12/18 announcements

December 18, 2011
Sunday before the Nativity
Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40:  Reading from Hebrews we hear the Apostle tell us of the faith of Abra­ham and other saints of ancient times who endured hardships and death and yet still did great things because of their faith.
Matthew 1:1-25:  In the Gospel we hear the genealogy of Jesus Christ, and of how Joseph was visited by an angel of God who told him of the child that Mary bore in her womb.
Troparion of the Resurrection:  When thou, O immortal Life, didst humble thyself unto death, then didst thou destroy death by the brightness of thy Godhead; and when thou didst raise the bowels of the earth, then all the heavenly powers exclaimed, O Christ, thou art the Giver of life!  Glory to thee, O our God!
Troparion of the Fathers:  Great are the accomplishments of faith; for the three holy youths rejoiced in the fountain of flames as though at waters of rest.  And the Prophet Daniel appeared a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep.  Wherefore, by their pleadings, O Christ God, have mercy upon us.
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 Preparatory for Nativity:  Today the Virgin comes unto the cave to give birth in an ineffable manner to the Word before the ages.  Rejoice, therefore, O universe, when you hear, and glorify with the angels and the shepherds him who shall appear by his own will as a new babe, being God before the ages.
Sunday, December 18   (Sunday before the Nativity)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            5:30 p.m.         — Youth Group
Monday, December 19   
            Office Closed  — Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, December 20   (Ignatius of Antioch, the God-bearer)
            6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
Wednesday, December 21  
5:00 p.m.         — Catechism Class
6:30 p.m.         — Advent Paraklesis
7:30 p.m.         — Choir Practice
Thursday, December 22   
6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
Friday, December 23             
7:00 a.m.         — Royal Hours
Saturday, December 24
10:00 p.m.       — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Sunday, December 25   (Nativity of our Lord)
            NO SERVICES           
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Woods for the Divine Liturgy today.  
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.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                                      Eucharist Bread                     Coffee Hour
         December 18                        Wood                                       Meadows/Lasseter/Karen
         December 24 (p.m.)              R. Root                                    Sandi Strain/Mary Ellis
         December 31 (p.m.)                                      (Artoklasia Bread for the Circumcision of our
                                                                                 Lord and the feast of St. Basil)
         January 1                              Henderson                               R. Root
         January 5 (p.m.)                   Algood                                          
                  Feast of Theophany
         January 8                              Katool                                      Woods
         January 15                            Schelver                                   POT LUCK MEAL
                                                                                                      (set-up: Algood/Henderson)
         January 22                            Morris                                      Schelver
         January 29                            Jones                                       Fahmy
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#
December 11                     Sh. Charlotte Algood            Col. 5:4-11                     233
December 18                     Kh. Sharon Meadows           Heb. 11:9-10, 32-40       348
December 24                     Warren Strain                        Gal. 4:4-7                       351
January 1                           Mildred Morris                      TBA
January 5 (p.m.)                Kh. Sharon Meadows           Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7        361
January 8                           Phillip Lasseter                     TBA
January 15                         Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver             TBA
January 22                         Brenda Baker                        TBA
January 29                         Tom Willingham                   TBA
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 remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle and their daughter Abigail in your prayers.  

