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Alms giving

ALMS GIVING

During Great Lent, we are called upon to fast, pray, confess our sins, and turn to doing good instead of evil. We do that by giving alms, or help to the poor. 

We hear in the Divine Liturgy that “Every good gift and perfect gift comes down from Thee, the Father of Lights…” All of the things we ‘give’ to one another are patterned after the One True Gift – Our Lord’s giving Himself to the world, at His voluntary crucifixion. You may think that Christmas gifts, Birthday gifts, Baptism and Wedding gifts are personal gifts between yourself and the recipient, but in fact, if they are true, genuine and wholesome gifts, they’re patterned on the Lord’s self-sacrifice.

The Lord’s sacrifice is repeated in the Divine Liturgy. Offered on the altar is His body and His blood, which He gives to us continually. This gift is pure, holy, self-less, and eternal.

The gifts we give are often less than pure, as they’re given in an effort to bribe someone, to put our controls on them, to make them beholding to us. Those gifts are not given without the hope of getting something in return. Often, someone gives something to the Church, but puts their name on a plaque or inscribes the gift itself or requests that it be announced in the Bulletin. Those are gifts which people think they can control, they think they can demand them back when things don’t go their way.

Donations to the Church are always given to the Church, not to individuals. God loves a cheerful giver, but He also does not favor gifts which were not given freely, not given without strings attached, not given from the heart. The only true and valuable gifts are those things we have worked hard to earn. Gifts which we did nothing to earn are not genuine. For example, a real gift would be something which we make ourselves, as opposed to something we buy or pay for, or give from money earned by ‘money-changers’ or bankers – money earned from interest, and not from the sweat of our brow.

Remember the words of the Divine Liturgy, “We offer unto Thee Thine own of thine own on behalf of all and for all”?  This is the key to understanding donations. We offer to God what is His, what we used, like those three men who received 10 and 5 and 1 talent when their Master went away on a journey? We use those talents to make more talents. We do NOT offer to God what we did not earn. The first servant earned 10 talents more, the second earned 5 talents more, but the third one simply buried the talent he was given in the earth and earned nothing. The master said, ‘Worthless and lazy servant! At the very worst you could have given the money to the bankers who would have returned interest on the talent – but you didn’t even do that.’ (Matthew 25:28). The Master didn’t recommend that the money be given to the bankers, but as a last resort, the servant could have at least done that much.

Isn’t it a more wonderful gift when we know it was made especially for us by loving hands and heart?

“The Lord loves a cheerful giver” “Each of us should give what we have decided in our hearts to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7). No gift which comes from trying to show someone up by giving a better or larger or richer gift is a worthy or meaningful gift.

Do not be afraid to give to someone you think may be a thief or charlatan because the Lord blesses your intention. And your gift may be the one which changes the black hearted man into an angel of good.

Brothers and sisters, Holy Scripture tells us: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. (Galatians 6:9)  “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10) We must be tireless is struggling to live good and holy lives, and even more, to give ‘until it hurts’ to those who ask of us (aloud and silently) and are in obvious need.

 

Prayers for the suffering Christians of Egypt

At the Request of the Holy Synod of Bishops, we add the following petition to the Augmented Litany and in our prayers:

Again we pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith, especially the Christian faithful of Egypt and across the Middle East, that the Lord God will send down upon them every spiritual weapon to endure their tribulations; and that He will grant that Peace which passes all understanding upon the region, and throughout the whole world, as a foretaste of His heavenly Kingdom.

Wanted - Choir Director

Wanted Urgently - Choir Director

Hello Music Lovers, whoever and wherever you are.

Our Choir Director moved away and we are without anyone with musical training to lead the singing which we as a community offer to God. Our Church Services are all in English. We have a good number of singers, but without someone to lead them the singing has lots of room for improvement. If you are interested, we will pay for your gasoline (travel expense) and a small honorarium for each service.

Local music students are welcome to try out for the position - we will teach you anything you need to know - resources are readily available.

Please contact the Rector, Father John, as soon as you can (315-866-3272). Thank you.

Greetings in the name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ! 

     Welcome to the web pages of Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church!  We are a vibrant and growing community in the Mohawk Valley, serving a wide area of Greater Central New York.  We are committed to living a life in Jesus Christ, being nourished by our common worship in the Holy Eucharist and the other services of the Church, of personal prayer, and in striving to bring the light of Christ to our community.
     Whenever you are in the area, please come and worship with us, get to know us and be welcome to our warm hospitality.

     We received this question: "My wife and I are considering visiting [your parish] sometime in the near future. We are not Orthodox Christians and have never been to a Sunday service in the Orthodox Church. Are there some things we should be aware of prior to our visit? Any helpful comments would be appreciated."

     We can recommend "12 Things I Wish I'd known... First Visit to an Orthodox Church": http://www.frederica.com/12-things/

     Please remember that you are welcome to come downstairs to the Coffee Hour, at the end of the service, where we can sit and get to know each other.

