Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church

 

American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese

903 Ann Street

Homestead, PA 15120

Rectory Office Phone: (412) 461-3264

Church Office & Auditorium: (412) 461-9437

Web Site: www.stnichomestead.org

E-mail Address: stnic@stnichomestead.org

E-mail Address: frmzak@gmail.com

Pastor – Very Rev. R. Michael Zak, Cell phone:(412)-804-8865

Deacons – Fr. Deacons Artemius Stienstra & Marc Wisnosky

Cantor/Choir Director – Reader Andrew Talarovich Jr.

Weekday Cantors – Donald Bodnar Jr. & Michele Tomko

Sub-Deacons: David Urban & Andrew Halapin Jr.

Parish Council President: Tom Pingor

 

Vol. 2; No. 36

 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

Matins: 8:00 A.M.

Divine Liturgy: 9:00 A.M.

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4              Resurrection Tone: 5             Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14

Tropar & Kondak: Blue Book: 93-95 / Red Book: 108-110

College Student Sunday, when a special collection is taken for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship ministry.  Church School classes commence at the beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year.

Prayers of good intention for the health of Ernest & Mary Ann Vasil, on their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Panachida service conducted for the repose of the soul of God’s departed servant, +Wendy Pingor, offered by Don & Jan Kerr.

 

11:00 A.M. Baptism, Chrismation & Holy Communion administered to the newly-born child of God, Eva Michelle Bishop.

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Tuesday, (Sept. 16)…  9:00 A.M. Divine Liturgy for the repose of the soul of God’s departed servant, +Susan Behun, offered by daughter, Donna.

 

Wednesday, (Sept. 17)… 9:00 A.M. Divine Liturgy for the repose of the souls of +Joseph & +Mary Genci, offered by Joseph Genci (Ganzy).

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST & FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE THEOTOKOS

Deacon’s Service: 9:00 A.M. with the reception of Holy Communion.

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 4:6-15              Resurrection Tone: 6            Gospel: Matthew 22:35-46

Tropar & Kondak: Blue Book: 96-98 / Red Book: 111-114

Birthday prayers extended to Florence Bayuzik, offered by her daughter, Susan.

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Matthew 22:1-14 – Like the preceding parables, this one also proclaims the transfer of the Kingdom from the faithless Jews to the Gentiles.  It is set as a joyful wedding banquet (v. 2), for Christ is often called the “Bridegroom” (9:15; John 3:29), and St. Paul uses a marriage analogy for the Kingdom (Eph. 5:21-33).

The repeated sending out of servants shows the Father’s great desire to have His people with Him in the Kingdom.  The first group (v. 3) is interpreted to be Moses and those with him, while the second group (v. 4) is composed of the prophets.  These groups call those initially invited – the Jews.  The third group (v. 9) represents the apostles sent to the Gentiles, those not initially invited, but now called.

22:4  - The oxen represent the sacrifices of the Old Covenant, while the fatted cattle represent the Eucharistic bread of the New Covenant.  (Fatted is better translated “wheat-fed,” or even more literally “formed from wheat”).  Thus, both the Old and New Covenants are fulfilled at the wedding of Christ and His church.

22:7 – Burned up their city: St. John Chrysostom teaches that Christ is prophesying on the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70, and thus attributes this destruction to an act of God rather than simply to that of men.  Nevertheless, God showed His patience by waiting some 40 years from the time of Christ, giving the entire generation a chance to repent.

22:11-13 – The wedding garment would have been provided by the king, and therefore the man had no excuse for not wearing one; thus he is speechless.  His refusal to wear the garment that was provided is an illustration of those who refuse God’s hospitality, or who want His Kingdom on their own terms.  Specifically, the garment refers to the baptismal garment, and by extension, a life of faith, repentance, virtue and charity.  Without these, a person will ultimately be cast in outer darkness.

22:14 – For many: is an Aramaic expression meaning “for all.”

 

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RECTORY OFFICE HOURS are 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Monday thru Friday

 

EMERGENCY SICK CALLS can be made anytime.  Please notify your Pastor when someone is taken to the hospital; Sacred Scriptures remind us to call the presbyter for the anointing of the sick.

 

MARRIAGES are celebrated on Saturdays and Sundays.  Consult the Pastor at least 6 months in advance and before wedding reception plans have been made.  Marriages cannot be celebrated during Lent or Advent, or on Fridays.

