2/28 announcements

February 28, 2016

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Yes, it is that time again. Lent begins on Monday, March 14th, but we begin the preparations for the journey of “bright-sadness” by especially dealing with our hearts and our spiritual condition. In her wisdom the Church is a great aid to us, for the four Sundays before Lent carry special themes that enable us to examine ourselves.

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 Mary stood at thy grave looking for thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above thy revered tomb, and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led hades captive and wast not tempted thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world; O thou who art risen from the dead! O Lord, glory to thee.

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 Prodigal Son: When I disobeyed in ignorance thy fatherly glory, I wasted in iniquities the riches that thou gavest me. Wherefore, I cry to thee with the voice of the prodigal son, saying, I have sinned before thee, O compassionate Father, receive me repentant, and make me as one of thy hired servants.


Sunday, February 28 (Sunday of the Prodigal Son)

8:50 a.m. — Orthros

9:00 a.m. — Christian Education

10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy

Monday, February 29

Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off

Tuesday, March 1

6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros

7:00 p.m. — Fr. John Oliver Speaking

Wednesday, March 2

NO Daily Vespers

7:00 p.m. — Fr. John Oliver Speaking

Thursday, March 3

6:00 a.m. –Daily Orthros

11:30 p.m. — Men’s Lunch

7:00 p.m. — Fr. John Oliver Speaking

Friday, March 4

Saturday, March 5 (Saturday of the Souls)

9:00 a.m. — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy

5:45 p.m. — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers

Sunday, March 6 (Meatfare Sunday)

8:50 a.m. — Orthros

9:00 a.m. — Christian Education

10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy


Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Bakers for the Divine Liturgy this morning.

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 28 Baker Pigott/Strain/Osborne

March 5 (Sat. a.m.) Wood Lou Turner/Natalia Alaeetawi

(Saturday of the Souls Koliva: Stewarts)

March 6 R. Root Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker


March 20 Algood Algood/Lasseter

March 24 (Thur. p.m.) Katool Christina Katool

(Feast of the Annunciation)

March 27 Schelver R. Root/Habeeb

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 28 David Turner I Cor. 6:12-20 265

March 5 (Sat. a.m.) Sh. Charlotte Algood I Cor. 10:23-26 271-272

March 6 Walt Wood I Cor. 8:8-9:2 273

March 13 Warren Strain Rom. 13:11-14:4 279

March 20 Mildred Morris Heb. 11:24-26, 32-40 281

March 24 (Thur. p.m.) Kh. Sharon Meadows Heb. 2:11-18 376

March 27 Phillip Lasseter Heb. 1:10-2:3 283

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 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 while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.

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.

Oliver Yeatts has transferred his membership to Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church.

To insure that each family has access to the weekly bulletins, please pick up only 1 bulletin per family. We’ve run short recently and want to be sure that everyone has access to the church bulletins.

Camping Registration and Scholarships: We have received the scholarship forms for the Archdiocese camps. If you need assistance, please contact Fr. John. We have also received word that registration is NOW open for Camp St. Thekla. If your children plan to attend one of their sessions, it will be important to register as soon as possible to be sure that there is room for them.

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 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 (March 14th this year).

Pre-Lenten Speaker: Very Rev. Fr. John Oliver, pastor of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Antiochian Orthodox Church in Murphreesboro, TN, will be speaking at St. Peter March 1-3, beginning at 7:00 p.m. each evening. (Daily Vespers will be cancelled on Wednesday, March 2nd.) Fr. John’s topic will be “Our Dark Emotions in the Light of Christ.”

Christian Education: There will be an informational meeting with Fr. John and Kh. Laura Oliver while they are visiting this week for all who are interested in learning about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. This method of Christian Education has been used at their parish and at other parishes in our Archdiocese. It is considered an excellent means of immersing our children in the Faith. More information about times, etc. will be available once the meeting is set.

Father John is planning a Symposium on End of Life issues to be held at the church on March 9th and 10th, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Daily Vespers would be cancelled on the 9th. The first night would present the Orthodox view of death and the second night, practical issues involved.

St. Nicholas Offering: This year the money raised for the St. Nicholas Offering was supplemented by the church and distributed to Bethany Christian Services ($1,000) and for Tornado Relief in the state ($1,000).

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 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.

* Fr. John Oliver will be our Pre-Lenten speaker March 1-3.

* On the second Saturday of March (12th), the Ladies of St. Peter will have a simple soup meal following the monthly Akathist at 10:00 a.m. They will also spend time putting together emergency packets for I.O.C.C.

* The Teens will be hosting their annual Cheesefare Fundraising Meal following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, March 13th.

* On the first Saturday of April (2nd), the Ladies will hold a garage sale to raise money for their charitable projects. More information will be available in the near future.

* His Grace, Bishop THOMAS will be with us August 12-15th. Be sure to mark your calendars now.

Bethany Christian Services is a new medical clinic that has opened 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.

Lenten Almsgiving Project: Sunnybrook Children’s Home is a residential group home for children who have been abused and neglected and, thereby, taken from their parents through the court system as well as those children whose guardians choose to place them there voluntarily. They have requested donations for their annual food drive and the Parish Council has decided to support their efforts. We will approach this in a manner similar to the Angel Tree with those wishing to participate providing items on the list they have supplied. The list and cover letter are located on the Bulletin Board in the Fellowship Hall and also may be found on our website.

Pledge Letters have been mailed. Please return these as soon as possible so that we can make plans for the coming year. If you did not receive one, please let Kh. Sharon know.

Fasting Discipline for March

The traditional fasting (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on Wednesday and Friday this week. Following Meatfare Sunday (March 6th) 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. March 13th is Cheesefare Sunday, the last day that dairy and wine are permitted. Monday, March 14th is Clean Monday, the first day of Great Lent when the traditional fasting discipline is observed on all days of the week until Pashca (except the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25th and Palm Sunday on April 24th, when fish, wine and oil are permitted).

Major Commemorations for March

March 6 Meatfare Sunday

March 9 Forty Martrys of Sebaste

March 13 Cheesefare Sunday

March 14 Clean Monday

March 16 Christodoulos the Wonder-worker of Patmos

March 20 1st Sunday of Lent; Sunday of Orthodoxy

March 25 Feast of the Annunciation

March 26 Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel

March 27 2nd Sunday of Lent; Gregory of Palamas

Quotable: “As long as man is under the dominion of sin and death, being given over to the power of evil, he becomes increasingly selfish. In his pride and despair, and being separated from God Who is good, he struggles to survive, but the only thing he gains is a heavier curse upon his head and an even greater desolation. But however much he may be corrupted by the famine of sin, the primal gift of his having been created in God’s ‘image and likeness’ remains irrevocable and indelible. Thus, he always carries within him the possibility of a rising out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light and life. This occurs when he ‘comes to himself’ and in pain of soul confesses, ‘I perish with hunger’ (Luke 15:17).”
The Hidden Man of the Heart

by Archimandrite Zacharias

Worship: Sunday, March 6, 2016 (Meatfare Sunday; Sunday of the Last Judgement)

Scripture: I Corinthians 8;8-9:2; Matthew 25:31-46

Celebrant: Father John

Epistle Reader: Walt Wood

Prosphora: R. Roots

Coffee Hour: Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker