© 2016 - Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church    602-253-9515                    All rights reserved.

Links

Bookstore

About Us

Ministries

Home

Photos

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church

1614 E Monte Vista Road

Phoenix, Arizona 85006

602-253-9515

Regular Services

Saturday:  

 5:00 PM  Great Vespers

Sunday:

 9:00 AM  Divine Liturgy


The Right Reverend DANIEL, Bishop of Santa Rosa, Rector


Priest David Balmer, Attached, Retired


Protodeacon

Alexis Washington

Biography

O Lord, save Your people, and bless Your inheritance! Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries. And by virtue of the Cross, preserve Your habitation!


As You were voluntarily crucified for our sake, grant mercy to those who are called by Your name; ake all Orthodox Christians glad by Your power, granting them victories over their adversaries, by bestowing on them the invincible trophy, your weapon of peace!


Church Etiquette

Click for Directions to our Church

July

Newsletter & Calendar

Today’s Saint

Fasting Seasons

of the

Church

Daily Prayers

Morning Prayers

Evening Prayers

Prayer to The

Theotokos

Love Without Limits

Today’s Scripture Readings

Reflections in Christ

Parish Contacts


Bishop Daniel, Rector

bishopdaniel@sspeterpaulaz.org

480-287-0240

Father David Balmer, Attached, Retired

frdavidb@sspeterpaulaz.org

480-213-7631

Protodeacon Alexis Washington

pdnalexis@sspeterpaulaz.org

Stephanie A. Homyak, Church School Director & Newsletter Editor

stephanie@sspeterpaulaz.org

623-869-0470

Barbara Peterson, Myrrh Bearers

barbara@sspeterpaulaz.org

602-278-1994

Andrew Evans, Council President

andy@sspeterpaulaz.org

480-948-7929

Pat Starkey, FOCA President

pabs5@cox.net

623-512-2021

Barbara Harp, Choir Director

bharp@vosymca.org

Mike Wagner, Webmaster   

mike@sspeterpaulaz.org

602-741-4950

Orthodox Church in America Links

Orthodox Church In America

Diocese of the West

Diocese of the Midwest

Diocese of New England

Diocese of the South

Diocese of

New York & New Jersey

Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania

Diocese of Alaska

Archdiocese of Canada

Exarchate of Mexico

Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America

Orthodox Sites

to Visit

OCA.org

DOWOCA.org

Youth & Young Adults

pravmir.com

pravoslavie.ru

Mospat.ru/en

patriarchia.ru/

Occasional Orthodox Prayers and Creeds

Newsletter

Archive

Jun 2016

May 2016

Apr 2016

Mar 2016

Feb 2016

Jan 2016

Dec 2015

Nov 2015

Oct 2015

Aug 2015

Jul 2015

Jun 2015

May 2015

Apr 2015

Mar 2015

Feb 2015

Jan 2015

Dec 2014

Nov 2014

Oct 2014

Sep 2014

Aug 2014

July 2014

May 2014

Apr 2014

Mar 2014

Jan / Feb 2014

Dec 2013

Nov 2013

Oct 2013

Sep 2013

Aug 2013

Jul 2013

May 2013

Apr 2013

Mar 2013

Jan 2013

Dec 2012

Nov 2012

Sep 2012

Aug 2012

Jul 2012

Jun 2012

May 2012

Apr 2012

Mar 2012

Feb 2012

Jan 2012

Dec 2011

Nov 2011

Oct 2011

Sep 2011

Jul 2011

Local

Orthodox Churches

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Assumption Greek Orthodox Church

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church

St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church

St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church

St. John the Evangelist

St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church

Exaltation of The Holy Cross Orthodox Church

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church

Site Quarterly Reports

2nd Qtr 2016

1st Qtr 2016

4th Qtr 2015

3rd Qtr 2015

2nd Qtr 2015

1st Qtr 2015

4th Qtr 2014

3rd Qtr 2014

2nd Qtr 2014

1st Qtr 2014

4th Qtr 2013

3rd Qtr 2013


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


We recently had the blessing and joy of celebrating the Altar Feast of our parish church.  With gratitude to Almighty God for all His blessings, on June 28 & 29, we gathered in prayer to commemorate the lives of the Holy Apostle Peter and Paul, our heavenly patrons.  For this year’s feast, we had the special honor of being joined by several clergy (seven priests and one deacon) from throughout the Valley, as well as by Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of Saint Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary and Deacon Gregory Hatrak, SVS Press and Bookstore Manager.  Additionally, many of our faithful brothers and sisters from other Orthodox parishes here in the Valley also came to join us in celebrating this annual feastday.  The Divine Liturgy of the feast was followed by yet another wonderful festal meal, the likes for which our parish is well known.  In reflecting upon our recent celebration, it is good to recall that June 29 is not simply another holyday on the liturgical calendar; rather, for us at Saints Peter and Paul Church, it becomes like another Pascha, another God-given opportunity for us to rejoice in the many blessings we have received- especially through the lives, teachings, example, and intercession of our heavenly patrons.  It is my hope and prayer that this annual celebration will continue to be a highpoint on our calendar and that many more of our own parishioners will also be present for and participate in next year’s celebration.

We are well into the month of July and well into the heat of another Arizona summer.  For some, these long hot months provide an opportunity to break from the routine schedule of our daily lives, to get away to cooler climates, to travel to visit family and friends across the country and abroad, and maybe even to simply slow down a bit.  Unfortunately, sometimes this natural desire to slow down or “get away” affects our spiritual lives and we become spiritually lethargic.  We might even use the long hot days as an excuse to lessen our daily prayer routine, to ease up or to stop participating in the fasting discipline of the Church or even, God forbid, to use the heat as an excuse to refrain from participating in the Divine services and not attend the Saturday evening Vespers or the Divine Liturgy on Sundays.  A simple second look at our summer routines should help prevent such lethargy from developing.  Our spiritual life, another way of speaking of our relationship with the Lord, never slows down, does not lighten up and never “takes a vacation.”  Please be mindful of this in the weeks ahead.

These days, we are presently overwhelmed by the amount of violence that has entered into our daily life in this country and, indeed, throughout the world.  With the recent police shootings here in the United States and the all-too regular reports of Christians in the Middle East facing daily martyrdom, we can easily see that the world is still far from receiving the Gospel of Christ, which is the Gospel of love, peace, and unity among all peoples.  It is so easy to become bogged down and overburdened by the sadness of this already very sad reality.  However, as Christians who believe that Christ has already overcome sin and darkness, we are called, even in the midst of this sadness, to bear witness to the goodness of a humanity that has been redeemed by Christ.  Let us entrust ourselves and the whole world to the Lord, the Giver of Life, and ask the Most Pure Mother of God to spread her protecting veil over all of us.

As I write these few lines, I am very aware that I have now been blessed to serve as Rector of Saints Peter and Paul Church for ten years.  My assignment as Rector officially took effect on July 1, 2006.  Looking back, it’s hard to believe that so many years have passed so quickly.  Please know that I am deeply grateful to God for His Providence and for my assignment to serve you throughout these past ten years.  Your lives have touched mine in so many ways and have, I pray, helped me grow in my own relationship with Christ as a servant of the Church and minister of the Holy Gospel.  I thank you for your support throughout these years and ask your continued prayers, as I assure you of mine.


With love in the Lord,

+Bishop Daniel


 Bishop Daniel’s Message for July

Visit our local Monasteries  websites

Saint John of San Francisco Monastery

Monastery of Saint Anthony the Great

Saint Paisius Monastery



Building Hope

for Boys Without

Families

And Families

Without Homes

Righteous Eudocimus of Cappadocia

Saint Eudocimus, a native of Cappadocia (Asia Minor), lived during the ninth century during the reign of Emperor Theophilus (829-842). He was the son of the pious Christians Basil and Eudokia, an illustrious family known to the emperor. They raised their son “in discipline and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6: 4), planting in his soul a sincere faith and holy virtues.

The righteous life of St Eudocimus was devoted to pleasing God and serving his neighbor. Having given a vow to remain unmarried and chaste, he avoided conversation with women and did not look at them. He would speak only with his own mother, whom he greatly respected. The emperor valued his virtue and talents, so he appointed St Eudocimus as governor of Chorziane, Armenia. Fulfilling his duty as a servant of God, St Eudocimus governed the people justly and with kindness. He concerned himself with the unfortunate, and with orphans and widows, and he was a defender of the common people. His personal Christian exploits which he did in secret, were known only to God.

Eudocimus pleased God by his blameless life, and the Lord called him at age 33. Lying on his deathbed, St Eudocimus gave final instructions to place him in the grave in those clothes in which he would meet death. Then he sent everyone out of the room and entreated the Lord that no one would see his end, just as no one saw his secret efforts during life. His attendants buried him as he had instructed them. Right after the death of St Eudocimus miracles took place at his grave. Many sick people were healed, and the news of the miraculous healings spread.

After 18 months, the mother of St Eudocimus came from Constantinople to venerate his relics. She gave orders to remove the stone, dig up the ground, and open the grave. Everyone beheld the face of the saint, bright as if alive, altogether untouched by decay. A great fragrance came from him. They took up the coffin with the relics from the earth, and they dressed the saint in new clothes. His mother wanted to take the relics of her son to Constantinople, but the Kharsian people would not clear a path for their holy one. After a certain time the hieromonk Joseph, having lived and served at the grave of the saint, transported the relics of St Eudocimus to Constantinople. There they were placed in a silver reliquary in the church of the Most Holy Theotokos, built by the parents of the saint.

St Eudocimus is considered by the Russian Church to be one of the special protectors and intercessors before God of the family hearth. He was, as his name implies, truly successful in every virtue.