 

BAPTISMS are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 A.M.  Two God-parents are required; at least one of whom must be an Orthodox Christian by Faith, and the other a practicing Christian.  An infant’s first or middle name must be a saint’s name.

 

CHURCH FUNERALS are provided for parishioners who are current in their spiritual and financial obligations to the Parish.  Otherwise, burial is from the funeral home.  The Church does not permit cremation.

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THOUGHTS ON “THE LORD’S PRAYER”

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) – Metropolitan of Volokolamsk

 

Prayer is inextricably bound up with one’s way of life.  The reason for the difficulties one experiences in prayer lies in an incorrect, unspiritual, and non-evangelical life.  We sense this especially when we say the “Our Father.”  Each petition of this prayer places us in front of a given reality, as if we were being judged – judged by our own conscience.  And this prayer, if we pray from our soul and heart – if we really think about what is written here – should constantly force us to change our lives.

 

We say: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” that is, we ask God to forgive us our debts, as we forgive those who are in debt to us.  When we speak these words, we should ask ourselves: do we forgive our neighbors?  Are we ready to place our own forgiveness by God in dependence on whether we forgive others?  Isn’t this too frightening?  Isn’t this too much responsibility?

 

Experience shows that it isn’t so difficult to forgive everyone, just as it isn’t so difficult to love everyone – everyone, in an abstract sense.  Many people say: “I love people.  I just can’t come to terms with two or three people – my neighbors, my co-workers, my mother-in-law – but I love everyone else.  Thus, the words “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” reminds us of the couple of people that we can’t forgive, whose debts we can’t forgive.  And this prayer teaches us that, as long as we don’t forgive them, we can’t hope that the Lord will forgive us.

 

Earthly life is given to us so that we would make peace with everyone.  In life many knots are tied, and it is our task to untie them while we still have time.  Nothing is impossible for man.  It can be very difficult to make peace with someone, to forgive someone, but if we don’t find the strength for this, we can’t count on God to forgive us.  If we call God our Father and ourselves Christians, if we say “Hallowed be Thy Name” – that is, that the name of God should be holy, and the holiness of God’s name should be manifest through our deeds – then how can we not forgive our debtors, those who have offended, insulted, or humiliated us?

 

Christian life is an ascetic struggle, and we should relate to it responsibly, we should earn the right to say the Lord’s Prayer.  And we earn this right through our good deeds.  No single word – and, moreover, no word of prayer – should be in vain, empty, or unjustified.  Behind every word there is a reality, and behind the words of the “Our Father” should stand our actions.  If we say to God: “Thy will be done,” that means that we should submit our will to His will, to God’s will.  And If we ask God: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” this means that we should learn to forgive everyone we consider blameworthy, whom we consider to be in our debt.

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“The saints were people like all of us.  Many of them came out of great sins, but by repentance they attained the Kingdom of Heaven.  And everyone who comes there comes through repentance, which the merciful Lord has given us through His sufferings.”

 

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OFFER THE WREATH OF RED FLOWERS THAT SURROUNDS THE HOLY CROSS ON THE FEAST OF ITS ELEVATION AND EXALTATION ON SEPT. 27TH!  In memory of a departed loved one or as a token of thanksgiving for the multitude of blessings you have received from almighty God, donate the floral arrangement that will enhance this symbol of victory on the offering table for the holy day celebration on the last Saturday of this month.  Submit a check to any of the financial officers of the parish.

 

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ENABLE THE ACRY TO REACH OUT TO THOSE IN NEED BY SUPPORTING THE 2015 ANNUAL PUBLICATION!  The Diocesan “Yearbook” is a “must have publication” for your home library.  Insure that this excellent journal of parish news, photos, diocesan information and enlightening articles concerning our precious Orthodox Christian Faith is written and distributed yearly to all faithful members.  Become a Patron or offer a Memorial Listing for $6.00; be recognized as a Booster for $3.00.  Cathy Pawlik will gladly accept your monetary contribution.

