst raise the bowels of the earth, then all the heavenly powers exclaimed, O Christ, thou art the Giver of life! Glory to thee, O our God!
Troparion of St. Gregory Palamas: O Gregory the Wonderworker, light of Orthodoxy, support and teacher of the Church, glory of monks and invincible protector of theologians, pride of Thessalonica and preacher of grace, pray without ceasing for the salvation of our souls.
Troparion of the Chains of St. Peter: O Holy Apostle, Peter, thou dost preside over the Apostles by the precious chains which thou didst bear. We venerate them with faith and beseech thee that by thine intercessions we be granted the great mercy.
Kontakion of the Annunciation: To thee the champion leader, I thy servant offer thanks for victory, O Theotokos, thou who hast delivered me from terror. As thou hast power invincible, free me from every danger that I may cry unto thee: Rejoice, O bride without bridegroom.
Sunday, March 31 (Second Sunday of Lent; St. Gregory Palamas) 9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education 10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy Monday, April 1 (St. Mary of Egypt) Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off 6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros 6:30 p.m. -- Presanctified Liturgy followed by Soup Supper
6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros
6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros 6:30 p.m. -- Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour prayers followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, April 7 (Third Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Cross) 9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education 10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Joneses for the Divine Liturgy this morning. Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule: Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour March 31 Jones Algood/Bassinger/Yeatts April 7 Yeatts Pigott/Freundt/Turner April 13 (Sat. a.m.) Abraham April 14 Freundt Strain/Dabit April 21 Bassinger R. Root/Abraham/Davis April 27 (Sat. a.m.) Fahmy April 28 Baker MEAL AT COCK OF THE WALK
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. March 31 Brenda Baker Heb. 1:10-2:3 283 April 7 Walt Wood Heb. 4:14-5:6 285 April 13 (Sat. a.m.) Phillip Lasseter I Cor. 10:23-28 271 April 14 Warren Strain Heb. 6:13-20 287 April 21 Sh. Charlotte Algood Heb. 9:11-14 290 April 27 (Sat. a.m.) Kh. Sharon Meadows Heb. 12:28-13:8 291 April 28 Mildred Morris Phil. 4:4-9 294
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
Please remember the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl and Stephen Chamblee; Amy and Brantley Oliver; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit and Sammie; Georgia Buchanan, George Johns (Georgia's grandson) and his family; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon's sister); Fr. Stephen Tewfik; Sh. Gail Shannon; Dn. Sidney and Sh. Mary Elliot; Fr. Alexander Atty, the Dean of St. Thikon's who is battling cancer.
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.
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 continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
Confessions: As we prepare our hearts and minds for Lent and the celebration of Holy Pascha, please be sure to schedule a time for confession.
* The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.
Saturday of the Souls: The Orthros and Divine Liturgy for Saturday of the Souls has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 13th beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Palm Sunday Feast: Due to our construction project, we will not be able to hold our Palm Sunday Fish Fry here at the church as usual. Instead we will be going to Cock of the Walk for our meal on Sunday, April 28th following the Divine Liturgy. A sign-up sheet will be available in the coming weeks to give the restaurant a headcount for the meal. They will be providing a separate room for us and will be offering the same menu that they give us when they serve us at the church (all-you-can-eat catfish, French fries, coleslaw, cornbread and tea). The cost of the meal with gratuities is $18.00 per adult. The restaurant has requested that we write one check. You may write your checks to St. Peter and designate them for the Palm Sunday Feast. If anyone wishes to donate extra, they may do so. If anyone has a financial difficulty with the cost of the meal, please see Fr. John. We do not want anyone to miss the meal because of financial reasons.
Paschal Feast: There will be a feast following the Pascal Liturgy on May 4. Cheryl Pigott and Kh. Be'Be' Schelver are in charge. They have posted a sign-up sheet in the fellowship hall, and need everyone to help by bringing items. We will need some folks to help with clean up after the feast as well.
Bible Study with Breakfast: We will suspend the biweekly Bible Study with Breakfast until after Pascha.
Vacation Church School …The Christian Education department will hold a Vacation Church School June 27-29 from 8:30-12:30 each day. The curriculum will be "Ark of our Salvation – Feast Days of the Theotokos." Parents, please be sure to mark your calendars now.
Fasting Discipline for April The traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine or oil) is observed on all days of the week until Pascha (except Palm Sunday on April 28th, when fish, wine and oil are permitted). Major Commemorations for April April 1 St. Mary of Egypt April 7 3rd Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Cross April 13 Saturday of the Souls April 14 4th Sunday of Lent; St. John Climacus April 21 5th Sunday of Lent; St. Mary of Egypt April 23 Great-martyr George April 27 Lazarus Saturday
Happy Birthdays in April: April 6 -- John Wood (#20!) April 11 -- Brandon Strain (#11!) April 26 -- Alexander Andrei (#1!)
Happy Anniversaries in April: April 12 -- Mike and Cheryl Piggott (#32!) April 28 -- Anthony and Athena Zouboukos (#23!)
Parish Life Conference 2013: This year St. Basil Orthodox Church in Metairie, LA will be hosting the Parish Life Conference for our Diocese on June 12-16. His Grace, Bishop JOHN Abdallah will be the speaker. There will also be a special presentation by Fr. Philip Rogers on keeping our children in the Orthodox Christian Church. Parents are especially encouraged to hear his presentation. Please mark your calendars now and make plans to attend.
Quotable: "Every man's soul is one and manifold at the same time, as St. Gregory Palamas says. In another context St. Gregory Palamas teaches that as God is Trinity---Nous, Logos and Spirit---in a corresponding way man's soul has a trintarian nature: there is the nous –the core of man's existence--. the logos—begotten by the nous—and the spirit—'man's noetic love.' The soul is closely linked to man's body. It is not located in only one part of the body. According to Orthodox teaching God governs the world through his uncreated energies. Just as God acts in nature, so the soul moves and activates each member of the body to perform its function, according to St. Gregory of Sinai. Therefore, just as God governs the world in the same way does the soul govern the body. As St. Gregory Palamas expresses it, the soul occupies the body with which it was created. It fills the entire body, giving life to the body, but it occupies the body to which it is attached." Metropolitan HIEROTHEOS, Orthodox Spirituality
Worship: Sunday, April 7, 2013 (Third Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Cross)
Scripture: Hebrews 4:14-5:6; Mark 8:34 to end; 9:1 Epistle Reader: Walt Wood Coffee Hour: Pigott/Freundt/Turner