1/4 announcements

January 4, 2015
Sunday before Theophany
 
II Timothy 4:5-8:  St Paul encourages Timothy to persevere in his calling, knowing that our    perseverance in the battle before us will be rewarded with the crown of righteousness.
 
Mark 1:1-8: From the Gospel of St Mark we hear how John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ public ministry by calling for the people to repent from their sins and be baptized.
 
Troparion of the Resurrection:  Let us believers praise and worship the Word, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation; for he took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh, to suffer death, and to raise the dead by his glorious Resurrection.
 
Troparion of the Forefeast of Theophany:  Make ready, O Zebulon, and prepare, O Nephtali, and thou, River Jordan, cease thy flow and receive with joy the Master coming to be baptized.  And thou, Adam, rejoice with the first mother, and hide not yourselves as ye did of old in paradise; for having seen thee naked, He appeared to clothe thee with the first robe.  Yea, Christ hath appeared desiring to renew the whole creation.
 
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 Forefeast of Theophany: Today hath the Lord appeared in the courses of the Jordan, crying to John and saying, Be not dismayed at my Baptism; for I have come to save Adam, the first to be created.
 
CALENDAR
 
Sunday, January 4   (Sunday before Theophany)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            5:00 p.m.         — Young Adults
 
Monday, January 5   [STRICT FAST DAY]
            Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
            6:00 a.m.         — Royal Hours
            6:00 p.m.         — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
           
Tuesday, January 6   (Theophany)
    This Feast Day is one of the greatest days of the Christian year.  In English, we are accustomed to hearing this Feast Day called “Epiphany,” a word which means “manifestation” or “appearance.”  On this day, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist (he is called “the Baptist” because he baptized Christ).  Epiphany is also called “Theophany” which means “God shows Himself to us.”  The importance of this Feast Day lies in the fact that for the first time the Holy Trinity was revealed for all mankind to know and believe (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).  When Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan, a voice was heard from the heavens above saying, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.”  The Father whose voice was heard from the heavens was God.  The white dove was the symbol of the Holy Spirit which descended upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Thus, we have the Holy Trinity being revealed to all that day, almost 2000 years ago.  This is why we call this day the day of illumination (light) and manifestation (appearance).  The Holy Trinity made its appearance, and we have been illuminated by this wonderful truth and blessing.  On this day we have the traditional blessing of the waters.  Since the waters of the Jordan were blessed in the presence of Jesus Christ, it is a source of Divine Grace and blessing, and we bless ourselves and our homes with the waters of the “Sanctification Service” which is held during the Epiphany Services.
    Theophany Day is a day of illumination and sanctification.  Let us pledge ourselves to a greater participation in the sacramental life of the Church of Christ.  When the Priest blesses our homes, let us all pray that the blessing of the Theophany Season be with us throughout the year and may our homes be sanctified with our prayers, Christian living and spiritual direction in our lifetime.
           
            NO Daily Orthros
 
Wednesday, January 7  (Synaxis of the Forerunner)
            6:30 p.m.         — Daily Vespers
            7:30 p.m.         — Choir Practice
                                               
Thursday, January 8  
            11:30 a.m.       — Men’s Lunch           
                       
Friday, January 9   
 
Saturday, January 10   
            10:00 a.m.       — Ladies meet for Akathist
            5:45 p.m.         — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
 
Sunday, January 11   (Sunday after Theophany)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            4:00 p.m.         — Blessing of the Waters at the Reservoir
 
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Meadows for the Divine Liturgy today. 
 
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                       Eucharist Bread                     Coffee Hour
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
 
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.
 
Our condolences go to Jennifer Skirtech and her family on the death of her brother, Don Hickson, this past week.  Please keep them all in your prayers.

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#
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 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.
*    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, 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 January
From December 25th through January 4th there is no abstinence of any sort and all types of food are permitted.  The forefeast of Theophany (January 5th) is observed as a strict fast day (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil).  The traditional fasting is observed on the remaining Wednesdays and Fridays of the month.
 
Major Commemorations for January
January 6               Theophany
January 7               Synaxis of the Forerunner
January11              Theodosios the Head of Monasteries
January 18             Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria
January 20             Euthymios the Great
January 25             Gregory the Theologian
January 27             John Chrysostom
January 31             Cyros and John the Unmercenary Healers
 
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 Anniversaries in January:
         January 10             —    Bob and Georgia Buchanan (#28!)
         January 17             —    Chris and Rebecca Dansereau (#6!)
         January 19             —    Ramzi and Jean Kafoury (#12!)
 
Happy Birthdays in January:
         January 1               —    Dn. Richard Root
         January 5               —    Sarah Anne Milnor
         January 10             —    Georgia Buchanan
         January 11             —    Nicholas Henderson
         January 12             —    Cheryl Pigott
         January 13             —    Nader Dabit
         January 19             —    Saliba (Sam) Dabit
         January 20             —    Alfred Katool
         January 22             —    Tatiana Lavric
         January 24             —    Oliver Yeatts
         January 26             —    Jay Davis
         January 29             —    Michelle Pigott
         January 30             —    Chris Dansereau
 
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:  “The principal thing is to stand with the mind in the heart before God, and to go on standing before Him unceasingly day and night, until the end of life.”
                                                St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                from The Art of Prayer compiled by Igumen Chariton of Valamo

 
Worship:         Sunday, January 11, 2015 (Sunday after Theophany; Commemoration of
                                                St. Theodosios the Great)

         Scripture:                               Hebrews 13:7-16; Matthew 4:12-17
         Celebrant:                              Father John
         Epistle Reader:                      Sh. Charlotte Algood
         Prosphora:                               D. Root
         Coffee Hour:                           R. Root/Abraham/Habeeb

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