December 27, 2015
Sunday after the Nativity
Proto-martyr Stephen the Archdeacon
Acts 6:8-7:5, 47-60 Reading in Acts, we learn of the Proto-martyr Stephen’s defense of the Gospel before the elders and scribes and of his subsequent death at their hands.
Matthew 2:13-23: From the Gospel of Matthew we hear the fulfillment of several prophecies concerning the incarnation of our Lord.
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 Nativity: Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, hath given rise to the light of knowledge in the world; for they that worshiped the stars did learn therefrom to worship thee, O Sun of justice, and to know that from the east of the Highest thou didst come; O Lord, glory to thee.
Troparion of the Sunday after Nativity: Proclaim, O Joseph, to David, the grandparent of God, the amazing wonders; for thou hast seen a Virgin great with child; for with the shepherds thou didst give glory, with the Magi thou didst worship, and by the angel it was revealed to thee. Wherefore, plead thou with Christ God to save our souls.
Troparion of the Proto-Martyr Stephen: The crown of the Kingdom hath adorned the brow of thy holy head because of the contests that thou hast endured for Christ God, thou first of the martyred Saints; for when thou hadst censured the Jews= madness, thou sawest Christ thy Saviour standing at the right hand of the Father. O Stephen, ever pray Him for us, that He would save our souls.
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 Nativity: Today the Virgin giveth birth to the Transcendent in essence; the earth offereth a cave to the unapproachable One; the angels with the shepherds glorify him; and the Magi with the star travel on their way; for a new child hath been born for our sakes, God before the ages.
Sunday, December 27 (Sunday after the Nativity)
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, December 28
Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, December 29
6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros
Wednesday, December 30
6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers
Thursday, December 31
NO Daily Orthros
6:30 p.m. — Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia
Friday, January 1 (The Circumcision of our Lord; Feast of St. Basil)
Saturday, January 2
5:45 p.m. — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, January 3 (Sunday before Theophany)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Dn. Richard Roots for the Feast of the Nativity Thursday night and by the Woods for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
December 27 Wood POT LUCK MEAL
December 31 (Thurs pm) Baker (Artoklasia Bread)
Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and the Feast of St. Basil the Great
January 3 Algood Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker
January 5 (Tues. p.m.) Katool Anastasia Jones
(Feast of Theophany)
January 10 Schelver D. Root/Dansereau
January 16 (Sat. a.m.) Morris Karen Cooper/Rebecca Dansereau
(Feast of the Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter)
January 17 Jones Algood/Lasseter
January 24 Meadows R. Root/Habeeb
January 31 Davis Schelver/Lavric/Turner
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 27 Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver Acts 6:8-7:1-5, 47-60 60
January 3 David Turner II Tim. 4:5-8 354
January 5 (Tues. p.m.) Brenda Baker Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 361
January 10 Walt Wood Eph. 4:7-13 364
January 16 (Sat. a.m.) Sh. Charlotte Algood Acts 12:1-11 50-51
January 17 Warren Strain Heb. 13:17-21 343
January 24 Kh. Sharon Meadows I Tim. 1:15-17 245
January 31 Mildred Morris I Tim. 4:9-15 252
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 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 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; Elias and Olga Karam (Simon’s parents) as well as Simon and Rola Karam; Lynda Costas.
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 remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
* 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 the 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 men of the parish will meet at the church once each quarter for a Saturday morning Father-Son Prayer Breakfast. The next Breakfast will be February 6th.
* Following the Nativity there is no fasting through January 4th. January 5th is a strict fast day as the Forefeast of Theophany.
* We will celebrate the Feast of Theophany with Royal Hours, beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, January 5th. Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy will be served that evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
* Our Patronal Feast (The Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter) will be celebrated on Saturday, January 16th with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
* The Deanery Youth Retreat is scheduled for February 12-14, 2016 at Camp Hopewell, outside of Oxford. More information TBA.
* Fr. John Oliver will be our Pre-Lenten speaker March 1-3. Mark your calendars now!
Pledge Letters have been mailed. Please return these as soon as possible so that we can make plans for the coming year.
Bethany Christian Services is a new medical clinic opening across the street from the abortion clinic in Jackson. Their mission is to provide medical services and options for women who choose to not have an abortion. They are looking for volunteers to help with the tasks of running the clinic. They are especially interested in volunteers who have some medical training. If you have some time and would like to help with this worthy cause, please contact Barbara Beavers at 601-366-4282.
Supper Clubs: A Sign-up sheet has been placed on the table in the Fellowship Hall for anyone wishing to participate in Supper Club this year.
Pre-Lenten Speaker: Rev. Fr. John Oliver, pastor of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Antiochian Orthodox Church in Murphreesboro, TN, will be peaking at St. Peter March 1-3, 2016. His topic will be “Our Dark Emotions in the Light of Christ.” Be sure to mark your calendars now.
Fasting Discipline for December/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 December/January
December 27 Protomartyr Stephen
January 6 Theophany
January 7 Synaxis of the Forerunner
January 11 Theodosios the Head of Monasteries
January 16 The Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter
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
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: “All the ordinances of the undefiled Church are offered to the world for the sole purpose of discovering the ‘deep heart’ (cf. Ps.64:6), the centre of man’s hypostasis. According to the Holy Scriptures, God fashioned every heart in a special way, and each heart is His goal, a place wherein He desires to abide that He may manifest Himself.”
The Hidden Man of the Heart
by Archimandrite Zacharias
Worship: Sunday, January 3, 2016 (Sunday before Theophany)
Scripture: II Timothy 4:5-8; Mark 1:1-8
Celebrant: Father John
Epistle Reader: David Turner
Coffee Hour: Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker