September 8, 2019
Sunday before the Elevation of the Cross and
Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos
The first feast of the liturgical year celebrates the birth of the Holy Virgin Mary, most blessed of women, chosen to bear God the Son, partaker in the Incarnation as the dwelling place of God. To celebrate her birth and give honor to her life is unavoidably to anticipate the coming of the Messiah and to adore His person. To remember her worthiness is to remember God’s grace. To wonder at her faith is to arouse ourselves to emulate her strength of will and her depth of trust. As we enter the cycle of the year, we turn first to honor the Holy Virgin, she who by her role in history and by her place among the saints most reminds us of the coming of the Saviour and the life He gives us, who by the Incarnation became the ladder between Heaven and Earth, who as the Mother of Christ is also the Mother of all His brethren.
Galatians 6:11-18: In the conclusion of his letter to the Galatians, St Paul reminds them that to be circumcised or uncircumcised is not the issue, but rather to be a new creation in Christ Jesus.
John 3:13-17: In the Gospel of John we hear Jesus speak concerning His purpose for coming into the world: to save mankind through His death and Resurrection.
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 Nativity of the Theotokos: Thy nativity, O Theotokos, hath proclaimed joy to the whole universe; for from thee did shine forth the Sun of justice, Christ our God, annulling the curse, and bestowing the everlasting blessing, abolishing death and granting us life everlasting.
Kontakion of the Nativity of the Theotokos: By thy holy birth-giving, O pure one, Joachim and Anne were delivered from the reproach of barrenness; and Adam and Eve were delivered from the corruption of death; thy people do celebrate it, having been saved from the stain of iniquity, crying unto thee, The barren doth give birth to the Theotokos, who nourisheth our life.
Sunday, September 8 (Nativity of the Theotokos)
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, September 9 (Righteous Joachim and Anna)
Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, September 10
NO Daily Orthros
Wednesday, September 11
6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers
7:15 p.m. — Choir Practice
Thursday, September 12
NO Daily Orthros
Friday, September 13 (Dedication of the Church of the Anastasis)
Saturday, September 14 (Elevation of the Holy Cross)
This feast is celebrated as one of the most important in the Church Year because it commemorates two events of great significance. After St. Helen had found at Jerusalem the cross upon which Christ was crucified, she built a Church on Mount Calvary to hold the precious relic. The Christians held the Holy Cross in such high regard that they soon began to celebrate this feast in honor of the finding of the Cross.
In the year 614, the Persians invaded the Empire and took Jerusalem, and sent the case containing the Cross back to their country. For fifteen years the Greek Emperor Heraclius waged war against the Persians, and finally in 629 defeated them, forcing them to make peace, and to restore the Holy Cross to him. It is said that the case containing the sacred relics was returned to him with the seals still unbroken. The Relics were replaced in the Church with great rejoicing, and to the original Feast in honor of the finding of the Cross was added another, in honor of its safe return to Jerusalem.
A special feature of the Church Services on this day, is the procession in which the Cross is borne aloft on a tray of flowers and placed in the midst of the Church; the Priest then elevates it to the four corners of the compass, blessing thrice with it as he does so, and praying that God will protect and preserve the President and the Civil Authorities of our country and the Armed Forces, and guard and guide the Hierarchs and clergy of the Church, and protect and preserve all His faithful people from every evil.
9:00 a.m. — Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy
5:45 p.m. — Ninth Hour followed by Great Vespers
Sunday, September 15 (Sunday after the Elevation of the Cross)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy
Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Daniel Roots for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread and Coffee Hour Schedule:
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
September 8 (Sun. a.m.) D. Root POT LUCK MEAL
(Nativity of the Theotokos) Set-up: Baker/D. Root/Dansereau
September 14 (Sat. a.m.) Karam Kh. Sharon Meadows
September 15 Brock Katool/Davis/Baba
September 22 Baker Schelver/Karam/Pacurari
September 29 Henderson Habeeb/Jones/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#
September 8 Mildred Morris Phil. 2:5-11 307
September 14 (Sat. a.m.) Kh. Sharon Meadows I Cor. 1:18-24 311
September 15 Sam Habeeb Gal. 2:16-20 193
September 22 Brenda Baker II Cor. 1:21-2:4 158
September 29 Walt Wood II Cor. 4:6-15 163
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 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; Dn. Noah and Sh. Beth Ann (Baker) Pappas, the Reader Basil and Brenda and all of the Baker family; Chris and Rebecca Dansereau and their daughters; Fr. Leo and Kh. Be’Be’ and their family.
