Monthly Archives: December 2016

1/1 announcements

January 1, 2017

Circumcision of Christ

St. Basil the Great

Colossians 2:8-12: The holy apostle Paul reminds the Colossians that their circumcision is not one made with hands according to the law, but one of the heart, through baptism.

Luke 2:20-21,40-52: In the gospel reading for today we hear of the Christ Child being separated from the Theotokos and Joseph, when He remained behind in the Temple, amazing the teachers with His questions and understanding.

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 Circumcision of Christ: Our human form hast Thou taken on Thyself without change, O greatly-compassionate Master, though being God by nature; fulfilling the Law, Thou willingly receives circumcision in the flesh, that Thou mightiest end the shadow and roll away the veil of our sinful passions. Glory be to Thy goodness unto us. Glory be to Thy compassion. Glory, O Word, to Thine inexpressible condescension.

Troparion of St. Basil the Great: Thy sound hath gone forth into all the earth, which hath received thy word. Thereby thou hast divinely taught the Faith; thou hast made manifest the nature of all things that be; thou hast adorned the ways of man. O namesake of the royal priesthood, our righteous Father Basil, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

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 Circumcision of Christ: The Master of all endureth humiliation and is circumcised for the iniquities of mankind; for he is good, and granteth salvation to the world. And in the highest the High Priest of the Creator, clothed with light, the divine initiate of Christ, Basil, rejoiceth.

CALENDAR

Sunday, January 1 (Circumcision of our Lord; St. Basil the Great)

8:50 a.m. — Orthros

9:00 a.m. — Christian Education

10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy

[NO FASTING THROUGH
JANUARY 4TH]

Monday, January 2

Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off

Tuesday, January 3

6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros

Wednesday, January 4

6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers

7:15 p.m. — Choir Practice

Thursday, January 5 [STRICT
FAST DAY]

7:00 a.m. — Royal Hours

6:00 p.m. — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy

Friday, 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.

Saturday, January 7 (Synaxis of the Forerunner)

10:00 a.m. — Ladies meet for Akathist

5:45 p.m. — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia

Sunday, January 8 (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 Ross Barnett Reservoir

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Dn. Richard Roots for the Divine Liturgy this morning. The Artoklasia Bread for Great Vespers of the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ and the Feast of St. Basil the Great was offered last evening by Karen Cooper.

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.

Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:

Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour

January 1 R. Root Stewart/Turner/Waites

January 5 (Thurs. p.m.) Henderson Georgia Buchanan

(Feast of Theophany)

January 8 Algood Ellis/Zouboukos/Fahmy

January 15 Katool POT LUCK MEAL

(set-up: Pigott/Meadows/Alaeetawi)

January 22 Schelver Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker

January 29 Morris D. Root/Dansereau/Davis

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 1 Walt Wood Col. 2:8-12 356

January 5 (Thurs. p.m.) Sh. Charlotte Algood Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 361

January 8 Warren Strain Eph. 4:7-13 364

January 15 Kh. Sharon Meadows Acts 12:1-11 50-51

January 22 Mildred Morris I Tim. 4:9-15 252

January 29 Phillip Lasseter II Cor. 6:16-7:1 173

Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.

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 the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl Chamblee; 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; Walt and Charlotte Wood and their family; Lynda Costas; Kevin and Angelina Speier; Tom and Kathy Willingham.

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.

Pledge Letters have been mailed. Please fill yours out and return it to the office as soon as possible.

Chanters’ Stand: We are looking into the purchase of a Chanters’ Stand for the church. The ones that are currently under consideration are carved and are similar to the beautiful tables in the nave and narthex. The cost would be somewhere between $2000 and $4000. We are soliciting donations to cover the cost. If you would like to participate, please let Fr. John know.

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.

* The men of the parish will meet at the church once each quarter for a Saturday morning Father-Son Prayer Breakfast.

* We will celebrate the Feast of Theophany with Royal Hours on Thursday, January 5th, beginning at 7:00 a.m. We will have Orthros for the Feast followed by Divine Liturgy that evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

* Our annual Blessing of the Waters will take place on Sunday, January 8th at the Old Trace Park at the Ross Barnett Reservoir, beginning at 4:00 p.m.