Hieromartyr Benjamin the Metropolitan of Petrograd and Gdovsk

The New Hieromartyr Benjamin (Kazansky) was appointed Metropolitan of Petrograd in the summer of 1917. During those tumultuous times, he was one of the few people in Russia with no interest in politics. He was more concerned with caring for his diocese and his flock.

In 1922, the Communists began confiscating Church treasures. They professed that they wanted to sell them in order to buy food for the starving population. When the people protested, there were bloody reprisals. Metropolitan Benjamin did not resist turning over the Church’s valuables, for he believed it was his duty to help save people’s lives. He wanted this sacrifice to be voluntary, however, and not a plundering of church property by the government.

On March 6, 1922 Metropolitan Benjamin met with a commission which had been formed to help the starving. They agreed to his request that the dispersal of funds from voluntary contributions should be controlled by the parishes. Newspapers of that time praised the Metropolitan and his clergy for their charitable spirit.

Party leaders in Moscow did not approve of the decision made by the Communists of Petrograd allowing voluntary contributions to be administered by the parishes, and declared that the confiscation of Church property would continue. Protesters gathered in Petrograd, shouting and throwing stones at those who were stealing from the churches.

On March 24, 1922 “Pravda” printed a letter from twelve priests who broke ranks with the other clergy, referring to them as “counter-revolutionaries” and blaming them for the famine. Most of these twelve would later be active in the “Living Church.” They called for unconditional surrender of all Church valuables to the Soviets.

The clergy of Petrograd were outraged by the letter from the twelve. Metropolitan Benjamin, hoping to avoid confrontations between the people and the Communists, tried to calm his priests. He also asked for a meeting with the authorities. Vvedensky and Boyarsky, two of the twelve, were delegated to talk with Soviet leaders, and came to an agreement. Parishes would be permitted to keep their sacred vessels if they substituted other property of equal value. This program seemed to work well for a time.

Vvedensky, Boyarsky, and others tried to wrest control of the Church from Patriarch Tikhon and the bishops. They informed Metropolitan Benjamin of the new state of affairs, declaring that Vvedensky had been appointed as the Petrograd representative of the new Church administration.

The Metropolitan could not accept this threat to Church order, so he proclaimed that Vvedensky would be regarded as being outside the Church until he repented of his error. This decree was published in the newspapers, and served to enrage the Soviets.

Vvedensky and the Petrograd commandant Bakaev went to see the Metropolitan and ordered him to rescind his decree. If he did not, they told him, he and others close to him would be placed on trial. They warned Metropolitan Benjamin that he and others would be put to death if he made the wrong choice. He refused to submit.

The courageous archpastor began meeting with his friends in order to say farewell. He also gave instructions for the administration of the diocese. A few days later, the Metropolitan was placed under house arrest. Not long after that, he was taken to prison.

As his trial began, the Metropolitan entered the courtroom with Bishop Benedict and other clergy. When everyone stood up for him, Metropolitan Benjamin blessed them. The judges tried to get the Metropolitan to renounce the idea of the parishes voluntarily contributing church valuables in order to feed the hungry, or to provide the names of those who had conceived this idea. It would suit their purposes very well if he could be made to “repent” or back away from his previous statements and submit to the authorities.

The other clergy and civilians on trial with Metropolitan Benjamin did not try to ingratiate themselves with the court, and did not accuse others in order to win leniency for themselves. The trial lasted for two weeks, and the prosecutors presented witnesses who had been hired to bring false accusations against the defendants.

Many witnesses were called, and their testimony seemed to support Metropolitan Benjamin and to weaken the government’s case against him. A certain professor of the Technological Institute named Egorov angered the court by his testimony. He was accused of being a follower of the Metropolitan, so he was arrested on the spot.

In spite of all the evidence, the defendants were found guilty. Government supporters and members of the Red Army in the court broke into applause. The defense attorney addressed the court, saying that he knew that any pleas he might offer would be useless. “Political considerations come first with you, and all verdicts must favor your policy,” he declared. Even though everyone understood that the trial was a farce, the Soviet government could not afford to make a martyr out of Metropolitan Benjamin. The example of history, he pointed out, should warn them against such a course.

When the defense attorney had finished, there was loud clapping. The judges tried to restore order, but found that many Communists in the audience had also joined in the applause.

The defendants were given a chance to speak, and the Metropolitan stood to address the court. He said it grieved him to be called an enemy of the people, for he had always loved the people and dedicated his life to them. The rest of his comments were a defense of the others on trial with him. When the presiding judge asked him to say something about himself, he said that no matter what sentence the court decreed he would thank God by saying, “Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee for all things.”

At 9:00 P.M. on July 5, the chairman of the tribunal announced that ten defendants, including the Metropolitan, were to be shot.

St Benjamin and those with him (Archimandrite Sergius, George and John of Petrograd) were executed on July 31, 1922. They had been shaved and dressed in rags so that the firing squad would not know that they were shooting members of the clergy.











The Most Blessed TIKHON
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada


Biography








The Most Reverend BENJAMIN
Archbishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West


Biography