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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


Deacon

Andrew Maxwell

Biography


In giving birth you preserved your virginity, in falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos. You were translated to life, O Mother of Life, and by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.

Neither the tomb, nor death could hold the Theotokos, who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of Life, she was translated to life by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.

Holy Pentecost 2017


Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


The month of August is always a month of transitions: summer travel and vacations are coming to an end, students are returning to school, and our work and the organizations in which we are involved are taking up their routine, more active schedules, rush hour traffic is becoming heavier, etc.  This is true of parish life as well.  In a sense, of course, parish life never changes.  Month in and month out, we continually observe our regular cycle of life and worship.  However, as we enter the month of August, we do so with the sense that parish programs are about to restart, the attendance at the Divine Services are about to return to the normal level of attendance, and the calendar will once again be filled with various types of parish activities.  And it is appropriate that we look to returning to the regular rhythm and routine of our community life in the month in which we celebrate some significant feasts.

We begin the month of August by observing the Dormition Fast, the two-week period (August 1-15) leading up to the celebration of the Dormition of the Theotokos on August 15th. This fast offers us the opportunity for a spiritual focus as we prepare to honor the Holy Theotokos who, at the end of her earthly life, entered the glories of the Kingdom which was proclaimed by her Divine Son.  We ask her continued intercession and protection as we prayerfully prepare for her special feast.

About halfway into the Dormition Fast we celebrate the Great Feast of the Lord’s Transfiguration.  In this feast we proclaim the Gospel which relates the story of the Lord being transfigured, revealing His glory, on Mount Tabor in the presence of the Holy Apostles Peter, James, and John.  This year, August 6 falls on a Sunday, allowing even those who might not be able to participate in a weekday Divine Liturgy to share in the spiritual blessings which this special feast of the Lord brings.  On the feast of the Transfiguration the Church blesses the first-fruits of the harvest both as a giving back to the Lord what is His and has come from Him (1 Chronicles 29:14) and as a celebration of the promise of the final transfiguration of all things in Christ. The Divine Light glimpsed by the Apostles on Mount Tabor will transform all creation to its most perfect flowering and fruitfulness.

In Constantinople and throughout the Greek world grapes were placed on a table in the center of the temple and offered and blessed at the end of the Divine Liturgy and then partaken of by the faithful. In Russia, it became popular to bless apples on this feast.  Over time this blessing was extended as other first-fruits were brought to be offered and blessed. The Trebnyk (Euchologion or Book of Needs) offers several different prayers, one of which is offered here:

Prayer for the Blessing of First-Fruits

O Lord God Jesus Christ, You said to Your disciples: "Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." We now humbly beseech You, bless + and sanctify these first-fruits which Your faithful servants have brought into Your temple today. Preserve the life and health of all those who partake of them, those who are present here and those who absent. Grant that these blessed first-fruits be an effective medicine for those who are sick and ailing, and a protection against the assaults of the enemy for those who keep them in their homes. May all those who partake of them enjoy the fullness of Your goodness and blessing. For You, O Christ God, are our true nourishment and the Giver of all that is good, and we send up glory to You, together with Your Father, Who is without beginning, and with Your all-holy, good, and live-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Also, each year on August 9th, we commemorate Saint Herman, or own “American saint,” who, although born in Russia, achieved holiness as he worked out his salvation in Russian Alaska.  The first of the saints to be glorified in North America, Saint Herman’s life and example provides us with a deep insight into how we live our Orthodox faith as Christians in a multi-cultural society.  Our temple is blessed with a beautiful icon of Saint Herman as a reminder of his intercession for the Church in this land as well as to reminder of the missionary efforts which brought the Orthodox Faith to North America.  May we, as Orthodox Christians in America and heirs to this missionary legacy, continue to share the work of proclaiming the Gospel in this land.

