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January 6, 2019

The Theophany of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

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.

Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7: In the reading from Titus, St. Paul reminds us that the grace of God saves us through baptism in Jesus Christ — the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:13-17: Our Lord did not need purification. But by making the purification of humanity His own, He would wash away the sin of humanity, grant regeneration, and reveal the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

Troparion of Theophany: By thy baptism, O Lord, in the River Jordan, worship to the Trinity has made its appearance; for the voice of the Lord didst come forth to thee with the testimony, naming thee beloved Son; and the Spirit in the likeness of a dove, confirming the truth of the word. Wherefore, O thou who didst appear and light the world, glory to thee.

Kontakion of Theophany: Today thou hast appeared to the universe, O Lord, and thy light hast been shed upon us, who praise thee with knowledge, saying, Thou hast come and appeared, O unapproachable Light.

CALENDAR

Sunday, January 6 (Feast of Theophany)

8:50 a.m. — Orthros

9:00 a.m. — Christian Education

10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy

12:00 p.m. — POT LUCK MEAL

4:00 p.m. — Outdoor Blessing of the Water at the Ross Barnett Reservoir

(Meet beside Cock of the Walk Restaurant)

Monday, January 7 (Synaxis of the Forerunner)

Father John’s Day Off

Tuesday, January 8

6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros

Wednesday, January 9

6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers

7:15 p.m. — Choir Practice

Thursday, January 10

6:00 a.m. — Daily Orthros

Friday, January 11 (Theodosios the Head of Monasteries)

Saturday, January 12

10:00 a.m. — Ladies meet for Akathist

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

Sunday, January 13 (Sunday after Theophany)

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 Brocks for the Divine Liturgy this morning. The Artoklasia Bread was offered by the Bakers this past Monday evening for the Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and the Feast-day of St. Basil the Great.

Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:

January 6 Brock POT LUCK MEAL

(Feast of Theophany) Set-up: Schelver/Karam/Pacurari

January 13 R. Root Algood/Jones/Turner/Bowman

January 15 (Tues. p.m.) Algood Kh. Janet Henderson

(Feast of the Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter)

January 20 Henderson Ellis/Zouboukos/Waites

January 27 Katool R. Root/Habeeb/Cooper

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 6 Warren Strain Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 361

January 13 Mildred Morris Eph. 4:7-13 364

January 15 (Tues. p.m.) Kh. Sharon Meadows Acts 12:1-11 50

January 20 Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver II Cor. 4:6-15 163

January 27 Sam Habeeb Heb. 7:26-8:2 334

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.

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 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 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); Lynda Costas; Fr. Nicholas, Kh. Jan and Angelina Speier; David Morris and his family; Vernie Meadows, Fr. James and Kh. Sharon and their family; Walt and Charlotte Wood and their family; Lou Turner’s cousin Amy and her husband John; Noah and Beth Ann (Baker) Pappas, the Reader Basil and Brenda and all of the Baker family; Chris and Rebecca Dansereau and their daughters.

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.

Welcome and Many Years! to Cain (Joshua) Johnson who comes to St. Peter from Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in McComb, MS. His address is 1227 Pin Oak Drive, Apt. A10 in Flowood.

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 (March 11th this year).

Diocese of Miami and the Southeast Winter Retreat: The Winter Retreat is scheduled for January 25-27th at St. Elias Orthodox Church in Atlanta. V. Rev. Fr. John Oliver will be the Retreat Speaker. Registration (which covers meals and all other retreat expenses) is $50. You may register at http://bit.ly/DMC-Winter-Retreat. Hotel information is also available at that site.

Camp St. Thekla applications are now available. Scholarship money is also available for a limited time. If you would like your children to attend Camp, please get your applications in as soon as possible. The sessions fill up very quickly!

Unsupervised children in the Kitchen: For health and safety concerns children are not to be allowed in the kitchen unless accompanied by a parent. Please get ice for your children and do NOT allow them to use the icemaker themselves.

Calendar Items:

* The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month.

* The Ladies of St. Peter 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 Ladies of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the last Tuesday of the month.

* In celebration of the Feast of Theophany next Sunday, we have moved our monthly Pot Luck Meal from the second Sunday to the first.

* We will have our traditional Blessing of the Water at the Ross Barnett reservoir this afternoon beginning at 4:00 p.m. beside Cock of the Walk Restaurant. Afterwards, those who wish to do so will have a celebratory meal at Cock of the Walk where a room has been set aside for our use..

* We will celebrate our patronal feast of the Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter with Orthros followed by the Divine Liturgy on Tuesday evening, January 15th, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

* January 23-24 is the Diocesan Clergy Retreat in Atlanta.

* January 25-27 is the Diocesan Mid-Winter Retreat for all in Atlanta.

Fasting Discipline for January

The traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed the remaining Wednesdays and Fridays of the month.

Major Commemorations for January

January 6 Feast of Theophany

January 7 Synaxis of the Forerunner

January 11 Theodosios the Head of Monasteries

January 16 Veneration of the Chains of St. Peter

January 18 Athanasios 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

For Parents: Children in the nursery during Coffee Hour MUST be supervised just as they are on the playground. This room is used for Sunday School each week. Children who are unsupervised create disarray and use materials set aside for the teaching of Christian Education. This creates extra work for the Sunday School teachers who have to come in and set the room in order before class or who find supplies depleted unexpectedly. A parent must be in the room with their children at all times. Please help us with this! — Fr. John

ead of ManHead of Maonasteries

Quotable: “Christ is illumined; let us shine forth with Him. Christ is baptized; let us descend with Him that we may also ascend with Him.”

St. Gregory the Theologian

Worship: Sunday, January 13, 2019 (Sunday after Theophany)

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

Celebrant: Father John

Epistle Reader: Mildred Morris

Prosphora: R. Root

Coffee Hour: Algood/Jones/Turner