Self-denial for self-glory is equally as vain as any endeavor not directed toward divine love and the glory of God. In St. John Climacus, seventh-century hermit and ascetic, we have a model of sacrifice directed to the love of fellow men. St. John knew that emptying himself of the things of this world was the act of renouncing his own efforts and accepting God's grace and mercy as true sustenance. The season of prayer and fasting is a time of true humility and complete submission to the Father's will. We proceed to the Great Feast, following a path of reconciliation and contemplation, seeking the adoration of the Son and His sacrifice, and emphasizing leaving the things of this world to attain perfect submission.
Hebrews 6:13-end: In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle reminds us that the promise of God to Abraham was fulfilled when Jesus Christ entered through the veil as a priest according to the order of Melchizedek, and that He is our hope and the anchor of our souls.
Mark 9:16-30: Our Lord casts a demon out of a young boy and in so doing show that faith is essential for actions to bear good fruit. He then gives a prophecy of His coming death and resurrection.
Troparion of the Resurrection: Thou didst shatter death by thy Cross; thou didst open paradise to the thief; thou didst turn the mourning of the ointment-bearing women into joy, and didst bid thine Apostles proclaim warning that thou hast risen, O Christ, granting the world Great Mercy.
Troparion of St. John of the Ladder: With the rivers of thy tears thou hast made the barren desert fertile, and with the sighs of sorrow from thy heart thou hast made thy labours to bear fruit a hundredfold. With the glory of thy miracles thou hast become a light to the inhabited earth. O John our holy father, pray to Christ our God 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 30 (Fourth Sunday of Lent; St. John Climacus) 9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education 10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off Tuesday, April 1 (St. Mary of Egypt) 6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros 11:00 a.m. -- Lenten Reading Group at the Algoods' (brown bag lunch) 6:30 p.m. -- Canon of St. Andrew of Crete & Life of St. Mary of Egypt 11:30 a.m. -- Men's Lunch 6:30 p.m. -- Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, April 6 (Fifth Sunday of Lent; St. Mary of Egypt) 9:00 a.m. -- Christian Education 10:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Hendersons for the Feast of the Annunciation this past Monday evening and by the Algoods for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule: Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour 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 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 last week. Further information on Metropolitan PHILIP's life 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.
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. * The Youth Group will meet for a meal and Christian Education with Father John on Sunday evenings, TONIGHT and April 27th 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.
Fasting Discipline for April During 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 Palm Sunday on April 13th, when fish, wine and oil are permitted). During Bright Week (the week following Pascha) there is no fasting of any kind.
Major Commemorations for April April 1 St. Mary of Egypt April 6 5th Sunday of Lent; St. Mary of Egypt April 12 Lazarus Saturday April 23 Great-martyr George
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.
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.
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/April: March 30 -- Aidan Milnor (#8!) April 6 -- John Wood (#21!) April 11 -- Brandon Strain (#12!) April 15 -- Anna Grace Dansereau (#1!) April 26 -- Alexander Andrei (#2!)
Happy Anniversaries in April: April 10 -- Simon and Rola Karam (#4!) April 12 -- Mike and Cheryl Pigott (#33!) April 28 -- Anthony and Athena Zouboukos (#24!)
Quotable: "For Orthodox Christians the Sign of the Cross is a shield and a safeguard against temptations and dangers that threaten the life of the soul. Whenever we are oppressed by temptations we may repulse them by the Sign of the Cross. St. Cyril of Jerusalem says: 'Let us make the Sign of the Cross boldly and courageously. When the demons see it, they are reminded of the Crucified; they take to flight; they hide themselves and leave us.'"
Rev. Fr. David F. Abramtsov, The Orthodox Companion
Worship: Sunday, April 6, 2014 (Fifth Sunday of Lent; St. Mary of Egypt) Scripture: Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 10:32-45 Epistle Reader: Phillip Lasseter Coffee Hour: D. Root/Dansereau/Dale Cooper