Leave-taking of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple
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 fourth Sunday before Lent is HUMILITY and the Gospel lesson of the Publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:10-14) is read. Here we are taught to avoid the arrogant thoughts of the Pharisee and to emulate the humble prayer of the Publican "God be merciful to me a sinner."
II Timothy 3:10-15: In St Paul's second letter to Timothy we are reminded that godliness will bring persecutions; and we are encouraged to continue doing those things that we have been taught so as to gain the wisdom that leads to salvation in Christ.
Luke 18:10-14: In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax-gatherer, Jesus teaches us that justification does not come to those who are proud and arrogant, but rather to those who are humble and repentant.
Troparion of the Resurrection: O compassionate One, thou didst descend from the heights; thou didst submit to the three-day burial, that thou might deliver us from passion. Thou art our Life and our Resurrection, O Lord, glory to thee.
Troparion of the Presentation: Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of grace; for from thee arose the Sun of justice, Christ our God, lighting those who are in darkness. Rejoice and be glad, O righteous old man, carrying in thine arms the Deliverer of our souls, who granteth us resurrection.
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 Presentation: Thou, O Christ God, who by your Birth, didst sanctify the Virgin's womb, and as is meet, didst bless Simeon's arms, and didst also come to save us, preserve thy fold in wars, and confirm them whom thou didst love; for thou alone art the Lover of mankind.
Sunday, February 9 (Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican)
8:50 a.m. -- Orthros
9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education
10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
5:30 p.m. -- Youth Group
Monday, February 10 (Hieromartyr Haralampos)
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off
Tuesday, February 11 (Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste)
6:00 a.m. -- Daily Orthros
Wednesday, February 12
6:30 p.m. -- Daily Vespers
7:30 p.m. -- Choir Practice
Thursday, February 13
NO Daily Orthros
Friday, February 14
NO Daily Orthros
Youth Retreat begins
Saturday, February 15
7:30 a.m. -- Bible Study with Breakfast
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, February 16 (Sunday of the Prodigal Son)
8:50 a.m. -- Orthros
9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education
10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
5:00 p.m. -- Young Adults
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Davises for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist BreadCoffee Hour
February 9 Davis Algood/Lasseter/Yeatts
February 16 D. Root Schelver/Lavric/Turner
February 22 (Sat. a.m.) Yeatts Kh. Sharon Meadows
(Saturday of the Souls)
February 23 Abraham Henderson/Baker/Lockhart
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 9 Phillip Lasseter II Tim. 3:10-15 258
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
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.
Athena Zouboukos has had surgery recently and is recovering at home. Please keep her, Anthony and their 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.
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.
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 email@example.com and give him three dates for your house blessing.
Welcome and Many Years! to Jude Brock who was baptized yesterday.
Parish Council Additions: Anna Kathryn Stewart, Phillip Lasseter and Ben Skirtech have been appointed to the Parish Council by Father John. We thank them for their willingness to serve.
* 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 9th and 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.
* Deanery Youth Retreat with Sister Magdalene – February 14-16th.
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 the speaker at the Deanery Youth Retreat, February 14-16th. The topic of the Retreat will be "Our Faith, My Life." Following the Retreat, she will be at St. Peter's Sunday evening and Monday and will fly home to England on Tuesday, the 18th. The tentative schedule is for her to meet with the Young Adults on Sunday evening and to speak to the church on Monday evening.
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 9 Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
February 10 Hieromartyr Haralampos
February 11 Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste
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: "Parents whose children have little regard for the things of God should ask themselves how much their children found in their home to make God appeal to them? The Sacraments might appeal to them more powerfully had every meal at home been given a sacramental flavor through the saying of grace and the Sign of the Cross. The Sacred Scriptures might mean more to them had its great words and thoughts been interwoven with the home life. Prayer might seem natural to them had they found it a part of the atmosphere of the home. What does it mean when God says to your son or daughter, 'I am the God of your father and your mother?' Does it open their eyes to the deep meaning of life? Or does it lead them to set religion aside as something unknown and meaningless, something foreign to them?"
Rev. Fr. David F. Abramtsov, The Orthodox Companion
Worship: Sunday, February 16, 2014 (Sunday of the Prodigal Son)