Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Yes, it is that time again. Lent begins on Monday, March 3rd, but we begin the preparations for the journey of "bright-sadness" by especially dealing with our hearts and our spiritual condition. In her wisdom the Church is a great aid to us, for the four Sundays before Lent carry special themes that enable us to examine ourselves. The theme of the third Sunday before Lent is RETURN FROM EXILE and the Gospel lesson of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) is read. We are taught by this lesson that even as we stray from God, a banquet is set for our return. And we find that nothing in this fallen world truly satisfies, and thus we find ourselves on a pilgrimage of repentance - returning to God.
I Corinthians 6:12-20: In our reading from I Corinthians we hear St Paul remind us that we have been bought with a price and that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit; therefore we should turn from immorality and glorify God.
Luke 15:11-32: The parable of the prodigal son as told by our Lord serves to illustrate how precious in the sight of the Lord is one who repents from his sin and is returned to the fold.
Troparion of the Resurrection: The stone being sealed by the Jews, and thy pure body being guarded by the soldiers, thou didst arise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life to the world. Wherefore, the heavenly powers acclaimed thee, O Giver of life, crying, Glory to thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to thy kingdom! Glory to thy gracious providence, O only Lover of mankind.
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 Prodigal Son: When I disobeyed in ignorance thy fatherly glory, I wasted in iniquities the riches that thou gavest me. Wherefore, I cry to thee with the voice of the prodigal son, saying, I have sinned before thee, O compassionate Father, receive me repentant, and make me as one of thy hired servants.
Sunday, February 16 (Sunday of the Prodigal Son) 9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education 10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy 5:00 p.m. -- Young Adults
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off 7:00 p.m. -- Sister Magdalene Speaking 6:00 a.m. -- Daily Orthros 6:30 p.m. -- Daily Vespers 7:30 p.m. -- Choir Practice
Saturday, February 22 (Saturday of the Souls) 9:00 a.m. -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy 5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, February 23 (Sunday of Meatfare) 9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education 10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Daniel Roots for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule: Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour February 16 D. Root Schelver/Lavric/Turner February 22 (Sat. a.m.) Yeatts Kh. Sharon Meadows February 23 Abraham Henderson/Baker/Lockhart March 2 Fahmy Teen Fundraising Meal March 9 Baker Stewart/Meadows March 16 Wood Ellis/Zouboukos/Fahmy March 23 R. Root Pigott/Brock/Strain March 24 (Mon. p.m.) Henderson Anastasia Jones March 30 Algood Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker
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. February 16 Kh. Be'Be' Schelver I Cor. 6:12-20 265 February 22 (Sat. a.m.) Brenda Baker I Cor. 10:23-26 271-272 February 23 Warren Strain I Cor. 8:8-9:2 273 March 2 Sh. Charlotte Algood Rom. 13:11-14:4 279 March 9 Kh. Sharon Meadows Heb. 12:1-10 375 March 16 Mildred Morris Heb. 1:10-2:3 283 March 23 Kh. Be'Be' Schelver Heb. 4:14-5:6 285 March 24 (Mon. p.m.) Brenda Baker Heb. 2:11-18 376 March 30 Sh. Charlotte Algood Heb. 6:13-20 287
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
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.
Continue to pray for Metropolitan Paul (who is also the brother of our Patriarch) and the Syriac Archbishop John of Aleppo who were abducted recently while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.
Terrorists have abducted 12 Orthodox nuns from the Convent of St. Thekla in Syria. Please keep them in your prayers.
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
An old friend of St. Peter's, Father John Elias, passed away this week. Please keep him and his family 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; Walt and Charlotte Wood and their family; Tom and Jennifer Skirtech and their family; Tom and Kathy Willingham; Athena and Anthony Zouboukos and their family.
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.
Congratulations to Father John and Kh. Janet (and Jordan and Lorie) on the birth of their twin granddaughters Magdalena and Evangeline this past week! Mother and babies are doing well.