With love in the Lord,


+Bishop Daniel

Church Etiquette

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August

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Today’s Saint

Fasting Seasons

of the

Church

Daily Prayers

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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

Deacon Andrew Maxwell

deaconandrew@sspeterpaulaz.org


480-320-8059

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


Mara Hecht, Teen & Young Adult League   

mara@sspeterpaulaz.org


Mike Wagner, Webmaster   

mike@sspeterpaulaz.org

602-741-4950

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 Bishop Daniel’s Message for August

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

Submit










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

Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.


But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.


Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Afterfeast of the Dormition of the Mother of God

Commemorated on August 20

The Church continues to honor the passage of the Most Holy Theotokos from death to life. Just as Christ once dwelt in the virginal womb of His Mother, now He takes Her “to dwell in His courts.”








Prophet Samuel

Commemorated on August 20


The Prophet Samuel was the fifteenth and last of the Judges of Israel, living more than 1146 years before the Birth of Christ. He was descended from the Tribe of Levi, and was the son of Elkanah from Ramathaim-Zophim of Mount Ephraim. He was born, having been besought from the Lord through the prayers of his mother Hannah (therefore he received the name Samuel, which means “besought from God”). Even before birth, he was dedicated to God. Her song, “My heart exults in the Lord,” is the Third Ode of the Old Testament (1 Sam/1 Kings 2:1-10).


When the boy reached the age of three, his mother went with him to Shiloh and in accord with her vow dedicated him to the worship of God. She gave him into the care of the High Priest Eli, who at this time was a judge over Israel. The prophet grew in the fear of God, and at twelve years of age he had a revelation that God would punish the house of the High Priest Eli, because he did not restrain the impiety of his sons. Eli’s whole family was wiped out in a single day.


The prophecy was fulfilled when the Philistines, having slain in battle 30,000 Israelites (among them were also the sons of the High Priest, Hophni and Phinees), gaining victory and capturing the Ark of the Covenant. Hearing this, the High Priest Eli fell backwards from his seat at the gate, and breaking his back, he died. The wife of Phinees, upon hearing what had happened in this very hour, gave birth to a son (Ichabod) and died with the words: “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God is taken away” (1 Sam/1 Kgs 4: 22).


Upon the death of Eli, Samuel became the judge of the nation of Israel. The Ark of God was returned by the Philistines on their own initiative. After returning to God, the Israelites returned to all the cities that the Philistines had taken. In his old age, the Prophet Samuel made his sons Joel and Abiah judges over Israel, but they did not follow the integrity and righteous judgment of their father, since they were motivated by greed.


Then the elders of Israel, wanting the nation of God to be “like other nations” (1 Sam/1 Kgs 8: 20), demanded of the Prophet Samuel that they have a king. The Prophet Samuel anointed Saul as king, but saw in this a downfall of the people, whom God Himself had governed until this time, announcing His will through His chosen saints. Resigning the position of judge, the Prophet Samuel asked the people if they consented to his continued governance, but no one stepped forward for him.


After denouncing the first king, Saul, for his disobedience to God, the Prophet Samuel anointed David as king. He had offered David asylum, saving him from the pursuit of King Saul. The Prophet Samuel died in extreme old age. His life is recorded in the Bible (1 Sam/1 Kgs; Sirach 46:13-20).


In the year 406 A.D. the relics of the Prophet Samuel were transferred from Judea to Constantinople.



Martyr Severus and 38 Soldiers in Thrace

Commemorated on August 20


The martyrs Severus, Memnon, Philip, and thirty-seven others suffered in Philippopolis, Thrace under the emperor Diocletian (284-305).


When the governor learned that the Saint Severus had converted the centurion Memnon to Christ, he ordered that Memnon be tortured. They cut three strips of skin from Saint Memnon’s back.


Saint Severus was raked with iron hooks. Then they put red-hot rings on his fingers and girded him with a red-hot iron belt. After these tortures, he was blinded.


The others had their hands and feet cut off and were thrown into a fiery oven.

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AUGUST ANNOUNCEMENTS


Beheading of St John the Baptist

Aug. 29th Tuesday, Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am