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
Please refrain from wearing shorts or revealing clothes to the services of the church this summer. We realize that it is hot but the church frowns on attire that is that casual for its services.
There will be no Daily Orthros on weekdays until the Fast of the Nativity, which begins on November 15th.
Our annual Fall Festival is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 19th. Many thanks to Anna Kathryn Stewart for coordinating this event for the last few years! We are still looking for a volunteer who would be willing to take it on this year. If you would be willing to do so, please let Fr. John know. If no volunteers come forward, we will cancel the event.
Christian Education Classes resumed this morning. Please be sure to have your children at church on time.
If severe weather is in the area please check our website or facebook page for information on services. If it is ever necessary to cancel any of our services due to severe weather conditions, this will be posted on those sites.
* The Men of the parish meet for lunch and fellowship on the first Thursday of the month. However, they will meet on the third Thursday in July (only).
* 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.
* We will celebrate the Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross THIS Saturday morning with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Please remember that this feast is also a strict fast day. (As a result of this liturgy, the Ladies will meet for their monthly Akathist on Saturday, September 21st.)
* The banquet for Sunnybrook Children’s Home is Thursday, September 26th. Please see info below.
* Our next date for serving at the Stewpot is Saturday, September 28th.
* Our annual Fall Festival is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 19th.
* The Women’s Pan-Orthodox Retreat will be held at Holy Resurrection on Saturday, October 26th. Abbot Tryphon of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery, Vashon Island, Washington will be our speaker. More information will be available at a later date.
* Bishop NICHOLAS will make his next arch-pastoral visit to St. Peter on the weekend of November 8-10. Please mark your calendars now.
* Daily Orthros will resume with the Fast of the Nativity, which begins on November 15th.
The Sunnybrook “Champions for Children Dinner” will be held at the Jackson Country Club on Thursday, September 26th at 6:30 p.m. The Keynote Speaker will be First Lady Deborah Bryant. The cost of the banquet is $75 per person and the deadline for purchase is September 15th. Contact Dn. Terry if you would like to be included at a table(s) with others from St. Peter.
Fasting Discipline for September
In September, the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on all Wednesdays and Fridays of the month. The Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross on September 14th is also a strict fast day.
Major Commemorations for September
September 8 Nativity of the Theotokos
September 9 Righteous Joachim and Anna
September 13 Dedication of the Church of the Anastasis
September 14 Elevation of the Precious Cross
September 23 Conception of the Forerunner
September 24 Proto-martyr Thekla
September 26 Apostle John the Theologian (repose)
September 28 Venerable Chariton
2019 Orthodox Women’s Retreat: Plans are underway for the fifth annual Orthodox Women’s Retreat on the last weekend of October at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Clinton, Ms. We are honored to have Abbot Tryphon of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery, Vashon Island, Washington, as our speaker. The ladies of Holy Resurrection, Holy Trinity-St. John the Theologian, and St. Peter Orthodox Churches look forward to hosting you on October 26th. Flyers and registration forms will be sent out by September 15.
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
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.
“If man had not been created according to God’s ‘image’ for the purpose of life in communion with the Author of his life, then prayer would not only be unnecessary and of no benefit, but also unattainable in practice. God, however, in His bountiful love, desires that man be incorruptible and eternal, and prayer is the most precious and necessary means for the fulfilment and perfection of this glorious purpose.”
Archimandrite Zacharias, The Hidden Man of the Heart
Worship: Sunday, September 15, 2019 (Sunday after the Elevation of the Cross)
Scripture: Galatians 2:16-20; Mark 8:34-9:1
Celebrant: Father John
Epistle Reader: Sam Habeeb
Coffee Hour: Katool/Davis/Baba