* The MS Valley Deanery will hold its annual Teen Retreat February 3-5, 2017 at Camp Hopewell in Oxford, MS. Fr. Daniel Bethancourt, Retreat Master this year, will be addressing issues related to self-esteem. Please mark your calendars now.

Fasting Discipline for January

From December 25th through January 4th, there is no abstinence of any kind 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 discipline is observed on the remaining Wednesdays and Fridays of the month.

Major Commemorations for January

January 1 Circumcision of Christ; St. Basil the Great

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 30 The Three Hierarchs

January 31 Cyros and John the Unmercenary Healers

Burial and Funeral Care Instructions forms: These forms are located on the bureau in the hallway outside the nave. There are two forms: one for the church and one for the family (with a copy given to the church). Please fill out your forms and return to the office as soon as possible.

Please be sure to have your forms notarized. The forms will be kept in a file in the office so that we have your instructions should the need arise.

Quotable: “The latter passage should be interpreted within the context of the former one and in relationship to all of St. Basil’ teaching. The nous which is scattered outwards and diffused through the senses into the world is sick, fallen, prodigal. It must return from its diffused state to its union with and in the heart, its natural state, and then be united with God. Illumined by the uncreated Light (the state of theosis), the nous neglects even its nature, and the soul is not preoccupied with clothing and shelter. This does not mean that man does not care about food, etc. But, because man has attained to the state of theoria (vision of God) and theosis, his bodily forces—not those of the soul—are in a state of suspension; in other words, the soul and nous are not subjugated by the influences of the world and material things. Mani is, of course, concerned about them, yet he is not enslaved by them. Additionally, St. Basil the great clearly states that by this movement of the nous’ return within the heart, virtue as a whole is acquired: prudence, bravery, justice, wisdom, along with all the other virtues.”

Metropolitan HIEROTHEOS of Nafpaktos , Orthodox Spirituality

Worship: Sunday, January 8, 2017 (Sunday after Theophany)

Scripture: Ephesians 4:7-13; Matthew 4:12-17

Celebrant: Father John

Epistle Reader: Warren Strain

Prosphora: Algood

Coffee Hour: Ellis/Zouzboukos/Fahmy

12/25 announcements

December 25, 2016

The Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Galatians 4:4-7: We are reminded that in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son to be born of a woman, under the law in order to redeem those who were under the law. Because the child born to the Holy Virgin was in fact God by nature, she is rightly called the mother of God (Theotokos). Our Lord was born under the law, by fulfilling the law as an infant, being circumcised on the eighth day and presented in the Temple forty days after His birth. In doing this, God fulfilled His promise to Abraham, paying ransom, as it were, to Himself, according to His own vow.

Matthew 2:1-12: From the Gospel of Matthew we learn of the visit by the Magi to the Christ Child.

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.

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.

CALENDAR

Sunday, December 25 (Nativity of our Lord)

NO SERVICES THIS DAY

[NO FASTING THROUGH
JANUARY 4TH]

Monday, December 26 (Synaxis of the Theotokos)

Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off

Tuesday, December 27 (Protomartyr Stephen)

6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros

Wednesday, December 28

6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers

Thursday, December 29

6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros

Friday, December 30

Saturday, December 31

5:45 p.m. — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia

Sunday, January 1 (Circumcision of our Lord; St. Basil the Great)

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 Bakers for the Divine Liturgy tonight.

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.

Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:

Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour

December 24 (Sat. p.m.) Baker 1. Cheryl Pigott

(Feast of the Nativity of our Lord) 2. Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver

3. Sh. Charlotte Algood

December 31 (Sat. p.m.) Karen Cooper (Artoklasia Bread)

January 1 R. Root Stewart/Turner/Waites

January 5 (Thurs. p.m.) Henderson Georgia Buchanan

(Feast of Theophany)

January 8 Algood Ellis/Zouboukos/Fahmy

January 15 Katool POT LUCK MEAL

(set-up: Pigott/Meadows/Alaeetawi)

January 22 Schelver Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker

January 29 Morris D. Root/Dansereau/Davis

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 24 (Sat. p.m.) Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver Gal. 4:4-7 351

January 1 Walt Wood Col. 2:8-12 356

January 5 (Thurs. p.m.) Sh. Charlotte Algood Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 361

January 8 Warren Strain Eph. 4:7-13 364

January 15 Kh. Sharon Meadows Acts 12:1-11 50-51

January 22 Mildred Morris I Tim. 4:9-15 252

January 29 Phillip Lasseter II Cor. 6:16-7:1 173

Please continue to pray for the health of His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN.

