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: Let us believers praise and worship the Word, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation; for he took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh, to suffer death, and to raise the dead by his glorious Resurrection.
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 Sundays of Lent: To thee the champion leader, I thy servant offer thanks for victory, O Theotokos, thou who hast delivered me form terror. As thou hast power invincible, free me from every danger that I may cry unto thee: Rejoice, O bride without bridegroom.
Sunday, March 16 (Second Sunday of Lent; St. Gregory of Palamas)
8:50 a.m. -- Orthros
9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education
10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
5:00 p.m. -- Young Adults
Monday, March 17
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off
Tuesday, March 18
6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros
Wednesday, March 19
6:30 p.m. -- Presanctified Liturgy followed by Soup Supper
Thursday, March 20
NO Daily Orthros
Friday, March 21
NO Daily Orthros
6:30 p.m. -- Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos
Saturday, March 22
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, March 23 (Third Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Holy Cross)
8:50 a.m. -- Orthros
9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education
10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
5:30 p.m. -- Youth Group
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Woods for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist BreadCoffee Hour
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.
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
Continue to pray for Metropolitan Paul (who is also the brother of our Patriarch) and the Syriac Archbishop John of Aleppo who were abducted while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.
Please continue to pray for Metropolitan PHILIP as he recovers from his recent heart attack in Florida.
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.
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
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.
Confessions: Please go ahead and schedule your confessions so we do not have so many people trying to fit it in just before Holy Week. No confession will be heard after Great and Holy Wednesday.
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 tonight. Please let Father John know by text or e-mail if you will be there, so that plans may be made for the meal.
Paschal Meal: Charlotte Wood and Cheryl Pigott have graciously volunteered to take charge of the meal following the Paschal Service on Saturday evening, April 19th. We plan to have a pot luck meal with the church providing a ham. A sign-up sheet will be available for people to specify what they want to bring (e.g. breakfast casserole, appetizer or dessert) so that we know what will be brought. As we did at Nativity, there will be no one in the kitchen to do any cooking during the service. If your dish needs to be cooked, be sure to cook it before you come. The warmer will be turned on and dishes can be kept warm in it. Even if you have to leave the meal early, please be sure to take your dishes home with you.
Clean-up following the Paschal Meal: Charlotte and Cheryl will only be doing set-up for the meal so we are also asking for volunteers to clean up afterwards. Gentlemen, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to help! Clean up will be important because we will be hosting the Agape Vespers the following afternoon.
Agape Vespers: We are looking for about three volunteers to help plan the meal following Agape Vespers and to co-ordinate with the other churches. Clean-up will be provided by our janitorial staff afterwards.
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.
* 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.
* As is our parish custom, we will celebrate the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts on Wednesday evenings and the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos on Friday evenings during Great Lent. Both services will begin at 6:30 p.m.
* The Young Adults will meet at the church TONIGHT from 5:00-6:30 p.m.
* We will celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy on Monday evening, March 24th, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
* The Youth Group will meet for a meal and Christian Education with Father John on Sunday evenings, March 23rd and March 30th beginning at 5:30 p.m.
* We will hold our annual catfish dinner on Palm Sunday, April; 13th following the Divine Liturgy. Meals will be $9 for adults and children 12 and over, and $6 for children 5-11. There is a sign-up sheet in the fellowship hall. Please be sure to sign it if your family will be participating in the meal.
Canned food drive: The Christian Education classes are collecting canned good s for the needy.
Fasting Discipline for March
March 2nd is Cheese Fare Sunday, the last day until Pascha that dairy and wine are permitted. Monday , March 3rd is Clean Monday, the first day of Great Lent when the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine or oil) is observed on all days of the week until Pascha (except Annunciation on March 25th and Palm Sunday on April 13th, when fish, wine and oil are permitted).
Major Commemorations for March
March 16 2nd Sunday of Lent; St. Gregory of Palamas
March 23 3rd Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Holy Cross
March 25 Feast of the Annunciation
March 26 Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel
March 30 4th Sunday of Lent; St. John Climacus
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).
Suggestions on use of the Cry Room:
-- Please remember you're in liturgy when you're in the cry room.
-- Its main purpose should be a place for parents to take their children if they're being disruptive during liturgy, staying for 5-10 minutes (or until the child is calmed down) and then returning to liturgy.
-- It should not be used as a main sitting area during the liturgy.
-- Children should not be eating snacks or watching electronic devices while in the cry room.
Happy Birthdays in March:
March 3 -- Kay Carlton
March 6 -- Amy Surratt
March 9 -- Ian Jones
March 12 -- Alexa Zouboukos (#19!)
March 17 -- Cliff Stewart
March 20 -- Charlotte Wood
March 24 -- Brenden Skirtech (#10!)
March 26 -- Katherine Habeeb (#6!)
March 29 -- Sophie Dansereau (#3!)
March 30 -- Aidan Milnor (#8!)
Happy Anniversaries in March:
March 10 -- Fr. James and Kh. Sharon Meadows (#41!)
March 13 -- Warren and Sandra Strain (#20!)
March 15 -- Dn. Richard and Sh. Margaret Root (#39!)
March 27 -- Sam and Anne Habeeb (#10!)
Quotable: "St. John Chrysostom, a Father of the Church, writing in the fourth century of the great veneration in which the Sign of the Cross was held by Christians of his time, teaches us how we ought to reverence the Cross: 'More precious than the universe, the Cross glitters on the diadems of emperors. Everywhere it is present to my view. I find it among princes and subjects, men and women, virgins and married people, slaves and freemen. All continually trace it on the noblest part of the body, the forehead, where it shines like a column of glory. It is made over sick animals, over persons possessed by the demon; in war, in peace, by day, by night, in pleasant reunions and in penitential assemblies. It is a question of who shall seek first the protection of this admirable Sign. What is there surprising in this? The Sign of the Cross is the type of our deliverance, the monument of liberation of mankind, the souvenir of the forbearance of Our Lord. When you make it, remember what has been given for your ransom, and you will be the slave of no one. Make it, then, not only with the fingers, but with your faith. If you engrave it on your forehead, no impure spirit will dare to stand before you. He sees the blade with which he was wounded, the sword with which he has received the deathblow.'"
Rev. Fr. David F. Abramtsov, The Orthodox Companion
Worship: Sunday, March 23, 2014 (Third Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Holy