Parish Life

Welcome to the Parish Life section of Saint Peter Orthodox Church website. This is where we post news, events, photographs and more.

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Saint Peter Antiochian Orthodox Church
Madison, Mississippi
Saturday, February 28, 2015
3/1 announcements
March 1, 2015
First Sunday of Great Lent
Sunday of Orthodoxy
    On the first Sunday of Great Lent, we celebrate the feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  This is an historical feast commemorating the restoration of the icons, which had been banned for several decades, to their rightful liturgical use in the year 843 A.D.
    The major emphasis of this feast is the victory  of the true faith, the victory which always ultimately triumphs.  Having completed the first week of our lenten efforts, we are reminded that Christ, the perfect image of God the Father, calls us to personal victory by restoring within ourselves "the image and likeness of God" in which we were first created (Genesis 1:26).
    The icons of Our Lord, the Theotokos, and all the saints are images of true humanity, signs of what our eternal calling and vocation really is.  They tell us that we are all called to be living icons and imitators of Christ, bearing the likeness of God as gracious vessels of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 11:24-26;32-40:  The writer of Hebrews calls us to consider the faith of those Old Testa­ment   saints who endured hardships and death and yet still did great things because of their faith.  The Apos­tle encourages us to lay aside the encumbrances of sin and run with endurance the race that is set be­fore us.
John 1:43-51:  From our reading in the Gospel of John we see Jesus call Philip and Nathaniel to be His disciples.
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 the Sunday of Orthodoxy: Thy pure image do we venerate, O good One, asking forgiveness of our sins, O Christ our God; for by thine own will thou didst ascend the Cross in thy body, to save thy creatures from the bondage of the enemy.  Thou hast truly filled all with joy, since thou didst come, O our Saviour, to save the world.
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 1   (Sunday of Orthodoxy)
            8:50 a.m.         -- Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         -- Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       -- Divine Liturgy
            6:00 p.m.         -- Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers
Monday, March 2   
            Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off
Tuesday, March 3  
            6:00 a.m.         -- Lenten Orthros
Wednesday, March 4   
            6:30 p.m.         -- Presanctified Liturgy followed by Soup Supper
Thursday, March 5  
            11:30 a.m.       -- Men's Lunch
Friday, March 6   
            6:30 p.m.         -- Akathist       
Saturday, March 7   
            5:45 p.m.         -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, March 8   (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
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Schelvers for the Divine Liturgy today. 
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.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                            Eucharist Bread                    Coffee Hour
March 1                               Schelver                                   Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker
March 8                              Morris                                      D. Root/Dansereau (NO POT LUCK )
March 15                             Jones                                        Algood/Lasseter
March 22                             Meadows                                 R. Root/Abraham/Habeeb
March 25 (Wed. am)          Davis                                       Christina Katool
         (Feast of the Annunciation)
March 29                              D. Root                                    Schelver/Lavric/Turner
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.
                                            Reader                                  Reading                            Page#
March 1                             Sh. Charlotte Algood          Heb. 11:24-26, 32-40     281
March 8                             Warren Strain                        Heb. 1:10-2:3                  283
March 15                           Kh. Sharon Meadows          Heb. 4:14-5:6                  285
March 22                           Mildred Morris                      Heb. 6:13-20                   287
March 25 (Wed. am)       Phillip Lasseter                      Heb. 2:11-18                   376
March 29                           Kh. Be'Be' Schelver             Heb. 9:11-14                   290
Father Leo is serving today at St. George Orthodox Church in Vicksburg on behalf of Father John Morris who is seriously ill.
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 while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.
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;
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 remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
Fr. John and Kh. Janet will be in Kentucky March 6-10 to visit Jordan's family.  If you need a priest during this time, please contact Fr. Leo or Fr. James.
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 confessions will be heard after Great and Holy Wednesday.