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 the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl Chamblee; 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; Walt and Charlotte Wood and their family; Lynda Costas; Kevin and Angelina Speier; Tom and Kathy Willingham.

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.

Pledge Letters have been mailed. Please fill yours out and return it to the office as soon as possible.

Chanters’ Stand: We are looking into the purchase of a Chanters’ Stand for the church. The ones that are currently under consideration are carved and are similar to the beautiful tables in the nave and narthex. The cost would be somewhere between $2000 and $4000. We are soliciting donations to cover the cost. If you would like to participate, please let Fr. John know.

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.

* The men of the parish will meet at the church once each quarter for a Saturday morning Father-Son Prayer Breakfast.

* There will be no service on Sunday morning, December 25th.

* The MS Valley Deanery will hold its annual Teen Retreat February 3-5, 2017 at Camp Hopewell in Oxford, MS. Fr. Daniel Bethancourt, Retreat Master this year, will be addressing issues related to self-esteem. Please mark your calendars now.

Burial and Funeral Care Instructions forms: These forms are located on the bureau in the hallway outside the nave. There are two forms: one for the church and one for the family (with a copy given to the church). Please fill out your forms and return to the office as soon as possible.

Please be sure to have your forms notarized. The forms will be kept in a file in the office so that we have your instructions should the need arise.

Fasting Discipline for December

There is no fasting of any kind 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

Burial Plots at Natchez Trace Cemetery: Mr. Michael Hudgins, the Director of the Natchez Trace Funeral Home has made a very generous offer to the members of St. Peter who wish to purchase a burial plot and pre-arrange their funeral needs. The offer will expire at the end of 2016. Copies of Mr. Hudgins letter may be found on the information table in the Fellowship Hall. If you are interested in this offer, please contact Mr. Hudgins for an appointment. (We will not have another meeting of the parish as previously announced.)

Quotable: “. . . the Word of the Father is Himself divine, that all things that are owe their being to His will and power, and that it is through Him that the good Father gives order to creation, by Him that all things are moved, and through Him that they receive their being . . . He has been manifested in human body for this reason only, out of love and goodness of the Father, for the salvation of us men.”

St. Athansius, On the Incarnation

Worship: Sunday, January 1, 2017 (Circumcision of our Lord; St. Basil the Great)

Scripture: Colossians 2:8-12; Luke 2:20-21,40-52

Celebrant: Father John

Epistle Reader: Walt Wood

Prosphora: R. Root

Coffee Hour: Stewart/Lockhart/Waites

12/18 announcements

December 18, 2016

Sunday before the Nativity of our Lord

Sunday of the Genealogy

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: The stone being sealed by the Jews, and thy pure body being guarded by the soldiers, thou didst arise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life to the world. Wherefore, the heavenly powers acclaimed thee, O Giver of life, crying, Glory to thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to thy kingdom! Glory to thy gracious providence, O only Lover of mankind.

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 18 (Sunday before the Nativity of our Lord)

8:50 a.m. — Orthros

9:00 a.m. — Christian Education

10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy

11:30 a.m. — Children’s Christmas Presentation

Monday, December 19

Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off

Tuesday, December 20 (St. Ignatius of Antioch, the God-bearer)

6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros

11:30 a.m. — Ladies Lunch

Wednesday, December 21

6:30 p.m. — Advent Paraklesis

Thursday, December 22 (Hieromartyr Eleftherios)

6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros

Friday, December 23

7:00 a.m. — Royal Hours

Saturday, December 24

10:00 p.m. — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy

Sunday, December 25 (Nativity of our Lord)

NO SERVICES THIS DAY

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:

Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour

December 18 Fahmy Henderson/Baker/Lockhart

December 24 (Sat. p.m.) Baker 1. Cheryl Pigott

(Feast of the Nativity of our Lord) 2. Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver

3. Sh. Charlotte Algood

December 31 (Sat. p.m.) Karen Cooper (Artoklasia Bread)