Please remember the following in your prayers:  Maria Costas; Amy and Michael Surratt and Amy’s family; Tom and Jennifer Skirtech and Jennifer’s mother, Jessamine Hinkson;  Warren and Sandi Strain and Warren’s mother, Quida Strain; Fr. Leo, Kh. Be’Be’, Stephen and Amy, Justyn and Jeffrey; Steve, Sheryl and Stephen Chamblee; Amy and Brantley Oliver; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit; David Turner’s mother Mary Jean; Sophie Dansereau (as she recovers from surgery), Rebecca and Chris; Georgia Buchanan, George Johns (Georgia’s grandson) and his family; Dorin and Carolina Lavric and Victor (Carolina’s brother); Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon’s sister).
Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.
Please be sure to schedule a time for Confession with your priest during the Fast of the Nativity.
Calendar Items:
*    The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.
*    We will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord with Orthros and Divine Liturgy beginning at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, December 24th.  Royal Hours for the Feast of the Nativity will be held at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, December 23rd.
*    As is our custom, we will have Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia to celebrate the Circumcision of our Lord and the feast of St. Basil the Great on Saturday evening, December 31st, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
*    The Feast of Theophany will be celebrated with Royal Hours on Thursday morning, January 5th, beginning at 6:00 a.m.  Orthros and Divine Liturgy will be celebrated that evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
*    The Annual Blessing of the Waters at the Ross Barnett Reservoir will take place on Sunday, January 8th at Old Trace Park, beginning at 4:00 p.m.  Afterwards all those who wish will enjoy a meal at Cock of the Walk restaurant.
*    Parish Creative Arts Festival – Saturday morning, February 4th from 9-12.
*    The Annual Deanery Youth Retreat will be held on February 10-12, 2012 at John W. Kyle State Park in Sardis.  Joel and Sarah Finley will be addressing the topic of the Culture of Dating.  More information will be available as the time draws near.
*    Father Thomas Hopko will be speaking at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Clinton February 14-16, 2012.  More information will be available at a later date.
*    The Youth Group is planning to hold their annual Cheesefare Fundraising Luncheon on Sunday, February 26th.
*    His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN will be here the weekend of May 6, 2012 to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary as a parish.  The planning committee is working very hard to make our celebration a memorable one.  There will be an evening event at the MS Museum of Art on Saturday, May 6th.  Other events are being planned and more information will be available in the coming months.
We welcome Jeff and Anca Basinger and Anca’s son Andrei Anicescu to St. Peter.  (Anca and Andrei are from Romania.)  Their address is
                        340 Arbor Drive  #2296
                        Ridgeland, MS  39157
                        Cell phones:     Jeff      937-707-0668
                                                Anca    937-707-0763
                        e-mail: ancabasinger@gmail.com 
Windows into Heaven:  We are looking for a volunteer to take charge of the small bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall that was used in the past to display icons, hymns and information about the major feasts that occur during the year.  The packets of material needed for the bulletin board are available in the church office and only need to be changed for each of the feasts as they occur.  We would like to have the bulletin board up before the Feast of the Nativity.  If you are interested in taking on this responsibility, please let Fr. John know.
Please be sure to turn in your pledge letters as soon as possible.  If you did not receive one in the recent weeks, please let Kh. Sharon know.
St. Nicholas Tithe:  Our custom here at St. Peter’s is to take up a special collection each year at the Feast of St. Nicholas.  The money that is collected is then used to help someone in need.  If you would like to contribute to this fund and have not yet, you may still do so.  Be sure to mark on your check that the donation is for the St. Nicholas Fund.
Fasting Discipline for December
In December the traditional fasting (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil) is observed each day of the week until the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord.  Note, however, through December 19th there is a katalysis on Tuesdays and Thursdays when wine and oil are permitted, and on Saturdays and Sundays when fish, wine and oil are permitted.  There is no fasting from December 25th through January 4th.
Major Commemorations for December
December 20   God-bearer Ignatius of Antioch
December 25   Nativity of our Lord
December 26   Synaxis of the Theotokos
December 27   Protomartyr Stephen
Parish Creative Arts Festival:  The Christian Education classes will have a festival to work on their entries for this year’s Creative Arts Festival on Saturday morning, February 4th from 9-12.  There will be teaching about this year’s conference theme and then time to work on the projects themselves.  A Pizza lunch will be provided afterwards.  Please make plans now for your children to attend.
If you are the last to leave the building, please make sure that the heating and cooling unit in the Fellowship Hall is turned off.
Breakfast and Bible Study:  we are continuing to meet every 2-3 weeks for Bible Study on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast. This is open to all who are interested.  Be sure to come and enjoy the fellowship.
Happy Birthdays in December:
         December 1           —    Christina Katool
         December 2           —    Jim Roehner
         December 3           —    Stephanie Baker
                                       —    Athena Zouboukos
         December 4           —    Brenda Baker
         December 8           —    Ben Brock
                                       —    Sam Habeeb
                                       —    Michael Surratt
         December 11         —    Sh. Charlotte Algood
         December 12         —    Jenna Skirtech
         December 20         —    Steve Chamblee
                                       —    Anna Freundt
         December 21         —    Caroline Halley
         December 27         —    Ben Skirtech
                                       —    Warren Strain
                                       —    Nicholas Zouboukos (#12!)
         December 28         —    Sheryl Chamblee
Happy Anniversary on December 21st  to Fr. John and Kh. Janet Henderson (#37!)
Quotable:  “One of the most noticeable features of Eastern Christianity is that it is this word ‘mystery,’ which describes those actions of God that have a specific, decisive, and eternal significance in the lives of those who take part in them.  Everyday substances—oil, water, bread, wine—together with simple actions—offering, blessing, washing, anointing—are the means by which God intervenes in our lives.  These interventions, in which God does all the work and our only contribution is to be prepared and present, color and shape our lives beyond the extent that would be possible in any human encounter.  Moreover, unlike most human interactions, they do not take us from a place of ignorance to a place of knowledge.  Rather, the Mysteries lead us deeper and deeper into the Mystery which is the presence of God Himself.”
                                                Archimandrite. Meletios Webber, Bread and Water, Wine and
                                                             Oil: an Orthodox Christian Experience of God
Worship:         Saturday evening, December 24, 2011 (Nativity of our Lord)
         Scripture:                                Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12
         Celebrant:                               Father John
         Epistle Reader:                       Warren Strain
         Prosphora:                              R. Roots
         Coffee Hour:                           Mary Ellis/Sandi Strain

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