June 20, 2021
In several senses, Pentecost marks for us the end of many months of anticipation, commemoration, and celebration and the beginning of the fullness of the life and faith we share. It is a day bringing our focus on the Holy Spirit, the embodiment of divine grace, the supreme gift, the ongoing presence of God in our lives; yet, it is a day directing us to the praise of the Trinity, the three divine persons, and the historical and spatial relationship God’s people have with Him. For the disciples, the day marks their spiritual maturity. Their faith began in their nationality, for they were of the nation that God the Father chose to glorify Him. The faith was completed in their confrontation with God the Son, through His presence and the nourishment He gave. The fullness of the faith came with the coming in power of God the Spirit. The disciples had grown in spirit and were ready for their work; the birth of the Church was imminent; the Bride was to be made ready. In the cycle of the calendar, we now stand ready to do likewise, and all weeks from now until our preparation for Advent are the weeks of Pentecost. In the picture of the birth of the Church there are symbols beyond mention here; the unity in the common tongue, the Light that shines brighter than day, the bold proclamation to all men of the Gospel. We look forward from this day to weeks without special celebrations, to days without reference to past days of enormous import–to normal, uneventful days. But these are not uneventful days; they are the days for which we have prepared, the days of the Church, the days of our maturity and growth, the days when, through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, we run the good race and cross the finish to bring praise and glory to our glorious God, the eternal Trinity.
Acts 2:1-11: In the reading from Acts we see the pouring out of God’s Spirit on the apostles, the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, and the beginning of the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
John 7:37-52, 8:12: Our Lord calls those thirsting for righteousness to Himself, promising to eternally quench their thirst by the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees, however, view Jesus as a threat to their authority and seek for ways to undermine His authority.
Troparion of Pentecost: Blessed art thou, O Christ our God, who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise, having sent upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them thou hast fished the universe, O Lover of mankind, glory to thee.
Kontakion of Pentecost: When the high One descended, confusing tongues, he divided the nations. And when he distributed the fiery tongues he called all to one unity. Wherefore, in unison we glorify the most Holy Spirit.
ATTENTION: From Father John: There is no longer a need to call or text to reserve a place for the liturgies, since we are now set up to accommodate overflow into the fellowship hall. Masks and social distancing will still be in effect, both in the nave and in the fellowship hall. Seating in the nave will be on a first come, first serve basis.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast.
Sunday, June 20 (Holy Pentecost)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
6:30 p.m. — Kneeling Vespers
Monday, June 21
Father John’s Day Off
Tuesday, June 22
Wednesday, June 23
6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers
7:30 p.m. — Parish Council Meeting
Thursday, June 24 (Nativity of the Forerunner)
6:00 p.m. — Great Vespers (No Ninth Hour)
Sunday, June 27 (Sunday of All Saints)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)
The Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Bakers for the Divine Liturgy this morning.
Eucharist Bread Schedule (MODIFIED Coffee Hour):
Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour
June 20 Baker
June 27 Henderson
June 28 (Mon. p.m.) R. Root
(Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul)
Please remember that the schedule for prosphora is still in place as we will continue to serve the Divine Liturgy.
RESUMPTION OF COFFEE HOUR: We are resuming a modified Coffee Hour (Coffee only at this point) outside on the patio following the Divine Liturgy. We are NOT assigning people to this yet as part of the Quarterly Schedule. Instead, we are asking for 2-4 volunteers who would be willing to rotate this responsibility. It will involve making the coffee in the airpots, setting out the necessary supplies, and dispensing coffee (wearing gloves) into individual disposable cups. Individual packets of sweeteners and creamers will be available. We will NOT be using our ceramic mugs.
Also, please remember that we still need your tithes and offerings which may be placed in the tithe box at the back of the nave or be mailed to: St. Peter Orthodox Church, P.O. Box 2084, Madison, MS 39130-2084.
Please continue to follow the CDC Guidelines to limit contagion and the spread of the COVID virus.
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 Chamblee; Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Sam and Lamia Dabit; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon’s sister); Jay and Joanna; Fr. Leo and Kh. Be’Be’ and their family; Emad and Natalia Alaeetawi and their family; Tom and Kathy Willingham; Marilyn (Kyriake) Snell; Jack and Jill Weatherly; Darlene Amason and her family.
Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.
Please keep Lottie Dabbs (Sh. Charlotte Algood’s mother) in your prayers as she recovers from a bad fall which resulted in a fractured pelvis. Please also remember Sh. Charlotte and their family as well.
Maria Costas is currently at St. Catherine’s Village. Please keep her in your prayers as well.
If you get sick, especially with the Corona virus, please let Fr. John know.
Father John will be retiring as of August 1, 2021. Father Herman Lasseter will become the pastor at that time. We welcome Fr. Herman, Kh. Emelia (Nikki) and their family back from their service at St. Stephen’s Church in Hiram, GA. We look forward to his leadership and ministry. Please support his efforts to grow our church in every way.
Congratulations to our graduating High School Seniors, Gabby Alaeetawi and Breeze Johns! May God grant them Many Years!
Fasting Discipline for June
There will be no fasting of any kind during the week following Pentecost (June 20th this year). Otherwise, the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on the Wednesdays and Friday of the month. This year, the Apostles’ Fast consists of only one day, June 28th, when the traditional fasting discipline is observed as well.
Major Commemorations for June
June 20 Pentecost
June 24 Nativity of the Forerunner
June 27 Sunday of All Saints
June 29 Chief Apostles Peter and Paul
June 30 Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles
The Parish Council will meet on Wednesday evening, June 23rd, following Daily Vespers.
* We will have the Kneeling Vespers service of Pentecost this evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
* Stewpot dates for the coming year are JUNE 26 and November 6. More information will be available closer to time.
Camp St. Thekla: If your child is already registered for Camp St. Thekla and you need financial assistance, scholarships are available. Please contact Father John for details. If your child is NOT already registered, they will be placed on a waiting list with the Camp.
Instructions for streaming our services can be found on the parish website.
Quotable: “Still another piece of information the saints offer on the way: you should see yourself as a child who is setting out to learn the first sounds of letters and who is taking his first tottering steps. All worldly wisdom and all the skills you may have are totally worthless in the warfare that awaits you, and equally without value are your social standing and your possessions. Property that is not used in the Lord’s service is a burden, and knowledge that does not engage the heart is barren and therefore harmful, because it is presumptuous. It is called naked, for it is without warmth and fosters no love. You must thus abandon all your knowledge and become a dunce in order to be wise; you must become a pauper in order to be rich, and a weakling if you wish to be strong.”
Tito Colliander, The Way of the Ascetics
Worship: Sunday, June 27, 2021 (First Sunday after Pentecost; Sunday of All Saints)
Scripture: Hebrews 11:33-12:2; Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38; 19:27-30
Celebrant: Father John