January 1 R. Root Stewart/Turner/Waites

January 5 (Thurs. p.m.) Henderson Georgia Buchanan

(Feast of Theophany)

January 8 Algood Ellis/Zouboukos/Fahmy

January 15 Katool POT LUCK MEAL

(set-up: Pigott/Meadows/Alaeetawi)

January 22 Schelver Skirtech/Skirtech/Parker
January 29 Morris D. Root/Dansereau/Davis

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 18 Brenda Baker Heb. 11:9-10, 32-40 348

December 24 (Sat. p.m.) Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver Gal. 4:4-7 351

January 1 Walt Wood Col. 2:8-12 356

January 5 (Thurs. p.m.) Sh. Charlotte Algood Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 361

January 8 Warren Strain Eph. 4:7-13 364

January 15 Kh. Sharon Meadows Acts 12:1-11 50-51

January 22 Mildred Morris I Tim. 4:9-15 252

January 29 Phillip Lasseter II Cor. 6:16-7:1 173

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 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 the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl Chamblee; 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; Walt and Charlotte Wood and their family; Lynda Costas; Kevin and Angelina Speier; Tom and Kathy Willingham.

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.

Remember to schedule a time for confession with your priest during the Fast of the Nativity.

Pledge Letters have been mailed. Please fill yours out and return it to the office as soon as possible.

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.

* The men of the parish will meet at the church once each quarter for a Saturday morning Father-Son Prayer Breakfast.

* The Fast of the Nativity runs through the 24th of December. During this time, as is our custom, we will celebrate the Advent Paraklesis on Wednesday evenings in place of Daily Vespers.

* The Feast of the Nativity of our Lord will be celebrated with Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy on Saturday evening, December 24th, beginning at 10:00 p.m. There will be no service on Sunday morning, December 25th.

* The MS Valley Deanery will hold its annual Teen Retreat February 3-5, 2017 at Camp Hopewell in Oxford, MS. Fr. Daniel Bethancourt, Retreat Master this year, will be addressing issues related to self-esteem. Please mark your calendars now.

Nativity Feast: This year, we are trying something different with the meal following the Liturgy on December 24th. Instead of assign-up sheets and assignments for the dishes for the meal, we are having sandwiches catered form Newk’s Deli. As a result, we are asking that all adults (and children 12 and older) pay $8 for the meal. Children under the age of 12 are free. Please be sure to designate on your check that it is for the Nativity Meal.

Burial and Funeral Care Instructions forms: These forms are located on the bureau in the hallway outside the nave. There are two forms: one for the church and one for the family (with a copy given to the church). Please fill out your forms and return to the office as soon as possible.

Please be sure to have your forms notarized. The forms will be kept in a file in the office so that we have your instructions should the need arise.

Fasting Discipline for December

The traditional fasting discipline (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 of any kind from December 25th through January 4th.

Major Commemorations for December

December 20 God-bearer Ignatius of Antioch

December 25 Nativity of our Lord

December 26 Synaxis of the Theotokos

December 27 Protomartyr Stephen

Burial Plots at Natchez Trace Cemetery: Mr. Michael Hudgins, the Director of the Natchez Trace Funeral Home has made a very generous offer to the members of St. Peter who wish to purchase a burial plot and pre-arrange their funeral needs. The offer will expire at the end of 2016. Copies of Mr. Hudgins letter may be found on the information table in the Fellowship Hall. If you are interested in this offer, please contact Mr. Hudgins for an appointment. (We will not have another meeting of the parish as previously announced.)

Quotable: “Quite illustrative of the above theme are two passages from St. Basil the great’s writings. In one text he says that in the spiritual man—who has become a temple of God and the Most Holy Spirit—reason and the nous exist and operate simultaneously. Reason is engaged in the unceasing remembrance of God. Moreover, because his nous is united with the heart and has communion with God, man is not disturbed by unexpected temptations, that is to say, by temptations caused by the decay and transiency of his nature.”

Orthodox Spirituality by Metropolitan HIEROTHEOS of Nafpaktos

Worship: Sunday, December 24, 2016 (Feast of the Nativity of our Lord)

Scripture: Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12

Celebrant: Father John

Epistle Reader: Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver

Prosphora: Baker

Coffee Hour: Cheryl Pigott/Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver/Sh. Charlotte Algood