Holy Trinity
Serbian Orthodox Mission
Fairmont, WV

Bulletin 151 - June 22 / July 5, 2008

The Orthodox Mission

Chronicle of the Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission
Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
Aministrator - Fr. Rodney Torbic
408 Morgantown Avenue
Fairmont, West Virginia 26544

June 22 / July 5, 2008
Venerable Anastasia
No. 151
Phone 724-966-7428
Phone 304-534-5321
Phone 304-622-3681

II Corinthians 12:13

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body---Jews or Greeks, slaves or free---and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Three people came for Divine Liturgy on Vidovdan.

The Apostles Fast continues until the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul next Saturday.

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers are needed in Harrison County. Support every child's right to a safe and permanent home, Contact Vesna Meinert, Volunteer Coordinator for the Harrison County CASA Program at 304-623-5749.

All churches will be closed for August 3, Diocese Day will be held at Shadeland.

Let us remember the men and women in the military and their families.

Let us remember the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, those in care homes, hospitals, rehab centers and the staffs and caretakers.

Let us remember the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.

Contributions are being accepted for the Suffering Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija and will be forwarded to the Diocesan Relief Fund.

Continue to support the Mission by coming to services as often as possible.

Remember the men and women working in dangerous occupations including those in the mines and criminal justice agencies, the police, correctional officers and parole agents.

Wisdom of Solomon

Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth, think of the Lord with uprightness, and seek him with sincerity of heart; because he is found by those who do not put him to the test, and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.

Sirach 34:26 - So it is with a man who fasts over his sins and goes and does the same sins all over again. Who will hear his prayer? What does his humbling profit him?

When we fast in repentance of our sins, prayer needs to accompany the fasting that the sins not be repeated. To grow in Christ, the conquering of certain sins is an expectation.

The conquering of sins is not due to the person but due to the person's relationship with Christ. Strength comes from Christ. The life in Christ can replace the life in sin. Moving from sin to Christ is the ideal direction for each life.

Each person has the dilemma of combating sins. Each period of fasting is a period to wage war against sins. Just as individuals can stop using drugs or alcohol, individuals can quit lying or cheating or engaging in relationships filled with sin. Fasting can bring a person to the recognition of sinfulness and need for a repentant heart.

Fasting is expected to produce results. The believer may have to look for the results to find them. The results may not be immediately visible but may become obvious after the passing of a period of time.

Much is written about fasting in Orthodox literature. How many individuals take a serious look at the literature? How many individuals take a serious approach to fasting?

What would be the reaction in a parish if the priest called for a specific day of fasting due to certain circumstances having arisen? What would be the degree of compliance in any given parish if the priest called for a day of fasting due to a problem affecting the parish?

In any given parish, what percentage of individuals honor the fast days throughout the year. Parishes benefit when there is an increase in the number of individuals honoring the fast periods of the Church.

Children observe the way parents fast. Children remember the attitudes of parents and grandparents toward fasting. Fasting by Orthodox Christians affects non-Orthodox Christians learning of the practice.

Believers respecting the fasting practices of the Church will honor the fasts in an effort to be renewed in Christ. Not everyone recognizes his or her own sinfulness. Increased self-awareness comes with increased seriousness as a Christian.

With increased seriousness in following Christ, believers come to realize the many ways appreciation is not shown to God and the many ways God blesses each individual.

The contrast between the Publican and the Pharisee is an example in assessing a person's efforts at fasting. The Publican and Pharisee definitely are a contrast in their state of humility. (Lk. 18:9-14)
Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission, Fairmont, West Virginia
June 22 / July 5, 2008

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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