12/23 announcements

December 23, 2012
Sunday before the Nativity of Christ
(Sunday of the Genealogy)
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:  Having learned the joyful message of the Resurrection from the angel, the women Disciples cast from them their parental condemnation, and proudly broke the news to the Disciples, saying, Death has been spoiled.  Christ God is risen, granting the world Great Mercy.
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 Forefeast: Be thou ready, Bethlehem, Eden hath opened unto all.  Ephratha, prepare thyself, for now, behold, the Tree of life hath blossomed forth in the cave of the holy Virgin.  Her womb hath proved a true spiritual Paradise, wherein the divine and saving Tree is found, and as we thereof we shall all live, and shall not die as did Adam.  For Christ is born now to raise the image that had fallen aforetime.
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 23   (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 24   
7:00 a.m.         — Royal Hours
10:00 p.m.       — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
Tuesday, December 25   (The Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ)
NO Daily Orthros
Wednesday, December 26  (Synaxis of the Theotokos)
6:30 p.m.         — Daily Vespers
Thursday, December 27    (Protomartyr Stephen)
6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
Friday, December 28    
6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
Saturday, December 29
11:30 a.m.       — Serving at Stewpot Ministries
5:45 p.m.         — Ninth Hour Prayers followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, December 30   (Sunday after the Nativity)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education 
         10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            1:00 p.m.         — Young Adults
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Joneses for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                             Eucharist Bread                     Coffee Hour
December 23                       Jones                                       D. Root/Dansereau/Dale Cooper
December 24 (Mon pm)      Meadows                               Katool/Strain/Dabit/Dabit
         (Feast of the Nativity of our Lord)
December 30                         Davis                                       Pigott/Freundt/Turner
December 31 (Mon pm)      Baker (Artoklasia Bread)      No Meal
         (Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and Feastday of St. Basil the Great)
January 6                             D. Root                                    POT LUCK MEAL
         (Feast of Theophany)                                (Set-up: Dansereau/Algood/Meadows)
January 13                           Yeatts                                      R. Root/Abraham/Davis
January 15 (Tues pm)        Abraham                                  Meadows
         (Feast of the Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter)
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 23                               Phillip Lasseter                   Heb. 11:9-10, 32-40         348
December 24 (Mon pm)             Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver          Gal. 4:4-7                          351
December 30                               Brenda Baker                      Gal. 1:11-19                      188
January 6                                     Tom Willingham                Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7         361
January 13                                      Tom Skirtech                       Eph. 4:7-13                      364
January 15 (Tues pm)                 Sh. Charlotte Algood        Acts 12:1-11                   50-51
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.

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.
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 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.
He is Worthy!  His Beatitude, JOHN X (Yaziji) was elected by the members of the Holy Synod on December 17th to succeed the late Patriarch IGNATIUS who reposed on December 5th.  Prior to his election as Patriarch of Antioch, His Beatitude served as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Western and Central Europe.  May God grant him Many Years! (Additional information on Patriarch JOHN is available on the table in the hallway.)
Building Fund:  As we proceed with the plans for the approval by the City of Madison and Metropolitan PHILIP for our addition/renovation, we are reviewing our Building Fund.  We currently have over $150,000 in the fund and are regularly adding to it.  The Parish Council has decided to apply cash donations from the Sunday offering to the Building Fund – UNLESS it is specified or otherwise apparent that these are intended as a regular tithe/donation.  Of course, other donations by check, etc., specified for the Building Fund are always welcome!  So feel free to chip in a little (or lot!) extra as you are able.  With God’s grace, we look forward to this next phase of our building program and beyond to the next phase of building a new main church building/temple.
The Deanery Youth Retreat is scheduled for February 15-17, 2013.  Sister Magdalene from the Monastery of St. John in England will be the speaker.  Sister Magdalene will also be speaking at St. Peter’s for two evenings around the time of the retreat.  More details will be available at a later date.  But be sure to mark your calendars now for the retreat and Sister Magdalene’s talks!!
Coffee Hour guidelines have been posted on the refrigerator in the kitchen.  These list the items to be set out for Fasting and Non-fasting Coffee Hours along with guidelines for setting out the food and for storage afterwards.  Please be sure that the power switch on the dishwasher is turned off when you are through with clean-up. 

Calendar Items:
*    The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.
*    We will celebrate the Nativity of our Lord with Royal Hours at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, December 24th and with Orthros and Divine Liturgy at 10:00 p.m. that evening.  Metropolitan PHILIP has stipulated that this evening service can begin no earlier than 10:00 p.m.
*    The Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and the Feastday of St. Basil the Great will be celebrated with Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia on Monday evening, December 31st, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
*    Because the Feast of Theophany falls on a Sunday this year, we will have the Royal Hours on Friday morning, January 4th instead of Daily Orthros, beginning at 6:00 a.m.
*    The great Feast of Theophany will be celebrated on Sunday, January 6th with a Pot Luck meal following the Divine Liturgy.  We will hold our traditional Blessing of the Waters at the Reservoir with our sister churches later that afternoon at Old Trace Park on the Ross Barnett Reservoir.  (Time is TBA and more details will be available later).
*    Our patronal feastday (Veneration of the Chanins of St. Peter) will be celebrated with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy on Tuesday evening, January 15th, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  This is an important day in the life of our parish as we honor our beloved St. Peter.  Please mark your calendars and make plans to attend.
*    Stewpot schedule (together with Holy Resurrection) – December 29th.
*    Deanery Youth Retreat is scheduled for February 15-17, 2013.  More details later.
Fasting Discipline for December
During December the traditional fasting (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil) is observed each day of the week.  There is no fasting from December 25th through January 4th.
Major Commemorations for December
December 25         Nativity of our Lord
December 26         Synaxis of the Theotokos
December 27         Protomartyr Stephen
When you host Coffee Hour or the meal for a Feast, please make sure that the oven, warmer, and coffee maker are turned off afterwards.  On several occasions in the past, the cleaning ladies have found the oven still on when they came in to clean later during the week.
Happy Anniversaries in December:
         December 21         —    Fr. John and Kh. Janet Henderson (#38!)
Happy Birthdays in December:
         December 1           —    Christina Katool
         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 (#13!)
         December 28         —    Sheryl Chamblee
Quotable:  “Whither shall we go, brethren, ‘whither shall we flee from His face?  If we go up to heaven, there we shall find Him; if we go down to hell, there He is present.  If we go to the uttermost part of the sea, we shall not escape His hand, but His right hand will encompass’ our souls and bodies (Ps. 139:7-10).  Since then, brethren, we cannot withstand the Lord or flee from His face, come, let us give ourselves as slaves to Him, our Lord and God, who for our sakes ‘took on Himself the form of a slave’ and died for us.  Come, let us be humbled under His mighty hand (I Pet. 5:6), which makes eternal life to spring forth for all, and imparts it abundantly through the Spirit to those who seek [it].”
                                                            St. Symeon the New Theologian
Worship:         Sunday, December 30, 2012 (Sunday AFTER the Nativity of our Lord)
         Scripture:                                Galatians 1:11-19; Matthew 2:13-23
         Celebrant:                               Father John
         Epistle Reader:                       Brenda Baker
         Prosphora:                              Davis
         Coffee Hour:                           Pigott/Freundt/Turner                  

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