February 4, 2018
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Yes, it is that time again. Lent begins on Monday, February 19th, 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 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.
Sunday, February 4 (Sunday of the Prodigal Son)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
Monday, February 5
Office Closed — Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, February 6
6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros
Wednesday, February 7
6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers
7:15 p.m. — Choir Practice
Thursday, February 8
6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros
11:30 a.m. — Men’s Lunch
6:30 p.m. — Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia
Friday, February 9
Saturday, February 10 (Saturday of the Souls)
9:00 a.m. — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
5:45p.m. — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, February 11 (Sunday of Meatfare)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
12:00 p.m. — Pot Luck Meal
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Dn. Richard Roots for the Divine Liturgy this morning. The Artoklasia Bread for the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple this past Thursday evening was offered by the Meadows.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
February 4 R. Root Skirtech/Parker
February 10 (Sat. a.m.) Henderson Brenda Baker
(Saturday of the Souls – Koliva: Karen Cooper)
February 11 Algood POT LUCK MEAL
(set-up: D. Root/Dansereau/Davis)
February 18 Katool Algood/Jones/Strain/Dabit)
February 25 Schelver R. Root/Habeeb/Pacurari
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 4 David Turner I Cor. 6:12-20 265
February 10 (Sat. a.m.) Kh. Sharon Meadows I Cor. 10:23-26 271
February 11 Warren Strain I Cor. 8:8-9:2 273
February 18 Sam Habeeb Rom. 13:11-14:4 279
February 25 David Turner Heb. 11:24-26, 32-40 281
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 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 Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
Please keep Fr. John Morris and Kh. Cheryl in your prayers. They have both been ill recently.
Please remember the following in your prayers: Steve, Sheryl Chamblee; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit and Sammie; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon’s sister); Fr. Stephen Tewfik; Sue Thayer (Charlotte Wood’s mother), Walt and Charlotte and their family; Lynda Costas; Fr. Nicholas, Kh. Jan and Angelina Speier; Peggy (David Turner’s paternal aunt) who is suffering from cancer and related complications; and David Morris and his family.
We have established a Seminary Fund for Phillip Lasseter. If you would like to make a contribution, please make a note on your check that it is for the Seminary Fund.
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 house 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 19th this year).
* 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. However, they will meet on the third Saturday in February due to the Saturday of the Souls liturgy on the 10th.
* The Ladies of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the last Tuesday of the month.
* February 11th is Meatfare Sunday. As is our parish custom we will celebrate Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy for Saturday of the Souls on Saturday morning, February 10th, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
* Due to the Saturday of the Souls Liturgy on February 10th, the Ladies of St. Peter will pray the Akathist on Saturday morning, February 17th beginning at 10:00 a.m. (instead of the usual second Saturday). They will also have a lunch afterwards and Father John will give a Pre-Lenten talk. Please mark your calendars now and make plans to be there.
* Bishop NICHOLAS will be making his first arch-pastoral visit to St. Peter the weekend of March 2nd-5th. Please mark your calendars now.
2018 Church Calendars are in the foyer. Please take only one per family.
His Grace, Bishop NICHOLAS will be making his first Arch-pastoral visit to St. Peter the week-end of March 2-5, 2018. We look forward to spending this time with His Grace! More will be forthcoming in the future about his specific schedule and meetings he would like to schedule while he is here.
Ladies of St. Peter Pre-Lenten Luncheon: On Saturday morning, February 17th, the Ladies will meet to pray the Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children at 10:00 a.m. Afterwards, we will have a Pre-Lenten Luncheon and Father John will give a teaching. There will also be a brief business meeting. This has always been a wonderful means of fellowship and of preparing our hearts for the journey through Great Lent together. Please make plans to attend.
Fasting Discipline for February
The traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on the following Wednesday and Friday. Following Meatfare Sunday (February 11th) meat will no longer be eaten until Pascha. During the week following Meatfare Sunday dairy products (milk, cheese, eggs, etc.) are permitted, even on Wednesday and Friday. February 18th is Cheesefare Sunday, the last day that dairy and wine are permitted. Monday, February 19th 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 the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25th and Palm Sunday on April 1st, when fish, wine and oil are permitted).
Major Commemorations for February
February 10 Saturday of the Souls
February 11 Sunday of Meatfare
Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste
February 18 Sunday of Cheesefare
February 19 Clean Monday
February 24 The Forerunner (1st and 2nd Discoveries)
February 25 Sunday of Orthodoxy
If you are the last to leave, please make sure that the doors in the Fellowship Hall, the kitchen and the hallway are all locked.
Parents of Young Children: Please make sure that your children are supervised if they are in the Nursery during Coffee Hour, just as they are supervised if out on the Playground. The Nursery is being left in a mess on Sunday mornings following Coffee Hour and the clean-up is falling on the same people (i.e. those who teach Sunday School classes in that room). If you leave and there are still children using the room, please make sure that your children pick up the things with which they have been playing.
Pledge Letters were mailed out recently. Please return yours to the Church Office as soon as possible. This information is vital to formulating a budget for next year.
Quotable: “In its eternal essence Christian life is divine spirit and truth and therefore transcends all outward forms. But man comes into this world as tabula rasa, to ‘grow, wax strong in spirit, be filled with wisdom’ (cf. Luke 2.40), and so the necessity arises for some kind of organization to discipline and co-ordinate the corporate life of human beings still far from perfect morally, intellectually and, more important, spiritually. Our fathers in the Church and the apostles who taught us to honour the true God were well aware that, though the life of the Divine Spirit excels all earthly institutions, this same Spirit still constructs for Himself a dwelling-place of a tangible nature to serve as a vessel for the preservation of His gifts. This habitation of the Holy Spirit is the Church, which through centuries of tempest and violence has watched over the precious treasure of Truth as revealed by God. (We need not be concerned at this point with zealots who value framework rather than content.) ‘The Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty . . . Beholding . . . the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory. (2 Cor. 3.17-18)’ The Church’s function is to lead the faithful to the luminous sphere of Divine Being. The Church is the spiritual centre of our world, encompassing the whole history of man. Those who through long ascetic struggle to abide in the Gospel precepts have become conscious of their liberty as sons of God no longer feel impeded by formal traditions—they can take general customs and ordinances in their stride. They have the example of Christ Who kept His Father’s commandments without transgressing the law of Moses with all its ‘burdens grievous to be borne’ (Luke 11.46).”
Archimandrite Sophrony, His Life Is Mine
Worship: Sunday, February 11, 2018 (Sunday of Meatfare)
Scripture: I Corinthians 8:8-9:2; Matthew 25:31-46
Celebrant: Father John
Epistle Reader: Warren Strain
Coffee Hour: POT LUCK MEAL
Set-up: D. Root/Dansereau/Davis