Serbian Orthodox Mission
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
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
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
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
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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