2/2 announcements

February 2, 2014
Presentation of our Lord in the Temple

    Many years before the coming of Christ there lived a very pious and saintly man called Simeon.  He was one of the most intelligent Jewish scholars of his day.  Simeon prayed for the day that the Saviour would come and deliver all Israel (and the world) from sin.  One evening while kneeling in prayer, Simeon heard the voice of God saying to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Holy Tradition tells us that Simeon waited many long years.  Some Holy Fathers inform us that Simeon was over 150 years old when the Promise of God was fulfilled. The Holy Scriptures tell us that 40 days after the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ  the Virgin Mary brought the Christ Child to the Temple for Presentation.  It was a law that the first born son of a family should be offered to God and His service, as soon as a period of purification was past.  It was here that Simeon waited patiently that day, as he had done for so many years.  The Spirit of the Lord brought him to the baby Jesus.  Simeon took the infant Child in his trembling hands and recited the following beautiful prayer which is recited in the Orthodox Church every evening during Vesper services:
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. 
For mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation which thou hast prepared before the
face of all peoples.  A Light to enlighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of
thy people Israel.”
    Thus the promise to the aged Simeon was finally fulfilled.  The next day Simeon died in peace, thankful to Almighty God that he was honored to see the coming of Christ.
    This custom has continued down to our own day for both male and female children, and every mother who brings her new-born child to Church on the fortieth day is remembering the Great Feast of the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple.   

Hebrews 7:7-17: Perfection does not come through the Levitical priesthood, but through the perfect Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, who like Melchizedek is both a king and a priest.
 
Luke 2:22-40: Our Lord is brought into the Temple by the Theotokos and Joseph to be presented according to the law.  There they are met by Simeon and Anna, who both prophesy concerning the Christ child.
 
Troparion of the Resurrection: Thou didst shatter death by thy Cross; thou didst open paradise to the thief; thou didst turn the mourning of the ointment-bearing women into joy, and didst bid thine Apostles proclaim warning that thou hast risen, O Christ, granting the world Great Mercy.
 
Troparion of the Presentation:  Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of grace; for from thee arose the Sun of justice, Christ our God, lighting those who are in darkness.  Rejoice and be glad, O righteous old man, carrying in thine arms the Deliverer of our souls, who granteth us resurrection.
 
Kontakion of the Presentation: Thou, O Christ God, who by your Birth, didst sanctify the Virgin’s womb, and as is meet, didst bless Simeon’s arms, and didst also come to save us, preserve thy fold in wars, and confirm them whom thou didst love; for thou alone art the Lover of mankind.
 
 
CALENDAR
 
Sunday, February 2   (Presentation of our Lord in the Temple)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            12:00 p.m.       — Pot Luck Meal
 
Monday, February 3   (Simeon the God-receiver)
            Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
           
Tuesday, February 4   
            6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
                       
Wednesday, February 5    
            6:30 p.m.         — Daily Vespers
            7:30 p.m.         — Choir Practice
           
Thursday, February 6  
            NO Daily Orthros
            11:30 a.m.       — Men’s Lunch
 
Friday, February 7    
            NO Daily Orthros
 
Saturday, February 8   
            10:30 a.m.       — Baptism of Jude Brock
            5:45 p.m.         — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
 
Sunday, February 9   (Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            5:30 p.m.         — Youth Group
 
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Meadows for the Divine Liturgy this morning. 
 
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                         Eucharist Bread                     Coffee Hour
February 2                       Meadows                                 POT LUCK MEAL
                                                                                    set-up: R. Root/Abraham/Habeeb
February 9                       Davis                                       Algood/Lasseter/Yeatts
February 16                      D. Root                               Schelver/Lavric/Turner
February 22 (Sat. a.m.)   Yeatts                              Kh. Sharon Meadows
         (Saturday of the Souls)
February 23                     Abraham                            Henderson/Baker/Lockhart
 
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#
February 2                         Kh. Sharon Meadows           Heb. 7:7-17                    371
February 9                         Phillip Lasseter                       II Tim. 3:10-15               258
February 16                       Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver              I Cor. 6:12-20                 265
February 22 (Sat. a.m.)     Brenda Baker                          I Cor. 10:23-26               271-272
February 23                       Warren Strain                         I Cor. 8:8-9:2                  273
 
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers. 
 
Continue to pray for Metropolitan Paul (who is also the brother of our Patriarch) and the Syriac Archbishop John of Aleppo who were abducted recently while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.
 
Terrorists have abducted 12 Orthodox nuns from the Convent of St. Thekla in Syria.  Please keep them 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.
 
Athena Zouboukos has had surgery recently and is recovering at home.  Please keep her, Anthony and their family in your prayers.
 
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;
Fr. Alexander Atty, the Dean of St. Thikon’s who is battling cancer; Walt and Charlotte Wood and their family; Tom and Jennifer Skirtech and their family; Tom and Kathy Willingham.
 
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 3rd this year).  You may also e-mail Father John at frjohnc@bellsouth.net and give him three dates for your house blessing.
 