House Blessings! A sign-up sheet is available in the Fellowship Hall to sign up for your house blessing. Please schedule these as soon as possible. Everyone should have their home blessed. However, the responsibility for scheduling lies with individuals and not Father John. No House blessings will be done once Great Lent starts (March 3rd this year). You may also e-mail Father John at firstname.lastname@example.org and give him three dates for your house blessing.
* The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month. * The Ladies of St. Peter will meet at 10:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month to pray the Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children. Those who are able will go out for lunch and fellowship afterwards. * The Youth Group will meet for a meal and Christian Education with Father John on Sunday evenings, February 23rd and March 23rd beginning at 5:30 p.m. * The Young Adults will meet at the church Sunday, February 16th from 5:00-6:30 p.m. * Sister Magdalene will be speaking here on Monday evening, February 17th beginning at 7:00 p.m.
* The Youth Group will be holding their annual Cheesefare Fundraising Meal following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, March 2nd.
Young Adults Study Group: The Young Adults will meet once a month on Sunday evening from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. (time will be strictly adhered to) for a meal, fellowship and teaching. The next meeting will be February 16th. Please let Father John know by text or e-mail if you will be there, so that plans may be made for the meal.
Registration is going on now for Camp St. Thekla. If you wish to register your child or if you need a scholarship for registration, please see Father John immediately.
Metropolitan Philip has given the Antiochian Women the project of raising money for the orphans of the war in Syria. He has asked them to raise $200,000 towards this project. All monies raised are to be distributed directly to the affected areas. Please read information regarding "Help the Orphans of War in Syria" posted on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall. If you wish to contribute to this project, please make your donation to the Ladies of St. Peter noting it is for "Help the Orphans of War in Syria." They will be collecting money for this project through the coming months.
Sister Magdalene from the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, England will be meeting with the Young Adults this evening and to speak to the church on Monday evening, beginning at 7:00 p.m..
Pledge Letters have gone out. Please fill these out and return them to the office as soon as possible. Your pledges make it possible to plan a budget for the coming fiscal year.
Fasting Discipline for February The traditional fasting (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine or oil) is observed on all Wednesdays and Fridays of the month. Following Meatfare Sunday (February 23rd) meat will not be eaten again until Pascha. Duriing the week following Meatfare Sunday, dairy products (milk, cheese, eggs, etc.) are permitted, even on Wednesday and Friday.
Major Commemorations for February February 16 Sunday of the Prodigal Son February 22 Saturday of the Souls February 23 Meatfare Sunday February 24 The Forerunner (1st and 2nd Discoveries)
Parents, please supervise your children with food in the Fellowship Hall. We are getting stains on the new carpet (and also the chairs in the nave).
Canned food drive: The Christian Education classes are collecting canned good s for the needy.
Happy Birthdays in January/February: February 3 -- Mary Alice Stewart (#1!) February 5 -- Andrei Anicescu February 11 -- Demetrius Zouboukos February 13 -- Clyde Ellis February 15 -- Mary Guy Lockhart February 17 -- Anthony Zouboukos February 18 -- Tom Willingham February 22 -- Kh. Sharon Meadows February 24 -- Nimr Fahmy February 28 -- Cole Parker (#9!)
Happy Anniversaries in February: February 7 --- Ben and Meghan Brock (#5!) February 18 -- David and Lou Turner (#8!) February 21 -- Michael and Amy Surratt (#16!) February 25 -- Daniel and Elizabeth Root (#8!)
Quotable: "Family prayer renews and strengthens and gives spiritual significance to the love of husband and wife. It gives the parents spiritual strength to bear the problems of rearing children. It cultivates and nourishes religious feelings in the pliable hearts of children. It creates an atmosphere of moral stability and those who breathe it less readily give way to sin. It makes prayer a happy and wholesome commonplace, both for the individual and for the family as a group. It is the fountainhead of family love and peace." Rev. Fr. David F. Abramtsov, The Orthodox Companion
Worship: Sunday, February 23, 2014 (Sunday of Meatfare) Scripture: I Corinthians 8:8-9:2; Matthew 25:31-46 Epistle Reader: Warren Strain Coffee Hour: Henderson/Baker/Lockhart