In the middle of Lent, the church sets before us the Cross of Christ. On two other occasions during the year, September 14 and August 1, the cross is presented for our remembrance and veneration. Both these feasts link the Adoration of the Cross to historic events. However, the remembrance of the cross on the third Sunday in Lent prepares us for the commemoration of the crucifixion which is soon to follow in Holy Week, and at the same time, it reminds us that the whole of Lent is a period when we are crucified with Christ. The dominant note on this Sunday, as on the two Sundays preceding, is one of joy and triumph. No separation is made between Christ's death and His resurrection, but the cross is regarded as an emblem of victory on Calvary as seen in light of the Empty Tomb.
Hebrews 4:14-5:6: After describing the all-seeing power of Jesus Christ, the writer of Hebrews reveals Him as the great high priest who perfectly identifies with us in our weakness.
Mark 8:34-9:1: In our reading from the gospel of Mark we hear our Lord tell His disciples that self-denial is required for true spirituality.
Troparion of the Resurrection: When Mary stood at thy grave looking for thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above thy revered tomb, and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led hades captive and wast not tempted thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world; O thou who art risen from the dead! O Lord, glory to thee.
Troparion of the Holy Cross: O Lord, save thy people and bless thine inheritance, granting to thy people victory over all their enemies, and by the power of thy Cross preserving thy commonwealth.
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 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
Monday, March 24
THE SCRIPTURE (Luke 1:26-38): The Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee (the northernmost district of Palestine) named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house (family) of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Rejoice, you who are full of grace, the Lord is with you! Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you shall conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father (ancestor) David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob (the father of all the tribes of Israel) for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the Angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" And the Angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid (servant) of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the Angel departed from her.
THE SIGNIFICANCE: This feast commemorates the day when the Archangel Gabriel announced to a young virgin named Mary that she, among all women, had found favor with the Father. She was invited to cooperate with Him for the Incarnation of His pre-eternal Son through the operation of the Holy Spirit. This, "the beginning of our salvation," was conditioned not only by God's will and His election of Mary, but also by Mary's own "YES" to do God's will - "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."
Monday, March 24 (Continued)
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off
6:00 p.m. -- Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Tuesday, March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation)
NO Lenten Orthros
Wednesday, March 26 (Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel)
6:30 p.m. -- Presanctified Liturgy followed by Soup Supper
Thursday, March 27
Friday, March 28
6:30 p.m. -- Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos
Saturday, March 29
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, March 30 (Fourth Sunday of Lent; St. John Climacus)
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 Dn. Richard Roots for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist BreadCoffee Hour
March 23 R. Root Pigott/Brock/Strain
March 24 (Mon. p.m.) Henderson Anastasia Jones
March 30 Algood Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker
April 6 Katool D. Root/Dansereau/Dale Cooper
April 12 (Sat. a.m.) Schelver Jenna Skirtech/Jennifer Skirtech
April 13 Morris Kh. Sharon Meadows
April 17 (Thurs. a.m.) Jones Kh. Sharon Meadows
April 19 (Sat. a.m.) Meadows Chrismation of Nikki Lasseter
April 19 (Sat. p.m.) Davis POT LUCK MEAL
set-up: Cheryl Pigott/Charlotte Wood
April 27 D. Root Algood/Yeatts/Lasseter
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 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
April 6 Phillip Lasseter Heb. 9:11-14 290
April 12 (Sat. a.m.) Tom Willingham Heb. 12:28-13:8 291
April 13 Walt Wood Phil. 4:4-9 294
April 17 (Thurs. a.m.) Sh. Charlotte Algood I Cor. 11:23-32 295
April 19 (Sat. a.m.) Warren Strain Rom. 6:3-11 300-301
April 19 (Sat. p.m.) Kh. Sharon Meadows Acts 1:1-8 25
April 27 Mildred Morris Acts 5:12-20 32
Memory Eternal! The Antiochian Archdiocese of North America sadly announced the repose of Metropolitan PHILIP this past week. The funeral service will be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY, at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 29th, following the Divine Liturgy (9:00-10:30 a.m.). Father John will be representing our parish at the funeral. Burial will be at the Antiochian Village on Monday, March 31st. Further information on Metropolitan PHILIP's life and on the other services in his memory may be found on the Archdiocese website: www.antiochian.org.
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 remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
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.
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.
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 date for next meeting will be set sometime soon. Please let Father John know by text or e-mail if you will be there, so that plans may be made for the meal.
Metropolitan Philip gave the Antiochian Women the project of raising money for the orphans of the war in Syria. He 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.
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 need s 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.
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: Kh. Be'Be' Schelver and Sh. Charlotte Algood have volunteered to coordinate the meal following Agape Vespers. Costas Pavlou will be cooking for this meal. Please be ready and willing to help when asked. Clean-up will be provided by our janitorial staff afterwards.
* 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.
* We will celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy tomorrow 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, TONIGHT 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.
Vacation Church School: We will be holding our Vacation Church School on Thursday-Saturday, June 26-28. The focus of this year's school will be on educating our children about the lives of their Name-Saints and of Sts. Peter and Paul. After Pascha, Sam Habeeb will be looking for volunteers to help with this wonderful program.
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 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: "With good reason has the Sign of the Cross been so highly venerated by the Holy Martyrs and Confessors of all times, for by their own experience they have learned that it is a symbol of power. Armed with this sacred Sign, the Martyrs went forth into battle with the wild beasts in the amphitheater, walked calmly to the stake to be burned, bowed their necks to the sword or exposed their bodies to the last. They braved the terrors of the dungeon or went willingly into exile. Even tender virgins and children defied the power of the tyrant and suffered death in its most terrible forms. Many other Christians went alone into the desert wastes to practice lifelong penitence, sustained and encouraged by the same never-failing source of supernatural strength. It will be our strength also in times of trial, our victory in temptations, our pledge of perseverance."
Rev. Fr. David F. Abramtsov, The Orthodox Companion
Worship: Sunday, March 30, 2014 (Fourth Sunday of Lent; St. John Climacus)