     If you have any other questions - please don't hesitate to e-mail or phone the pastor: john.udics@gmail.com and 315.866.3272.


News from our Parish of Saints Peter and Paul

Please remember in your prayers the ailing servants of God:
Archimandrite Athanasy (Mastalsky)
Priest Sergius Willis
Archpriest Vincent Saverino
Archpriest David Garretson
Anna Kanerva
Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky
Matushka Laura Schmidt and Father Leonid Schmidt
 Olenka Zharsky
Archimandrite Nektarios (Cottros)
Archimandrite Roman (Braga)
Protosyngellos Christopher (Grecu)
Archpriest James (Ken) Stavrevsky
Pat Butcher
Steven Kocuba
Michael Brittain
John Kowanski
Stephanie Litwen
Father Ernesto Rios

Helen Dzugan
Daniel Riley
Nadine Staraitis

Archpriest Stephen Siniairi
Olga Prawlocki
Archpriest John Bohush
Archpriest Antonio and Matushka Elizabeth Perdomo


For the latest Schedule of events, see the most recent Parish weekly Bulletin.
To see the recent issues of the Parish weekly Bulletin and monthly Newsletter - click on the columns to the left, above.

CHURCH SCHOOL started up again in September. From September to June, church school is taught on Sundays, at 9:00 am. Thank you to Matushka Anastasia Richards for volunteering to teach our Church Schoolers. God bless all of the Church School students and their teacher in their studies. Donations for the needs of the Church School are always welcome.

For your convenience, a complete list of Questions about the Orthodox Christian Faith have been added to the Web page. These questions are being answered in the monthly Newsletter.

Also, at the request of numerous readers, we have uploaded a list of Questions for preparation for Holy Confession. There's also the same file in .pdf format for your downloading opportunity.

With the kind permission of the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, we post The Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete here on our web pages. Download it and read it at home. There are many verses which refer to passages in Holy Scripture - why not look them up and learn the meaning behind the poetry.
Great Canon portion for Monday - first week of Great Lent
Great Canon portion for Tuesday
Great Canon portion for Wednesday
Great Canon portion for Thursday
Great Canon (complete) for Thursday of the fifth week of Great Lent

And don't forget to check the photo gallery for new photos.

News from the Diocese of New York and New Jersey

His Grace Bishop MICHAEL asks that you please remember in your prayers:
 
the health of:
Archpriest Michael Dudas
Archpriest Yakov Ryklin
Gabriel Cowan
Archpriest Samuel Kedala
Protodeacon Michael and Matushka Leslie Sochka
and their daughter Elizabeth
Matushka Alexandra Kishkovsky
Matushka Katia Vansuch
Archpriest James [Ken] Stavrevsky
Archpriest Igor Burdikoff
Matushka Nina Matusiak
Matushka Barbara Searfoorce
Matushka Jeanne Zablotskyy
Angela Fensom
Dolores Nadler
Christina Speck
Deacon Michael Burdikoff
Matushka Julie Joa
Matushka Patricia Bohush
Mr. Wilfred Royer
Matushka Leslie and daughter Elizabeth Sochka
His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON
Father Leonid Kishkovsky
Father Matthew Searfoorce
Father David Cowan
Matushka Peggy Klingel
Father David Vernak
James Lazor
Father John Nehrebecki
Matushka Mimi Kishkovsky
Father Stephen Evanina
Antoniu Chirnoaga
Matushka Jeanne Zablotskyy
Russell Komline
Barbara Knighton
Deacon John Holoduek
Protodeacon Michael Sochka
Deacon Mark Hoeplinger, M.D
Matushka Anastasia Molodyko-Harris
Matushka Cecilia Burdikoff
Archpriest John Chupeck
Michael Speck, Sr.
Father Vasily Gilbert
Archpriest Alexey Karlgut
Archpriest Paul Kucynda
Wilfred Royer
Serge Jelenevsky
Bohdan Zablotskyy
abducted Metropolitan Paul Yazigi
abducted Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim
Father Daniel Degyansky
Matushka Eugenia Nehrebecki
Hope Sprecher
Ashley Rebmann and her infant daughter Aubrey Rebmann
Mary Bartholomew
Dr. Seng Tjoa
Anna and Sophia Gotlinsky
Sister Deborah
Barbara Suchernick
Elizabeth Meerson
Archpriest Alexis Vinogradov
Protopresbyter Alexander Atty
Matushka Theodora Ressetar
Father Sergei Glagolev
Father Joseph Woodill
Dalene (Mary) Riggs
Monk James (Silver)
Father Stephen Mack
Matushka Melissa Lahue
Archpriest Joseph Martin
Barbara Evanina
Matushka Alexandra Kishkovsky
Subdeacon Paul Kappanadze

Calendar Updated!

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