2/8 announcements

February 8, 2015
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Sunday after the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple
 
    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 thou, O immortal Life, didst humble thyself unto death, then didst thou destroy death by the brightness of thy Godhead; and when thou didst raise the bowels of the earth, then all the heavenly powers exclaimed, O Christ, thou art the Giver of life!  Glory to thee, O our God!
 
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.

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 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 8   (Sunday of the Prodigal Son)
            8:50 a.m.         — Orthros
            9:00 a.m.         — Christian Education
            10:00 a.m.       — Divine Liturgy
            12:00 p.m.       — Pot Luck Meal
            5:00 p.m.         — Young Adults
 
Monday, February 9   
            Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
           
Tuesday, February 10   (Hieromartyr Haralampos)
            6:00 a.m.         — Daily Orthros
 
Wednesday, February 11   (Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste)
            6:30 p.m.         — Daily Vespers
            7:30 p.m.         — Choir Practice
                                               
Thursday, February 12  
                                  
Friday, February 13   
            [YOUTH RETREAT BEGINS]
 
Saturday, February 14   (Saturday of the Souls)
            9:00 a.m.         — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
            5:45 p.m.         — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
 
Sunday, February 15   (Meatfare Sunday)
            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 Woods for the feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple this past Monday morning and by the Dn Richard Roots for the Divine Liturgy today. 
 
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.
 
 
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
                                       Eucharist Bread                     Coffee Hour
February 8                     R. Root                                    POT LUCK MEAL     
                                                                                         SET-UP:  Ellis/Zouboukos/Fahmy
February 14 (Sat am)   Henderson                              
         (Saturday of the Souls – Koliva:  Abraham)
February 15                  Algood                            Pigott/Brock/Strain
February 22                 Katool                              Teens Cheesefare Fundraiser
 
 
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 8                         Tom Skirtech                        I Cor. 6:12-20                 265
February 14 (Sat am)       David Turner                        I Cor. 10:23-26               271-272
February 15                       Tom Willingham                 I Cor. 8:8-9:2                  273
February 22                       Walt Wood                           Rom. 13:11-14:4            279
 
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 third Saturday this month to pray the Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children.  Those who are able will go out for lunch and fellowship at La Brioche afterwards.  We will not have our usual monthly Ladies Lunch on the fourth Tuesday this month due to the start of Great Lent.
*    Youth Retreat at Roosevelt State Park, February 13-15th.
*    The Teens will be holding their annual Cheesefare Meal to raise funds for the Youth Group on Sunday, February 22nd following the Divine Liturgy.
*    Parish Creative Arts Festival – Saturday morning, February 28th from 9:00-12:00. 
*    Sunday of Orthodoxy vespers at St. Peter – March 1st, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
 
House Blessings!  A sign-up sheet is available in the Fellowship Hall to sign up for your house blessing.  You may also e-mail Father John at frjohnc@bellsouth.net with 3 dates for your blessing.  Please schedule these as soon as possible.  Everyone should have their home blessed.  However, the responsibility for scheduling lies with individuals and not with Father John.   No house blessings will be done once Great Lent starts (February 23rd this year).
 
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, March 8th and 22nd.
 
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.
 
Pledge Letters have been mailed.  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 year.
 
The letters confirming your non-taxable donations for 2014 were also mailed.  If you have not received your letter in the mail, please contact Kh. Sharon.
 
Parish Creative Arts Festival:  The Christian Education classes will have a festival to work on their entries for this year’s Creative Arts Festival on Saturday morning, February 28th from 9:00a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  There will be teaching about this year’s conference theme and then time to work on the projects themselves.  Please make plans for your children to attend.
 
We will be hosting the Sunday of Orthodoxy vespers this year on Sunday evening, March 1st, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  St. Peter will provide Pot Luck refreshments afterwards.  As a result, we will NOT have our regularly scheduled Pot Luck Meal on March 8th.
 
Camp St. Thekla is filling up fast.  If you are interested in having your child participate, please see Father John as soon as possible.  Scholarship forms are available in the church office, but they must be turned in before March 1st.
 
Parish Life Conference 2015:  This year St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Franklin, TN will be hosting the Parish Life Conference for our Diocese on June 10-14.  His Grace, Bishop JOHN Abdallah will be the speaker.  Registration forms are available in the office or you can go online at www.saint-ignatius.org to register.  The Conference will take place at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs and last day to book the special conference rate is May 20th.
 
Fasting Discipline for February
The traditional fasting (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on all Wednesdays and Fridays the first half of the month.  Following  Meatfare Sunday (February 15th) 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.  February 22nd is Cheesefare Sunday, the last day that dairy and wine are permitted.  Monday, February 23rd 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 5th, when fish wine and oil are permitted).
 
Major Commemorations for February
February 8             Sunday of the Prodigal Son
February 10           Hieromartyr Haralampos
February 11           Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste
February 14           Saturday of the Souls
February 15           Meatfare Sunday
February 22           Cheesefare Sunday
February 23           Clean Monday [Great Lent begins]
February 24           The Forerunner (1st and 2nd discoveries)
 
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.
 
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 February:
         February 3             —    Mary Alice Stewart (#2!)
         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 (#10!)
 
Happy Anniversaries in February:
         February 7             —  Ben and Meghan Brock (#6!)
         February 18           —    David and Lou Turner (#9!)
         February 21           —    Michael and Amy Surratt (#17!)
         February 25           —    Daniel and Elizabeth Root (#9!)
 
Quotable:  “I have already spoken more than once about how this work is to be done.  You must not allow your thoughts to wander at random, but as soon as they run away, you must immediately bring them back, reproaching yourself, regretting and deploring this straying of the mind.  St. John of the Ladder says of this, ‘You must make a great effort to confine your mind within the words of prayer’.”
                                                St. Theophan the Recluse
                                                from The Art of Prayer compiled by Igumen Chariton of Valamo
 
 
Worship:         Sunday, February 15, 2015 (Meatfare Sunday)
 
         Scripture:                                I Corinthians 8:8-9:2; Matthew 25:31-46
         Celebrant:                              Father John
         Epistle Reader:                     Tom Willingham
         Prosphora:                              Algood
         Coffee Hour:                          Algood/Lasseter

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