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: 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 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 22 (John Climacus)
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 23
Office Closed -- Father John's Day Off
6:30 p.m. -- Canon of St. Andrew of Crete with the Life of St. Mary of Egypt
Tuesday, March 24
6:00 a.m. -- Lenten Orthros
Wednesday, March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation)
6:00 a.m. -- Divine Liturgy (only)
Thursday, March 26 (Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel)
Friday, March 27
6:30 p.m. -- Akathist
Saturday, March 28
5:45 p.m. -- Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, March 29 (Mary of Egypt)
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 Meadows for the Divine Liturgy today.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist BreadCoffee Hour
March 22 Meadows R. Root/Abraham/Habeeb
March 25 (Wed. am) Davis Kh. Sharon Meadows
(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.
March 22 Mildred Morris Heb. 6:13-20 287
March 25 (Wed. am) Kh. Sharon Meadows 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 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.
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.
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 during Holy Week.
* 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.
* Because Wednesday, March 25th is the Feast of the Annunciation, Little Compline with the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete and the Life of St. Mary of Egypt will be moved to Monday evening, March 23rd, beginning at 6:30 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. There will be no other services that day.
* We will hold our annual catfish dinner on Palm Sunday, April 5th following the Divine Liturgy. Meals will be $10 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.
Repose of Fr. Matthew Baker: Fr. Matthew Baker (not to be confused with Bill and Brenda Baker's son, Matthew) died on his way home from the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers in a snow storm. He leaves behind his wife, Presbytera Katherine and six children - Isaac (12), Elias (10), George (8), Eleftheria(6), Cyril (4) and Matthew (2). Fr. Matthew was a very good friend of Ian when Ian was in New York. Please keep them all in your prayers and consider a gift of alms to this very urgent need. For more information, go to: http://www.gofundme.com/nizf2g
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 22nd and April 19th .
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.
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 www.saint-ignatius.org 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 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
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.
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.
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: "Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness."
Worship: Sunday, March 29, 2015 (5th Sunday of Great Lent; Commemoration of