12/21 announcements

December 21, 2014
Sunday before the Nativity of Christ
 
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:  Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad; for the Lord hath done a mighty act with his own arm.  He hath trampled down death and become the First-born from the dead. He hath delivered us from the depths of hades, granting the world the Great Mercy.
 
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 eat thereof we shall all live, and shall not die as did Adam.  Verily, Christ shall be born, raising the likeness that fell of old.
 
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.
 
CALENDAR
 
Sunday, December 21   (Sunday before the Nativity of our Lord)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            5:00 p.m.         — Young Adults
 
Monday, December 22   
            Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
           
Tuesday, December 23  
            6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
                                                                                   
Wednesday, December 24 
            7:00 a.m.         — Royal Hours
            10:00 p.m.       — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
                                                           
Thursday, December 25   (The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ)
                                   
Friday, December 26   (Synaxis of the Theotokos)
 
Saturday, December 27   (Protomartyr Stephen)
            5:45 p.m.         — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
 
Sunday, December 28   (Sunday after the Nativity)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
 
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Schelvers for the Divine Liturgy today. 

Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                            Eucharist Bread                     Coffee Hour
December 21                     Schelver                                   Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker
December 24 (Wed pm)   Morris                                      Cheryl Pigott/Kh. Sharon Meadows
                  (Feast of the Nativity of our Lord)
December 28                     Jones                                         D. Root/Dansereau
December 31 (Wed pm)   Bakers (Artoklasia Bread for Great Vespers with Litia & Artoklasia)
                  (Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and the Feastday of St. Basil the Great)
January 4                           Meadows                                  Algood/Yeatts/Lasseter
January 5 (Mon pm)         Davis                                         Nikki Lasseter/Brittany Salisbury
                  (Feast of Theophany)
January 11                         D. Root                                      R. Root/Abraham/Habeeb
January 15 (Thurs pm)     Abraham                              Anastasia Jones
                  (Feast of the Chains of St. Peter)
January 18                       Karam                                         Schelver/Lavric/Turner
January 25                        Brock                                          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#
December 21                     Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver          Heb. 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40  348
December 24 (Wed pm)  Tom Skirtech                       Gal. 4:4-7                           351
December 28                     David Turner                       Gal. 1:11-19                      188
January 4                           Tom Willingham                 II Tim. 4:5-8                      354
January 5 (Mon pm)        Walt Wood                           Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7         361
January 11                         Sh. Charlotte Algood          Heb. 13:7-16                    365
January 15 (Thurs pm)     Kh. Sharon Meadows         Acts 12:1-11                     50-51
January 18                         Warren Strain                        Heb. 13:7-16                    365
January 25                         Mildred Morris                      Heb. 7:26-8:2                  334
 
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 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.
 
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 Feast of the Nativity of our Lord will be celebrated with Royal Hours on Wednesday,    December 24th, beginning at 7:00 a.m.  Orthros and Divine Liturgy will be celebrated that night, beginning at 10:00 p.m.
*    This year we will celebrate Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia for the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and the Feast of St. Basil the Great on Wednesday evening, December 31st, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  [Please note change in time.]
*    On Monday, January 5th we will celebrate the Feast of Theophany with Royal Hours, beginning at 6:00 a.m. and Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
*    Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Professor of Patristics at St. Tikhon Seminary will be speaking at St. Peter’s February 1-4, 2015.
 
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, December 21st  and January 4th and 25th.
 
Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Professor of Patristics at St. Tikhon Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, will visit St. Peter’s February 1-4, 2015.  He will speak at our church on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m.  His topic will be “The Orthodox Understanding of Salvation.”  We are priviledged to have a man of Dr. Veniamin’s stature with us.  This promises to be a most edifying and instructive time for our church.  Please put these dates on your calendar and plan to be here.
 
Fasting Discipline for December
Beginning November 15th, the first day of the Nativity Fast, the traditional fasting (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed each day of the week.  Note, however, through December 19th there is a katlysis 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 25         Nativity of our Lord
December 26         Synaxis of the Theotokos
December 27         Protomartyr Stephen
 
 
Lower Mississippi Valley Teen Retreat:  The Teen Retreat will be February 13-15, 2015 at Roosevelt State Park.  The speaker for the retreat will be Heiromonk Benedict (Josuah Armitage).  His topic will be “Dealing with Doubts about God.”  We are very excited to have Fr. Benedict come to address this important topic with our teens!  Be sure to mark your calendars now.
 
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 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 13         —    Carrie Henderson
         December 20         —    Steve Chamblee
         December 21         —    Caroline Halley
         December 27         —    Ben Skirtech
                                       —    Warren Strain
                                       —    Nicholas Zouboukos (#15!)
                                       —    Eli Milnor (#2!)
         December 28         —    Sheryl Chamblee
 
 
Happy Anniversaries in December:
         December 21         —    Fr. John and Kh. Janet Henderson (#40!)
 
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.
 
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.
 
Quotable:  “Every prayer must come from the heart, and any other prayer is no prayer at all.  Prayer-book prayers, your own prayers, and very short prayers, all must issue forth from the heart to God, seen before you.  And still more must this be so with the Jesus Prayer.”
                                                St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                from The Art of Prayer compiled by Igumen Chariton of Valamo
 
 
Worship:         Sunday, December 28, 2014 (Sunday after the Nativity of our Lord)
        
         Scripture:                                Galatians 1:11-19; Matthew 2:13-23
         Celebrant:                               Father John
         Epistle Reader:                      David Turner
         Prosphora:                               Jones
         Coffee Hour:                           D. Root/Dansereau

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