Holy Trinity
Serbian Orthodox Mission
Fairmont, WV

Bulletin 157 - November 16 / November 29, 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

November 16 / November 29, 2008
St. Matthew the Evangelist
No. 157
Phone 724-966-7428
Phone 304-534-5321
Phone 304-622-3681

Romans 15:30

Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me.

Eleven people came for Vespers on November 19, 2008.

December 6 is the Anniversary of the 1962 Robena Mine Disaster. It is also the Anniversary of the 1907 Monongah W.Va. Mine Disaster. The Anniversary of the 1968 Farmington, W.Va. Mine Disaster was on November 20. It is important we take time to remember these miners and their families and all miners and their families.

The Nativity Fast began on November 28 and continues until the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Nativity, January 7. Please honor the fast.

Prepare for Holy Confession and Holy Communion during the Nativity Fast.

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.

Remember the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, those in rehab centers, nursing homes, jails and prisons. Remember the staff members and caretakers.

Remember the men and women serving in the military and their families.

Thank you to Sharren Paroda for baking for the recent bake sale. Thank you to Mike Danko for supporting Sharren's efforts by being present at the sale.

November is Stewardship Month in the Serbian Orthodox Church.

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.

From the Wisdom of Sirach
34: 15

Blessed is the soul of the man who fears the Lord!

Zechariah 7:5 - Speak to all the people of the land and to the priests, saying, 'Though you fasted or mourned in the fifth or seventh months, lo these seventy years, did you at all fast for Me?

Fasting is not a rote exercise without thought of God. Thinking about God should be a conscious effort throughout the period of fasting. When distracted from thoughts about God, redirect the thoughts to God.

Fasting periods are intended for the person's improved relationship with God. Fasting periods benefit parish churches and surrounding communities. Fasting periods benefit the Church to the degree the Church can benefit from the practices of individuals.

Mindless fasting with no thought of God and a simple following of certain eating practices have limited value. Fasting is not expected to take place in a vacuum. Prayer and almsgiving have their place with fasting.

Prayer enriches the fasting and fasting enriches the prayer. Consciousness about God has a place in prayer and in fasting. The believer has a responsibility to be alert throughout periods of prayer and fasting.

Fasting can keep a person's mind attentive. At a Christian education conference a priest once asked the participants if they had ever tried to pray on a full stomach. Hunger for God is important.

Eating abundantly can cause a person to become tired and want to rest. Delaying meals until after times of prayer and limiting intake regularly as a practice of fasting has prayerful benefits.

Any savings realized due to fasting can be distributed in charitable ways. Beneficiaries of charitable works will have a greater appreciation of Orthodox Christianity.

Orthodox clergy are expected to honor the fast periods of the Church. Orthodox clergy improve their standing with their parishioners when they honor the fasts. Orthodox clergy improve their lives and their ministries when they honor the fasts.

Orthodox clergy openly observed violating fasting periods are subject to criticism. Believers seeing a member of the clergy violating the fast will question the commitment of the clergyman.

Priests need to be consistent in teaching and expectations of parishioners regarding fasting. Each parish and each parishioner is at a different level of development in honoring the fast periods of the Church.

The parish priest is required to take a pastoral approach in working with parishioners to come into greater compliance with the Church's expectations. The parish priest can expect to be tested and questioned by parishioners on fasting practices and expectations.

Parish church meals should always conform to Church teachings.
Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission, Fairmont, West Virginia
November 16 / November 29, 2008

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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