3/3 announcements

March 3, 2013
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
 
    The theme of the third Sunday before Lent is RETURN FROM EXILE and the Gospel lesson of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) is read.  We are taught by this lesson that even as we stray from God, a banquet is set for our return.  And we find that nothing in this fallen world truly satisfies, and thus we find ourselves on a pilgrimage of repentance – returning to God.
 
I Corinthians 6:12-20:  In our reading from I Corinthians we hear St Paul remind us that we have been   bought with a price and that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit; therefore we should turn from immorality and glorify God.
 
Luke 15:11-32:  The parable of the prodigal son as told by our Lord serves to illustrate how precious in the sight of the Lord is one who repents from his sin and is returned to the fold.
 
Troparion of the Resurrection:  When Mary stood at thy grave looking for thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above thy revered tomb, and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men.  Thou led hades captive and wast not tempted thereby.  Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world; O thou who art risen from the dead!  O Lord, glory to thee.
 
Troparion of the Martyrs:   Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God.  For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons= strengthless presumption.  O Christ our God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

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 Prodigal Son:  When I disobeyed in ignorance thy fatherly glory, I wasted in iniquities the riches that thou gavest me.  Wherefore, I cry to thee with the voice of the prodigal son, saying, I have sinned before thee, O compassionate Father, receive me repentant, and make me as one of thy hired servants.
 
CALENDAR
 
Sunday, March 3   (Sunday of the Prodigal Son)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education 
10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            5:30 p.m.         — Youth Group
           
Monday, March 4   
Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
           
Tuesday, March 5   
6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
           
Wednesday, March 6    
6:30 p.m.         — Daily Vespers
7:30 p.m.         — Choir Practice
 
Thursday, March 7    
6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
            11:30 a.m.       — Men’s Lunch
 
Friday, March 8    
6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
 
Saturday, March 9    (Forty Martyrs of Sebaste)
NO Ninth Hour Prayers followed by Great Vespers
 
Sunday, March 10   (Sunday of Meatfare)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
         12:30 p.m.       — Baptism of Julian Dabit
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Algoods for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
 
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                        Eucharist Bread                     Coffee Hour
March 3                          Algood                                     Ellis/Zouboukos
March 10                        Schelver                                   Fahmy/Brock/Stephanie Baker
March 17                        Morris                                      Teens
March 24                        Jones                                       Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker
March 25 (Mon. a.m.)   Meadows                                 Meadows
         (Feast of the Annunciation)
March 31                        Davis                                       Strain/Dabit
 
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 3                           Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver           I Cor. 6:12-20                 265
March 10                         Kh. Sharon Meadows        I Cor. 8:8-9:2                  273
March 17                         Sh. Charlotte Algood          Rom. 13:11-14:4            279
March 24                         Mildred Morris                     Heb. 11:24-26, 32-40     281
March 25 (Mon. a.m.)    Kh. Sharon Meadows         Heb. 2:11-18                  376
March 31                          Brenda Baker                        Heb. 1:10-2:3                 283
 
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 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 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 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.
 
House Blessings!  A sign-up sheet is available in the Fellowship Hall to sign up for your house blessing.  Please schedule these as soon as possible.  Everyone should have their home blessed.  However, the responsibility for scheduling lies with individuals and not Father John.  No house blessings will be done once Great Lent starts (March 18th this year).
 
Quarterly Schedule Update:
1) We will not be having the Saturday of the Souls Liturgy as originally scheduled on Saturday morning, March 9th.  We will instead celebrate this liturgy at a later date that is still to be determined. 
2) Due to the Julian Dabit’s baptism to be held on Sunday March 10th, we will not have our regularly scheduled Pot Luck Meal.  Instead we have a simple Coffee Hour between the Divine Liturgy and the baptism.
 
Calendar Items:
*    The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.
*    We will not be having Great Vespers next Saturday evening, March 9th, as all the clergy will be in Memphis for a wedding.
*    Julian Dabit will be baptized next Sunday afternoon, March 10th at 12:30 p.m.
*    The Youth Group will be hosting their annual Cheesefare Fundraising Luncheon on  Sunday, March 17th .
*    The schedule for services for the First week of Lent are as follows:
            Sunday, March 17th , 6:30 p.m.           Forgiveness Vespers
            Monday, March 18th, 6:30 p.m.          Canon of St, Andrew of Crete (Part 1)
            Tuesday, March 19th, 6:30 p.m.          Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Part 2)
            Wednesday, March 20th, 6:30 p.m.      Presanctified Liturgy followed by Soup Supper
            Thursday, March 21st, 6:30 p.m.         Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Part 4)
            Friday, March 22nd, 6:30 p.m.             Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos
*    This year the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers will be hosted by St. George Orthodox Church in Vicksburg on Sunday evening, March 24th, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
*    We will celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation with Divine Liturgy (only) on Monday morning, March 25th, beginning at 6:00 a.m.
 