 

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CLERGY BENEVOLENT FUND!  The Diocese has established a “Clergy Benevolent Fund” to aid our Priests and Panis in cases of catastrophe.  The John C. Kulis Charitable Foundation, through the efforts of our Diocesan Trustee, Attorney Steven M. Laduzinsky, who is Vice President of the Foundation, has gifted our benevolent fund with a donation of $25,000, together with the pledge of matching funds up to that amount that may be made by our clergy and organizations from May 13 to Dec. 1, 2014.  If you are able to make a contribution, please make checks payable to: ACROD Clergy Benevolent Fund and mail to the Chancery Office, 312 Garfield St., Johnstown, PA  15906.

 

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HAVE YOUR NAME APPEAR IN THE FALL FESTIVAL PROGRAM BOOK!  In preparation for the Fall Festival, we are compiling a program book that we desire to be bigger and better than last year’s publication.  We are asking the families of our parish to assist us by sponsoring a family ad, becoming a patron or being listed as a booster.  Please see Michele Tomko for ad prices and Melissa & Nick Ditmore for patrons and boosters.

 

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ENJOY THE “CALENDAR PARTY” AT ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH IN RANKIN, PA ON SUNDAY, SEPT. 21, 2014! Doors open to the downstairs parish hall at 12:30 P.M. and a luncheon meal will be served at 1 P.M.  Plan to attend and support this fund-raising project of our sister Pittsburgh Deanery parish.  Expect plenty of fun, games and fellowship for a donation of $15.  For tickets, please see Cheryl Tomko.

 

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ATTEND SATURDAY EVENING VESPERS AND PARTAKE OF A DELICIOUS CATERED DINNER WITH OUR BISHOP GREGORY ON OCT. 4TH AT 5 P.M. IN ST. JOHN’S CHURCH, EAST PITTSBURGH, PA!  Very Rev. Jonathan Tobias is happy to invite us to this Vesperal service with our beloved hierarch in attendance, and then, enjoy a delectable buffet dinner in St. John’s Church hall, afterwards.  The cost of the dinner is $15 for adults, and $7.50 for children 12 and under.  The buffet includes roast beef, stuffed chicken breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and assorted desserts.  The buffet will be brought by the folks at Cooked Goose, and they are very, very good.  Sign your name to the designated paper in the auditorium, worship and dine with His Grace on his first episcopal visitation to the East Pittsburgh, PA parish.  September 28 is the deadline for you to make reservations for this joyous occasion.

 

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YOU, THE PEOPLE OF ST. NICHOLAS IN HOMESTEAD, PA ARE “DISTINGUISHED” BY YOUR PRAISEWORTHY GIVING TO THE DIOCESE!  The Distinguished Diocesan Donor Program has become an instrumental source of funding for the expansion and maintenance of Camp Nazareth, Information Technology, Christ the Saviour Seminary and other Diocesan Apostolates and Ministries, having raised over $2.5 million dollars.  Without the support of the DDD Program, it would be impossible for our Diocesan ministries to properly fulfill their apostolic mission.  Now, more than ever, in the spiritually challenging times of the 21st century, we need your support to further grow our existing ministries and establish new ones to keep our faithful, and especially our youth, connected to Christ and His Holy Church.  We invite you to become a part of the momentum that drives the Distinguished Diocesan Donor Program.  Your contributions directly support our many apostolates and ministries. 

 

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ARE YOU READY FOR SOME SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS ON 9/28/, HOSTED BY THE SR. ACRY?  The A.C.R.Y. will have a Spaghetti Dinner Sunday, September 28, 2014 after Divine Liturgy in the St. Nicholas Church Auditorium.  Donation is $8.00 per person; children 5-12 are $5.00; children under 5 are free.  Take-out orders are available upon request!  See Aaron Zak for your reservation ticket.

 

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SNOW REMOVAL TEAM!  Let it snow!!!  Fellow parishioners of Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church in Homestead, PA:  It is never too early to think about snow.  We are looking for a few good men to agree to be on our snow removable team for this winter.  Won’t you agree to help to keep our sidewalks and parking lot clear of snow and ice for our congregation?? Please see Tom Pingor, Doug Trumpower, or Dave Urban.

 

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“TRIVIA NITE” ON SAT., SEPT. 27 IS A FUN EVENING OF WORSHIP, SPIRITED GAME OF RELGIOUS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, TASTY SNACKS AND WONDERFUL SOCIAL EXCHANGE FOR OUR CHURCH SCHOOL STUDENTS!  Parents:  Bring the youngsters to church for Vespers at 7 PM, and return to pick them up at no later than 9:30 P.M.

 

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Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church