Jude Brock will be baptized next Saturday, February 8th at 10:30 a.m.  Please keep him, his parents and his godparents, Cliff Stewart and Michelle Pigott in your prayers.
 
Parish Council Additions:  Anna Kathryn Stewart, Phillip Lasseter and Ben Skirtech have been appointed to the Parish Council by Father John.  We thank them for their willingness to serve.
  
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 each 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.
*    The Youth Group will meet for a meal and Christian Education with Father John on Sunday evenings, February 9th and 23rd beginning at 5:30 p.m.
*    The Young Adults will meet at the church Sunday, February 16th from 5:00-6:30 p.m.
*    Deanery Youth Retreat with Sister Magdalene – February 14-16th.
 
Metropolitan Philip has given the Antiochian Women the project of raising money for the orphans of the war in Syria.  He has asked them to raise $200,000 towards this project.  All monies raised are to be distributed directly to the affected areas.  Please read information regarding “Help the Orphans of War in Syria” posted on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall.  If you wish to contribute to this project, please make your donation to the Ladies of St. Peter noting it is for “Help the Orphans of War in Syria.”  They will be collecting money for this project through the coming months.
 
Sister Magdalene from the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, England will be the speaker at the Deanery Youth Retreat, February 14-16th.  The topic of the Retreat will be “Our Faith, My Life.”  Following the Retreat, she will be at St. Peter’s Sunday evening and Monday and will fly home to England on Tuesday, the 18th.  The tentative schedule is for her to meet with the Young Adults on Sunday evening and to speak to the church on Monday evening.
 
Young Adults Study Group:  The Young Adults will meet once a month on Sunday evening from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. (time will be strictly adhered to) for a meal, fellowship and teaching.  The next meeting will be February 16th.  Please let Father John know by text or e-mail if you will be there, so that plans may be made for the meal.
 
Pledge Letters have gone out.  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 fiscal year.
 
Father Stephen Freeman, the Rector of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, TN, will be speaking at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Clinton, Tuesday through Thursday, February 4th-6th, beginning at 7:00 p.m.   He will be speaking on Salvation, Heaven and Hell.
 
Fasting Discipline for February
The traditional fasting  (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine or oil) is observed on all Wednesdays and Fridays of the month.  Following Meatfare Sunday (February 23rd) meat will not be eaten again until Pascha.  Duriing the week following Meatfare Sunday, dairy products (milk, cheese, eggs, etc.) are permitted, even on Wednesday and Friday.
 
Major Commemorations for February
February 2             Presentation of our Lord in the Temple
February 3             Simeon the God-receiver
February 9             Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
February 10           Hieromartyr Haralampos
February 11           Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste
February 16           Sunday of the Prodigal Son
February 22           Saturday of the Souls
February 23           Meatfare Sunday
February 24           The Forerunner (1st and 2nd Discoveries)
 
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).
 
Canned food drive:  The Christian Education classes are collecting canned good s for the needy. 
 
Happy Birthdays in January/February:
         February 3             —    Mary Alice Stewart (#1!)
         February 5             —    Andrei Anicescu
         February 11           —    Demetrius Zouboukos
         February 13           —    Clyde Ellis
         February 15           —    Mary Guy Lockhart
         February 17           —    Anthony Zouboukos
         February 18           —    Tom Willingham
         February 22           —    Kh. Sharon Meadows
         February 24           —    Nimr Fahmy
         February 28           —    Cole Parker (#9!)
 
Happy Anniversaries in February:
         February 7             —  Ben and Meghan Brock (#5!)
         February 18           —    David and Lou Turner (#8!)
         February 21           —    Michael and Amy Surratt (#16!)
         February 25           —    Daniel and Elizabeth Root (#8!)
 
Quotable:  “One of the best ways to teach children is by example and to have Jesus Christ as the center of the ‘little church’ – the home, is to practice family prayer.  The Saviour said that He is in the midst of those who gather in His Name (Matt. 28:20) and truly Christ is present in every house in which He is invoked in prayer.  There ought to be set aside a place in every home where the family may gather for corporate family worship, where they may be united every morning and evening to pray for each other and to beseech God’s blessing upon their home.  The family which gathers daily for family worship and to read from the Holy Bible receives enduring blessings for itself.  And it has truly been said that the family that prays together stays together.  The home that practices family prayer is a powerful witness for God in the community.  The great majority of criminals in our prisons come from homes in which the parents neglected their children’s religious training, where they never said grace before meals, where they never prayed together.”
                                                Rev. Fr. David F. Abramtsov, The Orthodox Companion
 
 
Worship:         Sunday, February 9, 2014 (Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican;
                                                Leave taking of the Presentation of our Lord)
        
         Scripture:                               II Timothy 3:10-15; Luke 18:10-14
         Celebrant:                              Father John
         Epistle Reader:                      Phillip Lasseter
         Prosphora:                             Davis
         Coffee Hour:                         Algood/Yeatts/Lasseter

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