Donation for Camp St. Thekla:  We are still collecting money for Camp St. Thekla.  If you would like to make a donation, please make your check out to St. Peter and mark “Camp St. Thekla” on the memo line.
 
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.
 
Vacation Church School …The Christian Education department will hold a Vacation Church School June 27-29 from 8:30-12:30 each day.  The curriculum will be “Ark of our Salvation – Feast Days of the Theotokos.”  Parents, please be sure to mark your calendars now.
 
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. 
 
Fasting Discipline for March
During the first part of the month the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine or oil) is observed on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Following Meatfare Sunday (March 10th) meat will not be eaten again until Pascha.  During the week following Meatfare Sunday, dairy products (milk, cheese, eggs, etc.) are permitted , even on Wednesday and Friday.  March 17th is Cheesefare Sunday, the last day until Pascha that dairy and wine are permitted.  Monday, March 18th is Clean Monday, the first day of Great Lent when the traditional fasting discipline is observed on all days of the week until Pascha (except Annunciation on March 25th and Palm Sunday on April 28th, when fish, wine and oil are permitted).
 
Major Commemorations for March
March 3                 Sunday of the Prodigal Son
March 9                 Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
March 10               Meatfare Sunday
March 16               Christodoulos, the Wonder-worker of Patmos
March 17               Cheesefare Sunday
March 18               Clean Monday
March 24               1st Sunday of Lent ; Sunday of Orthodoxy
March 25               Feast of the Annunciation
March 26               Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel
March 31               2nd Sunday of Lent; Gregory of Palamas
 
Happy Anniversaries in March:
         March 10               —    Fr. James and Kh. Sharon Meadows (#40!)
         March 13               —    Warren and Sandra Strain (#19!)
         March 15               —    Dn. Richard and Sh. Margaret Root (#38!)
         March 27               —    Sam and Anne Habeeb (#9!)
 
Happy Birthdays in March:
         March 3                 —    Kay Carlton
         March 6                 —    Amy Surratt
         March 9                 —    Ian Jones
         March 12               —    Alexa Zouboukos (#18!)
         March 15               —    Emma Freundt
         March 17               —    Cliff Stewart
         March 20               —    Charlotte Wood
         March 24               —    Brenden Skirtech (#9!)
         March 26               —    Katherine Habeeb (#5!)
         March 29               —    Sophie Dansereau (#2!)
         March 30               —    Aidan Milnor (#7!)
 
Parish Life Conference 2013:  This year St. Basil Orthodox Church in Metairie, LA will be hosting the Parish Life Conference for our Diocese on June 12-16.  His Grace, Bishop JOHN Abdallah will be the speaker.  There will also be a special presentation by Fr. Philip Rogers on keeping our children in the church.  Parents are especially encouraged to hear his presentation.  Please mark your calendars now and make plans to attend.
 
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.
 
Quotable:  “And yet, however paradoxical it may seem, in spite of today’s noise and confusion, it is still possible to hear the mysterious call of God in our hearts.  This call may not always be understood as the voice of God.  It may strike us as a feeling of dissatisfaction or of inner unease, or as the beginning of a search.  For many, it is only after the passing of years that they realize their life was incomplete and inadequate because it was without God.  ‘You have made us for yourself,’ says St. Augustine, ‘and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.’  Without God there can never be fullness of being.  It is therefore crucially important for us to be able to hear and to respond to the voice of God at the very moment when God is speaking, and not years later.  If someone identifies and responds to the call of God, this may change and transfigure his or her whole life.”
                                                 The Mystery of Faith by Metropolitan HILARION Alfeyev
 
Worship:         Sunday, March 10, 2013 (Sunday of Meatfare)
         Scripture:                               I Corinthians 8:8-9:2; Matthew 25;31-46
         Celebrant:                              Father John
         Epistle Reader:                      Kh. Sharon Meadows
         Prosphora:                             Schelver
         Coffee Hour:                          Fahmy/Brock/Stephanie Baker                                       

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