Calendar Items:
*    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 the 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.
*    Sunday of Orthodoxy vespers at St. Peter – March 1st, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
*    We will celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation with Divine Liturgy (only) on Wednesday morning, March 25th, beginning at 6:00 a.m.
March is Ladies Month in our Archdiocese when we honor the women in our church who serve so faithfully throughout the year.  This month the Ladies will be reading the Epistle during the Liturgy.
Young Adults Study Group:  The Young Adults agreed to begin meeting twice a month.  One of these meetings will feature a teaching by Fr. John on various aspects of the Orthodox Christian faith.  Topics will include education, ethics and parenting children.  The next meetings will be Sunday, March 8th and 22nd.
Pledge Letters have been mailed.  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 year.
We will be hosting the Sunday of Orthodoxy vespers this evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m. St. Peter will provide Pot Luck refreshments afterwards.  As a result, we will NOT have our regularly scheduled Pot Luck Meal on March 8th.
Parish Life Conference 2015:  This year St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Franklin, TN will be hosting the Parish Life Conference for our Diocese on June 10-14.  His Grace, Bishop JOHN Abdallah will be the speaker.  Registration forms are available in the office or you can go online at to register.  The Conference will take place at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs and last day to book the special conference rate is May 20th.
Fasting Discipline for March
During Great Lent the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on all days of the week until Pascha (except Annunciation on March 25th and Palm Sunday on April 5th, when fish wine and oil are permitted).
Major Commemorations for March
March 1                 1st Sunday of Lent; Sunday of Orthodoxy
March 8                 2nd Sunday of Lent; Gregory of Palamas
March 9                 Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
March 15               3rd Sunday of Lent; Adoration of the Cross
March 16               Christodoulos the Wonder-worker of Patmos
March 22               4th Sunday of Lent; John of the Ladder
March 25               Feast of the Annunciation
March 26               Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel
March 29               5th Sunday of Lent; Mary of Egypt
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.
Thermostats in the Fellowship Hall:  There are two thermostats in the Fellowship Hall—one in the main room to control the air in the main room, and a second one in the Nursery room that controls the air in all four of the Sunday School rooms.  Please be sure when you leave the building that both thermostats are set to 80 degrees in warm weather or 60 degrees in cold weather.
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).
Happy Birthdays in March:
         March 3                 --    Kay Carlton
         March 6                 --    Amy Surratt
         March 9                 --    Ian Jones
         March 12               --    Alexa Zouboukos (#20!)
         March 17               --    Cliff Stewart
         March 20               --    Charlotte Wood
         March 24               --    Brenden Skirtech (#11!)
         March 26               --    Katherine Habeeb (#7!)
         March 29               --    Sophie Dansereau (#4!)
         March 30               --    Aidan Milnor (#9!)
Happy Anniversaries in March:
         March 10               --    Fr. James and Kh. Sharon Meadows (#42!)
         March 13               --    Warren and Sandra Strain (#21!)
         March 15               --    Dn. Richard and Sh. Margaret Root (#40!)
         March 27               --    Sam and Anne Habeeb (#11!)
Quotable:  "Fr. Isidore was kind to all, even to the lowest of creatures.  He cared not only for those who were made in the image of God, but also had compassion for the lowest of animals.  In short, he cared for all living creatures.  He was charitable and fed wild animals and birds; he even kept reptiles, frogs, mice and rats.  Yet if the old Abba were ever ill, he never forgot his little brothers and would ask others to feed his family.  Even right before his death he asked a member of his household about the cat's health.  'Well,' he would say, 'is the cat getting better?'  'Yes, it's better.'  'Thank God.  Thank God.'"
                                                St. Paul Florensky
                                                from Salt of the Earth:  An Encounter with a Holy Russian Elder:
                                                            Isidore of Gethsemane Hermitage
Worship:         Sunday, March 8, 2015 (2nd Sunday of Great Lent; Gregory of Palamas)
         Scripture:                               Hebrews 1:10-2:3; Mark 2:1-12
         Celebrant:                              Father John
         Epistle Reader:                     Warren Strain
         Prosphora:                              Morris
         Coffee Hour:                          D. Root/Dansereau (NO POT LUCK MEAL)
posted by Daniel Root at 2:01 PM Parish Life

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